Hi there, I’m Lily Diamond.

As long as I can remember, I’ve been mixing up wild concoctions—first with flowers and leaves in my childhood garden on Maui, and later in the kitchen. My mother was an aromatherapist and herbologist, so I grew up immersed in the science of scent and the wisdom of the plants. Early on, she taught me that every flower, fruit, and tree has important wisdom to share with us. If we listened. And so I made a point of listening to the plants and foods that surrounded me.

Today, that means discovering the foods that naturally thrive on the land where I live (Los Angeles, currently, although I’ve also called San Francisco, New Haven, Michigan, France, and Maui home).

It means sourcing food from local farmers whom I know by name. It means foraging whenever I can (it gets dicey in LA, but can’t stop an island girl from trying!). It means learning the rhythms of the land and getting inventive and having fun with seasonal produce. It means playing with surprising flavor combinations in the kitchen, and concocting body and beauty products pure enough to eat.

And fundamentally, tapping into the wisdom of the plants means learning to listen to your own body. Over the past two decades, I’ve been vegetarian, vegan, raw, omnivorous, and pescatarian (clock through my years as a Maui girl, a Yalie, a yogi, and a straight up human). I’ve settled into the groove of eating what my body asks for, which is a predominantly vegetarian diet with occasional fish. But I firmly believe that diet is a personal matter—none of us has the same body, and each of us has different dietary needs. The recipes on Kale & Caramel are for everyone.

One last thing: I highly recommend eating, cooking, and mixing with your own two hands. The food likes the love. Trust me.

Come join the K&C Facebook tribe here, and follow me on Instagram @kaleandcaramel.

All photos and recipes are my own, unless otherwise noted: Please contact me at info@kaleandcaramel.com for permission!