What it is like to survive sexual abuse

I don’t even know where to begin. I have edited and rewritten this article 43 times. I’ve walked away from this post to breathe, remember where I am today, and relax. This was the hardest article to write.

Lately, I have been bombarded by articles of teens and young women who have been raped. Most of us have been discussing the Stanford student who raped a young woman. We all know that this horrible abuse exists, but I don’t feel like we know how prevalent sexual abuse towards women is in our society. I also don’t think we understand the long-lasting effects of sexual abuse. We squirm at the thought and would rather ignore it. In reality, we need to stand up and say, “This has to end”.

The last article I read made me furious to the point I knew that I had to finally share my own story. To share what it is really like to survive sexual abuse in today’s society.

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Dating Disasters

Last year I had so much fun writing this article, I thought it would be fun to bring it back. As an ode to Valentine’s Day, I figured it is only appropriate to share some extremely painful yet hilarious dating stories. Because honestly, what better way to celebrate this holiday than with a good hearty laugh. Without further delay, here are some brave women who made it through some really horrible dates.

As we all know, there are a variety of factors that contribute to a bad date…

Let’s start with the men with a second agenda:

It was our 3rd date and he invited me over to his place to watch a movie.  Then he burst out with a story regarding toothbrush head replacements, asking if I used the sonic electronic toothbrush. I said yes, and he asked “oh, well I accidentally got the wrong model.  Do you want these?”  And right before I answered “sure, if you don’t need them” he interrupts with, “I’ll sell them to you.” My jaw dropped. I never saw him again after that.

– Anonymous lady who had too much sense (or cents).

I agreed to meet this guy for a coffee date at Starbucks. Of course he chooses the one Starbucks located on Canal street. Canal street? You go buy knock-off purses on Canal street not to get coffee. That should have been a sign to cancel, but I went. It turned out that specific Starbucks actually ended up being closed due to plumbing problems. So we tried again and eventually met in a Starbucks around Union Sq. I kid you not, once we met and sat down he takes off his shirt and tries to sell me Facebook add-ons! He had his whole business plan and everything. Uh-uh, I’m done.

-Anonymous lady who’s now happily sipping Starbucks in peace

There is always the Ex factor:

I had been looking forward to going on a date with …. let’s call him James,  for awhile.  He was the first guy in some time that I didn’t meet through match.com or tinder. It was exciting, we had been texting all week! The conversations were going great, then the big day finally arrived….. he called about 2 hours before our date saying he had to cancel because his ex-girlfriend just told him she was pregnant… needless to say, the date never happened!

– Leonor Robels from Red Soles and Stilletos

All you need to know is that we got into bed and he could not, for the life of him, get it up.  The rest of the night turned into him crying for 4-5 hours while talking about how he just broke up with his ex. Once he was asleep, I decided that was my chance to escape. So I ran out in the middle of the night. Classy, I know.

– Anonymous girl who ran away.

I was in the airport having just gotten back from Morocco when I saw this lady who had the most beautiful coat on. I asked her where she got it and started chatting. I needed something to get my mind off of the vacation that had gone so horribly wrong. I mean horribly wrong, where my date ended up in the hospital. I figured I might as well talk to someone with half decent taste. A few minutes later my date, who is now in a wheelchair, comes rolling over. Turns out the women I have been chatting with was his Wife! Just when I didn’t think things could get worse, I ended up sharing a ride with them both from the airport.

– Lynn H.

The ones who think a few drinks will help:

My fave was a guy I met on plenty of fish. He was so cute. We agreed to meet for drinks, but he said he had to take a train to meet up because he had a breathalyzer hooked up to his car. That was a huge red flag. So of course on our date he got so wasted that he fell out of his bar stool and fell asleep on the bar floor. The bar staff literally had to drag him outside and put him on a park bench in front of the train station. Best part was when he woke up on the bench hours later, he kept trying to facetime me. Not call, but facetime. 

-Melissa R.

I went over to this guy’s place who I’ve been dating. It was super late because of my ridiculous work hours. When I arrived, he was already drunk, sick and congested. He said he wanted to take a shower to clear out his sinuses, so I just went to sleep. Couple hours later I woke up and I heard the shower still running. He decided to fall asleep in the shower. 

-Anonymous lady who’s no longer babysitting drunks.

Then there are the guys who leave you speechless:

I went on a date with this seemingly conservative man. It was a nice dinner at very plan restaurant. At the time, the dating book “The Rules” was super popular, so I knew I wouldn’t hear from him for three days. Like clockwork, on the third day he contacted me saying he had a great time and would love to see me again once he gets back from skiing in Vermont. I said no problem, call me when you get back, have fun. He quickly replied back with, “I bet you didn’t think exotic male dancers liked to ski… By the way I am a male dancer.” I didn’t know how to respond but with “ok”.

– Ellese Launer from Rock.Paper.Glam.

It was my second date after completing a fairly decent first date. My head was filled with visions of merriment and comparability. I entered the bar and found my tall hunched over and fidgety date…Not necessarily what I remembered. He chose two seats near the bathroom, and I went to buy my own beer. I sat drinking steadily while he went on talking about himself, and how knowledgeable he was. At one point his head was so slouched over, I am pretty sure he was talking to my crotch. The date concluded with him asking me “So are you going to make out with me now, or what?”… That would be a no.

– Meaghan Lass from Bitches ain’t shit. and other anecdotes (read the full story)

And of course, there are the MIA men:

I had been dating a guy for a few weeks. We were texting throughout the week and were hanging out every weekend.  A week before Valentine’s Day he told me that he was planning a surprise for me and he would call once he  figured out the details!  Well, Valentine’s Day came and went- no word.  While I was sitting at my sorority house irritated the following Monday, I aimlessly perused  Facebook when something caught my eye.  Lo and behold, my MIA date was in a brand spanking new relationship… with a mutual friend of ours.  Needless to say I haven’t talked to him since!

-Sophia L.

The one Valentine’s Day I actually had a boyfriend was in college,
but we couldn’t even celebrate because there was a huge snow storm! So I
ended up eating white pizza and drinking wine with my roomies. I got to tell you, I’ll never forget how good that pizza was though.

– Ashley B.

But every once in awhile you’ll land a good one:

I was on a third date with a guy. He took me out to dinner and soon into our meal, he bit into a pepperchini and it shot juice across the table into my eye. He just started laughing while I teared up and rubbed my eye frantically. He then said “well, at least this wasn’t our first date, or I would have just put money on the table for you to take a cab and walked out, because there’s no recovering from that.” I married this man five years later.

– Kelli G.

I hope you enjoy!

Originally posted on Feb 14, 2015

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Why I went Vegan

Doesn’t that food look amazing? Guess what, it is vegan!

In honor of world Vegan Month, which is November every year, I wanted to share my story of why I went Vegan. I am not here to convince anyone to go Vegan, that is your choice. I am not sharing graphic photos of animals being harmed. I am just explaining my reasoning to go Vegan, and how I got there.

Growing up I ate meat and animal products like most of us. I didn’t think twice about it because it was deemed normal. “Drink milk to get calcium, eat meat for protein,” they said. The FDA food pyramid had meat and dairy as a main source of nutrients. Everyone was spewing the same message, so it seemed accurate.

Fast forward many years later, I noticed more of my family members getting sick from cancer, my own body reacting to certain foods, and a poor relationship with my body image.  Unable to just settle with the standard quo of “Oh, well this is life”, I began researching. I looked up foods that prevented cancer. I began cooking more at home. I noticed a radical shift in how I felt in my own body just by eliminating processed takeout food.

I was still eating animals and dairy products. I thought I was doing a great job being healthy until my weight began to yo-yo again, I had low energy, feeling depressed and was getting sick. I eventually contracted food poisoning from Mac’ N Cheese, that had me unable to eat food for three weeks. My body had never gone through something so violent like that before. Intuitively I knew I had to do more in regards to how I ate.

I became frustrated because I knew I wasn’t at my fullest potential yet. People around me commented, “you look great, don’t be too hard on yourself.” That could be true. On the outside, I may seem healthy, but internally I knew I wasn’t. A piece of the puzzle was still missing.

So I continued to do research, and that is when I found the YouTuber Freelee the Banana Girl. She was able to connect the dots that I couldn’t. I highly recommend viewing her videos if you are an animal lover like me and want to see the reality of what we are putting in our bodies. I literally couldn’t stop watching her videos as a rush of clarity came from each. Here is one of the videos:

I rewatched Forks Over Knives to remind myself the healthy benefits of eating a plant-based diet. The scientific data that documentary provides is undeniable.

Then I watched the documentary, Cowspiracy, which discusses the environmental effects of eating animals. This topic is widely unspoken of and rarely discussed because in the US it is illegal to talk about it. You will be sued, found guilty, and possibly go to jail. Why? Because you are potentially affecting the economy of the country. So to finally hear the truth of what is going on, was the last piece of information I needed to go Vegan.

Why I went Vegan:

  • I love animals, all animals
  • I love this planet
  • I have compassion for others
  • and I love myself
  • This one simple way of eating seems to be the solution for all the above.

Each day I am Vegan I am saving (as noted in Cowspiracy):

  • 1,100 gallons of water
  • 45 pounds of grain
  • 30 ft of forest land
  • 20 pounds of CO2 equivalent
  • 1 animal’s life

Not only that but I am reducing, practically eliminating,  my chances of heart disease, cancer, and other illnesses.

Personally what I noticed is, I have a much healthier relationship with my body. It hasn’t physically changed much, but I love it more. I find myself laughing a lot more, my skin looks better. I feel lighter and happier. I have more energy to work. My cravings for sweets late at night have been eliminated. Food actually tastes better! Believe me, we live in a world where there are plenty of Vegan options that are so freaking delicious!

Most importantly, I feel good knowing an animal didn’t suffer from what I ate today and that I am contributing to a greater cause.

My next agenda is really educating myself on Vegan beauty and clothing products. If you have any suggestions or helpful pointers, please let me know in the comments below. I will never judge you for how you live and what you eat, it is your choice! I just thought it would be nice to share my personal experience and story.

If you liked this article, please subscribe. If this is something you’d like to read more of, let me know if the comments below! If you overall just think this is a cool post and want to support the blog, please share with your friends on Facebook. Thanks everyone!

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Unlisted Contaminant Linked To Cancer

Did you know the largest chemical contaminant in our personal care supply is not even listed on labels? Yes, you read that correctly. A contaminant so powerful that it has made the list of probable carcinogenic for the US environmental protective agency, a confirmed animal carcinogenic in the National Toxicology Program, listed in CA Prop 65 chemicals that could cause cancer, and banned in Canada… And yet it is not required to be listed on the label of our beauty products!

Say hello to 1,4-dioxane. It is a contaminant that occurs when a company decides to use a harsh chemical ingredient and tries to make it “less harsh” via a process called ethoxylation. Within ethoxylation, a chemical named ethylene oxide is used, this said chemical is also linked to breast cancer. So basically companies take a potent ingredient and make it even worse by using a carcinogenic to dilute the ingredients, which in turn creates a disruptive contaminant. Makes sense to you? It doesn’t make sense to me either.

Best part of this madness is that the FDA doesn’t require this process or the contamination to be listed in the label of ingredients. Making it entirely difficult to know if 1,4 -dioxane is in our products or not. But boy is it present. Environmental Workers Group have reported finding the contaminant in 46% of personal care products. Almost half the products we use has 1,4-dioxane.

How can we make sure we are not purchasing products that do not contain this contaminant? Here are are few tips:

  • It is most commonly found in products that produce foam or lather (so be most mindful of these products)
  • Look for and avoid products with the ingredient Sodium Laureth Sulfate. The -eth in Laureth indicates the process ethoxylation has been performed.
  • Similarly, avoid products with PEG compounds or ingredients with -xynol, -ceteareth, and -oleth
  • Certified USDA organic products do not allow the process of ethoxylation, and are the safest way of avoiding 1,4 dioxane
  • When in doubt check the product in the Skin Deep Database or Think Dirty App listed in the tools page.


“1,4-dioxane – Safe Cosmetics.” Safe Cosmetics. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 June 2015. <http://www.safecosmetics.org/get-the-facts/chemicals-of-concern/14-dioxane/>.

“1,4-DIOXANE.” || Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 June 2015. <http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/726331/1%2C4-DIOXANE/#>.

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The Nékter Classic Cleanse Detox Review

The Nekter Juice Cleanse

When I arrived in California about two years ago, I would hear the phrase “juicing” over and over. I thought, “that’s strange, why is everyone taking steroids?” I am from New York, the only people who juice are athletes… illegally. So when I discovered that “juicing” is a juice cleanse consisting of veggies and fruits, I became relieved and bewildered. How can someone drink just juice for three days? And why would anyone want to do that?

Fast forward a year and a half later, and I accepted the juicing challenge . For three days I just drank juice using the Nékter Classic Cleanse detox. This is what happened.


It was right after Easter and I needed a change. I was tired of eating overly processed junk food, and felt sick looking at the family size bags of chocolates my mom gave me for the holiday. Up to this point, I had never done anything remotely like a juice cleanse, but I have tried a few juices and discovered they tasted pretty nice! Who would have thought something so green could taste delicious.

I figured if I really want to be serious about my health, which I did, then I have to get rid of all the junk inside first. I immediately placed all the chocolates in the freezer (no way I could throw them out just yet), and made a trek down to my local Nékter Juice Bar. The only reason why I went with this company was 1) convenience 2) the juice packages were on sale.

Nékter Classic Cleanse juice detox cleanse


I bought one of Nékter’s super lime green thermal bags filled with six different juices, numbered and labeled. A small brochure was inside explaining what to expect and how to use the package I just bought.

Getting home I opened up bottle number one, a green mixture of apple,cucumber, kale, spinach, celery, mint and lime. Drinking it I thought, “Well, this shouldn’t be too bad.” Famous last words.

It wasn’t until the late afternoon that my body started craving solid food. I was hungry, foggy, and craving everything that I had consumed in the last 72 hours. It was as if my cell’s were reminding me my last meals as they detoxify. It was weird.

I drank bottle, 2,3,4,5 of the Nékter Classic Cleanse with ease, allowing 2 hours in between each bottle. I loved the lemon, agave, and cayenne pepper drink the most. It was super refreshing. It might also be because I love the taste of lemons. Drink number 6 was the hardest one to consume. It was vanilla cashew milk, and it was disgusting! I love cashews, but apparently not blended. And I hate vanilla. I was so looking forward to this last drink too after having all fruits and veggies all day. Alas, I plugged my nose and took big gulps to get it down. The only plus was it did fill me up substantially, and I slept like a baby that evening.

Nékter Classic Cleanse juice detox cleanse


The next morning, I got up and literally said out loud “Ha Ha. Well, I am never doing that again.” The first day was hard, and I had no interest in returning to Nékter to buy a second round of juices. As I went to prepare breakfast, I realized the milk in my fridge had spoiled. As I began lacing up my shoes, the most bizarre thing happened. I began craving some of that green juice!

Before I knew it, I had another lime green bag in my hand, and I was on day two. Day two wasn’t as bad as the first day. I had a better idea of what to expect. The hunger pains weren’t as horrific. I was still pretty foggy, which came out in my work. I submitted a writing project that was completely rejected and asked for plenty revisions. But, I made it through the day and evening just fine.

Nékter Classic Cleanse juice detox cleanse


There was no question about doing day three, mainly because I spent the money and invested in this detox I might as well go all the way. I was rather proud to be picking up my third and last lime green bag of the Nékter Classic Cleanse detox. I announced that this was my last day. The cashier said congrats, and I waved goodbye.

Things seemed to be going really well, had an easy time getting the juices down, didn’t feel as hungry. I did nibble on a few almonds, which in the pamphlet said was allowed. I met up with my cousin for quality time and was actually even able to hold a conversation. The fog was starting to lift.

The only complaint I had was that when I reached for the sixth bottle, the nasty cashew drink, I noticed that this time it was spoiled! It smelled rotten and was a yellowish color. I decided to toss it out and go to sleep. I was officially done with the cleanse!

Nékter Classic Cleanse juice detox cleanse


  • The detox really did get EVERYTHING out of my system
  • It tasted great (except for drink 6)
  • It was affordable
  • It jump-started my healthy eating habits
  • It caused me to look at food in a whole new light

I would have never thought that a simple three-day detox would change my perspective of food as much as it has. It opened up my eyes to realize how much crap we as a nation put into our bodies daily, AND we think it is normal! It made me realize how completely unnecessary a double bacon cheeseburger is. I realized how bombarded we are as a whole with media advertisement of fast food, unhealthy eating, quick fix unnatural dieting tactics. This detox drastically showed me how much better homemade, whole foods are for my body. The process of transitioning into a better eating plan was so much easier because of detoxing first. It truly reboot my whole system, mind, body and soul.


  • Check the bottles before buying to makes sure they aren’t spoiled.
  • Drink plenty of water! It helps with the detox process.
  • If you need to eat almonds or veggies, just do it. It will help you get through the process without completely giving up.
  • Use a pre-planed prepackaged juice cleanse to start. I had no clue what I was doing, so having it together for me was perfect.
  • As always, check with a doctor or a nutritionist before doing anything!

Stay tuned! It has been six months since I last did a detox, and I am ready for the next cycle. This time I am making my own juices and lasting a few days longer!

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