I am doing something new.

I was at a Memorial Service in August. Afterwards, I sat outside eating wraps and cake with Andrea, a fellow church lady. We started talking about having your kids go off to college the first time and the stress and anxiety that it can cause. She said she had been working on some breathing techniques to help calm herself. I asked her if she had heard of Wim Hoff the “Ice Man”. She said yes and that it was working for her. I said we need to start jumping into the ocean. Wim Hoff is a big believer in cold water plunges. We waited until after Labor Day when the beach crowds had left, and started plunging for 5 minutes. This was a huge deal for me! I have lived 5 miles from the Atlantic Ocean for the past 40 years. I never really cared too much. I have never gone in the ocean without a lifeguard sitting on the chair watching over me. The whole plunging routine was making me so nervous. I would start getting anxious waiting for a possible text from Andrea, asking me if I want to plunge, and get worse from there. It felt like the old days when I was a competitive runner. I would get so nervous before a race. I hate feeling nervous, It is very uncomfortable, but I know if I don’t push myself I will never try anything new. I am getting better at it.

Plunging in the ocean has been life changing for me in so many ways. I am doing something new which I am usually very resistant to. I have stepped out of my comfort zone and my routine. It is so worth it. I have become good friends with Andrea. We are outside, doing something with a touch of craziness to it. I pick Andrea up in my Honda CR-V along with our friend Rosanne. My car is the beach car because I belong to a car wash club. Rosanne, another church lady heard what we were doing and she wanted in. Rosanne loves the cold water. She loves cold showers and plunging in her pond in upstate NY. We head off to the beach where there is always a free parking spot. It is beginning to feel like our beach. We have a turn around time of an hour and there is no food or drink involved. It is simple. It is the best!

Benefits of Cold Water Plunges:

Improves circulation.

Aids fat loss.

Boosts immune function.

Increases endorphins.

Decreases stress, increases glutathione.

Helps your sleep.

Builds confidence.

If you have been following me you know I have not been dealing well with my stress this past year or so. I was taking supplements to help me manage. Since I started plunging, I have been able to stop the stress relieving supplements. I feel so much better. I am grounded, I sleep better and I have lost 5 pounds. I am taking better care of myself. I want to be strong, lean and able to handle the ocean in the winter months. I started eating liver and I have upped my weights at OutdoorFit. The liver is a bit of an adjustment. I am sharing it with Sophie the Golden Retriever. She is enjoying it!

Rosanne and I are in our 60’s and Andrea is a youngster at 50 something. It makes plunging even more special. It is never too late to try something new.

Fit and Fabulous…Aging Optional!

Rosanne and Andrea in our Neoprene Team Caps~

Would I be working out with these older women?

I have been thinking about that question. If someone told me about an outdoor workout in a church parking lot with women in their 60’s, 70’s and 80’s , I would applaud them but would have no interest in joining them. I would be wrong.

OutdoorFit is how I keep in great shape without hurting myself. I created OutdoorFit 15 years ago. It has evolved as we have all gotten older. We all want to look good and have our pants fit. I also know the importance of functional fitness and being able to get up and down off the floor. I create my workouts with function in mind. I will do an exercise like bicep curls and then have the ladies get down on their mats and do mountain climbers. I include squats in every workout. We start the workout with a warm up that includes 20 squats. Squats are key to healthy independent aging. They develop strong quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes, which allow you to get down and back up again. Squats are also very effective for urinary incontinence. They strengthen your pelvic floor and make jumping jacks a breeze!

I am able to modify my workouts for any fitness level. If you can’t do your pushups off the ground, I have you do them off a bench. If you can’t manage going up and down off a bench, I just have you hold yourself in position.

Elaine, the queen of OutdoorFit, joined the group when she was 79. She is now 83. Her first workout, I thought she was going to fall over because her balance was so bad. I had her work next to a bench so she could catch herself if necessary. . Elaine was impressive! She kept coming to OutdoorFit and within 2 weeks her balance was so much better. She has gotten stronger and her endurance has improved so much. She is an OutdoorFit superstar!

Elaine Millner, Fit and Fabulous!

Elaine comes to the workout three times a week. She comes with her resistance band, 8 pounds weights and her mat. She is always fashionable dressed, today she showed up in her favorite “Good Karma” shirt. I thought it was the perfect outfit for our video.

Enjoy!

Love,

Mary

No one ever called me the Fun one.

Who knew I would need to put Fun on my to do list? I am seeing a Health Psychologist and she suggested I find time to do Fun things. I am a homebody. No one ever called me the Fun one. When I was a kid and visiting my Grandparents in Saint Louis, my family would be going out to do something Fun on the last night and I choose to stay home with Pop and Gram and watch TV. I never liked going to my friend’s house for sleepovers. Once, I was invited to a party and I told my friend that I wanted to stay home and pull dandelions.

I am beginning to feel like I need to get out and do more. My tendency is to say no. I guess I need to start saying yes.

“What would Julia do?” I am asking myself this question more and more. Julia is my niece who is living an amazing life. I blogged about her before. She said her secret is to fill her day with Fun things. I am starting out with the goal of doing one Fun thing a week, and see how it goes. Baby steps for me. This week I have been invited to a neighbor’s pool. I met her walking in the neighborhood. I am connecting with someone new. I think there are bonus points in that!

Vicky Perry and I got together for 2 Grandmas and A Microphone. The topic was doing Fun things! We talked about jumping into the ocean, riding bumper cars at the Fair, taking tango lessons from a Russian instructor and Pickle Ball. Maybe, I am becoming the Fun one!

What do you like to do for Fun?

Love,

Mary

I love having a pretty yard.

I love having a pretty yard but I don’t want to work so hard at it any more. Last year, I planted vegetables in my back corner garden next to my limelight hydrangeas and blue kazoo spirea. I did harvest a few cucumbers, and I had butternut squash that grew out of my homegrown compost. It was all kind of a mess. It was a lot of work without much reward. This year I’m simplifying the yard. I am slowing down and not being so impulsive, I am committed to making the back garden a more permanent garden. I had our struggling concolor fir taken down. It was our live Christmas tree years ago and grew to be a very tall tree. It never looked good. I finally had it taken down. Now, I have more sun in the corner. I moved 7 At Last roses from the front yard to the back. They are beautiful apricot colored roses. They were in the front yard and the deer just loved them for early morning snacking. I was tired of spraying them with Deer off.

By moving the roses to the back it has simplified my foundation planting as well. I put down a nice layer of mulch and it looks good.

I am so grateful that I am able to do my own work. I stay strong, healthy and fit. My OutdoorFit workouts keep me that way. Interested in learning more about OutdoorFit? Click here. You can get in shape in a short amount of time and maintain your fitness level working out only a few days a week. You will be able to do what you want to do. Do you love gardening, or chasing your grandkids around? Maybe it is keeping with a 5 month old golden retriever puppy. It is important to embrace being Fit and Fabulous…Aging Optional and OutdoorFit!

I hope to see you soon.

Love,

Mary

It went much deeper than how much money you want to make.

It is the New Year! Do you do take the time to do an annual review? Do you set intentions for the upcoming year? How do you define success? Three great questions that I’m resistant to answer. Recently, I joined Andreea Fegan’s Little Bites of Joy community group. Sunday, Andreea led us through a vision workshop. We talked about how we define our successes and how we want to feel on a daily basis. It went much deeper than how much money you make, or how many followers you have on Instagram.

During the workshop, Andreea told us to write down how you want to feel during the day. How do you make other’s feel?

Here is my list.

  • I want to go through my day with Ease and Grace (I stole that from one of the woman on the call.)
  • Confident
  • Enthusiastic
  • Grateful
  • Grounded
  • Happy

Don’t you feel good when you are around happy, enthusiastic, grounded people? I did have peaceful, but I changed it to grounded. It feels more authentic. I love authentic people! I feel like I am pretty authentic already. I don’t know how to be any other way.

I define my success with numbers. If you run a business, it is important to know your numbers. I always check my monthly revenue, but then I tally how many people are in my OutdoorFit program, and how many people watch a video or read a blog post. I’m disappointed if I don’t reach a certain number of views. Some of my feelings of self worth appear to be tied into how many views I get. Andreea suggested going beyond the numbers and consider what kind of an impact are you making. You never know who reads your posts or watches your videos. Maybe when I encourage others to drink more water or do a round of mountain climbers I am having an impact. Are my viewers having a life changing moment? I hope so.

In my OutdoorFit membership group, we started A 28 Day Feel Fabulous Program. It is all about making small changes to feel better. Click here if one of your intentions is to feel fabulous in the New Year! I hope to see you soon.

Love,

Mary

Day 1
Feel Fabulous Program
Clean out the Fridge!

2 Grandmas and A Microphone #2 The Environment.

 

It all started this week when I watched a you tube video of Rich Roll and Erin Brockovich. As you know, Erin is the queen of clean drinking water. As a trainer and a health coach I tell my OutdoorFit ladies to drink lots of water. My goal is a gallon of water a day. I would like to think I am drinking good quality water. I have a filter under the sink and we also use water filter pitchers. After watching the video, I decided to check the quality of our drinking water through our water company’s website. Who knew their were so many chemicals in H2O? It was very overwhelming. I am looking into a water filter system for our house. I think it is very sad and disturbing that you can’t rely on the quality of your tap water.  We are fortunate that we can afford to buy water filters for cleaner water. What happens to the people who aren’t as fortunate?

I was at a small dinner party a few weeks ago. I asked for a glass of water. The host offered me bottled water. I said I am sorry but I try my best not to use single use plastic. “She said have you read your water bill? You don’t want to drink the tap water.” Single use plastic is a whole other conversation, isn’t it?

This brings me to 2 Grandmas and A Microphone #2 The Environment.  Time for more research, especially with the presidential election coming up. My main concern is the environment and climate change. Vicky Perry and I decided it was time to go deeper. In the past, I would never speak up about these issues. I am a 9 on the Enneagram which is the peacemaker. I don’t want to deal with conflict, but this is too important to stay quiet.

 

Here are links if you want to go deeper in the conversation.

The climate engagement advisor board webinar .

Kiss the Ground is streaming on Netflix.

Vicky’s source for where the candidates stand on climate change.

What is your biggest concern this election? I would love to hear from you!

Love,

Mary

 

“We can disagree without being disagreeable.”

Ruth Bader Ginsberg

 

2 Grandmas and a Microphone.

It is strange to write the title 2 Grandmas and a Microphone, and know that I am talking about myself. When I think about OutdoorFit, women over 50 are my target market. Most of the women in my group are in their 60’s, 70’s and 80’s! It is all quite incredible. Not all of them are Grandmas but they are in the age range. My job is to inspire these women to be fit and healthy. I know being strong, healthy and fit energizes  your life.

Last week, I had coffee with Vicky Perry who is a very wise Grandmother. We had such an interesting conversation, that Vicky encouraged me to write about it. I opened up about my feelings about voting, the presidential election, and why I couldn’t vote for Hillary Clinton in the last election. I learned a lot about myself from writing the post. I ended the post writing about the power of the Grandmother, which is something I hadn’t thought much about before.

I received so many wonderful emails and comments about the post that I wanted to continue. I decided to ask Vicky to do a video with me to take our conversation even deeper. Vicky brought up the importance of taking the time to know your own values and to think about which candidate best represents those values.

I could have just as easily titled the video The Wisdom of The Grandmothers.

“My Mother told me to be a lady. And for her that meant  be your own person, be independent.” Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Get out the Rolling Pin! Alice’s Flatbread.

I have been cooking from Alice Waters’, My Pantry. Normally, I am thrilled if I can find 3 recipes in a cookbook that I enjoy. I’ve already found 3 in Alice Waters’ book, and there are so many more I want to try. They are great and easy to make. Last week, it was Oat Pancakes. This week it is all about flatbread! I don’t eat much bread. On the weekends, I might enjoy it as a treat. I love making my own because there are no plastic bags involved and of course it is delicious!

Sunday, we had pulled organic chicken and flatbread for dinner.

Here is Alice’s recipe.  

Alice encourages you to try different flours. I used organic white. It is really important to buy organic flour. (You don’t want your flour sprayed with glyphosate.) Spend a few more dollars, support the organic farmers and yourself!

2 cups flour

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

3/4 cup warm water

3 TBS extra-virgin olive oil

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, salt and baking powder together. Stir in the water and the oil. Knead briefly to form a soft moist dough. Cover the dough with a kitchen towel and allow to rest for 30 minutes.

Do you have a rolling pin? It is time to get it out!  Divide the dough into 16 balls. On a lightly floured surface roll each ball into a 3 x 6  inch oval. My flatbread didn’t roll into perfect 3 x 6″ ovals. It is okay.

Alice uses a cast iron pan and medium heat to make her flat bread. I used my griddle and it worked fine. Cook 2 minutes, flip and cook 2 more minutes. Wrap flatbread in a kitchen towel to let the bread moisten with the steam.

I put my leftovers into a glass pyrex dish.  They were all gone the next day.

Enjoy!

Mary

“Homemade Ingredients That Make Simple Meals Your Own.”

Simplicity

 

Simplicity is  my favorite word. There are many wonderful words but, if you were to ask me my favorite I would answer simplicity.

When my stress level is high, and life feels uncertain, I start physical projects. In January, I began painting our house shades of white . I have continued on during the pandemic. I finished the kitchen, mudroom, den, hallway, bathroom and even the basement stairwell.  My husband Dan polished all of the brass door knobs. It feels so much better. I have decluttered along the way. I am working on keeping what is functional and what I love.

Simplicity

I am now working out in the garden. I planted lettuce, arugula, spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers and wildflowers. Today, I am heading out to plant potatoes. I don’t get a lot of sun in the back yard, so I ordered fabric grow bags. I have a walkway alongside the garage that gets all day sun. It is my new garden. So exciting!

Simplicity

I watched a Master Class with gangsta gardener Ron Finley. He plants sweet potatoes in coffee bean bags. I called Booskerdoo in Asbury Park and picked up a few jute coffee bean bags for myself and two of my gardening friends. I am waiting for my sweet potatoes to grow slips so I can plant them.  I will keep you posted! Today, I planted potatoes in the coffee bean bags. I couldn’t wait for the sweet potato slips. I will find another place for them.

Simplicity

I also bought Alice Waters My Pantry after watching her Master Class. I loved her class. She inspires you to cook fresh whole organic in season food from your local farmer, or just grow your own. Plant potatoes into a coffee bean bag and wait for the magic to happen.

Simplicity

“Homemade Ingredients That Make Simple Meals Your Own.”

Thanks for reading.

Love,

Mary

A Touch of Craziness!

I have been feeling antsy lately. Is what I am doing important? Is this how I want to spend my time, or should I be doing something else? Sometimes I feel like I want more for myself. When I stop and really think about it, I realize I do want more. I want to create more space in my life. I want more quiet time. I have decided that following my joy is the answer. I love to stay home. I enjoy doing my own work. Painting the kitchen different shades of white makes me happy. It feels like a work of art to me. This week, I washed and ironed our linen bedroom curtains, composted, and made roasted pepper and tomato soup. I also taught 3 OutdoorFit classes. I have a great group of ladies, all over 50, who show up in crazy weather to workout. A cold and windy OutdoorFit workout brings me joy and happiness. I love the touch of craziness.

Earlier this week, I went to my friend Diane’s  house  to pick up 2 bags of composted leaves. Does that sound like an odd way to spend your time? Diane sold her beautiful home.  She is moving to an 11 acre lot to build a passive home and grow organic vegetables.  She didn’t think the new owners would appreciate her large composted leaf pile. She sent me a text, inviting me to stop by and help myself. I was so excited.

I went back the next day, and picked up 2 galvanized tubs full of compost. Why does this make me happy?

  • I love the connection with my friend.
  • I love the touch of craziness about it.
  • I love that the composted leaves will attract earthworms to my gardens. They are an indicator and creator of healthy soil.
  • I love the efficiency of using leaves to make compost for your gardens.

Gardening season is coming soon, but I really would love a good snow storm first.

Embrace your joy, step aside and watch what happens! It is contagious. What do you love to do? How do you like to spend your day? Would you like to connect with amazing women who love a touch of craziness? Come try an OutdoorFit workout! There is a fun class Saturday morning at 7:30.

Love,

Mary

My pitchfork is over 70 years old. It belonged to Dan’s Grandfather. A treasure!