Weekend Reading, 1.19.14
January 19, 2014

Weekend Reading | The Full Helping

So happy that the “12 finds” idea appeals to you guys — I’ll certainly be making it a regular feature from now on. Thanks for your comments!

And here we are, just in time for some weekend reading.


To start with, Laura–who writes the marvelous blog The First Mess–has created a vegan fennel and mushroom pate for Food52. What?! Sign me up immediately.

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Meanwhile, Emma, who writes the adorably titled My Darling Lemon Thyme, has a roasted cauliflower, chickpea, and quinoa salad with jalapeno lime dressing that is the very definition of a meal sized salad. Yum.


Another Emma–the lovely Emma behind Coconut & Berries–is making my mouth water with her super sauerkraut slaw.


If you’re already compiling a SuperBowl menu, I recommend checking out Maria’s vegetarian quinoa chili, which looks hearty and full of texture.


And since Superbowl parties are all about finger food, consider Meg’s beautiful and healthy miso and red curry glazed delicata squash fries.

If you guys can handle an honorary link, then listen up: this week I was delighted to share a recipe on my friend Jackie’s site, Vegan Yack Attack. Jackie is an incredible photographer and blogger, a really cool person, and a compassionate, inspiring force in the vegan community. I was delighted to be her guest, and the salad I shared was (I hope) worthy of the honor.


It’s a raw kale salad with olives, fennel and orange, and it’s a beauty. Check it out.


1. Apparently, Google has unveiled a smart contact lens that allows diabetics to monitor their blood glucose levels. So. Cool. It doesn’t seem to be the first attempt at such a device (tears are actually a very good indicator of glucose levels) but this may be the one that can take off.

2. Since I mentioned new findings on multivitamins recently, I thought I’d share this post, which tackles not only multivitamins, but the issue of fraudulent labeling of other sorts of supplements as well. It’s impassioned, but it’s also comprehensive and clearly well researched, and I found it interesting to read.

3. On the topic of health, and medicines, the FDA has asked health professionals to stop prescribing high dose acetaminophen (which is the active ingredient in Tylenol). Read the LA Times’ coverage here. It’s also worth reading these five facts about the drug (which does not present the same risks in low doses) via CNN.

4. Switching gears, my friend Abby wrote a really interesting article about body image and body shaming from the perspective of someone who is underweight (not by choice, but rather due to a constellation of struggles she’d very gladly put behind her, and works actively to manage). While a great deal of my own writing about/focus on body shaming focuses on the shaming of bodies that are regarded as overweight, I believe that any kind of thoughtless body commentary is inappropriate and potentially destructive to the people who have to hear it. Abby brings up that oh-so-common phrase–“real women have curves”–to boldly remind us that, whatever it is that defines a “real woman,” it is no particular sort of shape or form. The comments she got were interesting, and I thought my readers would want to check them out.

5. Another one of my favorite women, the lovely Sarma, has written an article about New Year’s Resolutions that practically had me standing up and cheering. Resolution fervor may have died down a bit, but so far as I can see popular culture is still brimming with the guilt and self-loathing that too often comes hand-in-hand with January goal setting. So, go and read this, whether you’re feeling icky about resolutions or not. Sarma has always been an inspiration to me when it comes to a balanced, realistic, and wise approach to body image and eating, but this post demonstrates tremendous, ongoing growth. A favorite quote:

…I’ve finally learned that the most destructive part of all is that pressure you put on yourself. The extra slice of cake you ate isn’t going to make much difference at all. The self-hating over it will.


Speaking of expressions, one of my least favorite is “getting back on track” … blah! Again, do you really want to live your life perfectly “on track” all the time? And then berate yourself if you go “off track”? It’s too rigid and doesn’t allow for much fun. If you step “off track” it implies you’ve messed up, and that there’s something wrong about what you’ve done that needs correcting. If you go “off track” then you’ve been… bad? Hell no.

I don’t have much to say to that, except “yes.” I’ve been thinking a lot about these things lately (the idea of perfection, and the aspiration to be disciplined, and how badly they cut into pleasure), and I couldn’t agree more. Sarma closes by sharing a fabulous quote from newly elected vegetarian Senator Cory Booker, which apparently made its way to Twitter:

Only loving your body when it is perfectly fit is like only loving your children when they are perfectly behaved. #BeGentleOnYourself

I’ll add my own admiration of that sentiment to Sarma’s, and give all my agreement to the words she closes with: “So, if anything, make a resolution to be kinder to yourself. And carry on.”

Carry on, friends. And goodnight.


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  1. Thanks for the good reading ideas. It really “hit the spot.” I have been thinking about New Years resolutions and life changes in general. Sarma’s article really made me wonder — why is it that some people learn about the vegan way of eating, it resonates with them and they start living it immediately and permanently, while other people learn about it, love it, decide to live it and then struggle and struggle and struggle. Have you ever thought about this or written anything on the subject? I would love to hear your wisdom!

  2. Those delicate squash fries look and sound amazing; can’t wait to try them!

  3. I had the very same stand up and cheer reaction to Sarma’s blog post. I appreciated very much the quotes you’ve already highlighted, and I am constantly giving the same advice whenever I hear someone saying, “I shouldn’t have eaten that.” I guess I resonated most deeply with her advice not to make “resolutions” around health and nutrition, but instead, to start looking at all those choices in the bigger context of the environment, animal welfare, the global economy, etc., and to make the food choices that support a larger vision. So that health and wellness and weight loss (or weight gain as the case may be) are not goals in and of themselves but by-products of living in alignment with one’s values. How cool.

    • Yes, Elizabeth, I failed to mention Sarma’s perspective on food as being part of a complex web, but I thought that was beautiful, too (and some of what I try to touch on with Green Recovery, when I can). Thanks for your thoughts.

  4. All the food looks amazing, but anything you pick out is bound to be a winner. What I took away from this post is all the way at the end, about being kinder to ourselves. That’s something I seriously need to work on. I beat myself up all the time, over everything. It’s a constant struggle for me to let go of things. Why is it so much easier to berate ourselves than it is to move on? I think we all deserve to be treated better than we treat ourselves. 🙂

    • I struggle in the same way, Jenni — I think a lot of CR readers do. Glad you can talk about it, and yes — do try to be kinder to yourself! <3

  5. Super picks as per usual. Drooling over all those recipes (thanks for including mine!) and loved your salad feature on Vegan Yack Attack.

  6. I’m hearing more and more each year that people are choosing to give up the resolutions. I personally think this is one of the best thing people can do.
    Love your recommended reads. Xx

  7. delicata squash is my favorite of all the squashes so i’ll be making that pronto! also, i hope this lens does hold more promise. several years ago, i worked for the jdrf and we did a LOT of development and testing on eye drops to perfuse over the eye etc for measurement and administration of insulin. while this is a reading of glucose, i think it would definitely improve the logistics of tracking levels for the patient. it’s crazy to think how far diabetes research has come in just over a decade! you used to have to measure by urine the levels before portable blood monitors became widespread…what a PITA!

    • I hope the technology ends up improving folks’ lives, Melissa! So cool you’ve seen it firsthand.

  8. Great selection, as always! I think I might need to make every single one of those recipes!

  9. All of these reads and recipes are fantastic! I especially enjoyed Abby’s article about body image and body shaming. As an aside, she is hilarious; she manages to effortlessly infuse humor into any serious topic. Plus, “real women have compassion” is going to be my new motto, thanks to her.

  10. I really love this post, it includes various things to pump up the brain. Thanks! I appreciate the inspiration to add some more vegetarian items to my daily intake. Have been a fan of Sarma for years, when I first discovered what “raw” even meant. Going to read her article now. Glad I stumbled onto your blog!

  11. Cheers for the shout out! That salad is one of my all time favorites 🙂

  12. Thank you so much for including my post Gena. I think it’s a discussion that usually gets eye rolls from people as they add the, “I wish I had your problem” tagline that is equally frustrating, but the comments were rather supportive. It just proves we all have our own issues.

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