I will forgive (not forget or regret)

I’m not gonna lie—2015 was hard for me. I lost my dad on October 1st and besides the obvious sadness, it brought up all kinds of emotions for me. Flying to South Africa three times in 13 months also put me out of whack: out of my routine; out of my exercise routine; out of my food routine.  I started to fall back to my old habits and have been self-medicating with food and wine. And it’s time to stop. I feel like I’ve been on a roller coaster since my book was released in January and then I was on CNN in February. I started questioning why I do what I do and just feeling completely burnt out. Somehow I lost my direction and stopped following my passion (hello—my blog is called Orna“Bakes”!) and got on the marketing/promotion/social media train. I hate social media. I think it brings out the worst in all of us. It’s all about instant gratification and comparison and looking to others for approval. Everything I’ve spent my life trying to get away from.  Why am I telling you all this? Because as always my goal is to be the best me that I can be and to help anyone along the way who is experiencing the same kind of pain.  I’m excited to bring in the new year  and get a fresh start. I will forgive myself for not living my best life and I will be compassionate, because when you go through a major life change or lose someone dear to you it’s bound to affect you profoundly. I won’t regret doing the book or the blog or anything else I’ve done, because it’s what got me to this point and we learn and grow with every experience.  What about you? Can you forgive yourself? Are you ready for a fresh start? I’m sending my warmest and most sincere wishes your way for a happy, healthy, kind, and compassionate new year. ...

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What do you want from me?

You’ve all been asking why I’ve been MIA, and… well, life got reallllllly busy and it was hard to keep the balance between blogging, posting, cooking, baking, coaching, and my most important job of all, being a mommy. (Aja turned 6, started Kindergarten, and has SIX new teeth!) So here I am again, feeling inspired to write, and I find myself wondering what direction to take. So I thought I’d throw it out there and see what you all think. What exactly would you like to see from me: more blog posts? healthy recipes? baking? updated shopping lists/meal ideas? weight loss/ healthy eating tips/posts? more social media? (Are you following and enjoying my social media posts? BTW – I’m always posting on Instagram and Facebook—even when I don’t have time to blog—so it’s a great way to stay in touch with me. more Vlogs/YouTube Clips? (Are you following me on YouTube?) another book? (Not gonna happen! At least, not for a while.) My last blogpost was in May (yikes!) and yet I’m happy to report that my blog still gets about 800 visitors a day. But I think it’s time to find a new direction for myself, and figure out how best to use my (very limited) time. I’d love to hear from you. Any feedback, ideas, or requests would be most welcome and appreciated. (Oh, and if you can find me an extraordinary social media genius who happens to be a health-conscious “foodie” and can assist me, you get bonus points AND I’ll send you my famous Crunchies or Bulkas or whatever you’d like me to bake! 😉) As I’m typing this I’m realizing how much I missed you all!...

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Have a chuckle on me!
May15

Have a chuckle on me!

Well… did you make my soup yet? You probably heard by now that the secret ingredient is curry powder. It’s almost impossible making a video when you have a 5-year-old in the background! I thought you’d get a kick out of these OUTTAKES from the two soup episodes of Friday Food Finds.   Please give a THUMBS UP if you’d like to see more #FridayFoodFinds and/or more bloopers! And don’t forget to follow OrnaBakes on YouTube so you don’t miss any of my vids. (I promise I’ll do some more as soon as I have time. Let me know what you’d like to see…)...

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I couldn’t have shared my weight loss journey if…
May06

I couldn’t have shared my weight loss journey if…

OK, so I’m about to share some very personal things and I hope it isn’t too personal or makes anyone feel uncomfortable. You might have seen me on CNN or even read my book. But there’s something that I didn’t say in my book and I think it’s time to say it here. It’s true that I have completely changed my life and my relationship with food and that I am actually a different person now than the unconfident young girl that I used to be. But a lot of people don’t know just how hard it was for me to share my story with others. In fact, I hid it for years. I wouldn’t have dreamed of sharing my old photos with anyone, even my dear husband, Sam. But, what I didn’t say in my book (mostly because I didn’t want to get too personal and alienate anyone) was that the full story of me sharing my journey and weight loss wouldn’t have been possible without the unconditional love and support of Sam. It doesn’t mean that you can’t reach your goals without finding the love of your life. But it does mean that it’s imperative to have the help and support of someone who believes in you and can help you see yourself through loving eyes. If you did read my book you already know that growing up heavy was incredibly painful for me, and I started this life with low self esteem and deep sadness. When I met Sam, I had already lost most of the weight. But I was still fearful of food, and my head was still in a diet mentality. But in the eleven years that we have been together, he has enabled me to work out my food issues in the open, without any judgement. He has helped me to love my body. He was such a strength for me through years of struggling with infertility. He was also there through the pregnancy with my darling Aja. He still thinks I am beautiful if I gain a few pounds and he understands that sometimes I need alone time with a pizza! He encouraged me to shout my story from the rooftops, even though it might be difficult for some members of his family to really understand why I would do such a thing. I don’t think either of us ever realized how cathartic it would be, or how many people would be able to relate to my story and reach out to me. Whenever I wrote how amazing he has been, I was advised that people don’t want to hear about that. And...

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The Secret Stairs
Apr13

The Secret Stairs

I just discovered the best kept secret. And it’s so amazing that I think I have to keep it that way! Someone kindly told me about these magical stairs in Santa Monica today. Shaded. Beautiful. Serene.   Unfortunately, I can’t tell you who… and I can’t tell you where. (So why am I writing this post, you’re thinking…?)  Well, I felt inspired, and I was hoping to share some of that inspiration with you all. Hubby was off to a client—deep in the gorgeous hills of Brentwood—just for a couple of hours. And you know how much I love and miss the Santa Monica stairs, so any opportunity that I have to go climb them, I’m in! (Even if I already did Pilates today). And anyway, let me think… Get away from the chaos of dinner time with kid and puppy Get outdoor exercise where it isn’t 80 degrees Spend quality time with hubby on drive without any nagging or whining Umm… Yes please! Not a bad place to get back on the horse, right? (Let’s just say Passover and Spring Break left me feeling a little… well… “off” the horse!) So… as I was passing people on the hills and the stairs, while smelling the flowers and enjoying the fresh air, it struck me that Santa Monica is filled with beautiful people. Well, actually, LA… in fact, California, is filled with beautiful people. And I don’t think it’s because they ALL moved here to be in the movie industry. I think that the weather permits an outdoor lifestyle. And there’s something motivating about doing outdoor “activity” with a bunch of other people. Don’t you think? I specifically didn’t use the word “exercise.” Because this doesn’t feel like exercise. It feels like I’m doing something wonderful for my body and my soul. No wonder everyone looks so happy. You might have seen on my Facebook page that a new study of identical twins highlights the extent that exercise shapes our health >>  Interesting read. Next time you’re in Los Angeles, bring your sneakers and walk up and down the Santa Monica stairs a couple of times. (Trainer, Kellie Blackburn, advises walking slowly up, skipping a step and pushing through your heels, and then lightly trot down.) Just don’t overdo it or you won’t be happy with me the next day! I’m sorry I can’t tell you where my new “secret” stairs are, but you’ll find the famous concrete or wooden ones are pretty awesome, and fun people-watching. And the view of the ocean is magical. Send me a pic of you there! In the meantime, forget the gym. Spring is here!...

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