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.
“Homemade Ingredients That Make Simple Meals Your Own.”
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.
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!
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.
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.
“Homemade Ingredients That Make Simple Meals Your Own.”
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.
My pitchfork is over 70 years old. It belonged to Dan’s Grandfather. A treasure!
I have never been much of a planner. When Dan and I were thinking about getting married, my Mom asked me for a month’s notice. So that is what we did and my Mom pulled it off. She is an amazing person. She made my dress and planned a lasagna dinner at the house for our reception. It all worked out fine.
I avoid planning trips. It makes me nervous to schedule a trip 6 months from now. If it wasn’t for Dan I wouldn’t have gone skiing in Switzerland or Colorado. I would have chosen to stay home and bought a new dishwasher. I want to see Mount Rushmore, but it is not going to happen if I don’t make a plan.
I am working on changing. I now feel the need to be more focused. I joined Origin last summer. Origin is Kate Northrup’s membership group, which stresses doing less by getting very focused on what you want to accomplish. She also teaches us the importance of listening to your body and paying attention to your cycle or the cycle of the moon. I no longer have a cycle, so it has been very interesting to plan my month around the cycle of the moon. I write down my intentions on the New Moon and create a weekly, daily, and monthly plan to achieve it. I bought Kate’s do-less planner to organize things. Every morning, I write down the cycle of the moon, what is going on astrologically, and what I need to focus on that day. It has been a very helpful practice.
For example, if I write down paint kitchen ceiling, I paint the kitchen ceiling that day. I have also learned you can accomplish things in a short period of time. I do a little bit every day and then by the end of the week my kitchen is painted! I learned that from my Mom too. There were 8 kids in my family and my Mom had a very busy day. She decided to wallpaper the dining room and she would hang one piece a day. I thought she was a bit crazy at the time. Now, I understand.
I wrote down create blog post, do 8 rounds of 8 point planks and paint the kitchen trim today in my planner. I am off to paint the trim Chantilly Lace!
I hope this was helpful to you. Are you a planner? Do you plan your meals for the week? How about when you are going to go grocery shopping? I would love to hear you how you plan your day.
Friday on the New Moon, I began my 28 Day Fit and Fabulous Program. I was excited to start on the New Moon. It is a great time to set your intentions, consider what you want in your life, and what you need to let go of.
The first 7 days of the program, you have to let go of alcohol, sugar and grains. You can have dairy, but very little. I thought it would be perfect to start on a Friday. You are always more motivated in the beginning of a program, and the weekends can be a challenge. The biggest issue for me is to give up my nightly glass of wine.
By Friday afternoon, I could feel the stress and agitation building because I knew I wasn’t having a glass of wine that evening. It is amazing how much power one glass of wine has over me. I was painting the trim in the mudroom, while listening to a podcast called Sober Curious, to motivate me. Saturday and Sunday were easier. I took a nap Saturday and meditated on Sunday. I also took late afternoon walks on both days. All of these things are great stress reducers. Now, we are on Day 4, and… BIG NEWS! I noticed that my hands aren’t achy. My diet is usually very clean. Making a few small changes like giving up my nightly glass of wine and crumb cake at coffee hour on Sunday have reduced the inflammation in my body and my hands feel just fine.
I was at a New Moon dinner Friday evening. It is always a big deal to get myself to go out at night, but I went. There was a woman complaining about her aches and pains. I felt like telling her to put down the wine and quit eating grains and sugar. Statements like that don’t go over to well at a party. Maybe she will read this blog post.
What you put in your mouth really does matter. Everything, I eat or drink for the next 7 days will nourish me. I am grateful for that!
I have changed my mind. I have decided to move the start date of my January Fit and Fabulous Program to the New Moon on January 24th. It feels like we all need more space and time to ease into the New Year and the new decade. The New Moon is a time to slow down and reflect on what is not working in your life. It is important to take the time to journal and set an intention of what you would like your life to be. We will move forward together from there.
In order to live at your fullest potential you need to be fit and healthy.
The Fit and Fabulous 28 Day Program will put you on the path of looking good, feeling strong, confident, calm and creating a positive attitude. The program includes:
28 day nutritional support. This program will change you from a sugar burner to a fat burner. This is where the magic happens. You will have lots of energy throughout the day. You will lose those annoying sugar cravings and you might just let go of your menopausal weight gain. Delicious Easy Fat Burning recipes are included.
Unlimited OutdoorFit classes. Strength Training, Endurance and Flexibility. The winter is an empowering time to join OutdoorFit. You are outside in the cold, working out. You will go home feeling strong, invigorated and ready to take on the day.
A weekly sprint session. Once a week is sufficient. It is a path to stay youthful, energetic, vibrant and self confident. “Brief, explosive all- out sprints are the single best activity to promote rapid reduction of excess body fat, achieve fitness breakthroughs, flood the blood stream with anti-aging hormones like testosterone and human growth hormone, and boost neuron function in the brain.” Mark Sisson, a Fit guy over 65 of Mark’s Daily Apple.
Holistic Tips for a Happy Healthy Life. There’s more to vibrant health than diet and exercise. I will provide great tips on creating a soothing clutter free home environment, as well as the importance of restful sleep, meditation, and spending time outside daily.
A daily core exercise. A strong core is so important for your overall health and well being. It enhances balance and stability. It helps to prevent falls and injuries. A strong healthy back is critical to living well. A strong core makes you feel powerful!
This program will help you get physically stronger, lose excess weight, reduce nagging aches and pains and have more energy. As a result, you will feel stronger, move with more ease and confidence, and you’ll have a healthy glow that emanates from the inside out!
Use these 28 days to put your body first and see what unfolds. Are you ready to be Fit and Fabulous? Click here to learn more and to sign up. Let’s do this together.
“When you eat what makes your body feel good, you start to feel so much better. Once I started to cut out the sugar it became less of a craving. It has been really helpful. I know what makes my body feel good. The other surprising thing is working out outside. I didn’t think I would like it but it is so great even when it is freezing cold. I came back in and I am so happy that I have been outside working out under the trees. It brings me so much joy.” Elena
I have found my people. It has taken me a long time. I finally feel like I have connected with an amazing group of creative, spiritual, healthy and fit women. Or maybe I am becoming an amazing creative spiritual women (I know that I am healthy and fit) and I am attracting the right people to myself. What a concept!
This past weekend, I went to a wreath making workshop at The Dutch Hill Homestead. I went with 4 other women. My friend Diane drove us in her Tesla. We were talking about the environmental impact of dying and that there is a green cemetery in South Jersey. You are buried in a burlap bag and they plant a tree for you. It was an interesting conversation and I thought it was important to mention the Tesla. I like hanging out with people who are concerned about the environment. We also talked about how we were hungry and hoped the Ally Dwyer, the owner The Dutch Hill Homestead, along with her partner Rob Stenger, would have something to eat at The Homestead.
Of course Ally had food. She always has food, and puts on interesting events. She had quite the spread. I especially loved her Roasted Pepper & Tomato Soup. Ally’s recipe used her own organic canned tomatoes and homemade chicken stock. It is really special when someone grows their own food and then cooks for you. She was nice enough to share the recipe with me.
DHH Roasted Pepper & Tomato Soup
● 6 tablespoons olive oil
● 2 medium yellow onions, chopped into a medium dice
● 3 cloves garlic, chopped
● 24 ounces canned crushed or pureed tomatoes (if you have any
canned from the summer of course use those garden goodies!)
● 1 roasted bell pepper or 6 oz. of canned roasted red peppers
● 3 cups homemade or store-bought chicken or veggie stock
● 2 teaspoons sea salt
● 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
● Pinch of chili flakes
● Chopped herbs for garnishing if you’d like (basil is a crowd pleaser!)
Method of Preparation
1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion and
garlic; cook, stirring, until onions have softened, about 15 minutes.
2. Add tomatoes, peppers, stock, salt, and pepper; bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to low and cook until tomatoes, onions, and garlic are
soft, 10 to 20 minutes.
3. Puree in your blender// Vitamix or use a stick blender to puree the
soup. I serve mine a little chunky. Feel free to refrigerate, freeze or
4. Garnish with basil, Parmesan flakes or a grilled cheese sandwich!
It wasn’t all about the food. Amber of Amber and Earth did a great job of teaching us how to make wreaths. It was a wonderful December afternoon. I came home with a beautiful wreath to hang on my door. I also bought myself a heavy duty canvas Dutch Hill Homestead Apron with great pockets and leather trim. I know I will be doing fun things in my new apron.
“I love any activity that requires an apron.” Kate Horner
Many of the creative women that I hang out with are part of my OutdoorFit community. If you would like to become Fit and Fabulous with us in January. Please click here to learn more. We can eat Roasted Pepper and Tomato Soup together!
I have been resistant to writing this post, which means I need to write it. I weighed 148.8 in 2015. I now weigh 136. I know the number on the scale is not everything. I also know I feel better when I am lighter. My goal was to get down to 135lbs, which I am on occasion. My weight fluctuates a bit. I am thrilled that I have been able to lose my menopausal weight. It was something that I wasn’t sure was even possible. I was in good shape at 148.8 but was unhappy to be and feel so heavy. I am always researching, reading and listening to podcasts about health and wellness. I have taken simple steps that created new habits, They have made a big difference!
WOW… I took this picture 8/3/15.
7 steps to Fit and Fabulous!
(I know you can get there too.)
Bulletproof Coffee: My Breakfast is a cup of organic bulletproof coffee made in my French press. I blend coffee, 1 TBS Brain Octane, and 1 TBS unsalted grass fed butter in my Vitamix. Instead of spiking my blood sugar first thing in the morning, I am burning fat. This is an important first step. Don’t worry. There are other options if you are not a coffee drinker. As I am waiting for my bulletproof coffee, I start my morning off with a cup of hot lemon water with a splash of apple cider vinegar.
Intermittent Fasting: This was a game changer for me. I delay eating until after I workout. I am burning fat during the workout. I didn’t start to lose weight until I added this step.
OutdoorFit: Exercise is a key component to Fit and Fabulous. I love working out outside! I have 4 weekly OutdoorFit classes which include 3 regular classes and 1 sprint day. I love my sprint day! It is an important skill to keep as you age. Once a week is sufficient. The other classes cover strength, endurance and flexibility. Every class ends with Foundation Training which is critical to keeping me going.
Eat Organic Food: I eat lots of vegetables, healthy fats, protein and small amount of grains. It is so important to eat the best quality food that you can afford. Buying high quality food is a priority.
Supplements: I take pharmaceutical grade supplements every day, twice a day. You can’t possibly get all the vitamins and minerals you need from your food. It is so important if you want to be Fit and Fabulous!
Meditation: I am working on meditating 20 minutes a day. I feel much better when I get it in.
Sleep: I am always working on getting a good night’s sleep. I take magnesium, calcium and melatonin before bed. I go to bed about the same time every night, which is important in getting a restful night sleep.
Those are the basic habits that I implement every day. I am not perfect and I don’t want to be. I enjoy having a piece of cake once in a while. This has been a work in progress. It certainly didn’t happen over night. If you are interested, to get you started I am launching a 28 Day Fit and Fabulous Program January 10, 2020 on the Full Moon. It is always more fun with friends. Accountability is key!
The Full Moon is a fabulous time to get focused and take action. It is the time to bring the vision of yourself into reality, and align your thoughts with your desired outcome. It’s time for more personal growth.
In order to live at your fullest potential you need to be healthy and fit.
The Fit and Fabulous 28 Day Program will put you on the path of looking good, feeling strong, confident, calm and creating a positive attitude.
I know when you do things with others you will have success. Peer pressure can be a good thing. It is important if you want to be healthy and fit, you need to hang out with people who are healthy and fit!
I am not a big shopper or makeup person. I try my best to buy what I truly love and let the rest go.
I like to give and receive functional gifts. Black Friday has now become a long weekend rolled into Cyber Monday. I did shop for myself. I love Boom by Cindy Joseph. I bought the Boomstick Trio. Color, Glimmer and Glow will be in my makeup kit! The Boomstick Trio creates the look of happiness and I don’t need a mirror to apply. They are made from wonderful ingredients like beeswax and honey. I love how the products smell. The color stick is fantastic. I use it as a blush, eye shadow and lip color. The Glo stick is a moisturizer that you can use anytime anywhere. The Glimmer stick is a push for me. It feels a bit fancy. I thought I would step it up for the Holidays.
Here is a video that I created in 2015 with my friend Wendy. I am not a makeup person. It has over 16,000 views about me wearing makeup!
I also like to buy myself beeswax candles from Vermont HoneyLights. Vermont HoneyLights is a small mother daughter business in Bristol, Vermont. Shawna and Bonita are passionate about making beeswax candles. They are concerned about the survival of honey bees. They know the importance of using natural ingredients and supporting hardworking beekeepers. It is my once a year purchase to celebrate the Year. I love beeswax candles. They smell amazing, they give off negative ions which make you feel good. These are the only candles that I use. If someone gives me a candle, I usually re-gift them. Just this morning, a friend gave me her own homemade candle. I told her no thanks, that I only use beeswax candles. She is a wonderful friend that I can say things like that to her without hurting her feelings. She will give it to someone who will love it.
I have to begin to shop for my family’s Christmas gifts. I have one great idea in mind, but I don’t want to give it away just yet. I am buying from a company where 50% of their profits go to buy a particular product for people in need. It will make a great gift!
I am focusing on keeping things simple by shopping local and supporting small businesses this Holiday Season.
What kind of gifts do you like to give? Do you like to make things to give as gifts like my candle making friend? I am always looking for creative ideas. I would love to hear from you.
Step one to Feeling Better in last week’s blog was to get clear on what you really want.
1.Get Clear About What You Really Want And Journal. It is very powerful to start writing your thoughts down. I have been listening to Marie Forleo’s Everything is Figure Outable. She has an exercise in her book where she has you answer the question; What do you really want? Every day for 7 days, finish this sentence in writing. I really want… After the 7 days, go back and circle the ideas that repeated for you. I have gotten a clearer picture on what I want. Being focused is an energy saver
I thought it would be powerful to share what I really want.
This is what came up for me. I really want. I want to be calmer, feel more fulfilled, and happier. My plan is do the following to help me reach my goals.
A clean simple natural home. I love to come home to a clean orderly house. The beds are made. The kitchen sink is clean. The bathrooms are orderly with towels neatly hanging. I use natural cleaning products.
OutdoorFit to continue to be more than a typical boot camp. Being Fit and Healthy is an act of personal power. It creates independence and self reliance. I want my OutdoorFit ladies to continue to be strong, healthy, fit, and empowered regardless of their age.
A better relationship with my husband. Dan and I have been married for 42 years and have a good relationship. It is always a work in progress.
More Creativity. I want to keep writing a weekly blog post. It feels like an important exercise for me. I have been enjoying adding my colored sharpie art work. I love being around creative people. I need to be creative too!
More time spent in nature. We had a family house on a lake in Vermont which we sold. I really miss being in the country. For now, I intend to hike in the woods and take walks on the beach.
Better self care. I take pretty good care of myself. I get massages and chiropractic adjustments. I would like more of it and to commit to daily meditation.
More coffee dates with friends. I love Jerry Seinfield’s Comedians in Cars getting Coffee. It feels like the perfect thing to do. Pick up your friend in an old car, have coffee, laugh and take a walk. This morning, I picked up my friend Ivone in my Honda CR-V drove to the beach, and walked the boardwalk. Afterwards we had a delicious breakfast. You always laugh with Ivone. I am working on the idea of having an old car.
I am sure this list will change. For now, it feels right. My hope is that I will feel calmer, more fulfilled and happier. I will be able to perform at a higher level and to create a better life for myself and the people around me.
What do you really want? I encourage you to spend time to figure it out. I would love to hear what your list is.