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Ingrid Hoffmann serves up authentic food with a hearty dash of personality in front of cameras and fans. Her English-language show Simply Delicioso is on the Cooking Channel, and her Spanish-language show Delicioso is on Telefutura and Galavision.

Born in Barranquilla, Colombia, the daughter of a Dutch pilot father and a Colombian Cordon Bleu–trained chef mother, Hoffmann was raised all over the world. After spending years acting, Hoffmann knew that home was in the kitchen.

“I was born in the industry,” Hoffmann says. “I spent my childhood on a bench next to my mother in her kitchen.”

Hoffmann channeled her passion into a hot spot restaurant, Rocca, in Miami. Then after hosting a cooking segment for a local TV show, she was offered a spot on Despierta América on Univision, which ultimately led to a Food Network show that is now on the Cooking Channel. She has also authored cookbooks and even has a line of cookware.

As her life as a professional chef was heating up, her health was cooling down. In 2002, Hoffmann contracted a rare eye condition that is almost always caused by an autoimmune disorder. Her doctors conferred and agreed: Hoffmann had lupus, a chronic disease in which the immune system begins attacking healthy tissue.

“I didn’t know a lot about lupus, but I knew enough to be deadly scared,” Hoffmann recalls. “But I was also relieved because it explained so many years of pain and suffering.”

For years, Hoffmann had been fighting seemingly unrelated conditions like fibromyalgia and arthritis. Now she had an answer. But after trying several medications, Hoffmann only felt worse. Once again, she turned back to her roots.

“I firmly believe that we are what we eat,” Hoffmann says. “So I chose to go on an anti-inflammatory alkaline diet to help me stay healthy.” The lifestyle guru also chose “exercise, yoga, meditation and acupuncture for pain management, and rest and sleep to keep the immune system strong.”

With her holistic plan in place, Hoffmann feels good inside the kitchen and out. “I love real unprocessed food. Stay away from sugar and bleached flour. You can eat anything that came from the earth—steam it, roast it, blanche it, sauté it, but never fry it.”

To read our extended interview with Hoffmann, click here.