The Love of Food and Self

44114428 - chocolate cake on wooden table with a coffee cup

By Chef Deborah Lieder

One cannot think well, love well, and sleep well, if one has not dined well. – Virginia Wolf

February, the month of love, has arrived. Food is one way we communicate that love, through dining out in celebration, or creating a beautiful home cooked meal. The real celebration comes when we are able to love our bodies through the food we eat. To make those decisions that honor our beautifully constructed machine, we radiate the vibrancy that not only a healthy diet provides, but also the love that goes into self care. Self-love and the food we consume go hand in hand, because that is essentially the thing that will keep us running.

Begin by viewing food as a healing tool for your daily life. Ask yourself before you eat, how will I feel after I consume this? Your body will tell you exactly what it needs and when. Far too often we eat mindlessly. We forget to check-in and perceive. We forget simple tools that will set us up for success, such as: setting an intention to eat out less, making meals from home more often, being conscious about eating a variety of foods, cooking a large batch of something and freezing the extra for back-up, preplanning meals and writing out a shopping list before you go to the store.

Not everyone’s forte is in the kitchen, and that is okay. We don’t have to be a Master Chef or create complex meals each time we cook. Some of the simplest meals are the most delicious and healthful. Roasting vegetables with olive oil, salt, and pepper adds great complexity without extra ingredients. Cooking rice in chicken or vegetable stock and seasoning the cooking liquid with herbs and spices is a great way to add flavor without the extra calories. Plus, those herbs and spices play a medicinal role for your healing.

It is about shifting our perspective when it comes to food. It is not indulging 24/7 nor is it our enemy if we do indulge one day. It comes from a place of listening and balancing while releasing the need to be overly critical. That is self-love.

Deborah Lieder is a personal chef serving the Metro Detroit area. She is passionate about the traditional roots of food and using it for healing with her clients. She is proficient in dietary restrictions, catering to all walks of life and fulfilling each need. Visit: for more information.

44114428 – chocolate cake on wooden table with a coffee cup
Devilishly Delicious Chocolate Cake

2 c. Sugar
1 3/4 c. Gluten Free Flour
1 t. Xanthan Gum (omit if your blend has it)
3/4 c. Cocoa Powder
1 1/2 t. Baking Powder
1 1/2 t. Baking Soda
1 t. Salt
2 Eggs
1 c. Milk or Milk Substitute
1/2 c. Oil
2 t. Vanilla
1 c. Hot Coffee


1/2 c. Butter, softened
1/3 c. Milk
2/3 c. Cocoa Powder
1 t. Vanilla
3 c. Powdered Sugar
Pinch of Salt


Preheat oven to 350. Line cupcake molds or grease two 8 inch cake pans.

In large bowl or kitchen aid, combine dry ingredients. In separate bowl, lightly whisk the eggs, then adding the milk and oil. Combine with dry ingredients. Add vanilla. Scrape down all sides of the bowl. Slowly add in hot coffee. Mixture will thin out a fair amount. Divide amongst cake pans or cupcake pans.

Bake for 30-35 minutes for cake, 15-20 minutes for cupcakes. Let the cake cool in the pan before removing to frost.

For frosting, combine softened butter and cocoa powder in a bowl fitted with a mixer attachment. Whisk until light and fluffy. Add in 1/3 of the powdered sugar, then 1/3 of the milk. Continue to alternate in equal additions, scraping the bowl down each time. Add vanilla and salt to finish. Frost your cooled cakes or cupcakes!! Enjoy!

Chef Deborah Lieder


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