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2009 Comes To An End

December 31, 2009

To reader Morgan, every time I try to email you, it is blocked by a spam firewall. Do you have another email address?

So, I’ve learned a lot this past year from my blogging experience, and I’m about to tell you some things that I thought I would never say on my blog, but it’s my blog. So, here goes.

Lessons learned in 2009:

1) I will forever be experimenting with what I eat. I seem to get bored with one way of eating and then get super excited about a “new plan”, and that’s okay. I eat for myself and no one else.

2) Just because many people can and need to eat at least 2500 calories or more a day, I cannot eat that much. I gain weight easily, and that is the hand I was dealt. No biggie, I just can’t eat sugar and carbs all day long. I am blessed with so many things in life, and the last thing I should fret about is that I can’t eat as much as some.

3) I need to stay true to myself and not get caught up in the blogosphere food trends.

4) I do not do well with labels. Vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, raw, etc. I do not use these labels for health or moral reasons like many of you do. I use them so that I can restrict my eating. I have never had a problem with binging, but I can restrict with the best of them. Therefore, I want to never put a label on the way I eat again. The only foods I have trouble with are soy and dairy, and those are the only two food groups I should be restricting.

5) I do not want to eat nothing but veggies all day and look unhealthy and frail. Been there, done that, and I was miserable. I want to look vibrant and strong. I want to glow, and I want to eat the foods that make me happy, including some choices that are frowned upon by many…*cough* sugar free syrups, low carb/high fiber tortillas, and other diet/fake foods. Let’s face it, I could be eating much worse. OK, so the sugar free vanilla Coffee-Mate is horrible, but I like it. πŸ˜‰

6) I know not everything I eat is perfect, but I’m not aiming to be perfect, just healthy, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned from blogging, it’s that my idea of healthy may not be your idea of healthy. So, let’s not judge each other, okay?

The above statements have been weighing heavy on my heart, and I just needed to get them out there for my own benefit. Yes, I started blogging to help others, but I can’t help others if I don’t take care of myself first. Sometimes HEAB forgets to love on HEAB. πŸ™‚

Some major HEAB lovin going on this morning…


That would be me making protein pancakes (usual recipe, but with 4 whipped egg whites and 1/4 cup wheat bran blended into batter) on my new pancake griddle (gift from my mama and papa), drinking a mug of coffee brewed by our new coffee maker, all while wearing the scarf Deb knitted for me. Yes, I wear scarves all winter long, even indoors.

Finished product…


Yummy pancakes with soy-free Earth Balance, cinnamon, maca, maple syrup and a big blob of Deb’s Holy Mole nut butter. Why have I never owned a pancake griddle before?!?

Happy New Year my friends! Tonight, we will be celebrating Christmas with my family here in Nashville. However, CD is still battling the Swine Flu, and now my brother and sister-in-law might have it as well. 😦 Please send some healing prayers their way.

Some major changes coming up for the month of January. Exciting stuff…stay tuned!

143 Comments leave one →
  1. caronae permalink
    December 31, 2009 11:32 am

    These are such great lessons! I totally agree with all of them, and I’m glad that you aren’t afraid to look inwards and do what makes you happy and healthy! Happy 2010!

  2. December 31, 2009 11:39 am

    What incredible lessons! I could not agree with your more!

    Fabulous plate of pancakes!

  3. December 31, 2009 11:40 am

    YouΒ΄re so lovely, just the way you are! Really looking forward to a whole new year of entertaining HEAB posts!!

  4. December 31, 2009 11:40 am

    Love all of the lessons you learned!! πŸ™‚ I totalling agree 100% with all of them and appreciate your honesty in this post!! Love ya HEAB!! πŸ™‚ HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Rachel permalink
    December 31, 2009 11:42 am

    Could not agree more. I often feel guilty describing myself as a healthy eater and then having something like a packet of sugar free cocoa. I need to stop being so hard on myself and realize that I DO eat pretty darn well (lots of whole foods etc) and I could be doing a lot worse too. I love checking out your blog for all your fun food experiments and because you keep it REAL πŸ™‚

  6. December 31, 2009 11:42 am

    Kudos to you gal! I think those statements are genuine and heartfelt, I applaud you for saying what needed to be said. Listen to your heart and your body, it’ll tell you what it wants, and sometimes it’s the little not-so-perfect foods that are just plain good for the soul.
    I look forward to HEAB 2010!!!

  7. December 31, 2009 11:44 am

    So sorry everyone’s sick! Healing thoughts coming your way!

    We broke out our griddle over the Xmas holidays…as long as it was out, yummy grilled cheese sandwiches followed pancakes two days in a row! Then it needed to go away.

    Lovely list, lady. I couldn’t agree with you more on all accounts.

    Happy Happy New Year. Catch ya on the flip side!

  8. December 31, 2009 11:44 am

    I think those are awesome lessons! We have all learned a lot from you this year and I can’t wait for all that I’ll learn from you in 2010!

    Sad I missed you in AZ when i was there this week…we shall meet again! hopefully in 2010!

  9. December 31, 2009 11:45 am

    Melissa, Yes, 2010. Looking forward to it! πŸ™‚

  10. Melanie permalink
    December 31, 2009 11:50 am

    This is a fantastic post…things that I don’t think you should worry about saying on the blogs. The “fads” and “trends” have been starting to get to me, honestly…when I start feeling horribly guilty because I still use splenda in my coffee, it’s probably time to take a step back and think about who I’m eating for. Again, your candor and transparency is refreshing and is one of the major reasons I stick with your blog. Happy New Year, and I hope CD gets better ASAP!

    Love the scarf from Deb! I looove to knit and scarves are my favorite thing to make:)

  11. Rachel permalink
    December 31, 2009 11:50 am

    “I need to stay true to myself and not get caught up in the blogosphere food trends.”

    You’re doing a great job at this, and that’s why we love you! It sounds like you a learned a ton this year, and I hope you continue to share the lessons and reflections you have for 2010 πŸ™‚

  12. Melissa permalink
    December 31, 2009 11:51 am

    Amazing post Heather. You never disappoint. Thank you.

  13. December 31, 2009 11:52 am

    You are so radiant, you can really tell that you take care of yourself and treat your body and mind kindly πŸ™‚

  14. December 31, 2009 11:52 am

    Heather – thanks for sharing your learnings with us . . .

    and I don’t know which Morgan you mean, but if it’s me and you can’t send to you can get me at

  15. December 31, 2009 11:53 am

    Happy 2010 to my favorite cutie-pie blogger!

  16. December 31, 2009 11:55 am

    Hey Morgan, I think it was a different Morgan. She had emailed me with some personal questions. Was that you?

  17. December 31, 2009 11:55 am

    Wonderful lessons learned. I can especially relate to #5. That was me in college, and I was thin, but I really didn’t look that healthy. My hair got so thin and weird-looking. And I ended up giving up and gaining the weight back 3 years later.

    You’re pancakes today are totally perfect-looking! Makes me want to whip out my griddle and make some!

  18. Holly permalink
    December 31, 2009 11:56 am

    You know, Heather, so many of us can’t help but love you but I don’t think we express it enough (isn’t that always the case?). Reading this post made me really want to say this, so here we go:

    You are beautiful!

    I think a lot of us in this blogosphere, what with the knowledge of what it takes to be healthy and the pressure to use our knowledge to its full potential, really crack the whips hard – especially on ourselves. But the reason I love this blog and am so drawn to it is that you are very motivated, smart, and dedicated. You want to live life to its fullest – it exudes in all of your posts. And you are doing this for yourself. I know well your principle that you cannot change yourself unless you want it, and you really practice what you preach. That’s why you don’t want to fall under a label, and you really don’t. You’ve made your very own niche and you do it so much credit.

    2009 has been a crazy year of change for me, but I have to say that this last quarter of the year was made so much better by finding HEAB and your lovely self. Through all of your efforts you have helped me find the confidence to live my life the way I want to, and the importance of not wanting the right things for the wrong reasons. You have made such a positive impact on my lifestyle, and I am sure there are many, many more out there who can say the same.

    Do I ramble much? Forgive me, but I had to say it! Here’s to a beautiful 2010 for you and yours!

    Thanks for all the auld lang syne in 2009!

  19. December 31, 2009 11:57 am

    Excellent post!!!! I love your honesty and vibrancy here. Miss Heather, you do glow πŸ™‚ I believe we all need to evolve and step outside our comfort zones from time to time. It helps us grow. As soon as I think I have my balance all figured out, something shifts and causes a change. It is hard to embrace change and let go of attachments. My body is very sensitive, so I too need to take care of it in my own quirky ways, it does not matter what anyone else thinks! BTW we all have our vices…..I dislike the idea of artificial sweeteners and yet I chew loads of sugar-free gum each day.

  20. Gina G permalink
    December 31, 2009 11:58 am

    your wonderful Heather! prayers are being sent your way! =)

  21. December 31, 2009 11:58 am

    Your lessons learned are AMAZING. I’m so happy you have realized all of that, kudos! And you just made me crave those pancakes! I think I might have to try and make them for lunch today! I hope you have an amazing New Year!


  22. December 31, 2009 12:00 pm

    Holly, THANK YOU SO MUCH. What a kind and amazing comment. You can ramble to me anytime you want. πŸ™‚ Happy New Year my friend. Much Love, Heather

  23. December 31, 2009 12:00 pm

    You are so right Heather. I agree with you on all that, especially eating for yourself…not others. Everyone is not the same, and hey, being you [or me] is awesome!

    Love you, and the pancakes look yum!

    PS: Happy Early Birthday!

  24. December 31, 2009 12:01 pm

    “1) I will forever be experimenting with what I eat. I seem to get bored with one way of eating and then get super excited about a β€œnew plan”, and that’s okay. I eat for myself and no one else.” <—– This is a HUGE one for me, I love experimenting with different ways of fueling myself and it's amazing how much of a difference it can make.

    I think we all have our "fake foods" that we enjoy. Luckily (?) I break out if I eat too much artificial ingredients or white sugar so I have to moderate.

  25. December 31, 2009 12:02 pm

    Thanks Whit. πŸ™‚

  26. Carolyn permalink
    December 31, 2009 12:05 pm

    Glad you are back in your element Heather… As far as your list above, where is the high five symbol on this keyboard anyway…??? Good mantra for the new year… Might print it for the fridge…

    Remind me to tell you about PB’s blood sugar migraine (truly) from sugary office Christmas crap food yesterday….. >:-[ It’s a whole new SF world for him today… πŸ˜‰

    That scarf IS exceptional… If only it was available from REI… haha..darn it…

  27. Kelly permalink
    December 31, 2009 12:05 pm

    You have such a beautiful smile. It lights up your whole face!

  28. December 31, 2009 12:07 pm

    Heather, I love you! You know who you are and make no apologies for it. A girl could learn a lot from you and not just how to roast kabocha!

  29. December 31, 2009 12:10 pm

    I loved reading your lessons learned. They’re ones I’m learning, too. To eat for myself, for my own health, and to not condemn myself for eating differently than others or making different choices. But being happy with myself.

    You’re beautiful and amazing and I always look forward to reading your blog each day. Thanks for putting it out there for us and letting us benefit from sneak peaks into your life, kitchen, and mind.


  30. December 31, 2009 12:14 pm

    I agree on always experimenting with what you eat – I will be, too. Love your blog so much Heather – love who you are and what you stand for. I am sure you will have a phenomenal 2010!! πŸ™‚

  31. Susan permalink
    December 31, 2009 12:14 pm

    Great lessons Heather – this post actually made me tear up a little when I read it because I realized how much I empathize with you on so many things. I really look to you as a role model for staying true to yourself in the midst of a blogosphere and entire WORLD that places so much pressure on people, in spite of the many happy things in both realms.
    I can’t wait to follow your blog in the new year! Stay true!

  32. December 31, 2009 12:15 pm

    props for speaking your mind HEAB. I agree that labels suck and that I too get caught up in the blog trends. I need to remain true to myself and eat the way that makes me happy and healthy. Thats my main reso for 2010…remembering to stay balanced and mindful and happy.

    ps. just bought soy free EB butter and I LOVE IT.


  33. December 31, 2009 12:15 pm

    These are truly commendable insights and I cant tell you how freeing it is to hear your genuine honesty! So many people get so caught up in the wrong aspects of “healthy” living and forget that being healthy goes so far beyond just what we put in our mouths.

    You have nailed it girl! Good for you! πŸ™‚

    Happy New Year!!!

  34. Danielle permalink
    December 31, 2009 12:17 pm

    I love your lessons learned- especially that everyone’s view of healthy is different. I think it’s so easy to get criticized in the blog world- being “too healthy, not healthy enough, not enough protein, not enough food, etc. etc.” I applaude you for doing what you know is best for you πŸ™‚

  35. December 31, 2009 12:27 pm

    I want to give you a big hug!!! I love this post πŸ™‚

    I gotta work on that label thing too. I am slowly learning that I cannot eat sugar and carbs all day either, even if that’s what I want to do. I *can* learn to eat what I want in moderation though!

    Happy New Year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  36. December 31, 2009 12:30 pm

    I am 100% on board with you about the labels! Because I have not regularly eaten meat in many years, I will tell people that I am a vegetarian, and inevitably the one time a year I do eat meat, someone takes it upon themselves to make a snide remark regarding my “vegetarianism.” To be honest, I don’t label myself a vegetarian, it’s a term I use for others to explain in simple boxed terms about my dietary choices, but I loathe labels alltogether! It’s not a label I accept for myself, it’s a label I put on for others, and it tires me out!

  37. December 31, 2009 12:30 pm

    Oh and Happy New Year!!

  38. claire permalink
    December 31, 2009 12:34 pm

    really great lessons!! Looking forward to a new decade, beginnings, and HEAB:-) cc

  39. eaternotarunner permalink
    December 31, 2009 12:34 pm

    Great post, I agree that we should all respect each other’s ideas of healthy. Because mine includes chocolate!

    Happy new years!

  40. December 31, 2009 12:40 pm

    Happy New Year Heather!!!

    I love your unique eats! Never ever change!

    All the best in 2010!!!

  41. December 31, 2009 12:43 pm

    I could not imagine a better list. Sometimes I worry the blogworld is a negative place for some people who all too easily lose themselves in the newest fad or obsession. This could practically be printed and made into a contract!(The Deceleration of Health Independence?)

  42. December 31, 2009 12:47 pm

    What a beautiful picture of you, Heather!

    What the blogosphere needs is people like you who are true to themselves! πŸ˜€

  43. December 31, 2009 12:48 pm

    GORGEOUS PICTURE HEATHER! Wow! So happy to know I have a fellow sugar free syrup lover! I think that you are amazing and as long as you are happy, and healthy, you shouldn’t care what anyone else says/thinks. As the saying goes “whatever you think about me, is none of my business’! You are a strong beautiful smart HILARIOUS person, and I am so glad I have gotten to know you through your blog! Excited for January! Happy New Years!!!!!

  44. December 31, 2009 12:50 pm

    This is absolutely absolutely beautiful Heather. I think everyone should follow these principles, like Evan mentioned above. I agree, a Declaration of Health Independence….how wonderful.
    And YES always take care of YOURSELF first…always. Your smile is so lovely.

  45. December 31, 2009 1:04 pm

    Sometimes CD needs to love on HEAB too. πŸ™‚

    Thank you for getting all of this off your chest. I think we’ve all felt the same way at times, and life, much like diet and exercise, is finding what makes you the most content and fulfilled and sticking with it, no matter what other may say!

    I’m looking forward to a HEAB filled 2010!!!

  46. December 31, 2009 1:05 pm

    Way to stay true to yourself HEAB! I loved that you were being so honest. And, awesome pancake griddle! Your pancakes are a perfect shape. πŸ™‚

  47. December 31, 2009 1:06 pm

    Oh Heather, thank you so much for saying what you did. I can’t agree with you more. I think we can all inspire each other, but it’s up to each one of us to find what soley works for our own body. Influence is a two-edged sword. Thank goodness your wonderful personality can influence us all! I do hope CD and your family feel better soon. I was soo sick in November, so I sympathize.
    Happy New Year!-xoxoxo

  48. December 31, 2009 1:14 pm

    2009 sure has taught you a lot! Here’s to 2010 being as healthy and happy for you! I am quite pleaseed I stumbled across your blog awhile back.. I love reading your posts and you put a smile on my face!
    That picture is beautiful.. you have amazing hair! Have a good one, Heather! πŸ™‚

  49. December 31, 2009 1:15 pm

    I want to write down #6 and post it so I can look at it every day! Judgement, on yourself or anyone else, doesn’t do anything positive for us. I think “glowing” is a fantastic goal to have for 2010, because you glow through your actions, personality, and attitude Heaber! I’m very glad to have found your blog this year πŸ™‚

  50. December 31, 2009 1:22 pm

    heather this is SUCH a great post!! wow I couldn’t agree more with you on a lot of what you learned. I find that labels make me feel trapped too. Instead, I feel its important to just eat what makes your body happy & healthy!! You have such a beautiful attitude when it comes to health – your right; skin & bones is no way to live. Happy new years!

  51. December 31, 2009 1:25 pm

    Oh Heather u look completely glowing and lovely to me!! πŸ™‚ Have a fantastic new year’s eve and lots of well wishes to Chris!!

  52. December 31, 2009 1:25 pm

    You mean you’ve been making those pancakes all this time w/o a griddle? Obvz I need some perfect pancake lessons from HEAB.

    And you do glow, so no worries there. I think it’s great that you are getting/staying in touch with how best to treat yourself. We could all stand to work on that.

    Happiest of New Years to you HEAB!

  53. December 31, 2009 1:30 pm

    Heather–the fact that you put yourself first and show it on the blog is a great help to your readers! You are a wonderful example of someone who proudly does their own thing. You really are making a difference (and glow while doing it)!

  54. December 31, 2009 1:50 pm

    Balance is best! Pancakes look wonderful.

    Have a happy New Years!

    Healthy food and exercise in 2010!


  55. December 31, 2009 2:08 pm

    I think its wonderful that youve been able to look back on this past year and recognize what youve learned

    wishing you a very happy safe and healthy new year, lovely lady!

    rebecca ❀

  56. December 31, 2009 2:21 pm

    Happy New Year dear friend Heather. You are so beautiful in that pic:). Love you tons my dear. So enjoy reading your words everyday…what a joy and gift you are. Thanks for being my friend. Hugs and happy day. Hope CD feels better soon!

  57. December 31, 2009 2:26 pm

    Love the lessons learned, thanks for posting such an open and honest reflection. When I think of HEAB, I think of a woman who is vibrant and strong, with a huge, happy smile (and an adorable scarf)!

  58. December 31, 2009 2:46 pm

    “OK, so the sugar free vanilla Coffee-Mate is horrible, but I like it. ;)”—Oh but the non sugar free one is even worse AND I like that one. And gasp. It has dairy and soy and prob HFCS in it. Girl. LOVE LOVE LOVE your list. And of course so important to look out for numero uno. And I hate that somehow my blog has become high raw vegan. Yes, I am. But people write the nastiest, rudest, meanest emails to me if I use Wishbone salad dressing that the 11th ingredient is trace cheese solids or something. It’s like, ok the 1 Tbsp of it that I used with the 11th ingredient containing trace dairy…just blows my whole vegan cover. Girl, you should read what I get. BE GLAD you have shunned labels and are not a prisoner to them. I’m not per se, but people are soooo into labels and I just had to post yeserterday that 1. I am not. and 2. Who cares and 3. Do as you see fit for you and 4. We’re all only human.
    Which brings me to your not judging each other (#6). So true!!!!! Oh I love you Heather, thank you for your candor and many blessings in 2010.

    And that Deb…makes nut butters, AND knits, what a girl πŸ™‚


  59. December 31, 2009 2:53 pm

    AMEN! Seriously, I think that while the food blogging community is definitely a positive and uplifting place most of the time, there are still times when seeing what so many people do with their daily choices that it can influence our own. As long as we are doing what keeps us healthy and happy (BOTH), then all is good!

    Hope CD and family feels better, and that you guys have a happy new year!

  60. fitandfortysomething permalink
    December 31, 2009 3:01 pm

    Thank you for being so honest! And by the way, you are glowing! Hope your hus and family get better soon.
    Happy New year!

  61. December 31, 2009 3:01 pm

    Hi Heather! Gosh, what a bummer to hear that stuff has been weighing on you… if it’s because of commenters, that’s sad. It always amazes me that people would come into someone else’s ‘community’ and be rude or judgemental. (That’s like someone coming into your house and acting that way!) Sorry to hear that it may have happened to you… 😦

    I hope that you and CD have a wonderful 2010 – hopefully when you are in Colorado for the 2010 visit we can meet up!

    Happy New Year!

  62. December 31, 2009 3:14 pm

    Great post! I’ve read for a while and not sure how many times I’ve commented, but I just wanted to say thanks for this post and thanks for continuing to be true to yourself. You’re very inspiring, HEAB πŸ™‚ Happy New Year!

  63. December 31, 2009 3:17 pm

    That is what I love about you Heather. You are you…no bones about it πŸ™‚

  64. Becca permalink
    December 31, 2009 3:17 pm

    Wonderful, wonderful post.
    Honest Heather is better than a fake version of Heather, and the “not-so-perfect” stuff is absolutely perfect.
    We all have our little “imperfections”, so thanks for being open about what you do that is right for you and not by-the-book. No one needs to try to make themselves something they can’t or don’t want to be.
    You always go a little bit against the food-blogging grain. THANK YOU!
    This is the only blog I can read daily, without feeling like I have to go out and run three miles or live on algae and greek yogurt.
    Thank you Heather!!!

  65. December 31, 2009 3:19 pm

    Great statements, so glad I found your blog, you are GLOWING!

  66. December 31, 2009 3:19 pm

    so true heabers!!! love you! have a fantastic new years πŸ™‚


  67. December 31, 2009 3:24 pm

    Oh Heather, I’m so sorry. I hope CD gets to feeling better soon! Poor hubby. 😦

    I’m so glad I found your blog. I’ll be a reader for life.
    And I completely agree with everything you’ve said. Hey, if Coffee-Mate is your guilty pleasure, go for it! Mine is aerosol whipped cream.

    Have a happy new year!

  68. December 31, 2009 3:30 pm

    Awesome reflections Heather! I’m so glad that you had such a good year. Best of luck in the new one!

    Oh no! I hope CD and the rest of your family does not have the swine flu!

  69. December 31, 2009 3:37 pm

    aaand this is why you are my favorite food blogger

  70. Jenny R. permalink
    December 31, 2009 3:43 pm

    heather, you’re amazing. No one eats 100% perfect and I don’t even know what that is to be honest because the definition is constantly changing. What I do know though is that you are the best pancake maker ever…that batch could be in an aunt jammima commerical!
    p.s. tell cd I say feeeeel bettttter!

  71. Vegaholic permalink
    December 31, 2009 3:45 pm

    Thank you for that , Heather. I really needed to hear that; a lot of what you’re learning is similar to what I’ve been learning. Good to hear these truths from someone

  72. December 31, 2009 4:01 pm

    Great post! I could not agree with you more on all accounts! I love that you share your thoughts and ideas for what works for you. I really does help people find their way to a healthy lifestyle! I don’t believe that all things work for all people, but how great is it when you can take one persons experiences and ideas and make them work for you! A healthy lifestyle (everything in moderation) feels great! Thank you for sharing your journey!

  73. December 31, 2009 4:02 pm

    Jenny R, Thanks so much, and I’ll be sure to tell CD. πŸ™‚

  74. December 31, 2009 4:03 pm

    Thanks Darcie!

  75. December 31, 2009 4:04 pm

    I love your list of lessons learned, and I think we all can relate to at least some of it. I have been experimenting with different ways of eating a lot in the last few months but haven’t blogged much about it because I was afraid I was attaching a label to myself… Or others would attach a label… And it’s so easy to get caught up in what others are doing or questioning yourself/feel pressured to like/not like certain things…. Even if you know that you have to do what’s right for you…

    I haven’t commented much lately, but I love reading your blog, and I love that you are you! πŸ™‚

    Happy 2010!

  76. December 31, 2009 4:04 pm

    Becca, No green sludge here…’cept for that brief broccoli oat bran phase. Honestly, what was I thinking?!?

  77. December 31, 2009 4:06 pm

    Thanks Andrea, and Happy New Year to you as well!

  78. Kate permalink
    December 31, 2009 4:45 pm

    Happy New Year lady! i LOVE your list. i printed it out and am going to put in on my fridge ’cause i am dorky like that. words to live by and good reminders for me πŸ™‚

  79. December 31, 2009 4:49 pm

    Yes, 2010 should be filled with HEAB-on-HEAB lovin’ πŸ˜‰ Beautiful pancakes! I wish you a wonderful new year!

  80. December 31, 2009 4:49 pm

    Kate, I’m so honored. I don’t think I’ve ever made anyone’s fridge before! πŸ˜‰

  81. Tenaya Roberts permalink
    December 31, 2009 5:06 pm

    Heather –
    It was such a pleasure meeting you on Sunday. And thank you to your MIL for providing us with her expertise in guiding us on the McDowell Sonoran Preserve hike. Bekah is really enjoying blogging and I know that meeting you and Deb and reading your blogs will make her experience at the Culinary Institute of America that more meaningful. I hope she will have time to post, because I know we are going to miss her. I love reading what she has to say. My husband and I will miss her wonderful dinners, that’s for sure. πŸ˜‰
    Blessings to you in 2010.


  82. bridget permalink
    December 31, 2009 5:10 pm

    drink that coffee mate and LOVE it!! Staying true to yourself is what makes you so great–happy new year!

  83. December 31, 2009 5:47 pm

    Heather you are so good with words. Everything you said is so true. You must take of yourself first and forget what others do or say, because only you know what works for you. We hate labels to but sometimes it is the only quick way to explain why you do not eat something, which is unfortunate. We wish everyone would just respect more and judge less on what we eat, and just be open minded. Maybe in 2010 others will just enjoy learning from others : )

    Happy New Year to you and best wishes : ) Maybe we will be able to meet in 2010.

  84. December 31, 2009 5:49 pm

    Love your lessons learned, love you Heather! You have made this year so much better for me in so many ways, I only hope our friendship grows over the new year!

    Happy New Year!!!

  85. ajoyinclass permalink
    December 31, 2009 5:54 pm

    Heather, I ADORE you and ADORE this. Haven’t been a good/great/satisfactory blogger lately, and much of it is because I get caught up in what others will think of my eating….what I “should” be eating….basically, a silly desire to fit in. I don’t like oatmeal. There — I said it! And while I love hummus and nut butters, i got way too caught up in them this year due to blog love and those are foods that cause me to gain majorly.
    This really spoke to me: “No biggie, I just can’t eat sugar and carbs all day long. I am blessed with so many things in life, and the last thing I should fret about is that I can’t eat as much as some.” I am like you in that I gain weight easily and cannot eat 2000+ calories a day….but have realized that this year I was completely lying to myself and convincing myself otherwise. My body is MY body, and only I know it as well as it needs to be known to make decisions about my nutrition, fitness, and well-being.
    thank you for you πŸ™‚ Happy 2010: The Year Of Miracles.


  86. December 31, 2009 6:17 pm

    Wow – I think I’m going to take that list and insert my name and tape it somewhere – the words are as beautiful as you and your smile Heather! I really needed this πŸ™‚ You have a true spirit and I have no doubt you will stay true to it. I think too that we only see a few aspects of a Blogger’s life…Lord knows I eat way more than I post and my activity level is not perfect or truly existent at this time. We all have our struggles but life is too short…I have alot to work on. Happy Happy NYE and see ya in the New Year Chick πŸ™‚

  87. December 31, 2009 6:23 pm

    “Sometimes HEAB forgets to love on HEAB.”

    COULD NOT AGREE WITH YOU MORE AND YES, THIS DESERVES ALL CAPS. I have been so incredibly hard on myself this year. So many reasons and looking back on it, almost none of them make sense for me. We are who we are and we can’t change that — and why would we want to? You are an incredible woman, blogger and person. I am so thankful for our friendship and hope that you will continue to be who YOU want to be in 2010.

    Glad you’re back home safe in Nashville. I’m sorry we didn’t have as much of a chance to chat as I would have liked while you were here, but I will be emailing you soon. I would love to hear more about your upcoming changes and chat about numerous things…such as protein pancakes πŸ˜‰

    HAPPY NEW YEAR, HEATHER, CD AND EINSTEIN BENDER! Can I still call Einstein that??

  88. Steph permalink
    December 31, 2009 6:45 pm

    Happy New Year Heather!

    I love your list! Always be true to you! We can all relate to this in some way. Thank you for being you!

  89. December 31, 2009 6:47 pm

    Wonderful lessons learned and great reminders for the rest of us. Happy New Year!! Looking forward to more wonderful posts in 2010 ❀

  90. December 31, 2009 6:49 pm

    p.s I adore Coffee-Mate – and you’ve made me feel better for not giving it up! …oh and totally agree with the only-veggies-and-healthy-thing…it may work for some – but it’s the wrong path for many…

  91. December 31, 2009 7:16 pm

    I loved this post! I am totally anti food-label as well. I change my eating “style” all the time and wouldn’t have it any other way. Our bodies and souls need different things at different times and more power to you for attending to your needs. All my best to CD and your in-laws, I hope everyone feels better soon!

    Happy New Year!

  92. December 31, 2009 7:25 pm

    Fantastic post. I needed to learn to eat for me, and only me, also. Isn’t is awful that people look down on you for straying from the norm (norm being boxed, unhealthy, and fast food). I’m still learning, but it’s all a learning process, isn’t it? Have a fantastic 2010~:)

  93. December 31, 2009 7:33 pm

    Hey Heather!
    Long time no comment πŸ™‚ I have been reading your blog but have taken a HUGE step back from the blogging world. I can SO relate to the label thing and feeling pressured to follow a certain ‘diet’. Honestly, reading too many blogs was getting to me. But, I ALWAYS read yours–seriously πŸ˜€

    I hope CD and the rest of your family feels better soon!

    Have a GREAT New Year!!!!!

  94. December 31, 2009 8:20 pm

    Jenn, Yes! Einstein can always be your “Einstein Bender” πŸ™‚

  95. December 31, 2009 8:20 pm

    Happy New Year to you as well Kimberly. πŸ™‚

  96. Mary Z permalink
    December 31, 2009 8:41 pm

    Awesome list of things learned! I can’t agree with you more on the labeling…I don’t do well with this either. I was anorexic in high school and can restrict like no body. Thank god I have learned (with a lot of time and work), to do what is best for me and only take ideas from blogs. Thanks for sharing your list.
    I hope CD feels better soon!
    Happy New Year!

  97. December 31, 2009 10:15 pm

    Heather.. you are just amazing! I agree with you on every single one of the things you listed. I love my sugar free syrup and don’t want to feel guilty about eating it.. I’d rather eat that than the real stuff that has way too many sugar and calories! And I’ve tried only eating “clean” wraps/tortillas but they don’t wrap up good at all. And I don’t want to get caught up in blog trends either! For a while I thought I had to eat raw or become a vegetarian but now I realized that’s not how I want to eat.. I like eating my high protein diet!

    Your such an inspiration.. thanks again! I’m glad someone shares my views πŸ˜€

  98. December 31, 2009 11:12 pm

    happy new year, heaby πŸ˜€
    i could not agree with you more. i think many women are so much harder on themselves than we need to be, myself included. here’s to taking out some of the pressure in 2010!
    have a wonderful night ❀

  99. yogiclarebear permalink
    December 31, 2009 11:22 pm

    oh wow heab so sorry about the flu! prayers abound!

    i really like your list, especially #4. im sorry these things have been weighing on you. dont you hate that you think about this and feel the need to “confess” or say it? because you feel judged maybe. you dont have to answer to anyone hon!

    and following food trends? girl you ARE the food trend! πŸ˜‰

    hugs heather, thanks for being a positive part of my 2009, and cant wait for another year of HEAB!

  100. January 1, 2010 12:30 am

    You just gained so much respect from you by posting this! Happy New Year! Thank you for always being true to yourself.

  101. January 1, 2010 12:34 am

    Thank you so much for writitng this. There are many times when I look at you..and that other food bloggers who have ‘gotten to their goal weight,etc.’ and think that they are perfect. What I appreciate about this post is that you are honest about the stuff that you eat which some people label as unhealthy. There’s so much guilt about not being clean on some blogs and for me I feel it sometimes. Just hearing you say what you did means a lot to me.

    Knocking back perfection is one of the most freeing things you can do. Thank you.

    happy 2010.

  102. January 1, 2010 1:07 am

    You are too gorgeous. This post made me laugh out loud and smile… we may have different beliefs but doesn’t it feel good to just be happy being “you”/”us”… etc. Plus, we would all be so boring if we all agreed on everything. I am so glad you are healthy and happy. I look forward to borrowing your recipes in the future. Happy twenty-ten.

  103. Christopher Ian Hill permalink
    January 1, 2010 2:24 am


    Thanks for sharing your thoughts! You are such an interesting person! I love reading blogs…even though I still haven’t tried some of those recipes! πŸ™‚

    I can’t believe that CD has Swine flu and possibly others too!!! I will be praying!! Please keep healthy! All of you!

    I know this may seems cheesy…but I would like do a comment prayer right now.

    “Heavenly Father,
    I lift up my friends Heather and Chris to you. I am thankful that you have brought a new networking friend in my life. I pray for Chris as he is sick with the swine flu. Lord, you are a true healer. I asked that you take care of him. I asked that you give wisdom to any doctors if needed for his health to recover. I also pray for rest of their family and that you bring them peace and health for this new year. In Jesus name….AMEN! πŸ™‚

    God Bless You Friend! Thanks for always being there for me via email!


  104. Miz permalink
    January 1, 2010 6:00 am

    I LOVE this.

    and hope that 2010 is the year we get to finally meet in person.

  105. January 1, 2010 8:33 am

    i adore this post. i adore the way you are honest and true to yourself. if there’s one thing i learned in 2009, it’s that health means something different for every single person. i think it’s fantastic that you’re so in tune with what works for you!

    happy and healthy new year, heather!

  106. January 1, 2010 9:03 am

    Thanks Chris. πŸ™‚

  107. Shannon permalink
    January 1, 2010 9:43 am


    You are a beautiful person, inside and out. I always look forward to receiving your blog posts in my email inbox. You are so honest and inspiring. If I lived in Nashville, I know we would be friends. You have a magnetic personality that resonates through and through. God bless you and keep writing.

  108. January 1, 2010 10:16 am

    I just love your blog. I plan on trying your protein pancakes as well. Hope your husband gets better soon as well as your brother and sister in law.

  109. Christopher Ian Hill permalink
    January 1, 2010 10:28 am


    You’re welcome! πŸ™‚


  110. January 1, 2010 11:55 am

    AMEN to Number 6! Heather, you are so gorgeous! Definitely vibrant and healthy…you look like the picture of health flipping your pancakes! I am so glad we connected this year. I remember seeing all your comments and thinking, “I have to check this girl out.” I’m glad I went with my gut on that one πŸ™‚
    HAPPY NEW YEAR! I hope you have a lovely “Christmas”!

  111. January 1, 2010 1:13 pm

    I love every single one of your lessons. I don’t care that you use Coffee Mate in your coffee, and no one else should either. I say we just do the best we can and eat foods we love and make us feel good. I especially like number 2. I wish we could all be carefree and eat as we please, but realistically, it’s not possible. It’s a good realization to come to πŸ™‚

  112. January 1, 2010 2:15 pm

    I am a new reader, but I have heard about you a lot and had to come check out your blog. This post has me hooked already. Thank you for your honesty. I noticed after beginning my blog that I make so many healthier choices but their are still times I won’t eat “blogger” approved foods. I am still working on finding what’s best for myself. You’re great, I can’t wait to keep reading!

    I am also sending healing prayers!!


  113. January 1, 2010 2:17 pm

    Heather, you are so fantastic and I am so happy that there are bloggers like you who know what works for them, despite how “weird” it seems to other people. This year I’ve really been battling my eating habits and have been afraid to eat my typical food around certain people for fear of them making fun of me or asking a million questions, but I’ve really lightened up and I think that has to do with some people (like you and the fitnessista and some others!) who show people that EVERYONE is different, and no one person will have the same results with any type of food. It’s all about finding a balance of health and enjoyment. Bravo to you, my friend! I hope you, CD, Einstein & Radley (and the Vitamix and the pancake griddle!) have a happy, healthy new year!

  114. hayleycepeda permalink
    January 1, 2010 2:34 pm

    I am basically standing up cheering and doing a little dance for this post. Holly is exactly right – we are drawn to your blog because of your honesty, your dedication and your beauty. I love that you are not afraid to put it out there that you are eating for YOU and not anyone else. Evan also made a great point that many of us (myself included) often get too caught up in what others are doing and take this whole food-thing to an obsessive level. Ok so he didn’t say that exactly, but that’s kind of how I interpreted it at least from my own experience.

    I’ve really come to realize that, like you, the more I place labels on myself the more obsessed I become with food. Why should I feel guilty for putting Splenda on my cereal once in a blue moon or eating dairy or thinking I should go gluten-free because our bodies “are not supposed to eat it.” I think everyone I read in the blogosphere eats much better than the average American and I have yet to see one of them that looks unhealthy. If we FEEL good and are taking care of ourselves then why is there a need to change? You have your reasons why you like trying out new ways of eating and that’s your decision. It’s your body and your life and no one else has the right to tell you that you can or can’t do that.

    You are a truly unique and gifted individual Heather – beautiful on the inside and out…you really do glow!! I always wonder what kind of makeup you use but honestly I don’t think you’re wearing any or NEED to wear any. If so, please share your secrets! πŸ™‚

    Happy New Year!

  115. Lauren permalink
    January 1, 2010 3:03 pm

    I’m sitting in the kitchen with my hubby and family and after reading this, I just said “I just love Heather of Heather Eats Almond Butter.” You are WONDERFUL! Thank you for taking the time to share with us all that you’re continuing to learn. Praying for a quick recovery for CD and your family and praying that God would continue to bless you throughout 2010! πŸ™‚

  116. Lauren permalink
    January 1, 2010 3:14 pm

    Oh and my sister-in-law can’t eat dairy because she is nursing and her baby was having a hard time digesting so her dr. recommended no dairy. She’s been off it for awhile, but any resources or books you would recommend that might be helpful? Thanks!

  117. January 1, 2010 3:45 pm

    Hayley, Thank you for such an encouraging comment! To answer your question, I wasn’t wearing make-up in that picture as it was first thing in the morning. Sometimes the bed head look works for me. πŸ˜‰

    When I do wear make up I wear mostly Mineral Fusion from Whole Foods. Love it!

  118. January 1, 2010 3:46 pm

    Oh Heabie! Well, let me just be the 29448744th person to say that I love your look back at 2009 and your realizations. I feel that I have the same ones: can’t eat 2500 (or even 2200!) calories…always changing up the diet…eating “BAD” things sometimes…don’t want to eat lettuce all day & end up frail etc. Check check check check. Sisters in arms yet again.

    Oh and I love the fact that you are totally rockin the scarf. Fun thing about making things for other people is that you think about them when you make it. I just didn’t know that you’d wear it soooooooo well!! πŸ™‚ ❀

  119. Lauren permalink
    January 1, 2010 4:27 pm

    Thank you so much Heather! I passed along the info!

  120. January 1, 2010 4:29 pm

    Beautiful lessons to have learned, HEAB! And I’m so glad you shared because we all need to be reminded to love on ourselves!

    Wishing you all the best and more in 2010!

  121. January 1, 2010 5:20 pm


    I have been reading your blog regularly and have to admit something to you…I too gain weight easily. I too have to restrict what I eat unlike others. I too LOVE certain artificial sweetners such as the sugar free hazelnut coffeemate!! I too enjoy scarves indoors and out. I too need to show more love to me (aka RealFitMama). I too have my own definition of healthy and it doesn’t always coincide with everyone else’s, but it works for me. I too don’t wish to eat nothing but veggies all day long to fit into some mold that some may think women should fit into. I enjoy a WIDE variety of foods (healthy and not so healthy) but choose to do it in my RealFitMama way. I too enjoy exercise (sometimes more than other times) and do it for the way it makes me feel. These are all the things I have learned in 2009 and the years leading up to it. These are the lessons I hope to pass on to my two little girls so that they don’t spend years hating themselves because their teeth are crooked or their hips are wider than Barbie’s or because they have brown hair and society tells them blondes are prettier. I keep my hair darker than it really is just so my 8 year old knows that I think it’s beautiful. Please keep writing because your blog is heaven to me!!

  122. January 1, 2010 5:22 pm

    Wow, thanks Maria! I will keep writing for you and others – your encouragement means more than you know.

  123. January 1, 2010 6:14 pm

    Eggscellent post!!!

  124. Beth permalink
    January 1, 2010 6:24 pm

    What more can I add that as not all ready been so eloquential spoken? All I can say is this post, like all your others, is the reason I read 1 blog and 1 blog only and that is yours!!!
    You Rock!
    Happy New Year!!!

  125. January 1, 2010 7:06 pm

    Thanks so much Beth. You just put a huge smile on my hummus covered face. πŸ™‚

  126. January 1, 2010 7:59 pm

    I gave up the labels long ago, or maybe never took them up though people put them on me all the time. I just go with it. If it makes someone feel better to think that I eat a certain way, that has no impact on me. I go hour-by-hour. This hour I am a kaletarian.

  127. January 1, 2010 8:42 pm

    I just love this post so much I want to take it behind the middle school and get it pregnant. [/Tracy Morgan] Seriously great stuff.

    Also, thanks for the link upthread for the Go Dairy Free book. I am mildly lactose intolerant (formerly VERY lactose intolerant) and have decided to finally take the plunge and stop eating dairy altogether. And boy, am I going to miss Greek yogurt and ice cream. This will be a great tool for me to get started, so thanks!

  128. January 1, 2010 10:32 pm

    Seriously Heabs, your list of thoughts/what’s on your mind resembles mine soo much! While in TX and discovering blogging, I dabbled in SO MANY different trends. A mountain of oats, eating frequently, eating 3x a day, green monsters, roasted whole kabochas (wink wink), skipping animal protein (whaaa?!!!!@@#$!!@@#!!), running while eating more, etc etc. So I totally get this list. I can’t handle 2500 cals either. Or heavy carbs. Or tons of sugar/dairy/soy. (Although I allow myself more dairy than you do.) I’m short, I gain weight easilyyy (and it all goes to my yogi tush). That being said, I think I’ve found my blogging groove. Right now, I’m being true to myself and I believe its paying off. Like you said, helping yourself first!

    Yay for no labels either. And for protein pancakes with holy mole nut butter. Had some this morning for a Heab/Deb inspired brekkie.

    Love you Heather! Thanks for being so honest with this post. πŸ™‚

  129. January 1, 2010 11:02 pm

    Heather, thanks for such another inspiring post! I love how you are always so true to yourself and do what’s right for you, even if it’s not for everyone else. We’re lucky to have great bloggers like you out there so keep doing what you’re doing πŸ™‚

  130. January 2, 2010 12:44 am

    Great blog Heather. I love your lessons posted.. especially your point of not aiming to be perfect, but to be healthy. That’s so true. And FYI, I like sugar free french vanilla creamer too! Like you said, there are worse things to consume! Happy New Year.. πŸ™‚

  131. Ashlei permalink
    January 2, 2010 10:11 am

    Gorgeous scarf!! That’s great to eat for yourself and avoid labels! πŸ™‚

  132. Becky Edgeworth permalink
    January 2, 2010 1:58 pm

    Heather – I love reading your blog (it is my saturday treat) and I really appreciate what you have shared in this entry. I really relate to #4 particularly. I just want to say that perfect eating is boring eating! I totally admire the way you eat what feels right for you at that particular moment. By the way I’ve been eating kabocha squash and loving it. Even more than butternut which was my first love.

  133. January 2, 2010 4:59 pm

    Thanks Becky. So true…perfect is not always fun. So happy to hear you’re enjoying kabocha. Tops butternut anytime if you ask me. πŸ™‚

  134. Lanna permalink
    January 3, 2010 12:52 am

    Hi, first time to your blog. Not even finished reading the post, but a HUGE amen to #3!!!!!!

  135. Scott in Ohio permalink
    January 3, 2010 7:45 pm

    With 135 comments ahead of mine, I doubt I’m saying anything you haven’t already heard but…

    Great post! We all love HEAB regardless of whether you drink a little Coffee-Mate every now and then or not. I’m kinda glad you do, actually…makes me feel better about my indulgences.

    Remember that the Primal Blueprint says 80% is plenty good. That’s doable, no?

  136. January 3, 2010 10:42 pm

    Hey Heather . . . it’s not me, must be a different Morgan indeed!

  137. January 3, 2010 10:44 pm

    Yeah, other Morgan emailed me. πŸ™‚

  138. January 4, 2010 10:11 am

    I’m just catching up on all my holiday reading and one part of this post really stood out to me (as it appears to have done for many other people). I just realized why I enjoy your blog so much…above you say “I want to glow,” and you really do glow. In every picture, you glow. I think that’s awesome. You must be doing something right.

    Happy birthday and happy new year!

    Keep glowing.

  139. January 5, 2010 7:30 am

    what a beautiful post.

  140. January 11, 2010 1:45 pm

    I love this: “Just because many people can and need to eat at least 2500 calories or more a day, I cannot eat that much”

    That is so me too! Thanks for putting all this out there Heather πŸ™‚


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