Sincerely Carolina

recipes. lifestyle. fitness. fun.



by caroline

I’ve got news for you: Sometimes, it’s OK to take a chill pill, folks. And smell the cookies …

I had an opportunity to take a class at BYS Yoga in the South Side of Pittsburgh this morning, and it was exactly what I needed. I’m not gonna lie — I’m a move -it-until-it-hurts-kinda gal. I’ll push a run until my stomach hurts and I love a hot yoga class that leaves me in a pool of my own sweat.

Yeah, I’m gross like that.

So, when I stepped into this morning’s class and realized it was not hot yoga (the horror!), I was instantly feeling not so sure about how much I would enjoy this practice.


The lovely instructor, Anna, took time with each of us to give us the cues we needed to dig a bit deeper, master a pose or finally accomplish that handstand we had been struggling with for a bit of time.

I left feeling like I had a much better understanding of the tiny things I was missing in my regular yoga practice — a hip shift here or a slight nudge to my hands there — and much more confident overall.

I. LOVED. THIS. CLASS. It gave me a new idea of what my practice should look like and, hey, who doesn’t love a little special intention from an instructor who wants to see you be successful? Love it!

Maybe it was the yoga class, or perhaps I was just feeling extra adventurous, but this afternoon’s baking experience took me by surprise. It all started with too-ripe bananas and all of a sudden I was putting together a recipe for oatmeal cookies — go figure!

Banana Oatmeal Cookies (gluten-free + vegan : Makes 18 – 20 cookies)

(Print me!)

  • 1 cup Whole Grain Gluten-Free Flour Mix
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon ground flaxseed meal + 3 Tablespoons warm water
  • 1/2 cup vegan butter
  • 1/2 cup vegan brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegan granulated sugar
  • 1 large mashed banana
  • 1/2 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups gluten-free oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts, chocolate chips or raisins, optional

NOTES: I used Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks and Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Rolled Oats. I also halved my batter, and put 1/4 cup of Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chips in one half, and 1/4 cup raisins in the other.



Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet by lining with parchment paper or baking mat (like this).

Sift together the dry ingredients (flour through cinnamon) and set aside.

Mix together the flaxseed meal and water in a small bowl and allow it to sit for a few minutes.

Cream together butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar in a medium bowl. Add banana, flaxseed meal mixture and vanilla, mixing on low speed until combined. Slowly sift in flour, stirring until thoroughly combined. Fold in oats, and your choice of nuts, raisins or chocolate chips, if desired.

Drop batter in by the spoonful (approximately the size of rounded Tablespoons) and bake for 12 to 13 minutes or until golden brown. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 to 7 minutes, then transfer to a wire baking rack to cool completely.

Relax. Breathe. Eat up.