Weekend Reading
November 24, 2019

Weekend Reading | The Full Helping

I’m writing this post as I make my way home from a faraway place. I’ll be sharing more about the trip next weekend. For now, I’ll say that this experience has made me grateful on two fronts: grateful for the opportunity to leave home and explore a different part of the world, and grateful to be coming back.

It’s the gratitude for home I want to focus on today. Last week, I wrote about my exercise in journaling about things that make me happy. It was so illuminating to realize how small and quotidian these things are. And how lucky I am, really, that happiness can and does reside in things, habits, and relationships that are nearly always within my reach. The next time I find myself believing that I need something I don’t have in order to be happy, I’ll remember it.

My feelings as I travel home today echo much of what last week’s post said, except they’re more heartfelt because I’ve been gone for seven days. I’ve never felt more grateful for my little apartment, the street I live on, the coffee shops in my neighborhood, the food in my fridge and my freezer. I’m grateful for the fact that my mom lives thirteen blocks away and that I have friends all over the country whom I love with all my heart. I’m grateful for my yoga studios, which give me a sacred space and a spiritual community. I’m grateful for everyone who’s reading this post.

It’s been tricky since my internship ended. I’ve had to adjust to more time, more freedom, more choices about what I’m doing and where life is going. The freedom and autonomy sound enviable, and of course they are, but they can be scary, too.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how each one of my anorexia relapses growing up came at a time when a big life transition occurred or was on the horizon: the end of middle school, the end of college, the end of my first real relationship. I don’t have the demon of relapse nipping at my heels anymore, but I do have depression and anxiety, which are related demons. I wish I had an easier time with change and the opportunity for self-reinvention and growth that it brings. But lack of structure, and changes to the structure I’m used to, will probably always be hard for me.

This is, I realize, why daily joys are so important. Life really is uncertain, and everything is always changing. The so-called “little things” are what’s constant and reliable. They can be a powerful way of staying oriented, grounded, and grateful in the face of impermanence.

I take my life and all of its joys and privileges and gifts for granted far too often. I try not to, but I do. Maybe that’s just human nature. I know that I’ll always have moments or even whole periods of time when perspective gets lost, but when that happens, I hope I can find ways to see the big picture again. Being away from home is one powerful means of regaining perspective, and I’m so glad to be returning to New York with a fresh way of seeing things. An appreciative way of seeing things.

I appreciate all of you. Here are some recipes and reads.


I love the idea of a winter fruit salsa!

Deryn’s butternut squash bruschetta looks like a perfect holiday season appetizer.

These baked and stuffed apples have two filling options—one with nuts, one without—and they both sound delicious.

A beautiful, seasonal farro salad (farro and sweet potatoes are one of my favorite combinations, as this breakfast recipe proves!).

This will be a week of elaborate desserts, but right now these peanut butter and chocolate krispie treats are looking just about perfect.


1. I really liked these five lessons about food from RD Theresa Shank, especially number two. I always ask my clients about adverse life experiences, trauma, and stressors; they’re an integral part of the “big picture” I need to understand a person’s way of experiencing food.

2. I’m all for encouraging kids to eat wholesome foods, but I’m never a fan of forcing or pressuring. Holiday tables can be difficult places for kids.

In this New York Times article, a number of experts on childhood feeding argue that it’s OK for children to be focused on things other than food on Thanksgiving—even if that means they don’t clear their plates or eat everything on offer.

3. A new survey shows that the majority of participants’ in one town’s Meatless Monday campaign found it easy or very easy to cut back on meat. I love seeing research that underscores the richness and satisfaction of plant-based diet!

4. The incredible story of one veteran’s journey from a coma to Wheelchair Games.

5. Not an article, but I was really touched by this Instagram post from Elizabeth Gilbert, and I wanted to pass it along. It’s an ode to “the heart-aching beauty of long friendships.” Gilbert writes,

My friends and I don’t belong to each other by blood, by marriage, by law, by ceremony. We owe each other nothing. Yet we DO take care of each other in sickness and in health. Till death do we part, apparently. Because we just love each other. We just DO. We never even had to think about it. It wasn’t a decision. As my friend Martha always says: “The heart knows who it belongs to.” Today I just want to say: My heart belongs to my friends. But only always. I love you.

Reading this beautiful expression of love made me feel especially thankful for all of my friends, old and new, but especially those whom I’ve known enough to be able to say we’ve seen each other through thick and thin.

Happy Sunday, all. I have an easy chocolate-y dessert coming this week, which is low-key enough to make at the last minute for Thanksgiving if you need to!


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    No Comments

You might also like

Happy Memorial Day, to those of you who are celebrating, and happy Monday to those who aren’t. It’s gray and cold here today, but the city had sun and perfect spring temperatures yesterday, and I had the very nice treat of having my Mom over for a simple supper at my place. One of the bigger adjustments I’ve faced in this new chapter is no longer having someone to share my food with every night. It isn’t all bad, or all sad; I’ve…

Happy Sunday, friends–and happy first of May! It’s Greek Easter this weekend, which I don’t observe in a formal way, but the holiday does evoke a lot of memories. And, though I don’t have much time for cooking in the next few days, at some point I’ll have to cook up a commemorative bowl of my vegan avgolemono soup, which is my own, private way of keeping tradition. In the meantime, here are some other recipes that are on my mind. Recipes Laura’s vegan grilled asparagus…

I’ve been casually saying that I’m in the home stretch of graduate school all year, because relatively speaking—relative to having been a dietetics or pre-health student since 2010—I have been. But now I’m really in the home stretch, sprinting across my last few weeks of classes. I had to laugh when I read this article about burnout, which described with eery precision the place I’ve found myself in for the last semester (and, if I’m being honest, most of this academic year). Apparently…

It’s been a lovely couple days of taking my own advice. In Friday’s post—the responses to which I’m so grateful for—I mentioned the importance of learning how to relax, and then practicing relaxation whenever possible. Last weekend, I wrote about not trying too hard all the time. Or, in the words of one of my yoga teachers: when it can be easy, let it be easy. So that’s what I’ve been up to since my birthday: doing a whole lot of nothing. No…