Thursday, November 7, 2013

Go Fund Me Questions?

Okay so many people have been asking questions about this fundraiser. I will answer them here.

First, I wanted to say thanks! It has slowed recently but overall has gone better than expected! We really appreciate it.

I also want to clarify, that is NOT just a website for which you donate money. WE ARE SELLING OUR STUFF. And, in selling our stuff WE ARE MOVING WITH A SMALLER TRUCK TO SAVE MONEY. Of course, you CAN just donate money but most people have contributed to RECEIVE something in return, which is great (which is called buying, not donating). That is what we WANT you to do. Due to the nature of this arrangement, however, NOTHING is pure 'profit' if you will. We have to pay for shipping of every item & when stuff gets lost or is heavy, sometimes we have paid more to send things than was even donated. In fact, to get $1500 of 'donations' we spent about $500 in shipping, etc. So, before you ask 'how come your goal is $5500?' PLEASE consider that.

Also, takes 5% off the top & they charge for each transaction. Whatever we get has that taken out as well. So while it may seem like a we have gotten a lot of money for 'free' IT HASN'T BEEN FREE and it has come at a price to us as well.

In addition to these considerations, I have to travel back & forth to North Carolina for job interviews, which costs $500 per trip. Please realize that this hurts our income as well.

So, before you judge us or complain, please just read this and THINK ABOUT what you are asking, implying, or saying about us.


Sunday, October 13, 2013

The High Cost of Asking for Help

So now I have a few more things to say.

For one, I really appreciate all of my supportive friends who have donated & those who at least haven't judged me like I am a terrible person simply for selling my stuff online. God forbid I do that. God forbid I ask for help.

And to everyone who has 'advice' to give me, let me say a few things.
1.) I cannot get a part-time job without losing ALL of the pathetic funding I have.
2.) Even if I could get a part-time job for a few weeks it wouldn't cover my move
3.) If we sold everything we owned, we would have to replace it and that costs MORE than what we are selling it for; also, we have items that are irreplaceable.
4.) Everything that I own IS for sale already.
5.) No, I don't have any money because I only make $12,000 a year. Together Brad & I make $32,000 a year. That covers our bills BARELY.....
6.) It costs around $5000 to move 1000 miles away. And that is doing it yourself, which we are. If you haven't moved cross-country, shut your mouth. It isn't easy & it isn't cheap.
7.) Deposits exist: Electricity, pet, security, general deposits, administrative, etc. You have to have disposable CASH to pay most of those.
8.) And this only happened in August. I was under the impression I wasn't moving for another 2-3 years until my funding got cut. So before you judge me for not 'planning' consider the fact that I GOT SCREWED only a couple of months ago and have been doing EVERYTHING I CAN to 'plan' & 'pay' for these circumstances.
9.) I have worked my ass off & helped others my entire life. I shouldn't be judged when asking for the same in return.
10.) Consider all of these facts before you want to say shit to me. Please & Thanks!

And I also want to say that I have already lost (at least) 5 facebook friends since starting this campaign. People have bitched, complained, advised, & judged me. I have considered all the options. I am working odd jobs, buying nothing, selling everything, & doing everything I can. Got any helpful ideas? I would love to hear them, want to judge me for asking for help, PLEASE DELETE ME AND NEVER TALK TO ME AGAIN.

I am not FORCING anyone to help me, I am only asking, and the fact that I feel the need to write a blog defending myself just goes to show that way too many people are complete dicks.

For  those of you who have helped me and/or not judged me? Thank you. You, kind sirs, are my REAL friends.

Last thing-Don't want to donate? THEN DON'T. It is that simple.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Why is she doing a fundraiser to move?

 So, a lot of people have asked or maybe wondered, why is Jo doing this? Why does she have a fundraiser to help her move? We all need money, we all have problems, who knows, but HERE IS THE DEAL.

I have, oh, about 1000 reasons why I have to move back home. Among those reasons comes the fact that my salary that was a pathetic $16,000 a year, has now become a pathetic $12,000 a year, largely due to the cost of REQUIRED insurance thanks to the Affordable Healthcare Act. In addition to that, as part of my pathetic fellowship I am not allowed to simply 'get a part-time job' to make more money. So, what have I done? I have worked for my advisor, moving hay bales, I have done manual labor for my landlord. We have cut our grocery budget by 50%. Everything I own, AND I MEAN EVERYTHING is for sale and posted on Craigslist. We seldom go out to eat. I have tried everything. I know of no other LEGAL ways to make money.

I also have something else I wish to discuss. For one, people have trouble discussing money in our culture. We don't talk about it. Think of your very best friend in the world, chances are you don't know how much they make. It is taboo to ask or to discuss. For these reasons, I am considering this an extremely honest campaign. I am aware that my fundraiser could make people feel uncomfortable, and for that I apologize. No one has any obligation to GIVE me anything. In fact, if you donate at all, chances are you will receive something in return.

My entire life I have been nice to everyone. The reason I am nice to everyone is that is feels GOOD. When people as for my help, I always say yes. I help everyone move (and God knows many of you have helped me move), I tip excessively to everyone, I donate time, energy, & thought to everyone I care about and some of those I don't. I do these things because I WANT to feel like I am a good person. I don't care about getting rich or having nice things. I just want to be happy and you know what? I think it is only fair that I have the right to ask other people for help too. How many times have you needed help but failed to ask because of fear that people would think less of you? Why is this the human condition? Why must we fear asking for help from those who(m) we have helped so many times before and then why would anyone look down on us for doing that?

So, yes, it is weird to have a cyber-yard-sale fundraiser thing. But it is also weird to pretend like people shouldn't help each other. As humans we form communities because it is beneficial to our species. I am nice because it makes me feel good about who I am. I have been too nice for so long. Maybe now I am calling in a favor because I am truly in need. Could things be worse, absolutely! I'm not saying everything is crap, what I am saying is that I (we) really could use some help.

If you bothered reading this, you don't have to donate. You don't have to do anything. I just really wanted to say all of these things. If everyone of my facebook friends donated just $5 I would have over 3,700 bucks. Thus far exactly 33 of my friends and family have (out of 671 fb friends). Does that mean that everyone else is a jerk? Absolutely not. Maybe you don't have $5, or you think I should grow up, or that it isn't your problem, and that is fine too. I just wanted to get these thoughts off of my chest. When I am fiscally more stable, and even when I'm not, I do what I should to help others. For that reason, I have no problem asking for the same in return. And that's the simple truth.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Probiotic Supplements

This could be in TMI category but I have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). This has been an issue for me as long as I can remember. I recently have learned an awful lot about probiotics. I am going to share my journey with you.

This is the first probiotic I ever tried. It is CRAZY expensive. It costs approximately $40 a month. My roommate really benefited from using this. I, did not. It is made up of dormant cultures, not live ones, and approximately 1 billion Bifantis bacteria consisting of 4 strains. I have been told that Bifdo bacteria are important BUT so are Lactobacillus. This only contains 1 of those two.

 Do you like Align but hate the price? This is the SAME EXACT THING except it costs $28 for 82 pills and you can get it at Sam's. It is a good place to get probiotics if you like Align.

My roommate uses this probiotic. It costs $17 a month. You can see that it has 14 billion, not 1 billion bacteria. It is made with LIVE cultures and it includes Lactobacillus rhamnosus which causes a decrease in obesity of lab rats by 8% in just 6 weeks. This also includes both Lactobacillus and Bifido strains. My roommate really likes it-I haven't tried it as I am quite the doubting Thomas.

This is what I am currently taking. It costs $55 for two months. It has 50 billion live bacteria and 10 different bacteria strains. It includes both Lactobacillus and Bifido strains. It is awesome. It has helped my issues but not dissolved them. I recommend this to anyone. Healthy gut flora can help your mood, weight, energy, EVERYTHING. If you don't take probiotics, you should!

I have this in the refrigerator to use after my 50 billion are gone. I will let you know if they are any better. I am a fan of the Ultimate Flora brand thus far.

Last, but not least, EAT YOGURT! There are also probiotics in yogurt. I eat yogurt 3 days a week at least.


Okay, so sometimes I don't want juice. Sometimes I want a smoothie made up of crushed fruit. Sometimes I want to make my roommate or my fiance a yummy blended coffee-based beverage. I got spoiled with the Vitamix blenders that Cuppy's Coffee used when I was a barista there. Here are my thoughts on blenders.......
This is the very first blender I ever owned. It is a red, Hamilton Beach blender. My mother got it for me and I was very grateful. It costs around $20 to buy one yourself. This is your typical, inexpensive blender that is good for chopping up food, and other easy to chop items. If you want a yummy beverage with ice in it however, it will make you rage. Or, it makes me rage because I hate my drink to have chunks of ice in them. So, I donated this blender to my lab at ULL. It is great for making amphipod food.

This is the holy grail of all blenders. Do you blend every day? Do you blend multiple times a day? Do you frequently have company over and blend for multiple guests? Do you also have at least $350 to spend on one kitchen appliance? Then by all means purchase this Vitamix blender. It will last forever, it has a great warranty. It works magnificently.  I make $16,000 a year as a student. I cannot afford this blender. I dream of those days when I have a big girl job. Then, maybe then, I can have this blender.

This is a Breville blender. It runs around $150 dollars. I went to E's Kitchen (which is an AWESOME, local, kitchen gadget store) and the owner (who is also super nice and awesome) decided to let us try this out. He blended some orange juice and some ice. It did an okay job but there were still tiny chunks of ice in it. I was willing to compromise because they weren't terrible although I still wasn't sold completely. This is a pretty good blender. It is not fantastic-it is pretty good.

 This is the Ninja professional. Between coupons/sales, etc. you can get this blender at Kohl's for approximately $130. I read the reviews comparing the Ninja and the Vitamix. They discussed the fact that the Ninja doesn't have as good of a warranty. They discussed how the Ninja is made in China, plastic parts, blah blah blah. This awesome blender also has single serve cups which are really cool. Anyway, I don't use this blender 1000 times a day nor do I need a blender for that so this is the blender I have. It is absolutely AMAZING. There are no ice chunks. It is freaking awesome! Now, it may not last as long as the Vitamix would and it doesn't have a lifetime warranty but it ALSO ISN'T $400. Want a blender for occasional use to make yummy smoothies-go with this one. It rocks.


Sunday, May 26, 2013


So, I have recently started juicing. Almost every morning I wake up, and make juice for my household. It is pretty delicious. I am writing a few things I have learned here:

1. Ripe fruits make the most juice. When you have fruit that is not quite ripe it doesn't make the same amount of juice as a soft, fruit does. So, while bananas may taste better when they aren't over ripe, they juice better when they are over ripe.

2. Don't put nuts into your $350 juicer. Seems obvious right? Well I tried this just to see. The motor shut off. It was scary but no damage accrued (thank god!).

3. Get a masticating juicer! I know masticating juicers cost much more than centrifugal juicers but they make 45% more juice. If you have juice everyday, or even 3 times a week, it will be worth the added expenditure up front. Also, Omega and Hurom are made in THE SAME FACTORY but Omega is much cheaper and it comes with a 10 year warranty. I have an Omega, I LOVE it.

4. Dandelion Greens. Okay, so I started using these daily because they are good for you, detoxify your liver, etc. They are not as kind as kale is. If you use them, make sure you use a strong fruit flavor with them, like oranges (or any citrus), berries (I like strawberries), etc. Otherwise, your juice will be very bitter :( And it will make you sad.

5. Kale. You cannot use too much kale in juice. I swear it! I use SO MUCH kale everyday and it doesn't make my juice taste like kale. It is GREAT. Also, use organic kale only! Non-organic kale has VERY HIGH pesticide residues. Just sayin.'

6. Celery. If you get am Omega juicer, PLEASE use celery in MODERATION. Otherwise it will overpower your juice and you will be so disappointed. I only use 1/2 of a stalk and can STILL barely stand it.

7. Recipes. You don't need them. Seriously, I have only ever once made a juice that wasn't amazing and it was DUE TO USING A RECIPE. I used too much celery (see #6). Recipes are dumb because everyone's juicer is different and thus the juice will taste different. Veggies & fruit generally mix well. Even adding garlic and things that you may think are gross are not noticed if you add fruit too. I use carrots in my juice often and you can't even taste them. Throw recipes out the window and experiment!

8. Bosc pears. I have tried many kinds of apples, pears, oranges, etc. For the most part Bosc pears are the BEST way to go. They make your juice the most pear-like. I love pears. They go well with strawberries too, I drink this often.

9. Granny Smith Apples. These are the only apples that actually have a distinct flavor. Otherwise, just purchase the cheapest, organic, apples you can find. Granny Smith Apples make for delicious juice but other good apples like Honeycrisp don't juice any differently from the not as good Red delicious. Keep this in mind as Honeycrisp apples cost much more per pound.

10.  Spinach. Spinach is good in juice but it does make your juice a bit chunky. I am okay with that but just a warning, if you don't like chewing down your morning juice, don't use spinach.

11. Citrus Fruits. The only thing that isn't so great about masticating juicers is that they don't juice citrus as well as centrifugal juicers do. We still juice with oranges, but, you can tell that not all of the juice comes out. Sad, but true.

12. Compost! With all of your leftover fruit debris, you should compost! We don't have a yard or we would. Don't waste valuable compost if you have a means to use it!

13. Tomatoes. If you want tomato juice use a lot of tomatoes. Their flavor is easily washed out if you add too many other veggies/fruit.

14. Don't overdo it! Juicing is very good for you but, it is high in natural sugars (and therefore calories) so if you are like me, and trying to be healthier (and lose weight) don't drink a lot of juice everyday. I stick to approximately 12 oz. and that alone is around 200 calories. If you are active, need the calories, etc. by all means drink up, BUT, if you are trying to lose a bit of fat-don't drink too much juice!

15. Prevent Hunger. One thing I notice is that on days I don't juice I am hungrier all day. This is because I didn't get my daily nutrient filler in the morning. Juicing decreases my hunger. It could decrease yours too!

16. Ginger. I don't usually add this to my juice but I do add it to my roommates' juice frequently. A little ginger goes A LONG WAY. Just a warning.

17. Cost. Now that we never buy store made juice, we buy a ton of fruits and veggies. But, with 3 people juicing in our house we never spend over $25 a week in fresh fruit/veggies and we all get juice everyday now. It doesn't cost all that much. For example: 12 oz. of kale, pear, strawberry, & dandelion green juice only has 1 pear, 5 strawberries, 5 kale leaves, & 8 dandelion green leaves. The costs really isn't a big deal.

18. Looks can be deceiving. The juice I drink is a very dark green color. People usually think it looks pretty gross. Often juice does look pretty gross. But, it is still FUCKING DELICIOUS. So, keep that in mind when juicing!

19. Try not to store juice. When you make juice for a few days in a row, it oxidizes and the amount of nutrients in it decreases. So, while planning in advance may save you some time, it isn't as good for you!  Juice, then drink up!

20. Rejuice! Citrus & berries can often be rejuiced. Take the pulp out of the container and run it through again. You will be surprised!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Non-Dairy Milk Substitutes

So, I have always had issues drinking milk, even when I was a child. Now, I don't like the taste of sugar or milk. But, anyway, the point is I have been drinking soy milk, almond milk, & coconut milk for over a decade now. I am going to write my reviews here.

Milks to avoid:

This may be So Delicious Brand but let me tell you-it is so disgusting. I never would have tried this milk were it not out of desperation because in Lafayette, LA, stores cannot seem ORDER MORE of items that run out EVERY WEEK. (I am definitely a bit bitter about this having been a retail worker for 10+ years). If you always run out-ORDER MORE-it is so SIMPLE. But, anyway, this 'coconut milk beverage' literally tastes JUST LIKE WATER and it made my usually pleasant superfood grass in the morning terrible. I stomached it for 3 days and then poured it out. It is just terrible.

Soy milk is never good. I mean, before almond milk I had convinced myself that soy milk was good. But it isn't. It just isn't that good. Original flavors always taste like cardboard and vanilla is just merely acceptable.

This may be a but paranoid sounding but any 'milk' product that doesn't require refrigeration just freaks me out. I like things with expiration dates. I fear that without those expiration dates come exponentially increasing numbers of preservatives. This is totally unsubstantiated but it is only my opinion so I am allowed to blog about it. Haha.

Milks that are okay:

Okay, in desperation I tried this too. I actually tried the unsweetened one. I have also had the dark chocolate one. The dark chocolate one is divine (but 120 calories/8 oz.) but the original is only alright. It has a flavor and it is drinkable, but not the best. If you cannot find the best (which I will reveal in the end) then getting this is an option-just not the best option.

Have you ever tried this? It is definitely delicious, however, it is not particular good for you. It is very high calorie (130 calories/8 oz.) and high sugar. It is mainly sugar, water, and soy milk. It may be good if you need the calories or the protein but you are really better off having real juice and better milk.

 Rice milk is okay. It doesn't thrill or disgust me. Almond milk will always be my baby. Rice milk is also a bit higher calorie for less flavor.

Flax milk sounds absolutely disgusting. I never would have ever purchased it ever based on the name. I got to sample it the other day at the grocery store and I was impressed in that it didn't taste like complete garbage, however, it isn't amazing.

The best milk EVER:

This milk is so rare it had to scroll Google to get a good picture of it. Target sells out of it EVERY FUCKING WEEK. Drug Emporium sells out of it EVERY FUCKING WEEK. Rouses' Market refuses to carry it and Albertson's has the world's worst selection of everything always so it BREAKS MY TINY HEART when I can't have this amazing milk. To me, this is the holy grail of non-dairy milk. This exact one. The lower calorie vanilla version is okay. I have never tried the sweetened versions. But this is DELICIOUS. It makes my green superfood taste ah-mazing.  I had to go to 3 grocery stores this week just to find it, there were only 4 left and I BOUGHT THEM ALL. Because it is THAT GOOD. Now, if you usually like that gross lactose-like milk flavor milk has, you may not like this because it just tastes like delicious almonds and coconuts, but I think it is the bees knees. So, if you want good milk that is lactose-free-this is the way to go.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Feeling Fat :(

MyFitnessPal - Free Weight Loss Tools

 This is the issue at hand. Everyone says it is so great I have lost 32 pounds. Set little goals and reach them. Be happy and proud for what you have done. Blah blah blah. I have 118 pounds to lose STILL. That is STILL an entire person of weight. It makes me feel completely disgusting. How do I kick this feeling? 120 days worth of dieting and 32 pounds later I feel just as bad if not worse about myself as  did in the first place.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Competing with myself

I find myself competing with myself. Like, I want to see how long I can go without eating and while being hungry. I see if I can eat less calories than the day before. I still eat healthy food-which is a step in the right direction-but for two days I have avoided my chia seed and yogurt regimen on the sole basis of not wanting to eat anymore calories despite the fact that I was able to eat them.  My restrictions are placed on me. I chose to count calories. No one tells me that I eat too much. I just feel like I must eat too much because I am fat. Fat people eat too much, right? Wrong. It is a stereotype I try so hard to get people to ignore yet when it comes to myself I believe it whole-hardheartedly. Just like fat people are lazy. I exercise every day. Still-I feel lazy. I must be lazy, as I am fat. NO. Johanna, you aren't lazy. Johanna, you don't eat too much. Stop this.

But I cannot tell what hunger is. I am not avoiding eating more while being actively hungry, which is good. My doctor told me to eat if I am hungry. But the issue is, I don't know when I am hungry. I eat the meals that I preordained to be consumed that morning when I planned my daily food. I don't understand the feeling of hunger anymore. I eat when I think I should. Sometimes when I think I am hungry I am really just tired or thirsty, right? I really don't know.

I then start wondering why I am this way. Normal people aren't this way are they? Why am I so preoccupied by this? Well, I can think of a few reasons why from a parental standpoint but I am an adult and am therefore responsible for my own thoughts, feelings, & mindset. I should be mature enough to figure this out, stop being weird, and move on from this. What is the deal?

Alas, I must continue the journey. Healthy mind, body, & soul.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Natural Deodorant

I am trying to avoid using regular deodorant. Aluminum has been linked the Alzheimer's Disease & Breast Cancer. Especially for women who don't have underarm hair to protect them and the close proximity of aluminum antiperspirants to breast tissue. Here has been my experience thus far:

Tom's Apricot - Smells good but is DEODORANT not and antiperspirant. It does not prevent you from sweating. I used it two days in a row. Both times I had horrible heat rash and it took 3 days to recover from. I would NOT recommend using this product, it was completely ineffective.

Nature's Gate Herbal Blend - Lavender & Aloe - Smells good and is also deodorant, not antiperspirant. It does not cause heat rash or prevent odor and is less ineffective but still not ideal.

Crystal - This is a solid, hard, stick that you must put on right out of the shower when your pits are still wet OR add water to the stick before use. I used this today. It works! Now, it does contain Ammonium Aluminum, which is not harmful (supposedly). I will continue using this as it seems pretty good although I am still interested in trying to make my own.

Conclusions: Try crystal or homemade. Avoid Tom's. Nature's Gate is okay.

What isn't in my food logs.

If you know me at all you know that I used to have an eating disorder. I still struggle with it. Daily. I had a bad day today and I tend to avoid food when depressed. I ate enough today. Even if it was forced.

But, I bought a scale yesterday. I bought a scale that I am absolutely terrified of. I bought a scale that I have already started obsessing over and it hasn't even been 24 hours yet. I remember when I was 16 and I was dieting for the first time. My starting weight was 192 pounds. In 3 months I weighed less than 125. Weight just fell off. I felt fat and disgusting. That is the problem.

Right now I am trying to reshape thought. I am trying to convince myself that perfection isn't the goal, health is. I am trying to deal with the fact that no matter what I will never be perfect. I have to accept that NOW. I have to like myself now. Otherwise, when I do weigh my 'goal' weight it won't be enough. And then it will never be enough. Just like it wasn't ever enough when I was 16. How do I start thinking that I am pretty? I have always been so honest with myself. How do I lie to myself? And if it isn't a lie, how do I inherently convince myself that this 'lie' is indeed a 'truth?'

I weighed myself today. I lost two pounds since yesterday. That is pretty good. I am terrified every time I step on that scale. I step on it over and over to make sure it is telling the truth. I stepped on it twice today. Both times it read 244.0. On September 28th, 2012 I weighed 275 pounds. Most people would be happy about this but I live in fear that one day I will step on this scale and the number will go up. I don't care if it is that time of the month, or if I have water weight, or any of that. I want that number to decrease. It needs to decrease every time I step on it until I weigh 140 pounds. That is 104 pounds away. I step on the scale to make sure that number isn't increasing. I step on that scale to make sure I am going down.

I have to figure this out. I really want to be healthy but I have an obsessive personality. I am consulting a doctor and I am being healthy but my mind isn't healthy. I am working on it.