Category Archives: Letters

What Childhood Games Can Teach Us About Life

My son joined Chess Club at school this year, and really enjoyed it. This was surprising because as a young 4-year-old who wanted to play board games, he would throw a fit every time he lost. To see him growing up to a 10-year-old who loves to play a complex game where there can only be one winner shows how much you can mature in a short amount of time.

Now that it’s summer break, we’re enjoying playing more board games. He was teaching me to play a new game, and I had a “light-bulb” moment. While I lost the game, I asked that we play again. He was surprised, and said okay, so we played again and again I lost. I told him I really wanted to play another round to figure out how to win. He thought I’d want to play something new to see if I could win at something else. That made sense, especially when we think about life and how easy it is to be discouraged and give up when you first don’t succeed at something new.

We played the game three times until I won, and I explained to my son that life is like the games we play. We can get easily upset when we lose, or try over and over again until we win. Or, like he suggested, you can switch to something else. This reminds me of how we have different attitudes in health. We often go through the same cycle as learning a new game: trying something and winning (it works), then doing it over and over again and once we lose, giving up (health changes over time, so if we start to break down, we often give up and accept living with a problem).

Unfortunately, life isn’t as simple as a game with clear rules, players and outcomes. It is far more complicated, especially when it comes to our health. There are different methods of healing, different styles of living and different foods to eat. But, I often find myself thinking with the same persistence: not giving up, and asking for advice from those who have figured things out. That is how I found Hen Sen Herbs.

It is truly a beautiful thing to live in a country with so many health care options. Mind you, they’re not all supported by the health care insurance system, but I am so grateful that we have Traditional Chinese Herbalist, Acupuncture, Massage as well as the American Medical Association practitioners. If life were a game, I’d say we’re fortunate to live in a country with the freedom to choose how to best live our lives.

No Reset Button For Carpal Tunnel

Since it’s creation in the early 60’s, video games have been seen as a common hobby for both kids and adults alike. Often branded as a hobby for “nerds” or nonathletic individuals, video games have grown into something more than a standard at home activity.

Competitive gaming (Esports) once seen as an underground community, has grown to a now multi million dollar industry and even has articles in ESPN branding video games as a now, legitimate sport. Sponsors such as Redbull, Gatorade, and even the phone company HTC now offer contracts to competitive gamers making this once childhood fantasy, a reality. As a competitive gamer myself I’m happy that Esports has grown to such heights. Even I know however, these companies won’t just sponsor anyone.

I follow and play a game know as Super Smash Brothers Melee. Since it’s existence in 2001, this game’s competitive community is now bigger than ever. With it’s fast paced movement and style, people always ask the question. “How can a player move that quickly?” When tested, top professionals such as Adam “Armada” Lindgren and Aziz “Hax$” Al-Yami can average up to 900 inputs per minute. What may look like common “button mashing” to the average viewer are actually precisely timed inputs to make the players character move so quickly and efficiently. Inputs are the amount of times a player taps a button to cause an action in the game. With each match lasting around three to four minutes and played in sets of 3 and 5, one can imagine the toll it can take on ones hands by moving so quickly. I mentioned earlier how the game has been played for over 15 years with new and old players still going strong. As for the older players however, the toll of using such quick reflexes for years, is finally catching up to them.

Hax$ first got onto the world’s radar in 2008 by placing 9th at his first major tournament. At just 14 years old, he proved to be a rising star placing within the top 8 at almost every tournament (Participants ranging from 300-1,000+). In January 2015 seven years after making his debut he was forced to take his first hiatus from the game due to a nagging hand injury. An injury that would later develop into Carpal Tunnel syndrome.

Carpal tunnel syndrome causes numbness, tingling, and other problems in your hands due to pressure within the nerves of your wrists. The name strives from the area that your tendons run through and connect to your wrists. There are many causes for it as it has links to arthritis, diabetes, and even pregnancy. Unfortunately for Hax$ he developed carpal tunnel due to the excessive and repetitive inputs from his fingers causing his carpal tunnel to swell up and make the tunnel tighter. Seeing it as just a nagging hand pain, Hax$ took a hiatus from the game to ice and rest his hands. Three months later he returned to the scene for no more than a handful of tournaments before he found the pain coming back. Concerned about the constant pain, Hax was then diagnosed with Carpal tunnel syndrome and spent over half a year icing his wrists, not touching the game at all, and even wearing a splint to help heal his tendons before they got worse and his nerves would develop long term damage. Finally after months of treatment Hax$ returned in April and got 3rd at his first National since his diagnosis proving he could still hang with the best. This also however may mark the end of the road for Hax$ as he announced that his hands were in so much pain during the tournament he has no choice but to get surgery. It was a success but we all question when and if he may return to full time competition again.

Hax$ isn’t the only one concerned with retirement from their profession. Players all around the Esports community have expressed concern about their own hand pains and there are even talks of having on sight doctors at tournaments. Much like the NFL’s concerns with concussion/brain damage from excessive head trauma, Esports competitors although just playing a game, are at more health risk than one might think. I fear the day I develop such injuries, but when and if I do, I’ll remember the story of Aziz “Hax$” Al-Yami and the precautions I shall take.

It’s always good whether you’re a gamer or not, to ice, stretch, and flex your tendons throughout the day. A simple exercise you can do to strengthen your hand is to wrap a rubber band around your finger tips and stretch each finger 5-10 times. Take breaks often, and take time to flex and extend your wrists. Make sure your hands stay in a neutral position when typing on a computer, also keep your hands fresh and loose and this will definitely be better for you in the long run. So remember, video games are fun for everyone, just remember to give your hands a break, they deserve it more than you know.


Intuition: Where Did It Go?

We live in an age where technology such as the internet, television, and phone apps can provide so much information. News, commercials, medical enhancements, celebrities, etc, the list goes on and on. But with all this information, how can we tell if something is true or not?

This is highly prominent in the medical industry, where someone says, “This thing is good for you! Go on this special thing diet today and lose 100 pounds”. This statement sounds silly and unrealistic but it is a true formula that many people fall for. This doctor (or if you’re watching a commercial, a guy in a white lab coat and a stethoscope around his neck) says this is good for you so I should trust him right? Well, did you ever stop to think “what the side effects may be if I start taking this” (or listen to the side effects toward the end of the commercial…real scary stuff).

Medication is prescribed left and right for everything from a runny nose to cancer. The issue here is where did that little voice in our heads go? You know the one that says, “Maybe I should dig deeper into this and see if this is the best option” or “Maybe this isn’t a good idea”. This is called intuition.

I want to share a rather personal story of mine that has had such a huge impact on my life today, and if I could, I would have changed it completely. About 5 years ago (I was 16 years old), I was put on birth control for a multitude of reasons, the doctor I was seeing told me that it was completely safe and I would have no complications of any kind. They even told me I could take birth control limitlessly, meaning I could take it until the day I died. Naively falling for their advice, I took birth control for 5 years straight. I’d have really horrible UTI’s (urinary tract infections), yeast infections, anemia, and eventually my menstrual cycle was thrown way out of balance. I would get two periods a month…women can you imagine that?

Working with Juli, she noticed that I would get lethargic and sometimes even nauseous. She examined my body and it turned out that my liver is completely inflamed and also a serious case of anemia due to the fact I was losing too much blood with my periods every month, and so many potential chronic health problems. I have been off birth control for more than two months, and have already noticed a significant change in myself. I am still recovering nonetheless, but I can’t even imagine what my body would have gone through if I had taken it for the rest of my life.

The moral of my story is that although medication can potentially be good for one thing, it can cause a chain of reactions for others. And sometimes it can put you in a worse state than before. After going through my experience I am always going to dig deeper into what I put into my body and listen to my intuition. Intuition has become more silent as the production of pills grow faster. People are so anxious to find a quick solution for everything instead of taking a second to listen to the body.

In my case, I did some research on the Pros and Cons of Birth Control and from what I found, it wasn’t surprising. There have been cases that link Birth Control to liver damage, uterine cancer, and potential breast cancer. One piece of information that struck me was that women aren’t even allowed to take Birth Control for more than 6 years! But at the same time Birth Control can help prevent women from unwanted pregnancies. All medication has its pros and cons, but for me I wish I would have taken the time to think of all possibilities before jumping into something I had no knowledge about. And now I am paying the consequences.

Most doctors are trained to look at someone’s concerns, prescribe medication, and kick them out the door, so they can bring in the next patient. In one instance I had a doctor look at me, prescribed me medication, the whole 2 hours of sitting in the waiting room, led up to a 15 minute examination and that was it. She didn’t even take time to dig deeper as to what my concern was or the probable cause of it. It made me so upset that I felt like there was no solution to the concerns I was feeling. My intuition was telling me that there was more to the problem. But I felt helpless and lost because there was no one who could give me the straight answers that I was looking for.

Intuition is something that you have a gut feeling about. When people feel sick it is hard to sift through all the possible causes and root problems because all you are focused on is trying to get better. That is when you need to look into yourself the most and seek the best possible solution for you. Natural medicine is one of those practices that allows you to explore those root problems not just to cure your symptoms but to change your life style to help you feel better altogether. Natural medicine may not provide a quick solution but it is far better to relieve as many problems as you can than to take a pill and cure one symptom.

All in all it is important to listen to what your body is telling you, it’s your intuition. When you feel a small body ache don’t run to grab an aspirin, try stretching. If your stomach is constantly upset, change your diet or eat in smaller portions. About 80% of diseases can be prevented by making better choices, 20% is out of our control. Look at all possible solutions and concerns before making a drastic decision in life. It will save you in the long run.

~Humbly, Shaila

The Art of Loving Yourself

What do most Americans talk about in February? It’s Valentine’s month by the looks of the grocery stores with all of the red, pink and chocolate covered goodies!

We all enjoy a good love story, but did you ever stop to think that your first love is the most important? No, I’m not talking about your first kiss or boyfriend or girlfriend. The first person you get to fall in love with is yourself.

Most of us take a long time to learn that we need to love ourselves before we can fully love others. I’m not talking about being self-centered. What I’m talking about is the kind of self love that helps you keep yourself healthy and strong so that you can better love others. Most people get so busy with life that they neglect themselves and don’t realize how much that has as chain reaction on those who love them the most.

As they say on the airplane, you must first put your oxygen mask, then you can help your children or others. If you suffered a heart attack related to not being healthy, then you suffer that pain, but you also cause a ripple effect on everyone who loves you. So, the best way to really love others is to love yourself first. Love yourself enough to eat well, exercise often and take care when you need extra rest or medicine.

Instead of thinking about Chocolates this February, let it be a time to re-inspire your new year’s resolutions. And, if you didn’t make any, now is a perfect time to start. What can you do better to care for yourself every day?

Here are three ideas:

1. Eat more vegetables. I once met a man who explained that his new years resolution was to eat one whole vegetable and one whole fruit a day, because he now had a son who he wanted to teach to eat better than himself. That meant that he was now eating one whole carrot or one whole apple. By some standards, that is not much, but for him, it was a big step toward improvement.

2. Exercise every day. A friend of mine who works very longs days in an office building decided that the best way to get more walking into her day was to take the stairs instead of the elevator. That one change in her daily routine meant that she got 20 minutes of climbing stairs twice a day!

3. Quiet Time. We have so much competing for our attention every day, and even more so with cell phones and tablets at our finger-tips. It’s hard to get some quiet time for the mind and body. Some people love meditation for this, while others enjoy running by themselves. A great way to work this into your day is to simply get up 5 minutes earlier before anyone else in the house. You can sit and drink a glass of water or cup of tea and let your body relax.

Remember, life is like flying on a giant airplane. Put your oxygen mask on first so that you can love others!

Warmly, Holli

Two Keys To Unlock Reaching Your Goals This Year

Happy New Year! Yes, it’s the time of the year when everyone starts to make new fitness, health and financial goals. Some folks reach their goals, and others do not. I don’t know about you, but it seems like I know less people who reach their goals than actually do.

What makes the difference? This is a question that I’ve asked for several years now, and after reading books and trying out different methods myself, I have finally found two keys that seem to make a difference. There are two, and while one of them works really well for me, I know several “do-ers” who use the other. You may try one out and then the other or do both!

Key #1: Writing it down where you’ll see it every day.

Some say there is power in writing. This could simply be a list you make for yourself, or a contract you sign. You can pledge to reach your goals with a long list of details or something small. The key here is to put your writing where you can see it! So, let’s say you write a pledge to walk 1,000 steps every day. You could write that goal down, and then put it on your refrigerator where you’ll see it every day you go to make a meal.

This kind of key seems to work really well with folks who want to make an attitude change or reach money goals.

Key #2: Accountability with another person.

We all know a lot of people sign up for a gym membership. They usually start out strong, going regularly, then slowly they stop going because life gets busy. But, do you know anyone with a personal trainer? I do, and they tend to be the ones who keep their goals in sight and reach them. Why? The power of another person is the key to accountability. If you have to answer to another person about why you put on 5 pounds, you’re more determined to keep a consistent routine. I’ve seen this work well for fitness and business.

While these two keys are helpful, remember that it really is a personal process to reach your goals. Fitness, for example, is a journey with many different paths. And, as Juli once advised, finding something you enjoy is the secret. So, while accountability is a key, find out if you love to dance or run, then find an partner to keep you motivated.

Best wishes to a healthy and successful New Year!

With Deceiving Product Labels, Comes Hidden Surprises!

Due to the winter season, you are bound to get a cold at least once. Well that’s exactly what happened to me this month. But thanks to Gum Wall tea, drinking plenty of fluids, and staying well dressed for the weather, I was able to have a speedy recovery. And to top it all off, the best food to have when you are sick is a big bowl of soup. Mmm, I personally love tomato soup. So I thought, I’ll go to the nearest Trader Joe’s and get my self some comforting soup. After I ate this delicious meal I began to talk to Juli about my cold. She exclaims,” you know what it is, its those pre-made soups you’ve been eating”. In the back of my head I was thinking “Psh what? How could that be? It says Tomato Soup on the label and it came from Trader Joes! It’s bound to be healthy.”

Next thing I knew, Juli and I were looking at the back label. She started reading the bad ingredients: Cream, Chicken Stock Concentrate, Butter, Modified Corn Starch, Unbleached Enriched Wheat Flour, Flavoring, Chicken Flavoring, Yeast Extract, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein (secret labeling for MSG) and worst of all Chicken Fat!!!  I was literally eating a bowl full of chicken fat and preservatives! But why? Why would you put these ingredients in Tomato Soup? Well in commercial grocery stores there are many things they do not tell you.
After looking up Trader Joe’s policies on labeling food, they secretly label certain ingredients to make it sound healthy when in actuality its still preservatives! For example Soy Protein is an added MSG preservative. You’d think calling it Soy Protein sounds healthy but its just disguised to persuade you to buy it. I found more information on Trader Joe’s which was really alarming considering that they’re whole campaign is promoting nutritional and healthy foods. I found a snippet of an article that stated this woman’s experience with trying to find out what was really in their food and how they label their products. Here she states “During my research, I found out there is no regular independent third party certifier verifying their products are non-GMO or non-MSG on a regular basis at Trader Joe’s. It is completely up to Trader Joe’s product supply team to regulate GMOs and MSGs from suppliers – not the Non-GMO Project or the USDA (for organics) that requires a high level of MSGs and GMOs. If there are complaints about a product, Trader Joe’s will conduct verification with a secret third party that they won’t disclose, but it’s completely up to the consumer to alert Trader Joe’s with a complaint. In fact, Trader Joe’s stated that their products “don’t allow for auditing using the Non-GMO Project because there is an additional cost associated with that.” A representative from Trader Joe’s went on to say, “We tend to not label our products a whole lot, and won’t until there is a government regulation to understand what non-GMO even means, we aren’t going to label products that don’t have specific FDA guidelines.” So this begs the question – what does non-GMO mean to Trader Joe’s? Are they making up their own definition because they claim they don’t have direction from a governmental official?” This is just one example of how grocery stores can mislead you into buying their pre-made or packaged products. And Trader Joe’s isn’t the only culprit!

When I was younger I use to work for a grocery store, and I noticed that many grocery store chains cut corners on not just how they label their products but as well as how they present their products and don’t follow the mandatory health regulations. Some examples of this includes how the meat department presents their food, and how some in store deli’s prepare their food. So how do these unseemly con artists do this?

For some meat departments, presentation and preservation is more important than good quality. One instance is some meat departments dye their meat with red dye to make them look “fresh”. Another instance is some grocer’s use red light bulbs to make the meat look more appealing. Many grocery stores buy their meat in bulk and upon receiving their meat from their distributor they freeze it and keep it in the freezer for months before using it. So, that delicious steak could possibly be 7 months old…ew. An interesting factor to also keep in mind is the processing equipment such as slicers, grinders, and other machines. Some health inspectors aren’t trained well enough to know the cleaning process for a machine and might not even know how to detect if its even clean or not. From an article I was reading one health inspector goes as far to explain, “They beat into our heads how to inspect restaurants. But there was very little training focused on grocery stores. They took us through a grocery store in one day and then turned us loose, even though the stores have all this processing equipment that’s tough to clean. And I have to admit, I’d look at some of these machines on my inspections and say, “Yep, looks good.” But I didn’t really know what I was looking for.” So even in some cases the equipment might not even be clean!

Taking a look at the Deli, you see a variety of different pasta’s, salads, sandwiches, etc…An interesting question to raise is how do they prepare all that food, and where do they get it? Since the incident with my tomato soup, it has peaked my curiosity, and I am more determined to ask questions about the food I want to purchase. I went to the store and walked up to the deli and was interested in a sun-dried tomato pasta. I asked the deli clerk what was in the pasta. She shrugged and answered,”I don’t know, we get it from out of state.”Shocked I asked which state they were getting this from and still she was uncertain of where it came from. So continuing my investigation I asked another deli clerk the same questions and he didn’t know either. Not even the manager knew. No one knew what was in the food or where it came from and here people are buying it? That disturbed me a little. Even though this was just one store, some deli’s recycle expired food from the produce section or shelved products that are about to expire and use that to make their food. Well with my experience it was obvious that they weren’t making the food from scratch so it was probably filled with preservatives. Not even the deli’s contain fresh food.
So how can we avoid being attacked left and right from fake, processed, and highly preserved food? There are a couple different solutions. One being to cook at home. I’ll be the first to admit, cooking isn’t my favorite thing in the world. You come home exhausted from your day and the last thing you want to do is make a meal and then the worst part is clean up. But the reward that comes from cooking is amazing! You know what’s being put into your food. You get to pick what goes in it and there aren’t any mysterious chemicals saturating your food! Not only that but if you plan ahead in the week of what you want to make for you meals, you can be prepared and won’t have to struggle last minute to find something to cook.

Another solution to staying away from bad foods, is well, simple. READ THE LABEL! Read what is on the package. Granted that maybe the label isn’t 100% true but still take a look at what is in the food, for example if it has any form of sugar ending in “ose” (Sucrose, Dextrose, Fructose, Glucose, High-fructose corn syrup) then its probably bad for you. Also keep an eye out for words like Natural Flavor (if its natural why can’t they tell us what it is?), Dextrin, Fruit juice concentrate, Artificial Flavoring, Soy Protein, and Extract. The saying goes, “if you can’t read or pronounce anything on the label, don’t buy it.”
All in all stores are going to sell what they want to sell. It is our job to make sure we understand what’s going into our body. Start this New Year off right with your eyes wide open! Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the food you want, read the labels carefully, and it’s so much better to cook meals at home. Be happy, eat well, and most of all be healthy!

With Love,

Shaila Suleman

The Dangerous Side of Vitamins

Did you know we need Vitamin D to feel happy? Did you also know that it’s a hormone that the body produces from sunlight through the skin? It’s a popular Vitamin right about now with all of the gray, wintery weather. In the Pacific Northwest, more than half of us are deficient in Vitamin D.


There are many other important vitamins that go through cycles of popularity. Some Vitamins and Minerals are so important that many food companies “enrich” their products with things like Iron, Vitamin D, Calcium and Vitamin C to make their products seem healthier, when really they’re just processed grains. The truth is that the best way for our bodies to absorb Vitamins and Minerals is through our food, and with Vitamin D, through exposure to sunlight.

The dangerous side of all these popular Vitamins is that they are only good in moderation, and some of us fall into the trap of thinking more of a Vitamin will make us stronger. Let’s keep going with the example of Vitamin D. The FDA warns against a dosage of 600 IU per day if you’re over the age of 4 years old. If you take a bit extra just because it sounds like a good idea, you might be surprised to hear that it’s not. The FDA goes on to warn that if you exceed the recommended amount for months, you could cause calcium to build up in your blood and find yourself nauseous and have kidney problems.

Interestingly enough, you can’t get too much Vitamin D by being outside in the sunshine! The reason is that our bodies adjust the amount of Vitamin D it creates from the sun. Our bodies are pretty amazing, and are capable of absorbing all of the vitamins and minerals we need from natural, fresh, raw and cooked foods. That is why it is so important to eat a healthy diet full of vegetables, fruits and good PLUS to get outside and into nature for exercise. Nature is our best medicine!

The next time you hear about a good Vitamin that your friend is taking and works wonders, remember: moderation is key, and if it can come straight from your food, it’s always better.

How To Get The Most Out Of Your Day: One Day At A Time

Here we go again. The year 2014 is almost over. It is literally disappearing before my eyes just like an ice cream melting in the hot summer day in a 3-year-old girl’s hands. She loses most of the ice cream partially because it melts faster than she can eat it, but mostly because she is distracted by her surroundings, or even worse she drops the ice cream on the ground because she doesn’t pay attention at all to way she holds the cone. She tilts the cone. Ice cream falls off. A few seconds later she notices the ice cream is gone and bursts into tears. We all witness a incident like this all the time at the theme park in summer.


When it comes to the way we handle the time given in one particular year, we are no different from the little girl with an ice cream. We waste most of it. We don’t treat it like the most valuable thing in the world. We don’t keep track nor pay attention to it, so we don’t even know where the time went. It’s time down the drain with little accomplishment. I don’t know about you. Maybe you understand how precious the time is and discipline yourself to spend the time only on the things you love to do. But many of us are either busy running unimportant chores or sitting around and doing nothing. And by nothing, I mean watching TV or surfing the web or whatever for hours without any specific purpose or goals. And the worst part is we don’t even realize we lost the time. What can we do about this?

One of the things you can do to prevent this from happening is to plan your day at the very beginning of the day, preferably do it the night before, so that you know exactly what you are going to be doing from the get-go the next day. No wasting time. In my opinion it’s best to combine a planning with meditation. The reason is that it will give you a chance to reflect on your own life and find our what it is that you truly love to accomplish in your life, instead of just being stuck in a rut and doing only the things you have to do, or worse yet what others expect you to do.

My life is a typical example of this. I turned 44 in August, and I was shocked to realize that I am almost half way through my 40’s. Last I checked, I was still 40. “What happened? Where did my time go?” I thought to myself. It felt like I lost 4 years in one year. Losing 4 lb. in 1 week would be very exciting to many, but no one would be excited about losing time like I did. What I mean is that I don’t remember doing anything meaningful or just plain fun in the last 4 years. I have been just busy running around, and completely neglected to nourish my soul with the things I love to do like photography and baking bread. So, before you plan your day, it’s always good idea to look deep inside of you through meditation and ask yourself what truly makes you happy. Incorporate it into your daily schedule.

Simplified version of ideal planning should go something like this: Meditate 15 – 20 minutes at night in the quiet area and ask how you can make your life fulfilling. Then spend another 10 – 15 minutes to list all the things you should do or have to do. And go through the each item on the list and ask yourself if they are aligned with your passion, and more importantly to see if they are going to help you achieve the kind of your life you want. If so, go ahead and incorporate them into your daily plan. If not, they should not be included in your agenda, or have someone else do it.


One thing I realized when it comes to planning and scheduling is that it is hard to list the things that you want to accomplish in the period of 10-15 minute. The harder you try, the more blank your mind becomes. Solution? Use your smart phone! Whenever I come up with an idea or a task during the day, I immediately enter into the calendar that is synced with my Google calender. I don’t initially allocate specific time for each tasks. So, when I look at the actual calendar at the end of the day, I have so many tasks overlapping in one hour time slot. I simply spread them out in appropriate time slots in Google Calendar on my computer. Next day, all I need to do is follow my calendar. It’s automatic. It’s like having a boss yelling and forcing you to get things done which is very effective for me.

If you carry around a traditional day planner, that’s even better! Something about writing on the paper with a pen makes each task much more meaningful and somehow registers in your brain much better than with an electronic device. Still, the concept is the same. So, get ahead and get in the habit of planning your day and get the most out of your life!!

Kaz Isogai

Learning How To Be The Best Me

The fear to reach the unexpected is living without boundaries. To go within yourself to find the strength and fight that fear and live. If I hadn’t gone beyond my comfort zone, I wouldn’t be who I am.

When I was little, I had lots of questions of who I am: Am I good enough to take on Dad’s practice? I asked my Dad, he said, “It is repetition, dedication and at the end of the day ask yourself if you did your best.” That was it, I only had to respond to myself and not strangle myself that tight on the way there. It is ok to make a fool out of yourself once in a while, because you’ll look back and do better.

My trip to New York City was amazing. I met this hair stylist that was from Europe, and she has lived in New York for 2 years. She loves it in New York, because there all you need is to work a little harder and the possibility of extraordinary is attainable. Asians and many people from Europe tend to work hard and play hard, we don’t take things for granted. When doing yoga, the first hour you will find your inner strength of the mind and body, the last 1/2 hour laying on the mat you feel alive more then ever. That is living without boundaries.

Meeting Ivanka Trump was amazing. She was so beautiful, and best of all was her speech. Ivanka spoke highly of her father, Donald Trump. How he expected such a high standard for all of his work and the people around him. That is why all his real estate projects are known to be premium pricing, not cheap and very expensive. It takes a strong leader with high views to make it to the top – very inspirational.

My 10 minute speech was the scariest event for me, especially standing on stage in front of the video crew with the lights shining on me. Kaz was very supportive. I guess he was more stressed then I was. Thankfully I didn’t faint on stage and made it through still alive.

When it is available online, watch it and tell me what you think. My heart is still beating very fast. I did it and dad you would be proud that Traditional Chinese Medicine is not a lost art and that we are continuing to strive and to heal.

Love, Juli


How I Lost 5 Pounds in 24 Hours

Now that spring is here, I see articles talking about how to detox the body and cleanse the system. My friends are sharing on Facebook about the latest diet they’re trying to get in shape for swimsuit season come summer. So, I was really disappointed when I stepped on the scale and found that I had gained 5 pounds during a 5-day trip to visit family in California.

I wasn’t quite sure where all the weight had come from since I tried my best to eat well and avoided too many treats. The only thing different for me was our circumstances for using the bathroom. I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time being comfortable pooping anywhere else but at home. And, I have to be literally physically relaxed to do it.

The Golden Gate Bridge from my trip to San Francisco.

The Golden Gate Bridge from my trip to San Francisco.

While on our trip, we were always busy, in a hurry and I was often very cold since I didn’t pack any long-sleeved shirts or many layers. And, while I tried my very best to eat well on the trip and avoided many treats, I didn’t eat as many vegetables as I do at home. So, my digestion was slower and I was feeling very sluggish by the end of the trip.

Once we got home, I finally felt the urge to poop. So, I wondered if I could correct it by getting my body what it needed to have good elimination. I started by drinking plenty of water, and eating lots of vegetables. I know this might sounds like a commercial, but honestly, I also took some of the Taifu Plus pills.

By the end of the day, I had lost 1 pound. The next day, I noticed my bloating seemed to calm down a bit. And, by the end of the day and after a few trips to the bathroom, I stepped on the scale to see 4 pounds gone!

As I was telling my husband about my sudden weight gain from our trip and then the sudden weight loss, he jokingly said, “So, you were full of poop!” It’s true.

What I learned from this is that my body needs consistent water and vegetable intake to have good elimination. It made me think about all of my friends who are trying new cleansing diets for a week to jump-start their swimsuit ready bodies.

Some of us need a bland diet and herbs to get started, and some of us just need to take good care of ourselves consistently no matter where we are or what time of the year it is.

Holli Margell, Editor