Photo Credit: Porter McLeod
In The Athens Diet, we ask local luminaries to record everything they eat and drink for one week.
As the manager of the Athens Farmers Market and the co-owner and COO of 1000 Faces Coffee, Czech-born local transplant Jan Kozak knows a thing or two about sustainable, locally produced food. In addition to his two day jobs, he also serves on the board of Wholesome Wave Georgia, an organization committed to local food access in Georgia, and he volunteers at Cedar Grove Farm in Oglethorpe County when time allows. He's also no stranger to working around dietary restrictions. "I don’t tolerate gluten and dairy well, as I have IBS, and I’m a vegetarian," he says. "So, there’s that."
Explains Kozak, "To me, food is the epicenter of all things. Food is health. Food is community. Food is opportunity. And thus, food is life… Since food is health, and farmers grow food, suffice it to say that farmers are stewards of good health… And how lucky are we that we have such a lively, hard-working, thriving community of these farmers and food producers in Athens and the surrounding counties?
"What’s sad," he continues, "is that in America, good, healthy food from local farmers is essentially a privilege… It’s important that I say this, because you need to understand how different my life would be without access to exactly what foods I want, when I want them. That’s simply not a reality for many of my fellow community members, and many Americans in general. So, respect good food, pay good money for it and when you’re lucky enough to have it, don’t take it for granted." [Gabe Vodicka]
I jump out of bed and head on out to the market, grabbing a few handfuls of granola that my smart/awesome/sexy wife Melissa makes every week. It’s a simple, versatile granola with oats, flax seeds, coconut oil and honey, influenced heavily by Backyard Bread’s Backyard Bark. Market day doesn’t leave lots of down time, so eating on the go is a must.
Once the market opens and the token booth is staffed by an intern or volunteer, I get a pour-over from 1000 Faces and more granola from Backyard Bread. I’m not a big fan of cold sweets for breakfast, but until we can effect policy change, hot breakfast foods at the market are few and far between. Towards the end of the market, I down a Green Zinger from Journey Juice and make sure to buy a boatload of produce for the next few days of meals.
On the way home, I drop by 1000 Faces HQ and make myself an espresso so I don’t keel over while I do bookkeeping and reporting. I get home at 2 p.m. and make a four-egg scramble with swiss chard and vegan cheese (my intestines hate dairy), which I down like a happy swine. After finally wrapping up my work, I get into some new music and, at 6:30 p.m., get hungry enough to think of food again. I decide to blend up a green smoothie with bananas from Daily Groceries, peanut butter, organic whey protein, spirulina powder, coconut water and flax meal. My smoothies have about 800 calories and are super filling.
After smoothie time, I accidentally fall asleep on the couch (I hate naps), wake up cranky, ride my bike trainer for 30 minutes to get rid of the cranky and down a few hefty spoonfuls of peanut butter afterwards. Off to bed after an episode or two of "The Wire."
The day after market always starts a bit late. I tumble out of bed at 10 a.m. and make what will become a breakfast staple for the week: black 1000 Faces coffee, a four-egg scramble with whatever’s in season, vegetable-wise (chard this time), and vegan cheese, all topped with gomasio, a sesame and smoked sea salt condiment made by my farmer friends Steve and Mandy of 3 Porch Farm. I like buying food from sexy farmers. I pair it all with some gluten-free toast.
I spend the early part of the day working on market layouts and logistics for the Good Food Good Beer Block Party, which is coming up the following Saturday. At about 4 p.m., I hit the blender for another dose of green smoothie. Same as yesterday, but this time with frozen blueberries from Rhonda’s Blueberries, left over from a recipe-curating session for a new project.
After the smoothie, I head out into a beautiful spring afternoon and get some yard work done, including mowing and edging the yard and hooking up a drip irrigation system in my kitchen garden. This year, I’m focusing on kale, chard, arugula and tomatoes. Every year, the dirt in my garden improves, and it becomes clear to me why good food farmers are stewards of the health of their dirt.
I go inside with a head full of pollen and, before dinner, get in a workout involving the bike trainer and 100 push-ups. Dinner is a brown-rice tortilla wrap with V’egg Salad from Daily, BBQ tempeh, an avocado and arugula from my bestest farmer friends Dylan and Caitlyn of Cedar Grove Farm. This farm means a lot to me, personally and professionally, and is in many ways responsible for my place in Athens. After dinner, Melissa and I have some good friends over for hipster cocktails and a movie.
I’m up early, and put together the same egg scramble that started me off right yesterday, this time paired with a brown-rice tortilla crisped up in the toaster oven. I head over to 1000 Faces, thinking of the progress we need to make on our forthcoming cold brew bottling concept, and have my first espresso of the day within five minutes of walking in the door. Caffeine, baby!
I try to stay focused and work through my to-do list (and more espressos) as the day rambles on to 1:30 p.m., at which point I demolish a protein bar and head to a meeting. Afterwards, I run over to Daily for kombucha, sweet-potato chips and some Spicy Black Bean Sensation. I’ve been into sweet potatoes lately, as they are purported to help glucose levels, which for me is a biggie, because I tend to get low blood sugar.
The big lunch keeps me satiated until I leave the roastery for Classic City CrossFit. I get home at 7 p.m. and make an organic whey protein and coconut water concoction that helps replenish lost resources and allows for better recovery. After today’s workout, I need it. Sometimes it’s impossible to reconcile the desire to eat whole foods from entirely local sources and the need for more calories of a certain type. Being a vegetarian adds another wrinkle. And so I do whatever I can to ensure the quality of my dietary “additives.”
At 9 p.m., I make a dinner similar to the previous day’s: a brown rice tortilla wrap with V’egg Salad, BBQ tempeh, an avocado and arugula, sprinkled with more of that lovely gomasio.
Earth Day begins. Breakfast is the same damn four-egg scramble. Maybe I’ll get tired of it; maybe I won’t. After eating, I head over to a physical therapist that’s helping me with recurring muscle cramps that really affect my quality of life. I get dry-needled and spend 30 minutes with my legs in compression sleeves. After that, I head over to the Tate Center, where the Athens Farmers Market is tabling with many other environmentally conscious organizations. Trying to reach students is a constant priority.
I return home for lunch and make a quick salad of arugula, tempeh, cashews, pumpkin seeds, avocado and vinaigrette dressing. Tuesday is cleaning day at the Kozak household, so I do my part, after which I head over to 1000 Faces and continue working on the cold brew concept. An impromptu latte art throwdown keeps me nimble and helps dial in my barista skills.
At about 6 p.m., I head over to CrossFit and kick some push press and rower butt. Heading home, I munch on a protein bar, and when I get home, I make my usual whey and coconut water recovery shake. Dinner is hot tonight, consisting of fried brown rice, tons of Cedar Grove Farm kale and garlic.
Wednesdays during market season are hectic. The day begins with our friend the four-egg scramble, after which I head to 1000 Faces and do my thing. I try to transition to market by 1 p.m., but I don’t leave the roastery until 2 p.m., run over to Bishop Park to fetch market gear and then home for a super brief lunch of our other friend, the green smoothie. I get to market by 3 p.m., set up and enjoy a Journey Juice. So refreshing and zippy. Market ends and I run back to Bishop Park and unload, head home after a stop at the liquor store for fancy bourbon and make a huge salad with lettuce mix from Cedar Grove Farm, cashews, pumpkin seeds and a mustard dressing. I have some tortilla chips on the side. Most dinners, I should mention, end with two squares of dark chocolate, you know, for good health and stuff.
As a nightcap, I make a ginger ale and bourbon with a splash of lime. Is it wrong that I make it large, like 12 ounces? It’s mostly bourbon.
I wake with a bourbon blur (blourbon?) and make a FIVE-egg scramble. What a change! The eggs are small, I rationalize. Small but awesome, since they’re from a new market farmer called Pastures of Rose Creek. Will Powers, the proprietor, grows a fine egg with a deep orange yolk, and is Brad Pitt-handsome to boot. You ladies take notice.
After emailing the market layout to our vendor list, I head over to 1000 Faces and down two espressos back to back. We typically pull “ristretto” shots, dosing 20–22 grams of coffee in the portafilter basket and yielding a 30–35-gram shot. Today the coffee in the hopper is a newbie from Rwanda called Dukunde Musasa, and the espresso it produces is rich and heavy, with a caramel soufflé finish.
After a couple hours work, I drive to Cedar Grove for my usual Thursday volunteer session. I relish the few hours I spend out there, hoeing and planting and playing in the dirt. My on-farm lunch doesn’t do the setting justice: two bananas and probably half a jar of peanut butter. Leaving the farm around 5 p.m., I stop at Daily to pick up a protein bar snack and a coconut water, as I’m feeling parched after the hot, dry farming session.
Back at home, post-workout recovery ensues, and then about an hour later, I dig into another big salad of arugula, cashews, pumpkin seeds, vegan nacho cheese from Rabbit Food—a new vegan-foods vendor at the market—and tortilla chips alongside.
The four-egg scramble (this time with arugula!) begins the day. I head over to 1000 Faces, pull a shot of espresso, do some work then head over to Epting Events to pick up tables for tomorrow’s block party at Creature Comforts. With the help of friends and colleagues, we get them to the brewery, unload and discuss final details for the event. On the way back to 1000 Faces, I stop at Daily for a V’egg Salad sammie on GF bread and those great sweet-potato chips.
I dig back into work at the roastery, making great progress on some lagging to-dos and round out the afternoon with another espresso. I leave around 6 p.m., run some last-minute errands in prep for the event, and make it home around 7 p.m. Melissa and I get into a workout on the alley behind our house, and then head in for the night.
I do my post-workout recovery thing with the whey and the coconut water, and then dinner is served about an hour later, consisting of an entire bunch of sauteed kale topped with gomasio and that great vegan nacho cheese, crispy BBQ tempeh, pumpkin seeds and a few tortilla chips. I try to get to bed early because of the big day tomorrow, but don’t end up laying down till 11:30 p.m. The next day brings market and block party back to back, and it’s sure to be a bear.