Sunday, August 14, 2011
What I Learned from Fran Costigan
My real profession is "People Watcher." What I know, I have learned from watching others. Really.
For example, I like to watch how my husband, Patrick, eats his dinner. He is tall and thin. And the reason he is thin is due to the fact that he is a very, very slow eater. He chews his food well, stops eating when he is full, and occasionally, leaves food on his plate. I, on the other hand, eat at meteoric speed, and have never, never, left food on my plate. Never, ever.
I am intrigued by slow eaters. Like, how did they get that way? Last week, I joined some friends for dinner at Seasons 52. We are all vegans, so it was fun getting together, sifting through the menu, and finding something that we could all eat. One of my friends at the table was noted vegan cookbook author, Fran Costigan, that's her in the picture. If she and my husband ever went out for dinner, they would still be eating dinner at closing time. But Fran's "sensibility" goes beyond how she eats. Watch her do her "thang" in the kitchen. It is a reflection on how she approaches life...all with balance and keen observation.
I would describe Fran as a whisp. She is quick moving, a thoughtful talker, and an ace in the kitchen. She was busy showing her fans how to make vegan truffles. There she was in the middle of a Whole Foods Market where an audience of forty watched her every move as she discussed the virtues of fair trade chocolate, the importance of organics, and the fun of vegan dessert making. This is a woman who doesn't miss a beat. She takes it all in, and gets the job done. She is also a "food-balancer," someone who is cognizant of what she puts into her body, and if she thinks she has eaten too much, her next meal will be greens and more greens. How smart is she?
When Fran was ready to make the truffles, in my mind, they were going to be the size of golf balls. Really, when did you ever seen a truffle the size of, well, a pellet? Fran meticulously made each truffle with the precision of a Swiss watchmaker. And each one was about 10-12 millimeters in size. She dusted each truffle with ginger powder and they were so pretty.
As she was busy rolling away, a light went off. Nothing in a healthy person's life is supersized. Everything is normal. Within reach. Balanced. No extremes. Slow. Unrushed.
I am going to take a few lessons from Fran. She is a witty lady, and has a sense of humor that makes you laugh into the depth of your soul. But my take-away is this. Don't overdue it. Add balance. Love what you do and do what you love. Add greens, and don't overeat. She hasn't told me this, but, remember, I am a people watcher. And watching Fran was my master class.
- ▼ 2011 (19)