Weekend Reading
March 19, 2023

Weekend Reading | The Full Helping

I found out earlier this week that two neighbors whom I’ve become close to in my new(ish) building may be moving in a few months.

This is a natural ebb and flow of city life. When people rent, they come and they go, moving on to other units. This is especially true of couples in their late twenties or early thirties who are working their way toward more permanent settings, which my neighbors are.

The news that I might have some new neighbors come late summer or early fall really shouldn’t have taken me by surprise. Even so, I’ve been feeling down about it.

It’s been so nice to live nestled between sets of really lovely people.

In particular, I’ve cherished making little neighborly deliveries of homemade food and treats. It can feel a bit sad sometimes to cook as much as I do and not have loved ones to share with regularly.

On Friday, I re-read this wonderful quotation from Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower:

“All that you touch
You Change.

All that you Change
Changes you.

The only lasting truth
is Change.

God
is Change.”

I took in the words, and I breathed a tremendous sigh of relief.

I’ve had a year full of change, much of which has enriched my life and helped me to grow in important ways. Of course it’s human nature to like change when it’s change we want and dislike it when it’s change we don’t.

But without change, life itself stops. In that sense, yes, I think that God is change.

Yesterday, I had the kind of Saturday that I’ve had a lot of this winter: I woke up slow and sleepy, and I didn’t have energy for most of the stuff I said I’d do.

It was a bummer in the sense that it was an especially sunny late winter day, but it also felt good to lie on my sofa and read and ignore everything else. I’m working hard right now, and I need these kinds of days as a counterbalance.

This particular quiet Saturday felt appropriate for my mood. I spent the afternoon in stillness, not distracting myself too much with my phone.

I had the feeling that I was taking in life exactly as it is right here and now, with the understanding that nothing will be the same two, six, or twelve months from now.

Nothing, including me.

Wishing you strength and serenity as you navigate whatever changes are afoot in your life—and some thoughtful pauses in which to process them.

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

Recipes

I’ve been experimenting with a new chickpea flour frittata recipe lately, so chickpea flour recipes are on my mind. Love the looks of Lindsay’s socca pizza.

I always keep Chinese five spice in my pantry and love it, but I don’t reach for it often enough. Shu-Chun is inspiring me to use it in my next batch of roasted sweet potatoes.

I recently got some oyster mushrooms, then realized that I don’t cook with them very often and am not entirely sure what to do with them. Lauren’s oyster mushroom po’ boys to the rescue.

Haven’t prepared a homemade veggie burger in a while. Lindsay’s spicy tofu burgers will be a great reason to change that.

Asparagus season is on the way! This creamy soup is a beautiful way to celebrate.

Reads

1. I think it’s often the case that discussions of healthful dietary patterns don’t also mention the importance of simultaneously healthful lifestyle patterns.

I like that this article mentions the importance of lifestyle factors (social life, community, movement) as being a key part of the benefits of Mediterranean-style eating.

2. I’ve learned myself—the hard way—that some of the common productivity tips mentioned in this article aren’t always helpful.

3. Though implementation and cost are still major question marks, I’m excited to read that a gene therapy cure for sickle cell anemia may soon become a reality.

4. Such a thoughtful meditation on the experience of hearing loss from writer John Cotter.

5. I assure my nutrition clients often that consistency and sustainability matter more than intensity when it comes to personal movement routines. The trick is to realize that anything is better than nothing; in fact, anything is great.

I thought it was great to read about new studies demonstrating that 11 minutes of brisk walking daily (or another type of moderate intensity movement that is doable and enjoyable) is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, and some cancers.

This was another week that began with very good intentions of posting a recipe or two and got consumed by other work. I’m trying not to feel badly about the lack of consistency, but I really miss writing about food.

Fingers crossed for the days ahead. For now, have a restorative Sunday.

xo

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    2 Comments
  1. Hi Gena – I’m sorry you’re losing neighbors you like, but how nice to hear that you do have had a good relationship with neighbors in the city! It’s so tough with people moving in and out as you say. I am planning to move back to New York soon and hope I will have neighbors that can help my building feel like a community too. Thanks as always for weekend reading and have a nice rest of your Sunday!

  2. Embracing change takes a minute… I do welcome change in my thoughts and also in vocalisation to others (being uplifting to them in difficult times) but for some reason it takes a while to set in for me. I love reading your point of view on many subjects Gena, you articulation really resonates with me. Thankyou for being you xoxo

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