In the first interview of our new series, we asked Vancouver-based registered dietician Desiree Nielsen 5 questions to find out how she’s adapting to this “new normal” we’ve found ourselves in. Desiree is also the host of TV’s The Urban Vegetarian and author of the plant-based anti-inflammatory cookbook, Eat More Plants. We’ve been fans of hers for a while for the relatable but educational approach she takes to nutrition. If you’d like to learn more about her food philosophy, check out her interview on the Mind Body Green Podcast where she talks about foods you should be eating (but probably haven’t thought of). Here’s how Desiree is staying well at home:
1. What’s helping you find calm and peace of mind right now?
I’m taking a lot of solace in knowing that staying home is the best way to keep my family – and others safe. From a self-care perspective, I recommitted to my meditation practice about 4 weeks ago and it’s helping me stay grounded at a time when my emotions are really unpredictable.
2. What are your current go-to dishes? Or are there staple ingredients you’re finding yourself using often?
I’m a bean fan at the best of times, but I’m definitely doubling down now that tofu supplies are a bit spotty. I’ve been working through a 2kg bag of dried chickpeas which go with pretty much any meal. I’m making a lot of warming, comforting dishes like chili, coconut curry and plenty of roasted potatoes. We’re snacking on smoked tofu when it’s available and eating a lot of toast. And a few really simple staples, like chickpea scrambles, chickpea tuna sandwiches…and cookies. Lots of cookies.
3. What does movement or fitness look like to you right now?
I’ve been jogging way more than I typically do – it’s usually the one time of day I get outside, so it feels like freedom to me. I’m probably exercising 6 days a week right now. When muscles – or emotions – get tense, I’ve been enjoying Tara Stiles yoga flows on Instagram, she’s doing one live each morning. I really miss my weekly Lagree West classes, so I’ve been meaning to try out their virtual mat-based classes too.
4. What’s keeping you entertained while at home?
With my husband and I still working, the day is pretty full on until we get the wee ones down, but at night we’re catching up on Mr Robot. We’re a little bit obsessed (and late to the party, of course!), I also read a fair bit, and I’m currently reading Untamed along with the rest of the internet! We also play one song DJ with the kids, where we all take turns requesting songs and then singing along like crazy.
5. What’s one more thing you can share that’s helping you create a new sense of “normal” right now?
Maintaining routines; we eat lunch at noon as a family each day. Bedtimes are set and the kids have a daytime schedule. We get outside each day. Monday to Friday feel easier than the weekends because we have such a strong routine. Still working on how to fill the weekends without too much screentime!