I used to joke about people who made their own granola, then I became one of them.


Coco-nutty granola

  • 3 cups coconut flakes
  • 2 cups almonds, cashews, or pecans, chopped roughly
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 3 tablespoons brown rice syrup
  • pinch of coarse salt, sprinkled on top

Preheat oven to 250° F. Mix all ingredients in a bowl, and spread evenly on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake for about 30 minutes, until golden, turning halfway.


How These 4 Women Are Learning to Love The Skin They’re In

How These 4 Women Are Learning to Love The Skin They’re In

I interviewed 4 women, at different stages of life, to find out what they do to feel their best. Here are their responses.


How do you feel about your body?
I think my relationship with my body is constantly changing. Depending on factors such as weather, time of my cycle, and even when my life isn’t going great. I often find myself wishing it looked different but I think overall I try to love it as much as I can.

What diet works best for you?
The diet that works best for me includes three smaller meals and some snacks throughout the day. I try to pick a healthy choice if possible but I find that trying to restrict can lead to unhelpful habits forming.

What’s your favorite kind of exercise?
I love running more than anything. It helps me sort my thoughts and makes me feel amazing. But any kind of high-impact I enjoy.

How do you overcome negative thoughts?
Some tools I use to overcome negative thoughts are retracing my steps and writing about them. By retracing my steps I mean thinking about what I’ve eaten or what I’ve done today for my body and it makes me feel like I’m doing the best that I can. Writing also really helps me unpack how I’m feeling.


How do you feel about your body?
Past or present? That’s a huge question. I have a sort of interesting relationship with my body. When I was young, I was very skinny and I wished I was curvy. When I developed in my teen years, I felt better about my body, partly due to having a great boyfriend. I was always active. I danced and liked to go for walks. When I was 17, I went to Spain to study and fell in love with the food. When someone close to me said I looked heavy, I abruptly stopped eating and became almost anorexic. l lost 30 pounds!  When I came home to the States, I was able to go back to a carefree relationship with food. In my 20s, I felt at ease and empowered. Now, in my 50s, with perimenopause, the main feeling has been, my body is good to me. I feel strong and attractive. It has helped that the men in my life have found me beautiful. As I’m facing getting older, I feel like my body is not my body—I gain weight much easier, I have a different shape—but I’m trying to make peace with it. I’ve gone from awkward to empowered, discomfort to peace.

What diet works best for you?
I feel best when I’m eating a high-(lean) protein diet: chicken, fish, and then vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. When I do that I feel clean and energized. But I know I definitely have a sugar addiction. And I love French bread. And chocolate. And cheese! I don’t eat red meat. I was a vegetarian for years and only added fish and poultry when I was pregnant. I think I would benefit from eating more meat, but I can’t really bring myself to do it. I guess I eat mostly a Mediterranean diet.

What’s your favorite kind of exercise?
I really love dance. In an ideal world, I’d still be going out clubbing. Dancing all night is a great workout. I walk and do yoga but I really love Jazzercise. I need to exercise. It’s how I stay sane. I used to do the gym, the Nautilus. I used to run a lot. Actually, I’ve been a runner for probably 30 years. But now it hurts my hips. I want my workouts to really count, I want them to be challenging. I like to get them done quickly!

How do you overcome negative thoughts?
If I’m having negative thoughts about my body, it’s because I’ve done something unhealthy, like eat too many sweets or eat a bunch of food when I’m not even hungry. Those thoughts are there for a reason. I don’t want to overeat, so I try to recommit to myself to doing the things I know are good for me, I’ll go for a walk, drink water, do meditation, bring myself back to the present moment. I have learned to be gentle with myself. With aging and my changing body, it’s a process to change how I view myself and how I not relate to my partner. Now, when I’ve have negative thoughts, I will actively disrupt my thought patterns. I’ll say, “shut up!” Haha. Not very gentle, but it works. Then I’ll turn the thoughts around and focus on the positive.


How do you feel about your body?
I feel relatively good about my body. I’ve always struggled with my weight and body image but with age am getting better at giving myself grace.

What diet works best for you?
I’m a volume eater. To keep my portion sizes under control while still feeling full, my meals are usually at least 50% veggies or leafy greens. I always include a protein and I try to avoid dairy. Other than that, I don’t restrict myself to a particular diet. I think everything is fine in moderation.

What’s your favorite kind of exercise?
I love running. I have a hard time meditating so I find long runs to be both good for the mind and body! Recently, I joined Orange Theory for some cross training and it’s awesome. Since I started, my mile time has dropped significantly. Plus it’s a great way to socialize with other people who love fitness as much as I do!

How do you overcome negative thoughts?
I struggle with this one. Staying active helps to keep my mind at ease. I also like using the boxed breathing technique. You inhale for 4 seconds, hold the breath for 4 seconds, and exhale for (you guessed it) 4 seconds. It helps to center me when I’m extra stressed or feeling negative.


How do you feel about your body?
I love it! I’m super grateful for it. I love that I enjoy it, and value it. I will say though, I would like to be physically stronger, like, build more muscle mass.

What diet works best for you?
I eat mostly organic greens, and vegetables, and focus on eating a high protein/low-fat diet. I get most of my animal-based protein from dairy.  I really love Greek yogurt. I sprinkle cinnamon on it which tastes almost sweet!

What’s your favorite kind of exercise?
Pilates. I need to do it more! I also like yoga, dance, and tai chi.

How do you overcome negative thoughts?
I practice positive self talk. I read books or internet articles about positivity. And practicing healthy habits really helps. Exercise helps! Someone once said, “Move a muscle, change a thought.”

How to Boost Your Mood (when it’s cloudy for days on end)

How to Boost Your Mood (when it’s cloudy for days on end)

I find that the weather can really dictate my mood, and my motivation. If I don’t see blue sky or sun for a while, I feel … not good. So, when that happened recently, I thought, maybe there’s something I can do. I sat down and wrote this list:


Some of these things are obvious and I do them fairly regularly. But some of them surprised me. Like, where did that come from? So I know these things help improve mood, but the thing about a cloudy day is I forget about all the things that can make me feel better.  I need to remember to use them when sluggishness started to settle in. And the sooner the better. Usually taking simple action works well, like taking a walk. And, the more often I do these things, the easier it is to do them.

Since I work from home, which I love, don’t get me wrong, I need to find excuses to get out of the house. I also need to connect with people (other than the three I live with.) Calling a friend is super helpful. Seeing them in person is even better! Making plans with your people is so, so important. I think we all learned how important human connection is after being deprived of it during the pandemic. I can’t make plans with someone, I usually go out by myself. I highly recommend strolling through stores just to look at stuff. Or better yet, an art museum.

Exercise is also essential. Luckily I’m already in a good habit of prioritizing workouts. Usually I do it first thing in the morning. Right now I have a routine that I walk the dog then I go for a longer walk by myself. On some days I do Jazzercise from home. I started doing Jazzercise on-demand at the start of the pandemic and I love it. Don’t judge my old lady workouts! They’re awesome. When the days get shorter and colder and I’m less willing to go outside, I have to really make myself get outside. I know it makes a big difference in my energy level.

I definitely believe in vitamins. I just never remember to take them. Not only are they good for physical health, they are good for mental as well. Studies have shown that calcium, chromium, folate, iron, magnesium, omega-3s, vitamin B, vitamin D, and zinc all help to boost mood. I take Garden of Life but there are obviously many to choose from. 

Adding light, artificial light if it’s cloudy or dark, is supposed to regulate circadian rhythms (like your body’s reaction to light and how it effects energy). I got therapy lamp a few years ago to help with seasonal affective disorder (SAD). “Symptoms of SAD include loss of pleasure and energy, feelings of worthlessness, inability to concentrate, and uncontrollable urges to eat sugar and high-carbohydrate foods.” – Harvard Health Blog. I’m not sure if the one I have is good or if it’s making a difference but I thought it was worth a try. I find that turning on lights and lighting candles can also make me feel better.

I found it really interesting how many things on my list were sensory. Flowers and candles – sight, music – hearing, perfume (and flowers, and candles if they’re scented) – smell. Enlivening the senses can make us feel more alive. So often people are tempted to numb out to combat depression; bingeing on alcohol, sugar, social media, or TV. Feel less. I never realized that feeling more could be much more effective.

The idea of buying myself flowers is very new to me. So is wearing perfume. I think I got my new love of fragrance from my daughter who is constantly asking for essential oils, candles and perfumes. It feels very indulgent and I’m surprised I haven’t allowed myself to enjoy it more before now. I learned a lot about happiness and self-care from reading The Year of Living Danishly. Lighting candles, drinking hot tea, listening to music, setting a mood. How did I not know about these things?

It’s so easy to get caught up in doing all the things. We feel compelled to clean and work, to take care of others and be “productive.” But if we’re feeling down or tired maybe we need to take a step back, slow down and do something that really creates beauty and wonder. Maybe a cloudy day is just the universe saying, your to-do list just got a lot shorter.


I Love Track Pants

Thanks to this post by Lindsay Kubly I have now joined the Adidas track pants fan club (not an official organization).

These pants. I have been wishing for them forever. I hesitated to get them because… uh, I thought I’d look ridiculous in them. Like my son’s soccer coach “Todd.” Like, ‘I’m hip, I’m cool, I’m sporty.’ It turns out, I love the way they look on me. And how comfortable they are. I put them on my Amazon wish list and got them for my birthday. I did have to switch out the medium for a small and they are still a little loose. I’ve looked for these pants locally and could only find weird variations on the theme. I would definitely recommend the traditional track pant fabric over the more cottony legging kind. And I really like that these have zippers at the ankles so I can put them on and take them off over sneakers. (Let’s be honest, I’m probably never going to do that, but I could) Finally, they have zippered pockets and an elastic waistband with a drawstring. Perfection.

Buy here: Adidas Women’s Superstar Original Track Pant

I found some photos on Pinterest to show how versatile these are and now I think I need a few more colors. Don’t worry, I’m not going to wear them with crop tops or stilettos.

Light Therapy

Light Therapy

Hi there. I have things to share with you! First is this light that I got for … Christmas? my birthday? … last year. I had saved the link to one from a company called Alaskan Northern Lights. Their Aurora LightPad Mini is $188. Someone recommended it and now I can’t remember who. But the one I have is from Verilux, the Happy Light Luxe, and it is only $70.

I originally got the idea of Light Therapy from the book The Year of Living Danishly. The author, researching how Denmark manages to be some of the happiest people in the world despite living in such a wintery place, came upon this secret. I have only used my light a handful of times, but just owning it gives me hope when things feel bleak in the winter. (Full disclosure: I use it mostly as a make up light.)

If you struggle with the blues this time of year, or let’s just call it what it is: depression, or as I experience it, full-on-downspiral-into-despair, please try using a happy light. You just set it on your desk, or wherever you’re sitting and angle it slightly toward you but not right into your eyes, for about 10 minutes. Great for those days when it’s rainy and dark.

I’ll add this too: I learned that light of all kinds really help mood. Turn on lamps and/or light candles. I thought candles were only for romantic dinners. They’re good anytime, even during the day. And of course getting outside as much as possible, especially of it’s sunny. A little goes a long way.

HappyLight® Luxe

Let’s Get Fit — Ready for Summer


My reveal photo from 2015

Let’s get real. I did not follow through on my goal to get fit in time for summer. I completely abandoned the idea. As soon as I set out to promote the idea of “getting into shape”, it felt altogether wrong. I mean, getting and staying healthy isn’t wrong. But setting a deadline and trying to look a certain way just suddenly seemed misguided to me. And right around that time, I started to see and hear people advocating for the idea of accepting ourselves as we are and acknowledging that we are so much more than our size. So, I just couldn’t do it.

In the past I set a goal of getting down to a certain weight in time for summer, by the time I had to put on a swim suit. I felt like a needed a little push to be more active (a good thing) and eat healthier (a good thing) but ultimately like I needed to fit into an arbitrary aesthetic ideal (maybe not a good thing). And, as I get older, it seems, well almost cruel to keep holding myself to this standard.

Goal start: March 10, 2019, 137.1 lbs.

Goal end: May 27, 2019, 135.6 lbs.

During the first few weeks of my fitness regimen, I worked out 2-4 times a week at the gym with lighter workouts on the other days. I didn’t do anything radical in terms of diet. I was more conscious of my choices, but continued to do my usual “just-eat-real-food” philosophy with maybe a little bit of “intuitive eating” thrown in. All along I was nursing a really old injury I always referred to as “tight IT bands from running”. I stretched them religiously and they didn’t get better. They almost seemed to get worse! Then I went to the Chiropractor and he admonished me for stretching what was overstretched and explained that I had a muscle weakness/imbalance. That was a turning point when I had to face the fact that I did not know what was best for me in terms of fitness. I sort of surrendered.

The next couple weeks I was in California and didn’t do much formal exercise. My pain pretty much went away and I resumed workouts, roughly 2 hard classes a week and a little walking. By the time school let out, I willingly gave up the gym and just did whatever. At some point I stopped worrying about planning workouts and recording them on my calendar. So I can’t really tell you what I’ve done this summer. I do know I started really running and it feels amazing. I recently had some suspicious chest pain and actually saw a cardiologist. After I learned that I my heart was 100% healthy I’ve been feeling so grateful for my health and ability to do pretty much anything. That’s what it’s really about, right?

Do I still want to lose weight? Kind of. Do I wish I had more toned legs? Totally. But this is me. It just is. And it’s good.

It’s summer. And I’m ready.