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I am just getting back to work after spending last week at a yoga retreat detoxing.  Taking a full week off of work to practice yoga felt like utter magic.

While the cleanse and retreat rejuvenated me, the truth is, since I moved out of New York City last spring I’ve been nestled in nature on a quiet lake in Columbia County, NY feeling pretty revitalized. The yoga experience felt like vegan icing on a gluten free cake.

Moving upstate was an answer to a deep soul calling for space, nature, and less noise. Since making this happen for myself, I’ve spent my days working towards accomplishing my most important goals, spending quality time with my family and friends, exercising regularly, and eating delicious, nurturing, food.

I’ve had space to chill out, spent quality time in nature, and I’ve gone into my heart to hear it’s deepest callings. In addition, my husband and I have spent a great deal of time getting clear on our vision for our lives together and our marriage.  Best of all, I’ve been able to buy all of my groceries at local farms, farmer’s markets and a nearby co-op.  Without the hustle and bustle of the city (and the distraction from the bounty of incredible restaurants I am accustomed to) I’ve spent some quality time in my kitchen gaining some confidence in my cooking skills.

Confession—for the longest time I have felt totally disempowered in my kitchen. Having grown up in an Italian patriarchal family where the women were expected to do all of the cooking, in an act of rebellion, I never learned to cook. Having spent the last fifteen years living in either San Francisco or New York City I’ve had access to high-quality restaurant food and managed to get by without learning how to whip up my own concoctions in the kitchen. As a matter of fact, up until very recently, my husband did all of our cooking.  When he and I weren’t together for meals, I’d often eat out.

Part of the deal with moving out into the country included me getting honest with myself about this pattern and changing it.

I’m not going to lie, at first this felt intimidating. Despite having a couple of moments of terror and regret, I kept moving forward. With each week I become more daring with my meals, and I am kind of blown away by the fact that I feel far more confident and comfortable in my kitchen. Learning how to cook for myself is a new self care practice that I am not only finding fun, but also, deeply replenishing!

This week I want to challenge you to consider prioritizing activities that are highly rejuvenating for you. This can range from cooking at home, to taking a yoga class, or perhaps a long walk in the woods or a day at the beach. Choose something that feeds your spirit and DO IT!

In the event you want to rejuvenate by getting creative in the kitchen here’s a chilled soup recipe I got from the Kitchen Confidence expert herself, Michelle Kabler.

Michelle is a Certified Holistic Chef and Nutrition Consultant, with the mission to help people connect to themselves by fully seeing, feeling and tasting their lives through their personal relationship to food.

I am loving this recipe!

Chilled Avocado Cucumber Soup

Servings: 4


2 large seedless cucumbers

1 avocado

2 scallions

2 Tbsp. lemon juice (about 1 full lemon)

1-3 Tsp. minced jalapeño (adjust to spice comfort)

½ c. filtered water + more to taste

Salt/pepper to taste


  1. Prep the vegetables (peel skin off cucumber and cut into thick chunks; remove skin and pit from avocado, trim root off scallions).
  2. Blend all ingredients in a blender on high for 30-60 seconds, until smooth and creamy.  Add more water until desired consistency is reached.
  3. Serve chilled.  Optional add mango salsa.

Mango Salsa

Servings: 1 quart


2 mangos, small dice

2 vine-ripe tomatoes, seeded and small dice

1 ear of corn, kernels removed

1 scallion, minced

1 jalapeño, minced

2 tbsp. minced cilantro

2 tbsp. minced mint leaves

1 tsp. smoke paprika

Juice of 2 limes

Salt/pepper to taste


  1. Mix all ingredients into a large bowl. Adjust seasonings to taste.
  2. Serve atop chilled soup.

What are some of your favorite ways to rejuvenate?  Feel free to leave a comment below!  As always, I send you my love.

Big hugs,


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  • Ali

    Two of my favorite people on planet earth. Thanks for the inspiration Jen, I’m going to try this recipe next week!


    • jenn

      I highly recommend it Alison! Thanks for the comment:) xo

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