Beet & Carrot White Bean Farro Salad
and how I feel about "advice-giving" on the internet
Hi! Welcome to “good mood food” from Kale Me Maybe’s Carina Wolff. If you’ve made it here and aren’t yet a subscriber, come join! You can expect recipes, thoughts, and faves in your inbox every Tuesday!
I used to give a lot more advice on the internet. In fact, it used to be my career. I’d write listicle upon listicle about the best foods to eat, the most effective workouts, and the habits that make you the least stressed. I wrote and I wrote and I wrote, and then I went on Instagram and talked about my life to the 10 or 20 thousand followers I had at the time.
Eventually, though, I ran out of fresh topics, especially science-backed ones. But the website that had me writing over nine articles a week kept pressing me for content. The stories they assigned me started to feel like stretches, to the point where I felt like someone reading that them might create a problem where they never had one. And separately, on social media, I began to watch people giving advice who gave really bad advice — people unqualified to talk about subjects they were preaching about or giving no regard to data and science.
So I mostly stopped giving health and nutrition advice, unless in an occasional , journalistic capacity, because I hated the way the influencer world was heading in regards to misinformation. I also really hated the way people idolized others’ lifestyles when they couldn’t see what was behind the curtain. And as someone who was plugged into this world, I saw a lot of stuff behind the curtain that didn’t line up with what was being put out there.
I think part of my decision also had a lot to do with getting older. When I was in my early 20s, I was making so many new choices and going on a journey of self-discovery, and I do think that sharing those lessons can be really fun and inspiring. I see it on TikTok and Instagram now with the younger generation, and I get nostalgic watching people go through that time of self-growth. But I do also think that this brand of wellness has become so oversaturated, it’s lost a bit of its magic. That’s not to say that these wellness practices aren’t necessary to maintain (I still have a morning ritual, go to yoga, and make balanced bowls, even if I don’t post about it), but I think we live in a different time now where content is shared with the expectation that it can go viral and be monetized versus the early days when it was something you posted to inspire your friends, and if you were lucky, some others.
That being said, I am happy that everyone has the chance to reach more people especially if they’re an underrepresented voice, a small business, etc. But I do find myself less motivated to share “inspiring” things about myself anymore, and maybe that’s because I’m more self-aware and self-conscious, or maybe it’s because of what I mentioned earlier about growing older and some of these habits feeling obvious to me now.
I wonder if as a consumer people still like to look to others for inspiring lifestyle habits or if they too feel like it’s contrived and overdone. I’m sure there are influencers in the space being themselves and doing interesting things (I can think of a few off the top of my head), but again, I wonder if I even resonate with that in my current stage of life. I almost feel like in-person conversations are much more invigorating, especially when certain discourse online ends up severely lacking nuance.
I’m not sure where I’m really going with this — I just began word vomiting thinking about what’s going on my life this week, which was very focused on getting back into hot yoga classes and journaling. I’ve been feeling very revived and zen, and in the past, this is something I would’ve shared on my Instagram more. But again, it feels uninteresting to me at this point, and I wonder if that’s just how I feel or if others are experiencing this type of wellness inspiration burnout.
THINGS I’M LOVING!
Speaking of hot yoga, I realized my workout wardrobe was pretty old and lackluster and in need of some major updating, so I ordered a few different options this week — I will share the rest later as they come in! The first one to arrive was of course this Ribbed Workout Set from Amazon (only $33), and I was very pleasantly surprised! I wore it to hot yoga yesterday, and it was super soft and stretchy, but also felt supportive!! I will probably go ahead and buy this one in a couple more colors.
As the idea of having kids nears closer to reality, I wanted to read Taking Charge of Your Fertility because everyone online says it’s basically the bible for women’s bodies. I ordered it last week, and I can confidently say that even just 20 pages in, I’ve learned so much. Even if you don’t want kids or aren’t thinking about them anytime soon, I still think it’s a great education, and it’s so important to learn about what’s going on inside of you (not to mention that this knowledge can actually help you prevent getting pregnant lol).
For example, did you know that if you are a female, you were basically inside your maternal grandmother’s womb? This is because female fetuses possess all the eggs they’ll ever have, so if your mama was in her mama, then you were (half) inside her as a little baby egg. Fun, wild fact!
I will eat these bad boys all year round, but because Christmas is coming up, and because they just arrived in my bean club shipment, I had to share my absolute favorite heirloom Rancho Gordo Bean, the Christmas Limas! They’re a large bean that is very starchy and sweet. On the Rancho Gordo site they’re described as tasting like chestnuts, but they almost taste like a type of sweet potato to me. I love making these beans and serving them really simply, with just a drizzle of olive oil and some Parmesan cheese.
Beet & Carrot White Bean Farro Salad
Ingredients (serves 2)
3 carrots, chopped
2 small beets (1 red and 1 yellow), chopped
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 cup uncooked farro (2 cups cooked)
3/4 cup cooked white beans
Red wine vinegar
2.5 oz goat cheese
2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp fresh dill, leaving a little aside for garnish
Salt & pepper
1. Preheat oven to 425 F. Add chopped carrots, beets, and onions to a baking dish, drizzle on some olive oil, and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until veggies are soft on the inside and crisp on the outside.
2. While veggies are roasting, prepare farro according to package. Add to a large bowl along with the veggies when they’re done. Add the beans and dill and a drizzle of olive oil and red wine vinegar (I just eyeballed, taste and add more if need). Finish off with the goat cheese and pumpkin seeds, toss to evenly mix. Add some salt and pepper, if desired. Serve with some more goat cheese and fresh dill on top.