This past year I had an epiphany. In pursuit of serving others, I neglected to serve myself. As a result my physical and mental well-being was suffering. I had the aches and pains of 20+ years in this industry and my fitness to serve was diminishing. The irony was that I convinced myself this was normal.
In 2016 when Star, Chef Anthony and I began Field & Main it was our intention to create a culture that supported the well-being of our guests and our team. At the time of this realization it was clear that I had not actualized this goal. Independently, Chef Anthony also came to this same realization. We both realized we needed to make a change.
Chef Anthony found the Keto diet, a more balanced work schedule, and more physical activity and to-date has benefited from increased energy, achieved better sleep and lost more than 100 pounds. For myself, I began a fitness journey that surprisingly led me to running. Surprising because I ran in high school and hated it. I got injured and did not enjoy the incessant pounding of the sport. Thanks to books like Born to Run by Christopher McDougal and the work of Dr. Mark Cucuzzella, I learned that running is an evolutionary development of humans—a birthright—and that if done properly can be invigorating. Running the trails in our beautiful region centers and replenishes me. I am a better father, husband, and server when I move!
Knowing this, I seized an opportunity to subsidize gym memberships for the F&M team at the new Lifetime Fitness Athletic Club in Gainesville. This helps more fully realize the goal supporting the well being of our team. Their fitness then directly leads to how well they serve you. It makes sense that this renewed focus of taking care of ourselves at all levels would seep into the experiences we are cultivating for our guests.
These days we are working to tailor those experiences to ensure that we are better supporting the well-being of our guests too. For example, we are adjusting our menu to be flexible enough to handle the myriad dietary practices that stem from our culture becoming more and more conscious around food. Our staff is routinely trained on the components of dishes and modification options. We did a special feast a few weeks ago for a group who were adhering to a special diet and it was fantastic. Others have come in while in the midst of the Whole 30 protocol and we have helped them to have a meal that adhered to the plan. Food is fun, celebratory, nourishing and is our best medicine. F&M is a place that appreciates each person’s needs from food and can adapt to meet those needs.
On May 5th we are offering a special event centered around health and wellness. I am excited to have Dr. Mark Cucuzzella join us to talk about his book Run for Your Life and his work using running to build health and form community. He will also offer a running clinic prior to dinner for those that would like to learn about proper form and how to reclaim your birthright as a runner. Dinner this evening will feature a menu designed by Chef Anthony in large part inspired by his approach to keto-focused weight loss. I think this event will be informative and inspirational as well as delicious! I hope you will join us.
All of us serve others in our personal and professional lives. The demands of this make it easy to forget ourselves. Neglect yourself for too long and you may find as I did that your ability to serve others suffers. My commitment to you is that Field & Main will be a place where your well-being is our focus. I invite you to visit soon for some self-care. When you are here, please share with us what you do to serve yourself.