Social Marketing Mama by Nic Soto / @MamaPR

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Carrots, Eggs & Coffee - May We All be Coffee

A carrot, an egg, and a cup of coffee...You will never look at a cup of coffee the same way again.

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling.... It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans... She let them sit and boil; without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.... Turning to her daughter, she asked, ' Tell me what you see.'

'Carrots, eggs, and coffee,' she replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg.

Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee.. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, 'What does it mean, mother?'

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened.. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

'Which are you?' she asked her daughter. 'When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human and enough hope to make you happy.

The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way...

The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past; you can't go forward in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.

When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling.. Live your life so at the end, you're the one who is smiling and everyone around you is crying.

You might want to send this message to those people who mean something to you (I JUST DID); to those who have touched your life in one way or another; to those who make you smile when you really need it; to those who make you see the brighter side of things when you are really down; to those whose friendship you appreciate; to those who are so meaningful in your life.

May we all be COFFEE.

Making it a Pot Roast night!

Its a crock pot dinner night, all I have to do is toss in all ingredients for a delish pot roast!


1 sm. roast
2 potatoes, pared and quartered
3 carrots, pared and cut in thirds
1 onion, peeled and quartered
1/2 c. water
8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. basil

Put vegetables in the bottom of crockpot. Salt and pepper meat, put in crockpot. Add water and tomato sauce. Sprinkle oregano and basil over meat. Cover and cook on low 10-12 hours.

Monday, September 28, 2009

There's always time to stop and smell the roses...

...or in my case. Time to smell the tasty cookies, scones and muffins!

This weekend at a local Chicago farmer's market at the
very popular Jeanettes Patisserie organic bakery booth....can we say YUMMO!

Not in my neck of the woods, try their online store at !

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Losing those pounds for good...

Some of you know me personally, and have seen my many battles with the scale. My highest was 285 pounds, and all due to over eating and not being active. We have ALL been there, and for many, trying to lose the weight can sometimes be an uphill battle.

I'll share with you my little weight loss journey which took over a year to accomplish, and how I went from 285 to 135 pounds. I know what you're thinking...over a year? Yes. This journey took that long because in the past when I lost weight too fast it all came back, and then some. I wanted to make sure that my new ways of eating and exercising routines stuck with me for the rest of my life, and to do so meant taking my time to get use to the new way of life.

I don't have a PHD, not a trained dietitian and I'm in no ways a personal trainer. So please see a doctor before starting any new changes in your activity (exercise) and eating. Especially if you are on medications.

I have been there...been called the "fat girl" in junior high to being the topic of conversation at work. The last girl to be asked out to the dance, to even having relatives make rude comments.

But even with all of that, I still over ate. It wasn't until I was in my late twenties that I took hold of myself and starting caring about me, and not what others thought of me.


I'll cut to how I lost the weight now that you know the whys. The first step was to weigh myself, just to get that logged in and see how many pounds I had lost to reach my goal weight which was ideally anywhere from 135-150 pounds.

Its best to weigh yourself 1-2 hours upon rising for the day, do not eat or drink anything. Then simply take a weekly reading of your weight (I usually weigh every Sunday morning). DO NOT get obsessed with checking your weight, some days you won't show a decrease in numbers but may have build muscle from your exercising and strength training. Believe me, following a healthy diet and working out will get you there.

I would start out every day with this: (I did get some help from sites like worth it if you are serious about losing weight!)

"I will only eat healthy foods to fuel my body. I will do some form of exercise today. I deserve to look and feel great. I will reach my weight loss goals."

Feel free to create your own, this was my way of starting off the days.

Follow portion sizes on packages and meal plans given.

Typical week for me -

Breakfast: 1 cup Oatmeal with blueberries...even frozen fruit is fine, I simply use those mini snack bags to break up portions of the frozen fruit into separate bags roughly 1/2 a cup and when I want to use one I take it out before I start cooking my oatmeal. They thaw out pretty quickly, then when tossing onto oatmeal its pretty much ready to eat. 1/2 a small grapefruit or orange, 1/2 slice whole grain toast, 1 cup low-sugar OJ and water. I use wheat germ just about every day, its packed with nutrients including fiber, omega oils and protein.

Lunch: Low fat turkey and swiss cheese, one medium whole wheat or spinach tortilla. Simply roll the ingredients up for a healthy wrap. Small salad on the side: 1 cup arugula or spinach whatever you like - 1/2 cup red cabbage, 1 small beet sliced thinly, and cherry tomatoes. I use a homemade dressing like olive oil, lemon juice a little Mrs. Dash herb seasoning for flavor. A chilled glass of soy milk, and water of course.

Dinner: Grilled fish or whichever protein you like just make sure its low in fat. A side salad, small whole grain dinner roll, green tea (hot or cold) and water.

Snacks: Nuts, plain popcorn, pretzels, low fat string cheese, and lowfat yogurt.

Working out was simply walking 30 minutes a day on the treadmill, jumping rope or bike riding when possible. Stretch bands for strength training and an easy yoga tape. That's it.

I did something every day, and did not push myself into thinking I had to work out 3 hours a day 6 days a week. Your body will respond to the new healthier eating and the exercise, trust me!

Slim Down this Summer

With every pound lost I just got more excited to keep at it. Sure you'll have moments where not even a pound will go away, but don't ever let that discourage you. Its just your body re-adjusting. This happened to me several times, and usually lasts a week or so. Don't get frustrated and start eating and slacking off, this will surely hinder your goals. Just keep at it and in no time the pounds will start to go away again. Its like our bodies lose and lose the weight and at some point our bodies freak out and put everything on hold, so no matter how well you did for the week you didn't lose a pound. Don't worry, its only temporary. I usually use this as a sign to switch up my exercise routine.

On days that I did not have time to make or run out to grab a healthy meal I went for snacks in my drawer to tie me over. Never go without putting something in your belly, even if you think that you can hold off for another hour or two. If your body is hungry, feed it. If its lunch time and you have not eaten since breakfast, grab a 1/2 cup of nuts....yogurt and fruit, or even a Kashi cereal bar to keep those hunger pangs away. Water, don't forget the water. If you wait you'll only be setting yourself for an afternoon of over eating.

After 2 weeks I was seeing a difference and was surprised that my eating habits were easier to change than I thought. I looked forward to making those healthy meals and after a month or so my natural instinct was to grab the healthy products that would help me lose the weight and nourish my body. The sugar cravings I use to have were suddenly not there anymore. I felt lighter and just all around better.

After a couple of months I noticed that I walked with more confidence. Others started noticing my weight loss too.

Having that piece of cake is ok....
Of course we need to get in our favorites too, so having a small slice of homemade chocolate cake is just fine. Most times a piece of fruit like strawberries will curb that want. Remember, you will be faced with offerings such as your mothers apple pie, or grandmas pasta (and you know she likes to pile it on your plate). Go ahead, eat a portion you'd normally eat to stay on track and pack the rest to go. Refusing to eat only makes it worse! LOL..

You'll hit those walls, I certainly did. So mentally prepare yourself for them and what you will do to overcome them. To help with those times I turned to my video journal, which I started at the beginning of this remind myself as to why I'm doing this. Writing a journal is certainly fine too!

You can take a walk if you're feeling a craving coming on, or call a friend if you feel like you're about to raid the fridge. But what worked best for me was my personal video journal telling me all the reasons as to why I started this, need to finish it and why its important to my health and happiness.

I also use photos all around my office at home...such as photos of people biking on a mountain trail, a swimmer diving into the ocean, or someone running. I would visualize myself doing those things at my goal weight.

I'd also visualize myself in a size I wanted to wear such as a dress or top, and I'd close my eyes to draw in the feelings that I would feel being at that weight and shape. How happy I would be, the smile on my face and kick in my step. Whether its money you want, weight loss or having that loving all starts with YOU truly believing that you can have those things.

Every month that passed that I stayed on track with my weight loss, I would do something special for myself.

Keeping things around me that reminded me of my goals is what kept me going, and every time I was faced with a vending machine dilemma or office gathering filled with sugary items I stopped myself. Went for my bottle of water that I kept with me and simply had a drink. AAAHHHH REFRESHING!

Then, I would go to my office or purse to grab my bag of healthy snacks and before I knew it that craving or dilemma no longer posed a threat.

You can control what you're eating, and it only takes a minute or two to switch your thinking around from wanting that candy bar to eating that satisfying cup of strawberries.

Preparation is key!!!

Get those snacks and meals made ahead of time so whatever crazy schedule you have, you'll always have those healthy choices to choose from.

I continue to eat healthy today and whenever I feel like jumping head first into the abyss of junk food I think about how I felt being over weight, and how I feel now. No contest!

Good luck on your journey!