Link Love (2015-01-24)

Thought-provoking

“If you’re like most couples, you may not actually know. Many couples are very quick to assume that they’re on the same page regarding major relationship issues without ever actually talking about them. Communication is key to a relationship’s success, but it only helps if you’re communicating about the things that matterThere’s never a worse time to find out that you and your partner don’t feel the same way than when you’re facing major life events without ever having gamed out how you were planning on responding to them. What might be a minor issue to you may well be a relationship extinction-level event to her and vice-versa, and you don’t want to find this just in time to watch your years together go down the drain.
Instead, you want to have these 5 conversations as soon as is reasonably possible when your relationship starts to get serious. You may not be in perfect sync with one another, but by being able to talk about these issues – when they’re still an abstract instead of a very real issue – can make the difference between a relationship for the ages and an ugly break-up.” These 5 Conversations Will Save Your Relationship – Dr NerdLove

How Reading Fiction Can Help You Live a Better Life – LifeHacker

“But what pop culture fails to show is that you can, in fact, survive heartbreak. It may have felt like you lost a limb  – and that is a pain worth recognizing and working through. Unfortunately, every romantic comedy and drama in the universe (just about) defines the individual, particularly women, as an extension of their romantic partner. You are complete with another person; incomplete without. Under this direction, we are unable to recognize that the limbs we feel are missing are actually totally intact.
In reality, with or without another person, all of you is still there. We just aren’t taught to see that. We are not taught to value our own individual wholeness. If we were, we would stop needing things from other people. If we were taught to value ourselves, we would not need to predicate our worth on what others perceived of our value.” Pop Culture’s Portrayal of Love Is Killing Us – Disrupting Dinner Parties

Knowing Facts Still Matters (Even in an Age of Wikipedia) – Scott H Young

Religion

“Sometimes you hear this particular form of abuse called “JAQing off,” and the imagery that might have arisen in your mind is perfectly in keeping with what it seems like for the person doing it. Indeed, the person asking doesn’t really care a bit about what the target thinks; the question is only being asked to frame a bit of imminent proselytization. It’s a form of abusive behavior as well as hugely dishonest, but it’s a tactic that ex-Christians might get tripped up by very easily–we’re so used to being on the defensive! And we often feel that we have an obligation to convince our friends and loved ones that we deconverted for a good reason.
No matter what we do about the question being asked, we lose. If we answer, we quickly discover that the person asking it just uses it to draw us into an unwanted, unasked-for discussion about the validity of our decision to leave the religion (and our reason will inevitably be found invalid, I’m warning you now). If we don’t answer, we’re clearly scared of answering which must obviously mean our decision to leave wasn’t valid. So we often feel a lot of pressure to answer these insincere questions, likethis time we’ll find the magical way to convince that person that we did what we did for a good reason.” JAQing Off – Ex-Communications

Inspirational

“Ultimately, the most healing thing you can do is set realistic standards for yourself.
Attainable standards.
Fair standards.
Standards with room for mistakes.
Because everyone is human — and deserving of unconditional love.
And yes, that includes you.” Why Is It Easy to Be Nice to Other People… But Hard to Be Nice to Ourselves? – Owning Pink

9 Great Tips to Keep Your Perfectionism in Check – Ellen Bard

Health

“That sounds pretty compelling, doesn’t it? It’s hard to argue against saving 50,000 lives a year.
But that’s not what the study showed at all. In fact, the following would be a more accurate report on the results of this study, couched in the context of what we know from other statin drug trials:

  • Out of 100 high-risk people taking a statin for five years, 98.2 will not benefit at all—but they will be exposed to significant side effects and complications, including muscle damage and diabetes.
  • The 1.8 people that do benefit will live an average of 6 months (and a maximum of one year) longer than those that didn’t take the statin. 
  • These results only apply to the people at highest risk for a future heart attack: middle-aged men who’ve already had a heart attack (aka “secondary prevention”). There is no compelling evidence that statins extend lifespan at all in men without pre-existing heart disease, or women with or without heart disease.”
    What the Media Isn’t Telling You About Statin Drug Trials – Chris Kresser

Guest Post by Angie Alt: Reshape Your Thoughts – The Paleo Mom

SIBO, FODMAPs and a Meal Plan Giveaway – Phoenix Helix

Guest Post: Juggling Healing Foods – Alt-ternative Autoimmune

Struggling to Get Fit? Add Potions Before Your Boss Fight – Nerd Fitness

How to heal autoimmune disease… another post on inflammation – Sarah Wilson

Recipes:

Guest Post: Paleo Apple Pie Cheesecake by Let’s Beat the Wheat – Paleo Parents

Dutch Apple Pie – He won’t know it’s Paleo

AIP Pumpkin Pie and Crust: Baked Version (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nut Free, Egg Free) – Livin’ the Crunchy Life

Grain-Free Banana Mug Bread (AIP-friendly) – Provincial Paleo

Paleo and Vegan Persimmon Custard – Gluten-Free Vegan Love

Apple Pie Pudding (paleo & dairy free) – Meatified

Smashed Plantains – Health-Bent

How to Make Ghee in the Oven – Paleo Spirit

6 Flavored Salt Recipes – Mommypotamus

Primal Eggnog Recipe – Elana’s Pantry

Link Love (2014-01-17)

Thought-provoking

“For all of you out there who are here with me in this: you’re not alone. I am not alone. We aren’t alone. When all we can remember is who we are right now, remember that we have been here before and gotten through and escaped into who the us who we will be again. And remember even when we are desperate and hurting and we- let’s be real- make utter tits of ourselves, the compassion and empathy this grows in us for the times when we are the caretakers of other people’s pain.
It’s not okay right now. I think it will be.” On living with a part-time broken brain: possibly a love letter to all of us – Consider the Tea Cosy

Avoid the Second Mistake – James Clear

“I have spent some time learning, but learning does not imply understanding. I am more a student now than I was 10 years ago. I do not want to be a robot, a cog in society who answers yes because yes is considered the appropriate answer. Neither do I want to be a protestor. I just want to seek out what lies underneath the veils of politeness and programming that I’ve been given as a person in this society. I want to get comfortable with my insecurities until I am no longer insecure. I want to be comfortable in my skin so that I do not need to dump any of my discomfort onto someone else in the form of judgment.” Damien Rice on ‘Scarred’ First Album in Eight Years – Rolling Stone

What Professional Organizers Really Do, and How They Can Help – LifeHacker

“The fact that there are few paths to greater desire comes from rigid adherence to traditional gender and sexual roles. One of the common complaints from men who feel sexually invisible is that women don’t take the initiative or express themselves as openly as men do. And yet, it’s men who discourage them from doing so. According to traditional gender roles, male sexuality is predatory and aggressive while female sexuality is submissive and receptive. Womendo signal interest – in fact, much of the effort they put in goes unnoticed by men. They are are taught to do so passively - sending approach invitations and making themselves available to be approached rather than approaching themselves. Women who flip the script and flaunt gender roles by being the approacher often make men uneasy. Many men react badly – overestimating her level of investment (“She came to me. She must really want my dick!”) or even upset or nervous. And if she should not be attractive to him… well, he may actively get hostile at her presumption.” The Fear of Being Invisible – Dr NerdLove

How to win back someone’s trust when you’ve really messed up – Dr Suzanne Gelb

Religion

“I came out of those Bible studies with a sure and certain conviction that the god of that book is not actually a good parent. I was downright rattled. He glorifies ignorance, wants to keep people childlike, makes it a virtue to ignore evidence, sees pursuit of knowledge as deeply questionable, and values “love” and obedience over any wisdom gained outside his glorification. And even questioning God’s ways is a sin (as the entire Book of Job demonstrates).” Stopping Thought. – Ex-Communications

Equality

“As promised, Health is a powerful app. It allows users to track everything from calories to electrodermal activity to heart rate to blood alcohol content to respiratory rate to daily intake of chromium. But there’s a notable exception. Apple Health doesn’t track menstruation, an omission that was quickly seized upon by many tech writers as, well, ridiculous. The Verge asked “is it really too much to ask that Apple treat women, and their health, with as much care as they’ve treated humanity’s sodium intake?” How could Apple release a health-tracking app without the ability to monitor what is likely one of the earliest types of quantified-self tracking?” How Self-Tracking Apps Exclude Women – The Atlantic

“I Don’t Want a Girl Shovel” – Love, Joy, Feminism

“at the decline of my participation in the offline world, in physical spaces: at meetings, at protests, at strategy sessions i was met with a lot of questions that folks actually didn’t want responses for. for every honest answer i gave about my pain and why i now limp around with a cane, i was given a distanced look of discomfort and some wishes that i will recover or get well soon. truthfully, there is nothing for me to recover from. i am disabled with no way out and that’s okay.” revolution from my bed – Y’ALL

Study: Police see black children as less innocent an d less young than white children – Salon

“In addition to being ten, Kyle and Owen are big. They are just about the same height as me, and their feet are bigger than mine. They wear size 14 clothes, and their strong, athletic muscles are rippling.
We’ve hit the turning point. I’ve watched it happen. I’ve witnessed it first-hand. Over the past several months my sweet little adorable babies went from being perceived as just that, to being perceived just as I’ve long dreaded.
It has started.
I’ve been in the store and watched from a short distance as they’ve been followed. (Yes, already.)
I’ve heard it over the intercom system: “Security Alert. Section C. Security Alert.” (Yes, already.)
I’ve stood behind them as they’ve been stopped in line, being perfectly obedient, but being questioned. (Yes, already.)
I’ve watched as they’ve been wrongly accused. As the worst has been wrongly assumed. As the fault has been wrongly blamed.
The looks. The hesitation. The ever-so-slight facial expressions. The too-quick-to-judge.
It has only just begun.” Cute Little Black Boys Do Grow Up to Be Black Men, Part II – and Now They Are Ten – Never a Dull Moment

Wisconsin jails pregnant woman and denies her prenatal care to “protect” her fetus – Feministing

Inspirational

“But beyond all that, Denmark endures dreary winters with the help of an arcane cultural concept known as “hygge.” It’s not an easy word for outsiders to pronounce — it sounds sort of like HYU-gah — and it’s even harder to translate. Hygge apparently has no direct analogue in English, and related words like “coziness,” “togetherness” and “well-being” only cover a fraction of its nebulous definition. Still, in hopes of shedding light on Denmark’s world-class happiness, here’s a closer look at the hazy nature of hygge.” How ‘hygge’ can help you get through winter – Mother Nature Network

Examining the Concept of Self-Care – Mark’sDaily Apple

Cultivating a remarkable life that sustains you is about reclaiming these small choices, about making the decision not to let small choices pass us by because we are busy underestimating their power.
And, yes, we always have a choice – even (and especially) when we feel like we don’t.” Worry, Intention & Reclaiming Choice – Mara Glatzel

Stop Feeling Guilty, Forgive Yourself, and Honor Your Needs – Tiny Buddha

Health

Guest Post by Angie Alt: Unsupportive Friends & Family, a How-To Guide – The Paleo Mom

Health Problems with Antibacterial Soap – Wellness Mama

15 Uses for Diatomaceous Earth – Mommypotamus

What’s with all the gluten intolerances? Let me explain… – Sarah Wilson

9 Ways to Add Plantains to Your Diet – Chris Kresser

Foragers find bounty of edibles in urban food deserts – News Center UC Berkeley

Recipes

Better Bounty’s – Peachy Palate

Paleo Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes – Empowered Sustenance

Cinnamon Covered Paleo Marshmallows – A Girl Worth Saving

Egg Nog Three Ways – Paleo Parents

Autoimmune Apple Pie Recipe – Allergy Free Menu Planners

Chocolate Macaroon Pie – Gluten Free Fix

Skinny Salted Chocolate Pumpkin Pudding – The Almond Eater

Classic Apple Pie – Autoimmune Paleo

AIP Chewy “Chocolate” Chunk Cookies (grain-free, egg-free, nut-free, dairy-free) – flame to fork

Paleo Chocolate Lava Cakes [Egg-Free, Nut-Free & AIP-Adoptable] – Grazed and Enthused

Link Love (2015-01-10)

Thought-provoking

How to Clear a Resentment in Under 10 Minutes – Jayson Gaddis

“I sort of blinked and gawped at her uncharacteristically mean comment. She looked me in the eyes and said:
“I’m sorry. That was totally uncalled for.”
And then we went back to talking about how she should rearrange her living room.
She didn’t make excuses for her comment. We didn’t dwell on it or dissect it. She acknowledged her mistake and we both moved the eff on.” Two Sentences that Can Make Just About Anything Better – yes and yes

Six Questions to Ask Yourself Before Telling a Lie – LifeHacker

“Our understanding of the altered functioning of the brain in traumatic situations is founded on decades of research, and as that research continues, it is giving us a more nuanced view of the human brain “on trauma.” Recent studies suggest that the hippocampus goes into a super-encoding state briefly after the fear kicks in. Victims may remember in exquisite detail what was happening just before and after they realized they were being attacked, including context and the sequence of events. However, they are likely to have very fragmented and incomplete memories for much of what happens after that.
These advances in our understanding of the impact of trauma on the brain have enormous implications for the criminal justice system. It is not reasonable to expect a trauma survivor – whether a rape victim, a police officer or a soldier – to recall traumatic events the way they would recall their wedding day. They will remember some aspects of the experience in exquisitely painful detail. Indeed, they may spend decades trying to forget them. They will remember other aspects not at all, or only in jumbled and confused fragments. Such is the nature of terrifying experiences, and it is a nature that we cannot ignore.” Why Rape and Trauma Survivors Have Fragmented and Incomplete Memories – Time

8 Things I’ve Learned About Sex after 8 Years of Fucking the Same Guy – Sex Love Liberation

“You can delay playing a video game or watching YouTube, by telling yourself that you can do it in an hour from now.
You can delay smoking by keeping yourself busy.
You can delay criticizing someone by delaying speaking, and instead focusing on your breath, and on listening.
What you don’t want to delay is the stuff that really matters: creating, helping people, making a difference, building something, being supportive, appreciating the little things in life.” The Power of Delay – Zen Habits

Religion

“Based on how I acted and felt while I was a Christian, I really suspect sometimes that they’re talking more to themselves than to me, soothing their own fears, as if they’re saying: Well, we’d never leave church just to have unapproved sex. We’d never leave over unanswered prayer. Why, just look at all these pastor-approved bumper-sticker slogans and apologetics books explaining everything! We’d know better. We’d never make those silly mistakes. Whew! Glad we got that all settled! Now our faith is bulletproof and we’re totally safe! We’ll never deconvert like those people did! And it works, for a little while. Until the next person leaves. Until one of the people gloating about how silly those ex-Christians are gets a sudden realization that cannot be un-realized.” Here’s Not Why I Deconverted – Ex-Communications

It is an indictment of any religion that you would use fear of everlasting torment in order to keep people in the fold.  It screams to me that your religion cannot keep people in by virtue of its own merits, rationality, or beneficiality.  If you have to scare people out of leaving, you are perpetuating an abusive relationship, plain and simple.  It’s about maintaining control.
This is what abusers do.  They tear down their victims by telling them they deserve awful things.  They warn their captives that if they leave, bad things will happen to them.  They beat fear down so deep into their victims that it becomes impossible for them to objectively analyze the nature of the relationship.  Their minds won’t let them.  The fear is too loud, too strong.  It prevents them from seeing things as they are, not by justifying why this relationship should continue, but by scaring the victims into remaining where they are.  This is how abusers operate.  And it’s exactly what’s happening when people teach their children that if you leave Jesus you will burn in flames forever and ever.” Why I Reject Hell and Why You Should, Too – Godless in Dixie

Equality

“Because everyone knows bugs are “boy” things. Not, you know, just plain things.
While I’m glad Abdo is making a change, I think they missed the overall point. The point was not that girls can like bugs too, it was that bugs are not boy things to begin with. Unfortunate as it is, how we label things affects how children perceive them. “Bugs are boy things, but girls can like them too” is a completely different message from “Bugs are cool, all children can enjoy them.”” Are Bugs “Boy” Things and Dolls “Girl” Things? – Love, Joy, Feminism

Why Trans Exclusion Has No Place in Feminism – Consider the Tea Cosy

“Let’s think about this for a moment. A whole community of people are saying this exists. Data shows racial disparities in economic, education, justice, and healthcare systems. Basically, ALL OVER THE PLACE. Unarmed black boys and men are killed without recourse. Repeatedly. The comment sections of these crimes are riddled with assholes shouting “Good. One less loser.”
Still people claim “Racism doesn’t exist.” But here’s the thing: The only way you can discount the words, lives, efforts and voices of hundreds of thousands of people is THROUGH THE RACISM YOU CLAIM DOESN’T EXIST.
You can only ignore them if they’re aren’t worth hearing.
You can only ignore them if they’re liars. If they’re just looking for a handout.
If they’re not human like you.
You can only ignore them by using the very narratives you claim aren’t happening.
And let’s be honest, we can only ignore them because it’s easy, because we’ll never have to walk a day in their shoes, and it’s just so much more pleasant to turn away, look away, focus back on our lives.
But the sand is getting skimpy and our heads are showing. At this point, if we’re not part of the solution we’re part of the problem.” How I discovered I am white – Renegade Mothering

Adam Grand and Sheryl Sandberg on Discrimination at Work – NY Times

“No, it’s not that simple at all.  The fact that so many people around me see it that way demonstrates that they still don’t get it.  Decades of racial inequality and income inequality have worn such deep grooves into our society that people on either side of the divide between the haves and have-nots cannot fathom what it’s like to be on the other side.  In fact, in the midst of typing this post, even the local atheist Facebook group I help moderate has blown up into the same argument with someone saying the exact same thing the man said last night. “If people would just quit breaking the law, these things wouldn’t happen.”  No, you still don’t get it.” Why Can’t You See the System is Rigged – Godless in Dixie

On Rolling Stone, lessons from fact-checking, and the limits of journalism – Feministing

Inspirational

8 Strategies for Cultivating a Vitality Mindset – Mark’s Daily Apple

“We are often taught that along with perfectionism, and its corresponding high-level of accomplishment, comes an automatic sense of admiration, security, certainty, and predictability—all acting as some sort of insurance or safeguard against the painful, frustrating, and seemingly unavoidable irritations and nuances of our day-to-day lives.
What I realize now is this: I longed to be admired by all, yet truly seen and known by none. For me, perfectionism became a way to mask all those less-than perfect, too different or undesirable aspects of my self.” Do You Think You Need to Be Perfect to Be Accepted? – Tiny Buddha

How to Create an Intentional Thanksgiving – Beautiful Living

“As it turns out, she was doing nothing to work on herself (unless you count spin class). I think it’s a noble thing to say, “I’m working on myself” and makes us sound evolved and that we’re practicing self-care. And maybe by saying it out loud to other people makes us feel that just by saying it, we are actually doing something for ourselves. But saying it and actually doing it are two very different things.” Is your “I’m working on myself” total bullshit? – Your Kick Ass Life Coaching

8 Great Habits That Hold You Back from Actual Happiness – Tiny Buddha

Beauty & Body Image

“Ok, so good to know that we’ll still be vain, even if we make it into the impressive years. But it’s not just the golly-gee-whiz-these-people-are-old factor that makes these photographs beautiful. Photographed with tenderness and skill, they show the beauty of a human face that has lived through a century of families, relationships, work, and world events. And here’s a little secret: beauty photography isn’t really about Photoshopping out all the blemishes – it’s about lighting and care, and enjoying your subject.” On Being Happy – and Beautiful – at One Hundred – Wild Beauty

11 Tricks to Looking + Feeling Fairly Awesome Even Though It’s Freezing – yes and yes

“Being a very tall woman means being very visible. You know that feeling you had during your most awkward adolescent years — that everyone was staring at you? That feeling is my life. People are staring. And, often, they’re not just staring. They want to talk about it. My height is something I discuss every day. Strangers ask about it when I’m browsing the nail polish at Target. Children point and stare. Women sitting outside cafés remark on it loudly as I walk past them. A pack of frat boys in a bar once chanted “six-footer!” at me. If I wear heels or if I’m in a small town, the comments increase fivefold. The questions are always the same: How tall are you? Are your parents tall? Do you ever wear heels? How tall is your boyfriend? Or, sometimes it’s just a statement: You’re really tall.
Thanks. I wasn’t aware.” What It’s Like to Be a Woman Who’s 6’2 – The Cut

The Invisible Demographic: Important, Respectable AND Sexy at Every Age – Paleo for Women

“Your body is not a mass of flaws to be disguised, or a list of failures. Your body is not a burdensome receptacle for your brain and soul. Your body is not a lifelong improvement project. Your body is you. And even if you’re not ready to lavish yourself with love and affection, perhaps you could think about protecting, nurturing, and taking responsibility for the well-being of your body. Because even when it is frustrating, or confusing, or filled with aches and pains, it is still yours. You are the one and only person tasked with the stewardship of your body. It’s a lot of responsibility, but the payoff is worth it.” Body Stewardship – Already Pretty

Break My Nose and Make Me Pretty: Why I Said No to Plastic Surgery – Adios Barbie

Health

Guest Post by Angie Alt: Building Resilience – The Paleo Mom

Top 5 Cortisol Myths & Facts – Wellness Mama

Lifestyle: The Big Picture is the Big Deal – Whole9

Change Coming to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans – Mark’s Daily Apple

Could female self-hatred be the real cause of autoimmune disease – Sarah Wilson

Prepare Now to Avoid the Effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder – LifeHacker

Food

Saffron Mango Mousse + Bonus Ice Cream Recipe – Adventures in Partaking

Snickers Layer Bars – Peachy Palate

Shortbread (Paleo, AIP, Vegan) – The Paleo Partridge

Autoimmune Paleo Dinner Rolls – The Curious Coconut

Roasted Persimmon and Ginger Custard – Nourished Kitchen

Paleo Molasses-Spice Cookie (AIP Friendly) – Beyond the Bite

Link Love (2015-01-03)

Thought-provoking

“We are constantly looking for the best ways to stay productive and make things easier, but we forget about the most valuable tool we have: our imaginations. As we get older we forget how to “play.” We forget how to open our minds and hearts in order to make life more fun and exciting, and our imagination goes by the wayside. Grown ups can play too, and they can play in a positive and productive way.” How to Motivate Yourself by Living Your Life Like a Movie – LifeHacker

How to Troubleshoot Online Dating – Dr NerdLove

Religion

“No matter what happened, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that my thoughts, my wants, my needs were of no consequence. I didn’t matter. Only God and those He put in authority over me mattered, and there was no boundary I was allowed to set that would allow me any amount of autonomy.” I Belong to Me: Learning Agency & Autonomy Outside Christianity – Ex-Communications

Sex and Respect – Love, Joy, Feminism

Inspirational

“Know this: each and every starting point is exactly the same. You do not have to wait for the right one. Pick any spot. Start there. Don’t be too precious about the process. The process of living intentionally is going to be a bit messy. You might have some feelings. And that is totally ok.” The Self-Help Cycle & Taking Imperfect Action – Mara Glatzel

The Mindset Shift Required to Get What You Want in Life – Jennifer Twardowski

Health

Leana Wen: What your doctor won’t disclose – TED

Get Healthy Like Mr Spock – Nerd Fitness

How to Keep Your Bones Healthy on a Paleo Diet – Chris Kresser

How to Support Healthy Skin Bacteria – Mark’s Daily Apple

Does the flu vaccine really reduce the risk of death in the elderly? – Dr Briffa

Busting myths and calming fears: A doctor answers questions about the IUD – Feministing

Recipes

I Made Bread! AIP Chapati – Adventures in Partaking

Rustic Pear Galette (AIP Friendly) – Beyond the Bite

Paleo Magazine’s 2014 AIP Thanksgiving Meal Plan – Paleo Magazine

Homemade Baked Biscuit Twix – Peachy Palate

Paleo Pumpkin Pie – The Honeyed Quill

Paleo Pumpkin Cranberry Granola – Elana’s Pantry

Link Love (2014-12-27)

Thought-provoking

What does “love” mean to you? – Kimchi Cuddles

“But here’s the reason why: you’re sabotaging yourself. You may not realize it, but more often than not, you are your own worst enemy. You are Edward Norton punching the ever-loving shit out of himself over and over again as your brain disrupts every single attempt to make things better.
But here’s the good news: once you recognize the ways that you’re sabotaging your own self-improvement, you can actually start to fix things.” Five Reasons Why Your Life Isn’t Going to Get Better – Dr NerdLove

How to Make Love Last in the Age of Instant Gratification: Dr Sue Johnson – Mind Body Green

“And what you need to do – to borrow a line from NerdLove spiritual patronus Dan Savage – is dump the motherfucker already. Yes, you can dump your friends, and in this case you totally need to. This guy is so toxic, we should change his name to Iocane Powder. I mean, the fact that he makes you miserable and drains the life away from you is really all the reason you need to ditch him; life is too short to spend it with people who make you miserable (although they make it seem long as hell…) But right now you’re hemming and hawwing because you’re falling victim to a mindset that society has drilled into so many women: you’re putting his possible discomfort at being dumped over the actualmisery he’s causing you.
Let’s tally things up a little, shall we? He doesn’t respect (or want to acknowledge) your sexual orientation because it conflicts with his desires to get in your pants. He pressures you into activities you find uncomfortable at best and skin-crawlingly unpleasant at worst – because your wishes conflict with his desires to have access to your body in what is – let’s be honest here – a sexually charged scenario for him. He acts like a spoiled brat when he doesn’t get his way or if you dare to give someone, anyone else your attention and makes everyone miserable in the process. You are continually looking for reasons not to spend time with him because of how upset he makes you.
Why in pluperfect hell are you still talking to this guy?” Should I Break Up With My Friend? – Dr NerdLove

16 Habits of Highly Sensitive People – Huffington Post

“I know this feeling, because that’s how I felt before I started simplifying my life. I was being pulled in all directions, and never had enough time for everything I needed to do. I wanted to do a great job with each role I’d taken on, and felt I could do it, but really I was doing a bad job at everything because I was stretched too thin.
To this student, and to everyone else who feels this way, I’d say this: your plate is too full. You have too much going on.
The only answer, unless you want your health to decline (and that’s not good for anyone), is to start saying No.” When Your Plate is Too Full – Zen Habits

Religion

“It’s easy to see why Christians even today love stories like Warnke’s. Think about how banal and dry life as a fundamentalist Christian is: no sex, no liquor, no drugs, no partying, no movies, nothing. The people in my new church home were very suspicious of “fun” at all, when they weren’t busy redefining the term till it’d lost all meaning. But we retained our very human need for entertainment and titillation; stories like Warnke’s fed that need. And we considered that the worse a person was prior to conversion, the more grace was involved–and being a Satanist or Wiccan (or a Wiccan Satanist) was about the worst thing anybody could do. People love underdog stories anyway just because we’re human, but coming out of a drastically bad life is the ultimate thrill to hear about for Christians.
These stories are never, ever questioned or fact-checked, and the more lurid they are, the better they are received. People with normal, ordinary testimonies like mine of living basically decent lives and converting to Pentecostalism because we thought it was a better way to follow God were ignored in the stampede to kneel at the feet of those Christians who had big dramatic testimonies. People with such stories were rewarded lavishly in ways both material and intangible.” A Cult of “Before” Stories – Ex-Communications

Punishment Has No Place in Marriage* – Love, Joy, Feminism

“And there we have it. Somewhere lurking in the dark recesses of even the most saccharine, smiley invitation to a relationship-not-a-religion is the veiled threat which says, “Love me, or else.” If you ask enough questions, somewhere inside this message are three (usually non-negotiable) beliefs: If you don’t accept this relationship 1) Your life will suck before you die, 2) Your life will suck infinitely worse after you die, and 3) You are not qualified to determine for yourself whether #1 and #2 are true (this is called “gaslighting“). And this is why the whole dichotomy is B.S. in the end. No matter how much of a relationship this faith dangles out in front of you, there is a giant block of fine print waiting patiently underneath it all, demanding submission to something which comes with a threat (behold, a religion after all).” It’s a Religion Too, Not Just a Relationship – Godless in Dixie

Equality

“If you go to the website WhiteRibbon.org, you’ll see a page that purports to be an anti-violence organization. “End Violence Against Everyone,” the banner reads; a woman’s bruised face stares back at you. The name, White Ribbon, is a widely recognized one, known for being a campaign started by men to fight violence against women, and to encourage men and boys to raise their voices against gender-based violence. The WhiteRibbon.org website writes on its front page, “WhiteRibborn.org is owned and operated by A Voice for Men,” and warns against imitator sites perverting the anti-violence message.
Just one problem: WhiteRibbon.org is the imitator site. And donations to it don’t go to fighting violence at all — they go to spreading the views of a deeply misogynist men’s rights organization.” Why Is an Anti-Feminist Website Impersonating a Domestic Violence Charity – Cosmopolitan

Risky Date – Robot Hugs

“This inhibition had unfortunate and lasting consequences. Statistics showed that women made less use than men of public facilities; and this, in turn, led sanitary engineers to prioritize space on their plans for men. Thus, the “selfish inequality” identified by the Ladies Sanitary Association would persist even into the present century. True, nowadays females may be less delicate about their need for public restrooms. Nonetheless, the long lines of women outside modern “objectionable contrivances” in public spaces — where urinals are still often prioritized by architects and planners — are a peculiar Victorian legacy.” Selfish Inequality: The Long Wait for the Ladies’ Room – Lee Jackson – Huffington Post

A virtual room of one’s own: Why GamerGate hates crowdfunding – Feministing

“This is the kernel of young American masculinity at its most horrifically warped: misogynistic and narcissistic and murderous and self-loathing all at once. Men are taught to despise and exploit vulnerability in others, and in women in particular, and accordingly to dominate spaces public and private, virtual and real. But now more than ever, they are being forced to acknowledge that different people are vulnerable in different spaces in different ways – from the virtual world of social media to our campuses to the streets of Manhattan to the suburbs of St. Louis – and to confront the fact that it’s men who are collectively responsible for this, one way or another.
In a culture where men are supposed to be all about “fixing things” rather than just “talking about them,” the real question is: Are we capable of carrying this weight, of talking honestly about it, and fixing ourselves?” Patrick Blanchfield: The masculine mistake – NY Daily News

Inspirational

“Whatever it is focus on the specific moments and events from your day that you are really grateful for — and the more specific the better!  So saying, “I’m grateful for smelling the fresh forest from my hike today” is so much better than saying, “I’m grateful that I went on a hike today”.  You see the difference?” How to Create a Gratitude List that Actually Helps You – Jennifer Twardowski

What are you proud of? – Modern Mrs Darcy

“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions.It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open.” Martha Graham on the Hidden Danger of Comparing Yourself to Others – James Clear

How to Deal With Anxiety, Tragedy or Heartache, 4 Steps from Research – Barking Up the Wrong Tree

Health

‘Text neck’ is becoming an ‘epidemic’ and could wreck your spine – The Washington Post

Joe Landolina: This gel can make you stop bleeding instantly – TED

Treating Constipation without Destroying Your Gut – The Paleo Mom

We have pubic hair for a reason – Salon

Give Your Immune System A ‘Paleo-Boost’! – Primal Docs

Heavy Menstrual Bleeding – Alignment Monkey

Recipes

Upside-Down Apple Tartlets from Paleo Cooking – Elana’s Pantry

Salted Date Caramels Recipe (Paleo and Vegan) – Empowered Sustenance

Flourless Paleo Pumpkin Bread Recipe ( Grain-Free, Nut-Free) – Healy Eats Real

The Perfect Molasses Cookies (Grain Free, Paleo, Gluten Free) – Deliciously Organic

Autoimmune-friendly Banana Pancakes – Colorful Eats

Apple Pie Gummies (Paleo, AIP) – The Paleo Partridge

Link Love (2014-12-20)

Thought-provoking

Michael Green: What the Social Progress Index can reveal about your country – TED

“Let’s be blunt. In Bali, I contributed financially and symbolically to structures of oppression which I purport to resist at home. Of course I cannot help but contribute at home too – and it takes and will continue to take a lot of thinking and communal effort to minimize inequality even in my own neighborhood – but the novel situation of Bali and it’s tourist imaginary as an invented holiday snack for the peace-utopia-spirit-community-culture starved of Euro-Austro-America has thrown my privilege into stark disparity. Realizing this, and continuing to participate, could only serve to make me more of an asshole. Which is why I made the informed decision to leave Bali two weeks before our original departure date.” Cultural tourism and it’s discontents: A personal essay on the ethics of travel – Feministing

Ethan Nadelmann: Why we need to end the War on Drugs – TED

Deliberate practice is when you work on a skill that requires 1 to 3 practice sessions to master. If it takes longer than that, then you are working on something that is too complex
Once you master this tiny behavior, you can move on to practicing the next small task that will take 1 to 3 sessions to master. Repeat this process for 10,000 hours. That is deliberate practice.” How Experts Practice Better Than the Rest – James Clear

The Quickstart Guide to Quitting a Bad Habit – Zen Habits

“People who really suffer from NPD aren’t just people who make themselves the hero of every story. They have destructive relationships, rarely admit they’re wrong, or rationalize away evidence or experiences contradictory to their worldview—even if that evidence is right in front of their faces. Ideally, if the warning signs of a real problem are there, leave it to a professional. If not, you can probably appeal to their empathy and point out their behavior is a bit selfish.” Why We’re So Full of Ourselves: In Defense of Narcissistic Qualities – LifeHacker

Religion

“Well, they needn’t worry.  I am no more interested in them forsaking their belief in Jesus than I am in their decision to pursue one career or another just because it is what I would want for them.  I want them to decide for themselves what they believe, and frankly I’m not convinced that will be set in stone while they’re still children.  I was taught as a child to believe many things which I left behind in my mid-thirties.  Why should I expect them to be any different?  And what really matters most to me?  What do I feel the strongest about passing along to them as they grow up into the women they will become?  I’ve written about that before in my Letters to My Daughters, particularly in the one entitled “The Silver Lining in Your Situation.”  The short version is that I care much less about what they believe and much more aboutthe kind of women they become.  Are those two things connected?  Sure they are, but the former doesn’t determine the latter nearly as much as some would have you believe.  Your beliefs don’t completely determine your values or your character.  They interact, to be sure, but the former don’t dictate the latter.” Am I Raising My Kids to Be Atheists? – Godless in Dixie

So Much for Never Getting More Than You Can Handle – Ex-Communications

“The truth was I realized how alone I was at that moment, driving to meet my son at the hospital. How alone my kid was on the helicopter, strapped to a board, scared.
But my faith was not with god, a god who allows children to suffer from disease and abuse and malnutrition. My faith was with the people who were taking care of my son—with the staff on the helicopter, with the doctors and nurses who checked him out, with the surgeon who would open him up and with the anesthesiologist who would put him to sleep—and wake him.
When we have a moment of crisis in our lives—or a tragedy—what we need most are the people around us. We need their support, their kindness and their expertise. Prayers to an invisible and impotent mythical man are ineffectual.” Foxholes – Kids Without Religion

Equality

“By some estimates[5], one in five pregnancies ended in abortion in the 1800s. It was perhaps the most common form of birth control, and while dangerous, many women survived it. Childbirth was dangerous, too, and maternal mortality rates were high. But it was scandal and death by abortion, often carried out by unskilled practitioners, that brought sensational headlines and led to changes in the laws. In 1854, the papers were riveted by the story of 22-year-old Cordelia Grant, who’d accused her guardian, George Shackford, of impregnating her five times, each time insisting she have abortions. He promised to marry her, then abandoned her. In 1871, Alice Bowlsby, an unmarried woman, was found dead of an abortion, stuffed in a trunk in a railway station. The abortionist was arrested, and Bowlsby’s lover killed himself, unwilling to endure the shame a trial would bring.
Still, for the most part, it was not single women who were having abortions, but married mothers wishing to limit the size of their families. “I am 30 years old and have 11 children… kidney and heart disease, wrote one mother to Margaret Sanger, who founded Planned Parenthood in 1921.[4] “Can you please help me. I have miss a few weeks and don’t know how to bring myself around. I have cryed my self sick… The doctor won’t do anything for me… Doctors are men and have not had a baby so they have no pitty…”(sic)” What to Expect (If You Were Expecting Unexpectedly in the 19th Century) – Elle

Abortion Clinic Protesters: “Sidewalk Counsellors” or “Sidewalk Terrorists” – Cosmopolitan.com

“To me, this all seemed pretty open and shut. I’ve been following the problems faced by women entering STEM field careers for a long time. (I’ve also followed the entire GamerGate phenomenon, which is in some way related.) The bottom line is that men have staked out this territory as theirs for decades, and the culture they’ve created in these spaces is too often unfriendly to women, whether intentionally or not. This unfriendliness often comes in the form of the sexual objectification of women—treating women as sex objects or sex dispensers rather than relating to them as people. Shirts like the Taylor’s contribute to that environment.
Taylor later apologized for wearing the shirt during the interview, stating that “I made a big mistake and I offended many people, and I’m very sorry about this.” Now here’s the thing: I don’t think Matt Taylor is a horrible person. His choice to wear that shirt for that interview almost certainly involved no malice toward women—but it didn’t have to. This is an example of what is often called “casual sexism,” and it doesn’t have to involve any sort of malicious intent or ill will.
Most of the response to Taylor’s shirt that I saw had more to do with using the occasion as a moment to educate than it did with vilifying Taylor. When women in STEM fields—or women in gaming—say that there is a problem, they are frequently not believed. This moment placed the casual (and sometimes not so casual) sexism these women experience every day out in the open where everyone could see it. This provided an opening to talk, once again, about the problem.” On #Shirtstorm and Completely Missing the Point – Love, Joy, Feminism

Barbie FAIL: Does the Toy Industry Hate Women? – Wild Beauty

Relationships

Easier to let them win than to keep fighting? How to stand firm in your truth. – Beautiful Living

4. Do I feel like the best version of myself — or, like I am becoming the best version of myself — when I am with this person?” GOOD QUESTION: How can I tell if I am just “settling” in a relationship – Alexandra Franzen

16 Reasons to Have Daily Sex – The Mind Unleashed

“The truth is, I had no idea who I was — or, more specifically, I was terrified of being myself. I was afraid to really allow my true self to be seen, because I thought that by being myself, I would be criticized and rejected.
I thought that if I made myself like them, then they couldn’t possibly reject me and end the relationship. I mean, why would anyone want to break up with someone who makes them the center of their universe? Why would a group of friends reject and criticize someone who is always putting everyone else’s needs first?
Needless to say, this method didn’t work too well. I found myself heartbroken and disappointed over and over again. I felt drained, unfulfilled and as if I was giving too much.” The Secret to Being Happy in Any Relationship – Huffington Post

6 psychological hangups preventing you from having good sex – Paleo for Women

Inspirational

“Self care isn’t the province of the few and favored, those untested by the daily grind. In fact, the more demanding our work, the more challenging our personal circumstances the more we need to practice self care.
Our body, mind and soul all need replenishing on a regular basis. My hope for you as the holiday season ramps up is that you give yourself this gift first: become skilled at the practice of self care.” Selfie – Christopher in HR

10 Ways You’re Making Your Life Harder Than It Has To Be – Thought Catalog

“So how do you put a mindfulness program in place? Well, if waking up 20 minutes early for seated meditation or dragging yourself to yoga class has been a challenge, join the crowd. Here’s the great thing about mindfulness. You don’t need a formal program to put it into action. There are ways to find peace and calm by training our minds to hold our attention during routine daily activities, and shifting our dial from the Go-Go-Go setting to Relax, Calm, and Aware.” From Stress to Stillness: 3 Ways to Bring Peace and Calm Into Daily Life – Sara Gottfried MD

Teach people how to treat you. How to write clear, loving policies for your business & life – Alexandra Franzen

“You deserve to be surrounded by people that support you, and inspire you and help you become your most beautiful, thriving self.
And B.S. just ain’t a conduit to that.
Don’t give it out. Don’t receive it back.
Your glorious, joyful, positive life is waiting for you.” “How to Install a No B.S. Clause In Your Life!” – Leonie Dawson

Why Ripping My Wedding Dress Was Absolutely Perfect – Beautiful Living

Health

Guest Post by Kathy Andrew – Ten Simple Steps: Fitting Paleo Into Your Busy Life – The Paleo Mom

Ramanan Laxminarayan: The coming crisis in antibiotics – TED

The Real Reason Wheat is Toxic (it’s not the gluten) – The Healthy Home Economist

Guest Post by Angea Alt: Business Travel on the Autoimmune Protocol – The Paleo Mom

Just Walk It Off: How Walking Can Improve Your Emotional Well-Being – Mark’s Daily Apple

Is Chocolate Good For You? The Health Benefits of Chocolate – Bulletproof Executive

Recipes

Pumpkin Spice Muffins – Elana’s Pantry

Macronutrient Cupcakes (AIP & Wahl’s Paleo+) – Petra8Paleo

Shepherd’s Pie (AIP friendly) – Beyond the Bite

Paleo-friendly Hot Buttered Rum or Coffee – The Curious Coconut

Gluten Free Gravy – Holistic Squid

Spiced Pumpkin Pie (AIP friendly) – Beyond the Bite

Pumpkin Ginger Soup – Elana’s Pantry

Quick Lit December 2014

Changing the name from Twitterature to Quick Lit – as always linking up with Modern Mrs Darcy. I’ll probably still keep the reviews fairly short and sweet!

lies of locke lamoraThe Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastards) by Scott Lynch: Enjoyable fantasy with intriguing + thought-provoking plot lines. I would’ve liked to have seen more female main characters, but it was refreshing to see female characters in power.

brothBroth: Elixir Of Life by Patricia Lacoss-Arnold: Great, basic introduction to the power of broths, with several recipes that can easily be varied as needed.

lost in the shuffleLost In The Shuffle: The Co-Dependent Reality by Robert Subby: Highly recommended for those working through issues around co-dependency.

What have you been reading lately?
As always I invite you to find me and connect with me on Goodreads.

Link Love (2014-12-13)

Thought-provoking

“Public Service Announcement:
If your friend abuses someone, and you know it, proclaiming to the victim that you ‘don’t want to choose a side’ IS choosing sides. You are choosing the abuser’s side.” #643: The stinking pile of wordpoop that is: “I’m not going to choose a side” – Captain Awkward

5 Lessons from a Breakdown: How to Make Hard Times Easier – Tiny Buddha

“When it was over, I wasn’t permitted to mourn him. No one could understand how love, hate, fear and comfort could coexist simultaneously. They could not understand that in addition to my abuser, I also lost my confidant, the person to make dinner with, the person to watch movies with on a rainy Sunday, the person to laugh with, the person who knew me. I lost my companion. How can you explain to someone that the abuse was only a part of who he was? How do you explain that to yourself?
There are still days when I remember tender moments and wonder if it really was that bad. I still struggle with reconciling how he could love me to the point of tears and yet hurt me as if I was an enemy. Like a child, I’m learning to redefine the borders of normal behavior and to realign my expectations. I remind myself that acts of violence can never be acts of love.” He Never Hit Me – Huffington Post

Derby: Violence and Aggression – Consider the Tea Cosy

“Notice how that might be true in your life. If you are married longer than a few years, certainly you will confront this feeling inside of you. That the person you love the most, will become the person you hate the most in an instant. And, again, it’s normal and just right. Long-term relationship is designed this way to help you overcome the internal hatred (projected outward) and embrace more of yourself. It’s beautiful and wise.
This is the intelligence and precision of the human heart. Showing me where I’m still partial, where I have yet to embrace, where I’m still hurt, where there’s pain that needs love. Our fights invite me to embrace another piece of shrapnel from my past, rusty and neglected from an old hurt, ready to be noticed, healed, and integrated.” Is It Possible to Feel Open and Closed in the Same Moment? – Jayson Gaddis

A Quick Guide to Gaining Confidence When You Socialize – zen habits

Religion

“I defy you to supply an example—any example—of a life circumstance which would constitute God forsaking you.  If you cannot even supply one, you’ve just illustrated my point.  The very idea is constructed in such a way that a counterexample isn’t even possible.  No matter what you come up with, someone will say that God might want that to happen because his ways are higher than our ways, amirite?  That phrase is like magic.  It justifies and dismisses absolutely any and all challenges to faith.  It’s one of the classic moves in the games I was taught to play as a Christian.” Games Christians Play: Making Your Faith Impossible to Disprove – Godless in Dixie

American Bible-Thumper Travels to Scandinavia, Freaks Out After Discovering How Secular They Are (Video) – Addicting Info

“We usually speak of grief after the death of a loved one but for many in the ex-Christian and ex-believer communities the loss of their faith is very similar to the death of a loved one. How death-like this process will be depends on how sincere and life-consuming your faith has been. But even the nominal believer will experience some of the symptoms of loss when recognizing that he or she no longer holds the same beliefs that once rang true. In other words, the devotion you have to your god or faith will be directly proportional to the pain you will feel as that faith dies.” Grieving the Loss of Your Faith – Godless in Dixie

Equality

4 Ways to Stop the Silence and Stigma Around Miscarriages – Everyday Feminism

“I found this very on point. As Rachel Held Evans notes, is often an assumption that women are “biased” when it comes to gender issues, or that people of color are “biased” when it comes to race issues. It is men, and white people, who are (supposedly) able to maintain calm, rational distance—and who are therefore unbiased. Except of course that this is not true.
Male people have male experiences, and white people have white experiences. These experiences are often treated as a sort of default, but they do not make the people living them unbiased or neutral on issues of gender or race—and they are not unemotional or uninvested either.” On Race, Gender, and Being “Unbiased” – Love, Joy, Feminism

11 Ridiculous Questions We Need to Stop Asking Homeless People – Everyday Feminism

“Women aren’t a feminist monolith. Everything that a woman does is not by definition feminist. We don’t live in a world of sexist men and feminist women fighting each other in some kind of epic boss battle, where everyone knows precisely what side they’re on and nobody gets confused over what precisely the other meant by privilege anyway. It turns out that sexism isn’t simply a thing that men do to women. Sexism is a thing that we as a society do to all of us that unfairly privileges men (and masculinity, which is separate but conflated and yes the patriarchy does harm non gender conforming men too, holy shit it does) over women (and femininity).
If sexism and patriarchy are things that society- that is, you and me and everyone you’ve ever met- does to itself, then women and non binary gender people are as capable of sexist actions as men are. If our culture is largely created and recreated through our actions, which are themselves often the result of biases that we mightn’t even be aware of, then we can perform sexist actswithout even knowing that is what we’re doing. And if the very idea of what is sexist can be contested- which it often can be, because culture is hella complex and we’ve got more shades of grey here than you can imagine- then I can think that something is sexist and you can think it’s empowering and we can both be wrong and we can also both be right. Particularly when we’re talking about representation and symbols and meaning and the giant can of thoroughly tangled worms that opens.” A Woman Gave Him the Shirt: T-Shirt Guy and the Monoliths of the Marginalised – Consider the Tea Cosy

Inspirational

“What if we accepted the fact that we are not meant to be happy all the time? Or even that, sometimes, happiness must emerge from periods of unhappiness?
What if we recognized the dark times as a process of initiation into a deeper wisdom, that can serve to heal others as well as ourselves?” sometimes happiness can only emerge from periods of unhappiness – Justine Musk

Health

7 Tips for Preventing (and Shortening) Colds and Flus – Chris Kresser

Grass-Fed Beef: A Superfood worth the Premium Price – The Paleo Mom

Low on Progesterone? Why Stress Reduction Might Be the Only Way to Hack It – Paleo for Women

Why Functional Medicine Is the Future of Health – Primal Docs

The Health Benefits of Bone Broth – The Paleo Mom

Flu vaccination is largely ineffective, despite what your Government may have you believe – Dr Briffa’s Blog

Recipes

Spatchcock Provencal Chicken (Autoimmune Protocal Friendly) – The Paleo Mom

Gluten-Free Gingersnap Cookies – Aagainst All Grain

Gluten-Free, Vegan, and Paleo Carob Pumpkin Tart (AIP-friendly, Refined sugar-free) – Gluten-Free Vegan Love

No Bake Pumpkin ‘Cheesecake’ Treats – Adventures in Partaking

Pumpkin Pie Muffins – Elana’s Pantry

Crispy Sweet Potato Oven Fries – Gutsy by Nature

When Your Body Speaks Very, Very Loudly

I feel like I’ve forgotten how to write.

I haven’t written a proper post in months. Not because I haven’t had things to talk about, and not even because I haven’t had time.

I’ve had the time, but I haven’t been able to find the words (hello brain fog) or the energy. (As an example this post has taken me a week to put together, working on it a little bit every day.)

Physical Aspect

Currently I’m dealing with a lot of health challenges.

I had my second surgery for endometriosis at the end of September, and while it went okay, it seems to have made everything else in my body flare up. Which means that I’m currently battling 3 autoimmune conditions, while being investigated for another two. On top of the endometriosis I am experiencing the worst eczema flare in my life – so bad the doctor considers it autoimmune in nature – and I’ve been told that I should live as if I have celiac’s disease (since I’m already gluten free that mainly means being more stringent with cross contamination and had to throw out my shampoo and conditioner). I’m being investigated for POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, or in other words my pulse shoots through the roof whenever I stand up) and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (when the body attacks the thyroid gland).

Day of surgery, 30th of September 2014

Day of surgery, 30th of September 2014

So far tests have been inconclusive, lab results have been lost, I’ve had ultrasounds, MRIs and CT scans done, leading to having 2-5 medical appointments per week  – frequently in different hospitals.

I was advised that if I didn’t reduce my work hours, soon I wouldn’t be able to work at all. Thankfully my work has been incredibly supportive – even more so than I would have expected – and I am currently working reduced hours to make room for my many medical appointments, plus give me the ability to (try and) look after myself.

Mental Aspect

It’s frustrating, exhausting and a lot of work. My medical appointments have to be my number one priority, work my second, and even working reduced hours I still feel worn out, exhausted and drained almost every day. I have one or two decent days, usually followed by 3-4 days of feeling horrible.

I don’t know how to talk to people about this, cause I don’t want to become the person who’s always negative. But I also don’t want to lie, when people ask me how I’m doing, and saying you’re “fine” when you’re halfway out the door for yet another medical appointment seems disingenuous.

I’m struggling.
I’m struggling because my brain is foggy ever day.
I’m struggling because my body seems to delight in finding new pains and aches for me.
I’m struggling because every morning I wake up with every limb feeling heavy and my joints hurting.
I’m struggling to stand up without passing out – especially in the evenings.
I’m struggling with having enough energy for doing even the basic stuff – cause even though I sleep 9-10 hours on most nights – and 11-12 hours at least once or twice a week – I’m always tired.

These things make everything (at least seem and feel) so much harder. My diet isn’t as dialled in as it should be, although I’m always 100% gluten free (whenever I get glutened I suffer), I am eating too much sugar and too many easy meals. I’m finding it difficult to get back on track, because I’m so exhausted and drained all the time, and standing up makes me feel like I’m going to pass out. It’s a bad cycle, and I’m having a hard time breaking it at the moment.

My partner David took me for a drive in the Wicklow Mountains, when I was too weak to do much, but still needed to get out.

I know that things will get better. I know that I am taking steps for things to get better – including working with some very skilled professionals to get to the bottom of what’s happening, and then address it through lifestyle, diet and medication. And I am surrounded by amazing people, including a very supportive work place, fantastic friends, and the most wonderful and supportive partner anyone could hope for.

But I’m not the most patient person, and I want to feel better now. And accepting that it’s going to take time (and has already taken far too long for my liking) is difficult, and that’s okay too.

On bad days I think my body hates me, on good, more lucid days I realize that my body is speaking to me very, very loudly and I need to learn to listen to it.

Link Love (2014-12-09)

Thought-provoking

“The ethics of eating red meat have been grilled recently by critics who question its consequences for environmental health and animal welfare. But if you want to minimise animal suffering and promote more sustainable agriculture, adopting a vegetarian diet might be the worst possible thing you could do.” Ordering the vegetarian meal? There’s more animal blood on your hands- The Conversation

Debra Jarvis: Yes, I survived cancer. But that doesn’t define me. – TED

“I refuse to blindly give money to corporations that don’t actually fund research that will help save lives. Money from most of the big name national breast cancer organizations often goes toward spreading awareness of mammograms and early detection, which research has shown don’t actually make much of a difference in terms of prognosis. Money should rather be directed towards research on treating the real killer: metastasized disease.
I refuse to support a breast cancer culture that encourages women to withhold their anger—to shun any feelings that aren’t perky and upbeat, or even treat the disease as a “gift”. Women have the right to feel their natural anger or fear about this disease and they should never have to apologize for it or cover it up with a pink t-shirt.” Rethinking Pink – Feministing

Are Video Games Good or Bad for Us – Mark’s Daily Apple

What is impostor syndrome? It’s feeling like an impostor when you’re not. Like you’re a fraud and the whole world is going to find you out. This makes total sense for undercover agents and people selling snake oil. It doesn’t make so much sense for people who are trying to make the world a little better or to sell something they believe in.” Overcome Impostor Syndrome: What to Do When You Feel Like a Fraud – LifeHacker

What Couples Can Learn from Gomez and Morticia Addams – Dr NerdLove

Religion

“I told them that the more I thought about it, the more I wasn’t sure Jesus had ever taken my calls and do you know what they said to that?  They told me in reality he always took my calls but made sure to do it in such a way that there would be no way to tell he took them.  He answered, they said, but in a way that looked exactly like not answering.  That’s…huh.  Okay.  That’s just weird.  Sounds a bit bootleg, really.” Why I Broke Up with Jesus – Godless in Dixie

John Boyne: ‘The Catholic priesthood blighted my youth and the youth of people like me’ – Irish Times

“This still hurt, it still frustrated me, it still robbed me of the affection I’d never known, but it felt better because it was honest. I’m starting to understand, at least in part, why people sometimes move from unhealthy relationships to even less healthy relationships.
If you switch the labels back, you might still head for the same stuff you’ve always known. For me, I didn’t like the false label. So I sought out relationships that looked like what I’d had with my parents. These relationships included my friends, significant others, and role models. The label read “salt” now. I knew what it was, but I was still trying to make cookies with the wrong ingredients.” The Love Label – Cynthia Jeub

Do We Really Want More Religion in Our Politics – Godless in Dixie

Equality

Kimberley Motley: How I defend the rule of law – TED

“Social scientists who study families and work say that men like Mr. Bedrick, who take an early hands-on role in their children’s lives, are likely to be more involved for years to come and that their children will be healthier. Even their wives could benefit, as women whose husbands take paternity leave have increased career earnings and have a decreased chance of depression in the nine months after childbirth. But researchers also have a more ominous message. Taking time off for family obligations, including paternity leave, could have long-term negative effects on a man’s career — like lower pay or being passed over for promotions.” Paternity Leave: The Rewards and the Remaining Stigma – NY Times

Japanese women still have to choose between career or family – Telegraph

“Creepy behavior has nothing to do with objective hotness and everything to do with where somebody chooses to set their boundaries. And that’s what people seem to not understand: boundaries aren’t fixed and universal, they’re flexible. We have one set of boundaries for strangers and another one for intimates. Close friends are allowed more leeway than acquaintances or coworkers and nobody blinks twice. So why, exactly, should we be surprised that we choose to allow people we might want to get naked with to get closer and act in ways that might make us crawl out of our skin if someone else did them? Even among friends, different people have different levels of permissible contact. Some friends might have ass-slapping or boob-honking privileges; others emphatically do not. Is it “fair” to the friends who don’t have ass privileges?
Fairness doesn’t enter into the equation. We don’t define our levels of allowable intimacy by some abstract idea of fairness – especially somebody else’s.” Yes, It’s Still A Creeper Move if Brad Pitt Does It – Dr NerdLove

Beauty & Body Image

How to Accept Your Imperfections – Mark’s Daily Apple

The ‘Women Fashion Power’ Exhibition at the Design Museum in London – NY Times

How to stop comparing yourself to others and be happy where you are right now – 40+ Style

Inspirational

What’s hippy and what’s dippy about being happy?
If being hippy is questioning the main-stream, taking action for wellness, being kind and doing things which are different if they benefit us and the world then to me, that seems powerful and not dippy at all.
Sometimes we want a certain result – in this case feeling positive and happy, but we don’t want to make the changes that may be necessary in order to gain that result.”  Non-Hippy Happy: Building the Happiness Habit – Grace Quantock

How I Live My Life on Purpose – yes and yes

Health

“These lactic acid bacteria have now been tested on severe human wound pathogens such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Pseudomonas aeruginosa and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE), among others. When the lactic acid bacteria were applied to the pathogens in the laboratory, it counteracted all of them.” Bacteria from bees possible alternative to antibiotics – Lund University

Fruit and Starchy Vegetables with Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth – The Paleo Mom

Appetite and your period – Paleo for Women

SIBO – What causes it and why it’s so hard to treat – Chris Kresser

Why Everyone Should Be Eating Organ Meat – The Paleo Mom

Uh-oh: Study Finds Vegetarians and Vegans Have Lower Sperm Count – Bulletproof Executive

Recipes

Cinnamon “French Toast” Flat-bread (Nut-Free) – The Paleo Mom

Paleo Turkey and Gluten Free Gravy (Pressure Cooker) – Gutsy By Nature

Easy Paleo Pumpkin Bread – Elana’s Pantry

Coconut Oil Chocolate Fudge – Faithful Provisions

The Best Coconut Flour Chocolate Chunk Bars – Ambitious Kitchen

Chocolate Coconut Bars – A Few Short Cuts

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