A Day in the Life

Cassie & Ryan’s daily (or weekly) exploits

3 good things July 17, 2008

Filed under: life — cassiejohanna @ 9:52 pm
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In addition to any other blogs that I write, I intend to have a regular blog called “3 good things”. This is the first of these blogs at this point, but we’ll see how it goes. I tend to look at the negative more than I should and this is a reminder that good things happen to each of us every day. (Or at least to me since I’m the one writing this……) These are in no particular order.

  1. I went to Target after work to get some prescriptions and while I waited I wandered over to the clothes area. I found a really cute skirt, tried it on, and it looked great on me. Plus it’s a smaller size than what I’ve been able to wear for a while. Woooo! Go veegatarianism! (It’s a long “e” sound – the extra one is intentional. Patent pending on veegetarian.)
  2. I got to spend extra quality time with my husband, Ryan, today since I took him to work. He is my best friend and the more time I get to spend with him (within limits) the happier I am. Our relationship has gotten better and better and sometimes I just can’t believe that I get to wake up next to him every day.
  3. Ryan helped me get some of the programmers from his company to speak in a panel discussion for our game programming major on Saturday. I had never met any of them so I really needed his help on getting the word out. On top of him being so awesome and helpful, two of the programmers actually volunteered to speak on the panel. The students are going to learn a lot.

While I didn’t get to watch The Who perform at the Harmonix party for Rock Band last night (like my coworker, Veronica – who I informed about the party in the first place) I think my day turned out pretty damn good just the same. Roger Daltrey doesn’t look nearly as good as he did in the “Tommy” days anyway.

Things to work on tomorrow:

  1. Contact even more companies to help graduates find employment. It bums me out that a number of my really talented graduates aren’t working yet. I know that a lot of it is the state of the industry but no one from either of my majors has gotten hired in over a week. I’m trying!
  2. Patience. Things will work themselves out in their own time. (This seems to contradict the first one….)
 

Open sesame

Filed under: annoyances,life — cassiejohanna @ 9:29 pm
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So Career Services and Student Affairs at the campus I work at moved to new buildings in May. Since we didn’t have enough time to hold a “come and figure out where we’ve hidden ourselves” event last quarter, we just had our official Open House today. I would say that, looking solely at the numbers, the event was pretty successful. We held the open house from 11:30am – 5:30pm, with 11:30-12:30 and 4:30-5:30 being the main times. Here’s what we found from the event:

  1. Students are much more interested in free food than any of the wonderful services we can offer them. A job? Psssh, just sign my form so that I can get pizza.
  2. The students feel that having to do any type of “work” to gain their pizza or other food is some type of crime on our part. (A kid actually said to me, “I just came over here for the pizza and now they’re making me fill all this stuff out.” In actuality, there was nothing for him to fill out – all he had to do was get four signatures from two departments that aren’t too far apart. Seriously, these kids would die on a real campus.)
  3. Very few are brave enough to do karaoke in public. And while I know I’m a better singer than the people who did karaoke, they are much braver than I am. I haven’t sung in public since……………a church play/skit thing when I was [let's say] five years old.
  4. If you start dancing in public, pervy students will start taking video of you on their phones to post on the internet. The dude was taking pictures/video of my coworker’s butt. She promptly confiscated the phone and deleted the files. The guy’s lucky that she didn’t dropkick him across the courtyard.
  5. Just because you held an Open House where the students had to physically visit your department to get entry into the raffle doesn’t at all mean that they’ll remember where you’re located if you call to inform them that they’ve won. Seriously. It was maybe an hour later when she called and the guy had no idea. [sigh]
 

Misc. ranting July 16, 2008

Filed under: Diet,Health,life,Weight — cassiejohanna @ 10:03 pm
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I’m not feeling much like a creative writer tonight, mostly because I was nauseous during a large chunk of the afternoon. I was only able to work half the day. When I got home, I ate one whole sleeve of whole wheat crackers hoping it might settle down my stomache (or force the inevitable) and they did calm my stomache down.

I have three main reasons for posting:

  1. Is it common to have allergies to soy products? My husband has been sick about five or six times since becoming a vegetarian. It generally happens after he has a smoothie with soy milk (or soy protein) or after he’s had a Boca burger. Other things (tofu, Gardenburgers, etc.) haven’t bothered him. Today I had a smoothie with soy milk and, while they haven’t bothered me before I can’t imagine what else would have triggered it. Are allergies to soy a regular occurence?
  2. I had my first non-dairy ice cream tonight (So Delicious Chocolate Velvet). At first, I wanted to toss it over the balcony. “This isn’t real chocolate,” my tastebuds cried. But after a few bites I really enjoyed the nutty flavor. It almost reminded me of a frozen mocha drink. Good stuff! I generally don’t have dessert (unless it’s fruit) but I felt like treating myself because…
  3. …I can now get in and out of my work pants without unbuttoning them. They were a bit tight maybe a month ago – that’s how many inches/pounds I’ve lost since becoming vegan. They’re actually falling down a little bit – when I walk I can hear the bottoms of the pant legs “swish” on the ground before my foot hits. Yay! New (smaller) pants, here I come!

Cheers!

C

 

Bad vegan July 9, 2008

Filed under: Diet,Health,life,nutrition — cassiejohanna @ 5:24 pm
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In March my husband decided to become vegetarian. Since I either make meals at home or we eat out (I’d say about 1% of the time he cooks) I figured that it would be easiest for me to become vegetarian as well. We decided to eat fish, eggs, and cheese, but we switched to soy milk.

The switch was odd for me at first. I remember feeling off sometimes – lightheaded, no energy, just strange in general. Well, stranger than usual! Ha! But after the first week or so, I started feeling amazing! Once my body got used to not having meat of any kind (other than the fish), I got a lot more energy.

All was going wonderfully until I read the book (pardon my French) “Skinny Bitch” a few weeks ago. The book, by authors Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin, was a real eye opener. The things that people do to animals in the name of making “food”. I like animals – I never knew the incredible number that get slaughtered annually so that we can “get our protein in” (a myth debunked by the book). Aside from the animal suffering, the book details how government agencies (FDA, USDA) regularly lie to an unassuming public. They support things that are bad for us because they get paid to do so by the companies whose products they are supposed to protect us from. Honestly, there’s no way I could sum up the book in the time I’ve given myself to write it, so go buy it and read it. It’s an easy, although very informational, read.

So, my life has taken a new path thanks to Rory and Kim (and my wonderful, patient husband). I no longer:

  • eat cheese (do you know how much fat is in cheese??!? It’s obscene!)
  • use artificial sweeteners (they’re all awful for you, even Splenda. Get some Stevia extract and put it in your purse/wallet/pocket/whatever)
  • drink soda (sooooooo bad for your bones and health overall – it robs your body of water)
  • drink coffee (see above)
  • eat eggs (what they inject into the chickens might as well be injected right into the eggs)

I also:

  • avoid non-whole grains whenever possible (there are so many good alternatives – whole wheat breads, whole wheat pastas, brown rice, quinoa, etc.)
  • switched all the dairy I consume to soy-based products (soy milk, soy yogurt, soy cheese)
  • read ingredients in everything before buying it (yes, this takes longer in stores but I have determined that I’m worth that extra time).
  • watch out for gelatin, sugar, and high fructose corn syrup (or regular fructose corn syrup for that matter – it’s all terrible for you)
  • try to eat more fruits and vegetables daily than most other things, with the possible exception of whole grains

I can’t say that I’m perfect by any means with the vegan way of life. For starters, I haven’t ruled fish out of my diet so I can’t “officially” be vegan. That said, I haven’t had any since starting down this road.

It’s definitely not the easiest path. I’ve been tempted on a near-daily basis. Last night, my husband splurged and had real ice cream from Cold Stone Creamery. Chocolate with chocolate chips – it looked divine! I didn’t have any. Today my employer purchased lunch (El Pollo Loco) for the entire company. The chicken smelled amazing! All that I ate were beans, rice, and chips with salsa. But there are a number of great things that you can eat without cheese and you probably won’t miss it much. Get the casein out of your diet and you won’t be hooked as much.

Anyway, I’m not trying to toot my own horn or anything. I am very proud of myself at the changes that I’ve made. But more than that, I want other people who are thinking of going vegetarian or vegan that it’s possible. I love steak, chicken, and cheese. Hamburgers are another weakness. And chocolate – wooo, don’t get me started! So if I can give all of that up, I know that other people can do the same. I think sometimes knowing that other people have been through the same journey helps you take that first step.

 

14.5 pounds! March 11, 2008

Filed under: Diet,Exercise,Health,hobbies,life,Weight — cassiejohanna @ 7:06 pm
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I am extremely happy today. I got on the scale this morning, the first time in over three weeks, and I’ve lost 14.5 pounds! I don’t know about anyone else out there, but for me that’s just insane. In-SANE! That’s about five pounds per week. Granted, I don’t expect to lose that much weight every week, nor would that be healthy. But it’s amazing! Plus it’s so motivating to keep on working towards my goal.

Chloe, my trainer, is awesome. She has really whipped my butt into shape. I’m working out with her twice per week for an hour. In addition, I’m doing yoga, tennis, or swimming at least two other nights during the week. I’ve noticed an amazing improvement in my overall sense of well-being. I’m more clear-headed, more positive, and even more patient. And heck – my work pants are so big in the butt that it’s ridiculous!

I still have nearly 60 pounds to go to reach my desired weight but now I have the faith in myself to get there.  I’m just happy that I saved that Old Navy card I got for Christmas. I’ll need it soon!

 

Pesco vegetarians March 10, 2008

Filed under: Diet,Health,life,nutrition,potatoes,recipes — cassiejohanna @ 6:51 pm

No, that’s not a typo. I didn’t mean “pesky” vegetarians. Ryan, my wonderful husband, and I decided to become pesco vegetarians over the weekend. This was partially prompted by both of us working to lose weight and partially prompted by him realizing that meat isn’t so good for your arteries. (And since he has a conditions that causes high blood pressure anyway, the tightening of his arteries caused by good ol’ red meat probably wasn’t helping anything.) So what are pesco vegetarians? I’d say we’re about the fifth least-strict of vegetarian groups.

First, there’s vegans. It amazes me that they survive, really. I’m sure it’s super healthy but MAN! They don’t eat any meat, no eggs, no dairy, nothing that has any of those products in it. I’m just not creative enough to do that – I get bored wayyyyyyyyyyy too easily.

Second, there’s fruititarians. Yep, that’s right – people who only eat fruit, seeds, and nuts.  Again, there wouldn’t be enough to sustain me.

Third, there are “raw” vegetarians – those who only eat raw, uncooked foods.

Fourth, traditional vegetarians. They typically eat dairy and eggs and don’t mind heating their food up.

Fifth would be my group, the pesco vegetarians. We eat vegetables, fruits, eggs, dairy, and fish. I’m not sure why fish isn’t a “meat” but whatever – I like it.

There are also pollo vegetarians, pollo pesco vegetarians, and people who just don’t eat meat very often. I had no idea that there were so many classifications of vegetarianis. It’s pretty fascinating.

Since Saturday, my diet has consisted solely of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and edamame. Last night our dinner was oven roasted potatoes with mixed vegetables and black beans. It was amazingly good! Tonight I made nachos with tortilla chips, black beans, salsa, and cheese. I don’t feel a bit hungry or “deprived”. I guess good food is universal!

 

Lame-o blogging March 4, 2008

Filed under: career,Exercise,life,slackers,work — cassiejohanna @ 10:47 pm
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I have been a bad blogger of late. Both my personal and professional lives have been insanely busy for the past few months:

  1. one of my best friends, and favorite coworkers, left to pursue his passion
  2. I’ve started working with one of his majors because of this
  3. my annual review is coming up (this Friday, possibly) so I’d been working on completing that
  4. I’m preparing to apply for certification with the Association of Career Professionals
  5. one of my coworkers isn’t pulling her weight
  6. I’ve been trying to exercise more and I’ve been working with a personal trainer

Granted, I don’t think anybody’s crying in the corner that I haven’t posted anything recently. Hopefully I can get back on track soon.

 

 
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