What grosses 'Dr. Pimple Popper' out? Sandra Lee says she has a 'no internal organs, feet or eyeballs' rule in the kitchen.

·4 min read
Sandra Lee, better known as Dr. Pimple Popper, says there aren't many foods that gross her out. (Photo: Getty; designed by Nathalie Cruz)
Sandra Lee, better known as Dr. Pimple Popper, says there aren't many foods that gross her out. (Photo: Getty; designed by Nathalie Cruz)

Because food connects us all, Yahoo Life is serving up a heaping plateful of table talk with people who are passionate about what's on their menu in Deglazed, a series about food.

Fans love to watch Dr. Sandra Lee, founder of SLMD Skincare and star of TLC's Dr. Pimple Popper for the wild — and sometimes slightly gross — cases that come through her dermatology practice. But does Lee's interest in the unusual and irksome extend to her food interests?

Not necessarily. Lee may be interested in bizarre skin conditions, but the 51-year-old doctor says she's not one to order bizarre foods. That means, "no internal organs, feet and eyeballs" for her. Fair point, as those aren't the most common items on take-out menus.

While Lee may be top of her field for handling patients with skin conditions, her own skin appears flawless on camera. But does food play a role in that? "I just try to eat healthy when I can," she tells Yahoo Life, "with more fiber, less salt, less fried food and I try to get lots of sleep if I can."

Lee's "no eyeballs" rule doesn't mean she's against trying new and interesting things. In fact, she says, growing up in a Chinese-Singaporean and Chinese-Malaysian household, she experienced a wide range of amazing fare. Some of her favorite dishes are Singapore noodles (a stir-fry using rice noodles), panang chicken (a coconut milk-based curry), beef rendang (a tender beef stew), satay (grilled skewered meat) and laksa (a spicy noodle dish).

But she's not a fan of cooking for herself. Lee's favorite dish is, well, the one someone else makes. "I like to cook up some reservations," she says.

Still, she finds culinary inspiration rather close to home ... in someone else's kitchen. "When I go to my mother's house for dinner — my mom is a fantastic cook and it's almost always a 10-course meal made with ease," she says. "There's not one drop of sweat from her brow, nor one terse command from her lips. I'll take pics of those masterpieces and post them [on social media]."

But it's not all take-out or dinner at her mom's. "Sometimes I get on a cooking kick, and one Christmas holiday I planned to bring this really tasty and fancy hors d'oeuvre to my parents' house for dinner," she recalls. "I spent the night before shopping and the whole morning prepping for these 'holy meatballs'. I put them in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes before cooking and completely forgot about them."

"I didn't even actually remember that I didn't cook them until the very end of the day when I returned home," she continues. " That's how bad I am."

Growing up, Lee's family enjoyed a mix of "traditional American food" like prime rib or ham, along with traditional Singaporean and Malaysian fare. But when it comes to comfort foods, her cravings are surprisingly simple. "I am a salty, not sweet person," she says. "I love French fries and potato chips."

Sandra Lee says when she hosts a dinner party, she serves lots of food so her guests can take leftovers home. (Photo: SLMD Skincare)
Sandra Lee says when she hosts a dinner party, she serves lots of food so her guests can take leftovers home. (Photo: SLMD Skincare)

Lee also loves a good slice of pizza, or even a not-so-good one. "I'm a sucker for pepperoni pizza," she says, "and it's often even better the next day. I do love an excellent New York-style slice, but I will never say no to Domino's."

Of course, as the star of her own reality television show, Lee is no stranger to the dinner party. At these events, her focus isn't necessarily the food, it's more about, "wonderful conversation, laughter and entertainment."

"I especially love healthy competition," she adds, explaining her love of bringing out the board games, "but no major-pressure games." Lee's other secret to feeling great at a social gathering involves prepping her skin, of course — she's a firm believer in investing time in her skincare routine so she looks and feels her best. "If I get a pimple a day or two before a dinner party, I dab a little of my SLMD Skincare BP Spot Treatment to ensure my breakout gets the 'you're not invited' memo."

"And of course, [I serve] an overabundance of food so people can take some home and I have some left over for the next day," she adds.

If she's invited to a potluck dinner, her go-to contribution comes as no surprise to fans of her show. "Pimple cupcakes," she says. "They are interactive, but you may have to close your eyes when you take a bite, because they may taste great but you may not think so if you look at it as you eat."

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