Joan Lunden Tips for Healthy Living


Joan Lunden Part Four – Tips for Healthy Living

Joan Lunden is a journalist, author and television host.  She was the co-host of ABC’S Good Morning America from 1980 to 1997.  I met Joan Lunden when I attended her fun-filled week-long retreat, Camp Reveille in Maine.

**Be sure to check out the Make Life Special review on Joan’s new Twiztt Cookware:       Twiztt Cookware Review  **

Here is part four of the Make Life Special interview with Joan Lunden.  Here Joan offers several tips for creating a healthy lifestyle.

Joan:  I went through a complete transformation when I turned 40.    I had been raised by a mom from the Midwest – you know – meat and potatoes, put some sauce on it and it will be just fine.  My mom never owned a pair of sneakers…. So I had to learn how to be a fit and healthy person as an adult.  That’s hard to do.  All of a sudden I’m forty and I had to change all of my habits!

A lot us in my era had to do that.  Fortunately, my daughters were young teenagers when I was going thru that .  They benefited from it and certainly now,  I think the greatest gift I can give my little ones is that sense of growing up healthy and eating healthy foods.  I don’t want them to have to learn it as an adult.  I want them to create lifestyle  choices…. Instill good choices in them now as young children.

Vickie:  I think what you’ve touched on  is something that I’ve told my girls – and they look at me with this dazed look because I’m a very active person.  But again, that’s something I had to learn.   Because, I can never remember my mom ever exercising.

Joan:  Me either!

Vickie:  Not  walking, I mean not even to go for a walk.

Joan:  That’s right!

Vickie:  I think it was just that whole era that women just didn’t do that.  So, we were not exposed to that.  And now, we realize how important that is and so now our children watch this activity and they are incorporating it in their lives .  I don’t know about you, but my mother never exercised — ever.

Joan:  My mom only owned one pair of sneakers in her life and that was when she was 50 or 60 and they were gold sequined sneakers.  They were not to walk in!  Ha Ha!

Vickie:  And certainly not to exercise in!  Ha Ha!

Joan:  Yeah, I mean they just never exercised.  I think the first time my mom has ever exercised is she is turning 94 – I’m planning her 94th birthday party for her right now – I got a video of her exercising in her chair!  Along with the other  older people….they said “Move over Zumba! “ Ha Ha.  Its important for them to stay a little flexible and to get their system going a little bit.

It’s hard as an adult to learn how to do this.  I went through a huge transformation – learning how to live healthy.  Shop healthy…and cook healthy,,,and put fitness into my life.

Vickie:  And I’m just going to touch briefly on this point.  Because you and I are close to the same age.  I think we are the first generation to have aging parents in their 80’s and 90’s;  to have teenagers still at home;  to have kids in college;  and to have grand kids!  I have all of that.  …And you do too!

Joan:  We are the first generation to have that.  Part of it is because women also postpone getting married and having children.  They are having their children later.  And they still have kids in high school or certainly financing them in college when all of a sudden they are also in charge of the care of their aging parents.  It’s a lot…. It’s a lot for any woman ….I’m very involved in that care giving  phase.  If you go to my website – you’ll see that.

Vickie:  I am too..And that’s an important priority for me.

Joan:  But we are also a generation , for the first time, we have gone through a lot — this generation.  We are the first generation to say. “ I’m going to learn the healthy way to do it…”  People aren’t willing to put up with toxic plastic baby bottles ….we are primed….we came for not really caring about anything to going through a real health stage.  Now we are kind of to the “get rid of all the bad stuff in our life”  because there is just so much around us that can hurt us.  This baby boomer generation wants to live longer—-but who wants to live longer if you’re not going to stay healthy!

Vickie:  We want to live linger and stay healthy….and keep our minds!  Ha Ha  That’s important!

Thank you Joan for sharing all of your wonderful tips with us.


Note:  Be sure to check out Joan’s new line of cookware called Twiztt!  Click here to read my review on this cookware:  Twiztt Cookware Review  

Joan’s Butternut Squash Soup Recipe

Butternut Squash Soup Recipe From Joan Lunden! 


Joan Lunden shares her Butternut Squash Recipe with Make Life Special readers!  

I just interviewed Joan Lunden about her new cookware, Twiztt  and I think she is really an amazing person.  As you know, Joan Lunden hosted ABC’s Good Morning America for nearly two decades which made her the longest running host on early morning TV ever.  She is the mom of 7 ( including two sets of twins, ages 7 & 9),  a caregiver to her elderly mom, and a businesswoman and entrepreneur.  She really does know how to juggle it all!  She also shared several great tips for entertaining with us .  Joan loves to make this Butternut Squash Soup Recipe.

 Here is the Butternut Squash Soup Recipe!

Joan's Butternut Squash Soup
This delicious soup has 85 calories per 1 cup serving
Recipe type: Soup
  • 1 medium butternut squash (about 2¼ pounds)
  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger, optional
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 3 cups chicken broth OR canned reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 to 2 cups water, as needed
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Low fat or nonfat sour cream and apple slices for garnish, optional
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut the squash in half lengthwise, and scoop out and discard the seeds. Arrange the halves cut side down in a roasting pan that has been sprayed with the nonstick vegetable spray. Bake the squash in the oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until it is very tender. Set aside to cool.
  3. When the squash is completely cool, scoop the flesh from the skin.
  4. White the squash is baking, cook the onion and the ginger (if using) in the butter in a saucepan, over moderately low heat, for 5 minutes or until the onion is softened. Add the chicken broth and simmer the mixture for 10 minutes, covered. Add the squash pulp to the saucepan.
  5. Transfer the mixture to a blender or a food processor, in batches, and puree until smooth. Add enough water to achieve the desired consistency, and salt and pepper to taste. Return the soup to the saucepan and cook it over moderate heat until it is hot.
  6. Garnish each portion with a heaping teaspoon of low-fat sour cream and a few apple slices, if desired.

 Be sure to check out Joan Lunden’s website for lots of great tips and recipes!


Easy Entertaining Tips From Joan Lunden


Looking for some easy entertaining tips?  Here are Joan Lunden’s tips for success:

Here is the segment from my interview with Joan Lunden about entertaining in your home with ease .  Joan shared lots of great ideas!

Joan:  I love to entertain in my home.

Vickie:  I do too.

Joan:  And everything is at our house.  Everyone’s birthday, every holiday …you name it… it happens at our house.  And part of that is because I love to do it. Also, all of my aunts and my mother-in-law…everybody…they all come in the door and they say, “ I don’t know how you do this!  You WORK!….You’ve got little kids….and  how do you do this!”   “ How do you put together 5 tables for 36 people …they are all decorated! “   I can do this because I anticipate it.  I go out after a holiday when things are on sale … you know…just some Saturday when I don’t have to go to three soccer games.  Ha Ha! I look for those times and I go out and I buy little things .

I’ve got this incredibly organized pantry and I can pull out me little baskets .  If you told me I had to do a party tonight,  and you gave me a theme, I could do it!  But the only reason why I can do it and be so undaunted about it and have it be fun and not streeful is because I anticipate it and I make sure to go out and get all of these little things and I have all of them there and they are all labeled.

And also, if there is a holiday coming up, I’ll prepare my tables at least days in advance. …Sometimes a week or so in advance.  By doing it that way, I can do it when I’m not stressed out… I don’t get that last minute stress.  And, if I’m missing something, it gives me time.

If I have a dinner party on Friday night, I’ll start thinking about it on the weekend before.  And, as I come up to the day of the party, I go into my pantry and I pick out what I need.  If I’m making bread pudding for example, I get all of the ingredients out and see what I don’t have.  Do I want to make a Green Bean Casserole or do I want to make a Broccoli Puff?  Do I want to do Butternut Squash Soup ?  let me make sure I have all of the ingredients… and I’ll put them in little piles.  Again, that give me the chance to go out and get what I need ahead of time and not get caught short at the last minute.

So, I think that planning ahead  is the most important advice that I can give to people.  And, try to continue to make this whole thing fun.

Vickie:  I think you have touched on another important thing.  You know, people will come to my home when we have dinner parties or family events and marvel at my serving pieces or table settings.  But, you know, you don’t have to spend a lot of money.  I have special serving pieces, casserole dishes, etc, that I feature at different times of the year…but I did not spend a lot of money.  If you plan ahead, and you shop  after the holiday is over for next year…it’s not that expensive  to be able to entertain in style if you plan ahead.  That’s really the whole point.

Joan:  You walk into any big box store and you’ll see right after the holidays all the sales of all the Halloween stuff…then all of the Thanksgiving stuff…..and, you know, it’s a good idea to buy it then.  When you come home, go the next step – get a couple of organizer boxes and put it all there.  If its just here, there, and everywhere….its still hard to do.  But when you organize it, it realy does make entertaining  a breeze.  And, you’ll spend a lot more money going out to dinner, I think, than if you put together a dinner in your home.  You’ll never have the same atmosphere as when you get everybody together in your home.  And, if you have kids like me….I think it’s really important to get kids involved in the cooking process.


Part Three – Joan talks about her kids and living an organized life with a busy schedule.

Also, be sure to check out Loan Lunden’s website for lots of healthy living tips and recipes!


Check Out The New Joan Lunden Twiztt Cookware Set

Check out the New Joan Lunden Twiztt Cookware Set!

Joan Lunden Twiztt cookware has many great features.  Here is our Make Life Special interview with Joan Lunden about this great cookware set!

Joan Lunden Photo

 Buying pots and pans is a big decision for most home cooks.  Joan Lunden has just come out with a new line of non stick cookware called Twiztt.  Joan Lunden shared all of the info about this great cookware set in the following interview:  

I have always admired  Joan Lunden.  We are both  “working moms” and we started our careers about the same time.  Joan’s career was much more public than mine and I watched her on “Good Morning America” every morning as I was whizzing around getting ready for work.  She always seemed liked someone I could be friends with – share common stories, talk about our families, etc.

Well, when I received the call to interview Joan Lunden, I immediately said “Yes!”.

My expectations of Joan Lunden – both the public figure we all know, and the private person with a family – were confirmed when I interviewed her.  She is a “real” person.  She is very “down-to-earth”.  I loved chatting with her…We talked so much that I am actually doing four different posts from our interview.

The first post covers her new venture – a line of healthy non-stick cookware called Twiztt.  I reviewed the cookware a few weeks ago:  Twiztt Cookware by Joan Lunden


Twiztt Cookware


Vickie Interviews Joan Lunden

I talked  to  Joan about her new line of cookware called Twiztt and I am sharing that with you in this post.  I also wanted to ask her about juggling family (she has 7 kids) with a busy work schedule.  I also wanted to find out if my impression of Joan Lunden was accurate – that she really is a very nice person who cares deeply about her family.   I started off with my questions about her cookware line:

Vickie:  Here at Make Life Special, I focus on getting people back into the kitchen to cook and getting families and friends back around the table – sharing great food.  I love the new Twiztt cookware.  Can you share some of the features that make it so convenient to use?

Joan:    Well first of all, I’ll just tell you all about the cookware because I’m really excited about this.  Every single piece in the line does have a new twist…..It is cookware with a new twist.  Pots and pans have basically been the same for decades.  This cookware company out of Belgium came to me because they were looking for a real health advocate, a woman’s advocate, a family advocate, and someone who Americans would turn to for reliable information.  …That’s why they brought me on board.


One of the best features of the cookware is that we use a ceramic, non-toxic, non-stick surface.  When non-stick cookware was introduced into this country back in the 60’s, it was wonderful as far as the convenience.  Americans loved it!  Things didn’t stick, it was easy clean-up…and then later on when we all became health conscience, we turned to the non-stick cookware because we didn’t have to use as much butter or oil.  The problem is, al that old non-stick cookware is made with toxic chemicals.  We have known this for a long time, but frankly, I think most of us just looked the other way. We really liked the convenience and ther was no alternative on the market.  It has really taken the industry a long time to come up with a healthy alternative.

But, we do have it now.  The ceramic surface is NOT toxic.  To give people a little background about why they need to go into their kitchens and open up their cabinets and if they have that old non-stick cookware….its turned brown …you’ve got to throw it away.  Because, the stuff that they made those pans with is a toxic chemical that really can’t stand to be heated too much.  Isn’t that ironic because that what you do with a pan?  If you heat it up more than 450 to 500 degrees,  it starts to melt down , it decomposes,  and it lets off toxic fumes.  ( Which by the way can kill a small bird —that’s how toxic they are, if you have a small bird in your kitchen)

They let off toxic fumes that also affect us.  People will walk around all day with flu like symptoms, nauseous, chills and a headache and they write it off to – you know, I must have picked up a bug.  But no, its from cooking on those old non-stick pots and pans!  ….These chemicals are so pervasive in America because we have cooked on this non-stick cookware that they say 95% of Americans have it in their system.  …and all newborn babies are born with it….And I just don’t know if Americans realize in their heart of hearts how much they need to throw this stuff away.

But, now there is a choice.  The Twiztt cookware has a ceramic surface that is a light creamy color…and its really pretty to cook on that surface.  We also wanted to discern ourselves from everyone else.  I have a very high regard for the American consumer.  When they are told a product is not safe, they just make the choice not to buy it anymore.  The American consumer takes the bad product off the market.  And I think that whats going to happen with this.  The EPA has been wrestling with this for years and years and years  but I think it will be the American consumer  who will walk in and they will see that creamy white non stick surface and everyone else is a black or dark grey because they know good and well its going to burn and the consumer will make the choice.  I think within the next 5 to 10 years, we won’t have any of that old non-stick on the market.

But it’s more than just the non-stick surface that makes the Twiztt great.  When you see all of the pieces of the cookware,  Vickie, it just makes cookware a little smarter.  The saucepans and casseroles have little measurement markers on them on the inside so you don’t have to go get a measuring cup.  The lids are locking lids so you can take a pot with one hand over to the sink and drain it and you don’t have all the spaghetti fall out!  And how many of us have done that!

Vickie:  Well, let me tell you… I am checking out this afternoon to see the full line.  When I did the review, I received a sample Twiztt pan…and it is beautiful.  I will say that I love that pearly white cream colored coating.  And,  for me… and I think for most cooks, until now we did not have any options.  It was either the old non stick or go back to stainless without a coating on it.

What’s Different About The Loan Lunden

Twiztt Cookware?

Joan:  And you will see the difference, Vickie, when you go to the store.  In addition to the ivory coating, the one thing that completely sets us apart for everybody else is that we just don’t sell you a sauce pot with a lid  or a casserole with a lid.  We also include in with that melamine bowls – each one comes with a melamine bowl.  And the beauty of this is that first of all, they are very multi-purpose.  You can stir up a recipe in them and  you can serve in them .  Most importantly, what they allow you to do is take the hot pot right off the stove which you would never go over and set that on your table.  But you can drop it down into the melamine bowl that it is sold with and it actually rest right on a little lip that is on top and there is actually a little bit of air in between the pot and the bowl which keeps the food hot.  You don’t have to get out another serving dish and transfer the food — because that’s one more dish to wash –and that makes a difference.  It can go right on the table.  People can push it from person to person and not get burned ….And, it will keep the food hot for up to 2 hours!

And I think that is important in the landscape of what families are like today.  We don’t all come home and the same time and sit down to dinner.  Family members are coming home all night long at different times —-from soccer, from  cheer leading practice ,so that’s why a meal has to kind of “stay” over the course of and hour or two.

So, I think all of these things will make the cooking process a little bit easier,  a little bit faster,  a little bit safer… and hopefully, a little bit more fun….So we can get people back into the kitchen.  We need to do that.  As families, we need to do that.  We need to do that so we can insure that we are feeding our children safe and healthy food.  I think its been proven time after time in studies that you will eat a more healthy calories conscious meal if you cook at home than if you go out to dinner.

Vickie:  Really, I think we have just been in a vicious circle….Look at obesity.  Our national statistics on obesity are horrible.  And it all works together.

Joan:  Yes, and we just have to continually get that word out.  And provide easy to make recipes  and in my case, provide an easy to cook on product line.  Women don’t want it to be hard.  They don’t want to be at the kitchen sink scrubbing the rest of the night.  Nobody likes that!  But it’s so important to get the family to be back home and to get used to being at home.

Part 2 of this interview will features Joan’s tips for easy entertaining at home.

Where to buy Twiztt Cookware

Twiztt Cookware is available at

Joan Lunden Twiztt Cookware

Joan Lunden Twiztt Cookware

Be sure to check out Joan Lunden’s website for lots of great tips and recipes  for healthy living:


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