During his stay, he dropped in on Stacie, a mother of four, who had a freezer full of 50-cent frozen pizzas—but no veggies in sight. Like so many busy parents, Stacie was buying the most cost-effective, easy-to-prepare food she could find without realizing the bigger consequences.
To put things in perspective, Jamie placed all the food her family typically eats in a week on the table. "Notice it's all the same colors—all golden brown," he says. "This stuff goes through you and your family's body every week. And I need you to know that this is going to kill your children early. We're talking about 10, 13, 14 years off their lives."
Get 9 quick, easy and healthy recipes from Jamie
Stacie says she had a huge wake-up call. "Seeing that food scares me to think that I'm opening my kids to a world of failure," she says. "I want them to be good. I want them to learn from me."
Still, Jamie says it's not his intention to make Stacie—or any parent—feel guilty. "That's what I'm all about—[I'm about providing] the tools to let every mother and father make good decisions," he says. "It's about you owning the things that you love."
At the end of his visit, Jamie, Stacie and her family buried the deep fryer in the backyard—literally! Since then, the family has been eating healthy and has even lost weight. "[Stacie's son] Justin—who was 12 years old when I met him—has lost 20, 30 pounds, which is great. But you've got to remember I'm not doing a diet show," he says. "This is about real food. This is about health. ... There are just as many unhealthy skinny people. We can't just label it as obesity."