I like routine. Sleeping in is nice – I’ve been doing it a lot in the past week – but when I wake up with the sun blaring in through my window I never fail to feel as if I’m becoming careless and indulgent. If I didn’t have the gym to go to everyday I think I’d be a little lost and confused by the lack of obligation and structure. I’ve heard that it takes 21 days to form a habit, well, waking up at 10:00 has gotten pretty comfortable in just over seven. But I’ll need to change. I saw my work schedule today; some days I’ll have to be at the kitchen by 5:00 a.m.! I’ve never wanted to work a 9-to-5, but here I’ve gotten myself into a 5-to-5 gig instead. I look forward to it though. Routines will fall into place, meal and gym times set, and bus routes memorized. There is hard work ahead for the mind and body, so once I develop these habits I’ll be able to become fully engaged in working, thinking and writing. Then things here will get interesting. Just one more day until full-time kitchen slavery.
As I write and think about the summer to come, I realize I don’t have just one goal. In order to have some organizing principle for this blog, however, I’d like to move forward with a few objectives, even if only vague ones at this point. So here is an outline of several categories that I hope to flesh out (a pun, you’ll see) over the next couple months.
Cooking: interesting recipes, techniques, flavors, etc. I will have access to a great variety of high-quality meats this summer, and will be working with chefs who know how to cook them well (more likely medium-rare). I plan to watch these guys closely and learn all their tricks. I’ll have a full kitchen both at home and at work, so I’ll very infrequently not be cooking. I’ll also write on other kitchen virtues like cleanliness, organization, and efficiency.
Food Ethics and Industry: The livestock industry is so often designated as the scapegoat of the food world when it comes to both ethical and environmental concerns. Yes, it’s true that this industry has a large carbon footprint and is fraught with questionable and often disgusting and disturbing practices, but these are not problems inherent to the trades of husbandry, slaughter, or butchery. I believe, or want to believe, that there many misconceptions about these trades. I hope to learn that this industry can be a sustainable one, and that it is perhaps not the origin of as many problems as it is made out to be. How much meat can we responsibly eat?
Weightlifting and Nutrition: I imagine that I’ll be eating a lot more than usual in the next few months. So how can I mitigate fat-gain and perhaps even make my gluttony productive? I’ll use a combination of 1) intermittent fasting (IF) to limit calorie consumption and increase insulin sensitivity, and 2) higher-volume training for hypertrophy in order to consistently deplete muscle glycogen and to give my body something to do with all the food I’ll be eating. Essentially, I’ll be bulking this summer, and my project is to find the best way to do that while staying lean, i.e. retaining vascularity on my biceps and abdominals. Note: I bought whey powder for the first time; this might be a good way to reduce my dependence on meat for protein.
Well, those are the Big Three. I’m not sure yet how I’ll ultimately approach writing about each of them, but I do plan to include them all on this site. Leave me a comment if you’ve got any questions for me or the butchers.