Today is the day. Today is October 6th and The UnDiet Cookbook is officially released into the world.
This date has been in my calendar and imprinted on my brain for more than a year and though I'm not one to count down (you know 'Today is the Day' and all that jazz), I have been excited for it.
I am sure you have had the experience in your life of thinking about something you wanted to create and then actually creating it.
That's what this cookbook is for me. I create a lot of things in my job, including my job itself, but very little of what I create is tangible - something you can hold in your hands, and more so, give to someone else to hold in theirs. The books I write are the only thing my grandparents actually understand about what I do.
The photo on the left is what's taped to my grandma Fritzi's door and the right is Josh's grandmother, Bubbie Ida, getting her hands on one of the first copies.
The other evening I went to hear a talk on creativity. The speaker talked about this amethyst butterfly, a perfect creation of something that flits through our creative mind and when we attempt to paint it, write it or sculpt it, what we end up looks more like a butterfly made of cigarette butts.
I thought a lot about this and I know this feeling very well. It is rare in my life that I create something that leaves me feeling perfectly satisfied. As my husband says, "Our greatest strength is our greatest weakness." I am constantly looking to improve things, to make them better, brighter, easier to use, easier to understand, more fun.
There was also another layer to this project, to this cookbook. As many of you know, not that long ago, writing a cookbook would have been a huge stretch for me. Nine years ago when I was diagnosed with Crohn's, I had no idea how to cook. To make matters even more challenging, I was also in the process of transitioning my diet to be strictly gluten-free, amongst avoiding many other things. I didn't know what millet or quinoa was. I didn't know organic food was even a thing. Rice came in a brown variety? Tamari what?
And there were very few resources available.
I started collecting these really sad looking spiral bound, self-published recipe booklets I would find in health food stores that claimed to be for the people who were allergic to everything. I assumed that was me. The books were helpful to some degree in that they gave me things I could make, but I think mostly they depressed and terrified me. Is this what food was now? A combination of things that kind of worked together, but mostly just served to make me feel full?
And so, when it was time for me to write a cookbook, I created it with 26-year-old sick me in mind. I knew at that time, I would have given anything to find something or someone to give me hope that a health-supportive lifestyle could be abundant, creative, delicious and awesome. I wanted to provide a resource that didn't just make us feel full but made us feel energized, satiated and inspired. My cookbook is meant to be more than just healthy recipes, I want it to inspire everyone who reads it to feel that they can live a truly awesome life.
To me, this book is made of magical diamond butterflies. It is as vibrant and bright as I wanted it to be, and I hope it leaves a wake of sparkles wherever it goes.
This book is one of the few things I have created where the more I look at it, the more I love it. Is it okay to say that? I know it's the habit in our culture to be self-deprecating. And I could be. We all have that in us, to jokingly put ourselves down so as not to appear too gloaty or a braggart. But I think we all need to brag more, to celebrate what we've created that we feel awesome about. And I feel pretty back-handspring-shazaamedly-awesome about The UnDiet Cookbook.
The more I read of it, and the more I dive into the details, the more excited I am to share this book with you.
Looking back on writing the book and doing the photoshoot in the midst of building and launching the Academy of Culinary Nutrition, while simultaneously running the Culinary Nutrition Expert program, I wonder how it was possible. It also serves to remind me that, in fact, everything really is possible because in amongst that chaos I created something special, alongside an incredible team, and there is not one thing I would change about it.
(Okay, there's one thing. The Cinnamon Spiked Brownies on page 216, yes, the ones decorated with a rainbow windmill, are labelled as grain-free and they are not. Once we sell the first 20K copies and it goes in for a re-print, we'll have that fixed up!)
On the grand scheme of things, I am pretty ridiculously proud of this book.
I am in awe of the talented people who helped bring my vision to life and the dedication of my team here in the kitchen, the team at Appetite and Penguin Random House and most of all I am grateful to you for going beyond supporting me and my work. I am proud of how you have come together as an incredible community that supports each other, and have graciously joined the UnDiet community as ambassadors of vibrant, healthy and awesome living in your respective communities.
And with that I will leave with with an excerpt from the final chapter of the cookbook, which might also be a little prelude to my next book. Yes. That has already started.
Once we wake up to how truly super-fly-fantastic we already are, with even more potential to feel, be, share, and evolve further, how can we not make that our intention? Imagine a life without pain, suffering, fear, and dis-ease. What does that life look like?
What if, instead of obsessing over the news and the heaviness of the world, and struggling to conform to a mould that wasn’t cut to hold us, we strived every day to live from a place of health, happiness, lightness, and love?
What if we strived to be a little more of exactly who we are, every single day?
Life can become remarkably simple, as can the choices to live this life that is truly free of limits.
The simplest questions to ask are the hardest to answer:
- Is it worth exchanging the comfort of what I know to live the life I know is possible?
- Am I ready to take responsibility for my current state of being?
- What needs to happen in order to bring forth that abundance I know is available to me?
Thank you for picking up what I throw down every day.