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Posted in Battle of the Bulge: Cooking and Lifestyle

The Battle of the Bulge: Dairy Edition

For most of my teenage and young adult years, I have struggled with controlling my weight and have poorly managed stomach issues. I have gone to see specialist after specialist, with little to no relief. Yo-yo fad diets, quick fixes, and easy fast meals have led to my health declining in a very major way. After a visit to the E.R., another specialist, and further testing, I am beginning to see just how important proper nutrition plays a role in how I feel.

My GI specialist gave me a list of certain foods to try my best to eliminate or cut way back on from my diet. Top of the list was dairy products, fruits high in sugar, and gluten. So I set out on a mission on my next grocery trip to really take the time to inspect the nutrition labels of common foods I had been mindlessly buying and consuming. I was shocked by how many things contain unnecessary added sugars, dairy, and dyes. It took me a while to find healthier alternatives and I cannot say I did perfectly. There are some things that I could not easily find an alternative for but I did the best I could this time around.

A couple things I figured I would give a try include but are not limited to:

-Almond “milk” creamer

-Lactose free milk

-Almond milk cream “cheese” spread

-Just Egg (Plant Based Egg Replacement)

-Lactose free vanilla Activia Yogurt

-Gluten free pasta

-Veggie pasta

-Dairy free edible cookie dough dessert

-Strawberry Poppyseed dressing

Just Egg plant based, after being scrambled. Looks pretty close to real eggs. Added pepper and garlic powder for taste, and really could not taste a difference.

Now of course, moderation is key here. I am learning to retrain my brain and my body that less is really more. I am retraining my taste buds to foods that only have naturally occurring sugars or very small quantities of processed sugars instead of the normal heaps of processed sugars I am used to. I am taking small steps to learn the correct portion size for things (pasta has been the hardest!). I have also learned that using smaller plates and bowls makes the portion size look bigger and I am left more satisfied. A lot of it is in the mind.

For me, I still do not have a lot of answers for what is going on in my stomach. I am by no means an expert. I still consume meat and dairy and processed sugar when I know I should not be consuming as much as I do. I am still struggling with my body weight. But I know that every little bit counts and the more I work on making small changes every day, I will see improvements. I can already tell that my stomach pain has lessened removing regular dairy milk and creamer from my diet.

**Before starting any major diet/food change be sure to consult your doctor and research what is best for you and your health needs. The goal is not perfection here. The goal is just looking and feeling better.**

Posted in Anxiety and Experience

Hello Coffee,

I delicately blow on the steam rising from my mug before taking a tentative sip, letting the burning liquid slide across my tongue and swirl around before I swallow. Gripping the mug with one hand, a distraction to keep me from picking at my fingers. A moment of silence, giving me time to think and collect my words before I am forced to respond. Getting my thoughts together, calming my racing pulse, and another tentative sip. Drinking is not out of character for me. They will not notice that my mind is racing, so long as I grip this mug and sip this amber liquid, able to get away with being quiet while drinking this liquid, under the guise of being tired. One sip, a sigh, another blow on the steam. I am able to focus on the feel of the mug, the smooth texture underneath my thumb as I grip the bottom. Focus on the feel of the warm liquid touching my lips, my tongue, and sliding down my throat. Count the bubbles that were created by the cream.

Voices swirl around me, laughter and jokes, yet I sit here stone cold. Withdrawn. A fake smirk plastered on my lips. My voice comes out as almost a whisper, raspy, and controlled. Every word heavy on my tongue. One deep breath, followed by another, in through the nose and out through the mouth. One sip, followed by another, the liquid slowly warming me up from the inside out. I sip and I stew, swirling the liquid in my mug as the thoughts turn over and over in my mind. I pull at the liquid, every drop, until I have drained the mug of its contents. The empty bottom reminding me of just how hollow I feel.

Posted in About the Author, Anxiety and Experience

The House I Built…

I got very good at letting my feelings fester and rot inside of me. My tongue punctured and scarred from biting down to keep from letting the words come bubbling out from my raw vocal chords that spent too many hours silently screaming.

I became a builder of my own solitary confinement. Brick by brick I built walls around myself to protect, to block, and to surround myself with something familiar yet solid. I built a house full of empty promises and lies to soothe my shattered confidence, screaming into every corner and crack, hoping the foundation would be strong enough to hold up my secrets. Keeping everyone else on the outside at a comfortable distance, close but not quite letting them see inside to the wobbly foundation that I had perched my house on. A careful balance of tip toeing back and forth to keep the walls upright.

I learned that so long as you smile, just a little smirk will do, people will find your “I’m fine” more believable. The smile does not even have to reach the eyes. So a deep breath and a smile would get me through this moment, and onto the next five minutes, and the next. Until I could spare a moment to myself to finally let out a heavy sigh and relax my face. With the drop of my shoulders, it feels like the whole facade drops and the foundation of my house shakes. But the walls quickly go back up, the smile put back in place, and on to try to get through the next 5 minutes, and then the next.

Some days I feel my emotions come pouring in and out of me like waves, washing over me in brilliant blue hues and deep dark greens. Other days, I feel uncomfortably numb, like I am standing barefoot in sheets of grayish snow. I feel as though I am not in control of this body, but merely an observer looking out. A well worn traveler with no destination, wandering aimlessly for meaning and creature comfort.

My body is an open book of scars and tattoos, showcasing my journey from self destructive injury to comfortable self acceptance. If not quite love then at least likability in my own skin. My broken and chewed nails showcase my anxiety, the nail punctures on my palms my struggle to keep balanced. My chewed and bloody lips a testament to my inner battle, a desire to keep in the words that so desperately want to come pouring out of me. I am at odds with myself, craving to be positive and happy yet my mind wading into dark waters. I endlessly float in a sea of happiness that I cannot seem to baptize myself in, forever lapping at the shore to be bounced back out to the depressive sea again.

But I always come back home, to my walls of brick and ink. The walls covered with my stories and insecurities, wrapping me in a dark quiet, waiting for the day I can pull the blinds back and let the sun shine in through the cracks. In the corner I sit, wave after wave crashing over me and into me, the pain absorbing into my bones until I ache. Soft music playing, my security blanket, blocking out the noise from the outside.

Posted in Anxiety and Experience

Turning Negatives into Positives: Making Delicious Food with Spoiled Scraps

There are definitely times when everything feels like it is falling apart. There are weeks when it feels like I no sooner bring home fresh produce from the grocery story and within what feels like a matter of hours I open my fridge to find that it has spoiled or is on its way to going bad. And if I’m honest, that certainly can put me in a foul mood. Just like with spoiled produce, I have moments in my life where I feel like everything is going smoothly and then out of no where something happens that turns my world upside down.

But there is a silver lining to finding that your blueberries have turned sour and your bananas ripened… you get to make delicious banana bread!

Just like with spoiled produce, all it takes is a little imagination and positive vibes to turn your difficult situation around, no matter what it is. For me, I find that channeling my frustrations and anxiety into baking gives me an outlet. I am able to keep my hands busy so as not to turn to destructive habits, my mind is able to focus on the task at hand without feeling overwhelmed, and at the end I will have the results from my labor: delicious banana bread.

You know the old adage “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade”? Well, when life gives you ripened bananas, make banana bread. Reflect on what is going on in that moment that is causing you stress, anxiety, or frustration. Focus on both the positives as well as the negatives of the situation. Think of possible ways that you can channel those emotions in a more positive direction. You may find that though the problem does not entirely disappear, it can become more manageable.

You may still have a craptastic situation that has you feeling all turned around, but maybe if you channel your energy in the right direction, you will have banana bread to munch on while you figure the rest out.

Posted in Music That Feeds the Soul

Music that Feeds the Soul: June Favorites

Current favorites that calmed/inspired/moved me in June include:

  1. Gabbie Hanna-Honestly
  2. Avi Kaplan-The Summit
  3. Panic At the Disco-Sarah Smiles
  4. Sia-Breathe Me
  5. Watsky-Hey, Asshole, Sloppy Seconds
  6. Bebe Rexha-I’m a Mess
  7. Atmosphere- The Best Day
  8. Bryce Vine- Drew Barrymore
  9. Marshmello & Anne-Marie- Friends
  10. Jesse Reyes-Figures
  11. Jon Bellion- Guillotine , Paper Planes
  12. Blackbear-Dirty Laundry
  13. Linkin Park-Heavy
  14. James Arthur- Say You Won’t Let Go
  15. Hilary Duff- Tattoo

Posted in About the Author

Fun Facts to get the Ball Rolling

I am 27 years old, self identified introvert, a Ravenclaw, and a Gemini.

I am adopted.

I have been diagnosed with PTSD, Agoraphobia, have a panic disorder, and have medical problems that are still a complete mystery.

I am a kitty mom to two fur monsters, Sherlock and Watson. #AdoptDontShop

My favorite song is Falling in Love in a Coffee Shop by Landon Pigg.

If I had to pick favorite movies: Beauty and the Beast, A Walk to Remember, Boondock Saints, See No Evil, and absolutely anything with Tom Hanks.

I use “awesome sauce” and “cool beans” in every day conversation.

I can frequently be spotted in used bookstores. I get lost among the stacks.

I have a bachelors degree in American Sign Language/Deaf Community Studies.

I have been to 10 countries, not including my own, so far. But only been to 7 states. My bucket list includes a lot more traveling.

Posted in Anxiety and Experience

Today I was afraid…

Today I found that I was afraid of my own shadow and I jumped at the sound of my own raspy voice.
Today everything was so loud, whispers sounded like screams and harsh voices felt like I was being slapped across the face with each utterance,their small nuances savagely cut me with each exhale and each pause.
Today my heart raced so fast that I thought it would burst out of my chest.
Today I nervously bit my lip until it split, I gnawed on my fingers as if they were candy, leaving nothing but strips and bloody stumps behind.
Today I let the tears leak out of my eyes and pour down my face as a reminder that I can still feel, even if that feeling was numbness.
Today my breathing was rapid, coming in short gasping waves filled with sorrow and dread.
Today the monsters in my head lied to me and let me believe that the walls were caving, even though I was sitting perfectly safe and sound.
Today my hands shook and trembled as I desperately tried to grasp onto the recesses of reality.
Today, no matter how many times I repeated that I was safe, my mind screamed bullshit.
Today… I was lost in my own thoughts, my own fears, and my own self destruction.
But tomorrow is another day.
Tomorrow I might be able to bury the monsters deeper into the darkness and let my light start to shine through the cracks.
Tomorrow I can try to put one foot in front of the other until I’m back on track.
Tomorrow maybe I can see the vibrant colors all around me and allow their radiance to soak into my pores.
Tomorrow I hope I can pick myself up, dust myself off, and try to quiet the inner voice that fears everything different.
Tomorrow I might just be able to look at myself in the mirror and smile at my reflection.
Tomorrow I should be able to steady my hands and reach out for a tender reassuring touch.
Tomorrow is another day to try. ❤️

Posted in Erotica for the Kinky Mind

Taking My Pet to New Heights

Reaching up on her tip toes, she opened the cupboard that held the muffin tins and mixing bowls. Finding the supplies that she needed, she gathered everything in her arms and displayed it all out on the kitchen counter. Soft pop music was playing on the tv in the living room and her hips swayed to the beat while she bopped around the kitchen trying to get all her baking supplies in order. The sun shone brightly through the blinds and the warmth mixed with the upbeat music put her in a very bubbly mood. This afternoon’s mission was to bake chocolate cupcakes.

She set to the task of mixing all the necessary ingredients in a large bowl, occasionally splashing herself with flour and having to wipe her t-shirt off. After whipping all the dry ingredients together, she paused for a moment to tie back her curly hair and then proceeded to grab out the eggs and milk from the fridge. She then reached across the stove and pre-heated the oven.

The sound of the front door handle jingling was easily overlooked by the typical clanking sounds that come from shuffling baking pans around on the stove, the banging of cupboard doors opening and closing, and the music still playing on the tv. She was lost in the busy work of mixing ingredients together and greasing the baking pans. She was none the wiser that he had successfully gained entry to her home. So lost was she in the art of measuring out enough batter into each muffin tin that she had not noticed his footsteps signaling his approach to the kitchen.

She was certainly a sight for sore eyes. Her hair tied back, flour spread across her cheek and on her shirt, and now what he could only assume was smears of chocolate batter on her thighs from her wiping her fingers off on her shorts. She was swaying to the music while she worked and he allowed himself a few moments to appreciate her beauty before deciding to interrupt.

Stepping into the kitchen, he leaned one hip against the counter and lightly growled “Oh what is my Kitten up to now, hm?”

Hearing his raspy voice from behind her startled her, causing her to drop the spoon that she held in her hand back into the bowl of batter. She froze with her hands resting on the stove top, waiting anxiously for him to make a move. She did not have to wait long.

He took a few steps and positioned himself directly behind her. His left arm secured itself around her waist, pulling her ever so slightly against his torso. His right arm reached around her and cradled right under her chin, applying a light pressure to her throat. Leaning in close, he inhaled her scent. Nibbling on her ear, he delighted at the whimper that escaped her before she could catch herself. “Ah, I can’t wait to taste my treat.” He pulled her tightly against him and began grinding himself into her backside, delighting at the feel of her ass against his erection.

Her head fell back against his shoulder, as his left hand began to trail down her side and eventually found the waistband to her shorts. “Are you ready to play, pet?” Without waiting for a response, he plunged his hand into her shorts and found her lacking panties. He inhaled sharply when his hand met her bare skin and he took his time, feeling her, inching ever closer to her pussy.

She began to squirm under his hold, the pressure at her throat and now the anticipation building up waiting for his hand to explore her pussy made her absolutely soaked. However, she bit her lower lip and attempted to stay still. She was not quite ready to let him know just how much she was enjoying his attentions.

Unable to resist, he spread her pussy lips apart and began using his middle finger to run along her slit. Finding just how wet she had become, he chuckled in her ear. “Tsk tsk, little Kitten. Looks like you are more than ready for me to take a taste of your sweetness. How should I take you, hm?” he pondered. “Shall I let you have a taste?” He inserted his middle finger inside her, one quick thrust, just to feel her arch against his palm and let out a little moan, then just as quickly removing his hand and bringing it up to her lips. “Come on little one. Taste yourself. Taste how sweet you are.”

Hesitantly she opened her mouth and let his finger meet the tip of her tongue. He allowed her to explore with her tongue, taking him slowly into her mouth and sucking off her love juices from him. “That’s it,” he encouraged “Such a good girl.” Abruptly he used his right hand to grab at the back of her head, taking her ponytail in a firm grip and spun her to face him. She immediately looked down and waited.

He leaned in and brutally claimed her lips. He kissed her hard, pushing into her mouth with his tongue and then taking hold of her lower lip and lightly biting down. The whimper that she elicited as a response encouraged him on. Taking hold of her waistband in both hands, he roughly tore her shorts down. Grabbing her around the waist, he picked her up and spun her to face the kitchen counter. Lifting her up, he placed her ass on the counter and ordered her to spread her legs. For an instant she hesitated. His hands cupped her thighs and roughly spread them open. “Now, now pet. I want a taste of my treat. Don’t deny me.”

Leaning down, he spread her pussy lips open and proceeded to hungrily lick at her clit. He gripped her hips to steady her and feasted on her pussy relentlessly. She began to squirm and quiver under his mouth. He was delighted when he felt her hand entwine in his hair to keep his head in place. Happily lapping at her juices, he let go with one hand and slowly began inserting one finger into her, quickly followed by a second and then a third, stretching her aching little pussy. The kitchen filled with the sounds of her moaning and whimpering at his attentions.

The harder he pounded into her, the closer to the edge she became until suddenly he withdrew his fingers from her warm cunt and proceeded to lick each digit clean. The gasp she elicited at the loss of penetration was loud and uncontrollable. “Mmm, so delicious. I’ve missed tasting you,” he said with a grin.
Having sufficiently cleaned off his fingers, he reached for her again to lower her down off the counter. Grasping the bottom of her t-shirt, he began to tug it up her torso and up over her head with only a little protest. Reaching behind her, he undid her bra with a simple flick of his wrist and let the material fall to the floor.

Standing there bare and exposed to his gaze, she felt incredibly vulnerable. However, her heart still raced, unsure of his next move. She waited with bated breath, watching his gaze roam over her. Seeing her pace from one foot to the other, he put his hands on her shoulders to still her. Gently he pushed her down on to her knees in front of him. He grabbed at the waistband of his jeans, unbuttoning and unzipping his pants to free his throbbing cock from it’s confines. She put her hands on his thighs, as much to steady herself as to try to push him away. Without warning a hand gripped the back of her head. “Now pet, you had been doing so well I thought to reward you… Do you still want a treat? Hmm?” Leaning over her, he swiped a can of frosting from off the counter. Ripping off the lid, he dipped two fingers into the container and scooped up some chocolate frosting. He liberally applied the chocolate the tip and shaft of his cock, then licked the excess off of his fingers.

Again gripping her by the pony tail, he pulled her closer, her lips resting against his frosted tip. “Be a good girl. Taste me.” Her lips opened and he allowed her to slowly lick and suck at him, enjoying the little moans of pleasure she let out as her tongue ran the length of his shaft. She took him deep into the back of her throat, sucking greedily at the chocolate treat, licking every inch of him and then coming back up to swirl her tongue around his tip, only to dive back down. His head fell back and growls escaped him as she lapped at him. Again and again she sucked at him until all of the frosting had been licked clean. Once the frosting was gone, he gripped her hair tightly and began face fucking her with gusto. She made gurgling noises of protest but rode it out, allowing him to guide her head down and back. With one final grunt and thrust, he completely withdrew from her mouth. Looking down, he could see her mouth covered in a mix of chocolate and drool. He reached out and wiped her lips off. Then gripping her chin in his hand, he tilted her face up to meet his for a kiss.

“Kitten, I think it’s time. I need to be inside you.” He grabbed her hands and helped her to her feet, giving her just enough time to steady herself before he picked her up and proceeded to walk towards the dining room table. He placed her down and then gently pushed her torso down until she was laying flat against the table. She shivered, feeling the cold table make contact with her back. Abruptly he gripped her hips and tugged her closer to the edge of the table. Lifting her legs up and separating her thighs, he positioned his cock at her entrance and swiftly plunged into her warm pussy. She let out and audible sigh at the contact. He thrust into her mercilessly, tightly gripping her ample thighs with each thrust. Her breasts bounced with each thrust and made the slightest slapping sound when they made contact with each other. It was a beautiful sight.

He growled and thrust, back and forth, feeling every inch of his cock stretching her tight pussy, feeling her tightly milk him as he pounded into her. Her eyes closed while she took each deep thrust, whimpers and moans escaped her as she enjoyed being taken. Her hands reached up above her, as if reaching for an invisible wall to steady herself, her head gently tossing from side to side, so enraptured in her surrender that she fully gave herself over to him. Lifting her legs up, he placed her ankles up on his shoulders and thrust even deeper into her. She arched into him and began to quiver with an ever building climax. Reaching around with his right hand, he slapped at her ass cheek and thigh, timing each blow with a quick thrust into her. Feeling her pussy clench and tighten with her impending orgasm, he slowed his pace. Hearing her moan in protest, he switched hands and slapped her left swiftly, before resuming his deep thrusts into her. With one last thrust, he felt her crumble around him, her pussy gripping him tightly and milking him so that he nearly couldn’t take it. He watched her fall apart and then allowed himself a few more thrusts before he finally emptied his seed into her.

Slowly, he withdrew himself from her pussy. He stepped away from the table and sighed. “Stay just like that, Kitten. Do not get up from that table until after I leave. Am I clear?”

She bit her lower lip and nodded, feeling his seed slowly leak out of her and drip down her plump and swollen thighs. She could see out of the corner of her eye that he went back into the kitchen to retrieve his pants.

“You were such a good girl. Until next time…,” he let his voice trail off as he turned his back on her and opened her front door to let himself out.

Minutes after he left, she finally caught her breath and was able to get up off the table. After cleaning herself up, she found her clothes laying on the kitchen floor and got dressed. Her legs were still quivering with each step she took. She reached over the stove and placed the full muffin tins in the oven and set the timer. Sighing, she looked over at her dining table and smiled. Looks like today she would get to have her cake and eat it too.