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Food is Wellness

by Emery Chapman

More than a chef, I’ve always seen myself as a steward. My goal is to help the busy home cook.

As a mom of two, wife, cook and business owner, I deeply understand the challenge of trying to manage it all, and still find time to create wholesome meals.

Cooking does not have to be difficult, and it doesn’t require a lot of time to create delicious and nourishing meals. My heart will always be dedicated to helping people unlock this for themselves, because good food can be one of the greatest acts of self-care, wellness and support for the mind, body and spirit.

Each summer, we get an incredible opportunity to reset, grow and start anew, with nature leading us in this process. Food—and the summer harvest—can be a beautiful way for us to participate in this for ourselves. Our bodies were designed to know, understand and align with nature, and that includes food. Whenever we cook with fresh, natural ingredients, we take a piece of nature into our lives, our homes and our memories. When we bring nature into our lives, and take the time to cook and enjoy a meal for family and friends, we just feel better.

Preparing a simple meal can slow us down in a busy world and help create more stillness in our lives. It’s a way of telling ourselves that we matter, our time together matters and we are important enough to put away distractions—and devices!—for the 20 to 30 minutes it takes to share a meal together. And we become a role model to others, especially our children.

I believe that teaching the next generation to cook is an invaluable life skill. It not only introduces the senses of touch, taste and smell, but it encourages empathy for nature and for being of service to others. Cooking a meal, eating it together and cleaning it up afterwards creates a sense of community. We need this gathering time so much right now. It is where the magic happens: conversations, debates, important exchanges where we talk about our lives as well as the bigger picture of our world. For me, this is the true meaning of wellness. 

One-Pan Chicken with Seasonal Summer Veggies


1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (or 2 tablespoons, and omit the butter, if you want it to be dairy-free)

1 tablespoon grass-fed cultured butter

3 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1 tablespoon dried thyme)

1 sprig fresh rosemary (optional)

3 cloves fresh garlic, peeled & minced

3 boneless skinless organic chicken breasts, sliced

3 tablespoons fresh parsley, washed & minced

Pinch of sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 bunch of asparagus washed well, ends removed then chopped 1 container of cherry or grape tomatoes, washed & sliced in half 1 cup white wine

Juice of one lemon

1 cup roasted red peppers sliced (the red peppers from the jar)


  1. Add olive oil and butter to a large sauté pan over medium heat. Once the butter begins to melt add fresh thyme and rosemary. Sauté for 1 minute to infuse the oil with the fresh herbs, then add garlic and continue to sauté for another 3 minutes.
  2. Add sliced chicken, fresh parsley, sea salt and pepper. Sauté 8 min- utes until the chicken is mostly cooked then add chopped asparagus, sliced cherry tomatoes, white wine, lemon juice and sliced roasted red peppers.
  3. Bring the heat to high then once it begins to boil, immediately reduce to low and simmer for another 10 minutes ‘till chicken is fully cooked, vegetables are tender and all the flavors have come together. Serve on its own with a big salad or over pasta or rice. If you like, give it a last drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, ground black pepper and sprinkle of Parmesan just before serving. Enjoy!

An organic chef, EMERY CHAPMAN heads up the kitchen at her family-owned The Harborage Inn in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. She has also authored The HeartfeltCookbook, and EmPowerful.

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