Moving into the New Year I realize I get to say goodbye to some of the most life changing experiences which changed me forever. First and foremost the birth of our daughter, Gemma, was a gift that has made me a better mother and expanded my heart more than I could have imagined. Gemma’s presence has added a layer of richness, love and selflessness that we all feel  The other blessing (and curse) was my husband going to Boston for 5 months to make the movie, Joy. The greatest gift of our marriage is the support we offer to each other day in and day out, but it also comes with an added layer of stress for me being pregnant alone with two kids and for him working around the clock being away from his wife and kids from January to May. For me, being able to watch him create and work on a project he loves and believes in and him getting to watch me co-create, One Potato, made 2015 one of the greatest years of our lives.

As we move into 2016, though, we know we need to make some dramatic changes for ourselves and family.  After both working so hard on our businesses while not allowing our jobs to interfere with our children’s needs and wants became a big stress in 2015. I found myself being truly overwhelmed at times trying to stay afloat. Not only did I have a baby growing in my belly, but also tension growing all over trying to keep my ahead above water with so many daily details that left me with little sleep and an extra thick layer of anxiety.

When Aetna asked me to look at stress in my life, I was thrilled to think about new ways to deal with it. As our family moves in 2016 we’re all going to pay close attention to our stress, even with the kids. We have been showing them how to stop their bodies, close their eyes and focus on their breath allowing any negative thoughts and feelings to disappear. Stress has damaging effects on health and reducing stress can boost wellbeing, even in kids. Our hopes are to slow down in life and take in all of the gifts given to us including our health, time together and giving ourselves a break letting go of judgement and being as present as possible as we move throughout our day!

This post was sponsored by Aetna, who believes health is about the body and the mind. Stress can affect emotional and physical health, and reducing stress can boost wellbeing. As part of their #Mindful30 challenge, the views and opinions expressed in my posts on the topic of mindfulness are my own, not Aetna’s. To learn more about mindfulness, visit aetnamindfulness.com.

About the Author

Catherine is a mama of three. A Kentucky girl living in California. Here’s what I know: all kids can be great eaters and mealtime must be easy. I create simple, healthy recipes the whole family will love.


  1. I love this family picture! You all look great! The kids are so adorable! I want to congratulate you all. What an amazing journey it’s been for you all this past year! I’m so glad you created this article. Besides eating healthy (thanks for your recipes) I think the next best thing we can do for ourselves is to eliminate or at least reduce stress daily. Most people just don’t know how important this is and a lot don’t know how to do it., A lot of people say I don’t look my age and ask for my secret of looking younger. I tell them I make a point to make each day as stress free as possible by refusing to allow negative thoughts to stay in my mind for more than it’s necessary to bring me awareness to what is happening, Negative circumstances are part of life and I can’t avoid them but I do have control to how I handle it. Negative thinking is like hair lice. The more you think about it the more it itches so I trained myself to itch on the positive possibilities instead, This requires 2 things: First, to realize that I can’t control the uncontrollable and second to know that whatever it is happening my negative thoughts won’t contribute to the situation so it’s a waist of time and energy. I find that the sooner I choose to let go of the negative the sooner I’m able to release the stress that comes with it,

  2. Great post. Thank you for acknowledging the challenges in your life. I think that will do wonders for many women who read your blog. I’ve been a fan for many many years and your recipes are MANY of our family favs (my kids are 9 and 7, so similar to your first two). I must tell you your constant Instagram/email/blog posts this last year, even up to and right after the birth of your third, make it look like you effortlessly lead your own business, spend quality time with your kids, organize your closets, and manage to cook fabulous meals (from the farmer’s market) 3 times a day (even with a newborn!!!!!!!!!! and now an infant!!!!!!!!), etc. ! I know that social media can distort reality, and I know you face ALL of the same challenges as all moms (this is why I love your blog so much — it helps us find ways to feed our families well despite the challenges!), but at times I have wondered how you were coping with all that you had on your plate and how in the world you got those meals out likely on a few hours sleep!!!!!!! Am glad to hear you have been doing well and are also working on balance — am also grateful you mentioned this work since it doesn’t come up in the beautiful instagram shots!

    Many blessing to you and your family, thanks for all that you do to support moms/dads/healthy family food!!!!!!! You are an inspiration!


  3. a great post and great family pic. Im glad Aetna is focusing on being stress free. It would be nice if they actually covered holistic services for a healthier well being. Its very hard to get acupuncture approved, naturopoathic dr’s etc.

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