Activities, Uncategorized

Action #3: Eat Well

Once a week, I will post a suggested activity for creating wonder in your life (mostly to get myself to do it, but I hope you’ll join me). I will include three different participation levels, so lack of time or money will be no excuse. Please share your experiences here to inspire others. Go forth and create wonder!

It may not seem related to creativity and wonder, but eating well is essential to taking care of yourself. You will not be able to create wonderful things if you are not well-fed. And eating something amazing can lead to surprise and awe for your tastebuds. So try it out this week. Eat well and share your experience here.

Ample Time and Money: Eat at that restaurant you have always wanted to go to. Summer Pierre writes in her book The Artist in the Office about putting off going to a certain restaurant until the day she would get the big shot book contract of her dreams. Some friends surprised her by taking her there and she realized “I didn’t have to wait to go there – my life was special occasion enough!” I used to not put a whole lot of value on food, and fancy restaurants in particular, but my husband is a big foodie.  Back when he was just my boyfriend, I saved up and surprised him with a trip to Gary Danko, one of the best restaurants in San Francisco. It was amazing! The service was like nothing I had ever experienced before by staff so professional and smooth they made you feel like royalty no matter who you were. The food was so exquisite it was the first time I realized what an art it is to create an awe-inspiring meal. The whole experience was truly a wonder we will never forget, and have since saved up and went several more times. If you have a place you’ve been dreaming of trying, make it happen now! Life is short, and it will be well worth it.

Limited Resources: Plan a dinner party where everybody makes a different part of the meal. Use fresh, local ingredients. Browse the beautiful produce at your Farmer’s Market to see what’s in season and get ideas. Check out the Slow Food website to see why this is important. Or just trust your tastebuds. Everything tastes better when it’s fresh. And even better when shared with friends. We have been doing this in the city with a group of our friends every couple of months or so. We have a rotating list of course assignments – at each meal, different people are in charge of an appetizer, a main dish, a supporting side dish, a dessert, wine, and pre- and post- dinner drinks – so no one is saddled with cooking too much of the meal and you have a different role every time.  We keep it exciting by challenging each other to make something we’ve never attempted before (no tried and true family recipes, this is all about experimentation and creativity). We just did it last night and it was incredible! Oysters three ways (not usually a big fan, but anything drenched in butter and garlic and baked with cheese on top is a hit with me), handmade pasta with the yummiest homemade pesto and marinara sauces I have ever tasted (sounds simple, but when was the last time you ate noodles that were made just minutes before you consumed them? So good!), an excellent spinach side salad with a sweet homemade vinaigrette topped with hard-boiled egg and bacon bits (mine sans the bacon, but still delish), and a dessert of orange churros in homemade vanilla ice cream served ablaze with rum! Not to mention sangria, an assortment of Spanish wines, and champagne. Decadent! Plus, I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time. It is so good for the soul to get together with friends and share a special meal. It doesn’t have to be so extravagant either. Shared grilled cheese and tomato soup is just as nice. Get your friends together this week and mangia!

Busy and Broke: So often we are rushing through our days and our meals become an afterthought. Take a moment next time you are eating to slow down and savor what you are putting in your mouth. Revel in a juicy summer peach. Notice how it feels in your mouth. Imagine how it is going to nourish your body and keep you going. Give thanks for it.

(I was going to end with a video of my son eating  a peach, but found that WordPress no longer allows you to upload videos unless you pay for a video upgrade. This, along with the discovery that I have to pay for an upgrade to be ad-free, means I am just about fed up with WordPress. Any suggestions for free blog sites that allow you to be ad-free and post videos at no cost?)


15 thoughts on “Action #3: Eat Well

  1. Hi!
    Eating green, local is a huge priority for me. Just ate at a place in Atlanta called Dynamic Dish. Arugula salad with figs, feta, walnuts, a lentil burger with potatoes and flat bread with cheese, onions and bacon. Can’t quite make the leap to full vegetarian but the meat I eat is only grass fed, from local farms. It’s awesome!

    Glad to see you’re supporting local farmers as well. And Gary Danko… jealous!

    Also if you get a chance, read Eating Animals by Jonathan Saffron Foer. His book along with watching Food Inc., King Corn has changed the way I eat.

    1. Mmm…sounds good, Cyndi! We are lucky in SF to have access to really great local, sustainable food. Glad you get it in Atlanta, too. The book sounds interesting. Now if I could only get the husband to read it. We are currently “meat neutral” he says. My not eating it balances his consumption out. Wouldn’t it be great if we went “meat negative” someday? Though he is cutting back after hearing this Ted talk about being a weekday vegetarian. Helps to not have to cut it ALL out.

  2. Hi, Cassy,

    You’re right…so often I eat mindlessly and simply shove the fastest thing into my mouth or grab what’s at hand rather than take care to CHOOSE what’s going into my body. During the last few months of working on my master’s Ry & I ate out about 5x/week so I could teach during the day & work on my thesis at night. This turned into a habit that continued through July–but I’m determined that’s where it will stop! I told Ryan earlier today that we are only going to eat out once a week & I’m going to actually use my cookbook collection.

    I’m trying to think of the last “best” food I ate, and it was probably the garlic edamame from The Citrus Club on upper Haight, eaten with friends and much laughter.

    Thanks for the inspirational words.


    1. Mmm….love the Citrus Club!
      Yes, when you are super busy it is hard to eat mindfully. I have been eating in my car a lot lately (healthy snacks that I pack in these cool reusable bags I found since I was feeling guilty about using so much plastic all the time, but still on the go is definitely not a way to savor it). Congrats on finishing your masters! Is it in creative writing? I’m starting a masters program in the spring to become a librarian! We’ll see how mindfully I eat when juggling work, school, and child rearing. Yikes…

      1. Cassy, I would love an MFA, but I got a Master’s in Education, which is much more practical for me. Finishing my program was all about the time management (at least, it was for me). I want to get my MLIS so I can be a teacher librarian, but the closest program is at San Jose State and I don’t want to drive up there every Saturday (they have a sort of “commuter” program that I could do). Besides, I better start paying of my current school loan debt before garnering another $20,000, right? 🙂


      2. That is so funny, Jackie! Didn’t realize we have such similar goals. I am also too practical to go for an MFA and I just got accepted into the MLIS program at SJSU. I will start in the spring (if I can come up with the $$!). You actually never have to set foot on campus because it’s all online. There’s still time to join me and sign up for the spring! But I know what you mean about racking up debt. I’m still paying off my Westmont loans!! I’ll let you know what the program is like if you are interested.

  3. This morning I made a commitment to exercise in order to maintain my body in the best of health. You remind me that food is also a major component of health, so thanks so much for your inspiration.

    I’m here from SheWrites and I think it was a great “coincidence” that I stumbled upon your blog. I think life is a wonder.

    1. Welcome, Myrna! I’m glad you stumbled over here, too! Thanks for sharing. I hope your new commitment to exercise goes great. That will be another post of mine, because getting your body moving gets your mind going, too. Make it a fun, wonderful experience!

  4. It’s me again. I blog with I can post free videos and I have no adds. It’s been good so far, though I experience a little trouble sometimes in posting – spacing is a special problem for me. Somehow, my intended spacing is changed and I can’t change it back to the way I want it. But overall, it’s worked.

    1. Thanks for the tip. I will check them out. Just when I finally figured out the hang of this site, it’s daunting to think about learning another, but it’s ridiculous for WP to charge for all these silly “upgrades” that come free everywhere else.

  5. The summertime is SUCH a perfect time to savor food. Last weekend we bought some gorgeous tomatoes at the farmer’s market and ate them with lime and salt. It was heaven! Tonight, though? It’s the oldest steakhouse in NYC to celebrate our anniversary. I can’t wait!

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