Topics to Enjoy Over Coffee

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Happy Monday friends! We finally have a break from all of the rain in San Francisco, therefore I am trying to get in every ray of sunshine I can before the rain comes again. It is amazing how you can take something like sunshine for granted till you don’t have it for a few weeks on end. It has brought a whole new appreciation for mother nature, which is just nice to stop and reflect on.

I am officially 44 days into my Whole 30. I keep debating when I am going to stop. I have a little bit of an addictive personality so it makes it hard to give up something when I start. Watching each day pass onto the next and seeing them all add up to a sum total feels like a big accomplishment.  With that said, I am not feeling all of the amazingness I had hoped I would. Maybe it is just me wanting it to be more then it really is?

At the end of the month I will be heading off to Japan for an 8 day vacation!!  I am planning on eating and drinking all of the food and sake to my hearts content. Therefore I decided I may need to start re-introducing foods this week so I don’t defeat part of the whole goal of Whole 30, to see if you have any food sensitivities. I am also trying to pull back on my fruit intake as I have currently been using it as a crutch for my sugar cravings and frankly eat an absurd amount. Yesterday and today I have gone cold turkey, which may not sound like a huge accomplishment, but trust me it is.  Fingers crossed I can keep up withholding. Goal as of now is to try and be fruit and alcohol free till the trip starts. I am starting  dairy for re-introduction as I just miss my greek yogurt. And if I am giving up fruit a girl has to have something to look forward to!  Then I am thinking gluten free grains and maybe soy and legumes. Will keep you all posted!

Interesting People:

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Tim Ferris: A couple of weeks ago a couple of us went to see Tim Ferris speak at the Castro Theater. I was introduced to Tim’s work through my partner Dustin as he is a big fan. Tim is best known for being a national best selling author, with his most note worthy book being “The 4-Hour Work Week.” In addition he is an entrepreneur, a pubic speaker, and has been an angel investor. He saw  potential in some of the top companies within Silcone Valley before anyone else did. For instance Facebook, Uber, and Twitter just to name a few. He hosts a weekly podcast, which I love not only for his content but his voice as well. It is just memorizing. Overall he is an impressive man and constantly pushes himself to the limit for self experimentation. It was an informative and inspiring talk and I highly recommend checking him out!

Valentines Day: Although I am attached and very much in love, I have never been a big fan of Valentines Day. Maybe it was all of the years of being single and having to see happy couples celebrate with flowers and expensive dinners, where I spent many years with girlfriends, over drinking, and sharing in all of our awful dating stories. With that said I thought I would share a couple of articles I found interesting this week. And they are not about being madly in love.

Here’s The Porn People Will Be Watching on Valentine’s Day

These New Burger King “Adult Meals” Come With A Toy — And It’s Exactly What You Think

Shocking Valentine’s Day Stats That Will Make You Rethink Your Marketing

Podcast: How I Built This– A friend shared this podcast with me a couple of months ago and I am obsessed! As the website states “How I Built This is a podcast about innovators, entrepreneurs, and idealists, and the stories behind the movements they built. Each episode is a narrative journey marked by triumphs, failures, serendipity and insight — told by the founders of some of the world’s best known companies and brands. If you’ve ever built something from nothing, something you really care about — or even just dream about it.” I highly reccomend checking it out! My favorite ones thus far are the founders of Instagram, Air BnB, and Patagonia.

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Topics to Enjoy Over Coffee

 

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Whole Foods Market Serves Up Top 10 Trends for 2017– Let’s all be honest food, groceries, and what to eat is becoming a phenom. I find Food to be just as trendy as Fashion and Style, with maybe a little longer shelf life. No-pun intended. I know there are a few items on this list I am personally very excited about!

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Pantone Color Institute’s color of the year is ‘greenery’– 2016 has been a tough year for me personally and I don’t think I am alone. I have been very vocal about my excitement for 2016 to end and 2017 to begin. Pantone has released the color of the year and it is greenery, “A refreshing and revitalizing shade, Greenery is symbolic of new beginnings.” Seems right up my alley.

Topics Worth Discussing

How we shop as consumers is changing. For those of us who remember a time, not that long ago, when if you wanted a book, a new top, or just to rent a movie you had to get in a car and drive to a store. The landscape of retail has changed over the last 2 decades with online and mobile shopping. Retail will only continue to morph from where it is now and grocery is the next frontier.Amazon is launching a new concept store where a customer will never have to go through checkout or even open their wallet. Walmart is making it easy  for customer’s to get groceries by just pulling up in a car and picking up, and of course new players are starting to emerge.

Radical Change Is Coming To Grocery Business As Amazon, Walmart, Lidl And Aldi Get Aggressive

Having lived in San Francisco for over a decade I am never surprised when our city does something progressive with legislation. I mean we were the first city in the nation to ban plastic bags. Depending on where you live in the States you may look at us and think we are extreme, but for me it is just one of the many reason’s I love this city so much. San Francisco is a place not afraid to push boundaries, to be innovative, and to push the envelope.

I came across a couple of articles this past week where Portland is stepping out with new legislation regarding pay inequality. Essentially the city has voted to tax companies whose CEOs make more than 100 times the median employee pay. Now the debate here is if this legislation is practical or more symbolic in nature. Below are two articles opposing different views. Curious to know what you think?

Council passes CEO surcharge, leans towards public campaign financing:

Why Portland’s Drastic Move to Limit CEO Pay Will Make ‘Virtually No Impact’

Welcome to December, Let’s Chat!

 

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Happy Friday! I thought it would be fun to share some things I am finding interesting, thought provoking, or just simply fun this week. Enjoy!

I love reading and I love celebrities, so when you have celebrity’s who write books, there is a good chance I am going to read it. Luckily celebrity memoir’s and health/fitness/beauty books have become very trendy so there does not seem to be any lack of content out there. Last night I went to an event by Book Passage to see Anna Kendrick talk about her new book, “Scrappy Little Nobody.” I find it fascinating to watch celebrities in real life. We become so accustomed to the characters they portray on our TV’s or on the big screen and can easily forget that is not who they are as people.  Anna seemed to be exactly what you would expect. Bubbly, confident, full of energy, funny, she was non-stop throwing out zingers and one liners to the audience, however it seemed to be following a well rehearsed “real life” her. I left wondering if there was much authenticity or was it just the version of herself she wanted portrayed. Either way I have yet to read the book, but I imagine it is going to be amusing and filled with lot’s of humor.

Patagonia’s Black Friday sales hit $10 million — and will donate it all–  You know how people have spirit animals? Well for me, Patagonia is my spirit company. I dont know what it is about the brand, especially since I tend to be brand-agnostic, but I have always loved them. My crush started in high school. Anytime I saw anyone was wearing Patagonia I felt like they must be the most adventurous or authentic person out there. In college the admiration continued. I did a whole independent research symposium on outdoor retailers and their efforts on sustainability, which without dating myself was prior to anyone knowing the “Sustainability.” To no surprise Patagonia was leading the pack with all of the efforts. Next I read Yvon Chouinard’s book  “Let My People Go Surfing” right upon it’s release in 2005, fascinated by the man behind the brand. Which if you have not read it I highly recommend! Patagonia continues to impress me as a company. They have a clear cut vision and purpose, which is acted on continuously in their business practices. This year they made headlines by pledging to donate everything they made on Black Friday to help fund over 100 environmentally friendly companies around the world. Now that is something to be inspired about this holiday season!

9 Delicious & Gorgeous Bay Area Cookbooks to Gift This Holiday Season– I love cookbooks! I think there are two types of people when it comes to cookbooks. Those who use them religiously when cooking and try every recipe they can. And then  the second group of people like me who will try maybe a recipe or two, but mainly buy them to look through all of the pretty pictures and keep on a bookshelf to show off. Here is a list of beautiful books for either gifting to yourself or others all from local chefs.

ModCloth’s First Store Is Exactly What Shopping Should Be– This article appealed to me on a few different levels. The first being I work in eCommerce and daily research articles describing what is moving and happening within the segment. Second Modcloth is partially based in San Francisco, so again I found this interesting as the company is close to home. Lastly I personally found it very easy to relate to based on my own personal experiences. 9 years ago I had my first trip ever to Las Vegas with 2 of my girlfriends. Upon landing and checking into our hotel, we decided to go out shopping and find new outfits to wear out for the evening. My girlfriends became ecstatic when we passed by Betsy Johnson. They ran in, grabbing beautiful dresses off of the rack to try on. My stomach dropped before even entering the store. I knew there was not going to be anything in my size, which at the time was a 12-14.  As my girlfriends came out of the fitting rooms sporting their size 4 figures, they looked at me puzzled. Why was I not trying on dresses? I simply explained nothing was really my style and therefore was just passing. This was a bold faced lie! I loved all of the dresses. They were beautiful and it hurt me to not be able to try them on with my friends. Mod Cloth is looking to create a shopping space where all women can feel confident, sexy, and equal. This is a concept I can get behind. It is these small things that may seem insignificant to some, but can be make or break another someone else.

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Let’s Get Nasty……#GIRLBOSS

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About a year ago I went through a new hobby on the verge of a semi-obsession. Like anyone else, when you find something new it starts to pre-occupy all of your spare time. It is fun, exhilarating, and helps to make the hours in a day fly by. For me this new hobby was all about business, literally. I became fascinated with the upper echelon in corporate America. How did the CEO’s of some of the biggest companies in the world get to where they are now. For those leaders who are women, how did they standout in a world dominated by men. I read book after book on the subject, attended conferences, and all the while it just pushed me even more within my own career. I had to get to the next level, I wanted to become one of these women I was reading about. It was not long after this I was promoted at work. Now having felt I had achieved a goal I had set out for myself I took a break from the all consuming world of business in my spare time to go back to reading a few lighter reads.

Now a year later and feeling that itch at work to get ahead becoming almost a rash I cant scratch, I decided to pick up a book that has been on my business to read list for quite sometime. I try to buy most books used if I can. As much as I want to become a kindle or tablet reader for the sake of the environment, there is just something I love so much about holding a newly purchased book in my hand. For this reason I try to buy most books used. Plus there is also the extra bonus of it feeding into my love of thrift and the hunt for what you want. I had looked for this book for quite sometime at my favorite used book store in the city with never any luck. Finally a couple of weeks ago I was in luck! I purchased it immediately and headed home on this particularity raining day to snuggle in my bed to start reading it. Upon opening the book I found what I can only imagine was the author Sophia Amoruso’s autograph, dedicated to “Hawks is a #Girlboss!” I knew this book was meant to be mine. Plus another perk of buying used, you never know what surprise you might find.

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I have read a lot of memoir’s along with business books over the last couple of years and this was defiantly one of my favorites. More for the story of Sophia’s rise to stardom vs the business advice. Although I do think she gives some very solid points, especially for girls who are just starting out in their career. She writes in a way that you can tell is truly in her voice.  Sophia is not afraid to tell it like it is or just be herself, something I truly admire. As a leader, you are made to think you have to be a certain type of leader in order to get a head or be respected. Something I have never quite agreed with. I admire Sophia for being the type of leader she wants to be, not who she feels she needs to be in order to get ahead. She truly proves anyone who is passionate, dedicated, and has that fire inside to succeed can.

I finished the book quickly and have since become fascinated by the author and what she has to say. I have found myself listening to her pod-cast , #girlboss, on my drive’s home from work. Here she interviews various women who within their own fields are dominating. Her conversations are real, not staged, and truly authentic. Sophia may not be for everyone, but for myself she is providing a much needed refresh into what a women leader can be.

Health & Fitness Articles of the Week – 10/22/15

Crossing the Finish Line 25 Pounds Lighter– I love reading personal stories about health and fitness. The struggles people go through, how they overcome them. There is something so comforting about knowing you are not alone out there. To hear others face similar struggles as yourself just makes you feel connected. This story is just that, a personal struggle with re-finding the inner athlete.

Neurogastronomy 101: The Science of Taste Perception-I loved this article, very fascinating. “This new science, called neurogastronomy, merges the science and culinary worlds by studying the human brain and the behavior that influences how we experience eating and drinking. Essentially, neurogastronomy shakes up how we look at food and taste: Instead of investigating how researchers can alter the taste of food by re-engineering what we eat, this science concentrates on how we can re-wire the brain to perceive food differently.”

How Agriculture Controls Nutrition Guidelines– “For the first time ever, the expert panel had included in its recommendations some mention of sustainability, acknowledging that questions about human nutrition cannot be divorced from the logistics of how this nutrition is procured. It is impossible to keep politics out of nutrition, as long as nutrition is still received via food, and food is still a good that is produced and consumed.”

McDonald’s just committed to 100% cage-free eggs– I came across this article last month and thought it would be a great one to post. Alas life has been a bit busy and because of that I have not posted as many articles as I would like. However I thought this article was still relevant and worthwhile to read. I am a big advocate on big companies making changes.”The super-sized chain announced that it would fully transition its Canadian and American egg supply to cage-free eggs over the next 10 years. The chain attributed the change to consumer preferences.'”

 

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Health & Fitness Articles of the Week – 09/08/15

What Science Can Teach Us About Flexibility– A friend of mine sent this article over  to me the other week and with how busy life has been I am just now getting around to reading it. It is a rather long and science based article, but has a lot of really good information on stretching and flexibility. “In yoga, “flexibility” is an attitude that invests and transforms the mind as well as the body. But in Western, physiological terms, “flexibility” is just the ability to move muscles and joints through their complete range. It’s an ability we’re born with, but that most of us lose. “Our lives are restricted and sedentary, so our bodies get lazy, muscles atrophy, and our joints settle into a limited range.”

Why Are Millennials So Obsessed With Food?- It is true, my generation loves food. Living in San Francisco it is part of your DNA to have food be a major part of your life. Now I am not just talking about any kind of food. I am talking about organic, natural, flavorful, unique food. We are spoiled to live in a city where there is a million in one amazing places to eat at. Everything is an experience, from the taste to the way a dish is plated. “In a digital-first era, many people latch onto food as something that engages all of the senses and brings people together in physical space.”

5 Ways to Think Yourself Skinny: The Harvard Study That’ll Shock You–  Being mindful is important. It not only helps you to be present, but it helps to make sure you are really in tune with your body. “Your mindset mediates the connection between exercise and health — that you may not be reaping the full mental and physical benefits of the “exercise” you do each day, but that, with some mental practice, you can totally lower your BMI, blood pressure, etc.”

6 Things To STOP Doing If You Want To Lose Weight”– I read this article and throughout it kept thinking to myself, “Yep this is all true and makes perfect sense. Why dont I do more of this?” It is good to check in sometimes with yourself, great tips!

5 Ways to Pack a Better Work Lunch– I bring my breakfast and lunch every day to work, well 95% of the time. It does get tough figuring out ways to spice it up and keep it healthy. Once you get into a routine though it does make it a lot easier. This article has some solid tips in it.

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Health & Fitness Articles of the Week – 08/08/15

Stunning Photos From Around The World Bring Yoga Poses To Life– If you are like myself you are fascinated with beautiful images. Obviously with the popularity of social networking apps like Instagram, people are a fan of sharing and looking at photos. I for one love photos of people doing beautiful fitness poses. This article is all beautiful images of stunning yoga poses around the world.

The Makeup Tax-I have never paused to sit and think about how makeup affects my life. I really enjoyed this article for making me think about something in a new way. “Makeup, in short, is a norm, and nothing ruins a first impression like a norm violation. Some women contend they only wear makeup to “boost their confidence,” but the reason they feel less confident when they don’t wear it is that there’s an expectation they will. Makeup, in short, is a norm, and nothing ruins a first impression like a norm violation. One study found that participants were more likely to award “prestigious jobs” to women who were made up than to the same women when their faces were unadorned. Male (but not female) restaurant patrons tip morewhen female waitresses wear makeup.”

Choosing the Right Running Shoes– I for one know the importance of having the right running shoes. Shoes that do not fit well can very easily cause injury. I know this from first hand experience. “Perhaps most unexpected, running shoes designed to somehow “fix” someone’s running form turned out often to be ineffective and even counter-productive. In a series of studies, when military recruits were assigned running shoes meant to control their particular level of pronation, those soldiers were as likely, or even more so, to sustain running-related injuries than soldiers given shoes at random.”

The Evidence Supports Artificial Sweeteners Over Sugar– The sugar debate is one that is very interesting. This is the first article I have read supporting artificial sugar over regular sugar. It is hard to know what is true when there are so many articles out there contradicting one another. What I gather from it all is to just limit my added sugar consumption. “The available evidence points to the fact that there appears to be a correlation between sugar consumption and health problems; none can be detected with artificial sweeteners.”

Whole Foods Launches Store For Broke People– Business and Health, two of my favorite topics to read. This article is short, but interesting on how Whole Foods is looking to re-gain sales and marketshare. “Walter Robb, co-CEO wrote, “[W]e are excited to announce the launch of a new, uniquely-branded store concept unlike anything that currently exists in the marketplace. Offering our industry leading standards at value prices, this new format will feature a modern, streamlined design, innovative technology and a curated selection. It will deliver a convenient, transparent, and values-oriented experience geared toward millennial shoppers, while appealing to anyone looking for high-quality fresh food at great prices.”

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Health & Fitness Articles of the Week – 07/14/15

Shoppers Buy More Junk Food When They Bring Their Own Bags– Of course living in a city where you are pretty much required to bring your own bag everywhere you go, seeing this article sparked my interest. There are some pretty interesting facts in this short article. “They found that people are 13 percent more likely to buy organic products when they bring their own bags—and they’re also 7 percent more likely to buy junk food, such as chips and cookies.”

Too much to drink? Apps, devices could help-We use our smartphones for everything. Tracking our steps, how much we eat, where we are, so it only makes sense we would start to use them to track our booze intake. This article showcases some of the new technology and apps related to tracking alcohol consumption.

No More Red 40! General Mills Gets Rid of Artificial Coloring From Cereals– Just a quick article on how companies are moving away from artifical coloring and starting to use more real ingredients. It is about time.

In Defense of Fruit for Dessert-I really enjoyed reading this article. It takes the authors past and show’s how we can think about dessert outside of the normal cookies and cakes. I for one probably eat more fruit a day then a human should, but I just love the stuff!

How to make fruits and veggies last-Now that we go to the farmers market almost every week it is important to know how to store and take care of fresh produce. This article has some great tips, I for one am going to start practicing some of these when I get home.

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Health & Fitness Articles of the Week – 07/05/15

Why We Get Sick and How To Get Well– I found Chris Kresser from my incredibly knowledgeable boyfriend. The more I read his stuff the more impressed I am. I for one started to see a holistic doctor last year as I felt I was not getting what I needed from my western doctor. Regardless of your opinion it is interesting to read.  “The modern diet, lifestyle, and environment affect the expression of our genes and lead to pathology, which in turn cause disease and symptoms in the patient.” “In conventional medicine, the focus is often on diseases and the symptoms; it works “from the outside in. In functional medicine, however, we work “from the inside out”.

How Caffeine Is Removed from Coffee– It was about 6 months ago I switched from drinking regular coffee to decaf only in an effort to help support a loved one kick the caffeine habit. I for one have never felt much of a “jolt” from caffeine. I could have a cup of joe right before bed and fall asleep just fine. Moving to decaf was not a problem, as long as I was able to continue to get that taste I loved so much then I was good. One thing I did find when I swapped though was how much better I started sleeping through the night. I used to wake up multiple times throughout the evening, but once I made the switch I woke up minimally. Currently after hearing some research that decaffeinated coffee might not be the best I am re-thinking, however I stumbled upon this article and thought it was interesting to share on how decaf becomes decaf.

Trick your brain to avoid ‘portion distortion’– Learning proper portion sizes and how to indulge appropriately are easier said then done. This article gives some tips on learning how to do proper portions. “Portion control isn’t about depriving yourself — it’s about eating just enough to stay fueled and full. The key to success: Don’t follow every tip about portion control that you hear. It’s really about finding the select techniques that fit your personality, sticking with them and enjoying the benefits.”

Don’t Worry So Much About Whether Your Food Is ‘Processed’– I for one even get confused on what “processed” food technically is. This article is just matter of fact, eat more fruit regardless. It is simple and easy to get. “I think it’s interesting, even the question ‘fresh versus processed’… as though they were opposites,” he said. “You can have something that’s fresh and processed and something that’s fresh and not processed.”

This Is How Your Face Changes After 30 Days of Drinking Water– I for one have been trying to drink more water. For my body and how much I work out I need 2-3 liters a day. Some days it is super easy, other days more challenging. I find if I am not keeping track then it is easy to not get enough. Not sure how credible pop sugar is, but after seeing this article it is making me become more religious about trying to drink more water.

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The Girl On The Train- So Good I Forgot What Being Social Was

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They only come around every once and a while, a book so good, so compelling, you cant put it down. From the moment you start it pulls you in with such a strong gravitational pull you are helpless to resist. I can remember having this feeling several times as a child, which is maybe why I was always such an avid reader growing up. One of the most memorable was when I was in elementary school. Being a child fascinated with the dark and mysterious it is not surprising I found my way to R L Stein books. I never liked the Goosebump series, too easy of reads for myself. Instead I went straight for the Fear Street books which were geared towards young adults.  I became obsessed. Within the first few months I had finished off the entire series at that time. I cant remember just how many books that was exactly, but 50 would not surprise me.  I remember one day staying home sick from school just so I could read all day, finishing off 3 whole books. Looking at my bookshelf adorned with all of the books I had read was like looking at my prize possessions. To this day looking at my bookshelf gives me a sense of comfort and accomplishment.

As I have gotten older books rarely grab me like the once did. Perhaps it is because now most of the books I read are non-fiction and what can I say, a book on the reasons why we overeat just does not pull me in the same way a book about flying wizards does (Let’s not even start on my obsession when reading the Harry Potter series). With that said, non-fiction can’t isn’t my everyday read, but I do still need a way to escape sometimes, to leave the real world and get drawn into a place of fantasy and excitement.

Recently I had kept hearing how good “The Girl On The Train” was by Paula Hawkins from several people. One of which was my mother, a devoted reader herself and a woman whose taste in literature I trust 100%. Without even knowing what the book was about I went and purchased a copy. I have found it rare for a book to not live up to its expectations when it is a best seller and is recommended by so many people.This book was no exception.

Within the first 50 pages I was hooked, always a tell-tale sign of a good book for me. This book had a unique perspective from the various characters I had never read before. The book started with re-capping the protagonist’s thoughts as she rode her local train in the morning and evening. You were not involved in what was actually happening in the moment, instead you had to grab bits and pieces from her thoughts and reflections from the day. Reading through the main characters thoughts I became sympathetic, but also frustrated with her. She was intriguing and sad. This book was a murder mystery which kept me hanging on till the very end. Once it was all finished I felt a sense of sadness as I knew I had just lost what had been my best friend for the last week. If you have not read it yet, I highly recommend grabbing a copy.