Spring has cracked like a ripe hen’s egg over a soupy blue sky. There are now clouds reminiscent of over-whipped meringues and we’re nearing the season of marshmallow peeps and caramel stuffed chocolates. And (as if that’s not exciting enough itself) lush colonies of new fruits and vegetables are flooding every isle of supermarkets near you. I like to take this time to greedily snatch up heirloom tomatoes, skinny tufts of asparagus, and supplant curios on the mantle with thrills of wildflowers. It’s also the time of the year, for me, where winter depression is burned off by the warmth of a new season. I still find it hanging around every now and again.
With stress at work and trying to figure out how to stretch dollars into miles, a low fog seems inescapable. In the winter I would turn to hearty stews to feed seeds of hope in my belly. Maybe topped with hedonistic heaps of cheese or puristic hills of creams. But now? Sometimes I find that Spring can loom disapprovingly over my shoulder as I reach for stomach-warming faire. And it doesn’t help that, as I hopscotch around my grocery, I’m confronted with mosaics of vivid prints telling me how to ‘get my body in shape for bathing suit season’. It’s this irritating buzz that I catch wind of as I’m leaning over the counter, plucking strawberries from their pints, and catch glimpses of my stomach puddled beneath my top. A few seconds ago it had happened to be giddy. Now it’s a territory of shame, peeled out of its innocence with spades made of expectations. But, you know, I look forward to these day (as few as they may be currently) when frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.
It’s deep in these prescient days where I figure that worrying about how much a length of ribbon can wrap around my waste is pretty stinkin’ antithetical to the idea of health.
So if I’m experiencing a particularly irritating day, if I’ve gotten into a row with my fiance, if the cat has stripped yet another length of yarn from one of our blankets, I’ll let the practices of Winter leak into Spring. Not only is it fulfilling to be able to accept the layer of fat around my waste as a signifier of good times past, it’s nice to give the light tidiness of spring a good smack on the nose as I fill a bowl with something warm and comforting. After all, I weave health into my everyday and that’s really all I aim to accomplish. I’ve got hot yoga tomorrow (where I sweat more than I ever thought was possible), sunshine in the windows, and the Book of Calm on my bookshelf. So can we just agree to agree that eating something bogged in full flavors isn’t something that is synonymous with fattening? Can we agree to give the goal of ‘being thin’ the boot? Instead ushering in a new goal of ‘mental and physical wellness’? I say yes.
If you happen to practice veganism there’s no need for you to miss out on this traditionally dairy rich dish. Gena has a recipe for a sunny, vegan risotto that’s perfection!