When the Whistle Blows


Have you ever heard of a Detroit Coney?  Me neither.  And you probably haven’t either, unless you’re from Michigan and reading this.

I heard a radio story last week about this treasured local staple.  It’s a hot dog, grilled, not boiled with a special sauce.  Word is the Coney has Greek roots. Greek immigrants who wound up in Detroit began to make their version of the Coney Island hot dog. They probably got their first taste of this treasured NYC iconic food when they first arrived through Ellis Island.

Ford plant workers ate Detroit Coneys by the thousands, day after day, during the 1920s. When that whistle blew for lunch, workers streamed to pick up their 2 Coneys, ready for them in paper sacks.  These guys had 20 minutes for lunch. And if you were late getting back, you got fired.

I am thinking about this story as I take time to eat today.  Ever searching to improve my life (haha) and keep the pounds off, I am exploring the power of mindful eating and, no kidding – chewing.  The idea is you sit down, and calmly eat and chew.  Fork down between bites. Nothing else goes on.  No iPhone, no reading, no laptop, no email, nothing else – eating and chewing.    And thinking… and getting ideas for blogs!

It works… simply trying this practice for a week has me realizing how incredibly unmindful I am when I eat.  How I distract myself.  Food barely registers.  .

Steam whistle in the morning.

Hear the whistle blow.

Like those Ford workers – they had 20 minutes and that was it.  EAT. RUN.WORK.

That’s what we do.  And we have a long history of doing it.  Those Detroit factory workers weren’t alone.  Eating as an aside is a tough habit to break.

Work values money and time.  And I have often heard it said that time, unlike money, is the only resource you can’t replenish.

Let me add one more to that list.  YOU.  YOU are your most valuable resource.

How are you taking care of yourself?  How are you showing up for your work life?

The whistle blows for us all.   Can you find 20 minutes in your day to do something that is restorative?


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