It’s Baking Season, Wha Whaaaa?!

Warning: It’s a long one!

It’s the best time of year! No, not Fall/Autumn, although I won’t argue with that, but no. It’s baking season. The time of year where you can bake homemade goods to your heart’s content, and not overheat your whole house!

If you have met me, you know that I really enjoy baking, and have been doing so for over 20 years. It started with my Grandma Leonard when I was around 5 or 6. She always made pies and would let me help by “crimping” the crust (shaping it to look pretty/ sealing the top and bottom crusts together.) From there, she taught me how to make the crust from scratch, and her tricks for kneading the dough just enough to make it super flaky. I would make some gross creations as a kid (all edible, just odd combinations and a chance of raw cookie dough as a “crust,”) but it taught me patience and provided an outlet for creativity. Now, it is one of my favorite ways to “disconnect” and take time for myself.

I love baking for the same reason I love lifting weights- it’s amazing what you can do/create, it involves failure which provides opportunities to get better, and it brings people together.  It’s a way that I can show that I genuinely care, and it comes from the heart. I have tried new ways to make things have more nutritional value (less added sugars, possibly some protein,) but not seem like the recipe is altered at all. I have modified recipes for food allergies, and I have definitely made some “protein brownies” that the texture and taste of a dry sponge. It’s all exciting and once a bake is complete, I feel a sense of accomplishment, just like after a lift.

I know what you’re thinking- having your trainer talk to you about baked goods can be conflicting right?

My opinion: I have mentioned “balance” several time before, and this is a perfect example. Some people have an “impending doom” feeling around this time of year because of all of the delicious baked goods and desserts that will be readily available and seemingly irresistible. I hear what they’re saying, BUT… you need to be able to live your life, and that life might include a homemade pie or some cookies here and there, and that is OKAY! I like talking to my clients about this stuff because it provides a platform to educate them about how to have balance in their life. I can hopefully encourage them to trust themselves when making food decisions, and educate them on how their bodies process what they put into it. It is important that they have established that inner trust and do not need to feel restricted or have “guilt” around certain foods.

The three main arguments I hear are usually: 1) So you tell your clients to eat pie all the time?! 2) That’s dumb, aren’t you a trainer, is that just job security? 3) Isn’t that just giving them an excuse to eat crappy food and never get better?

My answers to those: I can’t make a decision for anyone, but I can help make sure they are knowledgeable about how their body works and what happens when they eat different things. I make sure they know that it is okay to have some pie as long as they are listening to their bodies, and paying attention how things make them feel. If they need to eat a whole pie and feel sick to their stomach to learn, guess what, they learned and hopefully now they are self aware enough to not do that again- NOT because I told them, but because they now know how THEY feel.

Encouraging them to make their own decisions is why I have job security. We are in a time that it’s easy to get caught up in the “no pain, no gain,” “Low calorie ice cream so you can eat the whole thing,” “food guilt,” nonsense, and I have definitely taken part of that myself.  This is why I coach people through their workouts, and let THEM control what they eat. I am happy to give advice or my opinion on foods, but I do not dicatate what they can/can’t eat, and I refuse to cause the endless cycle of restricting> binging> guilt> restricting> and so on!

And on that note, favorite pies to make:

Savory- Chicken Pot Pie

Sweet- Chocolate Cream Pie (to eat), Marionberry Pie (to make)

Live your lives and revel in the season of baking!! What is your favorite thing to bake, or something that you have always wanted to try?

When the sunshine calls

It’s hard to keep up with any routine, let alone one that keeps you inside during the summer. This is especially true in the PNW, am I right? We enjoy our sunshine and want to be in it as much as possible.

It’s fun to have more daylight and be able to spend time outside with friends, but you have worked too hard on your health routine to give up now.  Think about incorporating a few of these ideas to keep you on track with your health and fitness goals.

-Indoors killing your summer vibes- Instead of going to the gym to do your conditioning, why not take it outside? If you normally run on the treadmill, try going for a run in your neighborhood. If you normally take the bus to work, try to ride a bike part of the way. The best part- YOU are the resistance and speed so adjust as needed to fit your goals.

-Playgrounds and parks aren’t just for kids- If you have access to a park with stairs, try creating a workout on there. Step ups, Single leg drop downs, Push ups, Bear Crawl, Toe Taps, etc. Don’t even get me started if you have a resistance band; you can do a total body workout with those!

-The buddy system- Before you guys celebrate “Taco Tuesday,” make a date with your activity of choice. Not because tacos are “bad,” (they are most definitely not bad!) Do it because you care about your body, and as wonderful as tacos are, you shouldn’t turn your back on your goals for them. Balance is key and it helps to have an accountability buddy!

-Modify frequency- If you used to go to the gym 4 days a week, try to keep 2 days in the gym for full body days. That way you at least get a little bit of everything and can keep up with your routine.

If you know that you won’t do any of these on your own, there are options for you. You could try a group class just to keep something in your schedule and still have community. Some even have outdoor classes! Groups not your thing? Try reaching out to a fitness professional in your area for private sessions. Accountability is hard and it’s okay to need help with it!

Enjoy the sunshine Peeps!

-Shea