Weekend Reading, 12.14.14
December 14, 2014

Weekend Reading | The Full Helping

Happy Sunday, friends. It’s been a busy week here at CR, with a new green recovery story, two giveaways (one to win two tubs of delicious, smooth tasting vegan pea protein from NuZest USA, the other to win a copy of the fabulous Candle Cafe holiday cookbook). Let’s pause for a moment to savor some weekend reading, shall we?

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First up, Rika’s vibrant and colorful Mediterranean harissa stew is so perfect for cold weather.

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Erin’s roasted parsnip and spinach salad with wild rice is a medley of so many of my favorite ingredients. Can’t wait to try it!

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I wish I could dive into a bowl of Emma’s broccoli soup with tahini, lemon, and pine nut za’tar right now. So full of flavor and character.

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Could Ana’s raw chocolate and almond butter fudge bars look any more incredible?! I’m about to lick my computer screen.

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Finally, treat yo’self: my vegan eggnog for Food52’s New Veganism column features coconut, cashews, and booze (which is optional). Hard to go wrong here.

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1. ICYMI, Maike’s green recovery story is incredibly moving and insightful, and I recommend checking it out.

2. Yet more reason to avoid cans and plastic with BPA — a new correlation between BPA and hypertension.

3. An article about how anti-vaccine myth busting can actually make people more reluctant to vaccinate (a phenomenon that may be linked to what’s known as the “backfire effect”).

4. Diagnoses of Chagas disease — a parasitic infection spread by the triatomine inset (or “kissing bug”) — are rising in the US, especially in Southern states. This article describes how our perception of Chagas is changing; the disease was previously associated with South and Central American immigrants, since the disease is endemic in that part of the world, but it seems as though a majority of new infections (at least in one recent study) originated on US soil.

5. Not only is correlation not causation; sometimes, correlation isn’t ultimately meaningful at all. A fun video on 6 compelling correlations that make absolutely no sense.

Before I go: I wanted to give a shout out to my friend Cassie’s new site and practice, A Regular Girl. I’ve written about Cassie and how instrumental she’s been to my evolution as a vegan before. It was Cassie who first brought me to a farm sanctuary, and it was Cassie who helped me to understand how deeply linked my GI health and my overall well-being were.

Cassie has worn many hats in her own life as a wellness advocate: she’s been a practicing colon therapist for seven years now, she has culinary certification from the Natural Gourmet Institute in NYC, she cofounded a vegan catering company years ago, and now she’s the founder of the Chelsea Wellness Center in NYC, a space that is home to several integrative health practitioners — including me! As of this fall, I’ve been running my nutrition practice out of Chelsea Wellness, and I feel so lucky to be doing my work in such a supportive, compassionate space. Cassie and I have dreamt about working alongside each other for years now, and this feels like a culmination of that vision.

Colonics are a controversial topic, and they tend to evoke a lot of fear, in part because the potential risks of certain types of colonics have been popularized. There are many types of colonics; closed-system, gravity colonics, which Cassie practices, are the safest and most gentle, and of course the technique of the practitioner is important, too. I will say that colonics (administered under Cassie’s care and with her sensible approach) were very healing when I was suffering badly with my IBS-C. At the time, my motives had nothing to do with “detox” or weight loss–I just wanted to heal. And Cassie helped me get there, in so many ways. She was, without realizing it, a major force in my sustained ED recovery, too, encouraging my innate love of food at every step of the way. Every time I’ve mentioned her on this blog, at least one person has commented to say that Cassie has changed his or her life.

Cassie’s work isn’t just about colonics: she’s on a deeper and a larger mission to open up a safe dialog about digestive health. Fifty years ago, it was taboo for girls to talk about  their menstrual cycles. Fortunately, a few groundbreaking tampon and maxi pad advertising campaigns, coupled with sweeping cultural changes, helped to de-stigmatize the topic. There’s a lot of awareness about digestive disease these days (because so many people, women especially, suffer from constipation, IBS, and IBD), but talking about elimination as a day-to-day phenomenon can still be taboo. Cassie wants to encourage women to feel as though it’s not only OK, but healthy (and sometimes pretty funny) to talk about going to the bathroom, and about their digestive health. She’s trying to create a sense of community around the digestive health struggles that seem sp rampant right now, and which reduce quality of life for a lot of people (young women in particular). I think it’s pretty cool, and I’m excited to see where she’ll take A Regular Girl.

Speaking of my nutrition counseling, this is a great time of year to consider making the crucial investment of counseling for yourself. If you’ve got struggles with food that feel unresolved, if you are trying to turn over a new page in the realm of food or body image, if you’re trying to eat more plant based but struggle to implement habits that work for you, then please consider this investment for yourself. I offer 30-minute, free consultations to discuss my work, and I also offer specialized packages for any set of goals. If you’re here in the NYC metro area, we can meet in the safe, private, and welcoming atmosphere of my office space, and if you are reading from anyplace around the world, we can chat over Skype, Facetime, email, or phone.

Reach out to me at gena@thefullhelping.com.

Till tomorrow!

xo

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    4 Comments
  1. Thanks dear Gena, for including my recipe and for sharing Cassie’s website – digging in with big interest! Hugs and kisses, Ana 🙂

  2. I can’t get the Regular Girl link to work. Nor can I find it when I google. Help!

    • Sorry, Cassie! I’ve let them know and have been assured that it’s being fixed 🙂

  3. Hi Gena, I love Cassie’s website, not just the concept, but the look and feel of the site. It’s really lovely. I’m also taken with her manifesto, especially the idea of “getting beautified” and wearing what makes you happy. I am happy you have such a cool space to work out of, with such smart (and beautiful) colleagues to work with.

    I’ve had a few colonics but never got into them. That doesn’t mean I don’t see their value, just something I never felt I needed badly enough to justify the expense. And I guess the people in my personal realm of acquaintances who are into colonics are not you and Cassie, they’re more what I’d call “colonic bulimics.” Obsessed with this idea of internal cleanliness and getting stuff out. I guess I just don’t know a single healthy person (in real life) who is into them, which has made me doubly squeamish. Maybe if things were otherwise, I’d do them a few times a year, as a way to hit “reset.”

    I also must admit that I do not buy into the 10+ pounds of waste in the average colon! I think it’s impossible and I told Gil as much when I meet him. At the time I had been raw a while, but prior to that I’d been eating dairy products daily for decades. And according to the theory that would have left me with years and years of “waste” waiting to be released. I asked him “where” on my body could I possibly be holding onto that waste and he admitted to me it was microscopic, not something that could be measured in pounds. That made a bit more sense (given I wasn’t carrying a single excess pound) but I am still wary of the concept that the yogurt (to say nothing of the hotdogs!) I ate when I was five is lingering inside me …

    Nothing against the concept, perhaps I’ve got some resistance to them because everyone I know who is into them is seriously f-cked up with food.

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