ecently I returned to the very beginning of my master menu planning spreadsheet I started when the Nutrition Kitchen began. As it turns out, my first menu of meal prep for breakfast, lunch and dinner for healthy eating was April of 2012: exactly 10 years ago. So it's been decade of helping people exchange their SAD (standard American diet) for food designed to recalibrate their metabolism for fat burning and maximum immune function. I have witnessed what that kind of a switch can do and how, as Hippocrates said, food really is medicine. So I watched the Nutrition Kitchen grow from one of the things I did as a chef to the only thing. Because making food more convenient for people who don’t want to cook or don’t have time as I was doing as personal chef is useful, but helping people become healthier, even to the point of being free of their diabetes and hypertension, is truly something to get out of bed for. This is what the Japanese call Ikigai, your reason or purpose for engaging with the day ahead of you. All along I had in my head the notion that the Nutrition Kitchen as I designed it could have a broader impact if I had the marketing and business sense to expand it, but alas it remained me and a few clients a week until my recent retirement from chef work. I purposed at that point to shift my Ikigai to exploring broader issues of healthy aging beyond just proper nutrition. Types and forms of movement such as Tai Chi, and ways to support cognitive health and the inner life such as Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction are things that I know can help oldsters like me to avoid the dysfunction, chronic disease and cognitive decline that causes so much optional misery for people in America, especially later in life.
Then along comes Richard Tam and Chef Century, wanting to put the Nutrition Kitchen back out there for public consumption. So with some assurances that my 10 hour days in the kitchen would still be behind me, I somewhat reluctantly agreed to reinstate my self awareness as a chef for menu planning and recipe creation for metabolically supportive nutrition. And as I am able, I will continue to pursue these other issues of wellness and perhaps find a way to help some other people do what, at almost 64 years old, I intend: to have decades yet available to me to discover all the reasons to get out of bed in the morning and make what contribution I can. To discover and pursue my Ikigai.