Sunday, March 14, 2010


So often, at the end of winter, life seems to lose it’s flavor and become almost bland. I have found that the root of the problem is often that I have begun to live my life mindlessly. How sad to cruise through our brief existence on autopilot when the world is so full of wonders.

This winter, as this began to happen, I sought ways to spice up my life. And as they say, “variety is the spice of life.” The only problem is that variety can be scary. There are times when even the thought of change and variety makes me feel anxious and exhausted when really it is cause for anticipation and excitement. But variety can help us appreciate our rituals and routines. Variety challenges what we accept without question and draws attention to blessings hitherto unnoticed.

At an airport a few weeks ago, I picked up the book “French Women Don’t get Fat” by Mireille Guiliano. At first the title struck me as arrogant and ridiculous but then I spotted the sub title: “The Secret of Eating for Pleasure.” I was intrigued. As I began to read, I found that the book was about much more than weight or even cuisine. It was full of philosophy. The heart of this philosophy was that we should enjoy what we eat and what we do. We should never crash through our day or our meals unconsciously. Instead, the author urges us to slow down and pay attention to the details of our lives. After we have taken stock, she challenges each of us to try something new, to embark on daily creative and culinary adventures. Adding even the slightest variety into the status quo can be transformative.

I have found this to be good advice. As I have slowed down to really taste what I am eating, as I have thought about ways to add variety to my writing, as I have noticed the sunrise driving to work each morning, I have found an eagerness and gratitude for each day.

So, here is the challenge: slow down, try something new, notice the details in your day. Then, please let me know...What adds spice to your life?


  1. What a great message! So often we just go through life and do not take it all in and just live. I have recently started on this quest to live life to it's fullest and get back in touch with myself and put that sparkle back in my life. To do this, I have started attending these Friday calls with Sherri Nickols at and have learned so much on how to spice it up and love myself more. I am going to add your tip to my list, slow down, try some more new things and notice the details of the day.

  2. Kate, this is pretty appropriate for me right now. I love my food and have always been lucky enough to be able to indulge myself without worrying about the side-effects. But life and age are catching up and I'm going to have to alter my approach to eating - learn to slow down and eat smaller, while not feeling that I'm being denied something.

    It's always a good idea to take a look around and appreciate what you have in any case, and it's great that you are able to do this more now.

  3. Jenn- Thank you so much for commenting. I am so glad to hear your thoughts. I went to and something I liked on it was Sherri's acronym for SPARK: Smile (at least 3 times a day), be more Playful (because I am someone who takes myself too seriously at times), Ask for support and help, Restrict Railroading(saying yes when you want to say no) and Kick gossip to the curb. I found that advice to be very helpful and uplifting.

    Deborah- Thank you for your honest comments. I hope your week has been full of enjoyment and appreciation and you have not at all felt deprived or denied daily pleasures.

  4. Love that advice, Kate! We get so busy in our lives that we forget to really enjoy the beauty around us, even the texture of a bite of food! I'll keep your advice in mind this week! Thank you.

  5. You are beginning to sound like a transcendentalist. I appreciate this advice! Tonight I created a new dish with steamed catfish. The onions apple, carrots and broccoli had lost some of their color in the fridge (why don't we shop for groceries daily like they do in europe?) but when they steamed up with the fish it was an aroma that washed the palette like the roughing in on canvas of a painting, or maybe it was just the beginning of a watercolor meal.

  6. Jody- Thank you so much for your comments. I always enjoy when you stop by to share your thoughts!

    JRD- Steamed catfish sounds delightful and your description captured it beautifully.