Hey there all you gorgeous, wonderful people! I'm back (kinda)!
Before I share this wondrous White Bean & Portobello Stew, I've got some stuff to talk about. I've probably drafted this post in my head about 9 times a day for the last 2 months. It was going to be much longer but I ended up deleting more than half of it. The writing of it was very helpful for me, though.
I should probably start by telling you what I've been up to since the last time I posted over 3 months ago. That's definitely the longest I've ever been from the blog, but 2015 has been a doozy of a year for Chris and I. After our last (long and stressful) show ended, we were hoping to have some downtime to hang out and relax but life had other plans. Since April, Chris's father had a stroke; Chris lost his brother, Mark, to esophageal cancer; we underwent a complete kitchen renovation that took much longer than expected and had many errors along the way; a dear friend of mine, a man who was like a second father to me, passed away; ten days later, our beloved pup, Samantha, passed away; we adopted two new dogs, both of whom came with their own set of special "needs"; we underwent an office remodel (which is still going on); one of our dogs ran away; more family drama happened that I can't go into here; and during this whole time, I've been working on my newest book (!!!!!!!!!) (which I'll tell you about in a minute). And now we're back at work on that same show that ended last April. And that's just the last 6 months.
I was going to go into detail about these things and tell you how things went down, but as it turns out, I'm not emotionally capable of going into it. Suffice it to say, there's been a shit-ton of bummers in our house. It's been really fucking sad, if I'm being honest.
Around the time that we learned that Samantha's kidney's were failing (she'd been dealing with congestive heart failure for over two years), about 2 weeks before she passed away, my Hashimoto's Thyroiditis began to flare up. I knew it was due to stress, but my hair was beginning to fall out more than usual, getting out of bed each morning was damn near impossible. I felt like I'd been hit by a truck. I felt overwhelmed with everything. When it didn't fade after a month, I made an appointment to see my endocrinologist. I figured we'd need to alter the dosage of my medication. Imagine how surprised I was to hear that my TSH levels were right were they needed to be, the best they'd been so far! When I went over my symptoms with her, she said "It sounds like you're depressed." A little thought bubble appeared over my head, replaying all the events of the last few months and all of my symptoms in a montage set to some pretty dramatic, instrumental music. Duh. I'm no stranger to depression. I've dealt with it off and on since my teens, but I've been free of it for about 8 years. This feeling hopeless and sad and overwhelmed all the damn time. It was like walking into a house you haven't been to in years and it's been completely re-decorated. It takes you a few minutes, but soon you're like "Heeeeeyyyyy. I've been here before." I'd blown off social invitations simply because I couldn't deal with talking to people. I would often crawl into bed in the middle of the day because everything was so "ugh." I stopped blogging because the idea of writing a blog post was just too much. The things I love about blogging- the ability to help people and make an impact on their lives, the creative outlet, the community, became things I wanted no part of. I stopped answering emails unless they were urgent. I wanted to be an anonymous hermit. Truth be told, sometimes I still feel this way.
There are a few of things that are helping me get through this. The first thing is that I'm letting myself be depressed. I let myself feel all the feelings. I don't get upset over the fact that I'm having them. I just let myself have them. Second, I remind myself that, like everything, this is temporary. And the last thing is having compassion for myself. I have a tendency to lose patience with myself when I'm being anything less than positive and productive, but I've been working on that. Amey Matthews led a talk about compassion at the last VVC and one of the things she said really stuck in my head. You know how sweet and positive and loving you are when you talk to dogs (or cats, if you swing that way)? The way you rub their head and tell them they're a "Good Girl." Why don't we do that with other humans, including ourselves? I began to imagine what I would do if my one of my dogs were mopey. Would I get frustrated at them for feeling that way? Would I tell them they needed to be happy? No. I would rub their belly and tell them everything was going to be okay because they're a good puppy and I loved them. So that's what I'm doing with myself (minus the belly rubbing part).
I've also learned a few things about myself during this time. For the last few years, just as all bloggers do, I've put a ton of time and energy into Keepin' It Kind because I love it. I really do. I love this space where I get to share food and stories with you and make the world a more positive place. And I absolutely adore all you wonderful people who take the time to read the posts (like this long-ass one!) and comment and email me. With that said there's a lot of pressure that comes with food blogging to always come up with the coolest new thing that incorporates all the current food buzzwords that you see everywhere on Pinterest, like "Buffalo," "Pumpkin," "Pizza," "Fudge," and more "Pumpkin," as well as words like "Healthy," "3-ingredients," "One Bowl," and "Life-Altering." There's pressure to "post at least 2 to 3 times a week," "get more exposure," "have more followers," and "have pinnable images." There's pressure to attend every single event and be seen and network and chronicle all of it on Instagram while you're at it. While I try to keep it real and use my own voice and just be myself, I've certainly succumbed to all of these pressures at times. And there's nothing wrong with that. But every time, it takes me a little farther away from why I started blogging- to help people make more compassionate choices when it comes to their food, to make veganism fun and tasty and approachable. You kind of get sucked into the whirlwind of it all and soon, while you're still doing your own thing, your way, you might not be doing it for the same reasons you did when you started. Don't get me wrong- I love all the friends I've made since I began blogging and I am so grateful for all of the opportunities that have come my way because of it. When all of this LIFE happened, though, I felt guilty that I had to neglect the blog. Then I felt bad because I simply didn't have the motivation to work on it. I felt a resistance to go back to that whirlwind. Jay-Z says in one of his songs "I'm not a business man, I'm a Business, man!" I've learned that I do not have that in common with Jay-Z (among many other things, I'm sure). I am not a Business. I am not a brand. Keepin' It Kind is kinda/sorta a business/brand that I can set my own hours, my own deadlines, and my own rules with. If my life is crazy hectic with home stuff, family stuff, work stuff, LIFE STUFF, then it's okay if I don't post something for awhile. I don't have to bury myself with one more thing to do on the weekends. When I post, it needs to be something I'm excited about, not something I feel I have to do. I am a business woman (a generous statement), not a Business, woman! And that's okay.
Going forward, I can't promise to post things on a regular basis, though I would like to. I'm actually wrapping up the recipe development portion of the new book (2 more re-tests and I'm done!!!!), working full-time, trying to find my missing dog (which is, while I'm being an honest, an absolute nightmare) (UPDATE 11/11/15: Buster has been found! Read all about his recovery here!) , and will be engulfed in shooting the book on the weekends until early next year. I would like to say I'm one of those super bloggers that can do it all, but alas, I am not. I need time to breathe. Cuddle with my husband. Read a book. Walk my dog(s) (hopefully, it will be plural again soon). Live. So if I go awhile without posting again, know that while I would love to be here blogging and I will blog again, I'm busy living at the moment.
Whew! Thank you. I needed to get all of that out. Thank you for listening/reading. And now let's move on to more happy, positive things.
So yes! I'm working on a new cookbook! Hooray! I've been planning/developing since early this year and was able to dive into recipe development in June. I'm about to wrap up all the testing (I just have a couple more to go!) before I can turn them over to recipe testers so if you're interested in testing recipes for this book, stay tuned for a post about that in a few days! We've shot a couple chapters already and we've still got 111 more recipes to shoot because just like But I Could Never Go Vegan!, this book will also have pictures for every recipe.
This book is a follow-up to But I Could Never Go Vegan! but while I don't want to give away the farm just yet, I can tell you that it is more family-oriented. It's NOT a book to help you help your family go vegan. It will help make sharing a table with your non-vegan family members a little more peaceful and dare I say, delicious. It will also help omnivores cook tasty meals they can share with vegan family members. And also, anyone can use it to just make damn good food. The recipes, for the most part, are simpler than the recipes in But I Could Never Go Vegan! and they're all gluten-free or have gluten-free alternatives. I've been sharing pics of some of the recipes on Instagram. Check out the pics and follow for more pics to come!
I couldn't just pop in, throw all this news at you and leave without sharing a recipe, right? This stew is one of my most favorite recipes from my first book, But I Could Never Go Vegan!. It's so hearty and comforting, which is pretty much perfect this time of year. The portobello chunks add a nice meatiness to it and it actually reminds me of the (far from vegan) stews my dad used to make when I was a kid. Yay for a bowl of hot, steamy comfort!
Recipe from But I Could Never Go Vegan!: 125 Recipes That Prove You Can Live Without Cheese, It’s Not All Rabbit Food, and Your Friends Will Still Come Over Dinner, copyright © Kristy Turner, 2014. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment. Available wherever books are sold.
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 leeks (white part only), halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1 celery rib, chopped
- 4 portobello mushrooms, sliced into ½-inch (1 cm) wide strips
- 1 tablespoon liquid aminos
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 3 cups (525 g) cooked great Northern beans (see page 8) or two 15-ounce (425 g) cans, rinsed and drained
- 4 cups (1,000 ml) vegetable broth (chicken-flavored vegetable broth is best here; see tip)
- 1 cup (250 ml) water
- 1 teaspoon white miso
- 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 3 cups (40 g) roughly chopped kale
- Crusty French bread or Southern Biscuits (page 233 in But I Could Never Go Vegan!), optional
- Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the leeks and garlic and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, until fragrant. Add the carrot and celery and sauté for another 2 to 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms, liquid aminos, rosemary, thyme, sage, and fennel seeds. Sauté for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add the beans, broth, water, and miso. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and cover, leaving the lid open a crack. Simmer for 25 to 30 minutes.
- When some of the liquid has reduced and the vegetables are tender, add the liquid smoke, salt, and black pepper. Fold in the kale and cook just until the kale begins to wilt, then remove from the heat.
- Serve warm, with bread, if desired. Leftovers can be chilled in an airtight container up to 5 days.
Tip: You can purchase vegan broths that are chicken or beef flavored. They do not contain animal products, but they are seasoned to taste like their non-vegan counterparts.
Thank you all again for your continued support. If you donated to Help Find Buster, please know that you have truly touched our hearts. Your kind emails and messages in recent weeks and months have been so helpful during this rough time. I love you all. And I'm not just saying that.
Photography by Chris Miller
many many big hugs to you. I have shared your dog post a few times. I am hoping for the best in finding that dog soon. I lost my brother to esophageal when I was pregnant with Logan. I am so sorry Chris lost his brother. I know that pain and wouldn't wish it on anyone.
I just want you to know you're in my thoughts. Congrats on your new book.
BIG BIG HUGS
Thank you so much, Michelle, for your kind words, for your support, and for your help in finding Buster. I'm so sorry to hear about your brother. It really has been such a rough go for Chris. Whatever I'm going though, I know he's going through something even tougher. I'm sorry that you had to go through that as well. <3
I don't usually leave comments on blogs but I feel compelled to reach out. I made the decision to go vegan about a month ago. I found your blog just last night when looking for recipes. I loved all the recipes and posts and started reading your inspiring story. Eventually I came across your most recent post about your sweet pup (best of luck with the search. Wherever he is he knows that you love him). Then today I came back to check another recipe and saw your update. I graduated college earlier this year and have been battling depression for a while (the decision to go vegan was part of my search for recovery). I hear your struggle and admire you for your transparency and strength. Please know that you have helped me and I hope that I can return the warmth by sending white light to you and your family! Blessings!
Thank you. I hope veganism helps bring you closer to recovery. I'll be thinking of you. 🙂
I've been seriously struggling with depression for... a long time. Sometimes there are brief moments of clarity where the fog lifts, one time in particular lasting months (it makes me cry just thinking about it), but for the most part it has me. I've been all but paralyzed for the past year. It's near impossible to get out of bed in the morning and do my routine to get ready for the day (I tend to stay up late to put it off). I can barely stand contact with human beings other than my boyfriend. I won't answer the phone if it's not a number I know, and it takes days or even weeks for me to check my voicemail. Doing anything other than the daily routine terrifies me. I've given up searching for a new job. I got a BA in English so I could edit books and write better, but I haven't edited or written in nearly a year. I don't know what it's like to feel passionate about anything anymore. I think I'm addicted to feeling miserable. It just feels so very comfortable. I can't bring myself to fight it. And I feel shitty complaining about this when you were surprised to find yourself depressed after all those miserable things happened. I'm not entirely sure why I'm even writing this. I'm tempted to just erase it and forget this ever happened. But, um, here goes. Time to dread/hope for something to happen I guess. (If you don't want to respond or even publish this, no hard feelings. Seriously. It might be for the best. I don't know.)
You are not alone. I am in the same boat with you. It is hard as hell. Too hard. One day at a time is all we can do.
That's so right. "One day at a time" should be our mantra. 🙂
I totally hear you. Getting out of bed is the absolute hardest part of the day. I miss being really passionate about things, but I find it returning in small glimpses when I force myself to do things I know that deep down I love. I also have found, as much as I crave my routine, the comfort of my home, it's when I force myself to leave those things that I feel most alive. Going out to dinner with my husband instead of staying home and eating leftovers or just walking the dog on a new path. It's hard because I resist these things so much but once I'm doing them, I feel a little bit more like myself. My heart goes out to you, though, because I feel you. I know what you're going through. Hang in there.
I really wish I can give you guys a huge warm hug and tell you guys that things will get better and hope that you feel better mentally and physically!
Sherwood, I'm glad that you posted because you're helping others know that they're not alone!
I'm so very sorry to hear of your recent struggles. I can relate to some of it, but you have really been hit with the BIG hammer! I hope things improve for you soon, and I hope you find your doggy.
Before I opened my email, I was reading my copy of BICNGV, searching for something to make for a party tonight, so I was already thinking about you!
You will definitely be in my thoughts, as I really love reading your work...both the blog and your book.
Deb from Media, PA
Thank you so much for your kind words, Deb. 🙂
Oh you poor girl, what a horrible year you've had so far! Your approach to dealing with your depression sounds very good, I do know it's a horrible feeling, and it could rear its ugly head at any time - I've been clear for many years, I'm thankful to say. I'll be pleased to read your posts as and when you feel like posting. Take care of yourself - hope your four legged friend is found soon.
Thank you, Christine. I've been free and clear for about 8 years so I'd forgotten how it is. But you're right- it can creep up anytime. Thank you for your support, though.
Thank you for sharing your pain and struggles. I wish you all the best and do take time for yourself. You are obviously an over achiever….time to rub your own belly, stroke for own head and say, I am enough, I have enough, I do enough and take a bit of love from the world into your life. We are ALL rooting for you!! and thank YOU for all the time you put into your blog and helping us to be healthier people. all the best, Suzanne in Boston
Thank you for that reminder, Suzanne. We all are enough and it's easy to lose sight of that. I needed to hear that. 🙂
Bless your heart! You've had a rough go of it. I'll be praying for you and your family. Congrats on the new book!
Thank you, Danielle.
Hey Kristy I'm sorry to hear that you have been going through a hard time. Just want to let you know you are not alone and we're all rooting for you and you family. On a positive note, congratulations on your new cookbook! I'm sure it's going to be amazing like the first one. Take it easy and don't overwork yourself. Best of luck.
Thank you so much, Yuki!
Peanut Butter & Ellie
You're one tough cookie. Hang in there- it will ALL get better!!! Really!
I'm (virtually) sending you hugs and cupcakes.
Congrats on the new book! The pictures on Instagram look fabulous (as always).
I REALLY REALLY hope you find your dog!
Thank you so much. I'll take the hugs and the cupcakes. 🙂
Amy @ Parsley In My Teeth
You've had a really rough go of it and there's no need to apologize and feel guilty. Take care of yourself and things will work their way through. We are all fans of what you do here and wish the best for you. In the meantime, we'll keep looking forward to more tidbits about your newest cookbook. Congratulations!
Thank you so much, Amy. 🙂
Nicole ~ Cooking for Keeps
Wow, you have been through A LOT in the last couple of months. I definitely would have taken the time off to recoup as well, absolutely nothing wrong with that. Hoping things start to get a lithe bit better for you! Very exciting news about your follow-up cookbook. Congrats!
Thank you, Nicole!
Love and healing wishes to you and family and big prayers for your dog....I really hope he's found. Life is sometimes so difficult and accepting it and ourselves exactly the way we are is about the best we can do....and being the kindest we can possibly be to ourselves in the process.
Thank you, Anne. 🙂
Kristie, as a fan of your recipes, I'm glad to see a post whenever it fits in your life. You and your family come first. I, too, dealt with depression for 9 years. It sneaks up on you. Mine was chemical in nature, from lack of adequate water. I wish that yours and everyone else's were as simple to fix.
Good luck with Buster, too. We rescued our Chihuahua mix at our church. I fed and watered him twice a day for three weeks before he would come to me. Keep the signs up. Our dog's original owners had given up. Take care of yourselves. News of the new cookbook is exciting!
Thank you, Jane. I needed to hear that about your dog- it really gives me hope. 🙂
Pixie @ Cheerfully Vegan
Mercy, you have been through a lot! Any one of us would still be in bed with the covers over our head! The unreasonable expectations of this world, and even ourselves, can be ridiculously out of control....over the top. I'm glad you were able to give yourself permission to set the blog aside. Since I went back to work, I've barely blogged. I'm lucky to feed everybody, let alone take pictures of a recipe I never had time to create and write about it. When I'm tempted to feel guilty, I remember I have no responsibility to do this thing. It was for fun and helping others.
I can't wait for your new book. The last one was gifted to my future daughter-in-law who mentioned needing vegan recipes. It was perfect in so many ways for her.
It can be so overwhelming, can't it? I'm glad I'm not alone in not being able to keep up with it all, all the time. Thank you for your kind words. 🙂
Kristy, I am so sorry to hear about your tough year. You have been hit with so much! I'm sending good thoughts your way. Keep up the great work; it sounds like you are right on track with prioritizing. Hope your puppy comes home soon. And thanks for reminding me of this great recipe! You are awesome!
Thank you so much, Sue. 🙂
I'm a blogger myself and I could NOT agree with you more!! I too feel pressure to post certain recipes (pumpkin, etc.) and when other bloggers are posting 5 per week (!), it can get frustrating and you start comparing yourself to others and lose joy in blogging. I work full time and have the same issue with time (and sometimes motivation) and I can relate to feeling guilty about it. But we should never feel guilty! Just like you said, we love it and it's not the end of the world if we don't post every week. Your health and family should always take precedence over a blog. I mean, it's food. We're not doing brain surgery here right?? =) Anyway, I LOVE your honestly and so glad I stumbled upon your amazing blog. Keep up the great work and I'm glad that you are feeling better. And congrats on the book! That's definitely something to be proud of. =)
Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat
Kristy, I'm so sorry to hear about the turn of events that has conspired for you this year. You've faced some pretty trying situations to say the least, but I admire you for your bravery in putting all of this out there, and for your perseverance through it all. You'll be in my thoughts for sure. One of my favourite quotes that I always try to keep in mind in difficult situations is "you're stronger than you think", and I believe that you truly are. You are so incredibly talented, you make some crazy ridiculously awesome food, and I can't wait to see book #2!
Firstly, I am so sorry about your lost doggy. It must be so difficult to be 'up' all,the time - really that is not how life is - it is usually up and down for most of us. To change the subject, I am the mother of three grown carnivorous sons and a husband who is also very carnivorous, so your new book sounds like a good idea. BTW I love your recipe book, which I use often. Take care.x
Hi Kristy, my name is Suma. I admire you and your way of life. And all you do for the vegan movement. I am an adult psychiatrist. If you need help or someone to talk to, please write me on my email and we can share contact information to talk. I am happy to listen, provide support, or answer mental health questions.
Kristy, I've been checking your blog dutifully a few times, at least once, a week since your last post in July. I am so happy to see you posting again, sharing honestly about what you've been going through. While the blogging world misses you, you must, of course, put yourself first! Take time. Get rest where you can. We'll all still be here. Peace.
Thank you for sharing your post, Kristy. I think one of the worst parts of being depressed is the loneliness and isolation that you can feel. Sharing your story will help other people not feel so alone. I am sending positive thoughts to you, comfort in times that are tough and strength to keep looking for Buster. I have hope! Take care.
Kristy, thanks for sharing. I understand all too well the feeling of being "hit by a truck"--you describe it perfectly. (Hair falling out, too--what the f**k is that about?!?) I've talked to Chris but now I can tell YOU I'm sorry for everything you've been going through. Sending warm thoughts and vibes for Buster's safe return.
Richa @ veganricha.com
That is a lot of stuff in the same year. I am so sorry Kristy. Sending you lots of love and positive thoughts. Hope buster comes home soon the and rest of the year is about staying warm, healthy and loved with your entire family together.
I don't comment a lot on your blog, but I've been following you for a while on here and Instagram, and I've felt awful for what you've gone through with your lost pup and all the other stuff you mentioned. I love how this community is so open that you feel comfortable sharing that side of you with us; we hope we don't disappoint you as followers and show that we can stick with you through the rough times. Congrats on your new cookbook - I will be very excited to receive it. I received BICNGV last year for Christmas, and I just love it.
Oh Kristy. I want to reach through the internet and give you a big hug. Or rub your belly. Ha ha. Or just sit nearby and be nice to you. I'm so sorry you have been (and are still going) through so much. I've also found that just feeling the feelings (good bad and ugly) makes them slightly more tolerable. Feeling them AND resisting them just adds a whole extra tier of shame and suffering that is so unhelpful. I'm sending so much love to you and Chris and Maeby and Buster. Congrats on your next book!
I really hope you find your dog. Sending you good thoughts and prayers. We had some serious dog troubles over the summer, and it is the absolutely most overwhelmed I've felt, worse than so many other things. I hope your dog situation will cheer up soon. Sending you good thoughts and understanding. Thanks for putting all the good into the world that you do. Very, very much appreciated. Even if you just blog now and then about experiences, I like your blog most for your personal stories, especially the travel stories. The awesome recipes are just an added bonus! 🙂
Thank you for all you do! I enjoy your blog and book and look forward to the next. All the best.
This stew was great by the way, I had to make do with different mushrooms and beans but it turned out great. I also beefed it up and added some potato and barley. Loved the hit of fennel. a keeper!
I ditto what Julie wrote about liking your blog for the personal stories. I love the recipes and the gorgeous photos too, but the best part is your anecdotes, or hearing about whatever tv show you are addicted to on Netflix. Silly perhaps, but totally fun. When you had not posted a blog since the summer I went looking for clues as to what was up and saw on FB or Instagram about Buster. How devastating! Now we find out that you have had so much other stuff going on as well. So sorry to hear this and it is totally understandable that you need to take time for yourself. It is not like you are slacking off with another book in the works! Incidentally, I sometimes like to take vegan cookbooks out of the library to try them out and usually that is enough to satisfy my curiosity and I might copy down a couple of recipes. Not so with your book. I just have it out of the library now, and it seems pretty clear this is one I will need to own - there are just too many recipes I want to make.
Wishing Buster home to you soon.
I love how transparent you are in this post, it really shows how sweet you are, and also how tough you are when things weigh down on our shoulders and life becomes overwhelming.
You analogy of treating ourselves, and others, the same way we would pets is brilliant! I am going to keep that in my head, and on my heart.
I remember when I was going through the death of my Mom I was so exhausted that I could not stay awake every afternoon, all I wanted to do was sleep. They tested my D3 and my B12 and both were very low. During stress I read that B vitamins get gobbled up. They did B12 shots and immediately the symptoms changed. I could feel when it was dropping because those symptoms came back, but the next shot nipped it in the bud, eventually my levels came up. It was one symptom that I was able to alter so I could grieve without that exhaustion. Maybe this is something to ask?
You are an inspiration, you have a natural talent! I will keep you in my prayers for peace and happiness, and for finding your pup!
Oh, Kristy. 🙁 What a TIME you've been having! So much loss in such a short amount of time. That would test ANYONE. I'm so sorry you and Chris have had to endure so much hardship.
*I apologize in advance for the proceeding novella. I did not mean to write a book!*
I can relate to the depression because, like you, I, too, have struggled with it since my teenage years. I've had some long, long bouts of it, and, now, still it pops up, at least twice a year (though with much less intensity). Again, like you, I've realized that fighting it (which is just an instinctive reaction) is counterproductive. I've learned to, what I call, "ride it out". My experience has been that it always passes. Sometimes it takes a little longer than previous or usual, but having the confidence and faith that it won't last, in some weird way, makes it easier to get through. I acknowledge and respect that it's just something my mind and body (obviously) need to go through, accept that it's going to happen, and embrace it as wholeheartedly as I can. I try to do as much as I can during those times, setting little daily goals/chores for myself, but I cut myself A LOT of slack and do NOT beat myself up if I somehow can't manage my task for the day. I find by keeping my goals small but existent helps to both keep the pressure off but keep me somewhat accountable to prevent me from totally slipping into my pit. During those times, it's more about keeping my head above water than actually trying to GET anywhere. As long as I can keep myself from getting to low points where I've found myself before, I consider the day a success. So, instead of having a bunch of stuff on my to-do list, I wipe everything off and just put one thing on it and try to do that one thing for the day. I liken it to recovery after an injury or starting a long weight loss journey -- you just set a point where you can walk to within your current capability, no matter how short the distance, and get there. Then, to make sure you dont regress, you make sure you get to , AT LEAST, that point every day afterwards. If you can go further, great. If not, at least you're keeping up the maintenance. I usually like to have one thing I do EVERY day, no matter what (in the summer, it's watering all my flowers) and another thing unique to the day, like weeding, making no-bake bars, a load of laundry, etc.
Over the years, my depression has changed how it manifests itself. Even from the previous year, things can be different, so sometimes it can be hard to identify. I think it's important to recognize our limits and what we're capable of, which, for me, helps avoid super lows. Like, my family is VERY chatty and talkative and, sometimes, just exhausting (for a plethora of reasons). I love them, but I limit my interaction with them because, by nature, I am a VERY quiet, introspective person. I need a lot of quiet and a lot of alone time; I just function much better that way and am much more content. After years and years of feeling badly about it -- and guilty and most definitely "less than" -- I've come to accept that that's just who I am. I don't need to apologize for it, but I do need to respect it and not try and force myself to be someone who I'm not.
Sorry to be so long-winded! Whew! I guess this is all just to say it's so very important to know who you are and what works for you, even with something like depression, which can't be controlled. Because even with things out of our control, there are always ways to manage it, and, hopefully, curtail it. Or, at the very least, keep it from spiraling into a worse situation.
Really, I just wanted to offer both my sympathy AND empathy for the hard times with which you and Chris have been struggling. I've missed your wonderful posts, but I just want you to take care of yourself (and your family) and be HAPPY (a sentiment, I'm sure, all of your readers echo). I would NEVER want this blog to ADD to your problems and just be another "to-do" hanging over your head, overwhelming you, weighing you down. I'm glad that you've been able to come to some (helpful) realizations during the past 6 months and recognize what it is that helps you and hurts you. It's SO important to figure those things out for ourselves so that we can HELP ourselves.
I loved hearing from you again and really appreciate you checking in and sharing with your readers what's been going on with you (I've MISSED you!). I'd love to KEEP hearing from you, but, if you're just busy living, no pressure! You just keep doing you, Kristy. 😀
PS I REALLY hope your furbaby finds his way back to you soon. 🙁
PPS Congrats on the second book! Eeeeh!! 🙂
Susannah (Lemon and Coconut)
Hey Kristy, I hope you're feeling like a weight has lifted, massive well done for expressing yourself so well, it's not easy. Life can be so tough, my heart goes out to you. I think you're completely right, look after yourself and take the time you need, your beautiful blog won't be going any where and there are more than enough wonderful words and recipes to be getting on with! XX
Susannah (Lemon and Coconut)
AND your book to look forward to, so exciting! 🙂
This soup looks amazing. I am so excited to read (and possibly test for!) your upcoming book! It sounds so perfect for the omnis in my life that are so intrigued by my food. Also, I am SO happy for you getting Buster back, what a blessing. xoxo
Stacy @ Nourishing Health
Thank you for sharing your heart. It was a real encouragement to me today. 🙂 And congrats on the new cookbook! Can't wait! 🙂
Thank you so much for being so genuine. I am lucky to have never struggled with my own mental health issues, but I lost the best man I ever knew (my dad) to a 30-year battle with mental health. There continues to be a stigma surrounding mental health that I think causes many people to feel very alone in their pain. I wish everyone shared as openly as you, because maybe it would help some people to realize that they can talk about it too. Thank you for your courage.
On a much less serious note, I made the stew last night and it was fantastic. So comforting for this time of year!
HUGE love to you and Chris both, Kristy, hon! I'm so sorry for your losses.
Self-kindness is everything, and you deserve all that and more, beautiful. Sending you bucket-loads of love, and huge wishes for your exciting new book. Love, Bex & Dom. xx
I was looking for a good vegan cookbook and I came across yours on Amazon. I saw that you had a blog so I came over to check it out and this is the first post I read.
I feel like I found a kindred spirit in your post!
I too have Hashimoto's disease, all of the symptoms you describe are what I go through on a daily basis – both depression and Hashimoto's-based.
Every single thing you wrote about blogging was like a kick in the butt! I once had a blog that I loved. It was mostly a book blog but it also had other posts. Such as reviews of beauty items, food, etc. I'd have to say it was merging into a lifestyle type blog.
I have not logged in so long & now I have to renew my .com and I am debating on letting it go.
I am just starting to get into a healthier frame of mind. I was a vegetarian when I was a young teenager but I did consume dairy products. Cheese, milk, eggs. I thought if I bought things that said organic or local or Cage free or cruelty free that I was OK.
Then I went back to being an meat eater :/
Then recently I've gone back to being a vegetarian and now I am converting into full-blown vegan.
I do so much to help animals and I love animals so much that I feel like a hypocrite and I am a hypocrite.
AnyWho, I am glad that I came across your cookbook which led me to this blog and to this blog post specifically.
You have no clue how much this post has made me think.
Are you allow the depression I feel and the symptoms from Hashimoto's to drag me into this isolated abyss where I barely emerge. Believe me I will avoid holidays and everything if I can get away with it!
I'm sorry for writing you a book in the comment section but I am so glad that your cookbook on Amazon led me here.
I have been praying for signs on how to improve my life in every aspect and I've also had ideas for blogging and other things that were food related – possibly food blogging but I feel like the market is a little saturated so I may just stick to what I started with Wayback when.
Then boom here is this blog post that could have been written by me. Well, the vegan me. LOL
Glad to be here and I will definitely follow you on Instagram, and when I cook my first vegan meal from my new cookbook 😉 – when it gets here – I will definitely tag you & remind you of this post
Jessica @ Jessica in the Kitchen
Thanks for sharing all of that. I really, really, really needed this today. I'm also a blogger (vegetarian) and I had probably the roughest pain period of my life since the end of August to now and was able to relate to a lot of what you've been through. I REALLY needed this because I haven't once said "let me just be" and instead have definitely been adding stress and guilt on myself unnecessarily while being sick. I am so, so sorry for your losses and I am rooting for your healing. My mom keeps telling me "one day at a time" and I hope that that saying really helps you out. You're in my thoughts and prayers!