Rona Lewis is an LA-based fitness and lifestyle coach, cookbook author and motivational speaker.

The kitchen has always been an integral part of my life. Growing up, it was the warm, cozy place where my mother was always cooking something. She was a great cook. Still is, as a matter of fact.

Her dishes were straightforward, well seasoned and, for the most part, pretty healthy. Personally, I think she was ahead of her time! As I got older, I started paying attention to how she made many of her dishes and appreciated how she gave food lots of taste without heavy sauces or oil. She gave me a good base of standards that I still cook to this day.