Ted Talk Friday: The cost of work stress–and how to reduce it

I really enjoyed this Ted Talk; it was recorded in February of this year and it brought me back to a time before COVID-19 changed the landscape of our lives in the United States. I think the intersection of public health, psychology, and economics create one of the most compelling arguments for change at the individual, workplace, and policy level. While I wish Cooke tapped into the importance of socioeconomic status and the systemic disparities that exist in the United States more, he does a wonderful job of addressing this topic at a time when work stress, or stress related to unemployment, is at an all-time high. This talk is definitely worth a listen–the last few minutes are my favorite 🙂

 

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What did you think of the talk? Do you think about the cost of work stress in your own life?

Quick & Healthy Pancakes for One (GF)

First off, I cannot take credit for this simple, delicious pancake recipe! I made a similar pancake recipe years ago, but never quite perfected it. I read about this recipe from Kelsey and decided to give it a try. I was blown away! It is super fluffy, dense, and satiating. I love that you can modify the base recipe. For example, I’ve tried adding in a tablespoon of pumpkin puree and cinnamon or adding in cocoa powder for chocolate pancakes with great results.

Ingredients:

  • 5g psyllium husk
  • 10g coconut flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • sweetener, to taste
  • dash of vanilla extract
  • 140g egg whites

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium size bowl and whisk thoroughly. The batter will seem a little too thin at this stage!
  2. Let mixture sit to thicken for 10 minutes or more.
  3. Heat up a greased medium size skillet on medium-high heat.
  4. Pour thickened batter into skillet and go ahead and drop in any fun add-ins (blueberries or chocolate chips are my go-tos).
  5. Let cook on one side until the edges start to pull away from the pan (3-4 minutes).
  6. Flip pancake over and let cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.

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7. Remove from pan, add fun toppings, and enjoy!

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Ted Talk Friday: Challenges and rewards of a culturally-informed approach to mental health

This Ted Talk was actually a video that was assigned to me for one of my courses. I have not shared too many details about where I am, but in case you’re curious…I am currently a first-year graduate student pursuing my PhD in Counseling Psychology at the University of Louisville. I absolutely love my program and have learned so much since I started nine months ago. After watching this talk for my class, I was so excited to share it here. I think Dere’s philosophy extends beyond the field of mental health; we can all learn something valuable from her message around culture and humility. I particularly  love her idea of taking a “stance of informed curiosity.” I hope you enjoy!

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What were your initial assumptions about Pat? Was did you take away from this talk?

Ted Talk Friday: In uncertain times, think like a mother

This title immediately caught my eye when looking at recent Ted Talks! I am very close with my mom, so I often go to her for questions and guidance. I really enjoyed this talk and I think it is particularly relevant for unprecedented and challenging times like these. My favorite quote from the talk: “When you think like a mother, you prioritize the needs of the many, not the whims of the few.” I hope you take the time to watch and enjoy it!

 

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Do you agree with the speaker? Did the Cornel West quote (“Never forget that justice is what love looks like in public”) resonate with you?

Chocolate Coconut Donuts (+ a secret ingredient)

I found my old donut maker while organizing my pantry a few days ago (typical quarantine activity, I know). This donut maker is fantastic; it’s probably from the 1970’s and has the classically old-fashioned look to it. After finding the donut maker, I decided to try out a new recipe I’ve been toying with.

I have doubted the donut maker’s ability to function, but it surprises me every time! I have no idea what temperature it cooks at (I’m guessing it’s around 350-375 degrees Fahrenheit), but it works beautifully.  I think this recipe would work great in a donut/bagel pan at 375 degree for 12-15 minutes or until firm to the touch.

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons cocoa powder

1 tbsp coconut flour

1 cup oat flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 scoop (30g) protein powder (I used a pea protein blend)

1/2 tsp xanthan gum (optional)

2 egg whites

1/2 c + 2 tbsp almond milk (or preferred type of milk)

2 tbsp coconut oil, melted

1/2 tsp coconut extract (optional)

1/2 bag Miracle Noodle rice, rinsed and patted dry

Directions:

  1. Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add in all wet ingredients except for miracle rice and combine well. If mix is too thick, slowly add in one additional tablespoon of milk at time until the mix is a thick dough consistency.
  3. Fold in miracle rice and mix until well combined.
  4. Pour mix into well greased donut pan (or donut maker) and cook at 375 for 12-15 minutes.
  5. Let donuts sit for five minutes to cool, remove from pan, and let cool on a wire rack until cool.
  6. Top with melted chocolate, frosting, or powdered sugar and enjoy! I had so much fun decorating mine 🙂

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Use code HANNAH for a discount when you order from Miracle Noodle!

Note: If you’re feeling lazy or don’t have a donut/bagel pan, these also bake well as small drop cookies! Just bake at 350 for 8 minutes.

Catching Up on Life, Quarantine, & Grad School

Hi! It’s been a few months since I last posted–and with good reason. I’ve been slogging through a tough semester of grad school. My first semester was fueled by what felt like a four month long adrenaline rush combined with classes that I loved: ethics, social psychology, and psychological theory. Spring semester 2020 was quite different. The adrenaline was gone,  the classes were not as fun, and my research really started to pick up. By spring break, I was just ready for the semester to end. I was in New Jersey visiting my boyfriend over the break and I was there when classes moved online through the end of March. As you already know, things quickly worsened and Spring semester moved entirely online (now Summer classes are online too).

I am so grateful to be in graduate school with a guaranteed stipend and have little to complain about, but my morale took a bit of a nosedive. In thinking about that, I’ve found myself grappling with feelings of guilt. I have so much privilege during this time. I am healthy. I can afford to stock up on groceries. I have access to healthcare. I have space to self-isolate. I can wear a mask in public and not feel afraid. I don’t have to worry about hate crimes being committed against me. The list goes on and on. I have so much to be grateful for, but that does not mean that I can’t be sad, disappointed, or angry about what we are experiencing. I’ve been struggling between those two all-or-nothing mentalities. I find myself feeling guilty when I complain that I can’t go to the gym because I remember that others can’t even feel safe right now. This is when I try to practice self-compassion; while my problems are small, they are still real and valid to me right now. I try to remain gentle with myself while also expressing gratitude for what I have. I also make a a point to do what I can do to make a difference, whether that’s writing a loved one a letter, donating blood, or sending an old friend a text to check in.

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Moving my rambling to a broader level, I’ve been thinking about how COVID-19 is changing our country’s narrative. This pandemic is exposing so many disparities in our country. While other regional or local events have exposed disparities in different ways (e.g. the Flint water crisis), the broad nation-wide effects of the pandemic are almost impossible to ignore. As someone who is dedicated to research focused on health disparities, this national wake-up call is both inspiring and horrifying. Inspiring in that health disparities are making national headlines and are a topic of conversation. Horrifying in that it took a national pandemic to get us to a place where we can recognize the injustice that has been occurring throughout U.S. history.

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In making sense of the past six weeks, I’ve reached two conclusions: 1) Everyone has their own set of problems; take on new perspectives and stay compassionate. 2) Caring about health disparities cannot be a passing trend due to the coronavirus; it was a problem before and it will be a problem after. We have serious work to do.

Thank you for letting me stand on my soap box and ramble about my own thoughts and what I care about most.