Monthly Archives: August 2016

Who Knew I Liked to Bake


I have a few really funny cooking stories that have happened over the years. One that I am those most harassed about by loving friends and family members occurred when I was in college. I decided that I wanted to make a key lime pie because my best friend and I always loved it. So I found a recipe in a Cooking Light magazine (because of course, I was trying to make a “healthy” version), wrote down all the ingredients and went to the store. Cream of tartar was on the list, but I had no idea what it was and was too embarrassed to ask someone working. I looked all over the store, but could not find it. I decided I must have written it down incorrectly and it must be tartar sauce (I laugh even as I type this out). I bought the tartar sauce and went home to make the pie. All of my roomates were gone while I was cooking so they had no idea of my “secret ingredient.” The key lime pie came out of the oven and looked a bit odd, but I decided to let it cool and see what happened. That night several of my roomates and their boyfriends and I all ate dinner together and then I served the famous key lime pie. The guys went first and they were like, “Hmm, it’s good, but it’s different. It doesn’t really taste like key lime pie. What is in it?” I told them everything that was in it, including the tartar sauce and how I thought that was a bizarre ingredient. No one could stop laughing, including myself. It has been over ten years since this happened and just thinking about it brings me to tears from laughing.

After that experience, I dabbled a couple more times with baking, but never was very good at it and had a few more mishaps along the way. Part of my problem was that I was always trying to make “healthier” versions of desserts, which didn’t always work. I finally just gave baking up. I have been with my husband for 20 years and have never once made him a birthday cake. I always told him if he wanted a bake good to go ask his mom because she is a great baker. That doesn’t work out as well now that we live across the country. Oops!

The point of me telling this story is that I had a few mishaps with baking so told myself I could not bake. I just stopped trying because I thought I wasn’t good at it and never would be. The ironic thing is that I have had several mishaps with cooking in general too, but I still cook almost every night. I think I am a pretty good cook now too. So I find it amusing that I only gave up baking and not cooking all together.

I realize now that my thought “I am not good at baking” created my reality of not being a good baker. I believe I let that be my reality because maybe I subconsciously did not want to be good at baking. Baking means making delicious, decadent, high calorie and high fat foods. My disordered eating brain did not want these foods in my house because I might eat them and get fat. Sounds crazy even as I type it, but it was what was going on in my head.

Last week I did something crazy, I baked something, not once, but twice. You know what? They were both delicious (husband and toddler approved) and I enjoyed doing it. I made blueberry muffins from scratch (gluten/dairy free so I could eat them and still feel great) and chocolate covered almond butter cups. I sat down, looked at them, smelled them and chewed slowly so I could enjoy every single bite. I discovered the chocolate almond butter cups were so rich that I only wanted a few bites and saved it for the next day when I could thoroughly enjoy it again. That would never have happened when I was counting calories or macros. Also, I didn’t beat myself up for eating either of them. I just enjoyed them, guilt free.  

Two things to remember from my ramblings today. 1) Our thoughts create our reality, but we have the power to change our thoughts and therefore our reality. 2) Food freedom is possible and there is hope if you are struggling with food issues. Seek help and remember you are worth it. For information on eating disorders, and Intuitive Eating,

The Fourth Trimester


I focused on my self-care the moment my husband and I started discussing the possibility of ever having a baby. I scheduled an appointment with my naturopath a year in advance (I am a planner) to make sure my hormones were in check, vitamins and minerals were optimal and that I was the healthiest version of me possible. The entire pregnancy I continued to focus on self-care. I took lots of naps, walks, practiced pre-natal yoga, took supplements suggested by my doctor and had monthly facials along with a few massages. I did whatever I could to stay healthy and have a healthy baby. I was very healthy my entire pregnancy (not even a cold) and delivered a very healthy baby girl.

I gave birth to my little girl, Sonoma, and my focus completely changed. This is the time frame I call the “fourth trimester.” I went from always focusing on my health and wellness to hyper-focusing on everything about Sonoma. I was concerned with how much (or little) she ate, slept, and pooped. I felt exhausted, yet unable to sleep as much as I needed. Hungry, but didn’t want to cook or grocery shop. Walking more than a few blocks was not recommended yet and yoga, well, I would get back to it about six months down the road. My hormones were all over the place, but thankfully the increased oxytocin levels gave me the energy to keep going. I was simply in survival mode those first few weeks. All you Mamas out there know what I am talking about.

I took a little over three months off from work after my daughter was born. I am very thankful for the every minute I got to spend with her and all the precious Mommy daughter time. I cannot remember a time ever feeling happier, yet sad too. Post-partum depression is real and can be scary. I did not have severe post-partum depression, but I did have sad moments and feelings of isolation. My husband was working long hours and all my family and close friends were thousands of miles away. Thankfully, we had lots of visitors, but I longed for home many days. I missed my sense of community and interaction with people who would talk back at me instead of just cooing or crying. I can remember actually being jealous of my husband that he got to go to work and be “normal” for a few hours. Then I would have days where I cried when I thought about returning to work and leaving my daughter at a daycare all day. It is funny how all over the place my feelings and emotions were during this time. I knew I needed some time for me and yet I felt guilty for wanting that time alone.

After a few weeks, I finally realized that in order for me to be the best mom I can be, that I needed to start focusing on me again too. I took a couple of hours and went shopping by myself the first Saturday my husband had off work. I bought some clothes that made me feel better about my new post baby body. A body I did not recognize or feel like mine (especially the big boobs), but the clothes made me feel more like myself. I started working out again slowly. I started with short walks and gradually increased the distance as I felt better and had more strength. Then I did an at-home workout program that consisted of 30-45 minute videos that I could do with the baby in the room or while she slept. Sometimes I think I may have rushed into working out again as I was longing for a body that felt more like me. However, working out feels like me and it made me feel better so I think it was the right decision for me at that time.

The day I finally felt like I could handle a hot yoga class again came about four months later. I will never forget how I felt that day. Tears streamed down my cheeks as I was in child’s pose. I felt guilty for taking time again for myself. I felt selfish and like a horrible Mom for leaving my daughter at daycare an extra hour so I could practice yoga. Then I took a moment to gather myself and thoughts. I realized I am not a horrible mother for taking time for me so I can be present with her later. I am teaching her that it is always important to take care of you first. No one else will do it for you. I am showing her how to respect her body and enjoy life. Everything I do is for her, but that includes keeping a healthy mind, body and soul.

These days I get up an hour earlier (and go to bed an hour earlier) so I can do my workouts over my lunch break. It allows me to workout and yet not feel like I am missing out on any family time. Also, I usually attend a yoga class or two on the weekends when my husband can be with Sonoma. This releases any guilt because they are spending quality time together. Then when I am done my husband usually takes time for himself to go surfing or for a run and Sonoma and I have our quality time. It works for us and I believe it’s all about finding what works for you.

Love you. Take care of you. You are worth it.