Maple-Cinnamon Apple & Pear Baked Oatmeal


Maple-Cinnamon Apple & Pear Baked Oatmeal

2 1/4 cups rolled oats (gluten free if needed)
2 TBSP coconut or brown sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 cups unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 apples, peeled and diced
1 ripe pair, peeled and diced
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1. Preheat the oven to 375’F. Lightly grease a 2 quart casserole dish.

2 In a large bowl, combine rolled oats, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, ginger, salt, and nutmeg. Mix well.

3. In a separate bowl, combine almond milk, applesauce, maple syrup, and vanilla and stir well to combine.

4. Pour the liquid mixture over the oat mixture and stir until combined. The mixture will be soupy. Stir in the apples and pear.

5. Spoon the oatmeal into the casserole dish and smooth out the top. Sprinkle the walnuts on top and gently press them down into the oatmeal with your hands.

6. Bake, uncovered, for 35-45 minutes until the oatmeal is bubbly and the apples are fork tender.

7. Cool the oatmeal for 5-10 minutes before serving. Enjoy with a splash of almond milk and drizzle of maple syrup if desired.

8. Cool the oatmeal completely before wrapping it up and placing it in an airtight container. It will keep in the fridge for 5 to 6 days or in the freezer for 2 to 3 weeks.

From The Oh She Glows Cookbook by, Angela Liddon


The Rise of High Intensity, low-impact classes

Workout fiends have typically been divided into two major groups: the chill yogis, Pilates, and barre devotees and the die-hard bootcamp lovers who favor a high-intensity, interval training style class. (CrossFitBarry’s, and Orangetheory fans, you know who you are.) For the latter group, there’s often a certain pride connected to working out so hard you that your body’s sore the next day.

But slowly and surely, there’s been a move away from the hurts-so-good mindset. It’s likely why foam-rolling classes were trending for a while; people went so hard on their bodies that they started seeking out a way to give it some much-needed love. But let’s be honest: if you’re used to leaving a workout drenched in sweat, a foam-rolling class isn’t going to serve as a satisfying replacement for long.


With the rise of HIIT and the frequency people are doing these classes, they’re seeing more injuries. They’re looking for alternatives that will get their heart rate up but not impact their joints.
— Amanda Freeman, SLT

“HIIT was such a big thing, then foam rolling was big but people realized they weren’t getting as much out of their workouts as they wanted to. So now we’re seeing the trend moving toward high-intensity, low-impact with the focus being mobility and injury prevention,” says fitness instructor Brookelyn Suddell, the co-director of the group fitness department at Crunch gyms. “People want to walk out of the studio feeling like they got a good workout, but also feeling good in their bodies.”

“The way boutique fitness has evolved, this is the natural evolution,” adds Amanda Freeman, founder of SLT, a high-intensity, low-impact workout that has caught fire in recent years, expanding from New York City to locations throughout the East Coast and Midwest. “Before boutique fitness, people weren’t working out as often as they are now. Especially with the rise of HIIT and the frequency people are doing these classes, they’re seeing more injuries. They’re looking for alternatives that will get their heart rate up but not put them at risk for injuries or impact their joints.”

What exactly does a high-intensity, low-impact—known as HILIT—workout look like? And can it work as your sole form of exercise, or do you still need to work in cardio and strength-training days?

What counts as HILIT

First things, first: What exactly counts as a high-intensity, low-impact workout? According to Justin Norris, personal trainer and co-founder of buzzy Los Angeles studio LIT Method, it means you never have both feet off the ground (that’s the low-impact part) and there’s an emphasis on raising the heart rate (that’s where high intensity comes in). “There’s no jumping, no running, and no burpees,” he says. No burpees? Bless up!

So what exactly do you do instead? At LIT Method, co-founder Taylor Gainor (who’s also a personal trainer), says some of the core moves are inch-worming up and back into a plank position, and lotsof mountain climbers. “You can burn up to 1,000 calories in a class, or 500 calories in a 30-minute class, if you’re streaming a workout online,” she says, driving home the point that low-impact does notmean low results. “The cardio moves are structured to raise the heart rate for 20 seconds, then dropping it back down for 20 seconds.”

“You’re saving your joints for longevity, but you’re still getting into that fat-burning zone—it’s the best of both worlds,” Norris says.

Of course LIT Method isn’t the only boutique fitness studio that’s been championing the benefits of the low-impact life long before it was a trend. Celebrity trainer Bizzie Gold founded B MVMNT in New York back in 2010 with a similar ideology. “At the time, I received a lot of backlash from the fitness community, but now people have come around,” she says. B MVMNT has a signature spiral structure technique, which works the core both inside and out.

Keep reading for an inside look at the rise of HILIT—and what it means for your sweat sessions.

You’re saving your joints for longevity, but you’re still getting into that fat-burning zone—it’s the best of both worlds.
— Justin Norris, LIT Method

“We are favoring movements that are circular, that have that deep engagement, whether that’s the deep engagement in the abdomen or the spiral motions in the shoulders or hips,” she says. “The body is a round cylinder with the spine going through the center. Our core is in both the front and the back,” Gold explains. “One of the best ways to work the core is to round the belly button back toward the spine and lift up so you’re getting this really exaggerated tucking and energetic lift, using arm balances to transition in and out of that tucked position to build the core and generate heat.” In other words: You’ll be sweating.

Like B MVMNT, SLT was in on the low-impact, high-intensity game before it was popular (since 2011 to be exact). The cardio-slash-strength training-slash-Pilates mashup focuses on one muscle group at a time and is structured to keep the heart rate up the entire time. (Entire, as in no breaks whatsoever.) The bulk of the workout is done on a Megaformer using weighted springs to really tone the body—while still protecting it from injury. “It’s your cardio and toning day all in one,” Freeman says.

How gyms are getting in on the HILIT game

And now, boutique studios aren’t the only way to try HILIT—gyms are jumping on the trend, too. At Crunch, directors of group fitness Suddell and Marc Santa Maria both say they’ve added more classes to their lineup to cater to the trend. “We’re really seeing the proof of concept through the popularity of the classes,” Suddell says. “They are even more popular than our more cardio-based or strength-training classes.”

Their cornerstone HILIT class is Zuu, which Suddell teaches. “The class has three main goals,” she says. “Injury prevention, mobility, and creating community.” Class goers can expect to burn between 300 and 350 calories per class, which is spent doing moves solely using body weight to spike the heart rate, and then bring it back down (over and over).


[HILIT workouts] are even more popular than our more cardio-based or strength-training classes.”
— Brookelyn Suddell, Crunch

Crunch also offers bungee classes with HILIT in mind. “The doctor who created it was a trauma surgeon who worked with athletes to help rehabilitate them so they could compete again, and it’s actually low-impact,” Santa Maria says. “Your heart rate goes through the roof when you’re running forward, but when you spring back, you land super softly. The bungee takes the bulk of the pressure off the landing.” The gym chain also just added three classes centering around a 6-pound “powerball,” a translucent ball filled with weighted material, to provide stability and resistance—all low-impact, high-intensity.

At Equinox, Nicole Petitto, the brand’s group fitness and barre senior manager, says gym-goers looking for a HILIT class can try out The Muse. “The program idea was born based on the desire to offer a ‘true’ cardio workout in the barre space that would seamlessly bridge the gap between barre and dance conditioning,” she says. “The circular movement patterns integrated throughout the choreography and the overall flow feel incredible in the body and bring joy into the movement.”

How HILIT can fit into the workout regimen you already have

So, do you still need your cardio or strength training days? “It depends what your health goals are,” Suddell says. For the average person, she says HILIT can absolutely work for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. “If you want to build strength, muscle, or body mass, you’ll want to integrate it into weight or power training,” she advises. “And if you’re looking to lose weight, you could integrate it into more cardio-heavy days.”

Sports medicine doctor Jordan Metzl, MD, has a slightly different idea: “The best workout is whatever someone is interested in and brings a smile to their face,” he says. “Because that means it’s something they will do consistently.”

He also points out that everyone’s body is different. “Some people can train for a marathon and get no injuries at all while someone else might get injured training for a 10k,” he says. “If you like the workout you’re doing and you’re not getting hurt doing it, keep doing it. If you are getting hurt, then you might want to think about something a little lower-impact.” Besides enjoying what you’re doing, the key, he says, is revving up your heart rate. “You want your heart rate to go up and down through intense bursts of short exercise,” he says. “But that can be done through HIIT or HILIT. Physiologically, they can be the same.”

In other words, a HILIT workout may not have burpees, but it willgive you results. And hey, it’s bridging fitness worlds: So if you’re a boot-camp lover who’s friends with a barre obsessive and a yoga teacher, here’s a way for everyone to meet up and get in some pre-brunch bonding. (Because who needs more us vs. them in their life these days?)


Meredith's Acorn Squash soup recipe

Acorn Squash Soup with Turmeric will warm your bones this winter. It’s so creamy and delicious that you won’t realize how healthy it is.  Full of veggies and made dairy free with coconut milk. {paleo, whole30, dairy free, gluten free, vegan}

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A Case for Strength

Build muscle. Burn FatImprove your posture. Strengthen your bones. In singing the praises of strength training, we usually tout the benefits we can see in the mirror, on the scale, or in how our clothes fit.

But there’s more to getting strong than meets the eye. Increasingly, research proves that building muscle delivers systemwide benefits — boons to your body and mind, inside and out.

Read More

Why Women Over 50 Need To Rethink Weight Loss


by Marika LindholmApril 13, 2017 5:00 AM

Whether you've already turned 50 or are on your way, there are some important challenges and rewards that come with staying fit after this milestone. As a 55-year-old competitive tennis player and Pilates fanatic, I'm familiar with longer recovery times, muscles that rebel, and more than my share of injuries. When I turned 40, my tennis friends got me a basket filled with first-aid supplies: ice packs, ointments, bandages, and pain relievers. Little did I know that I'd actually use all those items over the next decade! 

My regular exercise routine of playing and competing at tennis wasn't going to cut it as I got older. I started to notice that running hard for a ball felt precarious, and I was plagued with strains and sprains. I learned the hard way that staying fit required more focus and creativity as I got older. The good news is that reaping the benefits of fitness over 50 is well worth the effort.

What should my fitness routine look like? 

Most of us instinctively know that exercise is good for us, but finding the right training routine is critical to sticking with it. Endurance-training sports-medicine physician Jordan D. Metzl says that instead of prescribing a specific fitness regimen, he encourages his patients to find what works for them. "The ideal form of exercise for you is something you actually do!" Experts point out that we can derive major health benefits from exercising 150 minutes per week at moderate intensity or 75 minutes per week at high intensity. If you're just starting out, check in with a physician first; otherwise, we can all stay in the game and feel good as we age. 

Here are 10 realities about fitness over 50 that might just inspire you to rethink your health and weight-loss strategy. 

1. Don't exclude high-intensity exercise. 

Aim for an exercise routine that combines moderate- and high-intensity workouts. High intensity means that you have difficulty talking while performing an exercise. This could be climbing stairs, jumping rope, sprinting, playing racquetball, or engaging in any number of other aerobic activities.

2. It takes longer to burn fat and build muscle as we age. 

Many of us have already experienced this shift and have tried to modify our food intake accordingly—no fun! A workout routine that includes strenuous exercise is a great way to fight this harsh reality.

3. Recovery time is longer the older we get. 

Be kind to your body. It's healthy to integrate strenuous exercise into your routine, but you need to space it out to allow for adequate recovery. Getting enough sleep helps with recovery as well.

4. Blend endurance, strength, and flexibility training. 

A varied workout routine is not only more interesting but also much more important as we get older. When we're young, it's easier to get away with skipping one of these types of training. When trying to stay fit as we age, all three are important to maintain condition, stay strong, and avoid getting hurt while exercising.

5. Build muscle to avoid injury. 

Adults lose between 5 and 7 pounds of muscle every decade after age 20. Recent research indicates that inactivity is responsible for the majority of muscle loss associated with age. Fortunately, resistance exercise can reverse much of this decline by increasing the size of shrunken muscle fibers. Strength training increases bone mass and density, which protects against osteoporosis, a disease that causes bones to become fragile and more likely to break. The American Journal of Medicine recently reported that folks with a higher muscle mass index live longer. So, get out there and lift some weights!

6. Stretch and exercise to maintain flexibility. 

On days when you're recovering from more strenuous training, enjoy exercise that keeps your body limber and flexible. Structural integration practitioner Ruthie Fraser, the author of Stack Your Bones, emphasizes that stretching is key. "We lose height as we age, so a good daily exercise is to put a bolster under your shoulders and stretch backward over it, creating space and flexibility in your shoulders and spine." Getting older doesn't have to hurt. If you are strong and limber, you will feel 35, or even 20!

7. Treat yourself to massage and body work. 

At this age, you've earned some pampering every now and then. Hardworking muscles deserve attention. Carianne Russo, who does restorative body work, explains, "As we age, soft tissue hardens. That's why massage and stretching are so important to folks over 50. Massage opens up the space that young people experience, and the body likes being in that space!"

8. Staying fit reduces anxiety and improves your mood. 

It's well-known that exercise reduces our odds of developing heart disease, stroke, and diabetes—all diseases that become more common as we age. Exercise and fitness also release chemicals that improve mood and sleep and reduce anxiety. Aging can be stressful; exercise not only makes you look younger but also makes you feel better inside. This is especially important for those going through menopause or other life-changing events.

9. Exercise helps your memory. 

As a developer of corporate health and fitness programs, Debi Conocenti is excited about new research that links exercise to enhanced memory and cognitive repair. Early studies on yoga and cycling reveal this important link. One study found that regular aerobic exercise appears to boost the size of the hippocampus, the brain area involved in verbal memory and learning. In fact, heart-pumping exercise "stimulates the growth of new blood vessels in the brain, and even the abundance and survival of new brain cells." So it's not just your muscles that work better by staying fit, but your brain, too!

10. Sitting is the new smoking, so keep moving! 

Pilates guru Nicole Meadors Keegan knows that movement is necessary and healing. "I've been teaching Pilates for the last 13 years and have learned a lot about human nature and the mental gymnastics required to exercise. My students teach me about aging with grace. One of my clients is 90. I've taught him twice a week for the last decade. Mentally, he is resilient and investigative. Although he has moments of frustration, he is understanding of his body. He is hopeful and steady. These are the best qualities for the active aging process: Get there at least twice a week, show up, stay positive, and accept all of the seasons in life."

A regular fitness regime is a challenge worth taking for your long-term physical and mental well-being. Feeling vibrant and strong doesn't have to be just for the young. You've got this!

The Art of Enough

Do you sometimes snack mindlessly on mediocre food? Buy clothes that don’t really fit? Binge-watch TV shows when you really need sleep?

You’re not alone. Our culture has become almost fanatically centered on consumption of all types, and it’s affecting our health, happiness, and well-being.

Read More

Stretch yourself Strong

Stretch Yourself Strong

Andrew Heffernan · December 2016

Tired of the same old stretching routine? Functional Range Conditioning can help you build flexibility, athleticism, and real-world strength in a whole new way.

Popular wisdom says stretching doesn’t build muscle, burn fat, or shave time off a 5K. As a result, many of us shortchange or skip the practice altogether in our workouts.

But according to many fitness experts, popular wisdom is wrong —and we’re missing out on its benefits.

Stretching has been shown to help prevent injury, heal old hurts, improve range of motion, reduce muscle tightness and imbalance, and improve athletic performance. In fact, it’s so important to overall fitness that it’s not something to approach haphazardly.

Welcome to stretching 2.0 by way of Functional Range Conditioning (FRC). This stretching protocol — created by Toronto-based sports-specialist chiropractor Andreo Spina, DC, FCCSS(C), CPT, who advises several pro sports teams — aims to build strength and flexibility systematically and progressively.

Though commonly treated as separate skills, flexibility and strength are closely related; together, they comprise mobility. Often, says Spina, mobility restrictions occur because our muscles lack strength or flexibility (or both) at their end-range positions.

This may take the form of tight hips that make it hard to squat, or tight shoulders that make it tough to raise your arms overhead.

Another expression is hyperflex-ibility, which often forces people to avoid certain movements for fear of going too far and injuring themselves. Common examples include over-rotating your lower back or overextending your neck.

Whether the problem is too little or too much flexibility, FRC practitioners address the issues with dedicated exercises that aim to find balance in strength. It’s an effective approach that has caught the attention of trainers, therapists, and pro athletes alike in recent years.

Spina based the FRC method-ology on careful analysis of existing research about the best ways to make muscles simultaneously stronger and more supple. It builds on tried-and-true techniques from yoga (in which practitioners actively move themselves into poses) and proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation, or PNF (in which a coach applies resistance as practitioners attempt to shorten a stretching muscle). (Learn more about PNF at “Smart Stretching“.)

By focusing on building strength and flexibility in the end ranges of motion, FRC is an innovative way to improve mobility and overall movement quality.

Length With Strength

Mobility is essential both in athletics and in daily life: It helps you maintain control of your body and avoid injury, even when unusual circumstances — slipping on ice, jumping to catch a Frisbee — place your joints in potentially dangerous positions.

It’s no secret that our modern lifestyle has deleterious effects on our health, joints included. “We sit rather than stand, drive rather than walk,” says Spina. “The body has no reason to hold on to mobility it doesn’t need. So we lose it and then wonder why we hurt ourselves squatting or doing Olympic lifts in the gym.”

FRC aims to restore those lost ranges of motion so that complex movements — be it reaching into the back seat of a car to retrieve a purse or performing a deficit deadlift — become easy once again.

One way FRC does this is by focusing on building your joints’ passive flexibility, while also increasing their active range of motion. To feel the difference, try this test: Stand on one foot and lift your other knee as high as you can. Then grab your knee and see how much higher you can pull it.

The first position is the limit of the active range of motion you can control, or your mobility. The second position is the passive range your joint can reach but over which you have little control — your flexibility. There will always be some difference between these two points; the goal of FRC is to reduce this gap.

“Passive flexibility isn’t very useful,” says FRC instructor Dewey Nielsen, owner of Impact Performance Training in Newberg, Ore. At best, haphazard stretching, no matter how well-intentioned, can be ineffective, resulting in little functional improvement. At worst, Nielsen notes, it can be outright dangerous to passively push your body into ranges of motion it can’t actively control.

Forcing your body into the full expression of an exercise when you cannot control it is asking for trouble, agrees personal trainer Hunter Cook, NASM, AFAA, FRCms, based in Long Beach, Calif.

“Injuries happen when your body encounters a force that exceeds the load-bearing capacity of the tissue,” he explains. Imagine, for instance, a 200-pound man who gets injured by putting his full weight on an ankle joint that can’t handle his weight. “If he doesn’t increase the capacity of the tissue to bear load beyond what it did before the injury, he’ll reinjure the same area when he puts that same force on it again.”

When FRC practitioners are working with injured clients, they take care to rehab the area so it can withstand more force than it could before the injury, resulting in an ankle, joint, or knee that’s more resilient and injury-proof.

Ready to try FRC? The following workout just might change your mind about the value of stretching.

The FRC Workout

An FRC-certified trainer can help you learn and refine the method, but having a coach isn’t necessary to get a feel for the FRC system. For a primer on this tough-but-effective approach to amping up your stretching routine, add these moves to your workout program — once or even several times a day. You can do the exercises on their own, or right after a workout, when muscles are warmed up and pliable.

CARs Shoulder Rotations


Illustrations by Kveta

Purpose: To increase the functional range in your shoulder joint.

How to Do It:

  • Stand tall and contract your legs and core so that your body is stable.
  • Slowly and with maximal tension in your left shoulder, rotate your left hand so that the palm faces your thigh.
  • Keeping your elbow straight and your thumb pointed upward, lift your arm forward and overhead as high as possible.
  • When your arm is vertical, reach up as far as possible, then internally rotate your shoulder so that your thumb faces forward and your palm faces outward.
  • Without flaring your arm out to the side, continue circling your entire arm backward and down behind you until your arm is by your side again.
  • Repeat the same movement a total of three times.
  • Reverse the movement, circling your arm back, then forward in the same manner a total of three times.
  • Repeat the movement with your left hand.

Segmented Cat–Camel


Illustrations by Kveta

Purpose: To increase control and awareness throughout your spine.

How to Do It:

  • Assume an all-fours position with your hands under your shoulders and knees below your hips.
  • Minimizing movement further up your spine, tip your pelvis forward so that your tailbone lifts slightly toward the ceiling.
  • Beginning with your lowest vertebra, slowly lower your back into a fully arched position, one vertebra at a time. Pay particular attention to the vertebrae between your shoulder blades. The entire sequence should last 30 to 45 seconds, and your head should be the last thing to come up.
  • Starting at your tailbone, slowly reverse the movement, taking 30 to 45 seconds, until your back is rounded up toward the ceiling and your head is hanging toward the floor.
  • Repeat three to four cycles.



Illustrations by Kveta

Purpose: Trains muscles to support the joint at the outer edges of their range of motion, giving you more control and usable range.

How to Do It:

  • Sit on the floor with your right leg straight and your left leg bent so your foot is near the inside of your right thigh.
  • Keeping your back straight, hinge from your hip joints and bend as far toward your right foot as you can, grabbing it if possible. Hold for 30 seconds.
  • Back off the stretch a little, then push your right heel into the floor as hard as possible for 10 seconds. (This is the PAIL stretch.)
  • Release the tension, then reach forward again. Hold the stretch for 10 to 20 seconds.
  • Back off the stretch again, and, keeping your right leg fully locked out and your toes pointed upward, raise your right heel from the floor as high as possible. Hold for 10 seconds. (This is the RAIL stretch.)
  • Release the tension, lowering your leg to the floor, and reach toward your foot again. Hold for another 10 seconds.
  • Repeat the entire sequence with your left leg extended in front of you.

90–90 Hip Opener


Illustrations by Kveta

Purpose: Builds and maintains range of motion in the hips, and prepares joints for challenging strength-training and athletic movements like squats, deadlifts, and jumps.

How to Do It:

  • Sit on the floor with your feet flat and your knees bent.
  • Turn your body 90 degrees to the right, dropping your knees so that the outside of your right knee and the inside of your left knee are touching the floor. (This is the 90–90 position: The thighs form a 90-degree angle, and each knee is bent 90 degrees.)
  • Rotate your torso to the right so that your right thigh is on the floor directly in front of you (position 1).
  • Keeping your back straight, hinge forward at your hip joints until you feel a deep stretch in the muscles surrounding your right hip (2). Hold for 30 to 60 seconds.
  • Come back to an upright position and rotate your shoulders to the left so you are facing your left leg. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds (3).
  • Keeping your right leg planted, extend the toes of your left foot and lift your left knee. Forcefully contract your left glute, lifting your leg and opening your left knee as far to the left as you can; this is a RAIL stretch (4). Hold for a five-count.
  • Lower the inside of your left knee back to the floor in front of you, then hinge the left knee back and forth three times, contracting your left glute for a five-count each time (5).
  • Open your left knee to the left once more. Hold the middle position — legs splayed wide, the outside edges of the feet on the floor — for 15 seconds, squeezing the glutes so that your knees press closer toward the floor (6). This is also a RAIL stretch.
  • Keeping your feet on the floor, rotate your body so you are sitting in the 90–90 position on the left side.
  • Repeat the entire sequence on this side

Maple Walnut Protein Smoothie


15 MINUTE PREP TIME (only if you need to roast the walnuts)  

If you’ve ever LOVED maple walnut ice cream this smoothie is a non-dairy homage to that classic ice cream flavor. It’s truly delicious!

Roasting the walnuts is optional, but truly takes this smoothie over the top. Maple walnut ice cream is traditionally made with roasted walnuts so the flavor is much more authentic with roasted nuts. If you prefer to use raw walnuts, just soak them overnight and giving them a good rinse before popping them into the blender. You can toast the walnuts ahead of time (and in larger batches if desired), let them cool and keep them in an airtight container for a speedier morning smoothie session.


  • 1½ cups unsweetened almondmilk
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, lightly roasted (save 1 Tbsp. for garnish if desired!)
  • 1 frozen banana (or 1 fresh banana and 1 cup ice cubes)
  • 1 handful ice cubes
  • 1 to 2 Tbsp maple syrup (depending on ripeness of banana)
  • 1 serving protein powder of your choice (I prefer unflavored but vanilla is an option)


Preheat your oven to 350° F and spread the walnuts out onto a small sheet pan. Roast walnuts for 10 to 12 minutes, until just fragrant. No need to wait for them to brown. Once you can smell them, remove from the oven and let them cool slightly.

  1. Once walnuts are cooled, place all ingredients in a blender (start with one tablespoon of maple syrup) and blend until smooth.
  2. Taste and add the second tablespoon of maple syrup if desired. With a very ripe banana, I found one tablespoon of syrup made the smoothie perfectly sweet. More might be required if you use a less ripe banana.
  3. Pour smoothie into a tall glass and enjoy! If you really feel like treating yourself, roughly chop the one-tablespoon of reserved walnuts and sprinkle on top with a pinch of cinnamon.