Traverse City Record-Eagle

Food

May 23, 2013

Rediscovering the kitchen — and healthy habits

TRAVERSE CITY — When Becky Cain’s son Liam and a friend recently headed back to college in Oklahoma, they took a batch of her beloved oatmeal chocolate chip cookies with them.

Over the years, Cain’s cookies have become legendary among her four children’s friends and families.

“I’ve made them for my kids' friends, West Senior High musicals and road trips,” recalled the Traverse City resident who started baking the cookies to soothe her teenage daughter’s romantic ups and downs, then for their friends. Eventually, if her kids’ friends put their names on her calendar, she made them the cookies as a gift.

It’s a labor of love, explained Cain, but she has always loved baking.

“I love the science of putting yummy things together,” she said.

However, Cain realized a few years ago that her love of sugary goodies wasn't doing her body any favors. Deciding she needed to reboot her diet, and encouraged by her then 16-year-old daughter, Cain took a class in 2010 at her chiropractor’s office. Called "The Biggest Winner," the 10-week course pulled together healthy eating, thinking and exercise in a team atmosphere.

It changed the way she looked at her diet and lifestyle.

“I thought I knew all about healthy eating and I did Bikram yoga six to seven days a week, but I was at a plateau,” she said.

The next step was to remove processed foods from her diet.

“I wanted to do the best that I could,” she said, adding that there are levels of ways to eat healthier.

For example, she might use dried beans instead of canned. If a recipe called for a can of vegetables, she'd try using frozen, or better yet, fresh. Grown locally? Even better, said Cain.

As she tweaked her diet, she found recipes she liked and put her own spin on them.

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