I learned a lesson!

Actually, we can ALL learn a great lesson from ice skating! When you’re sitting at home all cozy and comfy, it seems like such a mission to go out in the freezing cold. Then you get there and put giant skates on that feel like you’ll never be able to move your feet. It’s beyond terrifying to take your first step on that ice, fearing for your life as kids go whizzing by with plastic walkers. But… then you get into the swing of things and push past your fears. What an exhilarating feeling! It makes you feel good about yourself as a parent (especially if you don’t go tumbling down and make a complete idiot of yourself), and makes you feel good to move your body in the open air. No, GREAT! And just think: you could’ve taken the easy way and stayed home in pajamas, and watched a movie. (That sounds pretty good too, doesn’t it?!) But look what you would’ve missed out on! http://www.ornabakes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/IMG_3973.m4v It’s not too late. Take someone you love ice skating this winter!!   Xoxo...

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I got my mojo back!

And I’m happy to say it isn’t because I lost 5 pounds… or stopped eating sugar… or gave up carbs… or started some rigid exercise regimen.   What I did do, was: – focus on and appreciate all the GOOD I have in my life – try to take better care of myself by being mindful about what I eat and drink (only eat things that are “worthy”!) – went a little blonder 😉 – made “play dates” with a few close girlfriends whom I love and know love me unconditionally just because I am who I am—not because of how I look or what I weigh or how successful or popular I am – ran on the beach, ran to the park, just ran! (Because I can!) – focus on activities that bring me joy and make me feel STRONG (Hardcore Pilates!/ Santa Monica Stairs/ running with my daughter to the park)  – tried two new (HARD!!) exercise classes with friends (Nicole’s H.I.I.T Asana at Woodland Hills Athletic Club – WOW you’ve never known such inspiration—and PAIN and TORTURE! LOVE IT!!!)  – got some cool new jeans and workout gear because you know what, I deserve to look and feel good TODAY – spend quality time with my daughter and enjoy every precious moment because seven won’t last forever – had a date night with my lovely hubby  – And I BAKED! Because baking brings my heart joy and is my creative outlet. And giving people I care about something I baked is my way of showing love.   So find something that brings you joy and feeds your soul and do it!   I truly wish for you a wonderful, happy holiday season and hope you can find the love and happiness you need inside of yourself so that you can feel good about yourself exactly as you are TODAY!   Love,  ...

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Nighttime Snacks that won’t take you down
Jan24

Nighttime Snacks that won’t take you down

Last night I ate… a jar of asparagus, a package of seaweed, a handful of cherry tomatoes and a bag of popcorn.   I felt like the very hungry caterpillar. Oh yeah… and a cup of Swiss Miss Light Hot Cocoa (but that doesn’t count, right?)  But… it could’ve been worse (remember, it can ALWAYS be worse!) But seriously, you know those nights when all you want to do is EAT? And when you’re trying to make good choices, gosh-darn you better have something more exciting in the house than carrot sticks.  Let’s face it, most of us don’t eat nighttime snacks out of hunger—it’s more out of habit or to feed some kind of emotional need. (BTW, emotional doesn’t mean that your boyfriend broke up with you and you feel sad or depressed or lonely. Emotional eating simply means that you are eating for reasons other than being physically hungry. You could be exhausted, anxious, bored, or simply happy and relieved that the kids are in bed and you now have some “me” time!) I’m not one who believes that you should eat dinner at 6 and not eat anything again until bedtime (though there are some). Does that bring you joy? Do you think you could sustain that forever? Or does it feel like you’re miserable and hungry and on a diet (If you feel that way you will NEVER be able to do this FOREVER) I think a better way to approach it is to find snacks that satisfy you and don’t trigger the eater in you. So if you find yourself going back for spoon-after-spoon of peanut butter or cup-after-cup of cereal or “just-one-more” mini ice-cream bar, those are not safe snacks for you (at this time).  It’s really just about substitutions and getting more bang for your buck. I’ll give you some of my go-to nighttime snacks—pretty please share them on FB, pin them, forward them to a friend. And I’d love to hear from you! Are evenings difficult for you? What are y’all snacking on after dinner? Please add your comments below. xoxo   Sip on tea It’s incredibly soothing and gives your hands—and lips—something to do! Rooibos (“Red Bush”) Tea—comes from South Africa (where I’m from—but you already knew that, right?) and you can now find it all over the US.  It has all the good properties of green tea but without caffeine. And the best part is it counts toward your water intake.  My faves are Trader Joe’s Rooibos & Honeybush tea and Republic of Tea Vanilla Rooibos >> Read the amazing health benefits here >> Did you know… You don’t have to...

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Healthy Snack Ideas (Weight Watchers Friendly)
Jan18

Healthy Snack Ideas (Weight Watchers Friendly)

My girlfriend asked me for healthy snack ideas, so I quickly threw together this list… and I thought you all might find it helpful too! (Well… do you? Please pin it, share it, and leave a comment below!) Remember the old diet myth that you should have three meals a day and no snacks in-between? Well, that is total and absolute nonsense! You should make sure to eat something every two to three hours and NEVER let yourself get to that point of being so hungry that the best goals and intentions fly out the window.  The key is to learn the difference between a snack and a “treat”. A snack tides you over to the next meal and is healthy and balanced. A treat is… well, you know… a “treat”. When you have a choice, always choose fresh, natural, unprocessed snacks (and food)… but I’m including other options for when you can’t get to fresh. And always try to include some protein which will keep you feeling satisfied for longer. Check labels for sugar and avoid ingredients that you can’t read or understand. If you’re following Weight Watchers, use the (new and improved) handy-dandy app to calculate the points. FYI: SmartPoints are now calculated by calories, SUGAR, protein, and saturated fat. (They used to be calculated by fat, fiber and protein) So some bars that were a good choice before aren’t the best choice now.  Here are some of my go-to snacks—hope you find them helpful. And please tell me yours! Just add them to the comments section below, or on my OrnaBakes Facebook post  >> (you ARE already following me on FB, right?) Remember—don’t leave your house without arming yourself with some healthy snacks! Many of these items are available on Amazon Prime—I’ve linked to them when possible. (I LOVE Amazon Prime!!!) Click here for info on 30-day FREE trial for Amazon Prime >>  Look out for part two COMING SOON: Favorite Night Time Snacks xoxo     Yogurt I always have tons of different yogurts in my fridge. The best choice is a plain, fat free or low fat Greek yogurt and add your own fresh fruit, but when I don’t have time for that… I love Dannon Light & Fit (My fav flavor is Coconut) I heart Eli Quark (which, believe-it-or-not, actually isn’t yogurt – it’s German-style cheese!) (WW Simply Filling) Add some sliced bananas to the Caramel one for a delicious treat. Or bulk up the Strawberry (my fav) with fresh strawberries. You get the idea. Lovin’ thick and creamy Icelandic yogurt which seems to be popping up everywhere. My favs are Siggi’s Acai and Mixed Berries –...

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Friday Food Finds: My TOP SECRET Skinny Soup!
Mar12

Friday Food Finds: My TOP SECRET Skinny Soup!

The first thing I do when I need to get back on track is MAKE SOUP! I’ve only shared my unbelievably delicious, super-easy TOP SECRET 8 Vegetable Soup recipe with a few clients who kept nagging me for it… but now here I am on my Friday Food Finds on YouTube telling you exactly how to make it! (If you aren’t already following me on YouTube, hurry up and do it already!) But… you will have to guess the SECRET INGREDIENT! Hint: it’s a spice So what do I get if I guess correctly? (that’s what you’re thinking, right…?) The FIRST person to guess correctly will receive a FREE signed copy of my book “The Yummier You: 7 Secrets to a Happy, Healthy, & Yummy Life”. (now available on Amazon—Click here to purchase) Just follow OrnaBakes on your favorite social media site (what is your favorite social media site, BTW??) and leave your comment wherever you see “Can you guess the SECRET INGREDIENT?” Oh, and don’t forget to give this vid a big THUMBS UP! Also, don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter and YouTube Channel so you don’t miss any new Friday Food Finds. (Next week I’ll show you my favorite store-bought soups) Let me know how you like the soup!...

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Do you Slowwwww Cook?
Dec06

Do you Slowwwww Cook?

I am obsessed with my slow cooker! I lie awake at night dreaming up things I could make in it… But it wasn’t always that way. In the (almost) eight years since I received it as a wedding gift, I had used it… oh… maybe five times tops! Probably because I used to keep it in the box in the garage, and the thought of schlepping it out, dusting it off, and then having to clean it after was waaaay more trouble than it was worth. But then the other day—while running around the block at Kellie Blackburn’s Bootylicious Bootcamp—my friend, Alisa, was telling me about the delicious chicken soup she made in her slow cooker—with a rotisserie chicken! I’m in the process of writing/releasing my first E-Book: 7 Steps to Permanent Weight Loss (COMING SOON!)… so I don’t even have time to shop for groceries—let alone cook something decent.  But Alisa inspired me to purchase a few chicken breasts and whatever pre-cut veggies I could find. (Zero washing or chopping required!) I bust out my crockpot—now conveniently located IN my kitchen—and literally dumped everything in the crockpot. Add some low sodium chicken broth, crushed tomatoes (San Marzano, of course) and some herbs and spices… and voila!   A few hours later I had a deeelicious home cooked stew/soup for my family. Well…um… that’s not completely true. I knew that hubby wouldn’t touch it, and my little one complained bitterly that she prefers granny’s soup—even though I used my handy-dandy Cuisinart Hand Blender (my other favorite kitchen appliance) to puree it for her. But… “I” LOVED it! And I now have a few healthy meals ready-to-go in the freezer. (Don’t you love that?) The chicken got so tender that I didn’t even need forks to shred it. And it couldn’t be easier: Dump Cook Eat   And this got me thinking about all the other possibilities… I think next on my list will be some kind of curry (you know I’m completely smitten with curried anything) and a ratatouille. Yum! I’ll be posting my recipes once I’ve perfected them, but in the meantime—if you don’t have a slow cooker, I highly recommend putting it on your Holiday Wish List!   This Cuisinart 6-QT Multicooker is fab, because you can brown your meat or saute your onions and develop flavor right in the slow cooker, and not have to dirty another pan! Only $129 on Amazon (4 1/2 stars from 559 customer reviews)     Click here to view the Cuisinart Cook Central 3-in-1 Multicooker on Amazon >>   You can even get handy Slow Cooker Liners so that there’s literally no washing. Click to...

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