Weekend Reading
April 2, 2023

Weekend Reading | The Full Helping

You know how sometimes somebody says something to you at precisely the moment you need to hear it?

I’m guessing that the real reason for this is that we create meaning from our experience. If something is already on our minds, we’re probably likely to hear what other people say and find some relevance in their comments. We hear and listen because we’re ready to hear and listen.

Even so, there’s a part of me that really believes in serendipity. I’ve been surprised at how many times a person in my life, be it a total stranger or a good friend, delivered an important message in an opportune way.

Maybe I’ve done that for others without realizing it, too.

This week, someone said to me, “life only moves in one direction.”

I heard it and was struck by how powerful it was in its simplicity. I also knew that it was something I needed to hear, or to be reminded of.

It sat with me so forcefully that I found myself repeating it a couple times later in the week.

Of course, “life only moves in one direction” is caution against regret, which doesn’t help any of us. It’s a reminder to embrace what we’ve learned, whether the lessons hurt or not, and keep moving forward.

“Next play mentality,” as they say.

The words also remind me not to waste too much time on second guessing. Second guessing isn’t the same as regret, but it’s another way of keeping our energy stuck in the past.

I had a week that was full of second guessing. And it was critically important for me to quiet that mental chatter down, take a deep breath, and continue to put one foot in front of the other.

Life only moves in one direction.

This is a wonderful thing for me to remember on the sunny, first Sunday of April, twenty-fours after New York City’s first truly warm spring day.

Perhaps it’s what you needed to hear today, too.

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

Recipes

‘Tis the season for sugar snap peas! I love Ligia’s simple preparation with mushrooms and mint.

Smruti’s lemon rice is so beautiful and vibrant.

Another wonderful spring recipe: Vera’s creamy lemon asparagus pasta.

I love how colorful Hannah’s black bean stuffed sweet potatoes are.

Just the thing for Easter next week: Megan’s vegan lemon sugar cookies.

Reads

1. I’m not a Trader Joe’s shopper myself, but many of my nutrition clients are. Since I’m often giving them encouragement to make their lives easier by relying on wholesome, frozen foods, I try to stay on top of what’s new in the TJ aisles.

Here’s a roundup of 9 vegan frozen entrées at TJs that pass the Food52 taste test.

2. Speaking of grocery shopping, it seems as though inflation has made trips to the grocery store more costly than ever. This article touches on how the economic crisis is colliding dangerously with eating disorders and disordered eating habits.

3. If you feel as though seasonal allergies are getting worse—which I certainly do, though I’m not sure how much worse mine can get—you’re not alone. This article will give you a glimpse into why that is.

4. A question I’ve wondered time and time again: do bay leaves actually do anything?

5. Natasha Boyd has written what I think is a great, comprehensive, and insightful look into the predominance of IBS, or irritable bowel syndrome.

In particular, I’m glad that Boyd takes time to address the intersection of IBS and eating disorders.

A very significant number of people who develop eating disorders have pre-existing IBS. Many more develop IBS in the wake of ED-related malnutrition and gastroparesis.

My own IBS preceded anorexia, but I see now, with advantage of 10+ years in recovery, that it lingered primarily as a result of my limited diet and a long history of inadequate consumption.

I also appreciate that Boyd touches on the pitfalls of elimination diets. These have unfortunately become a default response to digestive difficulty, but they’re not always curative.

In fact, in my work, I’ve seen elimination diets worsen digestive dysfunction more often than they remedy it. IgG tests, which are marketed to test for food sensitivity, aren’t reliable.

Tamara Duker Freuman, a GI-specializing RD who was my preceptor during my clinical training, is interviewed in the article. She states,

“‘I’ve watched helplessly as my patient disappears down a rabbit hole of food restriction and avoidance that can, for some people, lead to disordered eating.'”

It’s an experience that I can relate to, sadly.

The good news is that we’re taking a more comprehensive look at all of the complex psychological, biological, and neurochemical terrain of IBS these days. I believe that better, more sensitive, and appropriately individualized treatment will follow.

That’s it for this Sunday, friends. We’ve really and truly made it to spring! I hope that you can feel it in the air as you go about your day.

xo

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  1. Here’s something beyond a depth of flavor that bay leaves can do– scatter a few dried bay leaves in the corners of kitchen cupboards to help repel grain moths and other errant crawlies. replace every 4-6 months.

    Great recipe round-up!

    –M

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