My new running shoes finally arrived last week, so I downloaded a couch to 5K app onto my phone, dug out some of the unused running gear I got when working for a sportswear brand a couple of years ago, and laced those f*ckers up!
The first run (and I use that term loosely) went really well. Felt great! Remembered how much I used to love running.
On the second run my muscles were like, "Ohhhhh what? We thought this was going to be a one time thing!" And man, it was tough. But by the third, which was yesterday, it seemed like my hips had more or less accepted their fate.
It feels good, though! I mean, it hurts, but it feels good to be getting out of my home and blasting music in my ears and just doing something for myself and only myself. I don't know why it's taken me six years to come back to running, but here we are.
Hopefully I manage to keep it up, but honestly, with how things are right now it's one of the easiest things to fit into my life. Online yoga wasn't working for me, my bike commute is gone, and swimming is near impossible to fit into my schedule. But lacing up my shoes and stepping out my back door for a short run? Totally doable.
Speaking of blasting music into my ears, it occurred to me the other day that one of the things I *will* miss about working from home is dancing.
Let me explain.
I've been finding that I get to a point every day that between all the zoom meetings and being cooped up in my little home office and staring at my screen where I just can't focus anymore. So when I get to that point, if I'm between meetings, I crank up some music into my AirPods and just dance my face off for like five minutes, usually to this song.
*ahem* totally normal, right? I don't even know who I am anymore. Apparently I'm a Justine Timberlake fan?
And if anyone can see into the window of my home office, or, god forbid, my husband, who is working in the other room, should decide to walk in, it would look like a partially insane 41-year-old woman having a one person silent disco. Which is exactly what it is. But man, it feels good, and is the perfect thing to re-set my brain and get ready for more computer work.
I must tell you that another part of this thing that warms the hell out of my cold black heart is all the people baking bread! Love how normalized carbs have become now, and when this is all over (when? if?) can we just put an end to the nonsense that is self-induced non-medically supervised ketosis? (do not even get me started on that shit. It will not end well).
I've had hardcore sourdough envy for the past few weeks, but I finally admitted to myself that I just can't do it. Or maybe that I don't want to. Regular followers will remember when I finally admitted to tossing my kombucha scoby last spring, and a scoby is waaaaaay less work to maintain than a sourdough starter.
It's just one too many living things to be responsible for at this particular juncture in my life. Perhaps in a few years down the road when I don't have two tiny terrors waking me up at 5am and sticking their fingers into my eyeballs I'll have the bandwidth to do things like keep a sourdough starter alive, but this just isn't the time for me, pandemic or not.
However, I'm pleased to report that after many iterations I *may* have finally landed on a wholegrain no-knead bread recipe that I'm actually happy with. The kind that you mix up the night before baking with a smidge of yeast and give it a long rise on the counter top overnight. I've got to run a few more tests before bringing it to the blog, but hopefully soon I'll be sharing this new bread recipe.
Speaking of running tests, I am up to my eyeballs in mung beans right now. Up. To. My. Eyeballs.
I'm working on updating an old post about how to cook dried beans, and as a result of that work I realized that I also need to take a deeper dive into specific bean types. My life is glamorous, I know you're jealous.
Anyways, I started with mung beans since this Mung Bean Curry is the recipe that brings a lot of new readers to this site and it turns out that Google recognizes me as somewhat of an expert in the mung department (flattered, I'm sure).
I wanted to test different ways to cook mung beans. Stovetop? No problem. Slow cooker? I've got that shizz dialled in. Instant pot? Woahhhhhh Nelly.
If you were to google "how to cook mung beans in the Instant Pot" you'd get a LOT of different instructions. Who to believe? The lady who currently has 18 cups of mushy mung beans in her freezer, that's who.
And that doesn't include the batches that were straight up unusable, which I schlepped to the neighbourhood compost pile. There are some big, reputable sites with TERRIBLE instructions for cooking mung beans in the Instant Pot. Bob's Red Mill, why you lead me astray?
Anyhoo, after many (MANY) batches of mung beans in my Instant Pot, I have finally figured out what actually works. Holy mother of mung, that was a pain in the backside to figure out, but I did feel a responsibility to provide accurate information.
Having said that, I know that many Instant Pots perform differently, and not all beans are created equal. Older beans can take longer to cook, hard water, altitude and other things can make an impact. So if there is anyone who happens to have mung beans on hand and has an Instant Pot, do me a solid and see whether my recommendations for mung bean cookery work out for you. I'd be much obliged.
As a Vancouverite, my natural state is Lululemon yoga pants and a questionably clean hoodie, so stay at home life has suited me in that way. But in the last few weeks as this situation wears on, even I have started to feel grungy.
We had a burst of warmer weather in Stockholm this past week and people have been out a lot more. Even being at the park and for walks and that kind of thing has had me craving normal life more than usual, and with that, a sense that I need to get myself dressed again.
I had a bunch of money set aside for some travel this spring; a trip to Mallorca to meet my mom and celebrate my sister's 40th birthday; a conference in the US; and a trip to Dublin to see Ali Wong with one of my besties. All cancelled. And more cancellations in the pipeline, I'm sure.
So this past week I took a chunk of that money and dropped it on a new spring wardrobe. Not that I'm going anywhere, but so I'd feel that in the event that things go back to normal-ish, I'm prepared. It'll aslso be good to not feel like such a slob at the playground (ours are still open, and Stockholmers dress up for everything).
It's all part of the unflappable hopefullness of spring, I suppose, even if it does come in the form of high-waisted jeans and knit tank tops.
ON HEY NUTRITION LADY THIS WEEK
We kicked things off this week with this Very Green Vegetable Pasta. Have you tried cooking with legume pasta before? This is that, loaded with spring veggies, lemon, herbs, and toasted hazelnuts. It's delish!
And next up, the mother of all mung bean posts, How to Cook Mung Beans. Please check it out and let me know if you're able to test the IP cooking times for me! Mung recipes are in the pipeline, so you'll want to be ready!
WHAT’S TRENDING ON HNL
Yeah, yeah, we all know that Mung Bean and Coconut Curry is in number one. So let’s look at what else is trending.
1. Chia Fresca. Up at the top of the list this week!
2. Turmeric Latte Mix. The people clearly want their drinks.
3. Peanut Butter Oat Bars. Mmmm. So good.
4. Slow Cooker Chickpea Curry. Comfort food still coming in hot!
5. Red Lentil Dal. Going on my personal menu this week.
COMMENT OF THE WEEK
Maclean left the following comment and 5-star review on my Vegan Sloppy Joes recipe:
This is one of my favourite recipes! Your VSJ pack a ton of flavourful, are delicious, and come together quickly. This is a perfect meal for a crowd!
I like to add cayenne too and have paired with sweet potato fries, kale chips and I would say quick pickled onions are a must!
You guys, she's not wrong. These Lentil Sloppy Joes are damn delicious!
WHAT’S GOOD AROUND THE WEB
2. I made a batch of this cold start Instant Pot yogurt this week and it is amazing.
3. You need this Greek Eggplant Stew in your freezer.
4. The UK has updated its Vitamin D guidelines to reflect the fact that people are spending more time inside right now.
5. This is infuriating: The USDA let millions of pounds of food rot while food bank demand soared.
Bonus: All of the ways you can help.