Good Things, and the Weekly Meal Plan.

Hello! Hello! Welcome to another weekly episode of Good Things where I give you a peek into my everyday life during the week, and roundup my good links, ideas, books, and more.

Got a fresh cut from Lucy Danger (can’t look straight into the camera though…)

Some moments for rest, and thoughts on doing less.

This week I stumbled through the week feeling like I was trying to ward off an illness that was threatening to appear.

Having experienced a bout of brain fog last year that I definitely do not wish to repeat, I’m trying to be more mindful of not just “pushing through” when I’m feeling under the weather.

Rest though, for me, is perpetually challenging. There’s a weird tension between having a lot of physical energy (which I do, most of the time!) and feeling limited by mental fatigue and tanked executive function.

Aside from rest, it’s also a challenge to know what to dial down and pull back from. As someone who enjoys self-imposed structure and strong commitments, I’ve learned to start checking in with myself more regularly: is this goal/commitment/idea actually supporting me right now? Do I have the energy to pursue it? Is it feeding me? Do I need to stop doing something else to make it happen? Do I need to do less of it?

💛 For those of us who chronically add more to our plate, this is your reminder that it is OKAY to stop doing something if it’s not working for you right now.

On that note, this afternoon I stumbled upon 

Anne Helen Petersen’s morning post asking “What is the right kind of busy?” and it hit the point home.

If you’ve reached the point in January where maybe you were hoping for a little bit more energy and get-go – and are feeling existentially tired, please give yourself a little bit of grace!

This Week in Good Things:

🖼 This week I went on one lovely excursion: to an evening event at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum! I had a good time with my friend Amanda. The museum is absolutely magical at night. If you haven’t seen “This Is A Robbery”, the Netflix special about the heist at the ISG, you might enjoy it!

💪 Let’s MOVE! Starting the year off strong, I’ve eased into my new fitness cycle. I’m committed to weekly strength training over the next 16 weeks that is my favorite: boring and effective lifts with progressive overload. I had a pretty fun milestone in the gym this week, too – I had never done Barbell Hip Thrusts, and worked my way up to a couple of reps at #315 pounds on the bar! (Not too shabby for a first time PR!)

✍️ Writing: I’ve focused my daily writing this week on short and sweet Daily Good Things – to continue in the groove of writing and releasing something daily.

🐾 Pup Walks with Friends: we ran into Josie the Pug and her human Jess this week; and several longer walks in better weather while it hit 60 this week after the storms. (In not-so-good things, we had an off-leash Belgian Shepherd come over to try to rough Bertram up yesterday while we were walking by right around the corner from our house – he’s okay! – but I’m still feeling rattled!)

Other Good Things

  • 📖 Reading: I’ll be updating my reading list (here is last quarter). Still reading Jessica McCabe’s new release How to ADHD, finished Richard Kadrey’s fun noir novella ‘The Pale House Devil’ and I’ve started Viveca Sten’s ‘Hidden in Shadows’ – The Åre Murders book 2, a crime drama based in a small ski town. I’m a fan of reading season-matching books, so Scandinavian winter mysteries are some of my favorite to read in January.
  • 📺 Watching: almost done with season 2 of Reacher, who solves problems with low emotional output and his large size. I’m about to kick off party-watching ‘Echo’ with my friend Caroline.
  • 🔎 A handy resource: Fun Activities for Kids (or frankly adults!) to do at Home for when you are bored and want something to get excited about.
  • 🛍 Good Acquisitions: influenced by BookTok, I finally got myself a Kindle page turner and I’m not being hyperbolic when I say it’s a *game changer*. I also got a gooseneck clamp to put it up so I don’t have to hold my device, but I think you can go without that one. Also? LED candles. The ones I got I don’t know if I’d recommend specifically, but I really enjoy the flexibility.
  • 🚘 Tackled a nagging task: after realizing that my registration doesn’t expire for another year and I’m not going to have to go to the DMV this month, I set out to first get myself to Valvoline for an oil change. (For those of you in the Boston area, the Valvoline on Main Street in Waltham is consistently great.) Next up? Inspection sticker.
  • 👁‍🗨 Spa Activity: I’m a fan of eye masks, and keep some in the fridge to put on while I sit and read. I’m still hoping to book some time at Kelo Spa in the next few weeks, but it’s always nice to do a little something for yourself at home.
  • 🤣 Memes and randomness of the week: experiments with malort and industrial food thickener // Lizzo birds (or when you ask a bird photographer what their favorite bird is // for those of you who remember Jessica Simpson’s chicken of the sea, a redux (also, I really do love her sense of humor) // if you’ve watched Saltburn, Edinburgh Rugby // Fendi partnered with Pokémon.

The Weekly Meal Plan:

Last week, made my long list of foods I’d like to eat in January, and published my 2024 Kitchen Resolutions. This coming week I’ve signed up for a zoom cooking class at Pondicheri which I’m looking forward to!

  • Sunday: Taco Night!
  • MondayKapuska (Turkish cabbage soup)
  • Tuesday: Chicken, lentil, caramelized onion rice pilaf (new from Trader Joe’s)
  • Wednesday: Rice bowl with cod, tomato, avocado, cucumber, pickled onions
  • Thursday: Leftovers (or PB Noodles with Edamame and Shrimp)
  • Friday: Out! to Kava Neo-Taverna for Greek. Hopefully. You can only make a reservation the day before!
  • Saturday: Nigella Lawson’s Chicken in a Pot with Lemon Orzo

Lunches: Leftovers, palak paneer, lamb vindaloo, baingan bharta, tadka dal

Snacks: Ricotta, soft boiled eggs, cottage cheese, cheese sticks.

Treat options: Burdicks chocolate winter box. TJ’s Pretzel Breadpudding. TJ’s Iced Gingerbread in the freezer. Peppermint Hold the Cones. Pumpkin Sticky Toffee Pudding. Fried bananas.

🥑 Good Eats from this past week: Spinach and tofu with rice and yogurt. Bagels with cream cheese and smoked salmon from Zabar’s. Noodles, crispy pork, mushrooms, bok choy and tahini vinaigrette. I love the combo of tahini and black or rice vinegar and a splash of soy sauce. It was so good I made it twice this week. Also, having the Thai wheat noodles from Trader Joe’s on hand made a few last minute meals easy. Rice bowl with grey sole, bok choy, pickled chanterelles. After my trip to New York, I’ve found myself craving Korean food. On the coldest day, I ordered myself seafood pancake, kalbi, and tofu soup from Kaju. Perfect Shinko asian pears.

What are you eating this week?

Previous Years:

Something I really enjoy doing is flipping back in my journal or my blog to the week of the year over the past several years. When I write it out in a list like this, it feels like a nice accomplishment!

That’s all for now! Hope you have a great week!

xo, Sam