After much trial and error, I feel like I’ve landed in a beautiful place. Wellness, healthy food, peace and beauty are all inextricably linked. They cannot be considered separately. Eating healthy, physical activity, a positive outlook, getting rest, and working on inspiring, purposeful projects are all integral to each other for happiness and well-being. It’s the balance of an organized whole that is perceived as more than the sum of its parts.
I love it when all the words come together, and even better when all the pieces fit together.
It doesn’t always happen, but last month went seamless.
I know I haven’t posted in quite some time, as I’ve been working behind the scenes under the creative direction of Kristen Alden on another new book. This one is not an illustrated collection of poetry, but a specialty guide of sorts for simple and soulful self-care that inextricably links all of the pieces of the happiness puzzle together.
Through lessons I’ve learned from navigating my life around celiac disease, a food-related illness, Kristen and I are putting together a beautiful, visual book that’s an easy and proactive way to pilot health and wellness and live the healthy, inspired life we all want to live. It’s full of my Italian family recipes (with a gluten free jeuge), professional food photography, inspiring quotes and beautiful design, and will be done by summer!
Kristen and I met up at the end of February and the weather was epic here in South Florida. We cooked up a storm while the sun shone down on us the whole time. It was perfect for staging photos in the outdoor kitchen and hosting a dinner party afterward with all the food we had leftover! It was a great way to express our gratitude that we get to go for it in a BIG way.
Kristen and I have a vision, and the message is real. Well being is everywhere and for everyone.
It is inextricably linked to diet, exercise, sleep, self-care, a sense of hope, and creativity. Health and illness are conditions of the whole individual: physical, spiritual, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social, and other factors. We must take care of ourselves by taking all of these factors into account—for both healing and prevention of disease.
Becoming healthy opened up my world to creativity, and creativity taught me the importance of finding an outlet. Creativity is not exclusive to artistic ability. We’re all explorers, students, storytellers, artists, poets and experts in something. And throughout our life, we all become experts in the most important thing of all… our own lives. We each have experiences that we rely on to be ourselves. We carry this learning with us.
It is our own expertise in our lives that drives our capacity to be creative, which is how I arrived at this beautiful place.
Spending a weekend preparing and cooking meals for the new book was an incredibly rewarding experience. It allowed me to reflect upon how far I’ve come.
My training has been a lifelong experience in an Italian-American kitchen mixed with learning how to eat for celiac disease through the gluten free diet. I used to be unconsciously incompetent when I made the permanent switch to gluten free. But the better I’ve become at preparing healthy gluten free meals, the more it’s become second nature for me. I’ve learned a much better strategy over the past 13 years and am now able to cook without recipes and can put together a magical meal… entirely by instinct.
Some of these recipes I learned from growing up with all the amazing talented women before me—my mom, grandmother, sisters—who cooked with love and care. And some come from a place of confident experimentation.
I’ve worked hard to learn and focus on how to eat with an ultimate goal of pure wellness. It worked.
I feel better now than I ever have in my whole life. You don’t have to wait until you’re 55-years-old for that to happen, either. You’ll learn way before me!! Having celiac disease is easy to handle if you have a great attitude and you eat pure, single ingredient whole foods: veggies, fruits, meats, nuts, eggs and staying away from anything processed as often as you can.
For too long
Like a song…
Nutrition is never a one-size-fits-all science. Remember that what works for you, may not work for someone else. I urge everyone to remain curious and open-minded and take time to learn about health, healing and happiness. Empower yourself.
Finding that which is best within and sharing it to make the world a more beautiful and joyous place feels alive, expansive and purposeful. And knowing your purpose will unlock your soul gifts, natural talents and creativity to lead you to well-being and living your highest and true potential. 💖