Women, Food, God

Do you feel like you don’t have time to eat well?

Worry about the cost of buying organic?

Think it’s way too difficult and you could never master it?

Fear your family and friends will reject you, your food, or your efforts?

Think badly of yourself if you make a mistake in the kitchen?

These are the top beliefs that most people I work with seem to have when they come to me. They may really desire losing weight, getting off of their diabetes medication, or making their lifestyle more green (among other outcomes).

Why is that when so many people deeply desire positive outcomes that they avoid changing their diets?

My observation has been that what “getting healthy” represents taps people’s deepest feelings about themselves. Geneen Roth wrote a book about this called “Women, Food, God”. She says,

“The way you eat is inseparable from your core beliefs about being alive. Your relationship with food is an exact mirror of your feelings about love, fear, anger, meaning, transformation and, yes, even God.”

So even though you may really want to lose weight, it means truly facing the emotions that are attached to this issue for you. That’s the scary and uncomfortable part for people! All the defense mechanisms pop up when we say we don’t “have enough time” or “it’s too expensive.” Deep down, what it actually could mean is “this is too painful/fearful for me to experience at this moment.” It could also mean, “I don’t feel worthy enough” or “health isn’t one of my core values yet.” To know what you true values are, look on your plate.

However, “going beyond both the food and feelings takes you deeper into realms of spirit and soul to the bright center of your own life.”

When people finally feel ready to transform their approach to diet and lifestyle, the result can be simply magnificent! These positive benefits might be a stabilized and healthy weight, clearer skin, more energy, sounder sleep, and an overall improved outlook on life. Those fears we had that someone “won’t want to eat this healthy dish” get transformed when the a dish that you place on the table is the first to be devoured by all the guests simply because your most authentic loving expression of yourself is one of the ingredients in the food.

Love yourself enough to eat well. To me this means, “eat in a way that nourishes your spirit on a deep level”. You deserve it.


Sipping Tea with the Emperor and Queen Victoria

Vegan High Tea the other day at Baby aWEARness was a HUGE hit. We had a great time.

In preparation for the tea festivities, I watched a DVD called All In This Tea. One section included a quote (I’ll have to paraphrase) that really moved me and that I would like to share with you:

“In this moment [of drinking tea], we have the same experience that Queen Victoria had 150 years ago, the same taste a Chinese Emperor would have loved. Tea is living archeology. We are resurrecting flavors and experiences that bind us to the past shared by generations before us.”

Comments from participants:

“I don’t usually like scones, but yours were so buttery and delicious.”

“You are a wonderful hostess! Thank you for a great time of tea and new friends! I look forward to another event in the future.”

“You have a talent for making food and the sharing of it so meaningful.”

“The high tea on Sunday was so lovely. We enjoyed ourselves immensely. We’ve been trying to catch up with one another so we appreciated you creating the time, the space, and all the wonderful goodies to indulge ourselves. I’ve been raving about it to everyone and hope you will do another one in the future (especially since you’ve got all those wonderful teapots to put into good use).”

“Thank you, Leslie, for the splendid time at High Tea and the onolicious food! I am grateful for you, your skill, your palate and your vision for the community and the world!”

Celebratin’!!!!!!!!!

Just a little YouTube video to ring in some good celebratin’ energy about all the GREAT GREAT things in my life!! WOO HOO! For some booty shakin’ fun, watch the video and be sure to dance! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKqV7DB8Iwg

A few lyrics by the Black Eyed Peas, from Let’s Get It Started

“Obstacles are inefficient, follow your intuition, free your inner soul and break away from tradition. Coz when we beat out, girl it’s pullin’ without…….Step by step, like an infant new kid. Inch by inch with the new solution. Transmit hits, with no delusion. The feeling’s irresistible and that’s how we movin’.”

A Healthy Cup of Tea

My life has been a whirlwind lately, from cohorting with some internationally renowned local chefs, to getting a rush of much welcomed and appreciated press, to taking on celebrity clients. I’m in awe, and extremely grateful for all my opportunities and the places my job takes me. What a life!

While my job is often mind-blowing, there are those mundane times when I’m driving around town through traffic in search of items for my next event. If you value organic whole food items of high quality, it takes some work to source things sometimes.

In my pursuit of all things related to tea today, I had an amazingly wonderful and extremely random adventure.

Here I was, driving down industrialized Nimitz, daydreaming about tea, tea pots, and the Vegan High Tea event coming up on the 28th. The universe speaks in mysterious ways sometimes, and as I was daydreaming, I looked up and saw a white van drive by. I happened to notice that it said something about the Hawaiian Islands Tea Company, and there was a phone number. Hmmm…. That was some kind of serendipity impossible to ignore. I took action and called the number before the van disappeared from sight, only to leave a message.

About one hour later, a man named Dave called me back and said I should stop by for some samples. I was escorted to the back by Mr. Dave Plaskett, who turned out to be the Director of Tea for the Hawaii Coffee Company.


photo from http://hawaiianislandstea.com/

His office was simply breathtaking, with rare dried teas from every possible corner of the earth. His walls were decorated by photos of people who work with tea throughout the world, posters of tropical fruits, samples of tea bags hanging from a poster board, and what appeared to be an apothecary of various concoctions he is working on for their line of teas. I was so incredibly impressed.

We sat and talked for about 15 minutes about macrobiotics, an idea he has for his next business, the origin of genmaicha, one of his philosophies about business that seemed very timely to me, and where I could potentially get the tea that I needed. In the meantime, he loaned me All In This Tea, a documentary about a man obsessed with finding the world’s rarest teas. He was an absolutely cool and fascinating guy who transformed my day from the ordinary to the extraordinary! Thanks Dave.

I’ll be seeing some of you at the tea party on the 28th!

Grow Hawaii Iron Chef Competition: Next Generation

The Iron Chef Next Generation teams were scrambling around the room choosing all their ingredients to use in their cook-off. Kabocha was the “secret” ingredient of the day.

The displays were incredible of all the fresh, local, and seasonal ingredients.

And on the judge’s panel…. that’s ME, with Ed Kenney, Alan Wong, and Roy Yamaguchi signing autographs at the end of the day. Yeah baby!! I was one of the very few female chefs there representing.


(this photo is from Honolulu Magazine’s twitpic.com account.)
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Article on Hawaii News Now

Monday November 8th, 2010 – The Hawai‘i Association of Independent Schools (HAIS), Sheraton Waikiki and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Hawai‘i presents the GROW HAWAI‘I Challenge. Fifteen public charter and independent schools across Hawai‘i have been selected to participate in HAIS’s innovative Grow Hawai‘i pilot program to incorporate locally grown produce into their school cafeteria menus. Breakout sessions will celebrate local success stories and heroes making a difference in sustainability. Chefs from Starwood’s Hotels and Resorts across the islands and local celebrity restaurateurs will team up with the school chefs and students in a School Garden Cooking Challenge. Attendees will enjoy a delicious Farm-to-Table lunch prepared by Sheraton Waik?k? chefs before the awards are presented.

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Article on Grow Hawaii’s website:

Over the next three years, Grow Hawaii will use a variety of strategies to significantly enrich the educational dialogue in all private and public schools statewide concerning the urgency for growing food in the islands. Beginning with the belief that the betterment of humankind is inherently possible and that schools are a prominent force for good, Grow Hawai’i and its partners aspire to create lifelong “buy local, eat local” consumers by engaging students, starting in elementary school, in exploration, experimentation, and action-oriented problem-based learning that will foster consideration of the origins of and their relationship with island grown food and the social systems and values we will need to create a more sustainable way of life. Simultaneously, we aspire to document this story and share it with all who are interested, allowing the voices of students to chart a course to the future and be in the vanguard of those leading the way. http://www.growhi.org/?page_id=2

Diet for a Small Island

Come join us for two inspiring dialogues on food/agricultural problems and on visions for food democracy in Hawai’i and beyond!

Frances Moore Lappé, the world-renowned democracy advocate, author (Diet for a Small Planet, Hope’s Edge, Liberation Ecology, World Hunger, Twelve Myth among many), and food and hunger expert, will be featured at the Umematsu and Yasu Watada Lecture Series on November 5-6 at Church of the Crossroads.


November 5 (Friday 7 pm)

“Food Democracy: Ideas and Stories to Liberate Our Food Systems”

Talk by Frances Moore Lappé

November 6 (Saturday 9 am)

“Diet for a Small Island: Visioning Food Democracy in Hawai’i.”

Panelists: State Senator Carol Fukunaga, Eric Enos (Ka’ala Farms), Dr. Ted Radovich (University of Hawai’i College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources), Hi’ilei Kawelo (Paepae o He’eia), and Frances Moore Lappé.

Talks are free and open to public. Both talks are at Church of the Crossroads, 1212 University Avenue, Honolulu. Tel: 808-949-2220. http://churchofthecrossroadshawaii.org/

For more information about the Watada Lectures Series, visit our blog http://watadalecture.blogspot.com/

See you there!