Even More Non-Crazy Diet Tips to Help with Hormones!

It looks like I’m not the only one who is frightened and discouraged by diet choices that involve huge changes all at once, like going gluten-free or sugar-free. I feel for those with Celiac or something that forces them into a huge change, but without you know, DEATH ITSELF twisting my arm, it’s really hard to commit to a huge dietary change.

But I also know what a huge difference food makes on your well-being. In college I pretty much exclusively ate pre-packaged meals that were either frozen or just add water type things. And surprise surprise, I felt awful almost all the time. I guess I just figured that everyone’s bathroom time must be traumatic and awful. Nope! You should not feel like you’re dying when you poop. Who knew?

By making simple, healthier choices, my health improved drastically. It wasn’t too hard to cook the meals I had enjoyed pre-packaged and only required a little extra time. I’m by no means a chef, but I can cook pasta and prepare little cheese-and-cracker lunches for myself (even though I still really miss lunchables. RIP lunchable lunchtime).

So when people tell me how great they feel now that they cut meat out of their diet or never eat sugar, I totally believe them. I’m sure they feel awesome and I know I would too! But I can’t change all at once like that. Maybe if I were a chef for a living, or had mealtimes being a huge part of my day. But with fulltime ever-changing freelance jobs, weekly doctor’s appointments, and freaking tax season, I simply cannot devote hours and hours each day to totally redoing such a fundamental part of every day.

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But you know all that because I just posted about my #1 diet life hack – which you can read here! And because that post was so popular, I’m back with a couple more baby steps you can use to improve your endometriosis symptoms – or symptoms of anything hormone-related, like PCOS or even just normal, healthy periods! “Normal healthy periods” may sound hunky-dory but no matter how normal and healthy they are, they still suck and they still make you feel pretty out of sorts.

Why does endometriosis, PCOS, and even a normal period make you feel bad? Because hormones.

No, that’s not a typo. Just because hormones. Hormones are awful. If everything isn’t just so, you can wind up wanting to kill yourself just out of the blue. Less extreme problems can include feeling half asleep all day and then not being able to sleep at night, complete loss of appetite, and all kinds of abdominal pain. Hormones can mess up your whole life. They make girls weepy and manic-depressive. They make boys angry and restless. And if you’re a really, really lucky person (like me – thanks PCOS) you get to do BOTH because sometimes ya got estrogen and sometimes ya got testosterone – but you almost always want to kill things.

So what can you do?

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Here’s a couple of simple things to remember when dealing with hormone-induced hell. Continue reading

How to Eat Better for Endometriosis Without Doing Anything Crazy

We all want to eat better and sort of generally know what kinds of things we could do to achieve that. Eat more fruits and veggies, eat less processed food….but with vauge goals like that you’re not really going to end up making big changes. Don’t get me wrong – every serving of fruits and veggies you eat is a good thing! Every time you decide not to buy a box of Kraft macaroni and cheese is a big step. You’re already leaps and bounds ahead of most people.

But maybe you’re like me and your diet has grown up a little but you’re still thinking you could eat a little better. The next level of eating healthy usually looks like Everest compared to your initial “I’m going to start having fresh fruit and granola instead of Lucky Charms every morning.” Things like NEVER EAT SUGAR AGAIN AND YOU’LL BE 100% BETTER or GO GLUTEN FREE AND WALK ON WATER. You know. Huge dietary changes that you have no idea how to implement.

So I’m here to help you! I’ll write it out more like your average health and diet blogger so it seems more official:

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But here’s the more honest version: Continue reading

Should Endometriosis Be Recognized as a Disability?

A while back I saw a petition floating around on Twitter to recognize endo as a disability in the UK. I thought to myself, oh, I should share this!

But then I kept on thinking and realized that even though my knee-jerk reaction was “YES! Endo needs recognition!” I am actually not 100% sure where I stand on that issue.

As with most laws/petitions/government-related things, it’s actually quite complex.

On the one hand, it would be great to have an advocate in the law to help legitimize endo and the pain it causes. It’s so much more than “a bad period.” And it’s very hard to explain. Perhaps a law would help employers learn more about endo, spreading awareness and encouraging more scientists to search for a cure.

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But that’s a rose-colored glasses way to look at things.

As much as I truly believe comparing illnesses will lead to nothing but trouble, I can honestly say that endo is not the most severe disability out there. Has it caused me to miss work? Yes. Have I lost jobs to it? Yes. But with humane employers I’ve found leniency when I do need time off and have been able to hold good jobs.

HOWEVER, that being said, I’ve only had surgery and stayed home sick for non-full-time jobs – meaning I lost pay each time I was ill, and was therefore making no money right when I had surgery bills to pay (bills I’m actually still paying off). Would disability laws have helped me to continue to get some compensation, even just a little, to help with these costs? I don’t know. Laws may not work that way, I’m just thinking out loud here.

Would disability laws have kept me from being fired from jobs when I fell ill? Maaaaybe….but here in Texas with the fire at will laws, I may have been let go anyway. In fact, having a registered disability may have kept me from getting those jobs in the first place.

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I had nothing but troubles with the student disability office, which is kind of like dealing with disability laws on a really really small scale. In the end, I decided being my own advocate was more effective because I could educate, and was in charge of who knew what about me when.

For instance: I was in a SCUBA certification class. My doctor advised I not seek student disability rights that semester because they would have grounds to kick me out of the class. By entering as my own advocate, I was able to simply inform my instructor of my problems when they became an issue. By the time problems arose, I was already in the class and couldn’t be turned away – they had to accommodate my needs. And honestly, I didn’t have extreme needs. A quick break here and there, gentleness, and warmth – not like friendship let’s hug warmth but physical warmth, diving can get very cold and that makes me very sick. I was allowed to come a little early to get into a cozy wetsuit (everyone else just wore normal swimwear. I felt kinda embarrassed but you do what you have to.) and if I started to shiver I was allowed to hit the showers. Nothing huge.

But if the disability office was involved, the instructor may have felt overwhelmed, wondering how much he’d have to bend over backwards and probably deciding it would just be easier to deny me entrance into the class.

Disability laws may be more trouble than good.

No this law is good. I stand by it.

No this law is good. I stand by it.

Ultimately, I don’t think endo needs to be recognized as an illness that you could receive disability pay for. I know some women are in more pain than I am, but with endo’s cyclical nature I do honestly believe one could find work and accommodation on one’s own – I have. If your endo is out of control you don’t need disability, you need to treat it. Endo only gets bad enough to keep you bedridden if you let it, and in America we have the technology to keep it somewhat in check. Will you feel great every day, or even most of the time? No. But you should be able to work. If you can’t afford it, talk to your doctor. I’ve found a lot of leniency over the years – payment plans with no interest or late fees, that sort of thing.

So I think endo could be recognized as a disability, but not one causing you to be unable to work. I could use one of the handicapped parking tags, as walking in extreme weather can land me in bed pretty quick. I could have used protection against being fired/discriminated against for an illness I can’t control. So I don’t know. Maybe some laws could help? But they could definitely hurt, too. I’d need to read all the specifics before signing any petitions. There are a lot of little details that could really wonk everything up.

What do you think? Does endometriosis need to be protected by law? Should law stay out of it? What can be done to help those with invisible illness hold a job, stay out of debt, and pursue life, liberty, and happiness? Is the answer in government, or somewhere else?

Tell me your thoughts in the comments below! And of course, have a very happy Easter weekend. :)

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Awareness Fabric?

Hey everyone! I need your opinion. The awesome company that hosts our official store has just released a new product that I could create designs for – fabric! 

I’m an avid DIY-er as you can tell from the Do I Look Sick Pinterest, and I can think of some fun crafts I’d like to try with some cute awareness fabric.

It could be a cute accent on a clutch: 



A great pattern for a heating pad: 



Or, for endometiosis awareness in particular, a cute pair of panties! 



(All of the instructions on how to make these are on my Pinterest board “when I get a sewing machine.”)

What do you think? If I designed some awareness-centric patterns, would you be interested in buying some fabric? What about designing your own at zazzle.com? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!