I made homemade mayonnaise!

I have been focusing on ways to reduce my plastic consumption and food waste. I have been so inspired by the Dutch Hill Homestead.   They are all about zero waste. They make as many products from scratch as possible, and feed any leftovers to the chickens and goats. I don’t have chickens or goats, so I put my food scraps into the compost bin.

I am all about keeping things easy. I don’t like to fuss or spend hours in the kitchen. I looked at what I buy on a regular basis and investigated how to make them from scratch. Once you have the process down it is easy. My son Tom loves mayonnaise. He will eat it straight from the jar. This morning I made homemade mayo. It was so easy and I used a cute little ball jar.

1/2 cup Organic Avocado oil

1 egg from farmer’s market.

1/2 tsp Dijon mustard.

1 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice.

Put all of the ingredients right in the ball jar. Get out the blender stick and blend for about 20 seconds. To tell you the truth, I didn’t measure and it came out just fine.  I only make a small amount that I can use within a few days.

I also started making cashew milk, cashew yogurt, and almond milk. I hesitated with the almond milk because you need to strain it. I bought a nut bag and it is super easy. It strains the milk to remove the pulp. I can use the leftover pulp to make fat balls. I am feeling very efficient!

The last thing I have been doing is making bone broth. I buy an organic chicken I put the chicken in a covered pot full of water, bring the water to a boil and then simmer for about 90 minutes. I make pulled chicken from the meat, dividing it up into 4 oz portions in cute ball jars. It makes an easy grab and go lunch.  I then put the stock, the bones and vegetables into the crock pot on low for 24 hours to make delicious bone broth.

Everything tastes so much better when made from scratch with the best possible ingredients. Reducing plastic consumption and food waste is good for your health, our planet and your pocketbook.

I hope this inspires you to get out the blender stick and whip up some homemade mayo! Let me know. I would love to hear from you.

Love,

Mary

 

 

“Romancing the Ordinary”

My book club is reading Mirabai Starr’s WILD MERCY. Each chapter ends with a prompt.  Our latest prompt is: “My deepest desire is …” .

My first reaction is, I don’t know. I think how sad is that? So, I gave it a few days and this is what came up for me.

Finding Joy in the Everyday.

Laura from Garden Answer talks about “Romancing the Ordinary”.  Romancing the Ordinary is using something beautiful instead of just focusing on function. She uses a beautiful tomato cage to hold her tomatoes in place instead of a bamboo stick.

I love my morning coffee ritual. I use a 12 oz glass Bodum French Press. I make my coffee bulletproof, of course, and I pour it into an insulated glass mug. I buy my coffee from a local roaster, Fair Mountain Coffee, in Atlantic Highlands, NJ. It is organic, fair trade and delicious!

It is so nice to eat a salad for lunch with my husband. Especially when the lettuce is in season and handpicked from my backyard garden.

I love looking out my kitchen window while doing the dishes. Right now, the zinnias are in full bloom.

It is not always easy to find the joy. I work on finding joy in driving Tom, my special needs son, to camp. He tells me the same stories over and over while listening to his favorite radio station, 1410 am.  It is all about bringing the sacred into the ordinary. He is a blessing.

On a lighter note, I would also like a Big Chill refrigerator, a brick walkway, a trip to Mount Rushmore in a hybrid Volvo station wagon and a golden retriever puppy named Sophie. Oh, and learn to tap dance like Gene Kelly!

What are your deepest desires? Think about it and let me know. I would love to hear from you.

Love,

Mary

Aprons

“I love any activity that requires an apron.”

Kate Horner

My niece Katie once told me that she loves any activity that requires an apron. I just love that!

Aprons are so homey, comforting and cozy. It is a symbol of generosity and hospitality. It represents family, mothers and apple pie. Fathers too! My Dad wears an apron while cooking in the kitchen or out flipping a steak on the grill.

My friend Rosanne is a big apron gal! I reached out to get her take on aprons. She has different aprons for different activities.

Of course, She wears one to cook. Rosanne also  wears one in the garden. It is short with pockets for her tools. She wears one when she paints because she keeps a rag in her lap to wipe off excess paint and she doesn’t want to get paint on her clothes. Rosanne also wears a canvas apron when cutting her husband’s hair.  She doesn’t want all the little hairs sticking to her clothes. All fun activities!  Here is a garden and lifestyle  post with Rosanne  from 5 years ago! I am just sorry that she does not have an apron on!

There is a part of me that is resistant to aprons. I grew up in the 60’s when housework and staying home with your family was devalued. I wear an apron when I cook. Otherwise, I would be wiping my hands on my pants. I borrowed the fancy apron from Rosanne for the post. Honestly, I didn’t feel comfortable in it. I love the function of my stained beige William Sonoma apron. I have no problem wiping my hands on it.

It feels like the apron is making a comeback. I love seeing people wear aprons. I know something creative has been going on. They will probably be serving something delicious to eat!

How do you feel about aprons? You probably never thought about it. Do you wear an apron? Do you like activities that require an apron? If you are interested in health, fitness and feeling your best it is important to spend sometime in the kitchen cooking. Put on a cute apron, get focused and let me know what’s for dinner!

Love,

Mary

A Fancy Apron

Writing from the Heart.

I have joined a writing circle. Something I never thought about doing. I have thought it would be great to be a best selling novelist and write in front of an ocean front window. You know, like Diane Keaton in Something’s Gotta Give.

Today, I set up a little creativity table in our spare room. Something I always wanted but never bothered doing.  I made a cup of ginger tea, and I set my timer for 20 minutes and started drawing. I wanted to create an illustration that went with I wrote.

I started reading Writing from the Heart by Nancy Slonim Aronie. Her first assignment is to write one thing someone said to you a long time ago that still hurts. Again, I set my timer. This time for ten minutes and I started writing.

“No wonder you look sick your hair is parted on the wrong side.” Mom

I was probably 8 at the time. It always feel like I am eight at the time.

I imagine myself playing in the mirror with my hair venturing out to try new things. My Mom sees me and says, “No wonder you look sick your hair is parted on the wrong side.”

How has this shut me down? Has it made me self conscious of wearing my hair differently or wearing something I normally wouldn’t wear? Am I afraid to change because I might look worse or I might be noticed?

How many times have I done that to my kids? This is what therapy is made of.

Even to this day, I think of my hair when I see my Mom. She likes it better up. Who do you think you are with your hair long and flowing is what is playing in my head.

It is weird and amazing the power one sentence can have on your head,

At 64, it is time to get past so many things.

  • Wear your hair anyway you want.
  • Step into the world with confidence.
  • Go get a pedicure.
  • Buy a dress.
  • Wear your sneakers with everything.
  • Put on Red Lipstick. Boom!
  • Wear a headband maybe even with a knot in it.

Just writing all of this gives me a clarity, joy and happiness. I love my Mom and Fitness is my Fashion Statement!

What brings you clarity, joy and happiness? Set a timer,  and bring out the colored pencils, it can be very helpful.

Love,

Mary

A great lightweight skirt with pockets and a tank top worn with cute sneakers!

 

I am roasting a pasture raised chicken today!

 

This week, I bought meat from a local farm, Snoep Winkle Farm. They are located in Branchville, NJ. I first learned about Snoep Winkle because they sell their eggs at Whole Foods.

They sell grass fed chickens, pork, beef, and lamb as well.

From Snoep Winkle Farm:

“The more we learned about the conventional methods by which most livestock are raised, the more convinced we became that we wanted our animals to be raised as God intended – eating grass as the basis of their diet.

We do not give our animals steroids, growth hormones, nor sub-therapeutic levels of antibiotics. Raising the animals on pasture is not only good for their diet, but is also the way they were intended to be raised. Their manure is directly applied to the fields by the animals themselves, thus fertilizing the pastures.”

I think it is so important to support our local farmers. It is critical for our health, our family’s well being and  the survival of the earth. Does that seem extreme? Maybe.

I know it is more expensive. If you pay attention to portion control and eat less. It all works out in the end.

Tom and I have been going to the farmer’s market every Sunday. I love to buy sheep yogurt and sheep cheese from Valley Shepherd Creamery in Long Valley, NJ.  It is so delicious! I buy 1/4 pound and that is our cheese for the week.

I love my little back yard garden this year. It is so nice to go out every morning to pick lettuce for a salad. Pretty soon, I will have tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, zucchini and cute little red potatoes! I have connected with other people who know more about it than I do. It is a wonderful community and we all learn from each other.

Do you have a garden? What do you like to grow?

Happy Gardening!

Love,

Mary

 

June

I almost gave up wine again. I really enjoy my evening glass of wine. It was slowly starting to be more than one glass of wine. I have been working hard in the garden. I like to keep my wine in refrigerator this time of year. I would come in around 5pm, take a shower and then come down to make dinner. I would pour a glass of wine and start cooking. I would pour a little more in my glass to have with my dinner. You know how it goes. I do fine if I stick to one glass of wine. I have a friend who announced she is not drinking for the month of June. I thought I “should” give it up for the month too. You know what, I don’t want to. I have done it before and it is aggravating.

Instead, I am recommitted to just one glass of wine and I am drinking 2 jars of water before I have the glass of wine. I am hydrated and feel so much better and I don’t want the extra glass of wine.

Here is the June Challenge and I encourage you to do it with me. Drink at least half your body weight in water daily. I weigh 137lbs. I  need to drink 68 oz of water. I am drinking 2 jars of water before meals and before my morning coffee. Each jar holds 16oz of water. I am drinking 6 jars a day which is 96 oz of water which is even better. Instead of giving up something that I really enjoy I am adding something that I will benefit greatly from.

Would you like to join me in the June Challenge? It is always more fun with friends!

Are you looking for a new workout? This is a great time of year for OutdoorFit.  It is a full body workout which will keep you strong and flexible with great endurance at any age.

Elaine 81, doing step-ups off a rock with an 8 pound weight! Don’t worry, I can modify for any fitness level. You don’t need to keep up with Elaine!

Hope to see you soon.

Love,

Mary

Watercolor Painting by my friend Deb Sparling.

Grow Your own Salad.

 

I love my simple vegetable garden. I planted lettuce, kale, arugula, tomatoes, cucumbers, a few herbs AND cute little organic red potatoes! I go outside every morning to pick lettuce, so I am all set for the day’s salads. It tastes so much better when you grow your own! I hope you have been inspired to plant a small garden, or maybe have a pot of basil on your kitchen window sill.

 

I am so glad that the April OutdoorFit Functional Fitness Challenge was to go outside everyday and work in the yard. Some days, I went out just to pull a few weeds. Other days I planted a vegetable garden, planted flowers and moved plants around. It was amazing how much I was able to get done!  A huge benefit from all of this has been connecting with my gardening friends! We text each other, send videos and share tips! I love that I have a community of people who love the earth and physical movement here in NJ.

Movement, going outside, eating fresh greens from your garden is very important for your health, well being and feeling fabulous!

Are you feeling fabulous?

Here are a few  fabulous tips.

  • Eat the best possible food that you can.
  • Hang out with Fit and Fabulous Energetic people.
  • Get a good night sleep.
  • Meditate daily.
  • Read a good book.
  • Drink lots of water.
  • Take high quality supplements.
  • Enjoy a glass of organic red wine!
  • Plant some lettuce.

Would you like my support to get you there?  Click here to learn more about my 90 Day Fit and Fabulous Program.

I have taken some time off.

I have taken time off from the blog. I know I needed to post this the end of March. It doesn’t look good when you go to someone’s blog and they haven’t posted for two months. I have been busy!

April was a wonderful month in the garden. The April challenge was so gratifying. The Challenge was to go outside everyday and do something in the yard. There are so many health benefits even from just pulling a weed.  I am sorry I never posted. I was obsessed with being outside, weeding, planting, and mulching.

May’s challenge is to do three eight point planks, 3 anchored bridges and 2 extensions. It is a recovery month from all of April’s gardening.

Planking with Elena. It is always more fun with friends!

Of course, I am still out pulling weeds and new Blue Kazoo Spireas are coming Friday from Proven Winners! Happy Mother’s Day To Me! Have you been planting? Leave a comment and a photo. I would love to hear from you!

They will have pretty white flowers soon!

OutdoorFit in the Spring! Join us for a full body workout. It will energize and strengthen your body so you can enjoy the rest of your life.

See you soon!

Love,

Mary

 

 

Energize March

 

I started the month off doing daily Burpees with a push-up. . . 10 of them. I really wanted it to work. A few days in, I started to feel my SI joint. It has been an issue in the past and I want to keep it there! I hate to give up but I thought I would put my ego aside and just change the challenge.

Today, I did mountain climbers with a close grip push-up. I am working on keeping the push-ups close grip.  They are harder but easier on the shoulders. I felt cranky about doing them. It was 20 degrees and windy outside this morning, but I did them anyway. It was amazing. I felt so great when I finished!

Joyful, Happy, Energetic, Enthusiastic, Vibrant and Confident.

It is amazing what 4 minutes of intense movement outside can do for you.

Would you like to start your day feeling energized, enthusiastic, and confident? Do mountain climbers with me. I have them all timed out for you. Does it seem too hard? Start with 4 rounds or do them off a bench.

Have you started making Fat Balls? I have one almost everyday. I had one this morning after the mountain climbers. They are packed with healthy fats!  I added a scoop of cacao powder to the basic recipe.  So Delicious!

Energize the month of March!

Love,

Mary

Bone Broth Workshop

I went to a Bone Broth Workshop with a group of friends at Dutch Hill Homestead.

It was a wonderful night. Dutch Hill Homestead is a homesteading lifestyle company created by Ally Dwyer and Rob Stenger. All the magic happens in their beautiful home built in 1860. Ally and Rob set up rustic farm house tables with all the ingredients we needed to make broth. I was most impressed by the bowl of chicken feet! Ally said chicken feet make the best broth! We even had vintage aprons to put on while we chopped vegetables and prepared to make our broth. They also had samples of broths they had already made. We tasted 4 different types of bone broth, wild game, beef, poultry and vegetable. Ally and Rob had many different spices and herbs that we could add to the broth samples to personalize them.  I had the best time and came home with three different samples of broth.

“Chicken Feet makes the Best bone broth!”

Bone Broth is so good for you. It is excellent for your joints, your hair, skin, nails and your gut! It is a great use of leftover vegetables and bones. Ally and Rob emphasized how they are a no waste household.

I love knowing creative, energetic entrepreneurs that send you home with cute jars of bone broth!

Bone Broth will make you feel fabulous!