Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Magical Fruit!

So I’ve recently started obsessing about beans. I’ve been quite the slacker in keeping them in my diet and I’ve been trying to eat them for dinner at least once per week (so what if that challenge started last week!).

Last week was black bean soup. By the way, I found the best way to make black beans! And OMG, the soup was incredible! When you make black beans, cook the beans with a ham hock. Yes, you heard correctly. A ham hock. Kind of gross, but this turned a black bean soup into a black bean soup. You know that one ingredient that you can’t ever place that makes restaurant food taste so much better than when you make it at home? (Well, normally that’s shallots and butter, but you get the picture) Ham hock. I promise you. You’ll love it. Add in an onion and together, you’ll have some incredible beans. But please do me and the planet a favor: pick up a frozen ham hock from a farm that has sustainably raised their pigs on an organic diet. Thank you. I’ve gotten them from Clark Summit Farms and Avedano’s meats.

For the first timer or the very wary due to gastronomic distress, here are some suggestions that I highly recommend that you follow for your comfort and those around you:
  • Soak the beans over night (i.e 12-18 hours)
  • Drain the water and rinse the beans very well
  • Put the beans in a pot and add cold water to cook
  • Do NOT add salt until the very end of cooking
  • Add in a 1 inch piece of kombu seaweed (no idea why, but it alleviates gas)

    Minestrone soup with Yellow Indian Woman heirloom beans. OMG. This was amazing (no ham hock needed!)!!
Tonight I’m cooking up a pot for minestrone, and the annoying part is that they were cooking for nearly 2 hours. Yikes! If you want to avoid this, try using a pressure cooker (never tried it), or a slow cooker (A swears by this) or take 3 days to cook your beans (soak day 1, cook day 2, eat day 3). Then you can avoid the late dinners! The beans I’m trying tonight are a Yellow Indian Woman heirloom variety from the wonderful Rancho Gordo producer. What a great company. They’re trying to preserve heirloom varieties, use no GMO seeds and are in Napa. And are d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s. Wow. Those were amazing beans. Seriously.

To change topics a bit - spent a fantastic weekend visiting two friends, S and N. I sort of needed an estrogen fix. What a great weekend spent talking, visiting, talking, sharing vegan/gluten free desserts and talking some more. I never realized how valuable it was to have such close friends where nothing is taboo or crazy (like beans). It’s liberating. We spend so much time in this country tight lipped and worried about what we say. Politics, sex, alternative medicines, religion/spirituality and emotions are off the table in the US. Why? What can’t we be more open, tolerant and enjoy each others’ views? Instead of getting into heated debates over who is president and how you feel about gun control, why can’t we discuss how we feel without judgement and be open? I challenge you to find friends and/or a partner who you can just let go with. Just let it all out! Even that crazy nagging thought in the back of your head like “do crystals really have power”? Laugh about it! Enjoy your thoughts; embrace them. Who knows, maybe you’ll learn something or realize something about yourself that you never knew.

A new challenge for myself: yoga. S just finished an incredible yoga teacher training in Bali. It was awesome to hear her experiences. She was kind enough to wait for the weekend that I was in town to give a class for her friends. She did the class at her yoga studio, which happens to do only hot yoga. It was awesome! She did a Vinyassa style class in a 95 degree room. And I loved it. I loved how it detoxed me from the previous night of debachery. I loved how I could tell how tight my muscles and joints were and that I needed to continue with yoga. It inspired me to figure out a way to go at least once a week here in SF. I promise myself that with the upcoming long weekend, I’ll go to a class at Urban Flow Yoga. Should be interesting as this studio is donation based, has crowded classes and bumping music. All this sounds fine to me me, however, I can understand how it wouldn’t work for others. I’ll keep you posted!

Cannot wait for Turkey Day!!!

Get in the groove, don’t get stressed about cooking and just know - you’re sexy and you know it!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Albuquerque Was a Turkey

Top of the food chain. Taken on safari in the Serengeti in August.

I read an article today and it inspired me to write about a topic that is very important to me. Meat. As in the food. ;) With Thanksgiving around the corner and the imminent slaughter of thousands of turkeys that are raised specifically for this one meal, I thought it pertinent to bring this topic up.

Let me start with saying that Thanksgiving is by far my most favored and treasured holidays. I adore the fact that the entire holiday is geared towards spending time with your friends and family over a meal. So much love and care is gone into one meal spent with important people in your life - I wish we had Thanksgiving more often! But a different kind of Thanksgiving. One that focused on seasonal, fresh and delicious foods. I have a theory - I believe that most of us (yes you!) really do like pretty much every vegetable out there. It’s just not fresh and not properly cooked when we eat it, so we *think* we don’t like brussel sprouts. Hmm... brussel sprouts... I can honestly say that I hate grapefruit. I try it every freaking year hoping that my tastes will change and I’ll like it. No such luck yet. So there are exceptions. I challenge you - give me a veggie that you hate and I’ll give you a recipe to try! Who knows, maybe you’ll like it!

Anyway, back on track here. Take a moment and pause. Think about what you ate today. How did it make you feel after eating? Did you feel more energetic? Happy? Lethargic? Hungrier? I ask as I think we focus so heavily in the US on food as sustenance. We don’t really enjoy our meals. When was the last time you truely tasted and enjoyed something that you ate?

In thinking about creating a *tasty* meal that I’ll enjoy and appreciate, I tend to think of the dinner plate as having three parts: vegetables, complex carbohydrate and protein. The importance of each item is in that order - vegetables are the most important thing you can put on your plate. Next, a complex carbohydrate that is full of fiber. Lastly, high quality protein.

Now onto the meat question. Ask yourself - how much meat have you eaten today? In the past week? How does eating meat make you feel? I’ll spare you the whole Michael Pollan discussion - I’m sure you know it by now. I do want to point out a few things about meat, however. First, sorry to say it, but you are what you eat. The majority of meat produced in this country is poor quality meat that I believe is detrimental to your health - for many reasons. Animals are raised in small, confined areas, which can only make them stressed out their entire lives. How do you feel stressed out all the time? I personally can only imagine what toxins are roaming around my body when I’m stressed. Animals are fed horrible diets - remember that adage “you are what you eat?” Think about the quality of meat from animals fed terrible diets. Animals are also given high doses of antibiotics and growth hormones. I’ve been reading some articles lately about how these hormones can be passed from the animals to their meat products and directly into our bodies. This could lead (nothing has been proven) to weight gain and other Western diseases. And then there are the environmental impacts of meat. Massive consumption of energy, oil, water; tons and tons of animal waste polluting our water tables and rivers. Is it time to consider how you can change your buying behavior?

Do I disagree with eating meat? Absolutely not. In fact, I believe that most of us should eat meat. However, we should probably eat about ¼ the amount of meat that we currently consume. Being a woman, I personally don’t need much protein, so I typically eat meat about 1-4 meals per week. Yes, I said meals. Not days. For men, maybe that needs to be 4-7 meals per week. For protein sources other than meat I suggest:

  • Alaskan wild caught salmon
  • Beans, beans, beans!
  • Lentils
  • Quinoa
  • Cheese, yogurt, milk

My suggestion - cut out meat for a week and introduce meat back into your diet slowly. See how you feel. Maybe you'll lose a few pounds or maybe you'll feel crappy. If you need more meat, listen to your body! If you need less, stop eating it and replace it with beans or another plant based protein source. I personally feel like crap after a 60 mile bike ride unless I have a big dinner with quality protein - i.e. a 100% grass fed, pasture raised steak!

A word on purchasing meat - please buy organic (or find out how the animal was raised). The following words mean nothing and should be avoided and/or investigated: “cage-free,” “grass fed,” “natural,” “access to the outdoors,” etc. Whole Foods is one offender of “grass-fed.” Keep in mind it likely means that the animal was started on grass and finished on grain/corn. Cows don’t eat corn - it makes them sick. Corn fed cows as a marketing ploy for better marbling? That cow is so sick from eating corn; consider what sort of crap is in that meat product. Please do me a favor, do yourself a favor, do the planet a favor - go to your farmer’s market and purchase from them. Buy beef that has lived 100% of its life on pasture. Buy only pasture raised chickens and eggs. Buy pork from your beef provider. Join a meat CSA (I’m a part of Clark Summit Farms in the Bay area). Shop at specialty butcher shops that only source local meat that was humanely raised and slaughtered (I buy meat from Avedano’s in Bernal Heights). Yes, it's hard to get eggs in the winter and lamb in the winter but think about your body and what you’re putting in it. Think about the planet and how we all are in this together. All 7 billion of us.

I have a coworker who raises pigs on her land. She says that in order to actually break even, or make a little bit of money, they have to charge about $6 per pound of meat. If you go to Safeway and check the price of a shrink wrapped (yikes! the plastic!) meat, it is likely around $2-3 per pound. Does that seem right to you? What do you think industrial feeding operations do to the meat in order to produce it so cheaply? 

I say - eat meat. Eat less of it. Pay more to support your local farmer who is providing you high quality meat in the best possible way. Most of all dear reader, above all else and no matter what your opinion on this matter is, please, please, please ENJOY your food!

My rendition of my preschool turkey. Only this time I only had a sharpie and no finger paint! Yes, we sang "Albuquerque Was a Turkey."

A Brussel Sprout Recipe, because now I want brussel sprouts....

Brussel Sprouts

1 pound of brussel sprouts
1 tablespoon of butter
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 cloves of garlic
Lemon juice, parmesean cheese, salt & pepper to taste

Wash the brussel sprouts (a cheap veggie wash is to use apple cider vinegar mixed with water). Cut the bottom of the brussel sprout off. Slice the brussle sprout in half. Continue for the rest of the brussel sprouts. Heat the oil and butter in a saucepan on medium heat. Smash and peel the garlic cloves. Once the oil/butter combo is hot, place the brussel sprouts face down in the pan along with the garlic. Put the lid on the saucepan and reduce the heat to low. Cook, covered, for about 10 minutes or until your brussel sprouts start to carmelize.

Remove the brussel sprouts and garlic from the pan, toss with salt and pepper, add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and top with grated parmesean cheese.* YUM!

*For the love of cheese, do NOT purchase that crap out of a green bottle. Do your taste buds a favor and buy a proper block of parmesean. Pick up a microplane (I promise, you’ll use it for everything - it’s worth the $15) and grate fresh parmesean!!

I’ll be shocked if you don’t like brussel sprouts after this. This recipe converted me. I’m a brussel sprout convert.

No go ENJOY some brussel sprouts! (and thank me later for now loving them...)

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Things lately have inspired me. My friends, my husband, my parents, autumn, autumn leaves, my acupuncturist, road biking and cooking. The way the sun sets over Twin Peaks and what I call The Eye of Mordor (ok, Sutro Tower - geek moment). The way R, my husband, always makes me laugh. How I can call up my friend A and see if she’s free for after work drinks to talk about life, careers, happiness... How I can call my friends in Seattle, N & S and discuss the same things. And how I can pick up friendships from across the country just by spending a weekend in NYC. I am so lucky to have such amazing people in my life. And I need to always be inspired. I recently realized that it had been awhile since I was inspired and needed to stop for a minute and try to look at the world around me every day for inspiration. Even if it’s just cooking a meal or a smile from R. How about you? When was the last time you were inspired? Need some inspiration? See this video!

Above photo: view from the street in SF that I live on, looking towards Twin Peaks with the Eye of Mordor peeking up in the background. The street on the left is the steepest street in North America!

I know it sounds sort of corny, but this bout of inspiration really started the week of Steve Jobs’ passing. Watching his commencement speech from 2005 really made me wonder: “why am I sitting on my ass in a job I rather dislike?” And really, why am I? I’m not hungry or foolish as Steve Job’s so famously proclaimed in this speech (by the way, if you haven't watched this, please do, it's worth 15 minutes of your time, I promise!). Coincidentally, the year that he gave this speech is the same year that I graduated college - it’s amazing how much it speaks to me over six years later. And also pretty incredible that this inspiration coincides with the whole Saturn Returns thing.

And so, it is with much shyness that I discuss my latest inspiration. For those who know me - I’m not a shy person. In fact I’m quite outgoing. For whatever reason, however, this topic pretty much scares the shit out of me. It must be serious. So I’m shy.

So, deep breath, here we go...

I went to the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine open house on Saturday. Ok, you say - no big deal! But, this feels monumental. Just writing about it makes me nervous! Thinking about changing my entire career, jumping off a cliff and *hoping* that a new pathway in life would be much more rewarding. Even clicking "publish" for this blog makes my stomach have butterflies (or flutterby's, my Dad's childhood name for it).

It’s just that it would be such a huge and monumental change. “Giving up” my career, my paycheck, my colleagues, everything that I have worked so hard for through high school, college and the past six years - just to see if becoming an acupuncturist is the right thing? Bloody scary. I put “giving up” in parenthesis because really, is trying something new, stepping out on a limb, taking that leap of faith really giving up? Not really I try to convince myself, and this is where I circle around to inspiration. Chinese medicine inspires me. It’s time to be hungry. It’s time to be foolish. I’ve spent my previous lifetime being calculating, controlling, anticipating every action, every move, being successful. And you know what? I’ve spent the past six years working towards something that really doesn’t interest me or inspire me in the least.

I feel I must take a moment here and be mindful of the advice A recently gave me during our after work drinks - even if I decide to go back to school and fail and/or hate it, I wouldn’t have really failed in the end. Or even have made a poor decision. *must remind myself of this... must remind myself!* If it doesn’t work out, at least I would have gained in some respect.

This isn’t to say that I haven’t taken a leap of faith before. I went to college. I moved to NYC with R right after college. I bailed on science after a year as a research tech and went into sales. It’s just that it seems harder the older I get to take those risks given that there is so much on the line. Or is there? Really? Yes, life would have to change. I’d need to spend less money, we may have to move apartments, take fewer trips to see family & friends, skimp on vacations, eat out less and I will have to stop buying new gear for my many outdoor hobbies! But is that worth it for something that could change my life? Could change my career? Could bring me more happiness than I’ve ever imagined? Since graduating college, I’ve always said that I should have been a nurse or should have been in the health care industry. I want to see others heal, be healthy and be happy. Sitting in my box of a cubicle doesn’t really allow that unless someone isn’t feeling well and I suggest a tea, a netti pot or some EmergenC.

So let me conclude with a few thoughts here. I don’t know if going back to school is the right thing for me. In the meantime, I continue my hunt for a new job in SF city limits (I plan on posting later about commuting). Even if it pays less, so what? I spend countless hours in the car/on the bus commuting and plenty of moo-lah on that commute. Maybe I find a new job that inspires me and fulfills this desire for a more rewarding job. Maybe I don’t. My plan (because yes ladies & gentlemen, I must always have a plan) is to take a public class from this college starting in January. It’s six weeks long and meets once per week for 2 hours. Manageable. My acupuncturist, who started recruiting me to the field to begin with, invited me to sit in on a class that she teaches at this same college I visited today. Ok, I’ll go. And then, on the side, I’ll do a money saving project. See if I can, over the next 6 months, save a chunk of change, just to see what life is like without this extra cash I’m so used to having. And then, ta-da!, I hope that in 4-6 months I’ll have my answer. We shall wait and see! All I know is that I cannot continue living how I live with my current career. I commute 1.5-2.5 hours per day (depends on if I drive or take the bus), I sigh every Sunday night knowing that I’ll have to go to work the next day. I say “happy almost Friday” every Thursday to my coworkers. And I look for any excuse to bail work early. This has got to change. And it will. Because it has to.

View of the sunset from my kitchen with the Eye of Mordor. Beautiful.

And now for a healing recipe. It’s my favorite. Should you be feeling like you’re coming down with a cold, have nausea, upset stomach, or just feel plain chilly on these lovely autumn nights or afternoons, I leave you with one of my most recommended and loved remedies: Ginger Tea.

Ginger Tea
-6-8 slices of organic fresh ginger (cut into 1/8 inch thick rounds)
-4 cups cold water
-Optional: stick of cinnamon or add ground cinnamon after the tea is done (this is great if your stomach is really, really upset; I used it recently for food poisoning and had great results)

Place the ginger in a pot (I use enameled cast iron, but stainless steel will work just fine), optional cinnamon stick and cover with water. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to low. Simmer, covered, for 30-45 minutes. Strain and enjoy plain or with raw, unfiltered honey from a local provider or farmer’s market.

A few words on ginger tea- I drink this all the time during the fall and winter (minus the cinnamon) as I’m always quite cold. Should you always feel warm, all the time during this time of year, limit taking this tea only for when you feel unwell. This tea takes some getting used to! Start with a few slices of ginger and just add boiling water in a cup and let stand for 10 minutes. Then drink. You can then work your way up to the recipe above as it is much, much stronger!

Be well. Be inspired. Be hungry and be foolish.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Food, food, food

So there I am. Standing in Terminal 2 of JFK in Delta’s crappy terminal of the airport. And I am hunting for dinner! Ah, I'm ahead of myself, let me take a step back...

Elephant in Columbus Circle, he has an apple!

I think I’ve said (and will likely say many times over) that my acupuncturist has changed my life. After I began acupuncture, I kept describing my GI distress in each session that I saw her. I had been encountering stomach problems for the previous 5-6 years and never quite knew what my problem was. I just thought it was how it was supposed to be. BWAHHAHAH! And then entered Chinese Medicine into my life. One day, J looks at me and says “I think you might be gluten intolerant.” Ugh, ugh, ugh! Really?! Wheat? But I LOVE bread and cookies and farro and cupcakes and wheat berries and pain au chocolat and cous cous! How could this be?

So I grudgingly took her advice and stopped eating wheat.

And I’m sure you can guess the outcome from that. What an amazing change in my life this has made. I don’t often have tummy problems, I sleep less, feel less tired, have more energy and spend fewer nights laid out on the couch in GI pain. Luckily, I do not have ciliac sprue - the allergy to gluten, the protein that is in wheat. I simply have an intolerance. I usually indulge once every week or two... and am reminded why I should stay away from wheat! Luckily, I have a plant enzyme pill that I can take before eating wheat that mitigates most of the unpleasant side effects that gluten has on my GI system. I just sleep a bit more.

Back to the airport. There I am choosing between a Clif Bar, potato chips and a Naked drink (oops, have to check the label, sometimes they have wheat too). On my flight to NYC, I was able to bring left overs and enjoyed a yummy meal of baked sweet potato, rice, spinach and some goat cheese. Yum.  Not so lucky on my flight home. Sighing, I spend the next 30 minutes hunting through the airport for me-friendly foods and end up with some chickpeas, a Clif Bar and that Naked juice. Dinner of champions!

It’s quite amazing to me how much the prevalence of food intolerance's have grown in the span of just my lifetime. When I was a kid, everyone ate peanut butter. Now my coworkers are telling me peanut butter is banned in schools. It seems the prevalence of gluten intolerance is sky rocketing - I have two other close friends besides myself who have discovered that they too must be wheat avoiders. It makes me wonder why? I cannot remember where I read this, but there are some hypotheses that food allergies and intolerances are on the rise given our food supply, i.e. the Western diet.

How about you? Do you feel tired after eating a meal? Get “brain fog” in the afternoon? Sleep a lot? Feel low on energy? I’m not saying that you feel this way because of a food intolerance/allergy, however, I ask these questions as we are so busy in our every day lives that we don’t take time to pause and think about how our bodies feel. Maybe you have a cold, but maybe there is something else going on. If you’re really worried, simply do an elimination diet. Not fun, but will certainly tell you a lot (a word of caution here: you should probably see an acupuncturist or doctor if you’re to the point of an elimination diet). For 1-2 weeks, remove the following foods: wheat, dairy, soy, corn, caffeine/alcohol and any refined sugar. Basically, you’ll end up eating a lot of rice, vegetables and fruit! Or you can remove one at a time over the course of a few months. Personally, I’m going to remove dairy from my diet for the next few weeks - I’ve been feeling a bit phlegmmy/crappy after eating cheese (god, I LOVE cheese). Then I’ll introduce it back into my diet.

Anyway, here's a few more pictures from my awesome weekend in NYC. It was a fantastic weekend of seeing friends - seriously, I just socialized all weekend long. It sounds funny, but I think I discovered more about myself through my friends. They're always listeners and quick to offer support and wonderful friendship even though we live on opposite coasts. I feel so lucky...

The new World Trade Center being built

 A sign on a tent next to Central Park the day after the marathon. I thought this was pretty hilarious!

A perfect day in NYC with my good friend C!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Saturn Returns

First, a photo of a recent trip to New Zealand. I went to Queenstown for a research conference for work. What an amazing place and a wonderful way to escape the office for a week (minus the fact that I had previously traveled home from Africa for 32 hours, to stay in SF for 30 hours and then travel to NZ for 28 hours - I was a tad jet lagged). I HAVE to go back - this place is too beautiful for words. I even met Steven Colbert on my flight home. I asked him why he was visiting with his family and he responded "because of Lord of the Rings." Hilarious!

So, remember how I said I have a degree in Microbiology? I am incredibly scientific minded. What I mean is that I have a hard time understanding something unless I understand the scientific mechanism behind it.

About a year and a half ago, I finally broke down and saw an acupuncturist. I had a lovely long journey of a running injury and went through 2 orthopedic doctors, 3 physical therapists, an extremely painful MRI (involving a huge ass needle stuck into my hip), exercises, pilates classes, etc. You name it I did it. Except acupuncture. I just couldn’t wrap my mind around something so *out there.* But, alas, I finally took the plunge after one of my bf's, N, encouraged me to give it a try. Fine, I said...

I had no idea that my first appointment would change my life forever! The very first session I had with my acupuncturist, J, eliminated a horribly painful knot in my lower back and it has never returned. I could go on and on about J and acupuncture, but for brevity, I shall keep it short here. Besides, part of this blog is me wanting to explore my interests in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), so I’m sure I’ll write a lot more about it later!

Anyway, back to Saturn Returns. What is it you ask? Sounds like some sort of crazy astrological talk you’d expect from a card reader right? So, about a month ago, I’m seeing J for an appointment and it had been nearly 2 months since I had last seen her. I mentioned I had just turned 29 and she gets this knowing smile on her face and says, “aww.. you’re going through your Saturn Returns!.” And I’m thinking, “J, you were never into tarot cards or anything!” but kept it to myself and thought on it.

Later, I looked this weird topic up and find this article. I then even became more and more skeptical of J and her Saturn Returns. I read a bit more and found that in astrology, there is an idea that every 7 years you have a release of energy. Ok... well, I guess that makes a bit of sense. After 7, you change from baby to child. At 14, you change from child to teenager. At 21, you change from teenager to adult. And then, voila! Saturn returns and you hit a shit storm. Or at least that how it feels for me right now. Out of desperation, I mention to my husband, R, that I thought about seeing an astrologer for $75. He said he’d divorce me after 3 months of marriage. Haha! He’s right! I really needed a dose of reality. I even emailed another bf, S, who at the time was just starting an incredible teacher training class in Bali for 3 weeks. Funny, she said she met another girl there and they were talking about it. I’m going to Seattle to see her and N, so I cannot wait to hear more from her...

So there I am, last week back in J’s office, having a bit of an emotional break down and asking her more about Saturn Returns. Ah, then she stepped in with her calming, caring voice and advice and explained more. She isn’t into astrology (huge sigh of relief) and she stated that many cultures have this idea that every 28.5 years things go wonky for you. Old Chinese women, Tibetian monks, even ancient Europeans had this idea. It’s just that we don’t have anything like this in our culture. I was in awe. And then I promptly said that this really sucked. She responded - “it doesn’t have to.”

And so, it really doesn’t have to. Now, with renewed optimism (I’m a die hard optimist anyway), I decided to figure my shit out. Supposedly this lasts for a little while. I saw R go through it (he’s a few years older than me) and wondered why life was so turbulent for him at that time. He figured it out and is incredibly happy. Now it’s probably my turn...

As I am in marketing, trapped in my box of a cubicle, I would like to refer to Scott Adam’s most awesome comic that explains it all... and is even more hilarious because I used to be in sales!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Sometimes Life Dumps You on Your Ass

Yup. That's me. I'm the one with the pair of black legs in the air. Sometimes life picks you up and dumps you on your ass like it did to me from the top of an 8 foot camel. 

Starting from the beginning...

I have always been an overachiever. A type-A person who color codes their closet (I'm sorry to admit it... I'm working on it...). I went to college and met my future husband, R, and the best friends a girl could ever have in life. College was fun but really hard, as it should be, and majoring in Microbiology isn't kind! 

After college, R and I moved to New York and lived there for 3.5 years. I was a technician in a lab, grew tired of it and the crazy grad students I had to work with. I went into life science sales, grew tired of my company and switched to a better company. I grew restless in NYC and R got a new job in San Francisco so we moved there. After another year and a half of sales, I also grew tired of the demanding quotas and managers. Now, I'm in marketing and am also not satisfied. Sound like a Generation X'er? Well, almost.

I'm that weird generation between Generation X and the Millennial Generation. Not quite as self entitled as the Millennials, but not quite as jaded as the Generation X (ok, I exaggerate, but this is how it's been portrayed in recent articles I've been reading). I just turned 29 - yes, I'm really 29, but may celebrate "29" for many years to come!

My point here is that I feel incredibly lucky: have the most amazing husband ever, parents who aren't divorced and who are incredibly supportive and wonderful, amazing friends that I have no idea what I'd do without them and a steady job - why am I so unsatisfied? My bet is on the job! 

Back to the above photo... I was recently in Tunisia for a sales meeting for the Emerging Markets. I was training sales reps and this was one of our team building exercises. This whole trip was one major HR violation after another! Herding goats (ever filled out a customs form where they ask you if you've been in contact with farm animals?? take a close look the next time you come back to the US), enormous burning signs at a club on top of a roof, riding a camel without a helmet... you get the picture. I love going to other countries where they aren't hindered by so many laws! This one experience so happened to give me a bit of whip lash and a bruised butt as the South African sales rep pulled me off. But you know - that's life! It pulls you in a direction you never knew you'd go. And I think that's what's happening to me right now.

I hope to use this as an outlet to explore how to fix this conundrum that I see plaguing my generation; well, at least personally for myself. I also want to use this blog to explore the outdoors, share my travel experiences, go through the growing pains of figuring out who I am and who I want to be as defined my by life's work. Also, I want to share my passions: food, French, travel, outdoors, nutrition, Chinese Medicine, cooking, to name a few. Most of all, I want, no need, to share, to parse and to grow.

On y va (fr: "let's go!)