Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Live simply. I love it. Such a simple statement. But the question is, how do I do it? I often find myself wishing that something is more than it is. Take this Broccoli and Sweet Potato Soup for example. I made it quite quickly with many ingredients. Natural, organic ingredients like broccoli, sweet potatoes, carrots, celery, and potatoes (or Irish potatoes as we Jamaicans call it). I put black pepper and salt (Windsor coarse salt which is not iodized, iodized salt is not allowed on my LID). I photographed the soup which looked beautiful because it was so simple and wholesome and natural and colourful. But then I tasted it. A bit bland. A bit too bland for my taste to be exact. But then I decided to drink it just like that, to savour it in this state-- it's mild texture and slight hints of black pepper and mint. (And besides I had tossed about five pinches of coarse salt in it. Enough already.) It's what I would call a "clean soup". Very light in taste. The soup could be enjoyed just like that. Simply.

So my third cancer lesson is Live Simply.

One couple which I admire for this is Ras Iville and Ikeila Wright. They run One Love Vegetarian restaurant. It all began with one thing. Corn. Ras Iville and Ikeila grilled corn and seasoned it with a mix of spices, lime, and butter for long line-ups of people for years. And if you go to Harbourfront in the summer time, you will see you a huge line-up to sample some of this famous corn. Or maybe a ladel full of piking (my mom's word) hot soup from a huge pot. I've made this soup a few times from a recipe on But of course, I am not too sure if Ras Iville gave away all of the "trade secrets" in this recipe. Each time, my One Love soup has come out a little different but I always get great feedback about the taste and it warms you up and pleases all at the same time. Anyway, I was sitting at One Love Vegetarian Restaurant a few weeks back. And I had a chat with Ikeila to propose an idea. And we had a nice talk in which she gave me a lot of suggestions about healing. She challenged me to ask Jah (God) what it is I am to learn from this (my cancer). (She echoed the same sentiment that my brother had shortly after my diagnosis.)

Afterward, I ordered a lunch which was a traditional Jamaican dish complete with green bananas, yam, pumpkin, and callalloo. Very simply prepared (my mom makes this at home) and very delicious. The shop was quiet and I sat alone. Then I realized that I felt so good with what I was eating and the quiet space I was in. I reflected on how many doses of this "good feeling" would be given out daily in a bowl of ital corn soup. Lots. And how Ikeila (and Ras Iville) could change the world with one meal and one bowl of soup at a time.

I think of Sade's lyric, "I want to cook you a soup that warms your soul." Because it really does.

Live simply. Simple acts. Small acts. Small axe (Bob Marley)?

"We cannot all do great things, but we can do small things with great love."-- Mother Teresa

So I'm going to start with eating this bowl of soup.

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