Happy one month of self-isolation! What a month it has been. Coping during the pandemic is a series of trial and error. Here are some things i’ve learnt:
- Working from home is tiring! I didn’t think I would have to cook or meal prep for the weeks- “hey! I work a metre from my kitchen, I don’t need to meal prep”. WRONG! After a day of work, I have so little energy to cook, that meal prepping for my lunches and dinners has been essential.
- Transitions from working at home are tough. Usually you have a commute, which breaks up your day. Now, it’s as though home time and work time are the same. I usually try to workout before I start work in the morning, and as soon as I log off, I must go for a big walk.
- It must be noted, that along with point one and two, I am also loving working from home! I feel really productive and connected with my awesome team, and I love being able to make tea, have my cat climb all over me when i’m trying to get something important done, and go for little walk breaks when I need.
- Find the little things that give you happiness, and DO THEM. Whatever it is. For me, this means dancing and stretching in my room for about an hour every night. Normally, I don’t have time on weeknights for this type of activity.
- When you do socialize, there’s not much to talk about other than the pandemic. I’ve really noticed lately that when I chat with friends, there’s no “news”. We’re not seeing anyone, or doing anything exciting. There are not many stories to tell! It’s a reminder to me that I really try to fill up my time with being social, and that maybe I need to take a step back from that going forward and spend more time with my own thoughts and personal goals.
- In a way, i’m enjoying a smaller life. Usually i’m so busy seeing friends, teaching spin, going to yoga, having fun on the weekends that I hardly have time to think. My life feels like it goes a million miles a minute. Take a second to appreciate that literally everything is cancelled.
- We are lacking dopamine. Wondering why you’re craving snacks more? It’s because we are socializing less, and have less exciting things to do. Sometimes at the end of the day I want chocolate SO MUCH. Honestly, give in, but also realize that the reason you’re craving comfort and that dopamine hit, is because we’re not getting the dopamine hits usually prompted by fun things like: coffee with a friend, an amazing yoga class (online isn’t as good- just admit it), the excitement of leaving your house and going to the office, going for dinner with friends…
- The grocery store is not as fun. I usually LOVE going grocery shopping. I love finding new foods, and browsing. Right now, it’s in and out. One way aisles. Stress. It’s super important to make a plan, get what you need, and only go once a week. Sad.
- Ignore the articles that tell you to be hyper-productive at this time. Do you feel sad? More tired than usual? It’s because you’re grieving the loss of your old way of life. Please, please, please be easy on yourself. If you eat half of the carrot cake before bed, it’s okay! Just don’t make it a pattern. Process, learn, slowly improve. Like I said, this is a process of trial and error, and we’re all going through something we’ve never been though before.
Those are some of the things i’ve learnt after one month of self-isolating/social distancing. I’m very lucky to live with my family, and have an amazing community around me. I don’t feel socially isolated, I more feel as though I miss going out and doing things. We’ve had some great socially distanced campfires, also!
I decided to write a new post for my carrot cake recipe. We are in a new time, and i’ve made a couple of small tweaks to my original recipe. This is my favourite cake recipe, and it’s a great recipe for spring/Easter. This is an indulgent recipe, for sure. But my goal was to reduce the amount of oil in the recipe because carrot cakes are notorious for being so oily. I just don’t think it’s necessary for the moisture, as the cake contains so many ingredients that make it moist! Also, the coconut is the secret to this carrot cake. So don’t leave it out.
1/2 cup grapeseed oil (or other vegetable oil)
1/3 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups grated carrot
3/4 cup crushed pineapple
3/4 cup shredded coconut
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 3/4 cup flour
2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp ground ginger
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cloves
1 block cream cheese
1/2 cup butter
1.5 cups shredded coconut
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups icing sugar
1.) Preheat your oven to 350. Grease 2 8×8 cake tins.
2.) In a large bowl, whisk eggs with the brown and white sugar. Add oil and vanilla until mixture is all combined.
3.) Add your pineapple, coconut, carrots, and walnuts to the wet mixture and whisk until combined.
4.) No need for separate bowls! Add your flour, baking power, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger and turmeric to the wet mixture. Mix until the batter is well incorporated.
5.) Divide mixture evenly into your two tins. Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
6.) While the cake is baking, prepare your icing! First, toast the shredded coconut in a saucepan until it is lightly browned and fragrant. Set aside to cool.
7.) Soften your butter and cream cheese, and beat in the vanilla. Slowly incorporate each cup of icing sugar, and beat until your icing is light and fluffy.
8.) When your cakes completely cooled, begin the icing process. It’s easy! I’m really into making sandwich cakes lately, so that’s how we’ll ice this one. Spread cream cheese icing on the top of your bottom cake, and sprinkle with toasted coconut. Place the top cake on top, ice, and top with more toasted coconut, like below!