I was shocked to open Facebook this morning and see a note from Cheryl Forberg, RD announcing that she she would depart from Biggest Loser at the end of the year.
She’s been with Biggest Loser for 12 seasons, in other words the very beginning. She co-wrote the now famous, and often imitated, nutrition program that the more than 250 Biggest Loser contestants follow on their weight loss journeys. Her work behind the cameras on the long-running reality program has touched innumerable lives, whether it be first-hand with the contestants, viewers who mimic the program, or those who follow her guidance in one of the show’s bestselling books, like Biggest Loser’s 6 Weeks to a Healthier You.
“Looking back, this is the longest working relationship I’ve had – seven + years – so it’s really taken up a full, exciting and very complete chapter in my life,” Forberg told us after breaking the news. “My experience and relationships with our cast (250+) has been incredibly enriching. Though I hope I’ve made a lasting impact on their lives with the nutrition and culinary tips I’ve shared, I’ve learned so much myself from our contestants (and viewers I’ve met through Facebook and Twitter). They each have a unique journey and I feel so blessed to go along for the ride with all of them.”
Her experiences with this select group of people are very unique, and some stand out as special relationships. She shared with us a few of those moments, like the day she met Abby Rike, who immediately opened her heart to Cheryl. She describes another important meeting. “Going on a sunrise hike with O’Neal Hampton after he first arrived in LA. He was having trouble walking, but he would not quit and surprised all of us, but especially himself, when he made it to the top of the trail in Griffith Park.”
Forberg is leaving the show for actual greener pastures. Last year she bought a small farm in Napa, Calif. and it’s there that she’s become an “urban farmer” and plans to continue to share her message of healthful eating. Over the past year she has shared with fans her daily round-up of freshly laid eggs by the chickens she endearingly calls “the girls,” and even posted photos of meals she’s prepared using ingredients grown right on the farm, like a frittata with freshly-picked figs.
She’s spent the past year working on the development of her new state-of-the-art media and test kitchen, which will host her growing Flavor First brand. Her cookbook of the same name, Flavor First, released in 2011.
“Forberg’s Napa farmhouse kitchen will be the stage for her on-camera, new media ventures and the laboratory for her upcoming series of books, products, and videos,” explained the press release. “It will also serve as a studio for demonstrations, media events, and other means to share, stream, and post her weight loss secrets and cooking tips with American and international audiences.”
It’s through that expanded audience that Forberg should, ideally, find what she described to us about what she loved at Biggest Loser.
“The moments that really stand out are when I actually witness a light bulb going on inside someone’s head – when they’ve really got their head in the game – they want to be healthy – and they finally realize that they deserve it, and there’s no going back. That’s just the best!”
While it would have been of even greater service to the millions of viewers to put Forberg in front of the camera more often on Biggest Loser, she doesn’t plan on being a stranger to video any longer. She told us “I am looking forward to spending more time in front of the camera, reaching a larger audience and sharing with everyone the cooking and nutrition secrets I’ve been sharing with the cast since 2004. The eating plan I co-wrote is not only for weight loss. It’s for everyone – the whole family. I look forward to spending more time spreading the message to more people, while, for the first time, I’ll be growing my own food too. It just doesn’t get better than that!”
As a James Beard award-winning chef, and a respected nutritionist, Cheryl has the rare ability to craft delicious, wholesome food that fuels as much as it satisfies. Examples include her Beer Braised Pork Tacos, Sweet Pumpkin Polenta, and Huevos Sofrito. Being on her farm will no doubt inspire some of her freshest, boldest, and healthiest creations yet.
Photo included with press release.