Happy weekend! And to those of you who celebrated Rosh Hashanah this week, happy new year. I greeted the holiday with Isa‘s vegan challah from Superfun Times and a gathering with my chosen family on Thursday evening. It was a lovely night, rich in conversation and good food.
I got to thinking about how five months ago I sat at the exact same table for Passover, my outlook and spirits so different than they are now. I remember how much it took for me to even get to Passover that night: I was stuck in what could probably be described as some mild agoraphobia, anxiety about leaving my home space that had descended on me in the winter last year. I was glad to be around loved ones, but also self-conscious, nervous about socializing after an isolated year.
This week, by contrast, I felt like myself, or the self I’m becoming as I pass through a lot of change. It felt easy to open up, to laugh, to share; I wasn’t closed or anxious, and I didn’t second guess what I had to say. When we uttered blessings for a sweet new year, I found myself believing with my whole heart that this year would be sweeter than last, not because I expect it to be free of pain or challenge, but because I feel stronger and more assured of my resilience than I have in a long time. It was a happy moment, and I was grateful for it.
It’s not the turn of a new year for everyone, and since I’m not Jewish I suppose it isn’t technically a new year for me, either! But it feels like the right moment to acknowledge a fresh start. I wish you all sweet new beginnings, too, and I hope you enjoy the links this week.
I think I’ve found my new favorite savory breakfast: Erin’s hearty, healthy smoky beans and polenta.
What a beautiful salad for late summer: Lindsey’s bowl of arugula, peaches, avocado, kale, and a scrumptious roasted poblano lime dressing.
I’m loving this untraditional, accessible, weeknight-friendly vegan paella from Agnes of Cashew Kitchen.
The seasons are changing, but it’s still summer, and while the warm weather lasts I’m dying to make Sarah’s vegan coconut ginger ice cream with plantain chips!
1. I can barely put into words how much I love this story! Eight-year-old Sophia Spencer’s passion for the insect world was making her the subject of teasing at school, until her mom reached out to the Entomological Society of Canada for some support.
She got an overwhelming response from professionals who were thrilled to help encourage Sophia’s interests. The story went viral, inspiring the hashtag #Bugs4Girls, and Sophia was even asked to co-author a paper about science communication and public perception of entomology! It’s an inspiring story of the scientific community coming together, of parents nurturing a child’s interests, and of a girl who was unafraid to wear her passion on her sleeve at a young and vulnerable age.
2. With his characteristic talent for turning science reporting into artful and riveting storytelling, Siddhartha Mukherjee describes our quest to understand how and why tumors metastasize.
3. A mother’s candid, humble reflections on watching her daughter develop the anxiety that seems to affect generations of women in her family. Sobering, but the genetic component of mental health struggles is a reality, and I think Paula Fitzgibbons handles it gracefully and with hope.
4. At the request of curious ecologists, a juice company dumped leftover orange peels in a deforested area of Costa Rica. A decade later, here’s what it looks like.
5. Journalist Cathryn Jakobson Ramin has been reporting on back pain and the industry that has sprung up around it for almost a decade, and she has a new book forthcoming on the subject. In this article, she reports on how relief for chronic back pain may require patients to consider the role that the brain and central nervous system play in their symptoms, rather than looking to spinal treatments for answers.
The busyness of a new fall semester is now fully fledged. I’m staying afloat and also leaving myself some space for messiness and for figuring it all out as I go along. This week, I’ll be sharing a savory breakfast bowl recipe that’s doable even on a hurried morning. See you soon.
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…
Just yesterday afternoon, I stumbled on this piece of photojournalism. It describes what refugee families in the Diffa region of Niger are eating with the few food staples they can obtain. Buzzfeed reports, Nearly one in five people are victims of food insecurity in landlocked Niger, one of the poorest in the world. The reasons are both man-made and natural. The vast, largely agrarian country experiences a rainy season for only two months each year — and, with climate change causing havoc in…
I’ve been reading a lot about authenticity lately. I guess this is self-selecting, as it’s a topic that interests me and tends to permeate the spaces I spend time in (yoga studios, blogs that focus on health and self-care, therapy). But authenticity seems to be having something of a moment, too—or so book titles and articles would suggest. For the holidays, my mom gifted me with a copy of Baron Baptiste’s new book, Perfectly Imperfect. I was touched that she thought of it,…
It hasn’t been a smooth season for me as far as body image goes. I started grappling with dysmorphia back in the fall. The discomfort has quieted down since then, but it hasn’t gone away. The last few months are the most consistently uncomfortable I’ve felt in my body in a good many years. I’ve been feeling the sensations without acting on them when it comes to my food intake—in fact, with the demands of the DI (commuting, lots of hours on my…