Gluten Free Pierogi Dough

A while back, a good friend of mine came to visit. This friend is Polish and we’ve frequently gushed together over food and recipes. Around the time of the visit, they were coming to terms with the fact that they had developed some type of non-celiac gluten sensitivity, which caused a significant increase in pain symptoms when they were “glutened”.

One of the foods we bonded over were iconic Polish Pierogi, delicious little dumplings stuffed with all sorts of yummy possibilities, though the famous classic is cheddar cheese and potatoes. The lack of these little pillows of deliciousness was quite a blow and so a part of the visit was devoted to finding a half decent replacement.

The final product that yielded the highest level of satisfaction was this one here.
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Gluten Free Pierogi Dough
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Understanding Legalization versus Decriminalization using Marijuana

When discussions of issues of sex work, drugs, and so on come up, it’s not uncommon for people to confuse the idea of legalization with decriminalisation.

It sounds like they should be the same thing. After all, if something is legal, then by definition it’s not criminal? But the difference in practice turns out to have major repercussions. Continue reading “Understanding Legalization versus Decriminalization using Marijuana”

Understanding Legalization versus Decriminalization using Marijuana

Genocide Doesn’t Look Like you Think

Sometimes I forget that most people only have a very basic idea of what happened during the Holocaust.

I don’t entirely remember what came first, me coming across a book that took place during the holocaust, or finding out that family members of mine had been imprisoned in Auschwitz. At some point, however, the combination of both of these events sparked a sort obsession in me. I began reading everything I could find on the subject including quite a few different diaries, personal accounts, and well researched fiction, in addition to histories, articles, and non-fiction books.

So often, we have a tendency to see genocide as very specific things – gas chambers, firing squads, mass graves. We think of specific acts of murder. But so often, genocide doesn’t look like obvious acts of murder.

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Genocide Doesn’t Look Like you Think

Understanding the Vulva: Part 2 – What the heck is an ectopic pregnancy?

Let’s Talk Ovulation.

For ovulation to occur, which is when the follicle releases the ready ovum or egg into the fallopian tubes, a series of conditions need to be met – including hormonal level, overall health of the individual person, and so on. If the conditions aren’t met, then ovulation will not happen.

This is why things like stress, nutrition, weight level, can all interfere and impact your menstruation, because they can change the conditions inside your body in such a way as to prevent ovulation or delay it.

At the start of each menstrual period, a group of follicles will become potential candidates for ovulation, since they are in the right stage of growth. After the first several days, one will emerge as the dominant follicle and the other candidates will die off. The dominant follicle will continue to develop until the time comes for it to release the egg into the fallopian tube. The release of the egg is what is called Ovulation, and is necessary for reproduction to occur.  After the egg is released, there is a period of up to 72 hours during which it needs to be fertilized by sperm, or it begins to break down.

While there are averages regarding how many days from the first day of your period to when you ovulate, the exact number of days it takes is both individual, meaning it is different for everyone, and can change as a result of various internal and external factors such as stress levels, hormone levels, overall health, medications, and so on. This is why just judging based on a calendar whether or not you’ve ovulated can be imprecise and inconsistent. It can be better to track other changes such as basal body temperature, as well as changes to your cervical fluid in order to get a clearer picture regarding at what point you are in your cycle.

So, what exactly happens when you get pregnant?

Continue reading “Understanding the Vulva: Part 2 – What the heck is an ectopic pregnancy?”

Understanding the Vulva: Part 2 – What the heck is an ectopic pregnancy?

Understanding the Vulva: Part 1 – Anatomy

The news over several months has been abuzz with the absolutely horrible disgusting and harmful bills being passed and proposed with regards to reproductive rights including access to abortions. The bills which will harm all uterus havers as well as women, has sparked discussions surrounding reproduction which have revealed a distressing lack of knowledge on the subject.

This should be less surprising than it is, given that the organs and parts that make up a uterine reproductive system are not even fully understood by many in the medical field, so it’s not unrealistic that those who grow up as part of the restrictive culture surrounding the whole area of reproduction would be pretty ignorant on the subject, but it is telling that even the basic anatomy and biology of what happens is so poorly understood. Additionally, with the tradition of separating children according to gender during sex ed classes, means that men in particular seem to ignorant of what goes on in Uterus haver’s bodies.

As someone who has studied this area from both a medical and sexology perspective, as well as a personal one, I thought it might be helpful to clear up some misconceptions. Since this post ended up being a lot longer than I expected at first, it’s divided into two parts.

Let’s start with just a basic anatomy.

What IS a Vulva?

Continue reading “Understanding the Vulva: Part 1 – Anatomy”

Understanding the Vulva: Part 1 – Anatomy

Thinking about Canada Day

CN: Mentions of Genocide

On Monday July 1, we celebrated Canada Day.

In a lot of ways, this day is really an excuse to have a BBQ, drink a bunch, and go see some fireworks. While you will get people dressing up in red and white and waving flags, possibly singing the national anthem, as often as not most probably aren’t even completely sure what specific event is being commemorated.

This year however, amid all the bustle of helping prepare the home for guests, I found myself spending a lot of time thinking about what exactly it is we have been celebrating.

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Thinking about Canada Day

What makes you feel loved?

What makes you feel loved?

Whether in a familial, platonic, or romantic relationship, what are the things a person does that really let you know that the other person loves you? How do you show love? Have you ever talked about these things with your family, friends, loved ones?

The ways in which we communicate love is a language that is made up of words, actions, behaviours, and so on, and each person has their own individual language that is shaped by their culture, upbringing, socialization, experiences, and so on.

While this communication is highly individual, there are commonalities which exist and which can often be grouped into types. Additionally, certain commonalities also seem to occur as a result of specific phenomena.

There was a meme going around Facebook recently which paraphrased said basically that people who grow up feeling unloved or unsure of whether they are loved overcompensate in relationships by doing everything they can to be useful. The idea being that if they couldn’t be inherently loveable, that they could at least be useful.

It makes sense if you think about it.

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What makes you feel loved?

I’m Tired.

If ever there was a motto for our generation, this would probably be it.

I’m so tired.

I’m tired of my news feed being one atrocity after another. Of each new headline convincing me that I’ve finally reached the peak of shock and fury I could feel, only to be proved wrong when I read the next one.  Of watching the world seemingly falling apart at the seams.

I’m tired of listening to people make excuses while the body counts grow ever higher. Of quibbling over whether a problem really even exists or whether these are just a few bad examples. Of arguing whether genocide is too severe a word, or whether these here actually count as concentration camps. As though just the fact that these words could be applied isn’t horrifying enough. As though we shouldn’t be striving to stop things before they reach this point.

I’m tired of listening to people make excuses for why this act of violence is excusable and acceptable while condemning those just trying to defend themselves and others. Continue reading “I’m Tired.”

I’m Tired.

Raised Garden Bed

As the weather’s been warming up, my thoughts have turned to my garden. One of the hard parts about leaving Ottawa was also leaving behind the wonderful community garden and oven and all the amazing people involved with it. I have found gardening helpful in helping me to relax, which may seem trivial but is actually essential to managing my health, and actually surprisingly difficult for me. My parent’s garden is something they have been working on for some time. There are several elements put together painstakingly and so I worried about the possibility of getting a space in it. But luck was on my side and with a little persuasion, I was granted a section to do with as I pleased, provided the end result was also attractive and fit with the overall garden aesthetic.

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Raised Garden Bed

Politics, Public Relations, and Social Psychology

With the federal elections of both Canada and the US approaching, not to mention the constant political maneuvering happening across provinces and states, a lot of things are happening at once. It can feel like a whirlwind, just getting your bearings about one issue before the next one suddenly crops up demanding your attention. The breakneck pace of the news cycle means that a lot of the resolution or lack thereof of one issue often gets missed.

It’s the perfect setting to employ several tricks of social psychology that make it possible for politicians (and salespeople and so on) to change the conversation without ever having to convince the electorate of the issue. I’ve talked about at least one of these social psychology manipulation techniques before.

Additionally, it allows them to employ several public relations tricks to encourage several extreme side groups, while also counting on the majority of the population to forget about it before it’s time to vote.

It’s called a Test Balloon.

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Politics, Public Relations, and Social Psychology