Hi! My name is Bailey and I have a BSc in biology and am a certified integrative nutritionist. But more importantly, I couldn’t be more excited that you’ve made your way over to my blog today. For me, bites by bai is more than just a blog. This is my life! And let me tell you, it has been a journey. So here’s a little quick-notes version of how I became compelled to create bites by bai.
When I was a young(er) girl, my parents both worked full time, so oftentimes I was left to fend for myself food-wise. Inevitably, this led to the consumption of an awful lot of Lucky Charms and Kraft Mac ‘n’ Cheese. Yikes. Being a youngin’, I really didn’t know about or feel the effects of my diet until I started getting into competitive sports. I quickly realized that something needed to change, and thus began my introduction to the art of cooking.
Flash forward to University. At the age of 18, armed with a small amount of knowledge about cooking and an even smaller amount of knowledge about real life, I set off to move from Scottsdale, Arizona (where I had lived my entire life up to this point), to Seattle, Washington. Holy wake up call! In three years, I managed to survive the rain and obtained a bachelor of science degree in biology. During these three years, I became increasingly fascinated in the wonders (and tastiness) of food, spending lots of time eating not only in Seattle, but in Portland, Oregon as well. There’s no doubt in my mind that these are two of the best food cities in the United States. Being away from home, along with all the constant food-spiration around me, allowed me to cultivate my knowledge of cooking and start experimenting with food more and more. All this eating, accompanied by the ever slowing metabolism that comes with getting older and no longer being a competitive athlete, meant it was time to get a gym membership, which (thankfully) was included in my tuition. Here began my struggle of learning how to work out, which is a whole different story of its own.
Flash forward to graduation. After being in a long-distnce relationship for all of university, I finally graduated and moved in with my Canadian boy. So what does dating a Canadian boy mean exactly? Canadian boy = me moving to Canada. While it was a life-changing-in-the-best-way experience, it also came riddled with obstacles which have pushed me to be the woman I am now. Shortly after moving to Canada, I developed an intolerance to dairy. My favorite thing in the world, you ask? None other than mac ‘n’ cheese, of course! Cutting out dairy was a huge milestone for me in my road to healthiness and oh, baby did I feel good. Before this point I had never really made a sacrifice for my health. This triumph inspired me to make a promise to myself to become the healthiest me I could be. During my tike in Canada I was also diagnose with Palindromic Rheumatism, which is a form of autoimmune Rheumatoid Arthritis. Ouch. But I was able to pinpoint (through much trial and error and a he k of a lot of will power) that gluten was triggering this reaction in my body. This meant I had to say bye-bye to gluten at this point, too.
Flash forward to now. I’m back in the motherland (AKA Arizona), and yes my lizard of a self is quite ecstatic to not be freezing anymore. It’s been years since making the conscious decision to live a healthy (well, even healthier than before) lifestyle and it has been AWESOME. In this past year, I have learned so much about my body, struggled with food restrictions, and gained the best possible relationship with my health through lots of research, the help of my doctors, at least three deep breaths, oodles of vitamins and gut healing supplements, and LISTENING to my body. Throughout the past year, I couldn’t be happier with where I am now and how I feel. It seems corny to say, but you really have no idea how good you can feel until you actually feel that good. Looking back on life before the big switcheroo, I realized how lethargic, anxious, emotional, and foggy I felt. And at this point I was still probably eating healthier than most people, so I can’t even imagine how terrible some people feel on a daily basis without even realizing it. I now eat whatever I want, including dairy and gluten in moderation, but am able to maintain a very healthy balance and keep all of my past intolerances and flare ups at bay. No stress is key.
Being a new, improved, healthy, and happy Bailey sparked something inside of me causing a strong desire to share my experience with others so they too could feel how truly incredible it feels to be healthy! I do my research, listen to podcasts (which I will surely mention in my posts), and am now officially a certitified integrative nutrition health coach. I love trying out new things and can’t wait to hear what all of you do to stay healthy!
So. After all of that. Here are the changes I have proudly made. I try my best to stay away from processed foods that have a bunch of ingredients that would take hours on google to figure out what’s actually in them. A whole food, plant-based (with grass fed/free range meat) diet is what I strive for with most of my meals. I also include whole fat, organic dairy products in moderation. If your body can process dairy, then I see no issues with including this in one’s diet. And then sugar. Ahhhh my sweet, sweet sugar. My love/hate relationship with sugar has been a battle. Sugar has always been my kryptonite, so cutting out refined sugar has been a great feat. I now get my dessert fix by making healthier versions of my favorite recipes using natural sweeteners such as dates, coconut sugar, maple syrup, and raw honey. And ya know what? I don’t miss the real sugar whatsoever. I still treat myself to the occasional donut, but to be completely honest I find I actually now like my healthified verslons of my fave sweet treats to be way tastier. And i don’t feel like crap after eating them too!
Now, for the lifestyle changes. The main lifestyle change I’ve implemented is intermittent fasting, which I do in spurts. There are numerous ways in which one can go about intermittent fasting, none being particularly better than another, it just depends what works best for you and your body! For me, I do an 8 hour eating window and a 16 hour fasting window for 5 days a week. So basically I eat only from 12 noon to 8 PM every weekday and on the weekends I eat normally. I’ve really seen an improvement in the amount of bloating I have and my body’s tolerance to things that would normally upset my system. Check out my blog post about intermittent fasting where I go into more detail on what exactly intermittent fasting is, the benefits of it, and my initial journey with it!
Leading a healthy lifestyle isn’t just about eating right, so I also try to get some form of a exercise in at least 5 days a week. I’m a serial hobbyist when it comes to my workouts, so you name it and I’ve probably tried it. I like to switch things up by doing weight lifting several times a week and mixing in yoga, hiking, or my current favorite of kickboxing if I’m feeling rowdy. In the summers, I like to be outside as much as possible so you’ll most likely find me hiking, playing tennis, playing softball, or finding a park to do a workout at.
I can’t wait to share my journey of being the healthiest me I can be with you and I hope to inspire you to join me! And if you feel like you need a boost to get your health journey started, please feel free to reach out! I would love nothing more than to get you started on the best rest of your life you could ever imagine.