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From DJ Tanner to Mom of 3: Q&A with Candace Cameron Bure

LA CREATED/Rowan Daly

The Full House alum is now mom to three kids and the author of a new book, Reshaping It All: Motivation for Physical and Spiritual Fitness. We talked to her about her own full house, and how she balances her busy life—unlike many celebs, without the help of assistants, nannies, or cooks.

You probably remember Candace Cameron Bure from her role as big sister DJ Tanner on Full House, but now Candace is a mom with a full house of her own, with kids Natasha, 13, Lev, 11 and Maksim, 9, and hubby and ex-NHL player Valeri Bure. She's also gotten back to acting and recently published her book, Reshaping It All: Motivation for Physical and Spiritual Fitness. We tracked down this busy mom to talk about her kids, her new projects, and life after Full House. And be sure to check back again soon, as Candace shares with Parenting.com readers in a series of guest blog posts!

Why should people pick up your book?

If anyone wants freedom when it comes to feeding your emotions with food (or fill in the blank) then this book is for you. Reshaping It All isn't a new diet plan, it's about putting your faith into the forefront of your relationship with food. It's like a personal trainer keeping you motivated and giving you a new perspective and insight on day-to-day choices you make. There are also lots of personal stories (Full House fans will enjoy!), easy recipes, photos and practical application for life.

Why did you decide to share your story about your history with bulimia?

It wasn't something I initially wanted to expose and share, but felt I needed to so the reader could see my journey from start to finish. It wasn't just about trying to lose 20 pounds, because let's face it, most of us can do that fairly easily with all the available programs out there. It was about an emotional attachment to food that requires more soul-searching. It was something I conquered once I found my faith in it. 

How will you talk to your kids about body image and food, especially your daughter?

I have been for years. Since all three were born, we've talked about eating properly, a healthy food balance and why exercise is important for our bodies. We've encouraged our kids to be active in competitive sports or have them exercise 3-4 days a week if they aren't. My kids have been jogging since they were all five years old. Nothing major, but anywhere from 15-40 minutes. And they do basic fitness steps like push-ups, lunges, dips, and jumping jacks. Being active is a way of life for our family and something Val and I both model for our children. And of course, the knowledge we give them comes from teaching them to have a healthy heart so they can do anything they want in life. It's never about being a certain weight, or being skinny. My kids all have very different body types.

Photo by Promise Tangeman

What would you do if your kids came home and said they all wanted to be actors?

I'd be totally cool with that! Natasha has done some acting and is still pursuing it. My boys aren't into it at all and just want to play sports! 

How did you keep your life in control when you were shooting for your movie, Truth Be Told? You write in your book that you were on set for more than twelve hours a day!

Well, in that instance, I was on location in Santa Fe, New Mexico. So, it didn't make a difference if I was on set for 8 hours or 16 hours. My husband was a trooper and handled everything at home with the kids. But when I'm in my hometown of L.A. working, it all comes down to juggling schedules with my husband. We've been able to manage it without much help, but there are certainly times I need to call a sitter to take one of them to hockey or dance or help with homework. I'm thankful to have my family and best friend close by too, because they're always there if I need them last-minute.

I know you feed your kids healthy foods, but what do you do if they just won't clean their plates?

I don't care about a clean plate, but I do care if they aren't getting nutritious food in their bodies. My kids are 9, 11 and 13 and we don't really struggle in this area anymore. If anything, it's about having enough food with growing boys! My rule of thumb with picky eaters is to try and try again. I always introduce new foods and give it several tries (a few weeks apart) before retiring it for good. 

What's in your fridge right now?

Cottage cheese, 2% milk, orange juice, eggs, raspberries, pears, Pink Lady apples, spinach leaves, romaine lettuce, grape tomatoes, cucumber, broccoli, cauliflower, avocado, Boar’s Head Ovengold turkey breast slices, lean ground turkey meat, string cheese, corn tortillas, leftovers and lots of condiments! 

Was it weird to go from working to being a stay-at-home mom?

Yes, it was something I decided I wanted to do very early on. There was no way my husband could be on the road playing professional hockey and I could be traveling or working in another city with children. We'd never see each other! I always wanted to be home to raise my children. With that being said, it was a difficult to transition because I'd been working my entire life, literally. I'd say it definitely took a few years for me to surrender to motherhood and really enjoy all of its blessings. 

Do you ever catch yourself doing things as a mom you thought you'd never do?

Every saying I heard growing up that I swore I'd never tell my kids, I can’t stop myself from saying! "Because I said so," "You'll understand when you're an adult," "This hurts me more than it hurts you”…" 

Are you like your mom?

In many ways I'd like to say yes. I think my mom is fantastic, and I hope I'm modeling much of the same behavior she did to me when I was a kid. Especially her giving heart and helping those in need. 

How did you choose your children's names?

It was kind of easy. My husband wanted to keep the traditional Russian middle name which is the father's first name with an ending added, different for a boy or girl. It then made sense to keep a Russian first name too. As for first names, I always loved the name Natasha even when I was young and wanted to give my daughter that name. Lev is a family name (Val's grandfather), and we just loved the name Maksim (pronounced Mak-seem). 

It was wild to see a picture of the entire Full House cast at your wedding in your book. Do you all keep in touch?

Yes. We're all great friends and see each other often. 

What's your favorite way to get your kids to sleep?

There's ONE thing my kids still request every night... back scratches and tickles! 

What's your favorite thing to do on a date night, if you ever get one?  

I love to go to a great restaurant and just talk. 

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