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{SCROLL DOWN TO ENTER THE VITAMIX GIVEAWAY} My childhood was not the standard American norm. I lived on a remote tropical island (Maui). I went to a very alternative school (Waldorf). I ate very alternative foods (millet! tofu! nutritional yeast!). And I played with very alternative toys (knitting needles! compost bins! handmade fairy dolls!). Hippies and rose quartz and the Voyager Tarot cards were most definitely involved. By the age of seven, I knew my sun, rising, and moon signs by heart, and even understood what the dreaded Mercury in retrograde meant.

Today, I can’t stand astrology but I still douse myself and every available inch of my kitchen with nutritional yeast and hemp seeds. In fact, both are in this luscious vegan green soup, which is a recipe from the Kale & Caramel cookbook (preorder now!). I am a hippie in a pragmatist’s clothes. But I’m not exactly here to talk to you about nooch today. Today, we talk about dreams and constructions of selfhood and invisible husbands and ways we hold ourselves back. (And yes, I am giving away a Vitamix, too.)

My childhood was also full of stories—fairytales and Gwynna and the American Girl dolls and, yes, Barbies. I played with my dolls for hours on end, styling their hair, dressing them, cuteing them up for their future husbands. Even then, I was a straight girl stuck in a heteronormative world. I knew two things in life: I liked to tell stories and I wanted a husband. Wasn’t that story enough?

But here’s the funny thing that happened as I grew older: No husbands came. I’m getting ahead of myself, of course. First, no boyfriends came. My first kiss was at age 17, with a boy who kissed me and then immediately told me that could never happen again. And though I had my first boyfriend at 18, I spent three years of college unintentionally celibate. I was stymied by some mix of heartbreak and sophomore slump depression and fear. I spent the first few years of my twenties in deeply emotional relationships that never worked out. I wrote reams of mostly overwrought poetry and sat around imagining my future husband and kids. And when my mother died, though I had a wonderful partner at the time, this strike of mortality only clarified my knowledge that he was not The One.

Zucchini Basil Soup with Creamy Hemp Swirl & Garlicky BreadcrumbsWin Vitamix Ascent Blender Zucchini Basil Soup

And then, as I exited that relationship and dated one man after the next that was so far from being The One as to be tragically laughable, my desire became a kind of myopic fixation: I laughed and I slept and I wrote and I taught myself to code and I had sex and I fell in love and I had my writing published and I studied photography and I made beautiful food and I inherited a piano and I got a book deal and yet. And yet.

Underneath it all, no matter what I did, there was a niggling, very loud voice reminding me I had only lived out one half of the story I grew up telling myself. I was writing, telling stories, but I most decidedly did not have a husband. And let me be the first to tell you that that—that sentence you just read, that entire paragraph above—drives me absolutely batty. It is 2017, after all. Am I not aware that a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bike? Am I not summoning the power of Beyoncé and Audre Lorde on the regular? Am I not a student of Madonna and Ani DiFranco and Rebecca Walker? Of course I am.

Vegan Creamy Zucchini Basil Soup

But all the knowing in the world doesn’t undo the fundamental stories I told myself from the time I was a child. Those stories are powerful. They stick. They are the neural pathways upon which we build the rest of our lives. Which is why, at this moment—at the precipice of publishing my first book—these two primal stories I’ve told myself are duking it out for precedence in my brain.

One tells me I’ve done something wonderful, something I’ve waited my whole life to do: I wrote (and photographed) a book! And on May 2nd, it will be out in the world. And the other insists I’ve really mucked it all up because the other half of that deeply imprinted, Barbie doll-driven childhood narrative—the story so much of the world still wants girls to believe—is missing.

So let me tell you what I’ve decided to do. I’ve decided to celebrate. To celebrate so hard and so loudly that the voice in my mind that wants me to think I’ve failed is drowned in a sea of knowing better. A cacophony of sanity.

Zucchini Basil Soup from Kale & Caramel: Recipes for Body, Heart, and Table

Zucchini Basil Soup with Creamy Hemp Swirl & Garlicky Breadcrumbs

Because all of this? Everything that’s happening right now? All of this is delicious. It’s vital. It’s what I’ve worked for my entire life. I don’t know what’s coming next, and that’s ok. But I do know that this book, the culmination of so many years of research and writing and recipe testing and photography, is worth every ounce of joy in my body. And I know that there is no space left in my heart for self-doubt and self-loathing and all the other forms of misogyny we girls internalize along the way to becoming women.

This book is my love, and I get to share that love with you.

And that, in this sweet moment, is everything.

So let’s celebrate!! Preorder KALE & CARAMEL: Recipes for Body, Heart, and Table now and get the recipe for this vegan Zucchini Basil Soup with Creamy Hemp Swirl and Garlicky Breadcrumbs.

Enter to win a Vitamix A3300 Ascent Series blender below, and come hang out with me this weekend as I take over the Vitamix Instagram account with my favorite blendable recipes from the site and the book.

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  • Davena Zhang

    I’m leaving behind the idea that eating only superfoods is somehow more beneficial than eating a balanced meal 🙂 Also, my favorite blender recipe is a banana yogurt smoothie!

    • According to me (lol) the most important part of a superfood is that it actually makes you feel joy. The end. And heck yes banana yogurt smoothie!!

  • Becky Wong

    I’m leaving behind the idea that food is “good” or bad” and eating it makes me “good” or bad”. Food is supposed to be nourishing and pleasurable, for all five senses! I love making soup in my blender – butternut squash soup in the Fall.

    • SUCH A GOOD ONE TO TOSS!! I’m so with you. And there’s a killer butternut soup in the Kale & Caramel cookbook!

      • Becky Wong

        I can’t wait! I’m so excited to get my book!

  • Celebrate it and shout it from the freaking rooftops! You deserve it all. I am honored to hold a copy of your beautiful work in my hand. xx

  • Suruchi Avasthi

    So excited for you, Lily! I’ve been following along with your recipes for so long and I know this book is just going to be wonderful!

    • Yippee!! Thank you so much, Suruchi!!! I so appreciate your readership and love, and can’t wait for you to have the book in your hands!

  • alex robertson

    What a delicious looking soup! I love your recipes. I am leaving behind the belief that you can’t treat yourself ever. I follow a mainly healthy diet, but sometimes give into a treat and feel bad. I usually try and make it a healthier treat. I need to remind myself that balance is okay 🙂 I would love to win this blender. I have had a Vitamix on my mind forever. They are the perfect machine lol. My favorite blender recipe is a low carb almond flour lemon poppyseed muffin. It’s slightly sweet and perfect for my afternoon snack.

    • Thank you, Alex!! Balance is so so so wonderful. I try to focus on joy—on both sides. On the side of eating what’s going to make my body feel great in the long run, and also on the side of what makes me feel super jazzed and alive right in this moment. There’s a happy medium in there. AND YES VITAMIX for almond flour lemon poppyseed muffins! Those sound amazing.

  • julia

    Your book looks beautiful and you should be proud! Perfection is a good thing to give up sometimes, in all the ways it follows us around. Be the best you can but be okay with how great life is regardless!!

  • LILY! Your are so courageous – my goodness you gave me goosebumps. The world needs more of this. More vulnerability and openess and honesty. And more celebration of self worth. We are curious creatures, us women, I might qualifying myself on the other side of the spectrum – happy and married but perhaps not so satisfied with my professional career. But there are no guarantees, everything takes work. We are constantly growing and changing. And we always, always have to celebrate that work daily. Our relationships, our milestones, our moments. A million congratulations on putting your heart’s work out for all of us to learn and grow from. Be you, You are enough. The rest will follow x

    • JODI. Thank you so much for opening up and sharing your own side of things. Isn’t it so wild what vastly different directions our hearts and minds pull us—contrasted with the reality our lives present us? You’re right—there are no guarantees, everything takes work, everything constantly changes. And yes, even the celebrating is work. Thank you for your heart. I appreciate you!!

  • MewzMe2

    I am leaving behind unhealthy foods. off those processed foods and more fruits and veggies. homemade is the way. I really like Strawberry, Banana, Kale, yogurt blends.

    • That blend sounds amazing!! And hooray for whole foods!

    • Chrysalis Joy Amour Levy

      I’m leaving behind the idea that blenders are only for smoothies!

  • Anja Davis

    Im leaving behind the belief that skinny is better than strong and healthy. I’m working on loving my body type and feeding myself the things that work best for my body regardless of trends. My favorite blender recipe is your vegan mint chip smoothie!

    • THAT VEGAN MINT CHIP IS MY FAVE!!! And trends suck. Strong is gorgeous. Nourish and revel, my friend!

  • kaman

    I love the color of the soup!

  • YES! I love all of this, Lily!! I’m leaving behind the idea of scarcity — it’s a false belief in my life (“MUST EAT ALL THE THINGS IN CASE THEY DISAPPEAR!”) and doesn’t serve me, or anyone else! Life is abundant.

    My favorite blender recipe… hmm… I’m a big chimichurri fan, and usually toss it in the blender!! xoxo

  • Tracey Norman

    Yum!!! Oh Yum!!! You know that I love this one!

  • Madilyn evans


  • Matt H

    I would love to make a peanut butter banana protein smoothie in this! Thanks for the chance!

  • Rachael C

    I’m leaving behind the belief that I’m not as good as my job, and not as capable. Because I fucking am! And my favorite blender recipes are full of veggies that don’t taste like veggies 🙂

  • Laren Cyphers

    I’m leaving behind negative thoughts and instead manifesting positivity! My favorite blender recipe has to be cashew butter right now because I use it in everything and it’s soooo creamy!

  • Antonya

    This was so wonderful to read!

  • absolutely love everything about this

  • Allie

    This looks incredible! Can’t wait to try it out!

  • Emily Johnson

    This is such a wonderful soup idea! So beautifully displayed as well. Thank you for the idea.

  • Tracey

    I love making pesto in my blender – so smooth! Also, any kind of nut butter.

  • Jane

    I’m leaving behind the idea of comparing myself to others, so I’m all about that life changing pesto!

  • Hillary

    So gorgeous, Lily!! I love, love!!

  • Teresa Helton

    I can not wait to try this lovely nutritious soup & to make it in my new Vitamix if I win. 🙂

  • Growing up I had it in my mind that I could never be a stay-at-home-mum; rather, a successful, strong, working woman. The latter came true, but over the years the immense value of mums who keep house and raise littles became apparent… and it’s my new hope! Cheers to the lovely new book!

  • Grace Woods

    Well, first, I adore your writing. My old belief of “wrapping” it all up, career wise, by my sixties, went out the window when I returned to school about three years ago, and realized that I won’t stop until I hold a degree in my hands. You sure can teach an old dog a new trick. I also have to share that our family eats zucchini just about every day, and basil, whoa! Got to have this soup! Mahalo, Lily Diamond, may you continue to flourish and c e l e b r a t e You!!!❤️🌺

  • Lizzy

    I always like to add bananas to my smothies instead of sugar!

  • Francesca

    Love blending. Zucchini basil soup sounds awesome!

  • Jess Herrera

    I’m giving up my bad habit of a daily sugar fix and working to have a more plant-based diet!

    Ohh, and I’m all about the smoothies and bulletproof coffee in the blender!

  • Brooke

    Delicious recipe! I leave behind the belief that I cannot give my body what it is cravk g if I dont deem it healthy enough! The body knows what it needs sometimes!

  • Tess

    Your honesty is SO GREAT.

    I’m leaving behind the belief that life is happening at some other time, or that it will be better at some other time. Life today is happening and I want to be 100% aware of it!
    Favorite blender recipe is my own carrot, vanilla bean purée. I slather it on the plate and top with salmon and greens!

  • kelli

    i am attempting to convince myself that I like my body and have control over how I feel living inside of it.This is a letting go of life long body image issues. It is by no means easy and I have a long long long way to go in achieving it.
    I am always looking for help in doing this, any and all advise will be taken to heart.
    My favorite thing to make in a blender is almond milk. I love the milk and that you can also use the pulp in baking, no waste! Delicious.

  • Crystal Joy

    This kale and basil soup might be the new jam! I don’t have an awesome blender, but this soup makes me want to blend with my very simple blender (it might be a chunky soup though…lol) I’m leaving behind the notion of failure! I’m believing for only wins and successes in my future 🙂

  • ST

    I have been making daily, morning Bulletproof Coffee in my very, very sub-par blender…..but I think my favorite thing to blend up is Butternut Squash Soup with Coconut Milk and warming spices. Also: I’m leaving behind the tired belief that I’m limited by my available resources or by the number of hours in the day. New mantra: I AM UNLIMITED!

  • Kerianne Taves


  • So glad I preordered the book! I can wait for this and all the other amazing recipes!

    Thank you for sharing your story. It’s so personal and raw. You’re an incredible person, overly talented woman and one day your other happiness will find you!

  • Claire Hinkley

    I’m leaving behind the false belief that I don’t deserve to be happy. And my favorite blender recipe is kabocha squash soup.

    I love your writing and your blog! You are enough, and don’t let anything tell you otherwise.

  • Adriel Maldonado

    That sounds like such a lovely childhood! And this soup looks and sounds yummy, even though I’m not usually a big soup fan. Thanks for sharing!

  • Hanna Jo

    I’m leaving behind the belief that Whole Foods are more expensive! There is always a way to better yourself/community/environment by eating well. I volunteer at my local coop and they give our family 15% off every month for volunteering just a couple hours a week, and an additional 5% off for making below 50k a year. I always thought being a vegan would be impossible to maintain because of the expenses, but just like anything I learned to explore my options and get out of my comfort zone! My favorite thing to make in a blender would definitely be homemade hazlenut milk, nothing beats it! Thanks so much for an amazing opportunity. Xoxoxo

  • Rebecca Quam

    I am leaving behind that it matters what other people think. Because it doesn’t! I just want to live a happy loving life! The book is gorgeous! Can’t wait to get my hands on it!

  • Emily Schostack

    I loved this post and have definitely been having the same thoughts running through my head for years! I know that I don’t need a partner to fulfill me, but something inside me seems to crave the depth of friendship that seems to come with a romantic relationship. Just like you, I’m working on it. I have beautiful friends and an incredible life, and that is totally something worth celebrating! Thank you for being so courageous and sharing your story, I really needed it.

    As far as blender recipes go, pureed vegetable soups all day every day. But now that spring is starting to show herself, I’m all about bright green, herby sauces on everything (except maybe cake).
    Your book looks gorgeous!

  • Ben Evans

    I cannot WAIT to have that lovely hunk of a book between my fingers!

  • Maria Halonen

    I’m leaving behind negative thoughts and self doubt! My favorite things to make in the blender would be bulletproof coffee, homemade cinnamon applesauce,& of course, smoothies! Your cookbook looks AMAZING!

  • Madison Rodman

    I love making soups in blenders! I’m leaving behind what others think of me and what they think I should be.

  • Kelsi Payne

    I loved this story so much! I believe that when the time is right love will find you! Thank you for all you do and share! XO

  • Chandler Noelle

    Amazing!! This looks delish

  • Mollie

    Can’t wait to see the new cookbook. I know it’ll have heart just like this post! This soup looks delicious!

  • Gerica Davis

    OMG I can’t wait to try this!

  • Liz

    This is beautiful! Thank you for sharing. I don’t care of I win the blender or not this is sweet sweet encouragement.

  • Liz

    Also my fave blender recipe is anything that is a smoothie.

  • Liz Stark

    The old, tired belief I’m leaving behind is that you have to be perfect – NO! Progress, not perfection = love this way of thinking/believing instead. My favorite blender recipe is a walnut butter smoothie – thick, nourishing, low in sugar, high in protein.

  • acamp

    Thank you for being so honest and vulnerable…our culture needs more of this! Love your recipes and congrats on your cookbook, it looks all kinds of beautiful and delicious and deserves to be celebrated!!

  • Emily Morrow

    I’m leaving behind that eating healthy and organic are too expensive. Seems to depend on what’s more important and what’s not. Love making smoothies in my blender!

  • Ayla Sadler

    I practically drooled on my keyboard… pretty sure the tiny babe I’m growing is also drooling. This soup looks incredible!

  • Julie

    Blended recipes were a must when I was on Whole30! I made my own granola with cashews, almonds, pumpkin seeds, and unsweetened coconut flakes. I’d throw it in my roommate’s vitamix with 1/4 cup coconut oil and 1/4 cup dates (not on whole30 can use honey or maple). After blended, transfer to a bowl and mix in some sunflower seeds, dried fruit, and sea salt and bake at 350 for 20 minutes. It’s amazing!! And then there were the soups! Great post – from someone who has also had the “and yet…” moments recently. I used to think my success was more real when there was someone right next to me validating it. But, the most successful relationships around me stepped in and reminded me that most of them are together out of sheer dumb luck of being at the right place at the right time and the best anyone can do is to continue to live and CELEBRATE, and focus on the relationships and success we have 🙂

  • Willow Kessler

    I’m leaving behind the notion that there is no time to cook. Homemade I’m leaving behind the notion that there is no time to cook. Homemade is always best. I would love to try your Zucchini Basil soup, and some tomato soup using fresh tomatoes from my garden this year. Unfortunately I do not have a blender to make these in. Your cookbook sounds wonderful. is always best. I would love to try your Zucchini Basil soup, and some tomato soup using fresh tomatoes from my garden this year. Unfortunately I do not have a blender to make these in. Your cookbook sounds wonderful.

  • Emma

    thank you for your brave and inspiring words! I will be trying to leave behind the belief that having good work ethic means working as much as possible. My favorite blender recipe is carrot ginger soup!

  • Alyssa Joy Severin

    I’m not sure if my first comment went through (phone died) but I am back! I am [learning to] toss the belief that my value is based on what I DO; what job I do or do not have, how productive or unproductive one day is from the next…what my resume may or may not look like. It’s hard. I am a human being, not a human doing…I am not a machine and my identity is comprised of WAY more than what I can accomplish or present!

  • Heather

    your blog is so beautiful! just found it and pre-ordered the book!

  • Nathanel Nams

    I am leaving behind negative thoughts when it comes to not being where I want to be financially and just have a more positive attitude. I love making banana, vanilla and almond smoothie 🥛🍌.

  • Jehlisa

    I’m leaving behind negative self talk. I’m working on loving the body I’m in and taking better care of it. Can’t wait for the book!

  • Mabel

    I’m leaving behind the definition of an “Asian” skinny. Being strong is what counts!

  • I love love love this post. So honest and written from the heart. It’s funny, I was never into astrology as a kid, never really have been, but a coworker is and I’m starting to learn about the dreaded mercury in retrograde — I just hate it! And I completely agree with the fact that we are ingrained, as girls, to want and need a man, like we can’t be fulfilled without one. No doubt, we as grown women can’t change that thought process for ourselves over night. But I think you taking a moment for yourself to celebrate your huge accomplishment is one step in the right direction, and something we can all learn from. Cheers to strong independent women!

  • Oh Lily, I love how you “story” and they are some of my favorites to read. You celebrate you all the way, this book and so much more that you have accomplished as a living breathing human in this world. The fact that a husband is the desire of your heart so strongly and beautifully says to me it will happen, exactly when it’s meant to, and I am incredibly excited for you and what your future holds you sweet & inspiring woman.

  • Julia Cameron Damon

    Can’t wait for my copy! The combination of the gorgeous photos and your endless wit? Can’t go wrong!

  • Danielle Rogner

    I’m leaving behind the belief that my value is in my career. I’m trying to slow down, ditch the constant pressure of work, and learn to see my self worth in the way I love others and nourish my body. My favorite blender recipe is a cayenne roasted butternut squash soup.

  • Here’s to celebrating!!

  • V Ghantous

    Mmmmm nutritional yeast makes everything better. I am prepping for the Haiku Ho’olaule’a tonight, used the trusty Vitamix to make three different menu items <3 It's superior to the Blendtecs that came installed on the truck for making soups and sauces, and tackling tough stuff like ginger and turmeric root.

  • Nita

    Looks amazing

  • Sarah

    Can’t wait to try this recipe! I’m leaving behind negative self talk and love making muffins of all things in my blender! Also LOVE your mint chip smoothie

  • Rachael

    Let’s be real-Growing up in the South meant eating lots fried pickles, fried chicken, fried okra, bbq, mac and cheese, biscuits and gravy, cheese grits, etc. When I was in college, I learned how to cook but did not stray far from the norm. My roommates use to tease me that I would bleed crisco. Then, after college and into my married life cooking become my lifeline, my passion, and my creative outlet. I began experimenting more. The last 4 years I have begun eating healthier (thank goodness, right?) and feeling better. I’m grateful for blogs like yours because you come up with all sorts of healthy and delicious recipes for healthy eating. 🙂

  • Sandra Manley

    Leaving behind the notion that I have to be “perfect” #KaleOneDayPizzatheNext

  • Sherri Lane

    This soup sounds and looks delish! And gorgeous too!

  • Ayanna

    This is a beautiful post. Pre-ordering now!

  • Dani

    Can’t wait to down a bowl of green soup!

  • catherine velasquez

    I love to make avocado, soaked cashew, lemon, s & p salad dressing! Drat I don’t have a blender or vitamix at this time 🙁

  • Maggie

    just wanted to say a huge YES to this post & celebrating the amazing fact of having a book in the world! congratulations! I guess I am leaving behind the idea that there’s a “right” time for anything. as for blender recipes, I have a spring pea soup that I love making, and I can’t wait to add this delicious-looking green soup to my repertoire!

  • Mariana Chan

    It’s insane for blenders to make soup! Gah