Last week, my business coach asked me to do a visioning exercise where I looked 20 years into the future to an awards banquet where I’m being honored for my work. What am I being honored for? Who are the guests sitting at my table? What do they say to me? What do I say to them? What do I say in my speech? To be honest, I really wasn’t expecting this exercise to amount to much, but it really shifted something in me. I was reminded of ideas I had since forgotten, plans made and never followed through on. Here’s the summary of the vision:
Jamie Oliver (“The Naked Chef”) is at my table. He’s the host of show, The Food Revolution, which aimed to overhaul the modern school lunch program. There was a particular segment of a show that has always stuck with me. I actually found the clip:
Here’s the synopses if you’d rather read than watch:
Jamie meets with a single dad and his two boys. None of them knows how to cook, so they end up eating fast food a lot. They determine they eat fast food 8-9 times per week for lunch or dinner. So to show them really how much fast food they are having Jamie takes them to a fast food joint, where a month’s worth of fast food is put into their vehicle (including some fries on the windshield!). They realize how disgusting this is. It gets worse when they get home and realize their house is full of a year’s worth of fast food. The father breaks down. Then Jamie sets up a challenge. He has the boys cook lunch while the father heads out to buy fast food. It takes him 45 minutes to get back with the food, in that time the boys seared some chicken with olive oil and garlic, potatoes, rainbow salad (with things like carrots, radishes, beets), and salad dressing. It cost the dad $31 for his food, and it cost $23 for the food the boys made and they had time to toss around a football before he got back.
The reason I love this episode so much is because it radically shifts the mindset that fast food is the cheapest and fastest option for a meal. I also love that the boys made the entire meal, were SO PROUD of their efforts, and that they sat down around the dinner table together and ate as a family. Jamie alludes to the dad that the way they were eating would certainly lead to heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and cancer, and that making this simple change could make the difference in adding 20+ years to their life. Ok, all that last part I said, but I’m sure Jamie would agree.
Michael Pollan and Michelle Obama are at the table, too. I added Chris Kresser later because he is so awesome. I love his food philosophy. If you’re wondering where Barack is, he was not allowed in. He’s sitting outside by the dumpster with his Monsanto besties eating GMO crap that even schools stopped serving kids after Jamie finished overhauling the entire school system. Michelle has since divorced Barack as she can’t stand his hypocrisy around the whole food policy drama.
The most interesting people at the table are those I haven’t yet met. They’re the people who have taken my vision and carried it much further than I could have. In seeing them, I am reminded that I could never reach the 100 million people I’m committed to reaching in my life alone. In much the same way that I carried Jamie’s vision of inspiring and enabling family’s to eat at home instead of fast food, these people have taken the baton and flown.
Now we’re on stage. The emcee, Ryan Seacrest, pulls up these two awesome high-tech screen like the ones Wolf Blitzer has in The Situation Room. On one is a map of the United States showing how my influence in getting family’s eating healthy paleo meals at home has spread over the last 20 years. On the next map shows how cancer, heart disease, obesity, and cancer has been reduced corollate to family’s cooking at home.
I’m reminded of a community project that I sort of started last year at Landmark. The idea was for a gaming/community/platform that brought people together to cook, learn from more advanced cooks, and teach less experienced ones. I have always known that Recipe Rx as you see it now is just one branch of a much larger tree: my passion rests in inspiring, empowering, and enabling people to cook and eat healthy meals at home. This applies to anyone, but I have a particular interest in shifting the habits and mindsets of the people who are currently eating out or eating from their microwave most nights to eating whole foods prepared from scratch with their own hands. It is my very strong belief that doing so on a wide scale will do more to improve the health of our nation than anything else. And it doesn’t need to be hard, it doesn’t have to consume all of your time or money, and can add 20+ years to your life. Not the kinds of years slugged through with pizza in one hand, coffee in the other, barely able to see your toes over your gut. I’m talking healthy, vibrant years where people have the energy and vitality to make the contribution to the world they were born to make. That’s what I care about and that’s what Ryan Seacrest is giving me the award for 🙂
And that is why I love my new live Google Hangout Cooking Show. It brings people together to cook and learn and share a meal together, even from the other side of the county or world. Have you seen how excited Linda’s been when she’s finished cooking her healthy paleo meal all by herself? You know that before this show, she was eating out every night? Transformation like this makes life worth living, people.
I really, really, really cannot do it alone! I need all of you to join with me to learn to cook healthy at home and then take your skills and teach your friends and family, and have them do the same. Repeat, repeat, repeat, and nasty diseases and illness will be a thing of the past 🙂