Work Clean book review

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Mise-en-place is a French culinary term that represents a unique system of working. The term means “putting in place”. Its a very simple system that applies in the kitchen and also in any setting that requires you to focus your actions and accomplish tasks.  His sage advice stems from interviews with chefs and culinary executives but can be applied in almost any setting. I especially like his section on “cleaning as you go” and “developing a repertoire of cleaning tactics…

In Work Clean Dan Charnas spells out the 10 major principles of mise-en-place for chefs and non chefs alike:

  1.  cleaning as you go
  2. arranging spaces and perfecting movements
  3.  planning is prime
  4.  making first moves
  5.  finishing actions
  6.  slowing down to speed up
  7.  call and callback
  8. open ears and eyes
  9.  inspect and correct
  10.  total utilization

If you’re having difficulty organizing you work or your kitchen, this book provides useful insight into putting things “in place” and simplifying work that may at first seem daunting.

First Bite

first-bite-coverFirst Bite: How We Learn to Eat” by Bee Wilson sheds light on how we, as humans, develop our omnivore palate. Wilson investigates the conditioning mechanisms that shape our food preferences with evidenced-based research, stemming from biology, chemistry, history, and sociology, while also providing anecdotal experience. This book explores the development of our food preferences and how simple likes and dislikes can have devastating health effects. Perhaps the most interesting take home message from this read is that the very foundation of our food penchant can be rebuilt to achieve a healthier relationship with food.

I strongly recommend this book to everyone, especially parents, as this book offers valuable introductory feeding suggestions for children and the importance of positive involvement surrounding meals. Eating is a repetitive and habitual phenomenon and discovering the roots of our unique predisposition to food can benefit our overall understanding of our food customs, as well as encourage diversity on our plates at home.


Cassandra Bursma

Mt. Auburn Hospital, Dietetic Intern ‘16

Live Nutrition Inc, Summer Intern 2016

Savor the Flavor

 Savor Book Cover How to Eat Cover

March is National Nutrition Month and this year the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has chosen the theme “Savor the Flavor of Eating Right”. Use this month to practice savoring the flavor of everything you eat and drink. Slow down the pace of your meals whenever possible and learn to really taste every bite. Savor the act of preparing your food. Think about all that is involved in getting the food you eat to your table.

According to Merriam Webster the definition of savor is “to enjoy the taste or smell of something for as long as possible.z’

Practicing mindfulness during your meals and snacks can help you to not only savor the taste of the food you are eating, but help you eat more slowly and experience more satisfaction with a smaller amount of food. Savoring your food can be a key component of managing your weight.

To get started you might want to read Thich Nhat Hanh’s “How to Eat” (pocket sized 125 pages) and then  the more comprehensive “Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life”. Both of these small volumes are packed with sensible advise on eating and living more mindfully. The author presents a mindfulness perspective on weight control and well-being, a meditation on eating an apple and lots more.

Happy National Nutrition Month!

Happy mindful eating!




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