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The Big “When” Question

(Warning: this post is kind of long and kind of personal. And by “kind of” I mean extremely.)

As a girl (and I apologize because that’s all the experience I’ve got) it seems like your life is series of when‘s.

When do you get your license so you can drive us to the mall??

When do you turn 21 so we can go meet boys????

When is he going to pop the question?

When‘s the big day??

aren't we adorable?

And while these questions all warrant multiple question marks, they have all been reasonably simple to answer, or at least provide rough timelines. Then came the other question that people start asking, basically the minute you get back from your honeymoon…

When are you going to have a baby?

This one. This one wasn’t so easy to answer. First, we were never in a hurry. As I’ve explained before on this blog, we are kind of selfish people who are 100% aware of the fact that we like our lives how they are. We like TV, going to dinner and eating at the bar, laying around on Sundays watching football and HBO and leaning giant mirrors against walls without worrying someone will pull it over on top of themselves. He likes his xbox  (some days I think more than me) but hey, I’ve got my vices. Y’all know how I feel about wine. But as the first few years of wedded bliss passed by, I started getting that dull ache in my belly as I saw friends, family, hell even strangers, snuggling and kissing on their own tiny little humans that they created together. I would catch myself inhaling that sweet baby smell just a few seconds longer. Smiling the widest of smiles when they would wrap their little hands around my finger. Feeling like I swallowed the sun when my nephews would hug me and say “I love you”. So with some hesitation and eventually mutual agreement, we decided to make a baby.

…Two years ago.

…Radio silence.

Like I’m sure many other women have, I always had this feeling I would never be able to have children, long before I ever started even wanting them. Yes, I am known to be a bit of a worrier/hypochondriac/crazy person, so this was nothing out of the ordinary. So as months went by, boxes and boxes of pregnancy tests and ovulation kits ninja kicked our bank account (that shit is expensive), I read every “TTC” (Trying to Conceive) forum I could find, I tried every method of charting and I took every supplement I read about to try and calm my fears and get some results. Still. Nothing. Then finally after about a year and a half, and kind of an “off” cycle, I went to see a fertility doctor, completely ready to accept my fate as fertility impaired.

Thank God.

Not only did I feel better just talking to someone, but as we started charting my cycle with their preferred method (NaPro in case you’re interested), things started to finally make sense. Like the fact that I had horrific, debilitating cramps randomly, almost 20 days out of the month. Or that I had excruciating pain from exercise and other activities that should not cause pain. A month of blood tests every other day showed my hormones were jank, and I was a ball of stress because of it. An earlier test I’d had done when we started this process showed blockage in both of my tubes (yay!) so as you can imagine, that puts a wrench in things. And as we continued to navigate through each month, there was a reoccurring theme that continued to come up with my fertility nurse, and certainly explained a lot of what I was dealing with. Endometriosis.

To be continued…

 

 

 


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Almond Peach Cobbler

I’m a major hypochondriac. (Major Hypochondriac. HIMYM? Anyone?) And while I realize this may have nothing to do with an almond peach cobbler… it has everything to do with peaches. Stick with me.

Apple Peach Cobbler 1

 

About 2 years ago I ate some raw almonds and got this weird scratchy sensation in my throat and my mouth. Which was super weird because I’ve been eating nuuu…nope, not gonna say that… I’ve been eating almonds, cashews, and other foods of that nature, for years without ever having a problem. The only thing that changed was these were raw and not roasted, which I had just switched to for the nutritional benefits. Cut to a few days later, when eating an apple, SAME THING. So I did the only thing you can do in this situation. I googled that shit.

I found something called “OAS”, or “oral allergy syndrome” (shut up), and I thought perhaps I had somehow developed this never-before heard of disease. So I begrudgingly stopped eating the two things that bothered me, raw nuts and apples. And until recently, I actually forgot about it. A few weeks ago I bit into a delicious juicy peach and almost stopped breathing. (Ok, maybe I just had a really scratchy, swollen mouth and throat, but it FELT like I was about to stop breathing.)

Apple Peach Cobbler 2

As I read more about this alleged OAS affliction, it appears it’s rather common for people with seasonal allergies to develop this in their 20’s and 30’s. And it turns out that by cooking the foods that ail you, you kind of kill/break-down the proteins that cause the issues so you can go back to enjoying beautiful summer fruits.

So there I was.

Just a girl.

Standing in front of a bowl of peaches.

Asking what to do with them.

Apple Peach Cobbler 4
Oh! And also I made this paleo and gluten-free, just because I like to make all my meals extra difficult.

Almond Peach Cobbler
(inspired by Taylor Made it Paleo)
Serves 6
Time: 30 minutes
You’ll Need:
5 large peaches, peeled and sliced
2 T coconut oil
1 cup almond flour
2 T almond butter (I mixed almond and cashew, you can use whatever you like)
1/4 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
2-4 T agave nectar (add more if you want this sweeter, I used two and it was mildly sweet)
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
1/4 cup chopped almonds for crunch

Directions:
 Preheat oven to 350. Toss peaches with 1 T coconut oil and lay in shallow baking dish. Combine the other T of coconut oil and the rest of the ingredients to make the topping – I suggest you mix with your hands to ensure everything is completely combined and forms a nice “crumbly” texture. You may need to add a little more oil if it’s too dry. Spread evenly across the peaches and bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until topping is golden brown. If you’re feeling froggy, serve with a dollop of greek yogurt or vanilla ice cream.

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Apple Peach Cobbler 3
Oh, and just so you know, Brandon doesn’t like peach cobbler (I know, I married a crazy person. He doesn’t really like bread either). This means I ate almost this entire thing. Thank god for my mom and dad who took the last serving before it got REAL embarrassing.

 


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GF Mexican Casserole

So y’all know I love me some Mexican food. And if you don’t know… now you know. (Thanks, Biggie.) I actually had it in one form or another three times last week, almost four, but me and my girlfriends cancelled dinner plans one night. Besides pizza, it’s my favorite thing to eat. I’m talking stretch-pants-mandatory-no-room-at-the-inn eat. Basically I like it.

mexican casserole 2

So when I tried to stop eating gluten, one of the hardest things for me to give up were flour tortillas. (No, I didn’t stop eating gluten just because I’m a trendy hipster, I read it helps with hypothyroidism and some other health issues, also I’m a little bit of a trendy hipster). Slowly and begrudgingly, I made the transition to corn tortillas, one burrito at a time, and it’s safe to say that I am now a full-blown corn tortilla convert. Sure you have to double-up on most them because they tear so easy, but they’re also drastically less calories, so I hardly feel guilty about that.

And also that just means I can add more cheese. #JessMath

mexican casserole 4

The rest of the ingredients in this dish came from a few of my kitchen staples and a need to use up the remainder of the most delicious corn on the planet that we brought home from our cabin a week prior. And as I hoped, it created a beautiful, cheesy, Mexican-inspired mess.

Gluten-Free Mexican Casserole
Serves: 4-6
Cook time: about 45 minutes

You’ll Need:
1lb lean ground turkey
1 sm. red onion, chopped
2 jalapenos (or other pepper of your choice), chopped
4 T taco seasoning, or 1 packet, + 3/4 cup water, (I use Penzeys bc I love them)
2 ears fresh corn, cut off the cobb
1 can diced chiles
2 cups sharp and/or mild cheddar cheese
1/2 cup salsa of your choice, plus more for serving
1 pack small corn tortillas

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350. In a large pan, sprayed lightly with oil, heat onions and chopped peppers for about 5 minutes over med-high, until softened. Add ground turkey and cook until browned, about another 8 minutes. Stir in taco seasoning and water, and simmer over medium heat until liquid is absorbed. Stir in corn and can of chiles until combined. In a baking dish, spoon about 1/4 cup of salsa onto the bottom and layer with corn tortillas (about 5-6) to cover the bottom. Add half the turkey mixture, half the cheese, and another layer of tortillas. (You can use less this time if you want, I used 6 again.) Then add another 1/4 cup of salsa, turkey mixture, and the final layer of tortillas (again, up to you how many you’d like to use here) and the rest of the cheese. Bake in the oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until cheese is completely melted. (If you make this ahead of time and refrigerate it, give it a little longer to heat through.) Garnish with avocado, lime, cilantro, , sriracha, sour cream or whatever other fixins’ you like!

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mexican casserole 1
This was so insanely flavorful and such an easy dinner to make. You guys know I love meals you can make ahead of time, but it also made for killer leftovers. I’d like to say we ate this three days in a row, but we hogged out so hard that the leftovers only lasted the next day.

No judgement.

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