An introduction to my story

It’s not really a secret that writing is difficult. Sure, it might come easier to some than others, but overall it can be a frustrating process. I spent most of my life up to this point believing I would have a career and life that revolved around writing – hence why I was a journalism major for two and a half years. It was when writing became a chore to me that I knew I could not do it for the rest of my life. So, I changed my major and even transferred schools and found something that was a better fit.

I keep coming back to this blog, though, because I know I still like to write. I still feel the need to tell a story, to figure things out with words. For the longest time, I really didn’t feel like I had a story to tell, and in some ways I’m still working through that doubt.

So, here is my story:

As of right now, I am 21 years, 10 months and two weeks old. Most days, I don’t feel as well as someone my age should. It’s difficult to get out of bed in the mornings, even if I slept 12 hours the night before. I have to talk myself out of naps during the day. I want to go outside, but if the sun is shining and it’s above 70, I feel sick within 10 minutes. My appetite is unreliable. My GI tract is troubled in various ways at least once a week – never from a specific type of food, it could be anything. My head hurts. It’s an uncomfortable way to live and I’m fed up with it. I don’t eat junk food, I drink a lot of water, I exercise on days when I have energy and my stomach feels alright.

Doctors have said it’s anxiety, depression, IBS, etc. and then they throw prescriptions for pills at me after seeing my bloodwork is completely “normal”.  I leave, feeling more confused. Every day I take three different pills, not including birth control and my multivitamin. I don’t understand how a little white pill can make everything better – in my case it obviously doesn’t. I need better answers. I want to know more than just the “what” that is bothering me.

Luckily for me (and others), there’s another option, one I probably wouldn’t have even known about if I wasn’t obsessive about catching up on my Google Reader every day. By reading these blogs, I have been introduced to an alternative: holistic medicine. A simple Google search for holistic doctors in my area allowed me to narrow it down to three within a reasonable driving distance, and finally I chose one after perusing their websites. I made an appointment for a week from this Thursday, and just doing that has given me more hope that whatever is wrong can be alleviated somehow. There’s a 15-page patient history form I have to fill out and take with me to my appointment. Pretty long. Very comprehensive. I don’t mind it, though, because I like that so many other factors are being taken into consideration that the doctors I have been seeing have overlooked.

I guess this isn’t really all of my story. It’s more like the introduction to a new approach I am taking, and I want to be as transparent about it as possible. I know I don’t have the readership of the blogs I mentioned, but maybe someone will be able to relate. If that doesn’t happen, at least this is something I can look back on in a few years.


Lies I tell myself

It’s no secret (or maybe it is, I don’t know) that I have struggled with this whole blogging thing. I haven’t posted nearly as often as I would have liked, and, honestly, it’s all due to the lies I was telling myself. Putting yourself out there via blogging is no easy task, and my mind tricked me into thinking that I just wasn’t up to that task.

I am here to tell you that my mind is wrong. Get a load of what it said to me:

  • “Your life is not interesting enough to blog about.” While I don’t have a really exciting job (or any job, for that matter…), I am not a runner of marathons, and I am still learning my way around the kitchen, there has to be someone out there who can relate to me in some way, and that’s reason enough for me to give it one more chance.
  • “You don’t have enough time.” This is probably the biggest lie. Aside from a summer class in the morning, right now, I have a lot of time. I don’t know if I’ll ever have this kind of time again. Better to document it now so when I’m swamped I have a place to look back longingly to see how I spent my days. Besides, if people who have full time jobs and other commitments can do it, so can I.
  • “You’re not feeling well. Nobody wants to read about that.” I’ve been having some GI issues lately, and I seem to be perfectly healthy, so it can probably be attributed to anxiety from things like the lies I tell myself. Writing is one of several recommended outlets for anxiety. Obviously this is not going to be Liz’s Anxiety Blog, but it is Liz’s Whole Life, and my life includes some anxiety from time to time…which ties in very well with the next lie…
  • “You’re too neurotic to blog.” Guess what. Everyone’s a little bit neurotic. Maybe I am more than others, but in hindsight what I worry about is so incredibly ridiculous that sometimes I need to share it with others.
And the lies go on and on and on and on…it’s tiresome, really. So that’s why the lies are going to stop and the blogging is going to start.


And not the sexy kind, either.

I was just thinking last week that I couldn’t remember the last time I’d had a cold, and then I woke up this past Tuesday with a sore throat, and it all went downhill from there. How’s that for a jinx? I hate to blame it on the poor girl, but I’m 99% sure I picked this up from my sister. Her symptoms started about a week before mine, and with us living across the hall from each other and sharing a bathroom, it was inevitable. Wednesday was probably the worst. I stayed in my pajamas all day and could taste exactly none of the food I put in my mouth. I’m really glad I still had an appetite, but it’s so weird (and boring) to consume a whole day’s worth of food and not be able to taste anything.

Anyway, to pass the time, I’ve been doing a lot of what I’d probably do if I weren’t sick (although the idea of downward dog makes my head spin right now):

  • take an embarrassing number of pictures of my dog/nurse. Lucky for you, I only picked two to show you

doing yoga for me?

my obsession is borderline unhealthy

  •  reading a lot. This is the third book I’ve read since Monday and I’m already 2/3 finished, which I’m kind of miffed about because I don’t want it to end. You know how it goes.
I’ve also been flipping through this book, too. It’s kind of geared towards people who are actually employed (aka not me), but I’ve picked up some worthwhile tips.
  • taking this
No more of this stuff for me. I took the daytime capsules yesterday morning and it was fine, but almost as soon as I took the nighttime ones, I got majorly jittery and other weird sensations occurred that reminded me of when I was on Percoset after getting my wisdom teeth out five years ago. No bueno. Apparently the acetaminophen (fever/pain reducer) can have that effect on some people.
  • folding/putting away clean laundry in a sudden burst of energy only to quit halfway through for fear of collapsing from overexertion. (I’m a Leo. We tend to have a flair for the dramatic.) But, really, I was breaking a sweat. Not normal.
I really hope I get better by Sunday, because I’m volunteering at my area’s Girls on the Run 5K! Caitlin  mentioned on her blog awhile back about each chapter needing volunteers, and reading about the experience she’s had with it made it really difficult to not want to help out. It’ll be an early wakeup call for me, but no doubt worth it.
Lena (dog)’s stomach is making some wonky noises, which I think hope means she’s hungry…
DISCLAIMER: I should probably confess that my “fever” hasn’t been officially documented, and according to the thermometer known as mom’s hand I don’t have one. I really do feel like I have one, though, and anything for a post title, right?

A day in the life of a hypochondriac

Today I was feeling pancakes again. I decided to go with a different recipe, though, this time with an almond flour base. Enter Elana’s recipe.

with the mandatory maple syrup

Clearly I have not mastered the art of knowing exactly when to flip, but I still think these tasted pretty good. The almond flour gave it a much grittier texture, and you could definitely taste the nutty flavor in the pancakes.

These kept me stuffed for several hours. It was 70 degrees and partly sunny today, so after cleaning up the kitchen and showering, I headed outside to enjoy the weather while waiting for Zach to come over.

Let me begin this part of the story by saying that I am pale. The nice, polite term for that is “fair skinned”. I am beyond that. I have dark hair, dark eyebrows, and skin the color of a fish belly. It’s such a mystery to me. My dad and sister tan well, and I’m pretty sure my mom did back in the day (she is very protective of her skin now so I can’t really say for certain) I love being outside, but sometimes, the sun just makes me feel sort of “bleh”…lightheaded, slightly nauseated, etc. I changed from jeans into a skirt, and that helped a little bit. But by the time Zach came over and we were on a walk with Lena, I was not feeling well at all, so we had to turn around. Once we got back home, I headed straight for the bathroom…and then had to pop some Imodium. Sorry if that’s TMI, but it’s the truth. That along with sticking my nose in a bag of peppermint tea leaves and breathing deeply seemed to help. I’m also a giant worrywart when it comes to feeling sick, so I’m sure I probably worry myself sicker more often than not. I have no idea how to not do this, so any tips are greatly appreciated!

Although I do feel better now, I was only able to eat two or three bites of a pasta dish my dad made for dinner, and I’ve been feeling extremely bloated since then. I don’t know if it was the almond flour or the sun or a combination (and of course we can’t forget my hypochondriac tendencies that I’m sure contributed) but it definitely didn’t feel normal.

On a lighter note, my aunt’s poodle had four puppies on April 1. They’ve finally opened their eyes and are downright adorable. I’m not really a poodle person, but it’s difficult to say no to this:

they've named this one Tillman

That’s a screenshot from Facebook…apparently they won’t let you save images to your desktop anymore.

Occasionally my mom will FaceTime my aunt with her iPhone and we get to see the puppies in action 🙂

It’s probably about time for me to go to bed…Zach and I are taking over the kitchen tomorrow and I need my A-game.

The one where pancakes were inhaled

Yesterday I participated in my school’s Relay for Life. There was wind. There was rain. Temperatures were in the 40s – yes, Fahrenheit. I still had fun. Walking around a track for hours is, in my opinion, one of the best ways to get to know someone. Especially when you’re huddled under umbrellas trying not to get blown away. My feet were literally pruned by the end, but I left happy because I had made some new friends and did the whole raise-money-to-fight-cancer thing. If that’s not multitasking, I don’t know what is. I wanted to take pictures, but the rain probably would have damaged my camera 😦 I have high hopes for next year, even though Ohio weather is as unpredictable as can be.

After coming home, showering, and getting into some dry clothes, I paid a visit to Zach, who is currently at the tail end of a crippling illness.

Okay, that’s a lie. He was sick, and it made his voice sound funny and he seemed downright miserable, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say it was crippling. Sometimes I just have a flair for the dramatic.

Anyway, we ate and we lounged and we enjoyed each other’s company – as always. It was cute. I’ll stop being mushy now. I left shortly after his NyQuil kicked in and came home to find the newest issue of Self with Gwyneth Paltrow on the cover. And this is where my real story begins.

I won’t spoil too much for you, but Gwyneth’s late father was apparently a phenomenal cook. She even shared his pancake recipe. I am not one to pass up a supposedly good pancake recipe, so I made them.

with a generous spread of raspberry preserves

My mom claimed these were the best pancakes she’s ever had besides the ones at our beloved Pancake Pantry in her hometown of Nashville. Those just can’t be beat. I feel comfortable bragging about this because it’s Bruce Paltrow’s recipe and not my own. So, thank you, Bruce Paltrow, for making a kickass pancake. We will eat these again.

You can find the recipe here. The only changes I made were:

  • using skim milk because it’s the only kind we have. I don’t think it negatively affected the taste, but I can’t say that for certain without trying it with whole milk sometime.
  • making buttermilk by combining 1.75 cups of milk with 2 tsp white vinegar and letting it sit for 10 minutes. Easy peasy.
I recommend enjoying these pancakes with your favorite breakfast beverage. I brewed some Starbucks Casi Cielo and added a little milk and sugar. It’s among my favorites – others include Donkey light or dark roast and Starbucks Komodo blend.

shameless plug for my all-time favorite coffee shop

It’s almost 1:30 and I’m still in my pajamas. There is yoga to be done and biopsychology to be studied. I hope your Sunday is filled with good things 🙂

The Piranha Perspective

Last night, Zach (boyfriend, for any newcomers) and I were glued to a show he found on Animal Planet called River Monsters. It’s about Jeremy Wade, a biologist and fisherman, who travels in search of the slimy, unique, generally dangerous creatures dwelling in the murky waters of rivers around the world. I would post a picture, but I don’t want that to be the first image people see when they read this. So you can Google it if you’re that intrigued.

Despite the overall heebie-jeebieness that was River Monsters, it was actually an entertaining end to the first day of “real” spring weather this part of Ohio has had this year. It was in the high 70s and sunny, and Zach and I were able to drive around with the windows down.

Well, Zach drove.

I helped.


You can imagine my disappointment when I woke up this morning and pulled back my shades to see this:

Let’s ignore the fact that I did this after pressing the snooze button no fewer than five times. Maybe that explains why I didn’t bother to open my window or screen to take this picture.

Apparently I was feeling a little blue this morning, because it was in every part of my outfit.

blue tshirt, blue jeans, blue plaid details on my shoes

Let’s also ignore the fact that, while typing that caption, this song crept into my head. Yeah, that one.

Moving on.

In my first class I found it so difficult to keep my eyes open that I probably would have sold an organ for one of those trenta-sized coffees coming out next month at Starbucks. Instead, I just chugged water, which was no doubt healthier but did not have quite the same effect.

Shortly after class, I saw this tweet from the gym I go to:


Well, I wasn’t about to risk heat stroke to throw around weights when I have similar equipment in my own basement. Still, there went my favorite mid-day people watching/stress relieving activity.

A bit later in my Human Evolution lab, the girl next to me was blatantly trying to copy my homework.


It wasn’t at all a bad day, though. Not even close. I honestly mean this, and I am going to tell myself this every time things don’t quite go my way:

At least I wasn’t eaten alive by a piranha á la River Monsters.

Review times two

Well, the time has come. My first review on the blog (actually, today I’m doing two reviews. Aren’t you lucky?).

Anyway, I spent a few minutes coming up with what I wanted to call my reviews as a whole, and since I lack certain creative juices that the rest of my immediate family seem to have coursing through their veins, the best I could come up with was…nothing. I was trying to do something cute and clever with alliteration, but unfortunately I couldn’t find any synonyms for “review” or “opinion” that start with the letter L. That’s probably a good thing, though. So, without further ado, I give you my first review. (Rhyme unintended but welcome nonetheless because I am that corny).


I actually learned about Little Bee from Katie’s blog, and I just happened to have just finished a library book and was in need of a new book to start.


Luckily, my library had one copy that I snagged as soon as I spotted it. And that’s really all I can tell you.

I’m serious. As Katie mentioned, the book jacket specifically tells you not to tell anyone what this book is about. Who am I to disobey a book jacket? I can tell you that it’s only about 270 pages and I had to stretch out reading it because I didn’t want it to end. I will also say that, despite its short length, this is not a light read, but it is by all means a must-read. I hope I haven’t broken the book jacket rules by telling you that. Oh, it also made me want an e-reader so I could highlight and save passages I liked. Hint, hint 😉

I don’t know if I should count that as a real review since I didn’t actually say much of anything about the book. Lucky for you I had some pizza earlier and I have an opinion on it. Thus, a second review.

My mom picked up this pizza for me when she was at Giant Eagle (the regular, run-of-the-mill grocery store chain in my area). I decided to pop it in the oven for dinner this evening. I preheated the oven to 450 degrees and took the pizza out of the box.

Anyone else feel like something’s missing?

While I was a little disheartened by the lack of vegetables, I’m not one to turn down a frozen pizza (delivery/restaurant pizzas are generally too greasy for me and give me heartburn), so I put it in the oven and munched on some baby carrots.

Eight minutes later, I had this. Well, I had a cooked version of the picture you saw above and then sliced it.


The main thing I tasted when I bit into this pizza was OREGANO. I didn’t really taste the scant vegetables or the cheese or the sauce. The crust was chewy yet crispy, which I liked, but I couldn’t really taste it because of the oregano. Maybe my taste buds were just extra sensitive today. I ate both slices, and that plus the carrots filled me up pretty well. I would eat this again, but I would put more vegetables on to see if it would diversify the flavor and make it a little more nutritious.


Just for future reference: these reviews are entirely my own, honest opinion and I’m not endorsed in any way, shape, or form 🙂

What’s the best book you’ve read recently?


Favorite pizza toppings?