Archive for tag: food

GF/DF Status = 3 Weeks

Are you wondering what my title stands for? Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free! I jumped on the bandwagon… finally.

Kabobs _webGrowing 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 better. 

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 takes! 

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 AMAZING! :) 

The Love Kitchen


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 too.

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: 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!

Trying New Things


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 medicine (subconsciously).

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!

Miravone -Two -sm
 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, too!!

Blissor: My husband. He is my rock and ultimate support and I could not get through everything without him!

Miravone -Husband -sm

Mission Partially Accomplished

Top -2-22-2011

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 school.

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!

Miravone -nephew -sm
Blissor #1: Other than my husband, this little man is my favorite. He is a miniature reminder of how good life is!

I Love the City

Top -city
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 other.

Miravone -taco -signThis weekend 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 here.

Have a great week guys!