Book Reviews: Nutrition!

Oh snap! My first book review here.

As a vegetarian/wanna be vegan (like 89% vegan) who wants to get pregs, I have received an onslaught of opinions and theories from other people.

#1. I would have to start eating meat again if I want the baby to get the proper nutrition or even just to conceive, “bone broth, bone broth, bone broth”- ugh!

#2. But the cravings! If the baby wants meat, mama is going to have to eat meat.

#3. It’s not healthy to be a vegetarian/vegan and get pregnant, be pregnant, nurse, etc.

#4. Blah, blah, blah!

Welp! Shut it up! I mean, I know that when most people share thoughts and opinions, it’s coming from a well-meaning place, but I’m just not into meat like that. Sorry meat, it’s not you, it’s me. Oh, also the pure disgustingness that is factory farming, rotting flesh that’s been on the shelves longer than it should be and a whole bunch more that’s actually our government’s fault! I’ve never been a big meat eater and have loved veggies since I was a kid, broccoli was my ish! I was a vegetarian in elementary school, ate meat (amongst a number of other unhealthy habits) in high school and then came back around to my veggie-lovin self consciously, 4 years ago. I kind of figured that someones, somewheres out there had to have had healthy conceptions, pregnancies and children with a plant-based diet and thus I was led by one of those people to two books. The Kind Mama by Alicia Silverstone and Skinny Bitch Bun in the Oven by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin. They both definitely echo each other, but hey, repetition is the mother of mastery and they confirm all the theories of my own intuition, that a plant-based diet is a totally doable and healthy way to have a pregnancy. I watch my protein, my calcium, my folate (the natural occurring version of folic acid), etc, etc on an app called My Fitness Pal, it’s heeeeeeella tedious, but I know where I’m coming up short and/or over on. I feel like I’m watching my food intake more now than when I went through a fitness bootcamp pre-wedding sans working on my 6-pack, let’s be real, my 4-pack! But it’s for da baby!! Happy healthy eating everyone!

– xOx

Fertility Altars

My body itself is an altar, a sacred space, a religious place. 

Here’s a quick tour of my fertility altar.

We have altars set up throughout our home, 4 to be exact. I would even go as far as saying our home is an altar in itself as are the two humans who currently occupy space here. I love me some rituals and altars are all about rituals and purposeful places of worship. My home is definitely full of devotion as well as praise! So as I prepared to call our little spirit baby to join us in this life, I created an altar with all my fave fertility relics and some schweet treats! Here’s the objects I chose to put on my fertility/welcome bambinx altar! 🙂

  • Coconut Oil: Good for just about everything, but my new fave…lube honey! It’s like a tropical paradise down under! Good for solo play, w/toys, and with ya partna!
  • Food: an apple, an orange and my favorite chocolate mints. I think every altar should have things that are living (need to add a plant to this one!) and things that are being sacrificed, the fruit. I’m blessing them and asking for blessings as I add them to the spread. At the point I do become pregnant, I’m plan on eating the fruit that’s present.
  • Fertility Portion:
    • My favorite vibrator, the Lelo Ina Wave. I def wanted something on there that was fallic and that brings me joy and since I can’t put my lover up there, the next best thing will have to do. *side note* 3 words: full body orgasm!
    • Viva La Vulva! It’s a vulva pin that I picked up at 2016’s Amber Rose’s Slut Walk and met the cutest pair of feminist, sex-positive entrepreneur artist gal partners! I love their pins and stickers and am sad I can’t find any contact page to tag.
    • Ganesh who was actually a wedding present from my spouse’s childhood friend that she bought while traveling in South Asia. Ganesh represents fertility and is the destroyer of obstacles! So having her aboard the altar was a no-brainer!
    • Venus of Willendorf c. 25,000 B.C.. obvi I don’t have the original, in fact mine is carved from wood not limestone. There’s a bunch of theories on her,  but like who do we ask to know for sure, right? This is even before Jesus’s time! Some theories are; she was used as a symbol of fertility, represented procreativity, could have been a good luck charm, a deity or mother goddess! My fave theory about the red ochre pigment covering her is that it’s thought to symbolize menstrual blood which was seen as a life giving agent. Yay!! Ahh pre-patriarchy and hate of all women things, let’s get back there, shall we?
    • Moonstone, the stone of fertility, the love stone and it connects us to the goddess and the moon! Plus it’s the stone for my birth time and is said to accelerate psychic abilities!
    • Yoni Eggs: Holistic vaginal weights made of precious healing crystals. This link will take you to my other v/blog I created on my favorite vaginal inserts! 🙂
  • Hopeful baby daddy’s crystals, although I joke in the video that he didn’t want to be left off of the altar, it is important for him to have a stake and a presence in all aspects of baby consciousness and I’m very grateful that he’s into all the same hippie spiritual ways. I tease and call him my monk.
  • BOOKS!: We are big readers individually and collectively, we read as much as we can together, like legit read out loud together from the same book like some nerds. Lots of relationships books, finance books, plays, anything that is going to continue to help us grow and develop into better versions of ourselves! I think it’s SO important that a couple read together and continue to work on the relationship. Time changes, we change, reading together, for us, has helped us to stay on equal footing.
  • Incense: I typically light one every day, especially during yoga and meditation times. My favorite scent is so cliche I feel like, nag champa. I could smell it all day!
  • Above the altar
    • Erotic art! I’m so into it and I want more! Right now I have a Kama Sutra basic position piece from The World Erotic Art Museum in Miami, Florida. Please go if you’re ever there, it’s incredible, they have everything and I don’t want to spoil it for you! We have a couple making love that was spray-painted on black canvas for us in the streets of Barcelona, Spain! Lastly, I have a abstract piece from an artist in Joshua Tree, California.
    • Dreamcatchers: We made at a Native American site and event at Kuruvungna Springs. We were actually really proud of how they turned out even though they look like a child made them!
    • Our vows!! Bae and I were up ’til the wee hours of the morning the night before our wedding (separately!) finishing up our vows, in fact I was still cleaning them up in the space a couple hours before the ceremony. I’m happy that we wrote our own vows and what’s hilarious is we both open on almost the exact same line. We are the same human sometimes! 🙂

Our altars will continue to shift and breathe with me and the changes that I go through, just like it will modify once I’m in pregnancy mode then into postnatal! It’s probably why I have 4 of them throughout the house. We live, we grow, we add, we purge and we pray.

– xOx

Therapy. Yes, Please!

So I digest it and compress it, minimize it and repress it // erasing the bruises and the cries // Press on, my brain’s on a loop of ping pong. [excerpt from Phoenix Rising]. 

*potential trigger warning*

That’s how I lived for 20+ years, never talking about my childhood trauma…until 2014, when a range of rapid fire triggers attacked me like a swarm of killer bees. Sting! Becoming a newly wed. Sting! Seeing a short film on rape. Sting! Being asked to work with a sexual assault survivor advocacy group. Sting! Thinking about having kids. Sting! Drink, drink, drankin! Sting! Sting! Stangin! The very onset of the memories sent me into a out of control downwards, backwards spiral cycle. I restlessly and breathlessly crawled and scraped my way into a counseling center. Desperation, depression and stress, the stank smell on the hem of my breath. Tears straying, praying this grace could be my saving and that my life would not fall to waste. Without therapy (and the massive amount of work that I’ve put into it-  cuz ish ain’t easy!), I know that I wouldn’t be writing this vlog blog right now, let alone still have a home and definitely not working on creating a family with the love of my life, (whom can only be described as God-inspired and super humanly-strengthened to have me as a wife), a person who has stuck with me through the worst toxic mess, and he’s never loved me any less. I give him so many props because he said I do, way before he knew.

  • Micro-vlog episode #2 is up on YouTube, Therapy. Yes, Please! 65 seconds of truth! Mental health is REAL! Let’s all take care of our minds more than the media wants us to worry about the way we “should” look, okay?!?

Today, I am the Director of Outreach at More Than No, a non profit and anti-rape campaign, aimed at championing consent-culture through artistic activism. There was a time when I couldn’t even fathom the life I have now, it was so dark and I was so lost. Everyday, I am grateful for the light and the THERAPY! Straight up, intense, ongoing therapy. It’s the best choice I have ever made and the hardest I have ever worked at something. I wish mental health was one of the most important things taught to us, I hope that I’m able to impart some of this knowledge onto my babes and anyone really.

One thing that prevents people from seeking mental health is the financial cost, DO NOT LET THAT STOP YOU!! If there’s a will, there’s a way! Here’s a couple of resources for finding a therapist in your area. You are the most important thing in this world, your presence is needed here and you’re here for a reason. Like the airplane oxygen mask instructions, put your healing first.

PS. It’s Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, so let’s be gentle with ourselves and each other, because we don’t know everyone else’s story.

– xOx