Weekend Reading, 4.15.18
April 15, 2018

Weekend Reading | The Full Helping

New York City finally burst into spring this week—not gently or gradually but with an eruption of warm temperatures and sun. I was grateful for it, but a part of me felt unready, too.

I thought back to college, when spring often came as suddenly and would be celebrated with students emptying out of their dorms and onto the quad, dressed in shorts and tanks, ready to bask in the sun. I’ve always been introverted and indoorsy, but I was more so back then, and I greeted the warmth and jubilation with mixed feelings. Part of me wanted to celebrate the change of seasons along with everyone else, and part of me felt that the sudden collective impulse to be outdoors and in groups underscored my sense of inwardness.

That’s sort of where I was on Friday and Saturday: excited, but somehow at odds with the mood, too. In the last two weeks I’ve been very inwardly focused; there’s a lot to do that demands quiet attention, and I haven’t been feeling well, so “me time” is crucial for recharging. Of course there’s no saying that springtime has to take away from rest or quiet—there was simply an exuberant energy coursing through the city that I couldn’t relate to.

Now it’s gray and chilly again, and I think back to our 48 hours of mini-summer with a little sorriness that I didn’t enjoy it more. But I realize that I don’t have to allow weather or mood or what’s going on outside to disrupt my sense of peace and focus; I can approach this period of time with as much mindfulness and listening to my body/soul as I need to. Celebrating spring can mean a lot of things, including a contemplative walk. It’s an empowering realization to have.

Whether the season is inviting you to frolic outside or turn inward, I’m wishing you a happy spring today. Here’s the weekly roundup of recipes and reads.

Recipes

A colorful breakfast treat, and so simple to make: blended mixed berry porridge.

This hearty vegan buffalo cauliflower casserole looks as tasty as it is healthful.

This roasted asparagus and radish salad with creamy garlic cashew dressing is all things spring.

Can’t get over how much Jessica’s vegan fish sticks look like the real deal! Tartar sauce and all.

Sneh’s vegan dark chocolate and almond butter cookies look delicious and decadent—and they only have 8 ingredients. A perfect dessert for busy folks.

Reads

1. The fascinating story of how one of my favorite foods—the sweet potato—colonized the world.

2. Dietitian Andrea Lobene shares some thoughts on the difficulty of having passing conversations about nutrition and diet as a nutrition professional. My guess is that a lot of her sentiments might resonate with those who are strongly self-taught in nutrition, too—it can be difficult to respond to casual comments without wanting to weigh in with information or even offer corrections. As Lobene notes, unless a person asks a question, he or she is likely seeking validation more than a challenge or a debate. It’s important for professionals to know when their insights are welcome and situationally appropriate.

3. I’m moved to learn of a growing cultural movement that uses art and performance to confront and mourn species that have gone extinct as a result of human development.

4. A new study links disordered eating to future depressive symptoms and to being bullied—possibly because eating disorders are still so highly stigmatized.

5. I was intrigued by this article defining goro goro, the Japanese tradition of lingering and luxuriating in bed. Author Rebecca Huval notes that goro goro isn’t the same thing sleeping in or hitting snooze. Rather, it’s “about dozing off or lazing about in the space between wakefulness and rest”—a liminal space that isn’t often explored in American culture.

Speaking of springtime, I’ve got a few simple and springy vegan recipes to share in the coming weeks, and I can’t wait to circle back with one of them in the coming days. Be well.

xo

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    6 Comments
  1. I so know what you mean about warm weather and the sense of pressure this can create to stand around outside in throngs of people with a luke warm drink in your hand downwind of the smell of chargrilled something.. So not my idea of relaxation, particularly when you add impromptu ball games onto the mix. Bah humbug etc . Love the Mac and cheese recipe. Hope you are ok.

  2. Hi Gena,

    I sometimes have difficulty, or at the very least a wistfulness, about transitioning away from the inwardness of Winter, despite my constant complaining about winter storms and/or ice. Every year it’s a little different. This year I’m looking forward to more Spring weather, but April tries the patience of the saint in all of us with its extreme extremes. I have been known, too, to miss the dependability of winter staples like purple cabbage and apples. But then there’s asparagus. . .and strawberries. . 🙂 I loved the sweet potato article–thanks for the seasonal reflection and all the yummy looking recipes, too. xoxo

  3. Gena,

    I have a hard time with warmer weather too. For me, longer days and more sun mean more noise with people outdoors-something that is hard for me to enjoy. I look for ways to fit my own habits into this time so that I don’t feel so disrupted.

    The sweet potato article was fun-people can sure argue about anything can’t they? And I liked the article regarding how to respond to food questions. I think the advice is good for anyone who may have an “expert knowledge” in any given subject. When I hear people talking about something that I know a lot about, I try to listen to see if they are asking me to say something. Most of the time people are just talking and a general positive affirmation of some sort from me is just fine.

    I just recently learned about roasting radishes so I am looking forward to making the roasted asparagus/radish dish. Should be good!

    Thank you again for the wrap up. Hope all is well.
    Libby

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