Discussing my diagnoses over the past 5+ years and where I am today
Let me start by stating that, by no means, do I have all the answers or the credentials to diagnose or recommend treatment for your specific illnesses or health issues. Unfortunately, I cannot provide you with the specific answer you may be looking for. However, what I can do and what I am doing in this post, is sharing with you my story. If there is a small piece that resonates with you and encourages you to seek professional help or try something different, than I am more than willing to share in order to help you along your way.
For those who have been following me for awhile, you know I have struggled with a plethora of health issues over the past 5+ years. Digestive issues (bloat, constipation, etc), appendectomy, hernia removal, SIBO (twice), shingles, food poisoning, a parasite, a pretty serious concussion, and, now, mercury poisoning… just to give you an idea. Hell, it was why I started this account in the first place. So fed up with having to explain my thousand different food intolerances to restaurants, I began cooking on my own. Now, here we are. It has been one hell of an emotional roller coaster and there have been plenty of days where the frustration and discomfort wins and I simply break down and cry.
A rundown of my favorite finds
Expo West – the land of free food samples, overeating, socializing, and high anxiety levels. For those of you who don’t know, “Expo West” is the Natural Products Expo that is held twice a year: once in the West (Anaheim, CA) and once in the East (Baltimore, MD). It is the world’s largest natural, organic and healthy products event and pulls over 85,000 attendees from around the world. These four days are jam-packed as attendees try to see as many booths as possible in the extremely overcrowded trade show floors. While I’ve now been to Expo East twice, this was my first West experience. Sweet Jesus, this thing is massive. Three years ago, I vividly remember constantly refreshing my IG feed to stay up-to-date with all of the posts that food bloggers were sharing from their trip and feeling extreme jealousy that I wasn’t able to be there due to my current job. As my first self-employed March rolled around, I knew it was the year I’d finally get my butt to California.
A thank you to the man who hit me with his car.
On Friday evening, March 2 2018, I was hit by a car while crossing the street. I know, I just dropped a bomb on ya. But, keep reading, because this post is heading in an unexpected direction. Now, one year later, I’m living a very different life and doing photoshoots in the middle of the street. Who woulda thought…
It was the first day of a big snowstorm and I was heading to an after-work yoga class before meeting up with a girlfriend for dinner. As a morning workout person, exercising after work was something I rarely did, especially on a Friday. I’d venture to say this was probably the first time I tasked myself with this activity. Plus, the yoga class was in Brooklyn, somewhere I rarely ever ventured for workouts. I got off the subway, threw on my massive fur lined hood to my jacket, and got walking to the studio. As I approached the final block, with the studio just across the street, I waited for the pedestrian sign to signal “walk”, looked both ways, and began crossing the street. One second I was halfway through the crossing path and the next I was on the ground looking up at a car’s head beams having no idea how I got there. While I was crossing the street, a car was driving down the parallel street and instead of continuing to go straight through his green light, he turned left and, without seeing me thanks to the snow, poor lighting, and the fact that I was in all black, didn’t stop until he struck my body. Fortunately for me, what ended up really helping my situation was that I had my headphones in and my hood on, unaware that the car had turned prior to hitting me. Personally, I believe if I hadn’t had these “blockers” of sorts, I would’ve turned towards the noise of the car and either been hit facing the car or tightened my body in preparation for the blow. Since I was unaware of the car approaching the light and then turning, it hit the side of my body while I was completely relaxed. Even though I flew onto the hood of the car and the onto the ground, my physical body was left pretty unharmed besides a few bruises here and there. My brain, however, was not as fortunate. Hitting my head on either side on both the car and the ground, I was left with a concussion.
A VLOG of me figuring out what the heck is in my products and replenishing my cabinets
Although I consider myself a minimalist when it comes to all things beauty – a world I will never quite understand or care for – I somehow have managed to collect a large (in my opinion) pile of products. As I am continuing to not only declutter my life, but also focus on using nontoxic products with this heavy metals cleanse I am going through, my drawers of product became the next obvious step to purge and replenish. Unfortunately, the world of non-toxic, or “clean” if you will, beauty is not as straight forward as I had hoped. For someone who has minimal knowledge on this topic to begin with (hell, I just started washing my face a few years ago), I was overwhelmed as hell. After taking my feelings to Instagram stories (duh), it was obvious that a lot of you felt lost as well. Without clear guidelines of labels for brands to follow, and with a ton of companies using this as a marketing scheme, it is hard to know what exactly we should be avoiding.
Why I stopped obsessing over miles and learned to listen to & love my body
Growing up, I never thought twice about working out. That’s not because I wasn’t doing it (hell, I was exercising basically every day), but because I was constantly playing sports and getting in some form of “work out” on the field. Playing soccer and lacrosse my entire childhood, my nights after school and weekends were filled with about as many practices and games as a schedule could possibly permit. Fast forward to college, where I went to play Division 1 lacrosse: one of the best decisions I’ve ever made and something that has shaped my character today, but a signed contract to exert some type of physical activity just about every day for the next four years. Again, “working out” was never something I thought about. We had practice almost every day, games twice a week (while in season), and lifts and conditioning sessions on top of all of that. Was I consistently working out? Duh. I was in the best physical shape of my life. However, these practices and games provided me with something that I never realized until after graduation: there was no contemplation about what I should do for exercise, I just had to show up. I thoroughly enjoyed the sports I played, and therefore it never felt laborious or as if I was doing it to stay in shape.
Recapping the Best Weekend of my Life
As Joe and I approach our 3 month wedding anniversary, I am still in complete awe of what was the most incredible weekend of our lives. After almost a year of planning, it lived up to every expectation we had and more. I am so eternally grateful to both of our families for making it possible, our friends who left it all on the dance floor, and the team that put it all together. Most importantly, I am grateful that I found my person at the ripe age of 16 who I proclaimed I was going to marry. For the last 11 years, Joe has been my support system, my best friend, my number one cheerleader, my source of laughter, and the person who continuously challenges me. I cannot wait to see what the remaining chapters of our story are filled with as we continue to grow together.
Continue Reading Continue reading “Top Ten Tips for the Bride”
*Please note, I am by no means a professional telling you how to handle or treat your anxiety. I am just a regular person like you who is sharing my journey and some tips on what has helped me along the way*
Hello everyone! If you follow me on Instagram (and if not, you should!), you know that I have been seeing a therapist over the past few months to help me with my anxiety; something I am very open about and love discussing. Reflecting on my childhood, it seems anxiety has always been something I’ve felt, just never knew how to properly label. The anxiousness and nervousness I would feel before exams or games seemed normal enough, but now realizing that it stemmed from the consistent fear of not performing or living up to expectations, whether set by others or myself, instead of typical “pre-game butterflies”, makes it clear to me that anxiety has always played a role in my life. The queasiness and overwhelming feeling that I used to express coming over me whenever discussing the idea of time never ending (a very odd conversation for a young kid to have, but I weirdly remember having it multiple times) is the first clear memory I have of my anxiety. Unable to describe what I was actually feeling, I now know was anxiety. As my life evolved, my anxiety did as well. I began to fear the unknown, become anxious over succeeding, struggle with giving up control, and consistently seek perfection. Heck, I’ve even tried to “perfect” my anxiety. Let me tell ya, it’s not possible!
Continue Reading Continue reading “My Journey with Anxiety and Therapy”
And all of the Other Questions Regarding IIN
Two years ago, I found myself in a rut. From the outside, everything looked perfect. I had the job many people dreamed of getting, the perfect boyfriend, a beautiful apartment, a thriving social life, and a healthy family. However, on the inside, I felt something was lacking. I thought long and hard about what was causing me to feel this way and came to this conclusion: I was not learning the information that I was curious about and I was thirsty for more. Have you ever noticed that, beginning in childhood, our lives are blocked into 4 year windows? Middle school (at least where I went), high school, college, potentially grad school. Then, all of a sudden, you graduate and it is just endless amount of years of “life”. Not to sound like a downer by any means, life is freaking amazing. But as someone who has always thrived with structure, when these first four years of “life” came to a close I found myself asking, “what’s next?”.
To help take the stress out of gift giving
Hello everyone. Happy holidays! There are few things I love more than these upcoming months filled with celebration and joy. Between the delicious meals, longstanding traditions, and opportunity to spend time with your loved ones, it is the perfect combination.
A Video Blog Telling my Story
Hello everyone! For those of you that have been following for awhile, or for those of you who are new to Freckled Foodie, I hope you all enjoy my video blog: My Journey! I have received a lot of DMs lately asking what I studied in college, what I specifically did in the corporate world, how I decided to transition into this world, and what it is like to work for myself. While I could talk about this for hours (seriously, somebody give me a mic), I tried to keep it as concise as possible… while still coming in at almost an hour. Whoops! This video obviously does not contain everything, but it focuses on a lot of topics that people have asked me about. I hope this story and advice resonates with you and gives you more insight into my journey of how I’ve gotten to where I am, but remember, I cannot make your life decisions for you. Common questions I receive such as “how do I know when it is time to leave my job” or “how much should I save before quitting” are unfortunately not ones I can answer for you. All I can do is provide you with my story and hope that it in some way helps shine light on your own. I hope you enjoy!