28 Oct Cookin’ My Way through Life – with Suzanne Somers
FOOD THROUGH LIFE
My life and upbringing were pretty normal, as one would expect. I grew up in a family where we would sit down to eat dinner together, practically every night. Food has always been a big thing in my family. Being from the Midwest, we pretty much ate everything and anything. When my family came to Los Angeles from Chicago, my grandma decided to come too, and she moved in with us. You can imagine what a treat it was to have breakfast, lunch, and dinner cooked by your grandma everyday. Our house was always full of people – friends just hoping they would walk in while she was whipping up something spectacular, and most of the time she was. There’s an extra special magic in the cooking of grandmas. I don’t know what chemical reaction causes the ingredients to become something new, elevating them above anything you could ever find in a restaurant. It’s like a familiar voice or a perfume that takes you to a very particular place in your mind. A place that makes you feel safe and loved. My grandmas food, did not lack fat, or sugar, or carbs. It was just good old comfort food. Whether it was her tuna, soups, casseroles, or cakes, it was literally impossible to turn them down. My grandma passed away two years ago, and in my kitchen sits her little recipe box. This little box has more meaning to me than anything else I inherited from her. It’s a part of my childhood, a link to my past, present, and future. Although through life, I have learned how important it is to eat healthy, I do believe in moderation. The recipes in this box and the meals I grew up on, are ones I hope to share with my children someday.
FOOD THROUGH LOVE
A huge part of dating and falling in love has to do with food. You share a new experience with someone. It’s so exciting to be able to travel with someone you care about, eating at different restaurants, trying new foods for the first time together. Laughing and connecting over a great meal and a fabulous bottle of wine is a part of dating that I absolutely love. A few months ago I went on a date to Terranea Resort in Palos Verdes. We ate at a restaurant named, Mar’sel. Having been our first time there we were immediately mesmerized and excited about the ambiance of the resort. Sitting at Mar’sel we ate amazing organic fish and steak, along with vegetables grown locally at the resort.
The freshness of the food along with the stunning ocean view at sunset connected us in a new way. I will remember that date forever, probably the best I’ve ever been on, and he knows it. Trying new restaurants is always great but there’s something primal and pure about the act of feeding another person. It’s a gift of life and of self, an art delivered directly from the soul of another person. It’s a part of that person brought to life in the form of nourishment that feeds you in body and mind. I’m always a little insecure the first time I cook for someone, but I truly believe it’s a way of showing you care. As I learn to cook, I love to collect my own “magic” habits, a certain spice that goes well here or there. I suppose I am learning to foster my voice. I try to cook a few times a week when I’m not traveling, and I’ve learned there are so many amazing meals that don’t require a ton of prep time. For me, cooking is a way to express my love for the person or people I’m cooking for.
FOOD THROUGH LOSS
Losing my dad to cancer last year definitely made me stop and think about my own health. Most of you know, I’ve had the privilege to work for Suzanne Somers for the past 8 years. Watching her write her books on health and wellness inspired me to dramatically change my lifestyle. She’s taught me that food is the fuel of the body. I sat down with Suzanne to discuss her healthy lifestyle.
You cook real food with organic ingredients…
Why is eating organic so important?
SS: The better question is ‘why wouldn’t you eat organic”? The idea that we’ve accepted eating food that has been sprayed with poison, or genetically modified to remove most of the nutrition is ludicrous. Food is the ‘fuel’ of the body. Why put inferior, contaminated ‘fuel’ into your great machine?
You love to support local farms but you also have your own organic garden. Why it is so important to you?
SS: The joy of keeping an eye on a certain vegetable in your own organic garden, like a cauliflower or broccoli , anticipating that it will be ready tomorrow or the next day, then picking it, bringing it to the kitchen and eating it that day, perfectly fresh, is incomparable. You can feel the ‘aliveness’ and the taste is completely different from vegetables that have been sitting around in transit to the grocery store. Once you have this experience you will become addicted. The nutrient count of organic fresh-picked food is much higher and you have the peace of mind that the soil and water used on your food is pure because you are in control of it.
Many young women are consumed with weight, and are constantly dieting. You stress that our cells need fat, and you always cook with real butter. Why?
SS: the anti-butter campaign is a crock! What a big fat lie they told us. Cholesterol is an integral and important part of our physiology. It is responsible for cell health. Every cell in our body requires protein, FAT (cholesterol) and carbohydrates (dark leafy green vegetables). The low fat campaign started when President Eisenhower had a heart attack in the 50’s and then Senator George McGovern did a flawed study concluding fat as the enemy and they decided that everyone should eat a low-fat, high-carb diet.. so we did…we switched from butter to margarine (all chemicals) we stopped eating quality grass-fed protein and as a result we became sicker and fatter. But even today, the low-fat myth is so ingrained that even though the stats are out, people still can’t accept the ‘butter is good’ paradigm. Instead we eat sugar, pasta, and chemicals and that is why the obesity problem is out of control.
You’ve really taught me that food is the fuel of our body. How do you take care of yourself with what you eat?
SS: Everything I eat, I ask myself; ‘is this moving me toward great health or away from it’? This doesn’t mean I eat hay and grass. You should come to my house, I pan fry my grass-fed steaks, and top them off with a little pat of butter to melt into the hot juices, we have amazing vegetable dishes like whole steamed cauliflower with a lemon-butter, fried browned garlic, lemon, and seas salt sauce, it is to die for. (actually you will LIVE eating like this). I drink a glass of green juice every morning, a result of putting all the fresh green vegetables including fresh turmeric, ginger, and garlic from the Farmers market from what seems like a mountain of vegetables to end up with a Kerr jar full of rich green vegetable juice essence. You can feel the enzymes as you drink it.
I also take 4 spoons of organic virgin coconut oil daily (spread throughout the day) to heal and clean and keep my intestines working well. Fat by the way is also brain food, (not processed, fast foods or trans-fats) but real healthy fats. The brain is 65% fat and it requires fat (cholesterol) to operate at maximum. So does the heart for that matter, which will surprise most people. In other words we’ve had it wrong. My next book will explain all of this in detail.
You’ve taught me that all the spices and herbs on my spice rack can do more than add a little extra kick to your meals — they can rev up your metabolism and improve your health at the same time.
What are some of your favorite spices and herbs to cook with that not only help our food taste great, but also help detoxify our body at the same time?
SS: nature is awesome and in its wisdom, Nature has provided for us delicious flavorings that just happen to also be anti-oxidants: turmeric, fresh thyme, Rosemary, tarragon, sage, garlic, ginger, parsley, oregano, cumin, and so many others. Why do we care about anti-oxidants? Because (in Suzanne Speak) antioxidants ‘eat’ free-radicals. We are all taking in free-radicals constantly, so antioxidants are like little ninja warriors ka-pow’ing the free radicals out of existence. The less free radical damage you have in your body, the healthier you will be.
Your latest cookbook the Sexy Forever Recipe Bible is a compilation of your Somercize library of cookbooks with some great updates based on current science and newer discoveries related to losing weight and staying healthy. What are your favorite recipes in the book?
SS: Favorite? Hmmm…cauliflower soup with crispy fried shallots, a drizzle of white truffle oil and a dollop of crème fraiche on top has to be at the top of my list. The purpose of Sexy Forever was to explain to my readers that so much of why you can’t lose weight is because of your toxic burden. The more chemicals and toxins you take in and allow yourself to be exposed to the more fat you will need to store it. That’s how it works; the more toxins, the more fat you need for storage. Eating organic healthy foods laden with flavor will actually lower your toxic burden while you lose weight.
For my 30th birthday you cooked the most delicious meal I’ve ever had. It started with the most luscious heirloom tomato and burrata salad which was followed by organic baby lamb chops and gluten-free pasta with pesto and pine nuts. I’m still talking about that lunch to this day!
SS: Thank you, It was fun cooking for you and the girls. The perfect most incredible pesto recipe is in this book (sexy Forever Recipe Bible). There is no recipe for pasta that is better (she says modestly) haha, and in the summer when my basil is growing like crazy I make vats of pesto.
For your birthday I marinated your lamb chops for two days (even an hour is sufficient), in olive oil, lots of chopped garlic, fresh rosemary, fresh cracked pepper, some fresh tarragon. Slice the chops thin; if they are loin chops have your butcher slice them in half. The secret to a great lamb chop is to cook hot and fast in a little of the reserve marinade. If the chop is too thick it will dry out by the time are finished. I quickly sear each side till brown and crusty (a minute or two) and then I turn each chop on the fatty side to get the fat crispy and yummy like lamb bacon! I made you Andean Dream gluten-free spaghetti, cooked al dente’ and tossed the cooked, drained, rinsed, pasta two heaping large spoonful’s of your pesto ( I like to reserve a few tablespoons of hot pasta water to add to the pesto mixture). Toss in a little butter (about a spoonful) to the hot mixture, check for taste for salt and cracked pepper, add a hot red pepper flakes for a little kick, and serve right away with grated Parmesan and pan toasted and salted pine nuts.
Now that’s some Food For Thought!
The Suzanne Somers Recipe Bible can be found at suzannesomers.com
About the author: Jordyn Goodman’s goal is to educate a younger generation to embrace health and wellness through a natural approach. You can listen to Empowered with Jordyn Goodman every Tuesday night at 7pm PST on LA TALK RADIO.