27 February 2010


Life feels like a hamster wheel lately. Day in, day out it seems like the same thing EVERY. DAY. and it's just about to drive me crazy! Typical day involves making my breakfast UltraShake, feeding the kitties, work, running, showering (for what always seems like the millionth time!) making some sort of dinner and then finally sitting down finally with nothing left that MUST be done. Add to that three months of gray, cold winter and I'm so ready to jet off somewhere warm and just stay there forever.

This is what I'd wear:

This is where I'd want to stay:

This is what my hair would look like:

Seriously, everyday I'd just wake up with Giselle's hair without having to "do" it!

This is how relaxed I'd feel:

photo via eihr.com

Okay, that little mental vacation was amazing! I'm hoping it's just the time of year, end of winter blahs that I'm experiencing. Soon enough we'll have Day Light Savings Time again. The weather will start to improve. I'll be able to run outside more regularly without having to bundle up or worry about slushy, icy roads. In the meantime, I'm going to do my best to focus on what I'm doing at that minute, like really getting zen with whatever it is I'm doing and be grateful for the ability I have to do such things rather than hate every minute of it.

Is winter driving you nuts too? Want to jet off somewhere warm with me?

25 February 2010

Starting Now

Dear Thursday,
Today's a little different from how you and I usually do things. Somehow it still feels like it's going to be really good day. I've got lots of work to do. The tunes are turned up - a little Andrew Bird to start, maybe followed by some Neko Case and a little South Rakkas Crew later on for good measure. I've got a meeting with my favorite designer later this afternoon. Hoping to put some projects to bed today so I can focus on other work.

So Thursday, I'm counting on you to carry through with me. Let's make it an awesome productive day. So now, I'm off to it!

* starr fish

24 February 2010

Run This Tune

Music is one thing that makes racking up the training miles each week so much easier. Two faves in my current running playlist feature the talented Rihanna. One thing I listen for in a good running song is strength. Strong beats? Strong lyrics? Will I feel strong and fast while listening to the song? The "yes" column gets checked for all of the aforementioned questions with Jay-Z's "Run This Town" featuring Rihanna and Rihanna's own "Hard". I also get a kick out of putting songs in my running playlists that have the word run in the title or lyrics. I'm kind of a dork though.

Life's a game but it's not fair
I break the rules, so I don't care
So I keep doing my own thing
Walking tall against the rain

They can say whatever
I'ma do whatever
No pain is forever
Yup, you know this

Tougher than a lion
Ain't no need in tryin'
I live where the sky ends
Yup, you know this

I dig Rihanna. And with all she's been through in her personal life, I like her even more for prevailing. You go, girl and keep the hits coming because I'm going to keep running (this town) and doing my own thing too!

23 February 2010

Items of Note

A few items to share, some are in direct relation to celebrating my birthday this weekend and some are not:

I am super grateful that I have such a great group of people that I can call friends. I'm a wealthy lady when it comes to the people I have in my life!

Everytime I bowl, I think I should bowl more often, but usually still only average going about once a year.

It's a bummer that people are moving out of Michigan. This weekend, I met a super-cute, artsy couple that R was already friends with. They're in the process of selling most of their stuff and getting ready to move to California. While that seems like a daunting process, I bet it would also be completely freeing to let go of so much stuff. I guess I don't have to move out of state to do this, just need to start weeding. And while the GR art community will now be short this cool couple, that just makes for two more cool people in California. And it serves as a reminder to make an effort to get to know those cool people that that I just sort of know, but would like to know better!

Cake with frosting in your favorite color makes for a fun photo op. There was a definite color theme for the weekend!

The world is really small. The guy that helped get us squared away at the bowling alley this weekend is the son of a sales rep I worked with at my high school/college bakery job. He literally must have been a baby when I worked there and he's a young man now, which makes me old(ish)!

I've loved Jamie Oliver since watching him on the Food Network back in the days of yore when I had cable. I love him even more after watching his TED talk. You should watch it now! His mission is to educate children (and adults) about healthy food. He makes a great case. There are children who don't know what common vegetables are! And make sure to look for the wheelbarrow full of sugar!

Speaking of good food. I'm on a mission to be able to make brown rice that turns out like they make it at Gaia. I found this on Pinch My Salt, and I'm going to give it a try the next time I make rice, which will be very soon! Since the UltraSimple Diet, I've been eating rice like it's going out of style. I'll let you know how the new method works out.

Sometimes, the best gift of all is keeping your word.

I really want a Diet Coke right now. But we're not seeing each other any more. Such a dysfuctional relationship!

19 February 2010

Happy Feet!

I took the day off today and man did it ever feel good! I started the day off at Douglas J getting a facial and a pedicure. My goodness, that's the most relaxed I've been in a while, and my toes look super cute now too! With my training schedule really kicking into gear lately for Riverbank Run, I really want to make a point of taking care of my feet since They really take a beating throughout the year with all the miles I put in. Scheduling regular pedicures just might be the right treat for me every 100-150 miles or so.

Because they sure as heck don't always look this good! The color is OPI's Suzi Says Feng Shui and it's my new favorite!

18 February 2010

oh, hello...

Just thought I'd throw you a bone. You seem hungry for something to chew on. Grrr....

16 February 2010

My Name Is...

I've been seeing this look up your name thing on Facebook for thee last few weeks. Hmmm. Then my good friend K posted the meaning of her name, so I thought I'd follow suit and look up mine. Here's the number two listing for my name:

A smart, sassy and sexy woman who knows things from fashion, to film to literature, from Manolo Blahniks to Mahatma Gandhi.


Another fun Internet time suck, look up names of other people you know and see if any of the listings are close to describing the people you know. Reading through some of the "definitions" my mental picture of the average author - middle school to high school age, too much time on their hands, writing a definition as a way to bolster their own image with the kids in their crowd or with the object of their affection. High-larious! I would have totally written fitting definitions for my crushes in middle school and high school.

14 February 2010


...I want to tell you a secret. I had a lovely Valentine's Day weekend and I hope you did too! Heart filled with love, mindful of those near and far who are so amazing, I'm sending out hugs and kisses to my family and friends whom I can't see whenever I want. Give yourself a hug and know that you are loved!

12 February 2010


I checked out a book called Living Raw Food by Sarma Melngailis from my library. After the whole detox cleanse I'm curious about raw food and willing to try some recipes. Raw food usually means vegan food - no animal products - and there's no cooking in the traditional heat it up and serve it sense. Nothing is heated above 118 degrees.

As I'm paging through the book, I'm mostly checking out the lovely pictures of food, skimming recipe pages here and there and making mental notes of recipes I might want to try. Then I see a picture of two people sitting in what appears to be an outdoor section of the author's restaurant. The woman in the picture looks curiously like the author, who in the introduction talks about the fact that this book is about "living raw food, not just eating it, but living it." Would you think someone who is concerned enough about raw food to write an entire book about it would be pictured smoking in her own book? I wouldn't think so, which makes me think, that's gotta be someone else in the picture, not the author. But I'm 99% sure that it's her, with a cigarette in her hand.

Clearly everyone has the right to make their own choices. I'm just having a hard time imagining how the choice is made, because the two choices seem so far from each other. Raw vegan diet + smoking cigarettes. It wouldn't work for me, but it must work for her.

I am fascinated by the choices people make, because you never really know what went into someone's choice. They may not even know. Was there a lot of thought involved? Or was there no thought at all? Do they regret the choices they've made? Are they consciously satisfied with their life or numbed out to the what their life has become? We're all on our own journey, with decisions to make every day. Life really is like one of those choose your own adventure books! Make one choice and your life could head in a completely different direction.

I know I've made choices that might not make any sense to someone who isn't inside my head with all the information I have. I have to remember that when I come across seemingly disparate concepts present within the same situation. Raw vegan food and cigarettes as part of the same person's life don't make sense in my brain, but it wasn't my decision so it's not mine to understand. Might people think it's odd for someone who is clearly health conscious to love baking and eating said baked goods. There are two disparate concepts present in someone's life. My life.

It's helpful for me to keep the focus on myself and my choices when I find myself saying, "Huh? Really? Why would someone do that?" None of my beeswax, so I'll just mind my own!

09 February 2010

little things

I don't know about you, but it helps my state of mind to focus on the good, looking for things I'm grateful for each day. I could just as easily come up with a "not so grateful for" list, but if I choose not to be a Bitter Betty today, my day goes so much better because I've made that choice! Things have made the gratitude list lately:

A bowl big enough for the job, especially if it's stainless steel!

Packages in the mail.

New magazines.

Saving money.

Making healthy choices about food.

Finishing my taxes in record time. Earlier than usual!

Running. (This depends on the day and time you ask me and how many miles I've got to run, but since I didn't have to run tonight and training is going well, it's on the list.)

Fresh laundry. (This goes hand in hand with the running. Totally appreciate the fresh clean laundry, but hate actually doing it!)

Finding out that something I worked on helped my company get a law suit thrown out of court.

Having a night off where I didn't have to do anything! The snow helped out on that one tonight!

What's on your gratitude list?

08 February 2010

Who Dat?

No, this is NOT going to be a Super Bowl post. Since it's been about a week since I've posted anything, I thought you just might be asking that question!

It's been a full week since I wrapped up the cleanse and the first week back to real food I did pretty well. I've been trying to stay away from the copious amounts of cheese I used to eat pre-cleanse, but have not ruled it out entirely. I haven't eaten it at home in anything that I've made, (which is a big deal!) but did have it this weekend out to eat - a bit of goat cheese in a spinach salad and a small cheese quesadilla and burrito with cheese from my favorite mexican take out place, Maggie's Kitchen. Also, in the sense of full disclosure, I did have some sweets over the last week, split two pieces of pie with three of my girlfriends Wednesday night at Electric Cheetah. And there were some treats in legal on Friday. And...okay, you get the picture. I didn't go overboard with any of the treats. More like I had just enough to have a taste and enjoy.

I've been trying to find some suitable snacks and treats for the times when there's too much going on in one day and not enough time to have a proper meal. So far a favorite find that works on many levels the Larabar. They are gluten free, dairy free, soy free, non-gmo, vegan and kosher and they actually taste good! So far I've tried the Key Lime Pie, Ginger Snap and Cherry Pie flavors. I love that each bar has such a short list of ingredients. The cherry pie bar has just three: dates, alomnds and unsweetened cherries. They've been great for an in between work and the gym. Another thing they've got going for them is texture, they're soft enough and not too sticky to be annoying with my current orthodontia! Larabar for the win!

Making food in advance for the week is something that I've continued. I like to be able to just toss my premade lunch into my bag in the morning and not have to rustle something up. Keeps me from eating lunch out somewhere that wouldn't be as healthy as what I could have made my self. Plus, hello, money saver!

That it's for now!

01 February 2010

UltraSimple Wrap Up

I made it through the seven day detox cleanse known as the UltraSimple Diet. While I don't feel like I had any lightning bolt-type results, (which I wasn't necessarily looking for) I feel really good about the whole experience. I stuck with the morning routine of hot water and lemon followed by an UltraShake. I decided I want to try to incorporate as much of this kind of eating as I can, without adapting a super strict attitude about food. I want to be able to enjoy food still, but I want to have my over all way of eating be more along the lines of how I ate for my seven days on the cleanse. I will for sure add in many of the veggies and fruits that aren't necessarily on the list - I really missed cooking with tomatoes and would have liked to use some red pepper or potato in my meals.

I was a little apprehensive about how I'd do going back to regular food, but my monthly book club dinner out at a local Italian place provided me with a great place to try it out. We normally get a few appetizers to share. I won't lie, I ate a few onion rings and french fries, but I don't feel like I went overboard. For dinner I usually order a dish called Spaghetti Roberto, which is spaghetti in a red sauce covered in what we lovingly call a cheesy blanket. Last night I ordered the regular spaghetti dinner, no cheesy blanket. You know what? It was still good! I usually gobble up any bread on any table, but didn't even eat the two pieces of garlic toast that come with the dinner or any of the breadsticks that were for sharing before dinner. That's a big deal for me and the coolest thing is that it wasn't a big struggle. I just decided I didn't want to eat it and didn't. I thought the pasta in and of itself would be enough to test out the return to gluten.

So, did I get sick or notice any odd after effects from my dinner? I felt really sleepy and sort of fuzzy headed for a couple hours when I got home, which I believe to be a direct result after eating pretty purely for the seven days prior. I survived though, no stomach revolt, which I was afraid of.

One of my main reasons for wanting to do the cleanse was to "reset my sweet tooth" and I think it may have worked! My company remodeled the corporate cafeteria and it debuted today, complete with bulk candy! How do you like that? Part of me wanted to not even participate in the candy. The other part of me was kind of curious. I got maybe a little more than a handful of Jelly Bellies for a mid afternoon candy snack. I ate a few at my desk and didn't feel compelled to eat the entire quantity just because they were there. There are still some at my desk, which wouldn't have happened pre-cleanse. While I think I'll always enjoy candy and sweets, I'm hoping I can hang onto the take it or leave it feeling I had about those Jelly Bellies today and not feel a compulsion about sweets anymore.

The positives of my experience:
  • Possibly resetting my sweet tooth.
  • Increased energy level.
  • Finding new healthy recipes I'm excited about.
  • Reducing my reliance on cheese as a protein source.
  • Setting a healthy goal and accomplishing it.

My aim now is to try to keep up my healthier eating for at least two of my three meals a day so I can continue to feel as good as I do today, without being so strict about what I eat/don't eat that I end up taking the enjoyment out of food or let it become something that separates me from other people. I love nothing more than sharing some tasty food with good friends. I was able to do that last night and am grateful that book club night fell on the first day off my cleanse.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my experience. Let me know if you have any questions about any of it. Or if you end up trying it on your own, I'd love to hear how it goes for you!

Day Seven

Saturday was a busy day. I woke up and had a leisurely morning, but had a bunch to do. I made my hot water and lemon juice and then enjoyed my UltraShake. One of the things I had to do was run six miles. (I'm training for my second 25k race, May 8, 2010) I had my shake around 10:00 a.m. and finally got to the gym around 1:30 p.m. By then I was already getting a little hungry, but knew eating something out and about wasn't really an option. I managed to get through my run, which was made a little more of a challenge because I skipped a three mile run earlier in the week. Add in the hunger and I wasn't really equipped to do six miles. I managed to get in five. Got home and ate some left over sweet potato fries and made another UltraShake because I knew it would be the quickest thing I could make and eat (drink) to overcome my crazy hunger.

R was supposed to be coming over Saturday evening and after reading all week about the sweet potato fries, he wanted to try them, so I made some around 9:00 p.m. for a snack for us. That's a lot of sweet potatoes, kids! They're so good and so good for you though! I also ended up eating some rice.

So Saturday wasn't really an ideal eating day per the cleanse plan, but I managed to stay true to the parameters of what foods to eat/not eat. I'm actually surprised that I ran five miles and really only had the UltraShake, sweet potato fries and some rice as my recovery foods. I felt good though.

One of my main thoughts on Saturday was that I couldn't believe the cleanse was coming to and end. I almost didn't want to get off it and will tell you more about that in my wrap up post! Read on, readers!