Feeling 22

Wow, where does the time go? I hate saying it because it’s such a cliche, but I can’t believe it’s August. Mostly because that means my birthday has come and gone…and I guess it’s time to talk about it!

The last four days of my birthday week were the best four days I’ve had in awhile. My family drove 10+ hours each way from Colorado to spend 5 days with me and I had so much fun. I honestly would not have wanted to spend my birthday any other way. And yes, I am feeling 22 😉

I don’t want to bore you with long descriptions of what went down (and believe me, I could go on and on) but I’ll just share some highlights of each day through pictures.

Thursday

My last day of work before an extended  (4 day) weekend. I spent the afternoon running errands, treating myself to an amazing green smoothie and getting my place ready for the fam. Once they got here, we went out to eat at Freebirds, a Chipotle-like place.

This stuff is worth the $7 price tag -- local and DELICIOUS.

This stuff is worth the $7 price tag — local and DELICIOUS.

 

Friday

Running some errands in the morning, pool time and then getting ready for the main event: Center of the Universe. I was SO excited for this alt rock music festival. It was freakin’ hot but Fitz and the Tantrums were incredible, 21 Pilots was also pretty cool (AWOLNATION was there too but we left during their set) and the falafel I got for dinner was amazing.

Getting ready for Fitz with my sissy.

Getting ready for Fitz with my sissy.

High-tech wristbands.

High-tech wristbands.

Watching local act Fiawna Forte from afar.

Watching local act Fiawna Forte from afar.

"Street" falafel, cucumber salad, spicy mango sauce, hummus and cabbage slaw for dinner in the hot hot sun.

“Street” falafel, cucumber salad, spicy mango sauce, hummus and cabbage slaw for dinner in the hot hot sun.

Right next to the famous Cain's ballroom.

Right next to the famous Cain’s ballroom.

The main attraction: Fitz and the Tantrums! So amazing live :)

The main attraction: Fitz and the Tantrums! So amazing live 🙂

 

Saturday

Pool time was a big theme for the day, as well as buying some fun apartment decorations for me. We did some tourist-y sightseeing around town at some landmarks. Dinner was at a taco place downtown — I got some tasty fried avocado tacos with black beans and these delicious roasted sweet potatoes. And then some Netflix and games at my apartment with the fam.

Pretty flowers on a tree.

Pretty flowers on a tree.

Largest praying hands in the world on the campus of ORU.

Largest praying hands in the world on the campus of ORU.

The Golden Driller.

The Golden Driller.

The real Center of the Universe, for which the music festival was named. It's a spot in the middle of a bridge where your voice echoes in a really cool way.

The real Center of the Universe, for which the music festival was named. It’s a spot in the middle of a bridge where your voice echoes in a really cool way.

Sunday

The big day! I really wanted to go for a hike, so we hit Turkey Mountain in the morning for a quick hike with some great views of the city. More pool time since it was so hot and then getting ready for dinner at Laffa, a cool Mediterranean place downtown. I finally got the sweet potato fries I’ve been craving for months! And for the birthday dessert, we stopped at Whole Foods (of course) and then celebrated back home with a few presents (think owl-themed stuff mostly) and games…and more pool time.  

Awww, love this sign.

Awww, love this sign.

Love this view.

Love this view.

My "I need to go hiking more" face.

My “I need to go hiking more” face.

Getting ready for the big birthday dinner.

Getting ready for the big birthday dinner.

Sister selfie.

Sister selfie.

This was called "Forbidden Fruit" and it was incredible. It tasted like fruit punch but it wasn't artificial at all and had some kind of hibiscus-infused vodka in it.

This was called “Forbidden Fruit” and it was incredible. It tasted like fruit punch but it wasn’t artificial at all and had some kind of hibiscus-infused vodka in it.

My dinner spread. Laffa flatbread (which I LOVED, even though it wasn't GF), harissa carrots, cabbage slaw, red pepper hummus and TONS of unpictured sweet potato fries stolen from my dad.

My dinner spread. Laffa flatbread (which I LOVED, even though it wasn’t GF), harissa carrots, cabbage slaw, red pepper hummus and TONS of unpictured sweet potato fries stolen from my dad.

Feeling 22!

Feeling 22!

These candles were too cute to throw away!

These candles were too cute to throw away!

Monday

I was dreading this day because it was the last full day my family was here. But it was a blast! We went to the zoo and literally spent 4 or 5 hours wandering around checking out all the animals and exhibits. It was basically the biggest zoo I’ve ever been to! I got to see tons of my favorite animal — flamingos! And then it was off to a sushi place for dinner (I found a new go-to). 

Really colorful fish.

Really colorful fish.

Polka dotted lizard.

Polka dotted lizard.

My favorite <3

My favorite ❤

This giraffe totally devoured those trees.

This giraffe totally devoured those trees.

My kind of place.

My kind of place.

What’s your favorite zoo animal? What do you like doing for your birthday? 

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On Being a Nerd

I have a confession to make…I’m a nerd. And honestly, I don’t care who knows.

Since when is it ‘uncool’ to be passionate about something? Why do we have to feign disinterest in certain topics just because it’ll make us fit in if we do? Why can’t we all embrace our ‘nerdy’ sides?

I'm so nerdy I wear these huge glasses for real (and love them)!

I’m so nerdy I wear these huge glasses for real (and love them)!

I truly believe everyone is a nerd about something. For me, there are a couple things I geek out about. One is weather. I plan on going back to school as soon as possible (maybe this fall?) to get my meteorology certificate. I want to forecast the weather on TV someday, I get excited about storms and I always know what the temperature’s going to be each day. I even dragged my family to a weather museum when we were on spring break in Houston!

I love being up on the wall!

I love being up on the wall!

Another thing I completely love is nutrition. I could research it all day and read every article there is. I’m totally passionate about eating healthy, and encouraging others to do the same. I love trying out new ingredients in my own cooking, using superfoods to boost nutrient density and of course, browsing grocery store aisles and being an avid label reader.

No sugar-filled juices for this girl. I only go for the fresh-pressed, fruit and veggie-packed varieties!

No sugar-filled juices for this girl. I only go for the fresh-pressed, fruit and veggie-packed varieties!

What are you a ‘nerd’ about? 

Currently: June

Haven’t done one of these in awhile but I thought I’d give a little insight into my life at the moment!

Current Book: Wintergirls. It’s a fictional book about eating disorders, but it feels so real to me. Too real. I devoured the book on my tablet in one day. I feel like I have to read it again just to totally pick up everything that’s going on. Definitely a chilling and potentially triggering read, but really good.

Current Music: I love The Black Keys’ new album and also Foster the People’s new one. “Best Friend” is a really fun pump-up song I plan on adding to my running playlist soon!

Current Guilty Pleasure: The new ALDO purse I bought on Memorial Day. Okay, it was on sale, but it’s still a splurge for this girl.

Current Nail Color: Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear in Hot Tamale.

Seen here pictured with my first Whole Foods coffee bar iced almond milk latte.

Seen here pictured with my first Whole Foods coffee bar iced almond milk latte.

Current Needs: More money (sigh), new glasses (I really want to order some totally hipster ones), face time with my family, a bang trim.

Current Foods: Homemade sweet potato hash, romaine hearts + spicy mustard, Sunwarrior protein chia pudding, flax crackers, berries.

Give me allllllll the produce.

Give me allllllll the produce.

Current Drink: ice cold water. It’s been HOT here. Not complaining!

Current Triumphs: trying to be smart with my money (I get paid every other Friday, and at the beginning of the month it’s hard to stretch the paycheck after paying for rent), getting back into running after hurting my Achilles’ tendon. I actually just started running a few weeks ago, and for now it’s more a mix of walking and running, but I really love it. Like a lot more than I thought I would. It helps that I have a gorgeous riverside trail just across the street from my apartment.

Current Bane of Existence: Humidity. I’m a total baby when it comes to this. I was born in Arizona and grew up in Colorado, aka both basically deserts. I know Oklahoma is nothing compared to Texas/Florida/etc. for humidity, but I just can’t take it. Give me dry heat any day!

Sweaty selfies are my favorite.

Sweaty selfies are my favorite.

Current Indulgence: Recent mini shopping trips on my days off. I am giving myself a clothing budget each month, but of course it’s a new month now — I can totally buy a few new things again 😉

Current Blessing: Being able to start working a different position at work. I’m still an associate producer, but I’ve been producing the midday newscast a couple of days per week and while it’s totally scary, it’s also fun learning how to do. And it beats the assignment desk any day! I could bitch go on and on about how much I hate the fact that the station I work at hasn’t hired a PT desk person yet so I can stop filling in for a position I wasn’t hired for.

Current Outfit: My new jumpsuit. I feel totally fierce in it and now I want more jumpsuits!

I tried to get creative with my outfit shot. Blame it on being basically alone at work for 8 hours.

I tried to get creative with my outfit shot. Blame it on being basically alone at work for 8 hours on a Saturday morning.

Current Excitement: My birthday in less than 2 months! Any guesses as to how old I’ll be turning? Hint: think an overplayed Taylor Swift song!

Current Link: 35 Things Only People Who Work Weird Hours Will Understand. Buzzfeed just gets me. These are some of the annoyances I have with having a weird schedule. It’s not all bad but let’s just say it’s a good thing I’m not into the whole nightlife scene anyway. Basically my days consist of work, sleep, working out, laying by the pool and eating. Such is life!

What are some of your ‘currentlies’? 

 

The Easiest Chickpea ‘Tuna’ Salad Ever

Do you ever get cravings for something that you’ve probably never eaten before? No? Let me explain…

Sometimes I see a recipe on a blog and it looks so good that I want it right there and then. Understandable, right? But some cravings are a little more complicated. Like my craving for tuna salad.

See, I’m pretty sure I’ve never actually eaten tuna salad. Despite liking fish growing up, the idea of tuna salad grossed me out. When people would eat it, I would turn up my nose at the smell. My high school cafeteria served Subway sandwiches and without fail, the tuna salad sub would always be the lone remainder at the end of the lunch period. I think it’s one of those comfort foods for some people, and I’ve never understood why.

But at the same time, I crave the idea of tuna salad. I haven’t eaten fish in years and I’ve always hated mayo–even vegenaise is a no-no for me. But I love that ocean-y taste and creamy texture that tuna salad provides.

I decided to veganize and simplify the classic tuna salad. I know there are plenty of vegan recipes for it out there, but none of them appealed to me. Most of them included vegenaise, or pickle relish, or some other random ingredient that I don’t have and I don’t want to buy for one recipe. So I went for things I already had in my pantry and fridge. Chances are you might have most of these things too! So let’s make tuna salad…vegan & healthy style!

2014-05-09 17.28.39

No-Mayo Chickpea Tuna Salad (vegan, gluten free, grain free)

1 can no-salt chickpeas, rinsed and drained

2-3 large celery stalks, chopped

1 tbsp kelp granules (can use dulse flakes or nori)

1 tsp nutritional yeast

lemon juice, to taste

sea salt, to taste

onion powder, to taste

In a large bowl, mash chickpeas to your desired texture. Add in celery, spices, kelp and lemon juice. Stir until combined. Serve with flax crackers, on toast or on top of greens. Makes ~2 cups. 

Do you ever crave weird foods? 

Getting Healthy: Part 2

The second in a series of posts about my health issues after eating disorder recovery. You can read the introductory post here

My doctor’s appointment and blood tests were over a month ago, and I finally received the results in the mail. I was anxiously awaiting them, hoping they’d be the key in helping me figure out why my body isn’t working the way it should.

I shouldn’t have put all my hope in the results, though. They came back completely clean, all within normal ranges. On the one hand, this made me happy, because who doesn’t want to have a healthy, functioning body? Everything I was tested for (which was a LOT, they took a lot of blood from me) checked out, including the thyroid test (TSH), which was one thing I was suspecting to be an issue.

Now I’m frustrated and confused. I got a voicemail a week or so ago from my doctor’s office saying I was referred to an endocrinologist. Of course, the timing isn’t great, since I’m moving out of state in two weeks. So if I want to figure this out (and of course I do), I have to find a new doctor once I move and possibly get tested again or get in to see an endocrinologist and have to explain my history. Also the fact that I may have to see an endocrinologist scares me, because that means it’s really a hormonal issue. It’s not something I can cover up anymore and pretend that it’s no big deal. This May will mark one full year without a period. I know some women recovering from an eating disorder go even longer without one, but the fact that I’ve never had one on my own is also a red flag.

I’m not sure where to go from here, and to be perfectly honest, figuring this out isn’t one of my top priorities at the moment. I’m a few weeks away from starting my first full time job, on top of moving to a new place and settling in there and finding a routine and figuring out everything on my own. I’m not planning on finding a doctor as soon as I get there, so this may be put on the back burner for a little while. I know that may not be the best thing for me, but it is what it is. Right now, I have to prioritize my new job and new life over my health.

Hopefully I can provide more updates in the next couple of months, but for now, I’m going to be focusing on moving and starting a job.

Have you ever prioritized something else over your health?

Getting Healthy: Part 1

This is one of those awkward, girl-talk type posts so guy readers, feel free to skip this one!

I think making resolutions for myself this year was a good thing. I’ve actually been motivated to tackle most of them, and so far, I’ve been pretty successful. I’ve been applying to at least 3 jobs per week most weeks, I’ve been drinking plenty of water every day and been feeling better for it AND I’ve been eating mostly raw since the beginning of this month.

I’m finally getting around to addressing my fourth resolution on the list…taking control of my health. As I mentioned in this post from a few months ago, I went off hormonal BC in May of 2013. I was getting more headaches than usual and having some skin and digestive issues, so I decided to stop taking the pill after 3 years of being on it. My doctor was fine with me going off BC, and told me to come back in to see her if in 6 months I hadn’t had a period.

Now it’s been 9 months without a period. While it’s nice not to have to worry about all that not-so-fun girl stuff, it’s not healthy to go that long without a period. I was worried, so I made an appointment to check in with my doctor.

My appointment was this past Friday. I honestly wasn’t sure what I was in for, but I knew I needed to face this issue head-on. The nurse and my doctor both seemed very surprised that I hadn’t had a period in that long, or even any spotting. My doctor ran down some of the potential underlying issues with me, one of them being my weight. She knows a little bit of my ED history, but not all of it so I had to explain some of the background behind it. Basically, she said my weight’s been stable since she’s been my doctor for the past 2 years but she was a little concerned that it might be too low for me.

My BMI is currently just below the healthy range, and I’m basically at my highest weight ever. I explained this to her, and said that even before my ED issues, I was a good 10 pounds lighter than I am now. I understand that for a lot of people, being at a weight that’s too low for them could be a reason why they can’t get their period naturally, but I don’t think that’s the case for me. I’ve been slightly underweight my entire life, always petite and short for my age, and I just don’t think that’s my issue.

I’m going in sometime this week or next to get fasted blood work done and I’m pretty anxious for the results. I didn’t really leave the appointment with any conclusive answers, but I’m hoping something comes out of the blood work. My doctor mentioned that I may be referred to an endocrinologist depending on the results, so I’m really concerned and anxious and ready for some concrete answers.

This whole thing is really scary for me, but I know I needed to be more proactive and take control of my health. I don’t want my ED to dictate the rest of my life, so I need to figure out what’s going wrong in my body and do what it takes to fix it.

I know a lot of women blow off not getting their period because they don’t care about having children or whatever. Honestly, I don’t think I want to ever be pregnant or have biological children (I’m leaning towards adoption) but not getting your period ISN’T healthy. It can lead to cancer, among other health issues. That’s why I’m bringing light to this issue–because it’s so important for women and girls out there to realize that they need to take control of their health so they can lead happy, healthy lives. I know it’s hard to admit you need support and advice, but it’s so worth it to be healthy.

Has there ever been a health issue in your life that you needed to face?

Am I Healthy?

Just a warning in advance, this post talks a lot about birth control and all that fun girl stuff, so any guy readers out there–you can skip this one! I know this is just what you want to read the day before Thanksgiving, but I thought it was an important topic that a lot of women out there can relate to!

I’m not sure I’ve ever shared my full birth control story on here but I’ll just give you all a quick rundown so you have a little background as to where I’m coming from. After I was diagnosed with anorexia in the spring of 2009, I started seeing a dietitian and therapist. I stopped seeing the dietitian after a few months but I kept going to therapy appointment regularly until I graduated from high school in May 2010. One thing that both my doctor and therapist recommended a few months into recovery was that I take birth control to jump start my periods. Before this point, I had NEVER had my period before, ever. I was 17 at the time this was suggested to me, and I always felt so awkward at school when girls would talk about their ‘time of the month’ because I had literally never had one, and I was almost out of high school! But at the same time, I was scared out of my mind to take BC. I had heard all the horror stories, mostly of weight gain, and in the early stages of ED recovery, weight gain was the last thing on my mind. So I put off taking it for various reasons until January of 2010. My first period felt like a blessing and a curse–I knew that meant that I was at least capable of having one, but the potential side effects still scared me.

After high school graduation, and early on in my BC experience.

After high school graduation, and early on in my BC experience.

Fast forward 3 years. I had been on low dose BC since early 2010 without many side effects. I liked that it regulated my period and how I always knew exactly when it was coming. BC also kept my moderate acne at bay for the most part, which I also loved. But earlier this year, I started getting headaches more frequently with my period, and my acne was coming back more often. I started toying with the idea of getting off BC, at least for a few months, to see if my body could get it back on its own. Part of me was definitely hoping that I wouldn’t get it back, and that would help me justify to myself that I was still too thin.

Well, I got my wish. I got off BC in May of this year, and as of now (late November) I still haven’t gotten my period back. It’s been a full six months since I’ve had one, and while I love not having to deal with all that crap, I’m also worried. My doctor said to come back and see her if in six months I hadn’t had a period. Back in May, I was so sure that wouldn’t happen. But it did.

I’m kind of scared to go back to the doctor, because I really don’t want to be put back on BC. I’m not so sure how I feel about hormones being pumped into my body, and even though the kind I was using was pretty symptom-free, it did create some problems for me a few years after I started taking it. A lot of people say BC is also a crutch–it doesn’t solve the underlying issue of amenorrhea.

I won’t lie–missing my period kind of helps me validate that I might not be at my healthiest weight. I struggle with this a lot, because even though I haven’t weighed myself since this summer, I’m pretty sure I’m at my highest weight ever. I may still be technically underweight or on the low end of the healthy spectrum, but I don’t have the most positive body image still and having a more physical manifestation of my ED struggles helps me cope with it.

Not going to lie, I don't feel comfortable with how my body looks in this photo.

Not going to lie, I don’t feel comfortable with how my body looks in this photo.

The question is, am I healthy? I’ve been worried that my lack of a period might be due to a more serious issue, like PCOS (it is fairly common in women who aren’t overweight), but I do know that missing a period for even a few months isn’t healthy. As much as I’ve enjoyed spending half of this year without one, I know I need to be more proactive and take control of my health. So I plan on going back to my doctor in December or January to check in on this and hopefully get to the bottom of this issue.

I promise I’ll be back after Thanksgiving to share some less awkward stuff (like fun recipes, etc.) but I would appreciate any and all advice you guys have about this topic!

Have you ever had a similar experience?