Carla Hall Opens Up About Her Past Miscarriage for the First Time: ‘There Was an Acceptance’ (Exclusive)

The chef and star of Max's 'Chasing Flavor' tells PEOPLE about her decision not to have children after suffering a miscarriage in her 40s

<p>Bennett Raglin/Getty</p>

Bennett Raglin/Getty

Carla Hall's decision not to have children is complicated.

Asked if she ever wanted kids of her own, she tells PEOPLE, "I didn't, and then I thought I did."

"I had gotten pregnant when [my husband] Matthew [Lyons] and I had first... right before we got married, I got pregnant, and then it was just a natural miscarriage," she shares.

Hall, 59, who stars on Max's Chasing Flavor (premiering Feb. 1), was in her 40s and estimates that she was 8 or 9 weeks pregnant at the time. She was getting ready to go to the Bahamas to do a private chef gig when she went to the bathroom and discovered she had miscarried.

Related: Carla Hall Talks Menopause, Rejecting Botox, and Being Excited to Turn 60: ‘I’m All Into This Decade’ (Exclusive)

"I just accepted it," she recalls. "And I just sat there and I'm like, 'Okay, there's nothing I can do about this.' I went to the doctor and she said, 'Well, how are you?' I said, 'Well, what do I need to do to go and do my job?' And I know it sounds cold, but there was truly an acceptance — there was an acceptance there."

Hall, who met Lyons on and is stepmom to his son from a previous relationship, took it as a sign. "I believe that everything happens for a reason," she says. "And honestly, it was grace from the universe. I said, 'Okay, I'm supposed to do something else.'"

<p>Fred Lee/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty</p> Carla Hall with husband Matthew Lyons (in 2015).

Fred Lee/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty

Carla Hall with husband Matthew Lyons (in 2015).

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She went on to become a Top Chef fan favorite in 2011 (she competed in seasons 5 and 8) and a cohost on The Chew for seven years. Chasing Flavor is her first lead hosting role. On the food adventure series, which she also executive produced, she travels the world to trace the roots of iconic American dishes like chicken pot pie (Jamaica) and ice cream (Italy and Turkey).

Now getting ready to celebrated her 60th birthday in May, Hall is happier and more confident than ever. “I’m all into this decade. I want to shout, ‘Look! I’m 60! I’m excited!’" she says. “I want to lean into the wisdom that I feel that I’ve gained."

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