Archives for category: In-Between Time

“Be drunk in love, since love is everything that exists.” – Rumi

Being engaged for the second time is fucking scary. I want to love it, revel in it, embrace it, and I hope that blogging about the fear will help dissipate it so that my soul can do these things.

I was engaged a few years ago. It was a well-thought out engagement; my ex and I were together for three and a half years, she had an elaborate and heartfelt proposal, we spent two months designing coordinating rings, and we began planning our wedding. It’s not like she didn’t think it through all the way or it was impulsive. Then she changed her mind. She said that she realized I wasn’t “the one” when we started wedding planning. I loved the planning, enjoyed viewing gorgeous, earthy weddings online, thinking about the details that would make our wedding special. She said I was a “bridezilla” for being excited about the wedding, even though all I was doing was normally planning the wedding. Sidenote – I was only doing half of what most women who get engaged do. I believe some lesbians, unfortunately, have some internalized homophobia when it comes to weddings. A lot of our “friends” at the time were weird about our wedding planning, and none were married. I’m so happy that lesbian weddings are becoming more and more a part of our society. Anyway, she left me right after we put down a deposit on our photographer, refused to give any of the money back, and did many other horrible, cold and unexpected things I won’t waste any more time explaining.

Fast-forward – J is amazing. She’s trustworthy, loving, and seems to be as excited about our engagement as I am. She brings things up on her own, like showing me the engagement ring designer website and asking if we can finish our engagement announcement of her own accord. She points out that having a baby is more of a commitment than getting married, and that she’s already dove into that process by literally giving me, and our future family, a part of her body. Plus, as she jokingly put it, what’s the likelihood of having two weddings called off in one lifetime? Haha. The point is, she’s so different and we’re so different. So how can I move away from being so gun-shy?

Fear is no way to be engaged. Grasping onto someone, or something, is no way to have a romance. This is likely what happened with my ex; I was holding on for dear life by diving into wedding planning, probably because deep down, I knew it was all we had; we were no longer connected and to be honest, had I more self-confidence, I would have admitted this to myself and moved on of my own accord. I don’t want to grasp onto J, nor do I need to. She’s not going anywhere, and knowing that deep within my bones will serve us both.

J is well aware of these fears, and she has been so reassuring. As our relationship grows, I need less reassurance. The engagement has brought up some fear, yes, but I know this fear will be short-lived.

Here’s a summary of Thich Nhat Hanh’s ideas on true love, to remind myself and hopefully all of you what it means to have a truly open heart:

Maitri – loving kindness is the desire and ability to bring joy to someone else. In order to love someone without hurting her, you must understand her, not in terms of yourself, but outside of yourself. To do this, we must listen and see the person.

Karuna – the desire and ability to ease the pain of someone, which requires understanding the nature of her suffering.

Mudita – out of understanding and easing suffering comes joy. A loving relationship is not all meditation and suffering – joy is at the heart of true love.

Upeksha – equanimity and freedom. When you love someone, you bring her freedom. Giving your Love all of the above also gives her security and space, which brings ultimate freedom.

This is paraphrased from the book True Love by Thich Nhat Hanh. The ideas are Buddhist in nature, but seem so universal to me. I’m putting forth an intention to love J wholly, not through my fear or grasping, but from a place of openness, confidence and joy.

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” -Rumi

By the way, I hope my lovely WP friends like weddings. I know most of you have already had that chapter, and your gorgeous wedding pics inspire me! I’d love to share wedding planning with you in the future, if you’re interested. This may become a pregnant bride blog!

We had an incredible trip to Italy and have returned to sickness and jet lag, but nothing that can hold down my renewed spirit! Here’s a photo synopsis. I included lots of food pics, as promised.

J and I traveled with my father the entire trip. He speaks fluent Italian and knows his way around, which was very helpful as my Italian is only conversational. He picked us up at the Milan airport in his rented white Alfa Romeo, which we drove an hour north to Stesa, a romantic little town on the shores of Lago Maggiore with cobblestone streets and a famous hotel where Hemmingway used to drink martinis. We had a long, delicious dinner the first night, then woke up and took a ferry to Isola Madre, one of the three Borromean Islands.

Porcini risotto the night of our arrival in Lago Maggiore

Porcini risotto the night of our arrival in Lago Maggiore

Steak pounded flat and cooked with sizzling hot parmesan cheese and topped with arugula

Steak pounded flat and cooked with sizzling hot parmesan cheese and topped with arugula

Jen looks out at Lago Maggiore from the ferry

Jen looks out at Lago Maggiore from the ferry

Dad and J on Isola Madre

Dad and J on Isola Madre

After Stresa we drove to Masserano, the little medieval town where my grandmother and grandfather grew up. My father, who lives in Connecticut, is fixing up an old family house there. It’s nowhere near done but it’s coming along and will be beautiful in a few years. We spent five days in a bed and breakfast up the street from the house. Every morning we drank espresso and had pastries, then walked along the little street to my father’s house (I wasn’t ready to sleep in the creepy house but he’s used to it). I visited with my good friend Cate and her husband. My dad took J and I to a vendemmia, or grape harvest, where they pick grapes in the vineyard to make into wine. We went hiking in the Alps. My father made a lot of delicious Italian meals in his little kitchen and we drank a lot of good wine, and he even had a dinner party for the people who help him keep the house when he’s not there. We went shopping in Biela, a fancy little city famous for its clothing and shoes, and J bought a nice pair of hiking shoes and a pair of Italian leather boots. The week flew by but was long enough that we got a taste of life in the town.

Masserano, where my ancestors are from, and I've spend a few vacations and holidays

Masserano, where my ancestors are from, and I’ve spend a few vacations and holidays

The street leading to a tiny piazza and my family house

The street leading to a tiny piazza and my family house

The house my nonna grew up in, which my dad is now fixing up

The house my nonna grew up in, which my dad is now fixing up

Jen with our old friend Alessandro, getting read to cook bistecca fiorentina, or Florentine steak, for a dinner party

Jen with my old friend Alessandro, getting read to cook bistecca fiorentina, or Florentine steak, for a dinner party

My friend and her husband made us several delicious dinners in their new home, and a girl I knew in high school joined the party

My friend Cate (2nd from left) and her husband made us several delicious dinners in their new home, and a girl I knew in high school joined the party

J eating indescribable balls of vegetables and flour, dipped in melted fontina

J eating indescribably delicious balls of vegetables and flour, dipped in melted fontina, a typical Piemonte appetizer

Hiking in Oasi Zegna, an area of the Alps coined by the Zegna clan

Hiking in Oasi Zegna, an area of the Alps coined by the Zegna clan

My father summiting a mountain with too much fog to see the view

My father summiting a mountain with too much fog to see the view

At the end of the hike, we ate polenta covered in melted tuma cheese in an Alpine restaurant

At the end of the hike, we ate polenta covered in melted tuma cheese in an Alpine restaurant

Alpine restaurant where we ate after our hike

Alpine restaurant where we ate after our hike

Cate and I at the top of another hill overlooking her hometown

Cate and I at the top of another hill overlooking her hometown

Pumpkin souffle with potatoes and cream sauce

Pumpkin souffle with potatoes and cream sauce

Gelato cookie sandwich - mmmmmm

Gelato cookie sandwich – mmmmmm

After Piemonte, we piled into the Alfa Romeo and headed south for Tuscany. On the way, we stopped in Monterosso, the first town in the Cinque Terre, to have a beer and see the clear blue water.

Like California but better!

Like California but better!

Dad and Jen take a break from discussing Barolo wine to have a local beer

Dad and J take a break from discussing Barolo wine to have a local beer

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We arrived in Regello, a small town outside of Florence, on our two-year anniversary. We met my older sister and her husband and their baby, Gabriel, at an agriturismo, which is a farm villa where you stay in a hotel on a farm where they raise animals for the restaurant and make wine.

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A luxurious evening in the Tuscan countryside

A luxurious evening in the Tuscan countryside

Dinner at the agriturismo, where we had rabbit and pork from the farm. I don't often eat meat, but I like farm-to-table food!

Dinner at the agriturismo, where we had rabbit and pork from the farm. I don’t often eat meat, but I like farm-to-table food!

My dad visits the pigs, who enjoyed eating the leftover grapes from winemaking

My dad visits the pigs, who enjoyed eating the leftover grapes from winemaking

High-tech machine that crushes grapes to make Chianti

High-tech machine that crushes grapes to make Chianti

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Salad with local fresh goat cheese drizzled with local honey

Ravioli stuffed with meat and covered in local cheese and truffle sauce

Ravioli stuffed with meat and covered in local cheese and truffle sauce

GET READY FOR THE SURPRISE!

My family went for a hike on our last full day in Tuscany. When the rest of my family was ready to take the baby back to the hotel, J insisted that she and I keep walking. We hiked up some windy roads and into an olive grove…

J hiking up a country road

J hiking up a country road

Olive grove on the left of the cypress

Olive grove on the left of the cypress

After eating a picnic lunch in the grove, J pulled out a little wooden box and said she had gotten me a gift. She told me I had to stand up. I thought she’d bought me a piece of jewelry from the trip, but when she started crying, I was confused and excited. The box was full of dry arborio rice from the rice fields we’d passed in Piemonte. She pulled out a ring and told me that she felt like an olive grove in Tuscany was the perfect place to ask me to marry her. I cried too and we hugged and of course I said yes!

It turned out she had been waiting for our Italy trip to propose, and had asked my father permission to marry me that morning. We’d talked about getting married, especially since we’re TTC, but I wasn’t expecting the proposal on our trip or even until we were pregnant again. Needless to say I’m so, so ecstatically happy!

A selfie we took in the olive grove after the proposal

A selfie we took in the olive grove after the proposal

The final day was full of bliss and excitement. We ordered prosecco at the agriturismo with dinner to celebrate. We also went to Florence for an afternoon, but my heart is definitely in the countryside.

In front of the Ponte Vecchio in Florence

In front of the Ponte Vecchio in Florence

The ring is a placeholder and we’ll be designing the real ring together. I guess this is about to turn into a TTC and wedding blog!

Thank you, mamaetmamen, for the incredibly yummy gluten-free muffin recipe. I couldn’t wait to join you and My Perfect Breakdown in making them! I’m so glad that you got to make the chocolate-chip version while you were recovering. This weekend I made them and J enjoyed them warm with lots of butter. I have a thing for colored sugar, even when it’s corrupting healthy muffins 🙂

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In just two days we’ll be staring out an airplane window at all the clouds between California and Milan. The excitement has made me a little more upbeat these past few weeks, and I’m hoping that this trip marks a new era of positivity for me in which I can accept my geographical challenges more easily, love J with all my heart instead of always letting my head get in the way, and enjoy some much-needed financial and career improvements.

When I was a teenager and in college I went to Italy several times, visiting the little Piemontese village my grandparents grew up in, staying with a friend whose grandmother was a friend of my grandmother, integrating with her high school life for a couple of weeks and them returning to Connecticut where I would cry for a week straight because I wanted to go back. I turned 21 while I was studying abroad in Siena, where I’d already drunk a hundred bottles of Tuscan red and 21 just meant more of the same. My fear was that it would be difficult to return from this trip, after not having been there for fourteen years, but I’ve come to realize that it’s going to be fine. Upon return, I will simply start planning my next trip there, as J adores Europe and goes every couple of years, and my dad has devoted all of his free time to fixing up the house there in which my grandmother grew up; now that grad school is behind me, I don’t have to put off Italy anymore.

This was going to be a second-trimester trip. I would easily have forgone wine to have my little nugget becoming bigger inside me. I would have shown her a beloved country before she could even see. Due to our miscarriage I will be drinking lots of wine, a small consolation prize, and our next round of IVF upon our return will soften the blow of having to return to LA and to everyday… traffic.

We saw our doctor last week, finally, to discuss the miscarriage that happened two and a half months ago. There have been times I felt angry that we didn’t decide to see her sooner, and desperate for our little embryos to be safe inside me, but I’m glad we waited. The Italy trip placed a square, solid marker between our first attempt and our second, giving us reprieve we didn’t have to discuss or decide on. It’s been a good couple of months, settling into my new job, enjoying the summer and anticipating a trip we’ve been planning for two years.

Our doctor, who is a brilliant and understated Chinese-American IVF expert, explained again that she believes our embryo had a chromosomal abnormality, and that she attributes this in part to J’s age. At 37, miscarriage is pretty common and she assured us she’s not concerned at this point. It’s scary that we only have two embryos left but for now I’m in a state of perpetual hope that I’ll get pregnant and nugget will be sticky.

J is adamantly against transferring two embryos due to the chance of twins. I really do not want to carry and deliver twins, and I only want one child, but I can’t help feeling that twins would be magical. We decided in our meeting however that we will only be transferring one embryo at a time.

The FET cycle timeline start as soon as we return. The day after I get back from Italy, I go in for my Day 2 bloodwork and ultrasound. About a week later I have to have a hydrosonogram to be sure there’s no scaring from the Manual Vacuum Aspiration (D & C). If everything looks okay, they’ll schedule the embryo transfer around October 28.

Just thinking about it makes me feel warm and happy. I’ve been thinking about what it was like to be pregnant a lot lately just the few short weeks of the experience left a huge impression on me. Last night I was in the middle of a yoga class and remembered being in yoga while pregnant and being short of breath. At the time, I felt so labored, but now I look back wistfully. The morning sickness was unmistakably awful, but even that I think of fondly, remembering getting up at 3am to eat dry toast with jam, being overtaken in a wave of nausea while listening to a client. I hope this time I get pregnant and stay pregnant. I hope this time I appreciate it even more, revel in it.

J and I feel more ready now, too. We’ve had a lot of time to talk more about becoming parents together, about our relationship, what we want in the next few years, and prepare together. This time around feels really good.

Right now what I’m really thinking about is pizza – small mis-shapen circles of perfection with real sauce and melting fresh cheese, accompanied by glass after glass of wine from a nearby vineyard, and waking up seeing the Italian countryside out the window, venturing out in pursuit of a cappuccino and flaky pastry.

I won’t have Internet in Italy and if I do, I’ll pretend I don’t! In two weeks I’ll shower you all with pictures though, and I’ll be thinking of you all while I’m away! Good luck to those actively TTC, those recovering from miscarriage, those processing RPL, and to the pregnant ladies and new moms. I can’t wait to see you all soon!

You know when you’ve been sick for days, feeling out of it and sad, achy, like you can’t lift your head off the pillow, and then the first time you get a glimmer that your body might feel normal again, you get a burst of energy and happiness?

I’m home sick today, NOT even on the mend yet, but feeling like maybe SOMEDAY SOON I might start to feel normal again. I slept for 12.5 hours, and when I woke up I didn’t even think I could make it out of bed. Lines of red hot pain were snaking their way through my face, and I had an instant idea for an art therapy project in which I would paint the sinus lines along the face in pain colors – red, black? I don’t even do art therapy, but I could imagine this painting so vividly. This must be why art therapy works – it gives people an outlet in which they can physically express the pain they’re feeling. 

I got out of bed, did a neti pot, and chopped garlic, jalapeno, ginger, and greens, then heated them up with veggie broth and added chopped organic chicken. I wish J was here to do this for me, she’s a great cook and we always make what we call “immunity soup” when we’re sick. Any type of anti-inflammatory vegetable and spice goes into the soup. I put on a pot of coffee (because I’m so sick of being sick, dammit!) and watched an episode of Mistresses (awesome show by the way). A few sips into my coffee, I remembered all the fantastic things that are about to go down.

Last night, before I went to sleep in my miserable, half-alive state, I felt the opposite. I thought, I need to spend more time with my family, and What am I going to do without J all weekend in our 1,000 degree apartment and How can I go to Italy when I have no savings. Today, those thoughts turned into I can’t wait until I’m pregnant, which may be soon, and God I love J, I’m so deeply grateful to have her in my life, I can’t wait until we run off to Italy together and We’re so lucky to be financially stable enough to take a trip! I love my new job!

Going to Italy is not something I take lightly. I started preparing for graduate school the minute I declared my major in my sophomore year of college. I researched psychology grad schools and looked at their minimum application requirements, because I didn’t want to MAJOR in psych. It wasn’t one of the best departments at my college, and it was the popular major – I wanted to get something more out of college. So I majored in feminist philosophy, minored in psych, and after graduation spent two years as a case manager for a social work organization, helping people with mental illness do everyday things like grocery shop and pay their bills. It took almost a year to finish my grad school apps, and when I decided on California School of Professional Psychology in San Diego, it was another six months of preparation, then driving cross country with the kitties in the car and starting a new life in Cali (for the second time, as I’d already run away to California three years before). 

Four years later, I finished my coursework. My dissertation took two more years to complete. Another year to complete my postdoc. I then began the long process of getting licensed – studying for the national exam, finding out I was missing a year’s worth of internship hours, re-doing these hours (another year), then failing the state exam, waiting the allotted 6 months, then taking it again, and finally becoming licensed. Throughout the 9 years I was in grad school, I never had a real vacation. Family holidays and weekends in Palm Springs, yes, but no week-long pleasure-only actual vacations.

Through all of this, I met the person I thought I would marry, got engaged, and she broke off our wedding plans six months into the engagement. 

Then I starting seeing J. In the midst of a storm, a tornado of depression, self-doubt, but also opportunity and frenetic openness, we saw each other in a new light. I can’t say I met her, because we’d been friends for almost four years already, both engaged to other people. As a psychotherapist, I believe that you should get into a relationship when you’re in a healthy, stable place with yourself, NOT when you’re in the midst of a storm, but J and I’s relationship began like a storm brewing, a wonderful, exciting, and very RIGHT storm. The kind of storm that makes you feel warm, excited and take a break from your everyday. The kind of storm that leaves freshness and light in its wake, that helps you start over. 

Unfortunately, starting over hasn’t quite happened for me yet. So many transitions happened all at once – leaving a relationship, starting a new one, moving from San Diego to LA (which are two VERY different cultures, believe it or not), leaving my friends, and struggling to accept that once again, I wouldn’t be moving back to New England, wouldn’t be living near my family yet. 

I’ve been a pill. I’ve been negative, a broken record of broken dreams, reminding J all the time that I hate living here, that I’m unhappy, that I don’t trust our relationship, no matter how good it is (because how could I trust ANY relationship after what happened?). She has time and again held me while I threw a bitter fit, both literally and figuratively. She’s amazing, a strong, positive life force I don’t always deserve. 

What J deserves: A partner who is content to let her have a couple years at the peak of her career, no matter where in the country it is. A partner who greets her with open arms and a smile after business trips, not passive-aggressiveness about her work schedule. A partner who focuses on all the positive parts of life’s circumstances. A partner who shows her acceptance, powerful support, a partner who pours her prosecco on a Friday night and spends hours giggling about nothing with her (that’s the only one I’m good at). 

You know who else deserves these things? Me. I deserve to be that person. I’ve said to some of you before that I don’t believe in the concept of “deserving” something, that life doesn’t give you what you deserve anyway, but by deserve, I mean I deserve to put these things out there, to put them into my life. To set the power of intention in motion enough to feel these fruits. I’ve been through some rough things in my life, just like everyone else. In the past, I felt I was just starting adulthood, that I’d figure it out. Now I’m 35, and I’m not just starting adulthood – this is it. It’s time to be happy because no one is going to do it for me, pick me up, fix my life, make sure I’m adjusting my attitude everyday. Only I can do that. 

Hold me accountable. I’ll be blogging more about taking care of my mental self, taking care of J, and lifting up our life together, knowing that our life depends on it. The day J and I discovered what was between us was a fateful day, and little did I know that it would be two years until I was ready for the potential of our relationship. Here it is, almost two years. We’ll spend our anniversary in Tuscany. We’ll come back ready for our first FET. I have the best job I’ve ever had. I have the best relationship I’ve ever had. Our days in LA are finally numbered. Why on Earth would I let anything bring me down?

Here’s to life, our loving partners, and the little sparks we’re all waiting for…

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I just went to an Italian language meet up in a great part of LA and had fantastic food and conversation. I’ve never been to one so was a little nervous, but felt instantly comfortable surrounded by a small group of friendly, like-minded Italian speakers. We introduced ourselves, drank prosecco, and spoke in Italian for two hours. (I suppose a little bit of English was also uttered.)

Putting myself out there socially in LA has been difficult. I don’t want to put any roots down here and it’s difficult to get around, so I haven’t bothered to make many friends. As I sat listening to bubbly, intelligent people share their connections to Italy, I felt I’d been missing out. We ate wood fired pizza with fresh produce and real mozzarella, which got me really excited to be in Italy. There was an industrial-organizational psychologist, a woman who lives near me and attends my yoga studio, and another woman who went to a Seven Sisters college like I did. I always think I don’t have anything in common with people in LA, but it’s possible to find community when you’re looking for it.

I’d rather sit around a restaurant having drinks and chatting than most other activities. I love running, writing, cooking and going out to eat. It struck me that once we have a baby I won’t do as many of these things, at least for the first few years, if ever. I’ve already had years of happy hours and wine bars and friends, but I’ve missed it this past year. I was so caught up in J’s egg stimulation, the TWW, the excitement of pregnancy, and the confusion and sadness of miscarriage. Of course I was – it all means so much to me and honestly, I can’t wait to be caught up in it again. I’m glad that in the meantime though, I’m moving on and forward until it’s time again.

Work has been so stressful. I’ve been focused on cleaning, budgeting, trying to get sleep – all the everyday mundanity. I think everyday about the miscarriage and the future. While we’re trying to conceive, or in-between tries, or deciding whether or not to even move forward in the near future, there are wonderful things to do and I’m going to do them!

Again, I’m too worn out from the daily grind to write the way I want to. When J and I were hiking in Idyllwild a couple of weeks ago, we talked about all of the creative things we want to do instead of working every day. She wants to weld, build furniture, work on cars. I want to write a memoir or a novel, come up with gluten-free recipes all day, and learn to play the piano again. We both do what we love for work, and I’m totally enjoying my new job, but I’m exhausted! It makes me wonder how people with babies do it. After work, commuting, then exercising in the evening, making dinner, doing the dishes, taking care of the cats, showering, and getting ready for the next morning, how would I take care of my little one?! I know parents figure it out but it amazes me 🙂 

A few updates on the TTC front: Last Thursday my period came! It was my first period since May 7th, before I got pregnant. After a miscarriage it can take 4-6 weeks to get a period. Mine came four weeks to the day that we found out. I suspected I was getting it because I had what could only be PMS – I went on a rant about nothing at home, couldn’t find my headphones and actually threw something across our living room! A few days later, I was so excited to see the blood. It meant my body was recovering, and I felt normal again. 

We’re not going to be ready for any actual fertility stuff for awhile. We’re going to Italy at the end of September so it won’t be until at least October. Everything in IVF has to planned so far in advance though. If we do a FET too late in the fall, we won’t be able to go to my grandmother’s 90th birthday in Sarasota in February if I actually get/stay pregnant. But in order to do the FET in October, I’m supposed to go into the clinic the second day of my period, but the way my period app calculates that cycle, the second day of my period will be a day we’re still in Italy. So I emailed our IVF coordinator who suggested I go on birth control now, so that they can control when I get my period and I can still do a cycle in October. I’m waiting to hear back from her about the prescription. I don’t want to go on birth control while I’m trying to lose this extra few pounds, but I’ll do whatever it takes! 

Meanwhile, we have an appointment to consult with our fertility doctor about the miscarriage and our plan for the next cycle on September 17th. We only have two blastocysts, out of all the hard work J went through when we were harvesting and collecting her eggs. I wish we had more to work with!

It feels crazy to even be thinking about this stuff again. Part of me feels too scared to want to try again. Going through the terror of not getting pregnant at all would be awful. We’ve spent so many thousands of dollars and that would be the end of it, no way to get any of it back. Miscarrying again would be the same, but even more emotional and heart-wrenching. Also, I’ve just begun to feel okay again, physically and emotionally, so it feels soon to be thinking about trying to get pregnant again. Sometimes I’m so glad it’s still months away and J and I can just relax and enjoy ourselves, and other times I feel like I need those embies inside me NOW! and I want to be three months pregnant NOW! Just give me my baby!

I want to say congratulations to those of you with your BFPs. I’ve followed your efforts and triumphs for months now and I’m just so encouraged and excited for you! And to those with BFNs, my heart breaks a little for you, and also holds out hope that you will find a way. We all want our babies 🙂

J is away visiting her family this weekend, actually since Wednesday, so I’ve had a lot of alone time. I love alone time, but I miss her. It’s nice to work on projects and spend time with friends, to curl up by myself and write. This is the longest we’ve been away from each other in awhile though, and certainly since our loss, and I’m excited for her to return to me tomorrow! In her absence I’ve indulged in some excessive grocery-buying activity at Whole Foods, which I will share with you because it’s a blog and I can write about any random thing I want.

Did you read Eat Pray Love? Yes, I jumped all over the bandwagon of that wonderful, life-saving book. My favorite section was India, and I love how Richard From Texas calls Elizabeth “Groceries” because she can put so much food away. More on that book later.

Last night my close friend and I were sitting on the bluffs overlooking Santa Monica beach, eating delicious salads from Tender Greens and drinking a hidden bottle of red wine out if her bag. We’ve both had a lot of loss in recent years – both of us broken engagements, family loss, and my miscarriage. We were talking about filling our hearts in healthy ways vs with substances, which includes overrating and eating unhealthy food.

I’ve been focusing my meals on gluten-free whole grains, veggies and protein for the past few weeks. J and I ate a lot of unhealthy food during IVF because the schedule was so stressful, and once I was pregnant I was so nauseous I had to eat comfort food constantly. Needless to say, I’m trying to get rid of a few pounds, pounds that represent my pregnancy and the baggage of what I’ve lost.

I was vegetarian for many years, vegan for five, and we eat mostly gluten-free at home because we like it and tend to eat healthier, and fewer carbs, this way. I feel best when I’ve had a kale salad with a simple homemade dressing for lunch, and when I’ve had a chicken breasts and some veggies for dinner. Unfortunately, I’m also a sucker for real Italian pasta with Parmesan, a huge glass of red wine and cake, cake cake! So today I’ve spent two hours and $221 on some exciting groceries, including a bunch of important Italian wine. I’m going to bike to yoga, then spend the evening making paleo granola, carb-free organic egg “muffins” and as usual, prep my tofu, salad and hummus. I also plan to have some wine and gluten-free spinach pasta for dinner though!

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