The Cook Awakening

Archive for the ‘Health and Nutrition’ Category


When the Rubber Hits the Road

September 15, 2017
Posted in: Health and Nutrition, Life on Life's Terms, Living with Health Challenges, Meditation, Spiritual Practice

Having babies in my early 40s was exciting. I had given up on the idea of having a family of my own— a committed partner, raising kids together. After years of mostly single life, interspersed with intense but short-term relationships, and long-term spiritual practice, I was honestly to the point of considering taking monastic vows. I was already basically living the life of a mendicant— cooking for and managing meditation retreats for half the year, and the other half of the year living in India, studying with spiritual teachers and burning in the transformational fires that only India knows how to create.

Aging lotus plants


I was happy. Not always in a pleasant way, but in a deeply congruent way that was the gift of that long-term spiritual practice. I knew that life was a journey, and I was less attached to goals. More presence, less future and past.

That fateful meeting with my now husband is a story in itself, and not what I want to focus on here.

Having babies in my early 40s was exciting… and exhausting. The relentless requirement to satisfy other beings’ needs (particularly the first, who was born 10 weeks prematurely), the constant daze of interrupted sleep, never having time alone, always being touched (particularly challenging for this introvert), was utterly depleting.
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End of Summer

August 26, 2015
Posted in: Events, Health and Nutrition, Integrating Lifestyle Changes, Life on Life's Terms, Living with Health Challenges, Seasonal Change

Ahhh, summer winding down. I just returned from a blissful and much needed 2 weeks of relaxation on Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire, after working quite a bit harder than I could really handle gracefully for a number of weeks.

Winnipesaukee Sunset

Winnipesaukee Sunset

I wish I could say that my self-care is always perfect, but I’d be lying through my teeth. Sometimes, life demands what it demands, and the best I can do is surrender to what needs to be done. Goddess Gather was a great success, and I have no regrets. But, my health is still too fragile to support the kind of hard work required to put on an event of the scope and complexity of the vision we hold for the Gather.
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Resurrection

April 5, 2015
Posted in: Events, Food Sensitivities, Health and Nutrition, Integrating Lifestyle Changes, Life on Life's Terms, Living with Health Challenges, Meditation

It’s Easter. It’s my birthday week. It was a full moon lunar eclipse.

I’m an Aries who usually starts announcing her birthday at least a month before it arrives. Not this year. I took myself to the beach. Solo. Batteries in serious need of recharging.

Haystack Rock

Haystack Rock, Cannon Beach, OR

In January I had experimented with some foods that I’ve been avoiding for many years. A bit of honey here and there. Some 90% chocolate (read “10% sugar”). Yams. Even some … potatoes. Non-GMO corn chips.

I just kept thinking, “Damn it, I’ve been such a good girl for so long, surely I’ve healed enough to be able to tolerate a few more foods! I deserve this!”

It became evident in February that I was in an autoimmune and yeast flare. Fatigue, foggy head, body aches. And, fatigue. Really tired.

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Self-Care is a Dance

December 19, 2013
Posted in: Health and Nutrition, Integrating Lifestyle Changes, Life on Life's Terms, Living with Health Challenges, Meditation

Self care is a dance. I wish it were straightforward, a prescription the doctor could write and we could fill at the pharmacy, take once a day, and be done with. That would be simple, wouldn’t it?

But, especially when you have chronic health challenges, it’s often a dance whose steps seem to be changing every day. Sometimes because the way an ailment expresses itself goes through a transition, sometimes because you start a new treatment or supplement regimen, sometimes because the season has changed, or perhaps your hormones are changing due to aging. You may decide to remove a food from your diet to see if it makes a difference in your digestion or energy level and an entirely different set of symptoms you weren’t even consciously aware of disappears.

Nataraj, the Dancing Form of Shiva - symbolizing the cosmic dance of creation and destruction, birth and death.

Nataraj, the Dancing Form of Shiva – symbolizing the cosmic dance of creation and destruction, birth and death.


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Velvety Chocolate Cake

July 8, 2013
Posted in: Food Sensitivities, Health and Nutrition, Integrating Lifestyle Changes, Just for Fun!, Recipes, The Simple Kitchen

Chocolate Cake

Velvety Chocolate Cake on one of my favorite depression glass plates

We’re on vacation at my husband’s family cottage in New Hampshire on Lake Winnipesaukee. (I can finally spell that without having to look it up.) The amenities are basic, the cottage is shared with a number of family members and is only used during the summertime. The mixing options are an ancient Waring blender with a glass carafe and hard plastic lid that doesn’t seal (I LOVE this blender on an aesthetic level, but it’s not the most effective appliance I’ve ever used), and a hand mixer. Never to shy away from a challenge, I wanted a new treat that I could eat without paying for with my health. It’s nice to have time to tinker in the kitchen.
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The Unbearable Beauty of Uncertainty

February 8, 2012
Posted in: Health and Nutrition, Integrating Lifestyle Changes, Meditation

As I was scrolling posts on Facebook a few weeks ago, my heart broke. A friend shared the new method she’d been using to get her child to sleep on her own. It was a pretty standard sleep-training method: leave the child alone for gradually longer periods of time, periodic reassuring, tolerate the whining or crying a bit….

But it generated an extremely polarized conversation. In the one camp, “kids need to be trained to be independent,” and the other, “kids need to sleep with their parents as long as they exhibit the need; they will learn to be independent by having their needs met.”
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