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COVER GIRL! Virginia on the cover of Woman’s World

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chef virginia willis on cover or woman's world

Chef Virginia Willis Shares her Culinary Health and Wellness Success Story with Woman’s World Magazine

Hey y’all! SO excited to share this press release with you! I am grateful for your support! Best VA

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 21, 2022 contact: Melanie McCraney, melanie@mccraneypr.com (205) 910-1323.

(ATLANTA, GA)      Chef and James Beard award-winning cookbook author Virginia Willis shares her journey of culinary health and wellness in the April 21, 2022 cover story of Woman’s World magazine. There’s a lot more to her story than the 65-pound weight loss she has maintained for nearly two years.  Medical scares, sluggish metabolism, and other issues associated with aging and weight gain prompted her journey to adopt a culinary health and wellness lifestyle that includes healthy foods that taste good along with sustainable fitness routines.

“If a stress-eating post-menopausal Southern chef can lose 65 pounds, then you can, too!” says Virginia, who is best known for creating refined southern cuisine that incorporates classic French techniques with foods and flavors of the American South. She laughs that her go-to ingredients for decades were “butter, butter, butter, and maybe a little cream.”

chef virginia willis workout
photo by Terry Allen

GEN X and Healthy Aging

Like many Gen-X women, Virginia had an “aha” moment when she hit her early fifties, realizing that weight gain and fitness-related health problems were taking a toll physically and mentally.

“ I ate for emotional reasons- because I was happy, sad, anxious, bored. Other times it was just because what I was cooking tasted good. Basically, I love to eat ” she told Woman’s World. While researching food and fitness Virginia found herself shifting her culinary focus to creating healthier recipes that taste good. She also discovered the merits of moving her body more and that walking was as good at relieving stress as it was at improving her overall health and fitness.

Virginia shares get-slim secrets in the Woman’s World article and she routinely chronicles her journey to better health and fitness on her blog, Cooking with Virginia, which includes tips, techniques, and real-life recipes for healthy eating and weight loss.

Fresh Start: Real Life Guide to Healthy Eating and Weight Loss

Fresh Start

Virginia continues expanding her culinary health and wellness consultancy and has published Fresh Start: Cooking with Virginia- My Real- Life Daily Guide to Healthy Eating, a downloadable e-book also available as a print-on-demand paperback.

Before and after 2018/2021

About Virginia Willis

She is the author of seven cookbooks including the James Beard Award-winning cookbook, Lighten up Y’all. She has appeared on Food Network’s Chopped, CBS This Morning, Fox Family and Friends, Martha Stewart Living, and as a judge on Throwdown with Bobby Flay. She is the former TV kitchen director for Martha Stewart Living, Bobby Flay, and Nathalie Dupree.

Virginia Willis is a French-trained chef, Food Network Kitchen talent, James Beard award-winning cookbook author, television personality, content creator, and social media influencer.

Virginia has been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, People Magazine, Eater, and Food52 and has contributed to Eating Well, Garden & Gun, Bon Appétit, and more. Her legion of fans loves her down-to-earth attitude, approachable spirit, and traveling exploits. Virginia is available for interviews, demos, and personal appearances and works from a fully equipped kitchen set appropriate for live and recorded video interviews. For more information, visit VirginiaWillis.com

Want to have Virginia on your show or podcast? Need a great interview? She can talk about:

  • Women, aging, and weight loss
  • Weight loss after 50
  • How she lost 65 pounds and kept it off
  • Culinary health and wellness
  • Gen-x women, weight, and fitness
  • Secrets for eating healthier and feeling better
  • Healthy recipes that taste good
  • How to get a grip on portion control
  • Personalizing a healthy eating and fitness lifestyle
  • Tips for keeping a healthy pantry and fridge
  • Healthy proteins and why they matter

Bon Appétit, Y’all

Virginia Willis

Virginia Willis’ Reduced Sugar Three-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies

Makes 2 dozen
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Course: cookies, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bar cookie, reduced sugar
Author: Virginia Willis

Ingredients

  • 1 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg or 3 tablespoons canned chickpea liquid

Instructions

  • Heat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet w/ parchment paper or a nonstick silicone baking mat. In a bowl, combine peanut butter, sugar, and egg until well blended. Using a tablespoon, scoop out dough and roll into balls. Place on prepared baking sheet about 2” apart. Using tines of a fork, make a crosshatch in the top. Bake until browned and set, about 10 minutes. Remove baking sheet to a rack to cool, letting the cookies cool on the baking sheet. (If using the canned chickpea liquid, it is important to let the cookies cool a full 10 minutes before moving them off the baking sheet.) Store in a sealable airtight container for up to 1 week.

If you try this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #virginiawillis on Instagram.

Heads up! I am not a doctor, RD, or health professional noam I an official WW ambassador or representative. I am simply sharing what works for me. Thanks for reading!

If you are interested in hosting me for a speaking engagement, event, cooking class, or a book signing, let me know! Send an email to jona@virginiawillis.com and we’ll be back in touch as soon as possible.

Please note that this post may contain affiliate links and I may make a commission if you use my affiliate link to buy the product.

Please be nice. Unauthorized use and/or duplication is prohibited. All photos and content are copyright protected. If you wish to republish this recipe, please link back to this recipe on virginiawillis.com. Thanks so much!

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Please note that this post may contain affiliate links.

Virginia Willis

Georgia-born French-trained Chef Virginia Willis’ biography includes making chocolate chip cookies with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, foraging for berries in the Alaskan wilderness, harvesting capers in the shadow of a smoldering volcano in Sicily, and hunting for truffles in France. She is talent and chef-instructor for the digital streaming platform Food Network Kitchen. Her segments feature authentic and innovative Southern cooking. She was the celebrity chef at the Mansion at Churchill Downs for the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby. Virginia has spoken at SXSW, cooked for the James Beard Foundation, and beguiled celebrities such as Bill Clinton, Morgan Freeman, and Jane Fonda with her cooking — but it all started in her grandmother’s country kitchen. Recently, her work has been inspired by her weight loss success story, Virginia has lost 65# and kept it off for over 1 1/2 years! “If a French-trained, Southern chef can do it, you can, too.” She is the author of Fresh Start; Secrets of the Southern Table; Lighten Up, Y’all; Bon Appétit, Y’all; Basic to Brilliant, Y’all; Okra; and Grits. Lighten Up, Y’all won a James Beard Foundation Award of Excellence in the Focus on Health Category. Lighten Up, Y’all as well as her first cookbook, Bon Appétit, Y’all, were finalists in the Best American Cookbook for the International Association of Cookbook Awards and were also named by the Georgia Center of the Book as “Books Georgians Should Read.” She is the former TV kitchen director for Martha Stewart Living, Bobby Flay, and Nathalie Dupree; has worked in Michelin-starred restaurants; and traveled the world producing food stories – from making cheese in California to escargot farming in France. She has appeared on Food Network’s Chopped, CBS This Morning, Fox Family and Friends, Martha Stewart Living, and as a judge on Throwdown with Bobby Flay. She’s been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, People Magazine, Eater, and Food52 and has contributed to Eating Well, GRLSQUASH, Culture, Garden & Gun, and Bon Appétit, and more. The Chicago Tribune praised her as one of “Seven Food Writers You Need to Know.” Her legion of fans loves her down-to-earth attitude, approachable spirit, and traveling exploits. Her culinary consulting company, Virginia Willis Culinary Enterprises, Inc specializes in content creation, recipe development, culinary editorial and production services, cookbook writing, media training, spokesperson and brand representation, and public speaking. Virginia is on the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Blue Ribbon Task Force, the Atlanta Community Food Bank Advisory Board, as well as the Community Farmers Market Advisory Board. She is a food and hunger advocate for No Kid Hungry and a premier member of the No Kid Hungry Atlanta Society. She a member of The James Beard Foundation, Chef’s Collaborative, Georgia Organics, and Southern Foodways Alliance.

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Suzanne

    As one who did work with you “back in the day” I’m so happy to see that sparkle not only continuing to shine but getting brighter and brighter! Congratulations on all your hard earned well deserved success, you’re always an amazing inspiration!

  2. Carol

    You are fierce, fabulous, & beautiful!!!

  3. Susan H Haines

    The sparkle in your eyes says so much, Virginia. It is obvious to anyone who worked with you “back in the day” that you are happy and loving yourself.

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