Saturday Sun 06.10.2023

Created by Laura Wright
An up close, overhead shot of some red kale growing from a pot of dirt.

Happy weekend to you. I live in southern Ontario and the air quality has not been the best the past few days because of forest fires in parts of the province and Quebec. I’m sure lots of folks on the east coast can relate. Praying for rain in all effected areas and for folks to engage with solutions as we face the events of a new climate reality. Be safe out there and take care of each other.

Here’s my usual assortment of reads, listens, fun stuff, and some of your questions answered. I’m completely unplugging from social media and the site for the weekend (a favourite summer activity!), but if you have any questions for next week, just email me :)

5 Things I’m Reading:

  1. Lean In or Log Off?
  2. Shania Twain Is Repurposing Clothes From Throughout Her Career, And I Love These Sustainable Fashion Moments
  3. Just started We’ve Got This by Ritu Bhasin, who I had the pleasure of meeting through a panel I did last year!
  4. How to make your indoor air better when it’s smoky outside
  5. The Buddhist Path that Transformed Tina Turner

5 Things I’m Enjoying:

  1. Watching Nourished Lands
  2. Listening to Retirement House podcast
  3. More listening! Loved Roxane Gay on the Going Through It podcast
  4. On my summer bucket list: plant hammering
  5. Seeing this tiny painting come together was so relaxing

5 Questions:

  1. Tell us about your laser experience! I’ve been considering, but am scared.
    So I got a C02 ablative laser treatment this week right after 3 microneedling sessions (spaced out over 3 months). With this combo, I’m hoping to reduce some acne scarring on me cheeks–my scars are mostly red spots and not so much in the indented style. I got the laser right after a microneedling treatment with radiofrequency. They apply numbing cream beforehand, but both treatments entail a bit of pain (I’d say a 5-6 out of 10). The laser was worse for me just because of the heat involved. It felt like a very bad sunburn for about a day afterwards and then it became itchy and tight. I’ve been staying inside because of the air quality anyway, but if I had to do this again, I would schedule it in the winter months because your skin is so sensitive to sun afterward. You have to be pretty serious about moisturizing, SPF and keeping the face clean in the following weeks. Apparently you don’t get a full picture of the results until about 3 months after the procedure when your skin cells have fully turned over.
  2. Any tips for people who don’t like the texture of tempeh?
    I recommend crumbling it up into tiny pieces like in my sticky ginger tempeh with coconut rice! The sauce is super flavourful here, and crumbling the tempeh into bits reduced the potential of texture issues. Aside from this, I recommend slicing it as thin as you can before browning in a pan and combining with a sauce. I don’t like chunky tempeh either!
  3. Do you ever think about expanding TFM and hiring a team?
    I definitely do! At certain points throughout the year there’s definitely enough work for a couple extra folks. Sometimes I think I’d like to post more recipes, create more content, and engage in the creative process with some other people truthfully! If I could find the right folks locally to help with recipe testing/styling, social content creation, and a sprinkle of SEO/email stuff, I’d consider it for sure.
  4. What’s the first thing you recommend to someone who wants to start a food blog?
    I would start with Instagram or TikTok first honestly. Just to see if you can build an audience there and if you’re really up for creating recipes on a consistent basis. If that seems to be working for you, I would consider starting a blog from there. One thing I wish I had understood better when I started my site was SEO, email marketing, and just the components that make a blog post/recipe helpful and educational for folks. I was really focused on visuals and sharing my life back when I started. I don’t regret this, but the way that I create blog posts now is so much more efficient, goal oriented, and there’s some boundaries in place too 😅
  5. Any simple snack recommendations to add some protein into your diet?
    This is something that I’m working on personally. I love having a bean-based dip (like this edamame one or this white bean one) on hand for veggies or Wasa Crackers. I like to make chickpea “tuna”-style salad sometimes to have on hand with these crackers too (I’ve got a new recipe for that coming soon). I often do a smoothie snack with hemp seeds and a scoop of my fave vegan protein powder if I feel like I’m really fading in the afternoon (20% off your order with my code: thefirstmess). I love the crunchy chickpea snacks from The Good Bean. Of course I love nut butter with apples or swirled into vegan coconut yogurt too, but I try to watch with nut stuff as too much gives me a bit of a tummy ache.