Last month I made a personal commitment to be more present in every moment and to find the beauty in each day, no matter what stresses come my way. Little did I know that this consciousness shift would be one of the best things I could possibly have adopted this summer.

You see, the last few months have been quite challenging. The loss of a dear friend coincided with the illness of one of my closest family members. And there was a time, not so very long ago, when this combination would have made life unbearable for me and consequently, for those around me. But I made a promise to myself to honor the loss of my friend with a shift in my mindset and it has been my saving grace.

Each day, I have made it a point to go for a swim or take a walk near the river, to call people I love just to say hello or make a lunch date with a friend, or just to say yes to doing something fun. I’ve attended concerts and plays, I’ve visited friends on the shore, and just yesterday I stopped what I was doing to play with a puppy. And nothing that I had to do suffered as a result of my taking time to enjoy something each day.

At another time in my life, I would have cloaked myself in my angst, and my feelings would have darkened the beauty that surrounds us at all times. But with my new mindset, I am finding that no matter what negative moment exists, if you set your mind to it, you will always be able to find a glimmer of hope and peace. What a difference this attitude has made in my mind and heart!

A few days ago I took a walk with my son to my vegetable garden. My garden is suffering from neglect, and in years past this would have made me very unhappy. I know it sounds silly, but sometimes little things really get to me. But this season my priorities have shifted and instead of being upset by it, I decided to look underneath the overgrowth to see what might be hiding. There I found two of the largest zucchinis I have ever seen!

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We were delighted, I cut them from the stem, and my son started taking silly pictures of these massive veggies. Laughter abounded.

Yesterday, I set my sights on making my first two vegan zucchini breads using these gargantuan zucchinis, and they are AMAZING! Delicious and so good for you! Of course, I will be making zucchini pasta (zoodles), zucchini lasagna, zucchini chips, maybe a zucchini soup and probably a zucchini smoothie because….well, there is just sooooo much zucchini. But hey, when life gives you zucchini… 

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Life can be very hard and we all have struggles from time to time. But if we remember to find joy in each day, we will be nourishing ourselves in the most profound way.

With love, joy and a big bowl of zucchini noodles,
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