Supermom: Suzanne Luce
When busy stay-at-home mom, Suzanne Luce, isn’t driving her kids to school activities and working on various volunteer projects, she can be found in her kitchen putting together healthy, wholesome meals for her family. She also teaches her kids, through words and example, how to appreciate food that is good for them. Suzanne is our first Supermom for her steadfast belief in and love of healthy foods, and for inspiring her family and other families to cook and eat nutritious foods.
“I can’t think of any reason not to eat the best tasting produce out there and the most satisfying artisan breads and organic meats,” Suzanne said. “Some may claim the prices are higher, but if we’re cooking fresh food, we’re saving money. I’m staying out of the stores more, spending less, and getting more creative in the kitchen!”
Her husband and three young children are enjoying healthy comfort foods like roast chicken, beef stew with grass-fed beef, taco with fresh salsa, chicken soup, and of course organic fruits and vegetables. Last summer, Suzanne signed up for a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) for the first time and is getting bins of locally-grown and seasonal organic produce. She remembers when it wasn’t always this easy to get healthy, organic food.
Before eating organic had become a food movement, Suzanne was embarking on her own food awakening. More than 17 years ago, before Suzanne was even married or a mom, her father passed away from colon cancer at only 55. That triggered her interest in eating differently which led to her seeking out organic produce, whole grains, and raw milk, and cutting out white sugar and white flour from her diet. However, back then, there was a lack of selection and high prices.
“Times were tough then for someone like me, wanting to eat whole foods, organic and all-natural,” Suzanne said. “Today, I am happy to say that I can shop any of four different stores nearby and find an amazing variety of healthy foods. I am rarely disappointed on taste, the ingredients are simpler, and I can get everything I need for my family without compromise.”
Suzanne also teaches her kids what “superfoods” are and that it takes a lot of different foods to get the vitamins and energy to keep the body strong and healthy. They also talk about the colors of the foods, how they are grown and when they are in season. Her six-year-old daughter, Marie, asked for blueberries recently and before Suzanne could answer, she said, “I know, I know, they aren’t in season yet!” The family goes to the local farm to pick fruits and the kids remember how certain fruits taste sweeter when they are in season. Being aware of seasonality is a way of life for the kids and it has become second nature to them.
Her kids love a variety of vegetables and Suzanne tries not to give them anything that tastes dull or bland since they will remember it the next time she serves them. She prepares vegetables simply without too much seasoning, letting the natural flavors shine. Her kids are usually starving before dinner, so she gives them cucumbers, red peppers and carrots to munch on while she prepares dinner.
Suzanne’s family enjoys sweet treats once in a while and the portions are less than typical. She bakes cookies and makes smoothies with her kids, and they have fun cooking together.
“Balance is what it comes down to, and that is part of the message for the kids,” said Suzanne. “A treat now and then is fun, but we can go for the healthy version and enjoy it even more than the overly sweetened, chemically-flavored version.”
Suzanne has provided us with one of her own recipes: Family Winner Turkey Meatloaf. Packed full of flavor and goodness, this comfort dish will be a winner on other families’ dinner tables as well!
Disclaimer: Suzanne and I have been friends for more than 12 years. She is the first person to inspire me to start eating organic foods, and give up soda and white sugar. I’m very grateful for her guidance in my own healthy (and delicious) food journey!