Liz followed the same path as her book title—"You've got to start with eating!" First, she finds pleasure through food in Italy, followed by devotion through prayer in India, ending with balance through love in Bali. "Now when I look back on it, it's clear some divine hand was guiding [the journey] because the order was so perfect," she says. "If I went to India first instead of Italy first, I would have been sent home in a basket. I was still on anti-depressants, I was sick, I was weak, I was skinny, I was just out of a divorce. I would not have been able to physically do the yoga, the meditation, the hard rigor of spiritual work. So I went to Italy first and I ate my guts out for four months."
Liz boldly traveled to Italy, alone and hardly knowing the language before she left. "When I told my American friends, 'I'm gonna go study pleasure for four months,' they were like, 'Can you do that?' And when I told my Italian friends, 'I'm here to study pleasure,' they're like, 'Vivant, be our guest! Knock yourself out. Why only four months?'"
Liz says she made a rule that she would never feel guilty about the food she was eating in Italy. "I'm not going to beat myself up for something that is so simply wonderful as this meal," she says. "What if you just did what you wanted, that would make you happy every day for four months? And how horrible would it be, really, because the things I wanted were harmless to anyone else—except maybe my jeans!"