A Note on Anthony Bourdain

When I read the posts on Facebook I was confused and thinking, “What happened?”

I felt that something bad had happened.

Then I Googled his name, and saw.

Anthony Bourdain had comitted suicide.

Like other celebrity deaths, I was in disbelief. I didn’t want to believe what I was reading, but as I continued to see the headlines pop up on my screen, and when the news reported on it, reality set in.

The funny, straight-talking, adventurous chef was gone.

As I’m typing this a No Reservations marathon is playing in the background, and right now he’s in Spain. Prior to that Bourdain was eating his way through Rio.

I only knew Bourdain as a chef and TV host. I didn’t know that he was a writer, who had written multiple books, and–at least for his CNN show Parts Unknown–wrote the scripts. I always thought that he had hired a writer to put together his stories and narrations.

Now I’m more in awe with him, because I write.

I just placed an Amazon order for his book Kitchen Confidential.

Bourdain opened up my world to different cultures and foods. His distinctive voice drew me in to even the most boring subjects on Parts Unknown. He made me want to visit third world countries when I was adament to do so! That’s how powerful No Reservations and Parts Unknown were, not just to me, but for thousands of other people. Those who couldn’t afford to travel, were taken on a journey with him.

And wanderlust began.

RIP Anthony Bourdain.

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Self-Improvement

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jacobandreae.com

(Haven’t posted here since February?!?)

I’m sorry.

I’ve been on a self-improvement kick lately, reading self-help blogs and purchasing a few books on everything from career to life in general. It’s an exciting time for me!

One of the biggest hurdles in my life is my inability to handle stress, and be anxious and worried (I talked about this once or twice on the blog). My therapist has helped me compile a list of ways to handle these, and I coupled that with the book Declutter Your Mind: How to Stop Worrying, Relieve Anxiety, and Eliminate Negative Thinking. I highly recommend it to anyone who is a worrier like me, and/or has anxiety. Whenever I feel anxious, I pick up the book, flip to one of the many tags I placed on its pages, and try a strategy. Examples are meditation, deep breathing, and distracting yourself.

I’ve also been reading the blog zen habits.

What are some self-help books/blogs that you recommend? And have you put any of the teachings into practice? Did you notice a difference in your life?

The Case for Functional Medicine

Ever since I was diagnosed with RA last October, and being on Prednisone I began looking at holistic treatments for treating this condition. I read Amy Myers’ book The Autoimmune Solution and she was valid in her points that food will help the body repair itself. And that the body can repair itself when given the right tools.

And as my dietician said, “Medication only treats the symptoms, not the cause of a disease.”

And that’s how functional medicine operates.

Now, I’m all for medication in certain aspects, like treating cancer with chemotherapy. No amount of waiting and diet is going to stop a disease like that from spreading. But after reading up on functional medicine it made me think: If we can prevent diabetes, Alzheimer’s, heart attacks, and a slew of other conditions, why can’t we reverse the conditions if we have them? (Given that they’re in the early stages, of course).

Makes sense, right? If we ate three bags of chips a day and gained 100 pounds, the only way we can lose the weight is to stop eating three bags of chips a day.

(There may be other factors that makes someone get sick, but the causes are mostly fixable, like the chips.)

I mentioned this before in my first RA post, but stress was the cause of me getting it. I’ve never been able to handle stress well and my job at the time was too much (in fact, that’s when I noticed my first symptom, a swollen pinky). Even though I got out of that stressful situation, it was too late. My body was still holding onto the stressors.

And my hunch was confirmed at my new job: whenever I would get stressed, my elbows would hurt, which never happened before. And on the days where I was relaxed? No pain!

I felt like I had discovered gold. And now I’m taking the steps to manage stress better. And my pain has been on the low end of the pain scale. My swollen pinky and middle finger are still present, but getting back to normal.

The medication may be helping too. Functional and conventional medicine do work together at times it seems.

But to me, functional medicine is a safer approach to treating disease. There are no side effects from eating fruits and vegetables. Or exercising five days a week. Or doing yoga for 15 minutes a day.

It’s all about adopting healthy habits.

Adventures in Puppy Sitting

My parents and I are in the middle of a two-week puppy sitting assignment. This puppy is staying with us while my friend is in Japan with her boyfriend and his family. We’re the only family she knows that has a yard, so that’s why she asked us.

And I’m surprised my dad said yes because whenever I mention that I want a dog, he says no. Yet he’s all for watching one.

I bet he regrets his decision now…

This puppy is 6 months old, and she’s a bit spoiled. She’s cute (German Shepard), but chews on everything, always wants to play, and likes to jump on you. And she’s a terrible walker, always sniffing the grass, eating rocks, etc.

But despite all of that, she’s bringing us closer. My parents have figured out a schedule to take her out, and I walk her whenever I can. It’s a nice shake-up to the usual routine.

One more week.