Watching the Vine

March 24, 2016 at 12:05 pm (niles, thoughts) (, , )

Running a  small business is  difficult.   I  watched Annie , Margo  and  the  rest of  the crew create  a successful  restaurant and  I  learned a  few  things.

Connect.  I  don’t  mean ‘make connections’ in  the business  glad-hand way,  but  truly  connect.  Talk to  the people  in  the neighborhood.  Tell them  what  you  are  thinking ,  what  you  want  to  do , what issues  you are facing and how you  want to  deal  with  them.

At  one point,  the Vine took reservations.  But this was  actually blocking  business.        The  restaurant could be almost  empty,  but  they  couldn’t seat anyone – because reservations were headed  in.  Annie  talked to  a  lot of people before she stopped  taking reservations and  the transition went  smoothly

Let  people  help.   in the case  of  the Vine – painting , tables , etc wouldn’t be  there without  help.  And it  is  another way  to  connect , of course.   A  little  community  ownership never  hurts.

Be  open, frank.   I  know   a bunch  about the financing of restaurants now.   I  know  why  Salmon is a  big  feature on  the menu.  I can  tell you  all about  the restaurant advantages to  kegged  wine.  Annie’s  openness about  the business  side of  things,  made  it  really  easy to be frank  in  return.

Love it.  No  matter  what  you do – some days are  just  drudgery.  Yes,  Annie loves  food.   but she  also  loves the restaurant.   There has always been  pride and pleasure  in  her voice when  she  talks about  The Vine.

Thank You

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What not to eat.

October 21, 2014 at 1:53 pm (food) (, )

I’ve  seen  a few  lists on  the internet and I  have Opinions.  Here are my  thoughts.  Sadly, I  am  not  in charge  of  the world, or a nutritionist,  or a  scientist; so  my  opinion  only  counts if  you  want  it to count.   I  don’t  really  care  what  you  eat.   Yes,  you  can  complain about  you  weight and  eat  ice cream.   Just  don’t  do  it  at  the same time,  enjoy  you ice cream.

1)  Fast  food.

I’ve  eaten  fast food  2x in  the last 3- 6  years.  most of it isn’t  that  tasty.   And it is gigantic  amounts  of calories  that  are  not  really  balanced in  the  nutritional  sense.  and I  swear  there is something in  the food  that makes  you  crave  it It  is odd   that  the more  you  eat  it  the more  you  want it.

2)  Over-processed  food.

the  definition of  processed – is  sort of interesting – because  chopping  up  a veggie is processing  it.  So  lets  just  say  stuff  that is very  shelf stable  because  it  has lots  of  extra  stuff in  it.   Or  added colors.   or  neon  colors. I’ve  read a bunch of  articles  that  suggest preservatives and some of  the other food additives  cause inflammation. Asthma,  diabetes, and heart disease  all have inflammation . Yes  I  eat  Doritos  and Pringles – but   don’t think  I  should.

3)  added  sugar.

I’m  not  talking  cakes  and pies  and cookies – you  know what  they  are.   but peanut butter  and beans?   they  don’t  need  it.  Cutting  out  added  sugars – will , over  time ,  reduce  your sweet  tooth.

4)  artificial  sweeteners.

They  taste  bad.   And the research  on them  puts  all kinds of  things  like – messing with your glucose  levels,  inflammation, and cancer.   And even  if  they  didn’t  do  anything – they can increase  your  desire for  sugar.

5)  things  you  don’t  like.

Seriously, If  you  are not a veggie  eater, find a  few to eat  and add some fruit. Throw  some chopped  spinach in your spaghetti sauce.   Be  a grown  up  and figure  out  how to  get some nutrition in  your  diet

but if you  hate  Kale-  don’t  eat  it.   Those  really  sad  danishes from  the grocery  store – that aren’t  really  good , don’t  eat  them.   don’t  like  beef  , don’t  eat  it.   Eating food  you  don’t  like can  lead to  overeating because  you  aren’t  satisfied and  sometimes if  you  don’t  really  like something your body  is  saying something .

What  should  you  eat?   Good,  tasty  food.  Prepared with  care , not  corporation.  Organic   when  you  can.  As  close to  a  natural  state as  makes  sense.  and always  with  enjoyment.

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food – one more time

March 13, 2012 at 1:30 pm (asthma, chronic conditions, diabetes, food) (, )

A  heart  surgeon  talks about  what  we  should eat to prevent heart disease. Now he isn’t the first to say it, but it is the way nutritionist have been talking for years. When I first started reading about nutrition ( I was 12) they were saying similar things – Stay away from processed  food, eat more veggies and fruits.

here is a quote from the article:

What you can do is choose whole foods your grandmother served and not those your mom turned to as grocery store aisles filled with manufactured foods. By eliminating inflammatory foods and adding essential nutrients from fresh unprocessed food, you will reverse years of damage in your arteries and throughout your body from consuming the typical American diet.

a couple of other notes: Asthma is a disease of inflammation. and it looks like there is a connection between type 2 diabetes and inflamation. ( there are articles). .

here is an amazing story Dr Terry Whahls and her recovery from MS – based on changing her diet:

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So coming across  two  pieces  of  media about food feels  like a  reminder. I do  not  expect to  cure  , but I know I feel  better with more veggies , less  grains , and almost  no processed food.   and I  know I  don’t  get enough magnesium .   Time to up  the veggies  and nuts — and get rid of  the plastic covered food from the factory .

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January 13, 2008 at 8:52 pm (chronic conditions) (, )

Pho – if you don’t know it , you  should.  It is Vietnamese  noodle soup. It is also  miracle  food. My asthma  has been less than fun for the past few days, and today my rib caged just ached.  We went to visit my sister.  We had Pho for lunch.  After feeling slightly  worse , suddenly I felt much better.  More in balance.  This isn’t the first time I’ve felt  better after eating Pho.  I know  people  make the same claims about chicken soup, but  that never did  it for me.  Pho, however, seems to work.

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onion soup

December 22, 2007 at 6:37 pm (domestic life) ()

Onion soup is what we had for dinner last night. There are leftovers for Sunday night. I remember when I first had it. It was fancy food. Special. Stuff you only got at really good restaurants. That’s rather funny when you think about it. Onion soup is just a way to use up stale bread, scraps of cheese and a tasty way to stretch left over broth. really, peasant food.

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holiday diabetes rant

December 16, 2007 at 2:57 pm (diabetes) (, )

Once again,  I made the mistake of reading a newspaper  article about diabetes and the holidays.  I have  diabetes -under generally good  control – and being me , I am always  looking for  more information.  Unfortunately, this article was typical of so many articles. The person they interview was  Mr. Anal McScardyPants.  He talked about calculating every meal and  having to miss so  many food and how thanksgiving and other holidays were so hard…

Be real.  Diabetes isn’t fun, and yes it can kill you. But overeating at one  meal, is not going to cause you to keel over and die.  I  am not staying  stuff yourself.  But if you eat well normally, one day with potatoes and pumpkin pie and stuffing – isn’t going to kill you.

I hate articles  like this because it makes diabetes sound harder than it is.  It is  hard, but it doesn’t have to be burdensome. If you have learn the basic of nutrition and know how  your body reacts to food, holidays don’t have to be harder.   Here is a list of things I have learned.

  • Know Yourself.  If you are an all or nothing person, you need to know that.  But , you might be more like me.  I do better at limiting  how often or how much I eat things like chocolate cake, than I do at saying ‘I can’t eat chocolate cake’.
  • Be Prepared.  Know that you are getting into a situation where you might not be able to control  you food.  Also , be aware that indulging in a big meal one day  might mean that you have to more careful than usual the next day.
  • Exercise.  It helps control  you blood sugar.
  • Don’t go hungry.  When you get too hungry, you eat too much when you finally do  get to eat.

Most of the articles I find in the popular press about diabetes make it sound incredibly scary and horribly difficult.  It is serious, but I think  you can convey that without being scary.

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