Saturday, January 2, 2010

Fitness at Fifty, Experiment # 1.01


At 50, is the glass half full or is the glass less than half empty? I firmly vote for the latter. Thirty seven years in kitchens with a body that needs major reconditioning! I went back to working out. But the food I eat based on all things good from classical, fusion and contemporary just isn't helping.

I want to be fit. Not just for a month but for a lifetime. Wikipedia defines 'Fitness' as the state of being physically active on a regular basis to maintain good physical condition.

But what does that mean, “Good Physical Condition?” I hardly know myself. What kind of food balances a body in 'good physical condition' for a chef? What kind of workout will that be to get there? And actually, I am not interested in anything less than getting back a portion of those years I spent building my trade and reputation. I want to grow younger@. Fitness and food have become my new passion. Long life, fun and friends with a business to back it up. Fitness and food.

I started a web site, Vegetable Alchemy, after thinking about the body and what kind of whole food really sends it into happy states. There is a huge disconnect between new and old recipes and what really fuels and regenerates my body. For me it is time to create a new cuisine, one completely focused on healthy cells, not the traditional regional cuisines driven by the local soil, sea and air. However, I am not saying I will eliminate meat and dairy and the inventory I have worked with from organic to traditional.

But I am saying it is time to 'experiment' on what a cell needs--my cells. I am saying that it is time to get out of the pool, get up from pilates or down from the bike, come in from the run and actually focus on what will regenerate my cells once I workout and add the oxygen. What makes the body sound? Recipes enhanced with digestible 'discoveries' that enhance my cells. I am talking about food, from a chef, with a 'cell cuisine™' in mind, with flavor and colors.

Unlike other trades and professions, our view of food is still in the dark ages. Medicine has moved into imaging and nano culture; music has iTunes; architecture has design software; money had a global correction with returns to the rich; clothing has seen massive new styles; web technology keeps growing. Doctors seem to be welcoming aging for the profit. Fast food speaks to cheap convenience food and results in high health care costs; The Food Channels speak only to entertainment. While we seem to have reconnected in small ways with the soil and the sea, what we really need is to connect with what the body needs, then, grow it. The American Cooking Scene opened the way to think and discover American Food.

But it's time to change the focus from local cuisine to body-centric cuisine: food that offers longevity and renewal of the cells, allowing us to expand our lives to a whole new world of fun and add decades of great healthy time. What we eat has to change. The smart ones who can see the old ways have to start to see it is time to make a better recipe, to make way for the new. We age so fast, because we repeat the past. NO NEW THINKING!

We live with a couch potato mindset with marketing as it driver. By the time the body hits a certain age, we feel beat up and tired and we ignore new information that says, 50 is way too young to be feeling this way. We ignore the obvious. We continue to eat traditional, fusion and contemporary food that puts on weight, causes challenges at each decade of our lives and just does not spell fun or longevity.

Self care is in. Time to rip a new road in food. I want my career and my future to challenge food at the cell level. I want longevity. I want flexibility, healthful fun and a life that only can come from a new style of eating with an eye to youthfulness at 50 and more. I call my quest Vegetable Alchemy, my “new architecture in food” for reasons you will soon find out from my blog. I want to learn from and incorporate but set aside all recipes of past cuisine. I want my body to have highly nutritional, easily digestible, energetically easy to make food that I design to be focused to a particular part of my body that needs it, not just as yummy general over-developed recipes from the agriculture driven past!'

Today, I share a little experiment. An hour of running and pilates had made me hungry. I went to look at what parts of my body took from pilates and running. I wanted taste without bulk. With that in mind, without looking to buy anything, I raided the frig. Simple vegetables and spices that refresh demanded the lions share of the mix, with some pulled pork carnitas all tossed with a little omega-3 seed. Crisped in the pan with a tiny chopped salad, it brought flavor, lightness and satiation. I still might add a few corrections with an addition of chopped nori instead of salt and a touch of lemon. But for what I needed, the dish was ready to publish.

I want a kitchen of purpose, the purpose of Cell Cuisine tm, highly digestible, nutritional dense, flavorful, simple snack style foods that have fashion and function for me. Sure I rounded it with a glass of Cote du Rhone and a sampling of Pinot Noir, but that is the whole point! Something better for the body and something better for the chef!

Time for a change! Time for Vegetable Alchemy, the new architecture of food. Enter my new 'Cell Cuisine.'