"All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know."
I remember reading this line from A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway many years ago and it stuck. It remains one of my most favourite books and quotes of all time. Wanting to reaffirm this idea in what I do with The Happy Tummy Co., during the summer of 2016, I took the book with me to Sicily where I reread every single line, immersing myself in a place full of love and truth. The wine and pasta helped. I think Hemingway would have approved!
"Never go on trips with anyone you do not love." Hemingway also said.
I find and seek so much inspiration from travelling to new territories. My favourite ones have always been the places where people are truest. You can see it in their faces and in their hands. Such was the case when staying on Mount Etna spending time with Chef Lina. That woman is my God. Her skin radiated, her smile made you smile, her hands were stunning at work and at rest, her energy exceptionally giving. She eats pasta with lashings of olive oil, granita with a massive brioche bun and has a glass of vino at midday after dinner prep. This gracious woman radiated so much love and made me want to do the same.
Never do I struggle being in the company of foodies and chefs. But I've often struggled to step out of my Happy Tummy bubble into the world of wellness. Though my products and recipes are all designed for people struggling with IBS and are meant to bring about a feeling of wellness, I get annoyed at the industry for making you feel guilty about eating pasta, eating cheese, using olive oil for cooking instead of coconut oil. I love my greens. But I also love to eat for enjoyment as well as nourishment. When did we start seeing pasta and bread as bad and begin buying energy bars with added ingredients to extend shelf lives?? Did we think it an adequate meal replacement? Is replacing a meal with a bar a good thing for everyone?
Inspiration is crucial to living well. Choosing the right inspiration is even more crucial! Frankly, all my inspiration comes from writers, poets, my mum, other mums, my super smart friends, Victoria Beckham's work ethic, pasta loving Sophia Loren, music, film, farmers, creative people, humans who've chosen to impact our planet with thought and reason putting sustainability at its very heart.
I'd love to run away to an island where the clean eating hashtag doesn't exist and people just get food. Understand what's fad and what's not. Listen to their tummies as opposed to an anxiety ridden version of ourselves. But that would be irresponsible of me knowing the truths I know. At least for now.
That's why I started the Happy Tummy Feasts. Someone needs to shout about the benefits of eating pasta, someone needs to bring science and education to the foreground, someone needs to help rid you of your IBS in a manageable way, someone needs to bring you on a wine journey of Sicily out of a kitchen in Hackney. But most of all, I just want to see you, spend time with you, laugh with you and above all feed you. Food is after all love and I feel like that got forgotten about as avocados started getting smashed at a rate of 1000 per minute!
I really relate to the title A Moveable Feast as The Happy Tummy Co. goes on its own unique journey and I really hope to cross paths with you and feed you at one of our Happy Tummy Feasts, for feeding people feels like the truest honour of all.
Can't say it better than that.