BodyTalk™ is CUUP’s editorial platform, but over the past year and a half, it’s grown into an IRL community: a body of women in support of a woman’s body. Our bodies (and minds and souls) could all use a little extra support right now, so we asked a few of our friends from the BodyTalk™ community how to keep healthy and sane – while practicing social distancing.
What should you be reading? We asked Molly Young, the Literary Critic for New York magazine. What should you be cooking? We asked private chef Lauren Gerrie. How can you take a better breath? We asked SKY TING co-founder Chloe Kernaghan. What should you be listening to? A lot of our friends have amazing podcasts you ought to start binging.
Molly Young, the Literary Critic for New York magazine, shared some books that will soothe and enliven your isolation (no downers – all fun!):
- Careers for Women by Joanna Scott Do not be fooled by the title, which sounds like a mandatory HR meeting. This novel is like a pink bakery box filled with firecrackers.
- Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood Imagine that the funniest person you know told you all of her weirdest secrets. That is Patricia Lockwood and the secrets are her memoir, Priestdaddy.
- The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin I've reread this every year since I was 14 and the central mystery still dazzles my neurons. Be sure to surround yourself with adequate snacks and hydration materials before starting because you will not move until you are finished.
Read Molly’s BodyTalk interview here.
For even more good reads, follow Molly on Instagram and check out her lit highlights where she’s sharing even more of her bookshelf. Happy reading!
Chloe Kernaghan is the co-founder of SKY TING, a community-driven yoga brand with a do-good-feel-good philosophy. Their NYC studios are our go-to, so in the interim, we asked Chloe to help us ground ourselves at home.
- Lie down! If you're having a tough time catching a full breath, try lying down with a couch cushion, yoga bolster, or rolled towel behind your spine and head. Legs can be extended long or folded in baddha konasana (butterfly shape).
- Contact can help! Try doing your breathwork with your hands on your body- either both on the belly to encourage diaphragmatic breathing or one hand on the heart, one hand on the belly. Touch can be super soothing for us, so especially while in isolation, don't lose your own contact!
- Keep it simple! Our favorite breath to do right now is a basic sama vritti breath or an even inhale and exhale breath. Start with a 4 count and build up to 5, 6, 7 or 8 count breaths!
Read Chloe’s BodyTalk interview here.
Then, stream SKY TING TV for pre-recorded yoga classes, meditation or breathing practices. Or tune in to their new SKY TING LIVE feature, a pay-per-view live streaming option offering 1-hour classes taught by your favorite SKY TING teachers including Chloe and co-founder Chrissy in their NYC studios. Namaste!
Lauren Gerrie is a private chef, former professional dancer, and co-founder of the creative culinary company bigLITTLE Get Together.
When we asked Lauren for a few simple at-home cooking tips, she told us that was a difficult request during a time like this – because food is so much more than a recipe. Here is Lauren’s (far more valuable advice) on how to channel joy through cooking.
Food can soothe our souls, ease our minds, and nurture our hearts.
Now that we all have the time to truly consider what we are putting into our bodies let us give ourselves the gift of consideration. Consider the food memories that instantly rise to the surface when we think of joyous times, special occasions, and private indulgences. What are the ingredients that bring delight? What are the dishes that spark intensity? Focus on those.
Think past the pint of perfect gelato, the bag of potato chips, the package of Oreos, the bar of chocolate, the bottle of wine. Ponder what your mind and body are truly craving and devote the money, time, and energy to preparing and consuming them. Whether it is an elaborate day of baking a singular loaf of bread or taking five minutes to assemble a sandwich. Treat yourself!
For me, it's RICE.
Rice is the thread that is woven through many of my favorite cuisines. It can be the backup dancer for the star of the show or it can take center stage itself. Doused in butter, tossed with herbs, spiked with spices, swimming in sauces; rice is my comfort food. As a chef for over 14 years, I know that the simplest things are the most difficult but are also the most rewarding. So, my gift is how to cook perfect rice and how to utilize not just the grain but the milk it yields.
I owe this knowledge to the incredible army behind Cook's Illustrated and America's Test Kitchen. I learned this technique, which I have shouted from the mountain tops ever since, when I first started cooking for Marc Jacobs. He, too, is a lover of rice and, in my quest to impress, I learned how to execute white rice with finesse (without a fancy rice cooker!).
Without fail, every time I make rice I think of all the people I have made it for over the years and it soothes my soul, eases my mind, and nurtures my heart.
The key to this technique is to use more water than you might imagine. I like to go with a 1-to-8 rice-to-water ratio.
- In a large pot (that has a lid) bring water to a rapid boil.
- Add your rice, stirring so that the grains do not stick to each other or to the bottom of the pot. Keep the water at a rolling boil while your rice cooks and watch it because the water will begin to bubble and might foam over as the starches are released. For white rices, like jasmine or basmati, this will take about 8 minutes. For heartier varietals, like brown or wild rice, this may take 10-15 minutes. To be safe, start testing the grain after 8 minutes and taste test each minute after until cooked through.
- Strain rice, but save all of the water in a heatproof container.
- Place the cooked rice back into the hot pot and cover it with a lid.
- Allow the rice to steam covered for 10 minutes without disruption.
- Remove the lid and gently jostle with a fork or chopsticks.
- Enjoy a delicious bowl solo – or add it to your favorite recipe.
WHAT TO DO WITH RICE MILK / RICE WATER?
The magical liquid that is left after cooking the rice with this technique has so many uses. To start, it is delicious as – hot rice tea. You can also steep a different tea within it and the luxurious mouth-feel combined with the enhanced flavor will be a simple joy that you will become addicted to. If you are into skin and hair benefits (who isn't?!), there are a lot to be gained from rice water!
SKIN: Rice water contains the nourishing antioxidant ferulic acid – as well as allantoin, an organic compound that helps soothe and heal skin.
HAIR: Rice water contains inositol, a carbohydrate that helps strengthen your hair and reduces surface friction.
You can read Lauren’s BodyTalk interview here.
Our BodyTalk community is bursting with creativity – during normal and not-so-normal times. Looking for podcasts, workshops or online classes? Tune in to some of these in the coming weeks.
PODCASTS & STORYTELLING PLATFORMS
- Remy Kassimir explores the art of the female orgasm on her podcast How Cum. For extra laughs, we’re following Remy on Instagram where she has been hosting IG Live comedy shows with other comics around the country. Venmo to support their funny efforts to bring people together. You can read Remy’s BodyTalk interview here.
- Bryony Cole explores the evolving worlds of sex and tech on her podcast The Future of Sex. From pleasure products to fertility tracking, sexual assault reporting to erasing stigma, she’s talking about it all. You can read Byrony’s BodyTalk interview here.
- Looking for some pleasure inspiration? Aurore is a sex-positive magazine offering literary erotica, founded by our friend Carly Pfifer. You can read Carly’s BodyTalk interview here.
COMMUNITY WORKSHOPS & CLASSES
- Lauren Gerrie (you read her joyful cooking tips above!) usually hosts a pure-joy, all-levels dance class in New York City called MOVES. While we can’t move together in the studio right now, Lauren and Marissa are hosting IG Live dance classes to keep people moving in their living rooms. Follow along, tune in and get your body moving.
- Lauren Bille is the co-founder of All Bodies (formerly known as cycles + sex), an online educational platform that gives you the tools to listen to, understand and best advocate for your body. AllBodies is offering modern health classes that you can attend from your couch. If you’re looking for a good way to fill your time, consider catching up on the sex education most of us missed. You can read Lauren’s BodyTalk interview here.
- Last but not least, if you’re trying to stay healthy while WFH, Plantable has you covered with delicious and nourishing meals delivered straight to your doorstep. Founded by our friend Dr. Nadja Pinnavaia, Plantable takes a scientific approach to feeling really amazing, inside and out. You can sign up for their full program – or order delicious, plant-based meals a la carte! Then, read Dr. Nadja’s BodyTalk interview here and her tips for feeling great here.
We hope all of this keeps all of you busy, healthy and inspired during unprecedented times.
We Support You.
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