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Lifestyle | KBeauty | Living with Multiple Sclerosis | Cancer Survivor | Beauty Blogger | My mind takes me to many places! Come along for the ride.

Twitter: @koreansoul77
Instagram: halfkoreangirl25

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Things I Consider Physical Therapy or Justifying My Toys

I'm coming to the end of my cancer treatment and it's been a long road since being hospitalized in June. The muscles in my legs are gone (not missing just small) and my stamina is crap since I've been so inactive. I am now trying to do things about that like walking when I can.

I have decided that two things I currently want to play er I mean work on are my hand dexterity and fine motor skills. The big muscles like legs will slowly comeback with more cardio and eights, but the fine motor skills are different.

I have found a way to do this! I have a long road a head of me and after thinking about it I have decided that I will do this by using these proven methods.


I will also use Taylor Guitars!

Listen, if Romney's wife can use million dollar horses I can use Legos and lovely Taylor Guitars (I just got a Koa wood one LOVE IT). I'm also going use them as a tax write off! What?! 

How Would I Deal With Cancer?

I think that's a question people ask themselves when they see a celebrity on TV diagnosed with cancer. Maybe the thought crosses their mind when they hear of a friend or family member's diagnosis. I don't think I ever thought about how I would deal with cancer. I know I wasn't prepared when I heard that I had Leukemia. They told me in the hospital pretty non-nonchalantly that I had it as they were taking my blood for more tests.

I find that dealing with cancer is just what it is. Things change, a lot and not as much as you would think, you go to appointments you have chemo, and you just go on. What else is there to say? It sucks, it blows, there is good and bad, but it's just living. I don't know what will happen when my treatments are over. That isn't until February.  I wonder if it will be different after it's done? I guess only time will tell, and I've been told my feelings are normal that it doesn't hit people until all the treatments are done and things calm down a bit.

I'll tell you how I deal with cancer when I know. 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Mutual of Omaha is the Spawn of Satan

Ok, I have to express my hate (yes I said hate) of Mutual of Omaha. I had short and long term disability through my employer. The company is Mutual of Omaha. I have been out of work since January and I have been fighting with them for 8 months. Yes 8 months. I have Cancer and I wonder to myself - If cancer does not qualify me for disability I'm not sure what would qualify me. Dismemberment? Coma?

The person handling my case even asked me to prove I had cancer BEFORE I was diagnosed with cancer. Really? Is that really something you JUST said to me? OH WAIT duh I forgot I was diagnosed months ago! I forgot to tell you.

You caught me Mutual of Omaha. I'm just a lazy leach trying to feed off your insurance company. I've done this by somehow giving myself Leukemia, almost bleeding to death, and now having needles shoved into my eyeballs for fun. Who needs to be able to go outside and see the sun and interact with other humans. Not me!

Also, I got myself this cool new thing called a catheter that goes into my heart so they can poison me easier. Woo hoo you're right this is SO MUCH BETTER then using my MASTERS degree to work for a living. I mean ya know IV chemo and chemo pills that are slowly stealing my vision is SO MUCH BETTER then working.

Ya know...working? My career that I spent six years growing? Ya know that one that has been on hold since January? Yes, being so broke that I can't think of anything BUT money is so much better then working at a job I loved with the skills I have been building for six years with my Masters Degree that I went through years of school for.

Yep, that's me trying to defraud you Mutual of Omaha with my silly cancer problems.

Never do business with these people. 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Things not to say to people with MS, people with cancer, or just people in general

Yes, it's me - alive and fighting my leukemia. I am legally blind at the moment because of low platelets (these cool things that make your blood clot) and retinal hemorrhaging (cause eyes don't like to bleed). So I haven't blogged in awhile. Things are a tiny bit better and I have the screen magnified and I felt like blogging.

I'll get more into the craziness of what's going on but for now here is my list.

  1. "You don't look sick." Well you don't look stupid - yet here we are. No, you're right I'm lying about being sick and not working because it's fun
  2. "Chemo doesn't work for cancer. The only thing that works is..." which is followed by ionized water or a vegan diet or something else their mothers sisters friend heard of once. Just stop and be quiet. 
  3. "It must be nice to be able to sleep all day" Hows this. You get my cancer and then I get to work and not sleep all day. 
  4. "I know just how you..." Just stop. No you don't know how I feel. Unless you have MS or Cancer or something similar you have no idea. Don't say it. 
  5. I wont talk about anything else but your cancer every time I see you. Please, change the subject. We like talking about other things. 
Now I'm tired so I'm done with my list (smile). 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

This Dragon is Bullshit

Here I am hanging out at the hospital (I'll explain that in a minute) and I've decided that the ride I'm on is bullshit. So, I've been sick lately for months actually, and I chalked it all up to MS. Fatigue, dizzy, nausea, and feeling weak are par for the course with MS and while this was much worse I just thought it was stress.

On June 2 I'm watching Game of Thrones just chillin out (I wont spoil it for people who have not seen it) and I felt like I had something in my throat so I coughed. Well look at that... blood. Now the week before I had taken aspirin for a fever and I'm pretty sensitive to aspirin so I though OK I got a bloody nose. A few minutes after that I happened again, huh. Still thinking it was a bloody nose I ignored it thinking it would go away. Then it happened a third time, this time I blew my nose to see if I could get blood to come out of my nose. No such luck. I freaked out and decided I was going to the ER.

Now, I almost didn't go to the ER I thought it was fine and that it was just the aspirin but something told me to go. I will spare you the long story of the ER and getting moved to a second hospital but after running blood tests I had a platelet count of 10 and a White Blood Count of 1.1. I was transferred to MD Anderson with suspected aplastic anemia.

I get to this new hospital and I don't have aplastic anemia. I have Leukemia. Yep, I said it Leukemia.

This is a bunch of bullshit. Yes I said it bullshit! How the fuck did THAT happen? I'm on this crazy ride of life but this ride is starting to piss me off. I know worse things can happen and I know life isn't supposed to be easy but holy shit.

I've been in the hospital since June 2nd and I'll be here for a few more weeks. My numbers have to come up before they'll let me go home but on the positive side I have a "good" leukemia APML and it's very treatable. So, I'm doing my chemo like a good girl (did you know they use arsenic ) and sitting in my hospital bed.

I love my life but I would like to get off this particular ride.  How about a lazy river ride?  

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Winter Garden Harvest Festival

I had a great time at the Winter Garden Harvest Festival this year! It was a little drizzly at first but I stuck it out and I'm so glad I did. I met some awesome people and a group of Central Florida Food bloggers.

The first person I met form this group was Katie Jasiewicz she is the blogger behind KatiesCucina.com. She welcomed me with open arms an was so friendly! Today was a national food bloggers bake sale (this was amazing to me), with all of the proceeds going to fight childhood hunger in the US. I was so excited that I bought yummy treats from everyone there. 

Here is a list of those I met! If I missed anyone I apologize in advance! 

Julie Tran Deily from thelittlekitchen.com
Wanda Lopez from mysweetzepol.com
Julia Montgomery Stewart from livepretty.com
Marilyn Torres from forkful.net
Robin Wilson from simplysouthernbaking.com
Suzanne from kokocooks.com  (who I'm sending a bulgogi recipe to!) 

All of these blogs are worth the read as well a a group of amazing ladies! 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

My Dog is a Stalker

I have a very cute dog named Kobe.

This is Kobe (on the left) and his brother Ben (on the right).

They're both boxers and really great dogs. However, I notice lately that Kobe has become a stalker. Yes, a stalker. I saw some signs, where he would sit and stare at me but he was just sitting in the middle of the living room, out in the open, nothing odd about that. 

Then slowly I noticed that I'd be speaking to my mother or on the phone and he would be just around the corner of a doorway. I usually noticed this because I would trip over him. I noticed his doorway sneaking more because it became hiding just behind the corner or doorway and having one eye out to stare at me. As soon as he noticed me he'd either back up so I couldn't see him or run to me very puppy like. 

Now I notice that he does it a lot, behind doorways, the kitchen counter, the kitchen island, planter boxes beds, the sofa... The sofa is the weirdest one where you just see his eyes and the top of his head. Then when he sees you he slowly lowers his head. 

I'm not sure what he's looking at or why but I'm going to say it's some kind of silly dog game, and not a plan to take my life. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Annette Funicello - I'm Gonna Have to ask People to Stop

This weeks mark the passing of Annette Funicello. She was a great entertainer and someone who suffered from Multiple Sclerosis. She was 70 when she passed and had been in a coma for years because of her MS before her passing. I feel sad for her family and wish them the best in this time of mourning. She will be missed by those who loved her movies, her days in the Mickey Mouse Club, and fans the world over. 

Now, here is what I need to say. People, please stop asking me about Funicello, I don't know any more then  you and while I appreciate that you want to talk to me for an hour about her, I don't. I would also ask that you don't start crying and saying you're sorry that this is going to be how I die. No one said that, you're being very dramatic, and you're creeping me out. I don't plan on going into a coma anytime soon and if it happens in the future I'd rather not spend the next 50 years thinking about it. 

To be honest I'm not even sure what type of MS Annette had and that makes a huge difference in what will happen to us as we age. MS is so different for everyone that it's impossible to say what will happen - just like life. Perhaps this death will bring the spotlight to MS - I don't believe it will - but if it does thank you Annette. Until then, we will keep waiting for a cure and living our lives, not obsessing on our death. 

Friday, April 5, 2013

Huston We Have Seedlings!

Well I planted some seeds into peat pots earlier this week. Here they are.

I ordered these seeds from Burpee online and I was a bit leery of doing so. If they didn't germinate what was I going to do? I didn't have to worry because today this is what I saw! 

These are Kale. They are also fuzzy. I had no idea Kale seedlings were fuzzy (laugh). OK  yes, I'm a dork don't judge! 

These are my regular radishes. It looks as if every seed I put in here germinated! I will be transferring them very soon into their own pots so they all have a good start. 

These guys are my Watermelon Radishes. They're heirloom seeds and I am very excited to see them growing! 

Overall and amazing start with these seeds! It only took four days to germinate these specific plants I am amazed and ecstatic. I want to see if tomorrow I have a surprise in the other pots (smile). 

MS Annoyances or ARGH MY ARM

My arm hurts and it's annoying me today. I know it's from a muscle spams and I'm doing some stretching exercises to work out the kinks. To be honest I do these stretches all the time. It helps keep my spasms at bay which keeps me out of pain. For those that didn't know, at the end of January I had a MS meltdown and my right arm was in so much pain I couldn't move it. It's better now but it still decides that it needs to remind me of the invisible knife it can stab into my rotator cuff.

This is a rotator cuff. My shoulder likes to stab my subscapularis (big word) as if it were a home invader. This pain radiates into my bicep and everything else in my upper arm/shoulder.

As you could probably guess this means my ability to do things like type, drive a car, and just to move is severely inhibited. My spasms seem to be pretty isolated to my shoulders and feet. To be honest, maybe I just notice them because my shoulders and feet are the places that hurt. Maybe I am just spasm ridden!

When my muscles bug my shoulders I just want someone to do this to me. It looks painful but honestly it's not. My Physical Therapist touched my shoulders once and goes "DO YOU FEEL THAT?" I said "Uh huh" it was a lump - I thought it was just my muscle well I was partially right. "That is a LUMP you're not supposed to have that!". My muscle was knotted up into a tight ball. Previously I muscle knots were just a term for a tight muscle but boy I was wrong!

So today I have made an appointment to see my massage therapist and I am going to keep on stretching. Such is the life of the MS person. At least I get massages out of it (smile). 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

He's a Pepper She's a Pepper

I have grown lots of things in gardens as a child. Tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplants, an okra. A slew of other things thing that we don't need to list here. I however have never grown bell peppers. I didn't even know what or where the peppers were going to come from. Until I googled it that is (yay for google). I am proud to announce that my bell pepper plant has sprouted a flower! 

Making it's first appearance on my blog. This is flower the future of bell peppers! I am so excited I could shit a kitten. Which probably speaks to my mental health but ya know everyone has to be excited about something. 

My tomato plants are also doing famously well! This is a mass of flowers on my Roma...I think. I'm beginning to suspect that the seeds were mislabeled. We will see however as soon as the fruits start to grow (smile).

My third planter box will be built in the near future. I'm trying to find some reclaimed wood but I think I'm going to strike out. That means I will buy more lumber soon. I'm not in a rush for the new box because I need to get my seedlings to grow. I only intended to grow two beds but I've got the bug. So here are the next generation of plants happily germinating in my kitchen. 

The gardening has been fun and has an added benefit of being therapeutic for me. When I an out there working with my plants nothing enters my mind. It's working as an active meditation, reducing my stress levels. This helps my MS of course and it seems like some of my massive symptoms are slowly subsiding. At least it seems my leg is not as weak as it was. 

To end this blog - Kobe

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Foot + Plate = Pain

I wanted to make myself a snack and I decided some sliced tomatoes with some salt would be perfect. Happily I get my last tomato thinking about how delicious it's going to be. So here I am innocently cutting my tomato when the plate tried to commit suicide (or I had the plate to close to the edge of the counter)  and jumped off the counter. It didn't smash on the floor, thank goodness, but edge of the plate fell perfect on the top of my foot. It hurt like crazy but what I was most upset about was the loss of my tomato (sad face). It was my last one and now I had no snack.

Well, my foot hurt a bit but it went away pretty fast. I figure eh it's fine. Well today when I was going to go for my morning jaunt with the puppies my foot was bothering me. I look and BAM huge bruise and painful to the touch. So, my mother is jaunting with the dogs and I have an ice bag on my foot.

All of this and I still didn't get to eat my tomato (pout). 

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter and Paleo

Happy Easter!

I hope everyone is having a great easter (or are going to have one depending on when you read this). For those of you that are new to the Paleo diet and who are celebrating their first easter I thought I would give you a list of options for today instead of eating a chocolate bunny.

Deviled eggs - Good yummy stuff. You do need some paleo mayo and if you are feeling up to you can make this awesome recipe for Paleo Mayo by Nom Nom Paleo. Her website is great food porn as well if you haven't checked it out yet!

Ham - OH yeah. You can eat ham just don't get a glazed ham. Boiled Ham and Cabbage has always been a big thing in my house. Yes, I'm Half-Korean but I'm also (mostly) Half-Poor French Catholic on my my father's side of the family. Easy as this take a half a ham a head of cabbage and five carrots and a large onion. Rough chop the onion and the carrot and split the cabbage in half. Throw all of it in a pot and boil away.

If you're not a big fan of boiled ham, grab the same ingredients and put them in a roasting pan. Tada! These recipes aren't the most complicated but they're tasty and fast. I'm working on posting more recipes but I want to get the some good photos to go with them. Stay tuned for that.

Chocolate - Oh yes paleo peeps you can have chocolate! It just needs to be extra dark! It may be strong to those who are used to milk chocolate but trust me, the taste is rich and decedent. We have become so accustomed to sugary milk chocolate that we are missing out on the real chocolate.

The main thing today? Just enjoy yourself! Don't get too crazy and if you can't be paleo don't fret. Life is not that serious and tomorrow is another day.

Rock Me Like a Small Storm, Not a Hurricane of Drama

My life is interesting to say the least. I’ve had an insane amount of life altering things happen to me and my close friends in recent years. It’s really easy to say “Why me?” or to focus on the negative. I’ve been guilty of that reaction many times, especially when I’m very stressed out and feeling sick - Which is every time I’m extremely stressed out. What I’ve done recently to combat that is to not get involved in things that don’t impact my life. If I can’t control it I let it go.

I also find that some people make their own drama, look for drama, or have drama on speed dial. These people actively invite drama into their lives, for whatever reason makes sense to them. I try to limit my contact or dealing with this type of drama. If I have to decide if I have enough energy to take a shower or deal with made up stuff, shower wins EVERY time. 

My drama is a zombie stalker. It finds me and attacks me out of the blue. I kill it every time but since it’s a zombie it comes back. I try to limit that drama by shooting the stalker before it gets to me. It will still come back but at least I nipped it in the bud before it could hurt me too much. I bought a shiny new gun for that purpose. It has hello kitty on it and shoots skittles. It works quite well against zombies. 

I joke a lot and some people take offense. The thing is things are not that serious. If I say I don’t like that movie it’s not some kind of comment on your level of education which relates to your viewing habits, and since I dislike it, I am saying that I find you to be the dumbest person in the world. This is a very long dramatic walk down a winding road when all I meant was “I don’t like that movie”. I try to limit my contact with these people. In the past I would try to explain that no, I did not mean you were stupid. I realize now that this is something internal and I can’t do anything about it. 

The things that everyone goes through are all things I will support my friends through. These are small storms in a much bigger life. The hurricanes that you make up, “I can’t talk to Bob because I think Bob doesn’t like me because he took my seat at lunch the other day and I am SURE he’s the one that took my lunch out of the fridge. I’m not going to let him know I know but he knows, and because of that I think maybe he poisoned my cat that seemed a little lethargic the other night. Will you help me find his address?” drama, I refuse to deal with. 

Saturday, March 30, 2013

....And Then There Were Two (Planters).

Here are my lovely planters! I added the second one because one was not enough (big smile). I also transplanted the pepper plants to the second one and moved one of the cucumber plants. They were getting crowded and I decided to give them a better chance to get as big as possible I would move them around a bit. 

Here is a view of one cucumber plant and some of the tomatoes. The curly stuff that looks like grass? My mothers dumping of chive seeds. I moved them around as best I could considering the tangled mess they are. 

This is a future tomato that will fill my tummy with tomato goodness!

I am currently growing some new plants in house for transplant. Some heirloom cucumbers (lemon cucumbers), radishes (watermelon radishes), and tomatoes. As well as some kale and swish chard. I will post about them later this weekend. I will need a third planter for these new veggies and I'm trying to find a economical way to do that. Thinking that if someone has cedar or redwood they don't want I could use it. I am still looking and if I can't find anything before they're ready to plant then I'll just buy wood for a third. 

I am very happy with the results so far! My plants have doubled or tripled in size an my direct sow (put the seeds in the dirt) spinach is going strong. I think we'll have a great crop this year. I'll be able to share the bounty with people and I cannot wait. 

Friday, March 29, 2013

My Dirty Little Secret

I like to watch these silly paranormal reality shows. Ghost hunting, bigfoot, and all kinds of other silly things. Yeah yeah I know, don't judge me. I was watching this show called Stranded the other day. The premise of this show is that they pick people and lock them in a reportedly "Haunted" location.

With that one sentence you know the premise right? You understand that in this place, the one that you're going to be locked in for the next seven days, might be haunted right? This means, for those that may not understand, is that at times maybe something scary will happen. I'd also hazard a guess that the producers are looking to get some reactions and 'might' try to make scary stuff happen. (holding up hands) I'm sure your show would never do that I'm just talking about that other paranormal show (cough). We all get that we're not trying out for X Factor right? Good.

This particular episode featured a woman, her boyfriend, and their male friend.

Please recall that this is a haunted  house reality show.

OK, are we all on the same page? Good. So, these three people get locked in this "haunted house" on the show. One night they're going to go "investigate" except the girl is sitting on the sofa in the living room whining and fake crying. Like an angry 2 year old who hasn't had a nap, has parents that can't set good boundaries, and has had to much sugar.

"I'm scared" (points at the last sentence of the first paragraph). You have not signed up for Happy Time in Puppy Land. "No I don't want to investigate I heard a noise." at which point her boyfriend said "Well we're going to go look over here because we heard a growl." "Guuuuyyysssss Guyyyyssss Nooooo GuIIIIIIIISSSSS Don't leave me!" and then she said some other stuff but all I heard was this high pitched noise and my ears began to bleed.

I can't stand woman who act like total fools. If you don't want to see the ghost don't go on the show that locks you in a HAUNTED HOUSE for a week. This plays into the helpless female who needs a guy to rescue her male fantasy. How about you put your big girl panties on and walk into the dark room and YOU find out what that growl is? Maybe it's just an angry Koala that needs some eucalyptus. Just go, it might be freeing. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Rise My Minions RISE!

I am excited to report that my raised bed veggie garden has been planted! It has been a long time coming and it actually got down to 40 the other day. The veggies don't seem to care and because they don't I don't! Here it is!

What your seeing here are tomatoes (back and to the right), cucumbers (to the left), and bell peppers (Three varieties). The empty looking space actually has spinach directly sowed. Which means I put the seeds directly into the earth.

I am in love with my planter and with the help of some of my friends this is what I got! It's hand made and holds 16 cubic feet of dirt. FYI that's a lot of dirt and cow manure stinks. A lot and it's disconcerting when the bag is like FOR THE LOVE OF GOD WEAR GLOVES.

My mother decided she wanted to plant some chives and scallions. What this means is that my mother threw a bunch of seeds all over the planter (sigh). So I might have random seeds sprouting.
This is Kobe looking very confused. He and Ben were very unhappy when they were not allowed outside while this was being built. Also they wanted to know what all that banging was about.
This is my answer to organic bug deterrent  The netting seems to be doing it's job and I don't have to spray pesticides  That black thing is a shepherds hook with a hose. This moves daily because my mother wants to try to drive me crazy.

So far so good! I'm going to build a second planter in the next couple of weeks. I'll also be taking photos of my plants as they grow!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Day Four MS Awareness Week - The Fatigue Monster

Today I want to talk about Fatigue and MS (dramatic music plays). 

(putting aside the fear by sharing a funny Korean baby) 

This is me with my big head (not really) cause I'm Korean (that's real).

Everyone OK? Good. Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of MS. It's also (in my opinion) is one of the most debilitating. 80% of those diagnosed with MS will suffer from fatigue. We even have a a cool name for the type of fatigue we have it's called Lassitude (it has it's own name - how great right?). This type of fatigue is characterized by the following:

  • Generally occurs on a daily basis
  • May occur early in the morning, even after a restful night’s sleep
  • Tends to worsen as the day progresses
  • Tends to be aggravated by heat and humidity
  • Comes on easily and suddenly
  • Is generally more severe than normal fatigue
  • Is more likely to interfere with daily responsibilities

The other amazingly fun thing about MS fatigue is that they don't know what causes it. As you know, you can't effectively treat something when the cause is unknown, just like MS itself. Fatigue is my worst symptoms of MS. When I push myself to far, either at work or home, not sleeping enough, or horrible amounts of stress, my fatigue can get so bad I can't function. I fell asleep at a stop light once after a very stressful week at work. 

There are ways to combat fatigue - such as keeping cool, but fatigue can just come on and overwhelm you. I think I've said it before but it feels like someone has thrown a wet blanket on top of you. As quickly as it comes I've had it leave just as fast and it's one of the oddest feelings you can have. Exercise also helps with fatigue but I'll talk about exercise in another post.

There are also medications such as Provigil (a narcolepsy medication) and Ritalin (an ADHD medication). I personally use Provigil. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. As well, you should always get checked for other medical conditions that may cause fatigue. 

If you think you need help with your fatigue you should talk to your neurologist. Before I was diagnosed with MS I would get in my car, drive to the store, and then decide walking from my car to the store was to much trouble, and go home. I felt like a fat, lazy, slob and I was so embarrassed by this that I never told a soul. After diagnosis I spoke with someone who also had MS. I asked her about fatigue and shared the story I just shared with you. She laughed and told me that had happened to her many times. I started to cry. 

So, my suggestion is talk to someone else who has MS, talk to your Neuro, and don't be embarrassed  Now with exercise and managing my stress and time, and with the help of Provigil now and then. I always get out of the car when I go to the store, much to the horror of my bank account (smile). 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

MS Awareness and You

Today will be a brief post. I don't want to overwhelm people with to much information and talking about certain subjects requires that I post lengthy articles (not really but I'm long winded - smile). I thought today I would post some resources that are out there for those of us who have MS and for others that may want to help. 

I will have to say that the National Multiple Sclerosis Society is one of my go to sights. It has a lot of information and offers programs for people with MS. It also holds fundraisers. Yes, I know what you're thinking but in order to further research and awareness money is unfortunately a needed evil. 

The second is the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America. I'm not as familiar with their website. However they do offer cooling equipment program that helps with the cost of vests and other cooling devices. 

This link is for the cooling device program.

I will leave you with one last thing. This book Multiple Sclerosis for Dummies was the best thing I bought for myself when I was first diagnosed. They have updated it since then (this is the second edition) and it is worth its weight in gold. Click here to view it on Amazon MS for Dummies.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Day 2 - Bad Things or What Can Affect Our MS

Today I want to talk about external factors that can affect MS and then I'll discuss my own experiences with these lovely things that we have no control over (smile). A general note Fatigue, which I will talk about in a future post, is related and is exacerbated by all of the things I'm going to write about in this post. We'll get to that though, we have five more days (smile).

Let's talk about heat first. 

Heat usually affects those with MS. I say usually because I know some people don't have a problem with heat at all but they seem to be the exception. I don't want to exclude them though, so you never say the horrible world ALWAYS (smile).

When someone with MS gets over heated a multitude of things can happen. One of the scary things can be a pseudoflare. This word literally means fake flare. This is when old symptoms rear their ugly head. For me this unfortunately usually means my eyes. Which really is a pain if I'm at work trying to read something on a computer screen, or ya know drive. Now, when I say overheated most people think of extreme heat. This isn't the case. Research has shown that even a 1 degree change can affect people with MS.

The good thing is usually once you've cooled down your symptoms will go away. There are also other things you can do to stay cool. Having ice water around helps tremendously. I don't believe most thing of that. The ice water cools you down faster and it was a great tip from my physical therapist. You can also do the normal things. Try to plan ahead, go inside or to a cool area to cool off, or use a cooling vest. These are vests that carry ice packs. Really awesome little thing.

For those that don't know I run. That's me to the left. The sad thing? Yeah, that's probably what I look like. Living in Florida and having a problem with heat this presents a problem. So, this is what I do.

  • I wear really breathable light clothing. I also wear the least amount I can get away with legally (laugh). 
  • Stay close to home so I can jump in the shower and cool off instantly (I do this after a run no matter what)
  • Have ice water with me or put ice water along my running route
  • Plan my route if I get to hot I will stop at a local business like a book store, peruse the books, cool off, and then run again. 

Now lets talk about stress. 

Stress is bad that is all (smile). Actually, stress does the same thing heat does, psudoflares and all that loveliness. I personally have a recent example of stress messing someone with MS up. Myself.

Right now I am sick and on the order of my doctor at home not working. Why you ask? Stress. Now, I don't believe that stress normally does this to people with MS. I believe that overwhelming long term stress does and how you deal with stress. Personally I've had over six months of constant stress, job discrimination, changing jobs, layoffs, not to mention normal life stress and my body finally called a timeout. 

I wont bore you with the normal stress relief techniques that you can read about on hundreds of websites (and probably have). I will discuss my big stress reliever exercise. 

I am an advocate of people with MS exercising. Yes, yes (holding hand up) I do realize that not all of us function at the same level but everyone can exercise. Even raising your arms above your head can be considered exercise it just depends on your level and what you can do. 

This is my cork board. All of these races were completed after I was diagnosed with MS and these aren't all of them. 

This is a  link (CLICK HERE) to an article about my good friend Patrick Finney Not only does he have MS but he has run close to 80 marathons and has done ultra marathons and two marathons a day! Read about him he was in a wheel chair and weighed 300 lbs at one point. 

Don't let the stress or the heat keep you down. Everyone with MS can live a productive life and you can modify things to allow you do keep accomplishing what you want to accomplish. 

Monday, March 11, 2013

MS Awareness Week!

Yes ladies and gents it is that time of year again. It is MS awareness week (round of applause).  This week I am going to post information about MS every day. Today it will be very basic overview of what MS is. So if you've had MS for awhile you might be bored (smile). I hope that some of my information will be helpful to someone on the interwebs. 

MS is an autoimmune disorder. This means that our immune system gets angry at things it shouldn't. Usually a healthy immune system only attacks bad things like bacteria but for some reason our immune system gets confused and attacks parts of our nervous system. 

Myelin and nerve structure
The Myelin sheath covers the neurons within in each nerve bunch. Well for those of us who have MS our immune system decides that this sheath is the enemy! The sheath is like the insulation on an extension cord. When it's damaged the electricity can't get through or goes slower. Sometimes it stops all together which causes all of our symptoms. Since every neuron has this sheath you can see why MS can be different for everyone.

The resulting damage is called a lesion. These lesions will show up on MRIs. When damage has occurred it can do a few things, get better, stay the same, or just die off. When it dies off it's called a black hole. Look at this MRI for an example. 

I have black holes personally and it doesn't stop me from functioning. It all depends on where the lesions and black holes appear. Placement is very important. For example if they develop in an area such as the spine it can effect your mobility. I also have spinal lesions and I have no problems with mobility. I am going to have to attribute that to exercise. Maybe that's not what is keeping me mobile but I'll take it! As well 70% of people with MS will never need a wheelchair. So, that image of us wheelchair bound and just accepting our fate is not true. 

I will talk more about MS as the week progresses and I hope it's informative and helpful. At the very least I want to dispel some of the myths that surround MS, like the fact that we will all lose the ability to walk. 

Monday Bloody Monday

Does anyone else know that U2 song (they say Sunday)? If not then people may think I've lost my mind and have taken to singing about bloody days of the week (not my intention).

My veggie garden was put on hold because Florida decided to have a slight fall and it got into the 30s. Not a huge deal but I'd rather not kill my tomato plants. Tomorrow is supposed to be nice and after I check the weather I will see if it's safe to get the bed going. I will then post some photos of the project using my brand new SD Card (while round of applause)!

Once that gets going I'm going to try my hand at canning. Yes, I've become 100 years old. I was knitting last week too! I made a baby blanket and a scarf! INow 'm working on a second scarf  and next will be a bag to go famers market shopping with. I think I'm either becoming a hippy or a dead hippy's ghost has possessed me.

The baby blanket was a huge success. I really enjoyed making it and it was just a normal stitch over and over. I put material on the back of it because the knit was too loose. I could see the baby just having all it's toes and fingers tangled. Here is the end result! 

I haven't given the scarf to it's new owner yet so I wont post a photo of that (yes I'm weird like that) but as soon as I do I'll show you guys. It's an easy scarf and blue. It also may swallow my friend because I made it kinda big.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Why I Dislike Montel Williams

(waiting for the shock to ware off)

Everyone ok? Yes I said it, I don't like Montel. It actually borders on a little be of hate. I do admit he has his own foundation but I have no idea what it does or how it helps those with MS. It might be doing a lot of great things so if it is kudos.

This may be the only good thing I an say about him these days. Why do I dislike lovable wonderful Montel? Why, I'm glad you asked.

  1. I use to like Montel's talk show. Until he started having Sylvia Brown on there every year saying Montel was going to find a cure for MS...every year. It was pretty obvious he was grasping at straws and living in a destructive head space. 
  2. The 400 infomercials he's on. I get it, you want to make money, but don't say that everything makes you feel so much better. Either you're fooling yourself into believing it is or you're lying. If copper shirts helped, then EVERYONE with MS would have one. Do you think this is something new? Your juicer isn't going to cure anyone either or payday loans. 
  3. Agreeing on Oprah that the MS Hug can kill you. Shame on you Montel you know it can't! If you don't know then you need a better neurologist. 
  4. Stop crying at everything. I get it you need to cry, all of us do, but it's just ridiculous at this point. 
  5. Weed. OK you want to smoke weed. STOP talking about it. I don't care if you want it, stop talking about how awesome it is. No drug is awesome. I don't care what it is. 
All of this and more, make people with MS look ridiculous. You have access to things some of us with MS can only dream of. Why are you on TV whining? You know what? I have pain too but being selfish and taking myself out has never crossed my mind. I don't have to lie about what MS does to me to look for sympathy. I don't need anyone's sympathy. I don't need to smoke weed to make myself feel better and if you want to do something illegal then suck it up and deal with the consequences. 

So yes I dislike Montel. I find it offensive when a strong men turns into a blubbering idiot hawking everything but suppositories on late-night TV. What happened Montel? 

Chicken Makhani (Indian Butter Chicken for those that don't know the real name - smile)

So I used the Ghee this evening! I had lovely high rez photographs of the cooking and the food. However, someone (who shall remain nameless) dropped my SD card in water. This is the lone iPhone photo that remains. I promise next time I will keep my SD card safe!

I wanted to try the Ghee that was given to me by Pure Indian. I will say I did not buy it and that they gave it to me for free. I wanted to give it a real review and use it with an Indian dish. I made Chicken Makhani using the ghee to not only saute the veggies but the chicken.

For those not familiar with Ghee, it is butter with the milk solids and water removed by cooking it down. This ghee is even more special because it comes from grass fed cows. I have made this Makhani recipe many times (I will post it in a second post) and this ghee gave the dish a new level of flavor. The richness was unmistakable and it added flavor that had been missing from the dish.

Store bought Ghee has a tendency to be heavy and oily. I was worried that this would be the same but I am very happy to report that that is not the case. Pure Indian ghee is light and very smooth. It flavors are soft and earthy and very smooth. I tried the sauteed veggies before combining them into the gravy and they were so delicious I wanted to eat them by themselves. This bodes well for just using this ghee on top of roasted vegetables.

The undeniable fact that this ghee added depth and flavor to this dish? My Korean mother who does not like Indian food and has never eaten my Makhani before tried a bite and then I thought I was having a stroke because I saw her with a bowl of it and some rice. She has never eaten any Indian food before. Ever. The only difference this time was the Ghee.

For Pure Indian Original Ghee I give it five stars. It's a great addition to any cook's kitchen who is serious about flavor and health.

Next I will use some of their spiced Ghee for cooking. Stay tuned to see if they are as good as the original! (smile)

Monday, March 4, 2013

Gotta Love the MS

Today I had a follow up visit with my lovely Neurologist's office. Actually, I saw the ARNP and will see Doc next month. I love this office just so everyone knows. They are a real gift to me and everyone else who goes to them for MS treatment.

My appointment went well. I've been sick but it's due to stress and my body just saying enough. The office did find out that my right leg is a bit weak and that we need to keep an eye on it. No more heals for me until I figure out if I can do it without some major incident (laugh).

I also had an MRI last week to see if I were in an active flare. A flare is when your immune system is actively attacking your neurons. When you have an MRI done they give you this lovely dye (contrast dye) that shows these lovely spots. They light up and are also called a flare. Guess what? Great news! I have no disease change! This means I have no active disease and no new lesions. Now, that doesn't mean I can't be sick or that something else isn't going on but at least it seems that, for now, what I've been doing has been working. Yay for drugs, exercise, and paleo (may not be any of those but that's what I'm betting on for now - smile).

I'm still sick and she says it's going to take awhile but I'm pretty positive about the whole thing. Give it some time and everything will be great! 

Cooking with fire (ok Ghee)

I love the paleo diet and I really love using Ghee. Ghee is like clarified butter. Clarified butter is unsalted butter that has been heated which makes the milk solids separate from the butter. Ghee is one step further and left on the heat until the solids sink and brown.

The great paleo queen over at NomNomPaleo has a great DIY recipe for ghee. Just click here. BTW if you haven't been reading NomNomPaleo...what is wrong with you? They also have a great iPad app (smile).

I do make my own Ghee but because I have MS I'm trying to find some products that I don't have to make myself. I am about to go on a cooking spree with Pure Indian Foods Ghee. A review will be posted here shorty (and maybe a give away). They have six herbed/spiced ghee's as well as original ghee. I will post my review on Thursday for everyone to see!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Gonna Make Some Flour

Weird huh? Yep I am going to try to make flour in my Ninja. Yes, I have a Ninja kitchen system. Yes, the Ninja from the infomercial. For those of you who are not familiar with the Ninja this is what it looks like.

I do realize I should take a picture of my own Ninja but it is 6:45am as I write this. If I go out to my kitchen now to pull out the Ninja my lovely boxer dogs will decide it's time to wake up. Once this happens mayhem will ensue. 

This includes running in the yard, wanting to eat lizards, and trying to sit on me to squish me. So, this morning after the mayhem I will post some pictures of me making flour. It's also not nice to make flour so early that I scare sleeping Korean women. 


What kind of flour am I going to make? Masa flour! I'm making pupusas today. Well, I'm going to attempt to make pupusas today. Pupusas are dish from El Salvador. I got exposed to them by a co-worker and I wanted to see if I could make it myself. I mistakenly bought Masa that wasn't fully flour and I'm going to use my Ninja to make it into flour. Hopefully this works (laugh). If not it's off to the grocery store with me. 

I will chronicle my attempts later on!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Korean Half of Me is Trying to Kill Me (as Koreans do)

I'm resting. I'm resting because I'm sick with because Aug - January stress is very bad for people who have MS. My arm got angry and tried to rip itself off of my body but after a couple of weeks of negotiation talks, I believe it's staying, my eyes freaked out on me but they've calmed down. The fatigue monster is alive and well jumping around in my body but he and I have an agreement so we're cool for the moment. I'm not sure why I'm not hungry and talks between my tongue and stomach seem to be ongoing.

So, I am resting until the negotiations have ceased. Since then I've been doing things like reading, blogging, catching up on movies I've meant to see, and watching awesome giant squid documentaries on the discover channel. WOW did you SEE that thing? Go watch it now!

My Korean side finds this all very lazy, a waste of time, and that I should be doing something like rock climbing or working four jobs. OK, I agree that I would like something to do but I can't do anything too crazy or all my MS symptoms might start blasting again at full force. I will go for a walk with the dogs (not run 3 miles like I was) and I love my dogs but they're not all that interesting walking in a circle. My mind has decided that gardening would be great.

This will be the type of raised bed planter that will be in my back yard.

But now it's building a raised bed planter, making sure I'm all organic, and finding ways to get rid of bugs... (sigh). So, I've enlisted a bit of help and they're going to build a gardening box for me (smile).

My Korean side does not like this and wants me to put it together myself. However my white side is going to win this argument. I can do some simple gardening but not actually build a box like a construction worker.

Stay tuned for pictures of my new and awesome veggie garden (laugh).  

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Must Buy MREs or Stop Watching This Show

What happens when you're sick and at home? You watch a lot of TV. I have been watching Doomsday Preppers. For those who are not familiar with the show it's about people who think the world is going to end in one way or another. Because the world is going to end, they are getting ready for it by prepping. This means having food, guns, ammo, animals, places to go, and they have some elaborate plans.

I thought it was funny at first. Some of these people are really out there, like the father that keeps his children umbilical cords preserved with herbs and tree bark so he can give them to them once they have passed their "right of passage" (slow blink). However, (looking around paranoid like) I find myself slowing thinking "Well, it wouldn't be a bad idea to have some food in the house just to be safe".

Now in my defense and before you start calling me nuts, I don't think the world is going to end but I do think that I should do something because I live in a hurricane zone. I'm not talking about setting up a fort but maybe having a few weeks of food in the event that we have a hurricane.

MAYBE I looked at how to preserve 50 lbs of rice (maybe) and maybe I also looked at freezed dried food and MREs...but I'd never do that. Maybe I also thought about how to keep my Paleo diet if it were the end of the world.



Tuesday, February 5, 2013

MS and Crazy Weird Things

MS is a fun disease which has no rhyme or reason, can be different from one day to another, and can be different from person to person. Me and most of my MSy friends (KC 11 REPRESENT!) are doing fine with our MS. We all have our problems of course but we live well, enjoy our lives, and are positive people.

We're kinda like this maybe a bit louder.
I'm out of work for at least six weeks. Why you ask? Cause I'm sick. This is the really fun part of MS when you get sick for no reason. The worst thing? You don't look sick. Yes it's one of those catch 22 situations. You're sick and want to work but you don't look sick and can't work. So, everyone judges you and you get to feel even worse about not working and being sick. 

I have a bad habit of pushing myself to much. This last time I kept pushing and my eyes finally checked out. That means I get this awesome double vision that looks like a bad TV screen that's not in tune. I also know that a lot of younger people wont remember rabbit ears on a TV set. Look it up it's funny. 

I also have a habit of telling people that I'm fine. I don't know if it's because I've been taught not to seem week (thank you Asian upbringing) or if I just don't want people in my business, but I never ask for help and I'm always "fine". 

My boyfriend has now started asking follow-up questions. Goes like this: "How are you today?" 
"I'm fine."
"Oh OK." We talk about something else. 
"So, how are you really?"
This gets me to laugh a little and tell him what's really going on. When we first started dating he would get upset because I'd need help or be sick and he had no Idea. I'm working on that and he asks follow-ups now to help me (smile)

For the past few days I've been in a tremendous amount of pain. My shoulder, and more specifically my rotator cuff was irritated. What this means to me is that it feels like my arm is going to rip itself out of it's socket. I also can't sleep, move, type, scratch my nose...

I hate taking narcotics but on Saturday when I could not sleep or find a sitting, standing, or laying position without pain I went to the Emergency Clinic. I got some strong anti-inflammatory and some pain medication. Narcotic of course. 

Fast forward five days later and I can sleep and scratch my nose! I should have put my stubbornness behind me and asked for help earlier. So, I have decided to ask for more help and admit I'm sick and suffering from pain and fatigue and other MS crap. I'm still happy and in a good mood and I know this will pass and I'll be back at it like I was before. For now though it's OK to rest. Just like if I had the flu the only difference is that no one else can see this illness.

Don't judge me to harshly people who don't know what's going on with me and I'll try to do the same for you. 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Last post I let everyone know that I'm sick. Which means I haven't been doing much but resting. I'm not in bed constantly but in general I'm much less active then normal. I jump on the scale this morning to see how much weight I've gained. It's just a given that I would gain some because I haven't been doing much. Well, I was wrong.

In less then a week I have lost over three pounds. Now, this would be exciting if I had any idea how that was happening. I follow a pretty strict Paleo diet and I've lost weight but in a normal healthy way. over the last few months but this is a huge drop.

The only things I can think of are as follows - I wasn't getting enough calories before I got sick, now that I'm resting my calories and activity level are more appropriate so my body is losing weight. I find this one hard to believe because I eat Bacon (laughing).

I briefly thought about the fact that I may be losing muscle mass. I know this isn't the case because I just saw my doctor on Monday and she checked me out completely.

My only other thought is fat-loss fairies are coming to visit me as I sleep. These fairies sprinkle you with that stuff you see on TV or ephedrine and the fat melts off as you sleep. If you sleep very heavy they even perform weight loss surgery on you as you sleep. They're very busy fairies and most people never see them because their union only lets them work 10 days out of the year.

Yep, I think it's the fairies.  

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

I have Multiple Sclerosis – And I Feel Fine (most days)

I am in a reflective mood today. At this moment I am sick, very sick as faith may have it. I am not dying and I am not in some tragic French art film. My MS just exploded and it got its nastiness all over me. The nastiness I hard to get out of your hair and you should see my curtains!

I have had an intense amount of stress since August. A job that sucked my life away from me leads me to get a new job (yay). I loved this new job and my stress level was going down, but now with a merger, layoffs, and frustrated bosses taking their stress out with yelling, my awesome MS bubble popped.

I picture it like a water balloon dangling over my head and then one day the weight is so much it just explodes. Eye jumping, pain, muscle spasms, and fatigue came with this little explosion. I’m not having new symptoms so it’s probably not a flare. My doctor agrees that the intense amount of stress I have been under has probably caused my body to finally call uncle.

Do you know what though? I’m ok with that. I’m not mad, upset, or emotionally losing it. I think this is because I have an awesome support system with some awesome friends and that I have my soul back. I feel yucky and I want to sleep all the time which could be the fatigue but probably also the muscle relaxers, but I am good.

Maybe next week I’ll be annoyed or sad that I’m sick again but maybe not. I really enjoy my life and the challenges I face with it. If I didn't have things happening in my life it would be rather boring now wouldn’t it (smile)?

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Dog Abuse! (not them me)

Love my huge boxers. They are 100 lbs of puppy love. Yes they are that big and they're not obese just HUGE. I love them to death but since I've gotten them they have decided that they love me SO MUCH that they want to be on top of me and hug me. This leads to doctors asking me "Have you been running through brambles?".

Today my legs were lovingly scratched today when one of them tried to stand on my lap. He also somehow scratched my chest when he tried to 'shake hands'. So, now I look like a victim of domestic violence. This is dog abuse in reverse! 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Half Dark Side

Well, I took a step closer to the dark side yesterday "Luke I am not your father but maybe a closely related cousin". I bought a MacBook Air. Oh yes I said it! I also have a new PC gaming laptop (hence half). I must say that this little thing is amazing. I am blogging from it right now! Ok, well depending on when you read this I may or may not be using it to blog.

This is going to help me with travel and taking my work with me. Since I have MS I have fatigue very badly. When I travel I try to keep things as light as possible so I don't exhaust myself. When I'm traveling for work and I have not only a carry on but a heavy laptop and a phone, purse, paperwork, documents, and other little things like a phone charger (I don't trust any electronics in checked baggage), keeping things light isn't always as doable as it sounds.

This wonderful little addition to my life is going to help me keep things light and mobil. I'm actually traveling next week so we will see my plan in action. As for the gaming laptop (smile) well that is a topic for a different post. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Whole30 WOW

No, I haven't started my Whole30 yet. I'm in the process of getting foods out of my house that will tempt me or are not Whole30 approved. My house isn't full of a lot of garbage food (some but not a lot) but let me tell you that Whole30 is really strict. I understand the basic premise behind it. How do you know it's affecting you if you don't take them out of your diet. This is also Paleo so no grains or wheat etc.

I agree with all this but I'm half-Korean (as you can tell from the title of the blog, I hope) and my mother is not paleo (smile). This means that I have traps all all over the place. I don't miss any of it except soy sauce. I love soy sauce. There are also hidden traps all over the house. My mom will add random things to food without me knowing. For example I made a soup today and while I was eating it I noticed corn. Not a lot of corn but corn. I need to really look at my food from now on (smile).

Because of this I still am not on Whole30. I will clean out the rest of the house tomorrow and then protect my food as much as possible (smile). 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

I Don't Look Sick but Then Again You Don't Look Stupid, Yet Here We Are

I have Multiple Sclerosis. If you read my ramblings you probably already caught on to this. If not then I've just outed myself for you. However, that diagnosis does not define me as a person. I also, work, go out with friends, exercise, sing, draw, laugh, travel, get funky, dance in circles, cook (a lot), am a foodie, follow the Paleo diet, enjoy teasing my Korean mother, make fun of my dogs and harass them, geek out, go to school, am a girlfriend, and probably do and am a few other things. I have fun! I just happen to also have MS.

I always get the "You don't look sick" comment. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to look like but me. Actually, in my Physical Therapists office there is one of those amazing medical posters. You know the kind that lists symptoms or shows you why your eye is falling out of your head. This one has this young pretty woman on it (before MS) who then gets diagnosed (After MS) who then is all screwed up! She can't dress, as evident by her pink over sized sweater and ankle length green skirt. She no longer has a smile on her face and her hair is now flat and lifeless. She is also standing in a random kitchen cause I guess that's where we hang out after we're diagnosed (side eye). Maybe THIS is what I should look like! Then people would nod and say "OH yeah I get it you have MS. I saw that poster!".

That's not me. I do have a handicapped placard in my car though. It's this cool hang tag that I can take with me if I'm someone else's car. I don't look sick but I do have MS. I have insane fatigue sometimes and my legs can ache so bad I just want to sleep to make it go away. Can you see that? No, but it's there. What I don't need is some idiot yelling at me because I'm using my "Grandmothers handicapped parking" or cursing me out for being a horrible human.

OK, listen you people who stick your nose in other peoples business. First off you have NO idea who I am or what I might have. Same goes for other people parking in the handicapped spaces. Keep your judgments to yourself and focus on your own issues. Second, lets trade. You get to have the chronic medical condition and then the handicapped tag, and I'll not have MS.

Trust me you judgmental person. I would rather not have this disease or this tag. I didn't even use it for a month because I didn't want to get harassed about it. You can take it and my disease because trust me if I had a choice I'd rather not have MS.

I would rather not worry that one day out of the blue I wont be able to walk, or that my eyes will go out on me again. I would rather not have fatigue so bad that I miss things like my god daughters birthday or other social events. I would rather not have to give myself a shot every day that burns like a bee sting. I would prefer that my immune system wasn't attacking my nerves, eating away the myelin and causing a multitude of problems that could change at any time.

So, here is my deal with you random parking lot screamer. You can have my handicapped tag and my MS and I'll park a few spaces further away. Ready to switch?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

A Book, a Website (ok a few), a blog (not mine), and a Challenge.

So, we all know about my Paleo diet and how much I love it. LOVE it. There is also this great book entitled It Starts With Food by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig that I have come to view as one of the best books out there to discuss Paleo and to learn about the Whole9 and Whole30 program. I could never do it adequate justice here so please pick up the book or visit their website Whole9life.

And nope they're not paying me to talk about their stuff. I'm sure they have no idea about my little millimeter of the internets. I just really wanted to give you guys a heads up on a great book and some great information.

In a previous post I was discussing going back on a leptin reset. I believe that I am going to do a Whole30 instead as an experiment. I haven't started yet and probably wont until next week but I will keep all of you posted!

For those that want to join in and need some recipes I really suggest you check out NomNomPaleo who is posting 30 days of recipes on her site! Honestly, a great food site in general for Paleo geeks. 

Go visit her, buy her iPad app, awesome t-shirts, and oh try out the recipes! The riced cauliflower and the mayo recipes are amazing.

See the images above? They're not mine, they're copy-written, and I don't own them. I didn't draw them or take the pictures so please don't give me any kudos! Go visit them (pushing you through the interweb).

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Six hours later...

I love health insurance. I'd probably work for free as long as I could continue to receive good health insurance. Paperwork and red tape associated with health insurance? I hate that. On January first we switched to a new insurance plan at my company. Today I have a doctors appointment, lab work, and prescriptions that I have to pick up.

Normally this takes maybe an hour for the doctor and lab and then I drop off the new prescriptions to pick them up after work. Well, one little problem I don't have an insurance card yet. Like a good little compulsive person I go online, print a letter of insurance, get my numbers, and be bop to my appointment.

25 minutes after my appointment time I get to see my doctor. Not because of the doctor (rare I know) but because it took that long to verify and get me into their computer. Self, I say to myself, it's fine we knew it might take awhile. I go to get my blood taken and 30 minutes later I get my blood taken again because of verification. Self, I say to myself, that's OK at least the woman didn't have to stab you 25 times.

Now since I haven't eaten all morning and it's fast approaching 10 I think I should eat. I decide that I'll go to the pharmacy first (driving noises). 1 hour later after verification I get my first prescription and since I'm super special I have to get medicine from different pharmacies. At this point my stomach is eating itself and I'm scowling like the mad cat (car noises) off I go to the other pharmacy! This was even MORE fun because the young girl taking care of me had no idea what to do without a physical insurance card.

Now at this point, I may have been abducted by Aliens. I have a block of missing time so large I have no idea how else to explain it. Somehow I got home at 4:00 pm. Now, this wouldn't have been so bad if I hadn't started this at 8:30 this morning. That's AM for those of you who are confused.

I'm not dead because at Walgreens they have snacks and I shoved something that I think was a potato chip into my mouth around 2. However, that might be a false memory that the aliens have implanted into my brain to help me mentally comprehend where all my time went today.

A Butcher, a Baker, and a Paleo Girl

I love to bake and being Paleo has kinda put a damper on that. I really am not tempted to eat any of what I bake but I really would like to be able to bake more things that are Paleo friendly. This has lead me on a long journey of finding alternatives.

The two I have found are Almond Flour and Coconut Flour. They have their pros and cons and I haven't started using them 100% exclusively yet. It's also the holiday and when I bake I like to just bake. I've given most of it away and only ate small bits. This really made me notice a few things.

Paleo really does work for me as evidenced by the tummy problems and heart burn I had (smile). I don't like fad diets. So once-in-awhile I get it in my head that Paleo is a fad and I'm not doing anything positive. Then I eat a cookie (laughing).

I am debating the merits of doing another leptin reset. It worked very well for me before and maybe it will again. Hm....

One of the best things I attribute at least partially to my diet? The fact that I feel better and my MS hasn't been as 'bad' this year. When I say bad I mean muscle spasms and small things like that when combined add up to a big thing. It's been rather nice.

I'm going to have to find a way to make baking paleo so I can combine two things I enjoy. Maybe it's not possible but I'm going to try! 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Pumpkin Cake! (Yeah not Paleo, YET)

I really am sorry to post this on my blog in which I talk about healthy eating and living Paleo, but for those who read this that just have MS, or just want to read it because I'm crazy, I thought this might be something for them.

I am going to do a recipe make over on this Pumpkin Cake and once I find the right combinations I will post it on here!

A little background. My mother loves Pumpkin Bread and when I was small she made it all the time. Fast forward to me being an adult and us living in Florida. She had forgotten her recipe but had the basics of what was in it. I started playing around and I finally got it exactly the way she remembered. I was doing this for her so making it Paleo wasn't in the books at the time. Plus I can't eat raw Pumpkin because I'm allergic to squash and it seems raw pumpkin. What? Why are you looking at me like that? FINE I'll tell the story.

I'm allergic to squash and zucchini. Yes it's a random food allergy and yes it's real. Sweet potato pie looks a lot like pumpkin pie right? One year by mistake my parents bought a pumpkin pie and when my dad and I had a piece  he realized what it was to late, I had already shoved some in my mouth. So, because of that unplanned experiment, I know I can eat pumpkin. I realized I could not eat raw pumpkin taste testing a recipe when I first started cooking. That one taste with my finger tip had me sick for 3 days (BIG SMILE).

OK, back on track. I can't taste test when I bake with pumpkin. So it's hard for me to see if I got it right when I mess with ingredients. This recipe is great though because I had some after I made it (laughing)!

Pumpkin Cake 

1 1/4 Cup of Coconut Oil (Yeah I know it's a lot. Use Applesauce if you would like to cut it)
2 Cups Sugar
4 eggs
2 Cups Pumpkin
2 Cups of Flour (this is where I need to make it paleo but I need to play with Coconut and Almond Flour)
1 Tsp of Vanilla
1/4 Tsp Salt
2 Tsp of Baking Soda
1 Tbl Baking Powder
2 Tsp Cinnamon (my mother does not like nutmeg but I've added 1/2 of nutmeg and it's great or 2 Tsp of pumpkin pie spice)

Preheat your oven to 350'.

Combine the coconut oil and sugar. I heat my coconut oil up just a little to make it liquid for this.

Once completely combined add in one egg at a time and make sure it is thoroughly combined before you add the next. Repeat for all four eggs

Add Vanilla and salt and mix well

Add pumpkin and mix well

Sift the Flour, Baking Soda, Baking Powder and Cinnamon together. Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients I break it into four parts making sure each part is thoroughly combined before adding the next part.

I use a bunt cake pan for this. It takes 40 minutes in a 350 degree oven. If you use a cake pan the time will be less so please adjust. The cake is ready when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Tada! Happy New Year!  (my mother had already eaten some and cut it up by the time I let it cool)