A Break from the News… 

How much News can you watch on the TV these days? Most of it is anxiety-ridden copy, filled with politics, deaths, crime, and then there is the endless pandemic news. In my opinion, the News is loaded with pessimism. News can be extraneous to most of us. You have to ask yourself, “will this make me a better citizen? Is there another way to stay informed?” It’s okay to take a break from the gloomy News.

I likened the News to going to the beach on a sunny day, with a warning—limit your exposure—you could burn, or, just stay out of the sun completely.

do you have News fatigue?

Most of the time, it’s not germane to my day-to-day schedule, once in the evening at 7pm for 30 minutes suffices. I can’t do anything about the GDP or change the world scene — I’m not in control. At one time, I was cemented to my couch, and the News was not keeping me informed to the depth I needed. Especially during these critical times, the News made me feel restless. Now, I set healthy boundaries.

The Cure – Keep the limbic system strong.

Hobbies are a huge help to relieve stress and have many rewards: erases boredom, builds confidence, and can be challenging and rewarding. My own hobbies are cooking, gardening, exercise, reading and writing. Most important are eating right, daily outdoor walks, Pilates, and meditating on the ageless Proverbs.

What’s on the menu?

Breakfast: Steel cut oats with fruit, which alternates to a slice of toast with avocado and banana. Lunch: salad or soup. Dinner can be anything with protein, and 2-3 veggies.

Recommendations during shelter-in-place:

  1. I got a tip from another blogger for an easy workout by Véréna Tremel on YouTube. It’s slow paced, and gets your back stretched from all the sitting of late. Pay no attention to her French, it’s a video! Put your iPad on the floor next to your mat and do the Pilates workout called “renforcer son dos” — means: strengthen his back.
  2. Watch Li Ziqi who lives off the land in a remote village. She appears solo in her videos and works in silence. She wields an awesome cleaver. I don’t think I could trust myself with that one. A bit of a hullabaloo follows her, actually, She really beats out Martha Stewart, no offense to Ms. Stewart at all. Just enjoy her short clips.
  3. An excellent documentary my friend told me to watch is The Great Hack (Netflix), my next movie to watch is Queen of Katwe (Disney).
  4. Zoom or Facetime with a friend. I do this twice a week and it really lifts my mood – gives happy hour new meaning.
  5. Best cooks to watch are on PBS: Jamie Oliver, Rick Bayless, Vivian Howard, Lydia Bastianich, and Pati Jinich.
  6. Best cooking blog: Food52 and the New York Times food section.

 Beans & Roasted Tomatoes…

  • (10-ounce) containers cherry or grape tomatoes
  • ¼ cup olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons and more for drizzling
  • tbs fresh thyme
  • salt and black pepper
  • medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • ½ teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • (15-ounce) cans white beans (cranberry or cannellini), rinsed
  • 1 ½ cups vegetable or chicken broth, or water
Ingredients

the lineup

  1. Heat the oven to 425 degrees. In a large sheet pan, toss the tomatoes with 1/4 cup oil and thyme; season with salt and pepper. Roast tomatoes until they have collapsed and begin to turn golden around the edges, 20 to 25 minutes and be careful they could burn easily. I like to remove the skins.
  2. When the tomatoes are almost done roasting, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large (12-inch), deep skillet or Dutch oven on medium. Add the onion, garlic and red-pepper flakes and cook until the onion is softened and the garlic is fragrant, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the rinsed beans and broth and bring to a simmer. Gently smash about ½ cup of the beans so they slightly thicken the broth. If you want a thicker stew, crush more of the beans. Salt and pepper.
  3. When the tomatoes are finished roasting, add them directly to the stew along with any juices that have been released. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes more so the flavors become combined; season as you wish.
  4. Scoop into shallow bowls.
Soaking beans for 8 hours

beans soaking overnight

roasted tomatoes

TIP:

Try this recipe with canned beans first, then work your way to buying dried beans. My latest batch has cranberry (borlotti) beans. It’s a simple recipe with maximum flavor. The roasted tomatoes really are the star of this soup, not to mention the onion and garlic. If you want, add cooked kale or spinach just before serving.

All done...soups on!

All done…soups on!

                                         

Final Word – to sum it up…

If you’re feeling stressed, explore your talents, you never know where it could lead you. Eat healthy, and get exercise… any way you can. For now, my wings are clipped (as yours are too) and I will not be flying until it’s safe. I’m staying in-place — cooking and eating right.

Tell me what you are doing to stay well, what you’re eating, recent movies…and where is the next city you’re planning to visit.

 

I would love to hear from you!

Stay well