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


The Comfort of Cooking

That’s Julia Child above!


This afternoon, after I scheduled surgery to remove the hardware in my back for Thursday, March 7, I made a pot of chicken stock — recipe below. My nutritionist and my 12-step food addiction sponsor are in agreement. One cup of homemade chicken broth a day will help me to be strong and healthy for surgery and recover quickly thereafter. However, we didn’t discuss one of the greatest benefits of homemade chicken soup — the making of it — the comfort of cooking.

I need comfort because I am often swept away by anxiety. There’s been some progress on that front lately. I’m getting to know my anxiety better.

Since the accident two years ago, I’ve had waves of anxiety crashing around me. They’ve come and gone. I would try to ignore them or look for ways to distract myself or numb out. Then, last Saturday I noticed a growing, creeping anxiety. I thought about something sweet to eat. I was getting pretty desperate. I prayed for help.

Here’s the first miracle. Somehow, instead of running out the door to the bakery, I turned towards my spot for sitting meditation.

I began to think about my situation objectively. Everything was great! Wonderful husband, dog, family, friends, life. I told myself, I’m fine. I can walk and talk and enjoy life…

But I didn’t feel fine. And the comparison to how I “should” feel made me more miserable.

I was completely defeated… finally.

Now comes the second miracle. I remembered my meditation teacher saying to be faithful to my own experience. I decided to sit with whatever was there.

It was awful. Still I sat and watched and noted. I am sitting here, in this room. I am feeling twitchy in my body. My brow is furrowed. My teeth are clenched. My thoughts are spiraling down and out of control. My breathing is short and shallow. My breathing…

My breathing changed. I began to feel more grounded.

I had the thought to make calls to three 12-step fellows. I began to feel more stable.

I finished my full 30 minutes of meditation. I made my calls. I found Gregory and told him what had been going on with me. I felt loved.

I went into the kitchen to cook dinner and I felt safe.

Here’s what came up in a recent conversation with a good friend. When I try to ignore anxiety, or look for ways to distract myself or numb out, or tell myself that everything is really OK, then I am abandoning myself. I am trying to make myself different. I’m not accepting myself. I am unreal to myself so my anxiety increases.

When I pay attention to my anxiety as if it was my body that was bleeding, as if I were injured, then I am connecting with myself. I am finding compassion for myself. I reconnect to my breathing. I pay attention in a loving and supportive way. I’m no longer feeling out of control. I understand who I am. I am connected by my fragility to others. I realize we are all interconnected. There is Oneness. Oneness, wholeness, integration, interconnectedness all create peace.

Back to cooking. It nourishes me. It gives me the strength to carry on and go through the hard times. I just this very minute remembered something. (See what the tool of writing will do!) When I was at the National Rehabilitation Hospital, the occupational therapist took several of us from the Spinal Cord Injury Unit to a practice kitchen. We cooked. I couldn’t stand, but I could chop for a few minutes and I could tell the therapist what to do. I taught her to cook collards. They were darn good. I knew I was going to get back to my kitchen, thank you G-d.

Here’s the chicken broth recipe. The idea is to get every last nutrient out of the bones. It takes off from a recipe by Ina Garten.

Place a whole chicken (minus the giblets) in a really big stockpot. Add 2 onions, 5 or 6 garlic cloves, 3 big carrots, and 3 stalks celery with leaves, all roughly chopped; some fresh parsley, thyme, and dill; 1 tblsp kosher salt, and 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper.  Add water to cover everything well and bring to a simmer. (Do not boil) Simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour. Remove the chicken and allow to cool slightly. Remove the meat from the chicken and set aside. Return the carcass to the pot and continue simmering, uncovered, for 2 more hours. Strain the entire contents of the pot through a colander and chill.

I like a little lemon in mine.

Love & Light,



4 Comments to The Comfort of Cooking

  1. Myra TAte's Gravatar Myra TAte
    February 21, 2013 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    wonderful – all of this

  2. Kathryn's Gravatar Kathryn
    May 21, 2013 at 3:31 am | Permalink

    Cooking serves as one kind of therapy that can make your mind and body at peace. It somehow helps to regain self confidence and enjoy everyday doing. Thanks for the recipe, can’t wait to try it.

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