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Your Guide to Ultherapy

As we age, the skin loses its natural elasticity and shine as the cells die out through a degenerative process. Though there are a lot of skin products that help in making the skin retain its smoothness and softness, most are still a temporary solution and in the long run become a hefty cost. Surgery can also be done but the pain and the costs often make people shy away from taking the option. Now here comes Ultherapy, a new alternative that gives you healthier and younger-looking skin.

What is Ultherapy?

Ultherapy is a skin treatment that doesn’t involve going under the knife or getting wheeled into a surgery room. This uses ultrasound waves to make the skin more loose and then lifting it without the need for surgery. Ultherapy stimulates the deep layers of the skin that are often addressed in skin surgery, but this therapy works without the need of injuring the tissues at all. Because of ultrasound, healthcare professionals are capable of visualizing the skin and just the right amount of energy is applied to the specific area of the skin to be treated.

How Does it Work?

Ultherapy makes use of ultrasound waves to stimulate the tissues beneath the skin, even reaching several layers up to the muscles. This makes the skin grow tighter, close pores, and make the skin look smoother. Regarded as safe by the medical community worldwide for over 50 years, Ultherapy eliminates the need for one to undergo surgery or other invasive procedures in order to make the skin look healthier and younger.

Contributed By:

Skin Tightening Clinic Singapore
Blk 125 Bt Merah Lane 1, #01-174, Singapore 150125

Simple Lentil & Pumpkin Seed Dip

Simple Lentil & Pumpkin Seed Dip | The Full Helping

I had such great recipe plans for the week! They involved lots of grain salads and soups and a few tasty entrees. Five days and minimal batch cooking later, I managed to make the skillet chili mac from Power Plates…and that’s about it. But this creamy, simple lentil & pumpkin seed dip happened too, almost by accident, and I’m calling it a small victory.

Simple Lentil & Pumpkin Seed Dip | The Full Helping

Necessity was the mother of invention here. I was craving hummus toast on Tuesday morning, but there wasn’t a chickpea in sight. I did have a lot of cooked green lentils that I’d made over the weekend, so I decided to improvise, using what I had to create something new. I’ve been staring at a bag of shelled pumpkin seeds in my pantry for the last month, wondering what I’d do with them aside from sprinkling them onto soups and salads, so I figured I’d grind them up and add them to my dip: sort of a hummus/nut pate hybrid.

As happy as I was with how the dip turned out, I wasn’t quite sure about posting it here or on the Insta. With all of the gorgeous toast creations floating around the interwebs, I wasn’t sure this simple concoction added much to the online gallery. I did put it on Instagram, though, and a few friends and readers chimed in to say that they liked the idea and wanted to try it.

So long as that’s true—and so long as this blog remains a real-life space, a place for the stuff I’m making and eating even when things don’t go as planned—I figure it’s worth sharing. Here’s the recipe; I served mine with cucumber slices and fresh parsley (which also makes an appearance in the dip itself), but you could use it any which way you’d use hummus or bean spreads. I’m pretty keen on trying it with baked tempeh or tofu strips next.

Simple Lentil & Pumpkin Seed Dip | The Full Helping

Simple Lentil & Pumpkin Seed Dip

Recipe type: dip, spread
Cuisine: gluten free, no oil, soy free, tree nut free
Author: Gena Hamshaw
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
Total time: 15 mins
Serves: 2 cups (8 servings)
  • ⅓ cup shelled pumpkin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 small clove garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups cooked brown or green lentils (or 1 can, drained and rinsed)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ cup parsley, loosely packed
  • ¼ cup water (or as needed)
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  1. Place the pumpkin seeds and salt into a food processor fitted with the S blade. Process the seeds until they’re finely ground. Add the garlic, lentils, and lemon juice. Process until the mixture is thick and well combined, then start to drizzle in the water. Continue processing; as soon as the dip has the texture you want, you can stop adding water (and if it’s still thicker than you’d like, add a few tablespoons more). I made mine the same texture as regular hummus.
  2. Add the parsley to the processor and pulse until it’s chopped and mixed into the mixture. Taste, and then add extra salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Serve on toast, with crackers, with raw veggies, in a wrap, or however you like!
Leftover dip will keep for up to 4-5 days in an airtight container in the fridge.

Simple Lentil & Pumpkin Seed Dip | The Full Helping

Of course, you could use walnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, or pretty much any other nut/seed in place of the pumpkin seeds. And you could also try kidney or adzuki or pinto beans in place of the lentils. This recipe, like many others I’m relying on right now, is most definitely a template more than anything else.

I used to look at batch cooking as an all or nothing proposition: either I’d get it done exactly as planned, or the week would be shot, and I’d have to improvise everything. As with all things, I’m easing up on the strict binary here: I can not cook as much as I’d planned, while also cooking a few of the things I’d planned. And I can improvise the rest. When improvising turns out this nicely (because I’m pretty sure this will be a staple dip for me), I welcome it with open arms.

Happy Thursday, and see you soon for weekend reading.


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Weekend Reading, 4.15.18

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.


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.


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.


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Creamy Vegan Carrot Mac with Walnut Herb “Parmesan”

 Creamy Vegan Carrot Mac with Walnut Herb "Parmesan" | The Full Helping

This creamy vegan carrot mac with walnut parmesan is what happens when you’ve got a strong hankering for comfort food, but a fraction of the time it would usually take to whip up a bubbly, baked, mac n’ cheese masterpiece. It’s quick and untraditional, but for me, so many of the key components are here: those sweet, nostalgic pasta elbows, cheesy flavor, a super creamy sauce, and a crispy, salty, savory sprinkle on top.

I’ve played around with lots of different, speedy vegan mac n’ cheese formulas: this one is a go-to, and in the summer this red pepper version is my favorite. I’ve had a feeling that last weekend’s chilly snap might be the last hurrah of winter 2018 (it’s supposed to be in the 70s on Saturday!) so I’ve been enjoying a few of my favorite roots and cooler weather veggies. I used Brussels sprouts as a mix-in here; you could us broccoli florets, zucchini or summer squash, chopped kale, or pretty much any vegetable you’d like instead. The veggies get added to the pasta as it cooks, making the recipe especially streamlined.

Creamy Vegan Carrot Mac with Walnut Herb "Parmesan" | The Full Helping

The star, as with any mac n’ cheese dish, is of course the sauce. I’ve been wanting to try carrots as a base for ages (there’s a more elaborate butternut mac in Food52 Vegan that I love, and I suspected that carrots might add a similar, subtle sweetness), and I’m so glad I finally did it. I love this sauce, and I’ll probably make batches of it to use as an all-purpose cheese sauce; I’m pretty excited to pour it over a baked potato in the very near future.

Creamy Vegan Carrot Mac with Walnut Herb "Parmesan" | The Full Helping

The sauce can be made ahead of time, if you want the dish to be as easy as boiling pasta. For a little crispiness on top, I whipped up a simple walnut herb “parmesan.” Once again, I was excited to have a new and different version of something I’ve made many times before: you can create vegan parm with pretty much any nut + nutritional yeast + sauce, but this was my first time using walnuts. I was happy to have such a nutrient-dense nut as a base, and the flavor is great—dried herbs add a lot to this otherwise simple meal.

Creamy Vegan Carrot Mac with Walnut Herb "Parmesan" | The Full Helping

Creamy Vegan Carrot Mac with Walnut Herb “Parmesan”

Recipe type: main dish, quick & easy
Cuisine: vegan, gluten free option, soy free, no oil
Author: Gena Hamshaw
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Total time: 25 mins
Serves: 4 servings
For the mac:
  • 2 cups roughly chopped or sliced carrot
  • ⅓ cup (1.5 ounces) raw cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours and drained of soak water
  • ¾ cup + 1-3 tablespoons (as needed) water
  • ½ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1½ tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 small clove garlic or ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 8 ounces pasta of choice (I like a small shape, like shells or elbows, for this dish)
  • 12 ounces halved or quartered (depending on the size), trimmed Brussels sprouts, or another chopped vegetable of choice
  • Walnut “parmesan” (below), or a vegan parmesan of choice, for topping
For the walnut parm:
  • ½ cup raw walnut halves or pieces
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (more as needed)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  1. Bring a pot of water to boil and fit it with a steamer attachment. Steam the carrots till they’re tender, about 8 minutes. Alternately, you can place the carrots in a microwave-safe bowl with 2 tablespoons water and microwave for 4 minutes, or until they’re tender. Set the carrots aside.
  2. Bring a larger pot of water to boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package instructions; 2 minutes before the cooking time is up, add your Brussels sprouts or other vegetable to the pot.
  3. While the water boils and/or pasta cooks, transfer the cashews, cooked carrots, ¾ cup water, salt, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and garlic to a powerful blender or a food processor. Blend till the sauce is very smooth; if it’s very thick or it won’t blend nicely, add an extra 1-3 tablespoons water, or as much as you need to get a thick but smooth and pourable mixture. Add black pepper to taste.
  4. To make the parm, transfer all ingredients to a food processor and pulse till you have a fine crumble. (This can be done in advance; the parmesan will keep for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container in the fridge.)
  5. When the pasta and veggies are ready, drain them. Add the sauce and mix well; taste, then add additional salt as needed. Divide the mac onto plates and top with the walnut parm or your vegan parm of choice. Serve.
The carrot sauce can be prepared up to four days in advance and stored in an airtight container in the fridge.

Creamy Vegan Carrot Mac with Walnut Herb "Parmesan" | The Full Helping

With an intense final stretch of the semester directly in front of me, I couldn’t be happier to have these leftovers in the fridge, waiting to feed me for the next couple nights. I’m sure I’ll be ecstatic to eat something more springy by Saturday, but today, comfort and coziness is the name of the game. Happy Tuesday—I’m beaming cozy thoughts to you all.


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Weekend Reading, 4.8.18

Weekend Reading | The Full Helping

I feel as though I’ve been talking a lot about the weather lately, but it’s been so unpredictable that it gives me and fellow New Yorkers plenty to say. It was mild and sunny last weekend on Easter Sunday, which made Monday morning’s rapidly accumulating snowfall a surprise. It was balmy on Friday, and it’s in the thirties now. Go figure.

My internal and external state seems to be ebbing and flowing with similar lack of predictability. My emotions have been all over the place this week: anxious one day, sad the next, perfectly at peace eight hours later. Last spring Maria shared with me the phase “emotional weather,” which stuck with me, and it feels particularly apt right now.

My body has been going through similar highs and lows: I’ve woken up on at least three mornings this week certain that I was fending off another cold; I’ll spend a day or so with a tight, dry throat and stuffy nose, only to wake up feeling sort of OK the following day.

I feel more clearheaded and less exhausted today than I have in a while, which I’m thankful for, but it’s been a long winter of being run-down. My sleep was thin and fitful throughout the holiday season, and January was marked by a lot of digestive turbulence—a stomach bug followed by the old pangs of IBS, which lasted for weeks. Throughout that time and since then it’s been one sniffle after another, and I’m moving into the time of year where it’s often hard to separate seasonal allergies from colds.

These are all small physical complaints, but in the aggregate they can feel tiring. They also drudge up an old feeling, which is discouragement—even disappointment—when my health isn’t robust. This was a big part of my own experience of orthorexia: panic and frustration whenever I experienced physical ailments, followed by desperate dietary tweaking in order to “fix” what was wrong. Back then, it never occurred to me that food wasn’t the root cause, that stress or sheer chance (running into the wrong microbes at the wrong time) might be more likely explanations of why I didn’t feel well.

Looking back on this, I realize that I was suffering from the same impulse toward control that had characterized anorexia. Orthorexia involves food and dietary habits, but for me, its truest kinship with other disordered eating was the intense desire to make my body behave. In this case, good behavior didn’t mean remaining a certain shape or weight, but rather being optimally healthful all the time.

Anorexia recovery asked me to befriend my body, to recognize its inherent value and to respect it no matter the shape. Getting over orthorexia meant letting go of the idea that my body could sustain peak performance without moments of fatigue or vulnerability. It included the recognition that vitality isn’t a steady state; it looks different from person to person, and it ebbs and flows and shifts and changes, just as we do.

This doesn’t mean that I don’t strive to be healthful and feel well. When I recognize the signs of illness or exhaustion, or when I suspect that my physical state is mirroring deep stress or discouragement—soul-sickness, I sometimes call it—I do my best to nourish and care. In these moments, I’m grateful to my body for giving me a signal that something’s “off.”

There are times, though, when chronic malaise or getting sick still registers as a trigger to the controlling and compulsive parts of my brain, still makes me feel that something is fundamentally wrong with my body. In these moments, it’s important for me to call upon my recovery tools of compassion and self-acceptance. I need to resist judging or labeling my body and instead ask myself what it’s communicating to me. And I do my best to remember that health exists on a complex and fluid spectrum, rather than a rigid scale.

Early last week I felt dissatisfied with my body for being susceptible and drained. Today I feel grateful to it, because the sniffles and pangs have encouraged me to take a look at areas, both physical and emotional, that I’ve been avoiding. It gives me food for thought and a roadmap for self-care as the new week begins.

Wishing you all clear lines of communication with your body as we move into spring. Enjoy this week’s crop of recipes and reads.


I love the sounds of this beautiful, thin-crust white pizza. Eva tops it vegan garlic béchamel sauce, roasted tomatoes, crispy kale, and seitan: a perfect mix of color, texture and taste.

I make grain salads with so many different whole grains as a base, and I sometimes forget that rice can be one of the best and most toothsome options! I’m super excited to try Cathy’s simple, springy rice salad with shiitake mushrooms and asparagus.

I love the lentil + roasted carrot combo (there’s a salad version of it in Power Plates), and I’m all over Danielle’s lentils with roasted carrots, asparagus, and fresh herbs. Hearty enough for cool weather but full of spring energy.

Speaking of roasted carrots—and also of roasted cauliflower—Shelly’s couscous salad with creamy tahini is calling my name loudly. I need to add chopped dates to salads more often.

For dessert, Kasey’s decadent and beautiful coconut raspberry layer cake.


1. A new study shows positive associations between vegetable consumption and healthy blood vessels in older women. Researchers in the study, which is reported on by Health Day here, used sonograms to measure the thickness of female participants’ carotid arteries. The artery walls of women who ate the most vegetables were about 0.05 millimeter thinner than those who ate the fewest—a potentially significant difference, since a 0.1 millimeter decrease in carotid wall thickness was linked to a 10 percent to 18 percent lower risk of stroke and heart attack.

2. One of the most timely debates in healthcare is whether or not aggressive and widespread screening may do too much harm along with preventive good. I go back and forth about this, sometimes feeling certain that more information is better, sometimes agreeing with those who say that over-diagnosis substantially mitigates—and perhaps even outweighs—the benefits of many new technologies. This article provides a brief look at the controversy.

3. As that dialog continues, the value of prevention remains as strong as ever. I really like Christy Brissette’s five steps for reducing cancer risk, which feature selecting a plant-based diet and lowering red meat consumption as numbers one and two. I also appreciate that Brissette acknowledges the vital importance of social cohesion, flexibility, stress reduction, and taking pleasure in food.

4. I related to many pieces of Rachel KallemWhitman’s Medium piece on traveling and eating disorders, including what it’s like to have a fundamentally complicated relationship with travel because you’ve got stuff—anxiety, compulsions, whatever—that make changes to routine a major challenge.

The older and father away from anorexia I get, the more I can relate to her most recent sentiments about traveling: “…I feel accomplished. And content. I traveled and I enjoyed it — like everyone else seems to — and while I’m happy to be home I’m not resigned to stay still forever.”

5. Other things I relate to: nearly all of Sara Benincasa’s humorous and self-aware reflections on getting into meditation (also, getting past codependency).

On that note, wishing all of my fellow Greek Americans a very, very Happy Easter Sunday. I’ll be carting some of my favorite vegan avgolemono to my mom’s soon. And I’ll be back in a couple of days with what may be my last comfort food recipe of this winter season.



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Roasted Broccoli & Kimchi Spicy Soba Noodle Toss

Roasted Broccoli & Kimchi Spicy Soba Noodle Toss | The Full Helping

I guess the more proper term for this recipe would be a kimchi noodle salad, but “toss” is more evocative of this past week and the cooking that happened within it: throwing things together, hoping for the best. I made one pot of soup (the spicy cabbage, chickpea, and rice soup from Power Plates, which I called to my defense as I battled down yet another winter cold), but the rest of my meals have been hodgepodges and attempts to use up the things I’ve batch cooked, then forgotten were there.

One of those things was a giant tray of roasted broccoli. The broccoli itself was just about to move past its prime when I roasted it, but I wasn’t really sure how I’d use it once it was out of the oven. I figured it would probably just go into bowls or get mixed up with pasta.

Roasted Broccoli & Kimchi Spicy Soba Noodle Toss | The Full Helping

Pasta would have been fine, but this afternoon, I got to thinking about how much I’ve always loved broccoli in noodle dishes. I had soba, I had kimchi, and I had red cabbage that was also in need of quick use. Throwing those things together is how this recipe happened, and it was so easy and tasty that I knew pretty much as soon as I mixed it all up that it was worth sharing.

The recipe happens in about fifteen minutes if you happen to have the broccoli pre-roasted, the way I did. If you don’t, it’s still pretty fast: you can boil the noodles while the broccoli roasts, and the dressing for the salad is just a few ingredients, which are easy to whisk together. I haven’t had a chance to taste the leftovers yet, but I have a strong suspicion that I’ll be happy with them when I dig in at lunchtime tomorrow. This will be a good candidate for packable lunches, when the time comes for me to get into that habit again!

Here’s the formula.

Roasted Broccoli & Kimchi Spicy Soba Noodle Toss | The Full Helping

Roasted Broccoli & Kimchi Spicy Soba Noodle Toss

Recipe type: salad, main dish
Cuisine: vegan, gluten free option, soy free option, tree nut free
Author: Gena Hamshaw
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 25 mins
Total time: 35 mins
Serves: 4 servings
  • 1 medium head broccoli (about 1 lb), thick stems removed and cut into florets and pieces
  • 1 tablespoon neutral vegetable oil, such as grapeseed or refined avocado
  • 8 ounces soba noodles (100% buckwheat for a GF option)
  • 1½ cups shredded purple cabbage
  • 1 cup kimchi of choice (check the label to be sure it’s vegan), chopped (if there’s brine left on your chopping board after chopping, you can tip the board and pour it into the noodle toss for extra flavor!)
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons tamari, soy sauce, or coconut aminos
  • 1½ tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds (black or white)
  1. Preheat your oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment. Toss the broccoli with the oil, then transfer the florets to the baking sheet. Roast for 22-25 minutes, or until the broccoli is browning and crispy.
  2. Bring a pot of water to boil and add the soba. Cook according to package instructions, then drain.
  3. Transfer the broccoli, noodles, purple cabbage, and kimchi to a large mixing bowl. Whisk together the sesame oil, tamari, and rice vinegar together, then add them to the noodles. Toss everything together till it’s all mixed well. Adjust the vinegar and tamari as needed, then fold in the sesame seeds. Serve.
Leftovers will keep for two days in an airtight container in the fridge.

Roasted Broccoli & Kimchi Spicy Soba Noodle Toss | The Full Helping

Normally I’d have schemed about extra herbs or seasonings I could add to this dish, but the beauty of using so much kimchi is that it adds plenty of acidity, heat, garlic, and saltiness all on its own. Very little else is necessary once you’ve added it—so it’s a perfect shortcut for busy times. (There’s a kimchi fried rice in Power Plates that’s the same idea: my friend Ali shared it on her blog!)

I’ll keep rolling with the punches over here, doing my best to throw together spontaneous meals that are this tasty along the way. And I’ll be back for the weekend recipe and reading roundup. Be well, and happy almost Friday.



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Weekend Reading, 4.1.18

Weekend Reading | The Full Helping

Happy weekend to you, and happy Easter to those who are celebrating today. This is less my holiday than Passover, which I celebrated on Friday, or Greek Easter, which my mom and I will celebrate next Sunday, but I’m spending time with the idea of rebirth.

A year ago today, Steven moved out. It’s a strange anniversary to commemorate, but I’ve been surprised at how much feeling it brings up. Memories have been coming and going, and I even had my first dream since the breakup last night. (I’ve never been able to remember dreams; a year or so before the breakup, I started remembering bits and pieces, and my therapist and I spent time journaling them, but they stopped altogether last spring.)

I’ve been observing this one-year mark in small ways. I wrote a thank you card to the yoga teacher whose class I took while Steven was here with the moving van. I’d put myself in a supported pose and cried quietly through most of this teacher’s class, and I remember feeling so grateful to him for giving me the space to do that, for bearing witness gently.

I’m also thinking of the time that’s passed since April, comparing where I am when I wrote this post to where I am today. It’s a different interior landscape. Anxiety has receded; I know that it’s something I live with and will experience again, but it’s been months since it affected my ability to function, and I’m grateful for a period of freedom. I’m still angry, but I’m less angry, and I’m not clinging to my anger the way I was for a while.

I’ve gained enough perspective to see that the breakup isn’t something that happened to me, which is how it felt at first. I’m learning to own the things I chose not to see, the clues I didn’t want to pay attention to, the ways in which I did my own hiding and dissembling. I’ve gotten over the idea that there’s something I could have done to make things happen differently. The relationship belonged to both of us; I couldn’t and shouldn’t have steered it on my own.

I’m letting go of my shame about the fact that things ended and the way they ended. I’m releasing the idea that what happened between us is some sort of indication that I’m not capable of making a lasting partnership work. I carried that idea around like a weight for a long time; it’s still with me, but I’m learning how to put it down.

I’ve started dating again, here and there. It’s been OK. Mostly it’s shown me how far I am from feeling at peace with myself and my life as it is. So I’m continuing to take the advice of a good friend who invited me to date myself. I’m planning solitary time and activities that I look forward to. I’m saving for a trip this summer. I’ve made my home a space that I love being in. After months of erratic sleep, too much screen time, and soothing myself with vegan cake, I’m getting back into more consistent self-care routines, including calming nighttime rituals, lots of nourishing food (along with the soul-nourishing treats), and finding a good balance between social time and me time. I’m redefining the experience of being on my own.

More than any other breakup I’ve experienced, this one has worked in unpredictable ways. The same wise friend who encouraged me to date myself told me, “heart wounds aren’t the same as other wounds—the healing is never linear.” For a while, I felt so impatient to be healed and partnered up again, which I see now was a way of resisting what had changed. I’m not interested in rushing the process along anymore; I’m simply staying curious about what it has to teach me. Or at least that’s how I feel on a good day.

A few weeks ago I started reading Sharon Salzberg’s Real Love. The book has helped me to see something that I was starting to see already, which is that love is abundant, but some of the narratives we create about it are narrow and fragile. I’m working to widen my understanding of love and to cultivate the self-compassion that makes me more able to give and receive it. Even a month of this mindfulness practice has helped me to feel more connected. And I’m grateful to Salzberg for reminding me that “letting go is an inside job, something only we can do for ourselves.”

I’m looking out my window on this Easter Sunday at trees that are just about to start blooming again, peeks of sun through a cloudy sky, and I’m catching breeze through the window that’s finally cracked open as New York City thaws from winter. I’m feeling poignantly aware of how possible it is for life to begin again. What a blessing.

Wishing you a hopeful start start to the week. Here are some recipe links and reads.


Lindsey’s apple breakfast cookies look like just the power snack to get me through this wild home stretch of grad school.

I’m so intrigued by the idea of a miso pesto ramen!

I want to toast thick slices of this seeded current spelt bread and eat it for breakfast tomorrow.

Walnut avocado yum sauce, anyone?

I don’t usually go for beans in dessert, but I’m drooling over Jerrelle’s black bean olive oil brownies. Super excited to check out her cookbook, too!


1. Miriam Reilly draws on her experience of grief to inform these wise words on how to comfort the brokenhearted.

2. A reader sent me this article, which offers a curious and interested, yet balanced perspective on the emerging field of nutritional psychiatry. On the same topic, new research suggests that the DASH diet—which can be modified to fit a vegan lifestyle and has been associated with lower rates of many chronic diseases—may benefit depression, too (I paused when I saw the word “cure,” but the article is more nuanced than the headline).

3. My cousin gave birth to very premature twins over the summer. I’d worked in the NICU as a volunteer during my post-bacc, but this was my first glimpse into the often terrifying experience of being the parent of an extremely premature baby. This article highlights the remarkable advances in neonatology that are changing odds for premies who have access to care.

4. On the topic of pregnancy, RD Jess Cording addresses food shaming and food anxiety during pregnancy. I really like her emphasis on tuning out shaming or triggering voices.

5. Finally, and relatedly, I was moved to tears by Heather’s tribute to ED recovery and how it opened up space for her to experience the joys of new motherhood. It’s a really beautiful read.

Till soon, be well.





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Smoky Lentil Kale Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Pumpkin Seed Cream

Smoky Lentil Kale Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Pumpkin Seed Cream | The Full Helping

Feels as though it’s been a while since I posted a recipe! I’ve been cooking, but most of what I’ve made has been either a tried-and-true staple—like this soup or these braised beans—or recipes from Power Plates, which I’m happily revisiting for the first time in a long while. Mixed in with all of the familiar favorites are a few new meals, and these smoky lentil kale stuffed sweet potatoes with pumpkin seed cream are one of them.

Smoky Lentil Kale Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Pumpkin Seed Cream | The Full Helping

On Tuesday morning, I stole a little time to visit the new 365 by Whole Foods market in Fort Greene. I’ve been a fan of Whole Food’s 365 products, including affordable canned beans, pasta sauce, tomato paste and canned tomatoes, veggie broth, spices, and more, for a long time, and I remember being really excited when I learned that the product line would be evolving into markets across the country.

Whole Foods Market 365 offer similar values and the same quality and focus of other Whole Foods stores—fresh produce, organically grown food, big selections of vegan products—with a focus on more affordable price points, smaller stores, and a more streamlined shopping experience. One of the upsides of my local Whole Foods are their size and selection, but I really appreciated how compact the Fort Green 365 market was: I was able to navigate the aisles and check out in what (for me) is record timing.

I also loved the focus on 365 products, from bagged produce to canned legumes to nuts and dried fruit. I’m used to seeking those items out for the price point, and it was nice to see them displayed so prominently. While the focus is decidedly on affordable, quality everyday cooking staples, the store also has plenty of specialized vegan options: I was super excited to see a fully stocked vegan cheese section, plenty of vegan meats, and a hot and cold bar for meals-to-go!

Smoky Lentil Kale Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Pumpkin Seed Cream | The Full Helping

One of my favorite recipes from Power Plates—one that I’ve revisited a few times since the book was published—are the Moroccan stuffed sweet potatoes, which feature fragrant spiced lentils and greens. This recipe was inspired by those, but it’s quicker, easier, and more streamlined. There are less spices and seasonings and a different flavor profile altogether—this time a smoky one. I used smoked paprika to make that happen, but a vegan bacon could be used instead, or in addition to it, for extra smokiness.

It was easy to find everything I needed for the recipe at the market. I picked up a bag of black lentils (they got much paler as they cooked, which is why they look brown here!), onion, sweet potatoes, and the pumpkin seeds with which I made the cream. The idea was to replicate Mexican crema, which is usually a little tart; I find pumpkin seeds to be ever-so-slightly bitter on their own, and I added a squeeze of lime juice to the mix for good measure. There’s a bulk bin section at the store, and pumpkin seeds are also sold bagged (as are other nuts, seeds, dried fruits, and grains).

While I was stocking up for the recipe, I also picked up a few other things I needed, including brussels sprouts (this week’s pick for veggies to roast for bowls and salads), herbal tea, and canned beans. Next time I’m nearby, I’m excited to stop by the Orwasher’s bakery on the ground floor of the store and see what vegan breads are available.

Smoky Lentil Kale Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Pumpkin Seed Cream | The Full Helping

In the meantime, these potatoes. What I crave most when I’m super busy is food that feels grounding to me, and potatoes always do. So do earthy lentils and cooked greens. The recipe is just what I need right now, and it’s an easy one to batch cook: the potatoes and filling can be prepared separately, if you’d like to make either in advance, and the you could even split preparation of the filling up by cooking the lentils a day before sautéing them with the onion and kale. If you store the potatoes and filling separately, they’ll hold up better as leftovers.

And if you don’t have time for the cream, a pre-made vegan sour cream will work nicely, or you can skip the topping altogether.

Smoky Lentil Kale Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Pumpkin Seed Cream | The Full Helping

Smoky Lentil Kale Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Pumpkin Seed Cream

Recipe type: main dish, entree
Cuisine: vegan, gluten free, soy free, tree nut free
Author: Gena Hamshaw
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 45 mins
Total time: 50 mins
Serves: 2 meal-sized or 4 smaller servings
  • 2 medium sized sweet potatoes, scrubbed
  • ¾ cup black, brown, or green lentils (or 1¾ cups, or one can, cooked lentils)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 medium white or yellow onion, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ½ cup vegetable broth
  • 1 small bunch curly kale, thick stems removed and chopped
  • Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
For the pumpkin seed cream:
  • ½ cup raw, shelled pumpkin seeds, soaked for at least 2 hours and drained of soak water
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat your oven to 400F. Prick the skins of the potatoes with a fork and transfer them to the oven. Bake for 45 minutes, or until fork tender all the way through.
  2. While the potatoes bake, bring a salted pot of water to boil. Add the lentils and cook for 25-35 minutes, or until tender (you can use a slotted spoon to try some; if they’re too al dente at 25 minutes, keep boiling). Drain the lentils.
  3. To make the cream, add the pumpkin seeds, water, lime juice, and salt to a food processor or high speed blender and blend till smooth and creamy. Adjust the salt to taste.
  4. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sautee for 5 minutes, or until clear and soft. Add the paprika and chili, salt, tomato paste, and broth and give everything a good stir. Add the kale and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until the kale is completely tender. Fold in the lentils and add an extra splash of broth if needed. Add crushed red pepper to taste and adjust salt to taste.
  5. Cut the potatoes in half and top each with a generous scoop of the lentil mixture, followed by a few tablespoons of the pumpkin seed cream. Serve.

Smoky Lentil Kale Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Pumpkin Seed Cream | The Full Helping

I don’t live close enough to Fort Green to make the 365 by Whole Foods market my regular grocery shopping destination (or to take advantage of the membership program, which sounds cool), but it’s steps away from the Atlantic Avenue subway stop, which means it’ll be easy to shop there and get groceries home when I’m nearby. In the meantime, I’m happy for what it’s adding to the city: an-easy-to-navigate market with a definite neighborhood feel.

I’m still playing catch up over here and making peace with the fact that things will probably feel chaotic till I graduate from my program in May. In the meantime, earthy, filling, nutritious food does wonders to keep me calm. And I’m really looking forward to Passover with my chosen family tomorrow.

Wishing you all a good holiday weekend, if you’re celebrating/observing, and I’ll be back with the weekend reading roundup soon.


This post is sponsored by Whole Foods Market 365. All opinions are my own. Thanks for your support!

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(Long) Weekend Reading, 3.26.18

Weekend Reading | The Full Helping

Well, hello.

This isn’t my normal time to be posting the weekend reading roundup, but time has been slipping through my fingers in the last week. I’m doing my best: sticking to the parts of my self-care routine that really count (yoga, meditation, cooking when I can, staying connected to friends on text and social media, if not in person), prioritizing what needs to get done, and postponing or letting go of the rest. It’s not a very elegant dance at the moment, but it’s OK. I’m OK—and to acknowledge that I can be overwhelmed and OK at the same time is a small victory.

Fortunately I haven’t let the last busy week stop me from spotting some enticing recipes and interesting reads—and I really wanted to pop in quickly tonight to share them with you.



How is it that I’ve never made my own vegan crab cakes? Not once, not ever? Definitely a food that I loved in my pre-gan days. Until I come up with a recipe, I’ll take inspiration from Aimee and her tasty looking version.

Speaking of never, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a recipe for vegan spaetzle, till now! So cool.

I’ve been hooked on roasted cabbage since I tried it a year or so ago, and I love Katie’s curried version.

I love this vibrant, colorful, vegetable centric plate of food from Jamie of Dishing Out Health.

Celery is one of those vegetables I’m much more likely to use in a soup or casserole than to savor for its own merits. This recipe is inspiring me to focus on it a little more intently.


1. An interesting article on trichotillomania and dermatillomania (hair pulling and skin picking). They’re classified as body-focused repetitive behaviors and, according to one expert interviewed, are actually neuropsychological conditions—similar to obsessive compulsive disorder, but I don’t read about them as often. I’ve had clients who live with both conditions, so I’m eager to learn more.

2. A balanced look at some of the myths and misconceptions surrounding IBS. I like that the article underscores the availability of different types of solutions, from CBT to dietary interventions.

3. Maryn McKenna reports on the precariousness of the medical supply chain in America.

4. This isn’t exactly health, food, or science-related, but I so enjoyed reading this profile of New York City violin-maker Samuel Stochek.

5. Sensitive, moving reflections from Lynn Randolph, an artist in residence in the palliative care unit at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Randolph writes,

I ask patients to talk about what they love, what has meaning to them . . . When a patient or caregiver has an image that is deep within themselves and we can make it visible, they often bond with it in a way that makes them feel whole. They might cry, or become radiant, or clasp the image to their bodies. In those moments I feel whole, too.


And I’m wishing you a sweet end to this Monday.


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Weekend Reading, 3.18.18

Weekend Reading | The Full Helping

Happy Sunday, everyone. I’m back from my visit with my friend, doing my best to settle into a routine in spite of deadlines the that continue to loom.

In a mind-clearing yoga class this morning, my teacher shared this parable, or her own version of it. According to WisdomShare, the story goes,

A young, successful couple found their dream home. Shortly after purchasing it, the couple sat at their kitchen table to indulge in a delicious breakfast. The wife looked out the window, and to her surprise, she saw her neighbor hanging dirty laundry on the clothesline.
‘That laundry isn’t clean, it’s still dirty!’ she said to her husband. ‘Someone needs to teach her a thing or two when it comes to washing her clothes!’
A couple of days later, the couple sat down at their kitchen table for another meal. The wife saw her neighbor hanging clothes on the clothesline. But this time something was different.
‘Wow, look!’ the surprised wife said to her husband, ‘Her clothes are clean! Someone must have taught her how to wash her clothes!’ Without raising his head from his plate, the husband kindly responded, ‘Actually, honey, I got up early this morning and washed the window.’

It was the right morning for this fable to find me. Since I got back home on Thursday, I’ve noticed myself being more judgmental and critical than usual. Harsh judgment is a tendency I’m growing out of, but it still emerges when I’m insecure or stressed. Simply recognizing that there’s a source of the impulse has helped me to curb it: when I find myself judging more than usual, I stop to examine what might have triggered feelings of insecurity or low self-worth.

I had a lovely time with my old friend, and coming home was a little tough. I felt lonely, and—though it was difficult to admit—a pang of envy for the new-ish partnership that my friend has found himself in. It’s a strong companionship that seems built on deep respect and care. I celebrate it with him and for him, but when I got home to my place on Thursday night, greeted by the quiet I’m still getting used to, I couldn’t help but long for something like it. Feeling overwhelmed with work (and low on the necessary motivation to get it done) didn’t help.

So, I retreated to the place I often seek when I’m feeling this way: criticism and judgment, of others and myself. I feel grateful to my teacher for sharing a story that made me more conscious of what was going on. Today, as I sat down to write this post, I reflected on how far I still am from feeling at home with myself again. Nothing to judge, nothing to despair about. Just a homecoming to anticipate hopefully.

Here’s to a new week and a fresh perspective. And here are some of the recipes and reads I bookmarked while I was traveling back to NYC a few days ago.


I made my kale colcannon over the weekend, which is an annual St. Patrick’s Day ritual for me. But there’s no reason to reserve colcannon for March only, and Hannah’s version is the next one I want to try. It features cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage along with kale, which makes it a serious celebration of crucifers. You can find the recipe in her awesome new cookbook, but I was happy to see it posted on her blog this week, too.

This farro spinach salad looks fresh, tasty, and so nutritious! I’ve been making making my mushroom farro a lot this winter, but this is a lighter treatment, and perfect for early spring.

I try to bookmark at least one mouth-watering vegan sammie each week in an effort to keep my lunch game strong. This week, Natt’s beautiful beet hummus sandwich—and her recipe for homemade wheat bread—caught my eye.

The ladies at Hello Veggie posted a recipe from Richard Buckley’s upcoming Plants Taste Better, and it looks so homey and good: Tuscan lentil grain broth.

For all of the bowls I make, I haven’t thought to try a mashed potato bowl. Christine’s loaded mashed potato bowl with sautéed mushrooms is inspiring me.


1. Anthea Rowan reflects on how her mother’s stroke led to the disappearance of her lifelong, severe depression. Such an interesting look at “thinking habits,” to use the author’s phrasing.

2. If anxiety runs in your family, this one may resonate with you; it definitely resonated with me.

3. An interesting perspective on resilience, which posits that “resilience is largely about body awareness and not rational thinking.”

4. A touching story of coworkers rallying around a colleague whose son had been diagnosed with cancer—and a reminder of how precious and rare worker-friendly paid leave policies are around the world.

5. A new study of 4,600 American suggests what many might have known or suspected intuitively: the Great Recession led to increases in blood pressure and blood glucose across age groups.

Enjoy the reading material. I’ll be back this week (or next, depending on how caught up I get) with a simple stuffed sweet potato recipe that’s been keeping me company at dinnertime lately.


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Macro Bowls from Power Plates (+ a Giveaway!)

Macro Bowls from Power Plates | The Full Helping

Photograph by Ashley McLaughlin

Happy Wednesday! The visit with my dear college friend that I mentioned on Sunday has been lovely so far, but I’m taking a quick pause to share the macro bowls from Power Plates.

The bowls chapter of the cookbook came together before any of the others, with recipes that I’d been thinking about for a long time. Since macronutrient balance is a theme of the book, and since macro bowls are one of my all time favorite meals, I knew I’d be including a personal take on the grain, bean, green, sea vegetable, and squash combination.

This is it. A little non-traditional (I can’t seem to get hijiki salad just right at home, no matter how hard I try), but I did my best to pay homage to a meal that’s the essence of nourishment in my mind. Hope you’ll enjoy this one as much as I do; in the year since I finished testing recipes for the book, it’s the bowl I’ve made most often.

Macro Bowls from Power Plates (+ a Giveaway!)

Recipe type: main dish
Cuisine: vegan, gluten free, soy free option, tree nut free
Author: Gena Hamshaw
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 40 mins
Total time: 50 mins
Serves: 4 bowls
For the rice:
  • 1 cup (200 g) short-grain brown rice
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 scallion, green part only, very thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon mirin (optional)
For the glazed squash:
  • 1 tablespoon neutral vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon white miso
  • 1 tablespoon tamari, soy sauce, or coconut aminos
  • 1 tablespoon mirin (optional)
  • 1 pound (450 g) kabocha squash, seeded and cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) pieces
For the miso tahini dressing:
  • 1⁄4 cup (60 g) tahini
  • 2 tablespoons white miso
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar or maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated or minced fresh ginger
  • 1⁄4 cup (60 ml) warm water, plus more if needed
For the bowls:
  • 1 bunch curly kale, stemmed and torn into pieces
  • 11⁄2 cups (345 g) cooked adzuki beans, or 1 (15-oz, or 425-g) can, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup (240 ml) fermented vegetables, such as kimchi or sauerkraut
  1. Cook the rice according to package instructions. Drizzle the cooked rice with the sesame oil, then gently fold in the sesame seeds, scallion, and mirin.
  2. While the rice is cooking, prepare the squash. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C) and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the oil, miso, tamari, and mirin. Put the squash in a large bowl, drizzle with the miso mixture, and toss until evenly coated. Spread the squash on the lined baking sheet in a single layer and bake for 20 minutes, until tender and browning at the edges.
  3. Meanwhile, to make the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a small bowl or measuring cup and whisk until smooth. If it’s thicker than you’d like, whisk in additional warm water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to achieve the desired consistency.
  4. Before assembling the bowls, pour an inch or two (2.5 or 5 cm) of water into a medium pot and insert a steamer. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the kale and steam for about 3 minutes, until bright green and tender.
  5. To serve, divide the rice, squash, kale, and adzuki beans among four bowls. Top each with one-quarter of the fermented vegetables and drizzle generously with the dressing. Serve right away.
Reprinted with permission from Power Plates, copyright © 2018 by Gena Hamshaw. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
Macro Bowls from Power Plates | The Full Helping

Photograph by Ashley McLaughlin

I’m so touched by the support I’ve gotten for the book on social media, and if you’re already cooking from it, thank you. If you’d like a chance to win a copy and try some of the food out, I’m giving away three today! Enter below (US & Canada only) to win. I’ll choose winners one week from today.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck! And I’ll see you this weekend for the reading roundup.


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