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Remedy  •  22 February 2021  •  Non-Fiction

The Glories of the Gym and Nigella Lawson

By Tania Koeferl

Tania Koeferl on her surprising newfound interests during 2020, interviewed by Mauli Fernando.

In a year of disruption and turbulence, many have found solace in unexpected forms, whether that be through self-care or new hobbies. Tania Koeferl, a Design Student, is no exception to this trend, recalling that her younger self would be horrified at what becomes of her in 2020.

“Growing up, the only person I knew that watched cooking shows for enjoyment was my grandma.” Tania writes, “I couldn’t understand what you could get out of watching someone else narrate what they were cooking and eating.” However, recently, Tania says that she can see why it would be enjoyable. The immersion into the serenity of the soft jazz music coupled with the captivating glaze of drizzling chocolate and high calorie desserts, can be like meditation for those up late watching reruns on TV, which she would like to personally thank SBS for. 

When asked if she has attempted any of Nigella’s recipes, Tania says that she much prefers to leave the cooking to the professionals, but she has attempted a Peach Melba, a poached peach dish originating from late 19th century France.

“Supposedly, it was pretty good, pretty ace. At least to my friend,” says Tania.

Alongside Nigella, Tania loves a few different cooking channels, including Nino’s Home, a Vietnamese cooking show, filmed with minimal background noise to really encourage immersion in the ASMR experience. 

Tania has also found love in the form of cheesy pop song covers and Fluro-clad activewear, though she was no stranger to the high-energy world of the popular workout phenomenon. Having a mother who dabbled as a Zumba instructor, Tania begrudgingly recalls being used with her sister and Dad as ‘guinea pigs’ for practice classes. But as with many things, you don’t learn to appreciate them until they are gone.  

“Nothing like throwing a medicine ball at a wall for instant stress relief! As for the Zumba — the cheesy, cringe factor hasn’t gone away actually. But that’s what makes it great, being silly and free. Where else do you get to do a cool- down routine to “we are the champions” where you couple leg lunges with bicep curls? Try it, it’s really quite an experience!”

For someone who is intimidated by the weights section at the gym, Tania says that Zumba is a great way to get in some exercise while having fun and being engaged in an activity.

“I promise the cheesiness becomes second nature after a while,” says Tania. “And there are always classes to follow along in the comfort of your living room if that’s what you enjoy! I love doing Hip-Hop Fit, another YouTube channel, when the gyms are closed down.” Which is important in today’s world.

“I don’t really have any set routines, but I try to get a good amount of sleep and make time for relaxation and a good work-life balance,” Tania says when asked about her self-care tips this year.

It’s important to take a step back from life sometimes and find things that bring you peace, joy and serenity. For Tania, her ‘cocoon of quarantine’ has brought her a new and sweaty way of stepping back from life. Alongside late-night Nigella, she would like to continue these other activities in 2021.

“I feel like I’ve put a little cynicism aside [in 2020],” Tania says. “I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions but I would like to learn a few more recipes myself.”

Life is ever-changing, and you change along with it over a number of years. For Tania, it was going to a dumb Zumba class, stepping out of her comfort zone, and evolving from a tomato-hating, Zumba-despising ten year old, to a seasoned, dance-loving treat enthusiast. What could wait around the corner for you?

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