Thank You, Readers!

ThankX

 

 

It just recently occurred to me (via WordPress) that this blog is 2 years old. If you know me in my non-digital  life, I don’t celebrate much in life. I am usually pushing to the next goal. The only reason this celebration is happening is because it is for YOU. Thank YOU for taking the time to join my journey. It is incredible to think this started from a recommendation of a friend.

PS I want to apologize because previously there has not consistently been a comment section. My apologies, this blog’s goal is to be helpful and supportive along with encouraging your feedback. Please provide your feedback and questions below.  In a few days, I will be submitting a poll to better understand, how to support and assist you.  When posts are created moving forward a comment section will be added consistently.

Thanks again for taking the journey with me over the last 2 years!

 

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Introducing A Struggling Vegetarian

struggling_vegetarian

What is up with the page title? A very good question, I was drawn to wordpress blogging because of two things. First, a great male friend of mine saw a woman on MSNBC who was famous because of her blog. He thought that my brain neurons were fully firing and that I was semi-articulate therefore should create blog. Giggle. He saw a potential in me. Thank you friend, if you are reading this. Smile.

Part two was that I am a struggling vegetarian. So what does that mean? It means that I jumped into being a vegetarian without any real knowledge or support. During my journey, I have had some successes as well as failures. Over the years of starts, stops, and failures, I have learned a great deal about doing this “right”. My biggest frustration during that period was the lack of support and resources during my transition. This frustration is the source of the creation of this blog. Half of my goal of this blog platform is to support those that struggling with the vegetarian journey.

Okay, Lisa that is great, so what does all this mean? Weekly, I will provide a blog post related to food and health to support those trying to improve their health. Naturally, my own struggles will be shared to let readers know that they are not alone. In tandem with that, my passion for supporting struggling vegetarians will be going offline very soon. Keep an eye out for information and opportunities to meet in person.

The great thing about this being a dynamic blog is that I can still discuss digital marketing and consumer tech as well as healthy eating.

Looking forward to supporting fellow struggling vegetarians or those thinking of adopting a vegetarian lifestyle!
Have a great week full of infinite possibilities! 🙂

7 Easy Healthy Eating Tips

fall-harvest

 

 

As autumn arrives and children go back to school, it becomes harder to adhere to a healthier routine. My tips are general, but in an attempt to provide full disclosure there is a bit of focus on being vegetarian. In my travels, I run into individuals who are diabetic or choosing on their own to become vegetarian. Currently, the healthcare system is not preparing patients for living a “vegetarian lifestyle”. Notice, I said “vegetarian lifestyle” it is a way of life not a change in eating for most people. Here goes:

  • Get a Food Mentor
    • A food mentor can assist you with the transition into becoming a vegetarian along with being there for you through the tough times. You will need a friend to call for support. Also they can provide guidance about food options, recipes, and restaurants that are vegetarian friendly.
    • Takeaway: Join an offline vegetarian group, online vegetarian group, or take vegetarian cooking classes to get some guidance.

 

  • Plan for eating
    • Planning certain aspects of my eating is something that I struggle with personally. My mother would say that I have some nerve mentioning planning my meals! It is my hope that is she isn’t reading this because she is right. It is very helpful, if one wants to be a successful vegetarian to plan meals along with carrying healthy snacks on their person. Please don’t forget to eat the food you carry or it will go bad. I found this out the hard and smelly way. Giggle.
    • Takeaway: A tip would be to stock up on the staples that are easy to eat each week, so you set yourself up for success. For example, you can try to have the following available: nuts, fruit, pre-soak beans for cooking, and some CLIF bars.

 

  • Hydration is key
    • This will assist with managing your hunger. Hydration can come in the form of having a cup of hot tea, which can assist with digestion. A person can experience some indigestion, during the transition, so keeping hydrated via ginger tea for example, is so important. Consuming water can assist with keeping you clear headed as well.
    • Takeaway: One should try to drink several glasses of liquid with some of that being ginger or chamomile tea.

 

  • Exercise is helpful
    • The” vegetarian lifestyle” journey is about the mind-body connection. Exercise will help with your mood aka mind. When one eliminates sugar, salt, and fat there will be a change in one’s mood. Generally, exercising can release endorphins that can put one in a better mood.
    • Takeaway: Exercise will help with your mood. It can be as simple as cardio, yoga, walking, or Pilates. Physical activity will assist with digestion as well.

 

  • Meditation/Mindfulness/Prayer is so so important
    • This relates back to the mind-body connection. You will feel various types of emotions during this period and possible feel like you are out of control. The ability to connect with your breath or a higher power can be tremendously helpful. It will assist you in keeping perspective during this time of transition in your life.
    • Takeaway: A moment of stillness will let you connect and manage your emotions. As little as 10-20 minutes of quiet deep breathing a day can help.

 

  • Loving kindness is a necessity
    • Basically, go easy on yourself and take it one meal at a time. If you fall off the vegetarian wagon, then get back on the wagon the next meal. We are all human and will make mistakes, so don’t be too hard on yourself during this process. Hey, I am also rooting for you!
    • Takeaway: You may fall off the wagon and eat meat, but it is okay. Get back out there and try again!

 

  • Embrace the variety of foods out there! Have fun!
    • There is so much healthy and tasty food out there! Have fun and remember being a vegetarian doesn’t mean that you are eliminating options. You are creating more options and ways that you can eat food. There are tons of recipes to make and great vegetarian restaurants out there! Go forth and eat!

An important last note, please check with your doctor before and during this process because you don’t want to do yourself harm accidently.

The Village, Social Media, and a PSA Video

obesity15n-3-web

 

Recently a PSA video on childhood obesity on YouTube became very popular and received over a millions views. The video was very powerful and provided slightly scary imagery. After seeing the video two times, a few things immediately came to mind regarding this issue. Social media has the ability to communicate and elevate an issue in the public discourse. All forms of communication really come down to the conversation, which should be the goal of any PSA video. Images in the video were more than just that of the patient/child, but others in “ the village” surrounding the child.

Organizations and individuals have used social media to as a vehicle to get support for various causes. This PSA being posted on YouTube along with the views it has received have raised the visibility of this tremendously important issue. The conversation has been vigorous and lively in the comment section where this video has been posted. It has created a ripple effect as so many times happens with social media. Countless “social media campaigns” have been successful such as #BringBackOurGirls, ALS ice bucket challenge, and the Arab Springs uprising.  As a manager who leverages technology and consults regarding it the platform when used strategically can be a game changer.   Social media is a powerful tool, but it must be use precisely, thoughtful, and align with a strategy for improving healthcare outcomes in this instance.

This YouTube video may assist increasing awareness among the public and support to eradicate this epidemic. Childhood obesity will require a whole village to create improvements in the lives of obese children. My thoughts gravitated in that direction during the video because of everyone in the village shown such as teachers, other kids, clinicians, etc had a part to play in the child’s health. Studies have shown that who one hangs out with can determine their health and obesity profile. Additionally, where one livesPSA on Obesity has a big impact on someone’s health. That last point really reflects the village concept. Though the video shows a parent at the end discussing parenting related to food, I came away asking what I can do to assist parents and other care givers of children. As a result, I am formulating some ideas that I will blog on later.

Blogging such as everything else is about the conversation including that PSA related to child obesity posted online. It is my hope that genuine conversation manifests as a result of this PSA. PSAs are needed, since many times society doesn’t want to have the hard conversations about sex, drinking, etc.  Even worse than not having the conversation, are situations when parents and others “in the village” are ill informed about a topic such as childhood obesity. Also the discussion should not about shaming or blaming busy mothers. They are not the only source of this problem. Parents do play a critical role in a child’s nurturing process, but we as a society need to provide resources as well as create work/life balance culture to support busy parents. That teacher in the video who game him candy for getting an A shares some responsibility for his obesity along with his parents and others “in the village”. Also we must look in the mirror as well as individuals. I am ashamed to admit it, but I have given people cookies for gifts yet don’t consume them. My take away for immediate change is not to give out sweets and other fatty foods as gifts to others. We have to work together with parents to stem the tide of childhood obesity in society.

What is making me smile this week?

What is making me smile this week?

Hope you are taking a moment to smile this week. It is my hope this blog post will assist you in smiling. This feature was inspired by a wonderful show called the Pop Culture Happy Hour, a favorite podcast of mine from NPR. Please follow them on twitter at @nprmonkeysee.  At the end of each show, they discuss what is making them happy.  As a result, I am going to have a weekly feature in a similar vein, what is making me smile this week. The two things making me smile are pinto beans and The Amazing Spiderman 2.

Since I am a struggling vegetarian, I have explored many of the legume options available to me. My new favorite bean the pinto bean found me via a Spanish burrito at a restaurant. My eating out experience inspired me to make some quasi burritos at home, which were wonderful. I had no resulting digestive problems. As a result, this bean has taken first place in my heart and in my digestive system. It was hard fight but the pinto bean beat out the black bean for the number one spot. So here are my top 5 legumes from easiest to digest to hardest in my opinion.

  1. Pinto Bean
  2. Black Bean
  3. Chick Peas
  4. Black eyes peas
  5. Cannellini Beans

The second thing making me smile is the Amazing Spiderman 2, which I found to be very enjoyable. Andrew Garfield gives a more intense, dynamic, and dark approach to Spiderman. He strikes a nice balance between being cool and dorky/nerdy. As result, I highly recommend the movie to everyone who enjoys the genre. Additionally, I am excited about the next installment of Xmen. That will keep me smiling I am sure, since I adore the depth and breadth of Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine. Of course, there is the marketing tie that I cannot be overlooked with Spiderman, so I must address it.

 

Sony did an awesome job of teasing us with trailers for months to keep the fan base excited. Naturally, the movie studios provided the required complimentary Spiderman merchandise and video game, which appeared to get concept of swinging and web throwing correct according to experts. The movie did a great tie in with the US post office on their trucks and television commercials. Naturally, Disney will work with Sony to time the release of the DVD for Halloween to be in tandem with merchandise to support fandom as well as excited youth market. The marketing of movies and related merchandise are always interesting along with being innovative sometimes. I didn’t see the US post office tie in with Spiderman coming, however US post office is feeling a great deal of external market pressures. As a result, the Spiderman marketing buzz was helpful in increasing the post office’s brand awareness to a different segment of potential consumers.

Well on that note, I say smile a little more this week. Have a great day!

Lisa

Organic Apple Cider Vinegar

Hello All,

Happy PreFriday!

APPLEcider

Raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar is a tremendously helpful product be found at your local WholeFoods or any neighborhood wellness center.

A popular usage for apple cider vinegar has been for weight loss.

I have enjoyed the benefits related to improved digestion and skin care, so I am advocate for the product.

Also it makes water taste better, in my opinion.

The link below from FoodMatters outlines all the benefits of apple cider vinegar, which are numerous.

http://www.foodmatters.tv/articles-1/apple-cider-vinegar-the-wonder-drug-of-yesterday-and-today

What product would you like to share that has benefited you personally? Please talk back, it may help someone!

Thanks.

Lisa

 

A Farmed and Funny TV Show

 

chipotle-farmed-and-dangerous

 

Typically, I don’t talk about television shows here, but this one intrigued me. Farmed and Dangerous Sponsored by Chipotle Mexican Grill seemed like it would be interesting. Chipotle Mexican Grill is known for its Food with Integrity movement focusing on organic ingredients.  Farmed and Dangerous is interesting from both an agribusiness and a marketing perspective.

The show appears to be the standard good guys against bad guys’ paradigm, but as it relates to agribusiness.  Buck is the CEO of Industrial Food Image Bureau (I.F.I.B.) a PR firm representing an agribusiness business company named Animoil. Animoil found a way to feed cattle petropellets, which increases the efficiency with, which the cattle can be raised for food.  The only consequence is that a cow can explode.  Sophia Marshall, his daughter, comes on board as a marketing guru at the firm. On the side of all that is good and wholesome of this epic battle for exploding cattle is the range free cattle rancher Chip Randell from Sustainable Family Farming Association. He is a rancher focused on sustainability along with being the party that posts a video of Animoil’s cows exploding on the internet. The posted video went viral causing Buck all types of trouble, so Chip was asked to take it down and refute the information provided in the video. Chip, of course, refused the request of Industrial Food Image Bureau (I.F.I.B.) and the series begins.

The series leverages satire to educate the public about food origins in tandem with spreading the message of sustainable farming. Chipotle uses the show as a vehicle to increase its brand awareness among those interested in this issue. Fresh Meat references the sponsors Chipotle only once.  However, Hulu really focused on branding the television show as being associated with Chipotle. The show is slightly preachy, but in a cute Lisa Simpson way about sustainability, while being fun. Sometimes it is best to entertain first and educate second as done by the show. The message is packaged in a fun and easily digestible package with both the funny PR CEO and the attractive actor playing Chip. Additionally, the blowing up of the cows is dramatic, but is needed to get the audience’s attention. The attention getting explosions, attractive actors, and a funny CEO is a great recipe cooked up by Chipotle for teaching about the origins of food.

Kudos, Chipotle! Chipotle executed a smart marketing campaign that their increased brand awareness better than a Superbowl ad, while educating citizens about food origins in a palpable way. Lack of good marketing, in my opinion, is why healthy lifestyles are not adopted by citizens, such as being a vegetarian, working out, and meditation. For example, if vegetarians emphasized having a full head of hair, clear skin, and slimmer waistline as a result of being vegan/vegetarian more people might convert, while simultaneously emphasizing  the PETA issues less, which are very important. A little satire sprinkled on top of any topic cannot hurt even encouraging the public to adopt a healthier lifestyle. We all love to laugh. The end result would be the same, healthier people and animals saved along with a better environment.

I give the show a B+, because it was not something that I felt the need to give my full attention. However, it was an enjoyable show, that I would recommend to others to explore agribusiness and food origins in a fun way.