My Love for Cooking Is Back – but There Have Been Some Changes



I used to cook a lot. I loved it. I had a beautiful kitchen and unlimited food, it was awesome. But as many in LA, I got divorced and my kitchen didn’t come with me. I stopped cooking the way I used to… you know, with love and smiles. I also used to love entertaining and did that a lot as well. Making homemade Challah, Persian food, you know the deal… big portions full of love. I remember entertaining 50/60 people easy! As well, I remember how I’d invite friends over for dinner every week and would love every minute of it. It didn’t work for me, it was pure love and enjoyment. Well, at least if memory serves right, it was easy, and I always did it with love and as Persians would say, with my joon. I suppose some might not say it though—too mushy.

Many times, singles parents and perhaps even singles without kids, will cook divine elaborate meals and prepare food until their fingertips smell of garlic, olive oil, and love all day and all night. Speaking of garlic, did you know that it’s a natural aphrodisiac and that if two people are trying to be romantic together, it not only wouldn’t hurt if they both ate garlic, but it would help—ehem, in the bedroom. This is where you say, “Consider it done.” Some people cook regardless of their marital status, or kids or no kids, and it’s irrelevant and doesn’t change anything for them as far as how often they cook or with just how much love. Many people are superheroes if you’d ask me. Especially, the ones that put the kind of love into cooking, preparing, and entertaining that I used to do.

Recently, I started up again. And sure, it took me a while. Many years, I’d rather not say. At least when it comes to regularly cooking homemade masterpieces. I know, I’m humble. I couldn’t be happier about this new change in my life and I wanted to start sharing some pictures of the meals that I’ve been making—only, they’re much different than the foods I was cooking back in the day when I was married. These meals are healthy AF.

Sorry, sorry, I made a promise to myself today, in addition to many other recent promises and things that I’ve been working on, in which I will share with you all (to some degree, gotta keep a little mystery). The promise today was no swearing. You know, when I was married and with my ex-husband, I don’t remember swearing and bad language coming out of either of us. And I remember how appalled I was, and how beyond disgusted really and disappointed I felt at Akon’s album which I loved at the time when I bought his album and heard the explicit lyrics—not exactly Rated G.

Since my divorce, which was maybe 9 years ago (I stopped counting), I’ve been swearing like you wouldn’t believe. Yuck, I know, right. Don’t tell my Grandma, she will not be happy with me. I can hear her yelling at me now, ” Just say bologna instead.” It’s almost as if I let out ten years of cursing that I didn’t do when I was married, and ever since, I’ve been at the point of coming up with a whole new language. So there you have it, no more swearing starting today. Think I can hold to it? Hmm, I think so…

When I say I didn’t cook for some time, don’t get me wrong. I wasn’t cooking with the same love that I used to. It’s not that I never cooked at home and we always ate out or anything. I just cooked things that were simple and that the kids liked. A few things to know about my recent past is that I’m addicted to SUGAR. Yep, it bit me, and it bit me hard. You know, the sugar love bug. He came at me when I was young and if I told you the amount of sugar I’ve been eating throughout my whole life, you’d probably wonder how I was functioning and still alive. But I’m here to tell you about it—go figure. I have a sugar tooth like you wouldn’t believe—Move over Lamar Odom. You ain’t seen nothing yet.

One year ago, November 14, 2016, I removed all sugar from my diet. All sugar? Yes, all sugar except for FRESH fruit. In other words, no dried fruit (even if it’s unsulfured), no candy (please don’t talk about Twizzlers or I might lose it), no cupcakes, donuts, cake, muffins, cookies (Oh gosh, this is hard to write), pastries, sugary cereals (which I was occasional lenient with), jelly, syrup, blah, blah, blah, you get the drift. Not eating sugar was a big deal to me, and to those people out there (God Bless you), who tried or are still trying to get me off of my fresh fruit, telling me that it’s sugar and it’s poison, um, NO, it’s not poison if eaten in moderation, and that’s exactly what I’m NOT doing still… I have to be honest.

O.K., so one year passes, and all I could think was, YES!! I did it, and I’m over the sugar poison addiction, even though I’d think of it sometimes and stare at the kids on the occasion that they’d eat some—the same way that the hungry mogwais looked at Gismo in Gremlins. Here’s the problem. I made it over a year, and… Halloween happened. Yep, it happened, and all went to sh.. All that hard work, healthy eating and whatnot, and I threw it all away for one week of awesome candy addiction pleasure, fun, and enjoyment, which I knew had to stop sooner, not later.

If you’d ask my kids, who by the way, I raised in a way not to love candy (believe it or not) by not introducing them to it at a young age (which I’ll explain a bit more about later in this article), they’d tell you how I would get insanely happy excited like a little child. And I’d make some type of noise sounding like something between Gismo and Beavis and Butthead, shaking and moving all around, laying on the carpet under my coffee table, rolling around and giggling with my kids. Silly, right? I know! Amazing and silly! And honestly, it was fun as Hell!! Why do people say Hell in that phrase? Hell? Shouldn’t it be Heaven? Fun as Heaven? O.K., you get my drift, I got carried away with the candy for one week and I stopped cold turkey once again. It wasn’t easy at first. I actually tried for a few days and gave into those damn Twizzlers and Twix, and you name it, Whatchamacallit, oh gosh… Try to understand that I’m a candy addict. Some people like or love candy, but me? I want it almost as much as my other fetishes.

There you have it. No more sugar once again (and I’m on a roll by the way), and now, wait for it… No salt. Ehem, let me rephrase, no adding salt. Somewhere in this article, I know I must’ve mentioned salt, right? No? I didn’t mention that I’m also a salt-aholic? Oh. O.K., well, there you have it. Where’s that monkey emoji so I can cover my eyes right now? No salt or sugar. Sounds like a pretty big challenge. But I’m not only doing it, but I’m also thriving and loving it! I feel amazing!

I also started working out again after a long time from an unnecessary break up with my gym and mostly because of the annoyance with the social scene and also because I became a little bit more introverted and desired privacy to some extent. Therefore, it’s probably combination therapy and it’s hitting me hard and I love it! I feel so damn good. I’m eating much healthier all around. The first week, believe it or not, I lost 10 pounds. Yep folks, the booty is gone. Just kidding, it’s still there, but I’m not kidding about the whopping TEN POUNDS! Ten pounds of what? Most likely water weight from what I recently learned.

I’m telling you all of this, so you know a little bit about why I’m choosing to cook these particular meals that are so healthy. First of all, to me, healthy usually tastes amazing! This is not something that all people can honestly say. I’ve been interested in nutrition, fitness, and having a healthy lifestyle since I was a young girl of maybe 15? I vaguely remember, but I was definitely walking to the gym at that age and working my butt off to have the type of body that I wanted—thin, athletic, you get the drift. But I definitely ate a lot more of whatever, despite that, I was aware of how bad some of the food was for me. I ate a ton of candy (obviously, as you read above), and I ate whatever I wanted basically, despite my knowledge at the time in nutrition and how I should limit serving sizes and that American portion doesn’t mean it’s a serving size. Some Americans are still confused about this. I mean, they must be confused, eating everything on their plate, right? Just kidding—been there.

The following few meals tasted wonderful to me, and I only wish that I had someone to feed them to, being that my kids were with their dad this weekend. But they did get to try some during the week. Not that they’d been that thrilled with eating a ton of kale, but… maybe Justin would actually. O.K. so here are some pictures, and I won’t share with you all of the ingredients or anything. Hey, who knows, maybe I’ll be a big chef one day, or I’ll write a book about these healthy salt-free, super low oil, meals. But for now, my recipes are mine—all mine! 

I felt the desire to add a few extra details here:

I’m not into sprays or fake butters and oil, nor do I use fake sugars or any kinds of sugar substitutes anymore. Don’t get me wrong, because who knows what I’ll be up to in the future or what new health kick I’ll be on at another time in my life. Maybe one day I’ll say, mmm Twizzlers and ooh Godiva Hazelnut Praline once again—who knows! But for now, the following are some healthier choices for people who eat meat, fish, chicken, and who are trying to limit their salt, sugar, oil, and total caloric intake. Something to remember is that we can teach our bodies, our minds, and even our taste buds new habits and new tricks, and we can develop a taste for new things if we’re open to it. Developing a taste for healthy food is something that can either happen at a very young age or even when you’re older and perhaps very accustomed to those old habits.

I used to feed my son Justin homemade baby food at times with broccoli sprouts, broccoli, bean sprouts, and many unusual, but healthy, adult, exciting ingredients and foods. He usually spits them out right away, but I figured this might help him develop a taste for healthy food. Justin is my second child, and Ariel, my daughter, she won’t eat things like that, and I somewhat feel that I should’ve started exploring developing her taste buds back then too, but I just didn’t think of it at the time. However, one thing I did for both kids, is that I avoided giving them sugar, and now, they’re not big on candy. Cool, right? They more so like, “the idea” of candy. Ukh, I have the best kids ever!

Remember, these dishes are VERY low oil, barely any and cold-pressed olive oil for the small amount that I did use, and NO SALT. I will be sharing many dishes in the future, and I might even share some recipes at some point. P.S. nothing feels as good as when your 14-year-old child who is just like you (a picky eater), tells you how yummy something tastes, despite that there’s no salt in it! Buon Appetito!

My-Love-for-Cooking-Is-Back-but-There-Have-Been-Some-Changes-healthyKale, partially cooked carrots, lemon, partially cooked beets

My-Love-for-Cooking-Is-Back-but-There-Have-Been-Some-Changes-homemadeZucchini, green peppers, lemon, spinach, celery leaves


My-Love-for-Cooking-Is-Back-but-There-Have-Been-Some-Changes-foodKale, beef, lemon, green peppers, onions, love (spicy)


yum-food-healthy-lifestyleThis is what happens when you have leftovers… More kale, more onions, and a very happy tummy.

healthy-diet-lifestyle-changes-acw-salt-free-sugar-oilLamb chops, kale, celery leaves, lemon, zucchini, lemon, love




healthy-choicesSteak, onions. Italian basil, tomatoes



healthy-eating-chef-anne-cohen-writes-acw-foodSpinach, lemon, salmon collar, love

My love for garlic is huge and I held back this time, but stay tuned. 

Anne Cohen
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