Mar 27, 2013

Diet & ENDO

I found this information on an endometriosis support group today and wanted to share, It essentially sums up my diet since January. I have been meat free for 17 years but the big change was giving up wheat, alcohol and dairy. I can't say that I haven't cheated, especially since I just got back from a vacation, but I have been 90% faithful and I can say that I have seen results! I have seen a major difference in the amount of pelvic pain that I experience throughout the month and my period pain has even improved a bit. It hasn't been a big improvement but I can say that I have been able to shorten the amount of time that I needed pain meds on my period. That is something =)  Something that I find interesting is that I experienced some major breakouts about 6 weeks into this new diet. I wonder if there was a shift in hormones from completely cutting out the dairy? I can't fully explain it but it seems to have calmed down now. (which may be because I was just on vacation... no stress) 

My goal was to prepare my body for surgery, which I have finally submitted to. I want to be in the best possible place for healing and hopefully baby making! =) 

I hope someone out there reading this may find this information helpful. If I can ever be of any help to you in your journey with pelvic pain and endometriosis please contact me. 

Foods to avoid in endometriosis

1. Red Meat– Research shows that the consumption of red meat can increase the risk of endometriosis by more than 80% . This is because red meat contains fats that promote inflammation, and inflammation is one of the driving and maintaining factors of endometriosis. Particularly ham is bad in endometriosis because it contains the food additive sodium nitrate which is highly toxic and can interfere with functioning of your reproductive system by causing DNA damage. Good alternatives for red meat include deep sea fish, lean white meat such as turkey, or pulses (vegetable source of protein).

2. Trans fatty acids – Studies show a 48% increased risk on developing endometriosis if you are on a high trans fatty acid diet. Trans fatty acids are found in cakes, biscuits, muffins, pies, crusts, margarine, shortening, cake/pancake mixes, donuts, French fries, chips, candy, frozen dinners and other processed foods. Women with a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids (fish, nuts, seeds) on the other hand, are less likely to develop endometriosis. So if you are looking for a snack, a small handful of unroasted, unsalted nuts and seeds is a far better idea than a biscuit, cake etc. I like to put nut butter on a rice cake and top with vegan chocolate chips when I am craving sweets!

3. Gluten – Gluten is found in wheat, rye, barley and triticale (a cross between wheat and rye). Spelt and semolina are also better avoided. These types of grains are commonly used in muesli, cereals, bread, pasta, biscuits, cakes, pies, pizza etc; but also in instant soups and sauces as binding agent. One recent study found that 75% of women with endometriosis who followed a gluten-free diet for at least 12 months, noticed considerable relief in period pain and abdominal pain not related to periods. Alternative grains that are often better tolerated include millet, corn, rice, amaranth, quinoa, buckwheat, corn and cornmeal, millet, rice, and sorghum. A gluten free diet is challenging, but there are many places that offer gluten free products; and it is worth the effort. I am finally getting used to it but I do miss my sweet potato and cinnamon crackers!

4. Processed foods – All processed foods come with additives, preservatives and chemical flavours which stimulate the production of prostaglandins (a type of hormone or messenger) that trigger inflammation. The negative health effects of additives are too many to list. If you are interested in more detailed information, “The Chemical Maze” by Bill Statham lists them one by one. This book is also available as an app.

5. Sugar – Sugar causes acidity in your body. Acidity causes inflammation, and creates an environment in which bacteria and viruses thrive. Researchers have found bacterial, viral and possibly parasitic infections may be the initial cause of endometrial tissue development with some resistant bacteria remaining active in the female reproductive system indefinitely. Refined sugar is found in many processed foods. If you are looking for a natural sweetener to use instead, try stevia (without any additives), yacun syrup, agave syrup or xylitol. I use honey in and on everything! I personally think it is the healthiest sweetener.

6. Artificial sweeteners – Artificial sweeteners have been linked with increased oestrogen levels, adverse effect on the immune system, increased inflammation and increased testosterone levels. Natural sweeteners are a better choice if you really want to sweeten your food or drink. I get migraines from aspartame and avoid it like the plague!

7. Caffeine – Caffeine is a stimulant and contributes to acidity in your body. It also interferes with liver functioning, and reduces your ability to detoxify and eliminate excessive estrogens. Caffeine also interferes with the production of progesterone, which counteracts the adverse effects of estrogen. Remember caffeine is not only found in coffee, but also in black and green tea, cola, Red Bull, and cocoa. Herbal teas are what I drink all day. Make sure you choose a good quality herbal tea that has a rich smell and in which you can still see the shape and colour of the leaves, flowers and berries used. My favorite coffee alternative is Teechino, it's delicious!!

8. Alcohol – It has been well known for a long time that alcohol consumption increases the risk on endometriosis. Some studies show that the risk on developing endometriosis is 50% higher in those who consume alcohol. The liver is responsible for eliminating excessive levels of estrogen from your body. Consumption of alcohol puts an excessive burden on the liver. Elimination of alcohol from the body becomes paramount and thereby hinders its capacity of eliminating the estrogen from your body and thus contributes to an estrogen dominant environment in which endometriosis can develop and thrive. On top of that, alcohol creates acidity which in its turn can cause inflammation. This was a hard one for me to give up, (I love my red wine) but I think it made the most difference in how I feel! 

Mar 10, 2013


I adore these fold over clutches from driftwood and fossil
Find more HERE

Feb 25, 2013

Oscars 2013

My picks for BEST dressed last night.
There were a lot of beautiful women
these were the three I couldn't stop talking about

and the three worst.. 

these two were also FABULOUS!!!

to dream

I adore everything about this... 
found here

Feb 24, 2013

Rob Bell

“this is the day that God has made.” [psalm 118]

really-this day? the one with wars and poverty and divorce and addiction and betrayal? this one?

yes, this one.

this one because there’s a difference between analysis and awareness.

analysis pulls things apart, looks for cracks in logic, points out the inconsistencies.

analysis needs things to make sense.

there’s nothing wrong with analysis, of course, it’s often vital to our survival and thriving. but if we stay there, in that mode and that mode only, we can easily find ourselves stepping back with arms folded, pointing out all that’s wrong with this day and all the ways it falls short and all of the evidence for why this particular day doesn’t appear to be the kind of day that God would make-all while this day passes us by.

(this is very easy to do, by the way. it’s why cynicism is so popular. it’s easy.)

but in this psalm-the one that says that this is the day that God has made- this psalm isn’t first and foremost about analysis, it’s about awareness.

and the difference is massive.

awareness doesn’t ignore or gloss over the very real questions and pains of this day, it transcends all of that analysis with the very straight forward acknowledgement that whatever this day is, it’s a gift to be embraced and engaged and maybe even enjoyed.

this day maybe be rough and bloody and heartbreaking but it is here and it is now and it is bursting with untold potential and possibility and our response to it is of utmost, urgent importance.

we may, it’s important to note, not get another one. my friend’s brother was recently killed in a car accident, another friend’s father just died, and the mother of another goes in for another round of chemo this week. you know exactly what i’m talking about-whatever this is, we’re all acutely aware that is very, very fragile.

so yes, this is the day.

Feb 9, 2013

Seasons of your heart

“Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain. And could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of your life, your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy; And you would accept the seasons of your heart, even as you have always accepted the seasons which pass over your fields. And you would watch with serenity through the winters of your grief.”

image: Grassdoe

Feb 8, 2013


Looking for fun and unique Valentines
for your sweetheart this year?
Head on over to ETSY, there are tons to choose from! 

Feb 2, 2013


"When I thought my world was collapsing
it was actually expanding"
Bloom is my next read... 
I am also officially addicted to her BLOG 

Jan 16, 2013


With the start of a new year came some big changes for me... I decided to really challenge myself. I knew this was going to take will power, commitment and determination. I under estimated just how difficult it would be. I finally got a diagnosis of endometriosis in 2012. I have struggled with pelvic pain for many years and it has really escalated the past 4 years. In order to put my body in the optimal condition to heal itself  I had to give up some things that I truly love. I have not had a drop of alcohol in 16 days... I gave up wheat, dairy and sugar as well. Caffeine is something that I gave up 5 years ago so that was already scratched off the list. When I got to about day ten I began to get really emotional. Last week I came out of the YMCA after a particularly intense boot camp class and flopped into my car. I sat there for about 5 minutes unable to move and before I knew it my eyes welled up with tears and I started to bawl.  I came home and was instantly craving everything that I cannot have... chocolate, toast, yogurt, ice cream, RED WINE. I realized that I was grieving over these foods that I can no longer have. We have such emotional connections to food and when you decide to make them off limits you begin to realize just how deep that connection is. I pushed through this moment of weakness by making a pineapple, mango, spinach protein shake. I went to bed early that night and gave my body the rest it needed. I am trying to be gentle with myself right now and to accept my moments of weakness on this journey. This is not just a physical journey, it is deeply spiritual and mental. Your thoughts release energy that can energize your body's system to bring about healing.  

Jan 4, 2013

day 4

You are not your emotional state. Emotional states stem from grasping desires and encroaching fears, but true awareness is calmness. And calmness is healing.

Jan 3, 2013

make change day 3

Unwanted recurring experiences can be burned in the fire of awareness, determination, and optimism.

Dec 29, 2012


Some fabulous pottery that I am currently loving
go HERE to see more 

Dec 27, 2012

caught on camera

The world is full of good and beautiful people
sometimes we need a reminder of this

Dec 23, 2012

The Mother

The Eucharist of The Mother

There were three who spoke the words,
This is my body,
broken for you.”

Last night I couldn’t sleep
for the throbbing of my hips.
They expand to make room
for the infant within.
Belly taught and stretching,
aching back, and sore feet.
Did you know a woman’s heart
moves over to accommodate
the organs displaced
by the growing baby?
Did you know her body pumps
twice the amount of blood
of a regular woman
for the duration of her pregnancy?

The Mother is the first vessel
of the Eucharist.

The creative heat
of sweat and seed,
the consumed consumer,
the fruit of two lovers gives way
to 10 months of carrying,
waiting and finally breaking.

The first lesson is:
it takes a lot of waiting
to grow what God plants inside you,
and in order to birth it
you must suffer a breaking open.
The labor will be long,
And it will be messy,
(theology can try, but it can’t dismiss blood and water, and the mess
of being divinely human)
It must,and shall,
rip you apart.

But what mother would not endure
this wrenching open
for the joy of finally holding
the sacred creation?
And, what mother would not choose
a greater suffering than this
if she could but spare her son
from pain?

I saw my boy run toward me
his golden hair flying behind his
smiling face
and in one instant ,
tripping over himself,
he fell…
his mouth hitting
the cruel corner of a metal chair.
Time played tricks as he fell:
I knew his danger,
and an impending injury,
but was powerless to stop it.

Later that night, returned from the ER,
my son asleep in his bed,
I rubbed my knuckles raw
scrubbing his blood out of our clothes.
The anguish was just as poignant
when I watched the dirty brown water
disappear down the drain,
even though I knew he was alright;
For it was his blood and water that was
And his blood is my blood,
our blood…
shed for you“.

How many more times did The Mother
watch The Creation’s life slip away?
It was not just his death.
She must have sensed the impending danger,
must have guessed where he was
and yet,
She was asked to stand at the kitchen
sink, and watch the brown water slip away.

And in His death,
do not doubt for a second,
that she received each blow,
each laceration,
each cut,
each piercing,
and choked for air
as she watched herself die.

His, Her final death.
Her ultimate sacrifice,
and surrender.

This is the example of The Mother:
To accept this body is not my own
and in such willingness
as to carry the seed to term,
even knowing that it will break me apart.
Trusting the breaking in order to withhold
the joy of the creation
while never seeking to posses it,
ever choosing to release it,
and surrendering
again, and again,
even in death.

Do this in remembrance of me.”

by: Brie Stoner 

Dec 22, 2012

Dec 11, 2012


I fell in love with this video
I love her heart and passion for the wolf
This is an organization I will support
to donate go HERE

Nov 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all!!
We will have a house full of family this weekend
I cannot wait to see my sweet nephews 
and my brother and sister in law!
I am so thankful for family!!! 
Here is a yummy recipe I plan to try this weekend
We are all big hummus fans

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 can organic white beans (cannellini or other), drained and rinsed
1 cup pure organic pumpkin 
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (try not to substitute lemon juice, the lime flavor really works here)
1 medium-large clove garlic (adjust to taste)
1 tsp sea salt
1 – 2 tbsp tahini (to taste)
3/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp (rounded) ground allspice
1/4 – 1/2 tsp smoked paprika (if you don’t have smoked paprika, use another 1/4 tsp cumin – then go out and get yourself some smoked paprika!!)
1/2 tsp pure maple syrup
1/3 cup toasted pumpkin seeds (see note for toasting; reserve about 2-3 tbsp for garnish)
In a food processor add all ingredients except pumpkin seeds (and starting with 1 tbsp tahini).  Puree until very smooth.  Taste, and if you’d like to add addditional garlic or spices, add a little (and if you’d like a richer tahini flavor, add the other tablespoon).  Then, add most of the pumpkin seeds (reserving a couple of tbsps), and pulse through.  Transfer mixture to a serving dish, and top with remaining pumpkin seeds.  Serve with whole-grain pita breads, tortilla chips, warm whole-grain bread, etc.
Beans Note: The combination of chickpeas and white beans makes this hummus a little creamier than using just chickpeas alone.
Pumpkin Seeds Note:  When I toast nuts and seeds, I do so in larger batches so that I have them ready to use another time.  So, consider toasting about a cup or more.  To toast pumpkin seeds, place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (I use my toaster oven and a small baking tray).  Bake at 400 for several minutes until they turn a golden color and you can smell a nutty aroma.  This won’t take long, maybe about 5-7 minutes, possibly longer depending on your oven.  Just be sure to watch them after about 6-7 minutes, as they can burn quickly.

Nov 12, 2012


I'm so excited for my December issue of Vogue to arrive,
and even more excited to see Les Miserables in December!! 
I adore Anne Hathway. 

Nov 5, 2012

Colossians 4:2
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful

Nov 4, 2012

Orphan Sunday

Click HERE to read the beautiful blog post that opened my mind to Orphan Sunday 
If you click HERE you will find a website that has tons of great resources
and will open your heart and mind to ways you can help orphans. 

Oct 30, 2012


‘Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10

Oct 13, 2012

Adam's rib

I love to see people who are passionate about their work
this video is beautiful

Oct 9, 2012


Philippians 2:14-15

14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky

Oct 1, 2012


the people at Anthro know how to do Fall right
I was in the Chicago St store last week 
and saw soooo many cute new items!!
Yay!! It's time for sweaters, boots and tights!!! 

Sep 24, 2012


A couple of fabulous looks from the Emmy's last night 

one huge disappointment... Can you say "trying to hard"