This is the kitchen where we talk about food, life, and recovery—a spiritual path to healing and peace.

You are invited to keep coming back to A Cup of Kindness to share your experience, strength and hope; fears, doubts and insecurities; and to pick up information, inspiration … and have a little fun!

My story
In January 2007, at the age of 51, I joined a 12-step program and began my recovery from food addiction, losing 75 pounds in the process. Read more…

In January 2011, at the age of 55, I began my recovery from a multi-trauma accident, 36 fractures, damaged lungs, and post traumatic stress. Read more…

I am deeply grateful for all the kindnesses, large and small, offered to me in recovery. Here I am... alive… still making progress … still not perfect … finding a new way forward in a growing community of women and men who share a lot in common around food and life.

I hope you'll join me in this kitchen and let me know what's cooking with you.

A Cup of Kindness

Open Heart Project


Food neutrality



Dear Friends,

I love your Comments to these Posts! They challenge me to reflect and consider more deeply.

Nicola asked today what food neutral means. I replied to her in the Comments and then thought, let’s open up the conversation.

I use the words food neutral because they are the language of my 12-step program of Recovery that has helped thousands of food addicts. Like Higher Power or G-d, food neutral may mean something different to each of us.

Being neutral about food for me means enjoyment without intoxication. Gratitude without grasping. Pleasure without addiction.

Nicola writes about the food from her garden, “… the green beans are sweet with the sunshine and the red of the tomatoes jumps enticingly into my kitchen window… ” Beautiful.

Nicola reminds me that today, I am seeing food as one aspect of G-d; but, sometimes, it’s the Ziegfeld Follies and it dances and sings. That’s when I need to go back to the words food neutral.

In Buddhism, the suggestion is to notice interdependent arising. Meditation creates the ground to see in the food its totality… its journey from seed to fruit, with sun and rain and farmer, to harvest, to truck driver, to market, to bowl, to mouth and teeth, to stomach and gut, to toilet and sewer.

For me, food neutral means the full reality of the food is on my plate, including the hard lives of farm workers and the suffering of fish and fowl and animals. When I’m food neutral, I don’t take that lightly. I know I’m feeding a healing body, mind and spirit. I’m grateful.

Love & Light,


6 Comments to Food neutrality

  1. July 8, 2012 at 8:48 pm | Permalink


    I love your beautiful words on food neutrality.

    It’s easy to say “be food neutral”, and hard for most of us to accomplish. It certainly is for me anyway.

    So I know I have to stay away from any substances that can trigger my gears to slip out of “Neutral” to “Go” … or worse yet into “Reverse”. When I think of how easy it is to shift gears, I am reminded I too have to be vigilant. Addiction is nothing to take lightly. It grabs us by its ugly jaws and hangs on until it either consumes us or the “Jaws of Life” device sets us free. We call that device God.

    I’d venture to guess it’s easier for a county like Switzerland to maintain political neutrality than it is for a food addict to maintain food neutrality.

    Here’s to neutrality … may we all find it.


  2. nicola's Gravatar nicola
    July 9, 2012 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    thank you for clarifying, Valerie. Sort of an objectivity, I suppose. Is worship contained in it?
    Francesca comment makes me smile , too. Addiction is a monster. I once had a drug with “friends” without knowing its true nature . A week later I felt something almost grabbing me to return to the same place and….
    Thank God I had enough “neutrality” (?) did i get it right? to stay away.
    Hm, if you knew the truth about Switzerland and its middleman services, Francesca, you might alter your mind slightly about its neutrality.
    The car analogy i will keep in mind. go into neutral when you are thinking of things you might regret later. Than you dear, that thought makes me take a deep breath.
    so , hallelujah fo neutrality.
    peace, with a modern twist.
    love you both

  3. Myra TAte's Gravatar Myra TAte
    July 9, 2012 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    so much is on my plate to give me satisfaction – thank you, v. mom

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