Another holiday season has come and gone. The time of year when people pause their work life to spend a little more time with their family and friends--cultivating a sense of community and warmth. I know the holiday season may be daunting to some; however, for me, it is a special time for all of my favorite things: family, friends, food and fitness. Simply because the holidays are over does not mean the party has to end. My recent trip to the Palm Beach Wine and Food Festival reminded me of just that. It was an extraordinary, five-day festival that tickled all of my senses. My sister, Sweet Loren, brought me to this event as her assistant. As a foodie, a lover of people, and an avid beach walker, I was in heaven! Every morning, I took a walk on the beach and spent some time meditating in the sun. The days became more decadent when we ventured off to 3 course lunches and dinners--tasting delicious food created by some of the best chefs in America. Francios Payard prepared my favorite meal of the week. The lunch started off with a fresh crab salad, followed by a mouth watering miso-glazed Chilean sea bass, followed by a decadent stuffed quail, and finished with a mind-blowing hazelnut candy bar dessert. Tasting these flavors and experiencing the rhythm of the meal with strangers was so inspirational for my soul. Eating such beautiful food in a communal setting created an atmosphere of warmth, smiles and mindfulness. I watched myself and others let down their barriers, share their stories and fill their bodies with love as we all ate, tasted and savored each bite.
I walked away from this dream-like week with a deeper sense of gratitude and appreciation for the human spirit-- understanding we are all humans who strive to connect to one another and grow from our experiences. I was reminded that a delicious meal can act as a vehicle for cultivating meaningful relationships. So just because the holidays are over does not mean we should stop putting intention and love into the meals we create and the people we share them with. Instead, it should inspire us to deepen our relationships and put more effort into what we are doing and whom we are doing them with. Allowing ourselves to still take pleasure in celebrating each day, each other, and what we feed ourselves. Allow the nourishment and warmth of the holidays to continue throughout the year. Create special memories and moments with strangers and loved ones. Witness how sharing meals open up doors of generosity, laughs, support and love.