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.
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.
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:
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 .
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.
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.
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.