Monday, May 30, 2011

Vitamin C for my Basal Cell Carcinoma, Round 2

The border around my used-to-be scar looks great. My scar... now that's another story. I am using Vitamin C again.

I had that one scab right on the edge of my scar that I couldn't stop peeling off... Every time I dried my face I would look in the mirror and realize I took the scab off with my towel. Was my sore not healing because I couldn't prevent from peeling the scab off or was it because it was still a basal cell carcinoma? How can you tell? I figured that regardless, the Vitamin C again couldn't hurt!

I applied a strong solution (more Vitamin C than water) and the constantly-scabbing sore started bleeding like there was a blood clot trying to escape. Within the hour, it was scabbed over. And this time it was a huge scab! Dark red, almost black. I couldn't forget that it was there and therefore was able to remember to not touch it at all! I didn't even peel it off with the towel!

I was able to prevent myself from peeling off this scab for a whole two days! It fell off naturally. At first I thought it had done nothing. I still had the same small sore near my scar. 

About a day later, I realized it... My sore wasn't in the same spot... It used to be on the edge of the scar. There was nothing there anymore! The sore I had now, had moved. It was in the middle of my scar. While I was able to leave the scab on long enough for the original sore to heel, I had applied the Vitamin C at the perfect time to pull out the hidden basal cell carcinoma. 

If you remember from my earlier post, nothing had happened to the scar the first round of treatment. I think this was because the fresh scar tissue was acting like a shield. Originally I thought that the skin cancer was gone in that area... guess I was wrong... It went deeper.  So of course with this new discovery, I continued applying vitamin C.

I had to calm down the solution. Everytime I applied the solution with too much vitamin C the sore would bleed just like the first time and scab over. That's not the point. I want it to scab over, but not cause the bleeding for it to scab over. The point is to have the cancerous-goo scab over after pulling out of the skin and for the cancer to fall out.  

I had to create the solution correctly using only as much vitamin C as can disolve in the water. With this solution I see the progress or failure or whatever it is. The sore keeps getting bigger as the scar goes away. It has almost completely taken the place of the scar. The scar was literally acting as a shield for the deeper carcinoma. 

I kept getting discouraged because every time I look at it, the sore is a little bigger. However, both my mom and K, on separate occasions have told me that it is actually looking better. My mom even pointed out that I am still applying the solution to the same large area, but this time, it's only the small spot in the center that is reacting. The same original spot the dermatologist scraped off. And also the same spot the was guarded and wouldn't react to the first round of vitamin C treatment.

Will it heal? I'm not sure yet. It's taking more than one round of treatment. I think it will take more than two rounds. But I'm not going to the dermatologist till I'm done doing this treatment myself. I'll keep you posted on what I find!

One thing I do know... the pool has opened this weekend, and my hat collection is definitely about to grow :)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Raw Foods: Healthy Eating or Eating Disorder?

Did you hear about the latest eating disorder?!

Does eating healthy mean you have an eating disorder? Well according to some it is. Orthorexia is the obsession with eating healthy.

I know eating disorders are very serious and I do take them seriously, but I had to laugh when I saw this on I mean how ironic! What incredible timing! It described in detail the way that I was eating!

After the first couple days of eating raw foods I was dropping weight. Dropping quickly! But how can I gain weight when I'm only eating raw fruits and vegetables?! That's why I didn't stay completely alkaline, I had to eat something else to keep the weight on. I was happy with my weight. If I lost any more weight I would look sick in my own opinion.

Plus, raw fruits and veggies gets boring. You can make it interesting for a while, but your body needs more! Proteins! Carbs! Salt! Sugar! BALANCE! After a couple days of almost all raw foods, I not only needed more for my body, I was craving it. Raw food is a great cleanse, just not a way of eating... For me at least.

Even after working other foods into my new more-alkaline diet, I could still manage to gain a few pounds, but that will come back slowly. I feel good. I feel healthy. I like my healthier decisions. And I'm no longer losing weight.

Raw foods are good for you but there is a lot more the body needs to be healthy! Anything taken to the extreme can be dangerous.

Raw foods work for some people. Check out the following links!
First there is Brad, founder of Brad's Raw Foods. How did raw foods help him turn his wellness around?
And then there is Lauren, a Raw Chef and Plant Based Nutrition Wellness Coach. See how raw foods changed her life!

To read more about the delicate balance between staying healthy and turning healthy eating into an eating disorder, check out the following link to a TIME magazine article:,8599,1963297,00.html

Monday, May 16, 2011

Going Alkaline to Starve out Basal Cell Carcinoma

Did you know that cancer cannot live in an alkaline environment? Yep! You guessed it! I went on an alkaline diet to work along side the exteriorly-applied vitamin C. That way I could starve out the cancer from the inside as well as kill it on the outside.

When I say diet though, I don't mean going on the stereotypical three week diet or however long those things are. I wasn't trying to lose weight or anything like that. I was very happy with my weight and my fitness. I was just not happy about my nutritional health. It's more like I was going through a dramatic cleanse as a start to a new diet completely: a healthy diet that I want to have for the rest of my life.

So here's what I did:
  1. I cut out dairy.
  2. I ate raw fruits and vegetables.
  3. I cut out meat.
  4. I ate more raw fruits and vegetables.
  5. When I needed more calories, I ate brown rice, crackers, tortillas, whole wheat noodles and other carb foods.
  6. I ate tons of raw fruits and vegetables.
Yes I was basically vegan. After a day, I realized I had to add in some carbs so I wouldn't drop too much weight. But after a week and a half, I HAD to eat some meat just to be sure I got some protein. I ate as alkaline as I could, but added the variety and balance into my diet as I felt needed.

I am now back to normal eating, I just try to make a lot healthier choices! Instead of my morning latte I either have lemon water, freshly made juice or iced green tea! For lunch, I eat salad, or I make dips for my tortilla chips, or on days like today, when I need some extra carbs, I have something like a quesadilla but I chop up some fresh peppers, onions and tomatoes to put on top.

Whatever I do, I am trying to eat lots of raw food. I make my exceptions throughout the week so that I get my other nutritional needs, but I figure, the more alkaline I can make make it, the better. Based on my skin issues, I think that might be the case for a while. But I would love to be able to possibly help prevent more basal cell carcinoma in the future.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Martini Saying

So today is my birthday. I celebrated with the family early, since my parents are out of town on the day. But tonight, for my celebration, I went out with a couple good friends, and of course K, to the cheesecake factory. Martinis and cheesecake... at least that is exactly what I had!

I ordered a martini that hasn't been on the menu since before I was 21. I tried it because it's my mom's favorite... and although I've strayed, I've never found another flavor that compares: The key lime martini! It's amazing! The bartender always remembers how to make it!!! Nobody has ever said no! And, of course, I had an amazing piece of cheesecake... the leftovers will last for several days!

Anyway, as I was drinking my second martini, I wanted to be sure my friends knew "the saying." At least that's what I thought it was. I've realized over time that sometimes the "sayings" that I know (if I can say them right), aren't always a "sayings" that others know.

So for all of you, here it is, as my parents have told me since before I drank in public... or even before I was in high school:

"Martinis are like boobs. One is not enough. Three are too many!"

Saturday, April 30, 2011

My Basal Cell Carcinoma

About two and a half months ago, I went to the dermatologist for three reason. To have a mole cut off my chest, to schedule an appointment to have another spot on my chest lasered off and to have this never-disappearing sore/pimple/thing cut off my nose. A week or two later, when I went back for the laser treatment, the dermatologist informed me the mysterious sore on my nose was was a basal cell carcinoma.

Yes, at 22 years-old I have skin cancer. Minor. Just a basal cell carcinoma... But still. I have skin cancer. And I'm sure this is going to be a problem throughout my life. My dermatologist recommended I go get Mohs Surgery.

I wanted it off immediately and scheduled a consultation with the recommended surgeon. When I walked in the doctor's office, I felt like an infant. I was by far the youngest person in there. I felt like everyone was staring at me. The people behind the desk; the people in the waiting room; they were all looking at me. The lady at the front desk didn't say anything about my age, but once went back to the room, the nurse, the white jacket (not sure who he was) and the doctor all commented, first thing, on my age.

Why was I there? How could somebody this young and with such clear skin already be in there. They would literally ask me "Why are YOU here?" They would rephrase into some short, second-guessed question as they flipped through my file. The next thing that would come out of their mouth was, "22!"

I'm not a huge tanner. I've tanned in a tanning bed a couple handfuls of times, but not many. I mean I love being outdoors in the sunlight! The first couple years of my life were spent in Florida, and I've visited at least once a year ever since. They all seemed to think it was the tanning bed. However, between the first two years of my life being spent in Florida and both sides of my family having a history of skin cancer, I think this is more likely the cause of my issue so early in life. If the tanning bed was really the cause, then I think a lot more people would have this problem... I know a lot of people who have tanned more than a couple handfuls of times.

Anyway, after their initial shock that I was even in their office and blaming my cancer on the tanning bed, they each described the surgery that I was about to go though. They were going to cut off the skin that the previous dermatologist already cut plus about a millimeter extra around the original cut. Then they would examine the piece of cutoff skin under a microscope and map out were the cancer had spread. They would go back and cut out more in the places that it spread, plus another millimeter around that area. They would repeat until it was all gone. Doesn't sound bad, right?

Mine would have been closer to
my eye, but I imagine about the
 same size.
Well each description got worse. By the time the doctor marked on my nose where he would do his first cut, I realized that they were going to cut off about a quarter of my nose. Plus, it was close to my eye and I would probably lose some feeling in my nose for about a year. I was definitely going to have to visit the plastic surgeon afterward for repair.

When each person left after talking with me, they commented on how composed I was and how well I was taking everything in. When I got to my car, I called the plastic surgeon and scheduled a consultation. Little did everyone know that as soon as I hung up, before I even left the parking lot, I started sobbing. I drove home, talking to my mom on the phone crying.

I had three weeks before my plastic surgeon consultation, what harm could there be in trying a natural remedy while I wait? Any remedy is better than having a quarter of my nose cut off and having, as my dad says, a piece of my butt sewn to my face! (S said that my nickname would have to be butt-face! Loving. I know!)

I was extremely busy as you all know since I wasn't even writing, so my mom started researching for me. For the next few hours, I received email after email about different natural remedies. They were all different. None of them are scientifically proven. Finally one started popping up repeatedly. Topical vitamin C.

The theories behind it made sense and people were writing about their successful results. However, basal cell carcinoma discharges, scabs over, heals, but then returns. Mine disappeared for a couple months... That's why I waited so long to go to the doctor. So as I read these people's stories, my concern was that nobody had written of their success after months had gone by. How do I know that it really worked. How do I know that it never came back? Finally, I got the best email. Mom found someone's story who had a confirmed case of basal cell carcinoma, had gone to the dermatologist only a couple weeks after the vitamin C treatment and who wrote 6 months after the cancer disappeared. The dermatologist had told him the skin looked like healthy and the 6 month period just confirmed that it hadn't returned. I had vitamin C on my nose immediately.

If you want to know what I did then keep reading. If you want to know how it turned out, skip to the end. I am writing my experience in detail so that anybody else who was like me and looking for testomonials from people who have tried this crazy easy cure, can know my story.

Note: This is only one of the three things that I did that I believe helped me. I will continue writing about what I did in future posts.

Recipe for success:
  1. Pour a small amount of water into a small container. (Only about a tablespoon or so.)
  2. Mix in powdered vitamin C until it stops dissolving.
  3. Apply the concentrated mixture with your finger tip or a q-tip to the suspected or confirmed spot of basal cell carcinoma.
  4. There may be some stinging, but when the water evaporates, vitamin C crystals will be left on the spot. 
  5. Repeat as often as possible.
  6. It takes anywhere from a couple days to a couple weeks, but eventually the spot will scab over and fall off.
For the next two weeks I had a thick white spot on my nose... I put a ton of vitamin C in my water. I figured, the more the better and the faster the cancer will die.

None of this is scientifically proven. But I mean, who is going to spend all the money on the research when the result might lead to such a cheap way to cure one simple form of cancer? (That's my opinion anyway.) All I could rely on were the testimonials that I read.

It stung. At first I though it only stung on the cancerous spot, but I'm not sure if that was completely true. I think it stung where ever I put vitamin C repeatedly. But there was definitely a difference in the scabbing on the places where I knew there was cancer.

First, allow me to describe what my carcinoma was like at the time... When the doctor scraped off my sore, the skin that took its place was healthy. I could see a ring of skin around the healthy scar, however, that looked cancerous. It looked like underneath the top layer of skin, my skin was bleeding. There was no actual discharge, since the dermatologist had recently cut off that bad part. But the ring of skin that she missed was irritated and a little puffy.

When I applied the vitamin C, my skin had an interesting reaction. Within 24 hours I had a ring of discharge around my healthy scar. Within 48 hours, I had a scab. It was almost like the vitamin C was literally pulling the cancer out of my skin!

After a couple days, I had to go out of town. I didn't bring my vitamin C and couldn't find it anywhere in the city I was visiting! I couldn't even find capsules with powder in them to break open and mix in water. Within that 36 hours, the spot left behind from the vitamin C had begun to heal. It was already looking so much better!

When I came back, even though my nose was looking better, I didn't want to take any risks, I reapplied the vitamin C and kept applying it on wider and wider surface area. I just wanted to be sure I was going to get it all! And since I had read that the vitamin C only stung where the cancer was, and the whole area was stinging, I went wider. Eventually I decided that the whole area couldn't be cancerous. It was just reacting to the acidity of the vitamin C.

I could see a difference in the scabbing of the two place. The first place was the place I had just applied vitamin C over and over. The second place was where the doctor had told me he would cut, which was the same spot I could see the skin cancer. The cancerous spot was actually a little wider than what we both had thought. The vitamin C had pulled so much out  of my skin that the scab in the cancerous area was much thicker. It was like the skin reacted to the vitamin C everywhere, but the cancer completely ran out of the skin only in the cancerous spots providing a thicker scab.

After a week and a half of this application, I took a break. I let the skin heal. Within a couple days the scab was gone. And I cannot even express how excited I was about the results! The skin is not puffy at all. It's completely smooth. No irritation under the skin either! I don't even know if the doctor would know where to cut!

The few people who asked me about my nose have asked me if I would go back to the dermatologist to have her take look when I was done. I said yes a couple times at first, but then changed my mind. Basal cell carcinoma is known for healing and then returning. I bet my doctor thinks I'm nuts and tells me it is just going to come back. Plus, the only way to prove that it is gone would be to biopsy my skin. Which would mean I would get cut on... Yet again! If it's still there, I'd rather it come back a while down the road and then maintain it again with vitamin C. My skin looks a lot healthier for it!

Something funny about the whole process... People have to see the white vitamin C spot on my face, but they don't say anything about it! People don't even tell you when you have spinach in your teeth! They don't say anything about white spots on your nose either! And its rude to stare! The result: Only the truly honest people or the people you know the best (...or drunk people at a bar) will ask any questions!

Anyway, so far, my nose is looking fantastic!  I have a small scab from where I picked at part of the original scab, but it is almost gone. It's not just healing and then coming back again. I just got a little too excited when the scab was coming off! And now I keep accidentally rubbing the fresh scab off with my towel.

It takes a couple weeks just to get an appointment with the dermatologist. So if you have a basal cell carcinoma, it doesn't hurt to spend $20 on powdered vitamin C and give this a try while you wait! Worst case scenario: you have to do what the dermatologist prescribed in the first place. Best case scenario: you can prevent going to a surgeon, getting a quarter of your nose cut off and going to the plastic surgeon for a repair. Instead you can heal it naturally! Sure you might look like you are a coke addict if it's around your nose, but it could be a natural cure!

(6/4/11 - I realize that this post is getting lots of hits. The story doesn't end here. Please read my post on May 30, Vitamin C for my Basal Cell Carcinoma, Round 2 for the most recent status.)

To read more about the Mohs surgery, visit the following link:
To read more about topical vitamin C, surf the web! There are so many thing to find, but no official proof or process.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Big News!

Hey everybody!
Sorry it has been so long!!! I got really busy and knew I wouldn't be able to post for a while, but still temporarily left without explanation... Well I'm back! And boy do I have lots of news!

First, I'm helping my Mom open a small Pilates studio on the first floor of the "office house." (It's an old white victorian house and Dad's business is upstairs.) We are taking our time opening it since we have no rent, but all the new equipment (reformers, towers, chairs, balls, etc.) is set up and is so much fun to play with!

Which brings me to the second thing. I decided to learn to teach classical Pilates! The comprehensive training starts in the fall, so right now I'm just trying to fulfill my prerequisites. I'm taking classical apparatus classes every week and classical mat classes about every other week! I absolutely love it! There are so many new exercises that I had no idea that I could even do!

On the downside of the time I've been gone, I have skin cancer on my nose. I have been to the dermatologist many more times than I would have liked within the past month. It's a minor cancer, but it's on my face. This topic deserves a whole post on its own though... Don't worry, you will hear plenty about it soon! I am of course trying out a new natural remedy ;)

I bought a new car! Mom got a new car, Mom and Dad needed a car for my sisters to drive, and I liked my Mom's old stick shift. So I gave my car back to them for the girls to drive and bought my Mom's old Mini Cooper for the difference of the two cars' price! Took me about a week to finally get the hang of that stupid stick shift! And I can even start on an uphill incline!

A week ago, two days in a row, I couldn't get my car to go forward. I would be pressing the accelerator and the car would go vvvvvvrrrrrrrrrroooooooooommmmmmmmm, but I would be rolling backwards down the hill. I ended up having to back all the way down, start on flat ground and then practically run the stip sign at the top of the hill so that I didn't have to start the whole process all over again! Yes, I know. Not the safest way to drive, but I've learned how now!

And finally, I moved out! I finished unpacking a week ago, all I have left is hanging pictures. K helped put together my furniture, set up my TV and now gets to help me by holding the pictures against the wall as I figure out exactly where to put the nail! It has been a wirlwind! But the first round of bills is in just a week. When did I grow up?

Anyways, things are settled down enough that I will be blogging again! So stay tuned!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Makeup with Pilates

Imagine: Legs straightened, mascara in hand,
and location was the bathroom...
My parents and I are kind of obsessed with Pilates. And by obsessed, I mean that we are all instructors so we teach, take and talk about Pilates classes all the time! Recently, I've been trying to find a way to modify advanced exercises so that I can teach them in full classes! A full class is about 5-7 people. But I want to make it so that they are working toward something even better!

Well this morning I was getting ready for work. I'm used to being alone in the morning, but this morning C was late to school and both of my parents were up and about. But... since I'm used to being alone I left the bathroom door wide open while I was putting on my make up. And no... I wasn't just putting on my make up. I was trying to figure out the best modification for an exercise.

So as I was putting on my mascara, I was standing in front of the sink with my back to the door. I had my legs turned out and my feet about three feet apart. I had my arms extended out toward the side walls. With a very controlled motion, I was twisting slowly from side to side... Mascara in hand!

Little did I know that my Dad had walked downstairs and was watching me! I was caught and their was no way to hide it!

He asked what I was doing. My answer: Putting on my make up. He laughed and I had to follow up with what I was really doing....

Playing Pilates!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Royal Toe

My Dad stubbed his toe. He probably broke it too and so his toe turned purple. This is how I found out...

K and I had crashed Mom and Dad's date again. We all went wine tasting at Whole Foods and then out to dinner. As soon as we sat down, this is what Dad announced.
A Knight in purple

"I figured out what to call your middle toe."

"What?" ... my first response.

"The royal toe!"

I stared questioningly.

"Because my middle toe is purple!"

Yes,  my dad was taking the color of royalty, the color that kings, knights and other royalty wore in the past, and was using it to name his toe.

He added at the end... "Instead of the middle finger, its the middle toe!"

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Winter Diets vs. Summer Diets

Summer is around the corner and spring break season is already here! Granted, I don't get a spring break for the first time ever, but that doesn't mean bathing suit season isn't in the back of everybody's mind. Seasons are changing and so are diets, fitness schedules and tans.

I have now been graduated for a little over a year. In college it used to be a New Year's Resolution to eat salads and start going to the gym. Every year. But let's be realistic, everyone was just trying to get in a better body condition for Spring Break. This year has been different for two different reasons. The first is I actually found a work out routine that I love and so I don't have to force myself to show up at the gyms and debate the entire way there if I can just skip that day's work out. (I will probably talk more about this next Sunday) And the other reason is, now that I am not having my diet controlled by whatever the sorority fed me, I am easily eating healthier and what my body needs, when it needs it.

Summer Diet
The sorority was putting forth a nice effort to serve healthy food. But it is still different from what I chose to eat when I am on my own or at home. Plus, I've always hated that low fat or low carb diet. If I eat low fat then I get hungry again so quickly and end up eating three times as much as I would have just eaten the fat in the first place. The fat is what keeps you full! (Again a good topic for a future post)

I'm not talking about fat free today, instead want to talk about how the way people eat changes throughout the year... Or at least in my family's case. All winter I have been all about chicken soup, minestrone, chili, hot ham and cheese sandwiches and warm drinks... although lattes are a part of my diet year round. Everything has to do with my warmth. Fresh cut vegetables are just not appealing this time of the year.

It's not that I don't like vegetables. I love avocados, celery, tomatoes and other fresh fruits and vegies. Wintertime just means I want them all cooked and served to me warm.

This week, however, things changed. My mom was making her fresh vegetable juice, which usually has no appeal to me, and I found myself stealing the celery she cut up. I even wanted a glass of the juice! Of course, she didn't share though. But it has been that way all week. I found myself craving salads, celery and avocados for the first time this year. The temperature is changing and I'm pretty sure my body's needs are too!

I used to think people changed their diets so that they could attempt a six pack for the summer... And by six pack I mean both kinds. But now my opinion has changed. I think that as the seasons change, our bodies have different needs, if you listen to your body you can see that there is a reason for your craving.

Winter Diet
Example: I am a huge chocolate craver. Did you know chocolate is high in magnesium? I started taking magnesium supplements and my chocolate intake went way down!

It's the same for everyday diets. And now the time has come for my summer diets! I am over eating salads that are full of mostly lettuce, no matter what the season... Ever since my braces, junior year of college, I decided that they just take too long to chew. But I like salads made from tons of veggies! And one of my favorite summer foods are avocados!... In every way shape and form! Guacamole or just freshly cut avocados with a sliced tomato, are both amazing!

Good thing I crave fresh food in the summer... Now I can eat the nutrition my body craves and have room for six packs ;)

To read more about my diet, visit my Mom's blog:

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Whispers to Squawking

Sorry I haven't written in a while. The last post was a rush and things never slowed down. I've been super busy. I started teaching more regular hours of Pilates, played driver for my younger siblings the week Mom and Dad went to Vegas (for business I guess), went apartment hunting and am now shopping for the apartment. Bottom line... I have not been in the mood to blog, and I have done way too much Google-ing... a little for the Oscars, but mostly for furniture.

Throughout all my busy-ness, Sweetie, the Hahns Macaw, keeps her same routine. I can never seem to walk out the door on time in the morning. It's always a rush. It would be nice to one day be able to stroll to my car, but no. That's right, I run out the door as fast as I can without spilling my latte.

Sweetie (Left) and Nikki (Right)
The entire time, from the moment I finish making my latte, through putting on my coat, slipping on my shoes, searching through my purse for my keys and until I finally find the last place I set my phone, Sweetie whispers to me.

"Goodbye. Goodbye. Goodbye. Goodbye. Goodbye."

Yes. Constantly whispers it over and over again dozens of times.

That is, until I walk out and shut the door. Then, she, as well as Nikki who decides to join in, switch their tone of voice.


Smart birds, but I don't know if they quite get the point of whispering.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Natural Antibiotics

My mom doesn't help me fill out forms. Any forms, applications or paperwork at all was picked up, filled out and turned in by me... nobody else... Part of that whole "growing up" thing. Well, senior year in high school, when I was filling my application for college housing, I was sneezing, using tissue after tissue after tissue, my eyes were stinging and watering. I can't remember if it was a cold or allergies but I ended up having to take a Sudafed.

Well, wasn't that an experience! I got so loopy and could not concentrate. I kept asking my mom this one question but couldn't concentrate long enough to write it down... Yes, I was too loopy. She had me hand over the computer and she filled out my form!

Back to the present: The colds have passed, except for C's random Kleenex's found in certain areas of the house. I thought, however, that I would follow up last week's health post with what herbs I took in place of drugs this past cold. Obviously, I haven't been friendly with Sudafed and look for other options.

Here are two reasons I turn to herbs:

Reason #1:
An herb is found to help cure an ailment. To make this available to the public via a drug, the specific compound in the herb, which plays the main part in curing the ailment, is isolated. The compound is then chemically derived and a drug is made.

An herb is put together in a way that all the ingredients work together to have their effect, in this case curing a cold. When one ingredient is separated from the rest of the compounds, it does not have the assistance of the others. Not only that, but it is also not the real compound. To make the drugs, the needed compound is chemically created.

Reason #2:
A drug is used with the main purpose of hiding symptoms, for example, of a cold. Clear the sinuses, stop the runny nose and relieve stinging eyes. A drug hides these symptoms well, however, doesn't always assist in curing the actual problem.

An herb is different. An herb is used with the ultimate purpose of helping the body fight the cold. A side effect might be clearing the sinuses and relieving the other symptoms. They aren't always immediate but it doesn't matter since the main goal is to strengthen the body's immune system and get rid of the sickness.

That being said...
Here are the two herbs that I used rather than Sudafed:

Give me the real thing and all the healthy ingredients to go with it!

1. D-Hist
Don't mask allergies or colds! This product helps support the sinuses and nasal passageway tissue.

2. Sinupret
This is another herbal medication commonly prescribed in Europe, that supports the upper respiratory system and healthy nasal passages. But it also helps strengthen the immune system.

When you get sick, take all your vitamins, take extra vitamin C, and look into what kind of herbs can help your strengthen your immune system, which will in turn clear your sinuses and nasal passages.

To read more about either of the above herbs, D-Hist or Sinupret, visit the following links:

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Sick with a Cold=Jack and H2O2

The colds are back and little rougher than the first round this winter season. I was the first to catch it and now it is making its round throughout the family. The Jack Daniels can be found on the kitchen counter next to the tea and honey. And the vitamin cupboard is probably opened about 50 percent of the day.

Obviously from my post during the last cold season, we don't pick the typical methods to fight the bug. No cough syrup and hopefully no Sudafed or Dayquil. Nope. Instead its a spoonful of whiskey, some vitamins, a couple herbs and hydrogen peroxide.

When we take things for a cold, we aren't just trying to make ourselves feel better and hide the symptoms, we try to give our body what it needs to kill the bug and detox. Tea with honey and less than a shot of Jack are to help with throat pain, but when it comes down to actually trying to fight the cold, hydrogen peroxide is one of the places we turn.

First, a bit of history... In 1928, Richard Simmons, M.D., hypothesized that the cold and flu virus come into the body through the ear canal. That's right, not the mouth, nose or eyes, but the ears. His theory was dismissed by the medical community. I, however, think he had a point. When colds are going around, I try to avoid touching my face. I don't touch my eyes, nose or mouth. But I fix my earrings, put my hair behind my ear and I rest my head in my hand... the side of my head and thus next to my ears... I do all of this with the intention of not touching my face. And how many people put a pencil or pen behind their ears?

I think Dr. Simmons had a point. In 1938, German researchers experimented with using hydrogen peroxide the ears in order to fight the common cold. It worked, but their research was and, for the most part, still is ignored.

Here is what they did:

  1. Tilt your head to the side and pour some hydrogen peroxide in your ear. 
  2. Let the peroxide sit. It will find and begin to start killing bacteria and you will feel it bubbling. It may tickle or sting, but it won't hurt.
  3. After a few minutes, it will stop and then you can drain your ear. If it doesn't stop after five minutes, then drain your ear and repeat with fresh hydrogen peroxide until the bubbling stops.
  4. Repeat in your second ear. 

Begin this process within the first 10 to 12 hours of the first symptoms. Evidently, if done within this time period, you might be able to fight a cold off before completely catching it.

Maybe if I grabbed the hydrogen peroxide the morning of the day I pulled out the Jack Daniels for my tea, I wouldn't have gotten the full blown cold and could have fought it off faster! I usually wait till day 2 or 3 when I really start feeling bad to start this. I didn't know to start this process so quickly until I did a little more research for this post. Next year, I am definitely going to have to do this immediately within the first signs of the cold.

Happy cold season...

To read more about hydrogen peroxide treatment in the ears, visit the following link:

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Slipping on Ice

Who was affected by the ice storm, blizzard or thundersnow this week? Well, here we definitely got the ice part! Woke up yesterday morning and had to wait 20 minutes for my car to heat up enough to start melting the ice, just so that I could begin to scrape it all off! And our driveway... ice skates might have been nice!

Topics of the day:
  • Your wipe out
  • How big of a bruise is on your butt?

So the recognition of everybody's fall (whether they will share it or not...) here is one of my favorite wipe out scenes from the movie "While You Were Sleeping." I laugh every time...

Sunday, January 30, 2011


The Kombucha is back! And it is a delicious batch :)

Have you ever heard of a SCOBY? Do you hide anything in a cupboard to let it ferment? Do ever open a cupboard and get a whiff of vinegar stench?

Well, if you go into our kitchen and open the cupboard where we keep our large pots, our blender and the Cuisinart, then that is exactly what you will get.

Since we have so many people who like to drink the Kombucha, we make it in mass quantities. Not all of us drink it, but the half of us that do, love it and drink a lot... Well, we usually love it... Sometimes we have that bad batch that is so sour that we can't even drink it. Last time we made it, we let it ferment for way too long and couldn't drink it. So for me, it feels like forever since I had a glass.

I could go to the store and buy a bottle, but that would mean spending $3.49 for a couple minutes of delicious healthy drinking. Just about the same as if I bought a latte every morning from Starbucks. Thank goodness my parents have the resources for me to make my special drinks without spending money! (Benefits of still living at home!)

But still, even if I did this on my own, Kombucha is cheap and easy to make! It involves a SCOBY, green tea and lots of sugar.

The SCOBY is the interesting part. The SCOBY is a Symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast. Yes, the main ingredient for one of the healthiest drinks out there is bacteria! It floats on top of the two gallons of green tea and feeds off the sugar, and that is what ferments the tea. It is the cause of the transformation from sweet tea to Kombucha.

Why do we drink Kombucha?
First, if we make a good batch, it is absolutely delicious. (If we make a bad batch it tastes like vinegar. Not sure what we do to ruin it.)

But what really got us into it in the beginning, were the health benefits. I started drinking Kombucha when I moved back home after college.  If you drink it before a meal, it helps with digestion. This definitely assisted me in losing a few of those extra college pounds. Digestion, weight loss, immune support, detoxification and energy boosting are among the benefits.

According to the government, there is a negative. When Kombucha ferments, eventually traces of alcohol can be found. When the Kombucha is made and put in bottles, it still is fermenting. It ferments on the shelves slowly. Last summer Kombucha was temporarily taken off the shelves completely. Lindsay Lohan used it as an excuse for why she had alcohol in her system. Surprise, surprise.

To read more about Lohan and her Kombucha bust, visit the following link:

To learn how to make your own scoby, visit the following link:

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

¿Cómo?... What?

So I have this reoccurring dream... The location and situation changes all the time, but the concept is always the same.

The Dream:
I am talking to another person. I desperately need some important information, but when the person responds, they are speaking in Spanish. The problem is...... I don't understand a word they are saying!

Real Life:
I studied Spanish in college and even traveled to live abroad in Spain. I obviously know Spanish! When I dream, I am making up the conversation with my own knowledge.

Why would I create a conversation with my own mind but also make it so that I don't understand a word that is being said?!?

Is this normal?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sleep vs. Sleep Deprivation

Me at the Madrid train station
I'm laying here with a pillow and a blanket sooo tired. Last weekend I was in Chicago for my friend's birthday and therefore didn't post on here. Now today, I'm just exhausted from last night. (I went to the midnight showing of Rocky Horror Picture show with a whole bunch of crazies!)

While I have been laying here, wishing I was sleeping, I've researched several future posts, but nothing that I'm ready to complete or post today. What is written, I don't even like yet.

I  finally decided to pick a whole new topic all together! I typed into my google search, "sleep benefits."

Like brother, like sister... J can sleep anywhere!
Here is what I've found (This list is kind of boring and predictable... So if you want to get to the good stuff, skip to the second list!):

1.  Sleep helps reduce stress. (Duh! I get so high strung when I'm sleep deprived.)

2.  Sleep can help you lose weight. This is due to the fact that it helps control your hormones. (Wonder if the hormones have anything to due with my stress)

3.  Sleep decreases inflammation. Lack of sleep causes stress. Stress causes inflammation. Therefore, sleep eliminates inflammation.

4.  Sleep helps control a body's chemicals and thus also reduces the risk for depression.

5.  Sleep gives the body time to repair itself. 

6  Sleep improves your memory and can make you smarter.

7.  Sleep keeps your heart healthy. No heart attacks or strokes!

8.  Sleep may help prevent Cancer.

9.  Sleep makes you more alert. (Again, Duh! I'm no longer sleep walking!)

S can sleep anywhere too!
While looking through repetitive articles all listing the same health benefits from sleeping, I came by a hilarious and creative countdown of 10 benefits from sleep deprivation (Seriously, you should read the original article! I didn't write everything down here, since I didn't want to steal the whole thing.):

10.  Sleep deprivation allows you to speak your mind.

9.  Sleep deprivation provides more time for productivity.

8.  Sleep deprivation lets your family see your emotional side.

7.  Sleep deprivation can lead to lack of rationality, which can lead to creativity.

6.  Sleep deprivation gives you excuses to try gourmet coffee.

5.  Sleep deprivation provides you with an excuse to nap.

4.  Sleep deprivations gives you a free pass when you forget important information.

3.  Sleep deprivation allows you to fast forward through boring situations

2.  Sleep deprivation can give you a pretty good buzz by the end of the day.

1.  You can see the sunrise and the sunset in one day!

To read this hilarious blogpost, which, like I said, is 100x funnier than my summary, visit the following link:

To read more about the health benefits of sleeping, just google "health benefits."

But for now, Goodnight!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Ménage à Trois

Every once in a while, K and I crash Mom and Dad's Friday date night and go wine tasting with them at Whole Foods. It's great. For $4 we get five different wines with a different appetizer to go with each wine.
Not only is this a great little deal, but this simple event also gives me the chance to educate myself in the wine world! I can actually try many different wines, instead of picking out a bottle based on the fact that its cheap, it's red and the name is recognizable. And if the bottle has an animal on it, that's usually a bonus, too. What can I say?... I think the kangaroo is kind of cool.

No. At wine tasting, I discover that there are more than just Shiraz and Merlot. There were several wines that I really liked, even a white one. I don't usually like white wine. But, this isn't about that wine. This is about my favorite of the night, which was of course a red wine: Ménage à Trois.

A couple days afterward, I went grocery shopping with my mom. She and I decided to buy a bottle of that wine. We looked all over for it, but we couldn't find it. She mentioned that she didn't want to ask the guy restocking the shelves where it was... because of the name.

But I didn't hear that last part... the "because of the name" part... So naturally, when she asked me if I would ask, I jumped right to it!

"Why don't you ask him?"

"Ok," and I walked right over to the employee.

"I'm looking for Ménage à Trois," I said, "Do you know where I can find it?"

Yeah... As I was speaking I was realizing why Mom asked ME to go ask him about it. Could I have phrased the question in any better of a way? I've always thought direct was best... Maybe I should reconsider.

... By the way, don't type Ménage à Trois into google and expect only wine pictures to pop up...

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Feathers in my Hair

Things have been pretty normal around the household lately, so this week you get to meet MY bird!...
Meet Harry! 

Just kidding!

Meet Kirki :)

If you ever see any little blue feathers sticking out from under my hair, it's probably not an earring... It's probably my bird.

He loves neck scratches!
He's a parrotlet, also known as a "pocket parrot." He's small, he's quiet and he could fit in my pocket! Therefore, when he climbs up my arm, onto my shoulder, and then sits on my scarf, so that he can be completely buried in my hair to stay warm, you can barely even tell he's hiding.

K said that I'm like those celebrities that carry their dogs around in their purses... Only I carry my bird around in my hair! (Thank goodness there is a difference! Please don't compare me to Paris Hilton!)

There is a reason he sits on my shoulder 90 percent of the time! It's his favorite spot. Once, K tried to have Kirki sit on his perch, and instead the little guy sat on K's keyboard until K picked him up. And of course, as soon as he was picked up, he ran up to the shoulder and sat there quite contently... minus the fact that K doesn't have hair to burrow in.

Thank goodness he is so small that even when he sits on my scarf, his eye level is below mine! Otherwise, sitting on my shoulder so often would lead him to believe that he was my boss!

It's a bird thing!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Dinner... More than one way to keep a Healthy Family!

I forgot about blogging tonight and now I am full from a delicious plate of "goup"  (old family recipe) and have enjoyed several glasses of wine. My mom, boyfriend and I were all laughing in conversation when the phone rang. My sisters needed a ride home from the church. Oops, Mom and I forgot that we needed to go pick them up. We should have avoided those last glasses! Luckily, my boyfriend, K, was able to help us out.

While I was riding along in the car for company, K mentioned that I still needed to blog. Yeah, I forgot. Seriously, if it wasn't for him, I would probably forget half the time. I think he likes to read them or something... I'm not sure.  Half the time, I blog in advance, save the post as a draft, and then finally post on the date (journalism degree can come in handy!) But at other times, on days like today, I just simply need reminders and it's all last minute.

When I came home, I started brainstorming out loud in the kitchen. What should I write about? My sister, B, said to write about how much I love her. Such a sarcastic girl!

I can't. This post needs to be about health. Her response was that it was perfect. (Again... so sarcastic!) I can write about how healthy it is to love my sister "sooo much!"

I walked out of the room laughing at her. However, after thinking about it, she had a point.

I am the oldest of six kids. If my parents would have allowed it, by the time I got to high school,  I probably would have been too busy to spend time with the family. My parents, however, had family dinners whenever possible, and then Sunday was always "family day."

Even though I followed the rules, this seemed kind of silly at the time. Now, looking back, this has created an extremely good family relationship between us.

Obviously today is Sunday and we didn't get to eat together as a family, but just like with everything else, there are exceptions.

I remember being in college, and I think it was during a chapter meeting at my sorority that we had a speaker who asked us about family dinners. I don't remember exactly why she was there or what the point of  her talk was, but I do remember thinking it was interesting that she asked when the last time we had dinner with our family was. And she didn't mean a holiday dinner; she meant a normal dinner on a normal night. I thought this was an odd question, since we have family dinners in my house all the time. But it was actually a legitimate question. It's not quite as common as I thought.

Ends up, it is very healthy for a family to eat together. Who would have thought? Until then, I thought it was just my parents.

I can guarantee that when I have a family someday, I will most definitely require family dinner at least once a week. One simple way to keep a family healthy!

Here are some interesting facts about family dinners:
  1. Reduces the chance that teenagers do drugs.
  2. Reduces the chance that teenagers drink.
  3. School grades will be better.
  4. Provides an opportunity for parents to be sure their kids are eating healthy meals.
  5. Allows for parents and kids to connect over the daily details.
  6. Makes kids more likely to talk to their parents about their serious problems.
  7. Kids will feel that their parents have a greater sense of pride in them.
  8. Less tension will exist within the household.
  9. Helps prevents eating disorders. 
  10. And personally, I think my siblings and I get along more successfully and more often than we would without these dinners.
    To read an article from TIME about family dinner magic, visit the following link:,9171,1200760-4,00.html
    To read more about benefits of family dinner, Google family dinners or visit the following link:

    Wednesday, January 5, 2011

    My First New Year's Resolution

    From old...
    My New Year's Resolution: Buy a new computer.

    I've never been a New Year's resolution kind of girl, but I think I could get used to this! I called my friend R to help me pick out an Apple computer, and he told me that my resolution was one of the best New Year's Resolutions he had ever heard. I mean most people pick "lose weight," "start going to the gym," or "start eating healthier." Did I pick that? Nope! I'm buying an expensive new electronic! Next year R suggested I go even bigger and buy a car!

    I have been talking about this for at least 6 months... My computer is about 5 years old. It's not just one of those old MacBooks... No. It's an iBook!... Even older. The internet is now too advanced for my computer. It won't even play YouTube videos anymore. Actually, it won't play any videos at all.

    ...To new!
    As R said, it's time that I join the 21st century. My new apple laptop arrives tomorrow!

    I'm not going to buy a car next year, but I wonder what next year's resolution should be... I must keep this trend going!

    Sunday, January 2, 2011

    Twinkie Diet? Really?

    My uncle D acts like he's into nutrition. I mean, anyone who squeezes a lime into his water and then adds cayenne pepper and syrup is obviously doing that one cleanse, right? The Master Cleanse?

    Well, like I tell him all the time, it's not about the cleanse when he goes home after work and drinks beer! He doesn't do it for the cleanse (according to me), he does it to make up for a week of pizza and a weekend with his buddies!

    Recently, I came across an article of the top five most ridiculous and over- hyped diets of 2010. Yes, I printed it out and gave it to him for new diets to try in 2011 when he gets tired of his cayenne pepper drink diet "cleanse" thing.
    1. First listed was the HGC diet: Inject yourself with female pregnancy hormones and then stick to only 500 calories per day. I was definitely surprised that my uncle knew exactly what this was and explained it to me before even reading about it. He, however, assured me that he wasn't going to try it.
    2. Baby food diet: I would never get full if I were only eat those tiny baby size jars of food!
    3. Tapeworm diet: Well, he had heard of this. Isn't it an old fashion diet? I mean, I would love to eat 100,000 calories and not have to pay the consequences... but I don't want a 30-foot worm living inside me.
    4. Twinkie diet: Of course America would be interested in this diet! Don't pay attention to the nutritional information! Just count your calories! I don't think I could ever stick to 1500 calories though...
    I don't usually read the comments at the end of the article, but people definitely had some great things to say about this article. My favorite was from a lady who was pretty enthused about the twinkie diet:

    "I really like the twinkie diet that sounds so great. Let me lose some pounds and have my face look like pizza with all the nice pimples and have a crappy attitude while I'm on the diet. Wow that sounds like the perfect diet for me. 'NOT!!'"

    Uncle D and I definitely got a kick out of it.

    I'm not saying to follow my uncle's example of drink choices (unless it is solely for the cleanse), but if you have the popular new year's resolution of losing weight, do join him in snubbing these hilarious diets!

    To read the article about these ridiculous diets, visit the following link:

    To read about the cayenne pepper cleanse (Not recommending it, since I haven't tried it... and since I like food), visit the following link: