The Actress and The Advocate

0 Posted by - May 2, 2014 - In The Magazine

FullProductLineShotA few months ago, I sent out a tweet to one of my favorite celebrities, internationally acclaimed actress Susan Lucci, and her daughter, entrepreneur and children’s advocate, Liza Huber.

SaraAnne122883: @SusanLucci @SageSpoonfuls @MilieuLI would like Garden City’s Finest Mother/Daughter to appear on the Cover of Milieu Magazine

To my delight, Liza responded immediately, and we arranged to meet for lunch at the Garden City Hotel.

Both the renowned hotel and its namesake possess special history for the pair: Susan grew up in the village and then raised her own family here. She met her husband, Helmut Huber, while working as a waitress at the hotel; he was the executive chef. They had “a millionaire’s family”—daughter Liza and son Andreas—and have lived in the same house since 1978. Liza currently lives only a few minutes from her parents.

“We have three generations in Garden City now and the sense of community is unbelievable,” Susan smiled over a vibrantly colored salad topped with salmon.

Susan is very visible in Garden City and the surrounding area, and though she has traveled the world, insists that her favorite restaurant is Giulio Cesare in Westbury. She loves their “real meatballs, asparagus and roasted peppers.” She also enjoys Stresa in Manhasset and is impressed with the owner Giorgio Meniggi, since he does all of his own baking.

Both Liza and Susan frequent Garden City’s La Nonna Bella.

“We became aware of this restaurant during Hurricane Sandy,” Susan tells Milieu. “It was the only one that had power and helped feed the community. The chef is adorable and the food is fantastic. His wife Erica is the most gracious, wonderful hostess.”

As an aficionado for all things soap (daytime and primetime), it was an honor for me to meet and interview the Emmy Award-winning star. Like her character Erica Kane, who captivated audiences for years on ABC’s All My Children, Lucci stepped into the starring role of Lifetime’s smash comedy-drama series Devious Maids with the same grace, and uses her signature wit, humor and charm to make her audience fall just as much in love with Genevieve, her new character.

Devious Maids is so popular it was picked up for a second season, premiering on Lifetime April 20.

“The main difference between Erica and Genevieve is [that] Genevieve is more vulnerable, more romantic, and feels like she’s not attracting husbands as fast as she wants to, and self-medicates from time to time. I love working with the cast, they are even teaching me various Latin dances. Devious Maids is spicy and has a Latin flair. As my co-star Ana Ortiz says, It’s Desperate Housewives 2.0.”

Susan is also the host and narrator of Investigation Discovery’s highly rated series Deadly Affairs, which is returning for season three this summer.

I was just as enthusiastic to interview Liza Huber, an entrepreneur and children’s health advocate. Like her mother, Liza is an actress, and starred on NBC’s Passions. Today, as the mother of four children under the age of 7, Liza’s “passions” are more entrepreneurial. Because of her upbringing in a nutritionally healthy environment, she wanted to share her knowledge with other young parents about how easy it is to prepare organic food for their children. In September 2011 she founded Sage Bears LLC, a healthy baby food system with a branded collection of products that is sold nationally under the name Sage Spoonfuls.

With her background in acting, public speaking is second nature to Liza. Since the debut of Sage Spoonfuls she has become a sought-after children’s nutritional expert and has appeared on national television to discuss the benefits of healthy eating.

“When my oldest son was born I knew I wanted to make my own food like my mom did for me,” she tells Milieu. “I went to baby stores and there was nothing and I thought to myself that it seems so silly. I decided to write a book, Sage Spoonfuls: Simple Recipes, Healthy Meals, Happy Babies, which turned into a robust national brand [Sage Bears LLC]. People don’t realize how bad baby food can be, especially since some have a two-year shelf life.”

“When babies and toddlers eat from a pouch they aren’t learning fundamental skills, such as how to eat from a fork properly,” she continues. “I’m a big proponent on getting back to basics. All of my products are BPA-free and made of non-toxic materials.”

Liza has been appointed an Ambassador Mom for the March of Dimes, the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. Having been the mother of a preemie herself, this cause is very close to her heart. Liza has also been named a Parent Ambassador for Healthy Child, Healthy World, and helps to inspire people to take action and create cleaner, greener, safer environments where children and families can flourish.

The maternal bond between Susan and Liza is strong and heartwarming—and it’s a connection that continues to transcend the inner complexities of both their respective responsibilities and professions.

“Math was never either one of our strong suits,” Susan admits, before quickly realizing the statement is simply self-perception.

“We had some funny experiences with math through the years, But when [my grandson] Mason was an infant, we were sitting in the nursery and Liza was feeding him, talking business about SKU numbers and financials,” she contimues. “I sat there watching and listening to her, and in that moment just said to myself ‘Wow, it’s all relative.’”

To learn more about Liza, go to SageSpoonfuls.com. To learn more about Susan, go to her official website, SusanLucci.com, and don’t forget to tune into the second season of Devious Maids on Sundays, 10/9c on Lifetime!

Susan Lucci’s Top Tips For Balancing Work and Family

Set priorities Setting your own personal priorities is key to a happy work and family life. For me, putting my family first is always most important.

Set up a good support system From the beginning I had a fantastic pediatrician, a very wise person, who gave me this advice:
“Don’t ever give up your dreams just because you were born female.”
My children’s teachers were wonderful and I was, and am, lucky enough to have a spouse to share the journey. Never be afraid to ask for help.

Make time for yourself This is very important, even if it is quick. Find that thing that gives you a boost and makes you feel refreshed. Listen to music, take a bath, work out.

The three important D’s: Desire, Determination and Discipline!
Be creative, there is always a solution to finding special moments, even if your schedule is tight. Your work schedule might not always permit attending your children’s opening night of the school play. Be creative and find alternative solutions, like going to the dress rehearsal. My work was outside of the home, so I found ways to make sure I was a part of my children’s daily routine. If I had to leave before my children woke up, I wrote out their menu or made their lunch so I knew what they were eating, or I would draw on their lunch bag so they had something special from me. If I had to miss dinner, I made sure I was there to put them to bed, and on days when I missed putting them to bed, I would watch them sleep, maybe play with their hair secretly hoping that they might wake up.

Don’t forget the JOY!

Liza’s Creative Ways to Keep Kids Eating Healthy

Most kids will eat anything in chip form. I’m a big fan of homemade kale chips. They’re easy to make and kids gobble them up by the handful!

Lots of kids like yogurt and it’s a great way to get your child to eat more veggies—just puree and mix them into the yogurt. Try mixing beets, sweet potato or butternut squash into organic whole milk vanilla yogurt. Tastes delicious!

Smoothies are a healthy lunch or after-school snack and are a favorite in our house. I’m a huge fan of organic raw baby spinach. Loaded with nutrients and antioxidants, it’s a true superfood. I try giving it to my kids a few times a week.

Try making a Green Goblin Smoothie:  Blend a banana, handful of strawberries, three cups of fresh baby spinach, a few ice cubes and a half cup of water.

Make homemade popsicles out of fresh fruit purees. Super easy and much healthier than what you can buy at the store. Perfect for spring and summer.

My mantra is: Something fresh and real with every meal. No matter how busy you are, try having at least one fresh, raw food with every meal. Adding fresh berries, cut veggies or a small salad, like cucumber and tomato, has such wonderful health benefits.

3 Comments

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  • Michael May 9, 2014 - 12:07 am Reply

    Such a lovely interview with such beautiful Long Island royalty! Susan and Liza were the perfect pick for your May/June issue, and just in time for Mother’s Day! They are a shining example of family and motherhood, and each represent the quintessential Long Island woman. (Hoping to run into Susan at Giulio Cesare one of these days!) Love reading your articles, Ms. Sara Fingerman – Please keep such wonderful interviews and profiles coming!

  • Milieu Magazine May 9, 2014 - 10:21 am Reply

    Thank you for your feedback Michael. We are glad you enjoyed the article and Milieu Magazine.

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