Saturday, September 29, 2012

Walk For Lupus Now 2012

Today was amazing. I had the chance to meet my hero, Shannon Boxx. We talked for at least 5-10 minutes.

I was so happy I got to meet Ms. Boxx, I almost started crying. So I inspected my leg until I regained control of myself and then my sister and I got a picture with her!

And I'm happy to say that I was able to walk the entire three miles. I was a bit worried when we started because my hip was throbbing, and by the end of the walk my shoulder and my hip were killing me. But that didn't stop me from having fun and talking with my fellow walkers. I heard a lot of great stories today.

I compiled a video for you guys of my walk. Unfortunately my camera is terrible so the sound (from the people at the event) is horrible and the image isn't so hot. So I added some music so you wouldn't have to hear pshhhfszzzzzzshhhhhh for 3.5 minutes. Just wait until I get my Nikon D5100. Then you will have lots of beautiful footage.


Friday, September 28, 2012

Pancakes to Fit an Anti-Inflammatory Diet

I saw this recipe yesterday while I was surfing the web and I knew that I had to make this for my breakfast this morning.

This recipe is almost as easy to make as a bowl of cereal. And it's healthy for you. There's no gluten, no flour, it fits in with my anti-inflammatory diet, and there are no questionable ingredients from a pancake mix.  Yes, I said PANCAKES!!! They were delicious. And my mom was surprised that they actually smelled and looked like pancakes. She was more skeptical of them than I was.

Ingredients

  • A ripe banana (or as ripe a banana as you can find)
  • 2 eggs
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Just to keep the pancakes from sticking to the pan)

Extras

  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
I added these because I'm not a huge fan of the taste of banana, and these taste exactly like banana pancakes without the spices added. They were delicious with and without the spices, so it's whatever you prefer.

Directions

  • Gather your ingredients
  • Mix or blend all of the ingredients and any extras you'd like to add together until they are well mixed (minus the oil)
  • Oil the pan and turn on the heat.
  • Pour a small amount of the "pancake batter" into the pan (I made the mistake of pouring the whole thing into the pan. I probably could have left it to cook as is and make a crepe with it, but after part of the bottom cooked, i flipped the edges over and made a very thick pancake)
  • Cook it exactly the same as you would a regular pancake. Once it looks cooked and edible, put it on a plate, put some fresh fruits on top, and enjoy!


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Crazy Week and One Day Left To Donate For Walk For Lupus Now

What a crazy week this has been. I have not had a single day off since Sunday. Luckily on Saturday I was able to have some fun. I spent the day at Epicenter 2012 at the Verizon Wireless Ampitheater.

It was an incredible concert. It started off with me catching the guitar pick for Hyro Da Hero. They were an interesting band. I couldn't tell if I liked them or not. It was annoying how every few seconds they'd throw their mic or guitar in the air and catch it. Once is like "ooh" but a dozen times is just like saying "Hey, I'm showing off". The next band to play was Beware of Darkness. They had a few sound problems. And guitar problems. After the lead singer chucked his guitar around the stage, I think most of the audience understood why most of their equipment didn't work. But their drummer was pretty awesome. He was on fire, when suddenly I see half a drumstick hurtling through the air towards my face. There was a chick standing behind me, and that half a drumstick hit her right in the face. She didn't mind, though. She was ecstatic. And it gave me an awesome story to tell. Two more bands played before my next awesome happening. Then Hollywood Undead came on stage. I saw them at the first Epicenter. They were incredible then. I think they were even better now. I was lucky enough to get hi-fives from three of the members of Hollywood Undead. I'm so short, they almost couldn't reach my hands. They could only reach my fingertips. I can feel my heart beating faster remembering all the crazy awesome stuff that happened.

While we were leaving, some more awesome stuff happened. My friend and I got hit on by some drunk dudes in a limo, I got hi-fived by a most likely high guy who said he didn't give a fuck. And we got a free CD of some pretty awesome music.
This picture makes me feel like screaming from joy! (That's my hand)
(Also, this image is copyrighted so don't steal)
Then on Sunday my boyfriend donated $30 for my Lupus walk. I have only been asking $5 or $10 from people, so when I saw what he had donated three times that amount to something that means so much to me, I cried. That was the biggest donation I had recieved until my grandma was nice enough to beat that donation. "Who keeps cutting those darn onions?" I jokingly texted him after thanking him for his generosity.

I've worked nonstop since Sunday and Monday I worked at the movies. Tuesday my boyfriend came over and I also taught class. The boyfriend and I spent every second together until I had to go to work yesterday.

Yesterday was crazy. It deserves its own paragraph. It was a really slow day. It had been over an hour since I had clocked in and I had helped maybe one person. I was cleaning stuff, because that's all there is to do when it's that slow, when I heard a clatter and the usher call out my name. I saw this woman had fallen over there was stuff on the ground. She could barely stand up. She was having cognitive problems. After finally getting her to sit down, I tried to get her re-hydrated. She had suffered from heat stroke, even though it hadn't been very hot out that day. She would only drink one glass of water and said she would like to walk home. I wasn't comfortable with the idea, so I tried to make her sit down while I stalled to get her things ready. I know it's important to cool your internal body temperature with heat stroke, so I wanted her to sit in an air conditioned room for as long as possible. Before letting her leave, I made sure she had my number and my theater's number so she could call me if she made it home safely. If not, I was going to call an ambulence to go looking for her.

After leaving the building, she didn't seem coherent. She was walking around the building, so my manager called for an ambulence. After they checked her out, they drove her home. I got a lovely phone call from her husband thanking me for helping his wife. I was so happy to hear that she was okay and made it home safe.

Then today, my partner in crime couldn't teach, so I taught the whole class by myself. It's hard to teach a rowdy bunch of adults. Especially when they're my parents so they don't give me as much respect as they would a stranger. But I did a good job. I survived.

Tomorrow I work, and Saturday is the Lupus Walk! That means there is one day left to donate! Your donation of $1, $5, or $10 would make me eternally grateful. You can donate here.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Watching the Inspiring Michael J. Fox at the Ellen Show

What a wonderful day today was. I got to go watch Ellen DeGeneres today. I got to see a lot of guests, but I was most excited about Michael J. Fox.

For those of you who aren't aware, Michael J. Fox (the guy who played Marty McFly in Back To The Future I, II, and III) has had Parkinson's Disease since 1991. Parkinson's is a chronic, degenerative neurological disorder. Like Lupus, there is no cure. Also like Lupus, an estimated 1 million Americans have Parkinson's. 

The most inspiring thing about Mr. Fox, is how incredibly upbeat and hopeful he is. He was sitting down, his right arm placed on the chair he was sitting, and you could see it moving back and forth, keeping pace with an invisible metronome. I was sitting in the Riff Raff room because my friends and I were some of the overflow guests. But this had it's benefit because I could clearly see Mr. Fox's face. I'm so used to seeing him as Marty McFly. He has been an eternal teenager in my mind, until now. He is no longer a smooth-faced youth. The movement of the lines on his face just emphasized everything he was saying. Hearing him talk about how positive he stays made my eyes burn from the tears dying to come out. There was one line he said (and I'm so glad Ellen has already posted this on YouTube so I can quote this correctly), "If you imagine the worst case scenario and it happens, you've lived it twice."

I am so glad that I was able to be there in person, even if I couldn't see him in person. This is the kind of attitude I would like to permanently adopt. Maybe this wisdom comes with time. I want nothing more than to be as inspiring, positive, and hopeful as Mr. Fox. I want to encourage others and be a force for good. Michael J. Fox is going on my list of heroes and people who inspire me.

I just realized something very funny: Michael J. Fox and Shannon Boxx, my heroes, have last names that rhyme. I might have to change my last name so it ends in 'ox' and join the ranks of inspiring people.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Lose 20 Pounds in Three Months

What I really hate about Lupus, other than always feeling lousy, is the steroids they put me on. After many months of repeated steroid use, I gained A LOT of weight. It was awful. My self-esteem plummeted with every glance into a mirror or catching a glimpse of my reflection in a shop window. I felt uncomfortable in my own skin. I could feel the weight I gained in places I had never felt before.

I was facing a difficult challenge. I can't lose weight the same way a healthy person does.

A close friend of mine was like "Dude, just try the P90X, I lost like 30 lbs." I received similar advice from other friends and family members.

If I tried working out until I was sweating and sore, I would get sick or trigger another lupus flare. And the Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program I was a part of wasn't helping me lose weight, even though it was making me more mobile. Two miles is still my walking limit before I trigger a flare.

Finally, I took to the internet and stalked the shelves at my local library until a solution presented itself. The diet I came up with is a hodge-podge of healthy eating common sense, anti-inflammatory diet books, and a sprinkling of the Paleo diet. I was also influenced by the book The Autoimmune Epidemic by Donna Nakazawa.
Not even my heaviest :(

20 Pounds Lighter

What Not To Eat

  • Dairy
  • Red Meat
  • Wheat
  • Sugar or Sweetener of any kind (minus the sugars naturally found in fresh foods, for example, fruit)
  • Coffee, Soda, Juice, Drinks with Caffeine, non-herbal teas.
  • Peanuts
  • Corn
  • Processed Foods (this is the hardest to get rid of, but getting rid of this really makes you feel good)
  • Fried Foods
  • Oils and Butters (tiny, tiny amount of extra virgin olive oil is okay for cooking)
I bet you're wondering what you could possibly eat after cutting all that food from your diet. "Well, of course you'll lose 20 pounds. You're starving yourself to death". Ah, but you're forgetting the many other foods out there that you can eat. And trust me, this will not make your food options boring. Just remember that there are over 100 ways to cook an egg.

What To Eat In Abundance

  • Veggies- If you have Lupus, don't eat sprouts. They can aggravate your Lupus. No potatoes, but you can have lots of delicious sweet potatoes. But no corn.
  • Grains- No wheat, but you can have quinoa, barley, basmati, Amaranth, and oatmeal.
  • Beans (Legumes)- personally, I love kidney beans, but feel free to go crazy here.
  • Oily Fish- All my favorite types: Salmon, cod, halibut, tuna, trout, haddock. No shellfish though. That means no shrimp, too (This would have to be one of the hardest things for me to give up, next to tortillas).
  • Skinless Chicken and Turkey.
  • Spices and Herbs-The best way to flavor your food. Ginger and cinnamon are particularly good for you (unless you have a thyroid problem).
  • Fruits-Go crazy and try to eat what's in season. (My breakfast is usually a giant, delicious smoothie)
  • If you really need to sweeten something, you can use a little raw honey or agave.
  • Eggs
  • Nuts-Minus the peanuts
  • Water- Lots and lots of water. If you don't like the taste of water, try adding some lemon. Or some other type of fruit.
The key is to try and eat 40+ grams of protein so you have plenty of energy to take on the day. Also, it's good to make sure you are getting plenty of your B vitamins. Spinach, fish, eggs, chicken, bananas, and plenty of other fresh foods on the "Eat In Abundance" list are full of your B vitamins, which will give you a copious amount of energy.

Another benefit I gained from this diet was how much more energy and how much healthier I felt. It reduced a few of my symptoms which was a bit surprising.

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Monday, September 10, 2012

Walk For Lupus Now

For a long time now, I have been trying to find ways to help the lupus cause. And I have finally found an easy way that I can help. On September 29th, I will be participating in the Lupus Foundation's Walk For Lupus Now. It's an easy 3-mile walk to raise money for Lupus. I am so excited about joining this walk. I have a feeling it will be all I talk about for the next 19 days.

I am determined to raise $1000 to help find the cure for lupus. The money donated will go towards helping lupus patients, finding better medicines (ones with less terrible side effects), and a cure for this awful autoimmune disease. I can see it now: people who have lupus regaining their lives, living pain-free with no more visiting their doctors, except for yearly check-ups. The Lupus Foundation is trying to raise $275,000 and how proud would you be if your contribution made it happen? What if your dollar was the one that helped find the cure? You could walk up to strangers and say "My dollar helped find the cure!" and the stranger would say "Really man? That is so awesome" and you would hi-five and go on your way.

Now I know times are tough. Just look at the gas prices. So if spending money just isn't a possibility, you could join  us instead. If you'd like to walk with us in the Walk for Lupus Now, you can register here. It's going to be in LA at Christmas Tree Lane in Exposition Park. The walk starts at 10:00 am, but you need to be there by 9:00 am. (They also have walks in other cities, but you'd have to find those on the Lupus Foundation's website)

If you would like to make a $10 donation to find the cure for lupus, you can either donate on my fundraising page or click on the big fundraising button on the top right hand corner of this page.

As a thank you, here is a pic of me with crazy hair.
 Your help will be benefiting the 16,000 patients that will be diagnosed just this year. It will help the more than 1.5 million Americans living with this disease. Your pocket change could save someone's life. Thank you so much for your help and consideration.