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Do you have a favorite bowl? A bowl that you nestle up in your hands and joyfully spoon delicious food into your eager maw? I do!
Not only do I have a favorite bowl…it’s a locally made large flatish wooden bowl made from the deepest darkest walnut that I purchased at my favorite farm store, but I have favorite spoons.
Like the tarnished silver one with the slight hourglass bowl and rose embossed on the stem that I found at a thrift store. Favorite knives. Favorite copper drinking cups. Favorite cloth napkins that I made from the left over curtain material in my first vintage pop-up trailer love, Shirley.
You get the picture. Do you do that too?
Of course it helps that I LOVE to eat good food. And let’s be honest, good is completely subjective and for me ONLY refers to the fact that it tastes good and brings joy to my senses!
Well, my guest today knows all about that and has been bringing sensual, delicious food into my home for years! Food I joyfully eat in that favorite bowl.
Nicki Sizemore is a three time cookbook author, writer and educator. She writes and publishes the newsletter (and podcast) Mind, Body, Spirit, FOOD, where she explores the rituals, traditions, and cultural influences around food, and how they connect us to our minds, our bodies, our spirits, the earth, and our communities.
And I am a fan. I am. The kind that gets a little tongue-tied!
Last fall, I saw a post Nicki had written on Instagram and in a split second I was sending her a message thanking her for elevating my meal time (life?) during a time when my life felt dull and grim and then in the next breath I asked her if she would be a guest on this brand spanking new podcast I was putting out into the world. And she said YES!
And now, here’s that interview. I can’t wait for you to listen.
So without “further ado”….have a listen!
Nicki Sizemore is a writer, cookbook author and educator. As a trained chef, she spent two decades in the food industry, working as a recipe developer, food stylist and producer. She’s the author of three cookbooks and is the publisher of the blog, From Scratch Fast. Her work has appeared in publications such as The Washington Post, Parents, Better Homes & Gardens, Real Simple, Eating Well, Fine Cooking, and others. Connect with her on social media @nickisizemore.
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Today I am honored to have Nicki Sizemore as my guest. Nicki Sizemore is one of my very favorite cookbook authors on the planet. I found her cookbooks several years ago. And I have devoured with so much pleasure. Almost all of the recipes in her Build A Bowl cookbook. That cookbook has brought joy to my dinners. It has brought pride to the meals that I provide to my favorite guests.
It has been a way to elevate my sensual eating experience.
Not only do I have her cookbooks, but I follow her online and I have noticed, through her Instagram feed. And through the newsletters that I get in my inbox. That she and I have a common take on creativity and living life. And so.
Last fall. I jotted off an email. And crossed my fingers. And hoped that she might join me here on the podcast and talk to me because I want you to be introduced to her if you’re not already. And I just wanted to talk to her. I am a little bit of a fan girl. And I wanted to have a conversation with somebody that is doing really beautiful work in the world.
And so here we are. In our conversation today, we talked about the things that Nicki does to help set herself up for success. We talk about what it’s like to create recipes. We talk about why she creates recipes.
What that is for her.
We talked about the changes her businesses embracing right now. Among so many other things. This was such a delightful conversation, and I am excited to share it with you. So without further ado.
You are listening to the In Kinship podcast. Podcast for makers who crave a vibrant, authentic, juicy life on their own terms. Let’s get started.
Our sponsor for today’s podcast is your Ricki Oldenkamp marketing. Here’s what Ricki to say. If you’ve got something to sell, you need to know how to tell others about it in a way that instantly showcases. You are an expert worth trusting.
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tina: So I have Nicki Sizemore here with me today. I’m very excited to have her here on the podcast, Nikki, you welcome.
Nicki: thank you so much. It is such an honor to be here.
tina: Oh, excellent. Before I ask you about your, path and what it is that you are putting out into the world, I wanna share a story with you. So, A couple of years ago, my marriage was in a lot of trouble and we’re since divorced and actually really good friends right now, so that feels amazing. But at the time, there was a lot of turbulence in our house and I was in a store looking for a gift for my then husband and I found a smoothie cookbook, which he was a big, he is still a big smoothie maker for breakfast.
Right next to it was your book, your Build A Bowl book, and I felt very compelled to get it. And so I bought it and I brought it home and I bought that one for me. That was not a, as a gift, it was for me, but. At the time there was a lot of, um, no, I guess sorrow, sadness, a lot of turmoil, like I said, in our life. And I had these beautiful old Munising bowls, which are like big wooden, kind of flat bowls that you might think of as a salad bowl, but like, could be anything. Trust me, you can eat anything out of them. And I try to, I try to eat everything that I can out of them. And so I had these big, beautiful wooden bowls, which felt very sensual and very warm and embracing to me. And then I get this Build a Bowl book, which we were already pretty adventurous eaters, but like I hadn’t used fennel a whole lot. I hadn’t used some of the other things that you mentioned there.
And I loved how sensual, your recipes are, and I loved how, each ingredient got its own little taste of love, if you will, like its own little specialness, right? Like roasting the, the pecans in a little bit of maple syrup, and then the dash of cinnamon and how that elevated a meal. And so all these different layers of texture and layers of taste.
And so, At that time, I have so many fond memories of being out on the picnic table with my big wooden bowls in our mealtime and having like these layers of food that were so delicious. And your cookbook was one of the ones that, I’ve always been a cookbook user and I also like to venture off onto my own.
But, we would write in the cookbook. I was gonna show you, but we’re on a podcast, it doesn’t really matter. , we would write in the cookbook the date that we would have it for the first time, whatever the recipe was and what we thought of it. And like everywhere in that cookbook is, we both love this.
We could eat this every day. This is amazing. And you know, just like throughout the whole thing. And so I just have very fond memories of your cookbook, bringing a lot of sensuality and beauty to a, a time that was turbulent and I just wanna thank you for that.
Nicki: Oh, I have tingles all over my body. That means so much to me to hear that. And. Really, you described the way I approach food. It’s almost like you took the words out of my mouth, like layers of texture and layers of color and layers of flavor. But I also try to keep things simple.
I don’t wanna over cloud or mud flavors, I guess you could say. So thank you. That is a beautiful story and that means a lot. I’m so grateful that you shared.
tina: Good. Good. And I think it’s amazing. So as a maker myself, not as a cookbook author obviously, that’s not the vein that my making takes, but I think it’s beautiful what we can spark off in somebody else’s life. And it makes me so happy that that was your intention and I can feel that in your book.
Right? And that’s exactly what happened in my life. And I’m just like, that’s just so much
magic to that
Nicki: so, interesting though, cuz you as a maker, I don’t know if this is how you feel, but I have no idea. Like I, I had no idea, especially with a book, like with the website, I would engage with comments and it was a little bit more, live, a little bit, but you kind of, as a maker, you, you create something and you put it out into the world and most of the time I have no idea how people are responding in their own home kitchens.
I do get emails and so forth here and there, but. You know, I think the vast majority of people just use the product or use the service and have their own experience with it. it’s a, it’s really special to hear from somebody who has an experience with something that, where it is kind of my intention because as you know, once it leaves your space, it’s no longer mine.
I really believe that my recipes are no longer mine. I really hope that people own them and fiddle with them and make them theirs.
tina: I can hear that. For the longest time, I did a weekly newsletter and it was that same thing, like I’m pouring my heart out to people and I’m like, I have no idea. Is anyone even reading this? And then I, I was at this concert and. Near my hometown, but like maybe 50 miles away. And somebody came up to me who I did not know, and I have, I have a pretty small following, but she came up to me and I did not know her.
And she’s like, are you Tina Bur at the time? And I’m like, yes. And she goes, I follow you and I get your newsletter. And I love it. And I’m like, oh, oh my God. Somebody’s reading that. I had no idea.
tina: So I can completely relate to that. So will you share with us your story, as far as what you’re putting out into the world right now and maybe how you got to the place where you’re putting this out into the world?
Nicki: Hmm. Yeah. Yeah. Well, my story with food. . It’s a very long one. . It’s a very complicated one. And that I could just, that won’t be its own, its own podcast situation, um, , but I’m gonna give you the short version. I moved to New York City after college with my then boyfriend, who’s now my husband. And, um, after working in PR and marketing for a while and absolutely hating it with every fiber of my being, ha I was actually enrolled to get my graduate degree in food studies at nyu.
The week before I was supposed to go, um, had this revelation, um, thanks to this one comment that this one person made. You know how one person can change your life. And he are, do you wanna talk About food or do you wanna cook food? And I was like, oh, I wanna cook food. And he’s like, well then why are you going into academia?
You need to go to culinary school. It totally shattered something in a really beautiful way. So I did, I dropped out of graduate school and instead I enrolled in culinary school. . And from there I have worked in so many different facets of the food industry in almost 20 years, which is kind of crazy, but never had the intention of wanting to work in restaurant kitchens.
I knew that was not my. Speed. Um, but worked in test kitchens for, uh, media companies, video production, food, you know, recipe development, food styling, the whole thing. Um, and a couple, I mean, I guess it was about five years ago, I’d always had this blog, this like thing on the web, and I decided , I had been doing so many different things as a freelancer.
and I had just had kids and it was just so overwhelming. So I decided to put all my focus into that and I turned that into my business. And at right around that time, I wrote my books. I have three books. And the blog it really served me really well for the past five years and it was a great learning process.
And the blogging world has changed so much, so I’m. Grateful for it. And I got to a point this past year where I really felt like I had lost my voice. I had lost the heart and soul behind what I do, and I had to really sit with that, and it was so scary and so hard because I had just reached the. on my business that I had been yearning for, and I was having, you know, the revenue dollars that I wanted and all of this, and then I’m like, and now I’m gonna have to go and tell my husband that now that I built this thing and it works, that I wanna leave it behind that I, I’m not liking this at all.
So I had to wrestle with my own inner voice, my own inner guidance for a while because I kept being steered in a different direction and I kept resisting it. And what happened this summer is my body shut down, my body shut down. Complete burnout. Complete exhaustion. I had Lyme disease. Um, about nine years ago.
All of the symptoms came back. It was old. It was not a new, a reinfection. And know, in looking back, it was just, it forced me to stop everything the universe, whatever you wanna call it was like, okay, she’s not gonna stop unless we force her to
Nicki: So I recalibrated everything and really, uh, the journey I have been on as a human, not just as a blogger or as a career person, has been a really deep spiritual journey for the past several years, and none of that.
Soulfulness was being expressed in a blog. When you run a blog as a business these days, it’s become very robotic and very much geared towards what, um, search engines want to see. So what Google wants to see. So there are now just templates and people just pop in the information in templates and it’s very specific and very cut and dry and really, The voice is getting cut out of all of that, and I just started to feel like a, a cog in the machine and I started to feel like I.
I was like just trying to sell recipes to people, which didn’t feel good. I mean, obviously I sell, I do. I mean, that’s really my business, , but I knew there was another message, or something else deeper that I just wanted to explore for myself. And so that led me to, um, put the blog on hold. It still lives . but instead I am, um, a newsletter called Mind, body, spirit Food, and it really explores food, the rituals, the culture, the different traditions we have around food and how they feed us, not just, you know, physically, but also how they feed us spiritually and how they connect us to the earth and to each other.
And part of this is just because these are the things I wanna explore. I wanna go deeper with food. Food is so nuanced and so problematic actually in this culture. So I kind of hope that this newsletter can unravel some of those.
Some of those stories that are kind of put upon us that we don’t get to write ourselves, they’re just kind of laid on us,
Nicki: makes any sense.
tina: it does. It does make sense. I’m excited to see and to continue to explore that journey as a participant of yours. I think that’s really amazing, and I’m also on a very personal note here, I’m blown away because I also lost my heart a little about my business. , I’m not a blogger, but I teach sewing classes online and I’m went on a very deep spiritual path as well for probably, well, maybe a decade or so in my spirituality wasn’t coming through except for, I do some retreats on Mackinac Island here in Michigan and I get to bring it to there. Cuz it’s a very in-person and I get to bring it in. But I didn’t, at first. I was a little afraid to, but I can now and but I don’t in the rest of my business. And so I also was having a loss of heart and then, This fall, I’ve been struggling with this brand new autoimmune disorder that I’ve never had before.
And I don’t know, . what it is exactly. But it’s been debilitating. Like my body became completely debilitated and I’ve shifted when I’m doing business-wise. And I thought, wow, what an interesting parallel story. And
tina: actually talked to somebody else recently for the podcast that had a very similar story as well, and I think that’s really intriguing that the universe is like, all right, show up in the ways you need to show up, or cuz I also have to learn lessons kind of the hard way. I’m trying to shift that.
I’m like, that cannot be the only way that I can learn
Nicki: I know exactly. Yeah. You see, I’m such a visual person and the way I’m seeing it say I’m this little squiggly vibrational line, and if I’m not lined up with. The vibrational line of where I’m supposed to be, then everything gets off. I’m like, all of those ebbs and flows, they’re like hitting things.
And it’s hard. And it’s hard and it’s hard. And it’s like I keep reminding myself that when I am in my zone, when I’m vibrating or whatever the word is that you wanna use at that, at that place, things actually become so much more spacious and expansive and.
Nicki: don’t know about you, but I grew up learning.
I, I thought that if it was easy, it was not successful. like to be successful, it had to be really hard.
tina: or I’m not working hard enough, then I’m not doing enough if it’s simple. Yes, exactly. Gosh, there’s so many books that I wanna talk about right now, but I will mention one. That I’ve just recently read that has been so expansive for me. The way of Integrity by Martha Beck. And it’s really about living in your truth, right? Which of course is not a new concept for me or anyone who’s been on some kind of a spiritual path, but it made it deep into the levels of me to understand like, my only job in this world is to follow. My truth and being in my truth at all times.
And so like I’m always trying to figure out, okay, is this the right path for me? Is that the right path for me? What should I do with this? And it’s like, I don’t have to worry about any of that. I don’t have to worry about any of that end result. I only have to worry about is this right for me right now in this moment and everything else is gonna fall into place.
And I have such trust in that. All of a sudden, from having read that book, and again, it’s not new per se, but it’s like it gave me this deepness with it ,
Nicki: I can feel everything you’re saying on like a cellular level right now, and it’s bizarre that you bring that up because just before the call, I was just thinking about the process. I was thinking about this idea of the process and how I, you know, I’m. in the middle of launching this new newsletter and launching my own podcast and launch, and it’s like, wait, it doesn’t matter.
The end result, the newsletter itself, the podcast itself like that actually doesn’t matter, but how does the process feel while I’m in it, while I’m creating these things? That to me feels that was kinda like this profound revelation I had this morning , which is really weird,
tina: Right. And this idea that if it’s not joyful, then what is this life we’re living, right?
Nicki: Yeah. What is it for? Why? Yeah,
tina: And that, just trusting that if we follow that joy, In every way that we can. I mean, obviously we still to do the dishes and we still to do the things and um, but maybe we can find joy in that too.
Um, but if we, if we follow that, like the most beautiful things are gonna happen. So even in my, autoimmune thing that’s been happening right now, I had some plans for this summer that didn’t come to fruition, and in hindsight I’m like, wow, have those come to fruition? I would not have been able to accomplish what I wanted to accomplish because of this debilitating experience I’ve had.
And I’m like, I just have to believe that there’s a bigger plan because had what I wanted happened,
tina: I’d be in dire straits right now. So it’s like, it’s very interesting.
Nicki: It’s really a great practice and I’m trying to get better at this to look back and to connect those dots because I think we can sometimes just like go through life and be like, oh, it’s just serendipity, whatever. And I’m like, no. Actually, when I go back through and I start to puzzle it all together, it’s this beautiful picture and it makes sense I, we can do it kind of in real lifetime.
Then I think it accelerates, um, something, it accelerates the path that we’re on in some.
tina: Mm-hmm. . Yeah, I hear that.
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tina: So talking about process, tell me about the process that you go through when you create recipes and tell me what drives that for you and do you still have that passion for recipe creation?
Nicki: Yes, the passion for recipe creation was a hundred percent there. And so, during this transition, I had no idea where this was going. I’m working on a book proposal like that made sense, but I had no idea where this would all end up. But I knew the recipes would still be a major component because um, that’s my creative outlet that is.
And I don’t know, I don’t know if it feels this way for you when you’re making something, there’s something about a recipe the way. trickles in and then I play with it, and then all of a sudden it hits this place and I’m like, oh yes. Like, yes, this is, this is the thing. And I get so much joy out of I was a. Total artist. As a kid, I was a painter. I drew, I was in art classes my whole life and then got to be a quote unquote adult and really went to college and stopped. And food became my my vehicle of expression.
And as I’ve been sitting here thinking about this, for me, Creation is really tied with to beauty and I don’t think this is the thing for everybody, I just think this is a very specific personal thing.
Um, that creation of beauty. Because for me, beauty is such an easy way for me to connect to something really deep and sacred. And food for me is a really fun way, to create moments of beauty.
And I think now I’m getting back into writing as also I’m finding that same joy is coming through writing, which you know, I kind of like hid that away for a long time.
So the recipes are still happening. I mean, this is kind of a roundabout answer, but. As far as like the logistics of it goes, I mean, I get inspired all over the place and it’s only when I stop trying so hard that the inspiration comes through. I now completely trust this process. I know if I’m gonna sit and I’m gonna say, okay, today I’m gonna write seven recipes.
There’s no way. There’s no way. But I know if I like put the intention out there, like, okay, I’m gonna write two recipes this week. Somehow during the week, I will just have this. Hit of inspiration. And it can be from something I’m reading, it can be honestly a lot of times from just making dinner for my family like, it’s kind of like the game like, Ooh, what should we make for dinner tonight?
And it really forces me to get creative, um, and. Then it’s kind of a visual exercise of writing the recipe before you actually test it, My husband’s a musician, so we talk about this a lot, how he can create a score in his head without hearing any music. And I’m always completely flabbergasted by this idea, but he’s like, well, you do the same thing when you write a recipe.
You can taste it before you taste it. And I was like, I guess that’s true. So, and like there’s that. Internal part. And then there’s the very physical part of, of putting my hands in food know, really experiencing that three dimension, um, tactile element of cooking, which I really love.
tina: Yeah. Do you make in any other way at this point in your life, or does food take over
Nicki: food takes over and it’s really interesting cuz I’ve got two daughters and my 12 year old and both of them are incredibly creative. But my 12 year. Such a maker and in such a different way. She’s amazing at sewing and making little miniatures and just this element of yeah, creation that I never like as a kid, my form of creation was like drawing and painting and she’s got just this entire different zone.
And so I think part of me like lives vicariously through her and part of me hopes to get back into some other forms of art. Actually, I will say poetry, it’s like right now I’m getting back to like pen and paper and writing and that feels like a form of creation when it’s coming from just a place of free expression and not really the end result.
tina: right? Or the marketing aspect of it,
tina: that. Mm-hmm. . Did anyone teach you to cook or are you self-taught? I know you went to culinary school, but was there any major influence? Like as an example, my grandmother was a seamstress. She worked in a factory during the day and she made wedding dresses for people on the weekends and things like that.
So even though I never learned. To sew from her cuz she died when I was 17 and I was too busy to stop and learn. She certainly is somebody that I channel I believe when I sew, and also she’s a big inspiration for my making journey. So Do you have anyone like that in your past?
Nicki: I don’t, it’s really interesting. My mom is a great cook, but when we grew up, I have two older brothers and my dad traveled all the time for work full, she had a full-time job as well. And so we survived on fast food and takeout. I mean, this is three kids or all three of us were involved in a million different activities.
But I always loved food and my family always made it like the celebration. Like if we did go down our report cards, we wouldn’t get ever gifts. We would get to go out to dinner and at first it was like Red Lobster was the place
and then our tastes evolved and I think. My family’s budget evolved and so finally like we would go into the city and go to a steakhouse and like those memories, just the experience of trying different foods really sparked and lit me up as a kid.
And I was just the kid who was watching p b s, like Jean Papa Penn and Martha Stewart, all of those old timey shows on P B S Julia Child, um, instead of cartoons, I always was drawn to the cooking.
Nicki: And when I was in high school, I think, the food network came out and at that time it was not like the entertainment.
Now I feel like it’s very entertainment based, but it was very practical, like how to cook shows. And during the summer out of when I was at school, I would watch it and I would cook what they were cooking. I learned I think a lot through those cooking shows. I, I feel like I was throwing my mum under the bus cuz she has a great cook and we love cooking together.
But I didn’t have somebody like that in my life. My grandmother was a great cook as well, I grew up in the Midwest and so very kind of like basic meat and potatoes like the kids were not allowed in the kitchen. Like no way
tina: Yeah, get outta here.
Nicki: So, yeah. don’t, I don’t have that. And often often wondered like, where.
comes from, but I think it’s just this line of creativity that definitely
tina: Yeah. I we’re all creators on some level, I definitely was a maker as a child.
And then in my twenties, for the most part, I wasn’t, I was busy, I dunno, doing whatever 20 year olds do, living and whatnot. But I remember very distinctly, a moment in time in my mid twenties, oh, 27 or so, sitting on the couch thinking this cannot be all my life is about , it feels very lackluster textiles are my thing.
So embracing textiles and moving into that realm and how much vibrancy that gives my life. And I think that whatever that could be, whether that’s writing or music or any other thing, I think there’s something ingrained in us that we need. To be creating on whatever level to really feel that vibrancy.
And I’m not saying that you can’t have vibrancy without it, cause I don’t know that to be true, but like certainly seems like that in my life.
Nicki: It’s certainly true for me and my life as well, and
I think people find their own way, their own method of creation. I have a dad , he was an accountant and my brother is as well. And so they would never call themselves creators, but I do think they find ways to create that aren’t maybe as obvious, um, to, you know, maybe it’s not just art, but maybe it’s, things you do in the yard or, you know, whatever the case may be.
I think for people out there, there’s a million different ways that you. create, and it doesn’t have to be the obvious things that we all see.
tina: Take us through a day in your life, what does that look like? And do you have any, not only just your day-to-day things, which we all love to kinda like take a peek at, but also, do you have any rituals? Do you have any practices that you try to incorporate? Doesn’t mean you’re successful all the time, but like things that help you to feel more alive, I guess.
Nicki: Yes. , I love that question. my mornings are my, my magic time and so I get up early way before the kids and I often do some sort of physical practice, but not all the time. And then I have a meditation practice and it’s absolutely crucial. I do it every day it’s, what’s interesting is this past.
Four or five months, I’ve started to bring my journal into the meditation this is just occurring to me now. of is, I felt compelled to do that because I feel like that’s becoming a new outlet for my creation. , so that’s my time to really get grounded and. It’s also my time to connect with my spirit, and every morning I ask my inner soul, what do I need to know today? I actually post these in my Instagram stories and it’s a very personal message, and sometimes it’s two words and sometimes it’s a sentence and it’s, it astounds me how during the day I’ll be like, huh, that was weird.
If I go back to that and if I can really be intentional about remembering those words, then it has a really big impact on my day. And in fact, sometimes it’s kind of saved my days, . Um, so I do that and then come up and really lucky, I’m gonna give a big shout out to my husband because while I’m meditating, he’s making the girls breakfast and he totally honors that time.
And it took us years to get to this place of. , um, having to assert my need for this time for myself, and I’m just wanting to say this out loud because I know how hard it is for moms and it’s also so important that we take care of ourselves. And then I like my candle.
I’ve got a little altar in my room, and it’s, my altar is literally just things we find in the yard, things that just connect me to, um, to. both above and below. I like to say to, you know, the skies, the heavens, as well as the earth, and take my shower. And then it’s kind of into my day. The kids are off to school and, I am so lucky because my office was always in the middle of our house and our living room.
It was kind of like this wasted space. My desk was in there and it was so challenging. it made sense. I’d say for a while. You know, it’s right next to the kitchen. I was back and forth all the time and I knew last year I was like, I need my own space with the door. And of course, how do we know these things before we know these things?
We built me an office in the attic this year, um, that it was just done this fall, and I could not be launching this new project without this space. It would be impossible. I can’t. I can’t connect so deeply to my inner voice in the chaos of my home with my kids around who think I’m always available.
It’s, it. Maybe I can, I, I shouldn’t say I can’t, but it was really hard. It just makes it a lot harder. Um, So I come up work. My husband also works from home, which is great. So we often have lunch together and then take a little walk up the road. We live on a mountain road, so we’ve got trails all around us and then it’s kind of like back to work and then these kids get home and we’re kind of doing the juggle.
But another really important part of our day is dinner. We always sit and have dinner as a family. And now that my youngest is turning eight this month and it’s so lovely cuz we actually have conversations. You know, I. A lot of the times if you have young kids, it’s just them kind of like talking, talking, talking.
And now we actually have conversations, which is lovely. And that’s about it. I think at night, a couple nights a week, I’ll take a hot epon salt bath and just like find another way to like go back in and. Carve my space. I need a lot of alone time. I’m a major introvert. Even though I can be very extroverted out facing , I can fake it.
of, I need a lot of alone time and covid and all of this stuff has taught me I have to listen to it. I have to go there. And my kids understand that now. And of course, like I’ll get in the bathroom, they go to bed. But even if I’m in the bath, it’s now like, okay, that door is shut. And when I will crack the door when I’m done and you can come in, but when the door is shut, you need to honor that space.
And that was so hard for me to say that it was so hard for me to own my space so I can go.
tina: I just like you’re telling my story. Um, Yeah. I have a seven year old and, I think that as women especially, and not to pick on us, but like we are not great at setting boundaries, we’re not great and not being available all the time for all the people. And I think that, I just wanna honor the fact that you have set those boundaries and that you understand the strength of ’em.
And I think that as we as women, the more that we do that and the more that we share that and the more that we speak that the more women can do that, and the happier women will be, and the happier their homes will be, and the happier their partners will be, and the happier their children will be.
Nicki: And we get to model it for our children
tina: right, right.
There’s, and we can so often sort of feel like a victim of our lives and it’s like
tina: And it’s not to say things don’t happen to us that are out of our control, cuz they do, but like we have so much more control than we think we do and we have so much more ability to be like, This is a strong boundary for me.
And people especially at first, might push back on that. And then as women we tend to like, oh, nevermind. I’m not gonna hold this boundary anymore then. And it’s not serving anyone. They’re going to be fine. They have to push against it cuz they’re like, what? What is this fence that wasn’t there?
And they have , they have to see. And then once the fence is there, they’re like, all right, okay, I can lean on that fence and that’s fine. I can do that.
But we as women, I think, have to take control of that. And I, I just wanna honor you for doing that cuz that’s hard. It’s hard and it’s so vital.
Nicki: thank you so much. It’s real. Yeah, it’s real. And I think you’re right. The more we do it, the more you do it, the easier it gets. I can say that. And then the people around you do understand that you’re a human too, and you have these needs. And I think , the reality is like if I’m off and I’m like, oh, I need to go up guys.
I’m checking out. I’m getting in the bath. I get out that bath in a totally different state. And I think they now know like, oh yeah, mama, go get in the bath, . We get it.
tina: Have you had your bath yet? Cause I’m pretty sure you need it. Exactly. And then like, when you’re in the off space, you say things to your poor seven year old son who all of a sudden has begun picky after being like the world’s greatest eater. And you say crappy things like, I’m not even gonna care about what you want anymore when I make dinner, ever. And then he looks at you, he looks at you with these big sad eyes, and I’m like, I still love you.
I just don’t care what you want to eat anymore. So you know, which
Nicki: This is my seven. I have a seven year old as well. She’s turning eight. She is my. Biggest teacher. She is teaching me all the times by the way. I react. I’m like, okay,
Nicki: what do I need right now? Because this has nothing to do with her.
tina: No, no. I like the poor little guy and I’m like, oh shit. Did I fail at that? But
Nicki: Oh, all the
tina: yeah, then you get to do it again. Yeah, exactly. Oh, what do you hope that people feel after having engaged, like deep down inside, obviously we’ve got the, that they’ve had a delicious meal and that they feel satisfied and full, but what do you hope people feel after they’ve engaged with your work, whether that’s your recipes or this, this venture you have on Substack.
Nicki: I don’t know why this is bringing tears to my eyes. I don’t know. This is, this is like, woo.
Nicki: I hope that people can feel like they’re giving themselves. I don’t. I know how to say this. I hope people can feel like they’re giving themselves love, that they’re loving themselves. I hope that they feel so deeply loved, but not by anything outside of themselves. You know, in my, my newsletter, how I sign off every time is remember to nourish yourself with intention and with love. And if we. Turn that to ourselves and really stay committed to nourishing ourselves with intention and with love. It changes us and it changes our relationship with other people, but it has to start with us.
So I guess that’s the really deep answer. , um, you I’m really passionate about not Proselytizing any sort of dogma. I really believe there is no right way to eat. There is no wrong way to eat. There are no good foods. There are no bad foods, and I, I am really hoping that my work can start to expose some of the ways we’re conditioned around food so that we can regain our sovereignty around what we eat.
tina: Right. Very nice. I love that. It’s just gotten old the sense of like, what should I do? What shouldn’t I do? Oh, I can’t eat that. It’s bad. I can’t do this. You know? It’s, it’s just gotten old and I, especially as we consider like embracing joy. One of the things that came up for me too in this autoimmune thing that I have going on, , which kept me sort of house ridden for five weeks, which as a doer was like, what on earth? Was the sense that, um, rather than fighting the negative, right, cuz you’ll never win against that negative, that fight actually embracing whatever you can think of that’s positive and not like in some rote way, not, I’m like, let’s see the silver lining, but it’s not real, but like what can you really connect to that’s positive and stop fighting the negative because you’re not gonna get anywhere.
But increase the negativity it was a great practice for me to stop and be rather than like, why is this happening and why are my hands not working anymore? Instead I have a warm, comfortable place and that’s truth, and I’m okay.
And that’s truth, right? And like, what could I embrace positively rather than fighting that negative? And so,
Nicki: I feel so strongly about this. This is so true. This is exactly how I felt this summer. There’s this element of surrender. There’s an element of surrendering to the reality. and honoring what you need. And I just wrote about this last week because my whole family was, we, we’ve had two and a half weeks now of like one sickness after another, after another.
And there was a day my husband woke up and he was like, I’m done. He was so frustrated and I completely get it, but I, as I like sounds, I’m like, you know, fighting. , it’s like tightening everything up. And you know what happens when we tighten up? Nothing can move through us. So there’s this element of you just have to surrender.
While I think the the fight comes for yourself, the fight comes to stay. I think fiercely committed to nourishing yourself gently and with love and listening to those cues for what you need. and it’s not really what we’re taught. I mean, it’s not what I was taught, but a, there’s a play there of, of acceptance.
And I love what you said about bringing an element of positivity without just like faking it. But there’s always something. There’s always something to be grateful.
Nicki: Gratitude is a huge practice for me and it’s way me, one of my most effective means I know to shift my own energy is having a strong gratitude practice.
tina: Just, as you said, it’s so vital to have that be something authentic and we can always connect to something authentic so that it doesn’t feel like we’re pretending,
cuz that’s not really getting us where we wanna get so, I can hear that. Hmm. This probably was already , touched on a moment ago, but , one of the questions I like to ask folks is, what do you wish people knew deep in their hearts? What do you wish everyone knew?
Nicki: that they’re loved. They’re so deeply, deeply, deeply loved, and they don’t need to seek it. It’s just inherent.
tina: Yeah. What can you share with us that is sort of unexpected about Nikki?
Nicki: I don’t know what comes through and what doesn’t come through, you know, with like social media and stuff. Um, I love being goofy. I love laughing. I love singing crazy songs at the top of my lungs. I’m completely tone deaf.
Even though I’m married to the musician, I have no musical skill and I sing all the time. I make up silly songs. I do little dances, , I don’t know, there’s some element of me that’s just really off the wall, weird and goofy, , and I don’t know if that always comes through.
tina: So as somebody who’s watched your videos, and as somebody who films myself as well, like, I’ve always been very impressed with how professional and clean and crisp your videos are. And yet you, you saying that, I’m like, I can see that like you are very professional in your video, right?
You’re, you’re incredibly professional, but you have a little spark, a little sparkle. And I think that probably is that trying to like. Wiggle outta your body, you know, so I
Nicki: Yeah. It’s interesting as I like, continue on this transition path, I’m becoming less and less interested in video. And I’ve always loved video because of the food element, because I learned cooking as we discussed earlier. I learned how to cook through watching Um, So video was always really important to me and I worked as a producer on the productions for a long, a many number of years. I don’t know, maybe it’ll come back at some point, but right now I just don’t have much interest in video. And I think part of the reason is because I am not yet comfortable being my whole self on camera.
I feel like I do put on like this little like Nicki camera personality and I don’t, I don’t have the space for that. That’s why I’m like podcast. That’s where I’m launching a podcast cuz I don’t have to be on camera , I can just use my voice and, and talk. So it’s interesting that you said that cuz I, there’s definitely this element of like, putting on the character have, I don’t have the patience to do this anymore.
tina: Do you have anything else that you would like to share with my audience? And then after that, if you could tell them where to find you.
Nicki: I hope that the kitchen can become a place, a beautiful place of self-care.
Nicki: I know cooking can be a chore, and that is the dead truth. It can be a chore, but it can also be a really powerful way for us to connect to our senses, to our bodies, and even to our spirits. And so I just invite that as an option.
tina: Very nice. Thank you. And where can people find you? Where? Where can they follow you? Where can they see more of your work, and where can they buy your books?
Nicki: Yes. Um, so I have a newsletter called Mind, body, spirit Food, which is on Substack you, if you search up Mind, body, spirit Food, Substack you will find it. You can, It’s a free newsletter. There’s also a paid version that supports the. The work. You can also find me on Instagram at Nikki Sizemore, and then my blog From Scratch Fast still lives happily on the web.
It’s got tons of recipes and you can buy my cookbooks there.
tina: And I just wanna put a plug in here cuz like I mentioned at the very beginning, I love your recipes. I love the simplicity of them. I love the sensuality of them. I love the texture and , that each ingredient gets like this little bit of extra love and then you’re bringing it all together and it just, this
feast for all the senses. And so I recommend your books and I’ve found lots of inspiration on your From Scratch Fast website as well. So I’m excited to dive deeper into your Substack.
Nicki: Thank you so
tina: You are so welcome. Thank you for being here.
Nicki: Thanks so much for having me. This has been so fun.
That’s it for our show today. I am so glad you’re here to listen. Wasn’t that a good one? Oh, I’ll tell you. There are people out there doing some amazing things. And I am so grateful that I get to listen to. What’d you do me a favor. Which you would jump on your favorite podcasting app.
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