Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Likeable vs. Successful

I don't know how I've been finding them recently, but there has been article after article about how professional women are dealing with a variety of different aspects. The article I read today (http://spinsucks.com/entrepreneur/likable-vs-successful-the-issue-women-leaders-face/) was thought provoking and has some serious flaws.
I agree with the first paragraph. I love men too, for a variety of different reasons of course, but for one, I relate really well to them. I do have a brother, but he's younger, so it wasn't so much that I "learned" from men, it is just that I was brought up to be more straightforward, to stick up for myself and taught how to ask for what I want. My dad always told me I could do whatever I wanted, be whomever I wanted to be. It wasn't so much learning from a man those things, it was learning from my parents, teachers, friends and colleagues those things. Some of which are definitely men, but most of which just wanted me to be confident and self-reliant as a woman.
Do women have a significant place in this world? Obviously. For a variety of different reasons, some traditional, some more contemporary. All the statistics menitoned in the article, if actually true, probably aren't true because women are acting like men, otherwise those statistics would be similar to men, right? There is something different about women. Whether it is our ability to mix the "men" characteristics with the traditional "women" characteristics, or that it is the different way companies perceive women in "power" roles, there is still something different than just women taking on the "man" roles and traits.
As for the last paragraph in the article, I just flat disagree. The tone of that paragraph makes me wonder if the author has really ever hung out with men. The absolutely audaciously broad statement that men don't care what others think is just ridiculous and completely lacks insight. Sure, is that the "traditional" position of men? Maybe. But having hung out with men and had serious, in-depth conversations about their fears, concerns and aspirations in life, there is absolutely a very real sentiment of caring. In fact, the caring sometimes inhibits commitment due to intimidation. We're all human, we all have insecurities, even if some are masked by bravado.
Furthermore, that women adjust their behavior to be likeable? Once again a severe generalization. I, for one, have never been willing to compromise my stance just to be liked. It has caused some conflict, but I'm not confrontation averse. I can handle the dislike, which really I'm not sure would be classified that way. I stand up for what I believe in. In most eyes that makes me a strong woman, not necessarily "manly".
Interestingly, as I was reading this article I was also watching the movie "I Don't Know How She Does It".  A movie about a professional woman putting her family life in jeopardy to follow her career. Of course at some point she realizes that life has to change to accommodate the needs of her family. I say "of course" not as if that is always the case, but more so that, as humans, especially women, we're pulled different directions due to the traditional roles we've historically been characterized into. All of us have to determine what aspects of our life are more important and what facets are deemed appropriate for requesting compromise and consideration. Some women may do that better than some men, but don't discount the men that are doing it as well. What it comes down to is that we (men and women) operate differently in life, especially in professional roles. We frame our careers and families in different ways and it varies from person to person, not from gender to gender. The recognition comes though in that we can't look at it as a "man" or a "woman", we look at it as each individual human. It's much harder to write about, but a more honest approach. When it comes down to it, a line from the movie, "Trying to be a man, is a waste of a woman," really should be approached as "Trying to be anyone other than who we are, is a waste of who we are."

Monday, December 10, 2012


If there is one thing that I want to be known for in my personal and professional life it is integrity. Defined as adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty, there really isn't much else that matters in any kind of relationship when it comes down to the bare bones of people interacting. 
In my personal life, I want my friends to be able to tell me what troubles they are having or share a secret without worrying about who will find out. I'm a naturally guarded person when it comes to some personal information. It is just the way I am. Sometimes I think it prevents me from really connecting with people, so I'm working on how to share some information and feelings that I have, without compromising the trust my friends have in me. 
As with any relationship, I trust the other person to be faithful, to communicate when something needs to be discussed and to treat me with the respect everyone deserves. 
In work, I do my best to exceed the expectations I believe those working with me have. I try to be transparent, even when something isn't going well. I try to promptly communicate any challenges and work hard to think processes through to ensure that it makes the most sense for the group with which I am working. I carefully balance the objectives given to me by my company with those programs or suggestions I believe most benefit the small businesses for which I work. Sometimes I don't pick the program that will make me the most money, I pick the one that will make the most sense. Sometimes I don't charge for my time that is devoted to following up time after time. Sometimes I work outside my normal hours to make sure my account is weathering a particularly difficult time. 
That's why today, when my integrity with regards to a work project was questioned I just got pissed. There really isn't any other way to describe it. I was livid. It was really best I found out right before going to lunch, so I had time to calm myself before spending more time on the account that had just questioned me. More time coddling, more time chasing and more time doing what I can to help this account make better choices when it comes to anything digital. 
This is just business, and in this day and age when no one knows who to trust or where information comes from, I'm trying to look at it from a different angle, to understand where the concern came from, to understand how I could have even put myself in a position to be questioned. I can't come up with much, but I have to step back and realize that all I can do is move forward with the same integrity as before, because giving anything less would be meeting expectations, and I always look to exceed them.

Thursday, December 6, 2012


This is no secret: Change is hard. But what is possibly worse is knowing for sure that change is coming and having NO IDEA what that means.
My director at work is leaving. He announced his retirement a few weeks ago, and in the interim, the rest of us collectively have no idea what is going to happen. We don't know who our next director will be, how 2013 will begin or what lies ahead in the immediate future.
Now, let's be real. None of us ever really know what lies in the future. That takes crystal balls and tarot cards and sometimes some divine intervention, and if you've got that, you're rich and on a beach in Tahiti or something.
I'm not very good with change and I'm even worse with uncertainty. I'm a pretty steadfast planner. I like to know what is going on, to the extent that it drives some of those close to me that I ask what's for dinner sometimes before I've even eaten breakfast. I can't very well go have a plate of pasta for lunch if I'm going to have lasagna for dinner now can I?
The significant difference in what I'm having for dinner and most situations of uncertainty is that I can control what I'm having for dinner. I can't control who my boss will be in a month. After lots of stress and significant frustration over the lack of control I've reached a moment of peace. Let it go. Revel in the uncertainty. Think of it is an adventure instead of a frustration and take a deep breath and enjoy the ride. Too much control makes one crazy and gives me a big head. Time to deflate a little and just accept whatever comes.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


As I sit here before bed drinking hot tea, it reminds me of a conversation I had a while back with some friends of mine about tea. One of the people involved in the conversation mentioned that he had given up soda a few months ago, but was not satisfied by drinking water all the time, so he was looking for other beverages to enjoy. Having given up soda a few years ago, I also went through the same quandary. The fact wasn't that I necessarily missed the sugary soda, but without soda (or fruit juice because it is essentially the same thing) the choices of beverages in America are significantly decreased.
The natural reaction of everyone is to "just drink water". Now, I love water. I sometimes drink multiple Nalgene bottles of it a day, but sometimes, water just doesn't cut it. For example, if I've been doing yardwork and it is somewhat dusty and my throat has a bit of a coating, water just doesn't work. Interestingly beer works magnificently, but drinking beer all the time in the middle of the day just to be refreshed isn't a stellar idea in my books. You know what works though? Tea. On Ice. It's perfect in the summer. Fresh brewed is the best, and my mom has the process down.
Or, let's say it is 25 degrees outside and the house is a bit chilly, but I don't want to turn up the heat. Hot tea does wonders in warming me up, but also giving me an option to drinking water. I like water with ice. Ice when it is cold is not appealing. Hot tea does the trick.
Naturally, when the friend mentioned earlier was looking for an alternative drink I suggested tea. His response? "I don't like tea."
The thing is I just don't get the "I don't like tea" argument. Mostly because the sheer variety of teas out there is far more than the types of soda. White tea, green tea, red tea, black tea, herbal teas, fruit teas, and the list goes on and on. To be fair, I have the same beef with the "I don't like beer" and "I don't like wine" arguments. With those at least a point can be made about the alcohol having its effects.
When I challenged my friend on the fact he "didn't like tea" he came back with the reasoning of "it tastes like dirt water". I will concede, if a person is used to drinking soda, the flavor of tea is going to be drastically different. It isn't sweet (sweet tea doesn't count, it is worse than soda). But dirt water? I'd argue coffee is dirt water, but I'm not a fan of coffee.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Blogging again?

I'm not sure why, but I tend to think in blog topics. What does that mean? Let's say I'm at dinner with a friend and we randomly start talking about Sporting KC. Somehow we migrate to the topic of the new women's soccer league. A grand debate ensues about the viability of this league. Immediately I begin to formulate my thoughts into a blog post. I have no idea why, since I haven't actually written a post in a few months now, but my mind starts running with how I'd put my thoughts on paper. I really think it is a process of formulating and organizing thoughts. I start relating what I'm thinking to articles I've read recently, or other posts that I know are out there. Yet, very rarely are blog posts fully formulated and cited journalistic pieces. I'm not sure if it is my high school journalism days or what, but when I start formulating, I also start considering what links and pictures might be included. What ends up happening though is that I never write the blog post. I think about it for days. I rough draft begin lines in my head. I pull information from sources that I find and then...nothing. There are blog posts from way back during the summer that are still rolling around in my head.
I've decided recently though that I'm thinking too much. In an attempt to curtail those thoughts rolling around in my head, I am going to start writing again. I sometimes will tell people I'm doing it, but really I'll just write. Not complicated, unabashedly raw, and aimed at just getting the thoughts out of my head. If you read this far, thanks for coming along for the ride.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Day 42: the End

In some respects I can't believe day 42 has arrived. Sometimes it doesn't feel like it has been that long, other times it feels like it has been forever.
We had whole wheat waffles this morning with some nutritional modifications, but they were delicious, especially with honey and blueberries on top. We did indulge a bit and have bacon, but the world won't end.
I golfed the Par 3 at OP and was really glad to be done at noon because it was getting HOT!
I came home to help a bit more with the room, but really ended up watching the Royals game on tv and being a bum. I did have a bowl of veggies for lunch.
Finally I showered and headed out to a KU Alumni wine tasting event. I really didn't want to go when we left, but was glad I did. The event was fun and the lima bean salad I had for dinner was pretty darn amazing, as was the lemon strawberry dessert in the tiny little cup. A perfect serving to me.
The challenge is over! I'm not going to go crazy, but I will begin eating bread, cheese and pasta again. No carb loading though. Now the real challenge begins, getting up early to work out. We'll see how it goes...

Day 41: Ice Cream Cake

The day started all too well, with a text to wake me up making me realize that I set the alarm for the wrong day. Dumb.
I went and played corporate challenge basketball, which was fine, we lost both games, but I pretty much decided I shouldn't play competitive team sports any more. I get overly competitive. I really try hard not to, especially when it is corporate challenge, but I can't help it. Then I get in a bad mood. To add insult, I usually end up hurting myself or being reall sore the next day. Probably best to quit while I'm ahead.
I went and picked up tile for the bathroom on the way home, and after only one trip back to the store had the tile I wanted.
I ate a huge wrap thing because I was starving, but I overdid it on the veggies a little bit. It was a bit messy to eat.
I spent the afternoon painting and helping dad get some of the bedroom/bathroom finished. The rest of the time I sat on the couch while he did all of the hard work.
While on my way over to Waldo Pizza, I stopped at my parents' house to return my dad's phone and was enticed by the quinoa burritos and guacamole that was for dinner. Never one to pass up free, good food. I stayed for dinner and wine. Finally made it to Waldo pizza for the graduation party and couldn't resist the chocolate layer ice cream cake. I tried to cut a really tiny piece and almost knocked the whole cake over, but the five-bite piece was well worth it.
It was also night two of drinking rose wine. A true testament to a French summer.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Day 40: Relaxation

I sleep well last night, but boy I did not want to get up this morning. Of course it was the only morning this week that I didn't have a smoothie ready to eat on the go. Instead after I hurried through a shower and getting ready, I had to run to my parents' house to drop off my trash to be picked up. Yes, I don't pay for garbage removal because 1. I don't have enough to warrant it weekly and 2. my parents live 3 blocks away so I just use theirs. Convenient, I know. After dropping off the trash, I ran in and made myself a pb and honey sandwich for a quick breakfast and then headed to work a bit late this morning.
I had a banana at morning snack time and for lunch went down to the company bbq, but all they had were ribs, potato salad, coleslaw and baked beans with cookies for dessert. I had a little bit of beans and coleslaw, but not too much because I knew it wasn't exactly good for me.
I came home for lunch and had black bean nachos, which also weren't an ideal meal, but I didn't have anything made. It sustained me through the afternoon though.
When I came home from work, I already knew I was going to have homemade pizza for dinner. I had bought some flatout breads before, so I filled one up with tomato sauce, onion, mushroom, spinach, zucchini, black olives, tomatoes, alfalfa sprouts and avocado. I had a tomato, basil and balsamic salad while the veggies cooked onto the pizza and then ate the whole pizza. Yum.
For some reason lately I have been craving chocolate also. I haven't really the whole challenge, so not sure why I am now. It might have something to do with it being almost over, but I have to get away from that craving again. I had a spoon of natural pb to try and appease the sweets craving, and it has done the trick. Sadly I watched the Royals get killed by the Cardinals before going to bed at 10 on a Friday night. Exciting life huh?

Day 39: Michael Smith

Day two of the same smoothie from yesterday.
Lunch was leftover tacos again.
After work I went to Lulu's and had some appetizers of viatnamese spring rolls and a corn cake. The corn cake was a little spicy, so I shared with a friend. The spring rolls were fresh and crunchy and a perfect starter for my evening. The night was a benefit for Harvesters. There weren't a lot of people there, but that's ok. I want to start going to as many of those that I can. I need to volunteer more and give more of my time. It'll be a good way to meet people and to give back. Lulu's also has different alcohols infused with berries. I had gin infused with lime. Shocker I know.
After the happy hour we went over to the infamous Michael Smith. We have the dining cards, so it isn't as pricey as it normally is. We got a bottle of Rose wine because it was Pink Thursday and Rose wine was half price. Good enough reason for me. While I lived in France it was amazing how much rose wine they drink. I had always thought all rose's were like White Zin, meaning all sugary and sweet. That isn't the case though. The wine we had in France varied just like whites. At MS we had a dry rose that was decent.
For dinner I had....blueberry ravioli. Quite random. It was in a brown butter sauce with crimini mushrooms and parmesan cheese. Whoa have I missed cheese. I decided that last night I was going to divert from the challenge a bit because the food is so famous, I figured I might as well enjoy it fully.
For dessert we shared a rhubarb tart with orange ice cream and an olive oil cake with strawberries and champagne sorbet. I only had a few bites of each, but a good way to blow the challenge.
I came home and had a snack of edamame for heading to the battle of Waterloo.

Day 38: Beer

Another green smoothie started off breakfast. I finally had gone to the store, so I had spinach, strawberries, blueberries, spinach, dates, a banana and a peach. Made enough for two days because I put lots of coconut water in it. Forgot to take a snack to work, so I was starving half way through the morning, but made it to lunch and came home to have veggie tacos. Work was just work in the afternoon, but after work, I came home and had to cut my brother's hair before I went out to dinner with a new acquaintance from down the street. We went to Maloney's and sat on the patio. The weather was perfect and I had a beer for the first time in 37 days. It was delicious. I had the spinach and strawberry salad for dinner and we just hung for a while. When I got home, I looked in the mirror and had seeds stuck in my teeth. So cute. I had some edamame to end the evening and headed to bed to read more Les Mis. I'm stuck in the battle of Waterloo and have had quite a time making progress on the book because this part is so boring. I'll get through it though, at least I know there is a story coming.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Day 37: Chickpea Fajitas

Another green smoothie started off the morning. This one was the same as yesterday but much denser. I had to add quite a bit of sparkling water to it to make it fluid enough to eat. I finished it before heading off to work thoughso I didn't have to check my teeth for seeds when I got there.
The morning was spent on a variety of activities, but I was starving by 9am. I'm not quite sure why, especially because there was a pretty substantial amount of green smoothie this morning.
I came home for lunch and had leftover no pasta lasagna with black beans on top and a few pickled beets. Boy do I love those beets. Probably not the best for me, but whoa they are good. The lasagna was still better again than it was even the first night.
This afternoon at work I decided I needed a new desk. For some reason, mine is way crappier than the others in the department. Mostly the problem will be that I have to sit at such a weird angle. Lots of crazy exciting stuff is happening at work, just gotta figure out how to pull them off.
After work I came home and had a few chips with some black beans on top because once again I was starving. I do find it interesting that I didn't want to stop eating the chips. I haven't really had that problem since before the challenge. I also craved chocolate for the first time today. I'm not sure if it is just a mindset thing or what, but I resisted.
I went to the store and bought lots of veggies and lots of frozen vegetables. I came home and made baked chickpea fajitas. The chickpeas were crunchy and all the veggies loaded into the saute pan made the fajitas really tasty. I think the lime juice helped, and cumin is never a bad thing. I tried to clean up the house a little bit while watching the Royals. I made some more green smoothie and headed off for more Les Mis.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Day 36: Livestrong tour

Last night I decided to make my smoothie for breakfast this morning. This is one of the few times I haven't really had many veggies in the house. I did have lots of strawberries from the Hen House text on Friday, but other than that all I had was a banana. Then I opened the freezer and saw the frozen peaches and blueberries. I found some kale in the fridge and set myself up for a smoothie today and one for tomorrow.
Work was pretty low key this morning. I spent quite a bit of time helping the new guy get situated and settled. I gave him some info and then just did some more work maintenance.
I came home for lunch and had leftover no pasta lasagna which was simply delightful. I think it really is better the next day.
The afternoon wasn't too eventful, but I finally feel like I'm getting a handle on things. I need to get some retailers in the pipeline to sign up for some programs, so tomorrow will be a bunch of phone calls. I got a good bit of emails from people contratulating me on my promotion, which is nice to see. At least people are starting to know who I am and what I do. I feel like that is the biggest win for the company.
After work I headed out to Livestrong for the KU MBA event. It was actually really good. There were lots of people there and the tour of the stadium was awesome. I really enjoyed the talk by their VP of Marketing too. I hope we can continue to get a big crowd for events like these. It only makes it better for all of us. I did have mostly veggies there, they had a great spread of partially steamed veggies. But the cheese plates were absolutely humongous and awesome, so I broke down and had a few pieces of cheese. So close to the end, but I feel like now I am feeling out more of how I'll continue the challenge once the 42 days are over. I think I'll eat cheese again, drink some beer and try to still stay away from meat at home. I'll enjoy it at restaurants and other people's houses, but if I can eat decently the same at home, I think I'll be pretty good.
I had some black beans and homemade tortilla chips when I got home. I absolutely loved the first batch, the second batch got burnt to a crisp and now my whole house stinks. I have to perfect the art. I also have to figure out if I can change the broiler temperature on my oven. Dad finished installing the new windows today and I already feel like it is much quieter. The air came back on tonight too, so I hope the new windows contribute to the energy efficiency as well.
I'm excited to read some more Les Mis tonight before hitting the pillow.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Day 35: Father's Day

I didn't feel stellar to say the least this morning, but got up and headed to mom and dad's for the day. We had eggs and bacon for breakfast, which was the only real big cheat of the challenge. It was a veggie frittata with lots of vegetables in it though, so wasn't all bad.
The rest of the afternoon was spent watching the marathon 15-inning Royals game and lounging. I had gotten 21,000+ steps last night, so I had a few to give. I still got about 8000 today though, so a pretty good week for steps. I munched throughout the day on bits of veggies and leftovers, but was pretty low laying.
We gave dad his presents and had no pasta lasagna for dinner that was delicious as usual. The cheese really makes it better. I can't believe there is only one week left for the challenge. It hasn't been that hard, but I will enjoy a beer here soon, and maybe some cheese!

Day 34: Girl Talk

I woke up to the sounds of my dad's truck backing up into my driveway. It was about 8:30 and he was off to work at the duplex, but needed something from my house. I decided it would be a perfect time to get up and head to the Farmers' Market. I went and picked up my mom, had a piece of Farm to Market Grains Galore bread topped with natural peanut butter and we headed out to the OP market. It was packed. We made our way through though and picked up all kinds of produce. We got veggies like beets, swiss chard and lettuce and even some peaches and herb plants.
I needed to pick out a fan, so I opted for the same one I got for the living room, but had to run out to Wilson's to pick it up.
Then made it to the paint store to make the ever-important color decisions. After paying an arm and a leg for the good paint, we ran by Hen House to pick up our CSA. There was bread, chicken, eggs, honey sticks, tomatoes and cucumbers. I hope for more veggies in the future!
Finally I made it home and loaded up on carrots and grapes while I drove out to the bowling alley in the Northland. Corporate challenge bowling was today and I did ok in the first game (168, 137, 143). I was kinda of bummed that I didn't do better, but I did give them my sheets with the average of 138 on it, so I shot above average. We ended up getting the bronze, which was cool.
I got home and picked up mom again to head out to Macy's to get dad some shirts. Then we swung by Old Navy to see if they had any sun dresses, they didn't. I grabbed Dad a golf bag at Dick's and went home to get ready for the evening.
I showered and waited for the ride and we headed off to P&L for girl talk. We stopped at Johnny's first to have dinner. I had a veggie burger with no bun or cheese and stole some guacamole from a friend that made the meal delicious. I was actually surprised at how good it was. I started drinking gin before I left my house and that was probably a bad idea. I continued drinking it through the night and paid for it in the morning.
The DJ was pretty good, it was packed and somewhat hot, but there was lots of dancing! We stayed out a bit after the DJ, but that was just annoying really. I should have left right after and wouldn't have had another drink. I got home and was forced to turn on the AC so that it would be comfortable sleeping weather. I guess it was 83 inside at 2am, so probably a good idea.

Day 33: Jazz in the Woods

As with most mornings, I had a smoothie this morning for breakfast. I didn't have any containers though, so I had to use a cup. The only bad part was that the smoothie was actually pretty ugly. It had the rest of the strawberries, blueberries, a banana, spinach, coconut water and some frozen peaches in it. Tasty enough.
The day was filled with meetings and calls and moving offices. It was somewhat weird moving offices, but I had to get the cube ready for the new guy. I'm not really sure how he is going to work out, but I'll have to do my best because I don't have much of a choice.
I came home for lunch and ate the rest of the huge salad I had made the other night. Dad was here and he was working on my shower. The walls are finally going in and I'm pumped that it is getting closer and closer to being finished.
I basically spent the afternoon moving and cleaning and answering emails. I had to get my computer all hooked up in the new office, plus clean out all of the old stuff. What a pain. It finally got all set though. I don't know why someone didn't think to get all the new guy's stuff set up, but for some reason he doesn't have his phone or computer set up yet. Another thing for me to do I guess.
I went by the store after work to get some strawberries since they were on text special. I grabbed some water too and came home to get situated for going to Corporate Woods for Jazz in the Woods. The traffic and parking wasn't that bad when I got out there, so I was able to find the pals and get a good spot. Then it was the hunt for falafel. Jerusalem Cafe was out there and we waited in a short line for Jerusalem Cafe and then had in our hands the delightful falafel. It was everything I had been waiting for. I had a glass of sangria with it. Heaven. I debated for a while getting another one, but by the time I went up there the line was forever long, so I opted for a glass of white wine instead.
The Elders were great as usual and then the saxophonist Warren Hill was just simply amazing. I think listening to the sax might be one of my favorite instruments. It was a great night. I was going to go out after, but decided instead to come home and rest up for the weekend.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Day 32: Royals win

The morning started off with a green smoothie that had strawberries, blueberries, spinach, a peach and coconut water in it. It was still a bit bitter, but I decided it was the skin from the peach. I spent the morning finishing presentations, had some carrots for snack and went to lunch a bit early.
For lunch I had a big salad that I had made a few days back and some bean chips that I got at the store. The chips were actually pretty darn good. I'm sure they aren't the best for me to eat all the time, but a tasty alternative to corn chips. There is all the salt that is still involved though. I had some grapes when I got back to the office for "dessert".
The afternoon consisted mostly of a big presentation to business managers, and then I was off at 4! I went to the bank finally and came home to get ready for the baseball game. I headed to my parents' early and had a sweet potato burger for dinner and a bit of my leftover Mexican.
We went to the game and tailgated a bit. I didn't have any meat or any beer still. I had Sparkling water with gin and limes though. Yum.
The game was pretty boring for awhile, but we finally ended up winning in the 9th after a double and an error by the Brewers.
I came home and had the rest of my edamame, a tall glass of water and then hit the hay.

Day 31: Promotion

The day started off with just a banana because I knew I'd be going to an early lunch. The morning was somewhat hectic, but I left for lunch at 10:50, which made the time pass even quicker. I picked Carolyn up and we headed to First Watch.
We met with Cindy and Shawna. I had a veggie burger for lunch, but on a tortilla instead of a bun. They actually have quite a few things that I could have eaten there, but the burger was definitely filling.
The afternoon at the office went much more nicely. Jerry called me in and gave me the promotion, a generous raise and a new office. Pretty nice way to spend the afternoon.
For dinner, I decided I wanted Mexican to celebrate, but I didn't go crazy. We went to Manny's and while I did eat a ton of chips and some salsa and guac, I did not have any meat or cheese. I had sopes with just beans on them. I know the refried beans weren't good for me either, but better than meat and cheese. I had a margarita also, but it was celebration time.
I came home and walked around the block a bit while talking to people on the phone. I headed home to new windows and primed walls and was asleep pretty quickly.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Day 30: sweet potato burgers revisited

Today was another round of the green smoothie I made on Sunday night. It was a bit more bitter today though, and the container that I put the smoothies in is really not good to drink out of. Every time I do drink the smoothies out of it, I cut my upper lip. Sounds like it is time for a trip to Target to fix that problem and find something a bit smoother.
The day was pretty low key, which was nice because I got quite a bit done. We went to Hen House for the text special salad bar. I got a pretty hearty lunch in, which was good because I had corporate challenge soccer right after work. There weren't any beets at the salad bar, which was a bummer, but the bean salads were good despite the knowledge that they are loaded with sugar.
After work, I came home and changed, grabbed some cashews and headed to soccer. We lost of course because we only had three people. I didn't really care that much, which the competitive side of me didn't really enjoy, but my shoes literally fell apart. The bottoms came away from the sole and I had to tape one together, only for the other to fall apart. What a cluster.
Our second game was a forfeit, but at least we didn't have to wait until 8 to play again. We played early and lost, so I headed to softball. I didn't play there, but got steps in.
I went to Mom & Dad's after to have sweet potato burgers and they were just as delicious as the first time. I had a few glasses of wine and headed home for unwinding and bed.

Day 29: Week 5

I can't really believe it is week five. I do feel like I've been on the plan a while, but it doesn't feel as long as it should. I did make a pretty good green smoothie for the beginning of week 5, it had strawberries, blueberries, a peach, a banana, some spinach and some coconut water in it. I had it when I got to work because I can enjoy it more there.
For lunch I decided to come home and have a quinoa burrito with black beans.
Golf was after work, so we went and played Heart of America. I shot a 45, which was pretty decent. The course was shorter than a standard course, but still played pretty well for normal.
I came home and made myself a huge salad with the tons of stuff I had in the fridge. There were beets, mushrooms, green onions, spinach, carrots, olives, black beans and probably more. I also peeled and sliced a beet, which I then roasted. It was awesome. I wish I would have done about four more. I ate the whole thing before going to bed.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Day 28: sick?

I felt horrible when I woke up this morning. Somewhat like I had a cold. My body ached and my head was cloudy. Not ideal. I stayed in bed as long as possible, but by 10 had to get up.
I went to my parents' for fruit and a piece of toast with natural peanut butter and headed back to my house to begin the work. Dad and I primed the ceiling and walls and listened to the Royals game. It was hot and dusty, but at least there is progress. I think I'm really going to like the wall color. I can't wait to see it all finished.
Went to Audrey's birthday party after that and the only thing I could eat was lettuce with tomatoes. I had to put some Caesar dressing on top to make it at least somewhat tasty. I think I got my pound of raw veggies today.
Then I went out and played outdoor soccer for the first time in forever. I was definitely not in shape for it and the other team was much younger than us. We lost 4-0. I think if we played together more often we'd be much better off.
I headed home and was on the phone for a while getting random chores done. I cleaned up the house a bit, made smoothies and got ready for a Monday. After a shower and some edamame, it was definitely bedtime.

Day 27: Sweet Potatoes

I woke up not feeling fantastic, probably because I consumed a good 2/3s of a bottle of wine by myself on Friday night. I got up at 7:45 though because the guys were coming to finish the sheet rock in my bedroom. I had a banana and drank some water, but still wasn't feeling stellar. I did sign up to volunteer though, so off I went to Ilus Day park in downtown KC to help plant sweet potato plants.
So I thought this was going to be a little plot with a few potato plants inside of it. I was wrong. You can learn about the project here: http://foodnotlawnskc.org/, but whoa was there a ton of land to cultivate. People were getting weeds out when I got there and I got the task of digging holes for an hour and 15 minutes. Then afterwards planted sweet potatoes. I was so not prepared. I wasn't in great shape after about 2 hours, and had to leave to get some food and shade. I felt bad leaving when they weren't even half way finished, but I had to.
I came home and had a burrito with quinoa, veggies and black beans and really just bummed out in the afternoon. I watched some Euro cup soccer and enjoyed the relaxation.
I did head to the Plaza to do a little shopping and found two of the items on my list.
I came home and made some avocado alfredo with soy noodles. It was pretty bland. Went to a party with friends and ended up at Gram & Dun on the plaza for a drink. They had nothing vegan friendly on the menu, so I had a salad without the feta. We drank a bottle of wine and called it a night.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Day 26: Shopping

I had a banana and applesauce for breakfast again today and had a busy morning at work writing job descriptions and having meetings on everything that is going on with the new people and the website program.
For lunch I took Mary to D'Bronx for her birthday since a piece of cheese pizza is what she wanted. I had their healthy veggie sandwich which had hummus, cucumber, tomato, lettuce, carrots and olives on a wheat bun and it was AWESOME. I will definitely eat it again.
When we got back to work I broke out the vegan cheesecake and didn't tell anyone what it was until they tried it. Surprisingly everyone tried it and somewhat liked it. The raspberry sauce helped make it a bit sweeter, but I actually thought it was pretty good for having no sugar. I'll be interested to see what mom and dad say if they try it tommorrow.
I came home after work and had leftover stir fry with black beans stirred in. I also had some guac and a whole wheat tortilla. Man I love avocados.
Then I went to Old Navy and didn't buy anything. I decided to go to Town Center though and found a few things to buy, but there isn't much out there that makes sense for work and for normal times. I talked to Carly for a bit while drinking wine at home and went to bed to prepare for a big day of volunteering, priming bedroom walls and having normal Saturday fun.

Day 25: Starlight

This morning had a banana and apple sauce for breakfast as I hadn't made a smoothie last night. Work was normal, yet came home and had a leftover bean burger with guacamole, lettuce and tomato for lunch. Made it back to work in time for my meeting at 1:30 then got to leave early for a meeting with Alex. Thankfully I got home a bit early after going to mom and dad's to borrow the Cuisenart to make the vegan cheesecake. I really need to either invest in one of those things or get married and have someone give one to me. That seems like a better idea, but much harder to pull off. For dinner I make quinoa and stir fry veggies, and when Sarah got here, we ate before heading to Starlight.
In the Heights was absolutely awesome. They rapped and it was hilarious. I thoroughly enjoyed it even though I felt like the end got a bit slow and predictable.
I made the vegan cheesecake when I got home. It took about 15 minutes total. It went in the freezer for the night and I went to bed.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Day 24: Home improvement

Once again had a green smoothie for breakfast. This one had pear, banana, spinach and coconut milk. Pretty basic, but delightful.
It was birthday day at work today and everyone did a nice job of staying away from sweets. There were lots of veggies, fruit and hummus. I also ate Nut Crackers for the first time and they were awesome. Still not great for me, but yummy as an alternative. Somehow I got so busy this afternoon I didn't realize I had to leave for lunch and then it was time for a meeting. I tried to eat as many veggies as possible when I got back but I was still hungry.
After work I went to Whole Foods with mom to get some supplies and thought I'd be eating veggie burgers for dinner not long after, but dad was working on the house so I had to help him. We didn't end up eating til 9:30! The burgers were really yummy though, and guacamole only helps everything.

Day 23: Tuesday

There wasn't much exciting about this past Tuesday except that we played softball. Other than that, had a green smoothie for breakfast, come home and had a quinoa burrito for lunch then after work had some grapes and a banana before going to play softball. I also finished off the corn/bean salsa. I had the last of the quinoa burritos for dinner when I got home and that was pretty much it.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Day 22: Pretty ho hum

This morning I had a smoothie made with all the leftover fruit from Saturday night. There were cantalopes, kiwi, strawberries, pineapple and spinach. I mixed it was coconut water and it was pretty good. I didn't need a snack today, which was quite odd, but for some reason the smoothie filled me up.
I didn't have a lot to do today, so it was pretty nice to get some random work done.
We ended up going out to lunch today. We went to Applebee's, but should have gone to Chipotle. There is NOTHING to eat at Applebees for vegans. Even if I took the chicken and shrimp out of the salads, all that would have been left was lettuce and maybe carrots or something. It is really pretty ridiculous. I ended up having a jalepeno-lime shrimp thing, and I ate shrimp for the first time in at least the 22 days. It was pretty tasty, but I would have rather just had double the veggies. I couldn't not eat though, it is the point of lunch.
We had golf after work, so I came home and scarfed down some grapes before going to tide me over. After shooting horribly today, I ran by Hen House to get some avocados to pair with my quinoa burrito I had when I got home. An orange sparkling water later it was time for bed.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Day 21: Back to Real

It isn't like I ate horribly the past few days, but I didn't eat strictly to the plan. This morning I woke up really hung over and didn't feel stellar. I had a banana and some blueberries and went to play softball. We lost our first game, so I got home around noon and had some leftover quinoa burrito and salads. I didn't do much this afternoon except watch the Royals and do random stuff around the house. Dad was here working on the bedroom/bathroom/closet. He got it all framed in, and it makes me excited for the room to be finished!
I went to the backyard neighborhood bbq and everyone was freaked out that I wasn't eating or drinking. I know it was just because they wanted to make sure I was comfortable, but everyone kept asking me if I needed a seat or something to eat. Plenty of really nice people though. I can't remember everyone's name, but such a nice group. I hope to get to do more with them all in the future.
After the bbq, I went to mom and dad's and had a big salad, some black bean enchiladas leftovers and some three bean salad. I'm full but not really. Back to the real eating schedule.

Day 20: Going-Away Party

Got up and ate an apple and headed to the softball field. We played 3 games. Won the first one, lost the second, then won the third. I did put on sunscreen, so didn't get burnt. Point for me.
I came home and had some more black beans and edamame then finished up the no pasta lasagna. The afternoon was full of chores. I cut the grass, did some weeding, went to the grocery store and then Mitch came over and we made some food. Texas caviar, guacamole and three bean salad. Then Andrew came over and brought all of the leftovers. There was so much food.
People arrived slowly and we just kind of hung out all night. Somehow I didn't end up going to bed until 3am and didn't eat horribly all night and drank gin and water again til the gin was gone, then drank some wine. It'll be sad to see Marcus go when he actually leaves for good, but it was fun to get together with everyone.

Day 19: Jazzoo

Started off the day with a green smoothie and then the morning at work was just crazy. Lots of meetings and not really much time for anything else. I did go to the Superior Selections tasting where the only thing I ate was hummus and salsa. The salsa was so spicy! Unexpectedly. I didn't realize it was already noon, and I had to be at a meeting at 1, so I ran home and ate the rest of the no pasta lasagna and busted it back to work. I did the training session, explained the contract to Caroline and then just cleaned up loose ends until the end of the day.
I did come home and eat some black beans because I was starving, and we headed out to Jazzoo.
I didn't really hold myself back from eating at Jazzoo. I had the chopped salad from Sunset Grill and it was delightful. It had bleu cheese and bacon in it, but the flavors were awesome. I had a bunch of Andre's goodies too and the rest of the night I was pretty good. I didn't eat any beef, pork or fish. I did have some smoked cheese that was awesome. I drank gin and waters all night, and only had 3, so was pretty sober most of the night. I didn't ever feel stuffed and really considered the night a success from an eating perspective.
We left somewhat early though so I could get some sleep for softball.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Day 18: Cheese

Today was just one of those days. I had to get my car tags renewed, so I went to the DMV early and I got there when they opened and was the 72nd person in line. I have no idea how that happens, but I had left my smoothie in the car while I went in. I wish I would have brought it with me, my stomach was growling.
I got to work at 9am to find out two people had been fired. Not a great start to the day.
I had to go to the plumbing store at lunch to pick out my bathroom vanity top and my shower kit, and I went by a new place downtown, Cafe Gratitude for lunch.
The place was great. I loved the vibe, my server Matt was awesome and I was in a great mood despite the day's happenings.
I had a veggie burger that was really....earthy. I'm not sure I'd have it again. For veggie, it was good, but I kept expecting a juicy burger. It is a challenge for a reason. I'd definitely go back though because I do want to try their other offerings.
The afternoon was pretty painless, but I couldn't leave work fast enough.
Tonight was book club, so I went to my parents' and ate black bean enchilada leftovers then headed to book club where it was French night. Cheese abounded. For the first time all challenge, I ate dairy. Very small pieces of cheeses with some white baguette. I also had some pasta with carmelized onions. I hadn't had pasta in 18 days. It had parmesean on top and was yummy. We took strawberries with cocoa nut dip, which I enjoyed immensely. I did eat pears and asparagus too so I could get in some of my 90/10 balance. Maybe not a total success for the day, but considering the events, pretty good.

Day 17: Business Travel

I got up at 4am this morning for a work trip to Dallas. I had an apple on the way to the airport and packed peanuts and a banana in my bag.
There isn't much to report from the trip. We had our meeting then went to a store to see the bakery. I really REALLY wanted to buy some of the delicious looking bread, but I didn't. We had lunch at the store. It was a Mexican store. Well not really a Mexican store, but their demographic is Mexican so the food at the store was all Mexican. Not vegetarian. I had rice and beans for lunch on top of homemade corn tortillas. Yum.
I ate the banana before we got back on the plane to come home.
I came straight home from the airport and had some edamame and black beans. I did random stuff around the house and then went to my parents' for No Pasta Lasagna. It was super filling and really good. I'd definitely eat it again. It was the first experience with soy cheese and it was a great fit.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Day 16: Back to Work

I had a green smoothie with pear, pineapple, banana, flax seed, spinach and almond milk for breakfast. Yummy, easy and filling. There was an interesting taste in there and I can't pick out what it was, but the smoothie was still good.
A woman at work makes cakes for fun and she brought in a strawberries and cream cake for a different woman who is having a baby. I had to try a tiny piece of the cake and I was sure glad I did. It was awesome. The little piece was definitely enough for me though, as I didn't feel awesome when I was done eating it, but that didn't last long.
We went to lunch early today and ended up at Chipotle again. I had the same thing as last time, except with grilled veggies this time. I could eat that food every week. It is good, decently healthy and very filling. Except by 3pm I was hungry again. Thankfully a woman at work had some leftover carrots. I ate the whole bag.
I grabbed a leftover salad when I got home from work and had that and a banana before heading off to softball. The games were pretty decent. I played third. A guy on the other team snapped his ankle during the second game, so that was a total bummer, but we won both games. Night 1 of 10 in the books.
Some edamame with soy sauce rounded off the night and bedtime came early because 4am will come even earlier.

Day 15: Road trip again

We were on the road again today. I ate an apple for breakfast and then got in the car to drive for four hours. At some point I grabbed the grapes because I was so hungry, but they were much more sour than the other grapes. It didn't stop me from eating quite a few.
We stopped at the Fiddlesticks place again for lunch and I had a spinach salad with green apple, green grapes, slivered almonds and avocado. I had green poppy seed dressing that was actually really yummy. Some nuts in the car while the drive continued rounded out the afternoon.
We finally made it home and had to go to the store and stock up on essentials, so we didn't have dinner til about 8, and we had black bean enchiladas. There was too much chili powder and I wasn't totally pumped about the tomato sauce base, but still pretty yummy with guacamole, lettuce and tomato.

Day 14: Dessert

It was the day of the party. I started off well with an apple and a banana at the hotel. Then it all pretty much went down hill from there.
We got to the party after we stopped at the grocery store and bought some fruit. I spent about an hour cutting up all various forms of fruit once we got to the house, and I made quite the lovely fruit trays. There were tons of strawberries because my cousin was making a cream cheese tart she needed to top with fruit.
Once everyone arrived, there were hot dogs, 2 hams, 2 crock pots of pulled pork, BLT dip, a huge veggie tray, fruit, baked beans, cheesy potatoes, fruit dip and chopped salad from Portillos. I'm proud to say that I did not eat any meat the whole time. I had brought my leftover falafel from Aladdin Pita and warmed that up. Of course I got weird comments about it, but hey, whatever.
I ate lots of veggies with hummus and quite a bit of fruit. I did try the baked beans because they were a special recipe, but didn't eat anything dairy....until dessert.
I had told myself that I was going to let myself have a piece of birthday cake. Well there wasn't a good cake, so I had 2 cookie balls, half of a chocolate chip cookie and a small slice of the cheese cake tart, which was delicious and did not ever get topped with fruit.
I didn't feel great after dessert so I ate more veggies and munched on some bean dip out of a can. I know it isn't good for me, but it was better than the other options. All in all, I'd say a pretty good party.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Day 13: Caved

Breakfast this morning was a little boring. All I had was a banana and some blueberries, but I thought it was the best option.
We went over to my cousin's, and waited for my Aunt to make it in town. Then we drove down to the Shedd Aquarium. The line to get it was 2 hours long, and I was starving, so I had a veggie burger from a food stand. I was impressed they even offered a veggie burger, but it was salty and surrounded by white bun. Alas, it was better than starving for the next 6 hours.
It did the trick to tide me over until after aquarium fun was had. We met a bud for a quick drink before heading out to the suburbs again for Mexican dinner with the entire family.
At the Mexican place, I did stay away from cheese, meat and dairy. I did not, however, stay away from tortilla chips. I was hungry and I love them. We did order guac so as to kind of get some veggies, but alas, I ate too many chips.
I had veggie fajitas with corn tortillas for dinner. There were even a few pieces of broccoli, squash, cauliflower, it had lots of onions, some mushrooms and was pretty good.
A glass of wine later and it is time for bed to get ready for a record high day in Chicago tomorrow.

Day 12: Finding Veggie Fare

As we started the day in Hannibal, MO, the first order of the day was a green smoothie that had been prepared before the trip began. The smoothie was somewhat earthy, which didn't make sense except that it had broccoli in it. Hmmm...
We walked around Hannibal for a bit, taking in the shops and river setting and then headed on the road. Shortly after we got on the road, we realized that going through Champaign would not be that far out of the way, so we headed that way and I started contemplating what I wanted to eat while we were there. Dad voted for Murphy's, but I was pretty sure there would be nothing Eat to Live proof there, so I opted for Za's instead. I thought the one on campus was still closed, but we googled it just instead. The website came up and said that only the two were on Springfield and Neil. We went to the one on Neil, and I had a whole wheat crust with mushrooms, spinach, onions, olives and pineapple. It was a tad bit burnt on the bottom, but other than that it was pure Za's goodness.
After lunch we headed to campus just to take a quick drive around. Mom and Dad hadn't been there since I graduated, and a lot has changed in 8 years! I can't believe it has been 8 years. Pure strangeness. Where has the time possibly gone?
We drove the rest of the way to our hotel and decided we were going to eat on our own instead of going to non-veggie friendly Portillo's. I yelped a veggie restaurant close to where we are, and all I found was a place called Aladdin Pita a few miles down the road. We decided to try out this Middle Eastern place out. It. was. awesome.
First they brought us all these yummy appetizers of hummus, babba gnoush, cucumber & tomato salad and another cucumber and tomato thing with yogurt. All this was eaten with pita. Pitas are non-eat to live approved, but they were good. I had falafel after that and it was even better. Stellar. Not quite my famous falafel from France a few years back, but still good. We got the bill and it was $15. For 3 people to be full and take food home it was $15. Crazy.
We stopped to get some wine on the way home and made it back to our hotel to enjoy a glass of wine before stretching out on a pull-out bed for me. Boy that king sure looked cozy, but all was well, I was super tired and passed out quickly.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Day 11: Road Trip

Wednesday evening was spent preparing for the weekend road trip, so smoothies, salads, fruits and veggies were all in supply as Thursday hit.
I had to work, but first had a smoothie with strawberries, pears and beet greens. I really love beets. I do not really love beet greens. In my smoothie they were stringy and crunchy. Not good attributes for a smoothie. I made it through though and headed to work.
For lunch, one of the women I work with suggested we hit up Chipotle. Amazingly, they have a good option for eating no meat and no dairy and no grains. I had a burrito bowl with brown rice, black beans, lettuce, corn salsa and guac. As I was eating the bowl, I wondered more than once whether the rice was actually brown rice, but I enjoyed the flavors so much that I decided not to care either way. I was definitely full after lunch, but in true challenge form, I wasn't stuffed and I didn't feel full for long. I had a half of an avocado waiting on my desk when I returned to work. One of the women likes to eat them, but doesn't want the entire thing. Score one for me! I od'd on avocado though. I had guac for lunch, the half of an avocado and then some in my wrap for dinner.
The story on dinner is that we drove from KC to Hannibal, MO. On the way I had a massive salad that we had prepared. The salad was scrumptious, romaine, spinach, mushrooms, orange peppers, celery, carrots and beets. I was quite content for the drive, but after we got to our Quality hotel, I still needed dinner.
We walked over to Fiddlesticks and perused the massive menu. My appreciation for anyone trying to eat remotely healthy has only been heightened by this challenge. There were maybe 20 salads on the menu, all of which had chicken, cheese, croutons or some other healthy-killing attribute.
I ended up getting a california club wrap without chicken or bacon, which left the tomato tortilla, spinach, tomato and avocado. Exciting huh? I had to get salsa to give it a little more flavor, and I got a side of the "garden" rice. Another thing about this challenge: not being allowed to have salt, when things are salty they are SALTY. This rice was definitely salty. By normal standards it wasn't ridiculous, but after having very little salt over the past 11 days, it was much saltier than I liked.
Alas, day one of the road trip is complete and went relatively well in light of the situation. The harder part of the challenge during Memorial Day weekend is coming up....

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Day 10: leftovers

Making food every night is hard work. As we're going out of town tomorrow, today was more about eating as much of what is already in the fridge as possible. So this morning, I finished off some more strawberries and grapes. Then, I had forgotten my phone at my parents' last night, so I went by and mom had made me a green smoothie this morning. I thought the double dip on fruits would hold me over throughout the morning, but by 11am, I was, in typical mid-morning fashion, starving. I had some peanuts to hold me over until lunch and then headed home a bit early.
I had the last falafel patty and some more grapes for lunch, as well as a spoonful of natural peanut butter. Dad came over during lunch because the master bedroom/bathroom remodel has begun and he's working on getting it framed in. It will be so nice to have a brand new bedroom and bathroom in about 3 weeks. There are lots of decisions to go before then though! I have some decision making to do. I picked the shower base color in approximately 45 seconds this past weekend, garnering an "Are you sure already?" from my mother, but I just have to go find the time to pick the other stuff and we should be on the move. I did take before pictures, so I'll post those sometime here in the future.
Work was absurd today. It was one meeting after the other, so when I finally made it home I was pooped. I had some peanuts and helped dad with leveling the floor a bit before mowing the grass.
Then I headed to my parents' to help them clean out the fridge. We had leftover soup, sweet potato patties and broccoli for dinner. We spent a good bit of time after dinner experimenting with beet chips (yummy once I figure out how long to bake them for), making green smoothies for tomorrow and Friday morning, and cutting up tons of veggies for the road trip this weekend.
We tried to find a vegan or vegetarian restaurant in Hannibal, MO where we will be staying tomorrow night and didn't have much luck. It'll be an interesting trip.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Day 9: Sweet Potato & Bean Burgers

Breakfast: strawberries & grapes
Lunch: leftover soup from the other night and some grapes
Dinner: Sweet Potato & White Bean Burgers with guacamole, lettuce, tomato and mustard. Side dishes of broccoli & cauliflower. I found the recipe from someone on facebook and I definitely recommend it.
The burgers were awesome. Not really burger like, but definitely scrumptious. I also made baked edamame and chickpeas to try out for a snack this weekend. The chickpeas ended up awesome. I have some work to do on the edamame baking.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Day 8: edamame

There really isn't anything exciting to report from today. I had strawberries and bananas after I slept 1 1/2 hours longer than when my alarm first went off. I have to stop doing that.
The morning was full of unexpected meetings, then my boss took me and a new girl to lunch because he didn't want to take her alone. We went to Granite City and I had the Greek salad without feta and pepperochinis (or however you spell that).
I golfed pretty well afterwork, but I came home and ate some leftover falafel patties with salsa first.
After golf went and had a glass of white wine and came home and enjoyed some go-to edamame with soy sauce. Pretty solid Monday. Only 3 days left in the week!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Day 7 : Laying low

After a horrible night of sleep in the new bed and new room, I didn't wake up feeling great this morning. I walked to my parents' house for breakfast like I do every Sunday and we had oatmeal, peaches and pineapple. I felt a little better after breakfast, but still not top notch.
We did some mid-afternoon shopping and hung out a bit, it was a pretty lazy Sunday, which was just fine with me because next weekend we'll be in Chicago for a birthday party. I got my rest in while I could.
For dinner we decided to have a Cream of Mushroom soup. We had to visit Whole Foods earlier in the day though because we couldn't find carrot juice at Hen House. Whole Foods was bonkers. We got what we needed and got out of there. I'm not sure if it is the solar eclipse or what, but today was just a weird day. I felt horrible, we saw a poodle riding shotgun in a red convertible, a man wearing shorts only young females should attempt to wear and a flower painted car. Plus, I was irritable. I think because I didn't get much sleep.
Mom also made apple strudel for dessert. Just apples, oats, cinnamon and egg white. No ice cream, much to my dad's disappointment.
The parents are holding up pretty well on the challenge. They've cheated a few times, but if it is necessary to fit it into the way of life, so be it.
I've decided to start taking photos of my meals because that is way more exciting, so I'll attempt that this week. There is much challenge ahead though. Four days of traveling and being in a hotel doesn't bode well for the challenge. We'll see how it goes....

Day 6: Steady as she goes

I woke up Saturday morning for the last time in my bed for the next month or so. My master bedroom, bathroom & closet are being redone by my pops, so the morning was full of moving stuff to the spare bedroom. I finally got in breakfast around 10 and had a bowl of strawberries and bananas. Quite a way to start the day. Around noon we began the demo of the bathroom and didn't stop til around 3 when I was famished! I ate a falafel patty and found my new favorite snack of the challenge: edamame. I love edamame normally, so I bought the frozen stuff and it was great. I threw on some soy sauce, probably not challenge approved, but Kate approved, and ate up the treat.
I went to my parents' house for dinner, mostly because I was exhausted and they have the air conditioning on. We decided to have whole wheat pita pizzas for dinner. I haven't had bread in a week, so it was a welcome meal. I had tomato sauce, spinach, broccoli, asparagus, tomato, onion, mushroom and black beans on my pizza. Stellar goodness.
My mom had had a brunch party earlier in the day and had made a tea with apple juice and two kinds of tea in it, so I tried that. I'm not sure if that was what made me feel horrible Saturday night or what, but boy oh boy did I not feel well.
I had weighed myself before I left my parents house and I've lost 9 pounds in one week. I think maybe my body is having problems adjusting that fast.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Day 5: the Picnic challenge

It is shaping up that each day of this challenge poses another obstacle.
This morning I was going golfing with the family for the Croatian Open. I had an apple for breakfast because I didn't want the green smoothie effect on my system while I was in the middle of the golf course without easy access to the facilites. I took a banana to eat halfway through the morning, but when I went to leave my house my garage door wouldn't open. My car was stuck inside. I had to call my dad to come and get me and in the rush to switch all my stuff to a different car, my banana got left behind. Oh boy did I want it bad around 10:30am.
We finished golf around 1:30 and I hadn't eaten since my apple at 6:30am. We went to the after-picnic and there was an entire spread of ..... meat. Sausage, turkey, brisket, ham. Yum. Potato salad and baked beans were also in attendance. Oh, and also there was lots and lots of cold beer. I sat at the picnic table and talked with family without eating a gosh darn thing. It was torture. Somewhat disheartening, but torture. This challenge will only last 42 days. I understand completely what is and is not good for me, and the social aspect of food and drink is good for me. Anything else makes me sorely unhappy. It is one of the reasons I will probably never stop drinking beer. It's what one does after a round of golf, while sitting at a baseball game or at a backyard bbq. I get that "customs" can be changed, but only if the necessity of changing is readily acceptable. It isn't for me.
I slowly enjoyed falafel and broccoli when I got home and felt a little proud for holding out, but also a little empty too. Not just of the food, but of the social sharing. It is what it is though, and probably for the better.
Mom made cashew stir fry for dinner with oodles of veggies and brown rice and it was quite yummy. Another keeper for even after the challenge is over.
The second obstacle of the day came at a birthday party. There were chips and dip and cookies and pretzels and oh.....tortilla chips. Man I love tortilla chips. I could eat a whole bag in one sitting. I resisted it all though and didn't drink anything because all they had was beer.
Work week 1 is complete and the challenge is still intact.

Day 4: The BBQ Challenge

Day 4 brought one of the hardest challenges yet. The morning started out perfectly ok. I had a variation on the smoothie I've been having lately with banana, spinach, mango, strawberries and apple, but instead of almond milk, I switched it up for coconut water. From the time I woke up, my stomach just wasn't settled. Of course Thursday is my day of meetings, and I wasn't feeling great, but gotta power through.
The Senior VP of Business Development came down around 9 and asked if we (my boss and I) wanted to go to lunch with a visiting retailer. I asked where we were going and he said Johnny Carino's. He indicated that they have a salad bar and soup station. Perfect, I can make that work perfectly with the challenge.
When we were pulling in the parking lot of the restaurant though, the VP asked the visiting retailer which she'd rather have, Italian or BBQ. She chose bbq because in her words "You can have Italian anywhere, but when in Kansas City, one should get bbq."
Absolutely true statement, but as soon as she chose my boss and I looked at each other and laughed. What the heck were we going to eat?
The restaurant was Arthur Bryant's. Now here's the thing, I have an appreciation for the point made in this article: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/11/dining/a-vegetarians-struggle-for-sustenance-in-the-midwest.html?pagewanted=all, but bottom line is you don't go to a bbq restaurant and try to eat vegetarian or vegan. It is like going to a Chinese restaurant and asking for a taco. It just isn't the place.
I didn't have any choice though, this was where we were going. Nothing on the menu fit the stipulations of the challenge. The only meatless options were coleslaw, potato salad, baked beans (possibly?), french fries, and sweet potato fries. Another consideration was a smoked chicken. After much internal debate I went with coleslaw and sweet potato fries. I have no idea if this was the best option, but I tried to evaulate what I had to work with and came up with that. The coleslaw was filling, but unfortunately the sweet potato fries had a seasoning on them that included brown sugar. They were good, but not idea for a main entree.
I survived the challenge though. Of course we got a few questions as to why we weren't eating meat, but at least I felt good when my boss said he would have caved and had meat if I wouldn't have been there to lead the way. It really is best to do these things with support.
I didn't feel great after eating, I had a headache, but after I got back to the office and scarfed down a banana and half of an avocado, I was feeling better.
Mom made black bean tacos for dinner that were really yummy and having those and a big salad rounded out the first REALLY challenging day of the challenge.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

It's Day 3 and I'm cranky.

I'm not really sure if the crankiness has anything to do with the challenge, but I know it isn't helping.
I had the same smoothie for breakfast this morning that I had yesterday morning, but this morning I woke up starving. I guess the bean soup last night wasn't as filling as necessary.
For lunch I came home and had a cauliflower soup that my mom made for her and my dad last night. The soup was just too spicy for me. It wasn't hot spicy, well it was, but I think that spice was pepper. I'm not a pepper fan. I know that is a weird dislike, but I'm really not that fond of it. If I do use it, I do so very sparingly. But then again, I realized I'm not a big spice person in general. My favorite spice? Cinnamon. Or maybe cumin. I do like herbs, especially basil, but spices, especially curry are just not my thing.
I digress.
I did try to eat most of the soup because it was all I had, but I only made it about 3/4 of the way through, which was ok because, as per last night's reviews, the soup was very filling. I had some cherry tomatoes and grapes to finish off the lunch.
I had to have some peanuts when I got back to work to feel a little more full, but I was in a work meeting from 3pm on and I felt like I was talking forever. I started to get cranky then because my stomach was growling.
When I got home, I just couldn't decide what I wanted to make for dinner.I had to have a spoon of natural peanut butter to tide myself over while I decided. I wish someone would just provide me a list of what to eat each night and this would be better. I need to just make one in advance so I don't play this game all the time.
I ended up having falafel from a box. It was....spicy. Ha. I think it was corriander, but I masked it a bit with salsa and ate some broccoli with it and made it through. At least I was full. I have 9 more mini falafel patties in the fridge, so I better suck it up.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Recipe Stumped: Day 2

The thing about this challenge is that it is easy for breakfast, somewhat easy for lunch and impossible for afternoon and dinner. I really have no problem eating green smoothies for breakfast. I make them the night before (today's was strawberries, blueberries, mango (which I won't eat again cause it is hairy), pear and spinach in it) and scarf them down quickly. I had grapes for my mid-morning snack and hit up the salad bar at Hen House for my lunch. There sure are some things that I love that can't be on my salad these days, like cheese, boiled eggs and croutons, but I made it through.
After work was WAY harder. I had unsalted peanuts for mid-afternoon snack, but had to bust out the celery and peanut butter directly after work because I wanted crackers or bread so much. I resisted though and managed to make it to dinner. I did have to pop open a bottle of wine, partly because today was stressful, and partly because I was hungry and needed something to do. Not a great reason, I know, but I started from the beginning saying my cheat was going to be wine.
I was having quite a time deciding what to make for dinner. I really wanted something with black beans which is totally random because I never crave black beans, but I ended up making a red and white bean soup with the veggies and spices in my parents' house. I would have loved a piece of bread with my soup, but had to settle for sliced tomatoes instead. A healthier option to be sure. I did have a piece of cheese before bed. Somehow the block has to get eaten so it doesn't go to waste.
 I made it through day 2 after some serious doubts on whether I'd be able to do this. Can only take it one day at a time.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Eat to Live: day 1

A few people I work with bought a book last week: Eat to Live. There is a much longer and fancier title, but the gist of it is how to eat healthy and lose weight. After much hubub, these colleagues decided they were going to do this "eating plan". Ok, for real, it's a diet, but supposedly leads to a lifestyle change instead of just a temporary diet.
The initial plan is for 42 days and the food one can eat consists of vegetables, fruit, nuts and beans. In other words, not much. I decided that I would take this challenge with my colleagues, and decided against buying the book because I have read enough about not eating animal products and dairy to know that it isn't the healthiest way to live. My mom decided her and my dad were going to try the diet change too, so this past weekend we did what we could to eat meals that we would miss while on the challenge.
Saturday I had a burger, Sunday lasagna and apple pie. We went grocery shopping and only went to the produce department and the bean aisle. My house is sufficiently stocked. Except I had tuna and white bean salad in the fridge and a block of cheese.
We started the challenge today, but I didn't officially start, and won't, until the tuna and cheese are gone. Probably by the end of the week. I decided not to waste food, but won't buy any more dairy until after the 42 days.
This morning for breakfast, after the chest and back P90X workout, I had a green "popeye" smoothie with strawberries, blueberries, a banana and spinach. Yum.
Lunch I didn't really think was going to be difficult until a retailer decided to take a co-worker and I to Chili's. Let me just help you understand that Chili's is not a place to go if one does not eat meat or fish. There were two options. I was going to get fire roasted corn guacamole with a side of black beans, but they couldn't take the jalepenos out of the guac, so I got a salad with a bunch of fruit on it. Not exciting, but pretty tasty. The biggest problem though was after lunch. I was starving.
I had to eat some unsalted peanuts at my desk to hold of my stomach eating itself, and one of the other women came by with a sliced up apple to help. This is gonna be rough.
Dinner was the tuna and white bean salad.
After golf I came home and had two slices of cheese and a bowl of peas. The biggest challenge of this whole things is that I think about food for a living. We'll see how it goes. I'm going to try and blog everyday about what I eat. I hope this will keep me accountable and chronicle the challenge for anyone interested.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Perks of the Job

One of the perks of my job (there aren't a ton), is random tickets to Royals games. On Friday, the group sales manager brought me tickets to today's game against the Yankees. I called the only Yankee fan I know to see if he wanted to go to the game, but he couldn't because he already had two family events planned. Today is my parents' 34th wedding anniversary, and they decided they didn't want to go, so I invited some friends. Going to a game with these tickets is only slightly different than going and having to buy tickets. We got a parking pass and didn't get in the park til the top of the 2nd, but since it had poured rain this morning, the weather wasn't as hot as it was yesterday. We took our seats and admired the view. Not too shabby at all. The beers were still $9.50, but after settling in under cloudy skies, we only had to deal with a bit of hot sun. Sadly, we also had to deal with a 10-4 Yankees win, but that didn't diminish the fun had.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


I'm having issues blogging, both for my personal blog and the one I have to write for Advertising Week. I have lots of topics, just seems like a monumental task to me right now and I don't want to sit down and do it. For the Ad Week ones I even have outlines of the blogs, but I need some essential Kansas City pictures for one of them and I haven't gone out and taken them. I'm in a funk. I'll try to snap out of it here soon.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Back to travel

On Thursday of last week I received a call from a sales rep in Alabama asking me if it was possible for me to fly to middle-of-nowhere Alabama on Tuesday (yes, 5 days from the current day) to give a 30 minute presentation. You read that correctly. I asked the bosses if that was indeed how they wanted me to spend 2 days and approximately $1200. They agreed that the account was big enough and the time would be well spent. The planning commenced. Now let me just say here, that after almost 4 years of traveling multiple times a week, it is REALLY hard for me to just send my travel details off to someone to plan for me. The first email to the travel girl looked something like this.
Kate -; I need to be in Geneva, AL at 8am Monday morning.
the second email looked approximately something like this:
I'd like to fly on March 12 at 10:45am out of MCI to Fort Walton Beach, through Atlanta, landing at 5pm. I would like a mid-size rental car, and I found a Hampton Inn in Enterprise, AL where I will stay for the night of March 12. I will fly out of Ft. Walton Beach on March 13 at 1:10pm and arrive back in Kansas City at 7pm. Thanks.
I just do it better myself. Anal? Maybe, but travel is no joke.
Here are some random observations about this trip.
- Florida is HORRIBLE at signing their streets. Alabama did it fantastically well.
- After 7pm in mid-March bugs in Alabama attack vehicles like rain drops.
- Luckily the humidity in mid-March in Alabama is also horrible, so first thing in the morning there is lots of dew on the windshield which has soaked the bugs overnight so that they come off easily with windshield wipers.
- In relation to when I traveled 4 times a week 3 years ago, there are way more healthy options to eat in the airport. Way to get with it people. Still overpriced, but at least they are now available.
- Taking one's own lunch is an even better idea.
- People have to get stupider when they travel. Why stop in the middle of a concourse and talk on your phone or text when 300 people are behind you trying to walk to their gate? Why go to the front of the boarding line when you are in zone 3 and first class is the only zone boarding now? The plane will not leave without you if you are sitting 100 ft away in a seat. Get a grip people.
- I'm not all together convinced that 13 hours on an airplane or in airports, 5 hours driving and 8 hours in a hotel are worth a 30 minute meeting. That is yet to be determined.
I did feel good getting back to traveling. Two days out of the office is great. The new phone that gives me my email on the run is even better.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Fancy Fancy

I manage digital media, yet until last Saturday I didn't have a smartphone. After telling my employer that I most definitely would not just "add" my work contacts to my personal phone and having them scoff at me for weeks for being so unreasonable, I finally convinced them to put up the fee for me to have a phone that they can contact me on at all times*. (*which means when I'm supposed to be working).
So Saturday I went to Sprint and got a shiny new (EXPENSIVE) Galaxy. I've had the phone for almost 5 days and I've added some apps, created a foursquare account, synced up my emails, transferred all my text campaigns to my work phone so every time I get a text message it isn't a dumb store telling me about their special (clarification, none of these stores have specials in my city, thus, they're dumb), and generally got used to the ginormous smart phone that I now carry with me when I'm "working". I'll tell you what, I don't get the hype.
Maybe it is because I spend hours a day on facebook and updating text campaigns and devising fun promotions, but I just don't really give two hoots about having extensive phone access. I know I needed it, so it was about time, but I have probably really used it 3 times. I'm sure I'll adapt as I have it more and try to figure out this app world, but it sure seems like a lot of work to me.

Thursday, March 1, 2012


This blogging thing is taking some getting back into. I started blogging again because I really do like writing. Now that my kitchen remodel is finished and I have my house back and will be spending more time here again, I'm going to try and get back into the blog. I'm not without topics. I seriously think of things to blog about left and right. Sometimes I write the whole blog in my head. In fact, often I'm convinced I have already written a blog, then I come to find out that I haven't blogged in 6 days. I've never had a good memory, but that is getting ridiculous.
I also determined that I need a phone with a camera so that I can have it with me at all times to take snapshots of what I want to blog about. Visual support is so much more entertaining.

I just got distracted by a grocery store commercial on TV. I haven't been to the grocery store for food for my own house in a month. The fridge is really bare. I should stop blogging now.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Hogue Columbia Valley 2007

One of my good friends is doing wine reviews every Thirsty Thursday (centsiblerunner.blogspot.com). Today, I just happen to be drinking wine as well, so I'll review the wine I'm drinking.
It's a dad wine. I'm really a white girl. I enjoy them more, they are easier for me to drink, and I like them better. Yet, I'm not one to complain when a bottle of wine is open and needs drinking, so the drinking of a Hogue Merlot commenced. I had one glass before my ever-so-fancy Panera dinner, and had two small glasses after.
I'll have to say I don't hate it. I'm not a Merlot fan in general, but it was easy enough to drink. It is quite earthy, and has a somewhat tangy finish. The bottle says it would be good with pork or bbq lamb. I'd vote for the BBQ. I like porc with whites, but as in the disclaimer above, I'm a white drinker.
For this one though, I'd recommend it.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Gatsby quote 2

I finished The Great Gatsby the other day. I've read a lot of "deep" books recently. Those "deep" books also tended to be more than 500 pages long. Gatsby? Less than 200. Still just about as deep as it gets. So many topics to talk about at book club.

Anyway, there was another one liner that I found particularly memorable. It is close to the end of the book when Nick sees Jordan after she has found another man.

The important piece comes at the end of this passage...
We shook hands.

"Oh, and do you remember--" she added, "--a conversation we had once about driving a car?"

"Why, -- not exactly."

"You said a bad driver was only safe until she met another bad driver? Well, I met another bad driver, didn't I? I mean it was careless of me to make such a wrong guess. I thought you were rather an honest, straightforward person. I thought it was your secret pride."

"I'm thirty," I said. "I'm five years too old to lie to myself and call it honor."

That statement made me think of how necessary it is to be who you are, not who you think you ought to be.

Sunday, February 19, 2012


Last night we went to the Ballet at the new Kauffman Center. Thoughts from the evening:
1. The Blue Bird Bistro has some money food. I had the ravioli with goat cheese, onion, spinach and cherries and it was yum. If you are vegetarian, vegan or carnivorous, you'll be just fine.
2. The Kauffman Center is awesome. I mean really, you should go.
3. I'm not sure I've been to the ballet other than The Nutcracker and for some reason the fact that no one talks isn't a big deal in the Nutcracker. Maybe because I always see it as just music and dancing anyway. Last night we saw Romeo & Juliet. I read Romeo & Juliet, really, I did. It was probably 13 years ago and therein lies the problem. I knew roughly which characters were which, but without any dialogue, the story becomes much more intriguing. The thing about ballet is that it is a masterpiece in body language. I couldn't see Juliet's face, but I knew when she was happy and sad by her posture, her movements and her eyebrows. The girl that played her is a ballerina that's been dancing in the KC Ballet for 20 years. I honest-to-God didn't know ballerinas could dance that long. Age discrimination? Possibly. Still, she was great. The symphony did a fantastic job as well.
4. People watching at an even like that is better than the airport. There were people in farm boots and jeans, one old man with a white coat and obnoxiously printed bow tie with a woman 20 years his junior who was wearing an extremely curve hugging leopard print skirt and then there were normal people dressed in ballgowns to business casual. I was entertained before I even made it into the show.
It was a fabulous night to be out and about in Kansas City. More reasons this city is great.

Thursday, February 16, 2012


I've been published! Ok, not really, it is more like a national blog let me contribute for them, but it is fun nonetheless. It is only my first blog that I'll write for Advertising Week. I'm excited to write more, but it is interesting how now there are so many blog topics that I can think of instead of having severe writer's block. Take a glance at the article!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Blest are They

I went to Catholic grade school. For eight years, I went to church every Friday and every Sunday morning. I wouldn't say I loved going to church, but absolutely one of my favorite parts was singing. One of my teachers used to tell me that singing was like double praying. I think she just said that to get people to sing, but it always stuck in my head. Even to this day, when I'm in church singing, I think of that.
Yesterday we went to a funeral for a dear friend's mother. The woman who sang the music was absolutely amazing. The piano player and flutist were also extraordinary. The celebraiton of this 93-year-old woman's life could not have been more fitting and more awe inspiring. From her 7 kids and their families to the musical jubilee that we sent her off into heaven with, it was fantastic. I know she was smiling from above.
We also sang one of my favorite songs in the Catholic church which correllates to one of my favorite parts of the Bible: the Beatitudes. I'm not overly religious, but what I love about the beatitidues is that you don't have to be. They are about living life, and how living reflects living. You can certainly take them religiously, but on a broader meaning, you can also apply them to whichever faith you follow. To me, they are calming and reassuring.
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
Gospel of St. Matthew 5:3-10

Saturday, February 11, 2012


I was listening to the radio the other day and this guy was talking about how a caller had called in and thanked the station for saving his marriage. Here's why. The caller and his wife used to car pool to work every day, and on the way listened to this particular station. The topics discussed on the station stimulated further conversations among the husband and wife at later points in the day, and they communicated all the time.
Then, the wife's job moved, so the couple no longer car pooled together. Instead of still listening to the radio station, the husband switched to another station that had djs on it that were a little more "masculine". The jokes and stories were a bit more raunchy and the caller said he found himself repeating the jokes and stories to his wife like he used to, but realized very quickly that they weren't worth repeating. Instead, the couple started talking less. Eventually the wife mentioned that she thought they were growing apart and the husband realized that it was because they had less to talk about each day. He began listening to the station again and was able to re-gain his relationship with his wife because they could relate to the same stories and have the same conversations.
Now whether this is a true story or not, I personally could believe it is true, because the same thing happens with culture. You relate to people on what you're able to talk to them about. As the DJ of the station also said, what we surround ourselves with begins to be how we then project ourselves onto others. Garbage in, garbage out.
I had a somewhat deep thought about it while finishing up my drive that day. I've got to surround myself with people who possess the attributes that I most want others to see in me. I've got to learn things to talk to people in a certain way, I have to pay attention, observe and pass along information that helps all of us be relatable to one another. It's my responsibility to surround myself with respectful people, watch and listen to respectful shows and music and think positively about those with whom I encounter. In the end, my environment creates my being, and it is totally under my control.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A reminder

We just started reading The Great Gatsby for book club. I didn't remember this being the opening:

"In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I've been turning over in my mind ever since.

"Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone," he told me, "just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that you've had.""

True that. I need to remind myself of this more often.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Post #1

In 2010 I lived in France and blogged everyday about my experience. It was awesome. Yes, France, but also blogging about it all the time. There is something about the exercise of putting one's thoughts into words. I write pretty often at work, whether it is a facebook post for one of my stores, website descriptions, program explanations or simply emails. Sometimes I have the problem where I can't think of the correct word to use, or the correct way to formulate a sentence. I realized the only way to bring the ease of writing back to myself was to practice it. Jsut like when I was younger and mom made me practice the piano so I would know the correct notes and tempo, practicing writing is the same thing. I can't really predict what this blog will be about. Some days I'm sure it'll be recaps of events in which I've participated. Some days it might be a book or recipe review, and some days it might be just random thoughts, or musings, as I like to call them. All days it will be an outlet. It's good to be back at it.