Joan Lunden is putting a healthier twist on her life—and yours. With the launch of her new cookware line, Twizt, the former Good Morning America host’s goal is to help people prepare healthier meals and educate others on the dangers of some types of non-stick cookware. We spoke with Joan about Twizt, being a trailblazer in the workplace and why having it all can be overrated.
Photos: Gabbeli Photography
Let’s talk about your cooking line, Twizt.
I am so excited about it because I have been making the transition in my career from being strictly on-air to being an entrepreneur. I think that if you pick the right product, it can go on and endure.
I have reported on the dangers of the old non-stick pans before. It was supposed to make cooking easier and faster. The problem was that the materials they were using to coat the pans had serious health concerns. When they are heated, they start to decompose and emit toxic chemicals. They have linked it to cancer and Alzheimer’s and even low birth weight in babies. Our government has been struggling for a decade to try to get it off the market, but it’s like wrestling with an alligator.
The Cookware Company out of Belgium brought a ceramic, non-stick product to the market. Twizt is the high end line. They wanted to do one that was appealing, that was innovative and made cooking dinner faster and easier. That’s what the Twizt line is.
I love it because it’s really all-in-one cooking.
There are different sets, but essentially it is a stainless steel pot, a melamine bowl that you can drop it into, and a lid. The melamine bowl will keep food warm and prevents you or your loved ones from getting burned. We did stainless steel but with an aluminum bottom, since that provides the best cooking and heating of food. Depending on the set, you can get a set with a cutting board, so you can chop everything and then just toss it right in. The cutting board also works to drain foods, like pasta.
Twizt also works well with an induction oven, and since it is non-stick, you only have to use oil if you want to. Once you finish cooking, you can take the pot and put it right back into the melamine bowl. All the handles are stay-cool stainless steel. The ceramic non-stick can withstand heat up to 800 degrees, so you can pop it into the broiler, too. And there are measurement markers on the sides, too. There is a twist to each product, which is why we call it Twizt.
You have eliminated potholders, measuring cups and extra cutting boards and bowls. It’s great for those with limited kitchen space and for faster, more efficient cooking.
Exactly. That was the point of the line. And on top of it all, it’s pretty—and stain resistant. Food looks beautiful cooking in it. I went and watched it being manufactured, and learned the whole process so I understood why it was better. It operates as well as the old non-sticks, but I think that the American consumer will opt for this because it is so much healthier and safer. In one study, 52% of people said that they would only buy ceramic.
I believe that you should invest in something that you are going to use every day.
I agree. Especially if you are trying to cook healthy meals for your family, you want to do it in something that is also going to be a healthier way to cook.
Twizt is just an extension of what you have already been doing in terms of promoting healthy living.
I am a doctor’s kid who thought I would one day become a doctor. I work on programs all the time to help women to find ways to honor their bodies and listen to themselves. I started a women’s wellness camp each summer, and I get over two hundred women who come together and become inspired and motivated, leaving the camp having busted their own limits. They leave re-energized, and learn to give themselves more credit. The magic is when you get 150 women together, and they share their stories and give each other strength. It is not only inspirational, but also transformational.
Women helping women is a powerful force.
I find that camaraderie among women to be one of the secret formulas for success amongst women. When I came into the workforce in the 70s, we were told that we could have it all. But by the 80s and 90s, it was expected! You have to go after it all, and be perfect at it all, too. Now, we are taking a step back and saying, “Wait a minute. We got the job, but we still can’t keep doing the job at home, too, and be perfect doing all of it.” You have to be more diligent about creating boundaries.
As a mom of 7, I would think that must be very difficult![laughs] It can be. My three older girls were all with me when I was at Good Morning America. I would bring them to work with me, because I was breastfeeding. They went on every trip with me, so they are good travelers! [laughs] That was trailblazing back then, to bring your children into work. But it was amazing, and GMA was incredible with me as well. I told them what my priorities were. I told them, “I will never miss a birthday, recital, and in return, I will give 150% and never have to have anyone else pick up my slack.” It worked for us, and for them, because they had a working mom who was relatable for their audience. What could have been a game changer (or a career ender) actually turned out to be a huge ratings boost for them. I would get letters from women thanking me, but sadly, we’re still having the same conversation today. Of course, women have come a long way in the workplace, but the younger generation of women are seeing that there are still lots of barriers. You have to take care of your children, feeding them nutritious meals, have the corner office, have a happy husband…
And where are YOU in all that?
You’re exhausted, that’s where you are. That’s why it’s crucial to have this national conversation and acknowledge that we’ve changed as a society. It puts tremendous pressure to be everything to everyone, and do you really want to be all that? The expectations on women are so high, and it’s okay to lean in (or not want to lean in). After all, you need to live the life you want to live.