Mama’s Little Break


Good evening, Toastmasters and honored guests.

I like holidays just as much as the next guy. I love birthdays… Christmas is great. My all-time favorite holiday, for the record, is Halloween. But there are one or two special days I’m just not really into. For example, Arbor Day? Meh, I could take it or leave it.

My least favorite holiday is Mother’s Day. Don’t get me wrong – my dislike of it has absolutely nothing to do with my feelings towards my own mother and everything to do with how the day has treated me in the years since I’ve been a mom. I’ve had things not go as planned, weather not cooperate, child tantrums, husband tantrums, I’ve thrown tantrums… you name it.

Nevertheless, every year I try to have a decent Mother’s Day. Every mom deserves a little break, right? Well, on Mother’s Day 2010 I decided I was going to have my break!

The day before, I was walking home with my son, C. He was 6, almost 7 at the time and we had just had lunch at a new local restaurant near our house. C, for those who haven’t heard my past speeches about him, has ADHD… and I like to say he really puts the ‘H’ in that acronym.

We were about halfway there when C took off RUNNING down Highway 116. I can’t begin to describe for you the panic that arose in me when he did that. My upper mammalian brain shut completely off and my lower reptilian brain took over. I did what came naturally and I ran after him.

Now, it’s often said that women are graceful but that is simply not true for me… if anything, when it comes to things of the physical realm, I am pretty disgraceful.

I almost immediately tripped over a crack and – again, reptilian brain – instinctively did this [put hands out in front]. Then I landed, on my palms and my right knee. BAM!

As you might well imagine, I was really upset… about the possibility that I put a hole in the knee of my pants! Never mind the fact that my knee was the size of a small grapefruit and the palms of my hands looked like ground sirloin. The lucky thing is, C stopped running. In fact, he was pretty much frozen in place. The bad part was… THAT HURT!!

I stood up. No hole in the pants. I did notice that I couldn’t bend or straighten my arms – they were both basically frozen at almost a right angle. How many of you here played with Barbie dolls as a kid? I thought to myself “Oh my God, I have Barbie doll arms!” But I thought, I’m tough, I’ll just walk it off. So I began walking home [sway arms back and forth]. I thought to myself “Man, my arms hurt!” and C walked in front of me.

By the time I got in the front door, pain was radiating up and down both forearms. I yelled for my husband and he came shooting down the stairs. He said “What’s wrong??”

I showed him [demonstrate].

Now, my husband is a teacher but he’s also a firefighter and first responder, so I trusted him when he took a look at me and went “Well, it doesn’t look that bad… try seeing how you feel in the morning.” He said something to the effect of “If you REALLY think you need to go to the ER, we will but I think you’re OK”.

I didn’t really push the issue but instead, I did the first thing that came to mind (again, reptilian brain). I somehow managed to grab my phone out of my purse and posted to Facebook: “Hey everyone! I just fell and now I can’t move my arms… trying to decide whether or not to go to the ER… what do you all think?”

A couple of minutes later, my phone rang. It was my friend L. I barely managed to answer – “Hello?” – when she said, “Do I need to take you to the hospital??”

I hemmed a bit. Should I, or shouldn’t I? She finally told me “I am taking you” and about ten minutes later she showed up at my house.

Since we were going to be there a while, we turned the experience into GIRLS NIGHT OUT.  We sat in the waiting room, we laughed, L took pictures of me with her phone. A couple of hours and several xrays later I walked out of there with the most fabulous accessory a girl could ever want – a nice, shiny (stiff, itchy), white plaster cast, from wrist to mid-bicep.

So, what happened? Quick anatomy refresher: in your forearm are two bones – the radius and the ulna. I’d cracked the very tip of my radius in my arm. In other words, I fractured my elbow. In other words… I got my break! I wasn’t going to be doing housework for a LONG time! (Not that I do it anyway).  I also went home with a bottle of Oxycodone. Wooo-hoo!!

I learned several things that weekend. I learned that, when you’re a parent, there are no days off. I learned that good friends are worth more than their weight in gold. I learned to never, EVER take pain medication on an empty stomach. But, most of all, I learned to be careful what you wish for… you just may get it!

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The Greatest Love of All


I want to tell you all about an experience I had when I was a kid. I was about 11, almost 12 years old, and I was in a store with my mom and my younger brother, watching my mom shop for clothing for us. Now, I was pretty pathetic when I was 11; I was about 30 pounds overweight with poor self esteem and my mom had tried to work to reverse some of the self-hate I was continually perpetuating. We were in the store when I heard a song come in over the intercom. The lyrics went something like:

I believe the children are our future,

Teach them well and let them lead the way…

The singer was Whitney Houston, the daughter of gospel singer Cissy Houston and then an up-and-coming chanteuse. At that time, I thought, sure, the children are our future. Most children, not me. I used to think “I hate that song!” The lyrics really got to me… “show them all the beauty they possess inside”? Easy for her  to say! She had a fabulous career as a singer and wasn’t stuck in fifth grade hell. Who was she to tell me that I possessed beauty inside? At that time, I didn’t recognize my own self-worth.

I think we all know what happened to Whitney Houston. Nearly twenty years after she married and subsequently divorced Bobby Brown, she was found unconscious in a bathtub in her Beverly Hills hotel room and paramedics couldn’t revive her. The beautiful heart that once asked “How Will I Know?” and crooned “I Will Always Love You” had stopped forever. Whitney Houston was her own victim, having succumbed to years of drug and alcohol abuse.

My theory? Whitney Houston never found The Greatest Love of All. Instead, like so many people in this world, she let others define her worth. This is a mistake, as we’ve been told over and over again. Whitney sang about finding your self-love, your power, but she didn’t live it.

What exactly is this greatest love of all that Whitney Houston sang about? In the 1950s, a psychologist, Erich Fromm, theorized that self-love is the act of caring about oneself, taking responsibility for oneself, respecting oneself, and knowing oneself (e.g. being realistic and honest about one’s strengths and weaknesses).

Why is this important? Two reasons:

1. How many of you have heard of the Law of Attraction? Quite simply, this law states a primary principal known in physics: like attracts like. That is to say, if you project love, you receive love in return. If you project something other than love, you receive that instead.

2. What is the opposite of love? Fear! The opposite of love is fear.

Now, given the law of attraction (like attracts like), would you rather attract fear… or love?

Holding yourself in high esteem doesn’t just benefit you. If that were the case, it wouldn’t be important. Loving yourself is the greatest love of all because it allows you to freely and completely love others. To put it another way, by respeciting yourself, you get out of your own way, and open yourself to the potential of all of life’s riches.

As for me, self-love has been something I’ve struggled with for decades now, and I will probably struggle with it for the rest of my natural life. Is having a healthy self-image easy? No. But it is so worth it. 

By working to learn to be my own best friend, and by then projecting that esteem into the world, I’ve been able to do things such as influence my friends to join Toastmasters, perform random acts of kindness in the community, and raise a son who I hope will grow into a great man.

And that truly is the greatest love of all.

More American Than Apple Pie


Fellow toastmasters and honored guests, this week we celebrate the birth of our nation, one of the richest, most beloved countries in the world. If you were to ask a random sampling of Americans, you’d hear lots if platitudes about how great the U.S. is. Here, we have our freedoms, democracy, capitalism and a national landscape which offers something for everyone. Living here is so desirable that people are willing to uproot their families to come here and make a better lives for themselves and their loved ones.

However, we as a nation are in crisis. We have an issue that is almost unheard of in the rest of the world, even among other industrialized nations, although parts of the rest of the world are beginning to catch up to us.

A few years ago, I read a shocking statistic. Nearly 30% of Americans are clinically obese, having a body mass index of 30 or over. Not only that, but obesity related health care costs for conditions like heart disease, diabetes and cancer top $150 BILLION dollars.

Deaths related to these conditions are through the roof. About a month and a half ago we lost my father in law, who was diabetic. A couple of weeks ago, I heard through a friend about someone close to my age who had suffered a heart attack – we’re in our 30s and what was more shocking to me than this news was the fact that it was the second time in two years. This is not right, and the situation is far rarer outside the U.S. Yes, obesity and the health risks involved with it are more American than apple pie.

Ladies and gentlemen, that is grim news for our country. The cause of much of the disease can be pinpointed to two things: diet and exercise.

Exercise I won’t get into. Most of us know we should get up and move. But the standard American diet bears a second look.

When you think of American food, what immediately comes to mind? Anyone? [get suggestions]
I know that, when I look back on the food I grew up with, I remember that I primarily ate from the four food groups: meat, milk, starch and sugar. Vegetables were kind of a condiment, and various forms of fat, like butter and gravy were used as seasonings. Part of this has to do with my parents – my dad is one of those guys who always has candy bars around – and part of it has to do with the kind of food that everyone just ate. A lot of what we consumed as a family was processed – Kraft singles, Twinkies, SPAM… you get the idea. Heck, apple pie contains two of the four main food groups.

I know my experience isn’t unique. I also know something else about American cuisine – it’s growing, literally. Have you ever had the experience where you started to eat a package of something and thought “Oh, cool. It’s only 200 calories!” only to realize there were 3 servings in the package? How many people know how much protein you should consume at a meal? About two to three ounces, which is roughly the size of a deck of cards. Yet, most of us eat much more than that, as well as far larger portions that needed of other foods.

The standard American diet makes it more and more difficult as portion sizes grow, and food is made more and more cheaply with lower quality ingredients.

So what’s the answer here? I think there are a number of steps we as Americans can take in order to improve our health and well-being. One such tactic, which I’ve spoken about in the past, also has a side benefit of reducing stress on the planet and can help reduce the stress on your wallet.
The particular tactic I want to propose to you all tonight is the adoption of a plant-based diet, rich in complete amino acid protein, iron, vitamins, minerals and with the amazing ability to help lower cholesterol and blood pressure and reduce cancer risk.

Notice I didn’t say vegetarian. I said plant-based. Reduce your intake of eggs and dairy as well as meat, and it will have a profound effect not only on your health but the health of the planet.
The Environmental Working Group claims that if every American ate one less burger per week, it would be the environmental equivalent of taking your car off the road for 320 miles. Researchers at top American universities also state that the adoption of a plant-based diet releases significantly fewer greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere than an omnivorous diet, a poultry-based diet, or even a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet, on which one consumes dairy and eggs.

Now, I have no illusions that people will jump to adopt veganism overnight. But if you could make even a small change – say, eating a plant-based meal once a week or replacing one soda a day with water, I believe you will see and feel immense changes begin to take place.

Where to start? By educating yourself… four fairly recent movies that you can watch to gain a greater understanding are Supersize Me, Forks Over Knives, May I be Frank and PlanEAT. Also, google something called the Engine 2 diet, promoted by an Austin, TX firefighter who happens to be the son of the physician profiled in the movie Forks Over Knives. Also, here in Santa Rosa is Dr. John McDougall, a long-time proponent of a plant-based diet who has seen extraordinary changes occur in the lives of others.

Ladies and Gentlemen, change won’t happen overnight. I know I’ve been adjusting my diet for the last 22 years and I’m still working at it. But I have fait that, with small steps, maybe some day the phrase “going to Mickey D’s” will mean visiting Dr McDougall. And that will someday become more American than apple pie.

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Delicious vegan tacos, because I didn’t have any pics of apple pie at hand when I wrote this

Who Are You Calling Weak?


First, Happy Mothers Day! It’s well after 9am, and I am the first one up, so I’m taking the opportunity to spend a few minutes writing.

I could tell you about the worst Mothers Day I ever had (it actually started the night before, including me in the ER), but that’s probably a story for another time. Instead, let me tell you how I spent my day yesterday.

I got a sitter and traveled about 40 minutes away to an insurance company in Marin County where I, along with 500 other members of Toastmasters clubs throughout the Bay Area, spent the day listening to speeches and educational sessions on everything from personal growth to communication skills and leadership. It was the District 57 Spring Conference, and I’d won a ticket to go last Monday during my club’s Tall Tales contest (again, another story for another time). While I was away, my husband, after he got off work, took our son to see a movie.

If you’ve never been to a Toastmasters event, I will spoil it for you a bit: the vast majority of the speeches and table topics have a similar, recurring theme. While many are humorous, nearly all are inspirational in some way or other.

Yesterday was no exception. The first table topics speaker (a woman from the same small town I live in) had lost both legs and described the choice she’d made to have prosthetics built so she and her husband could travel during their retirement. Another woman, who has Tourette’s, explained that Toastmasters is her “drug of choice” and that when she’s speaking, she has no symptoms. A third speaker, a man who’d been a mega-athlete in high school before being paralyzed from the chest down, went on to lead his power wheelchair soccer team to international victory.

The theme of the conference was Stand and Deliver, but I think it could just as easily have been “Oh Yeah? Watch Me!” Clearly, none of the participants let their supposed weaknesses get them down for long, and the message wasn’t lost on me. What you might view as a disadvantage in your life can actually be your greatest source of strength.

When I got home last night, my family and I watched an episode of Undercover Boss. On the show, the CEO of a soft pretzel company was stunned to learn how much some of his valued employees were struggling, and he cried several times throughout the show. Visible displays of emotion in men are seen as a weakness in my country, but this guy let loose while cameras rolled. The benefit? I, and I imagine, thousands of other viewers now see this CEO as a genuine human being. He’s elevated the status of his company in my eyes.

I’ve talked about this concept before – the idea that a disability is actually a super human ability or that a supposed character flaw can, in fact, be a person’s ace in the hole.

It’s one such flaw, in fact, that ultimately led me to where I was yesterday. You see, my entire life, I’ve been mistaken for being unfriendly or even arrogant when the reality is that I am excruciatingly shy… sometimes to the point that I have a hard time talking to someone, one on one, that I’ve known for years (thankfully, more and more lately this is not the case).

I was asked to give a short presentation during my department’s staff meeting and I choked. I’d worked with these guys for almost two years and I couldn’t do it. That night, on Facebook, I jokingly asked whether anyone knew anything about Toastmasters. A coworker, who’d helped me out by driving me to work shortly after my Mothers Day weekend mishap mentioned above, replied and said he’d love to check it out!

That was a year and a half ago, and the tide is beginning to turn with regards to my personality flaw. If I had to guess, I would say a good percentage of the 20 other people in my club could tell a similar story.

Think about your own personal weakness or flaw, and decide for yourself: how can I turn this into my personal strength or strong character trait?

Business Cliches That Should be Kicked to the Curb


In business, there are several truths, traditions and other common idioms which are either no longer valid or which never served much purpose at all. In the spirit of positive change and moving away from “business as usual” (another cliché that ought to be on my hit list), let’s look at a few, and for each outdated, outmoded or incorrect cliché, I will offer an alternative.

Thinking outside the box.

I remember first hearing this one sometime in the 1990s and executives have held fast to it ever since. Business leadership all the way down to middle management espouses this directive as a way to encourage innovation among their teams. But what does it really mean, and is it really a valid way to proceed?

Think about it. There are many instances in which it’s not only acceptable, but advisable to think inside the box. Medicine, law and education come to mind. If you’re thinking outside the box, are you taking into consideration things like regulations, sales cycles and human psychology?

What would be better: calculated innovation. This says, “We need to do X, Y and Z but we’re going to find a more efficient, more effective way of doing it. Take, for example, the iPad. Similar tablet computers have been around for nearly 30 years, but Apple did their research and came up with a way to create something that, while not entirely new, used existing aesthetics, psychology and human computer interaction to its full advantage.

Business Parenting.

This is a concept touted by supervisors and other management staff in order to get them thinking about how to manage their employees in a way that will yield more, better and faster results with less disciplinary action. In short, employees need to know exactly what is expected of them, they need constant feedback and positive and negative reinforcement, and, like children, they will test your limits as their supervisor.

Now, let’s look a bit more closely at this. If you’re over the age of, say, 25, how much parenting are you going to want or need? Assuming your boss hired you because you were highly skilled in the area in which you do business, you shouldn’t need much supervision and certainly none of the same type of supervision that your parents no doubt gave you when you were growing up. As many of you know, outside the office, I am an actual parent. When I hear a term like “Business Parenting”, it makes me think of, well, parenting.

Parenting involves saying “no” a lot. When the kids are little, you say “No, you can’t do that”, “No, don’t touch that!”, “No, you will eat your dinner first!” and when they question why, the old fallback “Because I’m the mom” or “Because I said so!” often suffices. The problem is that, once the kids get a bit older – after 7 is the age of reason – the parents’ response needs to evolve. “No, you can’t watch more TV tonight because you need your sleep for school tomorrow”. That’s just explaining why not. Some parents do a great job of eventually empowering their offspring to make good decisions; others don’t.

If you’re a supervisor and you practice business parenting, are you simply a Dr No who stands in the way of your employees, or are you giving them concrete reasons for declining their requests?
What would be better: rather than embracing business parenting as a concept, how about business partnering? All the best bosses I’ve ever had have not only guided and taught their employees, but learned and accepted guidance from their staff. Think about it: oftentimes, the employees have as much if not more technical know-how than the boss. This kind of relationship creates more efficient, more empowered employees and smarter, more efficient bosses. Win-win!

The IT Guy.

As a country, we’ve evolved gender roles quite a bit since the end of World War II. My husband is a teacher, and my doctor is a woman, and when I tell people this, they don’t blink. When, on the other hand, I tell people that I work in the information technology field, a lot of times their eyes glaze over, they ask “Doing what?” or they quickly change the subject. Why is that?

According to SESTAT (the Scientists and Engineers Statistical Data System), nearly 30% of the IT workforce is women. These are technology generalists and specialists who perform a variety of functions, such as network engineering, hardware integration, software engineering and, what I do, web design and development.

Now, I was talking with a coworker last week and joked that, because my last name is Guy, I literally am the Web Guy. He laughed, but it got me thinking: why is it nearly always assumed that the IT guy is a man?

I’ve worked in a male-dominated field for almost all my career, and have known many great female it “guys”. These women are smart, savvy, and personable while retaining their femininity. And maybe that’s part of the problem. When you think of a computer scientist, what image comes to mind? Do you envision a guy with subpar social skills, hunkered in a corner, maybe eating Cheetos and pulling a ballpoint pen out of his pocket protector as he sneers at your ignorance of the systems? Or would a woman in, say, a skirt and heels, snacking on raw almonds and checking to see that her son got on the bus just before running a meeting also fit the image of an IT professional in your mind?

What would be better: you’d never refer to a doctor as a “hospital guy” so why refer to an IT professional as an “IT guy”? Making a tweak to the label and using the phrase “IT pro” or, even better, “knowledge worker” or “knowledge professional” would go a ways towards changing the face of this important occupation.

Fellow Toastmasters and honored guests, let’s resolve to make a change – today! – to move away from the clichés I just highlighted and to be more thoughtful in our speech, as well as in our work lives.

I Say, I Say!


photo by CameliaTWU via PhotoRee

It’s often said that the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. In my case, the journey began with a single Facebook post.

In September 2010, I half-jokingly (well, mostly jokingly) sent out the following query to my friends: “Anyone here know anything about Toastmasters?”

A few people responded that they’d heard of it; my coworker Chris, who, unbeknownst to me at that time was a budding entrepreneur, was interested in checking it out.

Earlier that day, I had spoken up in our weekly department meeting. I work in an IT department of around sixteen people, and at that time, I’d been with the company for almost two years. Once a week we have these brief (only 55 minutes long) meetings called huddles, and I’d been asked a question about a project I had been working on with.

I stared into the eyes of the fifteen men and women, most of whom I’d known for 21 months, and I panicked. As I spoke, I could feel my esophagus tightening and could hear my vocal pitch rising. My pulse raced, and I shook a little as I spoke. It made little sense to me and was humiliating.

I suspect – and have for a long time – that I probably have a little bit of social anxiety. Some of it is probably genetic and some probably is due to my upbringing. I took drama classes and appeared in several plays and musicals from 7th grade all through high school, did a bit of community theater afterward, have performed in a number of choirs and choruses and even did a tiny bit of runway modeling, but none of this has ever helped my self-confidence.

So I put out the query about Toastmasters to my friends and Chris and I made plans to check out some clubs. We settled on joining club number two, which fit in well with work schedules. In October, we officially joined.

What happened over the course of the next 11 months was nearly miraculous. I won’t speak for my colleague; he is more than capable of doing so himself. But my transformation while preparing and delivering ten speeches – nine from the Competent Communicator Manual and one given to a group of teenagers at the California Conservation Corps – has escaped few who know me.

I am preparing to give my final speech for the Competent Communicator and simultaneously producing a series of training videos at work. I am also in the midst of redesigning the club’s website as part of my duties as VP of PR this term.

Thanks to Toastmasters, I can write and deliver a solid speech. I can command the attention of a room of people and make an audience laugh. I can give an evaluation and can almost speak off the cuff. Almost. Most importantly, I now know that I can act in a leadership capacity, assisting my fellow club members, colleagues, whomever.

I would recommend the organization to anyone. Our club is diverse, fun and über-supportive. I learn something new literally every week. It’s not free, but the benefits of joining cannot be measured in terms of dollars and cents.

Veg Out!


photo by jalb via PhotoRee

Good evening, fellow Toastmasters and honored guests… I would like for you to close your eyes and imagine yourself seated at a dinner table. It’s Thanksgiving and the entire family is gathered around. You have just said grace and are about to dig into your first bite of tender, juicy, perfectly cooked… Tofurky.

With Portobello gravy.

And mushroom and sourdough stuffing.

And mashed cauliflower on the side.

For between 5 and 10% of Americans, this is how holidays are celebrated. Traditional? It depends upon how you look at it. Ladies and gentlemen, tonight I want to persuade you of the many benefits of vegetarianism – some of which you may find surprising.

First, let’s get a few definitions out of the way. There seems to be a lot of confusion about the words “vegetarian” and “vegan” and there is a difference.

To be a vegetarian means that you do not eat meat. Plain and simple.

Vegetarians come in three varieties:

  • Lacto-ovo vegetarians consume dairy and eggs.
  • Lacto vegetarians consume dairy but not eggs. This may be due to a variety of reasons ranging from animal rights to health reasons. For example, I have a relative who is so allergic to eggs that the one time she got a flu shot she ended up in the ER.
  •  Ovo vegetarians are the opposite: the consume eggs, but not dairy. The reasons are similar to lacto vegetarians. I’m lactose intolerant and, while I consume a little bit of dairy, I try to limit myself. In some ways, I am a part-time ovo vegetarian.

To describe yourself as a vegan is a whole other ballgame. If you are a true vegan, you not only don’t eat meat, but you abstain from consuming any animal based products. This includes not only not consuming dairy and eggs but such things as wearing silk and wool. The only problem with veganism is that it’s almost impossible to be completely, 100% vegan. Not only are foods like honey derived from animals, but so is the galvanized rubber used in car tires, and the pink or red coloring used in many cosmetics, for example.

For my speech, I will concentrate on lacto-ovo vegetarianism. Many omnivores are wary of a vegetarian diet. There are many concerns people would have about giving up meat. I will respond to these concerns, one by one.

Now, when most omnivores hear that I am vegetarian or that my 8-year-old is vegetarian or that my husband is mostly vegetarian, the person usually asks me one of a few different questions:

  1.  Why don’t you eat meat?
  2. How do you get enough protein/other nutrients?
  3. What DO you eat?

I was at a dinner party on Saturday night when question number one came up. My hostess asked me “Exactly why don’t you eat meat?”

For me, the reasons were varied. I didn’t like the taste of meat; it grossed me out. I was concerned for the way animals were raised and treated. I figured I’d lose weight without it. Later, I took a college class which described for me in great detail how factory farming works and the environmental impact of raising cattle and chicken – particularly that it takes about 2,500 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef or that – and I am so sorry to mention this – beef cattle are fed chicken manure.

Other reasons that one may go vegetarian include concern over chemicals and hormones in meat, concern over illnesses such as mad cow disease and salmonella, religious reasons, or in order to help reduce hunger worldwide.

Research has shown that a vegetarian diet has measurable health benefits. Vegetarians have a lower overall incidence or obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and early death. Why would you be vegetarian? Why not?

The next most common question I hear is “How do you get enough protein (or some other nutrient)?”

Would it surprise you to know that protein is no big deal to get in a plant-based diet? Protein can be found in not only eggs and dairy, but nuts and legumes (beans), rice and other grains and even mushrooms.

A vegetarian diet can also provide you with numerous vitamins and minerals – Vitamins A, C and D, for example. Other nutrients, like iron, zinc, Vitamin B12 and omega-3s can be found in foods such as spinach, eggs and walnuts. According to the latest research, it’s a poorly planned vegetarian diet which is poor in nutrients. Then again, isn’t that true for any diet?

The last question I always hear is “What do you eat?” I hear this question a lot, and I’m always happy to answer.

So… what do I eat? Some examples:

Eggs/quiche/omelets

Milk products (almond, rice or soy)

Cereals

Protein shakes

Pizza

Pasta

Soups

Burgers (veggie, chik’n, or Quorn)

Bacon (veggie bacon)

Hot dogs

Thai food

Sushi (vegetarian)

Burritos

And so on, and so forth… Notice how I didn’t say “salad” once?

The only food I don’t eat… is meat! If you’re looking for a great diet which is easy to follow and has the possibility to open the doors to a variety of foods to you, I say “veg out”.