“It’s kind of like Queer Eye for the Straight Guy meets health food lifestyle makeover,” says Stefanie Sacks, a culinary nutritionist, who recently debuted a public-access television show that was eight years in the making.
When Sacks first wrote a script, the networks weren’t buying. So, the Montauk resident and her husband, Rich Dec, took matters into their own hands. They heard that LTV, the public-access channel in East Hampton, gives video production classes. The two signed up and created Chew on This, an hour-long television show that airs on LTV.
So far the show has covered topics like food allergies and healthy eating on the run. A recent show on weight loss for wellness featured Nick & Toni’s chef Joe Realmuto (shown above, with Sacks) at work in the new LTV kitchen. For a segment on eating with kids, Sack’s did a live interview with her 6-year-old son, Jack. “I’m doing what I love and getting this info out there,” she says. “We’re showing how you can use food to start feeling better.”
Up until this time, Sacks, who has a master’s in nutrition from Columbia University, is a certified nutrition specialist and is a graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts, has been working one-on-one with clients in their own homes to teach them the value of fresh and nutritious food. She also teaches classes at the Kripalu Center and the New York Open Center. She has a large and growing list of people who subscribe to her e-newsletter, but she continues to seek a wider medium to tell her story.
As a child and into college, Sacks suffered from a number of health problems, including allergies, asthma and susceptibility to pneumonia. Her life changed after reading Food and Healing by Annemarie Colbin; she quit her school’s meal plan, worked with doctors using integrated medicine and saw her symptoms greatly improve without prescription drugs.
“This kind of information is so valuable,” says Sacks. “It would be really nice if talking about food for health were a more common occurrence; it’s not being done, and if it is, it’s in very small tidbits.”