Food that magically regrows itself - how ingenious!
I wish I had the space to grow my own food!
Food that magically regrows itself - how ingenious!
I wish I had the space to grow my own food!
When I was young, I used to tell everyone that I was going to be a creative writer. Too shy to make friends, I often spent the majority of my time at the library, pawing through the books and hoping to find as many books as possible by whichever author I was currently fixated on at the time. I used to plan out future plots that I’d write in my head and wonder how many children my age would be doing the same thing - only they would be reading my book (it’s my dream, afterall).
My dream faded once I hit high school and I eventually ended up in market research.
Fast forward to a few years into my MR career and I decided that I needed to exercise, what James Altucher refers to as a “writing muscle”. Only, the landscape is a vastly different place than it was when I was a little girl.
I don’t think people visit libraries and walk up and down the bookshelves, trying to spot a book to read (or, did they ever?). I don’t necessarily think there is as much hype around trilogies, series, and up and coming authors. Now, I divide my reading list between fiction and non-fiction. When I was younger, I only read fiction novels. I liked getting lost in their stories. You could argue that I tell stories for a living when I present research. But it’s based on fact, and it’s certainly not supposed to be verbose and rich with content. It’s straight, to the point, and must be actionable to clients. But hey, if I could make a living as a writer, I’d be pretty ecstatic.
The problem is, my idea of what being a published author means, is stuck in the past. I still think along the lines of finding an agent, a publisher, getting an advance and taking a year or two to write my novel. Are you laughing at me?
Good thing James set me straight. I like that he talks about the landscape as it is. I had to agree with him, even though I wished it were the opposite.
Every online journal or blog that I’ve started in my life has always been so that I could have an outlet online. But somewhere along the way, I realized that people could actually make money off their blogs. Huh. Something Altucher talks about here is the evolution of blogs these days - that it’s meant to help you build an audience for you. He also goes on to say that “there’s no money in ads” anymore. I have to say that I’m glad. While I’m sure there are many bloggers who have worked hard to make a decent living off their multiple posts each day (with shiny ads on the side for income), my biggest problem with this trend is the lack of authenticity that comes through in these posts. These days, I can hardly keep my blogs straight - they all post the same pictures, discuss the same topics (whatever will get them clicks and comments), make lists of animated GIFs and recipe roundups. Basically, they are void of meaningful unique content. Of course, I’m generalizing. There are always outliers. But I wonder… when these bloggers realize that they can’t monetize their blogs anymore, will the ones who are in it just for the money eventually exit the space, leaving the good ones behind? I hope it doesn’t continue become an attention-seeking gain.
About a month ago my wife blogged a post on running with your partner:
I have anxiety when it comes to running with people who are faster than me.
When Mike and I started dating, I casually brushed off his invites to go running with him. It was exhausting coming up with different excuses…
I just didn’t put in the time and effort, and polished UI into it, to market it to the masses. I’m trying to rectify that with FitFriend, something I’m much more passionate about and dedicated to anyway.
I tried to do a similar thing to Carrot a few years ago, with an app called FoodFriend. It’s severely outdated now (I should really remove it) but the concept remains the same: humorous, borderline crass statements, set to 3 thresholds of daily calorie intakes - below your limit, within 100 of your limit, or above your limit.
These guys have taken it a step further with animations and audio, and much better UI. Kudos Carrot!
Rather than being jealous or envious, it’s actually given me confidence that I was a few years ahead of the curve. I’m not trying to say this to be arrogant, I doubt myself every single day…for once it’s nice to have a small indication that what I was doing was right. I know I only have myself to blame, I left FoodFriend for dead.
A good reminder that good ideas are just one piece of the puzzle. However, without good ideas, there’d be nothing to execute. The two can’t exist without each other.
Today, I did something I was dreading for months.
I broke up with my dream cafe client. The cafe that introduced me to the independent coffee scene. The one that made me appreciate amazing coffee. The one I used to visit every day at work, order the most perfect cappuccino and stare at the big display of baked goods, dreaming about the possibility of selling my baked goods out of that very display.
It took months. Multiple tries, multiple contacts… many attempts to get their attention. After a long courtship, I eventually made it into that display. It was a dream come true.
Unfortunately, I was so focused on getting into the cafe that I didn’t exactly plan what would come next. I’ve already gone into a few details over what went wrong.. poor planning, an unsustainable pricing strategy… day by day, I was losing myself and barely hanging on. I told myself to stick through it, because I had worked so hard to get to that point.
I tried to cut costs where possible, re-arrange schedules, I begged for help from family when it came to delegating whatever tasks I could. I spent months “hanging on” and trying new and different ways to “fix” things. But, eventually I couldn’t deny that my business was broken. I hadn’t set myself up to be successful.
Denial, and eventually acceptance.
And so, after I realized that I was in denial about the actual “success” of my business (looks good on paper and to the outside world, not so profitable thanks to poor pricing strategy), I slowly allowed myself to arrive at the conclusion that I’d have to end things.
The talk: it’s not you… it’s me.
Then I initiated the talk. The one I had been dreading to do for weeks. I just couldn’t quite find the words to fully explain how I was feeling. But eventually, I found myself sitting across the room with the cafe owner, pouring out my heart and trying to stay professional at the same time. It’s really hard to admit you screwed up.
Deep down, I know that I did the right thing for my business. I put myself first, and focused on the bigger picture. But that still isn’t helping this sinking feeling in my stomach go away. It doesn’t help quell the guilt, regret, and fear that I gave up too easily and made a mistake. It didn’t help that the cafe owner was so understanding. He was compassionate, and left the door open for future opportunities once I figure things out on my end. And, he told me that people were really going to miss my muffins.
Breaking up is hard to do.
It never, ever gets easier.
One year ago, I was slowly planning my transition from full-time researcher, to full-time baker (and if we want to be fancy, we could even throw in “entrepreneur”). I thought I had planned it out as well as I possibly could, given that I was baking before work, working a full day, and trying to fit in a little exercise for my sanity. I thought, as soon as I tell the universe that I’m ready to do it full-time, things would really take off.
Oh, and I didn’t think I needed a business plan.
I told myself to get some actual customers first, and then let things fall out naturally. Note to self: since that approach pretty much never works in my life (have you seen the state of my hair?), I should have known better.
So, I continued to fly by the seat of my pants, sure that this must be what every new entrepreneur does… until I got more customers, had no plan for expansion, no clear goal to work towards, and landed myself into the ever familiar burnout zone where I was working so much that I didn’t have time to think or breath.
I took a little time off at Christmas to collect my thoughts and was able to distill my main mistakes as follows:
So, here I am, armed with information on all the things I’ve done wrong, but without a plan to get myself back on track. That’s the thing about being your own boss. You own your success —- and your failure.
It’s time to cut my losses. I need to learn from my mistakes and figure out how I will take that knowledge and apply it immediately with whatever I do next (which is TBD at the moment).
One year ago, I was excited. I had this gut feeling that I was walking in the right direction and I still truly believe that I’m getting there. I’ve been thinking a lot lately, about what I’ve given up to get to where I am today. In some ways, I’ve felt regret about how my life has changed; I’ve lost touch with friends, my family rarely sees me, and downtime is a privilege that I rarely get to enjoy. I think a lot about how much I’ve had to shift in my lifestyle - I can’t go out as much as I used to, I can’t buy things as often as I used to… but life is good.
Every decision I make is truly mine to make. Nothing is permanent and that’s the beauty of it all. I’ve realized that I could live on a lot less — and could even stand to “lose” more if I had to. I’ve learned to appreciate the time I do have with my loved ones. And if there’s something I’m truly unsatisfied with in my life, I’ve realized that I have the power to change it and shape it into something I like better. Not some day. Today.
“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
I’ve often asked myself, when the time comes to make hard decisions in my life, will I have the courage to do so? It’s always so much easier to stick with the status quo. It’s always so much easier to convince yourself to stay on course. It’s always so much easier to “deal with it later”.
But why wait?
Why does it never get easier to do the right thing?
This year, I’m going to work on letting go. I’m a pack rat - literally and figuratively. And I can’t be everything to everyone otherwise there won’t be much of me left.
I’m also going to try to stop controlling everything around me.
And, I’ll try to stop being so apologetically confused about what I want to do with my life.
This is unintentionally cryptic.
We’ve partnered with Garden of Vegan, one of our favorite vegan tastemakers, to celebrate the success of our tumblr so far! For the month of December we’ll be posting original recipes featuring WestSoy deliciousness!
Tofu Vegetable Noodle Soup
Yields 2 servings.
What You’ll Need:
- 1/2 block firm or extra-firm tofu, cut into cubes (I recommend using WestSoy Extra-Firm Tofu)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 3½ cups vegetable broth
- 3-4 medium white button mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1 rib celery, thinly sliced diagonally
- 1 carrot, sliced into ribbons using a vegetable peeler
- 1/8 cup red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 cup packed, of chopped kale, stems removed
- 1/3 cup fresh or frozen peas
- 1-1½ cups uncooked rice noodles (approx.)
- 3 green onions, thinly sliced on a diagonal, for garnish
Combine the tofu, olive oil, garlic, and soy sauce in a shallow bowl or food storage container. Set the tofu and marinade aside while you clean, slice, and prepare all of the vegetable ingredients.
In a medium sized saucepan, heat 1/2 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat. Add the tofu along with the marinade and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tofu is golden brown.
Add the onion and celery and continue cooking until the onion appears to be transparent. Add the carrot ribbons and sliced mushrooms and cook for about 30 seconds.
Add 2½ cups of vegetable broth, turn the heat up to high and bring to a boil. Add the rice noodles and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the peas and chopped kale and boil for another 2-3 minutes or until the vegetables and noodles are tender. Add more broth if necessary.
Top with thinly sliced green onion and serve!
This soup is best served immediately after it’s made. As the soup sits the rice noodles will continue to absorb the broth. If you want to save some for leftovers, strain the broth from the soup and refrigerate them separately. Add the broth back to the soup when you reheat them, you may still find that adding extra broth is necessary.
This looks like the perfect comfort meal during the winter.
I’ve never done Lent before.
A leftover ED thing that I have a hard time with: I don’t know how to safely “lose a few pounds” or work on body things without becoming obsessive...
5k race number 2 in the bag for 2014! I’m going to give the titles of my race recaps numbers. Yes, I’m barcoding my races.
This week I’m running consistently again after taking 2 weeks off with mild shin splints, and it’s pain free. Coming back to...
I want to be better at being honest with myself; I am learning that I have a tendency to stick with things just because I made a decision, not...
Let me break away from my daily running life to talk tech for a while. Hold that thought… actually I’m...