Wellness Digest #7: Kitchen Skills, Stretching, and Clean Beauty

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Welcome to this week’s digest. The photo above features a little altar in my home office with a statue of the Hindu deity Lord Ganesh: the god of wisdom, new beginnings, and remover of obstacles. But, more importantly, the altar also features the card behind him that says “You are so loved,” sent from my mother. I cherish it as I do her. I’m early but Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms, aunties, mentors, and guardian angels out there! Here’s this week’s list:


If you have COVID-19 questions, here’s your chance for some answers. Every Monday, the New York Times has a free call “Making Healthy Choices During the Pandemic,” at 1pm EST. Hosts are Tara Parker-Pope, founding editor of The Times section, Well, and Jane Brody, Personal Health columnist for The Times. Even if you don’t have a specific question, it’s always interesting to hear the discussion.

As we all try to up our antioxidants these days, there’s new research that shows a link between healthy levels of the essential trace element selenium and improved Covid-19 outcomes. Still too early to draw definitive conclusions, but an interesting read.

And if you’re wondering about selenium’s benefits for women, here’s more information.


Gordon Ramsey is a very polarizing figure. That said, I find his youtube videos to be incredibly helpful. Here’s his 1-minute video on how to finely chop an onion. There’s chopping, and then there’s chopping.

Ramsey’s rough edges are in contrast to the smooth culinary master, Jaques Pepin. Here’s his excellent Sharpen Your Knife Skills video.

Feeling quarantine fatigue? Eating certain foods might be fueling your meh mood. Try adding more of these feel-good foods to your week.


Working out is great for stress, but don’t forget about stretching. We’re all carrying around a lot of stress and some simple movements might deliver big results in terms of your flexibility and mental wellness.

Reading is always a great way to unwind and if you’d like to find an alternative to Amazon, check out Bookshop for your next order. 75% of their profits support local, independent bookstores. On my list? Jaqueline Woodson‘s Red at the Bone, and Elizabeth Strout’s Olive, Again.


Clean Beauty is here to stay. If you’ve been thinking about trying some products, here’s a great place to start.

And, try not to neglect your hands. With all the house cleaning and cooking these days, your hands are crying out for love. TenOverTen has been a leader in non-toxic, cruelty-free nail care for years now. I love this celery oil for cuticles and nail health.


1. Hulu‘s series Little Fires Everywhere, adapted from the bestselling book by Celeste Ng. Yes, I have issues about how they changed the book’s original story; however, the acting (Kerry Washington and Reese Witherspoon, among other great talents) is pretty fantastic.

2. Mindy Kaling’s interview with Terry Gross on NPR‘s Fresh Air. A fun talk about her new Netflix show, Never Have I Ever, a coming of age series about a 15-year-old first-generation Indian-American girl. Loosely based on Kaling’s own experiences.

3. Still searching for that last-minute Mother’s Day gift? This guide might help.


Photo Credit: Shelley Huber