Hi friends, how is your weekend going? It’s saturday night and I’m curled up (I should be sitting up straighter) in yoga pants and a shirt covered in holes with a sleeping (and talking in her sleep) Marlowe snuggled next to me. —- I sat up straight since finishing that last sentence, if anyone wants to know 😉 Are you slouching? Maybe you should sit up straighter too 😉 Or not, it’s a pain to break the slouch habit, I know. (pun intended) In 5th grade, the school nurse (or whoever does the checking), told me I have a minor case of scoliosis— and that’s minor-ly freaked me out ever since. But not enough to work on my posture apparently. I also weighed 83 to 85 pounds in 5th grade and started my acne filled tween years. My memory is abnormally clear from that time, but my face wasnt.

ANYWAY. It’s pouring out. We’ve had A LOT of rain this winter which is very abnormal for us. We were thinking about heading down to miami tomorrow to visit one of our favorite farms and one of our favorite gardens, but as of right now, I have the feeling that weather and laziness will keep us home. We’ll see. Our trip to Asheville was short but great! It was nice to explore a bit and even better to see our friends. I’m still procrastinating going through all my pictures, but I can’t wait to share them with you. My friend Claudia’s house (all four of them that I’ve visited, haha) is (have been) wonderful. You guys will love it. I also have a few yoga posts coming up and more vacation photos from last year (I’m really on top of things). Just lots of fun, bright, lovely stuff. (I think so anyway.)

It sort of bummed me out this week when I realized that it’s been almost a year since I got sick. Alex tells me, “but look how far you’ve come”. And he’s right. And at the end of the day, I am SUPER freaking grateful to feel as I do now. But that part of me that is always striving for more thinks, *I’m no where yet where I’d like to be*. I’ve also been trying to put bits and pieces together of some sort of mental timeline— and I’ve realized that a few of problems really did start after having a good amount of (less than wonderful) dental work (right before Alex and I got married). Thats when the migraines started, the carpal tunnel, just a whole slew of vague symptoms. Then I started taking ibuprofen everyday, by recommendation of the doctor of course. I remember specifically asking “are you sure it’s okay for me to take this everyday?” and the response I got was, “yes, lots of people take it every day.” Womp. I guess I really just numbed myself out from it and slowly started the destruction of my stomach for about 6 months prior to my health really falling apart. Only one day after finally stopping the ibuprofen, the ringing in my ears started. And it has continued, without stoping ever since— for 10 months now. Everyday I live in a world of hissing, clicking, and ringing. I guess the doctor failed to mention that irreversible tinnitus is a side effect of ibuprofen use. And I guess I failed to be my own health advocate and learn more about what ibuprofen really does in my/your body. For the most part I’ve learned to deal with it over the last ten months– but there are days and weeks (like this one) where I can hardly hear out of my left ear because the ringing is so loud. I guess the alarming part for me is that researchers still don’t really understand tinnitus in its entirety. The only thing they seem to know for certain is that a good portion of those who develop chronic tinnitus end up losing hearing, yet people are being prescribed and recommended these drugs that cause it, daily. There seems to be a big gap in concern for real health, yeah? On the upside, I guess it’s helpful that I have this platform to mention this stuff. I guess if anyone is going to be a cautionary tale, I don’t mind it being me. So the lesson for everyone today is that ibuprofen/NSAID’s seem relatively harmless and yes, they numb pain, but they are also likely to cause tinnitus and destroy your gut lining too. Tinnitus is untreatable. And destroying your gut lining is like opening our front door and asking allergies and autoimmune disorders to come inside. So proceed with caution, yeah?

On some brighter notes, Marlowe got student of the month last month. We didn’t even know her school did the whole “student of the month” thing– but apparently they do and she got it! The picture of her on the award is pretty much the sweetest thing ever. It’s funny how I wanted a rough and dirty boy,  but I got the sweetest most sensitive little girl ever. Just the other day I tried to put 101 Dalmatians (the one with real actors in it) and she made me shut it off because Cruelela was just “too mean and scary”. My heart melted a little. She’s been extra full of “I love you’s” and “thank you’s” lately. She’s just been so happy, it’s been nice. And as I’m typing this she just looked at me and smiled in her sleep— so she approves 😉

The reviews on my cookbook have all been really great. It’s so incredibly nerve wracking to put out a cookbook (I definitely learned this), but you guys have been beyond supportive and up-lifting. I have no idea who left the “dopest cookbook I’ve ever read” review on Amazon, but it seriously cracks me up. I’ve had friends and family ask me how many copies I’ve sold of the book, but I don’t know! And to be honest, I refuse to ask. I know it’s done well though! The publishers told me they already had to issues a second printing. And I’m happy to know just that. I really don’t like counting numbers, so I prefer not to focus on it at all. I’m just happy that I have this space for all the positive people, energy, outlet, and intangible things it gives me— and while I don’t like to focus on numbers, it means a lot that it really does support my family and I am so incredibly forever grateful for that. I really don’t know how we would have gotten through all the medical bills and everything else last year without it. And I certainly don’t know how I would have emotionally gotten through it without all the extra support.

I do have a bit of a harder time sharing this past year. I feel like I did pour out my heart through a few moments and fears, but the reality is, I think I physically suffered much more than I let on— even with Alex and the other people nearest to me. But thats typical me with my *strong face*. But I’m just making my way each day. Trying to physically, emotionally, spiritually, (and in whatever other ways) be a better person. I told Alex yesterday, my only goal is really to die knowing that each day I tried to be better than the day before. I see too many people (young and old) assume that this is it, that they are here and gliding through with no real motivation for change or growth— and to be honest, that’s fine if they’re happy. But for me? I want to always push myself forward into a better self.

I don’t know what this upcoming week will be like, but I hope it’s a good one. And I hope that it’s better than the week before— for every one of you guys. I hope you are surrounding yourself with warm and positive people, uplighting and happy things, nourishing and building foods, and whatever else is important for your growth and happiness 🙂 Have a wonderful week, friends. Thanks for being here and adding to my life.

ps. I had to remind myself 10+ times to sit up straighter while writing this. baby steps.


  1. I. Love. This. Post.
    Your authentic and genuine tone makes me wish I knew you in person. But, for now, I'm sending love through cables and airspace. Thank you for sharing. For loving. For BEing. Thank you for sitting up straighter!
    Fur rullz, tho…that cookbook of yours has been an enormous hit with everyone I've cooked for. I use your recipes daily! You're a life (and gut) saver!

  2. Your cookbook is so, so magical! Have had it for two weeks and have cooked my way through five recipes already. Your macaroni and cheese was a Super Bowl hit yesterday!

  3. Dear Drea – I started reading your post not too long ago. I'm in a similar boat as you. Destroyed my good gut bacteria with two epic treatments of antibiotics,,, and then this and that came along affecting life. I've not been the same since 2014, and as you said, these meds open doors to a host of problems and autoimmune malfunctions. I'm dealing with eye issues among other things. Healing can take a long time,,, and it has its ups and downs. I bless you with strength, life and peace beyond your wildest expectations. I pray calm to your body and quiet in your ears. Continue to stay relaxed and enjoy each victory step. Sending kindest thoughts…

    • Hi Sandra <3

      Thank you so much. I wish for your health and healing too! I find hope in the fact that more and scientist are finally teaching doctors that antibiotics are bad. We need our micro-biome intact to be happy and healthy individuals! We can spread the word and it make easier and better for others and future generations!

  4. Drea, thank you for your openness and transparency. You are a beautiful person! I hope you continue to feel better as the days pass. I've recently had some pretty scary health issues myself due to birth control. There's another drug they don't really tell you about. I had no clue about ibuprofen but now that I know, I'll be pursuing a more natural approach to pain relief. I agree with you on wanting to work on being a better person everyday. I wish you the very best and it's a pleasure reading your blog! Have a wonderful week. 🙂

    • It's true! No one warns you about the dangers of birth control, but it's so incredibly damaging too! I would NEVER go on birth control again. Not ever. The good news is birth control damage IS reversible. The right diet can fix so much of it. I'd def. work on gut healing things for BC damage too. Thank you so much for your comment and kind words! I hope your issues dissolve quickly!

  5. You are such a strong person Drea, and you seem even stronger this past year. You've been to hell and back, but every single post you find something positive to put out there. Quite amazing. A house full of rough and dirty boys here, I can't imagine a clean, sweet sensitive girl! Although the littlest boy is very sweet and kind along with being rough and dirty. So glad the cookbook is doing well, your success is very well deserved. Thanks for the heads-up re the Ibuprofen. I get monthly headaches and just recently I've been wondering if I will take a couple every now and again. I shan't now I've read more about it. A ridiculous amount of rain here as well, even for SW England. Everywhere is squelchy. I hope you have a good week Drea. CJ xx

  6. Hi! I've been reading your blog for years now but have never plucked up the courage to comment and say hello! I just wanted to say that, even if the hard days are so much harder than you let on, you are really doing an amazing job. I have chronic pain in my abdomen [caused by complications from my chronic illness] which started around 5 or 6 years ago. Three years ago I had an operation to try and stop the pain, and whilst it has made it better than it was, it hasn't gone away. I don't know if it will get any better than it is now, and so I know how hard that is to go through. I think as long as you don't feel bad at yourself when you do have those days where you feel awful and feel a bit sorry for yourself, and look to the positive on the other days, then you are doing a good job and doing the best you can. And it sounds like you are doing that. I really hope your health continues to improve. I know that frustration and that need everyday of wanting to be, or do, more than you can. I think it is okay to have that [well, I hope so anyway since it doesn't seem like it is going to go away any time soon for me], as long as you also rejoice on what you can do. And from here it sounds like you are super positive and still really do feel lucky for the good days, and I think that is amazing.

    • Hi Amy! Thank you for your kind words! And I'm so so sorry about your pain and illness. Oof. I wish I could help somehow! If I can at all, do email me! (really!) I hope that something clicks on (or off) and it gets better. Thank you so much for your comment– and really, I'm not kidding– if I can help at all— you know where to find me!

  7. Here's som love from Sweden! The sun is starting to come out again after months of grey clouds (part rain/part snow) and it almost feels like spring is on it's way.
    Hope you'll have a great week as well!