JoAnna M. Lund is the author of many books, including Healthy Exchanges Cookbook, HELP: Healthy Exchanges Lifetime Plan, and Make a Joyful Table.
In 1991, a DeWitt, Iowa homemaker found herself in crisis. Her son, daughter, and son-in-law were all called into active duty during Operation Desert Storm. She reacted to the stress of the situation as she always had, by eating. By her 46th birthday, JoAnna Lund tipped the scale at an all-time-high of 300 pounds. Knowing that her children were risking their lives, she began to think about her own mortality—and how her weight problem had created a life-threatening situation. She realized that diets had never helped her, and that if she reclaimed her health she could reclaim her life. In order to do so, JoAnna devised a method of "exchanges" to enable herself to eat all the food she loved while exchanging the fats and sugars with healthier choices. As friends asked for more and more of her recipes, she created her first cookbook, The Healthy Exchanges Cookbook, and published it herself in 1992. Re-published by G.P. Putnam's Sons in 1995, it has since sold hundreds of thousands of copies. The cookbook proved to be only the beginning of JoAnna Lund's success story. The former self-proclaimed "diet queen" of DeWitt, Iowa is the author of a number of books and the founder of Healthy Exchanges, Inc., a company that publishes a monthly newsletter with a subscriber base of 15,000, motivational booklets and inspirational audio and video tapes. The company operates JO's Kitchen Cafe adjacent to its facility in DeWitt and has just launched a line of spices. According to People Magazine, the company is a $1 million enterprise that employs 30 people.
Since starting her business, Lund has become a nationally known spokeswoman for healthier eating. She was elected to represent Iowa at President Clinton's White House Council on Small Business in 1995. During that same year, the Governor of Iowa appointed her to serve on the Iowa Rural Health&Primary Care Commission. She hosts a weekly radio show on WOC Radio in DeWitt and has been featured in National publications such as The New York Times, People and Forbes. She has been interviewed on hundreds of regional television and radio shows, and is one of the top-selling cookbook authors on the television shopping channel, QVC. During one recent hour-long appearance on QVC, she sold almost 200,000 books. In January 1997, she launched her own cooking show on PBS TV, JoAnna Lund's HELP Yourself.
JoAnna is a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals; Society for Nutrition Education; National Federation of Press Women; Association of Food Journalists; Mid-America Publishers Association; National Association of Independent Publishers; Publishers Marketing Association; and the International Association of Independent Publishers. She was a recipient of a Certificate of Nomination as Inc. Magazine's Entrepreneur of the Year from Iowa for 1993-95. Despite her phenomenal success, JoAnna Lund maintains her family home in DeWitt, Iowa (pop. 4,500) with her husband, Cliff. She was born in nearby Davenport and graduated from the University of Western Illinois. She worked as a commercial insurance underwriter for 18 years before starting Healthy Exchanges.
Barbara Alpert is also the author of No Friend Like a Sister and The Love of Friends.