Interview with Lynn Chen

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Lynn was selected by the community as one of the top 10 Food blogs of 2011; number 8 to be exact. It wasn’t just because she is pretty. Those who don’t know Lynn’s blog; The Actor’s Diet, may wonder why an actress would be so beloved in the food blogging community. There are quite a lot of reasons. Her blog is candid. Anyone reading her blog can see that there’s no filler here. She talks honestly about her relationship with food and how it works with her business and family life. She takes some awesome pics (who does not love food porn) and shares some great recipes and tips on staying healthy. Lynn took a few minutes out of her crazy schedule to chat and give us a bit more insight into her blog and life.

FriendsEat: Where did you grow up?

Lynn Chenn:  I was born in Queens (where I wound up living for 7 years after college) but raised in Cresskill, NJ.  I still consider myself a New Yorker, though.

FE: “The Actor’s Diet” sounds like a diet blog; for those who are not familiar with your blog, how would you describe it?

LC:  Once upon a time, I tried every diet under the sun, which led to a long history of eating disorders. My blog is a confrontation of the stereotype that actors have to follow crazy rules to look camera-ready.

FE: As an actor and blogger you must have a pretty hectic life; what is a “typical” day in your life like?

LC:  It’s up and down.  One day I’m doing something very exciting, like walking the red carpet or shooting a movie, and the next I’m picking up my dog’s poop and organizing my sock drawer.  An actor’s life has very little control so blogging is a great hobby; it gives me something creative to do without having to ask permission.  I hope my blog dispels the myth that actors lead glamorous lives.  It can definitely be amazing, but that’s not the reality for most of us.

FE: How have you found a balance between the physical demands of acting and a healthy lifestyle?

LC:  Through blogging, I pretty much know exactly how food will affect my moods and body.  So when I’m on set and need to be energized for a 10-12 hour day, I’ll try not to eat things that will make me feel bloated or tired (unless my character calls for it).

FE: You mentioned in your blog that you struggled with eating disorders when you were young. What was the biggest factor to recovery and what advice would you give to others who are undergoing the same issues?

LC:  I’m a long-time binge eater, only I didn’t acknowledge that overeating was a problem til my mid-twenties.  It took over 5 years of therapy, and is still an ongoing issue, though I’m proud to say I haven’t struggled mentally in over 3 years and have maintained my body’s natural and healthy size during that time (it was on a constant roller coaster most of my life).  Recovery looks different for everyone, but for me it was realizing that I had to trust myself when it came to figuring out my relationship with food and body image – not listening to what my family, friends, doctors, fans, managers/agents, media, etc. said.

FE: What was your childhood kitchen like, and what is your kitchen like now?

LC: We had a lot of Chinese food, tons of leftovers, and very few snacks. Nowadays my pantry is stocked with samples to review for the blogs – everything from pastries to frozen foods to condiments.

FE: Your parents are Chinese? How does that influence your cooking?

LC:  I wish it did more.  The truth is, I rarely cook Chinese food – in fact, lately I don’t cook at all!

FE: What is your favorite restaurant?

LC:  That’s really hard to say…because I’m constantly trying new restaurants for the blog, I don’t revisit places very often, even when I love them.  But ones that I go to pretty consistently (in Los Angeles) are M Café and Umami Burger.

FE: And your favorite ingredient to cook with?

LC:  I pretty much add spinach to everything.

FE: What is your opinion of food entertainment?

LC:  Huge fan.  I watch Food Network, PBS, cooking segments on talk shows – listen to podcasts, NPR shows – and of course, read a ton of blogs.  Nigella Lawson was the first TV chef I became addicted to, and Rachael Ray pretty much taught me how to cook.  I’m not that into the competition shows, though I do enjoy “Top Chef.”

FE: Where do you see “The Actor’s Diet” in five years?

LC:  I hope to develop it into a book, a series….maybe even a movie?

FE: What advice do you have for someone who is thinking of starting a food blog?

LC:  Just do it!  Blogging isn’t for everyone, but you won’t know until you try.

FE:  When did you first hear that “The Actor’s Diet” was nominated, how did it feel to reach the top ten?

LC:  Warm and fuzzy!  There were some really terrific blogs nominated and it was an honor to be among them.

FE: Use this one to talk about something in your blog that you want to communicate to our readers, I’ll work on incorporating it into the interview.

LC:  I’d love to plug my acting site – and my other blog,



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Blanca Valbuena
I am one of the co-founders of FriendsEAT. Obviously, I love to eat. Other passions include A Song of Ice and Fire, Shakespeare, Dostoyevski, and Aldous Huxley.
Blanca Valbuena
Blanca Valbuena

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