A little hermitage never hurt anyone

10 Oct



I inhaled the entire ‘Gilmore Girls’ series once it hit Netflix. There is a scene from the season 2 episode “There’s the Rub,” in which Rory’s boyfriend, Dean, wants to hang out Friday night, but Rory wants to be alone. “Actually, I was thinking of pulling kind of a hermit thing tonight,” she tells him. He doesn’t get it, so she tries to explain: “I almost never get the house all to myself and I thought with my mom gone, I can finally do my laundry exactly the way I like it…and watch TV and eat the Indian food that I love but my mom hates the smell of and go to bed early.”

I think Rory is onto something. I think being a hermit now and then is likely beneficial. Yet every time a day or evening alone is on the agenda, I get anxious. I have card-making, Halloween costume, and protein-amped cooking ambitions that, if realized, would require many hours at home, by myself, cozy in a fuzzy white bathrobe and potentially neglecting to shower. But instead, fear of being alone launches furious planning of human interactions. You know, the whole FoMO vibe sets in, and I can’t accept that my personality leans toward the ‘homebody’ variety.

I’m not saying you should avoid people. Friendship is absolutely critical to survival, and is not to be neglected. But sometimes people are busy, and you simply cannot engineer social gatherings. Other times you are over-exhausted, or are avoiding housework, or want to start a project, or enjoy a hobby. These are times when you shouldn’t feel guilty for deciding to take a homebody day.

img_0167I was inspired by the monastic lifestyle and impact after my latest read, Thomas Cahill’s “How the Irish Saved Civilization.” The monks maintained a quiet, relatively secluded existence, and yet they were culture builders. Most importantly, when the Roman Empire finally crumbled in the 5th century AD and Europe’s Greco-Roman heritage faced extinction at the hands of invading barbarians, the Irish monks preserved and copied ancient texts. In his piece What We Owe The Monks, Thomas E. Woods Jr. attributes agricultural developments throughout Europe, such as the corn industry in Sweden, cheese making in Parma, and salmon fisheries in Ireland, to said monks. During the Medieval Era, the Cistercian monks made remarkable strides in technological advancement. Committed to living “remote from the habitation of man,” their monasteries essentially became independently run factories. They used the newly invented waterwheel to power wheat milling, flour sieving, and olive crushing, and also to provide running water for cooking, washing, bathing, and sewage disposal.

That was an extreme example, I know! Being a monk was actually quite a rigorous practice, and probably did not involve many days spent comfortably at home. But, when we sit at home now and then, sans social media, we are experiencing the modern day equivalent of being “remote from the habitation of man.” And if and when we can find contentment in being quiet, in being disconnected, in building our own lives and thinking our own thoughts, are we not more at peace?

If you’ve at all bought into my anti-FoMO pep talk here, I think you’ll enjoy a leisurely Saturday morning sipping coffee and preparing these protein pancakes. We’re talking  30 grams of protein!!



15 g Optimum Nutrition double rich chocolate chocolate whey protein powder (or whatever brand of chocolate protein powder you have)

1/3 cup rolled oats img_1352

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

1 Tbs. cocoa powder

1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt

1/2 banana, mashed

1 egg white

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1/4 cup 1% milk

Dash of Splenda (or to taste)


2 Tbs. powdered peanut butter (I use ‘PB2 with premium chocolate’)


In a medium sized bowl, combine the dry ingredients (protein powder, oats, baking powder, salt, cocoa powder). Add in yogurt, banana, egg white, vanilla, milk. Sweeten with Splenda, tasting until desired amount of sweetness is reached. Heat and apply cooking spray to a shallow, flat-bottomed pan (skillet, frying pan, whatever you have available). Spoon the batter into the pan, forming smaller pancakes to make flipping easier.

Meanwhile, combine powdered peanut butter with 1-2 Tbs. water. Spoon over cooked pancakes, and zap combination in microwave for 30 sec-1 min. If you’re craving a slightly more decadent taste, drizzle those protein-juiced lovelies with honey. Enjoy!

CALORIES: 370 (340 without honey; 295 without peanut butter or honey)



2 Responses to “A little hermitage never hurt anyone”

  1. sophiewirt October 10, 2016 at 8:24 pm #

    Looks delicious! I love the message of taking time for yourself. So often we feel the need to be “on”; you’ve made me feel less guilty for the Saturdays I’ve spent cozied up by myself 🙂

    • Heather Dolan October 10, 2016 at 11:20 pm #

      Awww Sophie, you are just the cutest for always reading my blog. Totally support your efforts to do absolutely nothing on Saturdays.

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