Best Kale Smoothie (ever)

So, I have been trying to eat more kale. I mean more green things in general, but Kale, capital K, takes a lot of work. It can be GROSS. Bitter. That texture. You know what I mean. 

But recently, someone I admire very much (Sodium Girl the author of this post) told me she is all about smoothies, and well, kale. Kale is kind of a power food. And I thought, OK, I need to get into this. Plus I love juicing, but man is it a lot of work, and there's all this waste afterwards. Smoothies are like, throw it in, boom, done, rinse one thing. 

So, I started experimenting. I had lofty goals for this smoothie. It needed to be easy, tasty, morning nausea proof and green. Bonus points for protein, filling-ness, etc.

After some not-so-tasty experiments, I have found the perfect recipe for kale smoothies. It has great texture, great flavor, absolutely no bitterness, not too sweet, filling, has protein + ginger for nausea, and holds up well in the fridge if you make extras. It's the iphone of kale smoothies. 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup nonfat plain yogurt 
  • ½ tablespoon honey 
  • ¾ cup water
  • small handful pecans, chopped or broken up 
  • 1 heaping cup kale, chopped
  • 1 banana, broken into chunks
  • 1 medium apple, chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ginger powder, or a chunk of fresh ginger, grated 

Throw everything in a blender, grind it up, enjoy. nom nom nom.


The Pixie Chronicles - Growing it out


So, I have found a couple of blogs which have documented the hair growing out process like this one  and I thought it might be kind of a fun way to document the ridiculousness going on with my head and so the pixie chronicles was born. If you are into this sort of thing (or, you want to join me and document your own regrowth) #pixiechronicles is happening. It's real. It's fun. I love hashtags.

So far, this new project has inspired me to be more creative in my head accoutrements, much to my own personal delight. And delight is like medicine, in a world where sparkles are like medicine, which we know they are.

Please enjoy the first set, featuring a flower crown, a headband, and some brightly colored hats.
Namaste bitches,
xoxoxo
Dena








Meeting my Heroes - A Field Trip to Genentech

Hero is such a loaded word. It's filled with all kinds of powerful imagery - men in capes swooping down from skyscrapers, firefighters covered in soot carrying puppies and babies out of buildings, large, grand, swooping events that turn on a dime, preferably with lots of explosions.

And then there are my heros - the people who have SAVED MY LIFE, not just kept me from dying but kept me from living in the constant, creeping, yuckiness of traditional chemo treatments. They don't wear capes (or they didn't when I met them) and they went to battle in more boardrooms then in clouds or fast car races. They do work in a futurisitic cave filled with lots of cool gadgets (more white than black bat cave, and also more light and better view and less dripping water) but whatever. I digress. As usual. 

The point is that I have a different kind of hero. The scientists who invented this amazing drug that I am on. It's smart chemo. It's not dropping an atom bomb on my ENTIRE system - it's delivering a super potent (like, up to 1,000x more effective than the chemo I've already received) but JUST IN THE BADLY BEHAVING CANCER CELLS. It's the difference between hitting a targeted missile with perfect precision and dropping an nucleur warhead on an entire city. And by that I mean, in terms of the awful, terrible, hair falling out, nausea inducing, immunocompromising side effects which so far this treatment has been completely free of. That's right, nada. My eyebrows actually appear to be growing in faster.

It's amazing. These scientists are amazing. They are heros in the truest sense of the word.

So getting to meet them, and have them answer our questions (I say "our" because HBF is really, really good at this science-y stuff - like, did you know the DM1 in T-DM1 comes from a fungus that grows on an ethiopian bush? There are like, brew vats filled with the stuff trucking away somewhere, making my life saving drug the way mere mortal vats make beer. Or did you know that in Her+ breast cancer cells, those greedy little devils produce their own "food" in the form of increasing the presence her2neu in a single breast cell from 20,000 to over 2 million, thereby pumping their own growth! Those bad, greedy cells! No wonder I jumped from no tumor to 6cm in 3 months - those little demons were cheating!)

I learned so much about the process of developing this revolutionary treatment, the way they made it work, and the process which got it from their labs into my veins. 

Her+ cancers make up about 20% of all new cases of breast cancer in women. They also tend to be more common in young women, and more rapidly developing than other kinds of breast cancer (see greedy cell gobbling explanation above) which has, in the past led to a higher mortality rate in young women with this kind of cancer. That could have been me, if I wasn't lucky enough to have been diagnosed in the last year - a year in which Kadcyla (and Perjeta) both became available on the market. 

I wont bore you too much with the science-y stuff but it was so cool to learn the way that all of this happened, the way that the drugs work, the process of developing them (and even some of the missteps!) and, even better, to get to meet and thank the people who made it possible. But again, I can't say it enough, from the bottom of my heart, YOU ARE MY HEROS! Thank you! 

Some photos from the tour:


This guy is GROWING SKIN to try to counteract some of the skin related side effects #myhero

My Kadcyla tattoo (don't worry mommy, it's temporary)

Breakfast & an Austin Powers photo bomb #duh

The Founders of Genentech, in bronze, just chillin

Not a bad view guys 

The T-DM1 (aka Kadcyla) molecule, drawn by the person who created it #frameitonmywallplease

The whole super hero team (and me) 

looks like my closet #oops

science magic happens here

The Her2 family action figures...

Breast cancer cells just growing away, being all bad and stuff

Me looking at them, thinking dark thoughts...


Yay!!

Little White Dresses for Gabi

I made some picks for you and then I buried this post in 2013 so nobody would see it... LOL
So much easier than trying to capture the affiliate links I use because they are weird since I use Viglink (which I love for everything else!)

xoxoxo LOVE YOU

(note - measure yourself and check against the size chart, they make specific fit recommendations for each style)

CHEAPEST (and also kind of my favorite?)




MUCH cheaper option (pre-order, probably in quality and endurance also)



This one's EVEN CHEAPER - love, ASOS

there's also an entire white dress section on Revolve and their Fit Tool is awesome!!