The Fit Cook: How Kevin Curry found his calling through health and wellness

In 2008, Kevin Curry (2006 Cooke Graduate Scholar) had just graduated from the Harvard Kennedy School with big ideas about his future. When the stock market crashed, however, Kevin, like many others, was jobless and at a loss for what to do next.

“I found myself back on my parent’s couch and pretty depressed,” Kevin says. “And I began to therapize with food.”

Not realizing how bad his mental and physical health had gotten, he saw a photo of himself on Facebook and was so surprised by how he looked that he called the friend who had posted it and asked him to take it down. While this was a major low point in Kevin’s life, it was also a wake-up call that turned into the start of his health and wellness journey. He went to a half-priced book store, bought as many books on diet and nutrition that he could, and with no cooking experience, taught himself how to make nutritious and calorie-conscious meals that had flavor and variety. Wanting to get feedback and ideas for new recipes, he started an online blog. Although it wasn’t the plan he saw for himself at the time, that desire to share his journey with others has since bloomed into a thriving online community for health and fitness – Fit Men Cook.

“There were a lot of people out there that were just like me that were tired of eating these cookie cutter diets of bird food and rabbit food just to look a certain way,” Kevin says. “They liked my approach so that’s what really began my journey into health and wellness. It was much more accidental and out of desperation.”

A Wellness Community for Everyone

Fit Men Cook (Kevin also uses the name The Fit Cook) is not just for men – the app and website contain recipes, products, and resources for everyone. However, when he was creating the brand, he noticed that much of the diet and fitness world catered toward women and he wanted his company to reflect that cooking nutritious food and achieving a healthy lifestyle is appealing to men as well.

On top of all the free recipes and fitness tips available through Fit Men Cook, Kevin also sells his own spice blends, a cook book, and other wellness-related products. Two seasons of his podcast At the Table with Kevin Curry are available on the website as well. But one of the aspects that he’s most proud of is the community service and advocacy work he does.

The Fit Cook Gives Back

Every month, Kevin works with a soup kitchen in his hometown, Dallas, and shows the patrons there how to cook healthy meals with ingredients they might find in the food pantry. He also collaborates with organizations like the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Cleveland Clinic on outreach efforts to help vulnerable communities fight hunger and malnutrition.

Helping people to live happy and well is great and I take a lot of pride in that,” Kevin says. “But I also wanted to do more.”

He’s passionate about international travel and has done advocacy work with the International Medical Corps involving world hunger, child hunger, and nutrition for pregnant women.

Kevin was in the business honors program at University of Texas at Austin as an undergraduate student, and also majored in Hispanic studies. He’s a fluent Spanish speaker after living abroad, and earned his MPP at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government as a Cooke Graduate Scholar. International travel and advocacy have always been interests of his, even before he became The Fit Cook.

Advice From The Fit Cook

For anyone looking to improve their diet or live a healthier lifestyle, Kevin urges you to take a moment to really figure out what your goals are and why you want to achieve them.

“When you remind yourself of the reasons why you want to do this, then those days where you wake up and you’re just like ‘I’m not feeling it,’ that’s what you can fall back on,” Kevin says. “You made this promise to yourself.”

Perhaps his most important piece of advice is not to discount the importance of mental wellness, which is heavily impacted by eating well and exercising. “You have to prioritize that and protect your peace.”

He also notices how common it is for young people to compare themselves to influencers they see on social media, and wants his audience to know how unrealistic and harmful that habit can be.

“Comparing yourself, you’re going to find yourself a lot more disenchanted. At the end of the day, that person’s body makeup is completely different than you and you’ll be frustrated that the results you’re getting don’t look exactly like somebody else’s,” Kevin says. “But when your changes are based in what you want to do, why you’re doing it, then you’ll be much happier regardless.”