This Is My Secret Recipe For the Healthy

I gave up coffee almost four years ago, and at first, I didn’t know how I was going to function. I think I drank 10 cups of green tea those first few days. Shortly after, though, I discovered matcha, and my whole world changed.

Matcha is a highly concentrated green tea that has around the same amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee, but it doesn’t make me feel jittery in the way that coffee does. I was buying matcha lattes every morning, but now that I’m staying inside, I’ve had to make it myself. This is everything I do to make a healthy, filling, delicious vanilla matcha latte at home. Spoiler: I buy all my ingredients on Amazon.

I start with the base. For me, I don’t like it to be too milky, so I do four ounces of water and four ounces of unsweetened almond milk. But, I do still like a little bit of sweetness, so my secret ingredient is two tablespoons of vanilla protein powder. I take those ingredients, plus four ice cubes, and blend it up. In a separate bowl, I take two ounces of water and add half a teaspoon of matcha.

Then, I whisk it until it’s frothy and smooth, for about 30 seconds. I simply pour the matcha over my base and even more ice, stir it up, and drink! It’s my favorite morning ritual because it keeps me awake, focused, and able to power through my day.

Plus, in a time of uncertainty, having those morning rituals is so important for mental health. It makes me feel much better to know that no matter what, I can wake up and go make my matcha, and it provides some much needed normalcy and continuity to my day. My morning matcha makes me feel calm, centered, and energized, which is about all I can ask for right now.

This Sweet Story About a Bear Will Help Explain Social Distancing to Even the Youngest Kids

Often, when I’m struggling with how to explain something to my children – whether it’s emotional hardships like the death of a loved one or important issues like racism – I will turn to one of the simplest yet most profound resources available: children’s books. It’s always served as a solid starting place to read aloud from the pages of an illustrated story – and to take cues from the author’s carefully crafted words – before embarking on an otherwise difficult conversation that my toddler or preschooler wouldn’t be equipped to handle.

But as my young kids began to learn more and more about the current coronavirus outbreak, I’ve struggled with how to explain this “new normal” to them without relying on the gentle guidance of a children’s book. No such hardcover story or pint-sized board book exists. But a fledgling author named Kim St. Lawrence created the next best thing.

She produced a video version of a children’s book about social distancing called Time to Come In, Bear, and she shared it on YouTube for families to access for free.

The sweet story follows a bunny who has to explain to a bear why they have to stay inside. “The world caught a cold,” the story begins. “You won’t get the germs if you just stay at home.” The animated narrative touches on many of the worries kids have right now, from how long this will last (“it isn’t forever, Bear. .. just for a time”) to why we can’t see our friends and grandparents (“you miss them, I know”). It also explains that heroes are hard at work to “make the world alright.”

And although the 90-second video can’t possibly answer every question a kid would ask, it’s just the starting point many parents need right now.

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