I don’t know if you’re fancier than me and happen to be a crepe connoisseur, or if I’m the only one who has been living under an apparent rock not knowing crepes were so versatile and so easy (and really effing good, too). But, I’m guessing I’m not alone in this (because, hello, I blog about food and live for easy recipes, so can’t be the only one who’s been intimidated by homemade crepes?!). Plus, if you’ve come across this post, the little crepe babes I recently posted most likely brought you here to learn more…

First off – Did you know you can basically eat crepes for every meal? Seriously – breakfast, brunch, lunch, linner, dinner, dessert; the possibilities are endless, honestly.

They can be zesty, spicy, savory, sweet, or a combo of the two. They can be made super traditionally, or made with a modern twist, combining unique flavors and toppings (basically like FroYo, yeah?). They’re basically a unicorn of all.food.groups.

Recently, some friends were telling me about these things called a dosa…ever heard of them? I said, “Sounds like an Indian crepe?” Where I was enlightened that they were, in fact, basically a crepe’s cousin, and are basically a savory and crispy pancake.


Since I’m a millennial, (and if you’re reading this, you most likely are too), here’s the super scientific definition of what a dosa is (because, ya know, Urban Dictionary is a legit siting source, right?)

“A very thin, crisp pancake made of finely ground lentils (fermented batter). Think crispy, lightweight, savory crepe; often served with chutney, spiced vegetables, and a type of tomato-and-tamarind-based soup. Dosas are vegetarian.”

In all honestly, they actually nailed it, so the above description is pretty accurate AF.

So what does a dosa have to do with crepes and my recipes? The magical appliance I used; aka, my new fav kitchen gadget. And if I wasn’t told about dosas and this dope little gem that makes them, this recipe would not exist. (Read on)… 


To start, crepes and dosa are made up of totally different ingredients, they both originated from different parts of the world (“Dosa is a typical part of the Southern Indian diet and popular all over the Indian subcontinent; from Southern India, to be exact”, Wikipedia, 2018), and they both have different toppings and fillings. But at the end of the day, they’re similar in consistency and purpose; a wrap-like doughy “pancake;” however, dosa is typically thinner and crispier due to its ingredients.

That being said, since I’m a “mom/food blogger” (who has no “real” cultural or professional training in my cooking abilities besides my toddler telling me he hates or loves his food; I’m just a mom who enjoys cooking – but, mostly making my pictures look pretty), when I Googled how to make a traditional Dosa, I was super intimidated. LIKE, HI, EVERY RECIPE CALLED FOR A *12-HOUR PREP TIME*. Excuse me, say what? The only thing I spend 12 hours on is worrying about something (anxiety, amiright?!).

So, being the mama/busy human I am who’s also recouping from an injury and keeping things basic AF right now, I told myself, “I’m going to make this dosa super mom friendly, fast, and non-traditional, while still tasting bomb; oh, and pretty, obvi.”

So, I realized I made a crepe; well, 9 of them. And I wanted to make it as pretty as possible and convince everyone in my family (including my 4 year old and crepe haters around me, that I could make the best dang little gem of a wrap/pancake possible). It wasn’t a dosa, but you’ll see how and why those still matter to me. Keep reading…(I promise there’s more pretty pictures).

Based on the photo above, it’s safe to say I’ve entered into the crepe world (and am quite proud I didn’t F them up like I assumed I would). So if I can make a crepe, you can make a crepe. Pinky promise…

So what was my secret? How did I outgrow my high school cooking class failures? This this dosa maker, creatively called DosaMaker (smart SEO; I see you, branding team).


My past of breaking crepes in a frying pan and having them crumble when I tried to flip them (kind of like my well known “trick” of magically turning omelets into scrambles) didn’t boost my confidence that I could pull off a crepe. But, I wrote a recipe up, and boom – I shocked myself when I nailed it.

My first trial recipe was a homemade zesty onion, garlic, and herb crepe that I stuffed with rotisserie chicken, avo, homegrown tomatoes, jasmine parsley rice, and TLC. (I’ll blog that recipe soon when I’m not busy shoving it in my mouth before taking pictures). I’m so thankful I had a sous chef, because my arms currently resemble a t-rex.

You know how they say you know someone’s a food blogger because their food is always cold when they finally eat it? That they do it all out of sacrifice for the ‘gram? It’s true, so when we want to enjoy a meal and not photograph it, woah; mind blowing, I know.

Anyway, back to the recipes I DID style and write down measurements for…

Meet my new babies!!

Tanner requested a s’mores crepe, and I’m so glad he did, because…. THIS –

I also made peaches-n-cream, banana pecan, lemon blueberry, and strawberries and cream with mint.

Each crepe had the same base, a chocolate low-sugar batter that’s gluten-free and dairy-free. Here’s the recipe for the crepe base:


  • 1 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar or brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons coconut butter
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (non-melted)
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup gluten-free flour
  • 3 eggs


  1. Add all wet ingredients to a Vitamix or other high-speed blender and blend until combined thoroughly.
  2. Add dry ingredients in a bowl and mix together.
  3. Add to blender / wet ingredients
  4. Blend until batter is thin and lump free. Add more water if necessary or batter thickens too much.
  5. Put batter into a bowl and cover.
  6. Put batter into the refrigerator and let sit for 30 minutes (this is necessary for the crepe consistency).
  7. After 25 minutes, prep your DosaMaker.
  8. If desired, lightly coat DosaMaker with avocado oil. It’s non-stick, so you don’t have to.
  9. Add about 1/3 cup of batter onto DosaMaker and let cook for 1.5-2 minutes.
  10. Remove crepe, set aside, fill with desired fillings / add toppings, and serve!


Info on the fillings + what I used:

For the s’mores crepe, I used marshmallow fluff, dairy-free Enjoy Life chocolate chips, crushed graham crackers, and marshmallows.

For the lemon blueberry crepe, I drizzled the crepe in fresh lemon juice, topped with lemon and orange zest + powdered sugar. (You could also glaze with icing made from powdered sugar, vanilla, and water).

For the banana pecan crepe, I topped with crushed pecans, almond butter mixed with cinnamon and vanilla extract, bananas, and topped with ground cinnamon.

For the peaches n creme crepe, I topped with fresh peaches, whipped yogurt, brown sugar, and cinnamon.

For the strawberries and creme crepe, I used organic strawberries and mint from our garden with dairy-free whipped cream, sprinkled with powdered sugar.


ps  This post is not sponsored, and all opinions are my own. 


Find more of my fav recipes by searching “recipes” or “cooking” at shelleyhopper.com (like these Rocky Road baked donuts).

Let’s talk mom-shaming and all the totally effed up things we say to eachother, ourselves, or overhear…

• • •

Photo by Ashley Gardner Photography

• • •

Must be nice to be a stay-at-home-mom; try having a ‘real’ job

Oh, you work full time? When do you spend time with you kid(s)?

Having a c-section is a cop-out of going through ‘real’ labor and childbirth.

Having a home birth is irresponsible and putting you and your baby in danger.

Breastfeeding is the only way to bond with your baby and give them the true nutrients they need; formula is poisoning your baby.

Breastfeeding is gross and takes away bonding time for dad and other family members.

Co-sleeping causes SIDS, is creepy, and teaching your child to be needy and less independent.

Co-sleeping is convenient for night-time nursing, means comforting a toddler scared of monsters or a bad dream, or helping give a sense of security through change.

Feeding your baby solids at 6 months is ruining your breastfeeding bond.

Feeding your baby solids at 6 months starts introducing foods they need to new vitamins and minerals and reduces food allergies.

Vaccinating is the only way to keep your baby safe from dangerous viruses and diseases.

Vaccinating is poisoning your child(ren) and causing developmental disorders.

Divorce screws up your child(ren) from having a ‘normal’ life and a ‘real’ family.

Divorce gives your child(ren) the chance to see a healthy, happy relationship and definition of marriage and gives you the chance to be free.

Being a single mom means you’re trashy and it’s your fault you’re divorced.

Being a single mom makes you strong AF; no one has a right to judge or gossip about why your marriage ended. It’s not your fault.

Pushing your religion and politics on your child(ren) is teaching them values and morals.

Teaching your child(ren) to be open-minded and make their own informed decisions on religion and politics gives them the freedom of choice and teaches them the power of research.

Having an abortion makes you a horrible human being.

Having an abortion makes you an incredible, strong woman who made the tough choice to make the right decision for your life and your future.

Putting a child up for adoption is an irresponsible disgrace.

Putting a child up for adoption means you are amazing for wanting your child to have a better life than you could provide.

Not having a uterus makes you less of a woman.

Not having a uterus does not define your womanhood.

Deciding not to have children makes you selfish.

You have no idea why some people cannot have children, and it’s not your place to judge if it’s due to medical complications or personal choice.

Raising kind humans means raising sensitive push-overs.

Raising kind humans means raising compassionate, empathetic, well-rounded children.

Living with family means you’re too lazy or not strong enough to do it on your own.

Living with family means you’re showering your child(ren) with more love, and yourself with more support.

Not losing your baby-weight means you don’t care about your appearance.

Having ten pounds of postpartum ‘fluff’ means you’re LIVING and care more about life than an Instagram photo.

Having a messy house means you are messy, unorganized, and lacking cleanliness.

Having a messy house means you care about making memories and spending time playing and being creative with your kid(s).

Having kids with a partner and not a husband or a wife means you don’t value marriage.

Having child(ren) and a relationship with someone who is not legally your spouse does not make you less of a family or a human.

Playing on your phone in front of your child(ren) is irresponsible and you’re ignoring them.

It’s amazing we live in a world where we can engage with our children and have part-time jobs while staying at home with them thanks to technology.

Going on anti-depressants or benzos for PPD, PPA or other mental health issues makes you weak and means you didn’t try hard enough to fix your issues ‘naturally.’

Admitting something doesn’t feel right and you need help for a disorder makes you a strong, responsible mom who deserves to feel like the best version of herself again.

Seeing a therapist or a psychiatrist means you’re ‘crazy.’

Going to counseling or seeing someone who went to med school to know how meds affect the brain makes you brave, courageous, and shows you are powerful, strong, and seeking change and growth.

Raising little boys who don’t play sports means you’re raising ‘pu%^ies’.

Raising little boys to be musicians or dancers or singers means you’re supporting their dreams and their talents.

You should teach little girls to play with dolls, like the color pink, cook, and be nurturing; don’t let them be too opinionated.

You should teach little girls to have a voice, let them be tomboys if they want, and teach them they truly can be and do anything.



These are ALL things I’ve personally been told or overheard.


Society, please just let us be.

Please just let us mom.

Please stop judging us, all of us, and all the ways we’re just trying to parent the very best we can.

We’ve all read the article claiming millennials “can’t afford to buy homes because they’re too busy buying avocado toast.”

And as a millennial, I say, actually, we can’t buy homes because they’re expensive AF and we don’t get paid enough to keep up with the price of living in today’s society.

Anyway – this post is about TOAST. And how although rent/home prices may be total shit in California, we have freaking GOOD avocados, so, we capitalize on them. For every meal. Plus, they’re loaded in healthy fats and omega-3s, so unless you have an allergy, you know you love them (or should).

When I moved away from Encinitas, I missed my friends first and the food second. Seriously – one of the biggest cons listed on my pro and con moving list was THAT LEUCADIA AND ENCINITAS FOOD THO. I love it. It’s me in a menu. It’s my spirit animal in a town. But, ultimately, family and best friends > food, so I’ve been crafting up all the foods I miss most from local beachside coffee shops, like avocado toast.

With that, here’s a few of my personal toast recipes that are favs among my friends and fam –

Use bread, gluten-free bread, or sweet potato slices as the base.

For all avocado toasts listed, I use my universal avocado homemade herb spread; the recipe is

  • 1 avocado
  • 1 tablespoon dried chives
  • 1-2 teaspoon(s) Trader Joe’s Everything Bagel seasoning
  • Pinch of salt + black pepper
  • Pinch of paprika
  • Dash of onion powder
  • Mix like guacamole and use as your avocado spread.

Blackberry Herb Goat Cheese Avocado Toast with Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

  • Avocado spread
  • Organic blackberries
  • Toasted pumpkin seeds
  • Herb and chive goat cheese (use cashew cheese or leave out if vegan or dairy-free)
  • Drizzle a thick balsamic vinegar on top

Cherry Tomato and Marinated Onion Avocado Hummus Toast

  • Organic cherry tomatoes, washed and sliced with seeds removed
  • Marinated onions (sharing my recipe here soon)
  • Avocado spread
  • Hummus of choice
  • Optional – add goat cheese or sheep’s milk feta cheese
  • Optional – top with freshly ground pepper or Trader Joe’s Everything Bagel Seasoning and chives

Almond Butter Strawberry Banana Toast with Honey and Cinnamon

  • Almond butter or cashew butter (use sunflower butter if you need to avoid nuts due to allergy or preference)
  • Sliced banana
  • Sliced organic strawberries
  • Top with organic ground cinnamon and drizzle with local raw honey

Dear Single Mama,

I see you doing everything – literally everything – with all your heart and all your will…

Photo by Erica of EBC Photos

Nursing all night or warming up bottles. Doing each diaper change, outfit swap, kitchen cleaning, toilet scrubbing, meal prepping and cooking, lunch box packing, dog walking and pooper-scooping (little human(s) and fury friends)…

I see you doing every pre-school drop-off and pick-up, getting your little one to and from activities, play-dates, chaperoning field trips when you can or leading carpools to and from soccer/dance/football/karate/girl-scouts/boy-scouts. I see you helping with homework after a long day at work when you’re exhausted but still hands-on being your little one’s number one tutor and fan.

I see you having to call out sick from work one too many times to stay home with a sick baby or toddler because it’s just you at home. I see you trying to balance it all, and you are doing a freaking incredible, amazing job.

Because whether you’ve been a single mom from the start of your pregnancy, or you experienced the loss of your significant other, or went through a divorce and/or an intense custody battle, or got walked out on, left to fend for yourself and your cub, you are a mother. and a damn good one. 

I know some days are SO hard. So exhausting. Seem to never end or go by way too fast.

I know the loss of a spouse, physically or emotionally, is one of the hardest things to go through as a human, as a woman, and as a mother. But you are still here. Your kids are fed and kind and smart and talented. And so are you.

Whatever you’ve been through that got you on this road called “single parent” avenue, you are navigating it with such grace, courage, and strength.

So, single mama, please know you are so loved, cherished, and appreciated; whether it’s through the eyes of your best friends, your family, and/or your little one(s), they see you, too.

Everyone sees how hard you work to provide, to educate, to be there – ALL IN. Night after night and day after day. Even when you don’t see it in yourself; others most definitely do.

I know some days you will question your sanity, this life, and how you got here. But please know that even in your darkest hour, you are so bright and such an incredible human and mama.

Whether you’re in the midst of custody or into a new season of single mamahood healing after the loss of a partner and/or divorce, you will get through this. As the quote goes, “A ship is safe in the harbor, but that’s not what ships were built to do” by William Shedd, the same goes for your journey of motherhood and co-parenting and/or single parenting.

Adjust your sails, face the winds, and grab your compass and your heart. You will get through the stormy seas and feel sunshine again. You will learn that as each day passes, you are stronger than the day before. You will learn to let the wall you’ve built so strong and so tall down a little when needed. You will learn to love again, trust again, and truly believe that you are where you’re meant to be and that everything happens for a reason.

Don’t be afraid to be sad. Don’t be afraid to cry. Don’t be afraid to get angry.

Learn to be vulnerable.

Don’t be afraid to lean on your friends and your family for support.

Learn to ask for help and trust that people want to actually be there for you.

Don’t be afraid to read 12387 articles on single parenthood so you can relate to someone.

Learn you are not alone.

Don’t be afraid to get into therapy and join a support group.

Learn to navigate and express your feelings; be open to freeing yourself from your past.

Don’t be afraid to try meditating, acupuncture, or breathing exercises for stress relief.

Learn that you need to take time for yourself.

Don’t be afraid to TREAT YOURSELF.

Learn to budget and save where you can; go see a financial advisor. But, also make time to invest in self-care; schedule a massage, mani/pedi, facial, go out just “because”, or attend your favorite concert if you can plan ahead.

Don’t be afraid to get back into the dating scene when it feels right; let your hair down and get dolled up, because, you deserve it.

Learn to let your guard down (when and if you’re ready).

But also, don’t be afraid to hide from the world if that’s what you need right now (big fan of Katy Perry “Grace of God” as an anthem to cry it out in a closet or blast in the car).

Learn that being a single mom isn’t easy, but you won’t feel so stuck forever.

Don’t be afraid to be the best mama you know how to be, simply by doing what feels right and when.

Learn to have faith in yourself and your situation.

Don’t dwell too much on your past, and stop focusing on your flaws or questioning how and why you got here…

Learn to let things go (in time) and trust that everything happens for a reason.

Remember a healthy happy woman is a healthy happy mama who can raise healthy happy babes.

I see you single mama, because I’m in your shoes.

I know how it feels to want to rip the eyeballs out of anyone who says “OMG it was so hard to be a ‘single/solo mom’ it when my husband was gone on a work trip!” (Because, how dare they even think that’s the same thing as being an actual single mama?!)

Being a single mom typically means not having a partner to come home and ask you about your day, tell you they’re proud of you, help you live off a two-income pay check, help you run errands or watch the baby/kids, cook a meal for you, or emotionally support you via texts and phone calls throughout the day or after a sleep regression.

I know how hard it is to go through the rollercoaster of change, grief, loss, anger, pain, feeling alone, facing heartbreak, stress, tears, anxiety, depression, trauma, the quest to seek “balance”, and all the sleepless nights tossing and turning causing over-exhaustion.

I know how it feels to ask WHY and HOW.

I know how some days life seem so unfair and painful and like everything was taken away from you in the blink of an eye (no matter how many warning signs there may have been leading up to divorce or separation). But I also know how beautiful it is to have a special one-on-one bond with your babe(s) and to let go, move on, and heal. Because YOU deserve it, first and foremost.

And I know there are bright days ahead where you look back on this chapter and say “I did it.” You’ll look back and see how many obstacles you faced, but you still kept going. You’ll look back and see all the sacrifices you made, but see how they paid off.

You’ll look back and say I AM STRONG. I AM CONFIDENT. I AM LOVED. and this was just a page out of my book that’s not done being written yet. 

xo, Shelley

PS – want more single mama support? You can find more stories of single mamahood here and in the following articles:

“10 Ways to Kill It As A Single Mom”

“What Single Moms Want to Tell Their Friends but Never Would” 

“Living the Simple Life: I Already Have My ‘Epic Adventure’ Right Here at Home” 

PPS – Happy National Single Parent’s Day (March 21st)

You see, the beauty about today’s girls is they can dream to become whoever and whatever they want to be.

They work hard, they laugh, they learn, they adapt and they evolve.

They embody a strength and fight within them that can move mountains and shape futures.

They become women who lead fiercely, have a voice, and honor and nourish their bodies and souls.

Your version of womanhood all started somewhere, as a little girl…

Who played Barbies and volleyball and with American Girl dolls – who played soccer and was in Girl Scouts, and went on adventures in the fields with lizards and frogs barefoot in the creek.

Who won spelling bees and science fairs and went to State in sports.

Who rode mountain bikes and played in the dirt and refused to wear anything but Sporty Spice ponytails.

Who chose to dress like a tomboy all of middle school because it was who you wanted to be.

Who got grounded for lying and had to take a quarter back to the Bird Store for stealing it out of a fountain.

It started by driving a 1990 Ford F-150 aka chastity belt 😹

It all started being raised with morals and values and being encouraged and told to stand up for yourself yet be kind, empathetic, and put yourself in other’s shoes.

It meant being nice to the kid who wore wolf shirts in high school and sitting next to him when everyone was picking on him (and him writing in your yearbook you were the only person nice to him throughout 4 YEARS).

It meant dating the football players or the band geek, because ya know, balance 🤷🏼‍♀️

It also meant being told to knock it off when you acted like a little snot and needed to be reminded of humility.

It started by being encouraged and told “I’m proud of you” – of your aspirations, your beliefs, and your accomplishments.

It all started as a girl, who was raised by people who let her be whatever being a “girl” meant to her.

Thank you, Mom and Dad (and my teachers) for letting me be all of those things.

And thank you for welcoming me home, at 30, when I needed to be reminded that the little girl I was raised to be is still inside me as a woman, and I need to continue to fight and have faith and grace.

To think it all started with a little #girlpower

Since March is Endometriosis Awareness Month, I’ve been speaking up about what it means to live with “Endo” and a chronic illness on my Instagram.


Today, I’m sharing a note to my disease…

An open letter to my #endometriosis –

I felt you for a year before I knew what you were. Initially, I was sure you were appendicitis, so you and I went to the ER; my appendix was inflamed, but you were deemed “IBS,” a “ruptured ovarian cyst” and you cause multiple painful other cysts having a popcorn party on my right ovary.

You and I were poked and prodded over the next year (all of 2017) accompanying each other to multiple trips to the ER and countless visits to specialists, labs & doctors all over the state of California.

We saw multiple GIs, had a colonoscopy, saw at least 10 different OBGYNs, had CT scans, MRIs, ultrasounds, more blood work than a lab rat, multiple PCPs, a psychologist and a psychiatrist. Because, obviously, I’m “young, beautiful & healthy,” so clearly, you’re “just in my head.”

Then, finally, someone listened and we had a diagnostic laparoscopy and you were given a name via pathology.


I thought, “WTF IS #ENDO?!”
You are so painful and draining – emotionally & physically.
You are so expensive.

You cause inflammation and pain like nagging, chronic stabbing in my lower right abdomen, legs, back and feet. You make my right ovary feel like an erupting volcano. You cause cyst ruptures and blood to lay around stagnant in my abdomen + my uterus. You cause GI upset, pain and digestion issues. You cause nausea, food intolerances, extreme exhaustion and fatigue. You cause hormone issues, painful sex and pain after sex. You cause headaches, heart palps, low iron and vitamin and mineral counts, infections & periods that last me 3 weeks.

You have no known cause, although your theory pertaining to me and my body is that you were possibly caused by my c-section, since Endometriosis is a disorder in which tissue that normally lines the uterus grows outside the uterus. So they think my normal and healthy uterine tissues escaped when my body was sliced open during childbirth.

You have no treatment that actually works; excision done by an Endometriosis specialist working alongside a skilled GI is currently the only gold standard. But, excision surgery is not covered by insurance and would require me to travel out of state to have surgery with a specialist.

You have no cure.
Your pain and symptoms are compared to cancer.

But you are not recognized (yet) as an autoimmune disease or as a disability, even though you cause some women to be bedridden and attack some women’s organs, lungs, or in rare cases, their heart or their brain.

You are terrifying and intimidating.

Because of you, I don’t want to carry or deliver another baby, because, you’re scary.

You give me anxiety, low libido, insomnia, restlessness and sometimes, depression. You interfere with relationships.

At times, you suck the life out of me. You try to steal my confidence & my zest for life. But, even on my worst day, I am still here. I will continue to fight against you and the ignorance on you within the medical community, strangers, and society.

I will continue to spread awareness and demand action for you because out of all the things I’ve lost because of you, I haven’t lost my voice.

Because I am strong. I am a fighter. And you do not define me (although I have to constantly remind myself that because of #myscars).

You make me a statistic. I am 1 in 10.

But you do not define me.


Screen Shot 2018-03-05 at 9.50.23 AM

* In response to speaking up about my journey of living with Endo, I have been urged to share my You Caring Fundraising Page. If you feel inclined to read more, here is the link:

You can also watch this video to learn more about what endo is and why I’m 1:10.


I’ve spent the last 3 years building a wall, brick by brick, layer by layer, lathering on the mortar extra thick to make sure the cold or danger wouldn’t creep through a crack, or that a brick wouldn’t fall out exposing the outside world aka fears and judgement and hostility.

I vowed to myself to keep building said wall to keep evil out and protect my home-base, my heart, and my vulnerability.

Because that’s what walls do, right?

Didn’t I need this huge, massive layer of bricks to feel “safe?” To feel protected? To keep me sheltered during storms and give me a place to hide?

I worked hard and long and being on guard became my new normal.

Feeling “safe” has an entirely new meaning when you feel like the walls were blown down by a stage 5 hurricane, on repeat.

I continued to rebuilt the wall again and again after it was shattered by storms, hands tired and sprit drained, until it dawned on me…

No more.

Because I knew I had the right to be

F R E E.

I realized the wall was keeping out the beauty of the outside world, the magic of new beginnings, the healthy fear of the unknown, and me from really being M E, unapologetically.

It was time to bust out the sledgehammer, the jackhammer, and the bulldozer.

Healing from loss and properly letting life stop and crumble to truly feel broken down to my core was an immensely important part of my grieving and acceptance phase.

It taught me so much about strength, about mental health, about the meaning of love and what it means to lose everything and have to rebuild, from scratch.

It taught me to appreciate my “flaws”, because they define me in a magical, special way.

They give me a voice.

In time, I realized that It’s okay to let life grow back through the cracks in the foundation that I was working so hard to keep perfectly surfaced and level and sealed.

I realized it’s okay to let light shine through the cracks of the wall; that each little hole didn’t need to be patched.

I realized it’s okay to let new people through the fortress; to realize that not everyone is an invader, and I don’t always need to be hiding behind a shield or building a moat or setting boobie traps (wait why are they called that?!)

“Broken” does not = unworthy.

Just like wanting to learn a new musical instrument when you’ve never played one before, healing and grief and allowing yourself to be vulnerable and exposed are a skill.

They’re a fine art.

You need to honor the time to mourn. The time to learn how to cope, and what that embodies.

You need to honor the times you feel unraveled.

The time to be angry and sad and frustrated.

You need to reflect upon the times you feel “broken” so you can truly learn what it means to “fix” yourself.

No one can do that but you – through time, dedication, research, self-love awareness, mindfulness, prayer, support groups, distractions, analyzing bad habits or unhealthy routines, and finally, remembering to find and honor positivity and peace- there’s a variety of factors and phases when it comes to rebuilding and finding hope again.

And there’s a raw true beauty when you can look back and know YOU DID IT. You didn’t seek a quick fix or a bandaid or a mask or someone else to “fix” you or “find” who you truly are and meant to be.

You took time investing in yourself.

To build and to dig and to break barriers – emotionally, physically,

Sometimes, we never know the “why” or the “how” or the “what” – regarding what we go through, who comes into our life, the cards we’re dealt, or the life we’ve been given…

But, we learn that it’s okay to take time to pick up the pieces of change, or just let them sit there when we need a break from trying to put all the puzzle pieces back together.

Because you don’t always have to do that.

Sometimes, a piece or two is missing and that puzzle literally cannot be completed.

Take it as a sign.

A sign to move on. To move forward. That the only thing you need to “fix” is yourself, and often your perspective.

And remember – you’re the only one that can do that.

Maybe you’ve been trying to paint the perfect picture of what your life was – or is – supposed to look like and you just can’t seem to finalize the piece.

It’s okay to grab a new blank canvas; design a new vision. Or, edit the original, or shred it to pieces.

And remember that wall you’ve been building, intentionally or not? it’s okay to bulldoze the whole fucking thing and get rid of it.

I hope you always remember to let your light shine, and to encourage others to glow alongside you.

I hope you always remember that strength, bravery, and courage are what will get you through hard times and what truly define you as beautiful person.

And lastly, I hope you say YES to things that feel right and NO to things that do not.

Honor yourself, in this very moment, no matter where you are and what is going on in your life.

You are so worth the sunshine after the storm or the new growth after a freeze. 🌱

You are so worth taking the time to pause, breathe, and grab a jackhammer and a sledgehammer to the fortress you’ve trapped yourself in.

Chronic illness and injury can feel like a cage.

Divorce can feel like you’re suffocating.

Loss and grief can feel like you’re drowning.

Heartbreak can make you lose hope.

Deceit can make you harvest anger and lose trust and faith.

It’s time to chip away at the walls that are no longer protecting you anymore, and let GO of the fears and the pain that are keeping you from LIVING.

They served their purpose and it’s time for you to book them a one way flight out of your life.

You deserve to be free from anything keeping you away from the future.

It’s beautifully terrifyingly unknown to let go of control, but that’s what makes the future worth seeing, believing in, feeling, touching, experiencing, and climbing onward and upward.

You don’t need to train for a marathon or climbing Mount Everest to find yourself.

Start at home and start within, by taking some of the bricks off your wall and peeking over the fence.

There’s a whole lot of magic out there, you just have to finally go seek it.

When YOU are ready.

📷 @briana.lindsey



I made this for Tanner when I was fed up with trying to come up with another inspiring new dinner idea, wanted to make something in like 5 minutes max, and didn’t have any Annie’s mac-n-cheese in my cupboards.

I looked through my fridge and played I Spy….when I spotted all kinds of cheese and thought like a drunk college student for a minute….ah ha, mac-n-cheese, of course!

The best part? When you pre-cook the noodles ahead of time, this recipe literally, I kid you not, takes under 2 minutes. Yep. #truth

Because, some nights, whether you’re a full-time working mama or full-time stay-at-home mama (because we all know that IS a real job…), we are just too tired and too busy to whip up a roasted chicken with colorful, broiled veggies with a reduction sauce made for hours with TLC (Sorry, Great Grandma, this isn’t the 50s and we say – I just can’t deal with that during the work week). But, if someone has time to make one, please feel free to deliver…


  • 1/4 cup pre-cooked whole wheat, gluten-free, or any pasta noodles of choice, in any shape! (like, make these the night before so this recipe will literally take you under 2 minutes!)
  • 2 tablespoons whipped cream cheese (or use a dairy-free whipped “cream cheese”)
  • 2 tablespoons organic cheddar cheese or any cheese blend, shredded (if you’re making this for you instead of your toddler, try adding goat cheese. If you need it to be dairy-free, use a shredded “cheese”)
  • 2 tablespoons organic whole milk (dairy-free? use unsweetened almond, cashew, or hemp milk)
  • Optional: sneak in all kinds of veggies and/or protein like peas, broccoli, asparagus, brussels sprouts, bacon, chicken, ham turkey, etc.


  1. In a small saucepan, add cooked noodles and warm pan + noodles (no oil or butter needed, unless you want to add some; I’d recommend ghee or avocado oil).
  2. When noodles have warmed slightly, add cream cheese and stir.
  3. Add in milk, adding more if you need to make it creamier.
  4. Add shredded cheese and stir until a creamy “sauce” is made.
  5. Optional: add salt and pepper to taste; top with chives and parsley!
  6. Serve immediately and enjoy when cooled off enough for those little tastebuds!

When it comes to working from home, you may go days without seeing a soul, days without showering, or days without feeling the sunshine outside. It can be lonely, isolating, and while everyone in office jobs daydreams of getting to work from home, those who are entrepreneurs or have remote jobs, often dream of human being interaction.

That being said, working from home most definitely has its perks, but you need to create a little sanctuary for yourself so you are limited from distractions, are inspired by your workspace, and are comfortable (and ergonomically comfy!)

work from home guide

1. Create an airy work space near natural light; no one is inspired while sitting in a dark cave. Just be sure to not put your computer up against a window; it’s really bad for your eyes.

2. Purchase or make a large desk so you don’t feel claustrophobic. I’m obsessed with this one I just ordered on Amazon and it was on sale, so a 63″ tabletop desk for literally under $140 AND free shipping?! Yes, please… Find it here.

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3. Decorate your desk space minimally + keep your workspace organized and decluttered. Take a few minutes each morning to go through papers and get rid of junk, file away old projects or shred old records, etc. Put your pens and accessories in an organizer or your desk drawer, keep nick-nacks to a minimum, and create a desk space you want to sit at. Also, be sure to sanitize your keyboard and mouse once a week (and your cell phone!) to get rid of germy bacteria. Did you know desks can contain more bacteria than toilets?! (SixWise, 2018)

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4. Keep a diffuser in the room or burn some incense. I love keeping a diffuser near my desk and playing with essential oil combos. Diffusing essential oils can help reduce unpleasant odors and airborne pathogens, relax the mind and body, relieve tension and stress, and can help improve mental clarity and clear the mind; ALL things that can be beneficial, especially if you have a desk job (Loving Essential Oils, 2018). Diffusing essential oils may also calm emotions, increase alertness, clean and purify the air, and help lift one’s mood (Loving Essential Oils, 2018). I love a glass one a company sent me a couple years ago, but I also love this little gem pictured above because it’s compact and comes with pretty decent starter oils. Screen Shot 2018-02-07 at 10.45.07 AM5. Keep your work station ergonomic – if you don’t have a stand-up desk, be sure to purchase a laptop stand so your neck and arms don’t suffer. I have this one in gold, and also move my laptop throughout the day to areas in my house where I can stand. The kitchen counter or a fireplace mantle works great for me. If you work off a laptop, especially, make sure to set up a keyboard and a mouse rather than using your laptop keyboard and touchpad so you don’t put pressure on the nerves in your arms, fingers, hands, and rest of your body with poor posture.

6. Decorate your work space in whatever way brings you inspiration, creativity, and joy. I love having a picture of my son at my desk, cute decor on the walls, plants, my salt lamp, my journal, and my diffuser. I also keep sage and my little Buddha. They bring me joy and hopes of inspiration and good luck, and I’m always inspired to write with more flow and design more creatively when I’m surrounded by things I love.

1410212283-forward_bend.gifGIF via Cosmo

7. Stretch and move! Be sure to stand up at least every 30 minutes, even if it’s just for 10 seconds at a time. Cosmo has a great article on 10 stretches for people who sit at a desk all day; check it out here.

8. Use your lunch break to get outside and go for a walk. Get blood flowing back into your body. According to the Mayo Clinic, regular brisk walking can help you

  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Prevent or manage various conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.
  • Strengthen your bones and muscles.
  • Improve your mood.
  • Improve your balance and coordination.
Photos by Mike Marquez, Lauren Mancke + Heather Schwartz via Unsplash

9. Surround yourself with real house plants that are easy to care for. House plants are known to help with the following:

  • Reducing carbon dioxide levels
  • Increasing humidity
  • Reducing levels of certain pollutants, such as benzene and nitrogen dioxide
  • Reducing airborne dust levels
  • Keeping air temperatures down (facts via Ambius, 2018).

10. Keep a large wall or desk calendar where you see it every day so you can write out important deadlines. Working from home can be difficult to stay on-task at times, so marking important dates and deadlines is a lifesaver.

11. TAKE A LUNCH BREAK. It can be a habit to sit behind the screen all day and get so into projects you forget to eat. Unplug for at least 30 minutes to eat, take a breather, and recharge. You’ll be a better employee when you feel refreshed and re-energized after fueling on food and fresh air + a change of scenery. It’s also important to give your eyes a rest away from the computer screen. This is a great chance to sneak in your workout routine, too, if you don’t have time before or after the workday (moms, I see you).

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12. Keep a water bottle near you so you stay hydrated throughout the day. I love my Swell water bottle, which you can find here. According to Mind Body Green, drinking water

  • Increases Energy & Relieves Fatigue.
  • Promotes Weight Loss.
  • Flushes Out Toxins.
  • Improves Skin Complexion.
  • Maintains Regularity.
  • Boosts Immune System.
  • Natural Headache Remedy.
  • Prevents Cramps & Sprains.

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13. Create warm, calm light at your desk space with a salt lamp. True Himalayan pinksalt lamps (HPS lamps) claim that the negative salt ions released by heating can boost blood flow, improve sleep, increase levels of serotonin in the brain, and calm allergy or asthma symptoms (Critical Cactus, 2018). I like this one, because it comes with 2 (so you can put one in your living room or your bedroom, too!)

14. Consider going to a co-working space or coffee shop a couple days a week to get human interaction and give yourself a reason to shower, do your hair, and do your makeup. But, be mindful of your spending habits, as paying for coffee and food a few times a week can add up!

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15. Create a playlist to keep you calm or amped up throughout the work day. You can listen to my favorite work day playlist on Spotify here called “Chill Vibezzz.”


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16. Invest in a good pair of noise cancellation headphones so you can dial into conference calls without background noise distracting you. I love my wireless white + cream Bose pair, which you can find here.

17. Dress comfortably and stay warm (or cool) enough. In the winter, you can get cold sitting in a large house and stale room. When you’re a comfortable temperature, you may be more productive, so consider using a heater if you’re cold, or sit under a fan if you run warm. Personally, I work in a room with an electric fireplace + room heater and layer so I stay warm!


18. Don’t be tempted to snack all day (unless it’s on healthy foods)! Keep junk food out of your pantry, fridge, and freezer and stock it with fresh whole foods. If snacking on processed goodies is your kryptonite, consider keeping a food journal (when you write down what you eat, you realize just what and when you’re putting things into your body!) When you have a sweet tooth, eat dark chocolate or make a nutrient-rich smoothie. When you want chips, grab nuts or popcorn or grapes instead. Load salads with protein to help you stay fuller, longer.

19. Create a little routine for yourself. For example, I get up and hustle to get my son out the door to school, so look like a bum most mornings. I realized I felt gross and down about my appearance (Gee, I wonder why?!) Slipping out of the house with no makeup on and a rat’s nest bun made me feel like I didn’t recognize myself anymore. I set my alarm for 15 minutes earlier so I can put on makeup and brush my hair. Amazing what simple hygiene does for the soul.

20. Speaking of hygiene, don’t work in your robe all day. Sure, some days it’s nice to know you can veg and give two f*ks about the way you look, but don’t make it a habit. Depression rates may increase when you’re not giving yourself a reason to get dressed and do your hair or makeup. If you have no reason to leave the house for three days, make yourself run an errand, grab dinner or drinks with a friend, or have a play date. Give yourself a reason to take care of your appearance, because studies show that helps mental health (seriously, that’s coming from my therapist).

Those are my go-tos to stay comfy and productive throughout my work days at home! What are your tips??


Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Happy Mama Webinar-4


BOOBSthey’re plastered all over the media as an object and a body part that makes you more “feminine”, “beautiful”, or “sexy”. It wasn’t so long ago that the bigger the better were all the rage thanks to Playboy and Centerfold.  But, in recent years and the rise in popularity of bralettes and the eco/au natural-living movement, small boobies have become more “in” and are making a comeback. However, breast augmentations are still “the most popular cosmetic procedure performed in the U.S….with 290,467 patients” going under the knife, “according to new statistics released by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons” (People Bodies, 2017). 

Today, February 13th, is National Breast Implant Illness Awareness Day, so I’m opening up about my own personal research in the past year on breast implants and their potential health impact on your body, mind, and overall well-being.

Besides breast implants not being lifetime devices (“the longer you have breast implants, the more likely it is that complications will occur and you will need to have them removed”) (FDA, 2017), did you know they can potentially make you sick? Like, really really sick?

Last year, a friend of a friend added me to a Facebook group called Breast Implant Illness and Healing by Nicole with over 33k women in it (which mysteriously, today, on their self-proclaimed National Breast Implant Illness Awareness Day, the group vanished and was shut down by Facebook then reappeared hours later with Facebook issuing the response that “a team member deleted the group by mistake”…bizarre coincidence).

Women claim explanting with an En Bloc/Total Capsulectomy, or removing the breast implants and the entire capsule of scar tissue that forms around the implant, has saved their lives and/or relieved them of debilitating, mysterious symptoms. There are stories from friends, family members, husbands, and children all saying the same thing: breast implants were poisoning my _____ (insert: wife, spouse, girlfriend, sister, cousin, friend, aunt, grandma…).


Allergan silicone implants with a mystery blob growing inside

In the group, women share photos of their implants and the disgusting, horrific scenes of gooey ruptured silicone implants, bubbling of the “solid” gel inside implants, gross egg-yolk-like growths swimming inside silicone implants (photo above), or toxic black mold growing inside saline implants or valves, and women have also opened up about a rare form of cancer; recently, straight off the FDA website, there has been scientific evidence and proof that breast implants can cause breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL), “which is a rare T-cell lymphoma that can develop following breast implants” (FDA, 2017).

I often hear women with saline implants say, “I chose saline because they’re safer than silicone,” but given the fact that every implant is made out of a silicone shell, and there seem to be more moldy encounters and leaks in saline implants, I’m not too confident with that statement (or either option after reading story after story on the BII FB page…)

You may have heard about breast implant illness from a few celebrities; Eden Sassoon, Yolanda Hadid, and Crystal Hefner have all opened up about their real-life struggles with breast implants making them extremely ill. “Playboy playmate-turned-official-missus Crystal Hefner recently had her 34D breast implants removed. The reason? A mysterious condition called ‘breast implant illness’ that she says made her silicone implants slowly poison her for eight years” (She Knows, 2016).

“At first, she loved her new curvaceous look, but after a few years she began to feel generally unwell, developing ‘intolerance to foods and beverages, unexplained back pain, constant neck and shoulder pain, cognitive dysfunction (brain fog, memory loss), stunted hair growth, incapacitating fatigue, burning bladder pain, low immunity, recurring infections and problems with [her] thyroid and adrenals, according to her Facebook post” (She Knows, 2016).

So, what the heck is BII?

1Nicole Daruda, the founder of Breast Implant Illness and Healing by Nicole, and the creator of healingbreastimplantillness.com, states that “breast implant illness is a period of sickness affecting the body caused by silicone or saline breast implants. Symptoms of breast implant illness vary from body to body due to personal differences, the type of breast implants and the progression of the illness however it appears that a few symptoms show up a little earlier and more consistently such as the following”:

  • Fatigue/low energy, cognitive dysfunction (brain fog, memory loss), headaches, joint and muscle pain, hair loss, recurring infections, swollen lymph nodes and swollen glands, rashes, IBS, problems with thyroid and adrenals.

Nicole believes the symptoms listed above are the body’s way of indicating implants may be causing illness. “Because breast implants affect most body systems, symptoms are widespread and can be related to toxicity, biotoxicity, immune dysfunction/failure, auto-immune diseases, neurological symptoms, endocrine symptoms and metabolic symptoms” (Darula, 2018). 

While there is no official medical study, current FDA recall, or actual scientific proof that Breast Implant Illness is a “real thing,” how can you deny that over 33,000 women (in just one Facebook group alone!) have had to spend tens of thousands of dollars on being medical guinea pigs – seeing specialist after specialist, undergoing extensive lab testing, MRIs, ultrasounds, CT scans, therapy, and have actual REAL claims that their implants may be making them sick? How can you turn a blind eye to the real-life-stories of women who have explanted with En Bloc/Total Capsulectomy (removing the implant AND the entire capsule of scar tissue that grows around the implant to PROTECT THE BODY) and say that their medical conditions that resolved post-explant were “all in their heads”? Dr. Axe and many holistic doctors stand firmly behind breast implant illness being very, very real.

Trust me, I get it. Your friend Shannon has had implants for 20 years and is fine. Your bestie Megan, and your college roomie, Kate have implants and haven’t had any issues, either…great, they’re the “norm”. But for tens of thousands of women in the U.S. alone, breast implant issues can be, and are, real. 



Darula has noted other women have reported the following symptoms (but, there is no proof of these conditions not being pre-existing, have other factors, or link to BII (breast implant illness) exclusively, so keep that in mind when forming your own opinion on BII and the risk of implants. Of course, there can always be other health issues and outside factors causing simultaneous symptoms, so it’s important to work with a doctor, specialist, naturopath, and/or therapist to determine if the following symptoms stand alone or can be part of a bigger issue or illness, such as BII:

  • Fatigue, extreme fatigue, or chronic fatigue
  • Cognitive dysfunction (brain fog, difficulty concentrating, memory loss)
  • Muscle pain and weakness + joint pain + inflammation + numbness
  • Hair loss, dry skin, dry hair + premature aging + skin rashes
  • Unexplained weight gain or weight loss
  • Poor sleep + insomnia
  • Sudden food intolerances and/or food allergies
  • Dermatological issues like dry eyes, decline in vision, eye floaters, and/or vision disturbances
  • Hypo/hyper thyroid symptoms + hypo/hyper adrenal symptoms
  • Estrogen/progesterone imbalance or hormone issues
  • Low libido
  • Slow healing of cuts, scrapes, and easy bruising and slow healing of colds, flus, or other illnesses
  • Constant throat clearing, cough, difficulty swallowing, choking, and/or reflux issues
  • Metallic taste in mouth
  • Anxiety, depression, and/or panic attacks / fear of dying
  • Vertigo + dizziness
  • Gastrointestinal + digestive issues
  • Mysterious low-grade fevers, night sweats, and/or intolerance to heat/cold + cold and discolored limbs, hands, and feet
  • New and persistent bacterial and viral infections, fungal infections, yeast infections, candida, sinus, UTIs, toxic shock sundrome, and/or frequent urination
  • Ear ringing
  • Headaches + migraines
  • Heart palpitations, changes in normal heart rate, and/or chest pain / shortness of breath
  • Sore, aching joins and limbs + cramping
  • Swollen and tender lymph nodes in breast area, underarm, throat, neck, and/or groin + pain or burning sensation around implant and/or underarm
  • Dehydration
  • Liver + kidney dysfunction + gallbladder issues
  • Symptoms or diagnosis of Fibromyalgia
  • Symptoms or diagnosis of Lyme Disease
  • Symptoms or diagnosis of EBV
  • Symptoms or diagnosis of autoimmune diseases, such as Raynaud’s, Hashimoto’s, R.A., Scleroderma, Lupus, Sjorgen’s; A 2008 study “‘The Association Between Silicone Implants and Both Antibodies and Autoimmune Diseases’ stated that women with silicone breast implants had a higher IgE serum level than women without silicone breast implants. (13) IgE levels are high when the body’s immune system responds to a perceived threat, releasing additional immunoglobulin E. Elevated concentrations are found in various diseases including: primary immunodeficiencies, infections, inflammatory diseases, and malignancies (14)” (Dr. Axe, 2018). 
  • Symptoms of or a diagnosis of BIA-ALCL Lymphoma; “Anaplastic large-cell lymphoma is a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma that is linked to exposure to certain chemicals, immune system deficiency, certain infections and several autoimmune diseases. According to the American Cancer Society, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematous, Sjogren disease, celiac sprue and other diseases have been linked with an increased rate of non-Hodgkin lymphoma” (Dr. Axe, 2018). 

Dr. Axe, Nicole, 3 naturopath doctors I’ve personally interviewed, and many other doctors believe that if you are experiencing BII symptoms, or have been diagnosed with an autoimmune-related disease, “having your implants removed may provide the relief you’ve been seeking” (Dr. Axe, 2018).  That being said, you should also talk to your doctor and have them run any necessary lab work or imaginging to rule out any underlying diseases and/or issues first.


“As many as 20 percent of women who receive breast implants for augmentation have to have their implants removed within 8 to 10 years. You may need to have your implant removed at some time over the course of your life because of one or more local complications…The longer you have a breast implant, the greater the chance of implant rupture” (FDA, 2017). So, back to your friends Sally, Kate, and Megan…1/5 of you may have an issue with your implants by year 8.

If you have implants, when is the last time you were told you should be getting routine MRIs? When is the last time your doctor said it was necessary? When was the last time insurance covered it as medically necessary?

When I was first having pain and felt a lump in my left breast last year, my doctors scheduled a mammogram. But mammograms can increase your risk of rupture with implants, so I asked for an MRI instead to be safe. I was told it probably wouldn’t be covered as medically necessary, but since I mentioned a lump, it might be, so I’d have to wait and see…how and why should that even be up for debate if the FDA clearly states that women with implants should have routine MRIs of their chest to check for silent ruptures? Since I got implants in 2011, you want to know how many MRIs I’ve had of my boobies before last year? None. (I had no idea you were even supposed to until this year when I was scrolling through the FDA’s website).

Speaking of ruptures, even if you don’t have noticeable signs and symptoms of a breast implant rupture, it could still be there; that’s when it’s called a silent rupture.

“A ‘silent rupture’ doesn’t change the way an implant looks or feels to a woman because the rupture occurs within the capsule. Silent ruptures are not usually evident by a physical examination by a doctor. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is the most effective method for detecting silent rupture of silicone gel-filled breast implants. The FDA recommends MRI at 3 years after implantation and every 2 years after that to screen for rupture…Silicone gel that leaks outside the capsule surrounding the implant may travel (migrate) away from the breast. The leaked silicone gel may cause lumps to form in the breast or in other tissue, most often the chest wall, armpit or arm. It may be difficult or impossible to remove silicone gel that has traveled to other parts of the body.” (FDA, 2017).


Susan Kolb, MD has spent years treating women who believe their implants are making them sick, but also had silicone implants that she believes made her ill (ZWIVEL, 2018).  “According to Kolb, many women become ill from breast implants due to silicone and chemical toxicity in silicone and biotoxicity from mold in saline” (ZWIVEL, 2018). 

From Zwievl’s article, “Is Breast Implant Illness Real? Doctors Discuss Symptoms and Recovery”:

“The Dow Corning engineering data shows that the implant shell degrades at 8 to 10 years due to a lipolysis reaction,” says Kolb. “Science shows that silicone is an adjuvant capable of causing autoimmune disease, that mold can grow in and around saline implants, that fibromylagia is common with ruptured implants, and that patients with certain HLA types become very ill when exposed to silicone…About half of the capsular bacterial cultures that we take during surgery grow out bacteria such as MRSA, E Coli, Pseudomonas, etc. The plastic surgeons who say otherwise have not read the medical literature and have failed their patients who return to them with systemic illness by telling them that their implants are not the source of their problems, when in fact they are… The ethics of this problem are obvious.”

Cheri Ong, MD, like Susan Kolb, MD, is also a passionate advocate for women’s health (ZWIVEL, 2018). 

“As a plastic surgeon with functional medicine training, I believe that it is not all psychological…we just do not know and may not be able to clearly define the pathways on why some things occur. There is still a lot to be learned regarding the topic, and I believe that that some of us are more predisposed or more ‘sensitive’ to certain materials based on our genetic makeup. We know that some of us have genetic makeup that does not allow some of our detoxification pathways to function properly (MTHFR). In addition, all of us have certain environmental triggers or food that increases the inflammatory response in the body that are mediated differently from a true allergy reaction” (ZWIVEL, 2018). 

“Ong points out that for most patients the cause is not their breast implants. She says that overall well-being usually improves with correction of nutrient deficiencies, elimination diets and improvement in the patient’s immune system. But she feels that if other causes are not identified, it is reasonable for the patient to have the implants removed, so long as they are well-educated and informed on the topic” (ZWIVEL, 2018). 

Photo by artist Stella Maria Baer @stellamariabaer


In 2011, I was so proud to have saved enough money (about $6,000) to buy boobies for myself so I could feel confident in my wedding dress. I was told silicone gel were new and hot on the market, and incredibly safe. I was also told they have a lifetime warranty/guarentee, and to picture a gummy bear….if you cut it in half, none of the silicone gel would leak out anywhere, so they’re “totally safe and FDA approved” and I could still definitely breastfeed with little or no issues….k.

My whole life I was teased for being a barely-A, called “mosquito bites,” and growing up as a year-round athlete, I was flat as a board. My insecurities of my chest continued through college, where I never felt like I was in the “in” crowd because I was too much of a tomboy, and push-up bras couldn’t do anything to boobs that had nothing to push-up. I HATED when guys wanted to take off my bra if we were getting hot and heavy…like absolutely loathed it. So I’d make them keep the room pitch black if my “girls” were making an escape.

Then I got married, and my then-husband was big on the pro-boobs train. His dad even told me to use some of his friend’s lip plumper on my boobs so they would grow. (ah!) Living in South Florida, fake boobs were on more street corners than McDonald’s, so I was convinced I wanted them, and that I needed them. My ex actually said “he knew my body could always be ‘fixed.'” OYYY.

Instead of investing in boobs, I should have invested in more self-love, support, and therapy, I guess…

That being said, at pre-op, I signed off on all the small text that said the following straight from the FDA’s website itself:

  • Breast implants are not lifetime devices; the longer you have your implants, the more likely it will be for you to have them removed.
  • The longer you have breast implants, the more likely you are to experience local complications and adverse outcomes.
  • The most common local complications and adverse outcomes are capsular contracture, reoperation and implant removal. Other complications include rupture or deflation, wrinkling, asymmetry, scarring, pain, and infection at the incision site.
  • You should assume that you will need to have additional surgeries (reoperations).
  • Many of the changes to your breast following implantation may be cosmetically undesirable and irreversible.
  • If you have your implants removed but not replaced, you may experience changes to your natural breasts such as dimpling, puckering, wrinkling, breast tissue loss, or other undesirable cosmetic changes.
  • If you have breast implants, you will need to monitor your breasts for the rest of your life. If you notice any abnormal changes in your breasts, you will need to see a doctor promptly.
  • If you have silicone gel-filled breast implants, you will need to undergo periodic MRI examinations in order to detect ruptures that do not cause symptoms (“silent ruptures”). For early detection of silent rupture, the FDA recommends that women with silicone gel-filled breast implants receive MRI screenings 3 years after they receive a new implant and every 2 years after that. MRI screening for implant rupture is costly and may not be covered by your insurance.
  • If you have breast implants, you have a low risk of developing a rare type of cancer called breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) in the breast tissue surrounding the implant. BIA-ALCL is not breast cancer. Women diagnosed with BIA-ALCL may need to be treated with surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy.


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Photos of En Bloc/Total Capsulectomy explant by Dr. Chun in Newport Beach, CA via Instagram


Dating back to 1984, a woman brought suit against Dow Corning, “claiming that her autoimmune disease was triggered by her silicone breast implants” (Radis, 2016). She won her case, and the jury awarded her $211,000 in compensatory damages and $1.5 million in punitive damages (Radis, 2016).

“In 1990, millions of television viewers tuned in to watch Connie Chung on a segment of Face to Face interview five women who believed their silicone breast implants had triggered muscle and joint pain, rashes, mouth ulcers and debilitating fatigue…That same year, lawsuits against Dow Corning and other silicone breast implant manufacturers flooded the courts” (Radis, 2016). “A jury in San Francisco awarded Mariann Hopkins $7.3 million in 1991, convinced that her ruptured silicone implants were linked to her mixed connective tissue disease…The following year, FDA Commissioner David Kessler, MD…ruled that (silicone implant) manufacturers had not provided sufficient evidence for the FDA to declare them safe (Radis, 2016). “The number of individual lawsuits against Dow Corning ballooned to 12,359” (Radis, 2016).

In 1994, a “Houston jury awarded three women a total of $27.3 million for silicone-induced autoimmune problems…A $4 billion agreement, the largest class action settlement in U.S. history, resolved the lengthy battles over causation (and) Dow Corning (and other smaller manufacturers) agreed to pay claimants a set amount of compensation for a menu of diseases” (Radis, 2016).

“Dow Corning was not the only manufacturer of breast implants sued during this time; 3M paid $325 million to compensate women who received their silicone breast implants and Union Carbide Corporation agreed to pay $138 million. Bristol-Myers Squibb, Baxter International, and Inamed Inc. also contributed to a settlement agreement. This settlement granted women payments of $200,000 to $2 million for the diagnosis, treatment and removal of leaking silicone breast implants due to the silicone migrating, which causes life-threatening autoimmune disorders like lupus(Dr. Axe, 2018). 

“After being off-market for a little more than a decade, the FDA approved silicone gel-filled breast implants for augmentation in November 2006, with directives that manufacturers are required to conduct post-operative studies to “further characterize the safety and effectiveness of their silicone gel-filled breast implants and to answer scientific questions that the premarket clinical trials were not designed to answer” (Dr. Axe, 2018). 

“Early in 2011, the FDA issued a Safety Communication on anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) in women with breast implants because research indicated that there is an increased risk of developing this rare disease in the scar capsule adjacent to the implant (Dr. Axe, 2018). In March of 2017, a rare form of cancer made news’ headlines again with scientific proof and evidence that breast implants were, in fact, the culprit of its specific makeup.


Now, are there millions of women all over the world who have no symptoms (yet) or maybe never? Yes. But, there are tens of thousands, if not millions, who do. At the end of the day, any type of implant is a foreign object put into our body, and our body’s natural reaction is to fight it off and get rid of it (why scar tissue capsules form around breast implants). Just like an autoimmune disease (which implants may cause), it’s our body attacking itself trying to protect it from an invader. I mean, think how hard our bodies fight to push out a splinter or build a skin barrier around it to protect our body from it?! Ugh, gross.

“The foreign body being present will trigger an immune reaction recruiting cells and causing inflammation/swelling to deal with the microorganisms that are going to be present on it…” (rebrn, 2017). 

Obviously someone can raise the argument that millions of humans have other types of implants aka foreign objects in the body, like screws in their hips, pacemakers, stents, or other medical devices build to save people’s lives and/or body parts, and for that, I have no answer as to why some people develop sicknesses and some do not. I am not a doctor, and the reason for this post is to shed light on the potential issues of breast implants that we don’t think about (or want to know) when we just want boobies to enhance our “womanly” appearance.


Since BII has no test or “yes, you’re positive!” screening/labwork, it’s important for you to do your own research on the matter. If you are considering getting implants, be sure to research the potential risks. If you are questioning health issues and think they may, in fact, be linked to BII, do your research.

Currently, getting an En Bloc/Total Capsulectomy explant is considered the best way to get all parts of the implant out of your body, and hopefully leave you feeling a bit better.

While there is no guarantee implants are the root of the medical mysteries discussed in this article (and those sited), considering they should be replaced every 7-10 years anyway, before you go under the knife for a pair of new tatas, weigh all the options and do your research.

If you want bigger, smaller, more perky, or just new boobs, whether you’ve never had implants before or are debating getting a replacement set after a rupture or issue, you may want to consider an explant or explant and lift if you’ve been experiencing any of the symptoms BII can cause/heighten.

Women are the future. Our children are the future. It’s time we start loving our bodies, our natural bodies, without trying to prove to society that we need big boobs to look womanly, feminine, or “sexy.” If implants make you feel confident and beautiful, and you personally decide the benefits outweigh the risks, then good on ya. But if you’re on the fence, I encourage you to practice more self-love, more self-acceptance, and truly decide if implants will make you feel like a babe (because I bet you’re a total bombshell without them…even if you have saggy breastfed boobies like me.)


I wish I could go back and tell my 24-year-old self that I love myself. That I don’t need someone else convincing me that bigger boobs would make me “prettier,” “look skinner,” or make my body “more proportionate.” I’d hug her. I’d tell her she is beautiful. I’d tell her the risks don’t outweigh an A to C cup. I’d tell her her future self would thank her for not getting implants. And that her body (and her soul) would eventually not like them anyway…

Each year, millions of women undergo surgery to get breast augs – to go bigger, go smaller, fix botched boob jobs, or just get new implants, in general, so, anyone wanting to potentially explant for health reasons (or just because!) should be looked at no differently than those going under for cosmetic reasons.

What are your thoughts on BII? Have breast implants affected your health in a negative way?

Disclaimer: this article contains my own research and my own opinion on breast implant illness (BII) and breast implants. I have gathered and outlined informational, educational, and entertainment data, quotes, and information. I am not a doctor. There are no tests that proclaim BII is real. You are entitled to your own opinion, your own research, and need to discuss any signs or symptoms with your doctor, local ER, etc… While the information on this website is about medical issues, it is not medical advice. Certain websites may be linked in this article; The fact that a website is linked to this post does not imply that Shelley/Salty Sweet Seasons and the persons responsible for this website sponsors, endorses or is affiliated or associated with the entity that owns or is responsible for the website. Any use of or reliance on this post or the contents of this website shall be at your sole risk. Shelley and the persons responsible for this website makes no representation or warranty of any kind regarding this website or the contents of this website, all of which are provided on an “AS IS” basis. Shelley and the persons responsible for this website expressly disclaims all representations, warranties, conditions and endorsements. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, Shelley and the persons responsible for this website makes no warranty as to the accuracy, quality or completeness of the contents of this website, nor to title or non-infringement, nor to the absence of any software virus or other harmful component. Shelley and the persons responsible for this website does not warrant that this website will continue to operate, will operate without interruptions, or that it will be error-free. None of the information provided on this post is provided as medical advice or legal advice and you agree that it will not be relied upon as such. In no circumstances shall Shelley or the persons responsible for this website be responsible or liable for any loss or damages whatsoever, including (without limiting the generality of the foregoing) any direct, indirect, incidental, special, punitive or consequential damages, arising from or in connection with your use of, access to or your reliance on, or your inability to use or access, this website, this post, any contents of this website, any external links on this website, any website linked to this website, or any contents thereof, or any website linking to this website, or any contents thereof.