The Daily Beet

05 Dec Transitions: Jenna Gigliotti

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Fall Transitions: A Season of Change

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(featuring: Craig Tuller — photo credit: Tara Kemp)


As I start to type this it is not even 5pm and starting to get dark outside already.  Fall is my favorite season of the year (the beauty of the changing leaves and pumpkin-everything being only two of the many reasons why), except for how early it gets dark outside.  This year, however, as I think about the recent daylight savings time change and the transition to fall and eventually winter, I have not only taken stock of the beautiful changing world around me, but have also started thinking more about my personal life as well.  The major uncontrollable seasonal change happening around us can also be representative of changes in our own lives.

Winter (especially in the northeast) is bitterly cold and barren.  It is a time where things externally die off, the trees become bare, and animals go into hibernation.  However, rather than internalizing this death and negativity, this external process can be a powerful symbol for our own lives.  It presents a time to constructively sever things off that are not serving us and that are preventing us from being whole and well (physically, mentally, and spiritually).  We can take this season to evaluate unhealthy relationships (with food or people), harmful habits, destructive thoughts, etc. that are negatively impacting our lives.  Much like I love to sit in front of a crackling fire in these cold months, now is a time to kindle the real, true you and let your bare limbs and raw core shine through.

(Catskills, NY — photo credit: Nicholas Gigliotti)

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It is important to realize that this change is happening, so as to not fight against it.  Rather, feed off of the changing world around you and work with it to become a better version of yourself.  Take this season of change internally with intention.  By no means am I saying this is easy — it is not.  But it is important to honor yourself and nurture the core of who you are.  Self-reflection is a challenging, yet fulfilling action for each of us to do.

It is easy to feel like we are victims of change or as if we are the only ones going through certain changes, but this change (both happening around us and within us) is a shared and collective experience.  You are not alone out there.  Just as we are all experiencing the change to fall and winter, so too can we all experience a deeply meditative, internal change for the better.

While this post has mainly been about food for your soul, I don’t know about you but all I want lately is a steaming hot bowl of food on these dark, cold, reflective nights.  Oatmeal, soups, stews, and hot green tea are staples for me these days.  So in addition to the soulful and reflective message, I wanted to end with a bonus soup recipe I recently created.  Stay warm and be well my friends!

Health & Happiness,


(ps. I apologize for not writing in such a long time!  I have gotten caught up in the crazy busyness of life.  I hope to be able to start posting more often though!)

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(Woodstock, VT — photo credit: Nicholas Gigliotti)


Red Curry Soup

1 onion, chopped

1 eggplant, chopped

1 zucchini, chopped (I’ve also made this with a head of chopped cauliflower instead of zucchini)

1 small container mushrooms, chopped

2-3 cloves garlic, minced

1 red pepper, chopped

1 small bunch kale, stems removed and roughly chopped

1 can each chickpeas & kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 can pumpkin puree

3-4 cups water or vegetable broth, depending how thick you like your soup (check out this easy recipe on how to make your own vegetable broth!)

2-3 tbsp red curry paste (make sure to use a vegan version with no fish! I use the Thai Kitchen brand)

2 tsp turmeric

freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 avocado, diced

In a large stock pot, sauté all the vegetables in a little bit of water or vegetable broth.  Once softened, add the kale, beans, pumpkin, and water/broth and mix well.  Add the spices to taste and bring to a boil, then simmer for 5-10 minutes to allow the flavors to blend and the kale to wilt.  Stir in the avocado and let heat through for another 2-3 minutes.  Serve over quinoa.

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The College Greens
The College Greens

The College Greens: Tara, Jenna, and Craig. Tara is a junior at Bucknell University, currently majoring in Education and minoring in Creative Writing, and planning to do a nutrition program upon graduation. Jenna is a sophomore attending Duquesne University, and she is studying to become a Physician Assistant. Both Tara and Jenna are certified in Plant-Based Nutrition through Dr.Campbell's eCornell program. Craig is a senior at Bucknell University. He is majoring in Chemistry and minoring in English, and is planning to go to medical school to become a pediatrician, where he hopes to incorporate lifestyle medicine in his practice.

  • Tara :)
    Posted at 09:52h, 05 December

    Jenna Gigliotti is a beautiful human being <3 This post is so great–such an important message. And I can't wait to try this soup sometime soon!! 🙂

  • Leah
    Posted at 10:52h, 05 December

    Beautiful post Jenna. Thank you. Also the soup looks delicious, thanks for the recipe!

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