WW president and CEO Mindy Grossman loves spending time in the summer with friends and family—especially her 18-month old granddaughter, Emma. WW Magazine recently spent a relaxed, enjoyable day cooking and chatting in the kitchen with Mindy, her daughter, Lizzy Grossman-Sirgey, and Emma, at Mindy’s country home in Dutchess County, NY.
On cooking together
Mindy: When Lizzy was growing up, I wasn’t the typical mom. But one of the things that we loved doing together, from the time she was little, was cooking. When she got old enough, we would create our own Iron Chef challenge. We’d pick three ingredients, and each cook something, and then my husband Neil would be the judge. So, he would get to eat two meals, and of course Lizzy won every time. But cooking together was always something that was special to us.
Lizzy: I can’t wait to spend more time in the kitchen with Emma. I think cooking is something so interactive and fun. It definitely makes for bonding time.
How WW’s Freestyle program has impacted their cooking
Mindy: It’s changed the way I cook, and it’s changed the choices I make when I eat. There’s nothing I don’t eat. I’m just more judicious about how I’m eating and cooking. And then the fun part is, I try to challenge myself to make recipes even healthier. Like substituting Greek yogurt for cream and butter. And you know, what’s wonderful about WW, it’s eminently livable. There’s nothing you can’t eat. You’re just educated on how to make the best choices for yourself.
Lizzy: I’ve struggled with my weight my whole life. It just so happened that my mom became CEO of WW a few months after I had Emma. I was at the point where I was ready to fully recommit myself not just to losing weight, but to making a lifestyle change. I decided that this was going to be about wellness, not weight, so my husband and I have changed our whole approach to food and cooking. And we are doing it for our little girl. I think the way the program works helps not just you, but everyone around you.
On the WW community
Lizzy: I am obsessed with Connect WW’s online community. I think it is such a wonderful place. In a world that is so divided in so many ways, there’s nowhere you can find the compassion, the camaraderie, and kindness that you see on Connect. Everyone is there to support one another.
On becoming a mom
Lizzy: After Emma was born, I became a lot more conscious of my happiness, my husband’s happiness, and Emma’s happiness. I want every day to be amazing for her. And I really want her to be able to live the best life possible. Babies don’t do that for themselves. It’s our responsibility to do that for them. And I take that really seriously. My body image changed after becoming a mom. I’m never going to have a flat stomach again and I don’t expect to. Do I want my daughter to see me looking in the mirror and being upset with how I look, no matter what size I am? The answer is absolutely not.
Mindy: Lizzy’s taught me a lot throughout the years, not just as a mom. I can be a little too intense at times. And she’s taught me that sometimes you need to bring it down, and take time for yourself, relax, and just enjoy the moment. Sometimes life can be messy, and it’s OK.
On becoming a grandmother
Mindy: It was probably the deepest sense of happiness I’ve ever had. And it’s not just because of Emma. It’s also watching my daughter be the most unbelievable mom I’ve ever seen.
Lizzy: Since Emma came along, my mom’s learned to take more time for herself. (But time for herself really means time with her granddaughter.)
On the importance of eating together
Mindy: When Lizzy was growing up, I traveled so much, we couldn’t all sit down together each night at 7 o’clock. And I wish I had been more purposeful in making sure we did that on a more regular basis.
Lizzy: But now, if Grandma and Grandpa aren’t with us, they can still share dinner with Emma every night. Because when we sit down at the table with Emma, we Facetime.
Lizzy: Food to me is love and compassion. There’s nothing better than cooking for your family or friends.
Mindy: When I cook, it’s because I want to bring enjoyment to other people. And inherently, that’s generosity. Food and entertaining combined strengthens community. It’s sharing, it’s enjoyable, and it’s ultimately the experience of creation.
These three delicious recipes work equally well for a small group or a crowd.