Weekend Reading, 6.10.18
June 10, 2018

Weekend Reading | The Full Helping

Oftentimes when I read about the importance of saying no and setting boundaries, the advice seems to assume that the things being declined aren’t all that desirable: unmanageable amounts of work, exhausting social commitments, and so on.

This week, I learned how hard it is to turn down things that might be very enjoyable, but yet feel like too much. As soon as I was on the mend, I wanted so badly to connect with friends, get back to work, and feel more engaged with the world around me. Even quick forays into doing more quickly resulted in my feeling lousy again: another unequivocal request from my body for me to slow down. Possibly to a full stop, if only for a little while.

This weekend, I’ve practiced saying no, not only to the things I (secretly or not-so-secretly) don’t want to do, but also to things I’d really like to do, if only it weren’t so important to be gentle with myself right now.

It has been challenging, not because any external pressures are being applied to me, but because it’s still my instinct to muscle through this period of feeling unwell. Being honest about what I can and can’t do right now means that my actions align with the truth of what I feel in my body.

There have been times in my past when going about my usual routine in the face of a health or psychological challenge was actually healing and soothing. This isn’t such a time, and as long as I’m going to commit to healing this summer—whatever that ends up looking like, for me—I owe it to myself to do so honestly and wholly.

Only a few hours after saying no to a few things I was anticipating happily, I feel sad to be missing out, but a little more rested and at peace. A hopeful sign that I’m tuning in wisely. Wishing you a week of heeding intuition, whether that means saying no, saying yes, or saying both when each makes sense. Here are the recipes and reads I’ve been catching up on.

Recipes

A spicy, earthy, simple vegan soup is just what the doctor ordered right now!

I love Steven’s idea to add meaty portobello mushrooms to classic ratatouille.

This hearty, plant protein-packed dish is my kind of summer salad. I love the combination of lentils and wild rice.

I’m always happy to have a new mango avocado salsa recipe!

Elena’s vegan cherry almond galette is show-stopping.

Reads

1. This past week has issued a powerful reminder that mental health struggles often go unseen. Joanna Goddard shared a powerful reflection depression and suicide, which is worth reading for the comments that were shared as well as the original post.

2. Relatedly, it can incredibly difficult to know what to do or what to say when a loved one is struggling with severe depression. Here are some broad, yet thoughtful tips.

3. Today’s Dietitian addresses the benefit of family meals and tackles the challenges that folks face in making them happen. I appreciate the invitation to toss out the idea that everything has to be made from scratch: appliances and wholesome store-bought options are a powerful means of making at-home meals doable for families, and for all of us!

4. A review of a new memoir about endometriosis and how poorly it’s often understood by healthcare providers.

5. Gut health is a huge topic of interest, and there’s a lot of buzz around probiotics and probiotic-containing foods. Still, there’s a great deal we don’t understand about how the microbiome works; it may take more time for us to identify all of the factors that actually enable beneficial bacteria to colonize and flourish the gut.

Coming up, a lovely summer salad that utilizes my fave balsamic Dijon tahini dressing. Can’t wait to share.

xo

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    7 Comments
  1. Possibly the only thing worse than being sick is being sick, feeling better, doing too much, and then getting really really sick.
    I feel like as i approach my late 30s my body is just needing more sleep, and more careful handling; i just don’t bounce back from being sick or not sleeping or jetlag the way i could just five years ago.

  2. Your Sunday posts have always been my favorite, mainly because you offer such an honest dialect at the beginning and are so raw in your depiction of your emotions and struggles, along with triumphs and successes at the time. There aren’t many people who can convey those things so beautifully. Thank you for always being an honest voice for those of us that struggle with many of the same things as you. I hope you have a wonderful year this year, too, and Happy belated 36th! <3

    On another front, thanks for introducing all of us to the lovely blog, Moonriver Kitchen. I love her recipes and can't wait to follow her from here on out. Have a lovely week, Gena!

  3. Good Morning, Gena–I’m with Amanda one hundred percent. She said it perfectly. It isn’t always on easy process to go with–many years ago when Mike’s Dad and i were separating, pretty amicably most of the intitial time, we’d joke that his motto needed to be, “Don’t just stand there, do something” and my motto needed to be “Don’t just do something, stand there.” Amen. And, if you need extra reflective support, you might want to go back and reread my post, “Knowing When to Say No,” and also your comment on it. 🙂 Much love to you, dear friend– https://fatfreevegan.com/slowmiracle/2015/04/12/knowing-when-to-say-no/

  4. I love this Gena. Giving yourself the permission to say no is one of best gifts you can give yourself. We heal in our time. X

You might also like

“When you don’t know what to do or how to move forward, stand still.” This is a piece of advice that my mother gave me during my post-bacc years. That time in my life was marked by a lot of indecision and agonized choices–most often, the choice of whether or not to keep going with my program for another semester or not. I’d receive yet another poor score or a discouraging comment or simply be hit with a spell of burnout, and I’d doubt what…

Happy Saturday, folks! I’m getting weekend reading up a little early today in preparation of a busy two days ahead of me. This week has flown by, a combination of book excitement, some new nutrition client sign-ups, and my first set of exams for school around the corner (boy, those arrived fast). But I haven’t been too busy to notice a few wonderful recipes from fellow bloggers. Baking season is here, and Nicole’s lovely masala chai carrot muffins look like a perfect way to…

Earlier this week, I mentioned that I’d been a little out of sorts. “Crabby” is actually the word I used to describe it to a friend, which in this case meant irritable, negative, and a little judgy. I’ve learned that these qualities tend to gather around me when I’m actually feeling more vulnerable things at the core: insecurity, perhaps, or vulnerability, or worry. I retreat to a bulwark of negativity to help defend myself against uncertainty and self-doubt. Not the best strategy. I…

Happy Sunday, all. We made it through our first week of 2017! One of the links I’m sharing this Sunday is Stella Blackmon‘s reflection on making friends as an adult. It’s refreshing, an honest look at how hard it can be to explore new situations, to put oneself out there, to accept that intimacy takes time. A few weeks ago, I had dinner with a friend. It had been too long–at least six months, if not more. As he and I got to…