Weekend Reading, 2.10.19

Pierre Van ZylNutrition and Wellness, weekend reading

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My current internship rotation is a pretty big departure from the last one. It’s outpatient nutrition counseling at a community health center with multiple locations around the city; I’m splitting my time between Harlem, Chelsea, and the Bronx. The work is nearly all diabetes management, with some weight management and general nutrition guidance thrown in….

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(Long) Weekend Reading, 1.21.19

Pierre Van ZylNutrition and Wellness, weekend reading

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As I write this post the wind is howling furiously outside my window, and my apartment, which usually manages to stay pretty warm no matter what’s going on outside, is decidedly drafty and chilly. It’s a true winter’s day in New York City. Because of that, because of recurring sinus stuff that won’t quite quit…

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(Long) Weekend Reading, 1.21.19

Pierre Van ZylNutrition and Wellness, weekend reading

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As I write this post the wind is howling furiously outside my window, and my apartment, which usually manages to stay pretty warm no matter what’s going on outside, is decidedly drafty and chilly. It’s a true winter’s day in New York City. Because of that, because of recurring sinus stuff that won’t quite quit…

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Weekend Reading, 12.30.18

Pierre Van ZylNutrition and Wellness, weekend reading

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I’ve been reading a lot of Pema Chodron’s writings about tonglen practice lately. One quotation of hers keeps sticking with me: Tonglen practice (and all meditation practice) is not about later, when you get it all together and you’re this person you really respect. You may be the most violent person in the world—that’s a…

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Weekend Reading, 12.9.18

Pierre Van ZylNutrition and Wellness, weekend reading

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It hasn’t been a smooth season for me as far as body image goes. I started grappling with dysmorphia back in the fall. The discomfort has quieted down since then, but it hasn’t gone away. The last few months are the most consistently uncomfortable I’ve felt in my body in a good many years. I’ve…

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Weekend Reading, 12.2.18

Pierre Van ZylNutrition and Wellness, weekend reading

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Happy December, friends! It’s been a somewhat rocky entrance to the month for me, as the past week was full of personal unrest. I slipped into patterns of behavior that feel like me at my worst—stuff so old and habitual and frustrating to me that I don’t even want to write about it. Here’s the…

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Weekend Reading, 11.25.18

Pierre Van ZylNutrition and Wellness, weekend reading, weekend readings

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Now that my post-bacc is years behind me (I’m realizing as I write this that I began it in 2010, which is nuts), it’s very easy to tell an elegant story of adversity being channeled into growth, or about the benefits of experiencing rejection. I’ve been aware for a long time that I was probably…

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Weekend Reading, 11.18.18

Pierre Van ZylNutrition and Wellness, weekend reading

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My next door neighbor—I’ll call him Glen—passed away recently. I’m not sure when. I’d known he wasn’t well for a long time, based on our passing encounters and the haunting sound of his cough echoing through the hallway we shared late at night. For the past few months I suspected things might have taken a…

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Weekend Reading, 11.11.18

Pierre Van ZylNutrition and Wellness, weekend reading

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For dietitians, the DI year is supposed to be a pre-professional experience, supervised work that prepares us for the realities of practice. One of these realities, I’m starting to realize, is the exercise of judgment. When I started the DI, I assumed that I’d be trained in guidelines and standards that would neatly inform all…

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Weekend Pause

Pierre Van ZylNutrition and Wellness, weekend reading

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Hi friends. I’m taking a pause instead of getting weekend reading up tonight. No urgent reason, but I’ve had a lot of work to do today, and I’m feeling the need to wind down early. I’ve got something on my mind to write about, but doing so tonight would mean rushing, and it would give…

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Weekend Reading, 10.7.18

Pierre Van ZylNutrition and Wellness, weekend reading

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I’m sending this weekend reading out into the world from a hectic Sunday, which also happens to be an underslept Sunday. The combination of those two things means that I’m short on words, but last weekend’s post—which wasn’t short on words—did leave me with some follow up thoughts. Two of them aren’t my thoughts. They’re…

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Weekend Reading, 9.30.18

Pierre Van ZylNutrition and Wellness, weekend reading

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Whenever I write about my experience of eating disorders, I make a point of saying that the healing process isn’t linear. It’s full of odd, surprising twists and turns, realizations and moments that take one by surprise. Still, I think it’s natural to hope or expect that a linear trend will emerge. After all, it’s…

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Weekend Reading, 9.16.18

Pierre Van ZylNutrition and Wellness, weekend reading

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My current DI placement is at a nursing home that offers both long- and short-term care. I’m learning a lot about what and how people eat when they’re recovering from surgeries or in the process of rehabilitation. And I’m gaining a better understanding of food choices and habits toward the end of life. Not surprisingly,…

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Weekend Reading, 8.26.18

Pierre Van ZylNutrition and Wellness, weekend reading

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Last Sunday, I came clean about being stuck in a cycle of repetitive, anxious thoughts. My friend Maria shared the following response: When I was in my thirties, I had a therapist who suggested something that sounded really counter intuitive to me about my fearful thought patterns. She said that when I started into a…

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Weekend Reading, 8.19.18

Pierre Van ZylNutrition and Wellness, weekend reading

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I often read about the power of choosing one’s thoughts, or something along those lines: shifting perspective, flipping the script, quieting negative self-talk, and so on. It sounds so compelling and empowering, yet so elusive. Most of the time, I feel that my thoughts choose me. I often wish—especially when they’re particularly exhausting—that they’d choose…

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Weekend Reading, 7.29.18

Pierre Van ZylNutrition and Wellness, weekend reading

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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…

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Weekend Reading, 7.15.18

Pierre Van ZylNutrition and Wellness, weekend reading

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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…

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Weekend Reading, 7.8.18

Pierre Van ZylNutrition and Wellness, weekend reading

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I was chatting with a friend—a new friend, but she already feels like an old friend—a few days ago, and it became clear that we’ve visited some similar emotional and psychological territory in the last few years. “There’s so much goodness right now,” she exclaimed (and I think I’m paraphrasing a little). “But at the…

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Weekend Reading, 7.1.18

Pierre Van ZylNutrition and Wellness, weekend reading

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Happy Sunday, and happy 1st of July! Summer sure is flowing along. This week, Maria Popova sent out a “mid-week pick-me-up” email linking back to a post from the Brain Pickings archive. It featured a 1958 letter from John Steinbeck to his son, Thom, who had written home from boarding school with a confession of…

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Weekend Reading, 6.10.18

Pierre Van ZylNutrition and Wellness, weekend reading

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Oftentimes when I read about the importance of saying no and setting boundaries, the advice seems to assume that the things being declined aren’t all that desirable: unmanageable amounts of work, exhausting social commitments, and so on. This week, I learned how hard it is to turn down things that might be very enjoyable, but…

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Weekend Reading, 6.3.18

Pierre Van ZylNutrition and Wellness, weekend reading

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It’s been another weekend of Kleenex, Netflix, and soup—i.e., another lousy cold. I say “another” because colds have been pretty constant this year so far, though this one was definitely the worst I’ve had (bad enough that I got a rapid strep test; the doctor at urgent care also saw me with the sprained wrist…

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Weekend Reading, 5.20.18

Pierre Van ZylNutrition and Wellness, weekend reading

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On Tuesday morning, I graduated from Teacher’s College with a master’s of science in nutrition and education. It’s one of the final steps in my road to becoming an RDN (registered dietitian nutritionist). Regular readers know that this has been a long, long road for me. I took my first pre-requisite science classes while I…

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Weekend Reading, 5.13.18

Pierre Van ZylNutrition and Wellness, weekend reading

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Happy Sunday, and to those who are celebrating Mother’s Day, a lovely afternoon. On Thursday morning, when I arrived at my regular yoga class, a good friend commented on the slouchy pants I was wearing. “Love them!” he said. “Not your usual look.” (The usual look is leggings.) Without skipping a beat, I replied, “yeah,…

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Weekend Reading, 5.6.18

Pierre Van ZylNutrition and Wellness, weekend reading

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On Friday, I was honored to be a part of a conversation titled “Hot Topics in Eating Disorder Treatment,” hosted by Castlewood Treatment Centers and Balanced Eating Disorder Treatment Center here in New York City. The workshop’s moderators were Tammy Beasley and Melainie Rogers, both registered dietitians who specialize in ED treatment. One of the…

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Weekend Reading, 4.29.18

Pierre Van ZylNutrition and Wellness, weekend reading

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I nearly broke into clapping (at home, alone) earlier this week when I read Amanda Cohen’s Women’s Health article on women and appetite. In her essay, Cohen describes a scenario I think most women can relate to: Over the years, I’ve watched hundreds of dinners from the pass, and I have a terrible confession to…

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Weekend Reading, 4.22.18

Pierre Van ZylNutrition and Wellness, weekend reading

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I’ve been casually saying that I’m in the home stretch of graduate school all year, because relatively speaking—relative to having been a dietetics or pre-health student since 2010—I have been. But now I’m really in the home stretch, sprinting across my last few weeks of classes. I had to laugh when I read this article…

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Weekend Reading, 4.15.18

Pierre Van ZylNutrition and Wellness, weekend reading

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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…

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