Monday, March 11, 2013

Joy Bauer, Joan Rivers and Experimentation

Photo via OmFactoryNYC

When I was in graduate school at NYU, Joy Bauer came to speak. In the Q and A, Joy was asked what she suggested we read for nutrition information. Her response was to “read it all” both the scientific literature and the lowbrow crap. It was good advice but more than anything it has served as justification for my procrastination reading, I can admit I love the lowbrow. And now my reading democracy has extended into television. 

About a week ago I was going to bed and flipped past the reality show Joan Rivers does with her daughter Melissa. I was transfixed. Despite aging and the zillion surgeries, Joan is awesome. If watching her crack jokes wasn’t enough, in my maiden episode Joan befriended a woman in LA (who happened to be gay) and kissed her after dinner. When asked about this by her daughter Joan explained she just did it.

Now I’m not going to analyze this from a sexual angle. I delved into that realm with Jill Blakeway. The message that stayed with me, other than the cautionary tale of plastic surgery gone wrong, was why wait until we’re older to experiment? 

Dining in the Dark- this is popular in Europe, it is what is sounds like but the concept is that you’re experiencing the taste of food more or differently when you cannot see it.
Or maybe daring for you is trying a cuisine or new food. I’d love to try Ethiopian food and recently had my first mangosteen.

Retrying a Food You Think You Don’t Like- we all have foods with bad memories attached. For some it’s Brussels Sprouts, for others of you maybe it’s fish. More often than not these opinions can be traced to  a mother who wasn’t adept at cooking the ingredient. I retried sardines. When clients list foods they dislike, I always ask them the last time they tried them, tastes change. Why not see if that’s the case for you?

Why Not? Workouts- In terms of fitness, I’m a fan of experimentation. In NYC there’s a trapeze school and also trampolining classes and indoor rock climbing. In the yoga world there’s aerial yoga and naked yoga. It doesn’t have to be a triathlon or marathon to get you to branch out.  Some Foodtrainers’ clients are participating in the SEAK’s foundation’s Sports Bra Challenge to raise awareness of body image concerns in women.
SEAK is a nonprofit organization that brings awareness to the increasing epidemic of women who determine their self-worth based on their appearance. We address these issues by promoting fitness as a platform for women to build the confidence they need to feel empowered and comfortable in their own skin - exactly as they are.

On that note, I think there’s something empowering about experimentation. Whether it’s being in public in a sports bra, rock climbing or dining in the dark.
What do you think is the food or fitness equivalent of kissing a girl? Are you a creature of habit or interested in experimentation? What mindless reading or TV will you admit to? Any foods or workouts you’re curious about?


  1. haha, I actually saw them on the Today Show and thought...that's SO random. Why would she kiss her?! OF course, it was for a reality tv show, that's why.

    I agree with you LAuren, I ALWAYS tell my clients to re-try foods. I use my own personal example of the first time I tried tofu. I HATED IT, and the same goes with artichoke. I love them both now (Because I retried them....). Now, I never eat tofu because of my stomach issues, but that's besides the point.
    I think re-trying foods (and in different ways) is the best thing some people can do (especially when they claim to "hate all vegetables).

  2. Totally agree about re-trying foods. If you don't like it, then eat something else next time. I once went out with a guy who asked if I liked kale. When I said yes, he said, "Oh, we're fighting right now." He'd probably just had a bad experience with an ex-girlfriend and burnt kale chips. It took all the self-restraint I had not to roll my eyes.

    I think trying new activities is also awesome—your body totally adapts if you do the same thing all the time. There's also something really freeing about trying something you've been kind of afraid to try. This year, for example, I finally gave Zumba a shot after being too shy. Turns out it's so fun—laughing at myself while I try to follow the instructor is half the workout itself!

  3. Jess you must read our #kalemale newsletter today, are you on the list? Stay tuned for blog thurs. Zumba- I would have to laugh at myself too but even the name is entertaining. Where did you do it?

  4. good point Gina- retry to see if you like, retry if think it didn't agree with you. Oh who knows why Joan does what she does. I watched, that's all I can say.

  5. Andrea@WellnessNotesMarch 11, 2013 at 5:49 AM

    I am good about trying new foods, but I'm not so good about mixing up my workouts. There is an aerial yoga studio close by and I am kind of curious, but I can't bring myself to go (yet)...

    I have never thought about dining in the dark. Sounds interesting.

  6. #kalemale is a thing? I think I need to get on that list! I've done Zumba a few places—one was at a gym in Morningside Heights but the Athleta Store has free classes too!

  7. would totally "aerial" with you if you lived closer, if you go, I want to hear about it. C'mon...

  8. I am good with trying new foods. My husband loves to cook and he always tries new things. Experimentation is empowering but not for everyone. :) My best friend in Israel did the dinning in the dark and she said it was awesome.

  9. I really want to try it despite reading a very funny recap of it in a Chelsea Handler book.

  10. I'd dine in my sports bra in the dark (versus outside in the sports bra! )

  11. Wait, is that cheating Al? I have to say I love spinning partially b/c it's dark. Let's see wear sports bra in the dark, maybe throw in some zumba (nobody can see). Only you.

  12. You would love the documentary that was done on Joan Rivers in 2010. Really interesting.

  13. I love trying new things if they are food or workout related. With food I'm a little hesitant if it's a meat product I'm not familiar with - I would have to know exactly what it is and there are some things I just can't bring myself to eat (tripe? yuck.) But if it's vegetarian in nature, bring it on. In that case the worst that can happen is that I won't like it - I won't be grossed out. The same goes for workouts - it's an hour of my life and if I don't love it, I don't have to do it again. Best case, I have a new favorite workout. I'm trying out Bikram yoga for the first time this weekend, very excited!

    As for mindless TV I'm not sure why but I can't stop watching HGTV. Every show is pretty much the same but I really do want to know which house they pick.

  14. Love trying new things, and the older I get, the more I realize, the little things count jumping off a high(ish) cliff or learning to cook a new cuisine-which for me would be cooking Asian or Middle Eastern food. Shrimp is something I don't care for...not sure I really want to re-try it though, since I eat so many other things :-)

  15. Plastic surgery gone very wrong...definitely.

    Anyway, I am not very adventurous at home but when I'm eating out, especially while traveling, I'll try a lot of new things.

    What did you think of Ethiopian food? I had my first adventure in Washington DC a couple of years ago and it was okay. Nothing to write home about but maybe it was that particular restaurant?

  16. I really, really want to try and like yogurt. It would be so convenient! But it just skeeves me. I can handle yogurt replacing fatty stuff like sour cream in a savory dish but add anything sweet to it and I gag. Should I try it sweet or just let it go? Perhaps this isn't what you were aiming for but it's what jumped to mind for me!