Thursday, December 31, 2009

Let's go the distance...reflections of a decade



2010! WOW, I am still just grasping that the last 10 years have been the first decade of a new millennium. Can you remember where you were 10 years ago? Oddly enough, I don't. I don't remember what I did or was doing for the month of December in 1999. If you were there with me as the dawn of a new millennium was upon us, please remind me.

However, I do know this....that the last 10 years of my life have been intense! I have had to fight for every minute of it, but the best part is, I remember it and I am grateful for it all. I have lived in a way I couldn't imagine and with a new year just around the corner, I am not about to jump off the momentum I have already set foot with. There are many great things to come in our near future. Opportunity to make steps in a positive direction and to keep going forward along the path that each of our journeys' hold.

What did the last decade hold for me? LIFE! My eyes and heart open and my choice was for life. I chose a life with God, a life shared with my husband, to risk my life to share in the life of two beautiful boys, to walk with others that have chosen a life eternal, to WORK IT OUT and change how I walk through my life with a focus on fitness, nutrition, and longevity....my path and journey is a fight for promoting living life, fully. I will gladly put on those gloves and get into the ring of my life...it's mine and I plan to go the distance.

Let's reflect on the road of success that brought us through 10 years and to the beginning of another decade that is filled with the potential of much joy, happiness, and success. Here's to the best in the New Year!



Friday, December 11, 2009

Spiced banana banana bread



This recipe is a family favorite and this is the recipe for the latest version made. I made substitutes (and additions) from the original recipe to suit our dietary requirements (gluten free, egg free, no white sugar/flour).


Makes 1 loaf

* 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature, plus more for pan (I used 1/2 cup olive oil or sometimes 1/2 cup coconut oil)
* 1/2 cup honey
* 1 tablespoon molasses
* 2 large bananas (or 2 large eggs)
* 1 1/2 cup flour ( I used 1/2 cup chickpea flour, 1/2 cup rice/millet flour, 1/2 cup ground buckwheat and quinoa)
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
* 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
* 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
* 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 cup mashed very ripe bananas
* 1/2 cup sour cream (or full fat plain yogurt...I used organic unhomogenized)
* 1 teaspoon vanilla
* 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan; set aside. In a large bowl, cream butter and honey until well mixed. Add eggs (bananas), and beat to incorporate.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, spices and salt. Add to the butter mixture, and mix until just combined. Add sour cream (yogurt), and vanilla; mix to combine. Stir in nuts (optional), and pour into prepared pan.
3. Bake until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Let rest in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Looking back through my own eyes at the future I am living

Long title, but best description. I'm not going to go into a long, drawn-out historical recount of my childhood, but today as I was walking home from dropping my son to school, I asked myself "Would I have ever imagined as a young girl who was singled-out, bullied and harassed in school, that I would be the woman who would work with children the age I was to help them through the same difficulties I had faced? I get the chance each day to share in the struggles of children as they learn and reflect what they have learned in their social interactions. I am seen as a "safe" place to turn to many children, when growing up, I didn't have that. I can remember one teacher in particular who took care of me and looked out for me, providing me with a listening ear in my struggles and I share this name whenever I recount the experiences I had in elementary school.

Over this last week, I helped a boy, that was misunderstood by classmates and teachers, to be forgiven for past actions and allowed the chance to prove he can change for the better. It was great having the opportunity to not only give this boy a little direction, but also to let him know that I believe in him to change in the way he wanted to and to be successful at it. He has all the right tools to succeed and do well, not only in school, but in life due to the heart of willingness he possesses. He showed me respect in the best way he knew how and vulnerability that only those who choose to take risks in life are willing to share. He has been helpful, respectful, and confident in his actions so far and I am excited to see where he will go next. Even my own son has had "stuff" to deal with and I shared with him what I went through and that he does have safe places to turn to (other than me) in times of need and he needs to use them.

I, as a young girl, would love to have watched this movie of success and overcoming as I have lived and I am glad that through the trials, struggles and pains I had lived in the past have brought me to such a fruitful future as the one I am living today.