Real talk and real good curry

I don’t like being vulnerable.

It’s not something I do gracefully or on purpose.

So even though I’m a huge advocate for mental health and reducing the stigma for depression, anxiety and other all too common imbalances that many of us deal with, I don’t really like talking about my own.

A couple of years ago, I started taking medication for depression and saw a huge shift in my day-to-day mental state. I also started to notice and identify seasons in my life that were obviously periods of depression. The past few weeks have been one of them. The heavy bones, need to work yourself up to get out of the car, don’t feel like doing anything kind of depression.

It sucked, and I know I’m not the only one who goes through this or something similar. But I’m also immensely grateful for an understanding spouse, medication, and access to other resources like therapy – yep, I said it – that make it possible to live with depression, anxiety and so many other conditions. It’s a tough time of year for a lot of people. If you’re struggling, I encourage you to reach out for some help. You’re not weak or broken. You just need some different tools to help you cope with our increasingly busy, stressful and demanding lives.

Nothing can replace medication or talking to a professional, but eating nutritious food, exercising regularly, dog snuggles and getting enough sleep also play a huge part in cultivating mental health. It should be so simple, but we all know it’s not.

While you work on figuring the rest of that stuff out, I’m happy to help out a little with the food part. The curry we made this week was chocked full of good veggies, required minimal effort, left me full and felt like a much-needed hug at lunchtime. We also made a cabbage dish that was super easy and immensely popular with Hal.

Check them out, and let me know what you think. If you’re having a rough time this season, know that you’re not alone and reaching out for some help is incredibly brave. I’m here to talk if you need me.

Lunches: Coconut curry lentils

The recipe: I modified this incredible recipe for the Instant Pot, and I cannot emphasize enough that it was SO GOOD. For the most part, we actually followed the recipe. My only modifications were waiting until after cooking to add the coconut milk and canned tomatoes. We also added some extra spice (garam masala, salt, turmeric and sriracha) and some frozen peas. We had them, so why not? Then, I set the Instant Pot on “Pressure Cook” for 15 minutes.

The verdict: Freaking amazing. I didn’t take any photos, because it’s hard to make curry look appetizing unless you’re a professional and the lighting in our kitchen is real green. That plus the green bowls just don’t do food justice.

Other notes: Make this. Right now.

Dinner 1: Cabbage and “kielbasa”

The recipe: We chopped a head of red cabbage and a head of green cabbage up into small strips. We sautéed in the wok with two onions, a little oil and Montreal seasoning blend. Once it was almost finished, we added in an entire pack of Field Roast “sausage” we’d cut into bite-size pieces.

The verdict: This is another super delicious, easy, relatively cheap recipe to keep on the rotation. Don’t believe me? Hal will confirm.

Other notes: We used the Field Roast apple sage “sausage,” because I’m partial to it, but I think this recipe would be amazing with an Italian “sausage add in.” Hal suggested doubling the amount of “meat” in the recipe.

Dinner 2:    😦

We messed around with some “creamy” broccoli soup recipes this week but nothing worth sharing. I’m sorry for all of us.

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