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This is a blog about what to eat when disaster strikes.

“Disaster” means different things to different people. What may seem like a trifling annoyance to some can feel like the end of the world to others.

Nonetheless, all of us will, sooner or later, experience disasters, be they of our own making – a bad haircut, a bad investment, a bad marriage – or due to circumstances beyond our control, like storms, diseases, accidents or dictatorships.

Disasters, regardless of their origin, have one thing in common: They make us feel vulnerable, out of control, unhinged. We are ashamed to talk about our fears and failures to our children, our families, our friends. We don’t want to upset them, or to hear them say: “I told you so,” or “You poor, poor thing.”

You might think food is the last thing on the mind of any disaster-stricken person – after all, there are greater things at stake than eating when your partner has left you, you’ve lost your job, or your basement is filled with foul-smelling mud. And yet, we must eat to live. In fact, humans make about 200 eating decisions a day! And there is nothing as life-affirming as dusting yourself off and asking: “What’s for dinner?”

So what do you eat when you’re sick and tired of life? When you’re broke and pay day is a week away? When you’re feeling nauseous from your latest round of chemo? When your partner of 40 years is in the hospital and you’re fixing your own meals for the first time in your life?

This is what we’ll talk about here. I want to invite you to discover food, cooking and eating as a source of pleasure and emotional and physical nurturance, rather than a dreaded chore. Welcome your meals as much-needed moments of respite from the worries ceaselessly churning inside your head. It’s self-care on a plate.

So here’s the deal: I’ll show you what I eat (warts and all!) on my own personal roller-coaster ride, and in return, you show me what you eat and tell me about your disasters. I want to build a community of disaster-stricken eaters who don’t lose hope, and who remind each other that suffering – and eating – is part of the human experience.

Remember: You’re still here, a breathing, feeling, hungry human. As long as you’re eating, there’s hope.

What’s that Nietzsche quote? “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.”

Or crazy, my friend Olivia says.

Or hungry, I say.

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