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Cheryl Forberg leaves 'The Biggest Loser' for the farm life

November 08, 2011|By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
  • Cheryl Forberg of "The Biggest Loser" has found happiness on her Napa farm, where she'll continue to help people eat more healthfully.
Cheryl Forberg of "The Biggest Loser" has found happiness on… (Photo credit: John Capone )

After seven years with "The Biggest Loser," nutritionist Cheryl Forberg is saying goodbye to the show at the end of the year. But she's saying hello to her new farm in Napa.

Forberg's announcement Tuesday may be sad news for her fans, but fear not: The James Beard award-winning chef, author and registered dietitian is in no danger of going away. In fact, she told us that one of the reasons she decided to ankle the show was to be more available to the public.

"I'm going to be there more than ever for them," she said, adding that fans can stay in touch via her blog, social media, more books, and possibly television. "I get so many emails from people who want to know more about nutrition and all the things I teach the cast, and there just aren't enough hours in the day."

Forberg bought a one-acre farm in Napa, Calif., about a year ago, and has been entrenched in chickens (she's got four, named after grandmothers and great-grandmothers), borrowed goats and growing vegetables and fruit. She's also in the process of outfitting a 500-square-foot kitchen, the better to cook in.

Until now she's had to do with a microwave, toaster oven and a crock pot -- not the best scenario for a trained chef.

This is all designed so Forberg can pursue her passion for urban farming and connect with people about cooking and eating more healthful food. On her blog she's already shared photos of her fuyu persimmon tree, her denuded broccoli plants (courtesy of the aforementioned chickens) and prickly pear margaritas with -- you guessed it -- prickly pears from her own cacti. The photo of her al fresco happy hour repast of red wine and just-picked fresh figs wrapped in prosciutto is enough to make you want to abandon all Starbucks and grab a wheelbarrow.

Farming is in her blood. Forberg's mother grew up on a farm and her aunts and uncles were farmers. Despite being raised in St. Paul, Minn, "I've always loved the country," she said. But Forberg says you don't have to live in a bucolic paradise to make more healthful changes. Even starting an herb garden on your windowsill is a step in the right direction.

"Growing fresh herbs is something everyone can do," she said. "There's something so gratifying about tasting something you grew. We're enjoying meals more because we grow a lot of the food. Creating menus around that is a delightful new adventure."

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