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I dumped too much Moringa powder into my water bottle, so I got creative: a pinch of cinnamon and a pinch of dark cocoa, shaken well. It still tastes like a tree, but with a sweet kick.
(I'm still at a half teaspoon per water bottle, adding water with every few sips, but a full teaspoon is pretty good, even if it needed sweetening.)

Links, just to have somewhere to put them:
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Organic blueberry waffles drizzled with local clover honey. Oh, I spoil myself.

I can no longer stand the taste of artificial sweetness. There are some exceptions, of course, but in general I do not use most artificial sweeteners, not even Splenda, although with Splenda I may eventually adjust to what I feel is a wretched taste. I do like the taste of erythritol and of stevia, and I wish they were more readily available, as Splenda is, in packet form.

I could probably stop drinking coffee completely if I could replace it with Zola Original Acai Juice or Sambazon Rio Energy Acai Juice several times a week. Considering that both cost less than a tall latte at Starbucks, I'd feel a bit better.

My husband and I agree that Rose is a supermodel kitten. She has a beautiful face for a cat.
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Oh, weekend. Oh, company.

Adam and Billy are preparing the big green van to be cleaned out. Adam will donate it to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

Nifty links:
(Speaking of Dr. Bronner's, I need to try that new Organic Shikakai soap. Shikakai is amazing.

Also, in my category of newly tasted exotic superfruit beverage obsession:
Oh. My. Fucking. Gods.
I found this at my local Yes Organic Market on Friday. It was fairly cheap, and the ingredient list read like a Who's-Who Of Superfood All-Stars Live At The Academy Awards Walking The Red Carpet. I bought two bottles of the Pomegranate. I just tried one. Holy Mother Of God Wow. I'm willing to make this a daily beverage addiction. Or maybe every other day. I can spare four dollars a bottle.
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Oh my gods oh Mother Danu oh for the love of Pan YES.

Bom Dia Acai Energy Conquer Juice.
Acai juice, yerba mate, black tea, guarana, pomegranate juice, goji berry juice, noni juice, mangosteen puree, yumberry juice, apple juice, merlot grape juice, ginseng, taurine, vitamin C, l-theanine, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin K.

It has everything I want in a juice. Everything. Superfruits galore.
It tastes amazing and divine and I can taste every bit of every fruit ingredient, seriously.
And I am actually energized. Screw coffee.
And it's three bucks plus change. It's less than coffee.
And it's sold at Giant and at the little deli next to the Metro across from my office
And it's amazing. Did I mention divine?


*scampers off gibbering*

(This almost makes up for the fibro flare and the migraine.)
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Sometimes it really pays to complain. Swanson Vitamins, the website from which I order most of my supplements, was having issues with its checkout, so I hit "Chat" to speak to a representative, and she told me that while they worked on the problem, I should call the hotline, mention her name and tell them she gave me permission to have free shipping. So, I will soon have my restock of Yerba Mate capsules and Bamboo extract capsules delivered with free shipping. Yay.

I have been so profoundly happy with the blend of Rhodiola Rosea and Yerba Mate that I've marked the supplements as Take Forever alongside MSM, Cat's Claw, Ashwagandha, Gotu Kola, Passion Flower, and Neem. I will be adding Bamboo to that. I've been taking Horsetail, but Bamboo offers about 70 percent more silica than Horsetail. Silica is important.

Now that I've been using a Sigg water bottle and a Kleen Kanteen water bottle for a few months, the only plastic-bottle beverages I buy are tea and juice blends. I particularly hunt down my two favorites from Honest Tea: Pomegranate White Tea With Acai and Citrus Energy Green Tea. Now if they made the infamous Pomegranate Red Tea With Goji in a plastic bottle, I'd buy so much they'd have to give me a discount. I love glass bottles, but I'm paranoid about traveling with glass.

In the meantime, I'm making do with Purely Juice's Totally Tropical With Goji juice that I can buy at Giant. It's got mango, which is also very beneficial.
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It's got Goji, Pomegranate, and Sea Buckthorn! AUGH.
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An internal conversation:

Taste Buds: Hey, what does this taste like?
Brain: Brownies with coconut. Yum!
Taste Buds: Yes! And this? What does this taste like?
Brain: OMG! Brownies with hazelnuts! Moremoremore!
Taste Buds: Yay! Um, and it's health food.
Brain! Is not! Can't be!
Eyes: Yuh-huh! Lookit the wrapper! Health food!
Brain: Oh. 'Kay. Then... these are the greatest health food bars ever.
Taste Buds: I know, right? They taste like fudgy brownies! Nom nom nom.
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The following discoveries are extremely wonderful:

As I was walking up the hill after getting off the bus at our neighborhood, I saw Adam coming toward me on his 21-speed mountain bike. It was very good timing. We got the mail together. He'll be going to Vancouver soon.

I almost twisted my left ankle earlier. Stuff hurts. Stuff always hurts, but stuff hurts especially badly today.

I just took my prescription meds: anti-epilepsy pill, birth control pill, happy awesome pain relief pill (Soma). Beca is right. Just because I feel so fantastic on this painkiller doesn't mean I'll soon become addicted or anything. It makes the pain and tension go away. That's supposed to happen. Feeling wonderful comes with it.
If I make another blog post later tonight and it is marvelously incoherent, it is because I'll be almost deliriously happy because I'll be completely pain-free. Soon I'll be able to remember what life was like before chronic pain.

Oh, hey. Michelle Trachtenberg is on Gossip Girl. Oh, did she grow up beautifully. One of the most beautiful women I've ever seen. Well, I'm smitten.
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I just tried the Mix 1 drink in Mix Berry for the first time, and I'm in love. This is an awesome beverage. It costs much less than a vanilla latte and gives me as much energy if not more, so I'd be very happy to drink it every morning for breakfast. Unfortunately, I don't think CVS carries the brand, so I'll just have to stock up at the Yes! Organic Market near the Cleveland Park Metro on my way home. I also adore Sambazon Acai Trinity, Sambazon Acai Rio, Bom Dia Acai Pomegranate, Bom Dia Acai Blueberry, Bom Dia Acai Cacao, and Naked Juice Pomegranate Acai. Those brands really need to start working on adding Goji berry to everything. Between any one of those and Mix 1 Mix Berry, I think my mornings at work are set.
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Now that we've been buying romaine lettuce consistently, I eat salad every day or every other day. And now I've become a lover of alfalfa sprouts and mung bean sprouts, so those are a must have. And carrots, of course, chopped baby carrots. And sometimes chopped black olives. And my salads are never complete without mozzarella cheese, any kind. I'll also use avocados if I have them on hand, and cucumbers. If we have asparagus, I'll chop it up happily; it is my number one favorite vegetable (I can eat almost one pound of asparagus in a sitting). If we have mushrooms of any kind, they get chopped up and thrown in. I almost always use olive oil and red wine vinegar for dressing. Although if I have an exotic fruit-based dressing, like pomegranate blueberry, I'll use that. I also love dried berries, especially blueberries. I'm trying to develop a taste for nuts; usually I don't like the taste of any nut. Are there any nuts that don't have a strong flavor?
Anyone have favorite salad recipes they'd like to share?
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OhMyGods. Oh my gods. AUGH. *flail*
*gasp, pant, more dancing*

This. Is. The. Greatest. Beverage. I. Have. Ever. Had.

I feel like crying. This is like manna. Ambrosia. Nectar. Insert holy type food or drink here.
Rooibos tea. Pomegranate juice. Goji berries. I bow before this glass bottle. *bows*

Hi, this is my new addiction, yes. This does to my insides what Linda's Emollient Cream does to my skin: causes sheer, torrential bliss to surge throughout my being.

Yes, that's over the top. No, I don't care. I'm excited.
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And there are times when all you can do -- all you should do -- is listen, and be there, and have words of comfort and love, as she rants and vents and yells and stomps and punches a couch cushion, and releases all her frustration, and you'll be there to catch it and soothe it and be a friend, and that's all she wants, that's all she needs, and when it's done she feels better, and you laugh, and she lists all the good things that vastly outweigh the bad things. And even though you wish you could say more and do more, you don't need to do anything but be there, and listen, and love her.
I have such a life-changing decision, a series of tiny choices, floating in front of me inside my head, and whether I choose to go the way he has offered to go depends on how I will face the truth of what I feel. And I have to confront myself and ask, what am I afraid of? Oh, so many things. However, this worry that I can't break through is no longer so strong; it keeps getting better. But that will come with time, and self-searching, and increased self-awareness; and at the end of it all, I will be okay. It will all be fine, I know that, and I'm excited, and nervous, but there is always that nervousness.
This is who I will be.
This is who we will be.
I am his everything, he says. He misses his everything.
Gods, I'm still crying.
Two and a half weeks left. Has it really been barely a week since he left? It always feels like forever.
He is my everything.

On a lighter note:
It's been enough time where I can say that I am really happy with my new plumping lip glosses, the clear one and the shimmery red one. DHC's lip gloss is the second plumping gloss I have found and liked that contains both hyaluronic acid and palmitoyl oligopeptide (the first being the Sally Hansen Lip Inflation Extreme gloss, which tastes delicious).
I've been filling up on salads and vegetables and have been very happy. Adam bought a package of salad mixings before he left, which I have been blending with shredded cheese, black olives, avocados, olive oil, and vinegar. We are now out of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Tomorrow, I'll go to Giant for more; they're having a sale on the Pompeian olive oil brand, and I'd like to get the Pomegranate Red Wine Vinegar or Pomegranate Balsamic Vinegar. Charlotte says she'll take me. I spent the day with her and Billy, and John and Aaron and Vicky. Charlotte and I had a good, long, silly girl talk and I wound up laughing so hard I still hurt.
It's good to laugh like that.
Everyone needs to laugh like that.
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My friend is actually doing much better than I thought. She's taking baby steps toward getting therapy and figuring herself out. More lies and more lies from her family, more betrayal, more abuse, more anger. She's working on her severe trust issues. But I am happy, because she is letting down her shields and she's readying herself to confront those who have hurt her, to really let herself come clean and free. Good girl. Fucking family. No wonder she calls me her sister. But I am very very relieved and impressed. Still angry as fuck about how her relatives are assholes, but hey.
I feel really bad for my roommate. He needs a new job fast. He still can't pay rent. Send good thoughts and optimism, please.

I went to Whole Foods after work and found something fantastic: 365 Nutrient Enhanced Water. Tropical Punch Power with Goji Berry, Aronia Juice and Acerola. 99 cents per bottle. Whole Foods, I love you. I know, it's not much, but it's something. It's goji.
I also decided to buy a chicken quesadilla, which I can heat up in the convection toaster oven, and a huge caprese sandwich, which pleased me. And, of course, another bottle of Bolthouse Farms Mocha Cappucino and a bottle of Bom Dia Acai Pomegranate juice. At home, I called Charlotte to say hello and offer my home up for visiting over the weekend. Found out that Adam was safely in Santa Rosa and setting up. All is well.

Still madly in love with's Anti-Aging Moisturizer. It appears to have optical deflectors and makes my skin look incredibly smooth and it has this nice powdery feel. And it smells like sacred lotus, passionflower, pomegranate, rose, frankincense, myrrh, grapefruit, and blood orange. Divine and transcending. It could almost be a faint perfume. Comes in a handy plastic tube, like a giant lip balm. Fits right in my purse. Yay skin.
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It's Friday already? When did that happen? My week zoomed by.
I am preparing myself to have a long and hard talk with a dear friend and I'm not sure how to go about it, except gently: I love you, and I feel that you should see a therapist, and I know you hate therapists, but you just need to find the one that works best with you. You've been through so much horror and abuse all your life, you need to release all that pain and fear and mistrust, or you'll never get past it.
Adam and I also had a talk, and he may be coming to a decision that I have been worried about making, but like pretty much everyone has been saying, it needs to be made one way or the other. We're waiting until the end of the month, when he comes home.
There are times when I feel so childish. Innocent and naive and stumbling and tactless and with my foot covered in sugar so it's constantly in my mouth. I don't know what to do some days.
If I ever say anything to you that makes you snarl, tell me.
I get way too emotionally involved in everything... No clue how to properly confront people... sometimes I wonder if I am a bad friend; and then I snap myself out of it.

On a lighter note:
Best stuff ever:
Bolthouse Farms Perfectly Protein Mocha Cappuccino with Whey Protein
Bom Dia Acai Berry with Pomegranate Juice
Sambazon Acai Rio Energy Juice
Goji Juice with pomegranate, blueberry, and aronia juices
I have discovered that I can indeed wear blue eyeshadow. It just has to be a very pale, light, subtle, almost silvery blue. I like Maybelline's eyeshadow single in Blue Blazes. I also like their Enchanted Forest quad and Grey Matters duo.
Rhassoul clay is the greatest exfoliating mask clay ever. Also makes an amazing shampoo.
Moor mud and dead sea mud are also awesome, but in mud form.
I've started taking six grams of spirulina in tablet form daily. It seems to keep my energy levels up nicely!
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Upon checking myself in the bathroom mirror, I discovered a lovely, massive bruise forming on the back of my left thigh. The whole leg feels a bit numb, which means I most likely hit the sciatic nerve, which means oh joy, more sciatica flare-ups. When I get home I'm taking the homeopathic arnica pills and applying the special massage oil and lotion which both contain arnica (and tamanu and hypericum and helichrysum and sea buckthorn, etc).

In honor of the goji chicken dream, lunch today was a chicken sandwich.
And I have goji juice at home. It's from Puritan Sale; a 32-oz bottle for seven dollars each. I'd ordered four bottles, with shipping for a dollar, and since a bottle is usually thirty dollars, it was like getting four for the price of one even with shipping. Like most brands, it's cut with other juices. But unlike most brands, those other juices are awesome: pomegranate, blueberry, and aronia. No other brand I've seen has that, only pear and apple. Pomegranate, blueberry, and aronia juices are phenomenal juices, right up there with goji. Therefore, the Puritan brand is the best in my mind. If I couldn't get the pure, one hundred percent goji juice, this is the brand I'd buy over all others (hey, four for one deal too). Besides, pure goji juice is such an acquired taste. It tastes like a mix of tomato, carrot, and orange juice. I like it mixed with other juices no matter what people say, because they'll say that diluted is crap compared to undiluted, because they want to make money. Really, it depends on how much goji they use.
Also, if I drink two ounces every day, those four bottles will last me two months, as opposed to one bottle lasting two weeks. Thirty dollars every two months, or every two weeks. Not a hard choice.

Also, I am reading the latest paperback edition of Good Omens, the one with the introduction and the interviews with Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, and it's making me so happy. And in the cafeteria, there was a box of assorted chocolates, so I had a dark chocolate espresso candy, and a dark chocolate red wine candy. My sandwich was delicious: Grilled chicken panini with parmesan, sun-dried tomatoes, and basil pesto. Yay.
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I walked for two hours yesterday.
I walked.
See, I feel odd about this; I'm almost jubilant. And people who don't have any chronic pain or disabilities -- people who run two miles like a stroll down the street -- might say "Yeah, so? You walked, big deal."

The King Farm community in Rockville is a self-contained sprawl of townhouses, apartments, and shopping centers. It's essentially across the street from the Shady Grove metro station. You could walk there from the metro station. I never have. Yesterday, I decided I really wanted to go to Safeway and buy one of the bakery/deli's custom-made sandwiches. Whenever I am at Safeway, I like to order a tuna sandwich with avocado and cheddar cheese on rustic Italian bread or ciabatta bread. The King Farm Safeway is the only one I know that still has the rustic Italian bread, and the best bakery/deli section.
I took the bus to Shady Grove, and immediately began walking up Redland to King Farm Boulevard. I have a horrible sense of direction. It is truly bizarre and pathetic. You could give me a map, a compass, and a written list of exact directions, and I would still get lost. But I managed to find the main shopping center, and stopped in Mayorga for an iced vanilla latte. I sat on one of the couches and read Charles de Lint's Moonlight and Vines and drank my latte. Then I left and made my way to the Safeway. I ordered my sanndwich, then bought a new set of plastic combs and a bottle of water. I left the store and began walking. Of course, I walked the wrong way. However, I wound up at a tiny shop that sold holistic and natural pet food and toys. I decided to buy a few cans of moist cat food, as Luna and Jupiter would demand gooshyfood when I got home. Then I walked back the other way. I realized I was still not walking in the right direction. I decided I didn't really care and wandered for a while. Eventually, I was back on the right street, and followed the signs back to the metro station. I walked back to my bus stop and sat for ten minutes until the bus arrived. Then I got off at my stop across from Laytonia and walked another five minutes back to the house.
I felt exhilarated, and also exhausted and in intense pain. The paradox of exercising with ailments like fibromyalgia and cerebral palsy, I guess. When I woke up today I was sore, in pain, and reluctant to get out of bed. Stretching, yoga, and basic Pilates helped, and so did a hot shower.

I'm watching the Discovery Health Channel, showing a marathon of the series "The Truth About Food." There was a study on detox diets that discovered that juice detox diets don't actually do anything beneficial, and that most of the subjects became listless, grumpy, and hungry. There was also a study showing that vegetarian martial artists who ate a little bit of red meat had an overall better performance athletically. There was another study that showed that red wine and grape juice did indeed strengthen the arterial walls and make them more elastic, lowering the chances of heart disease. And another study that showed that the omega fatty acids in oily fish truly helped with physical stress and health overall.
This was all extremely interesting, in the wake of all those fad diets and supplements and claims. However, a few small studies do not make up everything. Many people who go on detox diets, many people who are strict vegetarians, and many people who don't drink alcohol do perfectly fine with their lifestyles. However, the above studies made me smile. Because they show that sometimes, all you really need is the healthy diet that works for YOU. And no one can tell you exactly what your precise body needs or does not need.
So will happily eat my steak dinner along with my vegetarian meal, my chocolate along with my berries, my red wine along with my filtered water. And I'll be happy. Because it's my body.
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For the past two weeks, I've been eating mostly vegetarian meals when I've been out. If I'm craving a burger, I'll go to Fuddrucker's and order a buffalo burger, and if I want chicken I'll get a grilled chicken wrap with grilled veggies. Before Adam left for Massachusetts, he made a dish that incorporated broiled salmon, curried eggplant, and wild rice. I've been eating it since Tuesday night and so far I haven't gotten tired of it. It just continues to be delicious, especially with shredded mozzarella cheese melted on top.
Lunch has been Italian caprese sandwiches, vegetarian foccacia sandwiches (garden veggie cream cheese, cucumbers, alfalfa sprouts, tomato, lettuce, red onion, avocado, Swiss cheese), salads, pastas, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. And I've been noticing some very small changes in my body. Almost no body odor, for one.
The term "flexitarianism" has been floating into my line of thinking. I can't give up meat entirely, because my body demands it at least once a week, and my muscles will let me know if I lack it. This semi-vegetarianism would not be for moral or ethical reasons, but because I find that my tastes are changing. I only like to eat a very limited range of animal meats anyway (I don't really like pork, veal, venison, lamb, duck, or goat, out of the meats I've tried). It's the taste and texture. I like bacon, but only if it is so crispy and crunchy that it's practically burned, because that masks the pork taste. I'll eat duck only if it's smothered in sauce. The smell of lamb makes me nauseated and gives me a headache, and the taste makes me gag. Veal tastes much too stringy and weird. Venison is too tough, gamey, and smoky.
So, basically, it comes down to cow, buffalo, chicken, and emu, and of course fish and shellfish (and dairy and eggs and honey). I love the tastes of all those mentioned meats just fine. But I know when I feel like eating red meat and when I don't. When Adam cooks up a good steak, or a roast beef, or brisket, or fabulous pot roast, I'm perfectly happy. But on my own, I usually won't eat red meat unless it's a very good steak and cheese sandwich, like from the Pizza Palace place near Charlotte's house.
I think I could do this right, if I informed myself well enough. This would only be for myself, personal and private.
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Goji Berry Pomegranate Green Tea

One more thing to add to that shopping list.
The gods of superfoods and supertea have smiled upon me.

I am approximately as excited as the day I discovered my beloved skin cream with goji berry and sea buckthorn and lip balm with acai and pomegranate.

Really, it does not take much to make me incredibly happy.


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