“Our well-being goes so far beyond what’s on our plate,” she said. “You can eat however many salads or smoothies you want but that’s not going to heal a lot of the inner and external disturbances that we might face.”
The writing is thoughtful, generous and fun, with Thomas prone to drop zippy lines like “If you know, you know,” “You’ve got this” and “Anyhooo.”
“Living Lively” also gets a little interactive with blank pages for readers to think about their lives and make action plans. And it includes interviews with five other female Gen Z leaders.
When Cassie Jones, an editorial director for publisher William Morrow, first met Thomas, she found a mature and grounded teen. “I thought she could be a major voice of her generation,” Jones said.
“I loved that she wanted to take this book beyond recipes for food into paradigms for living,” Jones added. “Ultimately we liked the idea that readers could come to the book where they are now and easily start with what they were most interested in, whether it’s food or personal growth or changing the world.”
Thomas is always on the lookout for different flavors and ingredients. On a trip to her parents’ native Jamaica two years ago, she flipped over the taste of breadfruit, star apples and mangoes there. She’s recently fallen in love with fonio, a West African grain.