Brunch with BMOA

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I recently had the pleasure of being invited to #BrunchwithBMOA at the new McDonald’s Headquarters in Chicago’s West Loop area.  It was a great behind the scenes tour which included an opportunity for me to work in their test kitchen! Not only were we able to experience the behind the scenes, we were also able to find out more about the work that #BMOA does in the Chicagoland community.  Just let me say that they do some amazing work.    That was an experience I will never forget.

The workspace is an awesome concept with no offices and a variety of different configurations and locations throughout the building for your to work.  What an awesome opportunity to have so many options when it comes to where you want to work when you want to.  There were lockers located throughout the building (for those who were wondering where you placed personal items).  There are 9 floors in the building including a rooftop bar, so there are a great deal of options available for where you can work.  For more about the workspace see the blog McDonalds Relocates their Headquarters.

The day started with food.  Of course it’s McDonald’s.  There were a variety of options available, from a concept sandwich sold in the UK with hash browns, bacon, egg and sausage on a tortilla, to yogurt parfaits and create your own McMuffins.  There was also juice and water.  Coffee was available at one of several drink stations located throughout the building.  Needless to say we ate well.  But that wasn’t it.

Another part of our tour was a meeting with one of the chef’s in the test kitchen.  We were able to see the layout of the McDonalds’s kitchen and then we were able to create a concept sandwich that is still in the development phase.  So technically we were product testers for a potential new menu item that may be in restaurants soon.

There were so many artifacts and memorabilia to see from the Happy Meal wall, which showcased every toy that was ever available in a Happy Meal, to the interactive displays.  There was also a historical area where we were able to experience some of McDonald’s first such as the First African American Owner/Operator, Herman Petty.  There is a McDonald’s restaurant on the first floor of the building which showcases global offerings on their menu.  The menu offerings change every three months.  This location also as a small private room for rent.

The tour was an exciting experience.  To go behind the scenes in one of the most recognized restaurants in the world was a pleasure.  I am thankful to the Black McDonald’s Owners Association for the opportunity as well as the swag.  More importantly for the ability to have the VIP behind the scenes experience.  Now to go back and try some of the items on the global menu.

Now in the next post I will share something I learned while on the tour.  How you can eat three meals at McDonald’s and remain under 1500 calories for the day.  Yes you can have McDonald’s all day and maybe not gain any weight.

Be Blessed, Be Fabulous!

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Mental Health Awareness Month

mental Health awareness month

We are approaching the end of the month of May, and if you knew it or not, May is officially, Mental Health Awareness Month.  There are so many things that could be address or discussed regarding this issue, however I feel that it is important to note one simple thing:  Mental Health Matters.

No matter you race, color, creed, religion or financial status, Mental Health Matters.  We all have moment of the need for mental health treatment, and the real issue is that not many of us seek that treatment when we need it.  We turn to substances, people, things or we go into avoidance mode.  Because we don’t know how to deal with things, we choose to simply not deal with them.  This serves no one.  It definitely does you no good.

Mental Health stats

I too have had moments where I have been depressed, down, extremely sensitive and unable to adequately express my emotions.  I have been to counseling, and as a therapist and coach I have counseled others.  I know hurt pain, loss, rejection, loneliness,  sadness and grief.  I have watch loved ones die, I have seen the effect of addiction and I have had to make medical decision for my parent not knowing if he would live or die.  At some point in time we all endure some or most of these things and it takes a toll on our mental health.

As we near the end of Mental Health Awareness month, I want to let you know that you are not alone on this journey.  There are people who are here to listen to help and to just be there if that is what you need.  I have some amazing friends, those who will just hold the phone while I cry, those who take me out for ice cream, and those who know those things I may be ashamed or embarrassed to share with anyone else.  Other than going to see my therapist, who may not always be available when I need her, these people help me to survive.  They are my life line.

mental health matters

My advice would be to seek help if you need it.  If you don’t feel like yourself, if you feel loss, down, discouraged, if you lack the energy or the desire to do anything or go anywhere, you need to consider talking to someone.  You do not always have to go and find a high priced prestigious therapist.  There are lots of free resources that can get you started on your journey to healing.

The first place to start is with your health insurance.  If you have health insurance, contact you insurance provider and ask about mental health services.  For most employer provided insurances the information may be on your insurance card.  If you are uninsured or if your employer does not provide mental health services organizations such as NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Health have locations around the world that can assist you.

The second thing I would suggest is to build a support system.  Find people who will avail themselves to you, people who will listen and people who will be encouraging but not participate in a pity a party.  People who will help you move past the rut you may find yourself in.  And also be ready when you can to reciprocate when needed.

Finally, do not let stigma keep you from receiving the help and assistance you deserve.  Know that there is nothing, absolutely nothing wrong with mental illness or asking for help.  Millions of people suffer daily and while many do not receive the care or treatment they deserve, millions are speaking up and speaking out daily.  You are not alone on this journey.  It is absolutely ok to ask for and receive help.  Most of the time it is only a phone call away.

Be Blessed! Be Fabulous!

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