How Mindy Kaling Mastered Quarantine Wellness With Face Masks, Smoothies, and Canned Soup

Photo: Provided; Art: W+G Creative
For many folks, productivity in 2020 peaked at baking banana bread or reorganizing their leggings drawer. (We all get a free pass this year, okay!) But somehow despite the challenges of this year, Mindy Kaling has been...really, really busy.

For one, she had a baby—her second child, Spencer, was born on September 3. Earlier this month it was also announced that Kaling is co-writing a new show for HBO Max, The Sex Lives of College Girls. "The reason why I wanted to do a show set in college about sex lives is that it's when a lot of people are starting their sex lives," Kaling says. "There's so much anxiety about sex and our bodies during this time that I thought it would be really fun and empowering to talk about it with four loveable, relatable characters. It's also ironic that a girl who had no sex in college is writing a show about it."

But besides gifting the world with something new to watch during quarantine, Kaling says she's also been able to focus more on wellness during the pandemic. "A silver lining of the pandemic is that I haven't been able to leave my house, so I've been confronted with myself a lot," she tells me over a Zoom call set up by Campbell's Well Yes! soups, which Kaling is also the new face of. (Seriously, she's been busy.)

"Before, when I was on set a lot or busy with other things, I wasn't able to focus on myself as much," she says. While she says her days now revolve around her newborn, Kaling says before he was born she settled into a nice, quarantine morning routine working out and then making a green smoothie for breakfast afterward. "I like getting that hit of endorphins first thing in the morning," she says.

While her mornings may be all about fitness, Kaling says her evenings are more beauty-focused. "I started doing a mask every night," she says. "You know those masks that look like you're a creepy murderer? I do one of those, like, every night."

And just like everyone else, Kaling has been spending more time cooking at home too. "I'm definitely not one of those celebrities who has this incredibly polished cooking life, but I have about five or six dishes that I love to make," she says. Salmon is one of her current favorites. "It's something easy to cook that I've mastered and my two-year-old daughter really loves it too," she says.

Kaling has a little trick for making her salmon taste really, really good: Marinating it all day so it soaks up the herbs. "I marinate it for eight hours, poking holes in the fish so the juice really seeps in there," she says. Kaling says the other secret to perfecting fish is not to overcook it. "Especially with salmon, I like it nice and pink in the middle," she says.

For nights when she isn't able to plan ahead, Kaling says she truly does turn to Well Yes! soups for an easy dinner. "I make a mean grilled cheese, which I pair with the tomato and sweet basil soup," she says, adding that the butternut squash and sweet potato flavor is another one of her favorites.

"I also bought an air fryer," she says. As if she couldn't get any more relatable.

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