Weekend Reading
November 3, 2019

Weekend Reading | The Full Helping

Do you ever have a week of complete absentmindedness? I sure did. I’ve been misplacing everything this week, from earrings to a hat to (somehow) the top of my burr coffee grinder. Most hilariously, I couldn’t find my keys in my own apartment for an entire 24 hours. Good thing I had a spare set handy.

There’s a difference between losing something and misplacing it, though. Funnily enough, I ended up finding most of the things that went missing this week. And it’s lucky that, in the case of each mysteriously absent item, I resisted the urge to make a hasty replacement.

Take the keys: it would have been very like me to search frantically for them for an hour and in my anxiety about the whole situation call my management company to say they were lost. But given how scattered I’d been all week, I had a feeling that the keys weren’t gone, but simply hidden from sight. I told myself that I’d use my spare set and forget about the whole thing for a little while, to see whether they’d appear if I stopped stressing out.

That’s exactly what happened. And the same thing happened with the lid of my coffee grinder, which was in the very place I’d been looking for it (just sneakily concealed from my view). I found the earring, which had been gone since last weekend,  just this morning. I guess it’s only a matter of time before the hat turns up.

I can think of lots of moments in life where being proactive is the best policy. And that holds true in the case of some missing things: when a whole wallet disappears, it’s probably better to take action sooner rather than later.

But given my own tendency to act aggressively when I’m anxious, I was proud of myself for being patient this week. I was proud, too, that instead of feeling exasperated with myself for being less organized than usual, I was able to see the humor of the whole thing: the AWOL items, the forgotten details, the calendar appointments that snuck up on me. I don’t faithfully practice or follow Ayurveda, but I found it comforting to remind myself that it’s Vata season, and a lot of us are feeling less grounded than usual.

By not taking action, I gave things time to turn up. The significance of this wasn’t lost on me: it’s so often the case that I make a mess of things by trying to force them. By pausing—not ignoring, but pausing—I’m usually able to see my way through a feeling or situation with more clarity than I’d have by trying to insist upon an immediate course of action.

Wishing you a week of patience with yourself, with the change of seasons, with life’s inherent unpredictability. Here are some recipes and reads.

Recipes

Liv’s crispy Vietnamese crepes make for a savory breakfast of my dreams.

Bulgur wheat is one of my favorite grains, and I’m always on the lookout for new ways to enjoy it.

Britt’s awesome sweet potato casserole (with two variations) is going on my Thanksgiving wish list.

Ditto for Jessica’s hearty cranberry meatballs.

These vegan chocolate and hazelnut truffles look so elegant!

Reads

1. The Cup of Jo blog tipped me off to this video clip on Twitter, and it’s so heartening. When a soccer player’s hijab started falling off to reveal her hair, her opponents gathered around to provide cover while she fixed it. A special kind of teamwork.

2. It’s cool to consider the possibilities of a portable (and more patient-friendly) MRI.

3. Three common habits that interfere with sleep. I’m definitely guilty of #3 (a short “sleep runway”).

4. Our understanding of the gut microbiome continues to grow and encourage research, which is exciting. But some of the terminology surrounding gut health can be misleading. The term dysbiosis may be an example, because the dys- prefix implies that a certain balance of microflora is bad, or negative. We’re still working to understand what an optimal community of microorganisms might look like from person to person and why, so it may be too early to say what’s negative or positive. This article elaborates.

5. Finally, distressing statistics on the rise of anorexia nervosa among preteen children. Encouragement for all of us to do our parts on helping the young people in our lives to embrace and respect their bodies and the foods that sustain them.

Wishing you a peaceful Sunday night. I’ll be back in a couple of days with a protein-packed pasta recipe!

xo

Leave a Comment

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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    2 Comments
  1. Oh my! I too lost an earring (not yet found) and a set of keys this week (thankfully found)! Glad to hear I’m not the only one having an off week 🙂

  2. Dear Gena, when I read the first question of your post I laughed out loud. All. The. Time. And, like you, I’ve learned to pause and sort of wait for things to reappear. It was in the foair this week. I misplaced a cash refund I had received at the store last Sunday and walked past it probably half a dozen times while I was “looking for it.” when I finally saw it the next day I laughed out loud for quite a while. It’s great to see the humor in these things. From an astrological point of view Mercury slowed down to retrograde on Halloween and since it describes our conscious mindset and our immediate enivronment and how we communicate it seems to have had some “fun” making things disappear. Much love to you. ps; and why oh why did you have to post a recipe for sweet potato casserole with little toasted vegan marshmallows all over the top? Now I will dream about that. 🙂 xoxo

You might also like

My current DI placement is at a nursing home that offers both long- and short-term care. I’m learning a lot about what and how people eat when they’re recovering from surgeries or in the process of rehabilitation. And I’m gaining a better understanding of food choices and habits toward the end of life. Not surprisingly, much of what people ask for are simple, familiar, and comforting foods. This echoes an insight that struck me when I read Being Mortal a year or so…

I didn’t use to be much of a procrastinator, but unfortunately it’s a tendency that seems to creep up on me more and more with each passing year. It’s probably a good thing in some ways: back when I was doing my post-bacc, I was so overcommitted in so many directions that I actually couldn’t afford to delay doing anything. And while that wasn’t true for all of grad school, it was true a lot of the time. My schedule nowadays is more…

I often read about the power of choosing one’s thoughts, or something along those lines: shifting perspective, flipping the script, quieting negative self-talk, and so on. It sounds so compelling and empowering, yet so elusive. Most of the time, I feel that my thoughts choose me. I often wish—especially when they’re particularly exhausting—that they’d choose someone else. Once in a while, I’m able to choose different thoughts, or to change a gloomy perspective. The amount of effort that it takes to do this…

In the summer of 2010, I signed up for Nutrition I at Hunter College. I was twenty-eight, a professional book editor who hadn’t taken a science class since high school. Uncharacteristically for me—I’m usually very decisive—I couldn’t decide between a future in medicine, dietetics, or mental health. But I knew that I wanted to make a career change, and this was the place to start. I loved my job, but I loved helping people to experience pleasure and well-being through food even more….