Written on 4.22.15
On the bus back from New York City—finally heading home from a long day that started with a 5am wake up call from Jack who hovered over me to tell me that he found a tick crawling on his leg. My expected almost 7 hours of sleep abruptly turned into a shy 6—not really enough to properly fuel me for the long day ahead (one where I would be returning to my culinary alma mater to speak to a group of students in the Culinary Nutrition Certificate Program).
The mad rush to get ready was followed by a thirty-minute car ride to drop my boys at school, then a combination of errands and an hour of work before I boarded a bus to the City (where I did more work). My typical day in the big apple is usually packed with clients and meetings then a late bus home (if I am not staying overnight). But today was different—it was all about Natural Gourmet Institute (NGI) as all of my other scheduled work had been effectively rescheduled for the following week.
Now this atypical scheduling glitch comes at an apropos time as the fearless founder of NGI, Dr. Annemarie Colbin sadly passed away on April 10th. She has been my mentor since 1986, when her book Food and Healing hit the shelves and remarkably changed my life. So returning to the school, nearly two weeks after her loss, to teach and give back to the place that gave so much to me, moves me to tears. I am a firm believer that there are no coincidences in life—thus I have taken this day to reflect on the woman, the school and its incredible team of educators that literally inspires and informs everything that I do today.
Asked to speak to an eager group of students about my path to becoming a culinary nutritionist and what it really means to be one, it was with great passion and unexpected energy that I shared my story, engaged with students and answered some riveting questions. And it was actually with great sadness that the conversation came to a close!
So now, as I sit on the bus (the same one that took me to and from class nearly 18 years ago) and stare through the darkness en route to Montauk to rest my weary body, mind and spirit, it’s apparent that tonight was as much about my own healing as it was about educating an eager group of students. The great opportunity to go back to my roots, especially at a time when I am deeply mourning the loss of one of my most treasured mentors (and a woman who was surely ahead of her time) was incredibly therapeutic.
Writing in journal form seemed appropriate. Funny enough, while in culinary school (and on this same bus heading in and out of NYC before I moved to the metropolis), I diligently kept a diary—Journal of a Young Chef. It has lived in my desk file for eighteen years until now and I am hesitantly but proudly sharing an excerpt with you (with recipes)...
Is there some take-home advice here? Well, how about the mere fact that going back to our roots has a unique way of helping us see how far we have come, who and what has helped us become who we are today and perhaps all of this aids us in appreciating who we are and what we have the capacity for in this lifetime of ours.
Stirring the Pot is back with 2 new shows per month on WPPB 88.3 FM so don’t forget to tune in Thursdays at 5:30pm (with an encore Saturdays at 7am). This week it’s Food Trends and surely check out the Weekly Yum Recipe.