14 May 2008

Chef Aja T. Marsh News - May Newsletter: Use Your Words - Making 'Fun' of 'Work'

Hello and Happy May to You!

A few weeks back, I went out to breakfast with a friend and a friend of his visiting from out of town. With most of the food gone from our plates, the waitress came around and asked the out-of-town guest if he was still ‘working’ on his food. He looked at her kindly and with a smile said, “I was never working on this food. I’ve been enjoying and having fun with it.” After, she walked away with a smile, the three of us discussed how important it is to be conscious of the words that we use. But it’s really kept me thinking.

What is “work”? A place we dread going? Something we aren’t looking forward to doing? We work out, work it out, and work it in. Working on our relationships, projects, and we work on things that we enjoy and get pleasure from. I’m still thinking about what we talked about because it made me realize how easy it is for us to lose focus on the things we are enjoying, or not. And sometimes we even have to use more positive words to encourage us to do things that maybe are not as fun as we would like.

The language we use so unconsciously sinks into our psyche and creates a pattern. Why are we “working,” laboring over our food, when we should be savoring, playing, and relishing in it? By reducing eating to a chore, we forget how pleasurable flavors and textures can be! Sure, it’s important to ‘eat well’ but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it.

Since this breakfast conversation, I’ve really tried to get out of saying “work” when it isn’t necessary. I remember to chew and eat slowly, and enjoy the experience of my meal and of the food, as well as offering gratitude to the cycles of energy that helped to create the food. And sometimes I’ll even play with my food, because I am a grown up and can do whatever I want! Beyond the plate, I’ll ask someone what they’re playing around with, how their day was, not “how was work”, sign-off phone conversations with “have fun!” and I sprinkle my own to-do lists with smiley faces and happy doodles. Maybe it seems silly, but actually, that’s the point.

I know I have been neglectful, and never sent out an April newsletter. But in my defense, I was traveling to and from Texas, establishing new clients and contacts in the NYC area, and apartment searching in Brooklyn, which is incredibly time consuming. But now that I'm mostly settled back in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, I should hope not to leave you hanging again.

In the meantime, there have been a couple of great guest blogs posted here including a new installment from Janet Watkins in her multi-part series on Fish and Sustainability (I posted an informal Italian-inspired Sardines on Toast recipe in the comments).

My dear friend Shannon McCarthy also posted a great account of her experience and know-how with Sugar Addiction (there's also a yummy and very special cookie recipe she posted in the comments to accompany the entry). As always on the blog, continue to leave comments, let me know if you tried any of the recipes, etc.! I want to provide content that you will use and enjoy.

This coming weekend I will be donating my services to a fundraiser for Feel Your Boobies, sponsored by S-Factor here in NYC. Should be a great time for everyone-- you should come out if you're around!

Coming up, you may find me with a cooler of sandwiches in McCarren Park in Brooklyn. That's all I can say for now...

Read my article in E-Print!: Another article of mine was published in the April Green Issue of the Ladies Who Launch Online Magazine. My article, entitled 'How to Be a Greener Shopper' focuses on green shopping tips, which if you've been keeping up with the newsletters and Stem+Leaf, you've probably already read about.

Guest Blogger Opportunities: I am still looking for interested individuals to write guest blogs for Stem+Leaf about green and healthy-lifestyle related subjects, from your own perspective. No need to be an experienced writer-- just enthusiastic with something to say! Please contact me for more information.

Enjoy the fun of every day!

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