Published March 9, 2018

Food and the Soul

In collaboration with Etsy Canada and Cold Hands Ceramics.

Today is March 9th. Over two months into the New Year, and I find myself still stuck on my resolutions for the New Year. Be well. Keep a gratitude journal. Floss every day. While I’ve made progress with the gratitude and flossing, I find the former looming over me. What does being well look like? What steps do I have to take to get there? How do I know when I’ve made it?

I’ve been asking myself these questions for a while now. The past half dozen years have seen me through a variety of struggles with my health. Although I’ve experimented with many different approaches to self-improvement, I always seem to fall back into the same ruts. Being well is my proverbial carrot on a string, somewhere in sight yet always out of reach.

Recently, I noticed a relationship between my experience of stress and approach to eating. As soon as the feelings of stress set in, my eating habits tend to worsen. Breakfast becomes a coffee, lunch becomes a second coffee, and dinner becomes whatever looks edible in my fridge. Let’s be honest: I’m pretty much the champion of depression meals bingo.

Although its importance seems obvious, nutrition is one of the first things people neglect when they feel themselves getting into a slump. At its surface, this reaction is understandable: food can feel like the last of your worries when you can’t get out of bed and haven’t washed your hair in a week. That said, it is in these moments especially that a balanced diet is important. Just as psychosomatic relationships can cause stress-induced illnesses, mind-body feedback loops can worsen feelings of stress. An apple a day really can keep the doctors away – unsurprisingly, this old adage is rooted in truth.

In order to be well, we need to adopt a holistic approach to self-care. Regular visits to the doctor are important, but so are eating, exercising, sleeping, and all of the other basic needs we tend to disregard. After all, there’s no magic pill that can solve fatigue and hunger.

This month, I will be implementing some changes into my daily routine. I will pay attention to what I put into my body, so as to nourish my mind. Cooking can be daunting—especially after a long period of eating out—so to incentivize my resolution, I gave myself the gift of a beautiful new set of ceramic tableware from Etsy. If a custom set of tableware from Cold Hands Ceramics can’t get me in the kitchen more, nothing will.

The first meal I made was simple: brunch tartines three ways. For the first, I tried my hand at avocado toast. With a soft chevre base, arugula as bedding for the avocado, and goat’s milk feta on top, this first recipe serves for a quick and fresh brunch to usher in the spring. My second tartine was simpler, with an organic butter base, thinly sliced radishes to coat, and alfalfa sprouts on top. The last recipe I tried was sweet and fruity, unlike the former vegetable-centric options. On my third tartine, I first spread a generous layer of ricotta on the bread, then topped the toast off with walnuts and fresh figs. To make things a tad more decadent, I added a drizzle of honey atop the toast. Each tartine took me under 10 minutes to make, and looks just as Instagram-friendly as your typical eggs-and-bacon spread. Ta-da! A healthy meal and #foodporn all in one.

While three healthy meals a day won’t fix all of life’s problems, it will give me the energy to face them with confidence. Some days I’ll cave into the temptation of fast food, and that’s okay – nobody’s perfect, and balance is important. In the end, what matters is that I’m moving along the path toward wellness. I’m excited to work on this project over the coming months, and look forward to sharing my progress with all of you. About time you replaced your dorm room tableware? Pick up pieces to last you a lifetime from Cold Hands Ceramics here.

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