My Body

Erin McKenna Eats Two Cookies Every Night

Chefs are like athletes — they abuse their bodies in the name of performance. There are the burns and the cuts, of course. But then also the late hours, the constant high stress, the endless rich food, drinking, smoking, drugs, and broken relationships. It's arguably the most unhealthy profession since coal mining. At least that's the impression given by popular chefs, like Gordon Ramsay or Anthony Bourdain. In the name everyone's general well being, and out of sheer curiosity, Social Workout decided to investigate. We started with Erin McKenna of BabyCakes....

We asked, the lovely Erin answered:

  • Do you eat dessert? About how many a week? Yes, of course! Every night. I bring home cookies and have 2 with tea after dinner. 
  • Do you know any healthy chefs? Hm. Not really. I actually heard that Joe Bastianich started running marathons and he lost a ton of weight! But I don't know him personally... 
  • Are you in touch with your body? Yes, absolutely. But I certainly ignore what it's telling me at times. For example, I know that my adrenals are fried, but it doesn't stop my from pushing through. Sometimes I feel like I'm getting sick, and I still charge forward at 100 miles an hour. Once I'm totally taken over by the cold or flu I tone it down and let my body rest. 
  • How often do you get sick? I used to never get sick because I would drink wheat grass every morning, but now I've started going to work earlier and my favorite juice place isn't open in time for me to grab one on the way into work like I used to do. This also means I'm working longer hours and more likely to burn out so I end up getting sick more often. Maybe 4 times per winter nowadays. 
  • Do you ever exercise outside of the kitchen, if so what do you do and how often? Yes, I run every morning and do the elliptical for about 35-45 minutes total. 
  • Do you consider yourself an athlete? No way, but I love to exercise in the morning just because it clears my head and gives me endless energy. I'm not the one at the gym switching up my workouts and trying out the new equipment. I'm not interested in getting perfect abs or running a marathon. Too many other things to think about! 
  • Having cooked for so many people, what lessons have you learned about eating healthy? I've learned that there is no trick to great health but there are a few rules that will keep you healthy. First, eat most of your meals from home—make it yourself! You'd never dump as much oil or sauce on your food that restaurants do and you'll save a ton of money. Second, eat food that is as close to its natural state as possible, and finally stay away from the anything packaged with preservatives or artificial sweeteners—eating them is like taking an express train to Fat. They are not your friend!


Erin Mckenna (Photo by Mackenzie Stroh)


Another great series! I think you nailed this one w/ the coal miner comparison. Such a paradox - such superlative food, such abysmal lifestyle. 

spindig's picture

I like this one:)

Kaitlyn's picture

I like this one too...and I also love babycakes!  I'm seriously craving a spelt cupcake right now...

Bdawg's picture

Love <3 Love Babycakes! Keep it up Erin!

BeauVega's picture

Babycakes is my favorite cake shop. I'm addicted. I bought her recipe book but haven't been able to replicate the cakes in her store. I don't know whether that's just me or if it's the recipes but I think the recipes for the cakes she sells are different to the ones in the book. However I'm still a big fan.

laxmicane's picture

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