New Study shows Mediterranean Diet’s Health Benefits

My mom and dad have been telling me this for years. (Now that it’s in the New York Times, it has validity, of course.) In this house, olive oil is used for practically everything. They’ve said it’s the reason my grandparents lived long, healthy lives. It’s a part of almost every meal they eat.

A new study published on Monday in the New England Journal of Medicine says “about 30 percent of heart attacks, strokes and deaths from heart disease can be prevented in people at high risk if they switch to a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil, nuts, beans, fish, fruits and vegetables, and even drink wine with meals.” The results were so clear that the study ended early after five years. I guess I came to the right place to get healthy 🙂


Natural Beauty

I believe that health and beauty are connected. After my recovery last year, following my diagnosis, I was fully focused on my health, and I felt beautiful in a way I’d never felt before. Spending so much time sick and unable to do the things I enjoyed gave me a new outlook on many aspects of my life. And being (relatively) healthy gave me a new confidence in myself.

The transition to moving back home has been stressful for me, although I am trying hard to stay positive and be grateful. Well, the stress has wrecked havoc on my skin! I’m looking for a new cleanser to help calm it. I just got Neutrogena naturals, and I can’t wait to try it!

Neutrogena Natural

Kids Rock Race

I’m really excited that I had the opportunity to cover the ING Kids Rock Race to help fight obesity yesterday. It was in conjunction with the Rock ‘n’ Roll marathon in New Orleans. It was inspiring to see children taking an active role in their health. My story was published in The Advocate, a local paper that publishes in nearby Baton Rouge, Louisiana. You can read the article here!

kidsrun kidsrun2kidsrun3

After the race, I stopped at Morning Call, a historic cafe in City Park for a delicious cafe au lait. It was perfect because I was freezing after being outside in the cold. morningcall

After I warmed up, I was off to write my story. For lunch I had lunch at the Ruby Red Slipper, which is on my list of New Orleans restaurants I want to visit. I had BBQ shrimp & grits and it was yummy. redslipper



Health Highs & Lows

People often ask me, “How do you feel? Or what is it like for you?”. I usually describe it in this way–I have good and bad days. I try to enjoy the good days, and just get through the bad days.

Yesterday was a bad day.

I have been feeling very tired and having low energy for the past week, most likely because I haven’t been able to sleep well for the past month. I’m fighting a cold right now, so I decided to stay home to rest. In the middle of the afternoon, when I was alone at home in the quiet and stillness (a rare occasion in this house), I broke down in tears. Sitting on my mom’s lazy boy chair, in a fluffy pink robe, and a runny nose, I cried.

Perhaps it was the realization that my life has dramatically changed. This is how I am about life. I make huge decisions, and I feel the impact of them much later. Well, this week, one month after my departure, I felt it. I was tired, frustrated, and I felt defeated.

Most days, I feel determined to tackle this new part of my life, or as I shy away from saying, this ‘disease.’ I haven’t become fully comfortable with saying that word. Disease. But some days, pity creeps up on me. I don’t know if I have fully accepted the fact that I have a disease. Sometimes I feel bitter and resentful. I don’t want this disease, nor the change it has brought to my life. This disease is not me. I don’t want it to define who I am. But sometimes, the physical impact it has on me beats out the fighter in me. It makes me feel weak, unmotivated and unworthy. Sometimes I resent that I have to live with caution and responsibility. That I have to consider things that most people don’t. That I must pay such close attention and such care to the foods I eat, the sleep I get, the stress I take on, the medicine I’m bound by, and the effects it has on so many other parts of my body.

So, I cried. I gave myself five minutes to cry and complain about it. Then, I reminded myself of how lucky I am to be alive, have the healthcare I need to treat this stupid disease, and a family that generously takes care of me and supports me. I stood up, looked over at my parents’ malti-poo who was staring at me with a look of carelessness during my outburst, as she lounged on the sofa and got myself together. I guess that was God’s way of saying, get over it :).

Out Cold

Fighting a cold

This is what happens when you are stressed and not sleeping well.  Since I returned home, I have not been taking care of my health, like I should. I’m doing the exact opposite of what I came home to do. Shame on me! I am struggling with managing the expectations and demands of my family. Here’s a little background.

My dad is retired and spends most of his time at home and my mom works full-time. Sadly, he doesn’t really have friends, or hobbies and he complains about being bored and lonely a lot. I feel so guilty, it’s tearing me apart. I’ve been trying to spend as much time with him as I can. I’ve tried to encourage him to do some volunteer work, or take up a hobby. But so far, I haven’t had any luck.

My brother just started a business on his own and has asked me to help him. I’ve been working with him since the first day I came home. Then comes the weekend. Everyone wants to do go out and do things, but I am exhausted because I haven’t rested. Even though I want to spend time with everyone, I know my body’s limits. I think my family doesn’t understand what my physical limitations are and that I cannot move at the same pace that I used to. This is the most frustrating thing about managing my illness. I want to do everything, but I simply can’t. I have to sacrifice something, and for the past month, it has been me.

I’ve been feeling very anxious since I’ve been back, and I haven’t been able to sleep well. Sleep is an absolute essential part of managing this illness. When I don’t get a good night’s rest, I immediately feel the impact on my body. I’ve had trouble sleeping in the past, but usually when I come home for a visit, I sleep peacefully. I wish I was one of those people who can run off of a few hours of sleep. I’m so jealous of them!

I think I’m really anxious about the change that’s taking place and what’s next for me. But first things first, and that’s my health. It’s time to get back to yoga, now!

A New Orleans eating affair

This weekend, I indulged in a real, New Orleans eating experience. It’s been a stressful transition since I moved home from Atlanta, and I needed it. On Saturday night, I went down to the french quarter and had beignets and cafe au lait at Cafe du Monde. My favorite! Cafe du Monde is a historic coffee shop in New Orleans that opened in 1862. It’s famous for it’s squared, doughnuts served hot with white powdered sugar and cafe au laits–which is half coffee, half steamed milk. It’s the only way I like my coffee! (I admit that I am a bit of a snob about it.)

Beignets and cafe au lait

Yesterday was a beautiful Sunday afternoon–perfect for crawfish. I don’t know how to describe crawfish, other than it’s a delicious crustacean that’s seasoned well with cajun spices and traditionally served with corn on the cob and potatoes. You have to meticulously peel the tails off, so it takes some work, but it’s well worth it!



Clean me up

Today I got bold with the juicer and tried a toxin cleansing blast! I was little nervous about how it would taste, but I went for it. I wasn’t feeling my best today, so I needed a boost. It wasn’t exactly delicious, but it was definitely healthy! These are the ingredients:

  • 1-2 handfuls of spinach
  • 1 cored pear
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cored apple
  • 1 cup of pineapple
  • water
Toxin Cleansing Blast

Toxin Cleansing Blast