I work at Trader Joe’s. This May will be 10 years. For the uninitiated, Trader Joe’s is a unique grocery store. Most of our products are our own Trader Joe’s brand, and any item with a Trader Joe’s label is free of artificial colors, artificial flavors, preservatives, and GMOs. We also carry a wide variety of organic items. And unlike Whole Foods and the “natural” aisle of chains like Kroger and Giant Eagle, our prices are fantastic. We tend to attract health-conscious consumers, or at least people who are trying to “get healthy” (even if they sometimes don’t exactly know what that means).
Every January 2nd at Trader Joe’s is the same.
People assume we aren’t that busy because the holidays are finally over. Those people are wrong. We are busy. Crazy busy. Absolutely swamped.
I love coffee. And I’m a coffee snob. Like Goldilocks, it has to be “just right.”
But I had a problem. Every form in which I consumed coffee was loaded with sugar.
I was a late bloomer when it came to coffee; I didn’t start drinking it until my late twenties. Starbucks frappuccinos were my gateway drug. Then I discovered a magical potion that transformed the bitter black brew into sensory bliss: flavored coffee creamer. Continue reading “Leaving Precious”→
I’m an all or nothing kind of girl. Always have been since I was a small child. It runs so deep, it’s like an infinite onion: every time I think I’ve peeled off a layer, there’s another one lurking underneath.
All or nothing thinking leads to perfectionism, and the crippling anxiety and shame that comes with it.
“If I can’t do it perfectly, then I shouldn’t do it at all.”
By Summer 2014, this was the situation in which I found myself:
I injured my back at work in January of that year. An MRI showed a bulging disc in my lower spine, L5 to be exact. I returned to work after six weeks off, but I was in constant pain. I ate ibuprofen like tic-tacs to get through the day, and then came home and laid on ice packs. I was seeing a chiropractor for adjustments and massage every week. I was stretching, going for walks, and occasionally swimming, but my recovery would not progress past a certain point. My quality of life was in the toilet; I was surviving, not living. Continue reading “Patient Zero”→