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The Haute Mama’s conversation with Joan Lunden

By Robin Dearing

Richie and I had the opportunity to interview The. Joan. Lunden. by phone on Friday. I know! Joan Lunden.

We were very excited to have this opportunity. Joan was a pleasure to speak with. We spoke for about 35 minutes covering many topics. She’s articulate, gracious and informed. Her advice on parenting and healthy living is not just relevant, but realistic.

When Richie asked her about balancing family and career, Joan said when she’s at home with her kids, she tries to be very present. She puts away her smartphone and her computer and gives her kids her full attention. It’s so easy to check your Facebook page or answer an email while you’re sitting with your kids, but they notice that. They notice when you’re not completely with them.

It’s such simple advice, but so important and can be easily heeded.

Not only is Joan a model of motherhood, but she’s a role model for career women having broken into television broadcasting in the early 1970s at a time when few women were on news programs.

By 1976, Joan became a reporter on Good Morning America — no small feat. She shared with us that because she was a woman, she was not asked to cover hard news stories. Instead, was relegated to the health, food, family and fashion stories. Even though, those stories were the lighter side of the program, they were the stories that women were interested in … and still are. So many of the blogs that I read today deal with the same issues.

We spoke quite a bit about cooking for families. Joan has seven children. Three are grown and out of the house. But the other four (two sets of twins aged 7 and 9) each take turns helping in the kitchen with dinner every night. This helps the kids be invested in the meal and more likely to eat what they are served (such great advice).

I loved hearing how she learned cooking tips and techniques from many of the celebrity chefs she had on Good Morning America. Richie asked Joan who was her favorite. I was delighted to hear, she loved cooking with Julia Child — another great female role model.

The reason we were contacted to speak with Joan is because she is promoting a new line of cookware called Twiztt sold at Bed, Bath and Beyond.

The important thing about Twiztt pans is that the non-stick surface is made from a natural ceramic material. It does not use the toxic chemicals found in other non-stick cookware. I did a quick internet search for the dangers of non-stick cookware and found much information. Here’s the link to just one recent article about PFOA (a chemical used in Teflon coatings) and its connection to heart disease.

I had heard that the surface of non-stick pans could chip off and were not good for you, but I don’t do much of the cooking (OK, all I do is make instant oatmeal and pack Margaret’s lunches). Richie, on the other hand, was fully aware of the hazards of non-stick cookware and didn’t own a single non-stick pan, until now. We received a sample Twiztt pan which she happily uses knowing it is safe for her family.

Joan made the point that people use non-stick pans so they can save on butter and oils, to be healthier. But if the surface can make you sick, the risks outweigh the benefits.

But there are other neat features of the Twiztt cookware. Being a busy mom, Joan is all about practicality. The stainless-steel pots have measurement lines inside the pan. You can pour your ingredients and measure them directly in the pan eliminating the need to dirty a measuring cup. So smart! Also, Twiztt pans come with a lid which includes a built-in strainer and a melamine bowl. The pan fits into the bowl for stove-to-table serving.

When you are making pasta, you can measure your water directly into the pan, cook and drain the pasta in the same pan with the lid. Then, you slip the pan into the bowl which acts as a cute hot plate and take it directly to the table.

Fewer cooking utensils are used and clean up is easy. Even though I don’t do a lot of cooking, I’m excited about such smart, healthy cookware. I like smart people who promote smart products.

One thing I quickly gathered from our conversation with Joan Lunden is that she isn’t just about using her notoriety to make a buck. She cares about sharing her views on family, career and healthy living. She wasn’t just putting in time with us to market her pans. She was happy to talk with us about anything topic we suggested. And she did so in an honest and informed manner.

It was truly an honor for Richie and I to talk with such a positive, intelligent, woman. Thank you, Joan Lunden! 


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I do remember Joan Lunden as being a very public trailblazer for working moms’ rights when she was at GMA.  All moms owe a debt of gratitude to those who made it possible for the rest of us to have options. And that cookware looks awesome. So smart!

Right on!

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