Recognising what you are in control of is a helpful strategy
Well here comes May, and with it the beginning of the most unusual summer we've ever known.
I'm a sucker for real-life video interviews of nursing staff around the world and I just can't wrap my head around the magnitude of what they are dealing with. While we're figuring out whether or not it's our turn to grocery shop, they are treating the untreatable and holding the hands of people who are scared and dying alone. I hope there are some magical moments of humanity in their days.
I've been watching Some Good News with John Krasinski, too, so I've been ricocheting from sadness to hilarity at alarming speed. My sanity checks? My kids, love, Zoom calls, work projects, rosé, getting outside and simply feeling the breeze and the sun.
It would be easy in a time like this to go down a rabbit hole of despair. But all those little things we miss? They'll come back. And at three in the morning, when I'm awake and worrying about the big things — jobs, the economy, travel and debt — I wish I'd remember that it's actually all out of my control.
Maybe it would help it if was in my control, because then at least I'd feel like there was something I could do. But for everyone else's sake, let's just be thankful that the economy is not my responsibility. I once spent $120 on salt lamps and $500 on shipping them in (er, not intentionally).
Those lamps then melted in Bermuda's humidity so the light bulbs were sitting in electrified pools of water. Not the best decision as it turns out.
Recognising what we are in control of is a helpful strategy though. And we are in control of the food that we buy, the meals that we cook and the way we choose to nourish our bodies.
For my clients trying to manage their weight or optimise their health in other areas, social occasions and accessibility to junk food has previously been a problem.
Those triggers have been reduced now. If you're a glass-half-full kind of person, you could see that as an opportunity to make some better choices.
For me, it works to focus on the things I can do, or can have, rather than the things I can't. So rather than giving you a whole list of things to avoid, I'm sharing a recipe of this totally delicious side.
I had promised to give you an easy gluten-free bread recipe, but via a large degree of failure, I've since discovered there's no such thing. Please note that I held back on a variety of expletives there. (Also, there's been a certain amount of domestic chaos as our angel fish laid eggs while we were already hatching their previous set of eggs in another tank, so now I'm overrun with baby exotic fish which is not something I imagined myself saying, ever.)
Anyway, back to the salad …. This is a tasty side dish that you can make in advance and keep for two days in the fridge, so it works brilliantly as leftovers.
Try it with fish one night and with steak on another. If you're vegan, replace the feta with a cashew or almond cheese or diced avocado, or load it with some toasted nuts and seeds.
Adding sautéed/marinated tempeh or lentils would work well too. The green of the salad onions and peas adds a really fresh burst of colour and the vinaigrette is super simple and fresh. This is a healthy option that will knock your socks off. Enjoy!
Wild rice, pea and feta
salad with lemon dressing
Serves four as a side
4 cups cooked and cooled wild rice (or wild rice mix)
1 cup frozen peas, blanched
½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, sliced into thin strips
2 salad/spring onions (all the white and half the green parts, sliced)
Small handful fresh herbs — cilantro, basil, dill, parsley all work
1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
3 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp honey, agave or maple
1 small clove garlic, crushed
¼ tsp paprika or cayenne if you like things spicy
Salt/pepper to taste
1, For the dressing: shake the olive oil, lemon juice, honey/agave or maple, garlic, paprika/cayenne, salt and pepper together in a jar. Set to one side.
2, In a large bowl, toss together the rice, peas, tomatoes, onions and fresh herbs.
3, Pour two thirds of the dressing over the rice, toss again. If you want to add the rest of the dressing, do!
4, Season to taste with any extra salt/pepper.
5, At the last minute, sprinkle with the feta and serve.
6, Keeps for two days in the fridge. Cooked rice should not be kept longer than that.
• Catherine Burns is a qualified nutritional therapist. For more details: www.natural.bm, 505-4725, Natural Nutrition Bermuda on Facebook and @naturalbda on Instagram