Happy Sunday, all. It’s been a long and tough week for everyone, and I hope you’re all finding small ways to rest and soothe your nervous systems.
I don’t really have much to say that hasn’t been said about the current crisis. It’s really frightening, but it’s important for us all to keep calm even as we’re taking all possible precautions. My heart aches for those affected directly, but it also swells up each time I hear about an act of kindness or heroism in the midst of all this.
Social distancing has brought up mixed emotions: on the one hand, gratitude for my introversion and independence. Gladness to have a lot of friendships that exist over distance and with social media/email as a medium already, so that the focus on virtual connection doesn’t feel too jarring. Even so, some heightened awareness of my solitude. The mood shifts around from day to day. I’m keeping busy with work, reading, some household tasks I’ve been avoiding, and some self-work I’ve been avoiding, too. This is an opportunity, however unwanted, to turn inward.
If there’s anything I can do to make this space more comforting, I hope you’ll let me know. I’ve been asking about this on Instagram stories, too, and I suspect I’ll share some fun cooking content, tips on easy pantry meals, etc. Feel free to follow along there or to request some content or recipes here. Cooking is a good way to stay grounded. I’d love to help.
On that note, here are some recipes I’ve been bookmarking for my own domestic time.
A vibrant and beautiful overnight oat recipe, made with sweet and tart blackberries.
Love the looks of this cilantro pesto pasta with roasted carrots. I always forget to make pesto with herbs other than basil!
Vegan cottage pie cupcakes are one of the most adorable recipe ideas I’ve seen in a while.
A vibrant and refreshing idea for a light bite: mango quinoa lettuce wraps with curry dressing.
Finally, it’s a good time for baking projects, and these pear turnovers are calling my name.
Just a quick note: I know many of us are trying to be mindful of our media exposure and information-gathering right now. Because there’s a lot of great reporting being done already on COVID-19, and because I’m sure you’re all finding your own ways to stay informed, I’m consciously focusing on links this about anxiety management, self-care, and coping, rather than on statistics, news, or direct information.
1. Psychologist Maggie Mulqueen speaks to NPR about coping with anxiety during the COVID-19 crisis (I also liked this interview).
2. Camaraderie, connection, and resilience during the crisis.
3. Anyone else thinking about decluttering? I’d love to use my extra time at home to tackle this, but I get totally overwhelmed by the idea of spring cleaning. I like these five simple tips as starting points for creating a more open living space.
4. This is a good time for baking projects! I recently wrote about new and well-loved vegan butters for Food52, and that led me to making my first ever batch of vegan croissants. The recipe reads like a short novel. But if you take your time, work slowly, and enjoy each step, the results are so rewarding.
5. Finally, my friend Maria wrote a beautiful post about the process of postponing a family gathering right now. It echoes what many of us are dealing with when it comes to making decisions about whether, when, and how to gather. May we all do what we need to do right now, so that we be present and well for each other when the crisis passes.
Take care of yourselves and each other. I’ll be back with a pantry-inspired recipe soon!
My therapist once told me that the moments when we need self-care the most are the moments in which we’re most likely to think we can’t make time for it. Over the years, I’ve found her advice to be true. When I’m overwhelmed or stressed I always think it’ll make things better to keep my head down and try to get everything done as efficiently as possible. Usually, the result is that I become overwhelmed, and because I’m a person who somaticizes stress…
What a week! Between the official release of my cookbook, a wedding upstate, nutrition counseling, and the usual culinary adventures, I feel as though time has flown since I posted my last batch of weekend reading. But here we are again, with a new crop of words and images for you to peruse. Erin’s roasted vegetable and chickpea bowl with cilantro cashew cream is calling to me. Or maybe it’s just the cilantro cashew cream, which I could probably drink straight from the food…
Recently, I was talking (OK, complaining) to a colleague about being stuck with a seemingly insurmountable number of work to-dos. She offered that, when she’s overwhelmed, she shifts her mindset from “I have to” to “I get to.” She told me that this change in self-talk allows her to greet her work with more appreciation and excitement. I’ll be honest, my first reaction to this statement was an internal eye roll. Because none of the tasks in front of me felt like things…
Years ago, when I had just transitioning to a vegan lifestyle, I spent most of my time secretly hoping that people would ask me why I was vegan. Like many new vegans, I was all conviction and ardor. I felt like a soldier in a great and important battle, and I welcomed a fight. Over time, the desire to take up arms waned. I found that a lot of conversations about my lifestyle felt not like dialogs, but attacks, and I was less prepared for battle…
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Well said Gena. We just need to keep our heads down and keep trudging along.
Your vegan croissants look amazing, Gena. I’m not vegan, and I am gluten-free, but I still appreciate how incredible these look.
Dear Gena, Thank you so much for your honest recounting of how this slowdown amidst the virus feels to you and for asking what you think your readers might need. That reminds me of your generous and committed spirit and how we all benefit from it. Also deep heartfelt thanks for the mention of my post. I felt like it might speak to others as they go through the same kinds of decisons. We’re all in this together. Thanks for the yummy comfort food too. I was SO impressed to hear you’d made croissants,too! Badass baker in a crisis!! Love you <3