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....

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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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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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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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