The Best Recipes, Workouts And Other Hacks We Tried This Week (March 16-20)

Our editors share what's keeping them calm, productive and entertained during coronavirus social distancing.

There’s no “right” way to navigate this coronavirus pandemic; everyone lives and copes differently. That being said, fostering a sense of community may make getting through this time a little bit easier.

Enter this weekly guide. Every Sunday, we’ll bring you a short list of products, routines, workouts, recipes, apps or other things we tried the previous week that are making life easier during this universally stressful time. Take a look at this week’s suggestions below:

Routine recommendations


Words cannot begin to express how grateful I am for my therapist right now. You don’t need to be in crisis to benefit from talking to a mental health professional. Social distancing and quarantine will have emotional impacts on everyone. I’m so glad to have a space where I can freely talk about how all of this is affecting me (being a health editor in the time of coronavirus ― not easy!) and get solid advice. I’ve left my sessions feeling slightly lighter than when we started. ―Lindsay Holmes, senior wellness editor

Therapy has really helped prepare me for this. There was a time in my life where the thought of this much time alone with my own thoughts would have sent me into a tailspin, but as it stands I am comfortable and confident that I am enough, and the introspection can be looked at in a positive way. I have a ton of anxiety about my loved ones and about the people most vulnerable to the outbreak, but spinning my perspective has really helped me. ―Jamie Feldman, lifestyle and personal reporter

Making family time an appointment

My family is juggling this whole new reality of work-at-home and school-at-home and family time-at-home and everything-at-home, and all the lines are blurring together much more than usual. So I’m trying to set aside time where there’s no work, just me and my 5-year-old, when we can catch up and hear about what’s on each other’s minds. I’ve found that adding a 30- or 45-minute window in the middle of my workday and putting it on the calendar forces me to take a break and lets my colleagues know I’m busy, so I can step away from the computer and connect with my daughter. She needs me as much as work does now, after all. ―Kate Palmer, head of HuffPost Life

Reading before bed

I read as soon as I get into bed. I feel like I’m on information overdrive all day, it’s nice to take a non-screen moment at the end of these long days. ―Kate Auletta, senior editor, Culture & Parenting

Recipe recommendations

Arx0nt via Getty Images

An easy morning smoothie with kitchen staples

Making smoothies with frozen fruit and oatmeal has been a great way for me to eat my fruit without worrying if they’re going to expire. One less anxiety! Here’s a quick recipe:

  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup of frozen fruits of your choice. Frozen cherries taste amazing because they’re naturally sweet! I love them best, but have been making it work with frozen strawberries and blueberries.
  • 1 cup of oatmeal. If you soak the oats overnight in water, the smoothie is smoother. But if you forget, like I often do, it will still taste good if you soak them for at least 10 minutes in water.
  • 1 cup of oat milk. Any other kind of milk will work here too, or water (though it is creamier with some sort of plant or dairy milk).
  • 1 banana. The days I don’t have a banana, my smoothie is less tasty — but I make do and you can too!
  • 1 spoonful of peanut butter. Dates are another optional add-in for sweetness.

―Monica Torres, work/life reporter

A simple and soothing pasta dish

My mom has made this recipe from “The Greens Cook Book” ever since I was a kid, especially for birthdays, special occasions or when I’m feeling down. It reminds me of being home with my family, so it’s been my go-to recipe when I need some comfort. I love the combination of flavors, and it’s pretty simple and quick to make. The only ingredients are cherry tomatoes, shallots, garlic, olive oil, Italian parsley, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper and cockscombs pasta (though you could use any other shape). ―Sarah Kenien, audience editor

Workout recommendations

Interval training over FaceTime

This week I did a workout posted by a local gym with my friend on FaceTime. We set a timer for 20 minutes and did five squats and five burpees every minute, on the minute. I was SWEATING and we got to chat in between each set, which was fun. ―Jamie Feldman

Running outside

I typically work out at the gym or do group fitness classes. But since that’s not an option right now (and I’ve been cooped up in my small apartment!), I’ve started running outside again. On Tuesday, I did a 20-minute jog, then did 22 minutes on Wednesday, 24 minutes on Thursday, etc. It was nice to get some fresh air and also have a small daily goal to work towards while building my endurance. ―Kelsey Borresen, senior lifestyle reporter

The Peloton app

I signed up for the 90-day free trial and have already done four classes. It feels kind of amazing to be in a world without coronavirus for a few minutes. ―Kate Auletta

Product recommendations

fizkes via Getty Images

An email that gives you a preview of your mail

This is a free service, but it’s worth a mention: The United States Postal Service has a program called Informed Delivery that sends you an email each morning with photos of the mail you’re going to receive later that day. I have to navigate long hallways, an elevator, a crowded lobby and a mailroom to retrieve my mail, which feels like a lot of possible exposure in this time of coronavirus. I love using Informed Delivery to know which days it’s worth the journey to the mailbox and which days I can skip the trip because there’s nothing but junk mail in my box. ―Janie Campbell, senior editor, Life

A seat cushion for your new remote workspace

Buying this Purple cushion has transformed my hard dining chair into an acceptable office chair. I recommend it for those of us using our kitchen tables and living rooms as home offices right now. ―Monica Torres

A selection of teas for your afternoon break

I ordered a lot of tea from In Pursuit Of Tea, a small business my friend runs. It’s in danger of closing imminently, and they need all the support they can get (plus, it’s the most delicious tea). I’ve also been using fancy teacups in the afternoon while I work. It’s just a tiny stupid thing, but it feels like a treat compared to the recyclable paper cups we drank from at the office. ―Kristen Aiken, senior editor, Food & Style