Social Anxiety

Social anxiety is far more than just being the “quiet one” at the party, the person who would rather socialize with the host’s dog than be the “social butterfly.” It’s consuming, chipping away at your confidence far before you’ve arrived at the party and long after you’ve left the drunken affair and settled in for the night.

It’s constantly analyzing your every word, every action, and every movement, falsely believing that you are a collection of flaws, mistakes, and ineptitude and that your perceived shortcomings are all the world sees.

It’s fearing that you are unlovable, that all of your friends secretly hate you no matter how fervently they convince you otherwise and that your partner stays with you not out of love, but rather to save his image as a faithful lover.

It’s standing frozen in front of the phone, your heart racing as your mind battles itself. It’s wishing that you could simply make that call without rehearsing your responses and fearing the impression you will make on the person on the other end of the line, convincing yourself to dial, and then hanging up before the dial tone sounds.

It’s refusing to eat in front of strangers, or even in front of friends because you worry they’re judging what you’re eating, how much you’re eating, or even that you’re eating in the first place. It’s refraining from eating when no one else is, even if you haven’t eaten all day because you fear that they’ll think you’re impolite. It’s wondering if your roommates suspect why they never see you in the kitchen, then worrying that they judge you for eating in private.

It’s listening rather than speaking in large groups, speaking only with your expressions because you genuinely believe you are unworthy of contributing to the conversation. It’s feeling your friends’ eyes pierce through you as you finally speak, warmth spreading to your cheeks as you convince yourself you’ve annoyed everyone in your company. It’s not noticing the genuine smiles in your friends’ responses, the happiness you bring to others’ lives. It’s misconstruing non-judgmental kindness as irritation with your rare self-expression.

It’s feeling anxious for hours after someone unfollows you on social media. It’s desperately attempting to convince yourself that they no longer belong in your life and that maybe their decision had nothing to do with you, but instead, arriving at the erroneous conclusion that you’re annoying and completely unworthy of human connection.

It’s perpetually guarding your heart, refusing to let others in to see your scarred beauty because you fear that if you express your truth, they will leave. It’s always being prepared for goodbyes but feeling irreparably shattered when others walk away. It’s blaming your wavering openness for your loved ones’ absence in your life.

It’s slowly distancing yourself from friends and family because you’re afraid you’ve revealed too much to them, so now, in the wake of your anxiety, you have to leave them. It’s justifying your decision to relinquish your relationships by convincing yourself that they wouldn’t miss you anyway, but secretly wishing they’ll come running back to you, wondering where you’ve been.

It’s constantly having excuses at the ready for leaving the party early, as the sights, sounds, and voices blur together, overloading your senses. It’s feebly mentioning that you feel sick and wondering if everyone can see right through your words. It’s knowing in your heart that you are mentally ill and wishing that you could disclose your mental illness with the same ease at which you express your mounting nausea without fear of judgment.

It’s possibly never even making it to the party because with every minute until it’s time to leave, your heart beats louder and faster, threatening to jump out of your chest as you worry that your friends will leave you and you’ll be trapped in a room full of judgmental strangers. It’s vehemently denying that you want to attend the party, but deep down, wishing that you could be as carefree as your friends, dancing under the stars until the sun rises.

Social anxiety is far more than just being the “quiet one” at the party. It’s slowly learning to combat the mistruths that haunt your mind. It’s discovering that you are worthy of companionship and that people do miss you in your absence. It’s speaking up little by little and learning to see immeasurable kindness in those around you. It’s slipping back into self-destructive mindsets some days, but always resolving to continue the journey towards self-love. Social anxiety is celebrating the small triumphs in the midst of the struggles, in the hope that someday, you will finally arrive at the party and enjoy yourself, too. 


Searching for a medical team: Asking for a friend

Medical professionals: HELP.

I am a 40-year old American woman of African descent. I am at my wits end to find a medical team willing and able to take on my care. I have several serious issues that are likely related and if treated holistically possible cured. Currently my issues are all being treated as separate issues and given separate medicines to address individual symptoms. I do not know what else to do to avoid becoming a statistic – older person of color, overweight (due to medications that cause weight gain), sick, and tired (due to adrenal issues from chronic stress, pain, and overmedication).

I have great insurance, before I medically retired I was a federal employee. Less than 3 years ago I had a 15-year career doing amazing things for an amazing agency. I have a graduate degree. Now, I am unable even to understand basic information in my insurance documents to determine what is covered and what isn’t, much less what do to when my Medicare kicks in as a secondary insurance to my Blue Cross Blue Shield.

I am tired all the time, even if I sleep for 10 hours. I cannot process information intellectually like I used to. I am in physical pain all the time, in my joints and across my body, especially when someone hugs me – yes, sharp pain to the touch. I have nightmares every night. I’m sure my cortisol and epinephrine are high and worry what adrenal fatigue might cause. I have an exaggerated startle response. I am hungry often, but get full fast. I dissociate. I become overwhelmed when in social settings. I have chest pains. I experience inflammation daily. I grind my teeth. I have IBS. I have been diagnosed with endometriosis. I experience reflux. I have been diagnosed with PCOS. I have been diagnosed with PTSD. I experience post-exertional malaise (PEM). I may have an auto-immune disease. I may have ME/CFS. My normally low (110/68) blood pressure is (as of last week) now 145/97. I eat well, low sodium, and mainly plants. I am not an expert, I am in search of one.

I could go on… but I need to find a medical team that will help me. Please, if you are a doctor or know doctors that do this kind of work please let me know.

The Last Supper: What did they eat?

This year on Nisan 14 many will celebrate the Passover and begin the festival of unleavened bread. As a Christian, on that evening, after sundown, I will be commemorating the ransom sacrifice of Jesus Christ and meditating on the new covenant he established at his last meal with the disciples. Modern passover plates use modern tradition, so let’s dig a little to find what 1st-century Jewish passover meals were like.



Modern Passover Plate


Since the Gospels note that the meal included at least bread and wine, some hypothesize that the meal could have taken place at Passover. This is corroborated by the Gospel of Mark, which notes that the Last Supper took place during the “feast…of unleavened bread.” If so, they tell Rosella Lorenzi there would have been much more on the table:

According to Generoso Urciuoli and Marta Berogno, other food on the table would have included cholent, a stewed dish of beans cooked very low and slow, olives with hyssop, a herb with a mint-like taste, bitter herbs with pistachios and a date charoset, a chunky fruit and nut paste.

“Bitter herbs and charoset are typical of Passover, cholent is eaten during festivities, while hyssop was also consumed on a daily basis,” Urciuoli said.




Cholent, stewed beans


The roots of the festival of unleaved bread are found in Exodus 12, in which God instructs the Israelites to sacrifice a lamb at twilight on the 14th day of the Jewish month of Nisan, before the sun sets (Exodus 12:18). That night the Israelites are to eat the lamb with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. The lamb’s blood should be swabbed on their doorposts as a sign. God, seeing the sign, will then “pass over” the houses of the Israelites (Exodus 12:13), while smiting the Egyptians with the tenth plague, the killing of the first-born sons.


In researching what they may have eaten as Jewish men of the first century I found more interesting information published by two Italian scholars.

A study by two Italian archaeologists relied on Bible verses, Jewish writings, ancient Roman works and archaeological data to investigate the eating habits in Jerusalem at the beginning of the 1st century A.D.

A bean stew, lamb, olives, bitter herbs, a fish sauce, unleavened bread, dates and aromatized wine likely were on the menu at the Last Supper, says recent research into Palestinian cuisine during Jesus’s time.

The food wasn’t eaten during a formal seated gathering at a rectangular table, as shown in many religious art paintings, but with Jesus and his apostles reclining on floor cushions, as the Romans did at that time.

“The Bible discusses what happened during that dinner, but it doesn’t detail what Jesus and his 12 dining companions ate,” Generoso Urciuoli, archaeologist at Italy’s Petrie center and author of the Archeoricette blog on ancient food, told Discovery News.

Urciuoli, who specializes on the history of early Christianity, and co-author Marta Berogno, archaeologist and Egyptologist at Turin Egypt’s museum, will publish their findings next month in the book “Gerusalemme: l’Ultima Cena” (Jerusalem: the Last Supper). “The starting point is the assumption that Jesus was a Jew. He and his disciples observed the traditions transmitted by the Torah and its food related bans,” Urciuoli said.




When an Amazon package shows delivered but you never received it?

Contact Amazon and let them know. Counterintuitively, you *can’t* do this via Returns/Refunds in “Your Orders” (as of Dec 21 2016).

Go to and click Help. (or CTRL +F for “help”), it’s to the right of the options below the search bar.


Scroll all the way down to “Need More Help” and click “Contact Us”.

Then choose the order you’re missing, and email or otherwise contact them to say something like “It says this was delivered but I did not receive it. Perhaps it was stolen.”

Rosewater Tisane For Love-Making

Just a few tips I’ve found to help married couples make the most of their intimate moments:

Making love should be romantic, memorable. It must be able to touch your heart and emotions–for both women and men. When we lose the “intention” of romance, you start to lose the desire, and after you have lost the desire, other things become lost, little by little.

Married couples should always make love with intention by taking care of ones “natural body juices” in order to enhance intimacy. THIS RULE IS FOR BOTH WOMEN AND MEN!

The rule says that women should drink an herbal tea (tisane) made with a mixture of orange blossom, rose water and mint at least once a week. The man must remember to drink pineapple juice. According to legend, these teas or drinks, when taken at least weekly, maintain a fresh level of “sweetened love juices” and puts us in a very pleasant disposition, so the couple can fully enjoy the act of making love.


TENS for Menstrual Cramps (Dysmenorrhea)


Did you know that there have been studies documenting the effectiveness of Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) on period pain? And that it works?

There are a number of ways you can treat your painful periods at home. For example, gentle exercise, a hot water bottle, a warm bath, massage of the lower abdomen or relaxation techniques such as Pilates.  Although you may not stop your pain completely, these measures can often help to ease or reduce it.

Another way to help alleviate the pain is by using TENS (Transcutaneous electronic nerve stimulation).

A TENS machine is ideal for the treatment of painful menstruation.  It is non-evasive and drug free. Electrode pads are placed near the area of pain (see diagram). TENS uses soothing pulses that are sent via the pads through the skin and along the nerve fibres. The pulses suppress menstrual pain signals to the brain. TENS also encourages the body to produce higher levels of its own natural pain killing chemicals ie endorphins and encephalins.


The first study (from 2003) can be found here and was documented by Howard Smith, MD and Vian Younan, MD.  They found that transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)—as a treatment modality for primary dysmenorrhea—can act as a pain relief mechanism for women with painful menstrual cramps.

Smith and Younan concluded that a review of published studies shows that TENS may be an effective treatment modality and/or therapeutic adjunct for primary dysmenorrhea. The most serious side effect of TENS was discomfort at the site of electrical stimulation. However, the women that had this uncomfortable sensation, stated that they would still be willing to undergo the treatment in order to be rid of painful menstrual cramps that hinders their lives for a few days each month.14 However, more studies need to be done on the practicality of using a TENS unit on adolescent women who are more affected by primary dysmenorrhea than the rest of the population.

Currently available studies suggest that high frequency TENS (50 to 120 Hz) seems to be more effective for pain relief than placebo TENS (see Table 1). Low frequency TENS (1 to 4 Hz) may not be more effective than placebo TENS. High intensity transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation appears to be an effective and safe form of therapy in patients with primary dysmenorrhea.

Another study by Mannheimer et al in 1985, randomized women to the following three groups; High frequency TENS, Low frequency TENS, and placebo TENS. Treatment for all groups was 30 minutes in duration and then discontinued until pain returned. Upon return of pain, the subjects could reinstitute TENS and a record of use was kept. Pain was rated immediately before and after use. There was no significant difference between the two types of TENS but the high frequency TENS achieved slightly more pain relief.

A study by Proctor, Farquhar et al in 2002 concluded that high-frequency nerve stimulation may help relieve painful menstrual cramps. Dysmenorrhoea is a very common complaint that refers to painful menstrual cramps in the uterus. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) involves the sending of an electric current by placing electrodes on the skin to stimulate the nerves and reduce pain. It is thought to alter the body’s ability to receive and understand pain signals rather than by having a direct effect on the uterine contractions. The review of trials found that high-frequency TENS may help but there is not enough evidence to assess the effect of low-frequency TENS.


Carol GT Vance, Dana L Dailey, Barbara A Rakel, Kathleen A Sluka

Pain Manag. 

Published in final edited form as: Pain Manag. 2014 May; 4(3): 197–209. doi: 10.2217/pmt.14.13 Using TENS for pain control: the state of the evidence

Dawood MY and Ramos J. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) for the treatment of primary dysmenorrhea: a randomized crossover comparison with placebo TENS and ibuprofen. Obstetrics & Gynecology. 1990. 75(4):656-660.

Kaplan B, Peled Y, Pardo J, Rabinerson D, Hirsh M, Ovadia J, Neri A. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) as a relief for dysmenorrhea. Clin Exp Obstet Gynecol. 1994. 21(2):87-90.

Milsom I, Hedner N and Mannheimer C. A comparative study of the effect of high intensity transcutaneous nerve stimulation and oral naproxen on intrauterine pressure and menstrual pain in patients with primary dysmenorrhea. American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology. 1994. 170(1):123-129.



Liver Health

So… my husband has some liver issues. I’ve been doing research and wanted to share how important our liver is and how we can care for it. I’m also really interested in review of this Dr. Axe product: Leaky Gut Support

“Is life worth living? It all depends on the liver.” -William James, American philosopher



When you think of your body’s health, what comes to mind?

Strong muscles, flexible joints, and a quick-thinking brain, most likely.

However, there’s a contender for the top of this list that most people haven’t even considered – the liver.

Your liver is an unsung superstar.

It’s responsible for so many things, and a small change in your liver’s health can have an effect on every other system in your body. It’s also one of your largest organs, weighing in at over three pounds!

Your liver, along with your pancreas, gallbladder, and intestines, is responsible for digesting, absorbing, and processing all the energy and nutrients that enter your body.

Its main job is to filter the blood coming from your digestive system. The liver is where all of the newly digested nutrients are sorted, broken down, and distributed to every other organ in your body. It’s also where drugs are metabolized and where toxins are filtered out.

As you can see, your liver has an extremely important role!

“Every chemical that makes it into your bloodstream – be it through your lungs, stomach, or skin – meets up with your liver at some point. Since your liver is your body’s best defense when it comes to filtering out all those toxins, you need to treat it well.” -Suzanne Somers, actress and New York Times best-selling author



When you eat food, you masticate it in your mouth with your teeth, after which point stomach acid partially digests it before it is passed on to your small intestine.

There, it mixes with bile, an alkaline mix of digestive agents that your liver continually produces and stores in your gallbladder until you eat. Then, the stored bile enters your small intestine, where it (along with enzymes from your pancreas) digests fat and fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K), allowing them to be absorbed.

Digestive System signs and symptoms of liver damage factor 75

The liver is also essential for regulating cholesterol levels in your body. It oxidizes the cholesterol into a variety of bile acids which are then “pulled into the liver,” carried into the bile ducts, and then on out through the intestines.

Bile acid is recycled through your liver several times each day – that’s a lot of work for one organ!

Blood filtration

Your red blood cells carry oxygen – and I don’t have to tell you how essential that is.

Oxygen is bound to a four-part protein called hemoglobin, which is responsible for the red color in blood. With an average life cycle of three months, red blood cells are recycled by your lymph nodes, spleen, and – you guessed it – your liver.

They can also be damaged due to illness or injury. The broken down fragments are filtered out by your immune system. The hemoglobin breaks down into iron and bilirubin – the chemical responsible for the yellow color in bruises and jaundice (yellowed skin) and the brown in poop – and are then filtered out by the liver and excreted back into the intestine.

Your liver is also responsible for manufacturing important molecules.

It makes the clotting protein prothrombin and albumin, the main protein in blood sera, which is the liquid portion of blood that carries hormones, drugs, and fatty acids throughout your body.

What happens when your liver gets damaged?

Your liver can become damaged in several ways.

Normally, the liver contains between 5 and 10% fat. More than that is called steatosis, or fatty liver disease. When too much fat accumulates in cells, they can’t function properly, and in severe cases they can even burst, causing scarring.

Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) is the most common form of liver disease in the USA, with between 75 and 100 million cases. As its name suggests, it is the buildup of extra fat in liver cells that is not caused by alcohol.

NAFLD is caused by:

It’s also linked to diabetes. It is considered a lifestyle disease.

Most people have no symptoms – those who do have moderate to severe fatigue and a tender abdomen. Left untreated, it can lead to cirrhosis and permanent scarring.

signs and symptoms of liver damage cirrhosis factor 75

Fortunately, if caught early, it is a reversible disease – a change in diet and an increase in exercise are all it takes to ensure your liver functions at peak performance.


(NOTE: If you are looking to change your diet but don’t know where to start or don’t feel like cooking, you can eat healthy without having to lift a finger using Factor 75. Our produce is organic, the meats are grass-fed and free-range and all of our meals are free from herbicides, pesticides, GMOs and antibiotics. Find out more here.)


“While there are diseases like hepatitis, as well as bacteria and viruses which can directly affect the liver, the most damage done to the organ is usually a reflection of our lifestyles. It is important to protect the liver, and the best and easiest way to do this is to focus on ways to improve your lifestyle,” says Dr Manny Alvarez, Chairman of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Science at Hackensack University Medical Center, NJ.

You may have heard of cirrhosis – it killed 1.2 million people worldwide in 2013, and numbers are rising.

Severe scarring caused most commonly by chronic, long-term NAFLD, alcoholism, or hepatitis (both viral and inflammatory), its symptoms include fatigue, itching, high blood pressure, and jaundice.

Left untreated, it can lead to liver cancer, hepatic encepalopathy (liver failure and potentially coma), and kidney disease.


Signs and Symptoms of Liver Damage

Liver disease affects your whole body, not just your liver. It can lead to gallstones, vitamin deficiency, and overworked organs.

As you can see, a poorly functioning liver can really affect your overall health.

signs and symptoms of liver damage chart factor 75

Usually caused by gallstones or inflammation, cholestasis is the blocking of your bile duct between your liver and intestines. If your bile has too much cholesterol or bilirubin, usually from cirrhosis, drugs, or infection, or if your gallbladder is not emptying completely, gallstones can form, and they can be extremely painful.

Splenomegaly is the enlargement of your spleen, often caused by increased blood pressure (hypertension) in the portal vein (part of the main blood supply for your abdominal organs), which is in turn caused by liver damage. It often occurs when the spleen is overworked, destroying damaged red blood cells, and it causes abdominal, chest, and back pain.

Portal vein hypertension is also responsible for another common symptom of liver dysfunction – abdominal swelling, or ascites. Because fluid collects in the abdominal space, blood pressure drops in the rest of your body, causing the kidneys to retain more water. This exacerbates the problem, stresses the kidneys, and in extreme cases can cause kidney failure.

A lack of fat-soluble vitamins can also cause major problems:

  • Vitamin K is important for blood clotting
  • Vitamin D is essential for bone and muscle development
  • Vitamin A is required for eye health
  • Vitamin E deficiency causes nerve problems

Nick Giordano, marathon runner and NAFLD patient ponders,

“They say everyone has a moment in their life where they begin to view their lives differently and I believe that being diagnosed with liver disease was mine. Several years ago while reading Lance Armstrong’s book ‘It’s not about the bike!’ he made reference to a statement that he would say to himself on a daily basis while battling cancer and that statement stuck with me. ‘Get up….keep moving…..I’m alive!’ Now by no means do I intend to compare myself to someone with cancer, but my hope is that I can take my experience with liver disease and help educate others about it. Because I can get up….I can keep moving….I’m alive. I’m alive and able to make a difference.”


How do I look after my liver?

  • Love your liver Factor 75Avoid foods containing regular or high fructose corn syrup
  • Maintain a healthy weight – a BMI under 25, without excessive abdominal fat
  • Limit your alcohol consumption – the FDA recommends one drink per day for women and two for men.
  • Easy on the medication – take the minimum amount of medication, and ask your doctor before taking anything new, including supplements.

Henna For Hair 101


Product: Godrej Nupur Mehendi Henna Powder 9 Herbs

nupur henna 9 herb

By Grow It Girl Tiki

Nupur Henna is one of the most popular brands of pre-blended henna powders. The product contains multiple Ayurvedic powders that are said to help with hair grow, hair loss, and overall hair health. Henna alone is great for strengthing hair and I have seen an improvement in my hair from using it over the years. Most people love the convenience of not having to purchase multiple powders separately to blend their own treatment mixture. With Nupur

Most people love the convenience of not having to purchase multiple powders separately to blend their own treatment mixture. For most, it’s simply more economical to use Nupur. With Nupur Henna you can simply add water and you are able to use the product with no further blending needed. However, there are some who like to add other powders with the package or who prefer to blend their own henna pack. So, I decided to do

I decided to share a few recipes and tips on mixing Godrej Nupur Mehndi Henna or pure henna. You can use the recipes below to mix any brand of henna and not solely for Nupur Henna. All henna recipes are usable on all hair types: relaxed, texlaxed, natural, fine, curly, straight. Hope you enjoy them!

The package contains 100% pure Rajasthani Henna mixed with 9 Herbs:

Shikakai – Leaves hair clean & shiny
Aloe Vera – Moisturizes hair & makes it silky
Methi (Fenugreek) – Conditions, nourishes and revitalizes hair
Bhringraj – Makes hair luxurious
Amla – Darkens hair color while adding shine & luster
Neem – Fights scalp infection and prevents dandruff
Hibiscus – Rejuvenates hair while making it silky and shiny
Jatamansi – Prevents graying of hair
Brahmi – Promotes hair growth

Also see


Iced Turmeric Latte


If you’re not seeing turmeric everywhere, you’re either living under a rock or are very good at getting out stains (seriously, that stuff makes everything yellow). We’re fans of the vibrant, healthful spice, and the evidence is in our newest recipe for an ice-cold, just-sweet-enough, non-dairy turmeric latte.

The latte calls for cashew milk, freshly grated turmeric, and palm sugar. The ingredients are worth searching for; they make it taste extra-special. But if you’re all, “Oh hell no, there is no way I’m finding fresh turmeric root at my supermarket” we’ve got you. Here are three ways to customize this *highly Instagrammable* drink.

Instead of palm sugar, use a liquid sweetener, like honey or maple syrup (granulated sugar won’t dissolve in cold liquid). Just mix the sweetener into a glass of milk (any dairy or alt-milk your heart desires) with a teaspoon each of ground ginger and ground turmeric. Stir it all together and pour over ice.

Cashew milk has a luxurious, creamy texture thanks to its high fat content, which makes it an obvious choice for an upgrade. But it has another benefit: It plays well with a squeeze of lemon juice, which helps brighten the drink. If you can’t find cashew milk, you can use another milk, bearing in mind that citrus will make dairy milk curdle. Use your favorite liquid sweetener and the ground turmeric/ginger combo. Bonus points if you have ground cardamom—add a pinch of that in, too; it will add a subtle perfumey fragrance to the drink.

Digital associate food editor Rick Martinez developed our recipe with fresh turmeric and ginger, because just-ground spices (technically, they’re both roots) have a much more intense flavor. Use a microplane zester to grate them into store-bought or homemade cashew milk. Word to the wise: Wear latex gloves to guard your fingers against stains. Use 4 teaspoons of turmeric and 1 teaspoon ginger for 1 cup of cashew milk. Martinez loves the floral sweetness of palm sugar, which is sold in bricks or blocks, so he grates 2 teaspoons of that into the cashew milk. If you can’t find palm sugar, you can substitute raw sugar, as it will be strained, leaving behind any granules or grit. Stir it all together with a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice and a pinch each of sea salt and cardamom. Let it steep for 5 minutes so the flavors infuse, then strain out the solids. Serve over ice with a lemon wedge.

Not for nothing, but this super-healthy latte is also delicious heated up.



  • 1 cup cashew milk
  • 4 teaspoons finely grated fresh turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated palm sugar or raw sugar
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 pinches of ground cardamom
  • Pinch of flaky sea salt
  • Lemon wedge (for serving)


  • Whisk milk, turmeric, palm sugar, ginger, lemon juice, cardamom, and salt in a small bowl until sugar and salt have dissolved; let sit 5 minutes to let flavors meld. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a measuring cup, pressing on solids to extract juices; discard solids.
  • Fill a glass with ice. Pour latte over and serve with lemon wedge.



Recipe by Rick Martinez

Photograph by Alex Lau

Lovely Quartet of Houses on Burthe Street

By R. Stephanie Bruno

THE NEIGHBORHOOD: Carrollton, added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1987, bounded roughly by Earhart Expressway on the north, the Mississippi River on the south, Broadway on the east (technically, Lowerline Street), and the Orleans-Jefferson Parish line on the west.

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My very favorite feature here is the gable: A crisp triangle of fish-scale shingles forms the top third, then a wide band of straight-edged shingles curves inward from the plane of the triangle to showcase the gable window.

Spurred by the advent in 1836 of the New Orleans and Carrollton Railroad (today’s streetcar), development of the area blossomed in the mid-19th century and continued after being annexed by the city of New Orleans in 1874.

Carrollton’s residential blocks and oak-lined streets convey its small-town feel, and monthly arts markets at Palmer Park and festivals on Oak Street add vitality to the experience.

THE BLOCK: The 7700 block of Burthe Street on the odd-numbered, or north, side, between Adams Street on the east and Burdette Street on the west.

Maple Street’s restaurants and shops are a block to the south, and the Tulane University campus a few blocks to the east.

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Burthe is one of those New Orleans streets that has an unpredictable pronunciation. Instead of “Berth,”, according to Tim Lyons’ “A Lexicon of New Orleans Terminology and Speech,” it is “pronounced <BYOOTH> … sounds like ‘youth’ with a B in front of it. … Apparently mail addressed to ‘Buth’ or ‘Buthe’ Street gets delivered just fine.”

Lyman says the street was named for a Frenchman of the same name (perhaps Dominique François Burthe, whose subdivided plantation became Burtheville).

THE HOUSES: Four handsome homes built sometime between 1896 and 1909.

If their styles aren’t enough to convince me of their build dates (they are primarily Neoclassical Revival), the Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps do.

Published periodically and showing the footprints of structures in the city, the maps for this block are blank in 1896 but show four houses in 1909.


12_street_burthe_main.jpgView full size
The four handsome homes on the 7700 block of Burthe Street were likely built sometime between 1896 and 1909.

Visiting the Tulane University campus on a Monday morning means parking far, far away. But that’s just fine with me — the sun is shining, and the weather, though brisk, is comfortable for walking.

When it’s time to return to my car, I don’t, and stray instead until I land on the 7700 block of Burthe Street.

Anatomy of the block

What strikes me first is that not one of the four houses on the block looks remotely like the others, even though most share at least a few stylistic elements typical of the period in which they were built.

On the corner of Burdette, there’s a gracious blue house on a huge lot, followed by a fanciful pink house on an equally large lot. Then I spot an olive-hued sidehall shotgun and a blue centerhall house with an inviting screened-in front porch.

The forms are all different, as are the positions of the houses on their lots, some centered, some on the property line.

To take a closer look, I start at the corner of Burdette and walk toward Adams. The first house is a blue centerhall with a front porch that extends across the left side and past the front door. But instead of continuing the full width of the house, as it would on a typical centerhall cottage, the porch ends in a decorative bay that extends forward on the right-hand side.

Tuscan columns (round and tapered so that they are smaller at the top than at the bottom) support the ceiling of the deep front porch and bolster my Neoclassical Revival theory (for they are emblematic of the style). So do the delicately rendered swags and laurels of flowers applied to flat surfaces of the façade, especially above the column tops, over the bay windows and above the front steps.

But my very favorite feature here is the gable: A crisp triangle of fish-scale shingles forms the top third, then a wide band of straight-edged shingles curves inward from the plane of the triangle to showcase the gable window.

I move on, past a carport with a round stained-glass window set near the peak of its gable, and then I reach a pink house set amid a well-tended garden and front yard. The sounds of a fountain attract my curiosity, and I look until I spot it over on the right-hand corner.

Even with bare limbs this time of year, the trees make it difficult to see the house. There is a porch on the left side and a forward-extending bay on the right. The porch roof is supported by stout box columns, and a mini-gable marks the location of the front steps, similar to what is above the front steps on the blue house.

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The prominent gable also presents an opportunity or even a requirement of embellishment, a challenge that the builder of this house responded to by inserting fish-scale shingles, double windows and an idiosyncratic hood and spandrel over the windows.

The bay on the right contains a pair of windows, crowned by a simple flourish of decorative millwork. Where the porch and the bay join the main body of the house, a forward-facing gable appears, distinguished by a round, stained-glass gable window.

The pink house occupies a large lot that includes the carport, plus what looks like an expanse of garden beyond. It snuggles up against its eastern property line.

The olive-colored sidehall house next to it sits close to its western property line, so that the two houses together look like they’re cozying up to one another.

Proximate or not, the olive house couldn’t look more different from the pink house. The olive-colored sidehall has a well-used front porch (judging from the bounty of rocking and other chairs) that extends the full width of the house.

Its prominent gable, detailed in shingles and displaying a millwork flourish above the gable windows, makes a strong impression. Tuscan columns reappear, their slender forms exaggerating the apparent height of the floor-to-ceiling windows and their louvered shutters.

A bookend to the very different centerhall house at the Burdette corner, the house at Burthe and Adams represents an interesting evolution of the genre.

Generally, centerhall houses built in the era when Greek Revival and then Italianate styles were most popular have side-gabled roofs, meaning the roof ridge is parallel to the street. But the centerhall has a front-gabled roof and a roof ridge that’s perpendicular to the street.

The variation means that the volume of the second story moves forward, closer to the street, making the house appear taller than its ancestors — with their side-gabled roofs — would. The prominent gable also presents an opportunity or even a requirement of embellishment, a challenge that the builder of this house responded to by inserting fish-scale shingles, double windows and an idiosyncratic hood and spandrel over the windows.

The same device appears in a smaller gable on the right-hand side of the house. Combined with the metal roof and the screened-in porch, the individualization of the roof components gives the house the personality of a home in the country.

Life on the street

Christian Dawalder is having a perfectly peaceful morning, sipping coffee on the front porch of the pink house, when I stick a camera through the fence. Oops!

“I’m sorry, sir! I didn’t see you sitting there,” I say to him.

Despite the intrusion, he is incredibly gracious and offers to retrieve his wife, Ninette Brierre Dawalder, from inside while I follow his instructions to go take a look at their back garden.

When Ninette arrives, I learn that the two have known each other since 1968 but married just four years ago. Only fairly recently did Christian Dawalder move his possessions lock, stock and barrel from Colorado to Burthe Street.

I thank the Dawalders for their hospitality and comment on the beauty of their garden.

“You should see it in spring!” Christian says, and I promise to come back.