A Valentine’s Day smoothie for you!


Most of my smoothies are sickly sweet (because of the fruit) but this one has BEETS in it.  Not too sweet, not too vegetabley.  Just right.


In the blender:


1 cup soy milk (vanilla)

3/4 cup frozen raspberries

2 large steamed beets, chilled

2 scoops protein powder 


‘Twas a good one!


Love Shouldn’t Hurt


So, of course, everyone gets swept up in the ‘romantic love’ part of Valentine’s Day.  But to me, the holiday has always been about more – love for my family, love for my pets, love for my friends, and – most importantly – love for myself.   I wanted to take an opportunity to remind everyone reading this that they deserve to be respected and loved by everyone in their lives – especially romantic partners.  Here’s a guest post from my friend, Angela, about some very serious issues for women (and men, too) – domestic violence, abuse, and stalking


Angela says:


Today is Valentine’s Day—a day to celebrate love and relationships. Yet, on this day, I find myself disturbed by messages that equate romance with stalking—a pattern of behavior that is serious, dangerous, and a crime everywhere in the United States.

papyrus stalker valentine card

Recently, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study found that 6.6 million people are stalked in a 12-month period and that 1 in 6 women and 1 in 19 men are stalked at some point in their lifetime. For both female and male stalking victims, the stalker was most often someone they knew or with whom they had a relationship. Stalking can be dangerous and even lethal. In one key study, 76 percent of female victims of intimate partner homicide had been stalked before they were killed. The connections between stalking and violence are clear when looking at these statistics.


The connection became clear to me in January 2007 when my lifelong friend was murdered by her stalker. Jodi Sanderholm was valedictorian of her high school class, a member of the National Honor Society, member of her dance team and apparently a stalking victim. She never dated her stalker yet court records indicate that his obsession with her reached back a decade.

197443_1003086155818_1184760086_30013978_6089_n (1)

Many people fail to see the seriousness of the crime of stalking. Although jokes about murder or robbery are rare in our society, jokes about stalking are common. People joke about stalking celebrities they like or friends whom they often see or follow on Facebook. And films, advertising, and popular culture often trivialize the crime. Recently, Papyrus Recycled Paper Greetings produced a Valentine’s Day card that was sold in stores including Target and Wegmans. The card’s message— “Stalker is a harsh word. I prefer Valentine” — conflates stalking with love and minimizes the severe impact of the crime. And the sale of this type of product is not an isolated incident. One merely needs to conduct an online search for “stalking T-shirts” or “stalking cards” to find countless examples of such messages.


The minimization of stalking poses one the greatest challenges to effective community responses to this crime. Those charged with responding to victims and holding offenders accountable often minimize the seriousness of stalkers’ behavior and the risk posed by stalking, particularly when stalkers pursue their victims through technology. And victims often tell themselves they are overreacting, which then prevents them from reporting the crime. Being surrounded by cues that minimize stalking may keep victims from seeking help.


Valentine’s Day takes place during National Teen Dating Violence and Awareness Prevention Month and just two weeks after the end of National Stalking Awareness Month. Each of these months provides a prime opportunity to learn more about the realities of abusive and stalking behaviors, to deconstruct social messages about romance and love, and to promote appropriate and healthy relationships.  Jodi’s Voice is dedicated to increasing awareness surrounding the crime of stalking and assisting stalking victims. Currently, we are working to secure funding for a documentary highlighting Jodi’s story. You can read more about personal experiences with stalking at www.jodisvoice.org.   For more information on stalking visit the Stalking Resource Center at www.ncvc.org/src. For more information on National Teen Dating Violence and Awareness Prevention Month visit www.teendvmonth.org.



  • Krystina February 14, 2012, 3:42 pm

    While I understand that this post has a great message, do you really think Valentine’s Day is the best day to post this message? Today is meant to be full of love, lightheartedness and happiness. Who wants to read about stalking, violence and murder on Valentine’s Day? A post of this nature just feels inappropriate on this holiday. Just my opinion, though.

    • Brita February 14, 2012, 3:50 pm

      I hear what you’re saying, but I just can’t help thinking how alone and crazy I’d feel on Valentine’s Day if everyone else was waiting excitedly for an anonymous card and I was terrified that my stalker would show up somewhere to surprise me, on a day where most people would give him a pass for being “romantic.” I think awareness is good, no matter what day of the year it is.
      That being said, Meals and Miles has a really cute Valentine’s Day post up today, if you’re looking for one 🙂

    • Laura February 14, 2012, 3:52 pm

      I feel it will always be uncomfortable to talk about these topics. There isn’t a right day or time or place. This is happening to women right now and we need to remember it.

      • Caitlin February 14, 2012, 3:54 pm

        While I understand what Krystina is saying, I have to say I agree with this sentiment, Laura.

        Thanks to you all for commenting + reading!

      • Krystina February 14, 2012, 4:02 pm

        There is never a right time, per se, but there are definitely more appropriate times to discuss things of this nature than a holiday centered around romance and love.

        I think these things should be talked about and acted upon to evoke change, but I just don’t think this is the best time for it.

      • Angela February 15, 2012, 2:03 pm

        I can appreciate the thought of not discussing this on Valentine’s Day. However, I receive more calls from victims on Valentine’s Day than I do any other day. The fact is that this is out there happening every day and while stalking is not limited to just people who have dated in the past Valentine’s Day is a trigger for those who did.

  • Brita February 14, 2012, 3:42 pm

    Just a heads up – the first link here “Jodi Sanderholm was valedictorian… ” is broken.

    • Caitlin February 14, 2012, 3:46 pm

      Thanks – fixed!

    • Shannon February 14, 2012, 3:51 pm


      Thanks for addressing this really serious topic. It’s important that women (and men) are aware that stalking is not ok. Way to use your social influence to do good!


  • Becca @ Blueberry Smiles February 14, 2012, 3:47 pm

    I never thought to add beets to my smoothies….interesting idea. Can you taste the beets or is their flavor neutral?

    • Caitlin February 14, 2012, 3:48 pm

      Yeah, it was pretty beety! 🙂 But I like beets.

  • Laura February 14, 2012, 3:51 pm

    I read a story about a judge in Florida sentencing a man to taking his wife on a date after he was arrested for domestic violence. I hurts me to my core that people still think that way.

  • Sarah February 14, 2012, 4:17 pm

    When I was taking my Concealed Carry courses (that’s a class you take to learn the rules and guidelines for carrying a concealed handgun) they talked a lot about stalking.

    Since the laws do not protect women in those situations, many feel the need to take things into their own hands. I think this can be a good step for those willing and able to train properly, but it certainly should not be the only option!

    I’ve made stalker jokes before but now I’ll think of it in a different light. It should be taken more seriously if things are going to change.

    • Caitlin February 14, 2012, 4:19 pm

      Agree with you re: jokes. I used to make a lot of stalking jokes and now I realize it’s really not cool.

  • Poptartyogini February 14, 2012, 4:37 pm

    An excellent reminder. I’ve never thought of making a stalker joke as potentially hurtful but it isn’t funny and it isn’t cool. Thanks for making me think and for bringing light to an often glossed over topic.

  • Emilie February 14, 2012, 4:49 pm

    Very interesting post. I couldn’t imagine how horrible it would be to experience that.

    On another note, Happy Valentines Day!

  • Julia February 14, 2012, 4:50 pm

    Hmm. I have some conflicting thoughts on this.

    See, my very sweet, loving boyfriend actually gave me that exact card for Valentine’s Day this year, and we both found it funny. I 100% took it as a joke since we have an extremely healthy relationship and are pretty head-over-heels for one another after dating for almost a year.

    For context, I had an ex-boyfriend who exhibited a great deal of stalking behavior after we broke up. I had to eventually get a restraining order, and a lot of it involved technology–unwanted emails, repeated texts, etc. I’ve definitely been that girl who thought she was overreacting to what was actually abusive, controlling unhealthy behavior. It took me a long time to realize this. I am well aware that stalking is serious business and requires awareness.

    So, I suppose I’m torn on the “this card is wrong” issue. Receiving a card like that, despite my own background, didn’t make me uncomfortable. I really did find it funny, on the basis of irony. It doesn’t desensitize me to the problem and seriousness of stalking/stalkers, because I’ve experienced a small piece of the reality of that stuff. And I don’t think Valentine’s Day specifically impacts unhealthy relationships–I wasn’t showered with love and affection on February 14 while I was in my own unhealthy relationship. But I’m incredibly aware that my reaction is rooted in my own experience, and I don’t think stalking should be taken lightly.

    Definitely curious to read more comments related to this post!

    • Caitlin February 15, 2012, 9:17 am

      I guess I don’t think the card itself is as wrong as our way too relaxed attitude about stalking in general – we treat it like it’s not serious but it could be such a big deal! I’m sorry you went through that with your ex. 🙁

  • Shae February 14, 2012, 5:23 pm

    Thanks for raising awareness. I feel like when you say you are being stalked people just think you are exaggerating or being silly. I was stalked ~2 years ago by a random person. My mom was seriously stalked by a man (stranger) when she was my age, and it was really difficult for her to get the police to do anything because of the ways the laws are written. She actually had to let the man touch her so he’d get arrested.

    • Caitlin February 15, 2012, 9:18 am

      I am so sorry you AND your mom went through that.

    • Angela February 15, 2012, 2:08 pm


      If you would like to share your experience with stalking please email me at mystory at jodisvoice dot org. We are working to get more individuals to share their stories so more people can understand the crime.

      I’m it glad it sounds like you and your mom are safe now!


  • RunEatRepeat February 14, 2012, 5:30 pm

    I posted about VDay today, to bring awareness to all the violence against woman. One woman hurt is too many.

  • Alexa @ Simple Eats February 14, 2012, 5:33 pm

    That’s such a horrible story. I’m thinking of all of those who hurt in the same way and her family, who I’m sure are thinking about her.

  • Katharine February 14, 2012, 5:38 pm

    That smoothie looks delicious! Great point on cards and things that trivialize dating violence/stalking, it’s way too common if you ask me. If you haven’t seen it already, here’s a great article about Chris Brown and his recent performance at the Grammy’s…really interesting read!


    • Caitlin February 15, 2012, 9:18 am

      Ugh Chris Brown makes me sick.

    • Angela February 15, 2012, 2:09 pm

      The women who tweeted that Chris Brown “can beat them any day” were sad too!

  • Liza February 14, 2012, 5:46 pm

    Thank you for this post. I was stalked in college by a guy who I had previously worked with. It started off pretty innocent and my friends and I would just kind of laugh off the fact that he tended to show up at the same places we were. It got worse and worse and eventually I got a restraining order against him. It was a horrible experience. After a year of this I ended up transferring schools and changing my name. It has also held me back from starting my own blog, which is something I would love to do but cannot imagine putting my life out there for him to find.

    • Caitlin February 15, 2012, 9:18 am

      🙁 That is nuts. Thank god for restraining orders.

  • Alex @ Raw Recovery February 14, 2012, 6:25 pm

    This is a really moving post. Domestic violence issues are definitely discussed more than stalking is, but both need to be talked about more. I’m sorry for Angela’s loss and others impacted by Jodi’s death. That is such a tragic story but I hope that by bringing more awareness to the issue that her memory will live on.

    • Angela February 15, 2012, 2:10 pm

      Thanks Alex! We are definitely working on it! Her memory is saving others!

  • Nina February 14, 2012, 6:31 pm

    Good post, what a tragic story.

    As a side note, and not to start some big flamey war… but you’ve mentioned being a big Twilight fan in the past. What are your views on Edward’s behavior then? I helped my sister with a paper on it recently, so it’s fresh in my mind. Barring the supernatural aspect of the (fictional) books, he admits to having to control his urge to kill and whilst watching her sleep and following her several times.

    Just curious, since the joke card was brought up as not okay, is fictional stalking different?

    • Caitlin February 15, 2012, 9:20 am

      GREAT COMMENT! I’ve talked about this before in the comments section… Edward and Bella have such an unhealthy relationship. I def wouldn’t want my teenage daughter reading the books and thinking that’s how relationships should be at all! Bella is a pretty weak female lead anyway – she’s always the passive player, until the very end.

  • CJ @ http://healthy-happy-whole.com February 14, 2012, 6:36 pm

    Oh my goodness this is such a tragic story, but at the same time i am so glad you posted it because it is a topic not discussed near enough.
    working in a high school i see a variety of different relationships and another thing that breaks my heart is verbal and emotional abuse.
    All these things happen way too often and it is my hope that through programs like girls on the run and other self esteem builders for both girls and boys, this kind of thing will lessen with time.
    thanks for always bringing up such significant discussions!

  • StoriesAndSweetPotatoes February 14, 2012, 6:42 pm

    Can you taste the beets in here? I really want to make something with beets but I’m not a huge fan of them.
    Love should not hurt in any way. Thank you for writing about something important today.

    • Caitlin February 15, 2012, 9:20 am

      Its a bit beety.

  • Jamie @ Don't Forget the Cinnamon February 14, 2012, 6:58 pm

    Wow I really hadn’t thought before about how casually the term “stalking” is used! Definitely something to be more aware of!

    • Angela February 15, 2012, 2:11 pm

      Very casually! I think we are normalizing the behavior as a society.

  • Nina February 14, 2012, 7:22 pm

    Great post bringing awareness to stalking! I was excited to read a post about domestic violence awareness (did you know purple is the color of DV awareness?), but I don’t think this post quite covers domestic violence. I was hoping to clarify a few things, if I may.

    At least in the jurisdiction I worked in, DV protection laws apply to victims who were in a “dating” relationship with their abuser, whether that meant co-habitation, repeated sexual contact, marriage, or dating in terms of seeing each other and having a romantic relationship (even if there was no co-habitation). Those protection laws do NOT apply to the story your guest poster told, where there is no dating relationship.

    It is imperative that victims of domestic violence understand their rights, whether they are wives, husbands, boyfriends, girlfriends, or exes. Beyond the more obvious physical abuse, instances of harassment, sexual abuse, financial abuse, mental and emotional abuse, and stalking MUST be reported. Even if the “only” thing that happens is a paper trail, the victim is beginning the process.

    Victims should be encouraged to file reports with their local law enforcement agencies. They can also visit their local Family Justice Center, or their local court house for help filing for a temporary restraining order. Often these services are FREE and provide guidance for the victim as they begin the process of ending/exiting the abusive relationship.

    Again, a good an important post, but not necessarily one that touched on domestic violence. I hope this other info helps your readers!

    • Caitlin February 15, 2012, 9:21 am

      Thanks for sharing this information!

    • Angela February 15, 2012, 2:33 pm

      Yes, stalking laws everywhere need to be updated to include non-partner stalking. Thanks for the information!

  • stefanie February 14, 2012, 7:50 pm

    BEST VALENTINE’S POST EVER. Thank you for bringing in the real talk.

  • Julia Steele February 14, 2012, 8:41 pm

    Thank you for speaking out on one of the unspoken horrors that thousands of people are dealing with right this very minute.

  • Stellina @ My Yogurt Addiction February 14, 2012, 10:32 pm

    Scary! I am paranoid about stalkers. It’s hard to prevent them, what can one do???

    • Angela February 15, 2012, 2:35 pm

      Being aware is key like it is with anything else. Realizing the amount of information you are putting online. Unfortunately, it cannot really be avoided as much as it can be dealt with when it happens. Not a great answer I know!

  • Tia @ Veggies and Pearls February 15, 2012, 12:51 am

    Oh my gosh! When I read this post my heart dropped! Jodi Sanderholm was from my hometown (smalltown KS)! I remember when she went missing and the ongoing manhunt and then the horrible day when they found her car sunk in the lake! Some of my best friends even danced with her, everyone where I from know who she is and her story. It is so, so, so awful and I cannot stress the importance of always being aware of your surroundings and checking the backseat of your car before you get in!

  • Emily February 15, 2012, 8:34 am

    Wow, thanks for all of that information. It is so scary!

    Can you give me a quick lesson on steaming beets? I think that would be great to try myself to sneak in extra veggies!

    • Caitlin February 15, 2012, 9:22 am

      I bought pre-steamed ones from Trader Joe’s. 🙁

  • Sara February 15, 2012, 10:47 am

    Book recommendation: The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker. I believe his company handles security for a number of celebrities, and he goes over warning signs potential attackers display, as well as how to handle being stalked. You can probably get it at the library and it’s a quick, interesting read.

    • Nikky February 15, 2012, 11:12 am

      I had a wonderfully quirky and very wise former co-worker suggest this book once and meant to look into it. I’m glad you brought it up again! I have 5 younger sisters too (one who already has some very bad dating habits that have already resulted in some dangerous situations for the whole family), I think it’d be worth a read for all of them.

    • Ashley February 15, 2012, 12:18 pm

      I was JUST going to recommend this book, Sara.

      All women reading this blog: BUY THIS BOOK (or check it out from your library, borrow it from a friend, etc). You think you don’t need it, BUT YOU DO.

      A lot of the advice offered online (no offense, Caitlin), is usually riddled with fallacies and just sheer wishful-thinking. Gavin De Becker knows what he is talking about and all of the information and remedies he discusses/suggests is surprising and bucks conventional wisdom.

      A family friend personally used his firm’s services when she had to protect herself from a sociopathic sibling. She was at her wits end, and I suggested de Becker’s firm. Today her life is back on track because of his firm’s excellent services.

      As the back cover of the book says, “this book could save your life.” Please, read it.

    • Angela February 15, 2012, 2:35 pm

      It is a great book! Thanks for bringing it up!

  • Reenie February 15, 2012, 11:48 am

    I’m from Wichita, KS and followed Jodi’s story….tragic 🙁

    • Angela February 15, 2012, 2:36 pm

      Yes, it was. Hopefully we will be back there filming the documentary soon.

  • Amber K February 15, 2012, 1:48 pm

    I think this is a perfect time to discuss this. People are already thinking about love and most people don’t take the time to think about when love has gone too far. If just one woman was helped by reading this, realizing that she has been brushing off something and spreads awareness, it was all worth it.

  • Angela February 15, 2012, 2:37 pm

    Thank you all for your kind words and support! Understanding this crime is key to helping those suffering through it every day.

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