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

Homemade Mayonnaise.

I have been working on making homemade mayonnaise without much success. Honestly, I almost gave up. I am so glad that I didn’t.  Last week, I mentioned my mayo problem at OutdoorFit. Andrea said she found a great easy recipe on The Movement Menu, that comes out  every time.

I was out of mayonnaise this morning. I wanted to make a cucumber basil avocado salad for lunch. I tried The Movement Menu’s recipe. It is a winner!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup organic avocado oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 lemon juiced, or I used 1 tsp apple cider vinegar.

Instructions

  • In a glass jar or a 1 cup glass Pyrex cup, (the container matters. It should be narrow so the blender fits snugly) pour in the avocado oil. Add the egg to the oil and let the ingredients settle for 1 minute. I then added the rest of the ingredients to the cup.
  • Take an immersion blender and let it touch the bottom of the container, piercing the egg yolk completely.
  • Turn the immersion blender on and leave it on the bottom for about 20-30 seconds, until the whole bottom has turned white in color.
  • VERY SLOWLY lift it up to continue emulsifying. This process should take anywhere between 30 seconds to 1 minute. Continue blending until the mixture has thickened to your desired amount.
  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.

 

cucumber basil

Cucumber Basil Avocado salad with homemade mayonnaise.

I love Alice’s Oat Pancakes!

I love when I make something new and the first bite makes me stop and say; “Oh my God this is so delicious!” This does not happen to me enough. Last Sunday morning, I made Alice Waters’ Oat Pancakes. I stewed fresh organic blueberries along with a few strawberries to go on top. Of course, first I smeared the pancakes with grass fed butter. It was SO Delicious!

Here is the recipe which is in Alice’s book My Pantry. 

Oat Pancakes (makes 8-3″ pancakes)

1 cup rolled oats

3/4 cup milk or almond milk

1 large egg

3 tablespoons ghee, coconut oil or butter (or a combination), melted

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

Put the oats in a blender and blend 20 to 30 seconds until it is a fine powder. You will have 3/4 cups of oat flour.

Beat the milk and egg together in a medium bowl. Stir in the melted oils. (I used a combination of butter and coconut oil.) Add the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Let the batter sit for 10 minutes to thicken. ( I didn’t do that and they came out fine. Who can wait that long for pancakes?)

Heat the griddle over medium high heat. Grease lightly with oil or butter and spoon on the batter about 1/4 cup. Cook the pancakes.

I use only organic ingredients. I buy my eggs from a local farmer. I don’t eat many grains, but these were worth it, and a better substitute than white flour. Alice Waters’ oat pancakes were the perfect Sunday breakfast.

“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!

 

 

I have never been much of a planner.

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.

Love,

Mary

vw

Our wedding car was my 1967 VW Beetle.

Giving up my nightly glass of wine.

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!

Love,

Mary

A White House.

I have been dreaming about having an all white house. I follow Jenni Kayne on Instagram. Her houses are basically white with natural wood. They feel clean, soothing and minimal.  I would love our house to feel that way, so I started painting. My kitchen and the room off the kitchen are painted  linen white. We bought a new refrigerator in December. Keeping with the theme, I decided to go white.  Now, I feel like I need to add different shades of white to make the refrigerator look more at home. We call the room off the kitchen George’s room after George the dog. We don’t have a dog right now so maybe it is the mud room. I always wanted a mud room. I painted the ceiling antique white. The walls are mayonnaise and the trim will be Chantilly lace. They are all Benjamin Moore colors. I think I might be nesting. Is a dog coming to live with us soon?

I am working on painting a few hours a day, so I don’t feel overwhelmed. I can clean up at the end of the day before Tom gets home. Today, I was running a few minutes behind and Thomas got home before everything was in order. Tom, as many of you know has special needs. He likes his routines and everything in place. He wants to help and he keeps at me until everything is in order. It can be very annoying. My friend Ivone keeps telling me to remember peace and serenity. The minister at church on Sunday talked about being the light and sending love. Thomas went to Sunday school and they made heart cookies. He told me he is sending love. How quickly, it can all fall apart over wet paint and a ladder.

Tomorrow, I am applying a second coat of mayonnaise paint.  My goal is to have it done before Thomas gets home. Do you think I will start craving tuna salad living with walls called mayonnaise?

Thanks for reading!

Love,

Mary

 

Is a quiet simple life mediocre?

I read an article last week. What if All I Want is a Mediocre Life? I am not crazy about the title, but it caught my attention on Facebook. It was written by Krista O’Reilly Davi-Digui.

Krista writes, What if all I want is a small, slow, simple life? What if I am most happy in the space of in between? Where calm lives. What if I am mediocre and choose to be at peace with that?”

What if all I want is a simple life? I went back and read my post from November 26th. What do I really want? The things I listed are quiet and simple. A few examples are a clean uncluttered house, more time in nature, and my intention around OutdoorFit  to being more than a typical boot camp.

This morning, I made DHH roasted pepper and tomato soup. I am going to sew linen napkins this afternoon. I know I could just buy soup and new napkins, but there is something very satisfying about making your own.

There is part of me that feels my quiet simple things are not enough. I have a sense of resentment and agitation lately. Why? I have a good family, close friends and a group of ladies that will work out with me in the winter time! Isn’t that enough? Actually, OutdoorFit is more than working out with friends. I have seen wonderful changes in the women’s balance, strength and flexibility.

Do I need more? Do I need to create a virtual program and build a six figure business?  Do I need more likes on Facebook or hearts on Instagram to feel good about myself? All that takes time and effort that would take away me away from my creative projects. I wouldn’t have time to sew napkins and make soup.

There is a part of me that wants to move. I think about moving to Vermont. We have spent a lot of time there. I didn’t  feel the pressure to be more, do more or dress better when I was there. I would go to the Northshire book store in Manchester, Vt. and buy books about simplicity. That was vacation time though. Would living there bring me joy and happiness, or would I have the same type of day that I have now in a different location? I think I need to focus on being grateful for what I have and find contentment in my daily quiet life.

Krista O’Reilly Davi-Digui says, “What if I just offer the small gifts I have to the world and let that be enough? ” As I am writing, I don’t consider my gifts small. What if I offer my fabulous gifts to the world and know that is enough? Now, that feels better!

This blog was helpful to write. I hope you enjoyed it too. What gifts do you have to give to the world? What brings you joy? Please share. I would love to hear from you.

Thanks for reading.

Love,

Mary

The 28 Day Fit and Fabulous Program starts on January 24th. I hope you will join me. We can make great soup and do mountain climbers together.

Click here for more information.

I have found my people.

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
Ingredients:
● 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
serve immediately.
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!