Something to Ponder..

IMG_4849The other day I was standing in line at Long’s Drugstore, waiting to purchase my Dramamine and trying not to throw up from my pain.  The woman in front of me was the same woman who was rushing through the store and almost ran me down with her cart (I don’t think she even recognized me from two minutes earlier).  She was a well-kept, petite woman in her 50′s wearing loose white slacks and a fuchsia top, with a sticker on the right shoulder/chest area.

As I stood there, concentrating on my breathing I could hear her smiling and talking to cashier.  A younger local boy, who smiled and spoke back.  I don’t know exactly what was said, but as I picked my head up I saw her holding a $20 bill and then it clicked.  She was trying to figure out if she had enough money to buy everything she wanted because she didn’t bring her purse for the quick shopping trip, she just brought that $20.  She told the cashier to see what the total was without the chocolate first, and they would go from there.  As I stood there, watching him run the items over the scanner, and giving her the total with each swipe, I did something I rarely do anymore (but should do more often).  I took out my wallet and paid attention.  She needed $3 to get everything because her total was $22.25.  Before the cashier could void the chocolate, I put down $3 onto the black conveyor belt and said “here you go.”  They both stared at me in disbelief, like I had a giant bugger hanging out of nose.   After a few seconds, the lady closed her mouth and said “I don’t need money, my husband is in the car, I have money.  I just ran in, it’s ok…”  To which I replied, “I know, but take it.  I’ve been there.  Please take this.”  She stared at me for another minute, with her mouth open and a look of amazement, reiterating that she has money, and didn’t need it.  All the while the cashier is still frozen with his mouth hanging open, his eyes moving between us both.

I told her that I know she has money, but to take it, so she could enjoy her chocolate,and just pay it forward one day.  She asked, “why?”  I smiled and said “because you need it, and I have it.”  Her response was “wow, so just some random act of kindness?”  and I smiled and nodded.

Something to ponder…

When I was 19 years old, I was a senior in college.  My life was awesome!  I had the best mother in the world, I was going to college & loving every moment, to study what had been my dream since I was a kid.  I was at the top of my class, having a ball, living on my own, modeling for work and cooking in kitchens for extra cash, that I gave my mom.  Life was grand!  Until my life came to a crashing halt, and my mom and 2 month old niece died in a car accident five days before my mom’s birthday!  After which I went through a lot of ups and down’s leaving me homeless for a good portion of my life.  I had no money, there was no insurance, just bills.  I can remember sleeping on a park bench, and in an old car. I can remember taking showers in fast food restaurants and hanging out in Wal-Mart because it was safer than the street in the middle of the night.  I never went to a shelter and I’m not sure why the idea never came to me as an option.  I had no friends that would take me in, no family to help, no one and only the last $75 dollars my mom gave me (which I couldn’t bear to part with) the day before she died.

What I did have was the charity of The Ronald McDonald House, which gave me a place to stay while I collected my mom and my niece’s bodies.  They gave me one night of one less thing to worry about and for that I’m eternally grateful, and will spend the rest of my life trying to repay.

When you look at me now, most people can not believe the details of my life.  My life was for a long time, my deepest darkest secret because I was ashamed.  But what I learned back then being 19 years old, orphaned and completely alone was something that changed me.  It changed my soul, my heart, my everything.

People need help sometimes in life because of circumstance, and not because of fault.  Being homeless, or “on a strict budget” isn’t always a choice, it is something that happens in life: like an accident, like a sneeze, or like a random act of kindness.  You never know why someone needs something, and it is not your place to ask why, or to pass judgement.  Just give.  Give a dollar, hold a door open, push a cart for someone, just do something for the good of it.

If it is within your power to help someone, please do… without ego or glory because you never know how your dollar can change someone’s day or life.

Basic Juicing Recipes

Juice!

Juice!

Juice, Basic Recipe

Yield: About 2 cup

 

Some Basic Juicing Recipes that are great tasting and good for you!  Remember to scrub the fruit and vegetables well, and to trim the root ends off. Change the combinations up to personalize them your own tastes, drink them immediately after juicing, and remember to drink the equivalent of a meal.  If you like apples, add more apples!! .  Just be careful to balance the yin and the yang of the juice!

 

 

5ea                 Large Carrots, trimmed

2ea                 Fuji or Red Delicious Apples, cut into smaller pieces

1c                  Spinach

 

  1. Process all ingredients, starting with the first listed.

 

 

First Juice: Carrot, Apple, Kale & Celery Juice

First Juice: Carrot, Apple, Kale & Celery Juice

Oxygen Goodness

5ea                 Large Carrots, trimmed

2ea                 Fuji or Red Delicious Apples, cut into smaller pieces

1c                  Spinach

1ea                 Red Beet

5ea                 Strawberries

½ med          Cucumber(skin on)

 

  1. Process all ingredients, starting with the first listed.

 

 

Greed Goddess

3c                   Spinach

2c                   Kale

1sp                 Ginger

5ea                 Strawberries

2ea                 Carrots, trimmed

1ea                 Fuji or Golden Delicious Apples, cut into smaller pieces

1ea                 Cucumber(skin on)

½ c                 Broccoli

 

  1. Process all ingredients, starting with the first listed.

    Our First Day! Cheers!!

    Our First Day! Cheers!!

Team SF Marathon 2014: Training for “The WALL”

SF 2012..Our first race

SF 2012..Our first race

It all starts with an insatiable stubbornness, and the goal to drive on for me at least :)  I’ll soon be coming up on my 3 month mark of the accident that left me bed ridden with damage to my spinal cord.  BUT this Sunday marks the very first time that I will be “racing” since last year and I’m scared, under ready, and heavily panicked.  It is only a 5k (3.xx miles), but it will be the longest distance & duration of time I’ve tried to walk since my accident.

I am nuts as some would say, but I am determined to run the SF Marathon, and grab that elusive sweater I once spoke about.  The marathon is 179 days away, and I panic every time I think about it, because I am loosing precious training days.  Every day I want to lace up and get out there, but can’t because I can barely walk around with block.  However, I figure I am training a different way.  I am working on overcoming “THE WALL.”

“The WALL” was always this elusive thing to me, that I felt like I experienced every time I ran, because quite frankly I am weak in the brain.  For those of you who are not familiar with “the WALL” it is the part of the race, where you’d like to stop.  The moment when your body draws back, every ache is magnified, and your brain is screaming “I hate you, please stop.”  It is the moment when you start to think “can I really do this?  Can I finish this race? forget strong. Can I just finish this?  Why the hell did I think this was a good idea?  I’ll just walk for a few step…”  I didn’t think it existed like the rumors and the stories I had heard and read about, until I ran my first 25k, which was the longest distance I had run.  I remember thinking “ehh it is only 2.5 more miles than the half I just ran” and that was my first mistake.  I completely underestimated and disrespected the race.

I had felt great running this course, it was cold, raining, a good course because I was familiar with it and up until 13.8 miles I was cruising.  I was running faster than what I had planned and I was thrilled.  I felt good.  Then mile 13.8 hit, I remember the mile because I felt it, and I looked down at my watch and thought “FU**!” I still had 2 miles to go, and it just felt like I physically ran into a wall.  My brain started thinking, this hurts, that hurts, etc…etc…etc..  All of a sudden the pain became real, and I wanted to stop.  My body was screaming stop in my head.

“The WALL” is no joke, and is something that a lot of people face during endurance runs. My goal now is to practice and train to overcome “the WALL”  that I may face during my first marathon by walking every race in Hawai’i until I can run.

Here are some tips on how to worth through “the WALL:”

- NEVER say it’s just XX.X miles.  No race is the same, no run is the same no matter how often you run, or have the course.

- Practice pushing yourself with mental games.  When you’re tired, give your self a goal like “I’ll run until the next corner” then when you get there give yourself another goal.  The   trick is to say it in your head.

- RUN. RUN. RUN!! Practice running up hills down hills, and practice focusing on your breath, your foot steps, your form.  I like to say to myself “left, left, left” with each impact of my left foot.  This keeps my brain focused on other things.

- Be part of the running community.  Focus on the person ahead of you, or passing by.  Share your GU, give a “high-five” to a “great job” or even a “I like your running __” to someone who looks like they need it.  It keeps your mind occupied, increases the endorphins in your body and brain, and it uplifts your mood!  I promise!  Try it!!  I did this during my second SF Half Marathon, and the time flew by.  It was hands down my best race ever and I firmly believe it’s because I focused on others and not myself.  To be honest it wasn’t until mile 11 that I realized where I was in the race.

- Take a moment during the race, and when it is safe.. close your eyes, take a deep breath and realize the magic around you.  On every course I run, in every race I run, there is always a moment when I do this, and the five steps I take with my eyes closed are amazing.  Second only to the moment when my eyes refocus and reopen to see what I’m doing.

11x17_TSFM_Poster

MAC 24/7

Last night, after a very long day of doctors appointments and Honolulu traffic, my awesome neighbor Liz, and I decided to try MAC 24/7.  The BEST decision of my life!

If you are from NY, Cali, or any other place that does food WELL(by well I mean good variety, flavor & taste), you would have a hard time finding good places in Honolulu.  I rarely eat out anymore after countless attempts at various restaurants, trucks and cafe’s.  But this place… oh my!!  The name says it all.. they are located in Waikiki, but are part of the Aloha2Go service that delivers all around town.  Last night we got it delivered, and it was delicious!!

For some time, I had heard great things about MAC24/7 but hadn’t tried it because I also heard the bad things about the service from a few friends.  We ordered Caesar salads, mashed potatoes, the baked potato soup and the meatloaf.  The caesar salads were delicious!  Great dressing, and amazing croutons.  They give you two slices of this cheesy garlic toast on good bread, not the stale old croutons that most people use.  The soup…amazing!  Cheddar cheese, bacon and potato soup is a must here!!! The mashed potatoes come in a variety of choices, all of which were great! The meatloaf was even amazing!! Full of flavor, well cooked, not under or over seasoned. Amazing I tell you!  The only sad thing was the vegetables that came with the meatloaf but to be fair I’m not sure if it is because it was a to go order, or if that is normal so I will reserve judgment for my dine in experience!

Alas I have no photos because I ate it all… before I could snap a pic :(

All in all a great place to try out various dishes including the MAC & Cheese!!!

MAC 24/7

Hilton Waikiki Beach Hotel
2500 Kuhio Avenue, Waikiki Beach, HI 96815
Direct: 808.921.5564 | Fax: 808.921.5507

The Perils of Narcotics

This is not me Now

This is not me Now :(

The past seven days have been a very challenging few, as I round out my withdrawals.  I know that my statement makes some stop and do a double take, but to clarify “Yes I am in withdrawals from the opiates that I’ve been on for the last two plus months, and no I’m not a drug addict.”

Let me explain..

A few months ago, I took a nasty spill at my apartment complex.  I was knocked unconscious, fractured my elbow, tore the ligaments in my arm, and damaged my spinal cord from my IMG_3699L4(lower back think hips) to my mid back (think chest level).  I was taken to the ER and given pain medicine that made me shake violently and stop responding, and from what I’m told (by my boyfriend & the ER nurse) scared the Sh** out of them and the doctors.  Needles to say I was intubated, and transferred to the ICU.  I ended up staying a week in the hospital with the worst patient care of my life.  My “doctor ” (“Dr.” Melanie Kim at STRAUB) was rude, yelled at me, belittled me, never took the time to actually examine me, told me I was making up the fall, the pain and my injuries.  She did not diagnose me with anything, refused to give me pain medicine, and discharged me minutes after my first “walk” (in a week) with my cane, even though I blacked out (thank goodness the nurse caught me mid-air!!).   The nurses snapped at me, did not offer to change my sheets, help me shower or use the restroom, get me food that I could eat, or check on me.  The toilet was three steps away and I could not take three steps on my own!!  I had to wait until my boyfriend came after work before I could do anything, before anyone would even listen to me.

Enk on my hospital bed

Enk on my hospital bed

I spent the next month in and out of consciousness on my couch, with my friends and my boyfriend taking care of me.  I’ve been in and out of my doctor’s office, and orthopedic doctor, a pain management doctor and a physical therapist.  I’ve had countless MRI’s, x-Rays, scans, etc.  All the while I’ve been prescribed various pain medicines that barley took the edge off the pain I’m in.  What kills me, is that no one, not a single soul along the way ever spoke to me about the perils of drugs.  I’m 33 years old, and never had opiates, never smoked pot or done any recreational or other type of drugs (I barely take aspirin).  I read the pamphlets that came with everything, I asked questions in the doctor’s office, and nothing was ever mentioned to me.

Last week after my pain doctor, who is an actual M.D., tried a proven successful procedure on me; where he gave me 20+ shots directly into my spinal cord of the strongest available Novocaine and it failed he told me to “get off the narcotics and suck up the pain.” By getting off the narcotics the second round of shots (the worst pain ever btw!) would probably work better and he would be shocked if it did nothing to numb the pain in my back because “everyone else feels relief.”   This was after I made him take a few breaks during the three-hour

This is me Now

This is me Now

appointment because I was screaming in pain.  And after he told me I have permanent damage to my spinal cord and will need to look at other options like a permanent stint in my back!

So let me help those who may face the same problem [and don't say it's not you, because you never know].  This is not something you “suck up” and if your doctor tells you to, find another doctor.  Some insurances will cover you detoxing in the hospital and had I of known I would have done this.  If they don’t ween yourself off the drugs by decreasing the amount each day or so.  Only take narcotics  as needed and I mean sparingly because the withdrawals will be more painful than your pain!

Sleep aids don’t work on me.  I have slept a total of 10 hours(if I’ve been lucky) in the past 7 days I only sleep in 2 hour or less increments.  I can not concentrate on anything.  I am nauseous all the time.  I go from nauseous to throwing up in 2.5 seconds flat.  My head is pounding.  I am angry.  I am hot.  I am cold.  I have chills and cold sweats.  Everything hurts, all the time. I am still cold.  I am sad.  I am hungry but can’t stand to eat much.  I am super light-headed and I black out.. a lot.  I wake up with stabbing pains in my stomach.  My original pain is radiating through my body constantly.  I wake up screaming (sorry boyfriend) from what is called “the zaps,” which feels like a paddle of needles is being repeatedly smacked onto my back and the pain from it radiates to every extremity with the sensation of needles pricking my skin.  In essence it SUCKS!! I quit the drugs cold turkey, and now I know it was just plain dumb.  But I had no idea what was about to happen, because no one told me!  Get a good support group to help you and to stop you, a cuddly puppy or two, eat healthy and don’t give up.  Drinking plenty of fluids(H20 & Gatorade), eating bananas, oatmeal and other wholesome foods are helping me a little.  

I hear that I should be feeling better soon, but each day gets worse.  It is 3am, Enk, Massimo and Chloe are passed out in bed, and I’m sitting at the computer staring blankly until I decide to try to focus.

IMG_4568 IMG_4538 IMG_4524 IMG_3683IMG_3695

I’ve Got Grains on My Brains

I’ve got Grains on my brains lately as the boyfriend and I start out quest to get back on the juicing and vegetarian lifestyle that has treated us oh so well the past year and a half.  So when I ran across these two articles in the September 2013 issue of Shape magazine, and the November 2013 issue of Self magazine I had to share.  These pages offer a great deal of information about alternative grains for better health & some tips on alternative sources of nutrition, past the good ole almonds and quinoa.

Check it out!  - Bacon

Go with the Grain_Shape2013 Grains Info2_Self2013