Book Review - Food and Life

I came across this book The School of Essential Ingredients, written by Seattle author Erica Bauermeister. The story is about Lillian, a 30ish chef and restaurateur who teaches a series of evening cooking classes. Her desire is to inspire in her students a love and respect for both food and life. The story follows the lives of eight students who, for various reasons, come to take Lillian’s class. Soon you’ll find yourself hoping the smells of her kitchen will waft through your house. You will want to sign up for her class.

It is more than a book about cooking, it is about the essence of life and learning to look at it differently. It is a story of relationships and how food connects people in unique ways. It is about the magic of Lillian the mysterious teacher who seems to know exactly what people are missing most in their lives.

I highly recommend it. This is Erica Bauermesiter's first novel. She has a wonderful writing style that is gentle and soulfully descriptive. Here is an example :

"And Helen, who had begun to feel as if her life was like the daily turning of pages filled with other people's writing, felt as if she suddenly had come upon an illustration."

" . . .the flavor was full of red bursts and spikes of hot pepper shooting across his tongue; underneath, like a steadying hand, a salty cushion of clam, the soft velvet of oregano, and pasta warm as beach sand."

I know that I am enjoying a book when I am sad to come to the end. This book left me wanting more. I would love to hear about Lillian's next cooking class. Maybe there will be a sequel.

Add this one to your reading list!

In the spirit of savoring life, Cindy

You Are What You Eat

After coming home from 6 weeks of traveling I realized how terrible I was feeling. We ate at restaurants way too much, slept in uncomfortable hotel beds and didn't have time for any real self care. I came home feeling bloated, constipated (TMI) and feeling especially fat. When I am feeling like that the last thing I want to do is take care of myself - I just want to hibernate. But after a while I knew that I had to do something. First I decided to starting eating foods that come with no ingredient list - natural and lots of green. Plus I committed to drinking a gallon of water a day - yes an entire gallon! Within three days I started waking up and feeling a bit more human.

Today (nearly four weeks later) I am feeling better than I have in months! Here is a picture I took when I came home from grocery shopping this week.

Everything is fresh, brightly colored and filled with "life force energy". When I eat it I feel the same way. I'm not sure what happened but I had a shift of consciousness. While in California we went to hear Michael Beckwith speak on "Becoming More Authentically You". He encouraged people to awaken in any way possible to their true selves. He said one way to do that was by healing your body temple. "Look at the distraction that stands in the way of embracing your ray of light from spirit (source)." Those words helped me get clear on something I have known for a long time - my weight, food, dieting, the obsession - was standing in the way of me embracing my ray. If I want to live a vital, light filled life than I had to start by healing my body temple.

Next thing I know (the Law of Attraction at work) a book sort of dropped into my lap. It is written my Natalia Rose called "Raw Food - Life Force Energy". The book is good overall, but the part I needed to read was the introduction and the first couple of chapters. "Tapping the Secret Laws of Life Force Energy". I highly recommend reading it. Here is the philosophy of her book:

  • We are dynamic-energetic/vibrational being intrinsically connected with a universal energy system from which we can access and endless supply of Life Force Energy.

  • In order for us to experience a perfect body, true health, and consistent joy, we need to clean our bodies and return them to their natural, harmonious light-energy quotient.

  • Once we enhance the flow of Life Force Energy within our bodies, we will experience ourselves, each other, and our lives differently.

  • Once we are clean internally, harmoniously flowing with Life Force Energy, we will be infinitely more attractive to others because we will be physically more beautiful, lean, kind, clear, joyful people of right purpose.

That is a whole new way of looking at it don't you think? It certainly was for me. Since the morning I read those first few pages I knew that my struggle was over. It was time for me to give up the number on the scale, the good food - bad food war, the self-loathing, and the rigid all-or-nothing thinking that held me hostage! I knew that I wanted to feel the lightness of Life Force Energy in my body and my life. They only way to get there is to feed my body high vibrational foods filled with LFE (Life Force Energy).

This change has created a detox of my body and some of that hasn't been too much fun. But each day I am feeling better, "lighter" and more positive. The negative little voice in my head has quieted to the point that it is merely a faint whisper. I am sleeping better than I have in months. I have energy and a feeling of connection. Self nurturing is now simple, and almost automatic part of life. I am seeing things in a whole new light. Sounds crazy doesn't it. It hasn't been four weeks yet, but the difference is amazing. The quiet little negative voice in my head is whispering "but will it last??" And I say back "who knows?" But it is working today - and today is all I have. Now I truly understand the phrase "You Are What You Eat". Today I want to eat up some LFE!

In the spirit of lightness, Cindy

Sunshine & Borders

Today is "open house" #9. We had to vacate for a couple of hours. An opportunity to go for a walk in the Metro park and then to Borders for some book therapy.

The new issue of "Artful Blogger" is out so I had to find a quiet place and check it out. On page 106 Tracey Clark ( had a photograph that touched me.

Amen! Being a life examiner myself, it is not always an easy path! There are people in my life that wish I could just stop. But it isn't that simple, let me tell you! This is something that is built in to me, I arrived on the planet this way. For years I used drugs, alcohol, food and spending to try to devert it. Eventually I surrendered to it. The best thing I have ever done. Now I see my need to ask questions, explore, examine and excavate the layers of myself as a gift. It brings a sense of wholeness and dimension - it takes me beyond my mere physical to something bigger and that is pretty darn awesome. Sometimes it's no picnic, other times it is a conga line gone wild! I wouldn't have it any other way! Good thing, cause I can't stop it!

A sunny Sunday, spring starting to spring, inspiration at Borders. It's a good afternoon.

In the spirit of examination,

-- Posted on the go from my iPhone.

Spring Break

Today things are a bit quiet around the house. My granddaughters were here for a few days during their spring break from school. And they went home yesterday. This was the first time we had them alone for a long period. It was so much fun. They bring so much life into our house. They are so alive and full of energy.

We did a lot of fun things while they were here. Most fun was making art. We played with polymer clay, made jewelry and painted. When they were little I used to dream about the time when I could play with them in my art studio. I knew it would be so great. Well this week my dream became a reality - except it was far better than the dream because they brought their own unique little spirits into it. It was awesome. This time, being in the moment with them creating art ranks right up there in my list of best days. Can't wait to do it again.

Although it is quite - their energy is still swirling around the house. It has inspired me to start painting again! Zoe just fearlessly whipped out the painting above. I saw in her the pure joy of just starting with a blank page and painting for fun. No pressure, no expectations, just making art! Stick the brush in the paint and go for it! Yeah!!

In the spirit of creativity,

Catching Up

In case you have been wondering what happened to me ( it's been two months since I've blogged ). Jeff and I headed to California to celebrate my Mom's 90th Birthday (plus we wanted to escape winter in Ohio). I had every intention of blogging along the way but . . . . well, it just didn't happen! So here is recap of the past two months in words and pictures:

Ohio snow Kentucky snow Tennessee snow Nashville major toothache The Mitchell’s snow Arkansas Oklahoma Texas Pan Handle New Mexico Albuquerque Del Taco Metaphysical Bookstore Arizona Nevada Laughlin slot machines California The Deushane’s party planning Pasadena Rev.Ed Bacon San Gabriel Bead Shop more party planning grand kids Adian Aubrey & Kelly fried zucchini hot pastrami party scrapbook new computer The Party! Mom’s 90th Birthday Celebration! Big Success Katie relaxing pendulum PH water Australian Open laughter Hemet good food Donny & Isabell Nijia Los Angeles Agape International Michael Beckwith inspiration mountains snow desert rain rain more rain flash floods Scott bike lemons avocados sewing purse goodbye Tucson Kris Halter gems pendulums rain snow New Mexico Las Cruses I10 to I40 planning Texas Oklahoma quilt store yummy fabric Dave Ramsey radio Arkansas Tennessee Nashville beautiful granddaughters Zoë Bella Elisha Chris good food laughter relaxing sewing machine dress making story telling laughter games goodbye heading home Kentucky Ohio snow snow piles of snow cold . . . . . 5200 miles Home!

Now that I am up to date I am back on to my creative focus. It occurred to me today how much I have missed it and how much I enjoy looking at the world in that way. Creativity keeps me centered and living in the moment. A great place to be.

In the spirit of creativity,