Hi friends! Let’s talk about a few things. Are you ready for a midweek chat? Consider this a check-in / overshare / banana bread cookie recipe. This is what friends do.
It’s February which means that last month (which feels like a lifetime ago) I did that thing so many of us do – I made a New Year’s resolution (though I prefer to call them intentions) to myself to survive another pandemic year if not become a marginally better versions of myself in the process. You too?
My intentions this year have been these:
• I intend to feel as strong and healthy going into my 40th (literally WHAT!?) birthday as possible. We’re talking body, brain, and heart strong and no one is in charge of that but me.
• I intend to teach myself how to enjoy swimming and running and otherwise train my mind and body for a triathlon.
• I intend to stay curious about my life, all the newness I can add to it, the growth I can experience, and all the joy I can squeeze out of it. It’s an everyday choice.
One month and eleven days into the new year and here’s the real question: how’s it all going? WELL…
Before I answer this question let me tell you: I tend to be a person who is reeeaaaalllyy hard on myself. The ol’ inner monologue can be a bit of a bully. I have to remind myself to be generous before answering.
How am I doing? Most superficially I ate too many potato chips and didn’t drink nearly enough water today, but I’d like to remind myself that there’s more to the story.
How am I doing?
I’m staying motivated to move my body. What’s worked for me the last month or so is Nike Run Club and Nike Training Club. I noticed that I’m a person who needs a lot of verbal encouragement to work out and let me tell you – Coach Bennet in the Nike Run Club app has done the impossible and turned me into a runner. I actually look forward to crossing another starting line aka just stepping outside my front door to jog my slow slow mile.
I’m practicing my swimming which means I drag my butt out of the house at 7:30pm when the pool will be empty at the gym down the street so I can work through the drills in Total Immersion Swimming. There are times when it’s so frustrating that I don’t think I’ll ever figure it out. Have I cried in my car about it? Yes absolutely. There are also fleeting moments where things feels almost like swimming and those are the moments I hold on to.
There are times when I talk myself out of swimming and opt for watching television in bed, but there are more nights that I remind myself that no one can do this for me. It’s me @ me in this life lesson and I’m trying to stay curious about how I can rewrite this swimming story for myself.
Does it suck sometimes? Yes. And yet I’m still just out here trying.
Lastly friends, I’m really trying to get a handle on the pain I have associated with my endometriosis which was diagnosised 2018. Yay, finally, it only took 10 years to figure out! These bodies are wild. I’ve been on a specific-to-me anti-inflammatory diet under the supervision of a functional nutritionist for the last three months and I miiiiight be seeing progress. I’ve done a lot of research for myself about endometriosis, had one laparoscopic surgery, and am currently exploring how I can live with this disease.
I know I know… we haven’t talked about this whole diet thing mostly because it’s all been so weirdly specific to my body (I’m sensitive to things like sunflower seeds and olive oil WHO KNEW!?). I also just needed space to simply see if I would feel a change with a shift in diet. I think the answer is yes but I’m still on the road.
The want to share the banana bread cookies that I’ve kept in my fridge the last few weeks. It’s a little treat sweetened mostly with bananas and a hint of monkfruit sugar. They’re packed with almond flour and flax, crunchy walnuts, and chocolate (my favorite being the unsweetened chocolate chips from Trader Joe’s). When stored in the refrigerator and enjoyed cold, they taste JUST like sneaking a perfect little slice of banana bread from the fridge right before bed. I’ll leave the recipe for you below and continue to share recipes I love on my tuned-up alternative diet. Just be patient with me.
That’s my half of our check-in, friends. How are you!? (You don’t have to tell me but definitely tell yourself.)
I just wanted to give you a quick glimpse of my small world. I wanted to give you a peek into my efforts in case you needed a little encouragement yourselves. Encouragement to put your feet on the ground in the morning. Encouragement to prep your kids for another day of distance learning… whatever it may be. We’re still well within an insane time and I feel like the only rule is to do our best to take care of ourselves. I respect that that surely looks different for all of us. Some days are harder to motivate than others but we’ve got a whole year to make progress and a ton of small (tiny, even) victories to celebrate along the way.
I’m rooting for you. I’m rooting for us. Now cookies.Print
Gluten, dairy, and refined sugar free snacking cookies. Sweetened with banana, studded with dark chocolate and walnuts, they’re a perfect little banana bread bite!
- 1 1/2 cup (145 grams) almond flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons flax seed meal (optional)
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup, honey, or monk fruit sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cup (about 375 grams) lightly mashed banana
- 2/3 cup (about 100 grams) coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)
- 2/3 cup (about 108 grams) chocolate chips (optional)
- Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven o 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly spray the paper with nonstick cooking spray (or spread very lightly with coconut oil, whatever you prefer).
- In a medium bowl whisk together almond flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and flax seed meal (if using).
- In a small bowl or a large liquid measuring cup whisk together egg, maple (or your chosen sweetener) vanilla, and mashed banana.
- Add the wet ingredients all at once to the dry and stir until well combined. Stir in the walnuts and chocolate, if using.
- Spoon cookie batter by the two tablespoonful onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 16-20 minutes (longer than traditional cookies because there’s so much moisture), until lightly puffed and golden brown. Keep an eye on them past 16 minutes of baking.
- Allow to rest on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining batter.
- Enjoy cookies warm and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a week or so. These cookies are actually super delicious cold from the fridge.