How do I eat Organic? (the dirty dozen vs. the clean fifteen)

What does “organic” actually mean?

Over the past decade or so, organic food and “clean living” have gained popularity among the health-conscious crowd. You see the words “all natural,” “organic,” and “100% fresh” on labels all over the grocery store, but do any of these labels actually carry any weight? Or are these phrases just some empty marketing scheme used to milk even more money out of consumers?

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How to Slay at your Next Doctor’s Appointment: 5 Tips for Success

Hey there, Spoonies. So, as full time sick-people, we spend a TON of time waiting around for doctor’s appointments and then being disappointed by a 10 minute ordeal that didn’t answer a single one of our questions.

Unless you’re seeing a very thorough specialist or a kindhearted naturopath who has set aside two hours for your appointment, then you usually only get 15 minutes of face-to-face time with your doctor. Yes, the system sucks, but there are some tips and tricks I’ve learned to help make my appointments more efficient.  So, here are some ways that you can get the most out of your next medical appointment:

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3 Ways to Love Your Body (even when it’s trying to kill you)

It’s really tempting to hate your own body when you’re chronically ill, especially when you have autoimmune diseases.  I mean, when you have autoimmune problems, you’re body isn’t even trying to ward off an outside invader…your body is literally attacking itself!

I had a very short stint with basketball in the 7th grade, and during one game, I accidentally scored a basket against my own team. I felt  great about myself until my teammates were all glaring at me and I had realized my mistake. That basketball game was a pretty accurate metaphor for autoimmune disease, except your body doesn’t usually have that “a-hah moment” where it realizes that it’s working against its own teammates. It just continues to screw you over, unaware that it’s trashing your body instead of trashing the enemy.

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The Meditative Principle I Use to Stomp Out Bitterness

When I first got really sick with Lyme disease, my heart sat soaking in a pool of bitterness for months. I was so consumed with my own grief and loss that I began to resent everyone around me. I didn’t want to, but every time I saw someone else doing something I used to love I cried tears of anger. If I looked through the window and saw a woman jogging outside on a nice sunny day, I literally had to turn my head away and close my eyes. If I didn’t turn away, a rage hot enough to burn down a city block would smolder inside me. I wanted to cry and scream because I seemed to have lost everything that made me “Emily.”

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3 Reasons to Catch a Sun-ray Every Day

Despite what we were told as kids, sunlight is not something we should be afraid of. Most American kids remember getting slathered head-to-toe with sunscreen at the pool because their mom was afraid they would get skin cancer if there was any section of skin left exposed. And there is some validity to this—tanning beds are a big no-no and and it’s true that you’re raising your risk for cancer if you get sunburned a lot. However, our culture seems to have become so afraid of getting skin cancer that we’ve denied ourselves the many health benefits that unfiltered sunlight has to offer.

As with anything we put in or on our bodies, sunlight should be used in moderation. It’s not healthy to lock yourself away in a dark room and it’s also not healthy to get burned to a crisp on a regular basis. But a little sunlight goes a long way!

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4 Gifts that Chronic Illness Gave Me

It’s no secret that being sick really sucks. Losing friends, not being able to work, and spending all your time at the doctor’s office sucks. But sometime you have to go through hell to become who are supposed to be.

Over the past year, I have discovered so many things that I  never could have learned in a classroom or on a job. Sometimes I feel as if I’ve already lived a whole lifetime and these other 20-somethings running around are just youngins who don’t know nothin’ yet. I’ve discovered that pain and suffering can teach you amazing things if you are willing to learn.

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How to get mental health care when you’re broke

*I use the term “therapist” and “counselor” interchangeably throughout this post. Remember that community resources may vary depending on where you live. This article is focused on finding resources for non-crisis mental health practitioners. It does not discuss emergency mental health or hospitalization. If you are at risk for harming yourself or others, call 911 or the suicide prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

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