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My hope is to inspire you to be fearless in the kitchen, to try new things, to take the time to make things the homemade way and most importantly, to have fun doing it!

a love letter to invoke

Hey guys! Something a bit different for you today. As many of you have realized, I have undergone some major physical changes over the last year including a significant weight loss. I have received a lot of reader questions about my transformation. In short, this has primarily been the result of me falling deeply in love with hot yoga (which I already enjoyed, but this is on a new level) and taking up running. If you are interested in learning a little bit more about my fitness journey, I’m blogging over on my studio’s blog about it and would love for you to check it out. If you are local to Indy, I cannot recommend Invoke highly enough! This amazing yoga community has truly changed my life and I am so grateful!

  • Lindsay Unland

    Wow. You are incredible. How do you do it all? I am a full time high school science teacher and a mom of a 4 year old girl and almost 2 year old boy. I struggle to find the time and balance to meal plan and make interesting meals (rather than the same few “easy things” on rotation non-stop). I also LOVE LOVE hot yoga but usually only make it to one class a week out of guilt of leaving my kids in the evenings. You are an inspiration and I would love to know how you manage to do it all plus your knitting/sewing/crafting and blogging. Do you work full time as a doctor??

  • I am forever in awe that you can do that pose – just incredible! Really wish we had more yoga options like Invoke here in the UK!

  • Kristin

    Great post! I have been practicing for 5 years, and share many of your feelings about yoga. We laugh a LOT, both at our teacher’s suggestions and ourselves, but there we were last night, trying several new, seemingly impossible poses, succeeding to some extent, and always remembering that it is PRACTICE. Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Annie

    Hi Lindsay! This is always a hard question to answer because I don’t think I have any special strategies or tricks. I do work full time at my job, which I love. I go to yoga usually about four times per week, twice on weeknights and twice on the weekend. I mix this in with running as well. I have never been big on the idea of mom guilt in general, but especially when going to yoga, I know I’m setting a good example by teaching my kids that taking time to do something they love is important as is staying active and healthy. I also make sure to spend time with them still on the evenings that I do go to yoga (one night I go immediately after work so then we enjoy late dinner together, the other night we have early dinner and then I go to a late night class.) I have read studies about being a working mom and how quality of time spent with kids is much more important than quantity, and I tend to agree.

  • Natalie Stachon

    Lovely post! When you mentioned your transformation and fitness routine in the “top recipes of 2015” post I was instantly inspired. I purchased a couple of yoga DVDs and joined the Y so I could take yoga classes.

    Side note – I finally got around to purchasing a Tarte product and wow! For the first time ever I can say I saw an immediate improvement in the look of my makeup! Can’t wait to add to the collection.

  • Angela

    This was so moving.

  • Annie

    Thank you Angela :)

  • Laurel Nippert Miller

    I’ve tried hot yoga a few times and was surprised to discover I love it as well. I never thought I would like to exercise at such a warm temperature, but it’s amazing how quickly it allows one to push further in a pose and stay focused on the present. I loved reading your blog post and am inspired by your mental and physical growth over the past few years.

  • Amy Peddycord

    Thank you so much for sharing you story. We are so grateful to have you as a client and friend at Invoke. You are an inspiration to us all.

  • Chelsea Wagenaar

    I loved reading your post about Invoke. I actually learned some important things about you that I didn’t know, even though I’ve been following your blog for years! I found your blog around the time I got married 4 1/2 years ago, and I didn’t know how to cook at all. I have now made tons of your recipes; many of them are staples in our home now. I kind of associate your blog with my maturation as a wife and cook (all of which has coincided with my five years of working on my doctorate, so maturation as a student as well)—I feel almost as if you have mentored me in the kitchen :-) When I make something new, my husband usually asks, “oh, is this from Annie?” My birthday is in two weeks and I’m going to make your caramel latte cake. I can’t wait! Thanks for this beautiful and inspiring blog.

  • Michelle

    This is awesome! Good for you!

  • Annie

    Aw, thanks Chelsea! I love this sweet comment. Thanks for being such a loyal reader who has grown and matured right alongside me!

  • Sasha

    Annie, I started reading your blog back in 2010-2011, and many of my specialties are actually yours (i.e., island spice pork tenderloin, which I made the other day). I’ve noticed that in the last year or two the recipes have also become not just more sophisticated, but healthier, and you showcase more ingredients like quinoa or vegetables (less pasta with cream sauce type recipes), so I am sure your diet is also playing a role. Did you switch to a more vegetarian diet as well, or is it just my perception? Anyway, I just wanted to say that I love browsing through your “healthy” section for new ideas of what to make, and you strike a nice balance between health-conscious and delicious!

  • Angela

    Your post is so inspiring! As a working mom of two little ones, I always struggle trying to find the time to work out – I think you just have to make it a priority and stick to it. But most importantly, find something you like!!

  • Annie

    Thank you so much Angela!

  • Annie

    You are definitely correct, my diet has been evolving over the years though that wasn’t a done with a set goal in mind, just a continual effort to be healthy. Though my exercise routine has been the major factor in my recent changes, diet has certainly played a role as well. I am always trying to grow that “healthy” recipe category so I’m glad to hear you enjoy it! Thanks for being such a loyal reader :)

  • tara

    wow what a nice post. i have felt lately like stress is causing me to gain and hold onto some weight and my nutritionist shares some of my thoughts on this when she looks at my food and exercise logs. i do think yoga helps with stress and i can say that i had 2 wonderful teachers that both have moved and i have had a hard time finding another teacher i like as much. you make me wonder if i need to try harder since i feel lately like yoga isn’t doing it for me as much lately. i wonder if its not the yoga but instead my lack of teacher/sole mate connection that you speak of. so nice of you to acknoledge the people who helped you so much.

  • frangsty

    There were significant changes to my body when I started practicing yoga in addition to running, too. I found my home at a different Indy yoga studio and I don’t practice hot yoga (mostly power vinyasa and jivamukti). But it doesn’t matter. When committed to a yoga practice, I truly believe the practice of mindfulness influences all areas of your life: diet, sleep, relationships, etc.