In a suspicious turn of events, the start of a new calendar year didn’t effectively wipe out the myriad of problems facing humanity. A “new year” typically means a chance for a fresh start, but our struggles are rudely unaffected by that notion.
Thanks to a supply chain crisis that isn’t going away anytime soon, formerly mundane tasks like trying to shop for groceries and get dinner on the table are enough to make the apocalypse feel near. On top of that, Walmart and Kroger are hiking the price of COVID-19 tests, if you can find one in the first place. Plus, it’s almost time to file income taxes again — and your refund might be smaller. When processing all of this general existential dread, it’s understandably difficult to find balance.
RELATED: 16 Ina Garten recipes to channel your inner Barefoot Contessa
In contrast, those afforded luxuries like staying at home and avoiding sickness have more energy and mental space to focus on the tiers of Maslow’s hierarchy that aren’t essential for survival. You know, fitness, self-realization, wellness — all that good stuff. This class division makes itself especially evident when you examine messages about wellness broadcasted on social media. In a recent Instagram post, Reese Witherspoon shared the healthy habits she wants to adopt in order to improve her daily life.
Want more great food writing and recipes? Subscribe to “The Bite,” Salon Food’s newsletter.
The four items on her list include kicking the day off with a glass of water and some outdoor light, reading without distraction and getting at least eight hours of sleep. All of these things are certainly respectable, but do we really need a beautiful, blonde, wealthy star of several addicting prestige TV dramas to be our wellness coach?
The simple answer is “no”; we don’t need to be advised on how to feel well. Let’s be honest: No one is whole after two years of this mess. Thankfully, the patron saint of indulging and letting loose when her husband Jeffrey is out of town swooped in to provide a moment of levity.
“That sounds great but I’m probably not doing any of those things!” Ina Garten, the longtime host of Food Network’s “The Barefoot Contessa,” wrote in the comment section of Witherspoon’s post with a laugh.
Garten went on to share her goals, a daily “formula” which she promised would be “easier” to follow:
1. Drink more large cosmos.
2. Stay up late watching addictive streaming series.
3. Stay in bed in the morning playing Sudoku instead of reading a good book.
4. Spend more time (safely) with people you love.
This is far from the first time Garten has gotten real with her fans. Previously, she suggested an enormous cosmopolitan cocktail was the best way to cope as the world seemingly fell apart. “It’s always cocktail hour in a crisis!” she advised in that viral pandemic video.
Indeed, the Barefoot Contessa has long been a symbol of relaxation, complete with her own “30 Rock” cameo to fulfill Liz Lemon’s fantasies of finally getting to relax. In that daydream, Garten appeared with bruschetta and white wine.
Hi, neighbor! I’m Ina Garten. My husband Jeffrey is away, and I’ve got some bruschetta and a white white open. Why don’t you come over?
If the woman known for her comforting, foolproof recipes is going to stay up late and binge “Yellowjackets” like the rest of us mere mortals, then that’s good enough for me. I may not be hosting dinner parties in the Hamptons, but I will be putting myself and my comfort before any additional pressure to perform during this unprecedented time. How easy is that?
Simple (Ina-approved!) recipes to make at home:
- Ina Garten’s sheet pan trick will change how you make bacon
- Ina Garten has an unusual ingredient she adds to her grilled cheese sandwiches
- Ina Garten’s maple-caramel pumpkin flan is an autumnal masterpiece that’s also gluten-free