“It’s not a deprivation thing. You just cook the things you would already eat in a lower calorie way,” Wasserman Schultz said of what she took away from DiSpirito’s gustatory game plan.
She adhered to that Mediterranean-style model for about six weeks.
That’s when she tumbled down the rabbit hole that is her current obsession: “clean” cooking.
Clean cooking and eating can entail wildly different themes for disparate constituencies. Some folks gravitate toward the extremes, completely eschewing gluten, sugar or dairy (or all of the above) in an attempt to foster salubrious effects. Others appear content to simply jettison junk food and reacquaint themselves with homemade comestibles.
According to Wasserman Schultz, the online community she’s become so attached to embraces all sides.
“I realized I had more motivation, and that I was learning from these things that other Instagrammers were posting,” she said.“I’ve transformed the way I eat.”
Under no pressure to conform to any one particular standard — “I’m not vegan. I’m not paleo,” she asserted — has allowed Wasserman Schultz to explore all kinds of exciting new avenues.
She used applesauce to lighten up her 15-year-old twins’ multilayered birthday cake (“I baked their cake for the first time ever!” the proud-as-can-be mom gushed), has begun folding quinoa into her pizza crust (“It was amazing.”) and is actively experimenting with a slew of alternative sweeteners.
“I cure my own salmon. I’ve done it twice,” Wasserman Schultz boasted, copping to a lox-making habit that has her rubbing fish with a mixture of salt, dill and onion.
“There’s no sacrifice on taste. And it’s much healthier,” she said of the pleasures of eating from-scratch meals.
And she’s not the only one enjoying the drastic change.
Her D.C. roommates, Reps. Carolyn B. Maloney, D-N.Y., and Terri A. Sewell, D-Ala., are privy to most everything Wasserman Schultz whips up during the workweek. She shared a dinner of shrimp- and black-bean-stuffed avocados with her housemates a few weeks back — a gesture that’s been warmly regarded.
“Coming home late to find Debbie in the kitchen has been a newfound source of fun and health in our home, and I’m happy to be her taste tester from time to time!” Maloney trumpeted via email.
Per Maloney, prior to Wasserman Schultz’s culinary conversion, eating was more of an every-congresswoman-for-herself scenario.
“The truth is that none of us really have the time to cook,” Maloney confessed. “Microwave popcorn has always been the house favorite.” These days, she’s happy to trade up to more nourishing nosh, such as the peanut butter-banana-date wraps Wasserman Schultz rolled out earlier this week.
And Maloney’s being more mindful of what she eats when away from the house.
“We’re all trying to eat a little healthier, so I’m usually opting for a salad,” she said. “But I make a great roast chicken, too.”
Should the full-time cooking thing catch on, Maloney can envision inviting a few friends over to break bread.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.