Feed Me Phoebe turns two this week! (Insert dancing twin emoji).
These virtual homes grow up so fast… especially when mommy is running around town slinging salmon burgers and trying to preach the gospel of peanut sauce without seeming like a crazy person.
I have so many ideas of where I want to go with this site and the ways I want to feed you. And I promise that none of them will be as terrible or tantrum-laden as life was the last time I turned two. Though I suppose, even on good only child behavior, the subtext will be the same. Hint: it involves attention.
I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting this week on the time that’s passed since I bought this url. I reread my welcome post from two years ago and my first birthday entry from last April, and this most recent manifesto on why I love to cook – which is the first post where I really feel like I properly articulated the kind of food philosophy I stand for.
Blogging has been such a central part of my road to self-food discovery. It’s what helped me land a book deal when I was 23. And it was the book that gave me the push I needed to quit my day job and pursue creative, heart-centered work – to take the leap from my “should” to my “must.”
My friend Elle Luna wrote an amazing piece for Medium last week about the crossroads of Should and Must, and how she transitioned from life as a tech superstar to a solitary painter. The article is kind of a hyper articulate sequel to a conversation we had in San Miguel de Allende back in March, when I joined a group of fellow creative entrepreneurs from different industries (including Elle) to talk about our Musts, amongst other things.
I love Elle’s description of Must as “our instincts, cravings and longings, the things and places and ideas we burn for, the intuition that swells up from somewhere deep inside of us.” Whereas Should is dictated by the expectations of others, Must is what we do when we are alone with our most authentic self. And sometimes in order to find clarity on our Must, we have to be willing to regress to a more childlike place.
There was a lot of talk in Mexico about finding a “sandbox” – a safe place to experiment and get messy. In many ways, this site has been my sandbox for the last 24 months. And I’m so grateful for your willingness to let me channel my inner attention-hungry 2 year old in your presence – to write and cook at you, and occasionally end up with sriracha mayo all over my face.
When I first started Feed Me Phoebe, I was recovering from two break-ups, and my heart looked something like a cross between a block of Swiss cheese and a pile of semi-sweet potato mash. Even though I knew in my gut who I was and what kind of cooking I stood for, it was hard to articulate it with my heart being in such bad shape. So I kept writing from some place between my gut and my heart–my liver? Nah, too much bile–and cooking for my own comforts.
In the process, I went from being a quarter-life cook to a healthy chef — from tiptoeing around my gluten intolerance to being an evangelist of the healthy comfort food that helped me heal my body in the face of autoimmune disease. Playing around in my kitchen sandbox in this way, made me realize how much health is part of my Must.
Katie Couric recently said: “the single most powerful thing a person can do for their health is make food for themselves.” This is something I’ve always believed in my heart and my gut, even if I didn’t have the official report on “Why Frosted Mini Wheats Will Kill You” to prove it. Continue reading