This past weekend, I had the privilege of leading a PeaceMeal for a group of 20’s and 30’s-somethings (AKA ‘millenials’), at their retreat in beautiful upstate New York. The group, all affiliated with the nonprofit The Dinner Party, are united by common experiences of loss and grief. The theme of the weekend was “You do you.” Meaning, our experiences of loss and grief are so unique, we must each find what works for us in our journeys of healing.
The Dinner Party’s co-founder, Lennon, and I go waaaay back – to the beginning of both of our organizations. It was an honor for me to come alongside them again in a very personal way and teach recipes that nourish body and soul.
Grief is as much of a physical process as it is mental and emotional, so targeted nutrition can be one useful self-care tool. We gathered to talk about the connection between food and mood, especially in the most difficult days. I emphasize that this is not about diagnosing, treating, or curing anything. Rather it is about self-care, practical skills, and nourishment. We talked about how to keep your digestion healthy – and why that is important. We also discussed that HOW you eat is as important as WHAT you eat. We practiced a bit of mindful eating, to fully taste and savor our foods.
Most importantly, we raised toasts to the individuals that brought them each to the table: the loved ones they’ve lost, but who live on in profound memories.
If you are a young adult (between, say, age 20 – 35), and have experienced significant loss, whether a parent, sibling, partner or close friend, and are interested in a space to real-talk, and like the idea of doing it over a dinner with friends, then you should check out The Dinner Party.