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Remember last week when I was so confident that we’d cracked the code to sleeping all the way in to 6:30am?
I jinxed us by writing about it. Or maybe he was just messing with us. We had two glorious days of sleeping in until 6:30am, and then the next day he woke up at 5:45. Not too bad, eh?
But the NEXT day he woke up at 3:30am and was ready to party. THREE-THIRTY IN THE MORNING. Since then it's been bouncing between 3:30 and 4:30 and I'm so over it I can't even tell you.
We’ve decided that the only logical solution is to sell him. Very reasonable price, if anyone is interested. Make me an offer!
All the lack of sleep plus burning the candle at both ends plus too much snacking on peanuts, which I know to be a trigger, has resulted in a cold sore popping up in the corner of my mouth.
I've had cold sores basically my entire life, as my sister and I both got them from our mom when we were tiny (THANKS FOR GIVING US HERPES, MOM).
When I was a kid I used to get them almost on a monthly basis, but now it's once a year or so, if that. I'm super, super, super paranoid about passing them on to my own kids, so whenever I even have an inkling that I might be getting a cold sore I immediately start using these Compeed Cold Sore Patches, and man, those things are such a game changer.
I've tried a LOT of different things over the years, and I find that using the patches not only reduces the risk of spreading the virus but it's also way less painful and a much faster healing time. I get a lot of nerve pain with cold sores, so even when I get one that's tiny like the one I have now, I often experience radiating pain along my face and neck. I find that using these patches also reduces the nerve pain for me, which is really nice.
I carry a pack around in my backpack at all times just in case, and I usually cut them in half because I find that they fit around the mouth better that way, which also means that a 15 pack is actually a 30 pack.
I have no relationship with the Compeed people and this isn't sponsored (though that is an affiliate link, full disclosure), but if you are a cold sore sufferer and you haven't tried them before, I really encourage you to give them a go.
Question for you guys: if you celebrate Christmas, does your family eat essentially the same meal at Christmas and Thanksgiving? Or do you do something different?
My family produces more or less the exact same meal, with one exception: stuffing. At Thanksgiving, we have only one type of stuffing, “West Coast Stuffing” which comes from my dad’s side of the family and is bland and boring.
At Christmas time we have WCS, but we also get East Coast Stuffing (ECS), which comes from my mom’s side of the family, and is the stuff that stuffing dreams are made of. It’s moist and delicious thanks to the addition of mashed potatoes and summer savoury, and it’s basically the only reason I show up for Christmas dinner.
I’m pretty much working on January content now, but have the urge to squeeze one or two more holiday side dishes into my December calendar. Interestingly, when I look at the search volumes for the kinds of side dishes that are traditional in my family (mashed sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, etc) I see a steep decline at the end of November.
It makes me wonder: what are people cooking in December? What are the side dishes and holiday treats that are traditional in your homes? And more importantly, what are the kinds of recipes you’d like to see here?
If you've got Thanksgiving coming up and are still working on your menu, don't forget to check out my Vegetarian Thanksgiving Menu. It's got six delicious recipes including a protein-packed vegetarian main, delicious side dishes, and, of course, pie. And there's a printable grocery list to make things easier for you, so don't miss out!
Speaking of Christmas and Thanksgiving and stuff, we’re now deep into Q4 and your favourite food bloggers are sweating their boxes off to crank out top quality free content for you. Q4 is the biggest ad spend of the year, and the time when recipe searches are at their highest.
It’s the show, what most people are working on all year. Since this is a healthy food blog, my busiest month of the year is actually January when ad spending is the most dismal, but them’s the breaks.
Anyhoo, I wanted to let you know some easy and FREE ways you can support your favourite bloggers at this all important time of year.
1. Leave comments on posts! It’s such a small thing but it means so much.
Comments, and those all-important star ratings, are a quality signal to not only other users, but also to Google. It’s kind of a big deal if Google recognizes your content as quality, as they’ll be more likely to bump it up in the search results.
Being higher up in search results (especially in that coveted position at the top of page 1) can make or break our traffic, and therefore our income. It makes a huge difference.
2. Share our stuff! If you are a Pinterest user, please please please pin our stuff. Keeping those pins in circulation is gold for the visual search engine.
Comment on and share recipes on Facebook – that tells their algorithm that people are looking at it. Tag us in Instagram posts. Every little share is like a Christmas present to us. Double tap like it's your job.
3. Click on affiliate links. Ok, so you know when I’m writing a post and I’ll link to say an Instant Pot or something on Amazon?
Here’s how that works. When you click a link, it drops a cookie on your computer letting Amazon know that I was the website that referred you. That cookie will last for 24 hours, and in that time if you buy ANYTHING on Amazon, I’ll earn a small commission.
So say I link to ashwaghanda powder and you’re like, hmm, what’s that? And you click on it, decide it’s not for you, and click away.
Then a few hours later you go on Amazon and buy an Air Fryer. Or a treadmill. Or a Barbie doll. I’ll earn a commission on the sale since I’m the one that brought you to Amazon in the first place.
Affiliate income isn’t a huge part of my blog income, but it does add up!
4. Say thank you! Writing a food blog is relentless, never ending work. As soon as you publish one post you need to start working on the next on.
Each recipe you see on this site is representative of about 20 hours of work, between keyword research, recipe testing and retesting, photography, editing the photos, writing the post, and social promotion.
We’re putting our work and our lives out there, and a lot of us face pretty harsh criticism, internet trolls, negative comments from people who didn’t actually follow the recipe, etc. Very rarely does anyone actually say thank you, and I’m willing to bet you’d make your favourite blogger’s day if you took the time to write a sweet comment or email.
ON HEY NUTRITION LADY THIS WEEK
This Spicy Roasted Butternut Squash Salad was a badly needed update to a recipe buried deep in the archives. It's smoky, spicy, sweet, salty, crunchy, and so much more. Lentils and cashews pack in a bunch of plant-based protein, so this dish doubles as a slick side or a vegetarian main.
Next up, Healthy Pumpkin Muffins with Millet and Raisins. This is an old favourite that needed a bit of a facelift, and it's hands down my favourite autumn muffin recipe.
Last but not least, if you're vegetarian and are wondering about the hype around collagen protein, you'll definitely want to read this Guide To Collagen for Vegetarians. Learn what nutrients you need to promote collagen formation and help preserve the collagen already in your system. It's totally easy!
WHAT’S TRENDING ON HNL
Here’s a look at what’s trending this week, according to Google Analytics:
1. Amazing Vegan Gravy. AMAAAAAAAAAAZING VEGAN GRAVY!
2. Homemade Pumpkin Purée. It's pie time, people!
3. Maple Miso Brussels Sprouts. B-Sprouts are in the hooooooouse!
4. Hasselback Butternut Squash. Such a pretty side dish.
5. Naturally Sweetened Pumpkin Pie. The BEST pumpkin pie.
COMMENT OF THE WEEK
Jess left the following comment and 5-star review on my Pumpkin Mac and Cheese recipe:
Love this! A new kid/family favorite in our weekly rotation. I’ve also used the sauce on fresh made pasta (without baking) when I’m in a time pinch and it’s great. Freezes perfect too!
Yes! This easy and healthy mac and cheese recipe is a favourite in our home too. So glad it's getting some love!
WHAT’S GOOD AROUND THE WEB
2. So you want to try intuitive eating, but if you're being honest you still want to watch your weight. What to do?
3. "I've been told bacon smells lovely" - Life without a sense of smell.