Depression and Vulnerability

Robin Williams left our world this week and while none of us knew him personally (I don’t think), many of us know that pain he lived with. Many of us know what it’s like to be at “that point”. I want to share what living with depression is like…from someone who lives with depression.

Anyone who has never suffered from depression and/or a mental illness, in all it’s deafening capacity, can’t comprehend how someone can go there. All too well however, for those of us who suffer, the pain is so deep and raw at times that it’s hard to show or share with anyone. The average person can’t handle all the darkness, which leads to more loneliness and guilt and pain. We sprinkle a little of ourselves here and a little over there, only sharing fragments. Sometimes the pain is momentary, sometimes it lasts weeks, sometimes it lasts months.

I see people’s posts on FB, responses, and hear the talk at work about how loved he was, “How could he not know? Shouldn’t that have been enough? He had kids!” I want to scream “OMG YOU SEE ME EVERYDAY! I LIVE WITH CLINICAL DEPRESSION! AND I HAVE A FAMILY!! I CRY EVERY DAY OF MY LIFE! BUT YOU WON’T EVER SEE THAT! WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU KNOW ABOUT ME? MY FAMILY? MY LIFE??” Nothing! They know nothing but what I choose to share. That’s all. “I fight for my life every fucking day…do you?” My pain has nothing to do with my wife’s love for me, or the fact that I have a child, a daughter, or how many wonderful friends I have who adore me…it has everything to do with disease, with the vulgarity of despair, and it is personal, it is individual and subjective, and it is mine. And I own it.

People say really insensitive things. From “How could you be so selfish?” to “What would your family do? Don’t you care about all the pain you’d cause them?” To this I’d say “Of course I care about my family asshole! I may not know what my family would think but fuck if you do!” Lol What people don’t understand is how very segregated the knowing and the distortion sides are. My love is no less for my family than yours is for your family because of this disease. In fact, it may be stronger. The side that knows is always fighting with the side that just can’t breathe sometimes…its smothering, suffocating. I explain it like everyone on the outside sees me as this very busy, all over the place person or this happy and uplifting person, or this over passionate strong vocal person, or this moody bitch, but inside I’m moving sooooo slow, I can’t get to that person you see, good or bad…I’m fighting to catch up with my outsides. It’s like I’m in slow motion. Sometimes the weight of that motionless feeling is so so heavy, and ironically still. It’s deep and flooding. It makes me hypersensitive at times; I feel too much of everything. My translation of that weight of feeling sometimes creates friends, and sometimes creates enemies. But I don’t know how to be anything else. It’s sometimes really morbid, and fearfully comfortable.

I’m sorry when I can’t keep plans with friends…when I can’t get out of bed. When I let people down, especially my wife and daughter. If I can’t “show up” for myself at times, please forgive me when I can’t show up for you. Sleep, eat, work, eat, sleep. It becomes robotic. Sometimes it’s all I can do to function.

I’ve become a master at faking-the-funk. Showing only what I want to, being very careful of who I share that darkness with. Because it is ugly, and mean, and nasty, and gritty, and dirty, and you wouldn’t like me very much if you knew the “truth” about me. This is what I tell myself…what plays over and over again. This is what others suffering from depression may also hear. That voice is louder than any thing, any love, I could feel. It’s consuming. I’m ugly sometimes, and I’m a mean bitch sometimes, and sometimes I’m the nicest person you will ever meet. All in the same day! You might get to see a piece, and that person over there another piece, and those over there yet another piece. Please don’t presume to know all of me. That is reserved for a sacred few.

I’ve always said that if any, one person in my life wants to know who I truly am, they will find out at my funeral lol. When everyone who’s known and loved me come together to start sharing their stories…THAT’S when everyone will find out who I really was…that’s when you’ll know my whole story.

I am so sorry for your pain Mr. Williams…I understand.

Talking about depression, opening wounds, being vulnerable to each other…this is how we start the dialogue that will help heal. This is what saves lives. This is what helps others know that they are not alone. This is what resonates hope…to someone.


*DISCLAIMER: I stress getting professional help and I am under the care of a doctor to realistically and resourcefully manage my medical ailments, one of which is depression.

Butter Chicken

I have to be honest…until a few weeks ago I really thought I didn’t like Indian food. Every time someone would suggest an Indian restaurant or an Indian dish, I would be like “oh no, I don’t do Indian!”.  Truth is, I’ve only eaten Indian food cooked by one former friend and she probably wasn’t  a good cook in retrospect lol. I am in love with butter chicken! There! I said it!🙂

I follow many gluten free bloggers and when Ditch the Wheat posted her Butter Chicken recipe, I was on it!  You can find her dairy free recipe here: Ditch the Wheat/Dairy-free Butter Chicken

I really like using coconut milk. Anytime I can, I will.  So while my variation incorporates this, I do not personally need to shy away from dairy. Also, I make a bigger portion of this dish below, but you can easily cut the recipe in half for less.

Here is my variation which by far is not a traditional butter chicken, which incorporates spices like fenugreek and garam masala, that I do not have access to right now.


  • 2.5 lbs boneless/skinless chicken breasts cut up into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/3 cup of butter
  • 1 15oz can of full fat coconut milk
  • 1.5 tsp of the following spices:
    Chili powder
    Ground turmeric
    Ground ginger
    Ground coriander
  • 1 tsp of the following spices:
    Onion powder
    Garlic powder
    Cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp  of the following spices:
  • Salt to taste


I start with the spice amounts listed above but will add more cayenne pepper, or more cinnamon, etc. as I taste the dish along the way.  Feel free to do the same…this dish is extremely forgiving!


Start by adding the butter to your pan or dutch oven. I like to use my dutch oven for much of my cooking because it is sturdy and distributes the heat well.  Once the butter starts melting add all your spices at once. It will make a gravy as pictured here:


Add your chicken and mix it all up, it will look like this picture here…cook on medium low heat until chicken is cooked through, about 20-25 minutes.


Then add all of the coconut milk, it will lighten the dish up substantially. At this point I taste the sauce and add spices accordingly. You may find that you want to add salt at this point too.


Raise the heat to medium and cook until the sauce reduces and thickens, about another 20 min or so.  It will look like this:


Serve over rice🙂




My response to the SCOTUS rulings on DOMA and Prop 8!

This is not a foodie post or gluten free related. But this relates to my family and our union and well, it is important to me!

This morning, as my wife returned home from work, and as I prepared for my usual work day, in the few minutes we typically have to say hello and kiss goodbye as I head out the door, we were able to sit together to absorb the monumental SCOTUS rulings on DOMA and Prop 8. Over the last 24 hours, I have experienced every emotion possible over the anticipation of the outcome: anger, anxiousness, confusion, restlessness, happiness, excitement, eagerness, peacefulness, love.  After hearing the rulings, I let out a sigh of relief, tears of joy streamed and in that moment I felt simply elated. Let me say that these rulings do not hold any weight in the validity of our love or our union as our bond is heartfelt and driven; no one could ever tell us otherwise. However, what the rulings did solidify for us is that we are human beings, with rights, and to be respected as such, as equals among our peers.  We feel that at its core, the rulings send an even bigger message to our youth and generations to come; it is ok to be gay, your human rights are important, you can love and be loved, it DOES get better!

Not only are we excited for those in states where same-sex marriage is legal, knowing that the more than 1,100 additional rights being bestowed upon them will afford them the legal safeguards granted in heterosexual marriages, but we are ecstatic about the Prop 8 decision to dismiss the appeal! We can, very soon, be legally married in the state in which we reside. Prop 8 was the most insulting and degrading law to live in the shadows of.  We love our state; we love our family, friends and neighbors! Yet to know that something of this nature was actually voted upon by people we pass on the streets daily, people who we may interact with at work, church, in social settings, this was the part that was the most disturbing to us. There was no rhyme or reason for such hate but to inflict pain and to discriminate.

Today we are stronger as a whole. Today our hearts are a bit lighter from any burdens that were there yesterday. Today we stand together with our friends and family in unison, as equals. Today is a day forever ingrained in history! Hate will not prevail because LOVE WINS!



tami and cheryll wedding teaser 01

Review – The Privateer Coal Fire Pizza

My lovely friend, and hairdresser extraordinaire, Amberlee, find her here:Hair by Amberlee, well she told us about this awesome pizza joint in Oceanside. We finally went!

They offer gluten free dough for any of their pizza concoctions. While they prepare the GF pizza on a different surface than the regular dough, there’s no caution taken in sanitizing their hands before touching your pizza, or having it baked on a separate surface; the coal fire oven is one big daddy that’s used for all. So cross contamination is a big possibility for Celiac’s. Honestly, I was super worried that they would serve me the wrong pizza!

We went on a Friday night and it was pretty busy. Perhaps going on a less busy night you would be able to have the dialogue with the chefs that you need to, like wash your hands please before touching my GF dough.

We started with the spicy roasted cauliflower…YUM! Then we tried the margherita pizza, very YUM! THEN I had to be a pig ass and try the Brixton (tomato, pepperoni, parmesan reggiano, ricotta) whoa!!

So overall I really liked the food here🙂


Spicy roasted cauliflower


Brixton pizza


OMFG – Met “Civilized Caveman Cooking Creations”, George Bryant

So I cyber stalk some foodie bloggers, don’t act like you don’t too! That’s what their blogs are there for anyway lol I have followed  Civilized Caveman Cooking for a few months now. So when George posted on Facebook that he was going to host a cooking demo in Temecula at Williams Sonoma, I was on that shit right away!

George made his amazing Paleo Banana Bread! I got to help because, well, you know, I’m not shy in the least lol so when asked for volunteers, I may be short but my hand is raised the highest🙂 He made several variations to this base recipe. We sampled chocolate blueberry (my favorite of the night), pumpkin pecan (really tastes like pumpkin pie), and he also made a chocolate marble mix.

This dude is so down-to-earth and incredibly warm-hearted that it really felt like you were cooking with him in his kitchen.  George shared some very personal things about his journey to Paleo; one in particular which resonated tremendously with me (there will be a future post about this!).  He shared a wealth of information on local, organic, non-GMO farms. We are super excited to take a tour of Cooks Pig Ranch on June 29th, all because of his info share. Mike and Krys’ story is so incredible; from what I understand she has kept the business growing and thriving while he was deployed! We also learned of Primal Pastures, a local source for pasture raised, free range, organic chickens. In the midst of our demo were several local business owners, like the owner of a macadamia nut farm in Fallbrook! Darn, I didn’t catch the name of the business (bad blogger, I know!) but I will find out about this gem and update this post.

Another thing George shared with us is his effort to make a difference, and help save the life of Mike O’Brien. Mike is a 29 year young man who was born with a congenital heart defect and is in need of a heart transplant.  George doesn’t know Mike from Adam, but HIS huge heart has lead to this amazing initiative to help Mike live, and help him fund his journey to obtaining his new heart, and sustaining it. George told us something like Mike can’t even get on the donor list until he can prove that he can afford all the meds, and care, he will need AFTER the transplant. I am fucking floored by this! I mean, we give kidney’s and all sorts of shit to elderly people who have ravaged their bodies from ailments like diabetes, etc., and what’s the prognosis there? Another 5-10 years for them? Are you kidding me??? This is a YOUNG man!!! You can read all about George’s efforts in his blog here, Do you have a Paleo heart?, and learn about Mike’s story here, Man Survives Childhood Heart Defect, Seeks Transplant. If you can find it in your heart to make lunch this week, instead of buying it, or cut some other cost to help Mike, I urge you to donate anything you can! But please, at least share these links somewhere, Pinterest/Twitter/Facebook, ANYWHERE! There is strength in numbers! And you’re probably bullshitting on line anyway…do something that can make a difference!

Here is the Civilized Caveman – Facebook page.

Here are my pics from the night





My friend Nancy (who is a great source of support) and I with George🙂



“The 30 Day Guide to Paleo Cooking”, Bill Staley & Hayley Mason

Sadly, this is not an OMFG – Blogger Stalking post lol. BUT I did win a contest by knowing probably way too much about Bill & Hayley, which garnered me a lovely preview of their new book “The 30 Day Guide to Paleo Cooking”. You can find their super awesome site, where you will find their blog and tons of recipes, here: The Food Lovers’ Kitchen – Primal Palate. Here is their Facebook page:  The Food Lovers’ Primal Palate – Facebook page!

My wife tells me that when I get my mind wrapped around something, it’s full steam ahead. And that yes, I am a bit of a stalker…sooooo, yea! I peruse Paleo blogs and absorb a shit load pretty consistently.

Bill & Hayley were my first foodie blog introduction into Paleo. I fell in love with their first book Make it Paleo (click the titles to link to Amazon). Their second book, Gather, the Art of Paleo Entertaining, which just hit the shelves in April (I believe), is absolutely beautiful! I love having this book as a reference for entertaining!

This last book, which debuted on June 11th,  The 30 Day Guide to Paleo Cooking: Entire Month of Paleo Meals, is incredible. 75 new recipes and there is a picture for EVERY RECIPE! This is important people! All their books feature a picture of the dish, which I am sure is no easy fete. There is a ton of love poured into these pages! This book should be your let’s-get-started-on-this-paleo-shiznit reference guide. They pack a lot of education here, as well as easy meal planning suggestions, by week, with a tear-out shopping list for each week! Say what? Seriously stupid easy to follow. You cannot fail here!

I made a variation of their breakfast recipe for “Broccoli Casserole”. Instead of using white mushrooms as the recipe called for, I used left over mushroom Marsala from my own steak topping recipe. It already had thyme, garlic & butter in it. I also added tomatoes to the top of it.

Thank you so very much Bill & Hayley! You are a constant source of inspiration in this kitchen🙂

Here are my pics:




Before baking!


Served up deliciousness!



OMFG – Met “Gluten is my Bitch”, April Peveteaux

I joined a meet-up group for local gluten free and Celiac people in San Diego.  This was the first event I attended.  A book signing/reading with April Peveteaux! If you are gluten free and don’t know who April is, well…click here and consider yourself informed! April Peveteaux – Gluten is my Bitch!

April was just as cool, and ridiculously funny, as I imagined! She is dope y’all! Her book is super funny and real. It is called Gluten Is My Bitch: Rants, Recipes, and Ridiculousness for the Gluten-Free; click the title to buy on Amazon.  It also contains some great recipes I hope to try very soon, “paleotized” for our new palettes where needed or where we can🙂 GET THIS BOOK, YOU WILL LAUGH YOUR ASS OFF!

You can check out April’s post about the book signing/reading here: Gluten is my Bitch – Who has the best gluten free blog readers? I do!




Yes! We are flippin’ gluten the bird!



Roasted Cauliflower & Brown Butter Sage Pork

I am lovin’ me some cauliflower lately. It is really much more versatile than I have given it credit for.

This recipe came from a quick, last minute, internet search before I left work, trying to throw together an idea before I got home.

Here is the recipe source: Inside a British Mum’s Kitchen, Pork Chops in Brown Butter with Crispy Sage Leaves from the Garden

I used what I had…which was a pork loin that I cut into medallions. I roasted the cauliflower by placing a piece of aluminum foil on a baking sheet and brushing it with some duck fat. Cut up a whole head of cauliflower into bite sized pieces. Lay the cut side flat on the baking sheet. Sprinkle generously with some salt and pepper, then brush some more duck fat over the pieces. Bake on 400 for 20 minutes or so. I like mine really crispy, nearly burnt, so baking time is a personal preference here; just keep an eye on it.

I didn’t follow the British Mum’s recipe to a tee.  I omitted the fennel seeds and white wine.






Seasoned and ready to cook!


Cooking in the deliciousness that is butter!


All done!



Vietnamese Vermicelli ala Rachael Ray

There aren’t too many pics in this post because I was not the chef. My lovely wife made this orgasmic meal for me because we’ve been craving Vietnamese food and well, can’t trust the broths/sauces/etc. at places I can’t ask questions.

Here is the recipe source: Rachael Ray Mag – Vietnamese Noodle Bowl with Glazed Pork

Of course, we use gluten free products in the ingredients and we don’t use vegetable oil.  Substitute as you see fit!

Here’s our dish:





Brazilian Cheese Bread Rolls/Muffins

I have a friend of a friend (don’t we all?) on Facebook who is also gluten free and turned me on to Brazilian cheese bread, aka Pao de Queijo.

WTF? Why haven’t I had this before???  It is ridiculous!

Here is the recipe I followed: Pao de Queijo – All Recipes

1/2 cup  butter, I used Kerry Gold brand – double yum!

1/3 cup water

1/3 cup milk or soy milk

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups tapioca flour

2 teaspoons minced garlic

2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375

Pour butter, water, milk, and salt into a large saucepan, and place over high heat. When the mixture comes to a boil, remove from heat immediately, and stir in tapioca flour and garlic until smooth. Set aside to rest for 15 minutes.

Stir the cheese and egg into the tapioca mixture until well combined, the mixture will be chunky like cottage cheese. This was tough lol it took some elbow power!

Drop rounded, 1/4 cup-sized balls of the mixture onto an un-greased baking sheet.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.



This was the first batch, stirred by hand. Like I said…ridiculous! So delicious! Tasted like a GF version of Red Lobster’s cheesy rolls!


The second batch I left out the garlic, used the stand mixer to mix the ingredients, and baked them in muffin tins. Just like popovers! Very airy!

I am trying this dough as pizza crust next!