To me, there’s something much worse than getting your socks wet. It’s unsolicited advice or judgement on your life/lifestyle. It’s on the same pet peeve level as to when you’re in a somewhat stressful situation, and some monkey comes up and say ‘aw, are you stressed?’
…Well yea maybe man! But I’m running and gunning anyway, pleeeaaaase shut up!
(it’s the same group of monkeys who ask people who’ve unfortunately got caught in the storm, if it’s raining outside. I have two questions: why? & whomadeyouthisway?)
Passive aggressive Crish aside, I know a little how it feels to be in stressful situations. The hospitality industry is definitely a stressful one. Long hours, on your feet, short or no breaks, a diet of sugar/scraps/caffeine, anti social hours, dealing with dickheads whilst getting ripped off. It should be a right of passage to have every adolescent go through this industry, just so they know how annoying serving human adults it can be (stressing the *CAN - there are, fortunately, lovely customers sprinkled throughout the cupcake we call society.) I guess I could stash this under ‘first world problems’, but my heart aches for all the health issues that’s in our industry right now, that’s rarely highlighted.
I know a number of people (including myself) who go through phases of losing appetite. It SUCKS. And the worse is when you tell others about it, or they notice. Suddenly it looks like 1) eating disorder 2) you’re being emotional and not taking care of yourself 3) you’re ‘weak’ And the the most frustrating cherry on this issue? … advice on a personal matter like you DON’T know how unhealthy it is (…most of us, KNOW). I know the feeling of wanting to eat, and just something inside you does not want to pick up the fork. When you make the dish, your favourite kind, sit down for a moment, and just look at it, disappointed you can’t do it. I get it! Trust me!
Sometimes it lasts for 3 days, sometimes 3 weeks. I’ll never accuse you of ‘not trying’. I know it’s in your best interest to eat, after all, you’re in an industry that’s all about food! It takes time to heal, and I’m here to say… ‘take allllll the motherfckn time that YOU need’ You might struggle with energy, but allowing your self time, takes one worry away.
Here’s some ‘clues and hints’ thats helps me personally (I’m not doctor nor witch). I think I just wanted to write it out, so you guys know that you’re not the only ones that go through this
protein powder (i know, wtf crish, the amount of shit you give on #healthfoods) listen, weeks of not eating, becomes a ‘liquid diet’ - and this helps me sustain a little more energy. If you can, try to look for the ones with the higher %protein (business monkeys will sometimes change the portion to a smaller amount so that the % is higher - so watch out!) and lower % of sugar
which leads to the magic of a smoothie - 2-3mins to drink down. popular items = frozen bananas/blueberries, YOGHURT (oh! my love for yoghurt and its magic!) peanut butter, maca powder, almonds, walnuts… aannnd the list goes on (on every health blog)
Ashwagandha - not making you into a yogi, but step into the Ayuverdic practices, I swear your stress disolves, get's into a downward dog positions, and chills you out for a bit. (I promise to write up Ayuverdic practises soon!)
If theres food you can eat, you could try manipulating and trying to stuff as much nutrients possible. For some reason I can eat egg or rice when I’m feeling ‘fck food’! Which is great, because I manipulate the fuck out of the egg (mushroom-spinach-chili) and cook my rice with onion and garlic. I’ll only eat a 5 year olds portion. But during this time… it’s better than anything.
^ so these are some things. I know you know the rest. Physical activity! Self Awareness! Drink Water! and all the other shit people like to shove down your throat, like you don’t know (and I know you do!). But there’s one thing… KEEP TRYING! If it’s 3 bites today. 5 bites tomorrow. Nek minute, we be eating like ‘normal’ people!
Our industry is a tough one, just one thing though. Letting someone else know helps too. Just corner them in the coolroom, while their arms are full and go nuts. It helps to feel less alone, and chances are, they’ve probably gone through a similar phase! Sometimes I have to tell myself:
a shit service, was ONE night, it’s not a reflection of your WHOLE career. There’s definitely tomorrow
stress if not let out, can eat you inside. That ten minute ‘bitch’ with the other chef/waiter might actually be healthy.
sometimes it feels a little embarrassing. You’re a ‘grown up’ and can’t eat. Some people can be quite insensitive about it, I feel like the best way is just let their words and advice pass away. Pay noo attention. Listen to yourself, take your time. If it’s taking too long to heal, and maybe you don’t have a Crish in your kitchen to make you pillaf and omelettes… then a visit to a professional might be the way.
You are valid and HUMAN. It’s so easy to ‘depersonalise’ after these long hours and feel all ‘what’s the point’. Go on a date to the restaurant that inspires you, explore your passion (markets are amazing at this), or fully release yourself (hello getaways to the forests!) or even a good cry. Feel sorry for yourself for minute, then turn back to the badass warrior that you are.
I love you, and thank you for loving this industry just like I do. We’re a family, a crazy one. Sometimes we forget how magical our connections are, society sure as fck allows to feel like social outcasts! But hey, I know deep down, we all love that 1am wine chat/debrief/dirty laundry airing out.
Be YOU! Take your time. Your appetite will come back, bite by bite. I have noo doubt. And, I’m 100% rooting for you, chef! :)