2010-1999- Doctor of Chinese Medicine
1998-1999- Director, Hawaii College of Traditional Oriental Medicine
1992-95-Culinary Institute of America
1972-91- Chef/Owner, seven restaurants
1960-1971- Professor, City University
Beginning with my first awakenings as a teacher at City University, trying to help students with learning blocks, my career path has moved further eastward toward the wisdom of Chinese medicine and philosophy. The road to weight loss is much like the road to education. Students with learning difficulties find themselves unable to use the full range of their minds or exercise their intuition freely. These same inhibitions exist for those who have been chronically overweight. My life’s work as a teacher, chef or doctor has been focused on learning how to remove road blocks or prevent detours that make it impossible to assimilate either information or nourishment in an appropriate way. Whatever career change I made at any point in my life has always been involved in the same pursuit, looking for the cure for childhood trauma.
You might think an academic education should have provided me with the tools for change, but it is a long step from intellectual awareness to inner change. The steps are challenging, surprising and individualistic. In 1971, the year of open enrollment my daily life changed in exactly these ways. I became empowered with new energy and by the end of the year I was ready to take on an entirely new career. Becoming a restaurant chef was the furthest thing I ever contemplated, but it would be another fulcrum that would move me further into the unknown.
In 1972, I started a restaurant in my own home, a mini brownstone in Brooklyn. Unlike academia with its captive audience, success depended on maintaining the highest level of daily performance and commitment. I had taken up new residence in an unfamiliar, but exhilarating, high risk turf. There is a saying among chefs. You are only as good as your last meal. I was ready to conquer this new world. Seven years is both a long and a short time to earn a reputation, but within that span I became internationally famous. In eight years, I had won the first James Beard award and my name was on the culinary map.
Yet despite my success, I realized that even in the restaurant world I was still searching for the cure to childhood trauma. It would be many years later, as a Chinese Doctor, that I would dis
A Prince for Lunchby Lenj Allison
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Prince for Lunch is a remarkable book that addresses the problem of obesity through Chinese Medicine, Western Psychology and Professional Cooking. Dr. Lenj’s career has spanned all three fields and the tone of this book is laid back, consistent with the principles of Chinese Medicine. He has over 50 years of experience in all three fields and is one of the first winners of The James Beard Award for Professional Chefs, an extraordinary achievement.
In this book you will learn why your body may not respond to current dietary approaches that ignore the real causative factors for patterns and habits of overeating. Lenj will introduce you to activities that transform the suffocating effects of childhood trauma into a reliable awareness of hunger in the moment. Unlike other weight loss books meant to control your eating habits, a Prince for Lunch will connect you to delicious meals and a lively connection to the table. Anyone who dedicates himself to Lenj’s program will notice that the earlier loss of control over appetite and eating will completely disappear.
Lenj invites you into the world of a professional chef whose career has focused on process and sensory perception, rather than results. His knowledge and experience will awaken your awareness of what it feels like to enjoy real sensations and tastes. He will ignite both your curiosity and spontaneity as you work your way through each week of his program. He shows you through repeated experiences that when you are involved in the process of making your own food, you will release your creative energy. Lenj’s instructions and exercises will give you a heightened perception of what it means to take charge. Joining Lenj in his lifelong, dynamic process you will come to know what he has learned from his heart, the real importance of cooking lies in the spirit and process of what takes place in front of the stove.
Lenj’s restaurant career was guided by this spirit. His restaurant, Huberts, reflected a heady time in the food world, when eating for existence was changing to eating for appreciation and entertainment. Hubert’s Restaurant was constantly appearing in national magazines, like Vogue and Bon Appetite, and food writers loved to describe Lenj’s creativity as “all passion, all philosophy and a wholehearted committed to presenting uncompromised meals.”
Creativity is the essence of a Prince for Lunch. Lenj always accompanies creativity with insight, even brilliance. Through working in Lenj’s kitchen you will release the past and an over whelming debris of negative experience, somewhat like Java the Hut letting go of layers of opaque garbage and becoming a clear, transparent human being.
Most of us don’t realize that how we eat is really a matter of how we grew up. How many of us as children were raised to eat nurturing foods or encouraged to develop a knowing sense about your hunger or told anything about particular foods, except in disbelieving and nonsensical ways? Using Chinese culture and dietary therapy as his guide, Lenj offers a unique contribution that originates from his concentration with Chinese dietary therapy.
Before each recipe he gives a list of the properties of the particular foods according to thousands of years or research and clinical experience. Chinese dietary therapy has known through continuing research what diseases each food helps to prevent and what conditions they improve. Lenj also provides a checklist and tools for connecting you to new eating habits that will improve your health and pleasure. All of your painful and discouraging symptoms connected to overeating will slowly disappear.
Lenj says, it would be a pity not to look at what Chinese medicine tells us about hunger and pleasure in relation to food. There is quite a bit to learn in the way children in China are taught to appreciate food. Over three thousand years of experience by doctor-scientists have been used to impart internal guide lines for weight control to most Chinese children.
A Prince for Lunch presents a six week diet that includes kitchen organization, shopping lists, weekly menus, daily recipes, herbal supplements and journaling. The menus and recipes are easy to follow and the food you cook will be delicious. The book is organized according to the five famous yin organs of Chinese Medicine: Spleen, Liver, Heart, Lungs and Kidneys. If we eat to nourish and build energy within these organs, and to eat foods that have the power to calm, strengthen and balance each organ, we will maintain a healthy weight.
Lenj says, Welcome aboard. You are about to enter the kitchen to revitalize your life. In the process, you will learn to use your own judgment in cooking and depend less on books and recipes. You will learn how much you need to eat to sustain yourself at different moments. In the fut
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- Blue Bamboo, Inc.
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- Barnes & Noble
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2010-1999- Doctor of Chinese Medicine
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