Weekend Reading, 11.18.18

Weekend Reading | The Full Helping

My next door neighbor—I’ll call him Glen—passed away
recently. I’m not sure when. I’d known he wasn’t well for a
long time, based on our passing encounters and the haunting sound
of his cough echoing through the hallway we shared late at night.
For the past few months I suspected things might have taken a turn,
since I didn’t see or hear him. But I didn’t know for sure
that he was gone until my management company started gutting the
kitchen in his apartment this week.

Glen was always friendly to me. “How’s the world of
nutrition?” he’d ask me with a wink every time he saw me
bounding up the stairs of our brownstone, or passing by him in the
hallway. He had plenty to say about food and words and the
publishing industry, which he’d also worked in once upon a time.
Glen had a soft spot for Steven, too, back when we lived together.
He always inquired after Steven’s graduate studies and future
plans, and I remember a look of sincere sadness passing over his
face when I told him that Steven was gone, and I’d be living on
my own from now on.

Life in New York city is so odd sometimes. There are always
people around, and it’s also so easy to disappear—especially
for those of us whose tendency it is to isolate or turn inwards
when something’s troubling us.

Glen and I slept less than a hundred feet away from each other
every night for four years, and yet we didn’t interact as
neighbors in a traditional way: I know so little about him, aside
from the tiny bits and pieces he shared. I brought him food, but
only once or twice. We rarely checked in with each other, even when
the water was off, or the heat was being fussy.

Glen had a lot to say, once he started talking. I’m
remembering now that I’d sometimes feign being rushed when I saw
him, even if I wasn’t, because I wasn’t in the mood or feeling
up to a chat. I very seldom took the time to ask him anything aside
from a polite “what’s new?” or “how’ve you been?”

I know that this is how things are. Many of us feel that our
time is scarce, or our energies only go so far, and we act
accordingly. But since I found out about Glen this week I can’t
help but feel ashamed of those hurried encounters, my lack of
curiosity about the person whose front door was a few steps away
from mine. Time is scarce, but not in the way I often think that it
is. It’s life itself, and life experience, that’s really
precious. Not each passing minute in my seemingly oh-so-busy

It’s Thanksgiving this week. The holiday holds mixed
associations for many of us, but the spirit of the day is to
recognize gratefully our blessings. It’ll be a quiet holiday for
me as far as plans go—dinner and TV bingeing with mom—but right
now the meaning of the day looms large in my heart.

I’m giving thanks for the sheer abundance of good fortune in
my life, past and present. And I’m thinking about how I might
honor my blessings by sharing myself and my time a little more
readily than I do now. Not with grand gestures, but with small acts
of kindness: warm smiles, texts to my friends, saying “I love
you” rather than letting it be assumed.

I’m thinking most of all about the need to offer up my
attention to other people, rather than allowing it to always be
tied up in me and my . . . stuff. Work in progress, but if
there’s anything I can do to recognize my neighbor’s passing,
it’s to be neighborly with others, in every sense of the word. I
have five weeks left at my current acute care rotation, and if
there’s any place to practice attentiveness, it’ll be

I’m wishing you all the attention you deserve this week.
Starting tonight, with my love and gratitude and recognition for
the time you take to visit this space. Thank you. Here are the
week’s recipes and reads.


The pre-Thanksgiving side dish love continues! Currently
crushing on Lindsay’s
creamy sautéed Brussels sprouts salad with mustard sauce

Not a Thanksgiving side, per se, but a perfect, all-purpose,
lemony lentil dish
from my friend Shira.

Loving these autumnal chili
vegetable tacos with a tangy sunflower seed sauce
! Just my kind
of #tacotuesday meal.

A perfectly simple, simply
perfect beet dish
inspired by a local NYC eatery.

Finally, Sophia continues to dominate vegan pre-Thanksgiving
recipes! This time, she’s folding leftover cranberry sauce into
tasty, healthful
cranberry oat crumble bars


1. There’s a lot of early and suggestive research about the
link between meditation and slowing of the aging process. Jo
Marchant—author of one of my
favorite books about mind body medicine
a closer look

2. National Geographic has put together a visually stunning,
longform story on
how climate change is impacting life in Antarctica

3. Appreciate Ellie Krieger’s take on
the importance of not skipping breakfast
, regardless of what
many popular eating styles prescribe.

4. Working in a hospital setting, I’ve become familiar with
opportunistic fungal infections like C auris. Maybe that’s why
Maryn McKenna’s
new article on antifungal resistance
caught my eye. Frightening

5. Ending on a light note,
a quirky and eclectic list of tips for de-stressing before

I know well that Thanksgiving, like other holidays, can be laden
with mixed emotions and experiences. Whether you’re celebrating
Thanksgiving this week or not, I wish you peace and self-care,
experienced privately or shared. And I wish you nourishing food,


The post Weekend
Reading, 11.18.18
appeared first on The Full Helping.

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Weekend Reading, 11.18.18