Welcome to The Fit and Healthy Baker!
This blog was created for you, the person who wants to learn more about baking, cake decorating, and maintaining a fit and healthy lifestyle. Whether you’re already working on any or all these three areas, or you just want to begin, there’s information here for you.
While it may seem that baking and cake decorating is counterproductive when trying to enhance your health and fitness, I say NO WAY.
When you’re frequently exposed to sweets and baked goods, it’s even more important to focus on health and fitness. I learned this the hard way many years ago when I started a cake business on the side.
THE FIT AND HEALTHY BAKER: THAT’S ME!
My name is Catherine Baez Sholl, The Fit and Healthy Baker.
I spent my entire career focused on services for children. First as a leadership counselor, then as a substance abuse counselor, and for the last 12 years in different roles at an agency that funded services for children. I loved every moment of it! And don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t easy work, but it was very rewarding.
But there’s something that I’ve learned about myself, I can’t only focus on one project (unless that project takes up an unhealthy amount of time ?). I was always trying little side projects and jobs. At one point, I translated articles for a Cuban-American periodical. During another point in my life, I taught substance abuse counseling classes on the side.
The last two side jobs I had were the ones that I really felt passionate about. The first one was my cake business and the second one was as a Beachbody Coach. This is how The Fit and Healthy Baker was born.
MY LOVE OF BAKING AND CAKE DECORATING
I’m a major foodie and have a mother who is incredibly gifted in the kitchen. I grew up watching her bake and decorate cakes for family members and friends. Just about every picture from my childhood includes a cake my mother made. And some of these pics were from friends and family members’ events.
To be honest, my only interest in her cakes back then was eating them. That includes sticking a finger or two in the batter when she wasn’t looking!
But I’ve been very privileged with a life that has been shaped by a loving mother. She has always made every special moment and accomplishment extra special. Our family tradition, started by my mom, is to wake up the birthday person in the household singing happy birthday, with cards and gifts from everybody. This tradition also extends to Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and other major accomplishments, like graduation.
How else did she make us feel special? That special day, the person being honored got to decide what my mom was going to cook. Most importantly, what cake flavor she would make. She still does that to this day if we’re together for birthdays. Now that my sister, my brother and I are all married, we’ve implemented the same family traditions. We all like to cook too.
A MOTHER’S TOUCH
My mother has been the biggest influence in my love of baking and decorating. When my sister got married, I helped her with the cake because she was nervous about making it perfect. A few months later, she asked me to decorate two tiers of my cousin’s 4-tier wedding cake.
She did this so casually, she said she was tired and going to bed, that she knew I would do a great job. My mom decorates cakes with a passion, she doesn’t give up because she’s tired. But she saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself yet. She wanted to give me the opportunity to go deeper into this new creative outlet.
After the wedding, I watched the show Ace of Cakes and I was hooked! I wanted to decorate cakes that looked like real items, not just traditional cakes with flowers. My mom taught me the basics of working with fondant and gumpaste. The rest I learned from cake shows and trial and error.
And so, the 8-year cake business began…
At one point I even considered letting go of my career to focus fully on the cake business. But it was hard to decide because I loved both. The stability of my career won out at the time. But the BAKER in the Fit and Healthy Baker was already born.
MY HEALTH AND FITNESS JOURNEY
Don’t you wish you had those that make people look thin and fit, regardless of what they eat and how little they exercise?
Or do you?
Dieting has been a part of the struggle in my family since I can remember. I grew up seeing my mom struggle with her weight and try diet after diet, only to gain back what she had lost and more. Then it was my sister.
I didn’t yo-yo diet like my mom and sister in the beginning. Eventually losing weight became more and more difficult and I landed in the same place. Especially after fertility treatments, when I gained more weight than I ever imagined. I’m still working on getting rid of all those pounds.
THE DIETS I TRIED
I tried Weight Watchers and the Fast Metabolism Diet. I found both to be effective, but neither fully sustainable for me.
Looking back at Weight Watchers, I ate a lot of processed and unhealthy foods, I simply kept within the allotted points and still lost weight. This is not meant to criticize WW, which has been a very effective program for many people. This was quite a few years ago. In fact, since the time I tried it, they’ve changed the plan. They now encourage healthier foods through their points system.
The Fast Metabolism Diet was also a great experience. It not only helped me lose weight, it also opened up a whole world of delicious healthy foods and recipes. I learned to eat so many healthy foods that I had never tried before! This diet encouraged me to step into Whole Foods for the first time.
But I felt that I spent a crazy amount of time cooking, so it became unsustainable for me.
THE WORKOUTS I ENJOYED
After Jeremy and I got married, I wanted to focus more on working out. I’d passed my late 30’s and could not quite go below 150 lbs no matter how well I ate. I signed up with Beachbody and joined the community of members and coaches. The support and accountability were A-MAZING.
I found the support of my fellow Beachbody coaches and other group members to be extremely valuable to help keep me on track. I also made it a point to work out with friends as often as I possibly could.
My friend Dayna would come over almost every night to complete a workout with me. Several of us coaches coordinated to run challenge groups together. This provided a richer experience for our challenge group members.
We also coordinated with group members to work out together at different times throughout the day. We did this through video conference since we were all in different states. It was another way to keep us accountable and consistent with our workouts. Our group members always gave us positive feedback.
I became obsessed with Shaun T and his intense and effective workouts. Insanity is still my favorite. Then I started doing P90X3 and loved that one too. I enjoyed working out with Tony Horton, even though he’s so goofy. I like his sense of humor. 21 Day Fix and Brazil Butt Lift were also on my list of completed workouts. All effective depending on your needs.
These are only some of the Beachbody workouts I’ve tried. Variety is another reason why I enjoyed Beachbody so much. But this wasn’t my only source of exercise. In the spirit of variety, I ran and also enjoyed going to Orangetheory Fitness. First in Florida and then in Seattle.
WHY I DECIDED TO CREATE THE FIT AND HEALTHY BAKER BLOG
Although my professional work has always been in social services and community building, it has never been enough. As you can see, I’ve ventured into small side businesses related to cake decorating and fitness in the past. What can I say, I love to create!
My husband and I moved from Florida to Seattle in April 2017. We’d had a couple of rough years trying to have a baby unsuccessfully. We even became foster parents to an adorable baby boy. While we knew it was only temporary, we were still heartbroken when he went back to his family. I had also lost motivation to work out and needed to get back to my healthy eating habits.
The move to Seattle inspired me to explore new opportunities and challenges beyond anything I ever imagined. The Fit and Healthy Baker blog is one of those opportunities. I actually have the privilege of doing what I love most while helping others achieve their goals!
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT FROM THE FIT AND HEALTHY BAKER
This blog is about three of the topics I’m most passionate about. But it’s not about me, it’s really about you. I’m just memorializing my experiences and processes to help others achieve their own goals in these three areas:
- Baking – In this blog, you will find my favorite cake and cookie recipes. You’ll also find delicious recipes for quick meals that the entire family will enjoy.
- Cake decorating – The Fit and Healthy Baker is a place to learn cake decorating tips to improve your processes or your skills.
- Health and fitness – Those of you fighting the health and fitness fight, will find some answers and tips to maintain your efforts. If you revert to old habits (it happens to the best of us!), here you might just find the motivation, tools, and accountability to get back on track. This includes healthy recipes that expand beyond sweet or baked goods.
Through The Fit and Healthy Baker, I look forward to sharing recipes, tutorials, tips, workouts, and products that I’m really excited about.
I just love to share the wealth. Why would I keep something I enjoy or that I find helpful to myself? When I get excited about something, I just can’t help myself, I have to share it with everybody.
Now I get to share it with you!
JOIN THE FIT AND HEALTHY BAKER COMMUNITY
Are you ready? Do you want to be a part of The Fit and Healthy Baker Community? Subscribe to receive freebies and support for any or all the blog topics. You will also get an email from me every week with updates on the blog and tools for you to bake, create, lose weight, and feel great!
Go ahead, subscribe below and you will also receive the free FIT and HEALTHY Conversions Cheat Sheets to get you started. The download includes volume and weight conversions, cake decorating measurements for fondant and icing, and healthy ingredient substitutes to kick-start your health and fitness journey.
Thank you for joining in my journey and please drop me a note, I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions.
Catherine Baez Sholl, The Fit and Healthy Baker