Day two: Tai Chi in the kitchen.

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Day two of my purge/detox I began looking into exercise that could help me with core strength, flexibility, and let’s face it make me look a little better when I’m not wearing a chef’s coat.  So I looked into Yoga which seems to be quite popular, however for those of us in the fast paced culinary world, sitting still for 45 seconds would probably drive us insane. I liked how Tai Chi was fluid, always moving, slow and deliberate but no walk in the park!

I know what you’re thinking, great, Johnny’s lost his marbles and gone full hippie gypsy.  Laugh if you want but as I learned the basic movements and postures of Tai Chi yesterday then working a shift on the line, I noticed many, almost all the movements directly correlated to movements in the kitchen.  Think of Tai Chi as “wax on wax off” for the chef.  The movement “parting the horses mane” is almost identical to standing facing a station but twist and hand a saute pan off to another station. Even my favorite kitchen Tai Chi move, the ” twist a complete 90 degrees from your feet “coming around you” move.  Even deflect helps core strength with blasting open those pesky sticky walk in doors.  The balance of Tai Chi really helps when your on a slippery floor in Danskos hauling ass around corners.

I was originally just looking for a light calisthenic for stretching and I ended up finding a very relaxing martial art that I kid you not almost every move will help you in the kitchen.  It’s fluid movement, it’s like they made a martial art form from “the dance” we do on a line every night.

So, Day two was an enlightening one. It’s amazing on how much I realized I was relying on alcohol or comfort foods to help me decompress until I cut them out.  The cravings aren’t so much as an alcoholics cravings but as a habitual craving.  Get off, drink beer, wake up, drink a red bull, survive at work, repeat, I have found though that just after 24 hours without a drop of toxic energy drink or 6 beers, I’m feeling like I actually have MORE energy. I actually got up early enough to enjoy a brisk walk in the sunrise. I didn’t have a headache, I feel at peace.  I’m digging this new mental mise en place.

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