Like a Pineapple…Hard and Prickly on the Outside, Soft and Sweet on the Inside.

I have been a bad blogger lately, but I’m a work in progress :)  I read a great article by Zara Barrie for Elite Daily that I just had to share because it resonated so much with me. A man I once dated used to call me “Pineapple” because he said I was “hard and a bit prickly on the outside, but soft and very sweet on the inside.”  I think many modern day women develop this hard exterior to protect themselves…”girls who, to the naked eye, project an image of steel nails, but once you scratch past the superficiality of their outer appearance, are made up of something surprisingly soft...”

Girls encased in radically thick lacquer who wouldn’t allow anything to touch them, girls who blow rings of toxic smoke into the frail air with a dangerously sexy “I don’t give a f*ck” attitude.

The razor blade of a woman whose energy is that of a freshly sharpened silver knife.

She just looks so otherworldly fierce. So sinewy and unbreakable. So impossibly untouchable.

What most people neglect to grasp is that it takes a lifespan of unyielding work to build walls as high as the sky. It’s no easy feat.

Sometimes it feels almost impossible to see past a tough girl’s ever-thick, leather-bound exterior.

So she roams the earth in steel-toed boots largely misunderstood.

So what do these outwardly tough girls wish you knew about them?

1. She’s aware you can exit her life as easily as you can enter it

The most terrifying part of allowing someone into your furiously protected inner world is that once a person enters, he or she can also turn around and exit at any given time. It’s something we have no control over.

The tough girl knows this from personal experience. Whether it’s a friend who unexpectedly lost her life, a parent who left without warning or a partner who tossed her aside like yesterday’s laundry — she’s felt the ache of loss.

She’s vowed to never allow anyone to get close ever again; it’s not worth the risk.

So she pushes you away. Not because she wants to, but because she has to.

2. She respects herself enough to protect herself

Self-respect and insecurity are two very different things, and while the tough girl may be secretly insecure – she has a world of respect for herself.

She is so vehemently self-protective because she knows her value in the world.

3. Laughter is her pretty blue pill 

The most universally effective way to mask vulnerability is to turn all that life throws at you into that of a meaningless joke.

I mean, if she doesn’t even take her own life seriously, then no one else will either, right? Wisecracks are her ultimate crutch.

If only. There is always something lingering behind the excessive need to turn everything into a meaningless joke.

Pain is the driving force of comedy, and laughter is her pretty blue pill, her everlasting prescription of Xanax.

4. She’s not immune to lovepineapple

Her chest holds court to a massively huge heart that requires a multi-nation army of mass protection.

But if you were to push past the plethora of severely armed guards, you would see an insatiable hunger for love.

The bigger the heart, the bigger the break.

5. There is more to her than meets the bare eye

Contrary to popular belief, there is far more to the tough girl than whip-smart quips and an out-of-this-world aura of confidence.

When you break open her shell of whiskey and leather, you will find a multi-faceted, hyper-complex girl – a girl with fears and desires and ambitions and dumb phobias and odd personality quirks and lovable flaws.

Just because it takes time for her to unravel these truths doesn’t mean they’re not there.

6. Her anxiety runs deep

So she’s ethereally calm, James-Dean-cool and wickedly collected on the outside. How very different is the still exterior to the brutal hurricane that exists within her.

I have this theory that goes as such: The more you endlessly discuss your anxieties, the less severe they are.

A girl who is a wide-open book, detailing her fears to anyone who cares to read has made peace with her neurosis. She’s confronted it.

It’s the girls who suffer in silence who are struggling the most.

7. Your words can cut her

The tough girl has worked hard to make us believe words are meaningless to her. She’s so seemingly fierce and unbreakable that something as vapid as a mere word couldn’t scar her steel skin. So we play rough with her (it’s how she likes it, right?).

Not so fast, sister. While maybe she’s set herself up for this kind of aggressive back and forth, it doesn’t mean your unkind words didn’t cut her.

When you so innocently called her “overweight” or “slutty” or a “slacker,” it hurt her just as much as it would hurt you.

She just doesn’t show it; that’s the difference.

8. As tough as she is on you, she’s harder on herself

A tough girl is hard as hell on everyone who surrounds her, but her hardness to you is soothingly gentle compared to the enormous pressure she endlessly bestows upon herself.

A tough girl has integrity and wouldn’t dare to treat anyone differently than she would treat herself. She has a hard outlook on the world, and she is no exception.

9. She doesn’t necessarily want to f*ck you on the first date

Tough elicits sexy while vulnerability elicits love. People automatically assume that the outwardly strong chick doesn’t need to be romanced, that she’s always down for sex.

That pleasure is the intention. That she’s simply here to get her rocks off and doesn’t crave anything as mundane as affection.

This is false. The outwardly tough girl wants to be gorgeously wooed and relentlessly pursued just as much as the seemingly soft girl.

10. When she dares to love, it’s for life

Once an outwardly tough girl grants you permission into her guarded heart, it’s for life.

That’s why she’s so very specific as to whom she allows in.

Ciao for now, and cheers to my fellow “pineapples”😉


CEO sets a minimum wage of $70,000 for everyone in his company

Interesting article about happiness as it relates to income…and happiness and health certainly go hand in hand!


“Is anyone else freaking out right now?” said Dan Price, the owner of a small Seattle-based credit card processing company, to a room full of his employees after he informed them of his new salary policy. “I’m kind of freaking out.”

The New York Times ran a story on April 13 about how Price, the founder and CEO of Gravity Payments, read a research paper arguing that people who make less than $70,000 can truly become happier by earning more money. Price then decided to simply raise everyone’s salary to a minimum of $70,000, even the employees lowest on the corporate ladder.

According to the Times, Price’s company, which he started over a decade ago when he was 19, has 120 employees. Seventy of them will see their salaries increased, and 30 will actually have their salaries doubled by the new policy. Thanks, research!

To help pay for the raises, Price will drop his…

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I Like Myself, and That’s Okay: a reblog

Do yourself a favor and start your week off right with this amazingly candid, inspirational, and witty article by the fabulous Stephanie d’Orsay: I Like Myself and That’s Okay.

A brief excerpt:

I am not saying that I’m anywhere near ideal or perfect, but since when in life are we all supposed to be striving for perfection? As women, I think we’re expected to constantly put ourselves down, to agree that we hate our thighs when one of our fellow femmes complains about hers. But you know what? I like my thighs too.

Imagine that — a woman who likes her thighs. Yes, I have cellulite, no I don’t have a thigh gap, but I still like my thighs. They are mine, and they are powerful, and I appreciate them. So ladies, it’s okay to like yourself, believe it or not. It’s okay to talk about yourself in a positive light, and it’s okay to not give in to the latest marketing scheme that’s trying to tell you that this is NOT okay.

And you know what? It’s also okay if you aren’t quite there today–  it takes time to truly like yourself, especially if you’ve spent years doing just the opposite. As long as you are committed to treating your body with positivity and compassion, in time you will come around to appreciate all that your body does, even though it’s not perfect. In time, you too will come to like yourself. At some point, when another female who isn’t quite there yet will complain to you about X body part of hers. And you will smile warmly, and say “You know what? I actually like my “X”. It may not be perfect, but it’s mine”.

And maybe in that moment, you’ll inspire another woman to like herself too.

Ciao for now


15 Things Ambitious Girls Do A Little Bit Differently When They’re Dating

Such a great article: “Things Ambitious Girls Do a Little Bit Differently When They’re Dating”

Thought Catalog


1.Their relationship will not take up 100% of their life, but they will put 100% into their relationship. It’s important to ambitious girls to have other priorities and things going on outside of their relationship. But that doesn’t mean they won’t give it their all when it comes to being happy with someone.

2.They’re not looking for a challenge, but they are looking for someone to challenge them. They’re not interested in the chase or winning the game. But they’re interested in being with someone who’s going to challenge them to be better and to grow every day.

3.Romance usually means something different to ambitious girls. They love dates and surprises just like the next girl. But in their minds, the most romantic thing in the world is being with someone who they can truly relate to, and someone who supports them in everything that…

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Kicking off 2015…Better late than never!

Haha well so much for writing a post to kick off the new year!  I have to say, I take my hat off to those who work full-time, juggle a social life/family/relationship, AND blog regularly.  I know that part of it is really just making a mental commitment to posting, just like I make a mental commitment to get to the gym 4-5 days a week.

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can…

Okay, so let me try to get back on track by re-capping a few things since my last post (nearly 3 months ago…Ahhh!). Pardon me while I spew random thoughts:

  • Work is going great. I may have mentioned before, but I handle admissions/business operations for a

    Caribbean-based medical school. I absolutely LOVE working with the students, especially when we get to have random chats via email on occasion. I had previously considered (and was accepted to) medical school, so I have a big interest in the ins-and-outs of it. Not to mention, I’m currently dating a 3rd year resident, so I have learned lots about how things work AFTER med school. Which brings me to my next thought…

  • I’ve been dating someone for going on four months now, and since I’ve been single most of my adult life, it’s been interesting to find my own personal balance being in a

    relationship. When you’re single, you’re the only person you have to factor on a daily basis. You don’t have to think about someone else’s feelings or schedule…BUT you also don’t get to experience the awesomeness that can come with sharing your life with someone who truly cares for you. Let me tell you, it is SO DIFFERENT when you are with someone who treats you like a real partner in life. This guy is really nothing short of amazing…and his dedication and passion for his career are so inspiring. It takes effort to make things work, of course…learning how to communicate, balancing busy schedules, figuring out what someone needs when they are stressed, figuring out how to talk about what you need, etc…but that’s kind of the fun part, in my opinion.

  • Speaking of busy schedules, I’ve also stared a Six Sigma management certification course. Basically, it focuses on process improvements, and reducing cost and waste in business. Really good stu

    Source: My Instagram hahah

    ff for business management whether it’s running your own business or being part of running someone else’s. Since the bf is studying intensely for his board certification exam, it’s perfect timing for me to be busy with this🙂

  • In terms of diet/exercise, thankfully that hasn’t fallen off with the new relationship. I’m still getting to the gym at least 4 days most weeks and have been maintaining my strength. I have to say the most improvement lately has come from some small tweaks in my diet. Mainly, drinking more herbal tea, increasing veggie intake, and doing more vegetarian options. The herbal tea has helped keep my water intake up during the cold months, since I don’t always feel like chugging cold water when it’s 20 below with the wind chill, haha. And I’ve been adding lots of chickpeas and beans to my diet instead of always going for chicken. I’ll have to share some cool winter salad combos I’ve been coming up with!

Soooo, yeah! Those are a few things that have been going on in my life. Better late than never, right?!  (Actually, my motto is usually better never than late, hahaha I’m BIG on punctuality!).

But, it’s been a reminder that we are all human and can’t be perfect in all areas of our life at all times. I’ll leave off with a quote I remember from “Eat, Pray, Love:”

To lose balance sometimes for love is part of living a balanced life. -Elizabeth Gilbert

Ciao for now!


The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Going OFF The Pill

So after years of yo-yo ing with the pill (at least 5 different brands) primarily to mitigate symptoms of PCOS, and also not get pregnant, I finally have had enough.  I recently opted instead to address the PCOS from a blood sugar/insulin resistance treatment method (diet changes and the addition of some key supplements, which I’ll talk about at a later date).  And I decided to get the Mirena IUD for birth control.  Best decision ever, on both fronts.

That being said, just as their are undesirable side effects of being ON the pill (depression, headaches, forgetting to take it, mood swings, nausea, etc), there can also be some great and not so great side effects while your body adjusts to going OFF the pill.

(Becca Schmidt/Flickr via Compfight)

Photo credit: (Becca Schmidt/Flickr via Compfight) Source:

Like me, Veronica Thomas (guest contributor to Wbur’s Common Health: Reform & Reality) was caught off-guard by the unexpected side effects of going off the pill. And to help others avoid similar unpleasant surprises, she spoke with three experts about what to expect when you ditch the pill for another birth control method:

Of course, just as each woman has a unique reaction to the pill, she’ll also have a unique reaction to going off. According to the feminist women’s health organization Our Bodies, Ourselves, there is “enormous variability in any individual’s response to her own hormones or any synthetic hormones she takes.” One woman’s skin may break out in pimples, while another’s clears up completely.

With this disclaimer in mind, here are eight possibly unexpected changes you might experience when you cancel your monthly refill of that crinkly foil packet:

1. Most of the side effects should disappear in a few days.

First off, while many women decide to have their period before pitching the pack, it’s safe to stop taking the pill at any point. However, you should stop immediately if experiencing any serious side effects, like headaches or high blood pressure, says Dr. Jennifer Moore Kickham, the medical director of a Massachusetts General Hospital outpatient gynecology clinic.

Because they are taken daily, the synthetic hormones from oral contraceptives leave your system in a couple days. This is why you have to use another form of birth control after missing more than two doses of the pill. But it’s also why most acute side effects, like nausea, will go away pretty soon after giving the pill the boot. Other issues, such as mood swings or irregular bleeding, may take a bit longer. If they persist, you should visit your doctor to investigate possible other causes, Dr. Kickham says.

In addition to migraines, I had major stomach bloating while on the pill—a side effect so perpetual that I came to view it as normal. I also experienced anxiety and a general irritability that I’m sure my family and boyfriend didn’t particularly enjoy. Eventually, after six years of being on and off the pill, I couldn’t tolerate it anymore. I decided to ditch it for good. I felt better almost immediately. After a month, my headaches and bloating vanished. (I had no idea I could eat without my stomach inflating like a balloon!) My mood issues took a bit longer, but eventually faded away, too.

When you stop the pill after a few years, you may actually realize you were experiencing mild side effects the entire time, like bloating or breast tenderness. According to Dr. Kickham, “Some women come off and say, ‘I didn’t realize I had a low-level headache the whole time I was on the pill, and now it’s gone.’”

2. But some of the pill’s benefits will go too.

Though I may have started this story with a little pill-bashing party, oral contraceptives do have major benefits that usually outweigh any negative side effects. “The pill is an effective form of contraception with a lot of great benefits,” Dr. Kickham says. “So as long as it’s safe for patients to use and they’re not having horrible side effects, it can be a really great option.”

While about half of my friends are dumping the pill in favor of IUDs, the other half have had serious commitments with the same oral contraceptives for years with little or no side effects. “There are some women who are very sensitive to the hormones and switch a variety of times and always have some type of side effect,” says Dr. Goldberg of Planned Parenthood. “Then, other women can tolerate most formulations without much difficulty.”

Because most versions of the pill include both estrogen and progestin, it also has a number of health perks that you can’t get from progestin-only or hormone-free methods, like IUDs or condoms. In fact, many women who don’t actually need birth control take the pill for its other health benefits, like lighter periods and reduced cramping. Other benefits of the pill include some protection against: acne, PMS symptoms, iron deficiency anemia, endometrial and ovarian cancer, and additional health problems.

When you stop taking the pill, you may lose these benefits. It’s like flipping a coin. The benefits you got on the pill morph into the new side effects of being off it, whereas the side effects you had turn into benefits. The light, regular periods you had on the pill may be replaced by spotting and cramping, and your porcelain skin may turn into a pimply mess. But, on the flip side, your sex drive may return and your irritability may evaporate.

“All these choices are a balance of risks and benefits,” Dr. Kickham explains. Do the benefits tip the scale in the pill’s favor, or are the side effects weighing you down like a bag of bricks? “For any medication, if the risks or negative side effects are outweighing the benefits, then they should consider other options,” she says.

3. You’ll need to use another form of birth control. Immediately.

Protection from an unwanted pregnancy is one crucial—and obvious—benefit of the pill that will vanish almost instantly. Just as acute side effects should stop in a couple days, the contraception will too.

“Most women resume ovulation pretty quickly after stopping the pill,” Dr. Goldberg explains. “So, the most important thing for women to know is that when they stop the pill they are at risk for pregnancy almost immediately.” It’s crucial to find a new method as soon as possible without any gaps in coverage, she says.

4. Your normal period might not return for a while.

Although my teenage self would hate me for saying this, I actually looked forward to having a regular period when I went off the pill. The low-dose oral contraceptive that I had taken for the past three years made me stop having one all together. I waited for eight months. No period. I had no idea this wasn’t normal at first. I just thought it was part of transitioning off the pill.

After a number of doctor visits, blood tests and even a rather uncomfortable ultrasound, I was diagnosed with secondary amenorrhea—the absence of menstruation. I had to take two weeks of progestin-only pills, then restart the pill for a month in order to “jumpstart” my hormones and ensure my body could cycle.

I dropped the pill last September without knowing what changes to anticipate in my body. I eagerly welcomed most of them, but my unexpectedly absent period made me worry about fertility and my future. In fact, this surprising change was my impetus for writing this story.

According to the experts I spoke with, if your period hasn’t returned for three months after stopping the pill, you should visit your doctor, who can investigate other potential causes. I’m not alone in my post-pill amenorrhea. It took one of my friends nine months to regain her period after stopping the pill.

But for most women, ovulation should resume in a few days and periods should return within a couple of months. “If you stop the pill and you don’t get a regular period for a month or two, it’s just a delayed menses—give it a little more time,” Dr. Goldberg says.

Even if your period does return right away, it might be different. The pill often lightens bleeding and reduces cramping, while also making your periods more regular and predictable. According to Dr. Kickham, this is why many women love the pill.

When you stop taking the pill, you may experience irregular periods for a few months or even years, especially if you had erratic menstruation pre-pill, says Judy Norsigian, executive director of Our Bodies, Ourselves. If you had heavy, crampy periods before the pill, they might also return when you go off.

5. You may find yourself more interested in sex.

Lying down with a heating pad on your stomach is not the only thing you might be doing more of in bed. After discontinuing the pill, you may also find yourself wanting to get sexually intimate more often. The combination pill limits the amount of free testosterone in the blood, which creates anti-androgenic (“anti-masculine”) symptoms in some women, including lower libido and sexual dysfunction.

“Where the pill helps with acne and hair growth, some of my patients will come back saying ‘I don’t have the desire I used to and I don’t know why, I’ve noticed a difference,’” Dr. Kickham explains. Other women may actually experience increased libido while on the pill because it reduces their anxiety about getting pregnant.

Several studies over the past 30 years have found that oral contraceptives hinder sexual function by decreasing sexual interest and arousal, as well as the frequency of sexual intercourse and enjoyment. When you stop taking the pill there is more free testosterone in your system, so don’t be surprised if you notice a big boost in your sex drive. Reminder of No. 3 above: You need new protection right away.

6. Your skin may break out like a prepubescent teenager’s.

For the first time in a while, you’re not bloated or moody, and you’re the one initiating sex. You’re feeling confident and sexy—like a million bucks. But then, a pimple pops up on your chin. Then, a few more. Soon, you feel like a prepubescent teen desperately trying every acne face wash and zit-zapper from the drugstore. So much for that boost in libido.

This is exactly what happened to me. After years of clear skin and a mostly pimple-free adolescence, a painful mess of cystic acne covered my chin and jaw—often where hormonal acne appears in adults. The pill can help mitigate hormone-related symptoms like acne and hair growth, so when you stop taking it, these issues may, literally, surface.

Cue a visit to the dermatologist. After a couple months of very unsexy, painful acne, I finally got my skin under control with salicylic acid and spironolactone (a medication that reduces circulating androgens), but I’m left with red acne marks and blotchy skin.

Some women with post-pill acne may actually find out they have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome—a common hormonal disorder often accompanied by acne. “If a woman has been on the pill for a long time, like 10 years, other pathologies could have developed and be unmasked when she comes off,” says Dr. Goldberg. Say a woman had mild PCOS before going on the pill but wasn’t diagnosed. The pill may help improve or control the symptoms of acne and irregular periods so much that the PCOS doesn’t become apparent until she stops taking it a decade later, she says.

For many women, cystic acne is worse than any side effect they experience while taking the pill. For me, I’d still rather apply an extra coat of concealer every morning than risk ruining my relationships because of my erratic mood swings and irritability.

7. Your emotions and mood swings might get better—or worse.

Although this change is difficult to prove and slightly resembles a daytime talk-show confession, I finally feel like “myself” since ditching the pill. I have more energy and excitement about school and my relationships, and don’t find myself wanting to strangle a friend who asks about my day.

According to Judy Norsigian, mood swings, depression and general brain “fogginess” are some major reasons women go off the pill and use other birth control methods.

On the other hand, women who use the pill to treat severe PMS or premenstrual dysphoric disorder may actually experience improvements in their mood while taking it. If they have mood fluctuations related to their natural cycle, the balancing effect of the pill’s synthetic hormones can help, so mood issues may return when they go off, Dr. Kickham explains.

“It is hard to predict who will respond in what way to the variety of pills,” she says. “For instance, I’ve definitely had people call me a couple weeks after starting the pill saying, ‘I’m crying all the time, I’ve noticed a huge change in my mood.’ So we have them come off it right away, immediately.”

Since the hormones metabolize out of the system within a couple days, your mood issues should improve once you go off the pill—if it was actually to blame.

8. You might still have side effects with your new method. (Sadly, it turns out there is no perfect birth control.)

If you’re going off the pill and still need a birth control method, there are a number of other options to choose from. “I usually just go through the whole list of contraceptives and try to decide with my patients what they’re looking for based on their goals and their response to the pill,” Dr. Kickham says.

Regardless of the new method you’re choosing, sadly, no birth control is perfect. Since both the patch and the vaginal ring contain a combination of estrogen and progestin, you might have similar side effects with these that you had on the pill, like breast tenderness and nausea.

The birth control shot, which injects progestin every three months, is associated with irregular bleeding and weight gain, as well as osteoporosis. Another of its biggest drawbacks is the inability to take the hormones back out once they’re injected. Unlike the pill, the hormones will not metabolize out of the system until after the three months.

The implant, which is a matchstick-sized rod placed in your arm for up to three years, also releases only progestin. Since both the shot and implant don’t release estrogen, you might miss out on some of its perks. For instance, you won’t have the benefits of more regulated periods, reduced acne or protection against reproductive organ diseases, like endometrial cancer.

Though it has its own cult following, even the IUD—a T-shaped device placed in the uterus—is also not without fault. The ParaGard, which does not release any hormones and works for up to 10 years, is associated with heavier and crampier periods. The hormonal IUDs, Mirena and Skyla, release progestin and last for three to five years. Unlike the ParaGard, they may lighten your period and actually get rid of it entirely. But on the flip side, IUDs don’t provide the benefits linked to estrogen.

As with the pill, experts say you should stick with your new birth control method for at least three months as long as you’re not experiencing any severe side effects, since it can take that long for your body to adjust.


Bottom line: As with many things, trial and error comes into play to find a birth control method that suits you. Each body and its hormonal makeup differ significantly, so what works for your friend(s) may be a disaster for you (just like with dating! ha!).  Key in to how YOU feel with the method(s) you’ve tried and go with what makes you feel best.

Ciao for now!


A long overdue Dry Brushing follow up

So I won’t beat around the bush…I’ve been slacking in the blog department. Since my last post, I had a major bedroom renovation (spackling, sanding, and painting is VERY time consuming!), had some birthday celebrations, a new roommate move in, and started an online course in financial markets through Yale (when I undertake a challenge, I go all the way, huh?!).

All of that being said, I do still want to make good on my promise to write more about dry brushing…

For starters, I must admit it’s challenging to add another step to one’s daily routine. I’ll confess that I haven’t been terribly consistent with body brushing…and I’ve been mildly more consistent with the face brushing.

So the results of my little study:

– Initially, I kind of broke out in these little bumps that looked somewhat like a heat rash. After doing a little online research, it’s either that I was brushing too vigorously or detoxing.

– Improved circulation, especially in hands and feet. I was noticeably warmer.

– Skin looked more moisturized/dewy even without using any lotions or oils

– Better digestion

And, not to say that any of the above were ever a particular problem for me, but I’d say there was significant improvement when I was consistently brushing, as opposed to not brushing.

If any of you dry brush or have tried it, I’d love to hear results!

Ciao for now!