January is a bit of a two-faced month. One the one hand it represents the new year, a time for new beginnings, goal-setting and plan-making. On the other hand it’s a month when suicides are on the rise.
Heavy, I know. A little out of step with the traditional “let’s-make-this-the-best-year-ever” new year mood. But this year is different. We are entering uncharted territory as a country and I, for one, feel heavy with uncertainty. However, I think there’s a lesson in January for all of us. A lesson about the many people we pass on the street everyday that are struggling in ways we know nothing about. A lesson about the friend who puts on a smile but is secretly drowning in debt, loneliness, and isolation. A lesson about the pressure-cooker many of us live in; the pressure to be good enough, rich enough, successful enough.
These lessons about isolation, these statistics about suicide, the uncertain times we find ourselves in, have all converged for me into one New Year’s resolution. My 2017 is going to be a year of community and connection. There is far more that connects us than divides us. As we enter an era when we will be called upon to use our voices to stand up for what we believe, let’s start by finding our voices together.
For me, there are no better places to connect than in the kitchen and at the table. Cooking is like breathing for me, a natural state of being, and something I cannot live without. I feel most in-tune with myself in the kitchen, most empowered, most joyful and most connected with my internal compass. I do my best cooking when I’ve got company, so I hope you’ll join me. There’s no telling what we can cook up together
I hope to build some of this connection via my online communities. I plan to publish some e-cookbooks this year, which will all be informed and guided by conversations on my Facebook page. My goal is always to share recipes with you that are deeply satisfying and delicious, that give you the confidence and inspiration to cook more at home, and that help guide you towards a healthy, happy life. To this end, I want to know what you’re craving, what health challenges you are using food to tackle, and what you’ve always wanted to know how to cook.
Another way I look forward to connecting with you this year is at my culinary and wellness retreats in Ojai. I’m really excited to be launching these this year. These weekend getaways will be a mix of cooking and creating in the kitchen, sourcing local ingredients, sharing stories at the table over meals we’ve made together, and exploring better ways to take care of ourselves and the ones we love.
Happy New Year!!