Vegan style: maxi skirt weather

Hey everyone!  Not too much has changed since my last health update.  I am working with a nutritionist now who has me on a very strict elimination diet to see if we can figure out what is triggering my stomach issues.  When I say strict, I mean STRICT.  The three vegetables I can eat are:  boiled baby carrots, peeled and de-seeded boiled zucchini and canned beets.  The only fruits I can eat are canned pears, canned peaches, bananas or frozen fruit but only if it's pulverized by my Vitamix. Very limited fats and oils (so stuffing myself with hazelnuts and brazil nuts was not so smart because they're hard to digest - in fact I can't eat nuts at all unless it's 1 tsp of nut butter).  The meal plan clocks me in at 1500 calories per day (although usually less) and I have a horrible time trying to get that much in me.  I'm still 8 pounds underweight, which means I lost 7% of my bodyweight and the goal right now is to not lose any more and eventually try to gain it back.  I am also still working with my general practitioner, gastroenterologist, and any other expert who might be able to offer help.  That and watching copious amounts of Gossip Girl on Netflix.

So mostly I've been focusing on my trillion doctor's appointments, keeping up with work and wearing leggings and tunics or leggings and loose dresses with black canvas slip-ons all the time.  It's the only thing I can guarantee will fit.  I'm ready to walk into American Apparel and buy like 5 of those shapeless baby doll dresses and 2 more pair of black leggings to make sure I never have to think about what to wear again.  I know I've always valued a "uniform" but never as much as I do now.

This was one day previously where I was still getting sleep (oh, yeah, did I mention I've had insomnia weeks now?) and woke up a little hungry!  That's a rarity these days.  It lasted for half the day and then I immediately felt full again but it was nice to feel normal for half a day.

^ shirt/vintage Loretta Lynne Dude Ranch t-shirt, tailored by me ^
skirt/vintage via Mousevox on Etsy
shoes/cotton Kandals slip-ons made in Spain from Mooshoes

Reclaimed home

Reclaimed home

^ a "get well" gift to myself ^
cute small bag from a salvage shop

photo 1.JPG 

^ tulips at the garden ^


Vegan Style: with Mata Traders

This post features Mata Trader's Tied & True top in blue floral. I'm participating in their blogger program, which you can read about in my previous Mata Traders post.  I had already purchased stuff from Mata Traders when they contacted me so I feel pretty confident in accepting and featuring their stuff on this blog.  I don't take such matters lightly and it's why you rarely see c/o anything here.

Mata Traders produces apparel and jewelry hand made in India and Nepal by women's cooperatives and and has a good description of their work here! Mata Traders is not exclusively vegan (some jewelry has bone) but the large majority of their offerings are vegan.

mt shirt e
shirt/Mata Traders
skirt, bag, shoes/re-use either vintage or thrift stores

Mt shirt e
shirt/Mata Traders
skirt/American Apparel
shoes/Cri de Coeur (sweatshop-free vegan line)

Mt - shirt e
shirt/Mata Traders
cardigan/American Apparel
Saturn hand-painted brooch/wandering genie via Etsy

Mt - shirt e 
shirt/Mata Traders
black jeans/US-made BDG cigarette high-rise jean
shoes/Cri de Coeur (recycled eco-"suede")


Thank you!

I just wanted to thank everyone for their kind words on my last post about dealing with an undiagnosed but on-going illness.  I am replying to everyone individually but I just wanted to say it "out loud" since I know not everyone looks for reply comments. 

I am going to try to blog at least semi-regularly.  Not because I feel like anyone needs to hear from me or because I think this blog is terribly important but because it gives me something to think about that's not stomach illness-related.  I really need things to distract me from thinking about that every minute of every day.

However, despite not wanting to think about food any more than I have to -- if you guys can think of any vegan-friendly high-calorie foods that are not super filling, I'd love to hear them here.  I'm still trying to figure out food I can eat without a lot of effort that carries a high-calorie count.  (Yes, I have to log every ounce of food I eat to make sure I'm making it to a "sedentary-level" calorie requirement per day and I'm not always successful.)  I've got things like high calorie smoothies, bananas, nuts, avocados, crackers, mashed potatoes and rice with vegetables on my list.

And vegan ice cream, too!

Ice cream


Real Talk - I'm pretty sick

I feel like I should at least mention here that I've become pretty sick in the past month or so.  Longer, really since I have been having mild stomach issues since November that just got progressively worse.  The stomach issues I mentioned back here have been on-going and I've been to both a general practitioner and now a gastroenterologist.  Unfortunately I haven't made it to a diagnosis yet but I'm hoping to know something within the next 10 days, once my results are back.

Part of my mystery illness prohibits me from being hungry almost ever and I feel nauseous when I do eat a few bites.  Needless to say, this makes my daily focus on getting enough calories in myself so I don't literally starve my body and it's easier said than done.  Every bite seems to be a battle, which is a stark contrast to before when I was a person who really loved food.  I would really like to be that person again.  Starving your body against your own will is pretty shitty.  I don't ever feel well and I rarely have the energy to do much.  I worry about never getting better all the damn time. 

That is why I'm behind on all my 2014 Challenges and why I've been posting less.  I was hoping to not mention it except for the last post a month ago but first of all, I feel like I need to share for the people who are going through similar things and secondly, I figured I owed it to explain why most of my self-given assignments are not coming to fruition.

I hope with every single fiber of my being that I get some relief soon and I have a new respect for people who deal with chronic illness daily.  It's been amazing how buoyed I've been by people's well-wishes and messages and notes (and even shared stories of similar issues, unfortunately) so if you know someone who is going through similar stuff, please don't forget to reach out to them.  Even if you don't know what to say.  Just "Hey, thinking of you" is good enough often times. 

Hope you are all well!  And I hope to be back to myself soon!



Vegan Style: with Mata Traders

Some months ago, days after wearing my Mata Traders necklace for the very first time I got a funny email.  It was from Mata Traders, asking if I'd be interested in receiving a sample of Mata Traders apparel as part of their blogger program.  The email was funny for me because a week or two prior I had just started looking into the brand, because a local boutique (Flirt, Brooklyn) carried a bunch of their stuff.  Unfortunately for me, none of the stuff at Flirt fit me because they had limited sizes so I was considering ordering a dress or shirt online but started with a necklace.  I really liked the necklace I already purchased myself and the concept behind Mata Traders as a fair labor company (obviously, or I never would have purchased the necklace).  So it was funny when I received the email just a few days after I'd first worn the necklace and thought to sought out more of their brand - so I enthusiastically said yes.  (For full transparency - since you know that's how I roll -  the only ask from Mata Traders was some outfit pictures posted on the blog, with the pieces preferably remixed to help show how to get a few outfits out of one piece, which is something I wish I did more of and I like when other bloggers do it.  So, easy task!)

Mata Traders produces apparel hand made in India and Nepal by women's cooperatives and and has a good description of their work here! Mata Traders is not exclusively vegan (some jewelry has bone) but the large majority of their offerings are vegan.

I headed to the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens in their Pen Pal skirt, silver Global Echo necklace and Crown Point necklace (which I purchased myself!) and here are the outfits.

necklace/Mata Traders Global Echo in silver
skirt/Mata Traders Pen Pal skirt
shoes/Cri de Coeur (recycled eco-"suede")

necklace/Mata Traders Global Echo in silver

Mt skirt
shirt/resale shop
necklace/Mata Traders Crown Point necklace
skirt/Mata Traders Pen Pal skirt
shoes/vintage pleather via Etsy

Mata Traders Crown Point necklace

shirt/I'm Your Present via Etsy
skirt/Mata Traders Pen Pal skirt
socks/PACT anklet (family gift!) GOTS certified
shoes/American Apparel

The skirt is a Medium and I think I would have been too large for the Small but needed to take the Medium in a little.  It's a very nice lightweight summer cotton and a really great length and shape. I think the high waist can be flattering and the a-line shape makes it really comfortable to wear.  The length means I can wear it to work, a plus!  And I will never ever turn down pockets.  I had steamed this prior to wearing but managed to wrinkle it hanging out in the garden.  Luckily I'm not too picky about wrinkles but folks who are might need to be willing to put in a little more maintenance.

I have a few more outfits coming up with the Mata Traders Tied and True blue floral shirt as well, which I'm actually wearing again as I type this post.