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The author's exploration of food culture becomes a memoir – Monterey Herald

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As Seaside’s Timi O’Malley approached his 50th birthday, he embarked on a deep introspection and a desire to challenge himself in a different way. She wanted to start a project that was important enough, attractive enough, and determined to follow through to completion. O’Malley decided to write a book.

Food is her passion and her career through food service at The Pebble Beach Company and Sysco Foods, so she knew her book would be about food. When she thought about it, what she came up with were poignant memories of sharing meals with people in her life and all the lessons learned at her table.

“In my life,” she said. Digging into what that means, I wanted to examine the connections we crave, the nourishment we need from others, and the stories and memories, issues and debates that happen at the table during meals. ”

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O’Malley didn’t know until she delved into that her book would be a memoir, a love story. In fact, she is about her lessons that she has learned, across cultures, across the table.

“A lot of people talk about writing books,” she said. When my mentor invited me to a book-writing retreat on the Big Island of Hawaii, I envisioned a few days of vacation and a few days of writing, all while taking in the beautiful views of the ocean. and took long, thoughtful walks. ”

She invited her husband to a romantic retreat.

Yet, for three days, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., she sat in a conference room, closed the blinds, focused on her writing, letting her words and thoughts flow, trying to write as much as she could quickly. was assigned to . No judgment.

“It was a completely different strategy than what I was taught,” said O’Malley. She said, “I expected to get an idea, create an outline, flesh out that structure, and develop a story. But at the end of the three days, I had a foundation for the book. ”

bear fruit

O’Malley titled her book Consuming Love: The Joy of Sharing a Meal. Also, her story is as much about love as it is about food, how we crave nutrition from both. It is also the presence of both that allows us to enrich and truly nourish our lives.

“My memoir begins when I was an innocent little girl,” she said. Follow my journey from dining in India, Mexico and Thailand to the beautiful coast of California. Talk about the many rich spiritual lessons offered at the table along the way. ”

Of all the lessons O’Malley learned abroad, the most important she brought to her personal life at home is that love is always within you, it is felt and meant to be shared. did. She realized that when we spend time with others at the table, we can choose to bring love to our meals or judge them. It provides.

Through the writing process, O’Malley found his book becoming a dedication to his father’s style of making friends.

“My father, Michael Walker, is a wonderful person and can strike up a conversation with anyone at any time. The first question he asks is ‘Where are you from?’ That’s where friendships come from,” she said. Her father hosted a barbecue at Lovers His Point for his 40 years. He beat Weber and threw chicken thighs at people playing volleyball. ”

Before long, people volunteered to help with the grill or shell the corn. One year he fed more than 300 of his people.

“Love is in food, love is in relationships,” said O’Malley. “In this way we are consuming love. In every moment of gratitude we have the presence of love that nourishes all of life.”

thirst for nutrition

Raised on the Monterey Peninsula, O’Malley earned a BA in Ethnobotany, the study of native plants and their practical uses in specific cultures, and anthropology from Humboldt State University. She remains an avid food and nutrition researcher and incorporates yoga for her mental and physical health.

O’Malley is a Spiritual Practitioner intern at Pacific Grove’s Center for Spiritual Awakening and is a Certified HeartMath Trainer with a focus on resilience. She is a licensed teacher in the art of feminine presence and founder of Just Thrive Now, her program of consultants focused on helping women live balanced lives while supporting growth and self-care. .

Clearly, there are themes in her life, born out of her own life’s trials and the constant lesson that love wins.

“This book fed me on every level, physically, emotionally and spiritually,” said chef and fellow author Annie Martin. “It’s a beautiful tribute to what really feeds us, and the connection we feel when we come together and enjoy each other’s food and company. I love sharing many meals with Timi O’Malley.” Her books reflect the beauty of her heart.”

“Consuming Love, the Joy of Sharing Meals” is available from River House Books on Amazon and The Crossroads Carmel.