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Hello friends, it's been quiet around here lately and I've kind of unintentionally taken a couple of weeks off from the ol' blog.
Odie has been home from school for a couple of weeks, perfectly healthy and full of energy, but with a nose that's running like a tap and so he can't go. Naturally, him being home full time has coincided with a particularly busy period of work.
Then I caught a cold (probably from my darling child) which transitioned into a nasty sinus infection and coincided with throwing my back out. So, life has been carrying on, as it does, but my rather ambitious content calendar for the month of June has been sitting and collecting cobwebs.
I can't remember the last time I took even a week off from the blog, to be honest. It certainly wasn't when Odin was born, so lord knows I was due for a break.
Life has been heavy lately, and I know you all feel it too. I realized the other day that I really miss having things to look forward to.
I've already missed two trips, and next weekend I'm supposed to be going to Dublin with one of my besties to see Ali Wong perform. (Related: have you read her book Dear Girls? If not, put it on your summer reading list immediately.)
We should be preparing for our annual trip back to Canada to see our families, but I've been trying to make peace with the fact that it's not going to happen this year for quite some time. There will be other years. Hopefully, travel will normalize at some point over the next year or so. But man, it is painful to not get to go.
That trip back home really fills me up each year. I soak in the Pacific Northwest and my family's mellow vibes and it gives me the fortitude to get through the rest of year until I can do it again. I'm grateful for the quick trip I took by myself in January, but it makes me sad to think of how long it might be before my kids get to see their grandparents and cousins again.
It is what it is, and I can't do anything to change it, but I sure am sick of this stupid pandemic.
Last weekend Niko was invited to a classmate's birthday party where the invitation suggested that if we thought our kid was ready to be left there without a parent to please do so, as they wanted to limit the number of people there. We talked about it, and Nikes seemed a little stressed ahead of time, so I promised him I'm stay nearby rather than going home.
As soon as we walked in the door one of this buddies came and grab him and I hardly got a kiss goodbye, so I figured he'd be just fine. I told the parents to call me if there were any problems, and then I rode my bike to a nearby cafe with outdoor seating where I drank a cold beer, ate an entire pizza, and read a book for 1.5 glorious hours by myself.
I was tempted to go home and work, but the lure solo time was too powerful to ignore. It was great. So great. And note that I did eat an entire pizza for lunch (and breakfast actually, I hadn't eaten yet) in spite of it being pizza night in our house. Life is too short, and that pizza was dang delicious.
I was reading Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay while I was sitting there, and I'm really enjoying it. I've had it sitting on my e-reader ever since I finished reading her memoir, Hunger, back in 2017 but for some reason kept putting it off. I'm glad to have finally picked it up, though. I'm only about ⅓ of the way through but it's a great read so far.
I've also been listening to the audiobook of White Fragility, which is heavy but necessary. The audiobook is not read by the author and the narrator is somewhat robotic and painful to listen do, but once you get past that it flows pretty well.
Speaking of books, I picked up a copy of Stories for Boys Who Dare to be Different to read with Niko, and dusted off a copy of Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls that a friend gave me a while back. I figured he's ready for them, and so far he's been quite intrigued by the stories.
Reading them has been a good opener for a lot of necessary conversations. We're alternating stories about boys and girls, and have covered topics like fleeing from war, homosexuality, transgender, shark attacks, and more. Each time we read something heavy I kind of clench up and think, "he's not ready for this!" but then I remember that this is the real world, and we have to show up.
I got an email from a reader recently who told me her biggest challenge is getting her kids to eat healthy vegetarian meals. Girl, me too.
It made me laugh because it came on the heels of one of the most disastrous meals we've had of late. Let me explain:
One of Niko's favourite foods is halloumi (because he is my child and he knows that cheese is life). At school, one of the lunches they serve regularly that all of the kids love is "korv stroganoff" which is essentially a stroganoff base with chunks of hotdog in it.
So I though, you know what? I'm going to make a halloumi stroganoff for dinner tonight. Best of both worlds, right?
It was literally one of the worst things I have ever done to my child. He howled like he was in pain when he saw that I'd stirred the halloumi chunks into the stroganoff base, and when I suggested that he wipe the sauce off of the cheese and just eat it (because he LOVES halloumi) he gagged and retched and had to run and spit it out.
The next morning I said, ok, since dinner was so terrible last night, he could choose what he wanted for dinner that evening. His request? Halloumi.
For the record, the halloumi stroganoff was freaking delicious. It had chunks of zucchini and red pepper, white lentils stirred through, and big chunks of pan-fried halloumi. Spooned over rice, it was heaven, and I ate it for lunch all week long.
ON HEY NUTRITION LADY THIS WEEK
Ok, this is actually what's been on HNL the last couple of weeks, but here goes. This Cucumber Mint Slushie is an update to an old favourite, and it should 100% be your summer drink. Nourishing, hydrating, delicious, and why yes it is delicious with a splash of gin swirled through it.
My fellow Canadians, Canada day is coming up and you NEED this Vegetarian Poutine in your life. I am tragically out of cheese curds, but I will live vicariously through your poutine experiences. Please make it, and tell me all about it.
I also freshed up this delicious roundup of Healthy Strawberry Recipes, and I don't want to toot my own horn (that's exactly what I'm about to do) but the Roasted Strawberry Yogurt Popsicles should be required summer eating.
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. Still holding strong at the top of the charts.
2. Turmeric Latte Mix. Yep. Again.
3. Carrot Apple Smoothie with Ginger. Woah! Welcome to the top 5, you zippy little wonder.
4. Peanut Butter Oat Bars. Please make some for me, somebody!
5. Red Lentil Dal. Mmmm, so good.
COMMENT OF THE WEEK
Kim left the following comment and 5-star review on my Spicy Mung Bean Salad Recipe:
Excellent. I’ve made this salad twice since you’ve published the recipe and have thoroughly enjoyed eating it. I like the sweetness of the carrots with the crunch of the spices. And such a fast-cooking healthy little bean it is too!
Yes! I love this one too. So much great flavour in one little recipe.
WHAT’S GOOD AROUND THE WEB
1. Inside the flour company supplying America's sudden baking obsession.
2. This website's name change is long overdue.
3. Study rings alarm on avocado oil.