In Theory…

My Three Theories

I call it Rachel Theory, and I began developing it in the 8th grade.  Simply put, Rachel Theory suggests that there’s no such thing as an ugly Rachel.  I’m 50 years old and to this day I have yet to lay eyes on a Rachel who isn’t beautiful, or at least pretty.  I have not completed my work on this area yet, and likely will not have a conclusion until I draw my final breath.  So far though, my work on Rachel Theory seems solid.

Kitten Theory.  Kitten Theory is more complicated.  I suggest that if I engage in conversation with a woman I have not previously met, and within the initial moments of the conversation I flippantly refer to her as, Kitten, I will win her favor immediately.  I know this is counterintuitive, but it works.   The woman in question realizes that pronouncement is over the top and tries to be offended by it, but she just can’t be.  She’s arrested by the immediacy of it.  Add to that, who doesn’t love to look at, hold kittens, and appreciate the cuteness of a kitten…?   In an instant she will be associating herself with soft fuzzy cuteness.  From there, I will simply be my charming self and all will be good.  Again, my work here is not complete, but thus far Kitten Theory has yielded good results.

My favorite self-derived theory though, is Chili Theory.  Like Rachel Theory, Chili Theory is simple; there’s no such thing as bad chili, only different levels of good.  Of the healthy items I produce on a regular basis, my chili most resembles jazz or the blues.  Every single performance is different, and improvisation is the key.  So far, Chili Theory is holding up well.  The next bad batch of chili I make will be my first.

Constantly Testing The Theory

I make a pot of chili every other Tuesday.  Always slow cooked in a Crock Pot, always more meat than beans, and after my first taste it always makes me shout the word, Grrrdiggity.  Not a real word.  The music of my chili is classified in the genre of healthy eating – sometimes jazz based, sometimes blues based, but always organic in arrangement and unique.  I’m the producer, and I select the session players, but for the most part, I just assemble them and allow them to just do their thing.  One Crock Pot of chili kept in the refrigerator will supply a daily dose of taste bud music for about two weeks.

I made a simple pot of chili this week because I had little to work with in the ways of players and production time.  Still, this week’s chili has become an instant hit for me.  I’ve don’t offer recipes on this platform because that’s not what this fitness blog is about.  However, this week I’m going to share the chili that is currently climbing the charts and will likely end up in my chili hall of fame.  Like the music of Seasick Steve, it comes from simple stuff.

The Players

  • Two bounds of grass fed, steroid and antibiotic free ground beef
  • Twelve roasted chipotle chilies
  • Two cans of diced green chilies (normally I use fresh but limited time this week)
  • One can of black beans rinsed in a colander
  • One can of cannellini beans rinsed in a colander
  • Ten vine ripened tomatoes sliced in fourths
  • One white onion finely diced
  • Unidentified secret spices; you can choose your own (hint: one of them rhymes with rinnamon)

The Arrangement And The Playbacks

Put all the players in the Crock Pot, turn the volume to high, walk away and enjoy the scent of the concert.  Smell the music for about 8 hours or so and occasionally offer some production by stirring the players up – they love that.  This music will give to the nose first, but on completion, 4 large tablespoons at a time, this music will give to the taste buds every day for up to two weeks.

How is it, you ask, that just four tablespoons of chili are able to sustain one as a meal…?  Out there as this may sound, I serve it to myself over piles of steamed vegetables.  Usually over steamed broccoli, sometimes steamed Brussels sprouts, or steamed zucchini – occasionally a blend of all of the aforementioned.  Chili over vegetables you ask…?  Yes!

Okay, here’s the punch line; I eat this for breakfast.  Yes I, Roy Jhciacb Cohen, have eaten chili over steamed vegetables for breakfast nearly every day for two months.  What a great way to start the day; a right mix of protein, carbohydrate, and vegetables.  A breakfast without veggies is like a song without a bass – pointless.  My morning chili over veggies sustains me for hours.

Sometimes it’s a beef based chili.  Other times it’s turkey, chicken, or even bison which provide the back beat.  For time’s sake, the meat I use is usualy ground.  When time permits, I prefer it shredded or in chunks.  The session players change from week to week, and no two sessions are ever the same.  Next week, it’s going to be ground lamb and garbanzo beans, some Bearss limes fresh off the tree, and whoever else shoes up for the jam.   But it’s not jam, it’s chili – breakfast chili.  Be well.  rc

Please check back in two weeks to see what comes out when I push the “stop” button on the blender inside my head.  Oh, and there is this from Seasick Steve.  From such simple ingrediants…  Enjoy!

The Art Of Self…

The Learning Of Art

I struck up a conversation with an acquaintance while in town shopping for produce the other day.  In ten minutes the conversation went from spinach to politics, to religion, finally segueing into art.  I had not known he was an artist.  I asked what media he worked in; oils, pastels, water colors, pencil, etc.  That answer and subsequent conversation isn’t relevant, but the terms media and art got me thinking.

Art knows many mediums from bronze, to paints, musical notes , the written word, and even Photo Shop in this era.  We begin learning about art at a young age, often times from the crude media of popsicle sticks, crayons, working our way into watercolors, and maybe even clay by the 3rd grade.  By the time our children leave school we hope they are proficient in some form of art, and have an appreciation for its value in society.

Most quit practicing the arts they learn in school as soon as they graduate.  It seems true that during the school years, art isn’t as often cultivated or nourished at home by mom or dad the way math, science, and reading are.  Though some do continue practicing art well into adulthood, I’ll suggest for the majority, learning art is just a small part of basic education.

The Media We Are Born With

We all carry an artistic medium within us.  Not the creativity behind the art, but the media itself.  Only a small percentage though, will ever become proficient in working with this potential media.  I like to think of muscle as an artistic medium.  Muscle is quite malleable.  When worked regularly and supported with proper nutrition, muscle can boast a beautiful result.   What is unique about the medium of muscle, is that well-formed muscles never end up just hanging on a wall or sitting on a shelf.  A beautiful work in muscle goes everywhere its artist goes.

A work in the media of muscle doesn’t just get seen, it also gets seen in movement; walking tall, carrying things thought too heavy to carry, tensing more as the load increases – changing in shape as the load shifts.  Whether it’s a weight being moved in the gym, or that big water bottle being moved at the grocery store, when muscle is winning its game over gravity eyes stay fixed.  Muscle also looks good, bare or draped.  Throw a cloth over a painting and who knows what’s underneath.  Drape some muscle, put it in action and an observer can’t help but note the art.

The Majority Report

There is a lesser media to work with in the human form, and these works are far too common.  Many more people work in the medium of what I will just refer to as loosely packed muscle; body fat.  That kind of art goes everywhere with the artist as well, and when it is draped it’s as distinguishable as muscle – more so when in motion, though it doesn’t look quite as good.  A work in loosely packed muscle isn’t really a work; it’s more a result.  The result of throwing some food at the canvas of life’s problems and accepting whatever happens.  I point no finger here.  I have worked in the art of loosely packed muscle myself – multiple times.  Loosely packed muscle is the chaos of the body art world and there is nothing avant garde about it – it’s the glue and macaroni art of the human form.

Back To School

We actually do learn another art in school; the art of crafting the body.  Though PE programs have faltered in recent years due to budget cuts, as have art and music programs, PE is still a part of most public education systems.  Children are taught to exercise in school and given a chance to practice what they learn on a regular basis. Like coloring and sculpting, the art of exercise isn’t often cultivated or nourished at home the way math, science, and reading are.

A trend we have all observed is the tendency to give up the art of exercise not long after we give up art in charcoal and clay – when it’s no longer required at school.  Graduation sets in, money is pursued and the art of influencing the human aesthetic is abandoned by the masses.  Though some do continue practicing the art of exercise well into adulthood, for the majority, learning the art of exercise is just a small part of basic education.

I’ll Take A Medium Please…

Wherever one falls on the fitness spectrum, I encourage everyone to think of the body more as an artistic media; a canvas to be worked on and presented to the world.  It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece, just a work in progress.  Dedicating a little time to it each day can yield a better functioning and more attractive product.  Exercising the body – practicing the art of muscle modification is much more rewarding than gluing popsicle sticks or coloring between the lines established by others.  Working in the media of muscle is personal.  With consistency, the artist’s abilities will advance, the media will improve in form, and like many works of art, will increase in value over time.  Be well.  rc

Please check back in 2 weeks to see what happens when I push the stop button on the blender in my head.  Oh, and there is this from Bob Walkenhiorst.  Baseball season is upon us.  Let us not forget the past.  Enjoy…