play

@foodloveartlife  This is my new health, food, art, life, instagram identity.  Different from by personal, more athlete based page.  My question is:  what's the most direct route into talking about and changing our health?  Play.   Open doors and access NEW emotions, feelings, stories, about our bodies, our celebrations, our life moments.  Health via food and exercise is effective, but health via play and freedom, mobility, laughter, is timeless.  When I speak of health to myself, I would normally start with movement, but that stirs up a lot of negative feelings, guilt and shame, even in the elite athletes.  Food does the same, but we all have to eat, and in that we all have SOME celebrational experiences.  And that softens our brain- we lean into the learning when we're not pushed into knowledge.  There's where art and movement come into play.  The freedom of movement, the play of art, the making of your OWN moves, and crafting your own art.  That can transcend time, age, expectations, in the best of scenarios.  I think the confluence of these things have brought me the richest experiences.  And for me, it's about the richness.  

Boundaries, guidelines, structure works.  We know that.  But how can intentional unstructure access a different part of your brain that hasn't been touched in a while.  When we personally explore our boundaries, and bust open what we can and cannot do in a safe, protected space, we can crack open some interesting experiences.  Having those experiences creates some unfounded trust in ourselves.  So, when we're with others, we know more clearly where our boundaries are. Make sense right?  We don't know our boundaries if we don't create them ourselves.  We have to set the rules, and then break them, because we're always changing.

By approaching health through food, I'm not approaching as a nutritionist, or a  my new effort working with food, the kitchen, cooking, eating, gardening as a departure point to health, I started playing with color, texture, form, flavor.  But I’m not a cook.  I’m a highly flawed creative in the kitchen and work mostly with what I know, bypassing recipes- I don’t have the patience.  My intention is to keep it fun, easy, efficient, light, full of love......so we can relax and open doors- and access other levels, peel away experiences, lay them down, crack them open, and lay some to rest.  

Health through movement is not about my life as an athlete.  It's about cracking open fluid, flow, open breathing moments. Range of motion, crawling, jumping, climbing, swimming, running, are how we are supposed to be moving.  Bringing that back into daily life is what I want.  The play- the time when we didn't think about our bodies, had no injuries, floated.  Embarking on an adventure to regain our youth.

I started a food lab with my daughter.  From countless hours of crafting food concoctions, mostly on the fly, infinite trips to the local coop for ingredients to concoct beautiful experiences.  Rarely looking at a recipe book.  We've created extraordinary experiences, tastes and conversations through food.  In my creative lab, I bust open what food needs to be, and look for what experiences we need to have.  Most often, it's not full of stress, long preps, restrictions, limitations, etc.  My trek in food is a story of ample conflict and I'm just done with that conflict based experiences.  I want more joy, lightness. I need to breathe easier.  So, light recipes, shortcuts, efficiency....those are what you'll find in my vocabulary.  tasty, yes.  But with less labor, more dance. :)  More play.

We all have food stories.  Growing up in the kitchen, roasting Oreo cookies with butter, crafting frozen ice cream cookie boats the size of small frisbees.  At 2 a.m.  Nachos and diet Coke daily as a teenager, diets non stop, antagonistic relationships with the mirror and scale.

My intention is this:  let's find a way to the good stories, let's drag those out, even if we have to sludge through the mud.  NOW.  At one point in our lives we were lighter, and more importantly, we moved more when we were little.  While now I'm more obsessed with some pretty complicated food solutions and measurements, I preserve the play.  

That's a lot of restrictions going on in food, and a lot of structure in movement.  Good intentions aside, if there's no play, and room to fall, make mistakes, then how do we FEEL beyond the depths of our mirrors.  

With the trend punishing ourselves, feeling guilt, shame, etc, it takes a while to lay that down and FEEL lighter.  We have to do that before we can rebuild.  We have to unpack, and even for a moment, feel timeless, in order to recreate a new health path? (read: 'dieting', 'exercising')  How is this working to segway incrementally and effectively into different, healthier food experiences and relationships?  This is how we all typically go about 'dieting',  doing 'nutrition', 'exercising' making new body relationship changes.  Let's just not do that.  Let's dance naked.  Dancing naked, however, wherever.  Feel your body move, get comfortable moving around naked, not looking in the mirror.  In fact turn your mirrors backwards.  NO mirrors for a week.  No diets for a week.  There's the cleanse we need.

Restriction is a subtle or not so subtle form of punishment, that usually has to FEEL like punishment to be validate us.  That ends up backfiring, because usually what we really need is to open up to new opportunities, not punish, something deeper in us; to craft a new relationship with ourselves, our bodies, then reignite a new food relationship.

Born: the Food Art Project (no trademark).  And the Naked Skin Dance.  Play with your food, make shapes, work with texture, color, flavor.  Carving out forms on a plate-you can make the most amazing shapes, and slow down.  Extraordinary shapes.   And make shapes with your body like you've never seen or felt.  No yoga poses.  Just move.  Shake, jump, twist,  rotate your head, feel the limbs move separately, then go into a flow.  No one's watching.

Look at what you can do with the food scraps- try to make as many meaks with leftovers and scraps as you can.  Get resourceful.  A Danish chef wrote this brilliant book on using the waste parts of food.  Refslund wrote a book called "Scraps, Wilt and Weed", a book that challenges chefs and us, consumers, to reconsider how and what we throw out.  He asks us to look at the well known food industry waste.  And he's mobilized by a personal creative challenge to reconstruct, revitalize and redeliver what he sees in the trash, behind translucent plastic bags.  Then just get food from a farmers market and cook only food from there.  See what you can come up with.

So, through Refslund's eyes, by reconstructing waste for consumption that's artful, tasty and competitive with brand spanking new products that we WANT to pay a fortune for, we are asked to stand in a mirror and look at our careless, consumptive behavior….This is good.  I hope this gains momentum.

Now, take your body, look up down, spin.  Experiment and let me know how that goes.