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Weekend Reading, 8.12.18

Weekend Reading | The Full Helping

This week has flown by, and as I watched it pass I definitely sensed that the slowness of summer was giving way to the busier energy of fall. We’re not there yet, I know. But it’s coming.

I got my first two DI rotation placements, which means that I now have a sense of my schedule through December. September and early October should feel pretty manageable, and late fall will be demanding. After an initial day or two of nerves and resistance, I’m feeling pretty solid: aware of the changes ahead of me, but basically ready for them.

I realize, too, that a considerable part of me is excited about the DI. I think I’ve tried not to be, because so much of my grad school experience has defied was I was hoping for. I’ve developed a strong capacity to greet new experiences with an open mind and as few expectations as possible. Still, it’s good that I’m excited; I haven’t been excited about my training in a while, and the sensation is welcome.

Part of what excites me is the fact of my nutrition education finally becoming more humanized. I began this process because I love working with people. I needed a lot more scientific understanding and clinical exposure than I had in order to continue doing it in the way I wanted, and I don’t regret going back to school to fill in the gaps. It’s been hard, though, to study nutrition so abstractly; at many points in the last year it was easy to forget what had driven me to do all of this in the first place.

When I got my first two placements, it occurred to me that, for the first time since being a hospital volunteer at Georgetown, I’ll be working with people: patients, preceptors, peers. I know it’ll be difficult at times. But after a few very solitary years, the idea of an interactive workday holds lots of appeal.

We’ll see how I feel once I get there, and I don’t doubt that my feelings about it will fluctuate, just as my enthusiasm and energy for writing and cooking tend to ebb and flow. For today, I’m acknowledging my own desire for a new beginning.

Speaking of new beginnings, happy Monday. Here are some reads and some plant-based goodness to feast your eyes on.


Four simple, summery recipes today, followed by one stunning dessert. First up is Kathy’s yummy and easy summer tomato cheese toast. Grilled cheese & tomato was my favorite sandwich when I was a kid, and this looks to be a perfect, grown-up answer to it.

I love a good multi-bean salad, and right now Kristina’s Mexican-style three bean salad is calling my name.

Speaking of beans, a simple yet creative butter bean and sweet potato smash. Amy’s recipe would be great as a lunch bowl component or scooped over toast.

There’s nothing like a colorful bowl of sesame peanut noodles. Ali’s stellar recipe calls for Chinese egg noodles, but any vegan noodle option will work; Udon noodles are my favorite these days.

Finally, it’s hard for me to put into words just how badly I’d like to devour a thick slice of Alexandra’s vegan chocolate raspberry cake right now. Those frosting swirls! ❤


1. A sweet and surprising look at the power of expressing gratitude. Amit Kumar at the University of Texas at Austin and Nicholas Epley at Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago recruited study participants and asked them to write a thank you email to someone who had touched their life in a meaningful way. The participants were asked to make predictions about how the recipients would feel about being thanked and acknowledged; meanwhile, the researchers reached out to the recipients and asked them about how they actually felt and thought. The results:

The senders of the thank-you letters consistently underestimated how positive the recipients felt about receiving the letters and how surprised they were by the content. The senders also overestimated how awkward the recipients felt; and they underestimated how warm, and especially how competent, the recipients perceived them to be. Age and gender made no difference to the pattern of findings.

Other experiments showed that these same misjudgments affect our willingness to write thank-you messages. For instance, participants who felt less competent about writing a message of gratitude were less willing to send one; and, logically enough, participants were least willing to send thank-you messages to recipients who they felt would benefit the least.

Kumar and Epley believe that this asymmetry between the perspective of the potential expresser of gratitude and the recipient means that we often refrain from a “powerful act of civility” that would benefit both parties.

This gives me a nudge to send thank you notes more often, and also to find more simple, everyday ways of expressing and acknowledging gratitude.

2. Knowable Magazine interviews Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, about how the medical community is learning to manage chronic and acute pain in a time of opioid abuse.

3. Reading this article has made me incredibly excited to try Good Catch tuna!

4. I’m touched by Maria Del Russo’s candid thoughts on traveling alone and what it taught her; they brought me back to my trip to Prague last year and how much I realized about myself while I was there.

One of those realizations was that I had become—or maybe always been—afraid of being alone with myself. It’s a state that I successfully avoided for years with workaholism, self-imposed busy-ness, and various forms of codependency. Del Russo describes something similar:

I have never admitted out loud this stemmed from a deep, dark fear of being by myself. It is not that I just fear being alone. I fear being with me, and that is something different.

When I left Prague, I felt that I’d managed to become better friends with myself. More than anything else—the food, the sightseeing, the music—that’s what I took home from the trip. I’ve been gently cultivating it ever since.

5. Brandom Keim’s meditations on animal labor, both domesticated and in the wild, gave me a lot to think about. Particularly this sentiment:

Clean air and clean water, carbon sequestration, and organic materials are not yielded by something so abstract and impersonal as “ecosystems.” They’re the products of vast and unceasing animal and organismal activity. Countless creatures preparing soil, dispersing seeds, distributing nutrients, regulating populations, performing the myriad and constant tasks necessary to support the nature we take for granted…

Maybe recognizing animal labor at a larger scale would help people appreciate that.

Keim is particularly interested in pesticide use and its impact on birds, but for me the invitation to extend my consciousness to the rights of wild animals, as opposed to farm animals, was provocative and important.

A simple, staple recipe for tempeh is coming your way later this week. Till soon,


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Vegan Dumpling Bowls with Quick Pickled Radishes & Almond Miso Sauce

I’m already big fan of semi-homemade vegan recipes—those concoctions that rely halfway on all of the great plant-based products that are available these days, and halfway on homemade touches. With New York suspended in a heatwave, and my desire to cook already relatively low, I’m more partial than ever to these kinds of meals. This vegan dumpling bowl with quick pickled radishes & almond miso sauce is a new favorite option.

Dumpling bowls! How has it taken me so long to find my way to this idea? My homemade bowls always have at least one source of complex carbs/starchy things, usually grains or pasta or potato. Dumplings are another great option, and these particular dumplings have the added bonus of plant protein.

These are Nasoya’s organic, vegan tofu vegetable dumplings, which are brand new. Part of why the dumpling idea hadn’t occurred to me until now is that I haven’t had a great, go-to, store-bought vegan dumpling option! Most options are sold frozen, but Nasoya’s are fresh, ready-to-cook and take only a few minutes to prepare; you can pan fry, steam or boil them, depending on your tastes.

The tofu vegetable flavor, which is featured here, includes mushrooms, scallions, and tamari. It’s mild enough that you can pair it with a bold sauce, but flavorful enough that the vegetables and seasonings are definitely detectable. The brand has also released a Thai basil flavor, which I’m excited to try next.

The dumplings need only three minutes of boiling (my preferred preparation method) before they’re ready to go, and I was happy to find that they held their shape nicely when cooking (I’ve had some chronic bad luck with vegan raviolis). If you boil them, I recommend using a slotted spoon to remove them from water, rather than pouring them into a colander to drain them, since they’re more delicate than pasta or noodles 😉

The super firm tofu makes for a tender, but substantial filling, and it adds both protein and calcium to the product. I kept the rest of these bowls simple and as hands-off as possible: raw veggies, quick pickled radishes for a tart, zippy bite, and a tasty almond miso sauce that’s adapted from the spicy miso dressing in Power Plates (a favorite of mine). The dumplings are flavorful and satisfying, and they play nicely with some otherwise fresh and crispy accompaniments.

Vegan Dumpling Bowls with Quick Pickled Radishes & Almond Miso Sauce

Recipe type: main dish
Cuisine: vegan, tree nut free option
Author: Gena Hamshaw
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
Total time: 25 mins
Serves: 4 servings
For the bowls:
  • 2 packages (20 dumplings) Nasoya organic vegan tofu vegetable dumplings
  • 2 heaping cups shredded red cabbage
  • 2 heaping cups broccoli slaw (or another shredded/grated vegetable)
  • 2 cups thinly sliced cucumbers
  • ½ cup quick pickled radishes (below)
  • ½ cup almond miso sauce (below)
  • Chopped green onion tops, for serving
For the quick pickled radishes:
  • 1 cup very thinly sliced radishes
  • ½ cup boiling water
  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
For the almond miso sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons white miso (or miso of choice)
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter (substitute sunflower seed butter)
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon tamari
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger (or 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated on a microplane)
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder (or 1 small clove garlic, minced or grated on a microplane)
  • 2-3 tablespoons warm water
  • Dash crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
  1. To prepare the radishes, place the radish slices in a mason jar big enough to hold them. Whisk together the boiling water, vinegar, salt, and sugar. Pour this mixture over the radishes. Cover and allow them to sit for at least 20 minutes before using. The radishes will keep in an airtight container for several weeks in the fridge.
  2. To make the sauce, place all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together. Start with two tablespoons warm water and add another if the sauce is too thick for your liking. The sauce will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days, and it can be prepared ahead of time, along with the radishes.
  3. To make the bowls, bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the dumplings gently, a few at a time. Boil for one minute, then reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 2 more minutes, than use a slotted spoon to remove them from the water.
  4. Divide the veggies and radishes between four bowls, then add 5 cooked dumplings to each bowl. Top each bowl with a couple tablespoons of sauce and a garnish of green onion tops, if you like. Serve.

I’ve been a fan of Nasoya’s products for a long time; the extra firm tofu is my go-to. I’m excited to see the brand expanding its ready-to-eat options, bringing plant protein to kitchens in fun, tasty, and accessible ways. Can’t wait to keep playing around with the dumplings—they might just become my standing option for a last minute appetizer.

It’s been a long week here, and I have to admit that my resolutions of groundedness before the DI begins were challenged by getting my first two placements. But I’ve kept things in perspective, I think, and I’m excited that the weekend is here. See you for the usual roundup.


This post is sponsored by Nasoya. All opinions are my own, and I love this go-to brand of tofu and Asian-inspired foods! Thanks for your support.

The post Vegan Dumpling Bowls with Quick Pickled Radishes & Almond Miso Sauce appeared first on The Full Helping.

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Skillet Baked Oatmeal with Summer Stone Fruit

Skillet Baked Oatmeal with Summer Stone Fruit | The Full Helping

Photograph by Ashley McLaughlin

This is one of my favorite summer breakfast recipes from Power Plates, but until last week I had no plans of sharing it on the blog. Then I made it, promptly polished the leftovers as a week went by, and made it again right away.

Anytime I make a recipe back-to-back like that, it’s a sign that there’s something about it worth sharing. In this case, it’s the opportunity to make the most of juicy, sweet summer peaches, the convenience of a breakfast that tastes like a fresh-baked treat but yields four days of leftovers, and the goodness of whole grains.

Part of my process of preparing for the DI, however gently, is to come up with a list of breakfasts and lunches that are portable but also a pleasure to eat. I made a lot of packed meals for myself as a post-bacc student, but not all of them were as tasty as they were convenient. I don’t kid myself that all of breakfasts and lunches this year will be memorable—if they’re nutritious, filling, and taste OK, that’ll be enough—but I’m hoping that a few of the regular options will be things that I really like to eat.

This oatmeal is something that I really, really like to eat. And I hope you’ll like it, too.

Skillet Baked Oatmeal with Summer Stone Fruit | The Full Helping

Photograph by Ashley McLaughlin

Skillet Baked Oatmeal with Summer Stone Fruit

Recipe type: breakfast
Cuisine: vegan, gluten free option, soy free option, tree nut free option
Author: Gena Hamshaw
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 40 mins
Total time: 50 mins
Serves: 4-6 servings
  • 3 tablespoons warm water
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
  • 2 1⁄2 cups (225 g) rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1⁄3 cups (630 ml) unsweetened nondairy milk
  • 1⁄4 cup (60 ml) maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or neutral vegetable oil
  • 5 peaches or nectarines, peeled and cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) pieces
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1⁄4 cup (25 g) chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the water and ground flaxseed and set aside to thicken for a few minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the oats, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. In small bowl, whisk together the nondairy milk, maple syrup, and flaxseed mixture. Add to the oat mixture and stir until well combined.
  3. Heat the oil in a 10-or 12-inch (25- or 30-cm) cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add the peaches and let them sizzle and cook for 1 minute. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the sugar and the vanilla. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 4 minutes, until the fruit is soft and just beginning to brown. Pour the oat mixture over the fruit, then stir gently until the fruit is evenly distributed.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes, then sprinkle the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar and the nuts over the top. Bake for about 10 minutes longer, until the fruit is bubbling in places and the surface is firm to the touch. Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
Reprinted with permission from Power Plates, copyright © 2018 by Gena Hamshaw. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

Skillet Baked Oatmeal with Summer Stone Fruit | The Full Helping

If you want to serve the bake as a brunch option in a bigger get together with friends, you can count on it to make 6 small-ish servings. For me, as breakfast, it makes 4-5, depending on whether I serve it with fresh fruit or gobble it up on its own. (Both good options, if you ask me.)

Enjoy the scent of peaches sizzling in your skillet. I’ll be looping back again later this week.


The post Skillet Baked Oatmeal with Summer Stone Fruit appeared first on The Full Helping.

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Weekend Reading, 8.5.18

Weekend Reading | The Full Helping

I got a lot of good advice while I was a post-bacc student. Some of it took a while to settle in, either because I needed to overcome some initial resistance in order to see its truth, or because I couldn’t grasp what had been offered without hindsight to help me. Some if it hit me immediately and changed how I saw things.

An example of the latter is something my friend Erin said to me one day over coffee. I’d just wrapped up an exam for a class, and I was excitedly telling her about how I intended to use the little break I had before my next big test: scrambling to get ahead in my classes, memorizing and studying as far ahead of the next exam as possible.

Erin, who by then had completed her first year of medical school, paused.

“That’s all great,” she said. “But the thing I’ve learned in med school is that it’s really important to savor whatever free time you get. There will always be another test, another obstacle, another thing to cram for. When you can rest, rest. Cook, see movies, see your friends, have a date night with your significant other, whatever. You won’t always be able to do those things, so you learn to do them when you can.”

Erin’s words hit home. For two years, I’d been trapped in a pattern of thinking I had to use every lull in my coursework to get ahead. It was, I realized, a lose-lose scenario: trying to study that far in advance of a test wasn’t particularly effective, since I tend not to retain information I’ve memorized weeks before an exam. And doing so cost me the few, precious pockets of free time I had in those days.

My post-bacc made me feel helpless: it was the first time in my life when effort and discipline seemed to get me nowhere. Instead of accepting that I could only do and accomplish so much—the rest was going to be a matter of letting the chips fall where they may—I fought desperately to obtain a sense of mastery.

Listening to Erin, I realized that my need to use every spare moment as an opportunity to fight against inevitable academic struggle was keeping me prisoner. At the time, I was still planning to go to medical school, and it dawned on me that if I kept up with this pattern of behavior it might well be a decade before I allowed myself to feel free—a grim prospect.

I can’t say that I changed my tune overnight, but I did loosen up after that conversation. I stopped trying to get ahead frantically, and it was a turning point in my life as a pre-med. It’s the moment when I started cultivating friendships with my peers in earnest, began exploring and getting to know Washington, D.C., and when I accepted, however begrudgingly, the fact that I could only do my best. Needless to say, my academic performance didn’t suffer because I was recharging between tests. If anything, I found my (wobbly) sea legs as a student.

On August 1st, just a few days ago, I started encircling myself with rules and regulations about how I’ll spend these last four weeks before my DI starts. I’d devote a certain number of hours per day getting ahead on study guides, tighten my schedule in various ways to prepare myself for more rigid working hours, and start reviewing various reference manuals in order to be primed for clinical environments.

None of these efforts would be impractical. But they’re more than a little reminiscent of my time as a tense, worried post-bacc student who awarded far too much power to self-discipline.

Instead of winnowing away my pleasure and spare time, I’m using Erin’s advice to guide me. I don’t need to drain the sweetness out of August in order to ready myself for a different kind of hard work; the work will challenge me whether I deprive myself needlessly now or not. I’ll make time and space for the preparations I need to do, while also continuing to savor summer in New York, as I have been. I’ll take care of my study guides and see friends; review some of my old medical nutrition therapy notes and take ambling afternoon walks; get my paperwork together and indulge in a couple of committed TV binges.

There may come a time when I have to sacrifice most of my personal time for the DI, but that time isn’t now. Even once it starts, I hope I can treat the internship the way I ultimately learned to treat my post-bacc: doing the best I can and letting go of the rest. Allowing things to be easy when they can be and drawing on whatever inner resources I’ve got when they can’t be. Not wasting moments of rest because I’m primed for the next struggle; not tensing up against the experience more than I need to.

Wishing you all a full experience of this last official month of that summer—whatever that means to you. Here are the recipes and reads I’ve been peeking at this week.


A light, beautiful breakfast: blueberry chia pudding with salted seed brittle.

Calling all comfort food lovers! I’m drooling over Alissa’s barbecue chickpea cauliflower pizza.

A perfect, vegan summer side: coconut milk corn.

I love an untraditional pasta, and this vegan cajun pasta looks so flavorful.

I made a batch of crumble yesterday and immediately regretted turning the oven on. Lindsay’s espresso dark chocolate sorbet is a much better option for this coming week.


1. An interesting perspective on how doctors may be taking too lax an approach to bone health and osteoporosis screening.

2. Screening is available for teen depression, but securing quality treatment and care may be much more complex. An important article from the Washington Post takes a closer look at the impact of limited psychological care options on teens and their families.

3. As a dietetics student, I spent plenty of time learning the signs, symptoms, and screening tools for malnutrition and wasting. Still, malnourishment often slips through the cracks in clinical settings, and it’s contributing to mortality and extended hospital stays.

4. I like Maryam Zaringhalam’s perspective on being a woman in the sciences. She acknowledges the challenges women can face, but she questions media coverage that may gloss over the work that women are doing to create a more equitable field:

But despite best intentions, that same flavor of media coverage piles up to paint a picture of what it’s like to be a woman in science that is both jarring and, in my experience, does not really reflect the complete reality. That’s because these pieces frequently ignore the change-makers working to fix a broken system. They perpetuate a narrative that paints women as passive victims, rather than people who are wise to science’s systemic inequities and advocate for change from a well of evidence and lived experience. Spotlighting injustice while ignoring the solutions we put forward erases our agency.

5.  In the face of climate change, an environmental scientist examines what will happen to the world’s largest penguin colony. The article gave me faith in the penguins’ resilience.

Tomorrow I’m sharing one of my favorite summer breakfasts from Power Plates (spoiler alert: it’s almost dessert-worthy!). Till soon, take good care.



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Warm Lentil, Tomato & Mushroom Salad

Tomatoes were my favorite food as a child, and my attachment to them has never really gone away. I look forward to them being in season all year long, and I celebrate their appearance more than any other summer produce. Unlike many vegetables, for which I’ll have a strong preparation preference (broccoli steamed; cauliflower roasted; spinach raw) I’ll take tomatoes raw, roasted, sautéed, or sauced. It’s all (so, so) good.

Tomatoes are finally teeming at markets near me, and I’m gorging in the predictable summer fashion. There have been plenty of moments of cutting them up, sprinkling them with salt, and eating them with my hands from the cutting board before I even have a chance to sit down. But sometimes I’m a little more dignified, and this warm lentil, tomato, and mushroom salad is my latest favorite thing to do with tomatoes if I’m patient enough to cook them.

The nice thing about this recipe is that it’s great for summer, when tomatoes are at their best, but you can also substitute canned tomatoes in winter. Likewise, it’s wonderful hot, but the leftovers are excellent cold, which I learned today when I had them for lunch. You can make it more or less hearty: I’ve been enjoying it at lunchtime with toasted sourdough, but it could be a filling dinner along with a soup, or you could even turn it into a topping for pasta or noodles, rather than greens.

In other words, plenty of ways to adapt this one. And while I kept the seasoning super simple (garlic, balsamic, salt and pepper), you could throw in fresh herbs, a flavored vinegar, or even a pinch of harissa or crushed red pepper flakes for heat, if you like.

Warm Lentil, Tomato, & Mushroom Salad

Recipe type: Main dish, side dish
Cuisine: gluten free, soy free option, tree nut free
Author: Gena Hamshaw
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Total time: 25 mins
Serves: 3-4 servings
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 10 ounces (about 3 cups) chopped or sliced mushrooms (most common mushroom varieties will be fine: button, shiitake, portobello, etc.)
  • 2 large cloves garlic, very thinly sliced
  • ¾ pound (about 2 cups) grape or cherry tomatoes, halved*
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1½ cups cooked lentils (any type), or 1 can lentils, drained and rinsed
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Optional: ½ cup chopped tempeh or seitan bacon, or chopped vegan sausage of choice
  • For serving: 4 cups baby arugula
  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms. Cook for 7-10 minutes, or until the mushrooms have released their juices and are tender and reduced in size, stirring frequently.
  2. Add the remaining teaspoon of olive oil, then add the tomatoes. Allow the tomatoes to cook in the pan for 3-4 minutes without stirring them (this will help them to brown gently and start to burst). Add the garlic and vinegar. Continue to cook everything, stirring every now and then, for a few minutes, or until the tomatoes are soupy and tender. Stir in the lentils and the vegan bacon or sausage, if using. Mix everything well and cook for another 2 minutes, or until the mixture is warmed through. Taste and add salt and freshly ground pepper as needed.
  3. Remove the mixture from heat. Serve over baby arugula, with an extra drizzle of balsamic if you like. You can also make it ahead of time, refrigerate it, and reheat or serve cold later. Enjoy.
Leftover mixture will keep for up to 4 days in an airtight container in the fridge. Store lentil/mushroom/tomato mixture separately from the arugula.

*If fresh tomatoes aren’t available, substitute 1 14.5-ounce can of diced tomatoes, drained.



I know I’ll be enjoying this simple dish well into the fall, and I’m hoping it’s low-key enough to be one of the meals I can rely on once the DI begins. Fingers crossed—and fingers crossed that it might find its way into some of your kitchens, too.

Before too long I’ll have an all-purpose dipping sauce to share (perfect for lots of different vegan appetizer plates), and the usual weekend reading thoughts. Till then, take care.


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Weekend Reading, 7.29.18

Weekend Reading | The Full Helping

Spontaneity has never been my strong suit. I’ve always admired it from afar, nodding my head approvingly at the idea of carpe diem, going with the flow, and all of that. But acknowledging its value and actually welcoming it into my life are two very different things.

I know that my resistance to spontaneity has to do with my attachment to control, or the idea of it, which is something I’m trying to let go of. It’s not easy to let go of things, though, when letting go is often more uncomfortable than not. When I try to be more spontaneous or to roll with the punches I usually end up feeling destabilized and off-kilter, which doesn’t encourage me to do it more often.

Sometimes being freewheeling with my schedule and saying yes to things at the last minute means that I lose time for the actions and routines that keep me grounded and healthy: yoga, cooking, moving at a steady pace, consciously creating solo time if I’ve been around people a lot. It’s taken me a while to figure out how important these things are to my overall well-being, so of course I work hard to preserve them. But I know that there’s a fine line between protecting my nourishing habits and clinging to routine. And the more set in my habits I allow myself to be, the more convinced I become that I can’t handle changing them—a sense of fragility that I neither want nor need.

This week, I played around with being spontaneous—not intentionally, but because chances to do it came up. On Wednesday, a friend ended up with a gap in his work schedule and asked me whether I’d like to meet up for a while. I’d had a long morning of cooking and was immediately inclined to say no, but when I tried to imagine how it would be to sit down and catch up with him, I realized how much I wanted to say yes. I did said yes, in spite of being a little worn out, and our time was really energizing. I was glad he asked, and I thanked him for doing it.

On Friday, I realized that the plans I thought I’d committed to for Sunday were in fact happening on Saturday. As soon as I realized my error, I wanted to bail, because the day had taken shape in my mind already. Once again, I thought about what saying yes would feel like, and it was a positive enough visualization that I could push through the discomfort of the unanticipated changes in timing.

As it turned out, most of my Saturday shifted around under my feet; the day I thought I’d be having isn’t a bit like the one I had. But the one I had was fun and rich and sweet, and it’s very possible that the Saturday I’d initially counted on would have been less so. Or at least, it wouldn’t have been this Saturday, with the experiences it contained. So I’m happy I gave myself over to the flow of things, rather than tensing up against the unanticipated.

Not long ago, I wrote about the importance of saying no, and I stand by those words. But it’s important for me to resist rigid thought patterns that coax me into thinking that, if one thing is true, something oppositional must be untrue. Saying no is the right choice for me sometimes. Saying yes is right sometimes, too. Siding with one at the expense of the other saves me the work of learning to carefully discern whether a “yes” or a “no” is right for me in any given moment, which is part of the greater work of learning to tune into my own needs and listen to my intuition. But that’s good work, work that wants doing.

Navigating the space between openness and boundaries isn’t a straightforward business, and as I keep trying I know that I’ll inevitably have some missteps. I’ll opt in to things that tire me out, or I’ll miss out on moments that might have been fun and rewarding.

That’s OK. Another tendency I’m working on these days is my tendency to be precious, to regard each moment as a one-shot deal. I’m constantly assuring my nutrition clients who a) have the privilege of steady food access and b) have a tendency create a lot of suffering around getting food choices “right” or “wrong” that no single meal is all that important; there will be others, lots of opportunity to make different choices. So too with connection and experience. There’s always another chance to practice, if we’re up for it.

Wishing you a week full of yes’s and no’s, as the case may be, and appreciation of them all. Here are my recipe picks and reads from the past week.


My friend Amanda just celebrated a burger month on her blog, with plenty of incredible recipes, and this crispy quinoa cauliflower burger is my favorite so far.

This vegan kimchi mac n’ cheese has been bookmarked for my next comfort food craving. So much cheesy and umami goodness!

I can never get enough smashed chickpea salad recipes, and right now I’ve got my eyes on Brandi’s awesome caesar version. What a cool idea to use artichoke brine.

Sara’s beautiful grilled mushroom bowls with muhamarra are inspiring me to get my grill pan out for the first time this summer.

Almond butter fudgsicles, anyone?


1. I loved reading Eric Kim’s tearjerker of an ode to the five cookbooks that have made him cry. Zahav is the only one I’ve read, but they’re all on my wish list now.

2. Speaking of my wish list, I’m eager to take a closer look at this list of 39 health and science titles for the summer.

3. A new research review points to the benefits of a plant-based diet for heart health.

4. I really like this article on raising vegan/vegetarian kids and teens—it’s both supportive and evidence-based, and the dietitians interviewed offer good tips and guidelines for parents.

5. This post was written for Mental Health Awareness Month, which is behind us, but I’m sharing it because I’m so glad that my friend Stepfanie had the guts to share about her experience with anxiety. I can intimately relate to the digging of nails into tender flesh to help distract oneself from racing thoughts or irrational fears—and I’m guessing I’m not the only one.

Each time any of us takes the time to put experience into words, we contribute to a culture in which mental health struggles can be acknowledged without stigma or shame. Thanks, Stepfanie.

My long day of cooking earlier this week was the most I’ve done in a long time; it’s a summer of hands-off meals for me, which feels totally alright. But I do have a new recipe to share this week, as well as some summer appetizer inspiration to chat about. Till then, take good care.


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Rice, Beans, Tofu and Greens

Rice Beans Tofu and Greens | The Full Helping

Photograph by Ashley McLaughlin

Power Plates turns six months old today! It feels like yesterday that NYC was freezing cold and I was celebrating the fact that this book, so long in the making, was finally in print.

It’s given me such joy to get messages and pictures and to have the knowledge that the recipes don’t just belong to me anymore: they belong to any person who’s supported the book. If you’re one of them, thank you so much. It means the world to me.

Power Plates came into being while a lot of other things in my life were coming apart. Sometimes I can’t believe it got written. Most of the time, I can’t imagine what those two years would have been like without it. Its theme—balanced nourishment—feels all the more poignant with hindsight. The book nourished and sustained me during a period of unanticipated loss, and I’ll always feel particularly attached to its recipes.

To celebrate the book’s half-year birthday, I’m giving away 3 copies to US and Canadian readers today—right after I share one of my favorite power plate meals.

Rice, Beans, Tofu and Greens | The Full Helping

Photograph by Ashley McLaughlin

Rice, Beans, Tofu and Greens isn’t necessarily the book’s most impressive recipe. It’s not what I would make if I were having people over. But if I were to measure a recipe simply by how often it gets made, this would be my favorite from the book. I’ve made all of the recipe a few times over, but this is the one I’ve cooked the most times since the book got written.

I make it because it’s unfussy and weeknight friendly, because it’s the kind of hearty, comforting food I’ve come to live by, and because it’s packed with the macronutrient mindfulness that the book is all about. It feels only right to share this one today—and I hope that some of you might come to rely on it in the same way that I have.

Rice, Beans, Tofu and Greens

Recipe type: main dish, quick & easy
Cuisine: vegan, gluten free option, tree nut free
Author: Gena Hamshaw
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 40 mins
Serves: 4-6 servings
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 white or yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 small bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1⁄2 cups (270 g) cooked black beans, or 1 (15-oz, or 425-g) can, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (14.5-oz, or 411-g) can diced or crushed tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted
  • 1 cup (185 g) white or brown basmati or long-grain white rice
  • 2 3⁄4 cups (650 ml) water
  • 1 (15-oz, or 425-g) block extra-firm tofu, preferably pressed (see page 15), cut into 3⁄4-inch (2-cm) cubes
  • 1 small bunch collard greens or other greens, stemmed and cut into thin strips
  • Red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Optional toppings: Crumbled corn chips, sliced or cubed avocado, chopped fresh cilantro, lime wedges, hot sauce
  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes, until the onion is tender and translucent. Stir in the cumin, chili powder, paprika, and salt, then stir in the beans, tomatoes, rice, and water. Add the tofu and stir gently to combine. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat, cover, and simmer, stirring gently from time to time, until the rice is tender, about 20 minutes for white rice or 40 minutes for brown rice.
  2. Add the greens, cover, and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, until the greens are wilted. Season with red pepper flakes and stir in lime juice to taste. Taste and adjust the seasonings if desired. Serve right away, with any additional toppings you like.
Reprinted with permission from Power Plates, copyright © 2018 by Gena Hamshaw. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

Photographs by Ashley McLaughlin.

And now for the giveaway! Enter below. I’ll pick three winners this coming Friday, 7/27.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck. And in the spirit of simple, sustaining meals, I’ll be back later this way to share one of my new favorite staples.


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Weekend Reading, 7.22.18

Weekend Reading | The Full Helping

“Young at Heart” is a ballad that most of us have heard at least a few times; it’s ubiquitous enough to appear in movies pretty often. It happens to have been one of my grandmother’s favorite songs, and the tune she always put me to sleep with when I stayed with her.

I don’t know whether she picked this song as my lullaby because she loved Frank Sinatra, or because she thought I’d like it, or simply because it was on her mind one night when she was tucking me in and then it became our ritual. Regardless, I’ll always think of it as her song, not simply because she sang it to me so many times, but also because it’s a perfect embodiment of who she was: a woman who took continuing education classes and soaked up lectures until she no longer could; a person with boundless intellectual curiosity and energy; someone who exuded what I think people mean when they talk about joie de vivre.

“Young at Heart” started playing in a store when I was out and about running errands yesterday. It had been a long time since I’d heard it, and I was surprised to find tears streaming down my cheeks nearly as soon as I recognized the tune. It’s becoming more tender for me as the years since my grandmother’s death go by. It’s one of the most vivid connections I have to her: no matter how famous and celebrated the song’s original crooner, I can’t hear it without immediately and vividly remember it being sung in my Yaya’s voice.

My grandmother taught me a lot about courage and vitality and generosity of spirit; I’ve always known this. She also gave me lessons in how to remain young at heart, though I’m only just beginning to recognize them. It was impossible for me to feel the poignancy of her invitation to “laugh when your dreams fall apart at the seams” when I was a little girl, or to fully understand the “narrowness of mind” that the song presents as being at odds with youngness of heart.

Last night, I found myself saying out loud that I feel much younger than I expected to feel after this past birthday. It’s true enough that I said it without thinking about it, but later on it occurred to me that I didn’t feel this way a few years ago. Instead, I was weary and downhearted. Even a few months ago, this past spring, I felt bone-tired, though it’s hard to say how much of that was just burnout at work.

At the start of this summer, my friends and family—knowing that I’ll be entering my DI year in just six weeks—asked if I had big and exciting summer plans. My answer was no, not really. I didn’t want to travel or to pack my schedule with socializing, no matter how many lovely things there are to do in New York at this time of year. I simply wanted to savor my time a little more than I had been. I wanted to relish longer days, sun on my face, the sleepy rhythms of the city when it’s empty on holiday long weekends. I wanted to take pleasure in the everyday, knowing that my routine is going to change a lot in September.

I think I’ve done this. Not always, not all the time—I could always be more conscious. But I really have been relishing the moments. I’ve been feeling so very smitten with my home town, and even with my neighborhood and my block. I’ve gotten outside a little more. I’m not cooking much, but I’m putting together three simple meals each day and taking great pleasure in all of them.

Life feels sweet, and this sweetness gives me a window into preserving a youthful heart. I don’t know what my Yaya’s trick to remaining youthful was; I suspect it was in her nature to be that way, but I’m sure it was a choice, too, which she reinforced with the way she lived. I wish she were still around, so that I could ask her about it. What I know today is that I feel more wondrous and amused by life than I have in a while, and that recognizing the small pleasures strewn through ordinary days has had everything to do with it.

I think my Yaya would agree.

Wishing you a week that begins with a little lightness of spirit. Here are the recipes and reads that I’ve been enjoying in the last few days.


The congee that made it into Power Plates has become one of my favorite make-ahead breakfasts. I’m loving Sophie’s quinoa version, with its “miso flavor bomb” and fermented veggies.

What a simple, pretty dish for summer get-togethers: Julie’s colorful stuffed avocado halves.

I don’t think I’ve made a successful salt & pepper tofu—or pepper tofu, for that matter. I’m feeling inspired by Georgia’s crispy version.

Taylor’s Thai mango salad with grilled sweet potatoes is stunning, and so summery.

I’m already on the lookout for homemade snacks that will fill me up for next year. Bookmarking Amanda’s delightful vegan walnut maple cereal bars.


1. As a diehard toast lover—I’ve gone through phases of eating dinner toast for weeks at a time, every night—I loved one writer’s sweet reflection on the popularity of toast in her family.

2. This New York Times article on “JOMO”—otherwise known as the joy of missing out—definitely resonates, and it gave me a good road map for using technology with more intention and better boundaries than the ones I set now.

3. A new project aims to give scientists a safe and uncontentious space in which to openly chronicle losses of confidence in their work. Replicability is considered to be an important part of the scientific process, yet many scientists don’t yet have a means of reporting failures in replication or handling self-correction; the Loss of Confidence project aims to provide a responsible and professional forum.

4. The push for a gender-neutral Siri is also an opportunity to examine gender bias in the AI world.

5. I was fascinated by National Geographic‘s evocative look at the science of sleep and the state of sleep in our contemporary world.

Tomorrow happens to be the six month anniversary of Power Plates! To celebrate, I’ll be checking in with a signature bowl recipe from the book and a giveaway 🙂

Till soon,


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Creamy Vegan Zucchini Corn Summer Pasta

Creamy Vegan Zucchini Corn Summer Pasta | The Full Helping

Yep, another pasta dish—but this one’s definitely a departure from pasta salad. A while back, I saw my friend Ali’s recipe, adapted from an Alice Waters pasta dish, for toasted orecchiette with zucchini and corn. It looked wonderful, and I made a note to try it, or something like it. It took me a whole year to get there, but I’m so happy I did.

In the end, this creamy vegan zucchini corn summer pasta ended up being different from Ali’s, mostly because I didn’t toast the pasta, which is the trick-of-the-trade that makes her recipe special. I added a creamy sauce, which is a departure, too, but it’s part of what I love: I have a hard time turning down any type of creamy pasta. The few pasta dishes that made it into Power Plates inevitably involved cashews.

Creamy Vegan Zucchini Corn Summer Pasta | The Full Helping

What I like about this “creamy” pasta is that the creaminess is understated. It’s not as rich as most of the vegan alfredos I’ve tasted or made, which is fitting for the heat wave we’re having in New York: it’s comforting, but it feels summery, too.

Creamy Vegan Zucchini Corn Summer Pasta | The Full Helping

The lightness of the dish is thanks to the fact that I used Milked Cashews from Elmhurst™. It’s my first time trying the brand, and its signature smooth consistency and richness was perfect for a creamy sauce that’s just light enough.

Elmhurst is a new plant-based option, but the roots of the company stretch back to a time when it produced conventional dairy. The brand has taken an entirely different direction, switching over to plant-based milks and working to create especially flavorful, authentic, nutritious and diverse offerings.

Elmhurst now sells milked cashews, walnuts, almonds, peanuts, and hazelnuts, as well as milked brown rice and oats; you can check out all of the varieties here. All of the products are vegan, non-GMO, gluten-free, and kosher. They can be found at and a number of retailers, including Whole Foods (if you’re eager to find a retailer near you, the Elmhurst website has a stockist overview).

Creamy Vegan Zucchini Corn Summer Pasta | The Full Helping

In many years of sampling non-dairy options, these are the milks I’ve tried that most closely resemble homemade nut milk. If I didn’t know I wasn’t drinking something straight from the blender (or the nut milk bag!) I’d probably never detect a difference. It’s been a long time since I made homemade nut milk—just a function of prioritizing different kitchen tasks—and it’s been great to have something so authentic on hand.

The milks owe their texture to a special process that results in a lot of nuts or grains per glass of the beverage. The ingredient lists are minimal, and no emulsifiers are used. I noticed when I sampled the milked almonds, cashews and oats (I’m excited to try the others) that each tasted like the base ingredient. The cashew and almond milks are subtly different, just the way they’d be if you blended them at home.

Creamy Vegan Zucchini Corn Summer Pasta | The Full Helping

The simplicity of the milks makes them easy to use in either sweet or savory recipes: they’re not overly flavored, so they can be adapted any which way. I was eager to use the milked cashews in pasta to see if I could get a sauce that was creamy, but not dense, and it worked.

You can make the sauce right before the rest of the recipe comes together, or you can make it a day or two in advance. It’ll keep for up to a few days in the fridge, one less thing to do when it’s dinnertime. The rest of the recipe is simple: boil pasta, gently sauté some shallots (or onion), zucchini, corn, and garlic. Mix it together and allow it to simmer in the sauce for a few minutes before serving.

Typically I throw some sort of vegan parmesan all over any pasta recipe, but with this one I stuck to torn herbs and lemon: something bright and simple, so that the sweetness of the zucchini and corn could shine through.

Creamy Vegan Zucchini Corn Summer Pasta

Recipe type: main dish, quick & easy
Cuisine: vegan, gluten free option, soy free, tree nut free option
Author: Gena Hamshaw
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 25 mins
Total time: 35 mins
Serves: 3-4 servings
For the sauce:
  • 1¼ cups Elmhurst Milked Cashews (or another plant milk of choice)
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour (or 1 tablespoon arrowroot or cornstarch)
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • A pinch nutmeg
  • A generous pinch freshly ground black pepper
For the pasta
  • 8 ounces orecchiette (or another pasta of choice)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup chopped shallot (or red onion)
  • 2 heaping cups (about ½ lb) chopped zucchini
  • 1½ cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen and thawed
  • 2 large or 3 small cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Small handful each torn or roughly chopped basil and mint
  • Freshly ground black pepper and salt, as needed
  1. To make the sauce, blend or thoroughly whisk all ingredients together. Transfer to a small sauce pot. Cook over medium low heat until the sauce is very gently simmering, but not boiling. Reduce the heat to low and continue simmering for 3-5 minutes, or until it’s thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Store the sauce for up to 3 days or set it aside.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package instructions; drain.
  3. While the pasta cooks, heat the oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add the shallot, zucchini, and corn. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5-7 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Add the garlic and cook for one more minute, stirring constantly.
  4. Add the cooked pasta to the vegetables, then add the sauce. Reduce the heat to low, then simmer everything in the sauce. When most of the sauce seems to be absorbed and the dish is creamy but not soupy, it’s done. Stir in the herbs and lemon. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Serve.

Creamy Vegan Zucchini Corn Summer Pasta | The Full Helping

Cashews have always been my go-to for achieving a creamy texture in vegan recipes, but one of the downsides of using them all the time is that it can be hard for folks who don’t have very powerful blenders or food processors to make homemade cashew cream that’s really creamy. The nice thing about the sauce here is that you can start with non-dairy milk instead. I find it easy to blend the sauce before simmering, but if you’ don’t want to dirty your blender, whisking away any clumps is just fine, too.

I’m happy to have a new “back pocket” pasta dish for the summer months. Last summer was the summer of roasted tomato sauce on everything, but I’ve been feeling more sensitive to the heat lately than I was then, and this recipe warms my apartment up less than slow roasting. If you try it, I hope you’ll find it as seasonal and bright as I have.

Wishing you all a sweet end to the week. See you soon with some reads and recipes.


This post is sponsored by Elmhurst. All opinions are my own, and I love these creamy plant-based milks. Thanks for your support!


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Weekend Reading, 7.15.18

Weekend Reading | The Full Helping

Toward the end of this past week, I found myself grappling with a couple of missteps—or errors, or mistakes, or whatever you’d like to call them. Small things, but substantial enough to make me feel regret. They were largely unintentional (and most of them were actually pretty impersonal, in the tune of missed deadlines), but at least two impacted other people, and I was sorry.

I tried to handle the process of apologizing and moving on as gracefully as I could. One tendency I have, which I’d really like to modify, is that I tend to apologize excessively for errors. I know that it comes from a place of wanting to express my sorriness, but it also comes from a place of craving reassurance; I want to be told that it’s OK and that I’m OK. Sometimes I end up feeling that I’ve strong-armed another person into validating me. I’d like to approach mistakes differently so that I can avoid putting others in this position, which isn’t fair and is probably pretty uncomfortable.

This wasn’t exactly the week, though. I did end apologizing too forcefully, all so that I could rid myself of the discomfort of regret. I have a feeling that recognizing and accounting for mistakes without clinging to remorse is going to fall under the category of “work in progress” for a while.

Yesterday afternoon, I went to see Won’t You Be My Neighbor? I sensed that it would be good timing, and it was. The movie is incredibly tender, and if Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood figured positively in your childhood—I was allowed little TV, but always that show—then you may find it as moving as I did.

The movie is undoubtedly about Fred Rogers, and it paints a very glowing portrait, but what I like about the movie isn’t biography so much as a tribute to the idea that all people, children included, are valuable and special and lovable for who they are. Watching it encouraged me to do more of what I try to do already, but with plenty of moments of failing and forgetting: to pay attention to everyone, listen to what they have to say, and offer them my respect and lovingkindness.

Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood was a show in which puppets and “real life” adult characters acknowledged that people feel sad and scared a lot of the time. At one point in the film, Rogers says that he was trying to communicate the message that feelings are “mentionable and manageable.” This included feelings like anger, which kids—and to some extent, adults—aren’t always given freedom or permission to express.

I read plenty about self-compassion and self-forgiveness, but being transported back to my own childhood and the time I spent watching Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood reached me in a different way yesterday. It allowed me to acknowledge my okay-ness on my own, to look at the last few days of seemingly continuous blunders with a little humor, and to let it all go.

Another message that Fred Rogers tried to convey is that mistakes are inevitable. He’s quoted as saying, “the most important learning is the ability to accept and expect mistakes, and deal with the disappointments that they bring.”

I’m engaging more with the world and with other people than I have in a while. This means I get to savor connection and new experiences, but it also means that I’m sometimes going to say the “wrong” thing, put my foot in my mouth, do something that ends of hurting the feelings of another person. It’s time for me to let go of the fantasy that I can connect with other people in a way that’s exclusively pleasing to them and to me; instead, I can acknowledge the inevitability of conflict and commit to handling it as compassionately as I can.

This isn’t the first time I’ve written about processing mistakes, and I’m sure it won’t be the last; as I said, this might be a lifetime project. But I’ll keep noticing and trying, and I’ll continue to feel grateful to those who are willing to let me communicate about it. Being willing to grow from mistakes, rather than being thwarted by them, is an inside job. But I think that part of the work is to hold space for others to struggle and make mistakes, too. We’re all in it together—a fact that I’m reminded of every single time I visit this particular space.

I’m embracing you just as you are on this Sunday. Here are the recipes and reads that caught my eye this week.


Eva has created the vegan breakfast egg and sausage muffin of my dreams.

…and now here comes the sweet breakfast of my dreams: five ingredient vegan blueberry waffles.

It took me a while to figure out that zoodles on their own didn’t cut it for me, but I love mixing them with spaghetti or soba noodles. Erin’s got the same idea with this summery zucchini soba bowl.

Drooling over Kathy’s speedy fiesta bean bowl—there’s nothing I love more than quick comfort food!

The first time I saw a raspberry bakewell tart, it was on The Great British Baking Show. I’m sure I’ve never tasted one, and I’m not sure I’m ready to attempt one, but if I ever do, I’ll use Ania’s fully veganized recipe.


1. We read so much these days about how vulnerable bee populations are, but this article made me marvel at how adaptive they are, too.

2. A compelling argument for why basic numeracy matters, especially in our technology saturated world.

3. A good look at nutrient pairings that are synergistic. I especially like the note about non-heme iron and Vitamin C (for more on plant-based iron, you can check out this post).

4. A lot of the elective research and papers I worked on while I was getting my masters involved the placebo/nocebo effect and especially its relationship with digestive illness. I was really interested to read about new research suggesting that similar circuitry may have an anti-tumor effect.

5. Sylvia Earle is a legendary marine biologist, but I knew little about her or her work until I read this interview. I loved so much of what she had to say about the natural world and our place within it, including this:

A lot of people excuse their bad behavior toward fish by saying, “Oh, they don’t feel pain.” That’s absurd. Fish have all the equipment we do to feel pain. Don’t make up stories to try to spare your conscience. You either choose to inflict pain on other creatures, or you don’t. But do they feel pain? Of course they do. Do they have emotions? Do they have a social structure? Do they bond with one another? Absolutely. It’s a smallness on our part, a narrowness of spirit and mind and heart, to think we are so special. Why not be thrilled that we have so much in common with other creatures?

I also admired her perspective on being a trailblazer, which is my characterization, not hers. Specifically, her sentiments about having entered marine biology at a time when, for women, to be a scientist was embraced as an accomplishment but not taken seriously as a profession:

One common factor for people who do succeed is a love of what they’re doing, a refusal to accept the reasons others give for why they can’t do something. I met a man who was an opera singer, and he’d been scorned in his youth for wanting to sing. It was viewed as a girly activity. But he persisted.

You have to have a sense of humor. It’s your suit of armor.

There’s humor again—an asset, a gift, and a suit of armor.

On that note, friends, happy Sunday. I’ve got a creamy, summery pasta dish coming your way this week!


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