I recently started a gluten-free diet to try and reduce some inflammation for one of my chronic illnesses. A catch-22, though, is that I also recently found out I am allergic to tomatoes and potatoes — foods that seem to be staples in a gluten-free diet — along with a small array of other fruits and veggies.
I did this as I do many things and just went cold turkey. I didn’t try to ease into it, and frankly didn’t do any sort of research whatsoever before making this big change in my diet. I’m all about carbs, and actually need a lot of them to function with POTS.
Anyway since I’m so clueless, I’ve basically been eating a diet solely consisting of Greek yogurt, eggs, and salads. Throw in a lot of dark chocolate and that’s my day.
I’m beginning to get really frustrated, as I have lost some weight that I would have liked to keep, and feel tired and dizzy without my pretzels and crackers.
The other day I realized how grumpy going gluten-free has made me after I ordered a salad at the Nordstrom cafe and moved toward the checkout. My mom casually said, “Do you want dessert? Those cupcakes are beautiful!”
To which I replied with a loud and flustered, “Mom, I can’t eat that; it’s not gluten-free!”
I immediately realized how bratty I had been and felt my face turn red from embarrassment. I mumbled an apology to my mom as the pastry chef glared at me from behind the counter.
Now that I’ve gotten through a few weeks of this I am realizing I need help. What kind of GF items do you like? What websites might help me find new meals to cook? I cannot keep living off of salads!
One thing I have mentioned time and time again is how POTS has not only affected the way I feel, but it’s also taken a toll on some of my interpersonal interactions.
For example, I’ve told you about my sweaty palms and the way I can’t help but blush when a boy kisses me — but I failed to tell you about how this happens all the freakin’ time whenever I feel the slightest sense of embarrassment, annoyance, or frustration. The other day I ran into one of my high school crushes at Target. Obviously I have no feelings for him whatsoever anymore, but as soon as he mentioned that he was now married my face turned bright red because I am apparently just programmed to be awkward.
Anyway, I went to New York City last weekend to visit some friends and have a girls’ weekend with my mom. The trip was awesome and I will be sharing a few stories on here about it this week, but the first one is hilariously embarrassing.
Before we went to the DC to New York bus stop I gave Megabus a call to make sure they would be stopping once to stretch and use the restroom. Not only do I have to drink a lotof fluids to keep my symptoms at bay, but I also need to walk around regularly to get my circulation going. The person who assisted me on the phone said this wouldn’t be a problem and that we would definitely stop. Thank goodness! I suddenly felt a lot more comfortable about making the big trip to the city.
Things did not go as planned, though. Our bus was 30 minutes late, so the driver said that we would not be stopping. After shuffling up to the front to talk to him, he kindly told me that he would stop if I needed it — I just needed to reach up and press the giant red emergency “STOP” button above my seat. If I needed it? I definitely will! This is so uncomfortable, I thought to myself. I quietly went back to my seat and waited for the giant Smart Waters I had been throwing back to take their course.
About three hours into our ride I realized I would definitely need to pee andstretch soon, so reached up to the button — then pulled away. What if it makes a loud buzzing sound and everyone looks over? I really hate being high-maintenance, but that ship sailed when I got sick. You kind of have to be to take care of your chronic illness.
So I closed my eyes, reached up, and shoved my index finger into the giant glowing button as I held my breath. It was quiet. Oh good, I thought. The driver must just get a notification at the front.
But he didn’t. I waited and waited until I realized he wouldn’t be stopping. That’s when I finally went to the front to see if he had seen my cry for help. He was once again very kind and said he would stop at the next rest area.
This is where the story takes a hilarious turn.
He pulled right up to the front of a gas station and shouted, “Alright darlin’, we’re here! Go do your thing.”
Oh my goodness! He’s just stopping for me! I thought that this would be a rest stop for everyone, but apparently I got to walk the red carpet down the bus aisle to go to the bathroom all by myself. I stood up and realized my balance was a bit off from the long ride — POTS does that to me sometimes. I can sometimes have a hard time keeping my balance on solid ground, but it’s even worse when I’ve been cooped up in a car for several hours. I stumbled down the aisle, bumping into a pretty young twentysomething who was just trying to mind her own business and taking out a guy’s knee on the way. I offered a muffled apology as I turned bright red and scampered down the steps.
I felt everyone’s inquisitive eyes on me as I pranced from the bus into the gas station and wondered what they must think of me. This is humiliating! They’re probably coming up with a billion stories in their own minds of why I had to make this huge emergency stop.
I hurried inside and was back within two minutes. I didn’t take the time I needed to stretch because I didn’t want any false assumptions from me taking forever.
As I walked onto the bus — my face once again matching the red carpet beneath my feet — I realized no one was really paying attention to me. The twentysomething girl glanced up from her laptop, but for the most part people remained preoccupied with their own activities. It was at this moment that I had an overwhelming realization that no one really cared what I was up to and all eyes were, in fact, not on me.
Today’s lesson: People don’t really care what you are doing — so you should just do you and not worry so much about what others think.
I had the best Valentine’s weekend I could ever imagine.
Not only did I get to go on a great date, but I also went to several Galentine’s Day parties — I will save those stories for another day, though, as I still have a couple more to attend this month.
I’ve been seeing a Captain in the Army for a few months now, and I only have good things to say about this gentleman. He has treated me the way I want to be treated in my next relationship and helped me realize that what I want in a guy isn’t at all unrealistic.
This weekend was his last in Virginia, as he’s going overseas for a mission, but we went on a really fun date to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
He surprised me and took me to a crazy fancy French restaurant called L’auberge Chez Francois. I’ve never been somewhere that nice, especially with a date, so it was a super-fun experience. We arrived to the restaurant a few minutes early and were seated promptly. Many of the waiters were actually French and had the same kind of attitude you would find at a restaurant in Paris. I giggled when the host pulled out my chair and said, “Pleased to take a seat,” and blushed when I ordered my appetizer in a very confused and jumbled French.
My date and I thought the entire ambiance of the restaurant was fun. He’s a pretty simple guy, so neither of us were used to such a crazy menu. We felt really out of place, laughing quietly at a table in the center of the dining room while the rest of the guests were solemn and incredibly proper. I’ve never been so happy (and entertained) to feel out of place.
In true Parisian style we ordered everything all at once and were brought several extra surprises along the way. The course started with a “shot” of lentil soup, and was followed by French bread and salad. We then received an orange sorbet to “cleanse the palate,” which reminded me of the scene in The Princess Diaries where Mia gets brain freeze from eating the cold dish.
I don’t know why I enjoy trying to pull pranks over on my dates, but I do. So I told him that you are supposed to eat the entire orange ball of sorbet at once. He quickly regretted his decision to listen to me, and I giggled some at his expense as he realized I had tricked him — once again.
The rest of the meal went smoothly, as we chatted, people-watched, and ate lots of amazing food. The warm chocolate souffle was definitely the star of the show, followed very closely by the beef Wellington.
This was easily the best Valentine’s Day I’ve had and one of the greatest dates I’ve ever been on. I highly recommend L’auberge if you are looking to splurge on dinner in the DC area — just make sure to order dessert while you’re there!
I had the absolute best Valentine’s weekend I could ever dream of.
As I’ve mentioned before, it’s always been my favorite holiday whether or not I am in a relationship. I’m excited to share a few stories from the weekend in the next few days, as I had a pretty packed schedule. I kicked off the holiday by writing over 45 letters and going shopping to get presents for some of my closest friends.
Friday I had a great Valentine’s lunch with my forever Valentine, my mom, at Seasons 52. We enjoyed some of the best Filet Mignon I’ve ever had — you could literally cut it with a butter knife — and mahimahi tacos.
Saturday afternoon I got a package in the mail, which turned out to be a Valentine from a guy I’ve been seeing for a few months. He sent me chocolate-covered strawberries, which was the one thing I felt I would miss this Valentine’s Day.
It was actually kind of adorable because I told him ahead of time that we shouldn’t get each other presents or anything, and he said that he wouldn’t give me anything “On Valentine’s Day.” Little did I know this meant he was planning on sending me a gift the day before. He told me later that he ended up calling Shari’s Berries to switch his order from Valentine’s Day to February 13th in order to keep his promise. This just made the gesture even cuter.
Later that day I went to a Galentine’s Day wine tasting. I’m not supposed to drink with POTS, but I tried tiny sips of each wine and actually found a few that I enjoyed. Hopefully one day I’ll be able to have a glass here and there again! Apparently February 13 is the official “Galentine’s Day,” so it was really nice spending it with a lot of other twentysomething girls.
My date picked me up from my party at 9 to go on a crazy fancy double date with one of our friends. He took me to L’auberge Chez Francois, which was easily the nicest restaurant I’ve ever been to. I have so many stories from that experience that I’ll be posting about later this week!
The next day, February 14, was excellent, as it was a little more chill than the previous days. My Valentine this year will be serving overseas soon, so we decided to have a day of dining, N64, and just visiting with one another.
I honestly couldn’t have imagined a better weekend. It was so filled with love and friends, which is what Valentine’s Day is all about. I’m excited for the Galentine’s parties to continue throughout the month (I still have a few to go to!) and hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. ❤
One really hilarious thing about having POTS while navigating the dating world is just the way my body reacts to things.
POTS is an autonomic nervous system disorder, meaning it affects basically everything in my body that is supposed to be an “automatic response.” For example, my body temperature is really skewy. I’ve always been pretty cold-natured, but this is to a whole new level. I found out recently, though, that having POTS just makes dating even more interesting.
I had just told a date all about my condition and after he listened closely, he leaned over to kiss me. It was a really sweet first kiss, as I felt like I had just really opened up to him, but after it was over he pulled back and had a devilish grin on his face.
I cocked my head as I looked at him inquisitively.
“I really got you hot and bothered, huh?” He asked slyly.
It took me a few seconds, but then everything clicked and I began to giggle. POTS is such a dead giveaway in situations like this! My hands were sweaty and my heart was still racing. My heart always flutters when I stand up or sit down, but it also does when I feel any sort of emotional charge — apparently kissing included. He could totally feel my pulse going a million beats per minute as I leaned up against him to continue chatting.
So far I’ve found guys don’t mind holding my sweaty hands or that they’re always freezing cold. POTS showcases such obvious imperfections, but I kind of love that there are people who don’t even look at those as negative things and just accept me the way I am.
Today’s lesson: You can have the best poker face in the world, but if you have an autonomic nervous system disorder you don’t stand a chance keeping your cool in the game of love.
Everyone seemed to like the last date review so much that I decided to do another one — this time I wanted to add a few goofy surprises to the mix instead of trying to plan the perfect date, though. Here is what my date wrote about our evening together:
A few weeks ago Krista asked if I would review a date that she planned and coordinated and my only job would be to write about it afterwards. I was excited and felt up to the task, so I gave her the go-ahead.
Other than me picking her up, she explained that she wanted to be the one to run the date. So around 6:30 I went to her house and let her take charge. When she got in the car we started talking. She was instructing me on our route without giving any insight into where we were heading. Now, I understand that she was doing her best to make sure I was heading in the right direction, but it wasn’t until six minutes and twenty four seconds into the date that she told me I looked nice. And she only did so after I told her how great she looked. So for the next ten minutes I was obviously self-conscious. Maybe I should have worn a nicer shirt?
After about 10 minutes of driving we turned into a shopping center and parked right in front of Otani Japanese Steak and Seafood restaurant. Otani is a hibachi restaurant that I was always interested in trying out but never had. As we were walking up to the door, Krista feverishly rushed ahead to hold the door open for me. This is where some confusion set in… Just because she planned it didn’t mean she should have been the “dude” on the date. I guess it was my fault since I made a big deal about the six minute and twenty four second thing earlier.
Krista walked up to the hostess and gave her name for the reservation. They promptly sat us down at our own table. Now, having only had the whole hibachi experience on a vacation in another country, I am certainly no hibachi pro. Krista, knowing this, took full advantage.
When the waitress brought out our salads and soups, I noticed something “off” about the soup. It was essentially chicken broth with one mushroom and two noodles. That was it… Mushroom, noodles, chicken water. I told Krista, and expressed my lack of knowledge and experience as being a factor in me not knowing how to approach eating (drinking?) that bowl. So she kindly (well, I thought she was being kind), explained to me how to eat the soup. You carefully pick the bowl up with both hands, bring it to your face, and drink it. Thanks, Krista! So I did as she said. Ignoring the large spoon they bring out with the soup that was apparently not supposed to be used to eat it, I brought the bowl up and drank some of it. Krista immediately started laughing. She laughed so loudly that a good majority of the restaurant looked over at me drinking my chicken broth soup. I was fooled!
Finally it was time for our main course. The chef came over, did his impressive tricks with his knives and spatulas, and began cooking the rice. Then the Shrimp. Then the Chicken. Then the Steak and vegetables. My mouth is watering thinking back to it. As he was cooking, he began cutting little pieces of each of the meat. He was about to toss some to me, and told me I had to catch it in my mouth. I could see the determination in his eyes to give me some difficult tosses, but I’ve never been one to back away from a challenge. He asked me if I was ready, and I confidently nodded my head, with an unwavering “yes.” The first shot was high but catch-able. It bounced off my nose, and Krista laughed hysterically as she took a video of the failed attempt. The second throw, also high, went right over my head. I had no chance.
His third toss, though not perfect, I miraculously caught.
Krista was up next. She looked at me and told me she’s never missed in this situation. Ever. I told her that sounds like an impressive streak and that I hope she didn’t jinx herself. She did. The toss bounced right off her face and onto the ground. As did the second toss. However, she caught the third attempt.
The chef completed cooking the entire meal, and Krista and I chatted while we ate. The food was delicious, and I was very impressed with Krista’s choice of restaurant. She certainly earned some points for that.
It was finally time for dessert, which was where the big surprise came in. Out of nowhere the lights in the restaurant dimmed, disco lights began flashing, and I was surrounded by employees who began singing a hibachi version of “Happy Birthday.” My birthday isn’t until the end of March, so I was truly caught off guard. It turned out that a couple hours before we met up Krista brought balloons and cupcakes to the restaurant to hold there for our date.
The cupcakes were delicious, and the whole thing was extremely thoughtful. Though completely unnecessary and probably a little over the top considering it wasn’t even close to my birthday, I appreciated the planning and preparation that went in to this date.
Overall I had an awesome time. Krista knows what she’s doing when she plans a date, and I would certainly recommend anybody taking her up on the offer if it’s ever on the table for you to take. But keep in mind — after this great date, I plan on you having to compete with me. 😉
I live outside of Washington DC, so we are over 1,000 miles apart. I used to date someone from Texas, so I got to visit you regularly, but he and I broke up awhile ago and I haven’t been back since.
I miss you, Torchy’s. What I really miss most is your queso. I never even liked dip until I tried yours, but I quickly became addicted. Every time I’d go to Texas I would make sure to visit you several times a week.
So I have a crazy request.
Could you please send me the recipe so I can make my own here in DC? It doesn’t appear that you are moving here anytime soon and I’m not sure that I’ll ever find anyone who makes queso quite like you.
I’ve been on some great dates lately and am excited to write about them. I’m going to start with a kind of simple one, but it’s easily one of the best dates I’ve ever been on.
One of the guys I’ve been talking to and I made a bet. It’s not really important what it was about, but I was so sure I was right that I agreed the loser would make dinner.
We quickly realized that I was wrong (Girls, don’t worry — most of us are always right, I am just the exception to that rule) so I had to begin planning.
Being the great gentleman he is, my date said that he would go ahead and take care of most of the dinner anyway — all I had to do was make one of the three recipes I can actually cook. I decided to make fajitas, as that appears to by my fanciest dish.
The night turned out to be hilarious. When we got to his place he began preparing the appetizer he had promised. This turned out to be much more complicated than my entire fajita entree. I was such a goof and got too distracted talking to his roommate to help make the first course, so by the time I gravitated back behind the kitchen counter again he was all done and it was time to try the appetizer.
He kept working on cutting up chicken for our meal, so I began prepping the vegetables. My date quickly informed me that I was doing it completely wrong. He was worried that I would cut my finger, as I was holding the pepper in my hand and slicing the knife through to the other side. He was probably right, but I figured I could save us some time and chop the veggies while he finished using the cutting board for his chicken dippers.
I asked him what he thought about my cooking skills after our date and he said,
“When I saw you over by the sink I felt like you’d never cut a pepper before and I was afraid you were going to stab yourself because you weren’t cutting it properly against the counter or on any sort of surface.”
Needless to say, he ended up taking over the vegetable cutting duty too.
As he was doing some of my work for me, I took my marinated chicken out of the fridge and started heating olive oil in a wok. Being the person I am, I forgot about the olive oil until it started making a lot of noise on the stove top. I hurried over with my chicken and before I could think about what I was doing I dumped it all in the burning oil. In hindsight I should have turned down the heat.
The entire dish started yelling at us and popping all over the place. Olive oil exploded onto the stove top, and I giggled as he ran over to fix my mistake. My date calmly and quickly turned the heat down and shook the pan back and forth to slow the burning process.
When asked about this incident, he said,
“I had to rush over and turn the heat down. I figured you probably didn’t realize how hot olive oil can get. You seemed to be kind of inexperienced at working a stove like that and I didn’t want droplets of olive oil to spray off and burn you!”
I definitely had a backseat driver while I was making my entree dish, as he kept waltzing over to add pepper or other little spices to the mix, but I certainly didn’t mind. I’m always game for extra help in the kitchen (And as you can see I kind of need it).
Our meal ended up being fantastic, but the best part was just having so much fun making it. I loved being able to laugh through cooking a ridiculous meal together, and we topped the night off by playing some Super Smash Brothers. I’d say that’s an overall win.
Today’s lesson: I’ve decided it would be really awesome to date a guy who can cook. Eating is one of my favorite activities, but I’m not necessarily gifted in the cooking department. My baking abilities paired with someone’s cooking abilities would make us an unstoppable duo.
I have been surprised at how many new people are following my blog, so I thought I needed to introduce myself a little better so y’all can get to know the person behind these goofy stories.
I had a really normal and comfortable life all the way through college. I grew up in the suburbs outside of Washington DC and have a wonderful family and great friends.
August 2012 was a really weird year for me, though. I ended up getting diagnosed with something called POTS, and have collected a few new diagnoses since then (Because apparently once you get one weird thing several others must follow). A lot of my symptoms have significantly improved, but one that remains is chronic widespread pain. POTS is an invisible illness, so I look normal even if I feel terrible. Now that I’m not passing out or needing to lie down in the middle of the grocery store, you would never know that anything was wrong with me unless I told you.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I have only had one serious relationship so far. I started dating my best friend my sophomore year of college, then did the long distance thing for two years after graduating. The distance wasn’t the reason we broke up; I don’t believe that can be the ultimate reason a couple ends things. I won’t give specifics to respect the privacy of all who are involved.
I am a Christian and my faith is important to me. I am definitely still growing, and my relationship with God has been all over the place since I got sick. I do strongly believe He is going to make my story into something that will ultimately glorify Him, though.
My sense of humor has always been something that helps me get through rough times in my life, and I really value that in all of my relationships. Not everyone gets me, but the people who do seem to appreciate it.
I’m maybe about 65% basic. I love Taylor Swift, own a North Face jacket, Instagram pictures of my Starbucks orders, and often wear leggings as pants. To counteract my basicness, I am a big fan of Star Wars, Harry Potter, and Seinfeld.
Writing this post was a lot like filling out a dating profile. I was definitely all over the place, but I feel like I’ve covered a decent amount about myself for now. You’ll learn a lot more about me through the stories I tell than these little bullets, but I just thought it would be a fun little post.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my posts and send me messages! I’ve had a lot of fun with this so far and look forward to seeing what 2016 has in store for us.
I had a hilarious time babysitting last night. One of the little girls I watch is in the fourth grade, and somehow got a hold of my iPhone.
She was swiping through my apps so I walked over to see what she was checking out. I cringed a little as she clicked on Tinder, but I took her to the “liking” area for her to swipe right or left. I explained how the game was played, and she caught on quickly. I have to say, she has great taste in guys!
Her criteria for choosing was kind of hilarious. She said that she liked guys with muscles or military men. That’s cool with me.
Then she noticed that there was an option to chat with the men she chose. I let her send the first message, which was usually something like, “Hey cutie, my name is Krista.”
I told her that after I screened the incoming messages (Because you know how Tinder can be…) she could reply back. She told a man in a Speedo that she liked his swimsuit and he was very receptive to the compliment.
By the end of the evening I think I had about 100 new matches and a 6 pack from laughing so much. As I was gathering my things to leave, my little partner in crime informed me that she was a great matchmaker and would “hook me up with someone” for the holidays. I am looking forward to seeing her try, but I think I’d rather spend my time goofing off with her than with any of the guys she is trying to set me up with.
Today’s lesson: You really never know who might be on the other end of a screen — you could be Tindering with a ten-year-old girl.