food business

Planning Ahead

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In this post I want to share with you one of the habits I am building so that I can ultimately make my dream of owning and running a local cafe and a foundation a reality. I have always been a planner. I am not sure where exactly that comes from but I absolutely love planning, calendars and notebooks! I believe it really makes a difference, especially when you are working on a very big & long term goal. 

From now on I have decided that I will leave at least one day a month on my calendar especially for planning ahead to the next month or coming months. This is so helpful. Not only does it create space for creating a vision and dreaming, it also gives me a chance to look into what is working and what is not and make adjustments. I believe that just because I plan fairly far in advance, it doesn't mean that I can't make any changes based on feedback that I have gotten moving forward. I think that it's important to "have a date" with ourselves once a month to look at the calendar, look at our goals, look at the successes and what is not working and make changes. 

I encourage you to make your planning day special, fun, creative and engaging so that you will really look forward to it! 

Here's an example of a planning day that I had recently and I what I did: 

Before you set aside a day for your planning, take into account that even if you don't have a whole entire day that you can dedicate to planning, it is ok.  Even if you can only just set aside 1-2 hours in your month to do this, it will make a big difference. You could even plan several planning time slots during the 1st week of the month if that works for you. 

1. Dreaming Session: This is a wonderful start to your planning day. Take a few minutes to think about what a very successful year or month looks like to you. Imagine how you would feel. Jot down how that would feel to you and what that looks like to you: does it mean earning more? Does it mean having more free time? Take time to explore this fully. 

Example: One thing that I did during this session was plan out my earnings projections for 2018 and broke it down into how I was going to earn that money. It is a very useful exercise. 

2. 10 Ideas: Write down 10 ideas on how to bring in more money or work more on your goal. This is very useful because if you force yourself to get to 10, you will find at least 1-2 or more good ideas in the list that you can implement. 

Example: I wrote down 10 ideas for making more money and I chose the best ones to put on my list/calendar. 

3. Calendar it! Get or print out calendar pages that you can fill out with your ideas from step #2. I find this so useful because you are starting to make these ideas a reality once you get them on the calendar. You have set aside time for your success! 

Example: I decided to have an open house for clients and friends to invite their friends to see how my meal service works. It is on my calendar for January and it is also posted on It is now a reality! 

4. Listen to the small voices: There may be times that you think of goals or ideas outside of your planning session. If these ideas pop into your head often, it is time to take serious action on them. Write them down somewhere to come back to. 

Example: Lately I had the idea of getting back to an exercise routine. I thought about something I enjoyed doing many, many years ago along with my brother. We used to go to a local gym and do weight training together. I really felt successful, felt more energy and felt my healthiest during that time. I really loved it! So, I have now decided that this month I will begin investigating gyms/trainers/sessions to get back into this activity that I really enjoyed a long time ago and make it a reality by January, 2018. 

These are just 4 quick ideas on how you can plan ahead in your life/business and make more dreams come true! It really is much easier than we think sometimes. 

I hope that this post was helpful to you! 

With lots of care,


My Clean Eating Philosophy

My Clean Eating Philosophy

In this post I want to share with you my personal philosophy on what is called "clean eating." A few years ago I embarked on a 5 week health journey on a clean-eating plan with a health coach. I learned so much from that journey and learned a lot of great nutrition habits. However, I soon began to slip back into old habits because they were much more familiar to me. 

This year, in 2017, beginning on January 1st with the help of The Freedom Journal I decided to take a similar health journey, but for a 100 days and really cement those habits I had learned in the shorter program to really make them part of my permanent lifestyle and not a short "diet" plan or something I only did "sometimes." 

My personal 100 day goal is to lose 15 pounds and get back to my ideal weight by eating clean, following a 20 minute workout plan 6 days a week and consistently drinking 6 or more large glasses of water per day. This plan is also to reach the goal of having more energy throughout the day to work on my business, help my family and have fun! I am already seeing great results! I have lost 7.5 pounds so far and I feel much more energetic. 

I want to share with all of you my personal thoughts on eating, and finding out what works for you. I believe that there are basic guidelines, but you need to experiment and tailor ideas to fit how your body works. 

Here are my basic guidelines: 

1. Eating clean can be for omnivores or for vegetarians alike. 

2. Eating clean means including: 

  • lean meats and seafood
  • whole grains (you may choose to go gluten free or have whole wheat or other whole grains) 
  • lots of vegetables
  • fresh fruits
  • cutting back on dairy but I choose to have whole milk Greek yogurt and cottage cheese. You may choose to go dairy free and have alternatives there. I have dairy maybe 1-2 times a day. 
  • choosing small amounts of honey or maple syrup as sweeteners
  • cutting back on large amounts of starches such as bread, pasta and potatoes. I choose to have small amounts of those- perhaps only a 1/2 serving a day. I do however, have small amounts of brown rice with dinner or oatmeal for breakfast. 
  • choosing healthy snacks such as apples/nut butter
  • drinking lots of water and tea without sweetener

I have found this plan to really work for me and it has so many possibilities! I do love fruit, but I have found that it is best to reduce fruit to maybe 1-2 small servings a day and concentrate more on vegetables. 

Also, on the 5 week plan that I was on, by week #4 once a week you chose a "cheat" meal. I actually like to call it a "fun meal" or "celebration meal" instead. I like to keep it positive! It is very interesting how this time around I am really cutting back so much on refined grains and sugar that they do not tempt me as much as before because I feel so great when I am eating lots of whole foods! It is amazing what your body will do! I do always choose a "celebration meal" once a week and it's fun! Last week I had a pasta dish, one breadstick and salad at a restaurant. It was so yummy! I really enjoyed it very much and really took the time to notice that. 

Sometimes you will be in a situation where you are a guest, or you are in a situation where there are not a lot of whole food offerings. Not to worry! Just make the best choices that you can and don't fret about it. It's all about an overall healthy lifestyle and not about perfection. I absolutely love to try new foods and go out to eat on the weekends, so there may be some extras thrown in, but it's all in moderation. When you make the best choices 80-90% of the time, you are doing awesome! 

I have noticed how much more energy I have had since I started to once again focus on eating as clean as possible, even at restaurants, parties and buffets. It's all about balance and living our best lives. I really want that for you too, and I am always here to support you on every step of your journey. Thank you for allowing me to share my journey with you. 


Persistence & Patience in Your Life's Work

The Mastery Journal

In this rare post that is not a recipe post I am going to share with you some of my journey towards realizing my life's work. This journey is not a smooth one, with the path laid out in gold, or clearly marked yellow bricks. This one is a windy, twisty journey with a road that sometimes is paved with rainbows and other days with roadblocks, mud puddles and stones that you trip over. However, it is the only road I want to travel because I know that it leads me every day one more step in the right direction of my life's work. If you are looking to take this windy path that will lead to self discovery, goals met and so many positive things along the way, then this article is for YOU! 

Every day on this journey I work on myself, I work on my destiny, I work on my contribution to the community and society. Over the past 2-3 years as I transitioned from being a part-time English as a Second Language teacher mainly teaching classes at night to running my pie business to starting my business The Cheery Chef I have undergone many personal and business changes. I have sought to learn from others through books, videos, audios, coaching and more. I have learned to start reaching out for help and look for more resources and ways to stretch myself. I want you to start growing, reaching out and thriving along the path on your journey as well! 

Last year in 2016 I came upon a wonderful way to really go for my goals and to stretch myself- The Freedom Journal. This journal was created by John Lee Dumas from the amazing daily business podcast EO Fire!  I was able to complete two major goals last year with the daily accountability that The Freedom Journal provides as well as the accountability within The Freedom Journal Facebook Group.  I am also part of group that formed within that group OTED or One Thing Every Day- a small group where we post a photo of what we are working on that day.  In 2016 I managed to accomplish my two goals: I published my very first cookbook: Recipes for a Cheery Life: Gluten Free Brunch and I was able to record and publish to Facebook and You Tube 100 videos about positivity and inspiration- by asking questions of others. Because I did a great job in accomplishing my goals I was also featured on episode #1564 of EO Fire!

This has spurred me on to work even harder in 2017 on my goals. 

Never underestimate the power of daily accountability. You are more likely to take steps every day towards your goals if you are accountable to a journal and to a group. If you just set the goal on your own and hope to accomplish it, it is very unlikely that you will take the daily steps you need to in order to accomplish that goal. Daily check-ins with your Freedom Journal and with the Facebook group are a wonderful key to success. 

Even though I have accomplished a lot in the past year, there have been many obstacles to overcome. This is where Persistence and Patience come in for you. These two things, practiced daily will lead you to success. Sometimes it may seem like you are stuck, going nowhere, even though it seems like you have gone miles and miles down the path, trying lots of strategies, doing lots of work, putting yourself out there, stretching yourself. I have felt this a lot during the first part of 2017. In the summer of 2016 I decided to go for it and become a cook. This means that I am able to cook and serve meals that local folks order online from me and then pick up twice a week. I started off slow in 2016 and then started to gain momentum. By mid-December I had really gained some traction and had a good customer base. However, as often the case at the beginning of the year in January things really slowed down for me. We also had a major snow/ice storm in our area that really slowed business for so many people locally. Finally, when the weather cleared I had a great week of many more clients picking up meals towards the end of January. Then, there was another pretty slow week. It can be frustrating at times to have momentum working in your favor, and then to hit another roadblock. This is not the time for you to give up though! Please keep stepping over those stones on your path, they will lead to sparkling jewels for you in the future. 

You can keep going on your journey and find success if you work towards it daily. For this reason, during these slow times instead of feeling sad and defeated I have decided to reach out to others for ideas, create more recipes, create more menu ideas, do events out in the community, talk to more people. I know that these activities are like sowing seeds along the path on your journey. Right now the seeds are germinating in the soil along the path. Each day I sow more seeds there. The beautiful rain is coming down to water the seeds and the sun shines to give them light. The more seeds you sow along your path, the more daily actions you take with intention and positivity, the more flowers you will see start to pop up all around you in the form of small wins and successes! Those flowers for me are a new client, an email from the library to join in an author's event in the fall, a friend introducing me to their friend who has expertise in an area I need help in. Those are all flowers you can enjoy, be thankful for and enjoy the benefits from. 

Today, February 6th, 2017 is the first day on my journey that I am using The Mastery Journal to remain focused on my tasks throughout the day! See the Kickstarter campaign here to claim yours today:

You can use this journal daily to lay out your morning routine, set out 4 focused work sessions and then rate yourself for the day! I am so amazed at how productive I have been so far! I finished my first task early so I was able to spend a few minutes getting ready to write this post. Then, my second session is set up to write this blog post for all of you. Now, I have 2 more sessions left to accomplish even more! By following these sessions with Patience and Persistence I know I will win each day and that is a great thing to know. I want you to win each day too! That feeling will carry you through the times that are not as you would hoped. Don't let those times deter you, use Patience and Persistence and some great tools to help you along the way. 

I want to see you succeed and thrive in 2017, so I urge you to pick up copies of The Freedom Journal and The Mastery Journal. I know that by using them daily I am going to go farther on my path this year than in any other year in my life. I want the same for you. I want you to know that we are all waiting for your life's work. You have so much to give and we all need to see you go for it! Please feel free to reach out to me if you need help on your journey. We all do better if we help each other!