READ · Wellness

Our Character is made of Natural Ingredients of the Highest Quality

  • How on earth did a surprise cookbook that came in the mail get me thinking of that?

Yesterday I checked the mail and found a box! You know when you get something in the mail that you didn’t expect and you can hardly wait to get home to open it?

I was so excited that I didn’t even put my seat belt on or park properly in my driveway… I ripped in the house as fast as I could and used a butter knife to attack/ open the box. Inside was a beautiful blue book… I love books… with a fabric cover and the beautiful crisp pages, and the inside is filled with delicious recipes and encouragement to try something new.

 I knew the moment I read the title of the book who it was from and it brought joy to my heart.  A dear friend introduced me to this amazing bake shop while visiting with her in Edmonton.  It is an beautiful and delicious space, brought forth by an incredible vision, dedication to authenticity and hard work.


The Duchess Bake Shop  in Edmonton, Alberta.

You can’t fake good-quality ingredients and we could always tell if a bakery was using artificial flavour or premixed fillings.  We vowed that no matter what, we would always start with natural ingredients of the highest quality and in as raw state as possible.

-Garner Beggs, co-owner of The Duchess

I know that Beggs is speaking of food and baking here, but this can also be read in light of ourselves.  You can always tell when someone is not authentic, they are filled with artificial flavour and premixed fillings.  There is a sense that we get when a person is not authentic. And like the owners of the Duchess Bake Shop have done with the food they serve, we must also vow to ourselves and the people around us to, no matter what, always start with natural ingredients of the highest quality.

But what would that mean, what does that look like? – I think it means, find out who you are. What are your “natural ingredients” ? Who are you at your core, what makes you tick, what makes you energized, and ask yourself WHY? Spend time with yourself, processing.  No noise, no tv, no distractions. 

This is why l love quilting or sewing.  While creating something beautiful I can think and process. Think about situations and how I handled them.  Ask questions of myself and answer them. Was I gentle, kind and compassionate? No, why? Perhaps I need to apologize… but I hate apologizing, Why? It’s humbling.  Maybe I need to be more humble. I wonder why that’s a struggle.  Maybe I can be more self aware in a conversation so that I am sure to be gentle, kind and compassionate. … and on the conversation goes… and sometimes I think I am funny and will make myself laugh, or forget what I was thinking about, or get completely distracted by another thought.  Just let them flow, give your brain time to process.

In our society we are entertained and distracted everywhere we go all of the time.  There is no time to process.  I want encourage you, if you don’t already have one, get a hobby. A hobby where you can make or create something or get active.  Painting, bird watching, running/ walking, baking ( I know of a great cook book), cooking… there are so many, find one that you will love and use that time to process and get to know yourself.

Unplug from what the media and society is saying and check out what YOU are saying.  Discover who you are.  You were wonderfully made. – I think that is the “as raw state as possible”. Find out who YOU are.  Not who you are supposed to be, or what titles you hold (mom, wife, daughter, dog owner…), deeper than that.  There is a difference between who you ARE and what you DO.

warning, you may start processing and getting to know yourself, and not like what you see.  Four quick thoughts on that,

  1. We all have that.  Not just you, so go easy on yourself.
  2. The part that you don’t like may be exactly the part that you need to look at. Perhaps that is the part that you are covering with artificial flavours and premixed fillers.
  3. DO NOT beat yourself up.  Love yourself and be kind.  Don’t make excuses, it takes hard work and long conversations with yourself.
  4. This is a process, that’s why it’s called processing.  As you get to know yourself you will get to love yourself.

But trust me, in there is a person you will love, and she is worth all the hard work and long conversations.

Keep well friend,


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