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About Me

The name is Sami, and before you ask, it’s not short for Samantha :)  I became a foodie after a series of health issues that caused me to look into my eating habits.  I became fascinated with health, fitness, and food in general.  I am 22 years-old and am a full-time student athlete and full-time worker with Human Resources in the Department of Public Welfare for the Commonwealth of PA. 

To elaborate a little further on my past health issues, as a high school athlete, I was always fairly exceptional in basketball.  I played volleyball, softball, and ran track for one year as well, but  I started on the Varsity team my freshman year on the basketball team and steadily broke records and built a reputation for myself as a “standout player”.  At the end of my junior season, I was forced to sit out of our second round playoff game, due to a stress fracture in my lower back.  That started the downhill spiral toward unlucky health it seemed to me.  Going into my senior season, I was averaging about 16 points per game and was on track to break the all-time scoring record at our high school.  The first quarter of the first game, I broke both of my wrists in an effort to take a charge.  I was out for almost the entire season and tried to stay in shape with two bright pink casts on both arms.  I did come back for the remaining three games (just enough time to break my 1,000th point), but it just didn’t feel the same.  Thankfully, I had already signed my National Letter of Intent to take an athletic scholarship from a DII school in New Jersey called Georgian Court University.  Little did I know, my body was fighting a pretty serious thyroid issue.  I became overweight, emotionally unstable, irritable, and just generally unhappy.  I didn’t know what was wrong, I just knew that nothing seemed right.  I was unable to keep up at practices with the rest of the team, I got very little sleep, and to top it all off, I could barely fit in my clothing.  It was traumatizing!  I had been looked over by the trainer at the college and she mentioned something called “Grave’s Disease”.  It sounded entirely too serious, and honestly just altogether scary, so I kind of allowed the comment to go in one ear and out the other.  When I came home for Winter Break in December of 2006, I went to my family doctor, who, after a series of tests, sent me to Hershey Medical Center and recommended that I see an Endocrinologist.  To cut to the chase, he diagnosed me with Grave’s Disease and offered me two options, radioactive iodine treatments, or surgery.  Since I’m so young, the iodine treatments would have put me at risk for potential birth defects or difficulties with pregnancy when the time comes, so I opted for the surgery.  Everything was a success!  I still take medicine every 24 hours, but it is finally under control and I feel 10x better!

Through being sick and gaining weight for no reason, I became fascinated with everything that I was putting into my body.  I began researching nutritional values, food pyramids, raw eating, fitness, and health in general.  I was never one for food “journaling”, but the idea that I could begin my own blog really appealed to me!  I have been following others’ blogs for a while, and when I saw Tina’s post, I thought, “Man! I could totally do that!”

Recently, I decided that I wanted to go back to school so that I can eventually start a career involving my passion…WELLNESS.  I can’t wait to see what else God has in store for my life!  I’ve also gotten the opportunity to play college basketball again, which I’m ecstatic about! 

73 responses »

  1. your story is intense!! thanks for sharing :) welcome to the blogworld girl!

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  2. samialyssa31

    it’s been quite a ride, to say the least :) i’m still trying to get used to the whole blogging thing, to the point where i’m posting my eats and stuff like that to make it more interesting, but haven’t gotten that far quite yet. thanks for the greeting! i’ll be sure to keep in touch!

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  3. Glad that you found the root of the problem and bounced back with a good frame of mind and overall great attitude. Being diagnosed with something can be a struggle. It sounds like you are in a good place!!!

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  4. Thanks for sharing your story, Sami! I know you’ll find lots o’ support in the blogging community!

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  5. Sami,
    This site is really great, keep up the good work. I might have to use you in the future. Jessie
    P.S. Your Mom said you have to share some of your freebies with me!

    Reply
    • Thanks, Jessie! I definitely can share! :) We have a plethora of products at our house right now! I think you’d like some Food Should Taste Good chips!? They even come in chocolate flavor! They’re awesome. I’ll give you a bag of those for sure. You can try some spicy guac too if you like that! And maybe some Newman’s Own Organic cookies/pretzels/dark chocolate?! Lemme know and I’ll get you some!

      Reply
  6. Love your story! Inspiration for sure.

    -Adam
    PROBAR

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  7. you have a great story sami! i look forward to reading more :)

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  8. I love the name of your blog :D Red hair and freckles RULE!!!

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  9. Wow what an inspirational story Sami. I don’t have red hair and freckles but I ALWAYS wanted them!!! Ironically God gave me a son with the cutest red hair and freckles!!!

    BTW I love doing planks too! :-)

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    • Thanks, Jenn! :) I’m glad you took a visit to the blog! I love yours as well! Fitness competitions sound like quite the motivational tool to staying healthy! Very cool!

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  10. Hey Freckles thanks for the plug anytime you want some samples or to “wrap” drop me a line, I could use recipes also

    The Tortilla Guy from tumaro’s
    Steve

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  11. You are amazing! My thyroid problem (hypothyroidism) caused me to battle depression and weight gain the past year without being able to figure out why! I can’t wait to read more about your healthy habits :)

    Miss Jones In College

    Reply
    • Awwh you’re so sweet, Ms. Jones! :) Aren’t thyroids such a pain?! Ugh! I feel your pain, sweetie! Just hang in there! I know it gets real old, real quick but it will get better!! Also, I’m trying to banish my diet soda/aspartame addiction too! Haha. I’m a diet mt. dew fan! It’s totally my vice!

      Reply
  12. Hi! I just read your guest post on Janetha’s blog, and figured I’d come here and say that I really enjoyed it! Thanks for sharing your experience, and I’m glad that you were able to get through such a tough diagnosis, and learn a lot about yourself along the way. Looking forward to reading! :)

    Reply
    • Hey Jenn! Thanmks for the encouragement! It has been a long road, but I really enjoy being able to relate to other bloggers! :) Turns out thyroid problems are pretty common among women!! Anyway, I love your blog too! I definitely need to try out the cottage cheese & cheerio combo! I loooove cottage cheese!! Looking forward to following you as well!

      Reply
  13. chocolate pickle

    thanks for stopping by my blog:) Can’t wait to read more of yours!!

    Reply
  14. Stumbled across your blog.. looks fantastic! Love love love the verses you share–so uplifting!! Great story too, excited to share the journey with you! :)

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  15. Thanks for stopping by my blog! Can’t wait to keep up with yours too!!

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  16. I was just wondering if you have ever looked into the Bible for true health food, you know foods that aren’t processed?
    The human body doesn’t tolerate the processed foods for very long before becoming Cancerous or diabetic thus rejecting these prepackaged quick fix foods and I also noticed Orbit gum on one of your spots ever heard of aspartame disease,
    or aspartame addiction, aspartame is worse for diabetics than any other sweetener on the market. Research before blogging please people are reading your blog and believing, that you are into healthy foods, when in fact the only healthy food left on the market are the RAW back to basics foods from the Bible. I don’t want this posted I just wrote fyi

    Reply
  17. Girl, you and I have semi-similar stories! A thyroid issue is what turned me towards a healthier lifestyle as well. I’m glad to hear that you pressed through those trials and are a stronger, healthier person now because of it =)

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    • Yeah, we do, Gracie!! Thyroids stink, don’t they?! Haha. I’m kind of glad for the issues though, because I never would’ve learned so much about nutrition had I not gone through them! Looks like the same was true in your case! :) Thanks for reading! I’ll be following! ;)

      xo.

      Reply
  18. lessonstolearn

    Wow! What a story. I look forward to following along. Thanks for stopping by my blog :)

    Reply
  19. I am pretty new to this type of website discussion thing yet Im enthusiastic to support and learn a whole lot, I hope. Particularly in relation wellness and also the specific areas of diet and in my situation physical exercise.

    Anyway, just simply saying hello and hope to get along with for a time.

    Printable Stories

    Reply
  20. I have Grave’s Disease as well. It’s weird how doctors all say different things. I have seen 2 endocronologists who told me the same treament options, but with different explanations. To sympathize with you, IT SUCKS, I know. I am so glad yours is under control and you feel better. Gosh, I know the feeling of everything in life feeling like it is spiraling out of control, and for no reason. Low and behold there is a reason for it, Graves.

    Reply
    • Awh darling, I’m so sorry to hear that! I know what you mean. It stinks that Grave’s isn’t an exact science. My levels still fluctuate, but it’s at least tolerable now! :) It gets better sweet pea! What treatments are you undergoing?

      Reply
  21. First of all, I wish I would have run into your blog 3 years ago because I love the name Sami (especially the way it’s spelled) and I would have used it for my daughter!
    I can’t imagine living with a thyroid issue. Grave’s would be tough to deal with. I don’t know what you looked like during the weight issues…if you are anything like me, you don’t have pics of an “unhappy” weight ;) But, you look beautiful now. Your blog is so fun to read!

    Reply
  22. I knew you were going back to school but I didn’t know that it was to be a RD! How awesome. When it comes time to apply for your internship, your blog will be a great thing to post as nutritional experience that you have. I didn’t know that till yesterday when I was talking to a RD about my blog and she said to put it on my internship app. Sweet!

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  23. erinsloves

    So glad I came across your blog! Ive loved looking at it..My sister in law has Grave’s Disease so Im pretty familiar with it..Again LOVE your blog (:

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  24. Just found your blog! Thanks for sharing your story :) Can’t wait to follow!

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  25. I just found your blog, amazing story! I’ll be following you!

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  26. Impacting story! It’s astounding how healthy eating can improve so many other aspects of life as well. Best wishes to you and your health!

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  27. hi every person,

    I identified freckledfoodie.wordpress.com after previous months and I’m very excited much to commence participating. I are basically lurking for the last month but figured I would be joining and sign up.

    I am from Spain so please forgave my speaking english...

    Reply
  28. Hey! I love your blog. From one freckled face girl to another I love your freckles. I have Graves Disease and another autoimmune thyroid condition so I know how annoying that can be! I look forward to reading your stuff.

    Reply
  29. hi! i just found your blog and loved reading your story. also, love your freckles! they are so cute =) i wish i had freckles!

    Reply
  30. Graves disease?! Ugh you poor girl :/ I have hashimotos disease and celiac and it’s far too much to handle sometimes. They were afraid I had graves for a while too though.

    Your story reminds me a lot of my own really…

    And I’m studying to be an Registered Dietitian :D it rocks!

    Reply
  31. Great motivational story! I’m curious if you could send me the link to “Tina’s post” that got you started on your journey!

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  32. I love your style of eating/cooking. What are you most conscious about? how many calories something has? how much protein? how much fat? where the ingredients come from?

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  33. Stumbled across your blog!! What an inspirational story, I wish you all the luck with your future goals. I will check back and read your progress :)

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  34. some of the health foods that i always eat are those gluten free foods*:”

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  35. healthy eating should be our top priority since there are many junk foods and foods with no nutritional value these days :;:

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  36. I want your freckles :) I’ve always adored the look of lots of freckles, so when I saw the name of your blog from a comment you left on another blog I clicked right away. I can’t wait to read more and thanks for sharing your story, Sami!

    Reply
  37. It sounds like you’ve had a tough road to get to where you are today, but you have an amazing attitude! Every challenge is an opportunity for growth, and it sounds like your interests, respect for your body, and your appreciation for life has grown so much! Congratulations!

    Reply
  38. Thank you for sharing your story!!! It is SO inspiring!

    I am in complete love with your blog, btw. ;)

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  39. Hi! I just found your blog on Hungry Hungry Hippie. It seems like we have SO much in common..I was a swimmer in college and am hypothyroid so I take medicine every 24 hrs. Seems like we eat a lot of the same foods too. Cant wait to read more! :)

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  40. SAmi! i awarded you in my last post.. wasn’t sure where to tell you this.. so the about me page it is!

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  41. Been enjoying your site for a while now. Keep up the good work. Have you ever participated in a blog hop before? I’d love it if you took at look at our next one coming up Jan 21. It’s a great way to link up!
    :)

    Thanks,

    Sarah
    Editor
    RecipeLion.com
    http://blog.recipelion.com/

    Reply
  42. Hey girl! Just stumbled upon your blog through HLB. Just moved to PA this summer (Lancaster) and really want to meet more people! So nice to meet you – love your blog!

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  43. I very lucky to find this website on bing, just what I was searching for : D too saved to fav.

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  44. You are just too cute. I needed you to know that ;)

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  45. You should take part in a contest for one of the best blogs on the web. I’ll advocate this site!

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  46. Sami, thanks for your inspirational posts! Keep ‘em coming. :-) Check out more healthy foodie recipes and health info over at my blog if you need ideas or want to change your routine up a bit: http://www.superherohealthcare.com/blog.html

    Be well,

    Jamie

    Reply
  47. Wow quite a journey you have been through!
    I’m glad I found your blog, can’t wait to read more :)

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  48. Nice the Freckled Foodie!

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  49. Hi Sami! Nice to meet you! We’re blog swap buddies! I can’t seem to find your email address though. Could you please send me an email at kikididi@optonline.net so we get this swap going? I’m so excited!

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  50. Great blog , thanks for the post!

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  51. wow sam, you are really very talented! you will go places lol…very cool blog.. i love the food you make btw!

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  52. healthcraved

    wow! what an amazing story! I just found your blog and I’m looking forward to reading more! :)

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  53. WHat a story. I’m so glad you got through all of this and you still look great! By the way I love your blog :)

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  54. Hey! I couldn’t find your email address but I wanted to put FitFluential.com on your radar because I think you would be a good fit. Check out http://fitfluential.com for more info on who we are or feel free to email me if you have any questions!

    Reply
  55. Hi Sami,
    I’m a writer from The Daily Meal, and I was wondering if I could use your image of the Green Giant for an article about the disparities between food logos of bucolic settins and the places where these foods are actually produced. I would credit you in the photo caption.

    Thanks so much,
    Hannah Smith-Drelich

    Reply
  56. Hi! Found your blog on healthylivingblogs.com and thought I’d say hi! I love your positive attitude! I’m new to the blogging community and from PA as well.

    Reply
  57. I am dealing with hypothyroidism so your About Me is very relatable to me! I have literally almost all of the symptoms of it and yet none of my doctors figured it out for years of being miserable. I’m still not there yet but you are such an inspiration for a younger blogger still dealing with this stuff. Thank you so much! By the way, I love your blog :D

    Reply
  58. I’m sorry to hear about your story, you are so beautiful

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  59. Wow, sorry to hear about what happened, but glad to see you have everything taken care of! Did you go back to Georgian Court to play again? Just found your blog today and can’t wait to keep reading!

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  60. I just found your blog! We have similar stories and even you working in HR (I’m in HR too) and I’m proudly freckled as well.

    I was always super skinny, active and and could eat anything I wanted, got the same symptoms as you after high school and at 20 years old I was diagnose with Grave’s. I took the radioactive route and it worked. However, I gained 35 lbs. in a matter of 2 months! I lost all the extra weight over time but it was quite traumatizing! Because I don’t have a functioning thyroid gland, I have to be mindful about what I eat.

    Love your blog, best wishes to you :)

    Reply
  61. hi sami! i have had hypothyroidism since 1999 and i am a guy. i knew something was wrong cuz i was eating and exercising the same as always but i kept gaining weight every time i stepped on the scale at my gym. i use a lot of the Food Science (aka mountain naturals of vermont) supplements and to me they are the best quality by far and they are made in America! i’ve been into diet and nutrition ever since i read a book called “therapeutic fasting” way back in the 70s. have you tried different thyroid types such as Armour brand or Nature Throid? i am prescribed a generic thyroxine made by king pharma but sometimes i opt to take Synthroid although it costs me much more. congrads on a great blog.

    Reply
  62. Bianca Unsworth

    Hi Sami

    Just came across your blog. I was searching for ‘oatcakes’, and your blog was one of the first results to come up, so that’s how I found it hehe.

    I am about the same age as you, and I also went through a thyroid ordeal – except that I had the radioiodine treatment. But I went through the same weight see-saw, and it really was traumatic. And I also became preoccupied with food as a result – though not in quite the same positive way that you have.

    Anyway, I love your blog and best of luck

    Bianca

    Reply

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