Annnnd she’s back!

I have to confess that last night after turning on Worst Cooks in America (freakin hilarious BTW – I mean, Eric Estrada cooking badly! And how does he still look 30? Major crush on him when I was, like, 7) I did a search online for “Rachael Ray weight gain” and when I read what’s out there about this poor celeb “gaining weight after impressive weight loss” I realized why I have been  SO hard on myself for so long and how most of us feel who are in the public eye.    It’s no secret that I’ve been struggling for a while. And I always tell the truth because my goal is to help others who go through the same pain that I’ve been through. I never profess to be perfect or to have conquered this weight/body/food thing. What I say is that I manage it every day. And boy oh boy am I trying to manage it now. (Lost my dad/fire/remodel/ STRESS!!!/no time to self-care)   But… when I read about Rachael Ray and “menopause” taking her down at 48 – holy cow I pretty much freaked out! (I’ll be 47 in October) And the worst was the part where they said, “she’s trying to stick to a strict diet”. UGH. People. Diets don’t work. And neither does judgement of each other or expecting all bodies to be skinny or the same.    We should all strive to be healthy and happy and kind to ourselves and others. THAT is the message we should be giving to our daughters.    I’m ashamed that I even searched Rachael Ray’s weight in the first place, but you know – it was an attempt to make myself feel better.    And it lead me to this post.    We are NOT defined by our weight. Or how we look. Or what shallow, unkind people think of us.    I will NOT be ashamed of my “before” or even more, of my “after” photo, or the fact that I shared my photos or my story. All of my photos and words are simply part of me and my story and have made me who I am today. (Okay – maybe it’s time to get rid of the hoaky “Learn My Secret” part which was a marketing ploy. No more marketing either. Just authentic me, by me.)   I am opening up my heart to all of you out there who need to hear that we ALL feel the same pain and some of us are brave enough to wear it in public. And it’s messy. But it’s real.    Love life....

Read More

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,  ...

Read More
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...

Read More
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 –...

Read More
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...

Read More
Orna weighs in on CNN about Weight Watchers
Mar01

Orna weighs in on CNN about Weight Watchers

What’s your perception of Weight Watchers? Are they keeping up with the times? Are they doomed to fail? Have you tried the program multiple times? Do you think of Weight Watchers as a diet? I was recently interviewed by Richard Quest on CNN’s Quest for Business about my Weight Watchers experience. Pretty awesome to watch this in Los Angeles while my dad was watching it LIVE in South Africa, and friends were watching it in Hong Kong and Brussels!! I had way more to say, but I appreciated the opportunity to express my opinion.     A friend said that it was “brave” to show my before pic on TV, but I’m proud to share my story and hopefully inspire others who didn’t believe that real change IS possible.      Thank you all for the outpouring of support on Facebook. Please keep commenting and sharing! If you’re a YouTube-r, please leave a comment and give a Thumbs Up if you’d like to see more interviews from me.   If you or a loved one is struggling with their weight, make sure to download my book, “The Yummier You: 7 Secrets to a Happy, Healthy, & Yummy Life” while it’s still FREE! Click on the link to download the book: http://www.ornabakes.com/freebook/ If you prefer holding a real book in your hand, it’s now available on Amazon >> (If you’ve read it, please be so kind as to WRITE A REVIEW!)  ...

Read More
Page 1 of 212