How My Clients in Drug Treatment Taught Me to Survive Chronic Illness

“Take it One Day at a Time.”

I was 21 years old and each of the ladies, my clients, were double my age or more. Some had been maneuvering life in addiction longer than I’d been alive. Others came upon it only after a surgery or great personal loss. Many had kids in the foster system they were striving to gain back, while others had grown children who refused to see them. A few were businesswomen, others worked at fast-food restaurants. The range of demographics and progress in…


Most people think internal racism describes instances where, for example, Mexicans don’t like other Mexicans. (An example that is not true.) That’s a common misunderstanding of the concept. The notion of internal racism describes the resentment, dislike, and maybe even disgust with one’s own ethnicity, a self-hatred at its extreme.

Being biracial can be fertile ground for this type of insecurity and revulsion with one’s identity. Negative external messaging has its effect on everyone, but when it comes from two different and often opposing sides, it doubles the bombardment. It’s a constant ping pong between two worlds, neither of which…


Fibromyalgia Awareness Day, 2020 was a hit! Awareness can change the world. It is a goal many of us in the invisible illness community have worked towards the entirety of our Spoonie lives. But having people see we are ill is not the same as them understanding what it means for us. None of us want them to empathize with us from a place of personal experience, Fibromyalgia being something we’d never wish on anyone we love. But that doesn’t mean they then cannot grasp what life is like for us.

Over the years I have become much more open…


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“It’s just a dinner date at her house. It’s basically still quarantining.”

“My boyfriend just came over for an hour. We just missed each other so much. He’s going straight home after. It doesn’t really count.”

“Neither of us have seen anyone for two weeks so we figure it’s ok. It’s a calculated risk we are willing to take. It’ll be fine.”

These are just some of the exceptions healthy friends of mine have taken upon themselves to deem ok, what with their medical degrees from WebMD University, during what can be loosely called their social distancing.

What immediately followed…


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This delicate, fluffy layer cake isn’t only light in density, but also in calories and fat. The smooth, creamy, marshmallow-like frosting coupled with the perfect texture of sweetened shredded coconut is the ideal pairing to a coconut scented chiffon (sponge) cake. Each slice comes in at 235 calories, in stark contrast to the classic cake’s nearly 750 calories per serving.

Southern Desserts; an American Treasure

When I reminisce on my time living in the “Deep South” the recollections that rise to the top are often food related. One the fondest of those memories is undeniably the classic Southern Coconut Cake I bought at a little…


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These hearty vegetarian sandwiches nevertheless have a beefy quality thanks to Gardein’s “Beefless Tips”. The meatiness is complimented by a covering of creamy, guiltless, cheese sauce. Just for good measure, a topping of sauteed bell peppers and mushrooms provide a good dose of vegetables. Make Philly Cheese “Fakes” any time of year, any day of the week.

So, Philly doesn’t have an RV park.

Well, they presumably do, but I couldn’t find it. When my husband Frank wrapped up his assignment in New York, we made our way from the Upper West Side back to Southern California. Over a full month we took our time stopping to…


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My Guiltless & Egg-less Lemon Bars with Cardamom have less than half the sugar of the average bar. But they still pack in the flavor, tang, and buttery goodness of a shortbread crust. There aren’t any weird “diet” ingredients, and still each comes in at around 237 calories vs the usual nearly 400 per square. Unlike other “low calorie/low sugar” recipes, this bar isn’t the size of your thumbnail in order to keep the calorie count low, and consequently your craving unsatisfied. These are at least 3"x2", a real portion!

Less than HALF the sugar? Really? Yes, really!


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This cake is so tough to describe. Saying it’s gooey, moist, and buttery just doesn’t do it
justice. It’s dense, but still light and chewy. Sweet, but not candy-like. And although I’m a sucker for frosting, this naked treat doesn’t need it. It’s “nude” appearance is a clever disguise for a dessert similar none I’ve had. I gave it a shot and now I’m hooked! Want to give it a whirl?

I’ve Never Heard of Ooey Gooey Anything

This St. Louis specialty, which ironically I’ve never eaten in Missouri, came into my culinary awareness while on my final food crawl here in Chicago last year. My husband’s…


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These fresh, healthy, and oh-so-flavorful “pizzas” are an easy sunny day meal that looks impressive while secretly being so simple to make. Salty Kalamata Tapenade compliments perfectly tangy Za’atar with creamy labneh.

What is labne/labna?

Karoun Dairies describes it as “a thick & creamy yogurt cheese and a healthier alternative to regular cream cheese. It is rich enough to be used as a substitute for sour cream.” I describe as a rich, smooth, decadent health-food. Yes, I said health food.

A Rich, Decadent Health-Food


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All images & content are copyright protected. DO NOT use images without prior permission. To republish recipe, link back and use proper attribution such as “adapted from HeDoesXrayIDoFood.com”. Thank you.

This is a budget friendly way to make a tasty olive spread that shouldn’t be relegated to the sole use as charcuterie platter item. Its versatility surprises most. How do you eat tapenade? Spread it over toasted sliced of baguette for a simple appetizer. Place a dollop atop polenta discs for a hearty side dish. Layer under bread as a potent condiment for grilled sandwiches, or roll it into a pork tenderloin for a quick impressive dinner. But, my favorite is to use this easy tapenade on my Light & Fresh: Za’atar Pizzas with Labna/Labneh.

Talia Miele

***Invisible Illness Warrior*** COMPARING FOOD & CHRONIC ILLNESS Juvenile to Adult Fibromyalgia, 20+ yrs “Former” Social Wrker TaliaMiele.com IG: @TaliaMiele

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