By Danielle French

Mindful eating

Thinking about my eating habits

I’ve been a little more mindful about my eating habits of late. If I really think about it, I’ve always been a nutrition first cook. In fact I started South Pond with food in mind, starting a garden and eating and cooking what I grew and could source around me and then, creating menus for guests. So this isn’t anything new. But here I am, it’s a bit later in life, and I’m thinking more and more about…I hate to say it…but getting old.

I’m very much focused on moving around more, being fit, making better choices. What does being mindful exactly mean? For me it’s making more thoughtful decisions on all fronts. For example – do I need a glass of wine today or would cranberry and soda suffice. Would it be nicer to have a variety of vegetables, fresh herbs, lighter dressing and a side of protein? Shawn on the other hand, is very much a meat and potatoes kind of guy. Over the years, he has really turned the corner on food and is incredibly open minded to trying most things I cook. That doesn’t mean he loves everything but he will try it.

Farmers markets

Now that we are in town without a garden, I rely on the farmers market in the summer, local butchers and I shop differently. I think about what to make, where to buy ingredients, what I really need and how not to waste as much. I cook every day and shop every two days, sometimes three. I organize meals for the week but for certain things – proteins in particular, I might go and pick up what I need that day. It is much different than on the farm living further out, I used my freezer a lot more than I do now.

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When Aubrey Rose was home during covid, we started making bowls together. Bowls of all kinds of different things and toppings, condiments whatever we had around. Shawn got into them too. I made this one the other night and it was so simple and delicious. Aubrey now has her own place and says she makes them all the time.


Strawberry bowl. This makes a lovely lunch or summer dinner. 

I usually have one of these as a base: brown rice, buckwheat (soba) noodles, rice noodles, pot barley. Try your own toppings out. I’m sure you will love it as much as we do.

I used buckwheat and rice noodles in this one because I had leftovers of each and not enough of each to make more than one serving. I would probably choose one or the other. 

Toss the noodles into boiling water, turn off the heat and let sit for 4-5 minutes. Drain and toss with two teaspoons of sesame oil and 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar. 


There are so many options, tofu, cabbage, carrots, onions, really any vegetable or protein. In this one I used Shrimp –  8 for two of us, peeled and set into a healthy squeeze of lemon juice

Lemon juice or lime juice

Fresh chopped garlic (1 clove)
Dry chili flakes – optional
2 tablespoons of hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons of tamari
Handful of spinach
A few green onions sliced lengthwise
1 cup of strawberries
A sprinkle of sesame seeds

In a skillet – heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and add the shrimp dried on kitchen towel before adding to the oil. 

Stir on medium heat for a few minutes until the shrimps are pink. Add the garlic, green onions, chili pepper and stir for 30 seconds. Add the hoisin and sauce sauce – stir for a few minutes and then fold in the spinach. Turn off the heat. 


Distribute the noodles into bowls and add the spinach/shrimp mixture. Add the strawberries, avocado and sprinkle with sesame seeds. 

Serve warm or room temperature. 


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