Monday, April 28, 2008

Biker Mer

Guess what? I got a bike this weekend!! Sheridan - the former bike pro - helped me pick out a hard-tail something or other at the bike shop yesterday, and we tried her out on the bike trails of Los Gatos. It was pretty painful and I was pretty winded, so it'll be interesting to see how my endurance improves over the next few weeks and months. And hopefully I'll lose a few LBs! Stay tuned.

Otherwise, I'm on day 3 of 11 of my Isagenix cleanse. Things are going well. I have to admit, it's hard to come to my desk and not have my traditional coffee and toast to start off my day. I'm sure it's going to be hard to come home after a long day and forgo my standard cocktail at cocktail hour, too, but I'm sure my liver and belly fat will appreciate it. Anyway, it's day 3 and I've lost 3 pounds, and today and tomorrow are the hardest days of the cleanse, as I'm basically fasting... I have to drink this liquid drano stuff (it's called Cleanse for Life) 4x a day, and then a ton of water, and I get to eat these little snacks (they look like chocolate Tums, and I call them Scooby snacks) throughout the day. The other days I get to drink a shake in place of breakfast and dinner, and eat a healthy lunch, and it's pretty easy. I already feel less bloated and a little lighter on my feet, so that's a great feeling - totally worth the 11 days without a normal diet.

Anyway, I have a good attitude about it right now, but try me in about 24 hours. It could be a different story...

I hope you all have a super fabulous week!!

Love, Mer

Friday, April 25, 2008

Short Shorts

Nope, not as in Daisy Dukes... but as in short life stories. I just read an article in a magazine about a book that is comprised of 6 word, very short short life stories, and thought I'd take a stab at it. To preface mine, I thought I'd share some of the ones that were printed from Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure:

Well, I thought it was funny - Stephen Colbert

Lived in moment until moment sucked - Janine Goss

Tequila made her clothes fall off - Susanne Broderick

In a Manolo world, I'm Keds - Colleen Cook

No shit I'm critical - you're flawed - Elizabeth Koch

Revenge is living well - without you - Joyce Carol Oates

Happiest when ignoring huge financial debt - Ayanna Bryan

Brought it to a boil, often - Mario Batali

AND PRESENTING... the six word life story by The Mer Show...

Fell down, got back up. Repeat.

What's yours? Please share!

Love, Mer

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Health Kick Tips by Mer

So I'm getting ready for my impending health kick and just encountered this very motivational list of healthy nutritional tips. I thought I'd share with you fine folks to inspire more healthy eating habits for you, as well. Enjoy!

Love, Mer

Basic Dietary Tips to remain lean and healthy...

Learn how to create healthy balanced meals with proper portions. Throw in a delicious vegetarian meal or two per week. Observe healthy diets such as Asian (i.e.: various vegetables with lean meats) and Mediterranean diets (i.e.:hummus, lean shish kebobs, finely prepared raw vegetables with healthy spices). Start a collection of very healthy recipes that you feel are delicious and enjoyable. Consider learning more about healthy cooking, vegetable juice recipes, etc.

If you need a healthy energy boost try drinking homemade vegetable juices such as carrot juice with some red beets thrown in. If you wish to drink certain fruit juices for their phytochemical benefits, consider adding 50% purified water to lower the sugar level of the juice. This will also lower the level of beneficial phytochemicals.

Rotate a wide variety of vegetables every week and try to eat at least 2-3 different colored vegetables per day. Do not overcook vegetables, because it destroys vitamins, enzymes, and beneficial phytochemicals. Raw is best, followed by gently steamed with some crispness left.

Start some of your meals with a garden salad when possible, and consider making your own healthy salad dressings, or else squeeze a lime over your salad and learn to love it. Be very careful with salad dressings. Try to make your own salad dressings with olive oil, or even look for innovative healthier options such as using a thin Hummus as a salad dressing.

Cook with olive oil. It has a very good balance of saturated, unsaturated and monounsaturated fats.

Avoid or limit processed and prepared foods. Avoid or limit eating man-made food substances and chemical ingredients. Learn how to cook completely "from scratch" using basic simple ingredients that are natural.

Avoid or limit trans fatty acids and hydrogenated vegetable oils such as margarines and commercially baked goods containing these synthetic substances.

Avoid burnt, overheated, oxidized, or rancid fats and oils.

Avoid or limit all burnt foods, as in blackened with fire or high-temp frying.

Avoid or limit all sources of dietary aluminum-containing ingredients such as aluminum silicate or sodium aluminum silicate. This is sometimes used as an anticaking agent for powders and baking mixes and to make some processed cheeses flow smoother. Also do not allow acidic or salt containing foods to come in contact with aluminum. Avoid cooking foods in aluminum pots or pans. Avoid storing liquids or foods in aluminum containers. Use glass or quality stainless steel for all of the above.

Avoid or limit meats with nitrates. Eat natural cuts of lean meats, especially salmon and fish that's low in mercury. Know that tuna contains mercury., as well as other fish. Shellfish generally have a much higher potential to store toxics in their tissues than actual fish because they live on the bottom and actually filter the water. Some top predator fish will also bioaccumulate and store toxic pollutants.

Exercise Moderation in everything you consume. This statement is also good from a toxicology perspective.

Hydrate your body with 100% natural beverages, not man-made beverage drinks. Drink purified water or homemade lemonade (or limeade) with lowered sugar, for example. Make your own refreshing "fruit waters" using pureed fruit and purified water with a little sugar.

Avoid most restaurant food, especially fast food, if you are prone to gaining weight. (Some restaurants are good for you if you exercise portion control and take part of your meal home with you.) If you must eat at a restaurant and you do not wish to break your diet, go for the soup and salad as your main course if there is not anything else that falls within the parameters of your "balanced sensible meal". Another good choice would be to ask for broiled salmon with two full portions of different vegetables - with no starches such as rice, noodles, or potatoes.

When it comes to food, USUALLY the better it tastes the worse it is for you. (This is not true for fruits, which are "nature's desserts".)

In general, usually the less calories you consume over your lifetime, the longer you live. This is related to the biochemistry of aging and the free radicals produced when your body burns a calorie (an indogenous source of free radicals, vs. exogenous sources such as air pollution or inhaled tobacco smoke.)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Mer Show Update

So it's been some time since I've written on my blog... Sorry to my loyal readers who have been awaiting an update (crickets...)! ;) I have some interesting stuff to share today.

1. Sheridan and I spent this past weekend in San Diego - I had a doctor appointment on Friday, and attended the Biospace job fair on Monday on behalf of my company, and Sheridan just came to hang with me. It was great to get back to SD (I realized that perhaps I'm a little homesick for my old city - I think it's just because I have no life here yet) and see some friends and do some familiar things, like get a haircut with my fave hairstylist and pal Holly. I also got to see Emory, Lisa, Nicole, Brandy, some Junior League pals, and spend a lot of QT with Sheridan's dad and Bonnie. We attended Island Divine, a Junior League fundraiser and food and wine event, dined with love ones, did some shopping, and had spa treatments Sunday - it was a great weekend! Today, I got back to San Ho around noon, and decided to take a wellness half-day to spend on the couch with Baci. I'm catching up on a lot, including this blog, and it's so nice!! Back to work tomorrow.

1. I'm healthy - looks like I have no more excuse for not going to the gym! Operation Fatass is in full swing again, and to kick off my impending health kick, I'm going to do another cleanse. Last year, after the Master Cleanse, I've never felt and looked better, so I'm going to try and complete another one. However, this time, I'm using a product to help me with purging my body of all its impurities - Isagenix. My pilates instructor was telling me about the product, and I thought I'd give it a whirl. I'm going to start it sometime this week - whenever the box of products arrives - and will try my best to blog about my progress. Stay tuned!!

2. Sarah and Brandon, Sheridan's brother and sister in law, have bestowed Sheridan and me a new name. Rather than the Sher and Mer Show - my idea - they have dubbed us... MERIDAN. Pretty funny, huh?! So please note that from here forward, if I ever use that word, I'm referring to the romantic unit. :)

3. My pal Nicole taught me the coolest thing in the world this weekend while we were dining on sushi at Japengo on Sunday night. This is a great trick to "freeze out" troublesome people in your life; perhaps it's an ex you'd like to shoo away, a boss that's giving you a hard time, or perhaps some enemies you'd like to forget. Take a piece of paper and write the person's name on it, fold it and put it in a freezerproof container half-full with water. Then put the container in the back of the freezer and forget about it, and you'll forget about the person and protect yourself from their bad juju. Way cool, huh?? I'm making a list and freezing it! ;) (Yes, I have an entire list...)

OK, I think that's it. Hope all of you are doing great!

Love, Mer xo

Earth Day Tips

As a self-pronounced and very proud tree hugger, I'd be remiss if I didn't send out some new tips on how to save the planet on this Earth Day. I hope all my friends and readers will take to heart what you can do to help reduce your carbon footprint - if all of us make small changes, it could add up to a great deal of difference!!! Please consider some of these things for the sake of our kids and their kids.

Love, Mer


Our daily activities have far reaching impacts on the environment ~ just driving to work today contributed to air pollution. We need the conveniences of our lives, but with them comes a responsibility to use our resources wisely. Make a commitment to make difference every day. Every person has an impact on the environment. The following lists some simple ways YOU can help change the world.


• Landfill space is running out fast – What can you do? Practice the 3 R’s: Reduce, Recycle and Reuse

• It takes 12 million barrels of oil, and 14 million trees, to make all the paper and plastic bags Americans go through each years. Next time you shop, take reusable cloth bags or bring plastic or paper bags back to the store with you.

• Choose products that feature reduced or recyclable packaging.

• Do you consistently throw away food leftovers? Up to 30% of landfill waste is food waste! Start your own composting effort for food waste, grass clippings, etc. You’ll reduce waste & get some great fertilizer for your plants.

• Avoid disposable products – they are generally more expensive and produce much more waste.

• Use pesticides and fertilizers carefully. Apply in the recommended amounts – more is not necessarily better. Read labels and buy biodegradable when possible. Follow disposal instructions.

• Except for medicines and certain pesticides, if you end up with more product than you need, give what is left over to someone who can use it – in the original container with the label intact – rather than throwing it out (Many schools & clubs may appreciate extra paint, etc.)

• Avoid buying unnecessary household hazardous waste (many of the product you use contain hazardous chemicals, for example, nail polish remover may contain acetone). Consider how you will dispose of unused portions before you buy. Check the container labels for disposal information or take it to a Household Hazardous Waste Center rather than putting it in the trash or dumping it down the drain.
• Make sure to keep your car in good running condition to reduce hazardous air emissions and save fuel.

• Plan your trips to maximize the number of errands completed.

• Pump up the tires. This improves gas mileage and reduces emissions. If all American drivers kept their tires at the recommended pressure, we could save about 4 million gallons of gas a day (and the tires would last a lot longer too).

• Walk, jog or ride a bike when commuting short distances; Carpool or use public transportation whenever possible.

• Substitute less toxic materials where possible; a mixture of vinegar & water make a great (& cheap) glass cleaner.

• Repair leaky faucets and pipes. Leaky faucets that drip at the rate of one drop per second can waste up to 2,700 gallons of water each year! Install flow control devices on faucets and showerheads to reduce water consumption.

• Caulk and weather-strip windows and doors to minimize drafts and keep your fireplace damper closed when not in use – Dad was right – no point in heating the outside air.
• Turn off the water while brushing you teeth or shaving - you can save up to 20 gallons of water.

• Sweep patios and driveways with a broom rather than hosing them off with water – not only will you save water, but can get some exercise too.

• Leave grass clippings lay – they will provide nutrients for your lawn and help reduce evaporation of moisture.

• Remember materials you put on your lawn can end up in water sources through stormwater runoff. Read product labels, use biodegradable when possible and avoid using copper sulfate based products.

• Unplug TVs, DVD players, computers and other major electronics when they’re not in use. Even when they’re turned off, the standby consumption is about equal to running a light bulb continuously. This could keep thousands of pounds of carbon dioxide out of the air each year. Plug several electronic items onto one power strip to avoid the hassle of constantly plugging and unplugging.

• Break the bottle habit. Making and even recycling plastic water bottles uses energy and releases pollution, and every year millions of them wind up in landfills and in waterways (as the bottles degrade they release toxic chemicals into the water). Use refillable containers. Did you know that about a quarter of bottled water actually comers from the tap?

• Reduce the amount of junk mail to be thrown out by requesting to be removed from mailing lists.

• Donate usable furniture, appliances, clothes and books to charities or others who can use them.


• Practice good housekeeping.

• Save a Tree – use double-sided copies, email or route items rather than making a copy for everyone. RECYCLE!! There are paper recycling bins located in the mailrooms and throughout the buildings.

• Purchase only the amount of products you need – Just in Time (JIT) ordering minimizes waste. The cost of disposing of unused chemical costs much more than you save buying in bulk.

• Substitute less toxic materials where possible to reduce the safety risk and the amount of hazardous waste to be disposed.

• Never evaporate chemicals in the fume hood. Unless you are transferring chemical from one container to another, KEEP THE LID CLOSED.

• You can reduce lighting expenses by 10 to 40% by lighting office space only when it is in use. Turn off lights when you leave conference rooms and if you are going to be away from your desk for more than 15 minutes.

• Turn off your computer on weekends

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Geeky Humor

In San Diego, when I had slow jobs that allowed me a lot of time to waste time at work, I read a lot of 'Rants and Raves' on Craigslist. These days, I work hard for my money, but still, every once in a while, I'll take some time to read the random smut people post on Craigslist. I sat down tonight to catch up on 'Missed Connections' here in the Bay Area and discovered this funny little piece someone posted regarding the potential hostile takeover of Yahoo! by Microsoft... This is big news here in the Silicon Valley - a real digital telenovela!

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. :)

Love, Mer

I Thought You We're Looking at Me in Silicon Valley - 33 (sunnyvale)

Reply to:
Date: 2008-04-07, 4:47PM PDT

I have been watching you for a long time, and I know you have been watching me too.

We're both middle-aged, although I know you are much younger than me. But I think we can help each other feel young again.

I have always had great respect for you, and together we can offer an increasingly exciting romance while becoming better positioned to please each other.

Our lives, our careers, and even our society have been progressively transformed by what we've achieved on our own. Just think of what we can do together! We can deliver an experience that that neither of us would have achieved on our own!

In February 2007, I received a letter from you indicating your view that "now is not the right time to enter into discussions." According to that letter, the principal reason for this view was the your confidence in the "potential upside" if you successfully executed on a reformulated strategy based on certain bachelor initiatives. A year has gone by, and the competitive situation has not improved.

Due to the importance of these discussions and the value represented by my proposal, I expect you to engage in a full review of my proposal. I would be happy to make myself available to meet with you at your earliest convenience. Depending on the nature of your response, I reserve the right to pursue all necessary steps to ensure that you and your loved ones are provided with the opportunity to realize the value inherent in my proposal.

I believe this proposal represents a unique opportunity to create significant value for you and your loved ones, and the two of us together will be better positioned to provide an enhanced value proposition to all of us. I hope that you and your family share my enthusiasm, and I look forward to a prompt and favorable reply.