Damn you, Father Time!

As you may have guessed both by the title of this post and the picture above, I recently had a birthday.  Another year older.  Oh joy.  There are days when getting older makes me feel like this:

 

And there are days when getting older feels like this:

 

 

But mostly, I’m just happy.  Happy I made it another year.  Happy because I have amazing friends and family.  Happy because I have an awesome son who is about to turn 13.  (Seriously??  I almost have a teenager?? Again, not cool, Father Time.  Not cool.)  Happy because truly, I have a blessed life.

Yeah, yeah.  Whatever.  All that aside, I do love to kick ‘ol Father Time in the teeth sometimes so I employ these 5 tips to turn back, even if only a little, the hands of time:


TIP #1:  Exercise.  Yep.  I said it and you all know it’s true.  Exercising is just amazing for a plethora of reasons.  Plethora.  Seriously.  But this article came out in the NY Times last week and it states, “Exercise not only appears to keep skin younger, it may also even reverse skin aging in people who start exercising late in life”.  I mean, is that, like, one of the best sentences EVER??  I think so.  So get to it, people!

TIP #2:  Drink water.  I’m all about easy, and drinking water is one of the quickest, most effective things you can do to boost your health, skin, brain function, the list goes on.  And because I like to back my position up – read this if you don’t believe me.

TIP #3:  Eat your vegetables.  A lot.  As many as you can each and every day.  Preferably the green leafy variety, but really, I’m not picky.  Just eat them.  I don’t think I need to say more as the current kale-in-everything-we-eat mania has proven this point!

TIP #4:  Breathe.  Deep, cleansing breaths using your diaphragm, not your lungs.  Stress is a killer and is associated with diseases such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, the list continues and those are biggies.  Dr. Andrew Weil has a breathing exercise called 4-7-8 Breath that I assign to all of my clients.  Try it.  It’s easy and it’s effective.  See – all about easy over here!

TIP #5:  Laugh every day.  Because this is your life.  So laugh and laugh often.  That’s the point of it all, in my opinion.  Experience joy each and every day.


Get it?  Good.  Moving on to granola.  Why granola, you ask?

Because I love it.  Love, love, love it.  And making homemade granola is easy and you will NEVER buy it from the store again once you taste this recipe.  I promise!

 

 

I slightly adapted this recipe from a cookbook entitled, Whole Grain Mornings.  In it, you are given a blueprint for granola and encouraged to experiment.  Which I do every time I make it, but I am giving you what I think is the best combination I’ve come up with yet!

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups organic rolled oats
  • 1 cup raw, organic almonds
  • 1 cups raw, organic cashews
  • 1/2 cup raw, organic pumpkin seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt (and I swear, this is key!)
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon (because I LOVE cinnamon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup (grade B, please!)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup mixture of chopped dried cherries and cranberries
  •  
    Directions:

    1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Line a 13 by 18-inch baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
    2. Mix the oats, nuts and seeds, salt, cinnamon, and cardamom together in a large bowl.  Stir to combine.  Add the oil, sweetener, and vanilla and stir again to combine fully
    3. Turn the granola out onto the prepared pan and spread in an even layer.  Bake until the mixture is light brown and fragrant, 35 to 40 minutes, stirring every 15 or 20 minutes to make sure the granola cooks evenly.
    4. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on the pan.  Stir in the dried fruit.  Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 to 4 weeks, but I promise, it won’t last that long!

    Try it and let me know what you think in the comments below.  Or post your favorite granola recipe and I will try yours out.  Like I said, love me some granola!

    If you liked this post, forward it to a friend, post it on your Facebook feed or tweet about it.  I’d appreciate it!

    Be well.
    Advertisements

Thrive.

One of my personal heroes is Arianna Huffington.  I first became acquainted with her when I began listening to a show on public radio entitled, “Left, Right, and Center”.  This was many years ago.  I loved both Arianna’s intelligence and her humor.  I sought out her books and even went to a talk she gave and got her autograph.  Like I said, I’m a big fan!

Recently I was lucky to hear her speak again at my school’s conference in New York and she was amazing.  Hysterically funny, (truly!) honest and insightful, she spoke on a subject close to my heart: wellness and how important a factor it is in living a truly successful life.  All of this can be found in her new book entitled, Thrive, which I highly recommend. (I love that word.  I really do.  However I really wish I didn’t hear Allison Janney saying it every time I read it or hear it. Damn you, Kaiser Permanente!)

photo (3)

No those aren’t bagels.  Those are doughnuts you see in the picture above.  However, you must have already guessed that these are NOT your every day, normal, deep-fried, full of sugar, possibly-the-worst-thing-you-can-eat, doughnuts.  These are, yes I’m going to say it, GOOD FOR YOU!!  And they taste yummy.  I got the recipe from an amazing cookbook I just bought entitled, The Oh She Glows Cookbook.  I highly recommend both the cookbook and the blog site, ohsheglows.com.

The doughnuts are made using chia seeds which are one of my favorite “superfoods” on the market and well-deserving of that title.  And yes, they are these ch-ch-ch-chia seeds.  C’mon.  Admit it!  You totally just sang that in your head when you read the word, “chia”.  In addition to being a pet, chia seeds are a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and protein.  Because of chia seeds ability to slow down digestion, they are a powerful stabilizer for your blood sugar.  An easy way to incorporate them into your diet is to sprinkle them over your morning oatmeal or yogurt.  Or – make doughnuts!

Out-the-Door Chia Power Doughnuts

3/4 cup gluten-free oat flour
1/2 cup chia seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons fine-grain sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup pure maple syrup or other liquid sweetener
1/3 cup non-dairy milk (I used almond milk)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Coconut Lemon Whipped Cream, for serving

1.  Preheat the oven to 300 F.  Lightly grease a 6-cavity doughnut pan with oil.  Set aside.
2.  In a large bowl, combine the oat flour, chia seeds, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
3.  Add the maple syrup, milk, and vanilla and stir until combined.  The batter will be very runny, but this is normal.
4.  Spoon the batter into the prepared doughnut pan, filling each cavity to the top.
5.  Bake the doughnuts for 22 to 26 minutes, until firm to the touch.  A toothpick inserted into a doughnut should come out clean.
6.  Cool the doughnuts in the pan for about 10 minutes, and then carefully invert the pan onto a cooling rack.  The doughnuts should pop right out.  Cool them completely on the rack.
7.  Drizzle Coconut-Lemon Whipped cream over the top and enjoy.

Coconut-Lemon Whipped Cream

1 14 oz. can of full-fat coconut milk
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons of liquid sweetener

1.  Chill the container of coconut milk in the refrigerator overnight or at least 9 to 10 hours.
2.  One hour before preparing the whipped cream, chill a bowl in the freezer.
3.  Scoop the chilled coconut milk into the bowl.
4.  Using an electric hand mixer, beat the cream until fluffy and smooth.  Add the lemon juice and sweetener and beat gently just to combine.
5.  Cover the bowl and return the whipped cream to the fridge until ready to use.  It will firm when chilled and soften at room temperature.  The whipped cream will keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 weeks.

Have fun!

Be well.