Shira Barlow's book, The Food Therapist, came out four months before her son, Oliver, was born. At the time she figured childbirth wouldn’t slow her down too much. After all, the book was her professional baby for years and she was excited to promote it properly and ride that new-book wave.
However, after Oliver was born, her perspective shifted almost completely.
She wanted to be purely a mama for a couple of years, and she was. It was an unbelievably sacred time that she needed, but now, four years later, she feels called to come back to her practice and talk about the book in a meaningful way.
Because, after all, the principles she goes over in the book are timeless and are still the same principles she uses in her practice today.
We caught up with the author to get a glimpse into her foodie life as a mother, author, and entrepreneur.
Any takeaways from early motherhood that you use in your practice today?
Moms don’t often take great care of themselves. I believe in personal seasons, and for many moms in early motherhood the initial focus isn’t on self-care. I think that’s okay and healthy to a certain degree — the temporary loss of ego and vanity for many of us can be quite freeing actually — however, when we eventually toggle back we realize how important it is to take good care of ourselves. Of course, we know this intellectually, but it’s challenging to hold on to during that time.
A couple things I’ve observed and recommend:
We often pack our kids all kinds of great snacks for the day but rarely pack something for ourselves and end up starving and snacking on something we didn’t intend on or even enjoy. I’m a big proponent on prepping some kind of mom snack while you’re kitchen is already a mess (ideally after breakfast so you have something that you like, too). Or, simply think ahead when you’re at the grocery store for easy things to have on hand, I’m a big fan of squeezable nut butter (Superfat is my favorite), seaweed, and have recently gotten into the ready-to-drink shake brand, Space Shake.
Moms often plate food nicely for their kids and loved ones but tend to eat hurriedly over the sink even when they do have a moment to themselves. I’m a big believer in putting your meal/snack on a plate/dish and physically sitting down when you can… it really helps you pay attention to what you’re eating while you’re eating and tune into your satiety cues.
And lastly, take shortcuts whenever you can and resources allow. Truly. Make things easier for yourself. Buy the rotisserie chicken to shred and doctor up in meals throughout the week. Get the riced cauliflower. It’s a marathon not a sprint!
Speaking of kitchen shortcuts, can you tell us a little about your latest venture, Hi Note?
Hi Note was created with flavor and kitchen scrappiness in mind. We really wanted a product that could transform basic ingredients into something special, quickly with minimal effort. Our hero product CHEEZIO PEPE is a dairy-free take on Cacio e Pepe. People love Cheezio on pasta for their families, but personally I’m especially excited about its off-label uses — for instance, as the base for a no-brainer salad dressing, on roasted or air fried veggies, or my personal favorite, spaghetti squash.
1 Tablespoon CHEEZIO PEPE
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 lemon (incredible on salad and for crudités dipping)
Cheezio Spaghetti Squash:
1 Spaghetti Squash
3 Tbsp EVOO
1 packet CHEEZIO PEPE
1. Preheat oven to 400*F and prepare a parchment lined baking sheet.
2. Slice the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and ribbing. Drizzle the inside with 1 Tbsp olive oil, using your hands to coat evenly.
3. Place cut side down on the baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes.
4. Remove from the oven and flip, cut side up. Set aside to cool. When cool enough to handle, use a fork to scrape the spaghetti strands from the sides.
5. Heat the remaining oil in a saucepan over medium heat and add the spaghetti squash strands, stirring for about a minute. Add the CHEEZIO PEPE and toss to coat evenly.