Baking Up a New Life

By Alene Brennan

Being in quarantine for several weeks now has been an experience that encompasses ALL the emotions.

I’m relieved of commitments that I know were keeping me too busy.

I’m excited that I have so much time together now with my husband – we’re newlyweds!

I’m heartbroken over not being able to hug my extended family.

I’m overwhelmed by the enormity of what happened to our world.

And without the external noise, it’s creating this pause in my life that’s forcing me to ask myself what do I want my new norm to be coming out of this quarantine?

What’s interesting… a lot of it comes back to a simpler life.

With extra time on my hands, I’m having the opportunity to explore hobbies that I’ve wanted to do for ages… like baking!

I’m finally getting into the kitchen to make some healthy treats. I’m testing out new recipes and having a lot of fun with it.

Since getting diagnosis I’ve made a lot of changes to my diet, so I haven’t been able to make traditional family recipes that don’t quite fit into my nutrition protocol now. But I still crave them – especially during a time like this when comfort food is so nourishing to our soul.

I’ve always loved apple desserts, so I took a family apple crisp recipe and adapted it to my new diet. Not only is it something that I’ve truly enjoyed but my husband who doesn’t have any food restrictions loves the healthier alternatives.

I don’t think this is leading me towards opening a wildly successful bakery. However, I do like the fact that it’s bringing me back to some of the hobbies of the simpler life.

Growing up my mom would have a homemade dessert for us every Sunday. We would bake breads, cakes, pies, and cookies. And of course, they all taste far better than any store bought baked good.

In some way I feel a sense of connection with both my mother and grandmother and I test out my baking skills.

There is family tradition deeply embedded in the kitchen!

It makes me wonder that if this is giving me an opportunity to pass some of these traditions onto the next generation.

What hobbies have you been putting off that you could start today?

Maybe it just becomes something you try out for an afternoon or maybe it’s something you fall in love with and it becomes a continuous sense of joy for you.

Either way, opening yourself up to the possibility of finding some glimmer of joy during this time is worth it.

Honor whatever emotions that you may be experiencing in a given moment, but allow gratitude for what you do have and the possibility of developing a new pleasurable hobby it worth it!

*Alene Brennan works with individuals living with MS and other autoimmune diseases to create a diet and lifestyle that will support their healing and disease management. She holds four certifications: nutrition coach, yoga instructor, personal trainer, and natural food chef. You can learn more about her work and follow her blog, recipes, and more at Check her out on Instagram and Facebook, too!

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  • Michael Hoffman says:

    Wonderful post. Thank you!!!

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