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Lifestyle – Big Dope

Joy is a Net of Love by Which You Can Catch Souls

My first reaction is what beauty? I’ve definitely crossed over to the invisible side. I rather prefer it that way… My whole life my weight has fluctuated quite a bit and my self-image with it. When I’ve been fat, I’ve been ugly — at least in my mind. I noticed that the more weight I gained, the […]

Every Next Level of Your Life Will Demand a Different You

We bumped along a rutted dirt road in a rented SUV, parking a quarter mile from the trailhead leading to the summit of Mount Democrat. The four of us hoisted backpacks stuffed with water, food, dry socks, and extra clothes onto our backs. The thin, 38-degree air nipped at exposed hands and faces. Winded by the […]

And a Lonely Stranger Has Spoke to Me Ever Since

When I saw the old man waiting by the pond with his camera my heart fractured a little along the fault lines, already weak, still vulnerable. He was counting on the cormorants, their wings spread wide, and waiting for the mating beavers, swooping under the surface, staying underwater longer than you’d think they could possibly […]

I Moved Across the Country and Never Looked Back

There are these moments in your life where you don’t know where the power is coming from, but you find yourself making a choice, a choice you never imagined you would make — even in your bravest daydreams — but somehow, you choose, and everything changes. Gainesville, Florida is small, but radical — like most college towns […]

No Fixed Abode: Quitting Home Ownership

A little over a year ago, I quit my job, sold my home and gave away 99% of my possessions so that I could travel the world. It was the most exciting thing I’ve ever done. To me, quitting a great job was very scary (No more income! A large gap in my employment history! […]

Developing Self-Control Through The Wonders of Intermittent Fasting

I remember staring at my watch hoping that I could eat now. Had it been 16 hours yet? I imagined my stomach passive-aggressively pretending to digest knowing full well it was empty. I thought I couldn’t wait, but I could. I had waited yesterday and I was fine, I could wait today. When I First […]

Do You Want Stronger Friendships, a More Balanced Mindset?

I’ve been a runner since college. I took up the sport because, as a result of too much beer and late-night fried food, I’d become a victim of the so-called “Freshman 15.” Running was cheap. No gym membership, just a pair of shoes and you can go straight from your front door. In the beginning, […]

Extreme Athleticism Is the New Midlife Crisis

The last thing I remember before passing out was the pain. It had overtaken everything, hunching my back, and curling my fingers into claws pecking out incoherent thoughts on my laptop before finally collapsing. It was 3 a.m. on the morning of my 43rd birthday, and depression had finally consumed me. There was no clear […]

Get Scary With This Vegan Spooky Spider Crackle Cake!

Everyone’s favorite time of year is almost here: Halloween! It’s a wonderful time to share your creative flair, dressing up and bake. Halloween parties and trick-or-treating are oodles of spooky fun, especially for families. This recipe is from my new vegan cookbook Bake Vegan Stuff: Easy Recipes for Kids (and Adults Too!). It’s a great one […]

I Thought My Glasses Made Me Unattractive

Itis, unfortunately, not an uncommon Hollywood trope. Pay attention, and you’ll notice it in many films and television shows. The girl with the glasses is unattractive. She is described as “frumpy”. She’s called every name from “geek” to “loser”, and it hardly matters whether she is book smart or not. It hardly matters if this […]