Tag Archives: food

Seeds Planted

25 Sep

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

  1. The most exciting seed I planted this week?  My interview!  I had an interview on Thursday, and while I thought it was going well, it ended very quickly and almost abruptly.  It seriously lasted no more than ten minutes, so I did not walk away feeling optimistic.  However, they called me back the next morning and I have a working interview tomorrow morning!  I’m very excited.
  2. I mentioned that I’m starting a new relationship, but I felt frustrated with it this week.  Well, no, I felt frustrated with him.  I typically address problems immediately and directly, which can frequently be interpreted as overly confrontational.  This time I let him bring it up…and he did!  We actually had a great conversation that left me feeling very good about both where we are and where we’re headed.  This relationship is pushing me to grow and I love it.
  3. I managed to ask my dad for help.
  4. There are plums in there!At the farmer’s market I learned that plums are incredible.  I realize this particular seed sounds a bit silly, but I’m still excited about it.  I used to be a very picky eater, so I always enjoy learning to like a new food, especially in such an unexpected way.  I was buying apples and the farmer offered me a plum; I took the first bite to be polite, but then I devoured it and bought a half dozen.  I originally thought about making a plum tart, but I keep eating them.
  5. I started working on my new core story by trying a new morning routine.  Even in the short time I’ve been trying it, I’ve learned a few things: I’m tend to sabotage myself by trying to make things perfect instead of just going ahead and doing them.  The goal is to take a walk — duration and distance don’t matter, walking itself is the important thing — but I’m still telling myself that my plan isn’t good enough.  That needs to stop.  And really, the big goal is to move my body in the morning, so I could easily substitute a few yoga poses if I have time constraints or just want a change.  I can be flexible, but that can be so difficult for me to recognize.

Clearly I’m working for other people.

10 Jan
I like blackberries.
Image via Wikipedia

I’m frustrated with my cooking job and have been for months now.  I was actually contemplating quitting, going as far as discussing switching to full time at the ski area (They never, ever tell me no at the ski area.  If I’m not getting what I want, it’s merely because I’m not asking the right questions.) and discussing the possibility with my supervisor at the restaurant.  Instead the restaurant gave me some much-needed appreciation, which made quitting feel mean, and even though I’m not happy, I don’t feel any need to be vindictive.

So, I’m staying on for at least a few more months.  I feel like I’m in a good position to ask for things and what I want is to work in nutrition and exercise science.  I have some work to do before that can be a reality, but there’s no reason I can’t start the work now.  I’d originally planned to talk to my boss about my continued employment, but instead we’re going to do some career enhancement.  I do work with some talented people and I want to take advantage of their knowledge.  One of my biggest issues with my job is I’m not learning enough, that this experience is just a job.  I’m going to see if I can’t use this job to further my own goals.  I think we’ll be able to find a mutually beneficial arrangement.  I’m glad I’ve found a way to approach my boss that isn’t fueled by frustration and boredom.

Right now my end-goal is to use nutrition as a tool to make skiing a better experience.  Ideally I’d like to be able to run multi-day clinics that offer advice on ski-specific nutrition, small-group ski lessons, and a whole-body approach to wellness.  I see it as the logical result of the work I’ve been doing for the past several year and I think it will make me happy and allow me to live the life I want for myself.

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Beef Fat. No, really.

26 Dec
Marbled beef
Image via Wikipedia

Reverb10: Soul Food.  What did you eat this year that you will never forget? What went into your mouth and touched your soul?  (Author: Elise Marie Collins)

Food is an incredibly important part of my life, so there are so many things that fit this prompt.

  • The endless lamb Jay fed me as a means of showing affection or regret.
  • The chocolate mocha cheesecake.
  • The citrus cheesecake with ginger crust.
  • The joy that is chocolate dob.
  • The ultimate comfort food: my chili.
  • The beef tartare Natt offered me when I started my job.
  • Chicken and dumplings.
  • Pasta with Paul and Tiff.
  • Apple bruschetta with bacon and bleu cheese.
  • Blake’s amazing red beans and rice.

However, the one thing I want to devote some time to is beef fat, specifically the fat that comes from beef ribs.  Short ribs, prime rib, and ribeye steaks all share this fat, and it is one of the best things I’ve ever put in my mouth.  The taste is determined by the meat and seasonings of course, but the texture is unique and oh, so wonderful.

I read a lot about food and nutrition, and I inevitably come across articles talking about the importance of reducing fat, or telling me if I must eat red meat I should only eat lean cuts, or preaching the evils of all saturated fats.  The fat I’m trying to describe assures me that those articles are wrong.  The most important thing about food is that it creates joy.  Nutrition is not as well understood as we would choose, and one thing I’m sure of is that eating food that makes us feel excited and satiated and well-fed all at once is good for us.  Eating food our bodies love will build healthier bodies.

I have a lot to say on this matter, but I’m going to stop here for the time being.  I’m grateful for all the wonderful meals I enjoy in 2010.

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Healing, part one.

19 Dec
Smiley-Face Cheese Sandwich 1
Image by Hammer51012 via Flickr
Reverb10:  Healing. What healed you this year?  Was it sudden, or a drip-by-drip evolution?  How would you like to be healed in 2011?  (Author: Leonie Allan)

“I need to eat now.” Almost six month into my job and I still feel a little guilty every time I say that. I feel like I’m abandoning my team and selfishly thinking only of myself and ignoring the fact that everyone else needs a break too. But, I say the words and I go eat. Little by little I am getting better, I am healing. I think I will always have an eating disorder, but I think I’m learning to live with it instead of merely surviving it.

I hate that I have to feel guilty about something so basic as my need for food and I hate how hard I had to fight to even get these breaks in the first place. Not having the time to eat is an interesting job hazard given that I cook for a living. We’re all expected to feed everyone else, but no one really gives much thought to when or how we’ll eat. I love feeding my coworkers; my own problems make something as simple as making a grilled-cheese sandwich a way for me to treat the people I work with with care and affection.

It took me over a month to get my supervisors to understand how important it is for me to eat consistently. I kept trying to talk to my boss, but he made it clear my need to eat was mostly just a pain in his ass. It’s a horrible attitude, but work is supposed to come first in a kitchen, so it’s not a surprising one. I just couldn’t do that to myself anymore though — I cannot put work ahead of my own basic needs. (Especially not for what they’re paying me.) So I persisted. I kept bringing it up to him, and I kept trying to make him take it seriously. Finally I went over his head and talked to our manager who immediately recognized that there was a problem and tried to find a solution. He talked to one of the sous chefs and suddenly the problem was solved. I spent a few months eating at 7:00 PM, with no leeway. Eventually, knowing that I would definitely be able to eat sooner rather than later, I became more flexible. I am healing.

My sous chef also informed our executive chef who now seems to think I’m vaguely diabetic. I’m not sure it’s worth it to try to explain it to him, but I certainly appreciate his concern. I’ve lived with this for about seven years now. I’ve tried to explain it to various family and friends, but very few people seem to get it. Almost no one understands just how dangerous it is to go without food for prolonged periods of time. As difficult as it was get everyone at work on board, everyone there understands that I need to eat. No one pretends that I am perfectly fine. Because I can be honest about what’s going on, I feel safer, I feel like I have a space to heal. I have people that I can share my successes with and people who will understand the significance of my occasional failures. I’m no longer being silenced by what other people don’t want to see. No one has ever commented about how this must be a great weight-loss technique.

And now I am eating.  I am healing.

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