Have you lowered the bar on your own health? Are you still making excuses why youhaven’t gotten back to exercise and healthy eating? If I could count the times that I hear, “Yes, but I’m 30 or 40 or 50, I am getting too old for that. I’m going let go a little and face the facts of aging….Nonsense! Why would you let anything as elusive as a number keep you from feeling your best…becoming strong, healthy and energetic!
I recently hiked up Mt Madison in northern NH with my college roommates and their husbands. It was a challenging, yet rewarding 3 1/2 hour hike to the top of this 5,600′ mountain. Over 50% of the hikers who stayed overnight in the Madison hut were over 60 years old. It was an impressive and exciting discovery. Hiking is not my personal recreation of choice, but the challenge was rewarding! My many hours of Pilates, Yoga and Barre prepared me well for my weekend adventure. If you keep fit and healthy there is hardly anything that you can’t do as you move towards your next “age milestones”.
It’s so easy to fill up your day with “to-do” and “to-don’ts” and crawl into bed feeling unfulfilled and overwhelmed day after day. It’s so much more rewarding to continually challenge yourself by raising your own bar! It’s the challenges in life that help us grow, teach us lessons, set examples for those around us and help create a rewarding life. Look ahead to the next 5 or 10 years and visualize how you want to feel and the goals that you want to achieve. How do you feel when you look back on the last 10 years? Life is precious, we’ve all lost a friend or love one before their time. We have one vessel in which to spend our lives; love it, cherish it and take care of it! Maybe you’ll share with us your next challenge or adventure!
p.s. These are the bars that that got us to the top of Mt. Madison and back.
Celebrate You and Fall:
Fruit & Nut Granola Bars
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 2 cups packed light brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cups peanut butter, natural salted
- 1 cup light corn syrup ( I used a 1/2 cup of agave & 1/2 cup of light corn syrup (believe it or not, light corn syrup does not have high fructose in it))
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 7 cups rolled (not instant) oats
- One 12-ounce package small chocolate chips (I have used regular-sized chocolate chips and small chocolate chunks, and both were fine)
- 1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
- 1 cup hulled sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted (I got roasted seeds at Trader Joes!)
- 1/2 cup sesame seeds
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted (place pecans on a baking sheet in 350 degree oven for 10 minutes)
Any combination of nuts and seeds will work as long as you keep the quantity the same.
1. Melt the butter over low heat in a small saucepan (or very carefully in the microwave) and set it aside to cool (it should cool completely before using or it will melt the chocolate chips).
2. Preheat the oven to 375˚. Prepare a rimmed 13 x 18-inch baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper and spraying the sides with nonstick cooking spray.
3. In a large bowl, combine the brown sugar, peanut butter, corn syrup, and vanilla.
4. In another large bowl (a super large bowl), combine the oats, chocolate, cranberries, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and pecans.
5. Add half of the dry ingredients and half of the melted butter to the peanut butter mixture. Mix and knead with your hands to combine.
6. Add the remaining dry ingredients and the rest of the butter and mix until all of the ingredients are thoroughly incorporated.
7. Spread the mixture out onto the prepared baking sheet and press it down to fill the pan. Cover the mixture with another sheet of parchment paper and use a rolling pin to make sure it is pressed firmly to a uniform thickness. (Really press down as hard as you can.)
8. Bake for 10 to 11 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time. The edges will be a light golden brown. The mixture will look under-baked in the center, but will set up after cooling.
9. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let it cool for several hours before cutting.
10. To cut, run a knife around the outside edge to loosen it from the pan over onto a cutting board. Using a very sharp knife, cut into any size you like. A ruler and a small paring knife work well to score the top of the granola into strips. Use a large sharp knife to cut straight down through the bars on the score marks.