JoAnna Lund’s Healthy Exchanges

It’s not a diet, it’s a way of life.

JoAnna Margaret McAndrews was born September 4, 1944, at Mercy Hospital in Davenport to Agnes Carrington and Jerome McAndrews. She graduated from Lost National High School in 1962, attended the American Institute of Commerce in Davenport, and graduated from the Moline Institute of Commerce.

JoAnna married Daniel Dierickx on June 4, 1966, in the Sacred Heart Church in Lost Nation, Iowa. The couple made their first home at 902 Bridge Avenue in Davenport and later lived in Wheatland and DeWitt. She married Clifford Lund on December 1, 1979, in DeWitt, Iowa.

JoAnna was a very crafty and creative young lady. She made all of her clothes herself, including her own wedding gown. She was style editor of the local Lost Nation paper in 1960. She probably inherited her creativity and talent from her mother, Agnes, who was an award-winning poet, collected and made her own hats, and kept a beautiful garden in front of her apartment on Brady Street.

JoAnna had an illustrious career with Iowa Mutual Insurance Co. in DeWitt as a commercial casualty-umbrella underwriter. Her professional certifications and designations included Certified Professional Insurance Woman, Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter, Associate in Automation Management, and Associate in Premium Auditing. She was named Woman of the Year by the Quad-Cities Association of Insurance Women in 1983 and was elected president of that organization in 1985. She was named Insurance Professional of the Year by the Quad Cities Insurance Association in 1992.

In 1982, she co-edited the cookbook, Insure Your Christmas Cooking through the Davenport Association of Insurance Women, which they sold as stocking stuffers for $1. The book was so popular that they did a second printing the next year and published a second book, Premium Holiday Recipes, in 1984.

In 1991, the stress of having a son, daughter, and son-in-law in active duty during the Gulf War made her re-evaluate her lifestyle. She had gained a lot of weight from stress-eating and worried about being healthy for her kids when they returned. She started going for walks every day, joined Weight Watchers, and changed her eating habits by reducing fat and sugar in her diet.

She lost 101 pounds that year and published the Cookbook Healthy Exchanges. She reworked family favorites cutting the amount of fat and making substitutions when needed. For JoAnna, it was a way to combine her creative side and her analytical side. She experimented in her home kitchen on the weekends and brought meals for her coworkers to taste test. She exchanged recipes with women at her church and her Weight Watchers group.

Her cookbook and monthly subscription newsletter were so successful that she was able to quit her job to focus on creating recipes full time. Keys to her success were that all ingredients could easily be found in local stores and the cooking steps were kept to a minimum. She also included inspirational notes, words of encouragement, and healthy lifestyle advice.

JoAnna Lund went on to write over 40 books and sold over 2,000,000 copies during her lifetime. She hosted 2 national PBS TV Series, Help Yourself with Joanna Lund in 1997 and Cooking Healthy with the Family in Mind in 2000. She and her husband hosted the Healthy Exchanges weekly call-in radio program on WOC-AM. She was a frequent guest on QVC and sold more books than anyone in the history of the company. She hosted cooking segments on the TV show RV Today on the Outdoor Living Network and had an online cooking column in Trailer Life. She also wrote a syndicated column for King features in weekly newspapers, a monthly food column in senior papers, and wrote for Voice of the Diabetic newspaper.

JoAnna Lund died on May 20, 2006, at her home in DeWitt after a long, courageous battle with breast cancer.

In 2001, the FRIENDS of the Davenport Public Library awarded JoAnna Lund the “Author Achievement Award” at that year’s Salute to Authors program. She was a frequent participant of the annual program beginning shortly after her first book was published in 1992. After her death, a plaque in her owner was placed in the Cookbook section of the downtown library.

Cookbooks by JoAnna Lund in our collection.


  • Quad-City Times, May 23, 2006
  • Quad-City Times, May 22, 2006
  • Quad-City Times, January 2, 2002
  • Quad-City Times, November 6, 1991
  • Quad-City Times, September 3, 1984
  • Quad-City Times, December 30, 1982
  • Sunday Times-Democrat, August 15, 1971
  • Sunday Times-Democrat, June 5, 1966
  • Sunday Times-Democrat, August 6, 1961
  • Morning Democrat, February 20, 1963
  • Des Moines Register, June 14, 1992
  • Cedar Rapids Gazette, May 12, 1992
  • Cedar Rapids Gazette, December 3, 1991

(posted by Cristina)

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