The great food philanderer: Finding love in the produce section

Some of the best rewards in life come after you’ve had to muddle through and conquer something, according to a fortune cookie message somewhere in aisle six of your local grocery store. This can be said about relationships, too.

It’s been a strained journey, but Healthy Food and I have grown a lot closer in recent years. It’s become my one and only – at least, that’s how I know it needs to be.

I’ll be honest with you. I’ve cheated various times with bits of Cheese (not to be confused with chèvre, goat cheese, which is acceptable), refined Sugar, and that great philanderer of all, Gluten (it also goes by other names, like Wheat, Barley, etc., the trickster. You’ve probably met it on the street corner, at a hotdog stand).

Let me start at the beginning, when Healthy Food and I first met. I’d always heard about it growing up. We even met on occasion, although I had a skewed view of it. From an early age, I associated it with those floozies, Whole Wheat, Whole Grains and Dairy. I always knew Sugar was not to be trusted, but I still kept it close to my side, like one of those good-for-nothing high school friends you hung out with because you didn’t have any better options, besides your inanimate stuffed animals.

Up until a few years ago, I didn’t realize what a poisonous, abusive relationship I had been in with Wheat. I stopped seeing it in November of 2011, vowing never to grant it admittance into my home or stomach again. I pined for it. I craved it. I NEEDED it. It was my addiction, or one of them. I recalled all the times I’d savored bread, muffins, cakes, coffeecakes, strudels, donuts, cookies, biscuits, sauces, gravies, crackers, breading and the like. They were all such good memories, though they were edged in poison, spreading through my body like an infection.

It wasn’t long after I broke up with Wheat that I had to break up with another love of mine, Dairy. I remember saying to myself months prior to dumping it, “Getting rid of Wheat is hard enough, but I’d die without Dairy. Thank goodness, I still have that.” Two breakups in less than five months was heart wrenching, and everything that had once seemed familiar to my taste buds was gone. I’d practically survived being a poor college student by eating cheap crackers, cereal and milk for every meal.

Like most breakups, I cried a lot, didn’t want to eat (because I didn’t know what I could eat) and felt like the world was out to get me. I couldn’t go anywhere without being constantly reminded of them. I went to the grocery store, and in every aisle, there they were. I went out to eat, and contained in every menu item, there they were. I’d go home or visit friends, and there they were, sitting on the counter or dinner table taunting me, reminding me of what I’d given up. My friends and family kept forgetting that I’d broken up with Wheat and Dairy, and when I’d have to remind them, they’d get a little embarrassed. They still had seemingly pleasant relationships with them, but I knew the ugly sides of Wheat and Dairy better than most. I’d seen them charm and ruin me.

I was in love, but I was hurt, time and time again. My body couldn’t take it. I was inflamed by the memory of its touch. (Literally. Gluten causes inflammation.)

Though I was still a bit hesitant, due to the skewed connotation of Healthy Food I’d had in the past, associating it with Wheat, Dairy and all, I decided to try to get to know it better. We went out on quite a few coffee dates. (“Straight-up black, please.”) It turns out that Healthy wasn’t related to those skanks very closely at all. Yeah, cousins, but I couldn’t put that past it. You can’t choose who you’re related to, after all.

Though we continue to have some misunderstandings, every week, we’re growing closer. We’re working through our problems. We’re learning more about each other as time goes on, and I can’t live without it. I wish I’d met Healthy years ago.

To end this confessional, I would like to let everyone know how completely sorry I am for my past food philandering. I didn’t know any better, most of the time, and if I could take it all back, I would. Turning from one’s old ways is difficult, but I now understand the importance of steering away from that SAD (standard American diet) house of sin.

I can’t forget to add that Supplements, its best friend, is now one of my closest friends, as well. My life would be miserable without them.

Excuse the corniness (another thing I shouldn’t eat) of this all. Earlier this week, one of my friends popped into my office to pay me a visit. We somehow got on the topic of how I turned down chocolate lasagna the week before, and how it wasn’t a counting-calories problem, but a food-allergy issue. As I spoke of how I feel when I have cheated in the past, we realized that it sounded like one of the messiest relationships possible – one even a dime novel or a soap opera would find extreme. He then encouraged me to write a column about my dysfunctional relationship to food, so here we sit, reading about my food philandering.



I’m not trying to be a poop, but feel free to follow my music

I’m not trying to be a poop, but feel free to follow my music

I’m not trying to be a dunce cap, but I made a Facebook Page tonight to share my music. Believe me. I know I’m not the next *insert name of popular singer or piano player*, but if you enjoy my singing covers, piano arrangements and my upcoming compositions, please follow me by Liking my new Facebook Page.

Thanks for your support!


An ode to jeggings: Why jeggings are one of the best inventions of the 21st century

Here is a list of why jeggings are one of my favorite clothing items.

  1. You can go from work to bed seamlessly (pun alert) because they’re just that comfortable.
  2. It’s like wearing pajamas to work, but not.
  3. Have I mentioned they’re great to wear to work?
  4. They hide that little stomach paunch that seems impossible to lose or firm up.
  5. You can spontaneously break out into yoga whenever you like.
  6. You can buy them at Wal-Mart for less than $15.
  7. They’re publicly acceptable, as long as you’re wearing a long enough shirt.
  8. If your pen or sandwich (five second rule) falls to the ground, you can grab it and not have to yank your pants up every two seconds.
  9. They can be pulled up past your muffin-topping zone.
  10. You could gain or lose five pounds, and they’d still fit.
  11. They look fantastic with boots or heels.
  12. No belt is required (I hate belts for pants. Waist belts are another matter).
  13. Normal, human movement is celebrated.
  14. You can do high kicks without ripping them.
  15. You can sit cross-legged, and it’s not an issue.
  16. If you need to hold something and your hands and arms are already full, you can use your stretchy waistband as an extra pair of arms.
  17. They come in a variety of colors and patterns.
  18. Some guys seem to like the appearance of them, I guess.
  19. Comfort is actually attainable without wearing leggings or sweatpants in public.
  20. They’re fantastic.

A vision in ink: Why I will never be able to get a tattoo

Tattoos are supposed to say something about your personality. Whether you’re a middle-aged mom with some flower tats (perhaps a dahlia to spice things up) placed ever-so-subtly on your lower calf or someone who wears Ray-Bans, a fedora and sleeves of color on your arms, you are telling others about yourself through your image of ink.

I suppose I could be someone who needs everyone to know how seriously I take music by getting a G clef tat or notes running across my shoulders for their dear life, getting squashed every time I lie down. (Then I could interject some horrendously bad line, like “Laying dohs notes down to rest,” before going to sleep every night.)

Although they may not admit it, everyone about to get a tattoo places their inky idea on an internal meter of coolness (a coolometer, in fact). They try to figure out where their potential tattoo will land in the public’s trendmosphere (yep, I just said that). Their tat must appeal to a broader audience than just themselves.

The following are a few thought processes many, I’m sure, go through when deciding on what they’ll cover their skin with, besides clothing or body wash.

Middle-aged women who choose BA flowers:

“Tattoos are pretty neat. I should get one of a daisy because I love daisies, and my son picked me a bouquet of daisies when he was four years old. It would be super cute.”

People who love death and whose favorite colors are soul black, blood red, ghoulish purple and neon, toxic green:

“This bad thing happened to me one time, and it made me mad, so time for skulls. I love skulls. They’re dark and remind me of death, just like my heavy metal band. I want to show people I’m not happy, and that there’s a side to me they never realized was there.”

Quirky weirdos who just want to be as weird as they possibly can to get attention:

“If I get a tattoo of a seal clapping its hands while standing on an armchair and wearing glasses and an ascot, will that be off-the-wall enough to be cool? No one will have a tattoo like miiiiiiine…”

Those who are devastated often and enjoy sharing sad quotes:

“He trampled on my heart and tore it to pieces. I want him to realize how hurt I am by permanently displaying my heartbreak. I think I’ll write ‘All you ever did was make me cry. Maybe one day you will realize that you had a good girl in your life’ on my shoulder. Then I’ll post a picture of it on Facebook. I hope he sees it and realizes what a horrible person he is.”

The not-so-loyal-yet-ready-to-pretend-they-are-because-they’re-too-stupid-to-realize-they-aren’t type:

“Since my girlfriend has trust issues, I’ll tattoo her name on my bicep. Tats are forever, which is a great comparison, thing of our relationship, right now, anyway.”

My own issues:

I’ve thought about getting a small tattoo on a region of  my body that is only seen when I’m walking in grass barefoot, aka, my foot or ankle.

I’ve considered the following options:

1. A Triforce tattoo that has pretty leaves surrounding it. Not only will it be a shout out to all the Zelda nerds I know, it will also have a double meaning (ooooh!) by standing for the Trinity, as well, relating to my faith. Furthermore, it will make it seem less cultish to my mom.

2. A tattoo of my last name, Feir, with pretty leaves as part of the script (there’s a theme going. I like nature).

As I analyzed these ideas further, I noticed a few problems. How could I look a fellow Zelda fan in the eye when asked if I’ve played every, single Zelda game, from NES to Wii, when I’ve only played a handful of them and have only completely finished The Wind Waker (because it was the easiest Zelda game ever made)? For shame, for shame.

There weren’t really any issues with my name, besides the fact that I get sick of certain things quickly, including room arrangements, short hair, sunflower seeds, obnoxious people (including myself) and Facebook profile pictures. In other words, tattoos would probably get annoying, as well.

All in all, I think it’s better that I not be a vision in ink.

Life in the “real world”: Living in a small space

Living in a small space, you have to get creative if you’re stubborn and want to store more than two tubes of lipstick and one roll of toilet paper at a time. This is the very reason why my flashlight is kept in my underwear drawer.

For some reason, I often feel the need to stock up on things. This mother-of-10 mentality does not become a single, 23-year-old living in a tiny duplex. I have approximately two feet of counter space in my kitchen, and the Jell-O I bought two years ago is sitting on a shelf with my bowls and cup saucers (coffee cups are placed in a different location). Frugality runs through my veins in an IV of cheapness, so if I see Colgate is on sale, I secretly want to buy some, though I have a full tube at home and three other ones that are near their end.

Since moving into my new place a month ago (as of yesterday), I have already begun to successfully retrain my semi-hoarding ways. I gave a garbage bag full of clothes to goodwill (and to Herberger’s, so I could get coupons from the Goodwill Sale, which, in turn, permitted me to buy two more clothing items…); I brought some furniture back to my parents’ place because even a small end table could not fit in my living room right now; I’ve finished two tubes of toothpaste that were nearly empty before BUYING and opening a new tube (I’m trying to finish off a third tube right now); I haven’t bought anything frozen for nearly a month, and am proudly nearing an empty freezer; there are more indicators, but I’ll stop.

I didn’t have enough strength to stay away from Bath & Body Works this fall, as I had hoped and planned. Sure enough, I bought six bottles of soap in autumnal scents for $20 (that sale always gets me). I now have enough soap, including all the B&BW’s soap I’d already accumulated, to last me through 2017. That’s probably not an exaggeration.

Perhaps growing up in the country prompted this trait of preparation. Having to write long lists of things my family needed for those occasional trips to Wal-Mart or, better yet, Fargo-Moorhead to conserve on gas led me to this state. In my present situation, I can walk to Hornbacher’s to buy groceries in less than five minutes. I can drive to Wal-Mart and get there in 10 minutes. There are probably seven gas stations in a 4-mile radius – convenience at its best.

Moving out of my old apartment was a harsh reality check. I realized (as did those who helped me) that I’d accumulated far too much stuff. I also realized that when I move to another city, at some point in my life, I will have one heck of a time, if I don’t start getting rid of more unnecessaries (new word).

Living in my small abode is cozy, sweet and I love it. I wouldn’t have it any other way… though, I could go for a few more kitchen cupboards. The Jell-O is feeling out of place with the saucers.

Learn from My Mistakes, Dear Friends

 Originally published in a previous, less successful blog of mine in Feb. of 2013

Acceptance is hard, but having hope is even scarier. In order to have hope that you’ll find answers, or even greater — get completely healed — you risk getting your heart crushed each and every time a lead doesn’t pan out. I’ve been there. We all have in different ways.

There’s another option. To live by the cliche words of “It is what it is.” If we accept that things are the way they are, we won’t set ourselves up for disappointment. We won’t go up and down in unpredictable emotional elevations. We won’t be so hurt if we prepare ourselves by saying that things will stay the same. We buy in to the message that we shouldn’t have such high expectations; that we shouldn’t take such large doses of hope. 

I tried that. I tried saving myself from disappointment because I felt I didn’t need any more servings of discouragement dished out to me. I had become weary from all the searching, and annoyed that lack of funds and insurance deterred me from attempting to find answers from the very people who had failed me so much in the past — doctors.

Discouragement and Negativity: Friends Forever

After a summer-long stint of staying away from sugar and yeast, along with my regular off-limit foods (anything with wheat or dairy in it), I was completely discouraged. Things weren’t clearing up as quickly as I had hoped. 

Healing often takes time, and we’re impatient people. After living almost your entire life with these afflictions, it’s easy to crave immediate results. 

Positive Results on the Horizon

However, there were a few MAJOR improvements I did eventually notice. The welts that I always had all over my body began to clear up. My skin hadn’t looked that good since age 12, and I mean that literally. I still had scarring and a few welts here and there, but RESULTS — GREAT results!

Another major thing to note is that my exercise-induced asthma began to clear up, too! For the first time, I was out playing tennis with a few friends  and noticed my lack of wheezing and windedness. 

This is What a Cheater Looks Like

Those two results alone should have been big enough reasons to continue such a “limiting diet,” but I still grew weary from the strictness of avoiding dairy, wheat, sugar and yeast. 

I began incorporating some sugar back into my diet and cheated with a little wheat here and there last fall. Due to this stupid decision, I began having what would become chronic headaches, even more brain fog, inflammation throughout my body, and the return of more welts. 

It wasn’t until the first week of January (right around resolution time, which seems fitting…) when I started avoiding sugar again. I also stopped cheating (even a little) with wheat, though my “cheating times” weren’t very often as it was. 

Within a week of once again avoiding sugar, yeast and wheat, along with primarily eating most fruits and vegetables, my chronic headaches ceased. What a complete blessing. 

Now, to continue onward and dump the discouragement. 

New Year, New Detox

Originally published in a previous, less successful blog of mine in Jan. of 2013

I’m baaaaaack.

We all know you have to be careful about self-diagnosing and getting information concerning health on the Internet. But, guess what? If we aren’t researching what is going on in our own bodies, no one will.

Doctors spend less than 20 minutes with you after you’ve waited for hours. They don’t want to admit your bowel movements are connected to the throat problems you’re having; that your aching joints are connected to the sinusitis you’ve contended with for years, if not your entire life. They don’t have enough time to research your body in 10 minutes, nor do most wish to.

They attempt to alleviate the symptoms, one symptom at a time, with drugs that have harsh side effects, short and long term, and don’t solve the actual problems.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want drugs. I don’t want medications that don’t even successfully mask the underlying conditions.

I want to be healed — to be rid of these ailments that have drained so much life out of me and my loved ones — and you.

“Know the Cause” is a show that exposes the horrendous acts of fungus in our bodies. The host, Doug Kaufmann, is so knowledgeable and is a perfect example of how energetic, youthful and healthy we can be, even though he’s in his early 60s. I recommend watching that show or visiting their site.

My sister, Katie, found an article tonight that focuses on the colon. I urge you all to read this, as well, though it’s pretty long. I’m going to start another detox regime this week. I don’t have their exact supplements, but I’m going to take L-Glutamine (in the form of powder) and Probiotics every day.

My sister and I will have a diet consisting of the following foods:

Vegetables (excluding corn)

Fruits (not really sugar-filled ones)



Nuts (excluding peanuts and pistachios, as those fuel fungus)

Keep in mind (as I try to) that we’re not trying to go hungry, and neither should you.

I am hoping beyond hope that by eating only these foods and by taking these supplements (perhaps more), we will start making noticeable leaps toward feeling well.

Granted, I know I will probably go through a bout of withdrawal again after I foolishly reincorporated sugar back into my diet last fall, but I am hoping it won’t last as long as my symptoms did last summer.