How was your weekend?

I spent a portion of my Saturday volunteering for the Illinois Restaurant Association’s Pro-Start program. What is Pro-Start? It’s an organization that mentors Chicago area high school students who are interesting in the hospitality field – whether it is going to culinary school, restaurant management, etc..

This past weekend was a culinary cooking competition and another group of students created fictitious restaurants and had to not only come up with a restaurant name, budget, floor layout, sanitation issues, pricing, marketing, etc…

I didn’t know what my job was going to be until I got there at 7 A.M! I haven’t woken up that early on a Saturday for a long time! It was at Kendall College – about 20 minutes from my house, so not too bad!

KENDALL COLLEGE 001. My job was to enter the scores from the various schools into a program to determine the top 3 winners. Talk about pressure! I was super careful to double, triple, quadruple check that I was entering in everything correctly – scholarship money was on the line to the top 3 schools!

Although I love being in the heart of what’s going on when I volunteer at things, it was nice to be behind the scenes this time. I went with my friend Denise – we met volunteering at Chicago Gourmet 3 years ago and we are still great friends now. So when we had down time, we wandered around the school checking things out. This is where one of the culinary classes is taught – how deluxe?

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It has a big gourmet kitchen – and there are 3 big screen TV’s for the students to see close up what’s being taught.

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At the end, Beverly Kim – a graduate of Kendall College and Top Chef contestant a few years ago spoke to the kids – telling them what they can expect in a culinary career – she is so nice!

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This was the room I worked in – one thing that I was proud of – was I stuck to healthy foods that day! There were bags of cookies, chips, huge bagels with cream cheese, donuts and I had a granola bar and I brought a banana. At lunch there was pulled pork sandwiches, so I did have that – but I told the person dishing up the food to not give me as much meat. ‘Koo-dohz!’

It was a great day and I had a great time meeting new people and being around so many talented high school kids!

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So – I mentioned a few weeks ago, my sister and I are wearing Koo-Dohz bracelets to help us stay motivated and keep on track. I am making notes of all the Koo-Dohz I have racked up.

Things that are working for me:

no 2nds at dinner
using smaller plates and bowls
drinking more water during the day
no snacks at work that I didn’t bring – i.e. – no crappy food at work!
walking to and from work when weather permits

So my weigh in was today – I lost another pound, bringing my total since Jan. 1st to 14 pounds. I’ll take it!

One exciting thing that happened last week – we joined the local YMCA in our town, so I now have NO excuse not to get busy. They have a ton of equipment, classes, a pool, it’s awesome.

So I decided to try working out during my lunch hour – and it was fantastic. I did the treadmill on an incline walking as fast as I could. I also tried to jog for a few minutes too – just to see if I could. It felt great, made the day go by faster AND I even walked home from work – Koo-Dohz!!!

And since my twin sister Biz likes to post a picture after her work out – I decided to do the same – and I look a lot like her in this photo!

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So how was your weekend?

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