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The Stomach Diaries: Part II

This post is a continuation from my health story last week where I wrote about the stomach issues I’ve had my entire life. In this post, I go into detail about my initial visit to my nutritionist.

the stomach diaries: part i - drifter and the gypsy blog
Four years ago, I was a sophomore in high school and I really wasn’t taking care of my body: Staying up too late, not exercising, not eating well, working too much, not getting enough sleep, etc. It was two years after I started this blog, I was just getting into fashion photography and I felt invincible: Fueled by passion. However, my body started giving me signs that it was time to start taking better care of myself. These signs came in the form of anxiety, panic attacks, insomnia, terrible bloating and acne. Granted, yes, I was a teenager and yes, a lot of these symptoms are typically associated with the hormonal changes one goes through during puberty, but I knew something more was going on. I did my own research and tried going gluten-free and dairy-free. I’d like to say it was a miraculous recovery and I immediately felt better than I ever had in my life, but that wasn’t the case. I felt better but I still wasn’t close to being healed. Although my eczema hadn’t flared up since I was 13 and my acne subsided, I still felt bloated and anxious. But I slept like a stone, which gave me enough energy to keep on trucking for three more years.

In late 2013 / early 2014, my body went through another iteration of ailments. Some of them were the same, but some of them were new: achey muscles, perpetual coldness, brittle nails, constant thirst and the overall feeling of weakness. I loved to run, but after a while, pounding my poor, achey muscles on the pavement felt more like torture than anything else. There is a good family friend of ours that has MS and I got really scared that I might have MS too. I did online research (hello, WebMD!) and diagnosed myself with a myriad of possibilities: hypothyriodism, Crohn’s disease, IBS, MS, adrenal fatigue and Hashimoto disease, amongst many others.

the stomach diaries: part ii - drifter and the gypsy blog
I made my first appointment to see a nutritionist in July of 2014. I also started seeing a chiropractor that same month to help alleviate my tight and achey muscles. My body was badly out of alignment.

I was so nervous the day of my first visit with the nutritionist. A friend recommended me to see her. She had good Yelp reviews, but I still didn’t know what her personality would be like. In my quest to eat healthier, I was very drawn to the raw vegan high carb low fat diet. I loved the idea of eating as close to nature as possible and being able to eat in large quantities, but I knew the criticism my type of diet got: Where are you getting your protein? Where are you getting your fat? It’s not balanced to eat that much fruit, etc. My ultimate fear was the nutritionist would tell me I needed to start eating meat. The notion that maybe my body wasn’t liking my 99% vegan (I still ate eggs) diet always lingered in the dark corridors of my mind. But I knew I needed to take care of myself and I needed to see the nutritionist no matter what the outcome would be. My mom came with me for support.

Click through to read the outcome of my first visit.

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The Stomach Diaries: Part I

the stomach diaries: part i - drifter and the gypsy blog
I think it’s about time I talk to you about my health. I’ve alluded to my sensitive tummy issues here and there and you may notice that my recipes are always gluten free and vegan. Though I’m not vegan–I’ll eat eggs, honey, & drink bone broth every once and a while and I take daily fish oil supplements–I naturally gravitate towards a diet filled with fruits, veggies, grains, legumes, nuts & seeds. I’m also lactose-intolerant, so that’s that. I haven’t eaten meat or fish in seven years as a personal choice due to animal cruelty and to lessen my environmental impact on the world.

My entire life I’ve had eczema. Really bad. As in I remember coming home from preschool one day with bloody, oozy rug-burned hands because the eczema on my hands was so itchy I was started rubbing them on the rug. My mom would take me to the pediatrician and the doctor would write me a prescription for heavy duty steroid-laden ointments. The doctor would tell me, “Don’t use the ointment for more than two consecutive weeks.” Otherwise the steroids in the ointment would thin my skin and my body would develop an immunity to the prescription. The ointment would usually work its magic, but my eczema always found its way back: on my legs, behind my knees, on my arms, behind my ears, on my neck, on my hands, inside the crooks of my elbows… My mom would take me back to the pediatrician and the doctor would prescribe another ointment for me to use. It was an endless cycle.

Every now and then, well-meaning friends would cringe at my sore, rashy skin and ask me if I had ever tried a gluten-free diet. I scoffed at the idea. Maybe it was because being gluten-free wasn’t much of a ‘thing’ at the time or maybe it just wasn’t on my radar but I ate anything and everything and I felt fine… or at least so I thought. Ever since I can remember, I’ve had issues with bloating. When I was super young (around 4 years old), I thought that was just the way my body digested food. I thought my stomach was naturally shaped like the underside of a bowl. It made me self-conscious, yes, but that was life and I sure loved food. My mom fed me wholesome food, like chicken and bread and rice and vegetables and fruit and milk. I loved it all. I saw how picky my peers were with eating. I saw how they would take three bites of a sandwich and be “full.” I thought that maybe my problem was I loved food too much; maybe I was a glutton and my body was punishing me for eating so much.

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Mid-Year Reader Check-In

mid-year reader check-in - drifter and the gypsy blog
Hi guys! Happy weekend! And happy loooong weekend to those who live in the US! Is anyone else eating copious amounts of watermelon like I am?

We’re a few days into the month of July, which means we are officially halfway through the year. I made a brief little mid-year reader check-in that I would so appreciate if you could take 1-2 minutes to fill out. I know surveys aren’t fun (I actually checked the thesaurus to see if there was any other word I could possibly use besides survey) but I tried to make this one as quick & painless as possible. You don’t have to answer every question & most questions are multiple choice.

I cover a variety of different topics on the blog and it’s really helpful for me to check in with you guys & hear feedback on what you’re liking, what you’re meh so/so liking and what you’re REALLY not liking/not interested in.

Go here to complete the survey. Have a fun weekend doing something you love!

Lately

lately - drifter and the gypsy blog
Hey guys! I hope your summer is going swimmingly thus far (pun intended). This week would have been the first week of summer classes for me at SCAD, but my adviser–who I was consulting with as to what classes I should take in the summer–ended up taking an unexpected leave of office, so I decided to not take a summer course and instead concentrate more on developing content for and growing this blog. (I’m secretly happy it worked out this way. More blogging time = happy Micaela.)

I’m taking Hilary Rushford’s Instagram with Intention class as well as working my way through Food Photography School from Minimalist Baker. Both classes are amazing thus far–I find learning the science of / business behind creative entrepreneurialism fascinating, but that’s just me. #nerdalert

I’ve been working through some not-so-fun food sensitivity elimination diet stuff (well actually this has been life-long venture I’ve really concentrated on more seriously this past year), but I’ll save the details for a future post.

In other news, next week is July 1st, which marks the halfway point of 2015 (ahhhhh!). I’ll be making a mid-year mini survey to check in with you and see what content you’re liking on Drifter & the Gypsy, what you’re not liking, what you want to see more of, etc.

Anyway, I felt like I haven’t checked in with you guys in a while and just wanted to give you a little update on my life. I hope all is well with you loves!

(All photographs above from my Instagram.)

Updated Bedroom Tour

updated bedroom tour - drifter and the gypsy blog
I live at home with my parents (and Aubrey) and I really like it. We’ve always gotten along / had a good relationship, so I have no problem living at home while I go to school. With that being said, I can’t girlify the entire house, but my bedroom is the one thing I can decorate how I please. I actually did a tour of my bedroom two years ago, but I’ve since freshened things up so I thought it was high time for an updated bedroom tour. Y’all ready for this?

Step inside…

updated bedroom tour - drifter and the gypsy blog
I love my It’s OK banner from Secret Holiday & Co. I got it when I decorated my bedroom for my first room tour and this was definitely something that stayed when I redecorated. Ashley says, “It feels good to walk into a room and see this reassuring you that it’s OK, whatever you may be questioning or worrying about” and I completely agree.

updated bedroom tour - drifter and the gypsy blog
My favorite part of my bedroom is my bed area. It faces directly opposite a huge window and gets amazing natural light in the late afternoon. Although I’m not a fan of my blinds (I’d rather have curtains!), I do admit they create beautiful lines and patterns when the sunlight filters through.

updated bedroom tour - drifter and the gypsy blog
The fine folks at Zana sent me the the Turn Down for What banner I blogged about a few months ago. At first I thought it would clash with my It’s OK banner since they both have such different messages, but now I call them my yin and yang. I tend to have a perfectionist / go-getter personality (Turn Down for What), but I need to balance it out with the mantra It’s OK.

The two bottom photographs above my bed are analog film shots I took when I was just getting interested in photography. The top left wall hanging is a watercolor drawing my friend made for me based off of the photograph below it. The top right photograph is a Polaroid by one of my favorite photographers, Chloe Aftel.

updated bedroom tour - drifter and the gypsy blog
I love this area to read / blog / watch YouTube videos / etc. It’s such a cozy little nook, but I’ll be honest with you: This chair is often buried underneath piles of clothes and I don’t get to sit in it as much as I’d like to! My Stop and Smell the Roses art print from Megan Isabella is the bees knees. It takes up half my wall and is a really great reminder for me to never forget to appreciate life for what it is.

Click through to see more! (more…)

Where would you live?

where would you live? - drifter and the gypsy blog
It’s a long weekend here in the US because of Memorial Day being on Monday, which marks the unofficial kickstart of the summer season. (Although it’s been so cloudy and overcast lately it feels more like winter in San Francisco!) School ends officially next Thursday, although I’m taking a summer class to keep my scholastic momentum going, so that’s that. I’ve been working on finishing (errr starting… oops) my final school projects, creating a new online portfolio (I finished my Behance portfolio, just have to update my current portfolio), listening to this awesome podcast series from Real Simple and creating content for this blog (always). It somewhat kills me I haven’t had as much time to post on this blog lately but I have to remind myself that quality always > quantity.

My dad recently returned from a business trip to New York City, which brought up the discussion of “If we could live in any city what would it be and why?” Which got me thinking, I LOVE San Francisco in all its beautiful pastel Victorian home glory, but is there any other city I could picture myself living in? I grew up in Connecticut, just outside of NYC and moved to the Bay Area when I was 13. I never thought I’d adjust to this area, but now I feel comfortable here. I like it here. I sometimes wonder if I would feel just as comfortable if I moved back to the East Coast? Or what would it be like to adjust to an entirely NEW city? I feel like moving is a whole lot easier now with social media because everyone is connected worldwide. What city would YOU live in if you had your choice? Don’t get me wrong: I’m not moving anywhere. Just some food for thought.;)

The above photograph is from my Instagram feed. You can’t beat a red door and a brick wall. You just can’t. It’s a classic.

A revelation and some behind the scenes

a revelation and some behind the scenes - drifter and the gypsy blog
If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know I used to shoot more fashion photography. Way more. I’ve slowly but surely drifted away from fashion photography (it’s been over a year since my last formal photo shoot!) and to be honest, that made me sad. I thought I had allowed life to get in the way of what I enjoyed doing: A victim of busyness.

a revelation and some behind the scenes - drifter and the gypsy blog
BUT I recently had a bit of a revelation. Sure, I haven’t been formally photographing fashion shoots with professional models and the whole shebang, but if you follow me on Instagram, you know I’ve been conceptualizing, styling, collaborating, modeling and designing (mainly for the blog). It took me a while to realize that I haven’t given up my passions at all. I’ve just found another way to channel my creativity. Since I wear so many hats, it’s difficult for me to sum it all up in two or three words. I’ve floated between blogger, photographer, stylist, model, director, designer, etc. and I’ve finally landed on a phrase that encompasses it all: Content creator. I just like to collaborate with talented people with awesome ideas to create rocking solid content.

a revelation and some behind the scenes - drifter and the gypsy blog
Within the next few months, I’ll be updating my website to reflect the work I’ve been doing lately. It will still contain my photography, but it will also include graphic design, directing and styling. (Annnnd I’m currently working on something SUPER exciting that will go live within the next few months–depending on how fast things move along–but I’m going to leave you hanging for now.)

a revelation and some behind the scenes - drifter and the gypsy blog
a revelation and some behind the scenes - drifter and the gypsy blog
Maybe what I liked about photo shoots wasn’t the actual shooting process, but it was more of the conceptualizing, location scouting and directing that went behind it. Narrowing down your passions is allllll a learning process, that’s for sure! With that being said, hit me up if you’re involved in a project that needs some direction!

Behind the scenes photos from a recent shoot I did at The LightGrid are by Austin Heppler and Shana Astrachan.

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