Weekend Reading
April 10, 2022

Weekend Reading | The Full Helping

It means a lot to me that, during my spell of intermittent weekend reading posting and sporadic recipe sharing this winter and spring, this community has given me the space to pop in and out of blogging as I’m able.

A few of you have even emailed to say that you find it nice when I post just to say that I can’t post. We’re all so hard on ourselves. If my being too busy or overwhelmed to write much creates just a little more space for one or two of you to prioritize rest, then I’m glad about it.

Still, I really love these weekend check-ins. They give me so much: connection, processing time, self-expression, and of course a reason to read, to stay on top of interesting news and writing.

I was excited to sit down this past Friday and write something substantial, but work got the better of me. And now Chloe is here with her kids. We’re having a grand time showing them around NYC, taking them to some of the places we loved when we were growing up here.

So I don’t have too much to say on this Sunday, except that I’m cherishing opportunities to be with the people I love. This was also the theme of my last weekend reading post.

Today my yoga teacher noted that, when we’re really busy, it’s usually because there’s a lot of life happening. That’s true for me right now. Work is busy. I’m focused on supporting my clients. I’m trying to wrap up projects that have been in the works for a long time. There’s yoga to do and friends to hug and talk to.

In spite of my own tendency to overwhelm easily, I’m embracing this moment of great activity. A lot of life is happening, and it’s life that I want to show up for.

I’m tired, I’m rushed, I’m a little frazzled. But I’m engaged and connected to purpose. I’m not living in my head. I’m not feeling very lonely, which in and of itself is something to cherish.

The prospect of writing more, cooking more, and sharing more recipes here gives me something to look forward to, and I cherish that as well.

So, happy Sunday, friends. Here’s to life. And here are some recipes and reads.

Recipes

How good does Jess’ chocolate oatmeal look?!

I’ve got my eye on Teri-Ann’s flavorful BBQ tofu and cauliflower lettuce wraps.

A vibrant vegan minty pea soup for spring.

I love TVP and don’t use it often enough. Shu-Chun’s Chinese eggplant stir-fried rice with TVP is inspiring me.

Finally, I love the looks of Ashlea’s grilled vegetable and rice salad. Would be a great, plant-based dish to contribute to an Easter meal.

Reads

1. The rich history, and—unbeknownst to me until now—many colors of tempeh.

2. Sadly, though not surprisingly for our pandemic times, US life expectancy is down for the second year in a row.

3. So rich and interesting: what science still doesn’t know about the five senses.

4. “The Tree” is a legendary source of mahogany wood, located in the jungles of Belize. I didn’t know how highly luthiers and musicians—including some very famous musicians—prize guitars that are made from this source. Smithsonian takes a dive into the history of this mythic tree and the instruments it has created.

5. I was touched by Clare Gerada’s essay in The Guardian about how her professional life as a GP in England has shifted over the years.

Gerada focuses specifically on the practice of making house calls, once an integral part of how she cared for patients.

House calls have been irrevocably changed by many factors, but especially the fact that patients are living longer, often with multiple comorbidities that might each require the technologies that only a hospital or long-term care environment can afford them.

Gerada writes,

In the later years of my career, it was no longer possible to build an understanding of each patient’s personal context, their family and community. Even when I was working in large GP cooperatives, sharing the out-of-hours workload, it was different, more personal, and one felt that “something could be done”, even if it were only to offer compassion.

But there is nothing much I can offer to the patients I attend to nowadays. I cannot make them better, or reverse the effects of old age or serious illness with simple painkillers or antibiotics. The problems I saw could not be dealt with by me alone, yet gone were the support systems I could rely on in the past. Gone were the district nurses whose names I knew.

Earlier in the piece, she describes her current work as “part of a gig economy” and goes on to describe the loss and sadness she feels as she wraps up her final out-of-hours session as a GP.

While the medical system in the UK is no doubt quite different from the one here, I’m sure that many of the changes in care that Gerada describes apply to US primary care practice, too.

As I read the piece, I couldn’t help but feel glad to be a dietitian. The very nature of my work is lifestyle-based; it’s not my scope of practice to focus on procedures or technology-based interventions. It’s rare that I even need to conduct a nutrition-focused physical exam on one of my clients, and since I work via Telehealth, I do this less and less.

What I am able to do is develop an intimate understanding of my clients’ personal lives—everything from their personal traumas to their weekly parenting and work schedules—in order to better support them with the day-to-day business of eating. It’s allowed me to become very close to the people with whom I work, and that closeness is a gift.

I know that many doctors are trying to bring this level of lifestyle support and continuity back into primary care, and I hope that their efforts will be transformative for patients.

On that note, everyone, I wish you a Sunday of living and being alive. See you back here soon!*

xo

*(I know I’ve said that on numerous Sundays and then not shown up again soon, but—this is the week, I think. 😉 )

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    2 Comments
  1. Thank you so much for including the article on tempeh! My family lived in Jakarta when I was a kid and my mom loved making fried tempeh though I thought it was gross 😀 She was delighted to read the article.

  2. It’s always nice reading your posts. I’m happy for you to be spending time with Chloe and her family. Nothing like being with littler ones to be lifted up with hope for the future.

    Thxx so much for the link on tempeh. I had been looking around a few weeks ago on making tempeh at home again. I found a few sites, but none as wonderful as the one in the your link to the Taste article. I look forward to making tempeh again. Thxx and have a wonderful week!!

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