What a glorious day.
A few weeks ago, one of my store leaders wrote a reference letter for me, and had remembered that I once told him that I would work for Whole Foods Market for free...that's just how much I love what I do. When lay people ask me what it is that I do at WFM, I tell them this: I am like the mayor of a small village. And since work becomes a community, I guess I am really like a mayor. I do not have any political aspirations, but being the mayor here just suits me fine. Everyday, I feel as though I am riding on the back of a 1957 Chevy just like Nancy Pelosi would do at a community parade. Only, I am not wearing a designer suit and pearls...more like jeans and a WFM vest.
So what juiced me up today?
Today, about fifteen team members assembled to attend a PLANT STRONG POTLUCK (I think I like the word buffet better). Awesome and delicious Plant Strong Food...then, came the entertainment. No dancing girls. No rock stars. Not even a talk show host. Better. Totally better!
We SKYPED with Rip Esselstyn, the author of the "Engine 2 Diet." This guy is something else. Like if you see him on YOU TUBE and watch his videos, you scratch your head and say, "Is this dude for real?" And the answer, hands down, is YES! Rip got introduced to every Team Member, he asked their names, was endearing to some (to Evelyn he said, "Hello Darling" and she's been like a charmed school girl since then), answered questions, all with a genuine heart. Everyone's heart was filled with a dose of Rip's reality and goodness...hard to put into words. Sort of like, you had to be there. Rip is a catalyst for change--he hasn't peaked yet, his work has barely begun.
As my store leader, Abe, said, "This was a home run, we hit it out of the park with Rip." It wasn't just that, it was like a Grand Slam in game seven of the World Series, bottom of the ninth, tied score. We won with Rip. Everyone can win with Rip's program, "The Engine Two Diet." In my head, though, it is the "Engine Two Program" or the "Engine Two Formula." The word diet makes me nervous.
Today, there was another highlight. One of the participants of my "E2 Immersion" came and SURPRISED me. Was it great to see him. His name is J.R. Lovely. Pure. Funny. The father of two young boys. Being Plant Strong should give him the license to enjoy every moment of his children's lives. I noticed in him that being Plant Strong carries no regrets. When I saw him and how differently he looked in three weeks, he said, "Really, you think?" I know, J.R. Seeing him today gave me a slice of our Immersion, and all I could do was smile.
But back to baseball and hitting it out of the park...for me, that is what LIVING PLANT STRONG is doing. If you know someone who is struggling with weight, moodiness, chronic illness, the answer to a cure is in the produce aisle of your local grocery store (which I hope is a Whole Foods Market). When I tell you that my professional dieting career has taken me everywhere, it has. And now, I know that being plant strong is the answer. I used to think that I had a character flaw because I couldn't manage my food. But, now I know that the right foods, like those that are plant strong, are working for me. I am calmer, more relaxed, more energetic. I even feel kinder and more loving.
Before I thank my team members for a great day, I wanted to share a quick story. A shopper whom I have known for years stopped and said, "Hey, how was your Immersion?" And in the middle of our conversation, she stopped talking and said to me, "Oh my God, what are you using on your skin? It is marvelous. Take me to Whole Body and show me!!"
So, I took her to the "Kale Section" and pointed to my new best friend, Kale. I told her to come in 3-4 times a week and pick up some kale. Then, we walked over to the Health Starts Here section, and she bought a copy of the "Engine 2 Diet." I assured her that putting good things in your body was more everlasting than putting good things on your body.
And, so, to the FABULOUS team members at the Whole Foods Market, Devon, THANKS for having our Club Vedge become a reality. We had delicious food. Delicious fun. Delicious conversation...and everyone was touched by the wisdom and valid practice of Rip Esselstyn. To my new friend, J.R. Rudberg, you were a great fit to the Devon Team, and we LOVED having you here with us! Your role as a father has the blue print of a Plant Strong future.
Lastly, my ASTL, Abe Heller is moving on to another store. And, I realized yesterday, that I will really miss him. He is one plant strong leader.
And let's remember the Kale...
If you use a jar of bottled tomato sauce (the fat free WFM 365 organic is best), put it in your blender. Add about a cup of raw kale leaves. Then, blend, blend, blend. In the Vita-Mix, the kale becomes invisible and you have a more nutrient dense sauce to splash on a pizza, pasta, or veggies. Enjoy.
And, a reminder...Count your blessings.