Finding the good in everything

When things are rough, it’s hard to find the good in a situation.  The past six months haven’t been the easiest:  our office staff found out the day after Labor Day that we were no longer going to be with the company we had been employed with after December 28th.  Another company was going to take over our office.

This left a lot of uncertainty.  At the time one of my co workers was poised to move into the sales manager position and I was moving into sales.  We didn’t know if we would have jobs after December 29th and started prepping for the worst, making sure our resumes were up to date and started scouring the classifieds for possible job leads.  We later had to re apply for our jobs or for possibly promotions.  And even after we interviewed, it took weeks for us to find out what our future held.  We all were blessed to keep our jobs, myself and another gal got promotions, and we were able to hire another person on.

But something so amazing came out of our months of uncertainty.  Before all this happened, our office was not cohesive, there was tension in the office.  As we went through this phase of life together, we became closer and learned to work through issues and help each other out.

We are still working on things as we are transitioning to the new company.  It was a rough couple weeks for me as I try on my new hat and try to figure out what I need to be doing and how.  I’ve been crabby, sometimes REALLY crabby.  Today, as I was having a better day, one of my Account Executives recognized that time is important and told me that she’s allowing more time for me to work on things for her.  It may seem like a tiny thing as you read this but to me it’s huge.  It means that we are continuing to grow with each other, learn from each other and are continuing to stick things out:  through thick or thin.

Count your blessings, remember what is really important and be thankful for what you have in your life.

If you can’t say nothin’ nice…

I don’t always keep in tune with what is going on in the world.  I typically do enough so that I can talk intelligently and know the facts.  I don’t like to sound ignorant so I educate myself.

Not everyone does this, which was evident by this interview that included TV talk show host, Joy Behar.  If you haven’t watched it, please do.  Unless you are in a good mood because it will tick you off.

I spend time trying to educate people about being gluten free:  what my reasons are, what it means and how I keep myself healthy.  What irritates me the most is people not educating themselves on why they are eating gluten free.  Admittedly, a lot of people that don’t know why they are eating gluten free are the ones who don’t have a medical diagnosis that requires it.  They do it because they feel better or, in some cases, because it’s the newest thing.  There are those people.

Ms. Behar is a prime example of talking without education.  Of speaking out of ignorance.  We are “needy” because our diet requires it.  Celiac Disease isn’t something in our head, it’s a REAL disease.  In fact, Ms Behar, I invite you to feed me pasta and hang out in the bathroom with me while my not real disease kicks in.

Part of me hopes that this negative publicity is a wake up call to this lady but, who am I kidding?  I have seen her before and she isn’t the brightest bulb so I am highly doubtful that it will change.  I just hope that other people won’t pay attention to her…and we can continue our education and bring positive light to eating gluten free.

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Time marches on

15 years. Sounds like a long time, doesn’t it? It is and isn’t all at the same time.

I remember it so clearly. 15 years ago I was finishing up my last class at the University of Sioux Falls. I had just moved into an apartment off campus with two of my friends. Our phone had yet to be hooked up and it was before cell phones were in everyone’s pockets.

I headed to the campus, parked and went inside Jeschke Hall, where my art class was.  I was almost finished with college.  A great feeling!  Then I saw my pastor, Steve Miller, in the hallway.  Steve wasn’t typically at the campus, we had a weekly group that met at church but I was always happy to see him.  His face was grim as he delivered the news:  my cousin, Jay, had been killed in a car accident.

When news like that is delivered, it’s hard to take in.  You want to ask if the person is joking but you know they aren’t.  Jay was young, just 18.  It was his first year in college, he had a girlfriend and his adult life was just beginning.  He was a ornery guy, always playing jokes, always a smile on his face.    There were five cousins on our side at the time so we all were more like siblings than cousins.

All I could think was that I had to tell my brother.  My parents hadn’t been able to get a hold of him so I was the one who went to the campus radio station, where I was manager, picked up the phone and delivered the news.  Not news that you want to deliver to anyone, much less your brother.

So you go through the stages of grief and try to heal but there are still things that bring Jay to mind.  I took pictures of a senior guy a few years ago and he reminded me of Jay.  Frogs remind me of Jay (yes, there is a story there).  Hunting reminds me of Jay and his love of the outdoors.

And every year at this time I have a feeling of sadness wash over me as the anniversary approaches.  The thing that consoles me is that I have happy memories of our time on earth, fond memories of Christmases and family gatherings.  Most of all, I cherish the fact that someday I will see his mischievous grin again.

By the way, the photo below was taken at my high school graduation.  I am in the back with my brother, Scott, and our cousins (from L-R) are Sara, Lisa and Jay.  RIP Jay, you are always missed.


Well, that’s a lovely pair

I may have had people wondering what my topic was for this blog. Pair of what?

Last week Pizza Hut announced that it was introducing a gluten free pizza make with an Udi’s crust at the majority of their locations. Around the same time MillerCoors announced that they are creating a gluten free beer, their Coors Peak Copper Lager.

According to the Pizza Hut website, the patrons who need to eat gluten free will be protected: gluten free area, gluten free utensils and the workers will be required to wear gloves. The pizzas will be made in the same oven as the other pizzas but will be placed on parchment paper to protect the pizza from cross contamination. I’ve asked Pizza Hut which locations will have this pizza but haven’t heard back.

MillerCoors has a little better way of brewing their beer. Make from brown rice and pea protein, it is 100% gluten free. Also, in order for it to be certified gluten free, it has to be made in a separate area and they have made those accommodations. For those of you anxious to try this beer, unless you are in Seattle or Portland, you are out of luck for now. I am curious about this beer but was never a Coors drinker so…yes, I have asked to test it. 🙂 Why not?

Pizza and beer is something that I used to love to have, especially eating out. This pair may create that awesome relationship once again!


Buddy Up!

When you’re gluten free, or have any kind of allergy, when you meet someone who has the same condition you have a new BFF.

Last week we met the new General Sales Manager, Marketing person and HR person for the new company we are working for. We went around the room and told a quick synopsis about ourselves to get to know each other better. Of course, when it was my turn I said that I was gluten free. At that point the marketing person happily exclaimed that our HR person was also gluten free.

That opens all kind of doors. I was excited to tell the HR person that the restaurant that we were going to that night was gluten free and we talked about all kinds of things gluten free. We got to share stories about why we were gluten free and she was happy that I could direct her to different places in Grand Junction that had gluten free options.

The things we have in common, especially when it comes to eating gluten free, are the happiest times. I’m grateful each time I meet someone who is in my same boat, not because I would wish this on anyone else but because someone else UNDERSTANDS.

Is this how you feel too? Do you take comfort in meeting someone else who is GF? Please share!

Leaving it behind

This time of the year always makes me go back in time and not to good times. When I was a kiddo, I was awkward, chubby, not the cutest girl, not athletic, pretty smart and a band geek. Yup, not the most popular kid in school

In fact, I went through a lot of girls who claimed to be my “best friend” in grade school and middle school. One day we were wearing the matching “BFF” heart necklaces and the next they were talking crap behind my back. Experiences like that taught me to build walls, strong walls, and not to let people in easily.

That brings me to the original topic. There are people in this world that never leave the grade/middle/high school world and when they meet someone who is confident, liked by others and a good person…well, they leave them out of things. I’m not sure where that mentality comes from but I see it and see it a lot. It honestly makes me want to stand up and scream “you are NOT a prom queen anymore!” but I try to contain myself. But somehow it brings me back to grade school: painfully awkward, chubby, big glasses and not overly cute. The funny part is that I am so far away from that person, from the person I was in high school and even the person I was 10 years ago…but things like being shunned, left out for no reason, brings back that girl.

What do I do? Get mad? Not talk to them? Nah, I’m the bigger person, the person who is who she is and I refuse to stoop to their levels. I am who I am. I am liked by a lot of people and I CHOOSE to be around people who want to be around me. Maybe that’s the key: People WANT to be around me. I’m not arrogant, it’s the truth. This is what I need to remember:


Taking things as they come

Last week I started with a new company. To make a long story short, the company I was working for and the new company just kinda traded. Things like that can be done in the media world and if you want more details, feel free to contact me.

With a new company comes new procedures, new people to contact and so much more. This has been a stressful week in our office as corporate came into town to introduce themselves, do a company overview, etc. Stress also comes as we haven’t been trained on procedures and so much more. Limbo is the best way to explain it.

Yesterday, after another stressful morning, I was reminded that we can only do so much and that we can’t control things so why let the stress control us? I took a chill pill, talked to my manager (made her leave the office for a break) and decided to just take things as they come. What I can’t control, I won’t freak out over and what I CAN control, I will take hold of.

Getting rid of the bad

Tomorrow I start a detox. Yup, with the new year, it’s time to get back into line. I had been doing pretty well until the two weeks before Christmas and then it was all bets off. It’s so easy to get into bad habits of eating things that aren’t good for you or having a few more beers a week than you used to. All of a sudden you’ve gone from pretty in shape to having a tire around your middle that wasn’t there just a few short weeks ago.

I know that the New Year typically means that people hit the gym more, make resolutions to eat right or start a diet and just to be healthy overall but why does it take the New Year to push us in that direction? And how many of us stick to our “diets”?

I started with Arbonne almost a year ago. For those that don’t know, Arbonne is a health and wellness company and, through the consultants, we do a 28 Day Detox Bootcamp as I call it. Others call it a Clean Eating Program, it’s all the same.

I did my first one in May of 2014. I sell the products, I should know how they work, right? Boy, was I in for a treat. It’s an amazing program where you eliminate foods that are known allergens (dairy, gluten, soy) as well as other items that are acidic to your body like coffee, alcohol, soda and the like. I’m already gluten free so that part was easy for me. The hard part, I thought, would be giving up soda and coffee since I knew I was addicted to both. What I learned about myself and what I put into my body was amazing!

For one, our bodies store the acidic items in our fat cells and is why we gain weight. Think about a water balloon as a fat cell. As you add acidic items (water) to the cell (balloon), it gets bigger. As you remove acidic items (water) from your diet, the cell (balloon) shrinks. Another thing I learned was that our bodies will go through a withdrawal process when eliminating items but my biggest one wasn’t caffeine, it was sugar. Sugar is in EVERYTHING. It’s crazy. Third, I learned what was important to my body and when to listen. For the first few days I felt like I was in a fog and couldn’t think right. I figured out that I was missing healthy fats and when I incorporated almonds and avacados into my diet almost every day, I was a wiz!

Most people lose weight on this detox but they lose inches and that’s what I was most impressed with. I also felt better and my dad, an almost 40 year diabetic, was able to reduce his insulin to the lowest he’s ever seen.

I’m not trying to sell this product, I’m saying that I’m ready to get back to healthy. I’m ready to get back to feeling good and getting rid of my spare tire I’m developing. It’s not a New Years resolution, it’s a lifestyle change. I’m not saying, after my 28 days, that I won’t have a drink here or there, eat some nachos, or have a cupcake but for the most part I’m going back to healthy and getting rid of the bad that’s lurking out there.

By the way, if you haven’t read the book “Wheat Belly”, I highly recommend it. I am in the midst of reading it and you will be amazed at how food production has changed and will make you rethink what you put in your body!

Starting anew

While most people were spending New Year’s Eve with family and friends, I opted to stay at home.  It’s been a weird week and then when I got home from work, my cat was sick and thought it was better to cuddle with her and make sure she was ok.  When your fur baby is over 18, you never know…

I had time to think while watching a marathon of “Wings”.  I had read a blog by Ashley Castle, a world-class traveler and Arbonne consultant, earlier in the day and it got me thinking:  What are my goals and dreams?  What do I need to change to reach them?

I actually met Ashley this summer.  She was working on the Mutual of Omaha Aha! Tour.  When I came in for my interview, she spotted my Arbonne necklace and made a connection.  Once an Arbonne sister, always an Arbonne sister.  Since then I’ve followed her on Facebook and via her blog.  I won’t lie, I’m pretty jealous of her lifestyle as she is always traveling somewhere, it seems.  But she is by no means a trust fund baby, she has worked hard to make it all happen and she is a travel writer so makes a living by the sights she sees.  The point is that that was her dream and two years ago it HAPPENED.  Now, someone didn’t just give it to her…again, she worked for it, it was a GOAL.

She makes goals in four or five areas of her life every year.  She WRITES them down.  I’ve had my Arbonne consultants ask why they should write their monthly goals down.  Here is the reason:  you are 70% more likely to reach a goal if it is written down.  If you don’t write it down, the likelihood of reaching that goal drops to 7%.  (Thanks, Ashley!).  In reading that, it made me think this:  “If I don’t write a goal down, I really have no intention of doing it.  I have no DESIRE to reach that goal.  It’s just a “if I do it, then it’s cool.” kind of goal.

I will be following Ashley’s method of creating goals in my life from professional to different aspects of my personal life.  I also will be focusing on the positive.  This includes cleaning out the negative friends, acquaintances, books and so much more from my life.  I will be limiting some relationships because they are “poisonous” which may mean cleaning out my Facebook friends…the horror!  I will be downsizing because we all have too many “things” in our lives.  Things do NOT equal happiness.  I will cross one or two items off of my bucket list.  I will run more races, will take the time to FEEL better about myself which will translate into looking better, if that can happen.  Haha!  Just kidding.  I will take time for ME.  We don’t do that either.  Taking time for yourself isn’t a bad thing, being selfish with “me” time is a GOOD thing.  If we don’t take time for ourselves, we are no good for anyone.  As a social butterfly, this will be a hard one for me.  I hate missing out on things!  I will try new things because if you don’t try it, you don’t know if you like it!

This is a start to my new year.  This will be a new year, a new me and a great new time in my life.  This is the year I turn 40 and I won’t go into it kicking and screaming.  I will welcome it because it means greater things are ahead.

I hope you had a great New Year’s Eve and that you have an amazing start to 2015.

Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook and also follow my friend Ashley there!

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