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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Happy New Year!

This year, instead of writing down five New Year’s resolutions, how about writing down—or thinking about—five things you love about your life. 💕   Thankfulness and gratitude facilitate positive changes more than trying to force yourself to change. So, start with feeling grateful for what you do have and focus on being positive.   Think of one or two lifestyle changes you can make that you will be able to continue forever, not just the first week of January! (like eating more fruits and veggies, or taking the dog—or your spouse!—for more walks, or making sure you start your day with a healthy breakfast, or cooking just one healthy meal every week, or not eating anything EVER that isn’t “worthy”)   Because you’re worth it!   Sending my best and most loving wishes for a HAPPY and HEALTHY 2017!   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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I just had an epiphany

I know that my favorite thing to do is to watch TV whilst eating a huge bowl of something and drinking a huge glass (or two) of something. And I always knew that it was some kind of soothing thing. I mean I would literally prefer to come home and have alone-time with my popcorn than sleep over at my adorable boyfriend (now loving husband’s) house. (I know, kinda weird) But I finally broke that habit. Well now here I am, stuck in this emotional-eating phase again, and I find myself going back for the restaurant leftovers that I managed not to eat at dinner (noodles/pizza/fill-in-the-blank) at 11pm and craving carbs and a show in the middle of the afternoon. (Things I haven’t done in literally YEARS) And the stress and anxiety that I’ve been feeling has of course rubbed off on my 7-year-old daughter too. Yesterday when she weighed in at 80th percentile for weight (30th for height) and I quietly asked my pediatrician if I should be concerned, she said, “that’s the last thing you need to worry about right now.” She also said that my daughter’s constant humming and singing—which we thought was attention-seeking (and which adds to my anxiety)—was a “self-soothing” behavior. And then it hit me.   OMG!   My parents divorced when I was 5. That’s coincidentally when my love affair with food began. But I’m suddenly seeing myself as a young girl sitting all by myself on the couch and getting all my love and soothing from a bag or bowl of something and my favorite TV show. So it’s no wonder that when my life feels out of control, I seek that same old comfort that I was used to.   I’m also remembering our visit to the GI doctor when Aja was just a baby and wasn’t nursing well. The poor little thing had probably been starving for four months while I stubbornly insisted on nursing her, and then understandably she gorged on formula and we went from worrying that she was too skinny to worrying that she was too chubby. (You know I blame myself for all that and wonder if that’s where her love-affair with food started) But what stuck in my mind was when he said that if weight ever does become an issue there are things we can teach her like “not eating in front of the TV.” (Bingo)   Well, I guess I never really learned that lesson. So the best I can do for my daughter—and myself—is to limit TV-watching-and-eating and break the cycle of self-soothing old habits. Not easy but I’m going to try it....

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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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