Chilmark: Becoming a more conscious eater

This December photo shows my dog in a down jacket, while Kate Woods of Beetlebung Farm heads in for her daily post-run swim. — Valerie Sonnenthal

To cleanse or not to cleanse? I fell off the twice-annual-cleanse bandwagon during COVID. Both food and sugar intakes increased in the past year, and I’m finally ready to get back to a baseline while becoming a more conscious eater. It’s not the bulk of what I eat, which is primarily local and mostly vegetarian, but those binging times that do me in. If you want to join Laura Love Denman-Magden’s Standard Process Cleanse, reach out to her at or 508-212-4950.

Chilmark native Laura Indigo presented a program about diets through our library in the fall, and is a wonderful functional nutritional therapist; find her at Also helpful is the Eat Right Now app: See And if you want an informative weekly read you can access from the New York Times via our local library website, check out “The Eat Well Challenge” by Tara Parker-Pope.

Preorder Rebecca Gilbert of Native Earth Teaching Farm’s forthcoming book, “Weedy Wisdom for the Curious Forager: Common Wild Plants to Nourish Your Body and Soul,” due out in May, at

Free online Peaked Hill Yoga classes continue through Jan. 29, send me a text at 774-563-8282 or email and I’ll set you up with a pass.

The “Covid Monologues MV: Readings to Nourish, Inspire & Connect” book launch is Saturday, Jan. 29 from 1:30 pm to 3 pm both on the heated outdoor porch and inside the Community Room at the West Tisbury library. The anthology includes 70 monologues (including mine) from Island writers aged 10-82, spanning March 2020 to November. 2021. Come and get a book signed, support your friends and neighbors.

If you missed Nancy Aronie’s most recent column about COVID lessons, see

The Chilmark library hosts the monthly Tea Club on Wednesday, Jan. 26, at 4 pm to talk about “Black Tea: Mi Lan Xiang from the Wudong Shan, China.” The monthly critique group Writing for Young People gathers virtually on Saturday, Jan. 29, at 2 pm. Email to sign up and get Zoom links. Thursday, Jan. 28, “Take and Make” craft is a paper spinner toy. For more info, see

At Pathmark Arts, Tuesdays are “Open Writing and Poetry, a series moderated by Ron Slate from 7 to 9 pm. You can be in-person or Zoom. Washington Ledesma’s “Early Paintings” and Dena Porter’s “Photographs: Reflections Here and There” continue to hang through January. The next “Grey Matters” on Zoom with Geneveve Abbot is Friday, Jan. 28, from 10 to 11 am; write for more info and link. For online programs, films, and inspiration, see

The Chilmark Community Church Sunday 9 am services are held on Zoom; the Meeting ID is 890 298 4151, password 332743, or join at

Check It’s a Chilmark Thing on Facebook for up-to-date information about our town and Island.

Have a good week.