A Quick Bite with Tracy Moore
When I first met Tracy Moore, host of CityLine and mom of 2, I was approaching her to appear in a fitness/profile video I was producing for a magazine. Her kids were really little and mine weren’t much bigger. Let’s just say that between us, it’s likely no one was sleeping through the night. In my bleary state, I mis-typed and asked her if she could be hold a plank for an hour (rather than be on set for the entire shoot for one hour) for the video. Rather than ask me if I was nuts, she found a way to reply politely that although it was unlikely, she was game to do what we needed to do. And that’s pretty much what I’ve come to know about Tracy – she’s charges into life, be it traveling with her gorgeous family or taking on new professional projects. But she also keeps it real.
Since then, Laura and I have appeared on CityLine countless times, sharing SPC-approved recipes and strategies. Cooking on tv can be stressful – just try dicing an onion while looking up at a camera and not losing a finger, I dare you! – but Tracy always makes it fun. So, we were thrilled to grab some time with her in the days before the kids go back to school to chat about school lunches, picky eaters and her exciting new venture. But please don’t worry, this is not one of those, oh-my-God-she’s-doing-it-all articles. As Tracy told me, she doesn’t not believe in perfect life balance. And seriously, I just love her more for it.
Sweet Potato Chronicles: What’s your earliest food memory?
Tracy Moore: After the dentist my father always rewarded my sister and I with a patty and coco bread. Carb heaven. I also remember my godmother coming to Canada from New York and bringing with her the biggest Oh Henry bar I had ever seen in my life. We had to cut slices with a bread knife. Carbs and chocolate. Basically my formative eating years have ruined me for life. Thanks grown-ups.
SPC: How did you learn to cook?
TM: I didn’t. My mom has cooked since her fingers could flex and has been the family cook from childhood. She was determined my sister and I would have a different fate so she kept us out of the kitchen. When I moved out for university, of course I had to fend for myself so my main meals were pasta (insert tuna, tomato sauce, cheese…anything) and fast food. Needless to say I gained a few pounds throughout those years.
SPC: Are you the cook in your home?
TM: No my husband is the cook.
SPC: Has parenthood changed your relationship with food or cooking?
TM: Parenthood has definitely forced me to take a second look at my eating habits. Kids can’t eat fast food or takeout all the time so inevitably the whole family ends up getting onto an eating schedule. This is a good thing.
SPC: Do you ever cook with your kids?
TM: We bake together. And by bake I mean we get the add-an-egg-and-water cookie mix and make it together. We also do this when they have friends come over and they are little enough to believe that I actually have skills.
SPC: Sweet or salty? What’s your guilty pleasure?
TM: 100% sweet. Milk chocolate with nuts is my happy place.
SPC: What do your kids not eat that you wish they would?
TM: One eats everything. The other eats nothing. I’d like the eat-nothing kid to get better with consuming water and vegetables aside from broccoli.
SPC: Are there rules at your table? (No elbows on the table! Eat your vegetables or no dessert!)
TM: My husband grew up without a lot of money so there isn’t a lot of food wasting happening at our table. It’s pretty much a criminal offence to throw out food. The kids are also supposed to use a fork and knife, not fart, and eat over their plate to avoid having half the food end up in their lap. We’re a work in progress.
SPC: What’s your go-to, late-home-from-work weekday dish?
TM: A three-egg omelette with veggies and cheese.
SPC: How do you get yourself ready to face the lunch packing season starting soon?
TM: First I cry. Then I come up with all sorts of ways I’m going to be creative with their lunches this year. Then I give up by Oct. 15th…
SPC: How would you describe the line you’ve created, Tracy Moore Designed by Freda’s?
TM: This line is for the woman who wants to look cool while pushing her kids on a swing but without showing her butt crack or wearing yoga gear. It’s also for the fast-paced business women who wants a paint-by-number wardrobe that’s made of high quality, closet essentials. And it’s for the gal about town who wants to brunch with the girls or go on a date and look sophisticated and pulled together with a personal style twist. It’s all about trademarking your style and doing it in comfort.
SPC: How did the line come to be?
TM: Tracy Moore Designed by Freda’s started with a conversation in 2014. I approached Freda’s about collaborating on a clothing line with me because I felt it was time to take our relationship to the next level. They had been clothing me since I started hosting Cityline in 2008 and so many people tweeted, emailed me every day asking what I was wearing. It made sense to get into fashion because there was interest from Cityline viewers and my social media followers. And also I wanted to be able to show up to my kid’s school concerts and look cool without looking like I was trying too hard. TMxFredas allows me (and everyone who wears it) to do this.
SPC: What’s it like to collaborate with the designers on these pieces?
TM: It’s pretty cool to know that something we talked about in a board room and sketched has become a piece that a woman is wearing. And then seeing my name on a label? I die.
SPC: How much fun is it to wear something with your name on the tag?
TM: See above! And also it makes me super proud to have pursued a project outside of journalism and lifestyle television. My path was always meant to be news reporting or hosting. So when I look back now at a lifestyle show and a clothing line, I’m a little gobsmacked… and a lot proud.
SPC: Is designing something you’d thought about for a long time?
TM: I actually never thought I’d be launching a clothing line. Fitness apparel? Maybe. That’s why I’m so thrilled things have gone so well. We launched in April on The Shopping Channel and sales have been swift.
SPC: Could you choose three key pieces you’d recommend for busy moms?
TM: A busy mom needs: 1. The V-Hem top. Wear this for school drop-off or to work. Make it casual with skinny jeans or funk it up with leather leggings. 2. The New Jogger. This makes me feel cool even though I’m just trying to give my thighs some breathing room. Throw these on instead of yoga pants and a chunky bangle or ring and you’ll go from drab to Gwen Stefani. #HawtMama 3. The New Blazer. Think scuba gym wear but crisp and professional. Throw this on for your parent-teacher interviews and they won’t mess with your kid. Throw it on with a pair of distressed denim and you’ve got the perfect casual look.
SPC: Even though I hate this question for women, I can’t help but ask it. How do you do it all? You’ve got a big job, two kids, I know you’re committed to volunteering and now you’ve got a clothing line. Does it ever feel like too much? And how do you decide what you’ll give your time to?
TM: I’m not a big believer in balance (it doesn’t exist for me) so last night I spent way too long ignoring my kids while working on my phone answering emails and planning marketing strategies, I took them for a roller skate and bike ride at 7:45pm when they should have been taking a bath. They got to bed after 9pm. That’s when I started making lunches and throwing their bathing gear in the dryer because they needed them for camp the next day. Oh well. Someone always loses (sometimes work, sometimes the husband, sometimes the kids) and I’ve reconciled myself with this fact. I don’t expect to do it all and to do it all well. I lean heavily on my husband (chief cook, camp planner and drop-off guy) and to try and let go of the guilt. This is what works for our family. When it comes to volunteering, I have two or three organizations that I truly believe in and that I’ll always support pro-bono (Trust 15 is one of them). Everything else I decide on an ad hoc basis. Do I have the time? Can I fit this in? If the answer is no, then so be it. I really applaud myself on the amount of no’s I’ve dealt out this year. Self-preservation is highly underrated. How can you be a good person when you weighed down with obligations? I’d rather show up to an event, party, work engagement because I want to be there, and not because I got strong-armed into being there.
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