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


What I want

Charlie Chaplin and Helen Keller on the set of Sunnyside, 1918.

Charlie Chaplin and Helen Keller on the set of Sunnyside, 1918.


I wanted what I wanted when I wanted it. But was that what I really wanted?

I used to want something to eat all of the time. I went from one entertaining nosh to the next, with barely a breath in between. It was a bean burrito for breakfast, a croissant and latte on the way to work, then the Indian buffet for lunch, and a big cookie to keep me going in the afternoon, a drink on the way home (so that I’d be hungry for dinner), an 8 ounce martini ASAP after getting in the door, expensive carry-out for dinner with a glass to a half bottle of wine, finishing up with ice cream so that I would get a good night’s sleep. I’m surprised I wasn’t unconscious. Actually, I probably was unconscious… no probably about it.

What was I thinking? I thought I was eating healthily. How could I possibly think that I was eating healthily? I hardly ever ate a salad or a piece of fruit.

I wasn’t thinking. I was distracting myself, but from what?

Once I put down the food, I started to feel my feelings — fear and sadness during the first two weeks, anger in the third week and then the daily natural mix of emotions that come and go.

The 12 Steps and my fellows helped to kick start a growing up process that had gotten stalled way back when. A mental fog lifted with abstinence from flour, sugar and quantities — my drugs of choice. I learned that I was a food addict and that there was a solution.

My outlook on life changed.

Rather than wanting that lovely, decorated cupcake in the window, I began to notice a deeper desire. The one that had been too scary to contemplate. The real, deep desire was for relationship… with my self, my Self, the ones I love, other sentient beings, Nature, and G-d or Basic Goodness.

I began to explore my new-found interest in connection. It was like falling in love. I began to know peace, freedom, happiness, and Recovery. Today I realize that G-d was doing for me what I could not do for myself.

I’m grateful and I pray for all sentient beings… including my self… that we may be well, happy and peaceful.

Love & Light,


8 Comments to What I want

  1. Myra TAte's Gravatar Myra TAte
    July 28, 2013 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    A beautiful, profound exploration of your Self.

  2. Theolyn's Gravatar Theolyn
    July 28, 2013 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    Valerie, what a beautiful written analyzation of “Self”. I am so thankful for you, that you were able, with the help of your 12 step program and other friends, to find and identify your ” real self”. That real you is a beautiful person that I treasure knowing and being friends with.


  3. Joy's Gravatar Joy
    July 28, 2013 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    Much gratitude for sharing your story!

  4. Sandra's Gravatar Sandra
    July 31, 2013 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    I am always amazed at how Way Opens. Your thoughts on wanting true and honest relationships, with Self and Others, resonate with me today. Being conscious, choosing the next right thing, and refraining from reactivity in favor of kind and conscious interaction. That is what I want too — along with healthful eating. Thank you for your lovely essay, Valerie. It hit the spot Sooooooo much better than a coffee and a danish could do.

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