St. Maarten

When was my last post…July? August? It’s been a while. I’m working on a post explaining my absence, but in the meantime, here are some photos from our Christmas trip to the Caribbean – one of the best vacations of my life!

View from our back patio out onto Simpson Bay. The house was stupid beautiful:


Christmas day sail to Prickly Pear and Anguilla with Aqua Mania:



Captain Parker


Prickly Pear – snorkeling spot



Aqua Mania had the BEST crew!!!! HIGHLY recommend

French side:




my lil’ buccaneer

Scuba diving with Ocean Explorers. Fantastic company!


that’s Leslie. she rocks!



Maho Beach:


KLM 747 about to land


Sunset sail with Passaat  – amazing!




my “no more photos” pose


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Werewolf Bar Mitzvah

Four pounds. GAINED.

That is what you get when you deny me dairy, gluten, alcohol and sugar for 6 weeks.

It’s official. God hates me.

No one seems alarmed by this except me. I see myself investing in a lot of stretchy pants in the future, as I balloon to 300 pounds…

Some changes:

– Switching to the Nuva Ring. I want to get off birth control entirely, but Ginsberg is afraid of too many changes at once and my body literally dissolving in protest. So the Nuva Ring is the next best thing so it won’t put any pressure on my liver to actually do it’s job. This will take effect in t-minus 2 days. I decided to finish my current pack of Minastrin on principle, since I have to pay $100/month to get it. I’m taking every last one of those damn pills. Then, let’s see what fun emotional storms blow my way with the new change!

– No more evening workouts. Zero. I either work out in the morning, or not at all.

– I have to be up every day by 10am at the latest, no matter what time I fall asleep (or even go to sleep)

-My nutritionist wants me to wear orange goggles. What?…I hear you asking. These:

I haven’t ordered them.

She also recommended I read The Woman Code, which I’ve been devouring. Some changes I’ve made after reading this book:

-Threw out all household chemicals and chemical-laden body products. I dropped a benny at Whole Foods getting completely new, chemical-free stuff, and have made HOMEMADE all purpose cleaner from natural ingredients. Yeah. I full blown tipped the crazy scale. But hear me out…I have an endocrine system that is one step away from crumbling into dust. A lot of chemicals like parabens and sodium lauryl sulfates (SLS on the streets) are estrogen mimickers and get all up in your business and jack shit up. Now, a normal human (you) comes into contact with these chemicals and initiates Operation Detox, and you poop out the chemicals and life continues merrily along. A mutant (me) invites all of these chemicals to the party, then everyone is running around trying to make room, then my hormones get mad cause these new visitors are overstaying their welcome, and then my blood says “hey, there’s enough room for everyone if you just hop on into my circulation.” And you know what doesn’t happen? I don’t poop it out. So in trying to help my crippled endocrine system, I’ve eliminated 90% of chemicals from my life. Do I think everyone needs to do this? No. Do I think it’s crucial for me? Absolutely. I’m already looking into recipes to making my own laundry detergent too. Just kidding! I did that last week…

-I’m only doing 20 minute workouts. When you work out for longer than 20 minutes, it causes a spike in your cortisol. This is normal, healthy and expected. But since I’m dealing with a cortisol surplus at the moment, my healing will come from flushing it from my blood stream and avoiding anything that will cause it to spike. So I am now doing walk/jog intervals 3x week, weights 2x week, and resting 2 days. I freaking love it. It was so so so difficult to push my body into workouts every day, but 20 minutes I can do. So my body will actually benefit more from rest than exertion.

-I’m creating a healthy sleep hygiene routine. We eat dinner earlier, and all electronics are off by 11pm, so that blue light doesn’t eff up my melatonin production. I take a bath with lavender, read my kindle, take all my night time supplements, and get my mind into sleep mode. THIS WAS SO HARD at first because R and I are crazy night owls. Our dinner time was regularly between 10-11pm. Like Spain! But I think now that I finally got some B’s in me, sleep is coming easier and easier. It’s CRAZY y’all.

Oh yeah…I’m also drinking apple cider vinegar on the reg. Bleh

These are minor changes, but I swear my insomnia has improved by about 35%. 35%!!!!!!!!! I was sleeping on average about 5-6 hours last week, and it feels like Christmas. By this time next year you might not even be able to tell I’m mutated.

I’ll be back in the office in 5 weeks for more blood work to see where my levels are.

In other news, I turned 34 last week! Happy birthday to me.
R also got me the most amazing birthday cake I’ve ever had. He’s a keeper.

spooky, scary

spooky, scary

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Hangout Fest 2015



Music + beach = risky fun

Thursday night we opted to skip the pre party and eat a gorgeous meal at The Gulf then headed to the Flora-bama Bar where we saw Adam Doleac perform. He was so good.

11050832_10153284761424513_2757750949363164411_nWe piled 18 people into 3 condos and this is what I woke up to every morning:

IMG_4888_2Ahhhh bliss.


Here’s who you should know:

Day one-

  • DJ Windows 98 (with Preservation Hall Jazz Band)
  • J Roddy Walston & The Business

Day two-

    • The Suffers
  • Beats Antique
  • Preservation Hall Jazz Band

Day three-

  • Tove Lo (amazing show!)
  • The Lone Bellow

The best show of the weekend goes to the Zac Brown Band.


this guy owns a bar and this was his very first yelp review upon opening. they are celebrating 10 yrs of business this year. boom!






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Ginsberg Follow Up

“But you don’t look sick.”

It’s one of the most irritating things to say to someone dealing with a chronic illness. I only hear this on my good days – the few good days I have each month. When I am out, have washed my hair and applied makeup, am social and having fun…

<welcome to my dark place…>

What you don’t see are most nights typing this blog at 3am, then finishing and switching to folding laundry and watching Netflix until 5am. I haven’t owned a television since 2011 and was never much of a TV watcher. Over the past 2 years I’ve more than made up for that. And you know what’s scary?? I LOVE it! I love watching TV! I’d rather just sit on the couch with my boyfriend and binge watch Gran Hotel or House of Cards instead of going dancing. Yes, yes I know that sounds lame. But my body has stopped producing dopamine so what do you expect me to do?

Currently my sleep schedule is 5-8am. Why 8am? Who knows. Bodies are weird. Especially mine.

I gave myself a pedicure last night at 2am. Why? Because I knew I’d have plenty of time for it to dry before I went to sleep.

But my world isn’t all glamorous toes. I stay in bed most days, coked out on Xanax and haunted by medication-induced nightmares where I wake up crying. Those nightmares…they stay with me for days. It’s unsettling. Black circles under my eyes, lethargy so intense I don’t bother to shower or get dressed.

You don’t see how I feel like a complete loser every day for not being able to work, and the daily internal battle that comes with being dependent on so many people in order to function.

I realize my need to justify and explain all of this just points back to my own insecurities about where I am, as well as my lack of acceptance of my situation. People are a mirror, yadda yadda yadda…so obviously this is a major trigger point and something I need want to work on. This is my issue, not yours. I get that. I’d really love to get to the place where someone <harmlessly> makes that comment and I just reply with a neutral “thanks”. Because “not looking sick” is always a compliment. But for now, I still feel this nagging need to explain how things really are. So, I’ll work on that. <gentleman’s agreement>

Here’s my update from my follow up with Dr. Ginsberg:

Thyroid – check.
All clear!

Cholesterol – 252 (high is 220)
cholesterol is needed to deliver hormones (fail) and decrease inflammation (double fail)

Trigylcerides – 200 (high is 100)
typically a result of a high-sugar diet.

these numbers are something you would see in an obese person. obese, people! something is seriously fecked. ginsberg suspects that my liver is producing cholesterol in an attempt to fight inflammation, which isn’t working, so it keeps producing more, and it has turned into a viscous cycle (see what i did there?). she didn’t seemed too concerned about it.

Pregnenolone – 12 (normal is 100’s)
this is the “mother hormone” needed to make all other sex hormones. a 12 is what an 80 year old woman would have. 

Homozygous A1298C MTHFR mutation (double mutation)
this little fecker has been silently ruining my life for the past 33 years. it has to do with methylation. what is methylation? i didn’t know either. but google and my doctors told me its an enzyme to help your body convert stuff (think b vitamin krebs cycle). since mine is a double mutation, my body is functioning at less than 60% of yours on a good day. it also means low dopamine and inability to detox. BFD.

B vitamins – critically low
turns out these guys are pretty important. help liver detox, convert food into energy, and have a starring role in the Krebs cycle. dr. Ginsberg kept stressing how bad it was that my body was not producing the b’s. also play a huge role in converting excitatory neurotransmitters into inhibitory, which makes you sleep. mmhmmm….

Stool test
3 days of doing what no human should ever have to do with their own feces revealed I’m not making any pancreatic elastase. that means my food isn’t getting absorbed. pretty much just an in and out agreement we have at the moment.

Short assessment: body is in a hyper-inflammatory state, and shit is shutting down because of it.

Game plan is to load me with b vitamins, digestive enzymes, and pre/probiotics to get my gut absorbing food. Also no alcohol, dairy, gluten or sugar for the next 6 weeks to get inflammation down. I see them after 6 weeks to reassess.

in the past 2 weeks, i’ve attended 3 parties without being able to drink wine. (one of those was a pity party.)


Future game plan will be discussing switching birth control from oral contraceptive to nuva ring, which doesn’t go through the liver. OR….(drum roll)….getting off bc entirely. WHAT?!?!?! *screeeeeeech halt. Yes. Ginsberg thinks the endo developed due to me being estrogen dominant. If she can balance me, then the endo will rest quietly with a “do not disturb” sign on my uterus. But we aren’t even touching that right now, and ultimately I will stay on the bc if that is what I think is best for my body. But I’m open to there being other possibilities.


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Hangout Fest Blues

We got back from Hangout Fest in Gulf Shores on Monday evening. 5 days of the beach, breaking my routine, seeing old friends, eating great food (oops) and discovering new bands.

I’ll write a real blog about the festival once I’ve got my photos and videos uploaded so you can see what it was like.

For now, I’m nursing my endo-hangover. Is that a thing? I think I just made it one.

And since my body is rejecting every morsel of food I consume, I’ve resigned myself to only bone broth. Again. Until my GI gets it shit together. 2 days? 3 days? Who knows.

Not in a good mood.



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Hangout Fest – Gulf Shores

Heard of Hangout? It’s a 3 day music festivus on the beach in Gulf Shores, Alabama. We’re going Thursday. Have a condo right on the beach. Holla!

We leave Wednesday for New Orleans to spend the night with the lovely Lorelei, who lives there right now. She’ll take me to get my Spotted Cat fix – a NOLA must. Then Gulf Shores is just a quick jaunt from there.

I’m scared and excited. What if I can’t do it? What if I yell at everyone because I can only sleep from 9-11am and they are being loud? What if I don’t sleep at all and grudgingly watch the sunrise (hello, last Friday night) because, hormones? What if I’m cranky and develop an aversion to music and life? Sigh. So many things to worry about with stupid endo. What if….I love it and have a blast? (hahahahahahaha. be real.) But, here’s trying, at least.

If all else fails, there’s a beach.

In other developments last week…we decided on a family xmas vacation destination for this year….ST. MAARTEN! House and flights booked, y’all. The house is smack bang on the beach. Like…back door —> sand —-> water —-> mermaids. It’s like a dream. Will be happy for tips on surfing, scuba, sailing, restaurants, bars, hikes…anything and everything! A quick internet search revealed that we can sail for the day to Anguilla and back. Um…done. And there’s a hot surf spot just down the road from our house. I can’t wait to embrace that addictive island life I love so much…

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Fish Tacos with tomatillo salsa – The best damn tacos you will ever eat!

There is no time to waste. I can wax poetic about how I’ve never had fish tacos this tasty, even at the best fish taco restaurants. But I will not! Because the fact is they are, and you must go make them this instant.

fish tacos 2

Adapted from Food and Wine: (naturally)

Fish Tacos with spicy tomatillo salsa
Serves 4

does not contain: dairy, soy, gluten, sugar


4 tomatillos—husked and chopped
handful of cilantro
1-2 small jalapeños, chopped (amount dependent on desired spice)
1/2 lime
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
salt to taste

Dump all of the ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend to a chunky consistency. Set aside.


1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
handful of cilantro
2 minced garlic cloves
1 pound mahi mahi*
corn tortillas (homemade are to DIE for. thanks mexican boyfriend!)
garnishes: chopped avocado, red onion, cucumber

*I’ve had a lot of fish tacos in my day and I’ve found mahi to be the best. It’s got a super meaty texture that adds great density to this dish.

First, combine the first 5 ingredients and let marinate in a dish in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes. I like to do at least 2 hours. Make sure you turn it every now and then so it gets evenly coated.

Heat a grill pan on high heat. Season the fish with salt and place in the pan, turning once, until it is white throughout – 6-8 minutes. Transfer the fish to a plate and shred with a fork, eating a few bites here and there to make sure it’s cooked through (it will be – this is just to fool everyone and get extra bites for yourself).

Serve with warm corn tortillas, heaping bowls of garnish, the tomatillo salsa, extra lime slices, and an ice cold Mexican beer. Unless you’re GF, then you have to go with a margarita. Slip into a food coma of ecstasy, and write me a thank you note tomorrow.

This is a go to recipe for us when we want something quick and tasty, and. it. never. disappoints.

Tip: homemade corn tortillas vs. store bought are as different as night and day. DO NOT BUY THEM AT THE STORE. I cannot emphasize this enough. If you’ve never made your own tortillas, don’t be intimidated – it’s easy! Most supermarkets sell masa in the baking aisle. Bonus if you can find a cheap tortilla press – they are a total time saver. We got ours at Fiesta. Then, you just add water, mix the dough, press into tortillas and heat in a pan. Voila! Taste explosion of happiness.

If you want, you can make a bunch of tortillas at once then pop the leftovers in the fridge for next time!

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