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Create or Consume? A social experiment leads to a fresh start!

culinary adventure encouragement human connection story telling tacos Dec 19, 2022
Cool Crew Creates Consumes

In the world of Social Media, we have two choices; we can create or consume.

The thing I like about food is that I get to create and then consume! 

In August, I conducted an experiment where I had ten people turn off their cell phones and place them in a Yeti cooler. We hoisted the cooler up into a tree for 27 hours to escape from the uber-connected world that we live in. 

(The Hoist For Hope)

During that time, we did all sorts of things including cooking tacos on a barge in the middle of a lake! It was great! Another piece to the experiment was to take one hour to write about what your phone means to you. It was an open ended assignment and each participant could tweak their writing as they saw fit. I wrote a poem, Heather wrote a letter to her phone, for others it was a discourse on the role their phone played in their life. Many people wrote about the phone habits they'd like to change. 

There were a lot of negative undertones to the writings with people talking about how their phone steals time from them, tricks them into the comparison game, and separates them from those who are in close proximity. I could relate to it all. 

(Arturo The Author)

Then, Luis shared his thoughts. He explained that he sees the phone as a positive tool and that it is up to us to decide how we use it. He talked of the benefits of his phone. It connects him people all around the world, many of the technologies make his life easier, and it serves to document his life through photos, videos and notes. He then encouraged everyone to create more than they consume. I liked that. 

It is similar to a chef knife. It can be a dangerous tool if used improperly, but if we harness it and use it to chop healthy meat and vegetables, then it serves us and makes us better. 

I took the experiment further, heeding Luis' advice. For the month of September, I posted one reel per day of me creating some sort of food item. I covered everything from breaking down a rib roast to sweet potato fries, breakfasts, salads, you name it! I was choosing to create instead of consume and the result was incredible.

(The Taco Barge)

You see, to create takes discipline, to consume does not. Creating is hard, consuming is easy. It's that way with cooking, too. It's hard to buy groceries and prep and cook a meal. Eating is one of the easiest things to do.

Aside from getting to eat the food I created, I was also fed in a different way. My soul was nourished by the accomplishment of being disciplined.

Jim Rohn says, "For every disciplined effort, there are multiple rewards." 

("Luis, put your phone down!")

What the experiment ultimately led to was the creation of this site. After running a blog from 2012 - 2016 and writing over 555 articles, I have taken about six years off. Did I quit? Did I give up? I wasn't sure. I launched Ice Age Meals in 2014  and it quickly took over much of my life. It required all of my energy to launch and build the company and I got away from the thing that I am most passionate about, teaching you to cook!

Once I realized this, I quickly got to work on creating. My team and I came up with a plan to create a new resource. It had to be top-shelf and it had to be fresh. Over the course of October, November and December, we got to work and filmed 21 new videos. While so many cooking videos are super fast cuts of crazy looking food that you'll probably never cook, we opted for a real time, longer format, personal experience of me in my home kitchen.

(Creating with Karina)

Ice Age Culinary was born. What you see on this site is the result of over a decade of dedication to the healthy cooking space. I've taken all previous recipes, boiled them down to my best and delivered it as a 21-Day Culinary Challenge. It is also a cooking challenge or a meal prep challenge. However you look at it, you'll find life-changing material.

You don't have to complete the challenge in 21 days. I recommend taking a slower approach and maybe doing seven days, then taking an inventory of your fridge and freezer. Each recipe turns out between 6-10 portions, so the meal prep begins to add up depending on your situation. If you are a family of six, then this can be your dinner menu for three weeks! 

Please take a look around the site and, if you think it fits your lifestyle, sign up for the challenge. I promise that your disciplined effort in this area will return a multiple reward. Not only will you be able to consume what you've created, you'll find new confidence in the kitchen and skills that will last a lifetime!

Thanks for stopping by!

Your Pal,

Paleo Nick

(Pictured here, far right, with the world's coolest people consumed by the sunset on our day without phones.)