Living mindfully through COVID-19 with Caralee Fontenele

Nourishing You is the title of Caralee Fontenele’s latest cookbook. She is also a good friend of Good. She shares her tips for living mindfully through COVID-19; plus her delicious Zucchini Bread recipe from her new book!

Right now, as we all are social distancing and in lockdown to stay safe, life seems to feel crazier and more stressful than usual. The effects of COVID-19 has become extremely overwhelming for many from both a health and financial perspective.

There seems to be so much uncertainty and we have little control over what is happening, so now more than ever we need to create healthy habits that will keep us mentally and physically well.

Even in our everyday lives, we are all so busy juggling our stressful lives, so in this pandemic, we need to ensure we practice the sacred act of nurturing ourselves so we can, in turn, take care of the people that we love.  

To protect our wellbeing throughout in these hard times, it is important to balance obligations and stress with thoughtful nutrition, sleep, meditation, enjoyable movement, connecting with nature, laughter and having fun.

Thinking back to our grandparent’s generation, a time without the environment and toxicity that we have today, we need to get back to the basics and become simpler in the way that we live.

Practising social distancing or isolation is an opportunity to nurture yourself by getting back to the basics of life and creating new healthy habits to support your physical and mental health now and into the future.

It is cliché but true, that we cannot pour from an empty cup.

My five tips for living mindfully at this time

Healthy Mindset – Maintaining a healthy mindset is essential living well. A healthy mindset involves finding ways to grow from your thoughts instead of letting your thoughts control your life. It is a journey and a practice that takes time to learn and make a habit, however, it’s important now more than ever to practice having a healthy mindset. This may include focusing on positive information, reading or listening to a book that you haven’t had the chance to get to or tuning into your favourite uplifting podcast, like mine, The Law of Living Well. For some people it’s even just writing in a journal, mapping out plan or goals and creating a list of what you are grateful for.

Daily Movement – During this time when gyms are closed, it’s an opportunity to connect with nature through daily movement. If you cannot get outside, do an online yoga class, hop on your old exercise equipment or do dance on YouTube.

Surround yourself with a supportive network – This is key to your wellness, especially when you are overwhelmed, stressed or anxious. Your network could be the people you know in person and connect with online throughout distancing or groups you are already a part of online. You become who you spend time with as we are all energy. If you subject yourself to people who are negative, insecure or destructive, it will affect your wellness. While in lockdown follow people and join online groups that are supportive and uplifting and delete those that are not.

Eat real food like our grandparents used to eat – Food can either help us or hinder us. More than ever we need to be eating healthy, real food. Our energy levels, heart health, moods, weight, immune system, skin, gut health and how we feel depends on how we feed and fuel ourselves. Real food ingredients can also help to alleviate stress. My website www.caraleefontenele.com is filled with loads of recipe ideas using back to basics ingredients.

Rest and recovery – This stressful time is only made worse by all the information that is at our fingertips – on our phones, computers or TVs. Avoid being all-consumed by it, turn off the TV or Facebook so you have space to recover from the constant upsetting and alarming information. It becomes addictive, wanting to check and scroll through your news feed, but it’s terrible for your wellbeing and cultivates anxiety, so take a break. Do something fun that you enjoy instead, such as playing games, cooking, sitting by a fire pit or simply laying on the grass.

Caralee’s Zucchini Bread from her cookbook Nourishing You.


2 zucchinis, grated

1 tablespoon sea salt

1 cup almond meal

½ cup arrowroot

1 teaspoon baking soda

3 eggs

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon sea salt to serve

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and prepare a loaf tin by lining it with baking paper. Grate the zucchini onto a chopping board. Sprinkle with the salt and allow to sit for ten minutes so that the moisture is drawn out of the zucchini. With your hands, squeeze all the liquid out of the zucchini and remove the majority of the salt as you do this. If you don’t do this step, the moisture from the zucchini will make your loaf soggy. In a large bowl, combine the almond meal, arrowroot and baking soda. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, apple cider vinegar and olive oil together, then add these to the dry ingredients. Fold the zucchini through the batter and pour the mixture into the loaf tin. Sprinkle with the extra sea salt and place in the oven to bake for 25 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Serve fresh or slice and place in the freezer so that you can use the bread during the week.

This bread is perfect to have by itself, topped with tomatoes or with poached eggs. It is packed full of greens and protein, so you will feel full and satisfied until lunch. This bread is very simple and can be made with no fuss.

Preparation 15 minutes—Cooking time 20 minutes—Makes 8 slices

Nourishing You by Caralee Fontenele, photography by Jo Anderson, $39.99, distributed by Bateman Books. Release date to be confirmed.
Pre-order Nourishing You here.

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