lessons from the art of snacking

(Discussion topic from my discord server.  Feel free to hop on over if’n you’d like to discuss!)
As some of you may already know, I have something of a penchant for elaborate snacks. I have always been a snacker; I have always tended towards eating smaller amounts more frequently throughout a given day, and have tended to dislike the ‘three square a day’ model of eating. But this year, I’ve elevated what was a predilection to something closer to an art form, in a way – and I’ve learned that not only is there art to cooking, but there is an art to eating as well.
One that I believe offers insight on one of the methods I utilize in my daily life to increase and maintain my energy levels.
When I indulge in one of my elaborate snacking affairs, I’ll procure a range of items, with a range of different flavors and textures. Of late, this will be things like crunchy toast bits and an array of dipping sauces (including even things like soup that are typically thought of as a food rather than a dip); ranges of meats (prosciutto, smoked oysters, salami logs, smoked salmon or fake crab flakes); cheeses.
Dumpster diving was pretty instrumental in developing my creativity in such matters of Snack- I frequently set myself creativity challenges to see what kinds of new (and yummy) combinations of foods I could come up with, without cooking and with resources limited to whatever I happened to come across in a given day.

 

And when eating these kinds of snacks, it’s very much a process of matching flavors and even textures in surprising and pleasing ways. A dip of this, a bite of that. Cleanse the palette with that fruity goat cheese over there, start again with a different combination. I would say this simple thing we all do every day (or should be doing every day – there were many days when I was not taking care of myself during which I ate nothing) can actually be an incredible opportunity to increase both our creativity and our self-awareness.
For me, I need to be aware of both what sounds good for the next bite, and also creative enough to break out of my own culinary habits to think of things I wouldn’t normally.
And I’ve realized I do something very similar in life in general these days, on a broader scale. A bite of work, a nibble of rest, a dip of social time. A day might even be thought of like an elaborate snacking platter for each of us, to go all-out with this….analogy? Metaphor? Pretty sure it’s analogy.
We always, even in isolation, have an array of options before us to choose from – deliberately and even artfully, if we are conscious about the process.
And for me, when I am not paying attention to the sort of mouthfeel of life – the brain and body feel of each moment – I lose energy rapidly. Things become rote, lose the vibrancy of their taste. I start living in that kind of way that is more like waiting than truly living.
I have an advantage here in that my job is one which I have ultimate control over my schedule, but we all have time off, and many of us are working from home right now.
Watching TV is great! But using the questions in

#energetic-experimentation – I ask myself things like:

“Am I going to gain the most energy from watching by myself, or long distance with friends?”
The moment I catch my brain drifting to other topics, I try to revisit those kinds of questions:
“Do I need to do something else right now? Did I not choose a show I’m very engaged in? Do I need to be more active about calming my mind from the troubles of the day?”
If I still can’t focus fully, chances are watching TV is not the right thing for me in that moment.
If I’m scrolling aimlessly through my Twitter feed, chances are that there is something else I could be doing that would give me more fulfilment or enjoyment, and I just haven’t been creative or present enough to think of it.
This is one of the methods with which I have begun to feel like a conductor of my own life and self. High energy is a powerful tool, a powerful force. But it’s one that requires complex and systematic maintenance to achieve and then keep from either fizzling out or turning inwards, into things like nervous energy/anxiety.
Perhaps the snacking analogy doesn’t tickle you as much as it does me. What are some other ideas for ways to communicate this process to others? Not the art of snacking, but instead….
Ooh! Here’s a couple, maybe. For any other RPG fans out there- you don’t really want all boss battles, all the time. At least I don’t! Even the games where you can fuck NPCs- it’s fun, but gets boring after a while. There needs to be a balance between learning new skills, gathering items, undertaking quests, solving puzzles, fighting monsters.
And the order in which those things happen definitely has an effect on the overall enjoyment I get from a game.
Stuff like DJ sets could apply as well- a really skilled DJ plays the room as much as the music itself. They know when to drop, when to build. How much bass, how much treble, when to go slow and when to speed up- all to take the crowd on a rollercoaster of emotional/energy states.
Perhaps anything done very skillfully might be described in similar terms? What do you guys think?

brooke

I spent three years living on the street in Los Angeles. I came out of that, changed. This is my story.

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