Diet Free Intentional Living

That moment when you leave the doctor’s office with another issue which means medication and diet alterations… over the diets!

Since I was born I have suffered with colon issues, having polyps surgically removed at six months of age and again at two years of age, hemorrhoids by the age of sixteen, and irritable bowel syndrome which was always skirted around until into my late twenties. By the age of seventeen, I had developed migraines and by my earlier twenties, I had sever GERD. Not to be overly personal but, I had gone through most of my life with toilets filled with blood, days in bed or even hiding in the bathtub of windowless bathrooms, and days or weeks with no voice learning to sleep in an elevated bed. Side effects have included a bloated stomach, decaying teeth, and some embarrassing outfit changes. On top of all of this, in my early to mid-thirties, I learned that I have severe arthritis riveting throughout my body. So imagine my surprise in my mid-to-late-forties learning all of these issues are directly related to diet.

Food? Really? I rarely eat sugar. I don’t add salt to my food once plated. I don’t use dressing on my salads. I don’t understand. But it’s true. Everything you eat affects you, physically and mentally. In other words, you truly are what you eat. But, in order to correct the health issues, there are diets for each issue. There’s an IBS diet. There’s a Migraine diet. There’s a GERD diet. There’s even an Arthritic diet. How many diets do I have to follow? How do you combine the diets? Of course, then there’s the traditional diets because the doctor tells you you’re obese, needing to lose at least fifteen to twenty pounds but thirty pounds would be better. You’ve got to be kidding me! And then, while you are on all the diets, the things you typically wouldn’t eat anyhow are now a sudden craving! It’s madness! Complete and total meltdown has been had.

In the midst of attempting to diet, you realize through all of the huffing, grunting, and husbandly meltdowns, this diet thing isn’t going to work on a meat and potatoes man. So you begin to contemplate making two meals each night. Or, you could simply go out to eat each night and attempt to find something on the menu that would meet all diet requirements… or starve. So in a panic, feeling overwhelmed by it all, you have another meltdown and throw the diets out the window because you just cannot deal with the extra work of making two meals, eating out, and a grumpy old man.

Why yes, yes it’s true, I’m over the diets!

People you’ve shared your ongoing saga with are now asking you, “How’s the diet going”?  … “UM, IT’S NOT”!

Have you ever tried cutting out garlic, onion, raw vegetables, 75% of fruit, beans, broccoli, asparagus, cabbage, potatoes, peppers, tomatoes, cheese, bread, pasta, sugar, and the list could literally go on and on and on and on…!

Of course, their responses are genuine when they respond, “Ohhh. You should try the Paleo Diet… the Whole30 Diet… diet, diet, diet”. Makes you just want to bitch-slap them, in an appreciative kind of way.


In 1994, a movie was released titled, “The Shawshank Redemption” which I thought was a great movie. There’s a quote in the movie that I’ve repeated over the years which states, “I guess it comes down to a simple choice, really. Get busy living or get busy dying”. So in that moment, when walking out of the doctor’s office with one more issue, that of course also had its own diet, there was only a simple choice I had to make, did I want to be healthy or not. In other words, was I going to get busy living or get busy dying?

So long diets, hello intentional living!

Because being healthy is, after all, intentional living.

I’ve learned to breathe. I’ve learned that it really is everything in moderation… portion control. And I’ve learned, it doesn’t matter how much someone tells you that they’ll support you, it doesn’t mean that they’re going to participate. I am responsible for me and me alone.

My healthy changes now include the following: walking daily, doing yoga, no more than a cups worth of food and no seconds, eating six times a day, drinking more water, not eating three hours prior to bed, no smoking, no alcohol, buying organic, gluten-free, and/or vegan (about 75% of the time), and not being offended or caring if the grumpy old man doesn’t eat what I prepared – he has feet, a car, and money, and there are several places to eat around our town. I am also intentional in choices while paying attention to previous choices, all while sharing my food and/or recipes with others. And, I will always stand by and stay true to the two things (which are one in the same) that I instilled in my children:

  • Don’t knock it until you try it. (learned from my mom)
  • You can’t say you don’t like it if you never taste it.

All the pressure has vaporized into the wind now that I’m not consumed with diets. Don’t get me wrong, in order for me to become healthy, I must understand each diet that goes along with each issue but it’s finding the balance in incorporating them to work together and individually while not stressing over eliminating everything. Moderation and portion control are my best friends. For example, there are LOW-FODMAP’s and HIGH-FODMAP’s. I cannot eliminate all of them, so I avoid the high ones if at all possible and take the low ones and incorporate something once or twice a week. If I have garlic or cheese today, I won’t for the next six days. I also listen to my body, it will tell me if there’s something I truly can never have.

When you’re intentional, no one else controls your situation, your outcome, your happiness, because it’s all up to you.

If you like food, looking for new recipes, want to try the vegan, gluten-free, or diary-free dishes, than keep an eye out here for postings including pictures. Not that all my recipes will be all of these or even one of these, but it will be healthy and yummy… and if it’s not, I’ll tell you.

pink pancakes

Pink Pancake Day

Circa. 1990-2005… The Dash

After the mourning sickness….

There’s healing….

Years and years of healing.

Some time ago, I read a post on Facebook by a friend stating she was thankful for “the dash”. I thought to myself, “She must be a bigger woman than me!” I wasn’t where she was at. I could find nothing, outside of my children, to be thankful for. It was painful. It was depressing. It was a torturous roller-coaster. It was dark and gloom filled. I took every opportunity to play the part of a victim to those around me. All the while, at home and alone, I’d find myself angry that he wasn’t a better man.

Years passed….

I found myself still feeling robbed. Always wondering what would’ve become if things had just been different… if he were different. And then as quickly as the wondering came, one day it just left. Things that were a reminder took on new meanings. I could hear a song and not have it stab my heart. Places didn’t bother me so much any longer. And I realized, I wasn’t missing him. I never was missing him – I missed the idea of him. What was cannot be again. What was, was no longer wanted. And I found peace. Peace in the thought of having lived the experience – peace but not appreciation.

Soon to be fifteen years later, I can now say the following:

I’m thankful for the dash… the good, the bad, and the ugly.

I would not be where I am today if it were not for the dash. It has led me to the most wonderful chapter in my life. There is peace. There is joy. There is hope. There is love. Chains no longer hold me. Demons no longer taunt me. And tonight, this very moment, I found freedom. I had an epiphany. And it’s beautiful!

So goodbye … and hello.

Slaughtering the Defenseless

When I was twenty-one, I attended a party at a relatives house along with several mutual friends. It was a safe environment – we were young and looking for a good time. While most of us were raised in church with a strict list of what will send you to hell, we thought we’d explore for ourselves.
And people think it’s just the preacher’s kids that rebel.

We’d been playing cards, like many of us had grown up watching our parents play, all while sipping on wine coolers, wild turkey, royal crown, and whatever other liquor was popular at the time. Our card game soon turned into a game of quarters – something I had never played before and never played again.

I remember making my way to the living room and passing out on the couch. I faintly remember a relative changing my shirt, as I had vomited all over myself, and putting me back to rest on the couch.

When I woke, I wasn’t bright eyed and bushy tailed, I wasn’t even groggy – I was in an in-and-out type of wake. All was black and quite… except for the faint breathing I could hear as I bobbed up and down with my back flat to the floor. I remember trying to figure out why I was on the floor as I remembered being on the couch, all the while feeling this touch between my legs that felt good – odd, but good. I lay there… bobbing – hearing myself moan.

Slowly, I became increasingly more awake and it hit me… I felt my pants at my ankles and heard the sound of steady heavy breathing. I tried to rise only for a hand to push me back to the floor… and I screamed.

Later that day, nearly night again, I was whisked away by mother to the hospital where they ran special test, gave me a pill to swallow, and brought in the police. I was naked and ashamed, with complete strangers wanting to know about every detail… and all I could think about was that my father was mortified and couldn’t speak to me. A daddy’s girl I had always been… now everything was lost, stolen, in a moment.

A few days later I had a detective show up at my work, where he proceeded to take me to his car in the parking lot and drill me about the incident of that dreaded night. I sat in his car, embarrassed as all of work could see – visitors coming and going could see – it was if the whole world could see and hear every horrifying detail of what had just happened. I listened to this detective no longer drill me but accuse me of “asking for it”… word had gotten around in the town I liked to drink, and since my engagement had been called off, I also liked to sleep around. My bad choices in a two year span had left a detective feeling entitled to belittle me – the victim, whose name had already been listed in the small town newspaper with all the horrific details of my reported attack. I was made to be the bad person.

For reasons I won’t disclose, I was the girl that had no self-esteem. And in that moment, this detective convinced me that I was the one at fault and this would be best left alone… and I believed him. Without a trial – justice is served.

Only a handful of people know this about me – it’s not something you share publicly. Of course, there was a time when I shared with another that was too a victim of rape – healing is found in testimony. But it’s not something you broadcast to the world.

So why do I share now?

I read an article today that stirred anger within me – honestly, it’s been stirring since all the Bill Cosby garbage has been taking place, but today I go a different direction with it. The direction…


“New York Assembly Passes Bill Allowing Shooting Babies Through the Heart With Poison to Kill Them”

They have now stated that you may kill a child in a mother’s womb in the third trimester, no more for simply the mother’s life being at risk, but for whatever reason deemed fit… including but not limited to, physical well-being, emotional well-being, family issues, and the mother’s age. Weeks, days, and even minutes before birth, you may now kill your baby.

What kind of society do we live in when it is acceptable to murder an infant? I am literally sick to my stomach thinking of such perverseness.

I didn’t realize until some years later the pill given me in the hospital that night was something to prevent pregnancy. I remember months passing and me sweating at nights thinking I could be a mother at twenty-one to a kid I didn’t want… I didn’t want the reminder in my face day in and day out of what had occurred that night. I didn’t want to look in the face of that child and see the face of that guy. But I knew, even at twenty-one, if there were a kid, it was innocent. Someone would love that child, want that child, not ever knowing how he/she had come into this world and would fully embrace all that child had to offer.

My “story” had already been published. People already knew. I rarely showed my face to people out of shame and embarrassment. What would nine more months be to me in something I already knew, something I was already living? The shame of a bad choice which landed me publicly humiliated and my life altered, forever – hell on earth.

Yes, I would have carried a child I didn’t want because it was innocent.

I understand the morning after pill. After time it became obvious I took it, and I now carry mixed emotion, which tends to lean more for it than against it. Perhaps that sounds hypocritical while I rant on about the killing of a third trimester baby. I’m all for woman’s rights, yet I cannot stand with them on this matter. Women’s Rights came about in order that women may have equal rights as men. I’ve never know a man to be pregnant and therefore cannot call this equality in any shape or fashion. It is murder. Nothing more, nothing less – the slaughter of the defenseless. I pray God have mercy on our souls.

To those whom have had abortions, I say this – I know you carry a burden of shame and unforgiveness toward yourselves but I believe God’s mercy offers us a new beginning while His grace provides us an opportunity to heal others. We overcome our own burdens, our shame, and our fears by sharing our story with others – redemption given to you exuding to others.

To those who were victims of rape, I say this – it is never your fault. Whatever mistakes you’ve made in your life never warrant you becoming the accused. Do not be intimidated by people’s words or fearful of judgment by bullies who have their own secrets to keep. Demand justice and make your voice heard. You are not defenseless.

We all have things we keep secret – wrongs we struggle with, shameful choices taunting us, wounds too fragile to ever expose. These things keep us from being loved wholly and from loving wholly. But to all that pain, that guilt, that shame, I say this… there is mercy, there is grace, there is redemption.

“Every choice you’ve made… Every good thing… Every bad thing… Every regret… Every risk… Every gain and every loss… Every moment in your life has led you to this moment of your life. Lessons learned, celebrations earned. Your past has made your present and your present will give way to your future – never does it define you but always is refining you. Embrace you – the good, the bad, the past, the present – love and be loved. Life is too short to hide behind walls. You – you are beautiful in every way… a work of art, a treasure – you are valuable… because of your past, your present, and your future. You’re a story worth telling yet still unwritten.” ~ Pj 02/2014

Purple Penguins — Politically Correct BS

It’s the middle of the day during a long drive. He’s sitting at the wheel, cruising along. She’s sitting in the passenger seat, reading, glancing up now and then at the passing scenery. Suddenly, he brakes moving his arm to her chest so as to stop her – she gasps. And there it is… security and emotion collide.

“Boys have a penis and girls have a vagina.” says the kid in the movie Kindergarten Cop.

Let’s face it, men and women are different and I’m not just talking anatomically– each consider and process information differently.

Men are risk takers – not reckless, just go for it. Women are analyzers – proceed with caution.

Men are providers. Women are nurturers’.

Women rely on men to be their security just as men rely on women to be their soft place to land.

Often I remind myself that these differences are not only good but needed. I tend to be adventurous but that is far from being risky. I went on a motorcycle trip this past weekend with my man – off to conquer The Tail of the Dragon — it rained all weekend… and we had a blast! Nervously clinching my nails into my palms at times yet deeply trusting the man who would never allow harm to come to me, intentionally… yes, adventurous I am – risky he is – reckless we are not.

Our differences is what makes us work. Don’t get me wrong, we are similar in a lot of things but… could you imagine if we were the same in all things – how mundane and boring.

As I watch the news, I’m saddened at the turn our country has taken. It seems the inmates are running the asylum. There is a movement to stop hospitals from pronouncing gender at the time of birth. There are schools stopping gender terminology from being used in the classroom. No longer can you announce if it’s a boy or a girl. No longer can you refer to children as boys or girls. Children now choose what gender they wish to be, as if they were selecting a pair of shoes to wear. If my son had to base gender choice on shoes, he’d never know what he was – his collection is greater than mine.

I find it appalling that in the process of attempting to make our children free thinkers, that we are removing boundaries, differences, challenges, opportunities – the list is endless. I’m sure this social class of movers are the same progressive thinkers that removed competition from sports – everyone is a winner. Really?

In order to not separate, not distinguish between gender – equally fair to all while not confusing the children, our children are now referred to as Purple Penguins. Again I say, really? Because what is not confusing about a bird that cannot fly.

While I support our children being free thinkers – I want my daughter to make up her mind as to why she believes what she does not simply because it was imposed upon her by her mother – I believe the political correctness in this country is deceitful, pretentious, and foolish nonsense. In other words, BS!

How will the next generation know anything about diversity? Differences? Challenges? The ole’ adage about the rich children being handed everything on a silver platter comes to mind. They will not know what it is to work for something and fail, fail again, and then succeed. They will not know how to process anything outside of the box – cookie cutters… mundane and boring… unchallenged to be better… unsuccessful achievers at nothing.

Welcome to future America – the land of the lazy and wimpy, and where everyone is a Stepford being.

“Boys have a penis and girls have a vagina” – yep, I like it that way… how else are Dragon Tails conquered.

We survived The Tail of the Dragon!

We survived The Tail of the Dragon!

Hollywood – It’s A Trap!

What if life was full of surprises? Oh wait – it is.

What if things were always changing? Oh wait – they are.

Why is it then we get our panties in a wad over the silliest of things? How miserable – not to mention uncomfortably awkward.

I listened to a young lady tell me about how she’s looking for love, expecting more out of love – the “Sweet Home Alabama” type of love. If I gave her any advice worth anything at all, and if she was in the least bit interested in that advice, I hope she heard me when I said to her, “love is not Hollywood.” I’m pretty sure most guys don’t like chic flicks because of the countless innuendos Hollywood suggest a relationship should be while girls on the other hand get entangled in a web of fairy tale happily ever after freshly spun as a trap. Life is not a Hollywood movie (unless based on a true story and even then…). Trust me, I know – it’s a daily, weekly, even monthly reminder I tell myself. I wish I could just say it’s the girls that have never known “love”, yet sadly, women in general have a twisted sort of view of love – thank you Hollywood media. However, the guys don’t get off so easy either… their expectations of what they think love is can be just as twisted.

There was a book that came out some time ago, “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” to which I think I might have read a fraction of at one time, sadly I could not tell you the first thing about it other than it implies that men and women are different. Thank God they cleared that up – I was becoming suspicious. Sarcasm aside – we are different outside of the physical, we process things differently… that whole nature versus nurture theory – men are providers while women are nurturers.

I read an article today on Facebook about the importance of the man kneeling when he proposes to the woman he’s chosen – significance of such symbolizes surrender, or so says the author. My question is this, when did it become just the man’s job to surrender? Don’t get me wrong, I believe the symbolism is a nice gesture, I don’t believe it to be as relevant as the daily actions throughout the relationship. In other words, while it’s nice you’re showing me you’ll surrender today, in this moment, what happens when the going gets tough? Does the tough get going? Surrender, at the very least, is an action… the act of surrender is a giving of oneself to another even when you don’t feel like it – often daily.

My plans for the holiday did not occur as I had imagined – it was far better. I enjoyed time with a man that loves me – who would do just about anything for me, of this I’m sure. It’s not a Hollywood kind of love. It’s simply love – our love. He’s wise in things where I’m naïve. He’s funny and witty when I am not. We work hard at the same types of things, yet at very different things. He’s discreetly private 99% of the time while I’m reflective and introverted yet very loud, 99% of the time. And, when he’s had a long, hard, tiresome day, and wants to be left alone he will still humor me if I’m in need with some silly request which is usually some insecurity crap that has found it’s way to the surface from the bottom of my abyss.

My weekend was full of surprises.

My life is changing.

In addition, I’ve traded my wadded panties and gone commando. Hollywood has nothing on me!

Learn to understand the one you’re with while applying some sweet surrender wherever needed – I promise you that you’ll discover that Hollywood has nothing on you either.