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FEATURES

Filtering by Category: Health & Family

MatchaBar

Mable Yiu

Photo courtesy of Issy Croker

Photo courtesy of Issy Croker

by Mable Yiu

Taste it to believe it: the original MatchaBar brothers make it best.

Why did you start MatchaBar? 

Where do I begin? It began with an obsession – followed by a vision. I think any great product, really any great brand is created out of drive to share something with the world. For my brother Max & I, we wanted to bring matcha to the people. Plain and simple. We whole heartedly fell in love with the way matcha made us feel. I was amazed at how hard it was to find, and how few people even knew of matcha. In fact, there was so much education and awareness in the category to achieve, we knew right away a physical location was essential. We had to create a real community and hub for matcha lovers in New York! That community today is known as our MatchaFam.

What are your thoughts on the matcha trend?  How did that all begin recently? 

I like to think any product that becomes a household name needs to go through a "trendy" phase. Let's look at similar examples... salad, coconut water, yoga, fresh juice, even specialty espresso shops. When Max & I created the concept to launch MatchaBar, hardly anyone knew what it was. I remember Max and I joking that there was a good chance 50% of our sales would come from espresso in the first year. That being said, we had faith in the product, and our ability to educate and foster a real community. We have seen first hand the excitement behind matcha as we have brought pop-up stores to College Campuses, Music Festivals, cities as far as LA and Tokyo, corporate offices from the New York Post to Forbes Magazine. We do anything we can to share our matcha with the world. Why? Because we believe matcha is on its way to become a staple in the caffeinated beverage world, what I call your "morning cup." Now the key to success lies in who is promoting the product, how it is positioned, and the baseline quality behind it. Matcha is a tricky product. NOT ALL MATCHA IS CREATED EQUAL. The crap the Starbucks, The Bean, etc is serving... Even half the trendy coffee shops in New York who are launching lines of matcha - the preparation is inconsistent and generally lacking in taste, but what really upsets me, is that they are using at most, 1 gram of matcha per cup.... essentially shorting the customer half of what we call "the good stuff" (caffeine, L-theanine, and antioxidants). At MatchaBar we use a 2 gram serving, something that may make the margins less pretty, but delivers the full functional benefit of matcha. Imagine a cafe serving an espresso with a half shot of an espresso - good luck getting through your day with that.

Now, how do we create a unified movement behind matcha when there is such a lack of quality control on the market? It's a tough challenge that we plan on tackling! 

What have your experiences in Japan been like? How did you find the family farm to partner with? 

Japan is a wonderful country. It all started with cold calls to farms we could find online with a translator on the line. Some were more receptive than others. In the end, I had to travel to Japan myself, meet with these farmers, and find a partner that was right for us. Our current farming partners are extremely supportive of our vision as a company. What really surprised us was the reaction from our pop-up store in Tokyo! To this day, we see a great chunk of business coming from those traveling to New York from Japan!

How did the pop-up in Japan come about? What was that like? 

The pop-up in Japan came about from a fantasy. We see ourselves as the authority of matcha in New York - but how can we think of ourselves so highly when the home of matcha itself hasn't even heard of us. There is only one thing to do, get on a damn plane and open up in Tokyo - even if it is for 3 days!

I remember Max, my partner Eli, and I sitting in Tokyo the night before the pop-up wondering if anyone would even show up. To see 2-3 hour lines the following day was one of the most humbling and exciting experiences of our lives. 

We were so inspired by this event that we will not only return this spring, but also have our eyes on expanding our cafes out there in the next few years!

What are your plans for the near and distant future?

We just opened a cafe in Chelsea. 256 W 15th, come by! 

Our biggest venture yet will launch this winter. We are launching a bottled product! We have taken three signature flavors from our cafe, and created a 10oz glass bottled product we will distribute throughout New York, and soon after, the rest of the United States. Each bottle will contain a full 2 gram serving of MatchaBar matcha. We are beyond excited to share this project with our MatchaFam - and look forward with being able to share our matcha with so many passionate matcha lovers who cannot make it to our stores in New York! 

Joanna Going

Mable Yiu

Photo courtesy of  Benjo Arwas

Photo courtesy of Benjo Arwas

by Mable Yiu

House of Cards star, breast cancer awareness role model, and successful single mother Joanna Going, sits down with us to discuss her roles as an actress and definitions of success.

Have you always wanted to become an actress? What led you to attend the American Academy of Dramatic Arts after going to college for 2 years?

I became interested in acting at the age of 14, when I got involved with a local theater company’s production of The Tempest in my home town of Newport, RI. I continued doing theater throughout high school, and when it came time to apply to colleges, I knew I wanted to study theater. The American Academy of Dramatic Arts had been on my radar, but, at 17, I wasn’t ready to move to New York, and wanted the more traditional college experience, so I joined the BFA Acting program at Emerson College in Boston. After two years there, I truly knew I wanted to focus on acting, and desired a more conservatory-type atmosphere. I took six months off to play Thea in The Incredibly Far Off-Broadway Ensemble Theater’s production of Hedda Gabler in Newport, and then moved to New York to attend the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.

What has it been like to work on such a successful Netflix series House of Cards? How has that experience been different than filming other TV shows and movies, such as your current role on DirectTV’s KINGDOM?

It was an honor, and a little bit intimidating to come in to the second season of House of Cards, a show that was flying high on the well-deserved success of their ground-breaking first season on Netflix. I had been a fan of the show from the moment it was released and was over-the-moon to be a part of it. 

As a guest part, albeit a recurring one, hopping onto a moving train and visiting for a while is quite different from being a part of the building of a new show from the outset, as is the case with Kingdom. Creator Byron Balasco, just named one of TV’s Most Powerful Showrunners 2015 by The Hollywood Reporter, has been very inclusive with the cast in discussions that shape the characters and the direction of the story lines. We are given a lot of freedom as actors to develop our roles emotionally and visually in a way that is setting the tone of the world where our show exists. We live in that world, we own it, and we feel validated to make the outrageous choices, or take the time to give attention to the small details that all add up to giving the richest life possible to Byron’s beautifully drawn cast of characters.

Can you describe your work advocating for breast cancer awareness?

There are several women among my friends and family who have battled breast cancer, including my daughter’s aunt, grandmother, and great-grandmother. The aunt, who is a dear friend, learned she had the gene markers for breast cancer, and opted to have a preemptive double mastectomy. It was a difficult choice, but a pro-active one. I admire her so much and I am grateful for her example to her daughters and nieces, who may also have an inherited propensity toward developing breast cancer, in letting them know that you can get out ahead of this disease, if necessary, beat the threat, and continue on with a healthy and happy and beautiful life. Education, awareness and early detection are the key in the fight against breast cancer. 

What was the process like creating a work-life balance with raising your daughter? Do you have any advice for women who want to have both a successful career and family?

I’ll be blunt: it isn’t easy. Especially since becoming a single mom. It was simpler when she was a baby and I could travel her with me to out-of-town locations, along with a nanny, who’d get a nice chunk of my paycheck. (Sidebar: in the ongoing discussion of the gender pay gap in Hollywood, it would be interesting to examine the percentages of males’ and females’ income that goes toward childcare!)

Once my daughter started school, I limited my work options to closer to home. It felt important to me to give her that consistency of always having a parent around, as well as an uninterrupted school life. I chose to take a step back from my work and focus on raising my child, and I was very fortunate that my then-husband was working on a very demanding hit TV show, and afforded me the chance to do that. I know the majority of women who work outside the home do not get the luxury of making that choice. During that period I threw myself into the work of running a home, taking care of a family, and went a little volunteer-crazy at my daughter’s schools, while continuing to audition and take the occasional close-to-home job. 

It made me happy, and I am forever grateful for the years I got to be THAT mom. But eventually, with the end of my marriage, I needed to get back to my profession in full-force, and for that it truly did take a village of friends, relatives, school, and nannies. My daughter and I are parent and child, but also a team, we support each other, and she has grown to understand what my work means to me. As necessary as it felt for me to be a mostly, stay-at-home mom when she was little, I am so grateful to now be able to show her what it means to be an independent working woman.  

To find a balance between work and family, you need to find the center of yourself, and know what satisfies you. There are no rules. Only what works for you and your family. If you are lucky enough to have a choice, and quit your job to stay at home and raise your kids and are miserable every second, that is not what works for you. If you go to work and cannot focus, devote your full attention to your job and find satisfaction in it because you are consumed with worry and the gut longing to be with your kids — then maybe you need a different arrangement. Of course, for many mothers there is not a choice: there is the necessity to work, and there is family to be nurtured. For everyone it is vitally important that you create a network of support for yourself and your children; extended family, friends, teachers, classmates. Nobody can do it alone. Take the opportunity to teach your children to build a community, and be willing to reach out when you need help.

What are your plans for your career in the future?

My immediate plan is to continue my work as “Christina Kulina” on Season 3 of KINGDOM, which begins shooting next week. Beyond that, it is my simple hope and prayer to be a working actress, with the ability to support myself and my family, long into my old-age.

Work-Life Happiness

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Fairweather magazine’s publisher, Alexandra Fairweather, sat down with leading work/lifestylist Samantha Ettus in East Hampton to get the scoop on how we can aspire to more than just a “balance” between our professional and personal lives.

Known for coaching celebrities, top CEOs, and professional athletes who aspire to perform at their highest levels in their professional and personal lives, Samatha Ettus is a best selling author of four Random House books, a writer for Forbes, and host of the nationally syndicated radio show, Working Moms Lifestyle. She is often seen making regular television appearances on Access Hollywood, The Today Show, and Fox News, and is a sought after speaker across the country at colleges, corporations and conferences. As a wife and mother of three, Ettus shared with us a little advice on how to find something most of us are seeking, work-life happiness.

“I didn’t set out to be an entrepreneur. But I always woke up in the middle of the night with ideas. I was seeing holes that weren’t filled and wanting to fill them,” explains Ettus. “The first thing I saw was that CEOs had a spark that went beyond their job titles. I was fascinated with those CEOs who had those sparks, so I decided to launch a talent agency for personal brands.” In 2001, Ettus launched the first-ever personal branding agency, Ettus Media Management. “I’ve always cared a lot about branding. I am very good at naming things, I named my husband’s company, and I name my friends’ companies, just for fun, it’s a hobby for me. I have this game with my kids, so I’ll name something like a chocolate store and all of my kids have to come up with a name of a store,” laughs Ettus.

When structuring a brand, Ettus explains, it is important to not only tell your life’s story, but to tell it in the right way. “I do this speech and I’ll tell my own story in a negative way and here is the same story told again. People don’t realize how much their story really matters. You need to look back as a reel and connect the dots. You never know when you are going to meet someone that is fascinating or is going to change your life.” In order to create your highlight reel, “You look back on your accomplishments. That goes on your highlight reel. You always need to expand the vision of what can go on that highlight reel.”

After working with hundreds of CEOs and experts, Ettus decided to write her first book, The Experts’ Guide to 100 Things Everyone Should Know How to Do. “There were a lot of experts and CEOs that I wanted to work with but they couldn’t afford me, so I came up with this idea for a book series, and the idea was I could get all of these experts into my book. I created this cliff notes for life. Putting the book together made me realize I could get to anyone. I had a 100 experts in a book and they all wrote a chapter,” explains Ettus. “Growing up, I never learned how to set a perfect table, or write a perfect note. I never had down time, so in many respects, it was a self-improvement project for me,” remarks Ettus. The book provides insights from accomplished individuals such as Larry King, Peggy Post, Bob Vila, Bobbi Brown, Bobby Flay, Fikram Choudhury, Donald Trump, and Jennifer Capriati to name a few.

When reflecting on what Ettus learned from the book series, she realized, “everyone is accessible.” She continued, “It was justa matter of perseverance.” But she warns, “Don’t ask for things when you don’t feel good about yourself, since there is a lot of rejection with putting yourself out there.”

Ettus’s book became a bestseller, prompting her to close her firm and go on a 23-city book tour. She then got three more book deals with Random House and published The Experts’ Guide to Life at Home, The Experts’ Guide to Doing Things Fast- er, and The Experts’ Guide to the Baby Years.

“I was on a personal branding path and launched my books and quickly realized that you couldn’t talk to women about their careers without talking to them about their lives and how they were integrating work and life, their work and family life, and so many of them were overwhelmed. I also noticed that the happiest women that I knew were women that had a career and family, so how could that be broadcasted in terms of what they were doing right?

“I don’t understand why having it all has ever been a marker for anyone. Jennifer Anniston doesn’t have it all. Barack Obama doesn’t have it all. We can’t mention one person that does have it all, so why are all of these women aspiring to it or even asking can you do it? No- body can and that’s the only answer and the other traditional work/ life balance markers that concerned me was juggling.” Ettus points out that when you google “working mom” and you look at the images, you will see a woman in a suit with a baby, juggling and looking miserable. “Juggling is not a good marker,” asserts Ettus.

“Most women do not have control over their time, so beating themselves up just ends up zapping their energy at work and at home. When you are at work, you are still a mom. You are not only a mom when you are with your children. Somewhere along the way we got confused with women thinking we have to be with our kids to be a good mom and that’s simply not true, and when you are at work, you are protecting your kids financially, and when you are with them you are physically protecting them,” explains Ettus.

Ettus realized that by making significant but simple work/lifestyle changes, women could maximize their career potential but also find greater happiness in their lives.

She suggests, “Instead of evaluating your- self on hours you can’t change, you should view your life as a pie, it’s a fully baked pie, and look and say where is my time going and percentage wise, cut your pie. Maybe it is going for your career, romance, your friend or your kids and look at it honestly. I may be able to make small tweaks, so what can I do to make each slice better, so it’s about really making goals.” When hosting her radio show, Ettus often receives calls from mothers that explain that they feel so guilty that they work 6 days a week and only get to see their kids one day. Her suggestion is to plan with your kids on Monday night what you will do on your day off; that way, your children will have all week to feel excited and look forward to your day off on Sunday. “We didn’t change this person’s time, but we changed her relationship with her kids,” explains Ettus.

Ettus also points out how important it is for women to talk to their children about their careers positively and with enthusiasm. Ettus explains, “The way women talk about their careers is so huge for their kids, because the one thing is if you do have a career the amazing thing about it is you are a role model to your child and how you use that is really important.” She continues, “I remember a couple years ago I was talking about a logo for my new company with my husband and my daughter was in the room but she didn’t seem to be paying attention. She was 6 at the time. She came back into the room an hour later and she had sketched out 3 logos and one of them became the inspiration for my logo and I was so touched by it.”

Ettus explains how children are sponges and it is important to recognize the influence that parents have and that children learn from not only the stories we share with them, but the way we tell those stories. “We don’t realize how much our passion rubs off on kids and I think the mistake that someone would make is apologizing to their kids for their career. If you apologize for it and feel bad about it, your kids are going to feel bad about it.”

“Just be proud of what you do. The guilt thing is such a huge thing to me; it is such a wasted emotion. No one is benefiting. When you are at work, you have to give 100 percent. When you are with your kids, focus on them 100 percent.”

The baby years are often considered the hardest time of parenting, so “a lot of women I know will quit their jobs to be home during those years and unfortunately they can’t get back into the workforce when they want to, so if you are going to leave, don’t leave completely, go to part time, do consulting, but always stay in the game,” explains Ettus.

But, “the number-one thing for work-life happiness is picking the right partner.” Ettus continues, “If your partner doesn’t believe in your dreams you are never reaching your potential.” Ettus and her husband have worked successfully to be partners both in childcare and in their careers. When her husband launched his last company, he was working long hours and did not have time to see their young children. So the couple looked at his schedule and restructured it. While he faced resistance from venture capitalists when he decided to come home every day at 5:30 pm to have dinner with his family and then re- turn to conference calls at 8 pm, his company became a success and they showed how men and women can see their children every day and husband and wife need to co-parent together as a team.

“There is no way my husband would have thought to change it, but he knew something was wrong, “ Ettus shares. “I hear a lot of women making excuses for their husbands. When there is only one breadwinner, usually the schedule is tilted in one direction.”

When asked what Ettus would like to share with the world, she reflects, “I really believe that every person has a fire within them and whatever you do, whatever it is, the smallest job, do it enthusiastically or else don’t do it at all. Sometimes we get so caught up in careers that we are in that moment where we aren’t in the job we want; everything is a stepping stone and every contact you make in any position you are in is someone that might be a part of your future. If you do anything enthusiastically, you will get noticed.”

Currently, Ettus is working on The Experts’ Guide for Women, de- tailing everything from how to choose the right bra, to how to find true love, to making romance last and managing your finances. To learn more, visit samanthaettus.com.

A Fairweather Moment with Nina Montée Karp

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by Alexandra Fairweather

I caught up with the gorgeous environmental activist, producer, and director Nina Montée Karp for lunch at Barneys’ beautiful rooftop bar, overlooking the Los Angeles hills, one Sunday afternoon. It was the perfect setting. “I fell in love with California and everything it had to offer: its beauty, people, pace and nature,” explained the Belgrade native, who first came to the U.S. to visit her sister and uncle, a successful entrepreneur and former Prime Minister of Yugoslavia, Milan Panić. She returned to Newport Beach in 1981 and decided to stay and call California home. 

Multitasking for Moms—and Dads

This modern-day wonder woman owns Nina Montée, a skincare line, that was until recently only available at dermatologists’ offices and premiere spas, runs the Happiest Baby on the Block with her husband (renowned pediatrician and author Dr. Harvey Karp), produces and directs documentaries, and champions a host of social causes that are dear to her heart.

“Few things are as fulflling as working on projects that have a positive impact. My husband and I get great joy in immersing ourselves in these efforts. I could not imagine being on this incredibly powerful and passionate journey without him,” explains Montée Karp.

In order to assist parents around the world, Montée Karp directed and produced the award-winning educational DVDs The Happiest Baby on the Block and The Happiest Toddler on the Block.

“As my husband was writing his first book, The Happiest Baby on the Block, he realized two things: (1) new parents often don’t have the time to read a whole book and (2) his techniques are best learned by watching them done, step-by-step. To capture the best shots, he had to make house calls whenever a parent called with a crying baby, night or day. Fortunately, I had experience directing and producing short flms, so I became his ‘24-hour, on-call’ crew.

“The DVD was so popular, we decided to do the same thing when he wrote The Happiest Toddler on the Block. And today, 12 years later, our short flms are arguably the most watched parenting DVDs in history. It is very rewarding,” refected Montée Karp. 

In addition to the Happiest Baby DVDs, Montée Karp also co-produced Not Under My Roof, an award-winning educational video that teaches parents about the effects of environmental hazards. “It was so exciting making that documentary because it was the very first video to teach parents about preventing child exposure to hazards such as pesticides, lead, solvents, air pollution. These exposures can have a potentially serious impact on children's health. Our DVD was the first educational tool on how to substitute common sense and natural alternatives for harsh chemicals to protect our children's well being.” 

When asked what advice she has for new or expecting parents, Montée Karp remarked, “Get help! You deserve it. Ask questions, shop around for the best pediatrician and don’t be shy about quizzing new parents you see at the park or in cafes. Finding voices you trust is so important because it’s easy to get information overload from the Internet and become totally confused. Sleep and rest as much as you can before the babies come... and line up some friends and family to help you cook and clean for a couple of months after the baby comes.” 

Healing Help

In addition to assisting parents, Montée Karp is a champion of breast cancer awareness and produced and directed Breast Cancer: The Path of Wellness and Healing.

“I have nine girlfriends with breast cancer and a sister-in-law who succumbed to the disease at a very young age. The more my friends confided in me about the very serious decisions that had been thrust upon them, the more I recognized the dearth of information to help them.

“There is so much to learn when you get hit with the diagnosis of cancer and there are so many misconceptions (even among doctors). I wanted to help my friends and the one in eight of our mothers, sisters and daughters with this terrible disease. Because of that experience, I joined the board of directors of Breastcancer.org, the world's largest Internet support for women, and men, with the disease. And over two years, I created a comprehensive visual guide on healing from breast cancer: body, mind, and spirit.

“Rather than adding to the black-and-white sea of pamphlets and books on the topic, I decided to create an intimate DVD weaving together the voices of America’s greatest doctors and wellness experts with the inspiring stories of women surviving this great challenge. It is a broad and detailed platform of essential information on every stage of the breast cancer experience, assisting women and their families from the very first steps along their path of healing.

“This two-DVD set contains a two-hour disc that documents inspiring—and even funny!—first-hand accounts from breast cancer survivors including celebrities like Sheryl Crow, Christina Apple- gate, Melissa Etheridge, Olivia Newton-John, and Jaclyn Smith; and powerful lessons from preeminent doctors and wellness experts including Dr. Deepak Chopra, Dr. Marisa Weiss, Dr. Susan Love, Dr. Dean Ornish, and Marianne Williamson.

“In addition, there is a three-hour bonus disc of 16 discussions on a wide range of issues, from reconstructive surgery, to the use of hormones, to diet and meditation. The overwhelmingly positive response we have received—from the medical, wellness, and breast cancer communities—has made every moment of this effort incredibly satisfying and worthwhile.”

Every Day Is a Winding Road

When asked what a typical day looks like for Nina Montée Karp, she reflected, “On a good day—it starts with a joint meditation with my husband, then a hike with girlfriends. The rest of the day is filled with meetings for our company, The Happiest Baby, and for various non-proft organizations. There are always events to go to and usually, after dinner, it’s back to work!” 

5 Questions    

Q: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

A: Take the riskiest path, be your authentic self, forgive.

Q: What is your biggest virtue?

A: Loyalty.

Q: What is your biggest vice?

A: Dark chocolate!

Q: What is your favorite place in Los Angeles?

A: Our home—our sanctuary—with our favorite art and books, and the most beautiful view of the Pacifc Ocean.

Q: What do you hope your legacy will be?

A: Making a meaningful, positive impact on people’s lives. 

Cook or Be Cooked

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This spring, filmmaker, author, and activist LAURIE DAVID premiered her new film, Fed Up, and launched her latest cookbook, The Family Cooks. She shares with publisher Alexandra Fairweather her solutions to the current childhood obesity epidemic. 

“Katie Couric emailed and asked me to join her and director Stephanie Soechtig in executive producing what we all hoped would be the An Inconvenient Truth of food. Needless to say, it took me three seconds to reply “yes!’” exclaims Laurie David. “It was a natural fit because since the release of my book The Family Dinner in 2010, I had been working on food issues. In examining where we eat, why we eat, and what we eat, it’s undeniable that food has the power to make us healthy or make us sick. In Fed Up we demonstrate why what we are eating is making us so sick.”

Laurie and I first met at a Larry Gagosian’s Art Basel party at Mr. Chow’s in Miami about two and half years ago. My mother, Prudence Fairweather, fashion designer Vera Wang, and I were all talking about how gorgeous Vera’s outft was when Laurie David walked over and introduced herself. As a documentary filmmaker who had just finished a documentary on my late-stepfather, John Chamberlain, I was glowing with excitement to meet the renowned filmmaker and author, who I had admired for so many years. We talked about Laurie’s home in Martha’s Vineyard, Art Basel, her new documentary that she was already working on with Katie Couric, and how I had never been to Los Angeles (and I was dying to go).

About a year later, I was flying to LA to see Larry’s Richard Avedon show at Gagosian’s LA Gallery and attend a few business meetings. It  turned out Laurie was also planning on attending the Avedon show, so Laurie, her amazing friend, Nina Montée Karp, my mother, and I all met for a drink before the exhibition in the lounge of the L’Ermitage. We had a great conversation about the importance of organics, taking care of ourselves, and why LA living was spectacular. As we headed for the door, Laurie, like a wise sage, said to me: “It is important in life to not just be concerned with business, you must always consider the impact on society.” I’ve held those words dear ever since. Following the incredible Avedon exhibition, we headed to Mr. Chow’s for a fantastic dinner. The next day, I had to go back to NYC and I was so sad to go. Goodbye, LA!

Fortunately, a little bit of California—Laurie—came to New York in April for the premiere of Fed Up and the release of her new cookbook, The Family Cooks. Anna Carter & Anna Chapman hosted a lunch in Laurie’s honor at the Monkey Bar (Katie Couric, Eleanor Acquavella, and Nathalie Kaplan to name a few were in attendance). Laurie was so excited as she spoke to everyone in the room; she explained how difficult it is for families to eat healthy, how society has brainwashed us to think that we cannot cook, and how her cookbook is a solution. “If I can do it, anyone can,” she joked at the lunch, referring to her ability to cook the healthy recipes in The Family Cooks. “After the release of The Family Dinner, my co-author, Kirstin Uhrenholdt, really wanted to do a book to teach children how to cook because it is a skill that will empower them throughout their lives. But the more we spoke with our friends about it, the more many of the adults we know said they wanted the book for themselves! So The Family Cooks is a book for novice chefs of all ages with simple recipes that have five steps or fewer with real, whole foods,” reflected Laurie.

She was absolutely right. That night, I took home The Family Cooks, went to Whole Foods, and cooked four recipes from the cookbook (chicken adobo, tortilla chips, vegetarian tacos, and guacamole). I am not exaggerating when I say every recipe I tried that night (and multiple nights since then) was amazing! (The kale salad is incredible!) Laurie’s favorite recipe is popcorn caulifower: “You simply can’t make enough of it. It may not even make it to your table!” she enthuses. And I do not consider myself a gourmet chef. These are easy, angst-free recipes.

When I asked Laurie what she found most surprising when working on Fed Up, she explained, “I thought I knew a lot about food when I started working on this movie. We all did! I would eat low-fat yogurt or a high-fiber cereal for breakfast—but the more I learned about what is in those “natural” products, well let’s just say I had to work through a lot of guilt over what I fed my kids and my family all of those years.” She continued to explain, “But here’s what is really shocking: The conventional wisdom about diet and exercise isn’t true, not all calories are equal and 80 percent of items in the supermarket have added sugar.” The news Laurie David has to share isn’t always what you most want to hear—but it has inspired me to think differently about the choices I make every day.