Feed Your Self

In between solving problems and getting stuck, I paused and feed myself.

Seriously, I made a delicious vegan sandwich using lettuces from Star Route Farms, avocado from. Parco (no shame), Tofu Eggless Salad from Good Earth Natural Foods, Gray Pupon mustard (literally judge me), Red Wine vinegar and Mission Olive Oil from Amphora. Name drop much? Yeah, the Baguette is leftover from Saturday’s haul from Ponsford’s Bakery in San Rafael. Slowing down and paying attention to the food, caring about the source of the energy, the fuel for my day.

One of my goals is encouraging people to eat vegan food, I do this at restaurants by buying their vegan food as a vote with my dollars, thanking the staff or manager for having vegan options and writing positive reviews (honest) on Google. At home, I am trying to put a little more effort in and eat better and create my own vegan propaganda, like the photo above.

Note your energy, fuel for productivity and engagement. It’s better to take a break and eat, reset and focus in, finishing stronger. Intervals, include eating, right?

Thriving Not Surviving

Baking School is about Thriving Not Surviving.

We made a Pan De Mi, Rye, Whole Grain and Wheat Levain. What??? Day 4 was amazing! We prepped a “braided egg bread,” or Challah, then baked 4 breads and prepped ingredients for tomorrow. The process and experience is designed for us to learn.

The San Francisco Baking Institute is fantastic, I’ve got one more day of Artisan 1 Breads and I need a few weeks of baking to process through the start of what I’ve learned so far this week, and I’m excited for the last day!

Back To School

I’m in school this week at the San Francisco Baking Institute, taking Artisan 1 Breads. I hesitate to say school, because I am having a lot of fun. A Lot.

Day 1 was mind blowing. I learned so much it was completely overwhelming, a 10,000 ft. view of baking bread and a start on shaping baguettes. I am starting to understand the process of taking 4 ingredients, flour, water, salt, yeast; and, creating an edible structure, Bread.

Day 2 we made 3x the amount of baguettes and compared how mixing and length of fermentation changed the feel and taste of the bread, the entire experience of eating a piece was different, even with the same ingredients and cook time and temperature. Baking is an art and science, it is incredible!

I am a big fan of the week long intensive, this program is fantastic so far, a great mix of hands on production work, lectures with relevant information we apply in the kitchen, an excellent teacher and a great group of people. Structured learning, detailed information presented multiple times in different formats, hands-on practice. This is the recipe for baking, and learning success. And, experimentation. Note: the white board is our bake log for the day, the details vary intentionally and due to environment. Stay Present, Breathe.

As a side note, a lot of baking can be improved in the rest, mistakes or conditions can be adjusted for, while the dough rests and nature and chemistry happen. This is true for us humans as well, we can adjust our sleep and rest to optimize our performance or experience. Focus Awareness, Breathe.

Together We Rise.

Keep Experimenting with Less

I’ve been making these candy bars, I mean energy bars, for a few months. The ingredients are Oats, Honey, Peanut Butter, Chocolate, Salt.

Right?

4 Ingredients, all organic.

Delicious.

I was telling my Sister, Molly, that I was making these yesterday and her response was immediate, “disgusting, glad I’m not there, way to ruin chocolate.” I know.

For decades, I believed nuts and chocolate should not be mixed, with exceptions for peanut butter cups, because. Then, energy bars.

That chocolate top would be hard as a rock, except that I mix peanut butter, less than half but enough, into the melted 70% TCHO Chips. When the chocolate hardens on top, it is softer and manageable for cutting and biting, with a rich and full bodied mouth feel and flavor. I’ve tried coconut and that works also, with a different feel that you have to commit to. The peanut butter in the chocolate compliments the peanut butter and honey mixed in the oats, which keeps the whole mixture stuck together.

Which is the point.

Mix Stars together, like Peanut Butter and Chocolate and Honey and Oats, make something unique and better. Like Energy Bars.

I’m using exact portions. 1 cup of honey with 1 cup of peanut butter, mix then add 2 cups of oats.

Press firmly. A secret is to use parchment paper and a pint glass to push down.

I put chocolate chips on top. Dark, 70% Ghirardelli, and mush them in.

Pour the chocolate and peanut butter mix on top, spread evenly, sprinkle salt because you can across the top, refrigerate!

These take 30 minutes to whip up and you have amazing treats in your fridge all week.

The best thing you can do is alter this recipe to your taste. That’s called putting it in the mix?

Celebrate our unique differences, and create something together that is better.

Get Up Earlier

What motivated me to start waking up earlier? Not my friend Scott Groth, who leads by example in France, up and working out at 5am, or working on his site for Keto And Weight Loss, or zooming with me. Mostly, I just thought Scott was crazy for getting up so early. A few months ago, I was reading an article about Blake Corum, Michigan Running Back, who started waking up at 4:30am in high school to do his morning workouts at 5am, before school. Nobody is going to out work Blake Corum. What’s Blake’s secret, besides being a great human? Discipline. Same as Scott’s secret.

Discipline.

Seriously, if discipline is the secret, we can do this people! All of us. We all grew up hearing, the early bird gets the worm, I’m going to evolve that right now to: The Early Bird Gets The Work.

It’s our choice what the work is. I’ve been getting up early for a few months and riding the Peloton or playing Guitar. Shortly after, my iPhone asks me how my day is going, which I’ve been noting and the trend is obvious. I feel good when it’s 8am and I’ve had time to do things that feed my soul.

It’s still an experiment for me, and the early data says waking up earlier improves the quality of my life, my physical and mental health, and my technical skills. Get Up Early.

To be clear, I’m getting up early to get “me time,” enjoy the quiet moments of the day and do things that make me feel alive and are too easily skipped later in the day. I used to stay up late, most of my life I’d go to sleep between midnight and 4am., now I prefer to be asleep by 10:30pm, so I am able to get up in the morning early. A few years ago, I started getting up early to do 6am yoga and it was always great to enter yoga in the dark of the morning and leave as the sun rises. This is the same and somehow different.

If you experiment with one thing this year, try getting up early and experiencing more sunrises. Note the results and update me.

Slow Start to the New Year

I decided to start slower than usual this year, no 30 day challenge or Dry January or Veganuary.

Slow Down.

This is still the hardest thing for me to do. Maybe it’s the A.D.D, maybe it’s Capitalism, maybe it’s human nature. Why is it so important?

I’ll ruin the ending, when I slow down, I go faster.

It’s like the zen saying, “You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day. Unless you’re too busy, then you should sit for an hour.” If the word meditation is a struggle for you, substitute swim laps or hike or bike. It’s surreal to think you can accomplish more by doing less, and shouldn’t we all be willing to experiment and document our results?

Check out the guys in the picture below.

Sitting at the bar having a drink.

My early prediction for 2024 is this may be the most important social activity of the year. Getting together with someone for a drink. Literally. This can shift depression, increase economic opportunity, and create new possibilities. It can be for a kombucha or a beer or water, these guys could have simply been breathing and it would have been enough. End loneliness.

I’m not saying you or I are lonely, I am saying we have to increase our connection with each other in the real World.

We all need to listen better and more to each other, really hear what is being communicated. Then, Do The Right Thing. Whether that is listen more or talk or share silence and space. Experiment and see what happens.

I’m breathing through the start of the year, asking questions and being ok with the silence.