The End of School + a new stage in my life
For the last two years, as I raced around the culinary labs cooking risotto and deboning chickens, I feverishly thought of what my next steps would be after finishing school. Initially, I had wanted to learn how to cook to add more value as a holistic nutritionist. I had wanted to work with clients one-on-one and help them improve their health. But very early on, I had a change of heart. I didn’t want to work in an office, and to be honest, I didn’t like consulting as much as I thought I would (“what do you mean you won’t eat a salad?”).
So, I worked on this blog, and shared healthy recipes. The plan too, was to use this blog as a form of nutritional education. But thyme and thyme again (eh?), I found myself wanting to cook a new recipe, and share that. So this blog is mostly recipes, that favour a healthy lifestyle. Don’t get me wrong–nutrition is my jam. I spend way too much time reading books, reading studies, and learning as much as I can about nutrition. I work as a freelance writer with a focus on nutrition and wellness. But the love for food is also quite real–in a very physical, tangible way. There’s something about chopping vegetables, stirring fragrant mixtures in pots, and bubbling concoctions in cast iron skillets that feels so enchanting, and yet, so grounding.
But it wasn’t until my internship with a food stylist, that I seriously considered another path. Initially, a skill to improve the quality of my blog. Now, a possible career. And so, I (quite fortunately) got a job working with some of the best food stylists in Toronto, as an assistant, hoping to learn as much as I can about the industry.
And let me tell you–it’s no (perfectly-placed) piece of cake. It’s long hours, cooking all day long, it’s chaos. And I love it. It’s fun, it’s challenging, it’s something new everyday. It’s a lot to learn–and I have so much to learn. But every day, I go into the kitchen and I get to cook something new. I come home and melt into my couch–occasionally with a glass of red wine, feeling a sense of satisfaction. I just want to relax, and read a good book–and for the first time in like seven years, that’s exactly what I’ve been doing. Well that, and catching up with friends + redecorating the apartment.
But I hope what I do learn can be reflected in this blog. To create more innovative, fun (and nutritious!) recipes. I already have so many fun ideas that I can’t wait to share!
In the meantime, since my schedule has been a little bananas, here are 5 things I’m doing to find me-time everyday. And what I mean by me-time isn’t necessarily self-care. It just means that there are things that I’m doing every day, outside of work, that bring me joy and pleasure. And while that totally can mean a bubble bath, for me, it’s been all about finding connection to other people–through shared experience, a shared meal or a shared interest.
5 WAYS I’M FINDING TIME FOR MYSELF EVERYDAY
1. I listen to The Food Podcast.
This podcast is beautiful: Lindsay Cameron Wilson, a food writer, stylist and recipe developer, interviews other people in the food industry to chat about their lives. Guests include Joy McCarthy (Joyous Health), Molly Wizenberg (Stories From The Kitchen Table), Beth Kirby (Local Milk) and Aran Goyoaga (Cannelle et Vanille). Every episode is magical to listen to.
2. I wake up an hour before I have to start getting ready, so I can do some reading or plan out my apartment redo.
So lately, I’ve been kind of (a lot) obsessed with redecorating my apartment. And now that I’m done school, I actually have room in my brain to think about it. So I like to get up early, pour some coffee and look at sites like Wayfair, WestElm and Overstock to plan out my future home. Otherwise, I’m also reading through Food Styling, by Delores Custer (who worked with Julia Child) to learn more about the art of food styling.
3. I read on my morning commute.
Since the Food Styling textbook is a clunker to carry around, I’m currently reading a lot of fiction on my morning commute. Currently, I’m reading Cat’s Eye, by Margaret Atwood, which is a story about a women who grew up in Toronto between the 40s-90s, and how her childhood relationships have impacted her adult life. It’s very cool to read about old Toronto, and Atwood’s prose is just beautiful. I also think this book does a wonderful job at examining how women treat other women, sometimes unkindly–definitely worth reading.
4. I catch up with friends over drinks, coffee or a good meal.
It might seem weird to include friends on a list about me-time, but in order to keep my sanity, I have to connect with other people. Whether that’s grabbing a drink with an old co-worker, brunch with my partner, or coffee with a friend, I’ve really made an effort to make time for friends in my busy schedule.
5. I stay in with a glass of wine and watch Master of None (or something else on Netflix).
And my most favourite of all this week: coming home, curling up on the couch with Allie and the cat, and watching Master of None with a glass of vintage red wine. Super dreamy. If you have not seen this show, please do. The videography is just mesmerizing, and Aziz Ansari has the best sense of humour. Completely obsessed. Also watching: The Mindy Project, Arrested Development + Jane The Virgin.
What every day things do you do to bring your life pleasure? Let me know in the comments!