Wednesday, February 24, 2010

DFW, We Have a Leader


For a particular story I am doing, I have been asking a number of Rangers about who their leader is.  I have asked Manager Ron Washington  and GM Jon Daniels who they look to when they need to impart a message to the team.   The unanimous answer, on all fronts, has been one man: Michael Young.

This shouldn't come as a shock or surprise; but I will tell you it's impressive.  He leads by example and does it vocally, as well.   Pitcher C.J. Wilson might have said it best: "He's made so many sacrifices for the team.  To keep his bat in the lineup and keep his different positions, win a gold glove at short, now he's playing 3rd.  He can win a gold glove there you know."

Young's willingness to do whatever it takes and ability to excel at each attempt isn't lost on his teammates.  "Everyone's going home and looking at himself in the mirror saying 'what can I do to push the team over the top?' Wilson added.

Why does that impress the hell out of me?  Because for years I have asked just about every key player on every pro team in Dallas who the leader on his team was.  EVERY, single player gave me a different answer or named a few guys.  Some players (dallas mavericks) named the owner (mark cuban)!  It's so refreshing to have a team that knows who that guy is.  What's even more refreshing is to have a guy who's willing to put himself on the line to do it.  Many players aren't brave enough to do that and for Young to do is a testament to his character. 

Almost More Impressed by the Peeps
While I've been busy dissing the autograph flies at spring training, I must give huge kudos to the fans.  They are a loyal bunch.  I have asked Rangers execs asked if the number of fans is lower than in years' past given the economic climate.  Overwhelmingly the answer is no.  Fan turnout is impressive for a team not named the Cowboys, Yankees or Packers.  There's something to be said for the loyal baseball fan.  Even more impressive is the loyal Rangers fan.  There have been some rough years in the Arlington.

BTW, my personal favorite, The Cookie Lady, is in Surprise with her husband.  I did a story with her years ago and received about two dozen cookies for my colleagues at the station.  Here's hoping we see some of her sweets in the next few days! ;)
Friday, February 19, 2010

U Can't Control What the Ball Do (or the Hooch Apparently)

So Josh Howard's "stomach illness" that  forced him to miss the Wizards game on January 20th was possibly a raging hangover?  Does that surprise you at all?  Lord knows I've been there (the raging hangover part) but at least I'm enough of an adult to get my job done.   

Eddie Sefko has the detes on something that doesn't surprise any  of us.  I remember reporting the "stomach illness" when I first heard the details that day and Derek Harper's first words were "he is outta here."  At least Howard's passion to party is consistent.  Sources have told me he was taking advantage of the Dallas nightlife until 5am just about every night during All-Star weekend.  (not passing judgment there....just reporting)

Howard is a player who repeatedly did not take responsibility for his actions.  He blamed the media for his wrongdoings and was constantly enabled by the Mavericks and his hangers-on.  He went from being the untouchable commodity to a player who's more of detriment than asset.  

Are you disappointed his departure didn't happen sooner?  Did the Mavs reluctance to trade him sooner hurt this team?   I had heard he was on the block for a while.  Perhaps other teams were wiser in their unwillingness to take him on a player.  Regardless, he's the Wizards problem now and he might  continue to be just that: a problem
Monday, February 8, 2010

Blueprint Cleanse Day 3: To Break or Not to Break

Day 3 on the Blueprint Cleanse

This one was the challenge.  Days 1 & 2 were routine workdays and presented no social challenges.  Day 3 was a bugger not from a hunger or craving standpoint but from a "let's deal with reality" perspective.  I had a big, bad (actually fun) event Thursday evening.  Dilemma: do I continue with the cleanse or do I break it?

The day itself went wonderfully.  I exercised, doing an hour of a killer pilates class, a 40-minute walk with the dog and 15 minutes of jumping rope.  A lack of energy was never a factor for me on the Blueprint Cleanse.

I continued throughout the day on the juice cycle, downing them as needed, waiting about and an hour and a half to two hours between juices.  Then came decision time.

It was 6pm and I was drinking my last green juice of the cleanse.  I had gone 72 hours without food, essentially the recommended time for a full "Blueprint Cleanse".  I left for the event, which was a party honoring former Texas governor Bill Clements and his wife, Rita, for their contributions to the University of Texas system.  It was an assembly of some of the state's most interesting and educational, philanthropic and political minds.

Long story short, when the salad course came, I ate it.  I broke the cleanse.  I really felt fine about doing it.  That night I ate salad, fish, a bite of some yucky, generic chocolate flourless cake and a glass of wine.  I didn't feel badly or gross, I felt great.

Friday came and I still felt great.  I actually froze my cashew milk, the final juice of the cleanse, and drank it on Friday.  I juiced the entire day until dinner, which was an evening out with friends.

All told, the Blueprint Cleanse was a success for me.  The pre-cleanse puffiness I had was gone.  My stomach was as flat as it has been since bathing suit season.  I felt amazing.  I worked out every day while on it and, although hungry, I never lacked energy.  I thought it was a good, easy effective way to cleanse and jumpstart some water weight loss.  It was quite pricey, in my opinion.  Maybe it's a twice-a-year undertaking.  It inspired me to get back to juicing on my own.  For ease of use and an absolute idiot-proof way of getting introduced to juice fasting, it's excellent. 

After a weekend of roadtrip indulgences and an excellent Super Bowl party, I'm ready for another juice fast.  The interesting thing is - 2 of my girlfriends have gone Blueprint crazy.  They signed up to do it, too.  I think it would be fun to do it together with a group of folks.  That way we can be social and drink our juices together in wine glasses! (a girl can wish).
Thursday, February 4, 2010

Blueprint Cleanse Day 2: A Lesson Learned & Gubnatorial Challenge

Day 2 was the same juice routine: 3 green juices, 1 pineapple/mint/apple (I wish it was a mojito) juice, lemon cayenne pepper and cashew milk.

Late in the evening, around 7:45 during our TXA21 broadcast, I was starving.  Absolutely starving and while I thought I brought my final juice of the day, the cashew milk, with me to work, I realized I hadn't.  Horror, panic and fear all set in.  My arm is looking appetizing at this point.  I decide to go for a double: green tea and some of that nasty, sugar-free hot chocolate we have at the station.  The tea is usually a good choice to satiate my 300-pound lineman appetite.  The interesting thing is that I started to drink the sugar-free hot chocolate and I couldn't finish it!  I was so surprised and downright happy that I thought it was ......wait for it.....TOO SWEET.  I'm a certified sweet/sugar addict and I couldn't get it down.  Hello, progress!

So our TXA21 broadcast ends and I am racing to get out the door and drive the 30 minutes back to Dallas and devour that cashew milk when I look below my cubicle and see it: that poor, little 16-oz bottle of cashew milk.  I knew I had brought it with me to the station!  It had fallen out of my cooler.  At this point it was warm.  That didn't do much for me.  I race home, get back around 9:30 and savor that beautifully cold cashew milk from the fridge.  By this point my hunger had subsided. 

I think that's a key lesson.  I am a HIGH volume eater.  While I eat healthily, I eat a lot.  I will generally snack on something when I have a craving and many times that could be something sweet: whether it's fruit, a Kashi bar or some of those damn M&M's my colleague has on his desk.   This was a big step for me, feeling that powerful hunger subside over time was something I am not used to doing.  I hope it's something I can carry over to my non-cleansing life.  

On the scale Thursday morning, it showed I've lost four total pounds.  I don't have really much to lose, just water weight to eliminate.  Tonight will be a challenge: a cocktail party and dinner honoring former Texas governor Bill Clements for his contributions to UT.  Do I drink the seltzer and say "no thanks" when the rubber chicken arrives?  Or do I freeze my evening juices for tomorrow, break the fast tonight and juice till dinner tomorrow?  Decisions, decisions.  Stay tuned!
Wednesday, February 3, 2010

No More Staypuff Marshmellow Girl: Blueprint Cleanse Day 1

I have been an indulgent little piggy lately and had been looking to depuff.   A friend of mine, who just had the most beautiful baby girl, did a 5-day Blueprint Cleanse last week and as soon as I saw her Facebook post on it, I was like "done"! 

I ordered a 3-day cleanse, which you can pick up at Exhale Spa in Dallas.  It's not cheap.  Delivery to my door in Dallas is $255, pick-up at Exhale was $225.  I googled and found an online coupon which brought the total down to $205.50.  Still expensive. 

I chose the 3-day Foundation Cleanse. Their website says it's for "active, busy people who exercise and have tried many different diets but either can’t get their hands on fresh, whole food, or simply don’t have the time."  That's me to a T: exercise freak, love to diet but am constantly slammed and barely have time to walk my dog.

I actually have a fabulous juicer at home but I was happy with the portability of the Blueprint Cleanse.  The 3-day cleanse comes in three separate lunch bags which feature each of my six numbered drinks that I am supposed to drink during the day.  It's idiot proof and easy to carry around.  I run around all day: I can go from Mavs to Rangers or Cowboys or Stars or some random high school before heading into the station, so the ease of carrying is a plus.

In preparation for Day 1, the BPC people advise you to eat pretty raw and vegan for a few days, which I essentially do.  I eat a lot of seafood or chicken but the raw, vegan thing is not a challenge for me.  I did have a ton of candy the day before my cleanse started and a crabcake but it was a pretty vegetable-filled prep day.

I picked up my juice at Exhale Spa around 10am and had my first green juice.  It made of the juices of romaine lettuce, celery, cucumber, green apple, spinach, kale, parsley and lemon.  It was actually much sweeter than I expected.  I make a green juice many times in the morning consisting of lemon, apple and kale which is much tarter and more "green".  The Blueprint Cleanse's was sort of green "light".  It was good.

Next was a pineapple, apple and mint juice.  It tasted like a mojito without the rum.  It was FABULOUS.  Seriously, put some rum and crushed ice in there and watch me get delightfully tipsy.  A few hours after that was another green juice.  I had half of it before I went to Mavs practice and half afterwards.  I wasn't hungry at all at this point. 

Around 5-ish, I had my 4th juice of the day which was water, lemon, cayenne pepper and agave nectar.  This was wonderfully refreshing lemony drink with a spicy kick.  The Master Cleanse has you drinking a lemon, cayenne pepper and maple syrup drink throughout the day.  To me, that drink is heinous.  Maybe I'm too heavy handed on the cayenne pepper or maple syrup but that Master Cleanse drinks SUCKS!  The Blueprint Cleanse's was great.

Around 7 it was another green juice, followed by my last juice of the day around 8:30pm.  The final one is a cashew milk, vanilla bean and cinnamon juice.  Many who have done the cleanse say it's their favorite drink and they love it.  For me, it was just ok.  There were milky, cashew remnants in the drink.  It definitely had a wonderful vanilla/cinnamon flavor but I don't like milky, creamy drinks at all, so this kind of fell flat for me.

I wasn't ever really hungry on Tuesday.  I was tempted (as I always am) by the bowl of M&M's our assignment editor keeps on his desk right behind me.  Wednesday, I woke up a little lethargic and felt I needed a triple green tea cocktail in the morning (which I'm drinking now).   I did hop on my enemy - the scale - and found myself three pounds lighter.  No doubt it's water weight but I'll take it.