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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

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!