June really did bust out all over, huh? After privately whining that I missed the robust social life of my pre-Covid years, I got what I wished for…Pride. While it was very fun and nice to see friends and feel (somewhat) connected to the LGBTQ+ community of which I represent the silent B component, it was not without peril from the micro (white gay men gate-keeping queer spaces) to the macro (the American government). Nevertheless, she persisted…
Greco-Roman Summer is still in full-swing, and that manifesto I’ve been teasing all month might just be finished soon…I channeled the oracles to be the muse of my dreams all month long.
Layering necklaces. I’m bringing it back into the rotation this summer alongside my newer favorite statement chokers. There is just something so summery and light about a bare shoulder adorned by approximately 20,000 necklaces and christened by a thin hoop earring and some bangles.
Claire’s. Okay girls (gender-neutral), listen up. I was a Claire’s FIEND as a child of the late 90’s, early 00’s and even turned to it in times of distress in high school (school dances, themed events, holidays, etc.). Plucked from the comforts of the mall when I moved to New York, I never dreamed I would walk the hallowed racks of a Claire’s again. I did dip my toe into the UWS location by the Museum of Natural History post-college but it didn’t have the same joie de vivre. I’m proud to say my most recent venture into the Bryant Park Claire’s was everything I could’ve dreamed of and more. I went in looking for a huge pair of disco hoops for a Studio 54 and left about a dozen accessories richer.
At the end of May, I did start taking a small dose of Lexapro (HOLD FOR APPLAUSE). Thank you, thank you, please be seated. Your standing ovation is much warranted. My anxiety was at one of its peaks post-vacation (and honestly during) so ding dong! I called up the doc and asked for help. Even the act of successfully making a phone call, which I would otherwise dread, filled me with confidence. I was really hesitant the first time my PD mentioned going on meds for anxiety because I don’t believe in just popping pills and hoping that will fix me. Along with years of therapy and big lifestyle changes that are helping my anxiety, Lexapro seems to be working.
Media Sommelier Selections:
Completed my Stranger Things rewatch, which left me feeling powerful…but at the same time, powerless? I’ve also been avidly listening to the “Streaming Things” recap podcast, which wins my award for Least Annoying Men Making Stranger Things Fan Content.
I Love That For You
Austin Butler wearing a leather jumpsuit as Elvis in Elvis. I’ve already been on a tirade about how most cis straight dudes have no style/originality/personality and seeing this jumpsuit just raised the bar even higher in a world where we apparently need to remind men to wash their butt cracks and clip their nails.
Djo, who I’ve been listening to for a while but just recently realized is actually the loml Joe Kerry. Consider my crush intensified.
“Break My Soul” radio on Spotify as a soundtrack to Hot Girl Walks
Eat to Live, Live to Eat:
Learning to heal my gut through food rather than against food. This is kind of too long to go into here but as someone who struggles with weight fluctuation and digestion issues, I’m doing a deep dive on what works for my body to keep me feeling my best. I’ve included some methods and foods below that I especially loved this last month but honorable mentions go to low-cortisol workouts like yoga and Hot Girl Walks, morning protein smoothies with lots of fruit, and other mindfulness techniques.
Snack & Glow plates: a method of healthy, fun, and easy snacking created by @glowupwith_becca on Tiktok. Every plate has three components: a protein source, something fresh, and a treat. Check her page out for lots of long-term, food-as-fuel strategies. She’s so positive and focuses more on enjoying food than restricting yourself.
Meal portioning a la @natashapershon on Tik Tok. She lost 100 lbs slowly without counting calories by following this portioning method. Breakfast is 50% protein, 50% fiber-filled carbs. Lunch is 50% vegetables, 25% carbs, and 25% protein. Dinner is 50% veg and 50% protein. I don’t follow this exactly but I do like the idea of being conscious of what goes on your plate and eating lighter as the day goes on to promote easier digestion.
Popsicles: a somewhat obvious summer classic but I refuse to go a day without one. Stand-outs include Trader Joe’s oat fudge bars (like the Fudgsicles of my youth, only way more chocolate flavor), Yasso frozen Greek yogurt bars (the mint chip is my favorite), and any fruit bar with little bits of fruit in it. But really I’ll take any popsicle I can get my soon-to-be-sticky hands on.
Kelp noodles: kinda sounds like something they would serve at the Krusty Krab, but hear me out. For a Hugh Mungo serving (12 oz), they boast 18 calories, a neutral taste, and all the nutrients that come from eating sea plants like calcium, vitamin K, iodine, and iron. What the packaging doesn’t tell you is that you absolutely have to soften these with a baking soda + water soak before rinsing and adding to your dish of choice. Some people also recommended adding lemon juice to the soak but I didn’t have any and found it unnecessary. Without this soak, the noodles stay rubbery. Post-soak, they’re super silky like glass noodles. I prepared them with tofu and a peanut sauce.
One of my coworkers recently told me he’s been going to the beach every Saturday and I felt very inspired by this man’s bravery. Being at the beach a lot is something I always envision as a central component of my summer dream life but felt impossible to achieve without millions of dollars to buy a summer home. While making the sweaty trek to Riis for day trips via public transportation is not exactly summering in the Hamptons, it’s better than nothing. The fact is, we live in a capitalist hellscape and certain luxuries we fantasize about may or may not ever become reality in our lives. Why wait to have it all (whatever that means) when you could have a slice of joy right now?