Author, chef, and wellness expert Candice Kumai has been treating us to healthy living tips and recipes for years, but her latest venture goes deeper into her history to reveal a true lifestyle and wellness shift. Her book, Kintsugi Wellness, out now, explores the ancient Japanese art of kintsugi, which leads to the nourishing of your mind, body, and spirit, all in one.
Named after kintsugi, which is the art of reconstructing broken pottery or woven fabrics with pieces of gold to unite it back into one piece, the book is all about the journey of healing that’ll lead to an even more beautiful—and golden—outcome. And it’s by celebrating these “flaws,” or cracks that we’ve come to have, that we can get to the bottom of the wellness journey that works best for our individual selves.
because perfection is overrated. … & the Japanese have the most graceful + humble way of communicating reality. Wabi sabi is how we reflect on imperfection & the beauty in all things. The realization that pain awakes you & it make you feel alive. It will remind you of what is important + how without darkness, light cannot exist. Your spirit is what will carry you through, gaman is what teaches us resilient grace. I wrote her because the monks showed me their peaceful devotion. In order to pray for light and hope, they must first understand that darkness does indeed exist. I wrote her to be the love, to be the love I wish to see in the world. All is actually perfectly imperfect just as it is. I wrote her for tradition, for my ancestors— for if we do not document their stories & practices: yes they will indeed vanish from humanity. They call me, the “golden girl of wellness” & even on my darkest & toughest days, you’ll find these splitting cracks on my heart being mended with gold. Look deep inside of your heart because it’s full of those golden cracks, where the light, the grace, the humility comes in. We are not perfect, yet we are kintsugi. ✨✨✨✨
For Kumai, the entire process started with a breakup. The end of the relationship meant a journey to find herself, which included a trip to her mother’s ancestral home in Japan. It was there that she truly immersed herself in the traditions of the culture, in the intricate foods and flavors, and the landscapes of the beautiful country.
But it was one fateful trip to Kyoto that included a meeting with a kintsugi master where she saw the artful process at work and the power of rituals in daily lives.
With sections titled “Strengthen,” “Nourish,” “Lifestyle,” and “Heart,” Kumai intimately explores how we can use cleansing rituals and meditations to celebrate our daily moments, how Japanese ingredients can be incorporated into classic California-Japanese comfort recipes, how seasons affect our bodies and the power of familial ties, and finally, how community can help to boost our relationships with anyone—including ourselves.
Broken into Beautiful is who you are. Do not fear or be ashamed, do not live in doubt or despair, for the broken cracks are what let the gold light in. We are liberated by our light together, never our darkness. @lewishowes & I share more on my new book on his podcast #623 Here’s an exclusive sneak peek at the upcoming book’s chapters/subjects: 1- KANSHA (appreciation//gratitude) 2- KAIZEN (continuous improvement) 3- WABI SABI (celebrating imperfection) & MONO NO AWARE (the pathos of things) 4- GAMAN (endurance//patience) 5- SHIKATA GA NAI (It cannot be helped) 6- YUIMARU (circle of friends) 7- KINTSUGI (golden repair) 8- KOMOREBI & SHIN RIN YOKU (the light between the trees/forest bathing) 9- KIYOTSUKETE (take good care) (pronounced, “ki wo tsukete”) 10- GANBATTE (do your best) 11- OSETTAI (being of service, welcoming) preorder Kintsugi Wellness NOW! Image 📷 @hideexdee ✨💕⚡🙏🏼♥🦄💯 link in bio!
The idea of golden repair—that to heal yourself means to weave more beauty into life—is ever present in Kumai’s book. It’s the running thread and the line that connects each story, recipe, and memory.
But to recharge yourself, and to work to fill in those cracks, is a constant work-in-progress. It requires connections with those around you, with your body through the food you consume, and through the mindfulness practice, you use to strengthen your heart. And it’s this precise combination of actions that we can learn to appreciate and embrace each kintsugi.
Filled with Japanese-inspired recipes and cooking tips, the inside-out approach is not only heartwarming but delicious. Kumai teaches us about the traditional ingredients used in Japanese dishes and incorporates wellness-inspired dishes into her list like the Matcha-Coconut Love Smoothie, Miso Avocado Toast, Turmeric-Kale Fried Rice, Coconut Mochi Squares, and many many more.
The entire journey, she writes, is all toward gaman (or, great resilience). All it takes is an appreciation for what you have, what’s to come, and all of the challenges in between.
You can check out and buy Kumai’s book Kintsugi Wellness on Amazon now.