Changing My Diet

I met with a dietician today to discuss my diet, namely what to eat to reduce joint pain and inflammation due to RA.

Melissa, the dietician, gave me recipes and told me what foods to start eliminating, and to do this in small steps. One item that I’m going to have a hard time giving up is processed food (I told her McDonald’s was my favorite fast food chain). In addition, no Cheetos and chips for me anymore…

So my new “diet” (we’re doing the elimination diet to figure out what’s causing the pain and inflammation) is:
-No dairy
-No gluten (this one’s going to be hard also since everything has this)
-Eat more fruits

However, with these restrictions, Melissa also told me what foods I can eat, based on what I already ate and what I was willing to try. For example, I’ve never eaten chickpeas but was willing to try them, so she gave a recipe to make them taste good. She made the process easy and wasn’t pushy about going completely vegan (like her), or being hardcore. Her philosophy was “I can suggest changes for you, but you can choose to try them or not.”

I left the meeting feeling motivated to change!

It was a good thing I saw a dietician, because when I was first diagnosed with RA I felt overwhelmed with what to change about my diet that I didn’t know where to start. But now I have a plan, and have to remember that I can’t do a big change like this overnight. I have a two week follow up with her, then after that, I’ll have access to her via text, email, in-person, and video conference.

I’m ready (and excited!) to start this new lifestyle change!

Have you seen a dietician before? Is your health better than it was prior to the meeting?

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Less Than a Week To Go!

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I hope you all are not getting stressed out with last minute Christmas prep. My mom went to the mall today and that was an adventure: packed stores, grumpy customers (and employees!), and out-of-stocked items. Hearing her story tonight made me happy to not be a seasonal retail worker anymore.

But, I digress.

Remember, that amid all the craziness, it’s the best time of the year! Christmas music, houses decorated with lights and giant inflatable animals, good food, presents, friends, and family all come together in a magical time.

If that’s not enough to ease your stress, then “Linus and Lucy” will get you happy!

Byodo-In Temple

If you visit O’ahu, get out of Waiki and the North Shore and take a break at the Byodo-In Temple in lush Kahalu’u, on the Windward side of the island. I’ve lived on O’ahu for 29 years and it was my first time visiting this shrine. It’s gorgeous!

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Byodo-In Temple

The temple is located at the foot of the Ko’olau Mountains, in the Valley of the Temples Memorial Park (a graveyard). Don’t let that freak you out, though! It isn’t a graveyard with creepy headstones.

Once I crossed the wooden bridge at the entrance and saw the temple, I felt relaxed. Even with tourists mulling around, I was in a state of calm (this feeling was still with me in the gift shop!). There was a temple tour being held and people going in and out of the shrine that housed a giant Buddha.

The Byodo-In Temple is a non-practicing Buddhist temple, and I always liked the Buddhist teachings. To me, it’s not a religion, but a way of life, and the principles behind Buddhism is what I like. (Plus, I’m a big fan of the Dalai Lama).

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Backside of the temple

We walked the manicured grounds, seeing small waterfalls, ponds, and a lot of koi. It was a peaceful way to spend the afternoon.

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Lots of koi, which you can feed

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Black swan

10-Year High School Reunion

I chose not to go to my 10-year high school reunion. Do I regret it? No. High school was an emotional time, for me and all of my classmates. We were dealing with growing up, relationships, friendships, homework, thinking about the future. It was stressful.

But I met my good friends during those years. After I quit band my junior year I needed somewhere else to eat lunch, so I found the art room. And that was where I met a bunch of lovable, nice, and funny people. I still keep in contact with some to this day.

Seeing Facebook posts from my former Japanese teacher, a friend, and our class group hasn’t fazed me and made me change my mind about not going. It looked like a fun time, though. From the looks of it, the theme was Vegas. Of course. The same people who were part of the student council and planned our dances and events also planned the reunion! It’s cute that they were so dedicated to our class. I was amazed then and I’m still amazed now.

Despite me not going, I was curious to know what some of my classmates were up to…looks like I have to go to my 20th high school reunion huh?