Buckwheat Banana Bread

This recipe was originally called Buckwheat Banana Cake with Yogurt-Espresso Frosting from Bon Appetite. I have tried different versions. I reduced the sugar, I use oat flour instead of whole wheat and I add nuts and blueberries.

I made it yesterday, I came downstairs and my son Thomas had eaten the entire top off of it.

Here is my recipe.

Ingredients

3/4 cup oat flour

3/4 cup buckwheat flour I Love Big Bold Health Himalayan Tartary Buckwheat Super Nutrition Flour. It has super powers!

2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

4 very ripe bananas

3 Tbs coconut sugar

2 large eggs

1/2 melted coconut oil

1/2 unsweetened Greek Yogurt

1/2 cup organic blueberries

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preparation

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 350. Line a bread pan with parchment paper letting it hang over on other sides. Wish the dry ingredients together.

Step 2

Mash bananas and coconut sugar in a large bowl until smooth. Mix in eggs, melted coconut oil and yogurt. Mix in dry ingredients. Stir in blueberries and chopped walnuts. Scrape batter into parchment lined pan and smooth top.

Step 3

Bake bread 55 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let bread cool in pan for 30 minutes. Turn out bread on rack and cool completely.

Store air tight at room temperature.

Enjoy!

Mary

Addicted to the Plunge!

I started ocean plunging back in September. Unfortunately, since the beginning of January, it has been too windy, and the air too cold for me to do my plunging in the ocean. I have been taking 5 minute cold baths 3-4 times a week, to keep in plunging shape. Andrea, one of my fellow plungette takes a cold bath almost daily. I’m doing my best to keep up, but I don’t bother with the baths on the days I have OutdoorFit. Training outside in the cold is enough for me.

Sunday, Sophie, our golden retriever woke me up too early. She likes to get up at 6am and I wanted to sleep in. I was annoyed and cranky. I knew if I took a cold bath, I would have a quick change in attitude and feel so much better. I filled the tub with tap water. There is no need to add ice when the tap water is 40.8 degrees. As soon as you get in, you forget all of your problems except that you are sitting in frigid water. I sit upright for two minutes and then try to muster up the courage to get my upper body in as well. I stay in for two to three minutes more. I wash my face in the end. Andrea actually dunks her whole head in. I am not quite there yet.

My husband, Dan is getting tired of the noises coming from the bathroom. Sometimes, he will come in to talk me through. He coaches me to get to the next step. He encourages me with helpful phrases like, “Suck it up, Buttercup.” I am so grateful for his support.

I am obsessed with the plunge. I had an immediate shift in my attitude on Sunday. I felt so much better, Cold, but better. I know if I wake up achy, a cold bath will take care of the tension. I have lost weight. I am sleeping better, and a friend told me that I looked ten years younger. It is a powerful tool. I know it is crazy and that is part of the appeal!

I love the connection with Andrea and Rosanne, my fellow plungettes. I text them every time I am heading into the cold bath. I need all the support I can get. When we started last September, I told Andrea we are going to be best friends. We don’t need to eat or drink together. All we need to do is to jump into the ocean for 5 minutes. We have formed a strong bond. Doing something with a touch of craziness will do that. Do you want to read more about the benefits? Head over to the previous blog post.

I asked my fellow plungettes to share what they love about plunging.

From Andrea: “Plunging has a few fantastic benefits that keep me coming back to this seemingly crazy pastime. First and above all, it lifts my mood. Instantly. And after I do it, my brain feels sharper like when I’ve had a great nights sleep but better. When we go in the ocean as opposed to the tub, there is a feeling of connecting with the planet. And I believe it has sped up my metabolism a bit which is always nice. Finally, it has been a bonding experience with the two ladies who I do it with.”

From Rosanne: “I started to plunge this spring in my pond upstate as an entry into releasing fear around diving into a cold, sometimes dark body of water, after learning about Wimm Hoff and his ice baths.  I began his breathing methods and found it’s benefits very helpful which led to my interest in having friends do the plunging together in the Atlantic ocean.   The experience of being emersed in nature, with the brilliant sunshine and piping plovers encircling us was an amazing experience and has led me/ us to continue the practice.  The bathtub is getting me through the winter and I am excited to return to the ocean with my fellow plungettes once the weather improves.”

This is my from my sister Kathleen who plunges in North Carolina: “Addicted to the plunge. When Mary first told me she was going into the icy waters of the Atlantic for 5 minutes – I thought she was nuts but also knew I had to try it. I have not had the chance to go into the ocean but live near a lake and have been in the sound. It’s exhilarating. My body thanks me every time. The aches disappear and my senses come alive. I’ve been able to do it most weeks – sometimes twice a week.”

I encourage you to give it a try. You don’t need to start with a cold bath. Turn the shower temperature to cold at the end of the shower. Breathe through it for 30 seconds. You will feel invigorated! Let me know how it goes.

Love,

Mary

Temperature Check

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

He was Smart, Athletic, Good Looking and Drove a 1961 Red PV 544 Volvo.

He was Smart, Athletic, Good Looking and Drove a 1961 Red PV 544 Volvo is the title of a 3000 word chapter that I wrote, and after much personal anguish, didn’t submit. I joined a women’s group last spring called The Wild and Wise Women. They decided they wanted to write a book together. We were each asked to write a chapter about the effect of the pandemic on our lives, and the importance of community during this time. On some level, I thought it would be good for me to write a chapter. I love the idea of being a writer, even though it has never come easily to me. I envision being Diane Keaton in the movie Something’s Gotta Give. I am sitting at my desk overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, writing an amazing chapter that everyone wants to read, and finds fascinating. The truth is, I spent months not writing it, and when I did sit down to write, I didn’t enjoy the experience. I ended up with a knot in my right shoulder from bending over typing on my Mac computer.

The deadline for the rough draft was the end of September. I read the draft again and again. My editor is my husband Dan, who is also the smart, athletic, good looking guy who drove a 1961 RV 544 Volvo. He read my chapter, and told me I was all over the place, but I could change it around. I knew that, but I didn’t want to spend another minute on it. I spent the afternoon having a melt down. Why? Was it because I wasn’t handing in my homework? Was I quitting on myself, or was I upset I was letting the Wild and Wise women down?

The real question is why was it so hard to decide one way or the other? I got together with Vicky of 2 Grandmas and A Microphone, and we talked about resistance and self sabotage in the video. Do you struggle with making a decision ? Do you procrastinate ? We all do. It was helpful to talk with Vicky. I hope you will find it helpful as well.

“Answer the call to what excites your spirit.” Rumi

Thanks for reading and watching.

Enjoy,

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

A Good Night’s Sleep.

I am so grateful when I have a good night’s sleep. I know it is so important if I want to feel my best and have sustained energy throughout my day. It is frustrating when I don’t sleep well and feels like a waste of time laying in bed at night, not sleeping, and waking up tired. I was talking about sleep at OutdoorFit last week and one of the ladies suggested I take a Benadryl. I knew it wasn’t the answer for me but I had gone too many nights without sleeping well so I decided to take one. I slept better but I woke up groggy and had to rely on a cup of coffee to get myself going. I have been reducing my caffeine consumption so I don’t want to wake up feeling like I need a cup of coffee. I enjoy a glass of wine with dinner. I know alcohol is a sleep disruptor. I am now drinking 5 ounces instead of my usual 8 ounces. I am making small changes which are making a difference. I didn’t give up the wine and coffee completely because that would make me cranky.

I have been trying different routines to help me sleep. Here is the latest one that is working!

Bedtime Routine

A hot cup of Mineral Calm and a scoop of collagen protein.

(Protein is great for immune function and muscle repair. It is good to take it at bedtime. There is regenerative work going on while you are sleeping.)

1 Stress Relief (Ashwagnda)

1 Chewable Calcium Magnesium

1 Pure Rest (Melatonin)

2 doTERRA Serenity

It might seem easier to pop a Benadryl but I don’t wake up groggy with my new bedtime routine.

Here is a link for the products that I use.

I know so many of us struggling with getting a good night’s sleep. I hope this is helpful.

Love,

Mary

I am so grateful for naps.

Sophie at 3 months is a challenge. We are involved in a love hate relationship. She doesn’t listen to me very well unless she wants to. We go for multiple walks a day. I try my best to keep her head up and away from the ground, but most of my time is spent pulling rocks or sticks out of her mouth. She gets annoyed and starts pulling aggressively on her leash. If my husband is with us, he will say “off”, and she drops the leash. If it it just Sophie and me, she will growl at me and she tries to bite me. I will tell her no but she keeps at me. The other day, a man was walking past us on the street and I asked him if he had a deep voice. Could he please tell Sophie “off”? He wasn’t open to disciplining a cute puppy.

The Monks of New Sketes, the authors of The Art of Raising a Puppy, advise the owner not to yell or get angry at their puppy. I am really trying. Who is in charge here, Me or Sophie? My red Patagonia OutdoorFit jacket is now Sophie’s walking jacket. She loves nipping at my sleeves. I keep them taped up so the down feathers don’t fall out. Patience is a virtue.

I know Sophie will be an amazing dog and companion. I am committed to her training. She does bring joy and happiness wherever she goes. We have met many people walking in the neighborhood who probably would not have stopped to say hello. Sometimes I stop them because Sophie knows everyone loves her and she needs to say hello.

I am so grateful for naps and she loves her crate.
Peace.

Love,

Mary

Meet Sophie the Golden Retriever.

We have a new puppy, and I am back into mothering mode big time. I decided to let some things go for awhile. I stopped 2 Grandmas and A Microphone and writing blog posts. I have not been posting much on social media unless it included a golden retriever puppy named Sophie. If you don’t care about cute puppies then it is probably best to sign off now.

This is the story of the arrival of Sophie. As many of you know, I have a special needs son named Thomas. He has always been around Goldens. We have had 4 Goldens and a wonderful dog named Kelly. Kelly was half golden and half Chesapeake Bay retriever. When Tom looks at dog books he is interested in Golden retrievers. 2 and 1/2 years ago, our last Golden, George died suddenly of cancer at the age of 7. It was very sad for all of us. Thomas talked everyday about how sad he was about George. My family and I had thought of getting another dog, but my husband wasn’t ready to move on from George. For me, there was something freeing about not having a dog. The house was clean. We could leave and not have to worry about George. Then the pandemic hit, and Tom is home all of the time zooming his programs. I thought this is the perfect time to get a dog. I told Tom that George is his dog angel and he needs to start praying to George to bring us Sophie. Thomas wanted a girl dog. He likes girls. There is a young lady down the street named Sophie. She got a golden a few years ago for Christmas and named him Tom. Tom the golden has the same birthday as Thomas. We thought Sophie would be the perfect name. Sophia means wise. It is good to have a smart dog. Tom started to pray to George, the dog angel and I started to look for a good breeder.

I found Jane Pappler from Redlion Kennels. I gave her a call and left a voice mail. I also emailed her to tell her about Tom and that we were looking for the perfect puppy. Jane called me back. Normally, I would not have answered the phone. I usually don’t answer a strange number. This time, I did. “Mary, this is Jane from Redlion kennels. Would you like to talk about Golden Retrievers ? ” She asked us if we could wait a year. She was receiving 30 calls a day since the pandemic hit. I said I could but I really wanted a puppy sooner. Well, guess what? She bumped us up on the list. George the dog angel was helping us find Sophie.

We picked up Sophie January 12th, at 7 weeks old. Our world has changed. I am so glad that I am not a single parent. My husband is in on the puppy parenting. She sleeps pretty well through the night and she is house broken. I don’t trust her yet but she cries at the door to go out. I started reading The Art of Raising A Puppy by The Monks on New Skete. I love their philosophy and it has been very helpful. The Monks are very grounding. It is so important to have a well trained dog and we are working on it. Sophie is sitting. She is a smart dog. I hope you get to meet her soon. She thinks everyone loves her.

Love,

Mary

Thank you George.

Honesty, Integrity, Authenticity and a Project.

Vicky Perry and I just completed the 9th episode of 2 Grandmas and A Microphone. What started out as a conversation on a bench by the marina grew into what we are now calling a project. I looked up the definition of a project. It is “an individual or collaborative enterprise that is carefully planned to achieve a particular aim.” I love a good project!

Vicky and I are 2 Grandmothers having open and honest conversations. . Honesty, integrity and doing my best at being authentic have always been my priorities. Our talks the past 9 weeks have reaffirmed the importance of these qualities for me. I need to add kindness to list as well. I feel life works so much better that way.

I also know I expect honesty from people. I am hoping the leaders of this country will step up and lead with integrity. It is a real problem to me when individuals don’t act that way. As I mentioned in the videos, dishonesty and distrust literally makes me feel sick to my stomach. I am learning to manage all of the stress and agitation through meditation, breathing exercises and taking great care of myself. I eat well, and of course, I exercise. Have you heard of OutdoorFit?

Be Strong – Be Healthy – Be Powerful

I hope our videos are inspiring to you. Here is Episode 9 of 2 Grandmas and A Microphone. Vicky and I are learning the technical aspect of creating these videos. We will get better. We ordered microphones for episode 10!

Vicky uses washing her dishes as a spiritual practice. What a great idea… You feel better and your dishes are clean!

I would love to hear from you. What is important to you? How are you taking care of yourself?

Thanks for reading.

Love,

Mary

It is time for the healing to begin.

“We each have our own part to do in the healing of our country. That’s our individual responsibility.” Victoria Perry

Vicky and I got together for 2 Grandmas and A Microphone #8! So many emotions have come up for me these past 8 weeks. I have spent way too much time feeling agitated and annoyed. I get triggered by other people’s opinions, especially when they don’t agree with mine. I can feel the agitation take over my body when someone is offended by what I have said. Hopefully I am done. I only have control over myself. I have committed to feeling better. This week, I began meditating twice a day. It has been so helpful. In the morning, I spend 10 minutes being quiet and asking God what he wants from me today. It is amazing the focus and peace it brings. In the afternoon, I lay down and do Wim Hoff breathing plus a 10 minute guided meditation. I am spending a total of a half hour a day activating my parasympathetic nervous system. There is still a part of me that feels like I am wasting my time. I bet I scroll through social media 30 minutes a day. Which one is a waste of my time?

Here is 2 Grandmas and A Microphone #8

What did the episode bring up for you? Do you have the same common grounds that Vicky and I do? Was there anything you disagreed with? Don’t worry, I know how to breathe through the disagreement.

How are you taking care of yourself during these stressful times? Exercise is always a great way to deal with your stress. I would love for you to come to OutdoorFit. We are online as well as working out outside. We just started an 8 point plank challenge. It is not too late to join us.

Love,

Mary

Be Strong – Be Healthy -Be Powerful – Be OutdoorFit