I’d first like to start off by saying I hope you and your families are all safe and well. It’s been hard to wrap my head around our current situation, but I have found some ways to help myself stay positive and healthy.
For starters: going outside! Especially with the weather being nicer where I live, I think I’ve spent more time outside than inside. I do appreciate the extra time I have these days to go on runs and hikes. If you’re looking for a quick fix to feel better, the sun is your friend! I also have some online school work which helps keep me busy and on a schedule. When I’m not on a run or studying for my classes, it’s been fun to find new places around my area that I’ve never noticed before. Being on foot and paying more attention has shown me that there are a lot more places to see and explore than I thought. Although it would be more fun to explore with my friends, I’ve been telling them about the places I’ve found so we can go together when we can see each other again.
I miss my friends and school a lot (Facetime and Zoom just aren’t the same), but the extra family time has been fun. We’ve spent many hours playing games, cooking/baking, and going on walks (so many walks!). Our family game night favorites are Uno, Telestrations, and Euchre. I think it’s safe to say we’re all baking and cooking a lot these days, I know I have… another reason why I’ve been going on more runs! My favorite are Apple Cinnamon Swirl Muffins (gluten free, of course). I will put the recipe below!
My friends started leaving gifts on each others’ door steps with notes as something fun to do. It’s nice to appreciate the little things during such a crazy time. Birthday parades by lining up in our cars down the street with posters and balloons have been a great way to wish friends a happy birthday from afar.
Overall, one thing our current situation has taught me is to not take anything I have for granted: friends, places, family out of town. I hope you can leave here with a couple more ideas to stay busy doing something fun. Staying positive is the most important thing we can do right now, we’re all in this together!
Gluten Free Apple Cinnamon Swirl Muffins:
1 Box GF plain muffin mix
1-2 apples – diced
1 stick of butter
¼ cup cinnamon
½ cup brown sugar
- Heat oven to 350º or as directed on the muffin box
- Prepare muffin mix as directed, then mix in the chopped apples.
- Melt butter in a bowl and mix in cinnamon and brown sugar to make a crumbly paste.
- Line muffin pan with paper cups, fill cups, leaving some room at the top.
- Spoon cinnamon mixture over the top of muffins, a generous tablespoon each.
- Take a butter knife and press it down through the cinnamon and swirl lightly – be careful not to mix, you’re just making a swirl pattern.
- Bake for about 20 minutes or as indicated on the muffin box.
Kira Schlieman is a sophomore in high school in Silicon Valley, California. She was diagnosed with celiac disease at three years old, and has navigated the health and social challenges that come with it. Kira does not let celiac disease get in the way of doing the things that she loves, such as surfing, running, and spending time with her friends and family. Kira’s experiences with growing up celiac motivate her share them with others. She is passionate about helping people, and inspiring them to stay positive.