Welcome to The Full Helping
I’m so glad you’re here. Whether you’re looking to explore a vegan lifestyle, searching for plant-based recipes, or hoping to develop a more compassionate relationship with food, it’s my hope that this blog will have something to offer you.
Eating can be complicated, especially in this day and age. We’re all hoping to eat responsibly, healthfully, and well, but alarmism, mixed messages, and impossible standards often stand in our way. My goal in bringing you The Full Helping is to help you love your body through the experience of nourishing, plant-based food. Here you’ll find recipes that are focused on both pleasure and wellness, along with occasional musings on nutrition, self-care, and mindful living.
I believe that when we satisfy our appetites, the fullness of our lives expands. This blog is my tribute to that process.
The healing starts here. Help yourself.
About Gena (That’s Me!)
Personally speaking, I haven’t always loved food, and food hasn’t always loved me. I was hit with anorexia early in my teens, and I struggled for thirteen years after to regain balance and health.
In my early twenties, I put my weapons down and committed to making peace with the food on my plate. In working toward a lasting recovery, I became attuned to the suffering of animals within our food system and started to explore a vegan diet. Veganism allowed me to see that the act of eating could be more than a source of personal anguish or an outlet for self-control.
Eating can be a powerful means of doing good in the world–good for the body, good for the planet, and good for our animal neighbors.
Becoming vegan was also my introduction to the joys of cooking, which I began to explore in my tiny, postage-stamp-sized New York City kitchen. Cooking didn’t come easily to me at first. I didn’t grow up in the kitchen, and my eating disorder had broken my connection with food. In many ways, cooking was everything I feared: it was unpredictable and messy, pitted with trial and error. It demanded humor and patience, and it left me little room for rigidity.
Over time, though, and in spite of my initial misgivings, I came to embrace the cooking process. In learning to celebrate its imperfections, I began to forgive my own. My mind began to find quiet in the rhythms of chopping, stirring, and experimenting. The rituals of touching and selecting ingredients began taking over where resistance once lived, and perfectionism slipped away. I was scared at first – the identity I’d constructed in honor of restriction was shifting dramatically – but I kept going
As anyone who has healed from an eating disorder can attest, it is anything but a linear process. My early years as a vegan were still marked by food fears and alarmism – the tendency we sometimes call orthorexia – and I hadn’t yet learned how to embrace food as a form of pleasure, rather than a nutritional prescription. In its early days, this blog was focused on raw foods and detoxification, an emphasis that I’ve left behind as I grow into a more soulful, grounding experience with food.
Nowadays, I eat to live and I live to eat. I celebrate the nourishing properties of my meals, but I also create recipes with a sense of fun, an awareness that not every ingredient needs to serve a nutritional purpose.
The Full Helping was born in and out of a desire to celebrate food and its many gifts. It began as an online recipe box, but it has become so much more. Nowadays, this blog serves as a chronicle of my evolution with food, as well as a celebration of the meals that have helped me to heal.
This blog is also a community. I welcome readers to share their own observations and stories surrounding food. The Green Recovery series highlights ED recovery stories that intersect with veganism. My weekend reading posts highlight articles that touch on health, wellness, and animal rights. It’s my goal to provide a safe space for informed and respectful discussion, and I work to keep the blog free of nutrition dogma or alarmism.
It’s my hope that this online space will give you permission to celebrate your appetites, one recipe at a time.
To a life in full,