Think...Then React!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014



Just a little something I thought about today as I watched someone put his proverbial foot in his proverbial mouth...all because he reacted without fully thinking about the consequences of his words. In a world where the Internet and social media glorifies the concept of instant gratification, we as professionals should exercise caution when reacting to unexpected situations. The worst thing we can do is make rash, uncalculated decisions that could have dire and unfavorable consequences (both personally and professionally). In sum, think before reacting...I'm just saying!



Woman Vs. Woman: Are Women Sabotaging Each Other When Climbing the Corporate Ladder?

Monday, April 21, 2014


So....I was watching an episode of Cutthroat Kitchen last week, and it reminded me of a topic that I blogged about a couple of years ago. Some of you may be wondering what Cutthroat Kitchen has to do with anything that I tend to discuss on the Martini Chronicles. Let me explain...

Cutthroat Kitchen is a show that comes on the Food Network. Each show begins with four chefs who are given $25,000 a piece. There are three cooking rounds, and 1 chef is eliminated at the conclusion of each round. The last chef standing is the winner. What's the catch? Each round, the chef's are assigned a dish to recreate in their own way. Before and/or during each round, the host holds several auctions with items that the chefs can bid on using their share of the $25,000. But these are not just any items...these are items that the winner of the auction can assign to another chef (or deprive another chef of) to make that chef's cooking experience miserable. Essentially, the auction items are meant to sabotage the opponent. 


Cut to last week when I was watching an episode of Cutthroat Kitchen with two male chefs and two female chefs. Almost immediately, one of the female chefs started to insult the other female chef. During the auction phase of the very first round, she purchased two "sabotage" items, and directed them both towards the other female chef. The two male chefs were sitting pretty with no real sabotages or obstacles because the two female chefs were competing so heavily against each other. Turns out that the sabotaging female chef was the first to be eliminated; I guess her plan to take out the other female contestant failed. 

This episode of Cutthroat Kitchen prompted me to revisit a few topics that I have spoken about on several occasions over the course of my career: Why are women more competitive against other women than they are against men? Is there room at the top for more than one woman? Why are some women less than enthusiastic to mentor another woman? All of these questions ran through my mind as I watched Cutthroat Kitchen.


So, let's talk about it! Let's not worry about ruffling a few feathers...we’re all grown, and mature, and capable of spirited conversation. So let's get into it!



Do you think that women who have achieved a high level of success are adequately mentoring more junior women in their professions?



After speaking with several friends and fellow Professional Divas in various fields, the overall sentiment seemed to be that highly successful women are not eager to mentor up-and-coming women in their professions for fear of being "dethroned" or "surpassed." My Diva friends seem to think that the women at their respective places of employment keep all of their jewels of success and advancement to themselves. They don’t make themselves available to teach, and they have a “get to the top on your own like I did and stop asking for a hand out” type of attitude. I even heard one story where a less senior woman sought the advice of a seasoned female attorney regarding how to take a deposition, only to be scolded with a “didn’t you learn that in law school!” Not as direct as the sabotages on Cutthroat Kitchen, but this scenario presents a different problem. Some women may not be actively or directly sabotaging another woman, but is the lack of mentoring just as bad? So now here’s my other question:



Are seasoned women in your respective professions threatened by the new Diva on the block?



Before you answer this question, take a look at the relationships among the senior and junior men in your workplace. They seem to always be helping each other out. The senior men are willing to take a protégé under their wings, and show him the ropes. I have never heard a man exclaim that he will not mentor another man because he fears that the student will surpass the master. Now, I'm not saying that this doesn't happen...I just haven't heard it in my experience. Why is this concept so taboo for women? Well, I have an opinion that I shared a few years back...somebody's going to be upset, but it is MY opinion...and here it is:

I think that accomplished women are of the mindset that they have fought extremely hard to achieve success in their respective field, often without the guidance and support that had been afforded their male counterparts. I think that these circumstances may create a feeling of isolation, and a little bit of resentment. In turn, the new Diva at the office bears the brunt of this resentment when she seeks to form a mentoring relationship with an accomplished female co-worker. It is also my opinion that this type of neck-biting is common, yet unnecessary.



Why are women more competitive against other women than they are against men? Is there room at the top for more than one?



I think there is! If there were not enough room, then why are there so many men coexisting together at the top? Sharing the success and wealth? And guess who is not up there with them in larger numbers? Women! Do you see my point? In the case of the Cutthroat Kitchen episode, the sabotaging chef never envisioned that her and the other female chef could be the last chef's standing at the end. And then they could bang it out against each other for the top spot. Nope...her goal was to take out the female competition first. It's almost as if she assumed that the other female chef was not worthy of competing against her. Like she didn't "belong" in the competition. All because she had the nerve to walk into the competition as a woman. Look, I get it...business is business, and as women we typically have to claw and fight our way to the top...I know I have. But sharing a bit of wisdom with a junior female colleague can only enhance the pool of women in high-level positions. The act of being immediately threatened because the junior colleague is a woman is kind of whack...again, just my opinion! 



I know there are going to be quite a few people who disagree with me, and I’m okay with that! In fact, I would love to get the opinions of others on this issue. Just so you all know where I stand, if I were one of the two female chefs on this particular episode of Cutthroat Kitchen, I would have looked at all three of the other contestants equally and try to take them all out...I would care less of sex! My goal would be to bring them all down!

In conclusion, let me leave you with a quick thought: Women lose credibility in a discussion regarding the lack of high-ranking women in any profession if we proactively divorce ourselves from mentoring each other and if we routinely sabotage one another.  

And on that note, I step off of my proverbial soapbox. What do you think? Are you actively mentoring the women in your respective profession? Are you, or have you been, the recipient of effective and meaningful mentoring? 


I'm Not Bossy. I'm the Boss.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014



#BANBOSSY

What say you Divas?


Quick Meals For A Busy Diva....Side Dish Edition!

Saturday, March 1, 2014




Greetings! I don't know how many of you have the strength or energy to make a home-cooked meal after a long day at work, but I know it is a personal struggle for me. I am usually exhausted when I get home, and all I want to do is take my shoes off and watch television. As attractive as this sounds, I know it is not a typical option for me. And let's face it, a girl's gotta eat! And so does her family. So I make an effort to cook at least 3 to 4 days per week...and I'm cool with that! As such, I am always on the look out for different ways to expedite the dinner preparation process. One way is to prepare quick and easy side dishes to go along with my protein. In the spirit of sharing, here are a few quick (and healthy) side dish recipes that pair well with many of my protein items. Check them out and let me know what you think. Enjoy!


Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Ingredients
2 Medium Sweet Potatoes
2 Teaspoons of Cinnamon
2 Teaspoons of Nutmeg
2 Teaspoons of Sugar (I use Splenda!)
2 Teaspoons of Honey
Cooking Spray

Recipe...and Instructions
1. Walk in your door, drop your bags, change into your play clothes and get the kids to a safe place where you can keep them busy for the next 45 minutes (if applicable).

2. Preheat your oven to 395 degrees. Skin your sweet potatoes and dice them.

3. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray (if you really want to save time during clean up, line the dish  with aluminum foil and spray the cooking spray on the foil.).

4. Spread the diced sweet potatoes evenly across the baking dish in one layer. Sprinkle the sweet potatoes evenly with cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar. Drizzle evenly with honey.

5. Place pan in the oven and bake for about 35 minutes; 45 minutes if you like your potatoes to be extra tender.

6. Prepare your protein and any additional dinner items, so long as it only takes 35 to 45 minutes to cook.

7. Dinner is done! Everyone is happy! You are amazing!



Baked Cauliflower

Ingredients
1 Head of Cauliflower
1 Tablespoon of EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
1 Tablespoon of Garlic Powder
1 Tablespoon of Onion Powder
1 Tablespoon of Basil
1 Tablespoon of Thyme
1/4 Cup of Grated Parmesan Cheese 
Salt and Pepper to taste

Recipe...and Instructions
1. Walk in your door, drop your bags, change into your play clothes and get the kids to a safe place where you can keep them busy for the next 45 minutes (if applicable).

2. Preheat your oven to 395 degrees. Cut your cauliflower into spears.

3. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray (if you really want to save time during clean up, line the dish  with aluminum foil and spray the cooking spray on the foil.).

4. Spread the cauliflower spears evenly across the baking dish in one layer. Drizzle EVOO evenly over the cauliflower. Sprinkle the cauliflower evenly with garlic powder, onion powder, basil, thyme, and salt and pepper.

5. Place pan in the oven and bake for about 35 minutes. 

6. Prepare your protein and any additional dinner items, so long as it only takes 35 to 45 minutes to cook.

7. Take cauliflower out of the oven and sprinkle evenly with Parmesan cheese.

8. Dinner is done! Everyone is happy! You are amazing!


Kale Chips

Ingredients
1 Bag of De-ribbed, Washed and Dried Kale (We don't have time to do it ourselves!)
2 Tablespoons of EVOO
Sea Salt to taste

Recipe...and Instructions
1. Walk in your door, drop your bags, change into your play clothes and get the kids to a safe place where you can keep them busy for the next 45 minutes (if applicable). (As you can see, this doesn't change!)

2. Preheat your oven to 280 degrees. Cut kale into 1.5 inch pieces; toss with EVOO and lay kale on baking sheet.

3. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until kale is crisp. Turn kale once at about the 10 minute mark.

4. Prepare your protein and any additional dinner items, so long as it only takes 20 to 35 minutes to cook.

5. Take kale out of the oven and sprinkle with sea salt.

6. And then........dinner is done! Everyone is happy! You are amazing!


There you have it! Quick side dishes! The trick is to make sure your main dish falls within the appropriate time frame. And for those with kiddies, you have to make sure they are safe and entertained so you can get dinner done and out of the way. However you do it, the goal is to make dinner preparation less daunting at the end of the day. I hope this helps! Have a great weekend!


5 Delicious Green Smoothie Recipes!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


Greetings Divas and Gents! Quick questions: How many of you have gotten behind the green smoothie craze? I'm willing to bet that many of you have. I think we all can agree that these green smoothies can be quite healthy. Many of the recipes I have seen pack tons of fiber, iron, and other vitamins that are necessary to maintain a healthy body. And if you are a busy professional who often skips breakfast because you don't have time, a quick green smoothie may be the thing for you.


After taking a survey of a good number of my colleagues, I have learned that more than half of them have adopted their own green smoothie recipe and daily routine to help jump start their day. Many of the recipes follow a similar format: kale or spinach (or both), bananas, and some other types of fruits that are designed to mask the taste of the vegetable ingredient(s). Some recipes call for yogurt or milk, and some also call for some sought of sweetener, like honey. However the smoothie is concocted, one thing rings true among each of my colleagues: each one claims that they played around with several different recipes until they found the one they liked best. Most of them also say that they prep their smoothie ingredients the night before so that all they need to do in the morning is throw them in the blender, pour the mixture into a to-go cup, and head out the door. Sounds like a good plan to me!


In the spirit of sharing, I have searched the Internet for 5 green smoothie recipes that can help you get started on your morning routine....if you're interested! Check out the ingredients and see which one works for you. Also, be prepared to add and delete ingredients until you find the recipe(s) that suits your nutritional needs and your taste buds. Enjoy!


1. Dr. Oz's Vitamin Cocktail (By Dr. Oz)

Photo courtesy of DoctorOz.com

Ingredients (Yields 1 Serving)

1 cup papaya
1/2 cup kale
1/2 cup spinach
1/2 banana
1/2 green apple


Recipe

1. Put all ingredients into blender. Blend until smooth.



2. Green Morning Smoothie (By Melissa d'Arabian)


Photo Courtesy of FoodNetwork.com

Ingredients (Yields 4 Servings)

2 cups vanilla almond, coconut or soy milk
1/2 cup whole oats
1 1/4 cups fresh, frozen or canned peaches, or mango cubes
1 cup ice cubes
1 cup baby spinach, loosely packed
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 bananas


Recipe


1. Place the milk and oats in a blender and blend for 15 seconds on high. 
2. Add the peaches, ice, spinach, honey, vanilla and bananas and blend until very smooth, 45 seconds. 
3. Serve in glasses.



3. Clean Green Morning Smoothie (by Yolanda Adams)


Ingredients (Yields 4 Servings)

1/2 Granny smith apple
1/2 Banana
1 Stalk of celery
1/4 Cup of kale
1/4 Cup of spinach
1/4 Cup of fresh pineapple
1 Cup unsweetened coconut water (or milk)

Recipe

1. Place all ingredients in extractor (magic or nutri bullet) and blend until smooth.



4. Go-Getter Green Smoothie (By Oxmoor House)


Photo Credit: Oxmoor House

Ingredients (Yields 1 Serving)

1/2 cup vanilla light soy milk
1 (5.3-ounce) carton fat-free Greek yogurt with honey
1 cubed peeled kiwifruit
1 cup (1/2-inch) cubed honeydew melon
1 cup bagged baby spinach
1 cup sliced ripe banana, frozen (about 1 large)

Recipe

1. Place all ingredients in a blender; process until smooth. Serve immediately.



5. Dr. Oz's Green Drink (By Dr. Oz)


Photo courtesy of DoctorOz.com

Ingredients (Yields 3-4 Servings)

2 cups spinach
1/2 cucumber
1/4 head of celery
1/2 bunch parsley
1 bunch mint
3 carrots
2 apples
1/4 orange
1/4 lime
1/4 lemon
1/4 pineapple

Recipe

1. Put all ingredients into blender. Blend until smooth.



If any of you out there are green smoothie connoisseurs, please share your recipe in the comments below. Thanks in advance!


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