“Success doesn’t come from playing to your strengths. It comes from playing your strengths in the right situations.”
This article references a study where co-workers rated their managers in four leadership areas: taking charge, empowering others, creating a vision and executing. They used the Goldilocks question: did the managers do too little, too much, or the right amount of each behavior. More than half were overdoing at least one behavior. Guess which one? Their strength.
Ambitious managers? Overdid decisiveness and underdid empowerment. Sensitive managers? The reverse: they were too encouraging and not assertive enough. Inquisitive managers overemphasized innovation and underemphasized results. And conscientious managers also did the reverse: they were so busy trimming the weeds that they paid too little attention to the big picture.
“Often our greatest weaknesses are the other side of our strengths…if you’re a spellbinding storyteller, you need to ask whether a dinner party is an ideal time to perform!”
More areas to practice self-awareness and self-management. Day by day, we are humbled by all the opportunities to learn, grow and improve.
½ c rice wine vinegar
1 T kosher salt
2 T sugar
7 c cooked sushi rice
2 T mayonnaise
2 t fresh chives, finely chopped
2 T powdered wasabi, mixed with 2 T water
1 t freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 T pickled ginger, fine julienne
3 sheets nori, lightly toasted
⅓ c finely diced vegetables, such as cucumber, carrot, red pepper, radishes OR ⅓ – ½ c favorite recipe tuna poke
1. Combine vinegar, salt & sugar; stir into hot, cooked rice. Let cool.
2. In a separate bowl, combine mayonnaise, chives, 2 t wasabi mixture, lemon juice, s&p, 1 T julienne pickled ginger; let stand 10 min.
3. Place toasted nori sheet, shiny side down, on dry work surface; top with 2½ c rice, cover with plastic wrap, level with rolling pin.
4. Remove plastic, brush with wasabi mixture. repeat with remaining nori, rice & wasabi mixture.
5. Trim edges, transfer to a plate. Cover with plastic wrap, refrigerate 2 hours or overnight.
6. Slice cake 6×7, yielding 42 approx. one inch cakes.
7. Top each cake with finely diced vegetables OR tuna poke & remaining 1 T julienne pickled ginger.
6 medium golden beets
2 cinnamon sticks
1 watermelon radish, thinly sliced half moons
2 T honey
1/4 c orange juice
zest of one orange
1/2 shallot minced
1/4 c chopped fresh dill
1 t kosher salt
3/4 extra virgin olive oil
1. Coat beets with some olive oil & sprinkle with salt.
2. Place in roasting pan with cinnamon sticks & 2 inches water.
3. Cover & roast at 350°F for two hours, until fork tender.
4. Let cool, people beets & slice into wedges.
5. Whisk together dressing ingredients.
6. Toss beets & sliced radishes in the dressing.
7. Chill & serve.
We have been talking a lot about EQ, lately: self-awareness, self-management, be kind and empathize with others (always).
But, what about PQ or BQ? I’m talking about physical or body intelligence. Recently I found myself saying to someone half my age: keep in mind that your body of tomorrow is a direct result of the choices you make today. And, alas, a day later I saw this article in my news feed: exercise helps you live longer no matter when you start.
The good news continues. It is never too late. This is true of EQ and PQ. If you really want to have better relationships (now and tomorrow), take a step forward… maybe that first step is as simple as asking more questions and listening. If you want to feel better or make an investment in that body of tomorrow, take a step forward… whether it’s getting a move on or kicking a habit that no longer serves you. It is never… too late.
Sunshine and spring have finally made it to Virginia. Fresh strawberries, crisp lettuce & of course asparagus, just to name a few of my spring favorites. Spring brings a much greater appreciation for the simplicity of fresh, local food. The farmer’s market is showing signs of spring, inspiring me to break out some of my classic seasonal recipes. This recipe is an old favorite I bring out when the first asparagus comes to harvest in Lynchburg.
Roasted Asparagus with Lemon Zest & Cheese
· 1-pound asparagus
· 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
· 1-2 tablespoons finely grated hard cheese, such as 3-year gouda or parmesan
· 1 tablespoon lemon zest, plus lemon slices for garnish
· Salt & pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Fit a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Cut the last inch from each stalk of asparagus and discard. Spread stalks out on a prepared baking sheet.
3. Drizzle with olive oil, using a pastry brush to coat each stalk, or simply turning the stalks over with a fork until they are well coated.
4. Sprinkle with cheese and lemon zest, and then season with salt & pepper.
5. Bake for 10-13 minutes, until tops of the asparagus, start to turn crisp and stalks are bright green. They should be tender through. Serve hot, with lemon slices for garnish.
Source: Foraged Dish
2 t salt
1 c fresh or frozen baby peas
4 c penne or cavatappi
3 T olive oil, divided
1 can (14 oz) artichoke hearts, quarted, drained
2 t fresh garlic, minced
1 c feta cheese, crumbled
2 T fresh parsley, minced
1 T lemon zest
2-3 T fresh lemon juice
⅓ c grated parmesan cheese
1. Bring 1 gal water to boil with salt. Blanch peas 1 minute, shock in ice water, drain well.
2. In same pot, cook pasta al dente. Drain, reserve 1 c pasta water. Return pasta to pot.
3. In large skillet, heat 1 T olive oil over med heat. Sauté artichoke hearts 3-4 min, add garlic, cook 1 min.
4. Add to pasta, along with peas, feta, parsley, lemon zest & juice, remaining olive oil & pinch of salt. Toss to combine, add pasta water as needed to coat. Heat through, serve parm on side.
Maintaining (or improving) our relationships, work and personal, is directly tied to how emotionally intelligent we are. And how emotionally intelligent we are starts with our self-awareness. But how easy is it to be self-aware? How accurate are you at diagnosing whether your mood and behaviors are picking people up or dragging them down? Before you interact with others (arrive at work or walk in the restaurant to meet your best friend) check in with yourself. How am I feeling: positive and upbeat? Tired and deflated? Full of dread or doubt? Thankful? Resentful?
“Awareness is the greatest agent for change.” —Eckhart Tolle
Recently, I had the privilege of speaking to a group of educators about nutrition. My focus was on “wellness’ and what that actually means. We live in an era of diet culture (often masked as wellness) and one of the biggest challenges is navigating our way through the misinformation. Over the years, my stance on diets has evolved and I would now consider myself an “anti-diet” dietitian. I work with clients to support body positivity & intuitive eating. I encourage clients to shun dieting “rules” and focus on nourishing their body with good food. This philosophy is certainly not meant to oversimplify the challenge of weight loss (39.8 % of Americans are considered obese), but to accept the reality that our current culture of dieting is not working. The following opinion piece Why You Can’t Lose Weight on A Diet is a must-read for anyone who has struggled with their weight and/or eating.
With an adventurous cook for a mother and a father who was a politician with a food critic for a best friend, Dominique Crenn was destined to LOVE food.
Dominique began her culinary journey in San Francisco in the late ’80s under esteemed chef, Jeremiah Tower, of Stars. It was there, at Stars, that Crenn perfected her craft and after gaining experience in several local kitchens, accepted the position of Head Chef for Intercontinental Hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia, making her Indonesia’s first female chef! Forced to flee Indonesia in 1998, due to civil unrest, Crenn made herself at home in both L.A. and Santa Monica, before returning to San Francisco in 2008 at Luce, where she was awarded her first Michelin Star.
In 2011, Dominique opened her own restaurant, Atelier Crenn, with the intention of expressing her art form, emotion, and memories into every dish. The Wall Street Journal noted, “Atelier Crenn serves a cuisine so visually, texturally, and conceptually inventive it has both delighted and baffled critics and drawn international attention.” After being the first woman, in the U.S., awarded 2 Michelin Stars back-to-back in 2013 and 2014, Crenn went on to earn Best Female Chef in 2016 and Best Chef: West by the James Beard Foundation in 2018. So, it is NO surprise that another first was in line. In 2018 Crenn was the first woman in America to be awarded 3 Michelin Stars.
After the big win, Crenn stated, “It’s a platform I now have; I must inspire others and make a difference.” Well, Chef, you inspire and make a difference for women not only in our industry but around the world every day. Thank you for truly loving food, people, and serving others!
Image by: FSR Magazine, https://www.foodnewsfeed.com/slideshows/11-quotes-prove-chef-dominique-crenn-can-save-world
After working under esteemed chefs Takao Izumida & Morihiro Onodera, Nakayama set out on a 3-year work study in Japan, where she discovered her love for the country’s traditional and cutting-edge cuisines. After returning to her home in Los Angeles, she opened Azami Sushi Cafe, an all-female ran establishment, awarded several ‘Best of’ Awards by Zagat, the L.A. Time, and Citysearch.
Eleven years later, after the closing of Azami and the opening of a second venture, Inaka, Nakayama, opened n/naka. The restaurant quickly became one of the hottest spots in L.A., drawing in curious diners with a ‘new-to-America’ culinary art form, kaiseki. This art form focuses on unprocessed ingredients that check all the boxes: fresh, sustainable, seasonal, local, balanced. Nakayama and her wife, Carole Iida-Nakayama, are the only known females to own and run the kitchen of a kaiseki-dedicated restaurant. This alone is extraordinary, but what sets them above the rest is their belief in omotenashi, which is, the value of guest experiences above all else. This principle, no doubt, is what makes n/naka one of the hardest restaurants in the country to get a seat at, being booked out months in advance.
Niki Nakayama, is one of the culinary world’s leading innovators, pushing the boundaries of tradition, and creating realities for women unimagined for generations in Japanese cooking. Her passion, process, and power are inspiring, and for this, we thank you, Niki!
Image via Frank Terry for Darling Issue 20