Monday, January 10, 2011

Missy Farmer's "Eating For A Healthier Life"

Let me introduce you to a friend of mine: 
Missy Farmer.

Missy is the creator and writer of Love at First Bite, a great website where she shares an abundance of tasteful recipes and her passion for cooking healthy, family friendly meals.  

She wrote and published her own 56 page cookbook last year. Let me tell you--it's amazing. Eating For A Healthier Life: Whole Foods That Feed Your Body is an easy to follow, tasty cookbook you can't go wrong with. I highly encourage you to take a look at it and order one as soon as you can. With tons of pictures, flavor and just plain goodness, this cookbook is already a favorite of mine.

I had the privilege of interviewing Missy at the end of last year. Her desire to write and publish her own cookbook is a lifelong dream. She's an inspiration to me and hopefully to you as well. Congrats Missy on already accomplishing one of your life goals!
Enjoy the interview! 

1. Please tell us a little about yourself & your family.

I am a stay at home mom right now with my 18 month old son Emory. If there is one thing I will look back on and cherish the most, I think being home with my son is one of them. I absolutely love being a mom, and I have an amazing husband who supports me fully with staying at home. He recently graduated from law school, and I could not be more proud of him. We currently live in Phoenix, AZ, and I love this city. There is nothing like Phoenix winters. I mean who wouldn’t love having 70 degree weather this time of year? As much as we love it here, we have bigger plans for our future. In September of 2011, we will be moving to France so that Toby can do a 2 year International MBA program (yes...more school). I am so excited to embark on this new journey and I can’t wait to see where the Lord takes us next!

2. What inspired you to write a cookbook? How did you get started?

I grew up loving to cook. I can thank my mom for that. She was always cooking and baking, and it is something I picked up and fell in love with at a very early age. When I was in college in Texas, I started venturing out in the culinary world and really found a passion for all things food. My love for cooking/baking was not only because I enjoyed it, but because there is nothing more rewarding than preparing a meal for someone and seeing their face as they taste what you made (that is as long as they liked it). I love serving people, and cooking for them came right along with it. As I began cooking more and more for people, a few friends had mentioned the idea of writing a cookbook. This was something I had thought about doing for years, but I never really thought the idea was tangible. One day I decided to make a list of the things I wanted to do in my life, and number one was publish a cookbook. I honestly never really thought it would happen, but a girl can dream right?! This idea has been in the back of my mind for years, and thanks to Toby (my husband) it finally became reality. He is a man who dreams big. I love that about him, and he encouraged me to really go for it. So I did an online search of self publishing companies and found one that looked good. I downloaded the software and began writing and brainstorming ideas.

3. How did you juggle taking care of an infant while also creating your cookbook?

I had A LOT of help. I knew it would be a challenge with a baby, but I didn’t realize how complicated things could get. When taking pictures of food (the cheap and unprofessional way) you have to use natural lighting which meant all of the food pictures had to be taken in the early evening (or earlier). This would not be all that challenging except for the fact that Emory would always wake up from his afternoon nap right as the lighting was perfect. I was on a tight budget, and didn’t want to waste any food, so I made sure we ate anything I made for dinner that night. This created a small timing problem because as prepared as I would be (prepping everything during nap time), it seemed that crunch time came right as Emory wanted my full attention. This is where the help came in. My family is amazing, and all pitched in to hold/watch him while I ran around like a crazy woman trying to snap a quick shot. It was a little challenging, but I managed to get it done. Next time I will give myself more time, and slow down a bit so that I can get some better pictures.

4. What kind of advice would you give other women with young children who are trying to fulfill their own dreams?

Go for your dreams. Dreams can be as big as running a marathon or as small as making a healthy dinner. No matter what your dreams are, you should dream big and keep working towards your dreams. I think it is easy for moms to use their kids as an excuse for not living their dreams. I know I did for a while. I would say “It’s too hard to work around nap time”, or “He has a strict schedule”, but the reality was that it was an easy out for me. It can be scary taking those steps towards your dreams, but you will be a better mom in the end. Not only will you be living your dreams out, but your kids will see this, and it will rollover into their lives. I want Emory to see the things me and Toby have accomplished, and be inspired by us to do anything he wants with his life. There is nothing greater than seeing people (especially moms) going for their dreams, and living their lives to the fullest. Staying at home with Emory is my dream, but I also have other things I want to accomplish in my life, and I think it is important for moms to show their kids how to dream big.

5. What are some of your other life goals?

Some goals I have for the near future are to learn French, and teach Emory the language as well. I want to run a marathon within the next year. I want to bake my way through a pastry cookbook. I want to get cooking lessons from a professional chef. I want travel the world with Emory and Toby. I want to teach Emory to be respectful and cultured. I want to go to a farmers market and choose only a few items and make a gourmet dinner off the top of my head...and the list goes on. Some of these are silly, but they all give me a sense of accomplishment, and all are experiences I want to have.

6. How has this experience changed your eating/cooking habits, your overall philosophy concerning food?

When I first started the cookbook, I had a hard time trying to decide what direction to take it. I sat down and thought hard about what I wanted people to know most about food, and that was how to feed our bodies, what they were created to eat. I love to bake, but I know that eating refined foods and sugars are not always good, and I wanted to focus more on eating naturally. I was really forced to expand my horizons on creating recipes that were not only healthy, but packed full of good flavors. I know how to cook healthfully, but I wasn’t always good about being creative. I had a lot of fun learning how to be creative. This experience has not changed my cooking or eating habits a ton, but it has really taught me how to make it more fun. Let’s face it, french fries are good, but once you make healthy meals that are more satisfying and packed full of good flavors, those french fries become less tempting. I did do a lot of research on foods, and how your body uses each food, and it did make me become more conscience of eating a more natural diet. And I have felt a lot better since doing it.

7. Were you at all intimidated by your goal and what did you do to overcome that feeling?

I was very intimidated by it. In fact, I pushed it aside for a long time and made every excuse possible, but Toby really pushed me to go for it. Once I made up my mind that I was going for it, it became a whole lot less intimidating. I made short term goals, and did a lot of planning which helped a lot. I knew having a baby would make it a bit more challenging, and so I allowed for some leeway on my due dates. My first and foremost job is to be the best mom that I can, and as some of you know, babies can really mess with your “schedules”. It helped because there were days where Emory would be sick and I had all these good intentions of making 2 new recipes, but that was just not going to happen. Instead of getting frustrated, I just took it one day at a time, and did my best to make the most of the time I had. The most important thing was that I never gave up. I will be honest, it was a lot of work, even exhausting at times, but I knew how important it was to me to finish it.

8. Will you continue sharing new recipes on your website? And is another cookbook on the horizon in the future?

Yes, I will definitely be sharing new recipes on my blog. I can’t get away from it. It really is my second love. I love everything about creating and making new recipes. Some women love shoes. I love recipe planning and going to the grocery store. Put me in the kitchen and I feel at peace and at home. As far as another cookbook goes, I hope there is more to come. I have no plans at this particular moment. I had to kind of put my blog on the backburner while I was creating the book, and I would like to take some time and put some good TLC into my blog. Once I catch back up, I will probably be ready to jump into another book. Now that I have done it, I have learned a lot and know what I would do differently. The hardest part will be deciding what approach to take next time, I have a few ideas already brewing!


Rachel said...

Very Inspiring- both Missy and Kate! I love what she said about goals and dreams and how we are an example to our kids. Love it!

Gigi said...

Nice interview, Kate. I look forward to checking out this new blog. I really got to sit down and write out some goals/dreams.

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