About Pain: For Those Who Suffer and Their Caregivers by Rachel B. Aarons

about-painPain, especially chronic pain, is a difficult topic for us to talk about. If you’ve never experienced chronic pain it is very hard to understand what it’s like to deal with pain on a continuous basis. Even if you have experienced chronic pain, it can be hard to fully comprehend how devastating another type of chronic pain can be.

About Pain: For Those Who Suffer and Their Caregivers by Rachel B. Aarons gives an excellent insight into the world of chronic pain, both from the perspective of the person dealing with chronic pain in the first part of the book, and from the caregivers in the second part of the book. In the third part of the book Dr. Aarons gives advice on how to best live with, manage and relieve chronic pain.

This perfectly describes how I myself feel a lot of the time:

Along with the limits and walls, go the losses. It is not so easy letting go of those hopes and dreams you have cherished. At the same time as the world becomes weighted down with negativity, it shrinks in options. Many of the enticing possibilities disappear. Either physically or emotionally, they simply are not possibilities anymore.
At bottom, pain constitutes an assault on your freedom of choice in the world. Others get to do so many exciting things while you are walled in by can’ts. Even if your mind is willing, your body may not be. Imagine the frustration of being trapped in a body that is limping, creaky and hurting. You may feel old long before your time. As the world shrinks and sours, it will inevitably affect the person you are.

Whether you are coming to terms with your own chronic pain, or trying to understand a loved one’s condition, I highly recommend About Pain.

Content Notice:

Each of the personal stories have been written by the patients themselves, and have not been edited by Dr. Aarons. The story by Otis covering his experience with prostate cancer and his poor treatment in a hospital, included a completely irrelevant and offensive comment, questioning whether a “Obama death panel” was in his future. I personally find this comment incredibly offensive, as well as completely nonsensical. I asked Dr. Aarons about it, and she said that she’d chosen not to edit any of the personal stories, and didn’t know what the patient had meant by it. While I personally wouldn’t allow people to share such views on my platform (they are free to do so in their own space), I respect Dr. Aarons choice to do so, while also wanting to give any prospective readers a heads up, that you might want to skip that particular section.

I was contacted by Dr. Aarons and received a free copy. The review is my own honest opinion. 

 

Link Love (2016-09-17)

Thought-provoking

“The disconnect between internet fame and financial security is hard to comprehend for both creators and fans. But it’s the crux of many mid-level web personalities’ lives. Take moderately successful YouTubers, for example. Connor Manning, an LGBT vlogger with 70,000 subscribers, was recognized six times selling memberships at the Baltimore Aquarium. Rosianna Halse Rojas, who has her own books and lifestyle channel and is also YouTube king John Green’s producing partner, has had people freak out at her TopMan register. Rachel Whitehurst, whose beauty and sexuality vlog has 160,000 subscribers, was forced to quit her job at Starbucks because fans memorized her schedule.
In other words: Many famous social media stars are too visible to have “real” jobs, but too broke not to.” The sad economics of being famous on the internet – Fusion

Jessica Stones Star Krysten Ritter on Why the Superhero Will Never Wear Heels – TIME

“He polled a large sample of likely voters, looking for correlations between support for Trump and views that align with authoritarianism. What he found was astonishing: Not only did authoritarianism correlate, but it seemed to predict support for Trump more reliably than virtually any other indicator.” The rise of American Authoritarianism – Vox

A New, Minimalist Economy – Becoming Minimalist

“In the dog training ‘industry’ there are several different ideas as to how best to train a dog, which methods should be used and which are outdated or even cruel. However, any behaviour can be taught using force-free methods without the need to invoke pain, fear or force onto our dogs. Tools such as shock collars, prong collars, choke chains, spray and rattle bottles, to name just a few, can be replaced with kinder methods. Using clicker training and reinforcements such as food, toys, praise and life rewards can get the same results. If we love our animals, why do people find it acceptable to cause them pain or fear just for the sake of ‘training’?” Why I Train Without Force – Positively

Equality

“But less attention was paid to what Cenac had to say about being the only black writer in the room, torn between speaking up or saying nothing and keeping the peace. (Full disclosure: Cenac is a personal friend.) “I gotta be honest if something seems questionable,” he told Maron, “because if not, then I don’t want to be in a position where I am being untrue not just to myself but to my culture, because that’s exploitative. I’m just allowing something to continue if I’m just going to go along with it. And sadly, I think that’s the burden a lot of people have to have when you are ‘the one.’ You represent something bigger than yourself whether you want to or not.”” On Wyatt Cenac, ‘Key & Peele,’ And Being the Only One in the Room – Code Switch

The Bogeyman of the 38-Week Abortion – Consider the Tea Cosy

“If gender neutral clothes are only made for and marketed to the parents of little girls, it is less a sign of gender equality and more an indication of the misogyny that is so ambient in our culture. There is such a devaluing of anything traditionally feminine that we’d rather chuck it out triumphantly than ever demean our boys with it.” Everybody in dresses: Why does gender neutral clothing always mean ‘boy’ clothes for girls? – National Post

LGBT Leaders Warn of Looming Gay Rights Backlash – TIME

“They asked us: Does it make sense that they, as LGBTQ+ youth, face approximately 14 times the risk of suicide and substance abuse than their heterosexual and cisgender peers, when mental health problems, substance use and suicide are not side-effects of having a minority sexual identity or gender orientation?
They are side-effects of prejudice and discrimination.” The Health Impacts of Prejudice and Discrimination – petra8paleo

Beauty & Body Image

Loving + Dressing Your Body at Any Size – Styling By Sisters

“Sometimes, our beliefs shift and we try on new behaviors. Sometimes we try on new behaviors and our beliefs change. Perhaps you do not give yourself everything on your list because you are waiting to believe that you deserve it.
I wonder what would happen if you imagined the person you would be if you gave yourself these things, imagined how your life and the lives of others would be enriched as a result. And then you just gave yourself these things, whether or not you yet believed you deserved them. I wonder how that might open you up just a bit more to what’s possible for your health and then create this beautiful positive feedback loop that starts to let you know that, yes, in fact, you not only need these things, but you deserve them.
Not because of anything you’ve done. Not because you’re better than anyone else.
But because you have a body. And that body needs you.” Your Body is Deserving – The Resilient Body

Forget H&M, Primark, and Forever 21: The Case for Expensive Clothes – The Atlantic

“During a large portion of the medieval period, the beautiful woman emphasised her high, round forehead. If a woman was unfortunate to have been naturally cursed with a low hairline, the correct and fashionable look was artificially enhanced by the plucking of the hairline back up towards the crown of the head. This look was accentuated by reducing the eyebrows to a barely-there line.” Hairstyles – Rosalie’s Medieval Woman

Close the (Thigh) Gap – Thrive with Jen Sinkler

Relationships

“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

Step 389: Remember Your Friends’ Sad Anniversaries Too – Adulting

“In this relationship culture, expectations and trust are in constant question. The state of stable ambiguity inevitably creates an atmosphere in which at least one person feels lingering uncertainty, and neither person feels truly appreciated or nurtured. We do this at the expense of our emotional health, and the emotional health of others.” This Is What’s Wrong With Modern Relationships – Esther Perel Explains – Mind Body Green

Chronic Illness & Pain

Exercise for POTSies – POTSgrrl

“The “PLAY UP” moment is controlled as tightly as possible.  I stop the activity while I still feel able to do more and start the Post Activity LAY UP no matter how well I feel.   It is not easy.  If I’ve got it right then I should have almost no symptoms.  Ironically, it also might seem to others that my condition is not so severe – because I tend not to enter the BUST ZONE!” “Play-Up & Lay-Up” not “Boom & Bust” – Just ME

Compression stockings: From beige to brilliant – Living with Bob (Dysautonomia)

Health

Evolutionary Medicine and Back Pain – Pain Science

“Vitamin D is most well known for regulating the amount of minerals like calcium, magnesium, and phosphorous in the body. In recent years, there has been much research into additional functions, like its effect on the immune system, cardiovascular system, and cancer. Here is a list of what vitamin D does in the body:

  • Regulates bone mineralization and metabolism
  • Controls the expression of over 200 genes
  • Modulates the immune system
  • Controls cell growth
  • Has anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties
  • Supports the immune system fighting infection
  • Assists in neuromuscular function”
    Don’t Fear the Sun! Vitamin D and Healing – Autoimmune Paleo

Not really the paleo diet – Nutritious Movement

Recipes

Sweet Potato Turkey Chili (AIP/Paleo) – Sweet Potatoes and Social Change

Golden Turmeric Sauce – Autoimmune Paleo

DIY Swedish Punch Recipe – Serious Eats

Sweet Potato Lasagna Recipe – Wellness Mama

Pumpkin Spice Cookies with Vanilla Cinnamon Icing

,– Against All Grain

Link Love (2016-08-27)

Thought-provoking

“I don’t remember the rest of what she said. It is hard to look into the face of love and not be shaken, no matter how tough you are. A few years have passed, and I’m still moved by that teeny white sweater; that anonymous knitting done by a sensible woman to warm a baby too small to survive. For her, there would be none of the usual satisfaction a knitter feels – seeing a sweater worn, outgrown and passed on to the next lucky child. Why did she bother with one that would only be worn once?
I think she did it for the same reason knitters have always made things for homeless people, poor people, babies, kids, elders, soldiers, women with breast cancer, family and friends.
Could this be true, that every little thing actually does matter? Every stitch, every kiss, every kindness – they all count, they all add up? Maybe love is just a seemingly endless series of very small gestures repeated until you die.
Knit, purl, knit, purl, knit, purl. Keep doing it. It adds up to a life.” In a knitting club, I found a cure for selfishness and cynicism – The Globe and Mail

I made some more Facebook reactions – The Oatmeal

“We don’t just loathe inconsistencies in others; we hate them in ourselves, too. But why? What makes contradictions so revolting — and should they be?” The Virtue of Contradicting Ourselves  – NY Times

Religion

“They said “You are a woman, emotional, incapable of leading, easily deceived. You must stay in your place, submit, and only then God will bless you.”
So we felt loathing for our womanhood, wondering why God would make us inferior, and feeling guilty that we dare question the Almighty’s plan, that we are not happy with his decree.
And now…..now we are told “Why are you depressed? Why do you have anxiety? Why the addictions, the anger, the rage, the self-loathing? Why can’t you just be happy and normal?”
As if no one can connect the dots. As if their actions did not have consequences. As if a child can be raised to hate themselves in the Name of God and suddenly grow into an adult that is healthy. As if a lifetime of emotional trauma and spiritual abuse suddenly vanishes because a person changes their mind about who they are and their place in the world.
That’s not how it works. That is only the beginning of a journey that could take the rest of our lives. A journey we are told not to speak of because it makes people uncomfortable, because they’d rather call us names like “bitter” and “unforgiving” than to look deep into the darkness of our hearts and hear tales of pain and see the rawness of souls taught to hate themselves. Because those stories aren’t nice ones.But we will not change them in order to make others comfortable.” Guest Post: Not a Nice Story – Love, Joy, Feminism

Equality

“Every time I publish a blog post or post to social media and use masculine pronouns for my son (whether I’m talking about his desire to be called Mrs. Clooney, get his ears pierced, etc.), people — no matter how accepting and progressive they think they are — tell me I’m using the wrong pronouns. They insist that my son is transgender and that I’m not honoring that.
Good for them. Seriously. Good for more people pushing others to honor people who are transgender.
But, gender policing me sometimes seems like it isn’t an act of understanding, but rather an act prompted by a lack of understanding.
I couldn’t be honoring my son’s gender identity any more when he is expressing himself as female and I use the masculine pronouns that he prefers.” The New Gender Binary – Raising My Rainbow

“Word choice is hard here. Should we say “raped” automatically if a grown man has sex with a teenager? Does it matter at all if the 15-year-old, now much older, describes their encounter as one of the best nights of her life? What is our word for a “yes” given on a plane that’s almost vertically unequal? Does contemporary morality dictate that we trust a young woman when she says she consented freely, or believe that she couldn’t have, no matter what she says?” What Should We Say About David Bowie and Lori Maddox? – Jezebel

“People in schools and churches across the country will pay homage to Martin Luther King Jr. today, and many will read “Letter From The Birmingham Jail,” which is right and good.
But few will read “A Call for Unity” or any of the thousands of editorials, letters, articles, and sermons composed by American whites—most of them Christians—in opposition to King’s work. We forget that just as our most heated discussions on social media emerge from the context of a cultural conversation, so too did the treatises of theologians and activists past. When we familiarize ourselves with only one side of the debate (typically the side ultimately found to be just) we miss the full depth of the argument and, worse yet, slip into a sort of historical amnesia that allows us to believe we too would have chosen the side of good on account of its seemingly obvious virtue.” Christians, MLK Day, and Historical Amnesia – Rachel Held Evans

“They don’t know about de-escalation. Minimizing. Quietly acquiescing.
Hell, even though women live it, we are not always aware of it. But we have all done it.
We have all learned, either by instinct or by trial and error, how to minimize a situation that makes us uncomfortable. How to avoid angering a man or endangering ourselves. We have all, on many occasions, ignored an offensive comment. We’ve all laughed off an inappropriate come-on. We’ve all swallowed our anger when being belittled or condescended to.
It doesn’t feel good. It feels icky. Dirty. But we do it because to not do it could put us in danger or get us fired or labeled a bitch. So we usually take the path of least precariousness.
It’s not something we talk about every day. We don’t tell our boyfriends and husbands and friends every time it happens. Because it is so frequent, so pervasive, that it has become something we just deal with.” The Thing All Women Do That You Don’t Know About – Drifting Through My Open Mind

Relationships

Questions I Wish I’d Asked My Mother – Huffington Post

“Let’s start with one of the most obvious: when your identity is based on the things you consume rather than what you do. Now I’ll be the first to acknowledge the irony of this coming from someone who calls himself Dr. NerdLove but stick with me a second.
Ultimately, being a geek is about how you relate to the things you love. It’s not just that you watch sci-fi movies but how they inspire you to express how you love them. Maybe you’ll cosplay as the characters. Maybe it inspires you to write your own sci fi epic. Regardless, it’s about the interaction and pursuits of your passions, not just the act of consuming it. One of the biggest mistakes geeks and nerds make is in the way they have a tendency to make their consumption part of their identity. It becomes a major touchstone of who they are; they don’t just play games, they are a gamer. Sometimes it goes even further – they’re not just a gamer, they’re one of the Glorious PC Gaming Master Race, rather than one of those dirty console peasants.” Geek Behaviors That Drive Women Away – Dr NerdLove

What’s underneath ALL the layers? – KIMCHI Cuddles

“I am teaching my children how to communicate, helping them understand their feelings, affirming that their needs matter, and showing them how to weigh and consider others’ needs. I don’t think any of that will serve them badly, whether as teens or as adults. And you know what? Because my parenting doesn’t rely on a brittle obedience-focused mindset, I am more than willing to adjust my parenting over time as the need arises. Still, there are some underlying ideas—treating children with respect, teaching them that they matter, establishing open lines of communication, and focusing on skill acquisitions rather than results—that that will inform my parenting even as it may shift over time to accommodate changing needs.” How I’ve Learned (and Unlearned) Parenting – Love, Joy, Feminism

Inspirational

“I vow to extend love to myself, even at my most nerdy, un-showered, and imperfect.
I vow to extend respect to myself, even when I’m unproductive or struggling.
Part of my self-care is a vow to love myself, no matter what, in whatever condition I find myself.” Loving Myself Extra (or: I don’t care if you like it) – Christy Tending

How to Balance Giving and Receiving Every Day – Who’s That Lady

“After a season of treating my work as my most important investment, I’ve learned that caring for my soul is actually tops on that list. If I can set some boundaries around my work, family, and personal time, I’ll gradually cultivate health in my soul and my family.” I’m not dominating the world and you can, too – The Art of Simple

Chronic Illness & Pain

The N=1 Healing Protocol – Petra8Paleo

I really think this would be a great idea – even for people who don’t have POTS or a chronic illness. Creating a POTS binder – STOP POTS (and Dysautonomia)

Massage Therapy for for Tension Headaches – Pain Science

“Rule #1 of any relationship should be honesty, but this goes double for intimate situations involving people with chronic pain. If your partner has a chronic pain condition you’ve heard of, remember that everyone’s experience of pain is unique. You need to ask about your specific partner’s experience of pain and what specific triggers you can avoid when you’re between the sheets. Similarly, if you have chronic pain, your chances of enjoying some pain-free nookie increase dramatically when you can articulate what you know about your condition.” Chronic Pain: Stop it from Sucking the Fun Out of Your Sex Life – Sex is Social

15 Shades of Fibromyalgia – February Stars

Health

Mental health treatment: How float clinics treat anxiety – Time

“What discussions about ergonomics usually miss is that long work days in a chair are just a fundamentally bad idea — no matter how good your chair is. Ergonomics should not be focussed on ways of making people more comfortable with a bad situation — almost a conspiracy against workers — but rather on improving the situation. Conventional ergonomics, when “arranging things for efficient use” — tends to exclude the most important thing in your workstation: you!” Ergonomics: Unusual Tips – Pain Science

3 Ways Thinking Outside the Box  Will Improve Your Family’s Health -Guest Post by Sarah Kolman – The Paleo Mom

“One of the best things you can do for breast health is letting your arms swing while walking. So what does swinging the arms have to do with breast health? Zoom in on the picture below and you will notice that many of the lymph nodes are concentrated around the armpits. The lymphatic system is our major line of defense against invaders such as bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens. Lymph can be obstructed by compression of organs, tight muscles, and tight clothing (bras). Restriction of lymph flow allows debris to accumulate, and tissues become acidic and burdened with toxic wastes. The breasts have a high concentration of lymph nodes. For the health of the breasts and the rest of the body, it is important to keep the lymphatic system flowing.  Muscle movement plays a huge role in optimal lymph flow as it “milks” the lymph through the system.” Breast Health and Walktober – Alignment Monkey

How to Choose the Best Natural Lube for Better Sex – Paleo Hacks

Foodie

Blanch Spinach by Boiling Your Kettle Not a Pot of Water – LifeHacker

“Most of us get that high quality, boutique things generally cost more than their lower grade commodity alternatives. But for Westerners, tea often occupies a blind spot, and people who wouldn’t blink at spending $25 for a bottle of wine can’t fathom spending $10 for an ounce of tea that may last them weeks.” Why Great Tea Doesn’t Come Cheap: Digging Into the High Mountain Economy – Serious Eats

Crispy Smashed Roasted Potatoes – Fine Cooking

“And it’s worth it to buy the good stuff, because like beef, not all salmon is created equal. A lot of salmon’s flavor, fattiness, and nutrient profile depends on where and how it spent its life. Let’s take a deeper dive (no pun intended) into the world of salmon. You’ll learn about all the powerful compounds in this delicious fish, how to choose the best salmon, and how to cook it perfectly with a Bulletproof recipe.” Why You Should Eat More Wild-Caught Salmon – Bulletproof Exec

Tea Tuesdays: The Chemis-Tea of Pouring the Perfect English-Style Cuppa – The Salt

Recipes

Garlic Herb Pot Roast – Wellness Mama

Fluffy Blueberry Pancakes – Mark’s Daily Apple

Broccoli Cheese Soup – Mommypotamus

Matcha Green Tea Latte – Annmarie Gianni

Thai-Inspired Pork Salad – Autoimmune Paleo

Pumpkin Carrot Cakies – Field Notes on Healing

August 2016 Quick Reviews

Apologies for the lack of posts on the blog. We had to move unexpectedly, when our landlord decided to sell the place. The stress from the move caused the worst flare up I have had so far, and we are still settling into the new place. At this stage I am massively behind on my book reviews though! I will have to try and catch up before the end of the year.

Reviews

szen zoneSzen Zone: Reaching a State of Positive Change by Gary Szenderski*: An excellent and thought-provoking collection of essays and stories. I enjoyed this one in bite-sized portions, taking time to mull over each little gem. These positive stories are focused on change, on what is possible, when we open our mind to possibly doing or seeing things a little differently.

Bad_PharmaBad Pharma: How Drug Companies Mislead Doctors and Harm Patients by Ben Goldacre: Probably the most important book I’ve read this year. While I’ve been sceptical of Big Pharma for a long time, I was shocked and horrified to know just how bad things are. There are massive issues around funding, loopholes for approvals, and not publishing unfavourable results skewing the safety and efficiency perceptions of drugs. Bad Pharma isn’t anti science – rather the opposite – Ben Goldacre is a doctor and science journalist, and advocates for sticking to the scientific method, full disclosure and advocating for the interest of the patients – not the drug companies. I can’t recommend this enough.

simple mattersSimple Matters: Living with Less and Ending Up with More by Erin Boyle*: A fairly basic introduction to minimalism and simple living. Unfortunately the ARC I received didn’t have any pictures, which is what Erin Boyle is famous for on her blog Reading My Tea Leaves, and I think, I would’ve rated it higher with the pictures. Simple Matters is written in the memoir-style with lots of advice and ideas sprinkled in.

home cookedHome Cooked: Essential Recipes for a New Way to Cook by Anya Fernald*: I really enjoyed diving into Fernald’s experiences with Italian cooking, and how it affects her cooking today. With a wonderful focus on local food, and traditional cooking and preparation styles to let the flavour of great quality food shine through. My favourite thing about Home Cooked is the way it empowers you by teaching fundamentals and how to expand on them. Highly recommended.

Fitted Knits: 25 Projects for the Fashionable Knitter by Stefanie Japel: I loved the technical expertise and the author’s approach to knitting. Many of the designs were a bit dated and featured very chunky knits, which I personally don’t find that appealing. With that being said there were several gorgeous pieces – especially towards the end.

 

What have you been reading lately? Check out Modern Mrs Darcy for more quick book reviews.
As always I invite you to find me and connect with me on Goodreads.

*Received an advanced reader’s copy through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Link Love (2016-07-02)

Equality

“To illustrate the resulting peer-perception gap, researchers compared the importance student grades had on winning a nomination to the weight of the gender bias. The typical student received 1.2 nominations, with men averaging 1.3 and women averaging 1.1.
Female students gave other female students a recognition “boost” equivalent to a GPA bump of 0.04 — too tiny to indicate any gender preference, Grunspan said. Male students, however, awarded fellow male students a recognition boost equivalent to a GPA increase of 0.76.
“On this scale,” the report asserted, “the male nominators’ gender bias is 19 times the size of the female nominators’.”” The remarkably different answers men and women give when asked who’s the smartest in the class – The Washington Post

Six Abortion Movies I Want to See – Consider the Tea Cosy

“But am I actually ‘better’ at doing these things – or is it because, as the woman in this partnership, I’m expected to do these tasks and as a result have developed the skills which make me better at it?
I’m told that it’s a natural attribute as a woman to want to organise, care, be empathetic and run a home. But what about when we start thinking about all the things that women do in the home as real, actual work? Most of all, what about the emotional labour – the work that goes largely unnoticed, unrewarded and certainly unpaid?
Co-ordinating children’s social lives, remembering birthdays, organising childcare, booking holidays, managing family relationships and fall-outs, maintaining contact with friends and family, planning the weekly meals: these are all on the broad spectrum of emotional labour.” We need to talk about women’s unpaid emotional labour – and urgently – The Independent

Beauty & Body Image

“Meanwhile, these new, durability-focused companies say their success lies in providing a true antidote to fast-fashion: ultra high-quality clothing, made sustainably, that people can afford.
Tom Cridland, a 25-year-old British designer and entrepreneur, launched The 30 Year Sweatshirt last summer to call to task fashion’s built-in obsolescence. Fast-fashion clothing is notorious for looking faded and dated in a handful of wears. By contrast, Cridland’s pullover is handmade in Portugal of Italian organic cotton and finished with a treatment that wards off shrinkage and pilling. The company pledges to provide repairs free of charge through 2046.” The Power of Buying Less by Buying Better – The Atlantic

Hate – Robot Hugs

“There’s a lot to like about the new Supergirl TV show – it’s funny, it’s warm, it’s unashamedly feminist, and there are lots of cool explosions. But my favorite part so far has to be her revamped costume, and what it says about the type of Supergirl the show intends to portray.” Supergirl’s New Clothes – Already Pretty

Why It’s Not OK to Objectify Justin Trudeau – Ravishly

“It’s not an easy task to feel Right in a world that body-shames and slut-shames and shame-shame-shames everyone into feeling deeply, inherently wrong. But I’ve always had very strong feelings about natural, real-life nakedness. I think it’s an epic travesty that our culture doesn’t support it. There’s something inherently wrong to me about clothes being the default. I like clothes, don’t get me wrong. I like style, and I like being warm, and there’s no effing way I would ever sit my bare naked ass on, say, a NYC subway seat. But I also think that a huge amount of our cultural issues with body shaming and distorted body image can be traced back to how uncomfortable we are with real, natural nakedness.” Why I’m Getting Naked on the Internet – Jessi Kneeland

Relationships

Ask Dr NerdLove: How Do I Get Closure With My Ex – Dr NerdLove

“Anywho, since we don’t have omnipotent powers, it confuses me when parents don’t take advantage of the few things we have control over, such as, for example, COMMON DECENCY.
Manners.
Basic kindness.
Not being a dick.
This is not hard. This is easy. This is like one area of parenting that isn’t complex and confusing and yet, not all parents do it. Why? This is the “gimme” of parenting. The low-hanging fruit. The freebie.
THIS IS THE AREA WE CAN REALLY SHINE, PEOPLE.
And yet, so many assholes on the playground.” Can we all agree to teach our kids some freaking manners? – Renegade Mothering

Why empathic limits help kids develop self control – Aha Parenting

“Women who work hard to be better than other women suffer a lot. They don’t actually need to be upbraided for it. They’re already struggling enough. So I’m not saying NEVER EVER PUT YOURSELF ABOVE OTHER WOMEN, SISTER. What I’m saying is that when you try to set yourself apart from other people IN GENERAL, in your own mind, in order to soothe yourself and tell yourself that things will work out just fine for you, in order to reassure yourself that you’re sexier and better than the desperate cookie-cutter girls you see out at bars, it doesn’t actually make things any easier for you. It makes things harder. When you choose to love yourself for superficial reasons, you teach other people to love you for superficial reasons. And when you reject yourself and scold yourself for things that are beyond your control, you degrade your own ability to show up and enjoy your life. You hate your own humanity. You reject yourself for being a fucking mortal.
If you have to be shiny and superior to matter, then eventually you won’t matter at all, even to yourself.
But you do matter. You are lovable and you matter. You deserve love.” Ask Polly: Why Did My Dream Man Dump Me? – The Cut

Parents Reject Technology Shame – The Atlantic

Inspirational

7 Things I Learned in 7 Years of Reading, Writing, and Living – Brain Pickings

“You work through that list and forgive yourself for every judgement and misbelief you’ve made about yourself.
As you do this you will A) Get great insight into your inner nutso and realize that some of the things you feel guilty about are total nonsense, and B) get great insight into the massive burden you carry around and now be ready to let go of it.
But, the most important thing, and I say this with great seriousness; you will forgive yourself.
Honestly, you will find that the massive burden of that first list practically disintegrates as you write down your forgiveness. If you then read out loud your forgiveness you’ll find yourself completing an incredibly powerful practice.” How to Practice Self Forgiveness and Let Go of Guilt – Lottie Ryan

How to Stay Optimistic When Bad Things Happen – Becoming Who You Are

“When the world is struggling we can get swept up in the struggle too. Often our first reaction is to let go of joy and playfulness. Of course! Who could care about sparkles when places and people you love are hurting? And I understand that, I really do.
Except I know that diving into the media, the rumours, the updates, the worries, is a recipe for me to feel powerless and disembodied. Which doesn’t benefit anyone. The world needs all of us right now, and doing beautiful things is a way we can add to the joy of the world.” Beautiful Things to Do Because… The World Needs Beauty Right Now – Grace Quantock

Awaken Sensuality & Balance Emotions With Self-Massage – Indigomoon Enemark

Chronic Illness & Pain

5 Ways Fibromyalgia Has Changed My Life For the Better – February Stars

“The vagus nerve is part of the parasympathetic nervous system, referred to as the rest and digest system.  It’s not the only nerve in the parasympathetic system, but it’s by far the most important one because it has the most far reaching effects.
The word vagus means “wanderer,” because it wanders all over the body to various important organs.
The vagus nerve connects to the brain, gut (intestines, stomach), heart, liver, pancreas, gallbladder, kidney, ureter, spleen, lungs, fertility organs (females), neck (including pharynx, larynx, esophagus), ears and tongue.” 32 Ways to Stimulate Your Vagus Nerve (and All You Need to Know About It) -Selfhacked

12 Healing Protocols: a guide (part 2) – Petra8Paleo

“Having a strong social network provides a huge range of benefits.  In terms of physiologic responses, the feeling of connection causes changes in hormones that directly improve our health, including regulating both cortisol and oxytocin (see this post).  There’s practical benefits as well:  it can make all the difference to have someone you can count on to watch your kids, pick something up at the grocery store for you, or talk to when you’ve had a bad day.  Research shows that having a close inner circle of 8 to 10 people that you can depend on and confide in is optimal.  Just knowing that you have people who are there for you, just feeling connected to even a small handful of people whom you trust and love, can make a huge difference in your ability to cope with, and heal from, chronic disease.” Autoimmune Disease: A Road That Doesn’t Need to Be Walked Alone – The Paleo Mom

12 Ways to Reduce Fatigue and Feel Much Better – Lottie Ryan

Recipes

Spiced Pumpkin Tea Latte (AIP, Paleo, low FODMAP, Vegan) – Sweet Treats

Citrus Herb Meatballs (AIP/Paleo)  – Sweet Potatoes and Social Change

Easy Quiche Recipe with Bacon and Cheese – Mommypotamus

Duck Carnitas Tacos – Mark’s Daily Apple

Grain and Nut Free Paleo Sandwich Bread – Colorful Eats

Cinnamon-Apple Baked Oatmeal Recipe – Serious Eats

Foodie

The Food Lab: For the Best Sun Tea, Forget the Sun – Serious Eats

Oysters, Clams, and Mussels, Oh My! Nutrition Powerhouses or Toxic Danger? – The Paleo Mom

Food Substitutions – How to Cooking Tips – Recipe Tips

The Best Way to Avoid Messes When Using a Stand Mixer – Tips from the Kitchn

The Art of Japanese Sushi – Swissotel Nankai Osaka

Freezer Cooking 101: Which foods can be frozen? – Mommypotamus

On the Blog:

Sexual Abuse & Victim-Blaming in Religious Communities

Lean In for Graduates by Sheryl Sandberg

I Believe (a Personal Manifesto)

As a Decade Fades by Joshua Fields Millburn

Women Shouldn’t Need to Be Seen in Relation to Men

The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson

Kive – My Favourite Non-Profit Organization

Link Love (2016-06-18)

Equality

“To get it out of the way: the Gender Novels fail to communicate what it’s actually like to transition. Their portrayals of gender-identity struggles are ham-fisted, and despite the authors’ apparently good intentions they often rehash stale, demeaning tropes: a coy mix-and-match of pronouns; descriptions of trans women as fake and mannish; the equation of gender with genitalia and surgery; a fixation on rare intersex conditions that allow for tacked-on, unrealistic transition narratives. (Many intersex people, those born with atypical sexual or reproductive characteristics, don’t transition from one gender to another; as well, Wayne’s self-impregnation—a major plot point in Annabel—is a medical impossibility.)
All of which is frustrating but unsurprising. What’s surprising, even flat-out weird, is how alike all the protagonists are. Their lives unfold almost identically: they grow up in unsupportive families; their fathers are domineering or distant; their mothers are kind but frail. When they come of age, they leave humble hometowns to find new lives in the big city. They rent crappy apartments, work menial jobs, detach from their families, and fall in with crowds good and bad. Most of them are physically or sexually brutalized.” Rise of the Gender Novel – The Walrus

Mental health week: How drawings on social media are changing the conversation – BBC Newsbeat

“Hell, even though women live it, we are not always aware of it. But we have all done it.
We have all learned, either by instinct or by trial and error, how to minimize a situation that makes us uncomfortable. How to avoid angering a man or endangering ourselves. We have all, on many occasions, ignored an offensive comment. We’ve all laughed off an inappropriate come-on. We’ve all swallowed our anger when being belittled or condescended to.
It doesn’t feel good. It feels icky. Dirty. But we do it because to not do it could put us in danger or get us fired or labeled a bitch. So we usually take the path of least precariousness.” The Thing All Women Do That You Don’t Know About – Drifting Through My Open Mind

Online abuse of writer Clementine Ford highlights how bullying can cost you your job – ABC News

“Childcare in Ireland is often prohibitively expensive. As we saw above, women are still considered primary carers for children in this country, so this has stronger knock-on effects for women’s lives than men’s. For many families, even if both parents want to work outside the home it’s not financially possible to do so- it costs money to have a job.
Last year, creche spaces for two children- a toddler and a baby- could set a family back over €2000 per month. The average net wage in Ireland? €2129 per month. Factor in the costs of going to work- petrol or bus fares, a cup of coffee on your break- and you can end up poorer than if you’d stayed at home. Of course, the thing about an average wage? Half of employed people will earn less than it.” An Incomplete List of Gendered Injustices Against Irish Women, and the People Working to Change Them, Part 2 – Consider the Tea Cosy

Beauty & Body Image

10 Ways to Encourage Primal Body Positivity – Mark’s Daily Apple

“I had.to learn.to love. myself. My WHOLE self.
And so I did. It wasn’t a journey. It’s ALWAYS a journey. It will FOREVER be a journey. I will probably NEVER be 100% comfortable with the gap in my teeth, but I have learned to love it because it makes up a huge part of my smile, and when I smile, I smile from my heart. I am less than thrilled (READ: ANNOYED AS FUCK) with this streak of grey hair I have coming in RIGHT IN THE FRONT OF MY HEAD. It ain’t cute. I’m not ready to go all Ruby Dee in life. Now I’m not knockin’ Ruby Dee – she is the flyest of the fly ladies that EVAH walked this earth. I’m just sayin’ I ain’t ready. But you know what – it’s hair. And I can dye it if I want to. I can pluck them if I want to. I can hide those evil ass grey hairs in braids if I want to. But they do not determine my self worth. My gap does not determine my self worth. The scale that reads 224 pounds does not determine my self worth. NOTHING EXTERNAL DETERMINES MY SELF WORTH.” Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: My Journey in Self Love – The Full Nelson

5 Must Know Things About Self-Love – Paleo for Women

“Because it takes brain space and emotional capacity and ENERGY to roll something over and over in your mind, examine your perceived failures, ponder plans of attack. Negative body thoughts that aren’t fleeting or compartmentalized are like apps running in the background of your phone, draining your battery with every passing moment even though you’re not even using them. If you’re anxious about your body all the time, you’re unconsciously allotting resources to a complex and painful cluster of thoughts and feelings. You’re pouring precious energy into something that can suck it down forever and never be full.” The Slow Drain of Body Negativity – The Huffington Post

How often do you really have to wash your bra? – Fusion

Relationships & Sex

How Do I Make Her See I’m Not Leaving – Dr NerdLove

I really love Emily Nagoski’s work. I highly recommend her blog, book and podcast (which unfortunately has far too few episodes).Watch her TEDx talk or read the transcript, it’s well worth your time: my TEDx talk! “Unlocking the Door to Your Authentic Sexual Wellbeing” – the dirty normal

Science Says That This Is Crucial to a Lasting Marriage – PaleoHacks

“I realized that polyamorous relationships, just like monogamous ones, could be healthy or unhealthy. In my case, the problem had been my boyfriend’s condescending, selfish, and gaslighting behavior, compounded with my untreated depression and anxiety. While we had had problems with the open relationship, our relationship was terrible because of him (and me, to an extent), not because of the relationship structure itself. Polyamory itself actually forced me to mature and re-examine my views about relationships in a way that worked well for me.” Three Ways Polyamory Has Helped Me Have Healthier Relationships – xoJane

What to Do When Your Partner Disappoints or Frustrates You – Tiny Buddha

Chronic Illness & Pain

Essential Apps for chronic illness, patients and carers – Healing Boxes

“A lot of people have a secret.
I know because they’ve told me.
Their autoimmune disease affects their reproductive organs, but they keep that painful fact to themselves.” When Genitals are Involved (& Not in a Good Way) – Petra8Paleo

Health hackers: the patients taking medical innovation into their own hands – The Guardian

Recipes

AIP Peach Crumble for Two – Joy-Filled Nourishment

AIP Paleo Honey Glazed Grilled Baby Broccoli – Beyond the Bite

Beef Stew (AIP, Paleo, Low FODMAP, Whole 30) – Sweet Treats

Italian Almond Cookies from My Paleo Patisserie – The Spunky Coconut

BBQ Chicken Meatballs – Autoimmune Paleo

AIP Notato Salad – The Paleo Mom

Old & New on the Blog

Quick Reviews June 2016

Fabulous Female: Rachel Lloyd

June Twitterature 2014

The Myth of Multitasking

June Twitterature 2014

Fabulous Female: Gareth Peirce

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan

Quick Reviews June 2016

So many fantastic books, the more you read, the more books you want to read.

Reviews

Cure-US-coverCure: A Journey into the Science of Mind Over Body by Jo Marchant*: One of the best books I’ve read this year and I think everyone should read it. Fascinating, insightful, thought-provoking and I kept sharing facts and insights with everyone who was within earshot of me. Marchant is an award-winning scientific journalist, and as such is well-equipped to tackle the topic. She manages to achieve the almost impossible, scientific rigour that nevertheless is open to new discoveries outside the mainstream medical community. (Full review)

the year without a purchaseThe Year without a Purchase: One Family’s Quest to Stop Shopping and Start Connecting by Scott Dannemiller**: An interesting look at our obsession with consumption, although the preoccupation with bringing Christianity into everything got a bit tiring in the end. It did however also have some truly funny passages that had me laughing so loudly my husband came into check what was going on.

etsy schoolEtsy School: The Complete Etsy Business Startup Guide (Etsy, Etsy for Beginners, Etsy Business, Etsy Startup Guide, Etsy Selling) by Sarah Moore (currently $2.87 on Kindle): An introduction to Etsy and selling on Etsy that covers all the basics, but doesn’t go into any big depth. You could probably put together these resources yourself from various blog posts, but this is a handy collection and the Kindle price is reasonable.

the picture of dorian grayThe Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde (free on Kindle): I listened to the Audible edition, it’s a classic for a reason and I really enjoyed it. I find that a lot of classics are even more enjoyable with a good narrator.

the bonobo and the atheistThe Bonobo and the Atheist by Franz de Waal: This is a fascinating insight into the lives of our primate relatives, and de Waal makes a powerful case for human morality arising from evolution rather than religion. The author isn’t against religion per se, but rather asks how can both believers and non-believers find inspiration outside religion to lead a good life.I listened to it on Audible, and the stories truly came alive through the narration.

the seasonal scrubThe Seasonal Scrub by Alison May (currently $2.84 on Kindle): Alison May is the writer behind Brocante Home. I’m really falling in love with the idea of making a home that makes your heart sing, a home that feels like a warm and safe hug. May’s books are full of ideas and inspirations to do just that.

all the presidents gardensAll the Presidents’ Gardens: Madison’s Cabbages to Kennedy’s Roses; How the White House Grounds Have Grown With America by Marta McDowell**: I love history, and this was a fascinating way to learn more about American history, politics and gardening. Full of beautiful pictures and fascinating facts and bits of trivia, I highly recommend it whether you are into history, politics, gardening or all three.

mind over medicineMind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself by Lissa Rankin: I bought the Audible edition when it was on sale to relisten to it. I adored it just as much the second time around – read my original review here.

the brain fog fixThe Brain Fog Fix: Reclaim Your Focus, Memory, and Joy in Just 3 Weeks by Mike Dow*: An excellent introduction to how the brain works, and how things can go wrong. Brain fog is a common side effect of many chronic illnesses, and Dr Dow gives important advice on how to combat it through many different areas of diet and lifestyle.

the history of the ancient worldThe History of the Ancient World: From the Earliest Accounts to the Fall of Rome by Susan Wise Bauer: I listened to it on Audible, Bauer gives a marvellous oversight of ancient history. Recommended to anyone else interested in history.

knitting without tearsKnitting Without Tears: Basic Techniques and Easy-to-Follow Directions for Garment to Fit All Sizes by Elizabeth Zimmermann: When I started listening to knitting podcasts and reading knitting blocks I quickly discovered Elizabeth Zimmermann, or EZ as she’s often referred to, and the high esteem everyone held her in. I only wish I had picked up her books sooner. Knitting Without Tears is a classic for a reason, EZ is ingenious, smart, and absolutely hilarious. I ended up reading long passages to my husband and he laughed almost as hard as I did. Even if you’re not a knitter I would recommend it (although I would have to warn you, you might end up wanting to pick up your own set of needles).

the aromatherapy gardenThe Aromatherapy Garden: Growing Fragrant Plants for Happiness and Well-Being by Kathi Keville**: A wonderful introduction on how to use fragrant plants in your garden, and how to make the most of them.

the bronte plotThe Brönte Plot by Katherine Reay (currently $2.69 on Kindle)**: I really wanted to love this book, I love the premise, but it never felt better than average and I positively disliked the main character. I’d probably still pick up some of her other books though to see if they might be more my style, since so many people rave about them.

the lady of the riversThe Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory: I listened to the Audible edition recorded by Bianca Amato, and as with Gregory’s other books I find that listening to it only adds to the story. It’s an enjoyable way to learn more of this fascinating time period – although as with all historical fiction, need to take it with a grain of salt. I find myself constantly looking up people or events to learn more.

the dressThe Dress by Kate Kerrigan: I loved Kerrigan’s early work, but I’m finding her more recent novels less and less interesting. I liked the premise of the The Dress, but the execution was only so so.

What have you been reading lately? Check out Modern Mrs Darcy for more quick book reviews.
As always I invite you to find me and connect with me on Goodreads.

*Received an advanced reader’s copy through Blogging for Books.
**Received an advanced reader’s copy through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Link Love (2016-06-11)

Weekly puppy 

Thought-provoking

“Sadly, the dog training industry has become a public health and safety nightmare.  We now know that outdated “alpha”/dominance methods and equipment are known causes of aggression and often lead to dog bites. In the US, the field of dog training is completely unregulated and peppered with practitioners with no education in animal behavior or animal welfare. Anyone can purchase a website with cutting edge features, label themselves a “professional” dog trainer or dog training company and charge you fees.” Love is an Action Word – Positively 

This Is The #1 Ritual You Need to Do Every Day – Barking Up The Wrong Tree

“Don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti-adoption. I have, however, read more than a few stories where couples have adopted oversized families, sometimes over concerns from DCF or other agencies, and have later been found guilty of abuse or neglect. I’ve also read more than a few stories where these oversized families are praised by politicians or given awards, and then turn out to be abusive.” Jonathan and Alison Schumm Abuse Case Raises Questions – Love, Joy, Feminism

Religion

“And so now, every time someone attempts to defend hell to me by telling me that God is our father, and that as our children he sometimes needs to punish us, it makes no sense at all. Actually, more than that, the argument itself tends in the opposite direction of what is intended—I can’t help but come to the conclusion that God the Father as described by these defenders of hell is a terrible father. The described style of parenting—with its focus on obedience and punishment—could not be more distant from my own style of parenting.
While I know his defenders also say he loves his children, and would probably say he listens to them through prayer, I can’t get past their continued defense of God’s inherent need to be worshipped and his demand to be obeyed.” Why the “God Is a Father and Must Punish His Children” Defense Makes No Sense to Me – Love, Joy, Feminism

Equality

“Until the Eighth is repealed, it is legally impossible for women’s rights to be prioritised when they are pregnant. Pregnant people don’t have the right to say no to unwanted medical interventions, as their fetus is legally their equal. It’s very difficult for pregnant people to exercise choices regarding how and where they give birth in this atmosphere.” An Incomplete List of Gendered Injuctices Against All Irish Women – and the people working to change them. Part One. – Consider the Tea Cosy

Why one feminist woman is voting for Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders – Slate

“As an addendum to this – prefacing your creepy, sexually explicit, unsolicited message with ‘I hope you don’t think this is too forward but…’ is not some kind of get out of jail free card that nullifies the grossness of the communication. It merely indicates that you are very aware that the message is inappropriate, but you are just trying to preempt any sort of consequence with a disingenuous social nicety.” Unsolicited – Robot Hugs

Diversity is for white people: The big lie behind a well-intended stuff – Salon

“Anti-choicers wield misattributed and often outright false quotes about Sanger as weapons to shame Black women for exercising their right to choose, and even more nonsensically, to shame them for supporting Planned Parenthood.” How False Narratives of Margaret Sanger Are Being Used to Shame Black Women – Rewire

Beauty & Body Image

“So when I link and highlight and bring on regular contributors, I include lots of races, sizes, abilities, geographic locations, ages, and genders because that’s what I see. This is not diversity – this is reality. It makes me sad to hear that anyone would think I’m doing this to tick boxes, because that means the very narrow vision of humanity presented to us by the entertainment industry is still dominating perception. It has convinced people that if I’m highlighting lots of black women or fat women or older women it has to be some sort of a stunt, that I must have an ulterior motive. But all I want is for you to come here and see a reflection of the true variety our world offers. I want you to come here and be forced to accept that there are lots of women who don’t look a thing like you, and also to see lots of women who look just like you. And that all of them are beautiful and worthy and deserving of respect.” Diversity, Normalcy, and the Real World – Already Pretty

How the beauty industry convinced women to shave their legs – Vox

“What does it mean to be comfortable?  I get it when you are talking about things like shoes, or clothes, or temperatures and the like, but when it comes to my gender it becomes much more difficult for me to put into words well.  I write little bits and blurbs and then quickly erase them as they don’t seem to capture the essence of what I am feeling.
I have tried talking with cisgender folks about it and they really struggle to understand where I am coming from, but I have also written here many times how I feel about my gender, and the inner confusion and discomfort that I feel and occasionally I still get folks that don’t quite understand what it is that I mean.” Comfort? – Unordinary Style

Relationships

“When you tell little white lies, however harmless they may seem, you are telling your partner, Don’t believe me. Don’t believe me. I will lie to you. I will tell you what you want to hear. Don’t believe me.
Is it any wonder, then, that positive stuff bounces off but negative stuff sticks? You are establishing a precedent that communicates to your partner, straight up, do not trust positive things I say. They are empty words. They do not reflect the reality of what I believe. So how, given that, can we really expect our partners to trust it when we give them affirmation?
Little white lies are corrosive. They communicate a very important truth: I will be dishonest to you to save your feelings.” Some thoughts on little white lies – Franklin Veaux

Bullish Life: How I Met My (Soon-to-Be) Husband on OKCupid – Get Bullish

“Also, the self-love and self-confidence and interests you’ve worked so hard to develop are great, but referring to this woman as the “female lead in your story” and writing stuff like:
I’m not interested in being a crutch and I can’t save her from a boring life. If there’s a way for her to grow up and not rely on me to fill up her open schedule, I’m open to sharing a life with her. Although she’s my age (19), I don’t think she’s at the point where I can tell her this without grievously wounding her undeveloped ego, especially given how she admires me.”
…is a real record-scratch for me. I think you are trying to show how thoughtful and empathetic you are being, but what’s coming across is so, very, very, very condescending. She is the lead in her own story, not a character in yours. Y’all went on one date. There is no need to magnanimously proclaim your “openness” to “sharing your life” with her or  overdo it on reassuring us or her about how “wonderful” and “brave” she is or give us your “interesting”, university-educated resume & hobbies vs. her “vague,” “boring”, and “generic”cosmetology dreams.#799: “Weak Female Lead” – Captain Awkward

Inspirational

“Have you ever owned anything? This is why you cannot forgive any of your former lovers. Things like “having chairs” is preventing you from living your best life, and also you should throw away any item of clothing you’re not currently wearing. If it’s not on your skin, you don’t really love it, do you?” How To Get Rid of Clutter and Live Abundantly – The Toast

Whose Permission Are You Looking For? – Danielle Dowling

“Also because we are human, our feelings don’t fit into neat little boxes. We are capable of massive contradictions, which means we’re capable of loving and loathing at the same time. We’re capable of feeling happiness and sadness. We’re capable of feeling insecure and loved. Depending on our histories and experiences, we can find ourselves magnetically drawn to people we know we really shouldn’t love, and we can struggle to conjure any kind of deep attachment to people we know have 100% earned our love and then some.” Why I Don’t Talk About Self-Love – Becoming Who You Are

Chronic Illness & Pain

“I am in pain. Every single day. In every joint in my body. It’s utterly debilitating. I can’t take medication because it doesn’t touch it.
EDS isn’t just about being hypermobile (although daily subluxations are a huge part of it). I have dysfunction of my autonomic nervous system (that thing that regulates all the unconscious processes in our body), I have multiple food sensitivities, and chronic fatigue. I have about an hour a day (on a good day) where I feel like I can function relatively normally.” When It’s More Than ‘Just’ Being Double-Jointed – Natasha Lipman

10 Struggles People With Chronic Illness Will Understand – February Stars

“Allergies are the type of sensitivity people are generally the most familiar with. In allergies, your body has an inappropriate physical reaction to something that doesn’t bother other people at all. In fact, While the sensitivities of a CSS aren’t exactly allergies, they do involve an inappropriate physical reaction.
In a CSS, we become sensitive to things that are processed by the central nervous system, which can include bright lights, loud noises, strong smells, rough textures, and pressure on the body.
It may also involve certain foods or chemicals. Especially in FMS, the body is sensitized to anything unpleasant, i.e., cold, heat, a tickle or an itch.” Central Sensitivity Syndrome – Difficult to Classify

Broken, Not Bitter. An Author’s Life with Repetitive Strain Injuries – The Creative Penn

Everything we experience — pain included, pain especially — is an expression of who we are and who we have been. If you could magically change everything about your personality, you would become someone else and probably trade all your current problems for new ones — even some diseases and consequences of old injuries might well vanish, obsolete manifestations of your old self.
The hope of personal growth is that, if we change enough, we might just change the part of us that is hurting — without necessarily even understanding the connection. Mysterious problems sometimes just go away when we work on ourselves.” Pain Relief from Personal Growth – Pain Science

Health

“Reganold analyzed 40 years of available data and focused on how organic farming impacts several types of sustainability: productivity, impact on the environment, economic viability and social wellbeing.
“If I had to put it in one sentence, organic agriculture has been able to provide jobs, be profitable, benefit the soil and environment and support social interactions between farmers and consumers,” Reganold says. “In some ways, there are practices in organic agriculture that really are ideal blueprints for us to look at feeding the world in the future.”” Why Organic Food Might Be Worth the High Price – TIME

Why I Don’t Use Petroleum Jelly and What I Use Instead – Wellness Mama

“However, plentiful recent research now shows that stretching as we know it — the kind of typical stretching that the average person does at the gym, or even the kind of stretching that most athletes do — is mostly a waste of time for most commonly identified goals. For instance, articles published in recent years, reviewing hundreds of studies, have concluded that there isn’t much evidence that any widely practiced form of stretching prevents injury or muscle soreness23 — arguably the single most common goal of stretching. Adding significantly to the credibility of those reviews, a major year 2000 clinical study of many hundreds of soldiers showed no sign of benefit from and even some risks to stretching.” Quite a Stretch – Pain Science

How to Own Your Gut Bacteria and Fix Leaky Gut Syndrome – Bulletproof Executive

“Most of all she sees cholesterol problems, high blood pressure, and elevated triglycerides, all stark signs of an increased risk of diabetes and heart conditions. “They get what we call metabolic syndrome,” says Sheikholeslami. “They’re overweight. The good cholesterol is low, their triglycerides are high, and that leads to a variety of issues.” Unlike most mobile-clinic visitors, nearly every Care-A-Van patient has health insurance. A full 40%, however, don’t have a primary-care physician. For some, that’s because they’re immigrants who haven’t bothered to navigate the U.S. health care system. Others just can’t break away from the workload. Some patients don’t even get off their mobile devices while being examined.” Is Silicon Valley bad for your health? – Fortune

Foodie

The Tea Lover’s Way to Make the Best Cold Brew Iced Tea – Serious Eats

Is double-dipping a food safety problem or just a nasty habit? – The Conversation

Methods for Softening Brown Sugar – Food52

Recipes

Paleo Apple Slab Pie – Cook It Up Paleo

AIP Paleo Lemon Garlic Chicken Salad – Beyond the Bite

Cranberry Ginger Mocktail (AIP/Paleo) – Sweet Potatoes and Social Change

Almond Butter Cup Cookies Recipe – Paleo Hacks

Slow Roasted Salmon with Herbed Yogurt (AIP, Paleo, low FODMAP, Whole30) – Sweet Treats

Quick and Easy Turmeric Coconut Latte – Biohacker Recipes

Link Love (2016-06-04)

Thought-provoking

15,000 Years Ago, Probably in Asia, the Dog Was Born – NY Times

“Let’s go back to Depp. Far as I can see? If he did abuse her, you bet he felt justified. His mum had just died. Don’t know if you’ve ever been through grief but let me tell you, there is a time after a major loss when nobody can do anything right. Your reactions to everything are completely out of whack and yeah, you can definitely internally justify doing things you shouldn’t. I’ve been hearing elsewhere that he was jealous over Heard having close lesbian friends. If that ain’t a cliché- straight guy can’t handle bi partner’s queer friends/exes/self- I don’t know what is. And let’s not even get started on the guy’s acknowledged history of drug and alcohol abuse. I’m not saying he definitely did it. I will say this: domestic abuse is common. Rich, powerful white men get away with abusing others all the time. Women who report abuse are almost never believed. If you start by believing women when they report abuse, you’ll be right most of the time. Speaking for myself? I believe Amber.” What Do We Expect Abusers to Do? – Consider the Tea Cosy

Why you should discriminate… if you do it well – The Guardian

“Humans are cyclical, we are part of nature. The more we recognise these cycles, the more we can liberate ourselves from the guilt of not being productive enough. As humans, we have our own personal energy cycles; how we feel during days, nights, times of year, hormonal cycles, stressful or joyful periods and stages of life.
We can have times of energy and times of needing more rest. Maybe we are more energetic in the mornings, or more tired when bringing up small children.” Productivity and Pain: A Manifesto for our Humanity – Grace Quantock

[Infographic] Most Popular Dog Breeds and Their Common but Natural Health Problems

Beauty & Body Image

Strong Isn’t Really the New Sexy/Skinny – Thrive with Jen Sinkler

“Some people think that you cannot love yourself and be on a weight loss journey at the same time, because self-love means no change.
This is wrong.
Some people believe that you can’t love yourself unless you are on a weight loss journey, because self love for them means getting as skinny as society wants you to be.
This is also wrong.
For me, self-love and weight loss are two things that can exist independently, but that do work really well together, if you do them right.” Can You Lose Weight and Still Love Yourself – Paleo for Women

Declutter your life: Lessons from people who’ve done it – CNN

“Making peace with my belly is still a work in progress (as self-compassion is anyways, it’s not somewhere we succeed and get to never to struggle again…it’s ebb and flow) but by inviting myself into the frame and sending myself love…sideways…the change is happening.
I know this is what changes those critical moments, that the more I create a new compassionate visual dialogue between myself and my body, that voice gets stronger & sings louder than the critical voice.” From Sideways Critique to Sideways Compassion – Be Your Own Beloved

True Story: I Wear Vintage All Day, Every Day – Yes and Yes

Relationships & Parenting

“These kinds of habits are particularly helpful to me, because the truth is, I can get lost in my own head, and become so focused on crossing something off my to-do list that I neglect to make time to connect with the people who are most important to me. In the tumult of everyday life, I find it all too easy to overlook what really matters.” 5 Quick, Easy Habits that Have Actually Strengthened My Relationships – Gretchen Rubin

#787: Trouble dealing with male grad students who take up all the air – Captain Awkward

“This said, I also don’t think it’s wrong for children to attempt to exert some form of control over their surroundings. Yes, we as parents need to teach our children that they are not the only people in existence, and that they need to respect other people’s needs as well. But part of this has to involve teaching them that their needs matter too. And children have so little actual control that it’s no wonder they sometimes try to gain some in whatever means they can, especially when they are being ignored by their parent-people. I find that one way to prevent “tantrum” behavior is to make it clear that I, as their parent, am listening to them and care about their needs. Because they know that I don’t say “no” unless I have a real reason to, they’re more likely to believe that I have a reason when I do say “no.”” No Greater Joy on “Tantrums”: Deny Your Children’s Lust – Love, Joy, Feminism

Your Guide to Giving the Perfect Gift – Dr NerdLove

Whenever someone claims there are “two kinds of people in the world” – extroverts and introverts, realists and idealists, optimists and pessimists – you can be pretty sure they’re oversimplifying. But here’s one that’s useful nonetheless: in your relationships with other people, you’re almost certainly an overfunctioner or an underfunctioner. Faced with a challenge, you either switch into fixing mode, taking control, attacking the to-do list, and offering supposedly helpful advice; or you pull back, pleading for assistance, hoping others will take responsibility, and zone out. Put that way, it sounds like OFs are the productive (if slightly irritating) ones, while UFs are freeloading losers. But the true situation’s much murkier, and more interesting, than that.” – Do you overfunction or underfunction in a relationship? – The Guardian

Inspirational

Change Your Story to Change Your Life

You don’t owe anyone anything.
You get to choose.
You get to express your love in a way that only you can.
You get to live your life for YOU, and still radiate gratitude for those around you.
You are allowed to renegotiate relationships in order to free yourself from the tight restriction of resentment.
You are allowed to show up as you are – and tolerate other people’s reactions to you.
You get to decide what it means to be good.” You Don’t Owe Anything to Anyone – Mara Glatzel

A Powerful Self-Love Practice: 8 Notes of Appreciation – Tiny Buddha

Recipes

Paleo Pumpkin Spice Muffins – Paleo Hacks

AIP Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings – Sweet Potatoes and Social Change

Paleop Pumpkin Bars (AIP/Vegan) – Cook It Up Paleo

Nightshade-Free Buffalo Chicken – Grazed and Enthused

Decadent Triple Chocolate Flourless Brownies (Paleo, GF, DF) – Real Food Forager

Tuna Bites – Adventures in Partaking

From the Blog

Your Personal Paleo Code by Chris Kresser

Endometriosis – the Little Known Disease Affecting up to 10% of Women

The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins

Link Love (2016-05-28)

Weekly Puppy

5 pictures of a Yorkshire terrier sleeping

Always so sleepy she is

Thought-provoking

“Here’s the deal. I don’t care about bookstores. I care about writers. In fact, readers should care about writers more than bookstores because no writers? Well no real point in bookstores now is there? Because if a bookstore has no inventory, no point to its existence, so I feel we are wise to care about writers first…bookstores next.
Want to support the arts? Pay artists. Want to support books? Pay writers. It is simple. Do this? Bookstores will do just fine. Before we go any further, some education…” PAY THE WRITER – Pirates, Used Bookstores & Why Writers Need to Stand Up for What’s Right – Kristen Lamb

Finland prepares universal basic income experiment – Inhabitat

“Which leads me to a rather humbling thought that can apply to many aspects of our human development and our strive for change: It can take moments to pull apart an industry in favor of what we think is a cheaper or more efficient alternative but, when we realize too late that it was kinda pretty good to start with, it can take years to put it all back again.
So support these guys, they’ve acknowledged the beauty of industry and are doing something pretty noble with their time on earth to bring it back. We should solute them.” The Return of the Small Batch Business – Heddels

10 Fruits and Vegetables That Are Toxic to Dogs – I Heart Dogs

“No, knitting and crochet are not “just for grandmothers.” They never have been. Moreover, many grandmothers (mine included) hated both. Many grandmothers (especially the current crop) have never tried either.
And why, if an activity were particular to grandmothers, would that be an issue? Do you consider old age a contagious disease? Have you got a deep-seated problem with grandmothers? Would you like the number of a good therapist?
If you mean to celebrate the diversity of our community, please do so without insulting my grandma. It won’t be difficult. We are everywhere. We contain multitudes. We are all ages, sizes, races, faiths, nationalities. We are rich and poor. We are liberal and conservative. We are women, we are men.” Franklin Habit’s Friendly Three-Point Message to Journalists Who Seek to Write About Knitting and Crochet – Lion Brand Notebook

Equality

Test – Robot Hugs

“But jumping to the support of “voiceless” Afghan women while telling American feminists to stop complaining about rape on college campuses is telling of an even bigger patriarchal mindset. Disguised in this sentiment is the notion that women deserve protection and support in so far as they remain “voiceless victims” to physically violent crimes. However, the moment they find the ability to speak up and demand equality- real equality that will dismantle all patriarchy, not just the most overtly violent patriarchy- their voices are no longer worth paying attention to.
In other words, if there is no need for a male savior but rather for male accountability, women’s voices are irrelevant.” Dear American misogynists: Afghan women are not oppressed for you – Medium

Basic Income Can Make America Great Again – Medium

““At the moment, transgender is listed as a mental illness or behavioural problem,” Social Democrat health spokesman Flemming Moller Mortensen told Danish news agency Ritzau. “That is incredibly stigmatising and in no way reflects how we see transgender people in Denmark. It should be a neutral diagnosis.” Denmark will be first country to no longer define being transgender as a mental illness – The Independent

No Such Thing As Straight Women – The Real Danger Behind This Study. – Consider the Tea Cosy

Relationships

“When an intense relationship falls apart…
Grief is normal.
Withdrawal from the drug of attraction and passionate love and drama and conflict is normal.
Guilt is normal.
Feeling at loose ends about what to do with all of the time and space she took up in your life is normal.
Anger is normal.
Longing is normal.
Remembering only the good parts when you feel low is normal.
Second-guessing everything is normal.
Intrusive thoughts of her and the relationship are normal.
(Relief, numbness, or whatever emotions you actually feel are also normal – there are a lot of normals!)
All of these things are normal for a while, and then you find a new normal.” #786: Trapped by a doomed love – Captain Awkward

Why a Teen Who Talks Back May Have a Bright Future – NPR

“Then he stopped even trying to use words, which is how so many of these stories go. “But how was I supposed to know that she wasn’t into it? Poor confused me!” says every dude who tries it on with an unwilling or unresponsive acquaintance or friend or date. Sometimes I think dudes freak out about calls for explicit consent, verbal consent, enthusiastic consent, “yes means yes,” style consent because to be honest, they can think back to drunken escapades where they can’t be 100% sure that the other person wanted it because they never fucking bothered to ask (or, worse), and it makes them feel guilty as hell. “If that’s not okay, then that means I may have assaulted someone. That can’t be right!” Since no one likes feeling bad about themselves, they push back on the entire idea instead of, I dunno, listening to women? Or resolving to ask in the future or any measure that would help there be more good, non-coercive sex in the world. “Don’t be silly! I can’t possibly be expected to ask the person who is right in front of me with whom I am planning to do an extremely intimate and vulnerable thing! That would ruin the mood! I’m sure it would ruin something (like my sense of entitlement to sex when I want it)!”
Your friend stopped using words on purpose because he knew what the answer would be. He didn’t ask, “Hey, could the trip out to my house be a date-sort-of-thing?” because he knew that then you wouldn’t come. He didn’t ask before touching you in the cab. He wouldn’t get out of the bed and kept pulling you back even when you got out of it. He stopped short of raping you, thank heaven, but he used every single tactic that rapists use – isolating their victim, alcohol, not taking no for an answer, using size and strength and manipulation and bullying to get their way. What a fucking repulsive human being.” – #823: Another Day, Another Creepy Dude Who Doesn’t Deserve Friends – Captain Awkward

Inspirational

7 Ways to Practice Pleasure this Week – Chris Kresser

“When I boldly proclaim “Shut up, I’m amazing,” (which I have continued to do on a regular basis), I help myself live into that reality. I help myself truly feel amazing, truly feel like I am capable, and truly feel like I can confidently conquer whatever I put my mind to.” Repeat After Me: “Shut up, I’m Amazing!” – Paleo for Women

Mortification is what brings us all together. (Cringey tweets part 2) – The Bloggess

“I didn’t realize how much, I, advocate for all things self-care, was still running myself ragged and spreading myself too thin. I was pretty shocked when I found myself with, in fact, even less time than before. Because I had made commitments before my word of the year chose me.
It’s just not what we choose in each moment, it’s what we choose to layer that soon catches up with us.”My Word for 2015: What it Was & How it Changed my Life – Christy Tending

How to create a regular creative or spiritual practice – The Freedom Experiment

Chronic Illness & Pain

“Female pain might be perceived as constructed or exaggerated”: We saw this from the moment we entered the hospital, as the staff downplayed Rachel’s pain, even plain ignored it. In her essay, Jamison refers back to “The Girl Who Cried Pain,” a study identifying ways gender bias tends to play out in clinical pain management. Women are  “more likely to be treated less aggressively in their initial encounters with the health-care system until they ‘prove that they are as sick as male patients,’” the study concludes—a phenomenon referred to in the medical community as “Yentl Syndrome.” How Doctors Take Women’s Pain Less Seriously – The Atlantic

Coming Out as a Spoonie – Huffington Post

“Often, when I go to the doctor and dutifully recite my list of troubling symptoms, they immediately respond with a reminder that my disease is progressive and has no treatment. That knowledge hasn’t slipped my mind, and (shockingly!) I don’t go to the doctor for that reminder.” 5 Things I Wish My Doctor Knew About Having an Invisible Illness – Ravishly

10 Top Tips for Pacing When You Have Fibromyalgia – February Stars

It’s so easy to look ahead, we often fail to give ourselves credit for how far we’ve come.” The Flawed Fibromyalgia Success Map – ProHealth

10 Indispensables for Those with Chronic Pain and Illness – Psychology Today

Health

Stuck at the Starting Line? Find Your “Gateway” Change – NerdFitness

“And then I became a writer, and soon needed my own advice. Now my butt feels numb half the time. I creak and crackle almost continuously. My neck has a nasty crick three days out of five. My shoulders are hunched forward like they’re being pulled on by teams of oxen. And ominous aches flicker around my body like brush fires.
Chairs are bad news. Sitting a lot is bad news. Why and what can you do? In this article, I’ll review the science and health effects of a sedentary life, but with a focus on the musculoskeletal effects — the aches and pains and stiffness.” Sitting Too Much? The Trouble With Chairs – Pain Science

Help for Stiff, Achy Feet – The Resilient Body

“Putting pressure on the abdomen squeezes internal organs, which can push acid from the stomach into the esophagus. That’s why weight gain can lead to gastroesophageal reflux disease, and tight undergarments can do the same thing, says Jay Kuemmerle, a gastroenterologist at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. “It’s really just plumbing,” he says. “For someone who has reflux disease or is prone to reflux, wearing tight garments may exacerbate those symptoms.” Tight clothes can also worsen the discomforts of irritable bowel syndrome and urinary incontinence, he says. As for the Jessica Alba-endorsed “corset diet,” Kuemmerle doesn’t recommend shapewear for weight loss.” Shapewear comes with health risks if worn for too long – LA Times

Polyphenols: Magic Bullet or Health Hype? – The Paleo Mom

Foodie

Why You Should Eat Offal (And How to Make It Taste Good) – Bulletproof Executive

“I knew she was hooked, because she was picking up on something tea lovers have known all along: The same vocabulary we use for coffee, spirits, and wine—tannins and fruit undertones and terroir—are all just as applicable to tea. In that black walnut-peach skin moment, she understood that tea is something worth paying attention to, not just a hot drink for when you’re under the weather.” The Non-Judgmental Guide to Getting Seriously Into Tea – Serious Eats

A Seismic Shift in How People Eat – The New York Times

Recipes

Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Whole Chicken – Mommypotamus

Honey Roasted Pears w/Sea Salt & Rosemary Whipped Cream – Strictly Delicious

Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Hummus – Autoimmune Paleo

Apple Jelly with Lemon & Lavender – Local Kitchen

Crockpot Curry Chicken Recipe – Paleo Hacks

Simple Salad Hack: Chopped Salad – Clean Mama

From the Blog

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Homemade Green Ice Tea – Perfect Beverage for the Summer

Fabulous Female: Shirin Ebadi

Self-Compassion: Treating Yourself Well When You’re Down

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

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