Wellness- We Got Beef.

OH hi babe.

Let’s dive right on in cause I got a problem.

I have had a very long standing interest in wellness. I’m talking, I started reading about herbs and Indigenous remedies, family remedies, food as medicine etc way back in the early 90s. I’ve always leaned towards treating myself in a holistic manner, I like to look at the whole picture of how my body works and how to support it working as best it can.

This interest both predates and supports my general wooness. I remember reading a book about being a hedge witch and automatically my interest in the woo bits of herbs and food got my interest.

Basically, I am not new in these wellness streets. So buckle up.

I spend a lot of time engaging with media content about wellness. I have some major problems around how wellness is being marketed, talked about and done because it isn’t well.

First problem. The thin, white, cisness of it all. Being that we live in the age of the Influencer, wellness has a very standard face. Thin, cis white women often, they pose so we are confronted by their thinness. The sun shining through their thigh gap, their “candid” yoga poses where, the light hits their taut bellies and their boobs are standing up even though they are upside down, their waists are super tiny and their booties super round. We all know the look. We can’t get away from it.

Want to shop for something to wear while you do yoga? HERE IS A PHOTO OF SOME CHICKS ASS. Now, I love booties. Yes please show me your butt I’m into it but, when brands rely on these vaguely porny images that show bodies that have been facetuned within an inch of life, it serves no one. If you like youtube, we’re confroted with hundreds of videos where already thin women, do “challenges” or talk up suspect weightloss products.

On the topic of influencers, I don’t trust not one. From the terrible ads for “tummy teas” (diuretic or laxative teas) to when they do review diets or workouts, there is no follow up or really a lot of substance much of the time.

Second problem is the front loading of fatphobia and weight loss as the goal. Y’all know if you’be been here for a while that I am absolutely against this. I am absolutely against the notion that health is a single thing, a look or a moral issue. The damage of this is so vast. We’ll dig more into why this is damaging later but, for now suffice to say I hate it.

Wellness has become quite the marker of privilege hasn’t it? And the method of marketing used for this type of wellness is so sneaky. It makes you feel bad and aspire to be doing what the person is doing. I mean, we know how successful Goop is with this. I think that a lot of the people who are doing this, are gross. I don’t want or need my wellness to replicate that particular dynamic.

I don’t like the colonialism and Columbusing that goes on. I find a lot of things I see/read about wellness that carry the idea that Becky from Cleveland somehow knows something like Ayuverda so much better than people who have been doing it for thousands of years. You know? I just hate it.

Now let me stop complaining. One of the original reasons I started this blog was because one of the things I’m interested in writing about is wellness. I want to develop my writing around this in a way that not only nourishes and fulfills me but y’all as well. I want to talk about, think about, do and write about wellness without the bullshit above.

This time of year is the worst for thinking about or doing wellness and if you are struggling with the things above, I see you friend.

One of the other reasons I’ve been dragging my feet about it is that, the culture of wellness is so not welcoming to me. I feel like, what I have to say is so far outside of how we are presented wellness, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to try. After years of being a fat blogger, I wasn’t sure if I was ready for the rage my views can engender.

I’m ready.

We ready.

SO TL:DR we’ll be visiting wellness more here. And I really hope to give some of y’all a whole new ass view of this stuff.

Thanks for reading.

Posted in be that shit, body politics, Uncategorized, wellness | Tagged , | Leave a comment

No New Me

Hello babes! Yer fave Auntie is back and we’re gonna dig into the lie that is New Year New Me horse shit.

Up front let’s establish where I am coming from okay?

  • I do not believe that fat is bad.
  • I do not believe that weightloss and dieting is inherently good.
  • I do not believe that there is one size fits all everyone should have a six pack and thigh gap type of health.
  • I believe that it is deeply harmful to conflate health with appearance, weight or influencer status.
  • I believe that everyone has a right to do what is best for their body and not have to frame it in a way that is hateful towards themselves, shameful towards themselves or in any other way that holds to the idea that, you MUST hate your body and always be trying to change it.
  • I believe that we all deserve to engage with or not engage with wellness as we please.

OKAY now we have that out of the way.

Here is the problem with wellness as it is presented especially this time of year. The idea that we should be ashamed of the bodies we live in because they don’t aesthetically appear to be healthy, is abuse. Health is not an insta look. It is not the dehydrated fitness influencer sucking it in on the beach and face tuning their ass.

Change by itself is great. Change that is fueled by culturally approved self harm and self hate is not.

I come at this from the perspective of someone who will never, ever ever be the “healthy” ideal. Even when I have been thinner, I have not been a healthy person in the context of the idea that there is one true way to be healthy. I want y’all to take a second and think about what health is to you.

Does it mean you’re drinkin your water, doing what body movement you love, feeling the fuck out of your feelings and eating stuff that makes you feel nourished? Or is health to you the Get Thin Or Die Tryin mentality?

This time of year, we’re pressured to conform. We’re all supposed to decide to be skinny butterflies and go hard at the gym and restrict what we eat and really abuse ourselves into looking healthy. Is your engagement with these things based on wanting to look like X youtuber or X fitness model on instagram? Is your engagement based on being ashamed that you don’t eat X superfood or you don’t do X diet?

Rather than abusing ourselves with ALL of these often unattainable lifestyles and health goals, what if we do something else?

Rather than going with the, OMG SO FAT MUST LOSE IT ALL and going buck wild with your diet and exercise, what if instead you try this.

Look at your body and say, yo we don’t get along and I kind of hate you but here is some fuckin water. Or WOW I love you thighs, how good does this stretch/run/squat feel? FUCK WE ARE AMAZING LET’S DO MORE OF THAT.

You see what I did there?

None of us have to engage in these extremes of motivation for change. You don’t have to project or enact self-hatred and self-harm in order to look a way that let’s be real, you probably won’t ever. It is okay. All of our bodies are different. We are each our own weird little biological stew of weirdness.

Some of us are disabled. Some of us have chronic illnesses. Some of us don’t want to be doing Iron mans or whatever. That is natural. That is good. That is fine.

Here’s the thing. Self-hatred can only take you so far. I’ve been there. Shame is not a great lifestyle and rather than trying to shame yourself out of having the body you have right now, what if you didn’t?

What if you decided that even if you’re not ready to love your body yet, you still want it to be as okay as it can be. So maybe you drink more water. Do some yoga. Dance. Do crossfit. Whatever. I’m not saying that making fitness goals or nutrition goals are bad in and of themselves, for some of us goals are magic.

What I am saying is that, here in 2020 try a new approach. Try a new thought.

For me I am doing something. I’m looking at the ways my nutrition can help me be in less pain, feel satiated when I eat, help me have good regular poops.

I am worried about my body so I want to try and help my chunky friendo feel better. I don’t hate my big jiggly thighs, and I am not going to hate them into being something else.

I have a challenge for you.

If you are looking at health and fitness stuff, if you’re on Instagram or youtube pining for that body/lifestyle try this exercise while you’re comparing your meat vehicle to another person. Ask yourself:

  • Do I live in that body?
  • Do I have access to the same level of food quality and quantity, trainers, chefs, gyms, equipment, and support in order to DO the things it takes to have that kind of body?
  • Is this an advertisement?
  • Is what this person does sustainable?

If you are a journaling type, I suggest writing them down. Otherwise just, slow it down when you feel that (and no lie I feel it too sometimes) pull and shame that you don’t have that body/do what that person does.

Next exercise try this.

Instead of letting yourself fall down a shame hole because your ass doesn’t look like so and so’s ass, remind yourself that barring full on ass theft, you cannot have their ass. Your ass is your ass. Their ass is their ass. Instead of hating that your ass is not their ass, if you want to change your ass, focus on the things you can achieve.

Maybe instead of changing your habits or diet or how you exercise based off of shame and self-loathing, try celebrating.  I personally am pretty excited that even with my shitty ass back pain, I am a little closer to being able to touch my toes again when I stretch.

TL:DR look.

New Year doesn’t mean you are obligated to publicly flog yourself for not being some whole ass other person. You really don’t.

Love,

Auntie

 

Posted in be that shit, health | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Do Overs….End of the year faves. Skin Care edition.

Hi. I know. I KNOW I done fell the whole hell off. I’m here.

So let’s talk year end favorite stuff. Skin care edition.

There will be affiliate links with * near.

FIRST UP let’s talk about skin care faves of 2019.

Cleansing.

I am a double cleanse devotee and have been casting about for great oil cleansers. My faves from 2019″

Palmers Cocoa Butter Skin Therapy Cleansing Oil, Face, Rosehip Fragrance.* Pros- very accessible. Inexpensive. At $10.49 from Amazon, one bottle of this lasted me months. Does a nice job removing even a WHOLE lot of liner and mascara. Cons- scented. If you are careful about freelanced products don’t do it G. Overall though, I went through 2 bottles this year.

NYX Cosmetics Stripped Off Cleansing Balm. If you have used the TAKE THE DAY OFF CLEANSING BALM* this product comes in solid form, and you use it the same way. It is a solid and you rub it between your hands then on your face. The NYX is SUCH a better deal bro. If you wear full coverage or a lot of long lasting or waterproof stuff, that Nyx balm is the SHIT yo. One tub will last a long long time. Absolutely a great option and in my view better than the Clinique thing.

Honorable mention, the OG cleansing oil I used the The Face Shop Rice Water BrightLight Cleansing Oil.* This is a GREAT entry oil to try out. I also highly recommend if you don’t wear foundation. It will struggle a bit with waterproof liner/mascara but will get it done. According to Amazon I first purchased this in 2016 and I’ve used a few more bottles yearly since.

Second Cleanser.

Before we go here. Can I just say that my FAVE cleanser of all time is expensive as fuck. My philosophy in terms of cleansers has always been, I just want it to get the job done. Then this shit came along and god damn it. I am kinda ruined. BUT it isn’t the only one. I’ll get to it last.

I cleanse in the morning and switch off two cleansers from Garnier. First one is the SkinActive Soothing Milk Face Wash with Rose Water. This milky cleanser is so soothing. BUT it also is scented but not heavily to my nose. This one is great for days when my face is being weird or peely. From the same line ….um. Apparently this one isn’t being made anymore it isn’t on the official website. Well shit. anyway it is the SkinActive Face Wash with Aloe Juice.* This was a cleanser I tried for nighttime and nah. But for morning it just leaves my fave cleansed of the night before (my skin care, drool whatever) and my skin isn’t too stripped, feels clean, bouncy and hydrated. I’m gonna have to stock up.

Honorable mention for morning. Tree Hut Skincare Purifying Cleansing Gel, Balancing Rosewater*. Now this one is a little more cleansing than the Aloe one but, I like it. It is a great prep for matte full faceballs make up.

NIGHT TIME. THIS SHIT RIGHT HERE.

Y’all. Youth To The People Kale Superfood Cleanser* – Gentle Gel Face Wash with Spinach and Green Tea. THIS SHIT RIGHT HERE GOD DAMN IT. First of all, this bitch is 36 goddamn dollars for an 8 oz bottle. Right around my birthday this year, I grabbed a 10$ travel size (we’ll talk about it) with my birthday Sephora purchase. Here’s the thing about cleansers. If they promise you baby butt skin in ONE USE..skip it. I’ve been getting into more clean beauty and I like the ingredients. And then I noticed after about let’s say three months of use, my face was like YASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS BITCH. For YEARS I’ve never been able to use one cleanser and have it stay effective for months. This shit…is so good. It has helped keep my skin more clear. I rarely get the same level of pimples as before. My face always feels very clean, hydrated, happy. God. Damn. It. THIRTY SIX dollars. So disrespectful but I feel real good. BUT good news is, you can get a travel bottle for 10$. Since it is my nighttime cleanser (it is a little too cleansing for me for morning) and the small bottle lasts me months. I’m still mad tho.

Serums.

I’ve done a lot of serums that were meh. I have stumbled on a few things that have worked SO WELl.

First one, The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2% + Ha.*  There are a lot of things I love about The Ordinary. High quality skin care that is quite extensive and pocketbook friendly. The downside of this is that they don’t do a lot of explanation. You HAVE to do your research. We’ll talk more about this later. In my research I was recommended this product to help with my quest to deal with my hyperpigmentation and facial scarring. Y’all. I’ve been using this product for about 6 months. I don’t use it twice a day as recommended, it didn’t agree with my other stuff but holy shit. My skin…..I wish I’d taken before photos but, I’ve tried so many things and nothing has worked like this. I had a purply black newish scar on my forehead and after a month, that bitch straight up peeled OFF. Left no other mark. My chin scars are faded, my forehead scar is faded. And more impressively, though I do still get the dark marks they aren’t immediately the super dark black/purple kind. They are a few shades darker brown than my face and they fade. I’m on my second bottle.

Moisturizers.

Am moisturizer. Gosh. Daytime. I am only this year a convert to the keeping my SPF and moisturizer separate. I did not want this to make a difference but damn it did.

First up, my holy damn grail after going through TWO minis. Sunday Riley C.E.O. Vitamin C Rich Hydration Cream.* I am not really a sucker for high end but, I used this cream from Jan-April. DAMN IT DAMN IT DAMN IT. It is so good. My allergy riddled face was not irritated but I still got the benefits of the vitamin c. I was SO HYDRATED. Y’all this bitch is SIXTY FIVE damn dollars. I also hate that it is in a jar. I could literally slather my face in it but, it really didn’t take a lot to spread nicely and leave my itchy, peely, irritated ass face SO PLUMP AND MOIST. Shit.

Y’all. I’m using a perfectly -nice- day time moisturizer. InstaNatural Vitamin C Moisturizer. Like…I kind of don’t totally love the finish but it is nice. It hit the buttons I wanted, Vit C, no dimethecone. It was easy on my bank account. But it is not Sunday Riley so I hate it…..I KNOW this is unreasonable but y’all. Shit.

My PM moisturizer eh. I’m using a perfectly okay one but I’ve yet to be wowed.

Few other honorable mentions:

Lips. My lips have been SO TERRIBLE. My work moved to a new building that I think is dryer than the last and my lips have just been in terrible shape.

Aritaum Ginger Sugar Overnight Lip Mask. I have been through two tins of this. It is thick, not slippery and awesome. Link is gone but it is good.

Basically, 2019 has exposed just how much of a bourgie bitch I am and I’m kinda okay with it.

Coming 2020. A skin care series for those who are lost, poor or otherwise confused.

MORE NATURAL HAIR SHITS.

I hope the new year brings all of you what you need.

Love,

Shannon

Posted in beauty, beauty reviews, skin care | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Recipe Post! Poached tilapia with spinach garlic pasta.

OH hey.

I want to share a recipe I worked up a few weeks ago and have made a couple of times.

This is great for folks who need to jam some more greens into dinners. This is also pretty easy to do and goes fairly quickly. Remember babes, anything you don’t personally like you can swap out.

This is what we’re making:

20190625_212255

[image description: photo of pasta in a pan with lots of greens and speckles of spices.

Great things about this recipe:

  • Make it vegetarian/vegan by omitting the fish.
  • Make it heartier by adding other proteins rather than the fish. Use leftover chicken, pork, use tofu. You want your flavor to be something that will go well with a garlicky flavor.
  • You can use leftover salad with any greens. I’ve done this with spinach, mixed spring greens. Use boxed or bagged salad for less spoon use.
  • Other spoon conserving tips. Parboil your pasta when you have the energy. That means just boil it until it is almost ready, remove from heat. I cool it and put it in the fridge. That way when it is time to bring it all together, BAM into the pot it goes. The pasta finishes cooking and tastes great. Use whatever pasta you want.

You’ll need:

  • Chopped garlic. I very frequently either buy peeled garlic from Safeway I like the O Organics whole peeled garlic. The cloves come in little packs that are about a head of garlic each and individually sealed. They last quite a while. Other options. The whole foods fresh minced garlic in the produce section if I’m cooking a lot is a great deal, but won’t last as long. Alternately, you can buy the kind that comes in a jar like this. Pro tip if you buy that kind, use a bit of garlic powder in your dish to give it a bit more oomph.
  • Pasta- I used some linguine. If you’ve got kids fusili or other spiral pasta might make it easier to eat. I don’t recommend a macaroni type just because there’s no sauce to fill it in.
  • Greens! This time I used baby spinach. One 5oz box of organic baby spinach lasted partner and I for this meal and some bomb salads. My other go to is the O Organics Organic Half & Half Blend Spring Mix & Baby Spinach from my local safeway. The mix of greens is really nice. Herby. Also bonus points if you can get your hands on some fresh herbs. Whole foods carries these small packs of fresh herbs that I just love using. They are just enough for one dinner so I don’t feel like I have a bunch that will go to waste. Suggested herbs: oregano, parsley, basil thyme. You can also use Italian Seasoning mix. Whatever you got. I also used chili flakes and pepper. Also if you need to, pre chop your greens. put them into a bowl/ziploc and have them on deck.
  • Tilapia! We had a bag of frozen fillets.
  • Cheese! Also optional. I used shredded asiago.
  • Butter or olive oil.
  • Chicken or veg stock.

NOW. I will warn y’all. In the photo above I’d fucked up my pasta timing so my fish wound up going cold. Don’t do that.

Let’s get cookin. We’ll assume your pasta is either par boiled or otherwise ready to go.

  1. Preheat a skillet or frying pan then drizzle in enough olive oil to coat the bottom fairly well. You’ll want there to be a bit more than it takes to fry off the garlic.
  2. Once your oil is nice and hot, add in your garlic, with or without chili flakes. Note: this is how much I used because I used the leftover for a while. You do not need to be so extra.

20190625_204059

[image description: a pan full of chopped garlic, olive oil and chili flakes with a sprinkling of pepper on top.

3. This won’t fry if you use a good amount of oil. Lower the temp until it is bubbling fairly gently and stir. You don’t want the garlic to burn or get too brown. You want a toasty tan color and amazing friggin smell. Once it is done, you’ll want to carefully pour most of the mix into a bowl and set aside. Leave some of the bits that remain and some of the oil. *if you’re not poaching fish skip to 5.

4. Put your tilapia into the pan, drizzle a spoonful or so of the garlic oil into the pan and pour your stock over it enough to cover your fish. Cover the pan and let it steam. Lightly season your fish with a smidge of pepper and/or other spices. I used paprika and a touch of seasoned salt.

5. In a pan large enough (unless you just made your pasta, then use your pasta pan) pre heat on medium to low. Depending on the size of your fish, wait until your fish is almost done. Add in your pasta, your greens and drizzle with your garlic oil. I used a lot cause we love garlic. Mix well, add in a little bit of chicken stock (less than a quarter cup) for moisture and cover. Let simmer and stir while the greens cook.

If you like your greens more tender let it cook longer and add a bit more stock. If you want them crisper take them out earlier.

Once your fish is done and your greens are done, put the pasta on a plate or in a bowl, top with your cheese. Put your fish on the side.

Notes:

This meal took me over an hour because I didn’t really plan. I was going to make something else and decided that was the night I poached fish for the first time. On poaching fish. Small delicate tilapia does not take that damn long to cook. I overcooked mine because I was afraid they wouldn’t be done. I don’t suggest this recipe as your first time poaching fish.

You could also do cod, herbed salmon, leftover fish. Vegan proteins seitan, fake meats of your choice. Go nuts! You could also use nuts. If you like them pine nuts would be good I think. You can also expand this recipe easily by sauteeing other veggies. Mushrooms,. carrots, peas. Or if all you have is frozen heat those separately then toss in your pasta. If you have canned, drain them well and for extra flavor, sizzle them quickly with some of your garlic oil.

Don’t have tilapia? Add a couple of cans of tuna, well drained if in water. If in oil, add it to a pan and then add some garlic and lightly saute it. Just enough to give it a touch of color and then toss with your pasta.

If you aren’t a fish fan. This can also work with things like lemon chicken, leftover rotisserie chicken, roast chicken. Go nuts babes! If you try it please report back!

Posted in food, poverty, recipes, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

How Moral Am I?

Hi babes.

Today we’re going to talk a bit about why the idea that health is a morality issue is not good, in fact it is damaging to a lot of us, ableist, classisist and ultimately antithetical to fostering actual wellness.

Let’s start with the personal shall we?

I am not a Healthy person. For our purposes, when I capitalize the H I’m using health in the context of the binarist idea that there are only the states of Healthy and Unhealthy. I include the group of beliefs that surround front loading things like weight and body size as the arbiters of health, of appearance as proof of health etc.

I was not born a Healthy person. I was premature, quite ill. NICU livin, heavily jaundiced preemie who has had a lot of health problems for life. There is nothing I could do save getting a full body transplant that would put me into the category of capital H Health.

Even if I had made “perfect” food, movement etc choices my entire life, I would still fail. If we look at this idea that if we are Healthy we are good, what does it mean for someone like me? In terms of the idea of wellness in the context of doing things to improve how your day to day life goes, if I am unable to attain the Goodness of Health, why would I bother?

There are many factors that impact how a body deals with or doesn’t deal with their health and wellness. Most of these are not moral qualities. I find that when we start adding morality and ethics to how we approach dealing with our bodies in this context, things get gross quick.

Example. If you use social media and have an interest in health or wellness, try this. Look at an influencer and watch how they speak about wellness and what they don’t say. If they are pushing a “tummy tea” or “detox” do they talk about how most of those things are really just laxatives. Do they talk about things like supporting your natural detox capabilities as in, your kidneys and liver? Or do they show you well edited scantily clad photos that highlight their thinness? Do they tell you that they were holding their breath and had lighting etc etc?

We all know operating under capitalism sucks so on one hand, I don’t hate them for hustling. We all got bills to pay. What I do hate is the way the culture of Health is going.

Why am I talking about these things?

I’ve been really wanting to delve deeper into health and wellness, I want to talk more about my own approaches, stuff I’m doing etc but I also need for y’all to know where I am coming from.

All this is to say, if your ideas about Health and Wellness depend on any of the following:

  • Sizeism
  • Racism
  • Classism
  • A cash hustle
  • Shitty information
  • The idea that there is only one state of healthy

You’re gonna have a hard time here. That said, I DO invite you to stick around to maybe learn some shit.

I don’t believe that we should all have the same methods, ways and means of engaging with our health and wellness. If all things were equal and there was no such thing as biodiversity in humans, these ideas of only one true way would work. And yet they don’t.

So welcome new homies. I’ve got some posts saved and we’re going to explore health and wellness. I want to talk about my personal struggles with my own health and talk more about why, how and when I engage with my health isn’t an indicator of morality.

Feel free to go back and read this post, click around for some of my fat posts and stay a while because we’re gonna talk some shit.

FULL DISCLOSURE also. I will use amazon affiliate links because your auntie likes coins. They aren’t much but every little bit helps and bitches gotta eat. I will not make any promises about stuff I link, I won’t shame you if you’re not into it, we not doin that.

Nor will you likely ever see dramatic before and after photos. I won’t tantalize you with images of me in my underwear or anything like that. I’m not that Auntie.

Thanks for visiting and I hope you come back soon.

Posted in adventures in aging, body politics, fat acceptance, fatness, health, Uncategorized, wellness | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Your Wellness Sucks.

Hello darling dears. Today Auntie Shannon has on their ranty pants so buckle up babes.

So I’ve been doing a lot of research and reading about health and wellness for both the health and wellness of my little famfam AND in relation to some writing I’ve been doing. Y’all mother fuckers.

The first thing that bothers me is this. A lot of people who are supposed experts in these things, have mistaken good marketing for decent advice. I see a lot of people who have taken a 2 week nutrition course on the internet and call themselves experts. I see a lot of people who thinly veil their fatphobia in how they talk about things like diet and exercise and frankly, I think it sucks.

Let’s talk a bit about why these things bother me so much. The first problem is that when we substitute Capitalism and commerce and profit for advising folks or talking about our own experiences, things get weird. I have had folks market dumb Kardashian diets, they want to sell me ebooks on juicing celery to solve all my problems, they don’t know how basic human biology seems to work but, they are making money so who cares right?

Look. While I am not currently a fat person, I have been a fat person. I don’t need my factual nutritional information tinted with fat hatred. It is unnecessary. From my point of view, not everything needs to be that in order to be useful. I turn it off. It isn’t the information I want not to mention, so many people are completely unwilling to remove the object of weightloss from the pursuit of better health.

WHOA.

Right?

Here’s the thing. After years of being within fat communities, the thing that changes folks lives isn’t the constancy of fat hate. It is the moment when they feel free to pursue the health they feel is in reach. In order to get there, we have to start with the idea that health is not an absolute state. The belief that there is ONLY healthy and not healthy, that healthy is a moral imperative and that health is some arbitrary bar set by whomever is not useful.

We have to understand that this view of Health (capital H) as being a single state or a particular appearance is not only destructive but it ignores the actuality of the biodiversity of human bodies. It is ableist. Health is not either or. What looks like better health for me, might be misery in your body and there is nothing wrong with that. That is how we were made. It is how we live and it is far less damaging to accept and acknowledge that than it is to insist that you and I should and must be healthy in the same way.

Part of my issues have involved being triggered by heavily disordered beliefs about food and eating being touted as health advice. I don’t see enough people acknowledge that their intermittent fasting proselytizing could be a serious eating disorder trigger. I would love to see some more judicious use of content notes and warnings. I’d like to see more folks say, hey if you have a history of disodered eating this could really trigger you. It triggered me and it took me a while of not doing nice things to my body under the guise of trying out this wellness thing to realize, I was in a serious danger zone.

In my view, while it is tempting to sit in the position of superiority and have the good feedback that one is the One True Knower of Wellness, it is ultimately damaging. If we look at wellness culture on social media, there is often backlash. When you build your profits and platform on the One True Way methodology, when things change all hell breaks loose. That is not good for any of us.

So all this said, I’ve been doing a lot of changing my eating and nutrition and whatnot and research into different health related things and I will be blogging about that more often.

The rules.

I will not step into the anti fat rhetoric. My narrative and beliefs here do not come from a place of centering my weight, your weight or weight in general as the marker of health. I don’t believe that is a good methodology for me, my body or my life. Also I won’t pander to it for views. Full stop.

I will in time talk more about it but, I do not believe in a binary healthy or not healthy view point. I believe that each of our bodies does some weird shit and we need to be able to get information that isn’t predicated on us being ashamed of that. This includes how fat my or your ass may or may not be.

I will NEVER take you or your ideas about health or wellness if you use the phrase “glorifying obesity” as some sort of methodology about why fat people should hate themselves into change. Full stop. Nope.

Fuck shame.

SO my darlings. That is where I’m coming from about wellness and why I see so much of it as being so flawed and ultimately damaging not only to the folks consuming it but also to the folks creating it.

So if you want to know where I’m going with it, please come back. I’ve got my shit somewhat together and have some posts planned and scheduled for this.

Thanks for visiting babes!

And if you’re interested in my other writing, come check out and like my brand spankin new writer page on Facebook. 

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Crockpot Lemon Garlic Chicken-Recipe time.

Below find a photo of the delicious chicken I made. Photo was taken a couple of hours before it was done.

chimkin

[image description: a whole chicken in a crockpot. It is sprinkled with spices, sprigs of rosemary and a few bits of lemon are visible.

OKAY babes. I have fallen ass over teakettle with my crockpot. And I made a delicious and super simple chicken in it. After deboning, there is enough chicken for a few meals for partner and I. Find my recipe below.

You need:

  • 1 chicken. I bought a 5lb fryer.
  • Some lemons. I used two medium sized ones.
  • Handful of rosemary sprigs. Just this once I will say use fresh.
  • Garlic 1-2 bulbs worth.
  • Herbs De Provence. This one* is my personal fave. I don’t have to use a ton of it to get that flavor.
  • Other spices you like. I used smoked paprika, black pepper and about a half teaspoon of seasoned salt.
  • Half cup or so of chicken stock.
  • 1 crockpot.

Prep your area.

Food safety is important. I laid out some foil to put my chicken on while I was working with it and that cut down on the mess. I also really hate getting raw meat on my hands so I wore gloves.

Remove the giblets and/or neck. You can toss these but I put them in the pot.

Next, slice up your lemons. Put them aside. I buy and use pre-peeled garlic. If you have hand troubles do this. For this type of recipe, go with whole cloves over chopped.

Let’s get that chicken ready.

Jam lemon and garlic into the chicken. And a stick of rosemary. Between pieces of lemon, sprinkle some seasoning in there. Next, season your chicken. On top, on the thighs etc, rub it around. Leave the chicken.

Next, put your stock (or wine if you like) into the pot. Then season it with paprika, pepper, and stir well. Drop in some of your garlic, a rosemary stick and some lemon.

Gently put your chicken in. My super secret is I put the chicken in breast side down for extra juiciness.

After you get the chicken in, jam in the rest of your garlic, rosemary and lemon. Set it on low and go to bed.

When you start smelling garlicky goodness, check your chicken. When it is up to temp you can put it on keep warm OR gently take it out and debone it.

Use your chicken how you like. Put the rest in the fridge.

Mistakes-

Don’t cook it too long, I fell asleep for an hour or so and yeah. I did that and the meat is so tender it is kinda mush. Still delicious.

I will be serving my chicken mushy weirdness (it is ugly but amazing) with wilted spring green lemon pasta. You can also use the shredded chicken for salads, serve over rice, etc. A few other notes. We like VERY garlicky food so used more garlic and we mashed up the garlic when we took the thicken out. There won’t be quite enough liquid left for stock but keep it anyway for the flavor. If you like a different spice profile, use the spices you like. For straight up lemon pepper flavor, less garlic, no paprika and more pepper. Experiment because honestly, as long as you use seasoning it is gonna taste good.

Go forth and enjoy.

 

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When Times are Tough…Fashion.

Hello from your most irregular Auntie folks.

Yes I KNOW I said more posts but, life does things.

So instead let’s talk fashion. I was talking to a Baby Bat I know and they were fairly astonished by my Gothable View of fashion. There are affiliate links in here. Marked with an * for everything not covered by Amazon or Shopstyle.

What is Gothable?

Gothable in my world are not specifically Goth things that I can and will put in my wardrobe. I think for a lot of folks, especially us Office Goths, we can’t always be decked out in Victorian Luxe a la my fave Auntie Jillian. Some of us would rather not. So let’s talk about things I find HIGHLY gothable. With two brand new pin boards.

I personally have a philosophy that if I can buy an item, I will because I like it. This also means I do frequently as I’ve mentioned shopped at places folks disapprove of for various reasons. My current booty is about chonky teen sized and a lot of jrs cut clothing fits me well so I’ve been buying some great pieces at Hot Topic. *GASP* THE HORROR.

I also bought pieces from times when Gothyish was in because here’s the thing. Most of us can’t afford to buy exclusively GOTH brands nor do all of us have the skill for DIY. I KNOW OMG THE LIFESTYLE RAWR OH GOD DIY OR DIE…ahem.

Sewing is a skill. I personally have made clothes and they looked okay but sucked. Most of the time, even if I’m recycling shit, I just don’t have the skills to make anything cool. And my efforts tend to a.) not look good and b.) wind up costing as much as retail in time, spoons and materials. So DIY if you can but storebought is goddamn fine.

For my first pinboard, I labeled it affordable Gothables. There’s stuff from Walmart, Etsy, Asos, Target etc.

The great thing about anything alt or dark flavored being trendy is that those styles become knocked off and accessible. Can’t afford Killstar* you can probably find things similar if you look that fit in your budget.

Below is my, if neither size nor budget were a consideration Goth Dream Lewks. Designer shit that wouldn’t fit me etc. I use these as aesthetic ideas mainly.

Another method of Gothables for me is accessories. GOSH. Y’all. Between Etsy, Ebay and Amazon and whatnot you can find some spooky accessories for every price point. Evil Empire links ahoy.

 These cuties are under ten bucks a pop and I personally love them. Love skulls? Can’t afford real bones? Items like this are great. Unlike when I was a babybat, it was ding dang hard to find cheap spooky jewelry that was shiny AND as these are nickel free.

Wanna DIY it? Grab some plain chokers like these and voila, slide a lil skull on it and voila. Fashion.

Would you rather buy handmade? Some of my fave shops.

UglyShyla. (Do NOT CLICK if you are scared of dolls) I really love Shyla’s pieces. I probably have four or so. She goes far to make things that are both lower and higher end prices. Nice quality.

Vandyland makes some cute necklaces. I want to say I have 2? Horror icons, movie references. These are not expensive and light to wear.

Osteal. Like bones and witchy looking pretty things made of metal? Check out this shop. I have a piece from Osteal that was gifted to me and is really nice. Very reasonable pricing.

Sumayyah Said So.  This shop is run by a dear friend of mine. I have, gosh five pieces from them? Anyway, they make beautiful jewelry including earrings, wrapped stones and necklaces. US shipping only.

Shakur Arts Studio. Looking for something really unique? Another shop run by a dear friend. They have some really beautiful and creative fiber/yarn art pieces. Yarn and beads they also make some really lovely collage art.

Wolftea. I don’t know how I found Wolftea but I have a couple of their antler pieces and I just love them. If you are going for a forest witch or Dark Mori inspo, this shop has it.

My secret to finding accessories is that I limit my search terms. For instance, search bone jewelry on etsy and find a HUGE choice of items that range from 5-10$ on up through the 100s.

This is also where I encourage you to get your thrift on. Whether online or in the shops. If you have holy grail items, set yourself some alerts in ebay or Poshmark. When I set my search alerts I usually will do the name of a style and my size. Or if it is harder to find, just the name of the style.

Here’s the thing about aesthetics. Some folks just like a Dark or Gothy Aesthetic. That’s fine. Some folks are ALL in with the culture. Also fine. Dark aesthetics being trendy isn’t the end of the world. One brand *cough Killstar* isn’t newly making being Goth expensive. This has been a thing forever, not because of trends but because capitalism. Be mad at the right thing.

And lastly, y’alls. Have some fuckin fun. Aesthetics doesn’t have to be srs business even if it is Goth Aesthetics. Enjoy yourself. Wear a crop top. Get your booty shorts on. Wear winklepickers with broomstick skirts and band tees. Do you Boo.

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Poor Folks Noms- The Taco Bucket.

Hi loves. I’m doing a new thing, I’ve wanted to start posting some of my recipes and stuff but I was feeling shy.

I’m hopped up on dayquil so let’s go.

This series is a lot about being satiated, poor, and having leftovers.

SO what is a taco bucket?

Taco bucket came about by me buying way more ground beef than I needed at one point. It was on clearance and good meat but I HAD to cook it all. Also, I had a bunch of leftover stuff and taco stuff.

You need protein. You can use whatever you want. Tofu, ground beef, leftover chicken is great for this. If you catch some sale rotisserie chicken it is good and you can use the carcass for soup.

You also need seasonongs. I will use a part of a taco seasoning packet and then other spices. I like to use a lot of fresh garlic, either whole cloves or mince. Also, a word. A LOT of pro chefs and TV chefs shit on things like pre peeled/prepped garlic. Fuck that. It is ableist. Real talk, That takes a lot of energy to prep and sometimes the extra dollar you pay for some of the work to be done for you is worth it. Personally, I rely heavily on those because I don’t have space for a lot of prep nor do I have steady enough hands for fancy knife work.

Remember all ingrediants are optional and this is just a jumping off point not a whole ass recipe. Adjust to your needs.

Other seasonings I will use: (affiliate links to amazon ahead, not the best prices but Auntie likes to make some coins)

La Costena Whole Jalepenos. I always get the kind that has carrots too. These I’m good to slice/chop. .This brand the peppers are nice, not butt burning hot. The mix of carrot is just amazing. Pro tip, keep your eye out for sales on these even when you’re not making a taco bucket. I keep a few cans on hand and they can go great with burgers, rice, all sorts of stuff. The same brand also makes “nacho slices” if you don’t want to slice the peppers.

I also keep various spicy spices on hand. Paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, oregano, etc.

Now what else do you need?

A bucket. This is a dish mean to be shared. Given that I cook for two+leftovers I will use something like this. I tend not to use ceramic, glass or metal because my hands shake and I drop things. Also pro tip, serving in these type containers makes for a super quick and easy lunch prep.

You’ll need your preferred utensils. I’m very partial to my fave, the SPOONULA. I drop and spill a LOT and this type of tool works while I’m cooking and serving. I got my first one at the dollar store and now have about ten of them. Other pro tip, check the dollar store for discount tupperware type containers too.

Depending on your protein you may need a bit of oil. I prefer to start with oil so we’ll go from there.

First, look in your kitchen. If you’ve got the spices that sound good and a protein you’re off to the races. You can put stuff like: beans, corn, stewed tomatoes, leftover rice, tortillas, taco shells, raw or tinned mushrooms, bell peppers, spicier peppers, you can do potatoes, jicama, whatever you got. This can be what I can a throw it in type dish. If you think it’ll taste good, throw it in there.

Now before I get to the cooking order, let’s talk a bit about the end game. What you want to come out with is a bucket full of delicious taco type fixings. If you are trying to stretch your dollars and food, add hearty stuff like rice. Using stuff like corn or extra veg can really help not only fill bellies but if you have folks leery of veggies you can get them a new flavor to veg. If you really need to use that leftover chicken, or whatever this is how.

OKAY so you need a skillet and your protein. I usually make ground beef or turkey.

First, heat up a bit of oil in your pan. Enough to drop in your garlic and if you’re using them onions. Wait for the pan to get sizzly hot and drop em in. PRO TIP. If you like onion flavor but not texture, dehydrated small mince onion is the fucking shit. My favorite is from Whole Foods (we’ll talk about whole paycheck another time) and they are similar to this. If you like some extra kick, drop some chili flakes into the mix when the garlic starts to brown.

Once you’re garlic is lookin brown and smelling delicious, put in your protein of choice. If you are browning meat, also have your powder spices on hand. I will liberally spice through the cooking process. Once your protein is half done, pour some of your pickled jalepeno liquid into it. Using that juice is one of my secret weapons.

If you have fresh veggies depending on if they are leafy, or root veg start adding them. I personally for instance prefer my bell peppers to still have a good crunch so I add the last. I add my jalepeno when the meat is about 80% done to get the flavors all loved up. I like to add mushrooms raw or canned before I add other veggies. If you’re using canned corn you can save that. Also if you’re using black olives or fresh tomatoes. If you’re using canned tomatoes you can add those too.

NOW if you’re using a fattier beef, you’ll want to drain it before adding extra stuff. I usually get 80/20 beef or if I’m using turkey, I don’t mind the juiciness. I won’t add water and shit like taco seasonings packs, I use those sparingly and let the juices from the stuff in the thing as moisture. Or if my protein is dry, I will add some stock or a wee bit of hot water.

I like to let stuff simmer. Also, letting stuff cook down is a great way to save some spoons. If you aren’t able to stand to watch something simmer, once your stuff is all in the pan, turn that shit down to med-low and sit your ass down. Let is simmer down. Remember, long simmer usually means more flavor.

How to assemble your taco bucket. If you are serving this with rice, put your rice in about 5-10 minutes depending on your preferred rice texture and let it simmer.

While your stuff is simmering down and getting delicious, when it is about 10 minutes out from serving turn the heat off and let it rest. Use this time to get your servings together. Since it is just Uniballer and I, I throw the meat and veg into the bucket, we both like the same stuff so I’ll add in my canned corn at this point, or my fresh tomatoes. If we’re being fancy I’ll also throw in cheese, salsa, sour cream. Or sometimes it is literally a bucket of spicy meat.

If you’ve got folks who need other options, make it a team effort. Everybody gets a bowl. Line up your protein bucket, buckets of fresh fixings and let folks go to town.

NOW you can serve it on tortillas, in taco shells, eat it like a dip with chips (my preferred method for shoveling), use the bucket protein as salad topping.

LEFTOVERS.

I almost always make enough for at least two full dinners for Uniballer and I. I will use it the next day for a salad, or as burrito stuffing. Sometimes, I add rice second day if we eat more of the protein.

Great things:

Easy to customize!

Fucking delicious!

Leftovers!!

Play with what you put in it. If you have food needs, allergies, intolerances it is super simple to substitute your needs. Vegan? Use tofu or tofurky, or chikin, or for real try using cauliflower. If you’ve got a ton of picky ass kids, each kid gets to have their OWN SHIZZ. And you can ask older kids to bus their own dishes. Make a bowl, clean a bowl.

Please try out doing a taco bucket and if you do, tag me on insta @weebeasty or come back and link me to your pics!

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Goth it up on A Budget

Hello my darlings!

Your fave Fine Ass Old Auntie returns. We’re going to be talking about clothing and accessories that are budget friendly AND easily Gothable.

First a definition of terms.

Gothable- an item that can go Goth with attitude, accessories or styling or cause you say so.

Below there will be a pin board full of straight and plus size ideas. I’ll toss in some more masc stuff as well. I will say I am no expert in masc leaning clothing because frankly I am Femme as Fuck.

Some personal style history. In the past 20 years or so, I’ve gone from OMG SO GOTH MY ASS IS SHINY IN DAYLIGHT as in wearing a lot of club clothing, vinyl during the day type goth. I’ve done ruffly lace fancy Goth. I’ve done punky goth, some kinderwhore. A LOT O GOTH. I think I’ve not done a lot of Victorian Goth or EGL or a bunch of other styles because $$ for fashion haven’t been plentiful.

In the last decade or so I tend towards the slightly absurd office goth. I like comfy. I like a stretchy waistband. I wear a lot of skirts, I love dresses. I’m very partial as I’ve mentioned to the skater skirt. I’m not very particular about where I shop. Let’s talk about that for a sec.

Some of my links will be fast fashion. I personally am not in a position to vote with my cash most of the time. I just can’t afford it. I like the idea of saving for an amazing ethical piece but in reality, for me and a lot of folks that is impractical.

Prior to my weight changing, I really didn’t think about it because most of the indie dark witchy brands just (and still) don’t go above a size 10 or 12 if you’re lucky. Even now that I’m a chonky 10/12 a LOT of the designers I love are not checking for my lil ass.

For instance I am OBSESSED with Sisters of the Black Moon and I have literally dreamed of this dress. The FLUIR DRESS BLACK LINEN. It costs $305.00. Now, yes craftmanship and everything. I’m not mad about the price. That said, if I had that type of cash to spend on a single garment, nah. I could probs fit into Large
Bust: 31 1/2″
Waist: 35″
Length: 54 1/4″

But the way I’m built, no way because um, my bust is not smaller than my waist. I run into the same problem with the beautiful things from Noctex. This item I could save up for BUT, my titties. I have them. Big ones. This is not built for someone who is not the shape of the model if that is the look you’re going for.

Often in Goth circles, folks will get up in arms over Goth being trendy. Remember that H&M Girl with the Dragon Tattoo collection? I saw a lot of hand wringing and ZOMFG MALL GOTH WE ARE SPECIAL type lamentation and y’all, wrong attitude. Yes, DIY is great. However, it is not just a matter of being able to slap shit together. Not all of us can design. Not all of us can sew. No, not everyone can sew together clothing. That is bullshit. AND often, the materials to make one shitty franken thing cost as much as just buying the damn thing.

If you can make something awesome. if not, shit store bought is fucking fine.

One of the other reasons why I love Goth as a trend is that the styles circulating in the indie and high end Gothdom, come down to earth and will fit my ass and the asses of my fat friends. If you’re mad at mall goths, you’re mad at folks who likely can’t afford to sit with you and, you might as well click away.

Ahem.

Also a lot of what you’ll find in the pinboard is office appropriate. Yes in theory we all want to wild out and wear what the fuck we want when we want but, puppies don’t appear out of nowhere when we want them either and bitches got rent to pay.

I’m not including shoes because that is a whole other thing.

Some tips.

If you cannot go full goth at work for reasons, little touches are great. Spooky jewelry from the cheesy Halloweeny stuff to beautiful handmade occult or bone jewelry. Make up is also an option. From a classic wing to a fierce AF black lip. The fun part is figuring out how much of your freak flag to fly.

My opinion, much like my style is pretty easy. Do what makes you feel fancy and if someone is doing none of the following:

  • Feeding you
  • Paying your rent
  • Fucking you
  • Paying you in general

Nobody gives a shit what they think about your aesthetic choices.

Let’s talk affordability. That is also highly subjective. Two years ago, I couldn’t afford an unplanned pair of 30$ shoes. These days with my improved credit lines, I can usually work it out to spend more. Do you.

Let’s get our mall goth on. I suggest HIGHLY following me on Pinterest. I am putting together a LOT of idea boards. I will mark stuff that is expensive to me in the fantasy boards. Full disclosure, some of the links I get a tenth of a penny if you click em.

 

 

Posted in afro goth, fashion, fatshion, goth, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment