Weekend Reading
September 4, 2022

Weekend Reading | The Full Helping

I’ve been struggling to decide what to do about my windows.

The windows in my studio are what made me fall in love with it. They’re really big, relative to the space, with black frames that stand out against the white walls.

They allow the studio to become flooded with light during the day. But even when the sun is at its peak, the light remains creamy and warm.

I face a stone-colored wall on another building. Somehow there’s enough distance between my window and that wall that it reflects light from the sky into my space beautifully.

I wake up early enough that morning light doesn’t affect my sleep. But there’s just enough light from the street and other windows that I have to finally admit that I probably need blinds or shades for sleeping. I’m not a deep sleeper to begin with, and I’ve been waking up even more than usual during the night.

When I first moved in, I said that I’d figure this out as soon as possible, to preserve my sleep. But I’ve been slow to research it—slower even than I’ve been with the rest of getting settled.

I’m sure that I can find something that will block the windows as little as possible and won’t cost a ton of money. It’s just a question of going online, looking at options, and being resourceful.

Yet I can’t seem to bring myself to consider blocking those windows even a tiny bit.

When I was talking to a friend about the blinds/shades/curtain question, he pointed out that in addition to some light filtration, it’s also nice to be able to feel a little cocooned sometimes.

I told him that I know what he means, but right now that feeling isn’t what I want at all.

This is funny, because I’ve always really liked burrowing and cocooning. I’ve always sought out intimate-feeling home spaces.

I’ve lived in a lot of older, walkup buildings that had a cozy energy. I remember many of them in the wintertime, and me wrapped up in blankets within them.

I don’t know how long I’ll be in this space, but I can tell you that I’ll probably always remember it in the summertime. This is partly because I moved here in July, but some of it is just the energy of the place: light, bright, open.

I’ll always recall how nice it felt to walk out onto busy streets—streets full of foot traffic at all times of day, the polar opposite of my old neighborhood—on a hot, sunny afternoon in August.

I like looking out my window and seeing the street that runs perpendicular to where I am. I like its streetlights at night, even if they keep me up. I like when my downstairs neighbors use their outdoor space with friends. I rarely hear a peep when they do, but I wouldn’t mind if I heard some laughter or voices.

I’ve never really had neighbors that I was close to, but I’ve become friends with my neighbors across the hall quickly. They’re a couple, and one of them used to live in my current unit.

They were away this past week, and I missed hearing them coming and going. I couldn’t wait to once again bring them leftover baked goods or say hi in the hallway.

This is all a little unlike me in that I’ve historically been oriented toward independence. I’ve always been very good at solitude.

My eating disorder certainly had something to do with this. Being alone meant that I could savor one-on-one time with all of my food rituals and behaviors.

But I’m also an introvert by nature, and when I was younger, it was much more pronounced than it is now.

Now, suddenly, I don’t want to feel alone. This doesn’t mean that I never crave quiet, solo time; in fact, I’ve socialized so much since I moved that I’m currently aware of the need to devote more time to reading and nesting in the next couple weeks.

But whereas feeling as though I was very much on my own was once very welcome, it’s not what I want for myself right now. I want to interact with others, to feel the fullness of my surroundings, and to wake up with the sense that my space is totally integrated into its surroundings, rather than shielded from them.

Maybe this is all a reaction to my isolation during quarantine; there’s no question that I fell more in love with urban living as a result of having to stay indoors.

But I think it’s also a reflection of where I am in life, which is a juncture in which connection and liveliness feel more important than introspection and quiet.

I’ll figure the window situation out. When I do, I hope that my solution will do what another friend told me a good window treatment can: it will “celebrate the window.”

My window onto downtown, onto the world around me, onto the bigness and brightness of what exists outside of myself.

Happy Sunday, friends. Here are some recipes and reads.

Recipes

I’ve been doing a lot of yogurt bowls with granola this week, and I wish that I’d stumbled on this chocolate granola sooner.

Nothing like a simple, roasted vegetable side dish for the dinner table.

This cavelo nero pasta is my favorite kind of easy weeknight meal.

Aimee’s late summery golden couscous bowl is exactly what I want to eat right now…

…and Andrea’s spiced millet with fall vegetables is exactly what I’ll want to be eating in a few weeks.

Reads

1. A really cool read about the molecular signaling between our muscles and our brain.

2. One of the trickiest things to grasp about inflammation is its duality: it can play both healthy and harmful roles. This article touches upon current efforts to examine the difference between these two types of inflammation in the hopes of preventing the maladaptive kind.

3. A smart, unexpected (to me, anyway!) hack for making vegan brown butter.

4. I work with a few clients who are on, or who have been on, dialysis. I had no idea that the person credited with inventing dialysis was a member of the Dutch resistance in Nazi-occupied Holland. I loved reading this tiny glimpse into his life and work.

5. A look at how the Girl Scouts chose their next cookie flavor, Raspberry Rally—which just so happens to be vegan!

Finally, before I go: one of the many, many things that I’ve long wanted and failed to do is to make my newsletter more impactful. Right now, these weekend posts and my recipes get sent to the inbox of subscribers.

But I’d so love to start creating more exclusive, thoughtful, and curated content for the folks who are kind enough to follow along with a subscription.

Step one: I’ve been collecting some of the content that I think is most helpful from this blog, and I put it into a little welcome sequence for brand new email subscribers.

If you’re already a subscriber and would like to get that, too, you can click here. I’ll add you right away!.

I also drafted 7 new emails that share some of the top content on the site, more about my nutrition counseling services, and more ways to connect with me. Subscribers will be getting those as well.

I’m excited to share some fresh content and to find more ways to connect with you. And hey, if you don’t subscribe right now and want to, you can sign up at the bottom of my homepage or by scrolling to the bottom left of any page.

Have a restful Sunday night, everyone—and a nice Labor Day, if you happen to have a little time off.

xo

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    2 Comments
  1. I concur with Susan, consider an eye mask! As a veteran Flight Attendant I have learned to sleep during all hours of the day and night, I always sleep with an eye mask and now almost find it soothing on my face.

  2. Alternatively, you could get a sleep mask.
    I can’t sleep without mine which is by Lunya. I had to stitch it up a bit to make it smaller but otherwise I love it. There are a lot of them but I really think it’s worth it to find one that works for you.

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