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GO AHEAD AND BAKE THAT CAKE

Last week, I took my daughter to a brilliant cupcake making workshop at Leah’s Pantry in Macclesfield. With much encouragement from the utterly delightful Leah, we each created a display box of the most gorgeous cupcakes, topped with our own icing decorations (here are Ariella’s).

All well and lovely, I hear you say… but you’re a health coach and aren’t you supposed to be turning your readers away from anything containing sugar?

Well, yes and no.

Yes, I strongly advocate for curbing our daily intake of sugar. But, no, I don’t believe we should be terrified of baking, especially given that it tends to be something we do rarely and is a bit of an indulgence. As I always say, it’s what we’re eating regularly which has an impact on our health, not the odd bit of homemade cake.

There’s something magical and completely absorbing about decorating a cake when it’s just for the pleasure of it. And I speak as someone who has such a chronic deficit of cake making/decorating talent that my children beg me every year not to make them a birthday cake. So it was extra special for me to have the space and opportunity to mess about making edible rose petals, especially as it was alongside my ten-year-old daughter.

In our busy, busy lives, creativity is often squeezed out and, as adults, we rarely get to lose ourselves with different coloured icing and shape-cutters. So often, people will say to me “oh, but I’m not creative”. The fact is that we are all creative and have a need to create. It’s an essential part of our make-up and if we never make room for its expression, we suffer for it.

One of my aims when working with my clients is to get them to embrace their creativity and not see it as time-wasting they can’t afford to schedule in. It’s also my goal to encourage them to be relaxed and at ease in their own kitchen. I help them to stop seeing it as a dungeon of drudgery and start to look at it as a place of creativity and enjoyment. When I ask them what it is they really fancy making, the answer is very often a cake (and not the ones made of avocado and cashew nuts). So, rather than banning the “c” word and demanding they come up with a healthy recipe instead, I set them homework of baking that cake.

Ok, so cake is not exactly a health food. But, the sense of achievement and happiness that baking creates is good for our health and wellbeing. And that sense of happiness at having made something to share with family and friends is a fantastic launchpad for going on to cook other (healthier) things with the same care and love.

So, this bank holiday weekend, is there a cake recipe you’ve had skulking in a drawer for months/years and never found time to make?

Grab your apron and get baking! (And do share your creations).

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