Last weekend I went whitewater rafting. A particularly turbulent patch of the rapids caught me off guard, when I tumbled off the raft into the water. It all happened so quickly. We hit a big rock, the raft turned vertical and I fell into the river. I was swept under and spat back out, my body tossed around like a tiny paper boat. I was gasping for air with the whitewater waves rising in front of me, crashing over…


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I was in teenage hell. Overnight, I went from being completely oblivious to what I looked like, to being obsessed with my appearance. And let me tell you, I did not like what I saw in the mirror. Too tall and too skinny, with an awkward toothy grin, uncoordinated and gangly, and I didn’t seem to know where my limbs were supposed to be around me. I wanted pretty hair and a semblance of curves, like…


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For the past 4 weeks, each morning for me starts with a cup of coffee and a side of news about the global health pandemic in which we’re living. Invading our world rapidly, forcing everything to look different today compared to just a month ago, COVID-19 has everyone on high alert! Throughout the rest of my day, I allow myself to be interrupted by articles about the virus, nurturing the feelings…


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Ready for HalloweenIt’s that time of year when my favorite sinkhole that is Pinterest overflows with HALLOWEEN EVERYTHING! Lines between reality and mystical foggy autumn things get blurry – spooky treats, homemade costumes, pranks to scare your friends, the perfect eerie soundtracks – all helpful suggestions for your ghastly transition from the normal human self into that monstrous creepy being.…


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When I turned 12, all of a sudden all of my friends were getting their periods, and I just couldn’t wait to get mine! I was so ready to join the ranks of glamorous women who had the privilege of being initiated into the menstruating club. I wanted to belong with them - everything about periods was synonymous with femininity for me at the time. I had to endure witnessing so many of my classmates…


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Here in the Pacific Northwest we love talking about the sun! We grumble about it being hidden away behind heavy rain clouds for months at a time in the winter; we delight in the first breakthrough rays in the spring, realizing our pagan longing for it, watching, as if for the first time, as everything around us wakes up from a deep slumber; we marvel at its delightful, almost intoxicating warmth…


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A symbol of femininity for so many women, our hair demands attention. Both deeply personal and superficially public, changes in the looks of our hair can inspire a range of emotions, driving us to willingly partake in its cutting, straightening, curling, bleaching, darkening, or other aggressive chemical treatments. Hair is part of who we are and how we present ourselves to the world. This is why…


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I was so tired. I needed a new word for tired. I felt exhausted and incapacitated, utterly drained and hollowed out. It was like my brain and body were fading. And yet, these words are still not descriptive enough to relate how I felt. Getting out of bed felt grueling, punishing. I was 24 at the time, in my 4th year of my PhD program at Purdue University. I was newly engaged and so in love with my…


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Glycine has a calming effect on the brain – it helps you wind down and prepare for sleep. Its role as an inhibitory neurotransmitter has been unfolding over many years of ongoing research efforts. Easily one of the most versatile amino acids, glycine serves as a building block to proteins (collagen, the most abundant protein in our body, is one-third glycine), and is heavily utilized for the…


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Testosterone, so meaningful to a man’s behavior, is the evolutionary force behind everything intrinsically “male.” Historical stereotypes peg testosterone as the macho elixir of legendary magnitude – the “chest-thumping hormone of aggression.” New research, however, is beginning to tease out previously unknown subtleties of testosterone’s effects on behavior. Testosterone is non-trivial for…


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