ABOUT THE BLOG
The Baking Bird began back in 2008 as an outlet for my love of photography that was sparked at the wee age of 12 when I received my first digital camera for Christmas, in combination with my teenage vegetarian/vegan rebellion phase. Living at home under my parents’ roof, it was challenging to maintain a vegetarian diet among two meat-eaters, so testing out recipes in the kitchen (when I wasn’t overloaded burying my nose in textbooks) and sharing them with the Internet world was my way of finding a supportive community of like-minded folks. After struggling with anxiety and insomnia for years, frustrated from trying A-Z but avoiding medication at all costs, I found my way to the study of the science of Ayurveda–an ancient form of Eastern medicine originating from India that is based on the belief that a balanced diet and lifestyle unique to one’s own “genetic code” (referred to as Dosha) is the way to harmony in mind, body, and soul. The philosophy incorporates the 5 basic elements (space, air, fire, water, earth) as a way to understand how certain foods, experiences, herbs, climates, seasons, emotions, diseases and disorders affect the human body. It instantly “clicked”–it made perfect sense.
Upon my own research and attending Ayurveda school for several months, I discovered that a vegetarian diet was not right for me having a very “Vata” disposition/imbalance (signs of insomnia and anxiety). Being an avid runner for years, my body wasn’t running on the right fuel that it needed and I lost too much weight. Once I incorporated meat (which, as Ayurveda would call it, has properties of being very grounding, heavy and strengthening) and into my life again, those restless nights of tossing and turning suddenly were gone. I would sleep rock solid, like a baby. It was at that point I realized that food really is medicine. That “you are what you eat” really is true. Ayurveda is based in this principle that qualities of “like increasing like and opposites decrease”–so common sense, right? There’s a lot more to it than that–you could study Ayurveda for a lifetime and still not know everything there is to know, but it is a fascinating science that resonated deep within me and one that truly changed my life. That’s not to say that all of my problems have been solved. Don’t get me wrong, I still have bouts of terrible insomnia here and there, but as a whole, my quality of life has improved for the better since and I have more tools in my arsenal to be more in tune with what my body needs and craves in order to balance itself out. The body is always there talking to you telling you what it needs if you’re willing to listen.
That being said! As much as I enjoy vegan baking, my focus isn’t really vegan-based anymore. The challenge of experimenting with unusual ingredients like flax “eggs” and apple sauce was what really turned me on to baking in the first place. I felt like a scientist in the kitchen, excited to prove that you didn’t need to spend a ton of money on butter, eggs and dairy in order to achieve delicious results. Every now and again, I’ll try my hand at veganizing a non-vegan recipe, but as a whole, I’m not shy of dairy and eggs any longer. Because some day, I dream of perfecting the French croissant.
Why the name The Baking Bird, you may ask? Well, during this period of my life, my obsession and fascination with owls was over the top. They became (and still are) my favorite bird, and if pressed to answer what my “spirit animal” would be, I would definitely say an owl. The obsession was pretty intense (cue link to embarrassing Flickr folder of too many owl-related photos–don’t say I didn’t warn you). Owls, and everything they symbolize, became my role model. Ever since I can remember, I’ve felt like an old soul with the traits of an owl–wise, unique, observant. I never really fit in during my adolescent years, and I’ve always felt older than my peers. The greatest connections I’ve made with others are those older than me. In relation to being an occasional insomniac, I’ve definitely felt part owl at times–my mind tends to ramp up with creativity in the middle of the night (how fortunate!) and has actually lead me to creating some of my favorite recipes. So there you have it: the traits of an owl, helping fuel my creativity and passion for baking!
ABOUT THE BAKER
Hi! My name is Kylie. Born and raised in Santa Cruz, CA but now currently residing in Portland, OR, I practice dental hygiene by day, but love to bake and take pictures by night. Photography is something I have loved dearly more than half my lifetime ago, and it has organically turned into a love for food photography–how convenient! In between all of that, I love to run, study the science of baking and astronomy, try new restaurants, practice piano, study the wonders of Ayurveda, discover new craft beers, listen to Huey Lewis & The News on repeat, and enjoy being a crazy kitty mama of two (Dottie and Swayze… yes, as in Patrick Swayze).
Welcome to the land of The Baking Bird! Enjoy and feel free to drop me a line sometime.
Contact by email.
If you’re new here, let’s start you off with my top favorite posts:
If you’re curious to know what I recommend for optimum dental care (because obviously I promote regular sugar consumption but I care about your teeth also and it’s what I do for a living), go here.