Are you wondering what my title stands for? Gluten-Free and
Dairy-Free! I jumped on the bandwagon… finally.
Growing up in an Asian household, I was fortunate
enough to be raised with amazing home-cooked Laotian meals every
day. My mom was very adamant about keeping us far from the
"Standard American Diet" as long as possible. I didn't start
regularly eating from the "SAD" until high school, and more heavily
in college (more consistently than before).
From that point on, I started to gain more weight, had more
gastrointestinal problems, and had a huge issue with acne. I never
had acne through puberty or high school! I ignored the correlation
with ALL those symptoms to diet, even though it was an obvious
link. So through my blogs, you can all see that I've been raising
my standards with my health lately. As I journeyed through p90x
with my husband, we also focused a lot on our diet. We minimized
our intake of processed foods, refined sugars, and refined carbs. I
thought that with all that work, I would definitely feel overall
EVERYTHING felt better (energy, muscularly, mentally), however I
still had some GI bloating and digestive issues every night that I
just dealt with. Then I started to REALLY look at what I ate and
even went to see an ND intern. I LOVE food that contains gluten AND
I love having yogurt in my protein shakes, but I realized that it
was not worth it if I felt the way I did every night.
So it's been three weeks since I have been gluten/dairy free,
and I'm on a couple of supplements to start gut healing. My
experience thus far has been pretty easy overall because we eat and
cook at home most of the week. However when we have eaten out, it's
been more challenging for me to look for options that are gluten
free. I've even had to ask the chef more than once about many menu
items. So it can be difficult if you are use to eating out all the
time, but the benefit pays off - trust me! Because you guessed it,
I FEEL AMAZING! It's only been 3 weeks but that's all that it
Since I've entered this gluten/dairy free realm, all the
alternatives that are out there now are actually VERY TASTY! Since
a large number of the population has been demanding it, I think the
products have been getting better and better. For example, I was
craving pancakes but got sad because it obviously has 90% gluten!
Well, my husband found a gluten-free pancake mix and made them for
me and they tasted BETTER than regular pancakes! So there is hope
out there for all of you to try it out for yourselves. (Not that
eating pancakes in general is healthy, but just using that as an
example!) Coconut Bliss is also amazing! Gluten/dairy free ice
cream! It's better than the real thing… seriously! :)
Blissor: Bob's Red Mill - All their products are great! They
even make gluten free brownies, cookies and pancakes, which are
Hi everyone. This has been a week of tough workouts, strict
diets, and sore muscles. Among all that, I feel absolutely amazing!
I have more energy, my "hunger pains" have decreased, and I've lost
five pounds and two inches! All the hard work in just seven days
has already paid off and we (my husband and I) are on the right
track to being the healthier "us"! Although it has been a short
time so far, this has been a reviving experience showing me my
weaknesses but also my strengths.
This year has already flown by and I cannot believe that we are
approaching spring soon, which means WARM WEATHER! Our personal
goals through this training are not to only "look" healthy but to
be able to participate in an upcoming 5K as well as a sprint (half)
triathlon in July! I can say honestly that I have never had a goal
like this. I've always relied on being the "brains" but not the
"muscle" so I've used that as an excuse as to why I never excelled
athletically. But that all changes this year! I want to prove to
myself that I am capable of overcoming anything as long as I put
effort to it! So keep me in your thoughts as I push forward towards
my goal! Not only is LIVING a healthy life include eating right but
working out right too!
We were tested hard this weekend as we headed to Michigan to visit
my in-laws. We left on Thursday night and knew that we had two
additional workouts to fit in (Friday and Saturday) plus we knew we
had to control our eating habits with healthier options and portion
control. Well guess what? We succeeded - and fortunately had so
much patience and support from Ryan's family as we took about two
hours of each day to work out before we spent a lot of time with
them. Also when we went out to eat with my in-laws, we actually
went to a Tapas restaurant (Spanish style small plates), which
allowed us to eat small amounts of food but still feel satisfied
and full. It all worked out and can work out for you in your lives
An awesome show just started on ABC called "Secret Millionaire"
and I am officially addicted with tissues in hand. America was
introduced to "The LOVE Kitchen," run by 82-year-old twins Ellen
and Helen Turner to feed the Knoxville, Tenn. community. (For more
information: www.thelovekitchen.org). It is so inspiring to see all
the hard work that is done all around the world, and I know that
even doing simple gestures or donating clothes/food can make the
biggest difference in someone's life. So look up The LOVE Kitchen,
get inspired, and go do something great today!
Blissor: My health. Since I am young and healthy now, I am happy
that I have chosen to take control of my health! But it doesn't
matter what age you are, it's not too late to be the better you!
Have a great week everyone!
Hellloooo worrrllddd!! My last week of
midterms! To be completely honest, and it actually sounds crazy,
but I really enjoyed midterms! This trimester has been amazing and
refreshing so far. Although my credits are lower than when I was
dually enrolled, I believe that this tri has been challenging in
its own way.
One of the most challenging aspects of this trimester is that I
have to switch my thinking modes. Although I try to eat, breathe
and live naturopathic medicine, being exposed to a high percentage
of physical medicine in clinic has helped me strengthen that aspect
but also (possibly) overlook all the principles of naturopathic
It is awesome (and challenging) to be re-submersed into the
medicine that I will practice mainly in the future, and be reminded
of how amazing naturopathic medicine can be. Studying for these
classes has been more enjoyable since I am in a clinical state of
mind, and it's fun (yes, fun!) to re-learn and master everything
and find the niche that I would like to incorporate in my future
practice. I have encountered some discouraging moments, which has
caused me to question everything I am doing, but having a
supportive husband to get me back on track has made this trimester
much more memorable.
This week, along with midterms, my husband and I started the
famous and brutal P90X! We've had it stored for almost six months
now and finally decided that our daily workouts have gotten boring
and we wanted a challenge. And boy did we underestimate the
intensity that we were getting ourselves into. So far, muscles I
didn't know I could work out are sore, and
laughing/sneezing/coughing makes me crouch in pain because of my
abs. It is an insanely good feeling that I cannot explain to be
challenged in this way, come out feeling this sore, but so good all
at the same time! We are doing the full 90-day challenge, so 90
days from now I'll post (maybe) before and after pictures that will
help inspire you to go above and beyond health wise!
We finished the week with a fun night in Chicago with
friends visiting all the way from Alaska! (If you remember from
last year, I went to Alaska at the end of May to be part of their
wedding!) We used "Yelp" and found an amazing family-owned
authentic Italian restaurant (Buona Terra on California Avenue)
that was AWESOME! All of you should go and try it. Support a small
business and have some delicious homemade creative Italian food!
Then we went to this place called Outdoor Café that looks like a
huge garden but is decked out inside with patio furniture and comfy
couches. I love trying new things and can't wait to venture out
into this big city more to find all the hidden jewels! You should,
Blissor: My husband. He is my rock and ultimate support and I
could not get through everything without him!
This week has been a huge blessing--lots of good and even some
bad, but over all, a blessed week! Starting off the week with
Valentine's Day probably had a lot to do with it. My husband and I
went to a very nice and quiet dinner at a place called Redstone in
Oakbrook Terrace. Their food is exceptional and we don't go too
often, but the splurge was worth it! My husband is an amazing man
and his love and support as I venture through my SECOND doctorate
is absolutely essential! I can't emphasize enough how important it
is to have support outside of the school to get you THROUGH
So you want to know the exciting news right? Well, in the tenth
trimester of my DC program, I started to work on a case study
abstract, which discusses a unique case that I encountered that was
treated successfully. After discussing the case with Dr. Solecki
(and getting permission from the patient), we submitted it to the
American Board of Chiropractic Sports Physicians to see if it would
be accepted for their annual Sports Symposium. After a couple
reviews and editing, I was informed that it was accepted for poster
presentation! Hard work does pay off!
Now, I am currently working on expanding the case study abstract
into a format that is suitable for the medical journal, Journal of
Chiropractic Medicine (JCM). It is a lot more work than the
abstract, and has included (so far) over 30 references including
textbooks and fellow research articles/case studies. Working on
that plus studying for midterms and writing papers for class has
been very difficult, but I am crossing my fingers that this will
also get accepted for publication. So wish me luck! This will make
my mission complete! (hence the title of the blog!)
On a less AMAZING note, over the weekend, I experienced a horrible
neck strain. I am actually writing this with (still) a sore and
terrible pain that does not allow me to turn my head to the left.
It was a pain that I have never experienced before! I received
treatments (chiropractic) over the weekend and followed up with hot
packs and anti-inflammatory supplements, and I feel exceptionally
better than the first day that it happened. I am telling you this
not to make you feel bad for me, but to attest to the fact that I
could not get through this weekend without our "medicine."
Advanced Clinical Theory
In Advanced Clinical Theory class, we've been working on
numerous cases and not only do we discuss all the possible
"pathology" occurring, but we also are encouraged to recognize the
"blissors." "Blissors" is a term that we've learned from Dr. Lou to
describe the things that make someone happy and content beyond all
the "pathology" surrounding him/her. This has inspired me to
examine my blissors and I will be including them at the end of each
blog not only to be a small reminder to myself but to all of you!
Have a great week everyone!
Blissor #1: Other than my husband, this little man is my favorite.
He is a miniature reminder of how good life is!
The best part of being so close to the beautiful city of Chicago
is just that! You get all the culture, amazing food, beautiful
skyscrapers, and it makes you feel small, which helps me get my
mind off of stresses of school! The two girls in the picture with
me are my best friends. We have been through so much together from
childhood all the way until now - adulthood. I feel so blessed to
have the relationships I have with them. Unfortunately, adulthood
has also brought so many changes that have just added to our
friendship but has also created more obstacles to see each
we were just spontaneous and decided to have an impromptu girl's
day. We walked along Taylor Avenue as Marathon runners were hitting
their 17-18th mile, which was so inspiring. The weather was
gorgeous so we walked all the way to "Maxwell's Market," which is
held every Sunday from 7am to about 4pm. It is an amazing strip
that goes about 3-4 blocks filled with vendors selling anything you
can think of from coffee pots to amazing tacos! The place in the
picture is a must find and must eat!!! We try to go to the market
at least once or twice a year and we always hunt that place down to
have their homemade tortillas and tacos! It's THE BEST!
Basking in the sun and hanging out with my girls are ways I deal
with stress of any kind. What do you do? If you are a part of this
graduate program (single or dual), you will be forced to find ways
to deal with your stress. Some people party it off, some people
shop it off, some people become hermits, and more! I think I tried
a little bit of all of the above and realized that BALANCE is
probably the best way to deal with it. Have a little fun, a minimal
amount of retail therapy can be soothing, and finding quietness is
priceless. Enjoy the city if you're not from here. Go to a musical,
ice skate in the midst of giant buildings, and visit the swarming
Maxwell's Market for a fresh pina colada and homemade tacos. Do it
all but all in moderation.
If you don't, you will go crazy. Literally! That is probably the
best advice I can give you. Take time for yourself and for school.
It will pay off. I can tell you this… in my graduating class there
are all kinds of people from all walks of life. There is the
adamant over-achiever who studies studying and then there is that
person who studies and then takes time off… and you know what? We
are all graduating in less than four months. You have to be happy
Have a great week guys!
• ND Clinic Format
• Love Your Profession
• MD vs. ND
• CAM Day
• Working During School
• Q&A with Readers
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