It’s fall in Montana and the next 6 months will be relatively cold and dark — the time of year when something called seasonal affective disorder (SAD) can surface. The constellation of SAD symptoms which range from irritability, lethargy, and oversleeping, to depression can be combatted in many ways. Standard treatment includes light therapy, talk therapy, and medication, but for those with mild SAD or the occasional “winter blues” — such as myself — a few nutrition and lifestyle tweaks can improve winter outlook.
Although the outdoor growing season has ended here in Montana, the indoor growing season continues year-round and broccoli sprouts are the easiest and most inexpensive thing I’ve ever grown. They mature in 3-4 days and require no soil or artificial light. While they’re simple and cheap to grow, that wouldn’t be exciting unless they were also delicious and nutritious — which they are.
When I was little, as temperatures dropped and fall took hold in the St. Croix river valley of Minnesota, my mother frequently made cauliflower soup — it was delicious, yet incredibly simple. She used milk to create creaminess in her soup, but when considering my new riff on that comforting childhood staple, I decided to make mine dairy-free. While there are a number of ways to make a creamy dairy-free soup, I opted to use squash and this cauliflower squash soup was born!
In the aftermath of my divorce and work-related woes, I read a book called The Mayo Clinic Guide to Stress-Free Living which detailed the importance of gratitude in living a happy, less-stressed life. Although this was not the first time I’d read or heard about the role gratitude plays in a positive outlook, the author did an excellent job of laying out the scientific rationale for practicing gratitude. Since then, I’ve been conscious — especially during potentially challenging times — of being grateful for this astonishing life.
Dukkah is a traditional Egyptian spice blend usually made of finely chopped nuts, sesame seeds, coriander and cumin. The type of nut and additional herbs or spices can be used to create any number of flavor combinations. This variation keeps close to the spice blend’s roots, but I opted to keep the nuts whole and added nigella seeds for flavor and color, and sautéed the mixture in browned butter and clover honey to give it some added dimension.
Health is a cycle. It’s a continuous feedback-loop that can move in a positive direction, a negative direction, or be stagnant.
Recently, I connected with Fabian and Veronika, who run a minimalist magazine called The Elementarist. They asked to do an interview with me as part of a series highlighting how different people apply minimalism in their lives and work. Because I haven’t talked explicitly about minimalism in a post on Minimal Wellness yet, I thought it would be nice to cross-post the interview. I recommend checking out the beautifully formatted version of the interview on their site.
These roasted veggies are a staple menu item in our house. I serve them at breakfast with fried eggs and a little cheese or avocado mousse, or at dinner either tossed with quinoa or as an accompaniment to broiled salmon or halibut. The leftover vegetables are fantastic cold or warmed up as a snack. Anytime you have it, this is a delicious, nourishing, and filling blend.
Travel is a beautiful opportunity to experience a different reality, to challenge what you truly need, and to inject life with some uncertainty. Being away from home is also a classic roadblock for people in terms of living a healthy lifestyle, but it needn’t be.
There is a distinct pattern with my meal choices and recommendations — they usually include tons of vegetables, prepared in simple (but hopefully delicious) ways. I love making entrée-sized salads and serving them with varying protein options. This salad is no different. It is great both as a side salad or as an entrée along with broiled salmon or a medium-boiled duck egg (pictured).