A Special Fork & Beans Announcement

I really need your help. I have this ongoing problem that is becoming a huge issue in my life.

I hate going to the gym.

I’m sure you are thinking to yourself, “Oh silly Cara, just go outside and take a walk!” Allow me to clarify further. I have been hating working out…period. I haven’t always been like this. I used to truly enjoy working out. In fact, I still want to like it–I love weight lifting and walking–I just can’t seem to get my butt motivated to do it.

Why am I even bringing this up? Well, I’m glad you asked. I need tips and advice from YOU, dear friends, to help me. If you and I were sitting at the coffee table and I confessed this to you, how would you motivate me? I guess I should be a little more clear too as to why I need to get myself motivated to start working out. It’s something I have kept quiet for a few months now but I think it’s time to share it. Here is my BIG news:

I’m writing a cookbook!


But it’s just not any kind of cookbook. It’s 125 recipes of gluten, egg, and dairy-free BAKING. Did you read that title? Decadent is in it. That means this is not a healthy book by any mean, but one that is full of recipes that are perfect for that special occasion–you know, that occasion where it calls for tons of sugar? There, now do you understand my dilemma fully?


(Please note that the cover picture is still being decided on and this is just a filler-in for the time being)

You can click here onto Amazon and pre-order the book now. It is cheaper if you do it that way but please note that the book will not be out until mid-2014 so if you do pre-order it, it will not be shipped until once it is hot off the press. It still hasn’t really hit me that this is happening but the gratitude that I feel is immeasurable. I wanted to take a moment to thank YOU, dear friends, for without you, this would not be possible. There are some of who have been with Fork & Beans since the beginning and those who have jumped right into this sweet little community somewhere down the line up to this point. To all of you I say: You have made my life so sweet (and not because you have inspired me to make so much candy) in ways I never dreamt possible. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I promise to not disappoint you with this book. I take it very seriously and every day all of you are in my mind as I create each recipe. I aim to make you proud.

But I’m still also serious that I need help with that motivation bit so…motivate away please lest I drown in sugar!


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  1. OK, so I finally pre-ordered my copy (late much) you realize that this comes out just in time to show up at my house ON MY BIRTHDAY next year. You really didn’t have to go to all that trouble just for little ol’ me. 😉

  2. My advice is always to start with a stationary bike. You can put it in front of a TV or take a book or video game with you. So you can be productive in more than one way! Or just walking. Above all, it’s about creating habits.

  3. Congrats, Cara! That’s such terrific news. I can’t wait to give you book a home on my shelf!

  4. Cara!!!!!!!! Congrats girl!!!! This is so awesome and I am so proud of you! Sorry it took me so long to leave this comment but I have been thinking of you and I am so very excited for you! I know it will be good and full of a ton of inspiring recipes that are creative as hell! Can’t wait!!! xoxox

    Also, there is no need for a gym – just go for a walk and call it a day!

  5. Hi, just found your blog because I’m a vegan trying to start cooking more.

    I recently have been trying to get myself do a bunch of things that I enjoy doing, yet couldn’t seem to motivate myself to initiate, and what’s been working for me is just planning and forcing it into my schedule. I just get it into my head that I have to do it once a day. Planning a specific time can be helpful but it might not even be necessary. I also like to write down my exact reasons for each activity, why I enjoy it, what I hope the outcome will be, etc. and then read it sometimes. As for myself, I’ll be finding it fairly easy to exercise but I’ll be trying to motivate myself to get up and cook sometimes! Good luck :)

  6. Congrats Cara!

  7. I’m so excited for you!!!! Congrats. If you have a tester list, I’d love to be on it. Now the dread problem….exercising. Could you hook up your appliances to a treadmill or bike so they only run if you are?

  8. Congratulations Cara!! You recipes are like a godsend! Your cookbook will absolutely make it onto my shelf :) As for the gym, I just tell myself I need to get there. Even if I do 10 sit-ups and leave. Then once I am there I always end up doing more! Great music is always a plus :) Good luck!

  9. Congrats on the cookbook! I totally know what you mean about hating to work out. I’ve been in the same boat for the last few months. I found two things that help: 1) get someone else to work out with you and (most importantly) to hold you accountable for actually working out. 2)Sign up for something that forces you off the couch. I just signed up for a 5K fun run, mostly as motivation to get my butt moving so I wouldn’t completely embarrass myself at the 5K.

    Hope this helps!

  10. I work at home so tearing myself away from the computer can be tough, but I found that scheduled pilates classes where I will actually lose money was a good motivator.

    The past 2 years I’ve been working from “the road” and didn’t work out at all until recently I discovered the Yoga Studio app and found that it doesn’t feel like typical working out, it feels like I’m doing something really good for my health. The only way I’ll do it though is to wake up 30 minutes earlier. Once I start my day, I don’t seem to have the time.

    I also found this quote inspiring recently: “Your habits determine your future.”

    Good luck and thanks for the recipes!

  11. Hey Cara!! So excited about your cookbook! I heard about it through the small town Indiana grape-vine :) As for workouts, I have really enjoyed Tabata/circuit style workouts these days. They are fast, intense and require little to no equipment at all. I find most of my workouts online googling or on Pinterest. You can even download a Tabata timer app. Hope you find something that clicks :)

  12. So excited for the cookbook!!! Yay! I would hire some taste testers for you, that way you take the burden off of yourself :) I find that variety in my workout is what keeps me motivated. I live in a really rural area where there aren’t a lot of classes available so a lot of times that burden falls on me. Another thing that encourages me is: It will take me less than 20 minutes to do a mile (even walking) and if I walk and jog it only takes 15. That’s nothing! That’s a small investment for the great payout you get. If you are going to get any workout DVD’s I recommend Jillian Michaels, she’s VERY motivational. I have 6-week 6-pack (I haven’t got one yet) and I feel like I’m doing good if I do that video once a week (just over 30 minutes). It kicks my butt every time!!
    Good Luck!

  13. Hi Cara and congratulations!! Kathryn’s idea is a great one and has worked for me. Being self employed and having just self published my own book too, it is hard to fit in working out. My book is a children’s book, a true story, of my late cat Oliver.
    Also I have learned not to beat myself up if I missed a day. It is hard but have gotten past this by knowing I will fit in the workout the next day as well as find the time, even 10 minutes, to do some type of workout on my own at home by myself on the day I have missed.
    I have been following you for some time and love your recipes! All the best with your cookbook and look forward to the release as I am gluten and dairy free due to celiac and I am a vegan.

  14. I go through stages – sometimes I’m highly motivated and sometimes I struggle. I try to tell myself that 20 minutes us all I have to do, and usually it gets me there!

  15. Woo Hoo! Congrats! You cookbook is going to be amazing!

  16. Something that ALWAYS helps me when I get in a workout shlump is: start small. Even if it’s doing pilates for five minutes a day everyday, start somewhere. Even if its just walking for five minutes a day. Starting is the hardest part, so make it easy! It gets the inertia going, and once that inertia is going you can add time and intensity to your workouts. But the most important step is the baby step: get the ball rolling!

    Good luck in your ball rolling and cookbook writing, you rule Cara! :)

  17. I’m so excited for you Cara – I can’t wait to check out your decadent cookbook!! You always have the most gorgeous, mouth-watering recipes!!

    As far as workout motivation, I have to have a goal. Find something that sounds fun to you – a race, a competition, or just finishing a certain plan and then get started. Having that end in mind helps me a lot more than just heading to the gym. :)

  18. I was ready to post my suggestions for what motivates me until I started reading all the responses – they are already posted! What REALLY helped me is to post a picture of some great bodies – that’s ALL it took! I kept telling myself – I CAN look like that too! I AM BEAUTIFUL!
    SEW excited about the book – looking forward to getting my hands on it!
    Good luck – and jump in anytime you need a workout buddy! We are ALL here for you!

  19. Congratulations on your new cookbook. Very exciting!

    As for exercising … I love to run, but I know running isn’t for everyone, and sometimes it’s not even for me! So here’s my advice for you:
    1. find something you like to do. Don’t do something just because you think you have to. Try out a few activities, then settle into one or two of them and explore them and just do it! When you get bored, try something else or try the old exercise in a new way.
    2. buy group coupons (like Groupon) for gyms, yoga classes, bootcamp classes, kayaking lessons, lift tickets, etc. Then you can try out some exercises and some studios and some activities for cheap. If you don’t like it, no biggy because you didn’t spend much. If you do like it, you can buy a proper pass or membership knowing you’ll use it because you like it!
    3. buy some fun work out clothes and gear
    4. set small goals for yourself each week – do a minimum of 3 workouts a week for at least 20 minutes each time. Build onto that base.
    5. Celebrate successes – buying new workout gear is a great reward!
    6. keep a fitness journal – don’t record your weight or your waist measurement or anything like that, but jot down what activity you did, where you did it, how long you spent doing it, how you felt. And let the fit of your clothes and the glow of your skin be the judge of your weight, waistline and figure!
    7. Work out with a buddy.
    8. Do your workouts outside as much as possible – fresh air and the inner reflection one does when one is outside is soooo good for you.
    8. Get a dog! A dog is the best running and walking companion and motivation booster ever!
    9. Have fun! Enjoy yourself!
    10. running, walking, bootcamp, yoga, pilates, snowboarding, skiing, snowshoeing, rock climbing, Zumba, weights, dancing, cross-country skiing, hiking, aerobics, team sports (soccer, rugby, badminton, volleyball …), parkour, trampoline, kayaking, paddle boarding, …
    11. check out my blog for a couple of posts on bootcamp runs http://mostlyveganfun.wordpress.com/

  20. Contratulations on the book! That’s some crazy exciting news :) Reading through people’s workout suggestions is also pretty inspiring, and with the hope of not repeating anyone, I’d suggest purchasing one or two pieces of new workout apparel that make you feel AWESOME, then hanging them by that “Earn Your Shower” sign 😉

  21. Soooo excited for you and I can’t wait to see the book! I only wish we didn’t have to wait so long :) Meanwhile, you can send any spare goodies my way! ;P

  22. Your Biggest Fan! says:

    So, is pinching yourself an exercise? Hmmmmmmmm? (Re: your reply to Heather above hee! hee!) You just need a new cute outfit for working out :-) What better motivation than a new exercise outfit?
    I’ve been sharing this news with everyone! I’m already hearing things like….Can she come here to do a book signing and make some of her recipes for us to sample?
    Oh, and btw, I’ve pre-ordered more than one :-)

    • Um, I’m really LOVING the idea of coming out there. Consider it done! How fun would that be?! I will put it into my schedule for next year (as long as it doesn’t conflict with my new workout routine…but seeing that pinching is easily done in other states, I think I will be okay) 😉

  23. So happy for you! Congratulations! You are one of the best bloggers I follow and your recipes are outstanding!.. Looking forward to your book and hopefully I can buy it @ B&N (I own a nook and all my books are there!)…
    All the best!

    • WOW. Completely blown away with this comment, Rosanna. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for thinking so–I will make sure that I don’t disappoint you with this cookbook! xoxo

  24. Congratulations on your book! I love to exercise, but I haven’t always. I pretty much hated gym class in high school. Then I met my husband who is a runner and he asked me to start running with him. At the time, I couldn’t even run a mile without stopping. I have since run numerous 1/2 marathons, 1 marathon, 5ks and 10Ks. I did the Elliptical and pregnancy workout videos while pregnant. I am now 32 and I love to exercise!
    My suggestions are to do it first thing in the morning. Then you don’t have all day to talk yourself out of it. You will LOVE the feeling of a hard workout. All of those endorphins are addictive!
    Find something that you ENJOY doing. If you hate running, don’t do it! Maybe you really enjoy riding your bike or going for long hikes in the woods.
    I hope this helps!

    • Good for you, Amanda–how incredible! I hope you are so proud of yourself for all that you have accomplished. When I am preggers, I hope to be on the elliptical :) I think you are onto something with doing it first thing in the morning. You are right–get it out of the way as soon as possible, right? Thank you for the help. xo

  25. Congratulations on your book! That must so exciting!
    Can’t have too many vegan baking recipes, nom!

    I use to go to the gym, but after so many years, it got kind of boring. Having a gym buddy helped immensely, but I moved away. I then tried exercise DVDs, which are useful because you do them when you want and there’s lots too choose from. Nowadays, I use Blogilates’ videos on YouTube everyday because they’re free and very effective. To keep things fresh and interesting, I add to my routine a different exercice class like Nia, Cardio kickboxing, Spinning, Bootcamp, etc., every season. I hope it helps! I know what you’re going through :)

    • I’m so glad to hear that you have shared in my lack of motivation. Wow, though. I am so impressed by you and your ability to self-disciplined! Will you ship some of that over here? xo

  26. Congrats on the cookbook!

    As far as working out… I’m something of a fitness nut, but I haven’t always been. I grew up swimming, then avoided gyms and sweating like the plague for a few years when I quit. Here’s my advice:

    JOIN A GYM. I don’t like wasting my money, so spending it on a monthly membership helped me to commit.

    DO WHAT YOU LOVE. Keep an open mind and check out some group fitness classes. I’ve fallen in love with yoga and cycling (I teach both now!), and while I’m not big on lifting weights, my gym offers a barbell class that I really enjoy too. You’ll meet people with common interests and they’ll help keep you accountable.

    GIVE IT TIME. It takes a few weeks to form a new habit. Start out slow (30-60 minutes of something every day) so you don’t get burned out.

    Personally, I love the feeling I have after I work out. Remembering how good I feel after is what gets me out of bed when I want to hit snooze.

    I’m also particularly fond of the phrase, “Earn Your Shower!”

    Hope something here is helpful to you :)

    • I’m painting a canvas that is going to read : Earn Your Shower. I find that so funny, Steph! Though I’m afraid that is just going to justify why I don’t bathe :) hehe. This was VERY helpful, thank you for taking time to thoughtfully respond to this. xo

  27. Congrats to you on the upcoming book! I’ve found even if you have only 5 to 10 minutes, get up and move. I love dancing and keep little weights nearby. If I’m working at home, I’ll take a 5 minute break and do some dancing, stretching, leg kicks, anything fun to get the blood moving. You don’t always need a full-on gym session to keep fit. Find something you like. You like it, you’ll do it more often, shocking news I know, lol.

    • It’s so refreshing to hear from all of you despite the fact that maybe these are answers I already knew. I needed a swift kick in the pants and hearing things like you are saying like, do 10 minutes or find what you like, help remind me that I don’t have to go crazy to be healthy. Thank you! xo

  28. That’s amazing! I’ll definitely be pre-ordering it once it makes its way to Amazon uk!

    • Hooray! Aaawwww, thank you so much Hannah–I’m gonna make for certain that this book will be well worth it. xo

  29. Oh gosh, that’s so exciting. I can’t wait!

  30. Congrats! You are so talented & I can’t wait to get the book!

  31. congratulations! i am so happy for you! i knew this would be on your horizon 😉 you are so talented and cannot wait to see all of the deliciousness you create!

    • Thank you friend. You have been one of the few from the start of Fork & Beans so hearing that is extra special for me. Truly. xo

  32. Congrats!! Can’t wait to see all the great recipes you come up with! If you need a tester, I’m not GF but I’ll try anything and love baking. I’ve had some great GF treats that I would have never known and I’d say that’s the best test. I

  33. Hey, I used to go to the gym, when my children were little. My gym had a baby-sit-service and the groceries right next door, that was very convenient- I left home with the little one, when the older kids left to school or kindergarden (I have 4 kids), after the exercise I could do the groceries and was at home for cooking and lunch ready, when the others came home at noon (I live in switzeland, either the children come home for lunch, or you have to organize something for them, it’s getting easier by the time, but for working mothers it’s quite difficult, still). Now, I’m not going to the gym anymore. I am working now, my kids are old enough to fix lunch themselves. I walk my dog twice a day and I’m doing yoga at home, my days are simply too short for more than that. If you’re busy with the writing of your cookbook, there are some really great exercises to do at home, too. I prefer to exercise early in the morning, it’s a good start in the day. :-)

    • I think you really took my schedule into mind with this advice, thank you Kirsten. You are right–part of the issue is being cooped up at home working on recipes so having a home workout would be a great idea. Thank you!

      • By the way, I’m really looking forward to that cookbook :-), I’ve placed an order already (yay!) I’ll probably forget it, and then I will have a super surprise next summer 😀

  34. Yay…do the Fork and Bean Dance! You are so talented, any book filled with your edible decadence is sure to be a megahit!
    The only exercise suggestion I can think of is pay a friend to kidnap your car. Pay her with cookies. Everyone wins…you have to walk or take public transit (do deep knee bends at the transit stop for extra points) and she gets cookies and a free car. Note: hailing a cab does not count as exercise.
    Okay, seriously, my friend Jo is the same way. Her solution was to get a dog (which she had always wanted to do anyway), and also commit to volunteering at least a couple times a week. She helps out at the local animal shelter and local food pantry, and also delivers meals-on-wheels. You get exercise, lots of smiley thank you’s, and also a physical/mental break from your work. Even yumful decadence needs a breather. :)

    • Okay, I just got THE biggest kick out of your comment so thank you for that! Maybe I won’t go as far as having a friend kidnap my car but rather set a rule that if I am going to the store (which is just several blocks away) I have to walk there. There is no excuse not to anyway, right? Love this! Oh, and I wish I could get a dog–I will have to wait until I move into a place that has the room but it is a great reason to exercise, I agree with Jo :)
      *doing the Fork & Beans dance* xo

  35. Congratulations, Cara!!! So excited for this cook book!!!!! Once it is published I’ll have to work on my motivation! :) For me the biggest thing was to rethink my routine. Perhaps you’re not motivated because your old routine no longer interests you. Shake it up! Take a dance class or some self defence….try a new thing each week and see what inspires you. I bet it wont be long until you’ll be giving us motivational tips!

    • Great point, Jessica. I get bored easily so it is very important for me to switch things up. Plus, I have to remember that just because it motivated/worked for me 1 year ago doesn’t mean it’s supposed to today. Thank you for that reminder!

  36. Think of putting yourself on the cover of your book, looking all healthy & tone, putting a decadent treat up to your mouth. :)

  37. The “when” you exercise and “how” is the most important. You have to find what works for you, but it is recommended that you exercise first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. Do it no later than 8:00 a.m., otherwise your daily “to do” list will crowd it out. Have a cup of coffee or tea before, and my secret is to take a teaspoon of chia seeds with a swig of water to wash it down (for a lasting sustained burst of energy), along with a B vitamin complex and ginseng. I sip on nettle tea or water with electrolytes added. And then just start. Tell yourself “I will go 10 minutes and then stop.” When you get to 10 minutes, see if you feel up to 10 more minutes. And then 10 more minutes…with the ultimate goal of at least 30 min. of cardio over a period of a couple weeks or sooner. When you can do at least 20 min. of cardio you can begin to add weights and floor exercises, a little at a time.

  38. Just pre ordered my copy and can’t wait to have it in my hands! So happy for you Cara, you are destined for great things :)

    I am with Kathryn, get a gym buddy – I am lucky to have my sister to head off to the gym with, but when she is not able to I ask myself what else would I be doing with that 45 minutes or an hour if I were not to go to the gym – watching TV or sitting on my rear-end is not a good enough excuse not to go workout…so I go. It is hard when you get out of a routine to get started back up, I hope you find your motivation to get back to the gym!

    • Are you for serious??? Thank you SO MUCH for the pre-order. Good grief, I am so humbled–thank you! And another thank you for the great advice. The self talk is very helpful for me. Rationalizing what I would do with my time if I didn’t go to the gym makes a lot of sense. Let’s keep our fingers crossed… xo

      • Of course! It is so exciting to see you making your dreams come true, the cookbook is going to be amazing!! xo

        • It’s been such a crazy journey. Who would have thought? I’m still pinching myself that I am making this my fulltime gig. So strange. Thank you again, friend, for ALL of your love and support!! xo

  39. Courtney M. says:

    Hi Cara! I’ve read multiple times that scheduling workouts in your calendar each week like you would any other appointment is effective. If you keep an appointment book maybe this will help you. I started running again about a month ago because of an app that makes me feel competitive, I crave beating my previous pace & distance each time & it’s only for 3 days a week, it’s really helped me. Called couch-to-5k. Good luck hon!

    • Hi Courtney! I love that idea of scheduling in workouts. I am definitely gonna give that a try–thank you! Good luck with on your next 5K. When is it this year?

      • Courtney M. says:

        Yes, I’ll be doing the Turkey Trot 5k in Long Beach on Thanksgiving morning. That way there will be less guilt about all the food later 😉

  40. The trick is to buddy up and set SMALL ACHIEVABLE goals!! Set big goals too but the small achievable ones are the ones that keep you motivated!! Get a buddy and set some goals and YOU can do it!!

    • I think my small achievable goal shall be: put on gym shoes and get into the car. Now that I think about it, that is more of the BIG goals. Once I’m in the gym it’s okay :) Love this advice–thank you! And I love all the exclamation points–you are a good motivator. I’m feeling it! xo

  41. I have the same problem with motivation too.. But I am super excited about the cookbook!

  42. I found the best motivation for me was to buddy up with a friend. That way she was dependant on me to stick to our plan as I was her. Then it became fun again. And great news about your new cook book! Best wishes.

    • That is a really great idea, Kathryn! Now I just need to find a friend :) I think you are on to something though. Thank you. xo


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