Welcome to the first weekend of the prime holiday season. Apparently people who put their decorations up earlier are happier according to science, so I might give it a go and start this weekend. We’re also popping in to a special flower and veg market, hopefully going for a hike with the dogs, and yes, continuing with the Fall cleanup of our yard. It truly never ends, but I don’t mind. It helps me feel a bit more connected to the seasonal rhythms.
I kicked off a little Sides-Giving recipe fest this week, starting with my vegan stuffing and sweet potato gratin (and leading up to Canadian Thanksgiving, we had olive oil mashed potatoes, roasted Brussels sprouts with smoky almonds, and twice baked sweet potatoes with chili & lime). There’s more to come and my vegan holiday recipe roundup is always here for you–with lots of main courses, salads, appetizers, and a few treats as well.
I hope that you’re well and taking care out there. Sending all my love ♥️. Here’s the usual selection of reads and links for the week below.
5 Things I’m Reading:
- Parallax Press, the publishing imprint founded by Thich Nhat Hanh, has made 3 titles in a Resources for Peace collection available as free eBook downloads for the month of November. I’m starting with Learning True Love: Buddhism in a Time of War.
- The Family Recipes That Live On in Cemeteries
- Can cooking and gardening at school inspire better nutrition? Ask these kids
- Don’t Shut Down Your Anger. Channel It.
- Can a social media “pigfluencer” turn people off bacon?
5 Things I’m Enjoying:
- Might have teared up watching this old dog fetch a newspaper
- This episode of the Dear Headspace podcast: Support in Challenging Times, with Dora (I’m a big fan of Dora’s meditations on the Headspace app and her presence on Instagram also)
- Yoga For When You Are Feeling Unmotivated
- Visualizations of our lifespan is a huge reality check
- A few weeks ago, I had simultaneous rosacea and eczema episodes brought about by an allergic reaction to a face cream that I had zero issues with previously (and also a too-hot bath). My face was so red, hot, scaly, swollen, and just painful for about a week. My eyes would swell at night, which was a bit concerning also. When I tell you that Weleda’s Deep Moisture Facial Balm saved me, I am not exaggerating. I’m using it as my face cream exclusively now. For my sensitive-skinned folks that need extra moisture this time of year, I cannot recommend it enough.
- Will you do a gift guide this year?
I’m not sure! I have avoided this in the past because I’m not a fan of the sometimes excessive and possibly unintentional consumerism that happens around the holidays. But I also recognize that there are situations and traditions that call for gifts. And sometimes it is just fun and considerate to give gifts to our loved ones! I feel like I could come up with about 10 solid cooking things that really do make life better in the kitchen. Let me know in the comments if this is of interest!
- How’s your sleeping/not sleeping going?
It’s going a lot better lately, despite the busier season and all that’s happening in our world. I am steady with getting my outdoor exercise every day, not eating any later than 7-8pm, not looking at screens after 8ish, and all of the other simple things that help. I’ve added two supplements in the last couple months that I think are quite effective for me. Thorne’s Stress Balance in the morning and Gaia’s Adrenal Health Nightly Restore after dinner. Of course, always check in with your medical/health practitioner to see what’s right for you!
- What is your favourite Fall dinner recipe of all time?
I’m embarrassed to say, but it’s one that I don’t have on the blog yet. It’s a roasted butternut (or honey nut) squash risotto with some smoked paprika, roasted garlic, shallots, and miso for depth. And of course I finish it with a teeny squeeze of lemon and vegan parmesan. Let me know in the comments if you’d like me to post it!
- What are your favourite things to do outside of work?
Right now I’m reading a lot of Tibetan Buddhist works and just studying Buddhism as a whole. I love Robert Thurman’s podcast, books, and the video resources from Tibet House. I also enjoy a lot of very chill and wholesome stuff like board games, practicing bread baking (related to my work oops), amateur gardening, hiking, and yoga.
- Would you ever open a restaurant?
Never, never, never. I’ve worked in enough of them to know that running one is not for me. It consumes your entire life! And honestly, even working in one is not for me anymore I don’t think. At one time I really liked the go, go, go urgency of restaurant life. But my partner and I would be on opposite schedules and towards the end of my time doing that work, I generally came home absolutely wiped and miserable. Sometimes I forget all that and it’s easy to romanticize the idea of it, especially with shows like the The Bear and Chef’s Table. But it’s not for me at this stage of my life.