Love her or love to hate her, Mama Joyce is the unofficial matriarch of The Real Housewives of Atlanta. Personally, while I've always remained neutral in tiffs between her and famous daughter, Kandi Burruss, it wasn't until I actually got to speak with Mama Joyce, one on one, that I absolutely fell in love with her.
Southern women, especially of the older school, are tough cookies. They don't put up with a bunch of crap and are more than happy to gingerly put you in your place. By the same token, you will never meet a more outwardly warm, gracious, polite, or welcoming woman than a Southern dame. And Mama Joyce is no exception. While she may come off as a fire cracker on television, she could not have been more lovely over the phone. If I could describe my interaction with MJ (Mama Joyce) in one sentence, I'd say that she is like the grandmother you never had. But always wanted. Sweet and loving...with a dash of Southern sass.
TLB = The Lunch Belle
MJ = Mama Joyce
TLB: "Hi MJ! Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to speak with me!"
MJ: "Hi! You are welcome."
TLB: "So I heard that you've lost quite a bit of weight. Congratulations! 40 pounds, to be exact! Can you divulge how you did it?"
TLB: "Well, congratulations again! But I want all of the dirty details. What did the diet entail?"
MJ: "For the first 3-days, I had to drink a protein shake every 3-hours to prevent hunger. Once I went in to ketosis, I was able to add food back to my diet like salads and fish."
TLB: "Shakes, eh? Were they gross?"
MJ: "Girl, no! I still drink them - by choice - to this day! I love the chocolate or vanilla flavor that I make extra sweet with Sweet 'N Low."
TLB: "Interesting. That really says a lot about the company's products if you drink the shakes now, in your maintenance phase, by choice! Speaking of maintenance, don't you find it to be harder than the actual diet, itself?"
MJ: "You know what's funny? I hadn't had fried chicken in months until the other day and, wouldn't you know, it upset my stomach! Also, I can now be around sweets without having to indulge in a piece of cake or candy. I don't crave those things anymore. It's crazy!"
TLB: "That is crazy, because no matter how far in to a diet I am, I still crave donuts/cake/gummy candy/ice cream, etc. on a daily basis. God bless you, MJ! So, I have to ask, do you cook at home? If so, how often per week?"
MJ: "(Chuckles) Thank you, baby. Yes, I do cook at home. About two times/week."
TLB: "On the off times when you aren't cooking, do you go out to eat? If so, what do you order at, say, an American restaurant?"
MJ: Girl, I love Red Lobster. I usually order some kind of baked fish, salad, and either a baked potato or rice."
TLB: "...and I love Red Lobster's Cheddar Bay Biscuits! Do you let yourself indulge in those?"
MJ: "(Chuckles) Me too! Well, mayyyyyyyyyyybe just one."
TLB: "Switching gears now. How's your granddaughter, Miss Riley, doing? I haven't seen her on the show all season!"
MJ: "Oh, she's wonderful, thank you. She is doing great."
TLB: "I loved seeing your sisters with you a few episodes back. You can see the resemblence!"
MJ: "Thank you. Did you know that I am the baby of fourteen?"
TLB: "No! That is amazing. And so interesting! I love it. Now, MJ, in closing, is there anything that you'd like for me to share with my readers?"
MJ: "Just let everyone know that I am self-sufficient. Kandi and I have rekindled our relationship and we're stronger and better than ever. I love my daughter."
Until we eat again,
The Lunch Belle