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Some Erks

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
So things have been pretty great for me so far when I posted here starting this culinary thing just a little mover a month ago. I'm moving up very fast, busting my butt. Now I find myself being able to float around our four different restaurants to lend a hand where they need it . But this post isnt about that just wanted to mention it haha.

Anyways next week I start what I'm going to say might be a tough month for me I suppose. Which is one reason why I havent been able to post here lately. My shift is going to be from 9 AM - 12 PM Monday - Saturday soon. Banquets and casual dining during the day, then mass production throw in 8 4inch hotel pans full of different stuff in the steamers then realize your shrimp is burned when you get back from the cooler buffet dining during the night.

Two things have been bothering me so far about this line of work. One is when I wake up in the morning I feel really greasy which may not be too far from the truth, I wonder if it has something to do with our chefs coat, and two I'm always so sore in the mornings until of course I get to work again then all that goes away but still its hard to roll out when my body is saying roll over and die.

Anyways any tips? I tried showering when I get home from work and it helps its just a hassle showering in the evening, then in the morning again. As for being sore I tried to stretch before I enter a shift, but that doesnt work? Suggestions?
post #2 of 16
My son is an intern doctor working similar shifts (7am-10pm some days). He goes to the gym when he can fit it in. I know your hours aren't exactly going to embrace gym or other exercise. Can you walk to work to get ina bit of stretching?

And have that shower at the end of the day. Gets rid of the cooking smell. Wash your hair while you're at it! Makes you feel fresher.

No one likes looking into a kitchen and seeing greasy chefs with lank floppy hair... If you've got longer hair, tie it back in a pony tail.

Unwind for a while after you get home, too. It takes the body a while to relax. I used to have a job that went from 9pm to 1.30am and it took me a while to turn off the adrenalin at the end of the night.
Pat

The floggings will continue until morale improves

http://www.cookingdownunder.comhttp://cookingdownunderblog.blogspot.com/
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Pat

The floggings will continue until morale improves

http://www.cookingdownunder.comhttp://cookingdownunderblog.blogspot.com/
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post #3 of 16
I agree that the shower at the end of the night is a must......it can be part of the "wind down." But I find that mixing a cocktail, or a glass of wine, having a sip, as you turn on the shower, and leaving the glass close by, sip and shower. A little hot water and self medication, sometimes I don't even finish the glass, but it seems to take the edge off.

As far as the body aches, a portion of it may be they way you are standing. How are your shoes? Even if they are well cushioned, some arch supports may help. I also change shoes in the middle of the shift, doesn't sound like much, but it sure seems to help.
post #4 of 16
Me I wait until I have a day off to do the full clean up thing. But I don't get zits so that might not work for everyone. Also consider how much your body is losing when you're on the line a lot of energy & nutrition gets used up. So find ways to0 replenish yourself. Vitamins, round meals etc...
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
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post #6 of 16
I agree with going for the end of the day shower too - maybe get yourself a nice fragrant body wash/gel, something fruity, as a treat. The steam & aroma will help clear off the cooking smell and clears out your sinuses, and use it in the morning too - makes a nice fresh start to the day.

If you get a chance during the day, perhaps take a change of socks and/or a change of shoes. Makes for extra laundry but your feet will appreciate it. Look after your feet - you can't do the job without them. Try a foot soak a couple of times a week -nice steamy tub of water with some bath salts. Its a trick I learnt from my mother who stood all day during work - her feet caned by the end of the day and a good foot soak was what we'd treat her to in the evenings.
Good luck :) DC
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #7 of 16

taking Showers

I am also one to promote taking a shower when you get home. I can't just head right to bed after a 12 / 16 hour day. I always take a nice relaxing shower with my fresh smell soap and just let it beat down on my neck for a good 15 minutes. Considering i don't normally leave work till about 6am i say i normally fall asleep around 7 and i generally wake up around 11 or 12 and feel good to go. Days i don't shower when i get home i wake up and feel disgusting for the rest of the day, even though i showered when i woke up. I know this may sound bad, but if your a station style cook when you do your stock at the start of your second shift, keep a few of the cardboard boxes and lay them down where your feet stand. It may sound crazy, but that extra padding really saves on your feet.

As far as the rest of your body hurting. Its an aquired trait. Take a few minutes before you head to work and stretch out. Do some leg bends and normal stretching exercises. It helps out with the pain after the first couple days getting in sync. Most kitchens (those that are busy) are one **** of a aerobic workout and everyone knows you should stretch before doing that, why should this be any different.

Just a few things that i do to help me thru it.

Andy
post #8 of 16
Cookin Joe; buy the best shoes you can. I had kind of hevy oil resistant shoes that I paid $165.oo for. I used to ware K-Mart sneakers. The little exrtra weight from quality shoes took little time to get used to cause I no longer slipped on the floor and had plenty of support. Also every other week I treated myself to a proffesional massage. Last, make sure to use a body wash scrubber not a wash cloth it will gently scrape all the grease off you and kind of gives a mini massage for the skin...good cookin...cookie
post #9 of 16
I agree with the shower and self medication-wine/beer idea, but also sit with your feet up for awhile. I also swear by good shoes as I'm on my feet for 12 hours plus most days. I only wear Danskos and when I don't wear them (for catering jobs in fields or on uneven ground) my feet scream and my legs ache. Also try taking a Motrin before bed. I sometimes take a half tablet of Excedrine PM or Tylenol PM. If I take a whole tablet or worse yet, a full dose, I'm a gonner the next day.
post #10 of 16
yep, hot bath with epsom salts after work.....I was wearring crocs alot and realized that they didn't support my feet the way birks do. Big difference.....
Think about your sheets....
professional massages.....90 minutes...Nothing like it....costs, but if you're working 15 hours a day where else would you spend it?

New Orleans....it has gotta be really hot down there right now.....oh buddy...cold showers
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #11 of 16
My DD bought me crocs but I couldn't wear them for 10 minutes. They offer so little support that my feet bones felt like they were spreading out. Birks don't work well for me either, so I was shocked when the Dansko clogs felt so good.

The humidity in NO would depress me. We have a couple of weeks of hot, humid weather in NH and I'm done for. Good luck!
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the replies! I saw those Dansko Clogs on their website and they seem really nice, its down to those Birkenstocks and Dickies now. All shoes are around the 100 dollar range, but I think my back will thank me when I get older.

I think I will shower when I get home now, since my hours are doubling. So it'd be good sense to do that. I've never had a massage before but I'd imagine they are wonderful I might get one sometime soon. I was very tempted at one point to get an all out spa treatment but they are very costly.

While we're on the subject of taking care of yourself. What're some of you busy cook and chefs diets? During a busy day its pretty hard for me to resist a unhealthy meal during a break. I've been getting better though drinking water instead of sweet tea all the time, and replacing hamburgers with apples. Its so weird I know I have to eat healthier to keep my good stamina up, but sometimes I just want to splurge on a hard day.
post #13 of 16

food consumption.

When i know i am going to have a hard day i try to eat a few things of carbs and protiens, depending on the style of your restaurant. When i was doing the family dining breakfast i would have a overhard egg on some wheat toast and that generally got me thru to lunch, now i do more pasta for the longer lasting energy and stamina as well as fruits such as banana's and grapes and my personal favorite fresh strawberries. Best thing i ever did was cut out the pop and sweetened tea's.


Andy
post #14 of 16
While we're on the subject of taking care of yourself. What're some of you busy cook and chefs diets? During a busy day its pretty hard for me to resist a unhealthy meal during a break. I've been getting better though drinking water instead of sweet tea all the time, and replacing hamburgers with apples. Its so weird I know I have to eat healthier to keep my good stamina up, but sometimes I just want to splurge on a hard day.


Well, I had the scrapings from the bowl of a batch of brownies and a large cup of coffee this morning.:(
post #15 of 16
Does your establishment not have showers ?

I have about 2 showers during my 18 hour shifts

Once finished im running on andrenaline so probably go for a run when i get home or a bit of home based cv.

cus im ex forces i use my old combat steel toe caps as they are designed
for long winded wear, probably easy to find.
Insured By The White Mafia, Hit Me And They Hit YOU Harder
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Insured By The White Mafia, Hit Me And They Hit YOU Harder
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post #16 of 16
Isn't it nuts, at home I am so aware of what I eat. On the job, won't even say---but have learned it does make a BIG difference. I was getting in the habit of getting galley cleaned up and then realizing I was starving--hit the snack refer and wolf down a not too healthy sandwich. Try to make myself a plate while I am serving a meal, that can be eaten room temp or nuked.
And when I am feeling really tired and a little sore, have to remember the last water I drank? Try to just keep a liter bottle in front of me all the time. Amazing stuff!
Also shoes, in anything but my Danskos (or , used to be Birkies), my legs are screaming after 10-12 hours and I ain't done yet! As I responded to another poster, they do take some time to break in, so take some other shoes to work,so you can change.
Take care,
Nan
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