Weekend Reading, 3.24.14
March 24, 2014

Weekend Reading | The Full Helping

It seems to be a pattern lately that I’m not getting weekend reading up until Monday, which to some extent defeats the purpose. But is there ever a bad time for delicious recipes, mouth-watering photos, and thought-provoking reads? Nope. I hope you’ll all enjoy this week’s picks.

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Rather than ending with dessert, which is what I usually do, I think I’ll start with it. My friend Jackie shared a recipe from the lovely Emily’s new book, Rawsome Vegan Baking, and it looks cray cray: jungle pie with coconut crust, banana slices, and chunky coconut topping. Emily, you are a magician.

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Moving on to something savory, this warm lentil salad with smoked tofu looks delicious, and caught my eye.

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Sylvie’s cauliflower tabbouleh is fresh, healthy, and very pretty. What a great idea–I’ve done hemp tabbouleh and grain tabbouleh, but cauliflower rice is new to me.

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And, oh my lord, Sara has created my dream sandwich. Avocado, green harissa, fresh herbs. I die.

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Finally, my friend McKel’s creamy ginger smoothie looks so, so good (avocado, ginger, lemon, banana — all of the best stuff). Can’t wait to make it.

Reads

1. This week, Moby posted an article in Rolling Stone about why he’s been vegan for 27 years. One reads these “why vegan” stories all of the time, but I was really impressed with how succinctly, powerfully, and passionately he managed to sum up his answer. Very heartfelt and inspiring.

2. On a more somber note, my friend Carrie wrote a lovely post about losing (and mourning) a companion animal. I was so sorry to hear of the loss of her cat Roxy recently, but I was also tremendously impressed with how powerfully she has channeled her grief into ten practical, compassionate, and helpful pieces of advice.

3. A cool little slideshow on eight health technologies to watch out for, including a smart pill bottle, a FitBit that helps you become more active, and a Jawbone UP that tracks sleep.

4. This week, my friend Mike began a blog of his own, called Plant Based Riot. One of his first posts is about how to eat vegan at a steak house, and it’s very funny, not to mention genuinely helpful and spot-on. I’ve written a lot about dining in non-vegan restaurants as a vegan (like Mike, I used to have a lot of work lunches), and I think Mike does a great job of summing up the best strategies. But in a lot of ways, it was his last point–“it’s just one meal”–that I think is the most important. He writes,

As a plant eater, you are not at a steakhouse for the food so don’t sweat it if the food isn’t what you had hoped for. It’s just one meal. Move on. In fact, take it in the other direction and really try to appreciate the mushy broccoli. Be grateful that in a sea of meat you are able to enjoy a simple, yet miraculously nutritious plant. Enjoy your conversations more. Take in the so-called ambience if it exists. Don’t worry about your food. You can overeat a bunch of popcorn covered in Nooch when you get home.

Couldn’t have said it better. Dining out is about the food, but it’s also about the experience of being in company and in a new setting. The world will go on if a meal is just OK–a lesson I learn more and more with each year.

5. This week, I was introduced to Aeon magazine, and I have a feeling it’s soon to be a regular read. It features essays on ideas and culture, most of them underscored by scientific inquiry. This week, I particularly enjoyed Ilana Yurkiewicz’s article, “Why Rude Doctors Make Bad Doctors.” Yurkiewicz certainly isn’t out to skewer the medical community, and in fact begins the article by saying,

the majority of doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals I’ve worked with have been courteous and respectful: strong teachers and compassionate caregivers…I’ve been amazed by residents who work 24-hour shifts and somehow still have the energy to teach those who do not yet know as much as they do. I both admire them and am grateful for them.

My brief work in hospitals has made me feel the same mixture of things: admiration, respect, surprise at how many exceptional health care professionals there are. But I also appreciate Yurkiewicz’s criticisms of behaviors that are curt, competitive, dismissive, short-tempered, and the medical culture that protects and even reinforces them. The article is comprehensive and tough-minded, and it’s worth reading.

Alright, folks. It’s time for bed. See you tomorrow!

xo

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    28 Comments
  1. HI Gena,

    Really enjoyed this edition of Weekend Reading. I sent the doctor article on to a writer/nurse I know who will relate. And I just finished laughing out loud reading Mike’s post. Got good ideas for recipes and was really glad to see you share Carrie’s moving post about her cat. Thanks!

  2. Hi Gena! Speaking of admirable doctors- when do you start your medical school adventure?

  3. Thanks for another thoughtfully culled Weekend (Weekday?) Reading. I’ve long admired Moby’s intelligently written articles and essays on veganism and this one highlights something I’ve been ruminating on for months: It’s essential to exercise compassion towards humans, as well as non-human animals. Beating people over the head with the vegan message isn’t effective in creating new vegans or encouraging vegans to stay on the path. Leading by compassionate example, however, seems to work well (at least for me). xo

  4. I was very happy to discover this website. I wanted to thank you
    for ones time just for this fantastic read!! I definitely appreciated
    every part of it and i also have you book marked to see new things on your blog.

  5. Great Weekend Reading, Gena! I especially like the Moby post. I had no idea he was vegan. I am seeing him at a festival in May called Lightening in a Bottle and I am hoping I get a chance to talk to him!

    • Oh, stop! That cannot possibly be true, but you’re making me smile anyway. Thank you so much for the great article and for your awesome perspective in general, Mike!

  6. I agree–that sandwich looks AMAZING. Anything that includes avocado–I’m in! I recently discovered avocado oil, & I’m a fan.

    “The world will go on if a meal is just OK–a lesson I learn more and more with each year.”
    So true. I think this is one of the first lessons new vegans are introduced to & have to learn.

    Thanks for the link to the Moby interview. LOVE, love people who are strong in their convictions in a compassionate & straightforward way. I know I could do better at this!

    So many great links, as always Gena. Thank you.

    Hope you have a great week.

  7. I really enjoyed Moby’s article in Rolling Stone, and especially the last line: “Could you look a baby cow in its eyes and say to it, “My appetite is more important than your suffering”?” That’s totally the clincher for me and what keeps me committed to veganism. I remember reading Eating Animals and making the connection between my dogs (they are my world) and farm animals and how they are no different. There’s no turning back from that realization.

    • I completely agree, Amanda. For me, that’s what it comes down to: is something that’s pleasurable for me more important than another being’s freedom and life? Glad you liked it, too.

  8. I so look forward to these posts! I always pick up a new blog to read or one new killer recipe to make. And, I love that you post them early in the week. It’s like it was your weekend reading but now it can perk up the work week for the rest of us.

  9. “The world will go on if a meal is just OK …” So true, but the reminder doesn’t hurt.

  10. I love your friend Mike’s post! So true. Steakhouses are actually not so bad for vegans because of all the vegetable side dishes. They’re easy to overlook on a menu because most of them are already paired with meat. Love his humor. I definitely know the feeling of staring at a waiter as he reads off all the non-vegan specials. Hah! Classic.

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