Diana: At that point, I was like, where I was like, "Well, I love what I'm doing, and I have no interest in opening a restaurant anymore," but it definitely brought this bigger respect-

DeLo: For sure.

Diana: ... to what they do.

Speaker 2: You're listening to the Bar & Restaurant Podcast, where hospitality lovers come to listen and learn with expert, David de Lorenzo.

DeLo: With Diana Brandt, AZ Foodie. How are you?

Diana: Good. How are you?

DeLo: I am well. We have met, I think like three times. So, what's really cool about this is I don't know a shit about you, and so I'm excited to learn and kind of get a feel for who you are. We know what you do.

Diana: Yes.

DeLo: I mean, anybody that's probably watching this or listening to this is a fan of yours already so ...

Diana: Oh, I hope so.

DeLo: ... and more fans to come. Let's start from the beginning, the beginning of birth. Where were you born? Was it San Diego?

Diana: Yes. I was born in San Diego. I lived there probably until I was around eight, at which time, we moved to Seattle. Then, I think ... I don't remember what year it was, but I was like 21, 22, we moved down here to Phoenix. I've been here ever since.

DeLo: Nice, and so I assume you go back to San Diego for vacations like all of us Phoenicians do.

Diana: All the time, yes. The kids love it there.

DeLo: Do you enjoy the food scene out there?

Diana: Yeah, I think it's great. They have a lot of good food, just a lot of great food over there. It's so dense too as far as like anywhere go around San Diego, you can just find tons of great options.

DeLo: That's awesome, and then Seattle, so ...

Diana: Oh, Seattle's so good too.

DeLo: You loved Seattle when you-

Diana: Yeah.

DeLo: Yeah. You grew up as a kid, obviously from eight to ... and then high school and over that right there.

Diana: Yeah, kind of college.

DeLo: Kind of college.

Diana: When you live there, we didn't realize how good we had it until we moved down here, and it was chain restaurants central, and there was no local food scene at all when we moved down here. It's like we'd eat at Red Robin. That was great.

DeLo: Yeah. So, you'd eat at Red Robin. It's like, "Yes."

Diana: That was all we had.

DeLo: "Chili's."

Diana: That was it.

DeLo: Yeah, that's too funny. When you left Seattle, you were 22. When you say we, who came with you?

Diana: It was my boyfriend at the time who's now my husband.

DeLo: Okay, very cool. So, you've been married for a while.

Diana: No. So, we've been together a long time, but I was not ready for marriage or a family, so we were together for quite a long time before that happened. We've only been married almost nine years.

DeLo: Okay. Still.

Diana: So, yeah. It's very small part compared to how long we've actually been together, which I think is like 17, 18 years.

DeLo: So, doesn't it, like after you get married, doesn't it just all add up and say, "We've been married 17 years"?

Diana: No.

DeLo: No?

Diana: Also, by that time, it was like being married felt no different than what we had-

DeLo: Being together.

Diana: ... yeah, actually done.

DeLo: Yeah, and from just looking at you online, you look very close to your family, and you love your family and all that. So, what is a job that moved you guys down here or ...

Diana: Back then, when I was that age, you know, you're young, you're naïve. My now husband, he's a lot older, and so I have a stepson, his so, who was in his early 20s now.

DeLo: Oh, wow.

Diana: We were moving down. He was moving here, I should say, to be closer to his son, who I think, at that time, was like eight, eight or nine. I can't remember. So, at that point, I think we'd been together maybe a year or so, and I was like, "Oh, it sounds great. I'll come with you." He was like, "Uh, okay." That was what happened.

DeLo: That was it. So, okay, so that was your first time obviously to Arizona, and you just kind of-

Diana: Yeah.

DeLo: You're here. You've been here ever since.

Diana: Been here ever since.

DeLo: Like you said, it was Red Robins and Chili's and the Applebee's and all that sort of stuff. What was it about the food scene that kind of struck your attention as far as localness like when it first started coming to you?

Diana: When I started AZ Foodie six years ago, I had been working in food events, and to be honest, I really felt like I was going to open my own bakery. That was what I wanted to do, and so I was baking out of my house. I was baking stuff for people, practicing, doing classes here and there when I could. Then, I met these people at this, it was called the World Championship in Forum, and it was this incredible international competition and classes. It was a two-week long thing. It was held here. I started working for them. We're talking about like really incredibly talented people in the industry. They were like, "Don't do it. Do not open a bakery. Just don't."

DeLo: Unless you can put weed in it.

Diana: "Don't do it. It's not worth the time. It'll suck your life, and you won't be able to ..." I think I was pregnant. They were like, "You're going to want to be with your family." Little did I know how correct they were. I was still pretty new to what it took to own that kind of a business, and so my passion really came to life with that event because I fell in love with the passion that they had, the chaos in the behind the scenes, and obviously, just in general, I loved food. So, all that, I knew I had to do something in food, and I didn't know what it was, but I knew it. So, I had my first child. I worked with actually [Tyda 00:06:19] and Rick way back when.

DeLo: Yeah. Love them.

Diana: That was a long, long time ago. I think it was either their first or second year in business. I interned and worked with them for about a full season of events, which was a lot back then. We had like the Tucson Taco Fest, the Surprise Barbecue-

DeLo: It was more than just taco events. Yeah.

Diana: Yeah. So, that was a lot of fun too. Then, after that, I got hired on to do mom events. I did that for a while, and it didn't click.

DeLo: Well, before we get into that, let's talk about being a mom. So, you have two kids.

Diana: I have two kids now.

DeLo: Okay, and also a stepkid.

Diana: Yes.

DeLo: Okay, so three.

Diana: Three.

DeLo: Okay. Two boys?

Diana: Yes.

DeLo: Oh, really?

Diana: All of them are boys. The oldest just turned nine, and then my littlest is four.

DeLo: Very cool. Very cool. My assumption is being a mom is like the greatest job ever.

Diana: It's the hardest job ever. Best and the worst.

DeLo: Best and the worst. Yeah, my wife would say the same thing. Before you fell in love with food and got in to all this, you worked at the Gap. [crosstalk 00:07:23].

Diana: I worked just in weird jobs. The Gap was probably like my first job, and that was because my sister worked there, so I decided I wanted to work there. I worked at the University of Washington, which also, my brother and my sister and my mom worked at. Where else did I work? I worked at like Whole Foods. I worked at Quiznos. I worked in the restaurants. I worked where else? I think that was it, so the majority, and then when we moved down here, I worked in a mortgage company until that came crashing down.

DeLo: Oh, yeah. I remember that year.

Diana: Oh, that was a sad year for all of us. Then, at that point, I just kind of flip-flopped, but all through those years, I just felt like lost. None of that was appealing to me. I wasn't happy where I was. I didn't have that passion, and it wasn't until I started doing AZ Foodie that that feeling went away.

DeLo: Just went away.

Diana: It went away.

DeLo: Take down the passion.

Diana: Yes, and it was crazy.

DeLo: Isn't it great when it just hit you?

Diana: Crazy, yeah.

DeLo: It's like you find it, and it's there.

Diana: Yeah. I mean, that feeling had been in me for so long that when it was gone, it was amazing. That weight was lifted.

DeLo: So, now, you're AZ Foodie. You're getting started. Things are going on. Kind of reverting back to when you wanted to start a bakery and do some other stuff, my assumption is you're very empathetic towards restaurant owners, like you get it, you understand it's hard work.

Diana: Yeah. No. I didn't know at first, right? As I did AZ Foodie and created these ... because the great thing about, I guess, how it all happened is I formed really good relationships with a lot of the chefs. Gio, who does Virtu, was probably one of the first people to really support me when I'd be like, "Hey, I want to do the side dish." He'd be like, "Sure." Then, it was Stephen Jones, and so those two really brought me in and have been such great friends and family friends, but they also allowed me to hear like the other side of it. So, it was from them and so many others that I started to see how much time and how much life that they put into their restaurants and how little they saw their families or did anything else and still even get to do. Their life is that work. At that point, I was like, where I was like, "Well, I love what I'm doing, and I have no interest in opening a restaurant anymore," but it definitely brought this bigger respect to-

DeLo: For sure.

Diana: ... what they do and wanting to continue to help them.

DeLo: Yeah. What a cool gift that you now have when you ... You've been doing this six years now?

Diana: Yeah.

DeLo: Yeah, so six years later and with all the followers you had and with all the impressions you get and all the attention and all that sort of stuff, when you want to help those men and women that are working their ass off in trying to build their local restaurant, you can do that. That's a really cool position to be in.

Diana: Sometimes, we forget how much of an impact some stuff can have, and maybe it's not everything. Maybe we don't know because it's hard to track some of that stuff as well, but I think just a couple weeks ago, maybe it's been a week, I decided to go to this taco place. I won't name it, but I'd never been ... It just had been on my list because it looked good. I wanted to go check it out. I went there, and the guy, he started telling me how much he was struggling. He had started a couple months ago, and they weren't getting anything, and it was his and his mom. His mom and him would make the food all morning, and then he would go out and do the truck in the afternoon and, oh, just like ... You know?

DeLo: Yeah. It tears at your heart.

Diana: That's the kind of thing that like tears at your heart. His food is so good. I was happy to be able to share it, but I didn't realize how much of reach he would see. So, I posted and literally, that ... So, that video that I posted of him on Facebook has gotten close to a million views. Now, this is no longer a local thing, right? On Facebook, it went viral, but even on Instagram, it went huge. He literally, he said, "After you posted, people started coming immediately that night."

DeLo: Wow.

Diana: He's been selling out almost every single day since.

DeLo: That's awesome.

Diana: So, for me, that just kind of brought me back to, "This is why I'm doing this." This guy, probably wouldn't have made it much longer, but he has such good food, and I was able to just put it out there because it was good, and people came, and they liked it too. You know what I mean?

DeLo: Yeah. Well, in a way, it's like ... When you were a kid, did you ever want to be, I don't know, Superman or Wonder Woman or Batman or anything like that, like a superhero?

Diana: No.

DeLo: Well, so now, you're a food superhero. Think about it. You come in with your magic powers, and I think the thing for people to keep in mind is that you know what good food is because you try so much stuff.

Diana: Yeah. Exactly, it's like a-

DeLo: Taste buds aside, everybody has kind of their own taste. I get that, but there's a difference between good, quality homemade sort of stuff whether it's your thing or not or, not naming restaurants, but your normal chain sort of just been thrown together sort of stuff.

Diana: Yes. Yeah.

DeLo: Not that chains are bad. There's some good ones out there, I'm sure.

Diana: Everybody ... Yeah. That was the hard thing too, coming in, was I didn't start AZ Foodie as like a place to rate. You know what I mean?

DeLo: Yeah.

Diana: Back when I started, there was no such thing as influencer. I was just posting as a way to show what was out there and have people share back what was out there because it was such a growing food scene and still to this day, there's too much I haven't touched very much of it, but then it started becoming this thing like, "Oh, well, you should only post certain things that are good enough or whatever." What I found was everybody has a different palate. You know what I mean? Obviously, there's things that I do not post, but for the most part, AZ Foodie was always supposed to be just a place where you could find out about the new stuff.

DeLo: Yeah, and so six years ago, that handle was available?

Diana: Yeah.

DeLo: You just grabbed that all up. Did that just come to you? Or you just kind of like, "I'm going to do this"?

Diana: I don't even remember. I think I remember sitting in a red chair at my house, my old house, and talking to my husband about it and being like, "Hey, people are sick of seeing my food pictures on my personal page, so I'm going to start this account just to post food. Here's what's available. What should I do?" I don't remember what the other choices were, but we felt like AZ Foodie rolled off the tongue the best, and that was it.

DeLo: Absolutely, it did. Yeah.

Diana: There we go.

DeLo: Now, at this point, do you have groupies? Do you have people that hit you up quite a bit?

Diana: Yes. Yes. I have very loyal people that I love too. They're great.

DeLo: That's awesome. Yeah.

Diana: I'm here because of them.

DeLo: So, when I was in the record business, as you'd seen in my office there, I would have those loyal people that would hit me up for concert tickets all the time. So, how often do you get hit up for, you know?

Diana: People actually don't hit me up for that kind of stuff. You know what I get hit up for all the time is just recommendations. That's like the thing all the time. "Where do I eat here? What do I do for this? My wife, my girlfriend. How do I impress ..."

DeLo: You're like a concierge on a ...

Diana: Yeah.

DeLo: That's too much. I know you do some hotel work as well.

Diana: Yeah. I mean, I love ... I'll travel for food.

DeLo: Yeah, and staycations [crosstalk 00:15:14].

Diana: Yeah, staycations are great and very food-based, yeah, as well.

DeLo: Yeah, for sure. Well, yeah, these restaurants, I mean if they don't have an inner peace to keep you there as far as a good food or good restaurant, they're not doing their job basically. What's your definition of foodie?

Diana: I don't even know. So, that was another thing when I started. It stopped now, but I remember back in the day, people would be like, "Oh, this isn't a foodie post. You can't call yourself a foodie. You're not AZ Foodie." I'd be like, "Dude, I didn't even care about ... It was just an Instagram handle."

DeLo: It's the name. Yeah.

Diana: Who cares? What is foodie? I don't ... I remember somebody posted a definition of it one time because they felt like it wasn't right that I called myself that. I was like, "That's nice. I can call myself anything. It's just an Instagram handle, and it sounded better than AZ Food. I don't know. AZ Foodie."

DeLo: So, I think that's a great definition right there. It's just, "I am Diana, and here's my handle."

Diana: There wasn't that much thought behind anything back then-

DeLo: [crosstalk 00:16:19].

Diana: ... because everything was so organic, and nobody was trying to be an influencer.

DeLo: Yeah. I hear you. Instagram's been huge for you. I know you do stuff on Facebook as well. What are some other media means that have worked for you to build up your brand?

Diana: Well, I have the blog, which has been around for a long time. just doing stuff on TV was big in the beginning, even radio, which I still do both of those, has been a lot of fun, and then doing events. I do a lot with events still whether they have me or hosting my own events. That kind of goes back to my initial intro into the food scene, right? I started in events, and I've always loved events, and being able to host my own even was something I always wanted to do. It just didn't make sense until it happened, and it was the perfect timing for that.

DeLo: Yeah. Let's talk about some of the events here locally. I see you out at pretty much a lot ... I mean, Devour's great. That's coming up. I know you just did one last weekend, didn't you? Was it a ... What was that? I was on your website. I saw like a barbecue one or something.

Diana: I post about events, but I do not attend a lot of events anymore.

DeLo: Okay.

Diana: But I have.

DeLo: But you have.

Diana: I've been to probably all of them. I go to probably none of them now.

DeLo: Really?

Diana: Except for my own.

DeLo: Yeah, except for your own events. What are some of your own events?

Diana: My biggest event right now is Smoked, and that is on April 4th. It's from noon to 4:00, and I'd do it at Ocotillo because I do a lot of work with Ocotillo, and their space is perfect.

DeLo: Yep. They have that whole back area that you can do all that, and the weather is perfect then as well.

Diana: So, Smoked came out of this idea of creating my perfect event, what I would want to experience as a guest and as a chef in a food event.

DeLo: So, what is it?

Diana: So, the first thing is there's a few events that do not have lines, right? I love those. Those were my favorite. I either want to get in early before there's mass crowds of thousands of people, or I want the VIP so that there's less of a crowd, but then what happens with that is I hate the rushing. So, I hate rushing from sample to sample to try and get this food. I'm not enjoying the experience. I'm not really enjoying the food. It's like, "I just need to get there, so I don't have to wait in a huge line before they run out or whatever." You know what I mean?

DeLo: Yep.

Diana: So, I wanted to eliminate that experience as well, and then good food. So, I wanted really great food but then that's where the chef piece came in. It had to be a small enough event that the chefs could hopefully put out a really good quality sample.

DeLo: Yeah, an intimate event.

Diana: Yes, which I mean, it's about 500-ish people, but even at that, with the amount of samples they have to make, they can still do a really good job.

DeLo: For sure.

Diana: Then, the other piece was allowing the chefs to not worry about anything but creating their dish. So, I pay for every single rental. That includes fryers, grills, all that kind of stuff, lamps.

DeLo: That's awesome.

Diana: Anything that they need that I can grant-

DeLo: They just need to show up.

Diana: Yeah, they do that. If they need me to reimburse them for their health permit, I'd do that. I will take care of their napkins and their forks and their spoons, their hand washing stations, whatever. We'll take care of it so that they can just come in and have fun.

DeLo: It's got to be a very limited amount of chefs that you can have there because it isn't ...

Diana: We have about 14 to 15 chefs, and these are a lot of people that no longer do many events. Maybe they do one like a Devour, or they don't do any events except for this one.

DeLo: Right, because events are a lot of work for these guys.

Diana: It's a lot of work.

DeLo: [crosstalk 00:20:41].

Diana: They have to shut down their restaurant, or they have to hire extra staff. They have to then pay for the food. We're also working on a sponsorship to help them with the food cost as well.

DeLo: There you go.

Diana: So, I feel like when you take care of both of those aspects, you have the happy guests, and you have the happy chefs. Then, the last piece is keeping it affordable so that any demographic that wants to try what Arizona has to offer, they can come in, but also, we have a lot of experiences. So, one of the things that I felt was missing was being able to go into a food event and have it be more than just a food event.

DeLo: Right.

Diana: The whole Smoked theme was kind of ... Maybe you could call it like Instagrammable, but you have people smoking their food or cooking it over fires, right? Really cool visual element, and then inside, you have all these alcohol companies that are smoking cocktails. You're making your own succulent rings, you're watching a mentalist like work the crowd and bend pennies.

DeLo: There you go, yeah.

Diana: You've got a flash mob coming in. You've got people making candles with bullets.

DeLo: Wow.

Diana: So, it's more than just experiencing food and drink, but it's like everything. It's very immersive.

DeLo: That's great. How many years have you done this?

Diana: This will be the second year.

DeLo: This will be the second year?

Diana: The first year, as far as everything I've heard from chefs and guests, was a total hit.

DeLo: Will you sell out prior to-

Diana: Oh, yeah. I always sell out.

DeLo: Yeah, that's really cool so-

Diana: You can't beat that ... I literally had people coming to me last year, and they were like, "Um, how much do we pay now that we're in because we can't imagine that the ticket would only cost like 40, $50, and we get everything included. It's not possible."

DeLo: That's amazing.

Diana: I was like, "That really is possible."

DeLo: Then, what happens when you get the bug and you have such a successful event that you want to do like two or three more?

Diana: We don't.

DeLo: You don't? Yeah. You're like, "Pump the brakes. I'm not doing it."

Diana: You wait and make sure you got it down. I mean, just doing that one event alone is, it's a lot of work even though it's small. It's just me. I'm doing it all by myself.

DeLo: You're doing everything. Good for you.

Diana: So, I do everything from getting the chefs, getting the sponsors, to all the rentals, all the ... everything.

DeLo: That's great. You have a payroll one. I love it.

Diana: Yeah. It's a lot of work.

DeLo: I want to talk about probably maybe some of the common myths that might be in people's heads due to the fact that you're AZ Foodie. One of my thoughts is I wanted to ask you, how many times do you cook at home? How many times a week?

Diana: I mean, I cook very basic things, so I might cook up a piece of chicken or some hamburgers for the kids. I might fry up a steak, but I'm not sitting there, cooking like chef-looking meals-

DeLo: Yeah, absolutely.

Diana: ... with a lot of ingredients and flavors. I'm a very simple cooking person.

DeLo: Nothing wrong with that. Simplicity is actually better in a lot of things. I think in people's minds and if they don't know a person, they just assume that you're just out, eating everything all the time.

Diana: I do though. I am.

DeLo: Are you?

Diana: Yes.

DeLo: Have you ... Actually, I shouldn't say have you because I would have to assume there's been times where you've gone and you've tried stuff and like-

Diana: Absolutely. Absolutely.

DeLo: ... you just can't really stomach it.

Diana: Not that I can't stomach it, but I'm disappointed in it. There was one recently I went to, and I had posted an initial picture on my Instagram story and had to delete the whole thing just because the overall experience was so poor that I would not recommend it, and I would never go back because the food that they served was not ... I don't think it was good especially compared to the other options that are out there that I would recommend. So, in those cases, that does happen, and I will not post it.

DeLo: Yeah, it's important for you to be authentic and really tell the truth on what's going on. Your palate has to be any and everything. I mean, is there anything you don't like as far as [crosstalk 00:25:08]?

Diana: It went from like Red Robin was the best to where I am today, so it's grown a lot.

DeLo: Well, okay, so for me, mushrooms, never. Not going to happen. Not ever. Is there one ingredient or one type of food that you're just kind of like, "I can't do it"?

Diana: There are certain stuff that I don't always like to eat. Surprisingly, when people do it well, sometimes, it's shocking like oysters. They're not my favorite to eat. I don't like to taste the sea, you know, like that. I will say it never bothered me, but during my first pregnancy, something happened in any fish smell, if it's even the slightest or fish taste, I can't. I can't, and it was never like that. I can't even cook fish at home anymore because of whatever happened to my body during that part. It's crazy. So, that's kind of gone through, and so now, I have to know that the fish is good or I get really scared because then, I'm like, "I can't eat this." You go to Nelson's and the oysters are great, and I'll slip those down. That's fine.

DeLo: 100%.

Diana: The other thing I don't particularly care for is beets. I hate beets, and I'll say it right now. I don't like your beets, and I don't want to eat your beets. They taste like dirt. I don't care how you make them. That's all there is to it.

DeLo: Oh, I'm not a big beet fan either although I did try this beet hummus that was made somewhere, I was like-

Diana: Actually, you know what, beet hummus is okay. I just had that too recently.

DeLo: It's not too bad. Did you?

Diana: Where was that?

DeLo: Giving Tree.

Diana: No. There was somewhere else I just had it.

DeLo: Maybe it's becoming a new trend.

Diana: Yeah, that wasn't bad, but I think because they put other stuff in it like if you sliver in beets into my salad or whatever-

DeLo: Did your parents ever like make you canned beets, like out of the can back in the day-

Diana: No.

DeLo: ... where it's all like jelloey and-

Diana: No. That's disgusting.

DeLo: Horrible. Absolutely horrible. Yeah.

Diana: The other thing that I don't like, and I think actually, Stephen made this or someone. It was at one of the first seven chef dinners way back when, was blood sausage. I tried it ... I will try anything. Binkley's given me brains and the eye socket things-

DeLo: Yeah. [crosstalk 00:27:22]-

Diana: Growing up, because my dad's Jewish, we would eat cow tongue and all kinds of crazy stuff, so I will try anything but it doesn't mean I like it.

DeLo: Organ meat is really good for you, by the way.

Diana: We grew up eating liver all the time too. Yeah.

DeLo: My wife and I just went to the Arcadia Meat Market. Yeah. Wow, the selections that they have there, it's really cool.

Diana: Yeah, it's amazing.

DeLo: I love the grass-fed, grass-finished stuff.

Diana: It's good.

DeLo: That kind of segues into my nerdism. I want to ask you from your perspective, how do you approach health and wellness?

Diana: I don't know if you saw my post recently on that. I did it like couple days ago.

DeLo: Yeah, tell us.

Diana: So, gosh. It's been a struggle especially after having kids. Like I said, it does a lot to your body, and eating the way that I did or do, it was hard to get back to where I wanted to be after the second kid because you go straight into just eating whatever. For me, I have always had an unhealthy relationship with my body. People used to say when I was younger that my parents fed me very well, and they did. We ate a lot of really good food but also a lot of like Costco food because my parents would just go to Costco and buy those 24 packs of muffins and croissants.

DeLo: Yeah, miniature wieners.

Diana: It's delicious. Salami. "That's salami. Fry that salami up. Ooh." Anyway, for me, it goes to say my unhealthy image of myself started back then. I think right when I moved down here, I was like tired of it, was very overweight, and I went the opposite where I went like, "I'm not going to eat anything. I'm going to starve myself, and I'm going to work out." I lost all my weight at that point, and it was great. Probably wasn't the healthiest thing. So, then, now we head into like me doing this food thing. I'm not probably where I would like to be. I feel bloated a lot. I eat a lot of food. I see myself on camera, and I'm like, "Ugh," but at the same time, I have to have that balance where I have to be like, "It's okay." I work out regularly. I try to eat healthy during the day or when I'm not doing events and then at events, just trying to take bites or still order like the salad or something like that.

Diana: This was something I started back in December because I was having a lot of other issues going on, and I went to see a naturopath. I was low in so much stuff, just like depleted. My energy level was nonexistent. I was really foggy. Just all that kind of stuff was happening. So, it was important at that time to start taking ... Actually, I think it was mostly vitamin D I was so deficient. Vitamin-

DeLo: A lot of people are too.

Diana: Yeah. Vitamin D changes so much.

DeLo: It's the sun. Yeah.

Diana: It's crazy. Yeah, so I take a bunch of vitamin D along with like, you saw a million pills and then switching my diet, so a lot more vegetables. I go to Kaleidoscope a lot. I'll drink the juices. I'll eat the protein bowls, all that kind of stuff.

DeLo: Are you starting to feel a little bit of a difference?

Diana: Yes. So, within the last couple months, I have definitely felt better, but it's still hard because sometimes, you go out, and the food's so good. It's hard to control yourself.

DeLo: Right. Then, people probably bring you a lot of stuff. They're like, "Oh, have this big dessert, or have this or that."

Diana: I love dessert.

DeLo: Yeah, we all love dessert.

Diana: So, for me, I don't know. I still am trying to figure that out, but I went from obviously being really strick and probably doing it poorly to like, "I'm not even going to worry about it. I'm just going to do whatever," and then that's not great either, which is what I do. So, I'm just trying to figure-

DeLo: It's a struggle for a lot of people. There's no right or wrong answer to it. It's whatever you, as a person, can feel and feel better. All the symptoms that you bring up, the fogginess and the tireness and all that, I heard so much from people. At least, you're cognizant enough to realize that a lot of this has to do with what I'm putting in my body, and so how do I counterbalance that the best that I can in order to keep doing what I'm doing but also feel good for my family and for myself and all that. Yeah, as far as your physical activity, what do you enjoy doing like walking the dogs? You have dogs?

Diana: I do have dogs. I mean, we do that, but I do mostly Orangetheory right now.

DeLo: Cool, yeah.

Diana: So, I don't know. I was looking at maybe doing some CrossFit, but I'm scared. I asked Flip to go with me and-

DeLo: Did you?

Diana: He said, "Hell no. There's a reason I got to Orangetheory," which is why I'm scared. I don't know. CrossFit's a whole different beast.

DeLo: Orangetheory is great. I've actually been dragging Aaron Chamberlain into my garage on Fridays, and so we'll work out at my garage.

Diana: He used to do CrossFit.

DeLo: Yeah, he did. He did. That's funny. I've actually got him on trail racing now too.

Diana: Oh, wow.

DeLo: So, I'll be putting together healthy hospitality like community events for the hospitality industry to come out, run, walk, crawl, do anything, that sort of stuff.

Diana: Skip.

DeLo: Yeah, skip in an atmosphere just to be more cognizant that you don't have to be unhealthy to be in the hospitality business. Everybody's aspect of healthy can look physically ... it can look different, but there's a lot of people out there that are shredded and ripped. It's like, "No. That's not what we're talking about. We're just talking about having your mental clarity in your mind and everything, able to do what you do.

Diana: Yes. Yeah, but it's hard to be ... I couldn't imagine being a lifestyle influencer, whatever, and having to be in front of the camera constantly. Then, you feel this pressure constantly to look a certain way and do all this kind of stuff. I don't think people understand that perspective either. My friends in that industry that are in front of the camera all the time and the struggles that they go through personally just to look a certain way.

DeLo: For sure, yeah. There's a lot of people on the other end of the phone that are looking at all your stuff, thinking that this is just magic. There's no ... Yeah. God, it's crazy. So, I'd pulled up this quote. I love this. "Everything you've ever wanted is on the other side of fear."

Diana: Yes.

DeLo: I love that.

Diana: Thanks.

DeLo: How did you find that or what was the-

Diana: I can't remember where that quote is from, but when ... I can't remember. It was close to around the time I moved down here. I remember really hearing that, really hearing that. You know what I mean? Like really hearing that.

DeLo: Right, yeah, having it soak in.

Diana: I was just, because of everything that happened to my childhood, I was a very fearful and insecure person. What I found was that in order to get where I wanted to be or to have the opportunities that I had, it wasn't easy. I couldn't be focused on that fear of what people might think or what people might say or if I might fail. There's so much that goes into fear and what that fear is that revolves around you doing something. So, I am probably very anti-social, but you would never necessarily know that because I'm always out.

DeLo: [crosstalk 00:35:18].

Diana: Actually, speaking of like perspective and all that, when I first started going to media events and things, I am very bad in big groups. I shut down. I'm uncomfortable. If I don't know anyone, I don't want to talk to anyone. It's a terrifying thing. What happened was rumors that I was a bitch, or I was not a nice person when the truth was I was just terrified, and I didn't know anyone.

DeLo: Yeah. You're just scared.

Diana: Then, so ... or that I hated that person. People would be like, "Oh, she hates us, so we don't like her either." Then, you would see some people would actually try and get to know me, and they'd be like, "Oh, you're not that person at all," because one-on-one or in small groups or maybe there's somebody else you know, I'm okay. I'm comfortable, but I'm still kind of quiet. So, I think that people wouldn't expect that, right? That was something I had to overcome as well-

DeLo: For sure.

Diana: ... is groups like that. Being on TV was terrifying as well because I don't know what I'm doing. It's scary. What if I screw up? A lot of that's live, so having to overcome stuff like that. Even with the event that I did, I wanted to do it so badly. I had massive fear months leading up to it, being like, "I'm just going to cancel. I'm going to give the money back. I can't do this." It kept me up at night. I couldn't sleep and literally woke up almost every day, just being like, "I can't do this."

DeLo: Do you have a business coach or anyone you talk to or ...

Diana: No. My husband.

DeLo: Yeah. No.

Diana: I've done a lot of therapy EMDR, a lot of work on myself. So, I have people that I can talk to, but I also have this ability now to like work through it and understand it's just a fear, and I have to continue to push, and some days are better than others.

DeLo: Acknowledge it. Tell it to go away and so ...

Diana: Absolutely.

DeLo: So, knowing that you have so many people that know you and you have very recognizable hair obviously, I mean people know who you are, that sort of thing. So, what is your advice to people that might be listening to this that do see you out and want to say something to you or approach you?

Diana: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, a lot of people come up us or me or with my family, whatever. I'm used to it, and it's great. I love talking to people or seeing them. Some people ... It's so weird that people are like, "Oh, we couldn't come up too because we were too scared." I'm like, "But why? It's okay."

DeLo: Yeah. I'm just a human, eating food. Yeah, it's all good.

Diana: Yeah. You could come, say hi. It's no big deal. You don't need to be nervous. I just eat food for a living and post about it.

DeLo: That's great. You are awesome. I love getting to know you a little bit more. So, that being said, I want to shoot out some RapidFire questions to you if that's cool. Okay? Are you ready for this?

Diana: As long as this is not like what my favorites are.

DeLo: No, no. No, no. No. Are you kidding me? I did my research. I'm not doing that shit to you. Okay. Would you rather go on a road trip in a vehicle like an RV, or would you rather go to Hawaii.

Diana: Hawaii. You know, it's my husband's dream to do this RV stuff, and I'm not into it.

DeLo: That's a completely random question. I had no idea.

Diana: It's his dream. "Honey, when we get older, we're going to drive around in RV." I'm like, "No. You can, and I will meet you there and stay in a hotel."

DeLo: That's great. Would you rather run a marathon or fast for two days?

Diana: I have actually run a half-marathon, so probably that. Listen. You can talk to anyone in my family, and they will you, not feeding me is a poor life decision because hangry is real.

DeLo: That's why I asked the question.

Diana: Hangry is real.

DeLo: That is great. Star Wars or Star Trek?

Diana: Star Trek. I grew up on that.

DeLo: Did you? Okay. Tool or Keith Urban.

Diana: Tool.

DeLo: Right answer. Aliens or Bigfoot.

Diana: Aliens. My husband is fearful of Bigfoot. I'll put my glass right there. Things really [crosstalk 00:39:32].

DeLo: You were like if the guys are going camping or whatever, he's thinking Bigfoot's back there or something?

Diana: Yeah. Maybe. I don't know. He thinks he's real.

DeLo: Okay, so, I think he's real too. I think aliens are real. I don't know. Maybe I'm just a little bit nuts.

Diana: Well, aliens probably are real but [crosstalk 00:39:48].

DeLo: Yeah, probably so. We could be aliens for all we know.

Diana: Absolutely. I probably am an alien, and you don't even know. Actually, I may be in a simulation.

DeLo: Really?

Diana: Yeah. According to Elon Musk, right?

DeLo: Yes, Elon Musk is definitely an alien.

Diana: We're all in simulations.

DeLo: He's trying to get back home in all that space stuff.

Diana: Rocket, yeah.

DeLo: Yeah. Would you rather go on a boating rip and get all of your fish and make it, or would you rather go and go hunting and kill the animal?

Diana: Fishing.

DeLo: Yeah, me too even though you don't like fish smells, you're all right with that?

Diana: They're fresh, so it's fine.

DeLo: Yeah, so it's all good.

Diana: Yeah.

DeLo: That's perfect. See? No food questions, I told you. Well, okay, that was one but anyways, y for being here.

Diana: Yeah.

DeLo: Where can everybody find you besides the obvious? I mean and the obvious.

Diana: Yeah, well, instagram@azfoodie. All other things like Twitter and Facebook are Arizona Foodie. Then, online, arizonafoodiemag.com. Dot com.

DeLo: Then, you have a place on your website that they can join and get-

Diana: Yes, the email blast.

DeLo: I'd get your newsletters, which are great.

Diana: Email blast, yeah.

DeLo: Yeah, the email blasts are great.

Diana: [crosstalk 00:40:55].

DeLo: You do those weekly?

Diana: Try to. It's a lot of work too.

DeLo: I love it. It got a little video of her in there, talking and doing all that stuff, so no, that's great.

Diana: Those videos are fun.

DeLo: Well, cool. Well, thanks for being here. We really appreciate your time.

Diana: Yeah, thanks for having me.

DeLo: Are you going anywhere after this to ...

Diana: I'm going out with my friend, Jamie Cerreta.

DeLo: Cool.

Diana: We are going to the Planetarium-

DeLo: Nice.

Diana: ... to watch, I don't know, some show.

DeLo: Some planetarium stuff, some alien stuff.

Diana: I've never been. Yeah. [crosstalk 00:41:22].

DeLo: Yeah. There you go. Aliens are coming. It's great. Well, it was very cool to have AZ Foodie in the podcast studio, our second one ever in here actually.

Diana: Oh, wow.

DeLo: So, thank you, everybody, for listening. Thank you Local 480. Podcast was sponsored by myself, Bar and Restaurant Insurance. If you do get a chance, please subscribe to the podcast, and just give it a five star because it's great because we had such a great guest. Thank you, everybody, for listening.

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