Friday, June 27, 2014

5 Things I Learned from Corporate America

Today is the day....  the day I say goodbye to my cubicle and the florescent lights (and the toxic dump next door).  I'm doin' this career thing on my own now. 

I am so excited to take this step, but in my haste I've forgotten that I've spent nearly the last decade of my life growing into new and exciting roles.  I think often when we're so focused on what's ahead of us, we forget how valuable the thing is that we're leaving behind. 

So I've put together five life lessons I've learned from living in the corporate world.  There are many, many more than this, but in the interest of time (hey, I'm self employed now), I'm keeping it to just five. 

1. Always Lead With Data- Listen, we all love the warm and fuzzies of 'listening to our hearts' or 'trusting our instincts' but when it comes to real life decisions that impact not just you personally, but hundreds or even thousands of other people, you have to do the research.  And don't do shotty research.  You may get away with it once or twice, but not forever.  The data might not be easy to get, but figure it out.  You simply cannot impact the bottom line without having the facts to back it up.

2. Don't Forget to Trust Your Gut-  Data is incredibly important, but you cannot rely solely on what the data is telling you.  Apply your knowledge or life experience.  And if you don't have that knowledge, find someone who does.  Just as making decisions with no data can wreak havoc, making decisions based on data alone can be just as detrimental.  The best leaders I've had the fortune to work with always make decisions using a combination of facts and their own experience.

3. Never Assume You are the Smartest Person in the Room-  Trust me on this one, I've learned the hard way.  First of all, if you assume you are the smartest person in the room, you are obviously wrong.  And second, if you make the mistake of thinking you are the smartest person in the room, you are tempting fate that you will fall flat on your face in front of everyone (literally or figuratively... I've done both). 
Listen- there is nothing wrong with being a subject matter expert in any field, but the knowledge of one does not stand alone.  If you want to be successful and change your world, you will need to learn how to use the power of collaboration.

4. Figure Out How to use Your Resources- As I stated above, you cannot know everything.  The good news is that we live in a world where access to infinite knowledge is literally at our finger tips.  If you have a question, figure it out using your resources.  Do not rely on other people to take time out of their busy days to help you. 
Let me explain: at my (now former) job, I was regarded as somewhat of an excel expert.  Not because I took classes or have some innate ability to understand rows, columns, and cells.  It's because I learned to harness the power of Google.  For awhile, it was fairly common for people to ask me a question that could be easily answered online.  Don't get me wrong, I am happy to help.  But you can bet if it came down to an interview, I would have some thoughts about that person's ability to get a job done.
One of the best managers I've ever had used to tell me to "Go figure it out" all the time.  It was uncomfortable and frustrating.  But I learned that the best, most transferable skill that you can ever develop is the ability to use your resources and get things done. 

5. Learn to Love Your Co-Workers- ....they are, after all, your family.  Or at least sometimes it seems like it.  There have been times in the past several years where I saw my team more than I saw my husband. 
When I first entered the work force, I thought it was weird to see people hanging out after work or getting together on the weekends. 'You see these people all day, why would you want to see them when you're not at work.'  But eventually, it clicked. 
These people are not just the people that you race out of the parking lot or compete with for a raise.  You are DOING LIFE with them.  They will be your walking partner, your interior design consultant, your relationship therapist, your personal comedian, your encouragement for eating well (or poorly), your personal shopper, your lighthouse in the storm....  and your best friend.  Like anything in life, you will get out what you put in.  Invest in these people and it will pay dividends.

So that's it...  And this is it: 

To my corporate friends and mentors....  Thanks for the memories.  It's not farewell, just see you later.



Monday, June 23, 2014

Real Food Burger Bun Recipe and Updates

It has been a crazy few weeks!  In an awesome way, of course, but a lot has happened!  So I wanted to give you a 'Kelsey's life' update and then share an AWESOME recipe just in time for your 4th of July Backyard BBQ.

So here we go:
  • I became a Quitter.  At the beginning of this month, I turned in my notice to my Corporate job so I can focus on Health Coaching full time.  I am so excited, nervous, scared, pumped, anxious, etc.  But mostly excited!  This means that I'm going to have more time to dedicate to my current clients, open my availability for new clients, and create awesome and relevant content more regularly.  Speaking of content....
  • I started an e-Newsletter.  So sign up to get weekly access to exclusive content, recipes, articles, events, etc.  I know what you're thinking: "Between Groupon, the Prince of Nigeria, and all the cat pictures I get from Great Aunt Sally, there is no more room in my inbox."  Or "I already follow you on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  What do you possibly have to add to those?"  Well, I love Social Media, but I have no control over whether or not my posts show up on your news feed so you could be missing a lot of great information.  Even if you've followed by blog through Blogger, this is different.  But due to anti-spam laws I cannot sign you up!  Plus I promise my newsletter will be more relevant than those cat pictures!  Speaking of relevant...
  • I'm officially a Certified Health Coach.  I finished and passed my final exam from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and am accredited by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners.  This has been an incredibly enlightening and amazing journey, but it does not stop here.  I plan to continue to grow and learn every day, attend seminars and workshops, and attain designations.  
So I think that about sums it up for now... but stay tuned because there is more to come!

Low Carb, Real Food, Super Delish Burger Bun

  If you are gluten free, low carb, or just avoid bread, you know this time of year can be depressing.  You are usually the one left to munch on your slab of meat between two pieces of lettuce, or worse, cutting it up with a knife and fork.  

(Sad trombone.)

  So here we go.  A bun made with just 5 ingredients and that looks and tastes pretty darn close to a normal bun.  Plus it only takes 20 minutes to make.  10 cool points for me, right?  

  You can make this in advance and it will store for several days in the fridge.  Just make sure you take it out in enough time to come to room temperature.

  The recipe makes 1/2 of a bun.  So if you want to make enough for one burger, double it.  If you want to make enough for 2 burgers, make 4.  And so on...


1 Egg
1/2 Teaspoon Coconut Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Cacao Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
Pinch of salt


Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

Grease a small, oven safe bowl with coconut oil.  I used my Pyrex custard cups.  If you do not have a dish that you feel comfortable using in the oven, there is a microwave option listed below.  

Add all the ingredients to the bowl.

Whisk ingredients together until there are minimal to no lumps (some lumps are ok, but not a ton).

Put the bowl in the oven for 15 minutes, or until mixture is firm.  The bun will be light brown in color.  You can microwave it, if you prefer, for 90 seconds

Allow the bun to cool.  Use a knife and scrape between the egg and the dish and gently pop the bun out.

Create a majestic burger to make all other burgers jealous.  

And voila!  All your burger problems solved!  



Monday, June 2, 2014

10 Nourishing Snack Ideas for Road Trips

Summer.  Is.  Awesome.  

Backyard BBQs, swimming, fireworks, vacations, longer nights, and waking up to the sunrise instead of the alarm!

And what's summer without a road trip or two (or three or four)?  It's fun to drive through small towns, stop at antique stores, explore new cities, pull over to take pictures of beautiful scenery, etc, etc, etc.

Heading into Hobart, Tasmania on the BEST ROAD TRIP EVER.

What's not to love about road trips???

Well....  how about the inexplicable regression to eating garbage fast food and gas station fare?

Seriously.  This is a big deal.  Nothing will ruin a scenic view or a game of I Spy quicker than gastrointestinal distress from a bucket of fried chicken or gas station hot dog.

As fate may have it, I've recently had several converastions on this very topic.  People just want to know what the heck to eat on a road trip!


My recommendation is to pack your own cooler with snacks.  If you see an awesome little restaurant that looks quaint and/or hipster- get on it!  Otherwise, don't waste a cheat meal on a deep fried whatever's convient.

To qualify as a good road trip snack, the food must be able to survive in a cooler in the back of a car for a few days (sorry, Ice Cream is out).  It also has to be relatively low mess and non sticky.  That can limit the options, but it's not impossible.  Here is my list of 10 road trip compatible foods that won't derail your goals or your wallet.   

  1. Beef Jerky.  If you can make your own, awesome.  If not, I recommend Steve's Paleo Kits- pre-packaged meals/snacks that are from ethically source animals and proceeds benefit an awesome cause!
  2. Holy Guacamole.  These suckers are awesome.  The ingredients are legit, they're not messy, and they come in individual packets.  You can bring chopped veggies or organic tortilla chips for dipping.  I love to dip my beef jerky in them.  Mmmmmm...
  3. Hard Boiled Eggs.  These will last in a cooler and pack a perfect punch of protein and fat.  You can also pre-peel them so you don't have to deal with the pesky egg shells in the car.
  4. Kale Chips.  Kale is a nutrient powerhouse and Kale chips are delish. You can make them yourself or most grocery stores are carrying them these days.  Just watch the labels for any gnarly ingredients.  If you're buying, I recommend Brad's Raw Kale Chips.
  5. Nuts.  Any kind that suits your fancy.  Just be careful with over consuming- one handful goes a long way!
  6. Grapes.  You can really chop any type of fruit that you want, but I always feel like my fingers get really sticky really quickly with most chopped fruit.
  7. Mini Sweet Peppers.  I eat these like candy- they are sweet and crunchy. Eat 'em on their own or with some Holy Guacamole! 
  8. Dark Chocolate.  I mean, it's vacation, right??  This might satisfy your sweet tooth and keep you from pulling over to get an over sized shake (and fries to dip in it- am I right??).
  9. Water.  This is super important, especially if you're wanting to hit the ground running or are trying to recover from too much sun.  Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate, and avoid coffee and soda at all costs. 
  10. Justin's Butter Nut Packets.  You can cut the corner of these handy little packets and eat them straight, or pair them with your dark chocolate!  


If you want to escape the confines of the car, are in a bind, or maybe get more than four feet from your family, use a "better than" strategy when selecting fast food.  Find someplace that serves a good salad- Subway, Panera, and Wendy's are good options!  Most fast food restaurants will serve bun-less burgers and many will allow you to sub a side salad for french fries  These places may not be ideal, but they are better than the alternative.

And finally,

Remember that it's vacation.  It's important to nourish your body, but don't be afraid to enjoy the local food.  If it's kangaroo in the Outback or your weight in Seafood on the Gulf Shores, culinary exploration is one of the funnest ways to experience life.  And no matter where you're heading this summer, be healthy, safe, and happy!


What are your "Go To" road trip snacks?  Share them in the comments below!!