10 Tips For Migraine Relief


So you suffer from migraines too?

I’m sorry… I understand.  I really do.  And for the first time in probably 25 years, I’ve finally figured out how to find *some* relief.  Some.  And if you truly get migraines, you are like me and desperate for ANY relief.  So read on…

I started getting them in my teens, about every 6 weeks, and consistently for 3 days each time.  For 24 years.  Yes the dark room, yes nausea and throwing up, yes please crush my head with some metal plates.

Not my finest moment, but I documented my last migraine attack:

 


Just like everyone’s symptoms and frequencies are different, relief comes in different combinations.

Combinations.  There is not one thing to relieve migraines.  It’s a lot of factors.  I am convinced I get them because my personality is go go GO, so much that I am anxious and stressed all the time, not sleeping enough, not eating regularly, saying yes to everything and then the migraines hit because it is the ONLY way I become forced to do absolutely nothing for 3 days.  Well, I do the bare minimum like go to work still and finish my responsibilities (while literally dying inside), then running home and crashing on the bed not because it makes me feel better but because I  just need to close my eyes and dig my fists into my temples. Sound familiar to anyone?  Oh and you have kids too?  Forget about it.  Worst mom ever.

Wow that was a lot of venting.  Moving on.

Here are 10 tips (or superstitions) that have worked for me:


1) Stay really hydrated.  I literally chug a glass of water about every hour.  Don’t believe me?  This is my water bottle, I mean 64 ounce jug.  I put my daughter’s 8 ounce cup on the side for comparison.  I don’t care how much you hate water.  That’s why I said chug.


2) Goodbye caffeine!  When I got pregnant with my first daughter 6 years ago, I gave up caffeine. If you really need coffee, switch to Decaf and just  let the flavor convince you that there’s a caffeine kick.  Otherwise, tea.  Decaf tea has worked for me… but make sure the tannins in tea are not your trigger.


3) And that is my husband’s wine collection… yup, goodbye alcohol.  Remember, do you want a migraine???  I’m sorry… but it’s the truth.  Alcohol is definitely a trigger…


As a side note, if your significant other is like mine and loves wine but now has no one to enjoy it with, you must get them a Coravin.  It is a device that allows you to pour out a portion of wine through a little needle without popping open the cork and the wine stays fresh.  Pretty innovative!


4) Uh oh.  I know you hate me now.  I hate this post too.  My weakness: chocolate… mmm chocolate.  I love chocolate chip cookies.  I love chocolate ice cream.  I love these chocolate covered caramel macadamia nuts.  $&@!  Everything comes in moderation and is a trial and error PER PERSON.  My solution is everyday I have a whey protein smoothie that uses natural chocolate flavors and it has worked to satisfy my craving without triggering my migraine!  Whew!


5) Aspartame: An artificial sweetener used in lots of drinks or foods is a trigger.  I used to love having Diet Coke everyday.  Or Barq’s root beer.  Reach for that glass of water instead.  Chug chug chug!!!

6) Eat regularly and eat natural foods more often than not.  Fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, basically the less processed the better.  Opposite of fresh food: hot dogs. Sausages.  Those also have nitrates which I know trigger my migraines.  Opposite of fresh food.  Ramen packages that I grew up on and crave, but also have MSG, another trigger.  Natural, fresh, I know where this came from and how it was made or what ingredients it has… and eat regularly, aka let your body have a little bit of nourishment throughout the day.


7) Sleep enough.  Like my girls.  Strict bedtimes.  Full night’s rest.  Ha!  Guilty guilty guilty.  I said I had some ideas for relief… but trust me it’s hard!!!  I went to Hawaii and slept in, took naps, felt great, and the first day I get back?  5 hours of sleep.  Went straight through teaching 3 intense classes in a row plus 4 loads of laundry, cleaning the house, cooking dinner, catching up on work, all while taking care of my 2 and 5 year olds who were cranky from the time change.  Slept 5 hours at the end of that day.  How can I not expect to get a Migraine?


8) Bodywork.  I knew I always loved deep tissue massages but now I know that regular bodywork actually helps prevent migraine attacks.  I carry so much stress (as most people do) in my neck and shoulders.  I used to get massages randomly as a special treat, but a year and a half ago, I started seeing my amazing friend Bill Vrabel at Marin Power Yoga regularly as a form of treatment.  And he’s not a “follow a sequence I was taught” type person.  I don’t have to say anything about where it is hurting and he can follow the energy lines in my body to know where I am tight on any particular day.  You need to find someone like that.  And see them regularly.  My home treatment?  Lying on random tennis balls or using this truMedic massager at home.  Better than nothing!


9) Medication.  I tried meds before and they never worked because I would always take the pills too late.  But I kept taking them in hopes of some magic.  I stopped meds when I became pregnant and was off meds for the past 5 years… and my migraines were worse than ever.  Just last year I was desperate and restarted Sumatriptan.  The difference is I know my body better now that I have had migraines for 25 years.  I know before the migraine is coming.  I know that cloudiness that begins to fog up my brain.  I know that general whole body unwell feeling and loss of appetite.  If you catch that moment BEFORE your migraine, the medicine is magic.  At least it has been for me… and I completely believe my yoga practice has been what has helped me distinguish a deeper level of mind and body awareness.  I am more in tune with my body when it starts to drift into migraine mode.  On to my final tip: #10.


10) Do you do too much?  Are you constantly thinking?  Are you running around like a headless chicken most of the day?  If so, you need some form of stress relief that lets your brain stop thinking.  I recommend yoga.  And just like bodywork, you have to find the yoga class and teacher and studio and community that resonates with you.  You’ll know if you take a class, and simply feel better afterwards.  That’s it.  You’ve found something good.

I started yoga 15 years ago in hopes of relieving my migraines.  But I still drank coffee, alcohol, didn’t watch what I ate, basically did not follow anything else on this list… so… yup still had chronic migraines.  But it’s the combination of all the above.  Maybe it’s because I am a mom now and have to take care of others… that I started to really notice what I needed to do to take care of myself.  You know, like how they say on an airplane to first put on your oxygen mask before your child’s?  All I know is I cannot live with migraines and I cannot take care of my kids when I get an attack.  I needed to find relief, so for the past year I have committed to this list above.  Not perfectly by all means, but *more often than not.*
And for the first year in 25 years, I had only FOUR migraines in 2016 compared to an average of TEN each year (of 24 years!!!) before.  This year, it is April 2017 and boy am I due for one… but *knock on wood,* I haven’t had one yet.  I must be doing something right.

And to me, that shows there is HOPE.  The only reason I wrote this post spontaneously is because for the very very very first time in my entire life, I found hope with my migraines, and I pray that you do too.  I feel you.  I understand you.  These steps are not fun nor easy, and they do absolutely take commitment, but I wish for your healing.  Please leave a comment if any of this has helped.

Love,

Grace

PS #11) Do NOT do no-handed headstands.  They are absolutely a trigger for me!!!  Bad Grace BAD!!!

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Girls, Healthy Doesn’t Mean Skinny

IMG_2721

The truth is: my husband was disappointed when he found out we were having girls.  It sounds harsh, but the reason is because he knows all the problems and drama that girls are more-likely faced with these days, including especially body image issues that lead to anorexia or worse.  And as a father who dearly loves his daughters, it is an added worry and heartache in his life.  As a mom who completely understands these roller coaster emotions, binge eating habits, and struggles with self-esteem, I completely agree with my husband.  I am scared of all the peer pressure, media, and negative influences that are out there telling girls they are not pretty or skinny enough.  This is not OK.

I don’t usually forward articles, in fact, this is the first time I am sharing an article on my website.  However, my friend Jackie Ashton, who also teaches at Marin Power Yoga, published her powerful article, “Why This Mother Is Stopping It With the Cleanses, Diets,” on The Washington Post today and I feel drawn to share it.  Reading this article has brought more awareness into how my own actions may be creating positive or negative examples for my girls.  Teaching my girls healthy eating habits is one thing, but teaching them to love their body is another, much more important lesson.

“I am not my body. My body is an instrument that allows me to do great things in this life: to take care of my children, to be a loving friend, sister, daughter, and wife. In time, my body will decay and ultimately, it will die and dissolve into the ground. But what is inside—the true essence of who I am—will never change.” Jackie Ashton

I hope Jackie’s article speaks to you and all the women and daughters in your life.  Feel free to share your responses below!

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/parenting/wp/2016/03/31/why-this-mother-is-stopping-it-with-the-cleanses-diets/

Happy Valentine’s Day Playlist

 

 This week I was splurging on one of my favorite bars, the Chocolate Peppermint Luna Bar, when I realized that they have quotes written on the wrapper!  Most of you know I LOVE quotes, but this quote was just perfect.  Perfect because Valentine’s Day was approaching over the weekend and I was having trouble deciding whether or not to do a Valentine’s theme for my Rock and Flow Power Yoga Class at Marin Power Yoga.   This was my answer.

YES!!!

Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be romantic as it is often thought to be.  Self-love.  Make yourself happy.  Isn’t that more important?

So I shared this quote with my class, then continued with an awesome playlist that had the word “love” in the title (that wasn’t hard… Probably could make 5 different playlists!!!).  Enjoy!

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Valentine’s 75 minute Playlist:

How Deep is Your Love – Beegees

That’s the Way Love Goes – Janet Jackson

Bleeding Love – Leona Lewis

Rhythm of Love – Plain White T’s

Love Rollercoaster – Ohio Players

The Power Of Love – Huey Lewis

Baby Love – The Supremes

Best of My Love – The Emotions

Crazy Little Thing Called Love – Queen

I Think I Love You – The Partridge Family

I Love You Always Forever – Donna Lewis

I Just Called to Say I Love You – Stevie Wonder

All You Need is Love – The Beatles

It Must Have Been Love – Roxette

Love Takes Time – Mariah Carey

Endless Love – Diana Ross

Because I Love You – Stevie B

How Long Will I Love You – Ellie Goulding

The Greatest Love Of All – Whitney Houston

Learning to love yourself.  It is the greatest love of all.  ~Whitney Houston

Ice Cream Addiction

Three Twins Ice Cream Absurdity

Who wants to share the Twinasaurus?

For some people, it’s chocolate.  For others, it’s potato chips.  For me, it’s ice cream.

We learn to scold ourselves and limit our intake of junk food.  Yes, it is bad for you, if you sit on the couch for 12 hours straight and finish a box of chocolates, or a large bag of potato chips, or a tub of ice cream.  But the other extreme is not eating junk food at all.  Is that good?  The answer is not total elimination, but moderation.  For me, I need – and I mean NEED – ice cream as part of my diet.  If I eliminated it completely, I would definitely crack and binge eat sooner or later.  So, I allow myself that scoop of ice cream once or twice a week to satisfy that need, and I’m happy.

I practice yoga so that I will feel good.  Not feeling good because I “worked out,” but feeling good because I am stronger, lighter, more open, and free.  When I skip a yoga session, I notice it immediately.  My back starts to ache and my body is hurting.  I practice yoga to take away that heaviness, that ache, that pain.  Are we able to appreciate that?  If we truly understand that yoga and exercise is to heal our bodies, then we can understand that we need to fuel our bodies.  I come from a yoga background where my teacher fed us during class.  Halfway through class, she would walk around and pass out chocolates, nuts, or even home-cooked food from her kitchen like kabocha squash or greens.  If she offered food to you, you eat it without question.  Why?  Because you understand food=energy and the next yoga movement will need all the energy you’ve got.  So you eat and you work hard and you feel good.

Practice yoga, eat your ice cream, and be pain-free and happy.

 

Best of Pasadena

Rose Bowl Parade 2013

Experiencing the well-attended Rose Bowl Parade for the first time – January 1, 2013.

Exactly one year ago, I moved to Pasadena and yesterday I had to say goodbye.  It has been a short time in Pasadena, but I have grown to love this little, ok not-so-little, town that allows me to experience living in Los Angeles without dealing with all the crazy traffic.  Pasadena turned out to be the perfect place for my family, especially for my one-year-old daughter, because of all the great places to explore nearby.  Just as the Pasadena Weekly compiles a “Best of Pasadena” list each year, I decided to document some of my “Best of Pasadena” (and slightly beyond) recommendations to help me remember this past year.

*****

My “BEST OF PASADENA” List

BEST APARTMENT COMPLEX: Terraces at Paseo Colorado

375 East Green Street, Pasadena, CA 91101, (866) 310-6639

Although on the more expensive side, these apartments are worth every penny.  First of all, there is no doubt that it is in the absolute best location with a walkscore of 97.  Living on top of a shopping mall means it is safe to take my dog out for walks even at midnight, I can go downstairs anytime to take my daughter outside for a stroll or to play in the fountains, and there are plenty of restaurants or shopping to choose from, especially since Old Town is literally a block away.  Secondly, the apartments are much more spacious than other complexes in the area.  Our two-bedroom, two-bath, apartment is 1200 sq. ft. and I love that we have extra storage closets in every room.  In addition, the staff is extremely hard working.  They make sure that the entire complex, from the garage to the elevators to the hallways, are clean and functioning correctly.  I love that you can put a maintenance request for anything – broken light bulb, plugged drain, water stains – and they will fix it within 24-48 hours.  Worth every penny.

BEST FITNESS CLUB: Breakthru Fitness

345 South Lake Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91105, (626) 396-1700

You can workout because you HAVE to, or you can workout because you LOVE to.  Breakthru Fitness offers the most amazing programs that motivate members to WANT to work out, and have fun at the same time.  I personally became addicted to their Peak 10 program, created by Breakthru’s co-founder, Michelle Dozois.  However, they also have other unique and effective programs such as Training for Warriors, Lose to Win, or Metabolic Conditioning 3 for adults, and they even offer Parisi Speed School for the youth.  Add on some fantastic instructors, unique choreography, an intimate community you can’t find in large chains, and the leadership of Michelle and her co-founder, husband Phil Dozois, and there is nowhere better to get healthy than at Breakthru.  Plus, they have a childcare room and babysitters who really care about your child.  It’s the best.

BEST SOCIAL EVENT: Rose Bowl Parade

Colorado Boulevard between Orange Grove Boulevard and Sierra Madre Boulevard

I never knew so many people made it a tradition to camp out overnight on Colorado Boulevard New Years Eve to save a front row seat for the New Years Day Rose Bowl Parade!  Just the fact that people bring mattresses, firepits, or couches to camp overnight, and families of all ages from infants to grandparents participate in the freezing sleepover, makes this the most anticipated and biggest parade I have ever attended.  When you see the actual floats that pass by, you realize that every little detail is indeed made with all sorts of flowers…  It is quite an impressive parade!

BEST TODDLER FRIENDLY PLACES:

Kidspace Museum

480 North Arroyo Boulevard, Pasadena, CA 91103, (626) 449-9144

Perfect example of the saying, “Learning can be fun.” Indoor and outdoor activities that are educational too.  In my opinion, best for kids who can walk already.

Huntington Gardens

1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, CA  91108, (626) 405-2100

Pretty amazing how the rarest plants who normally live in opposite environments can blossom in this garden.  From a Desert Garden to a Rose Garden and even a Children’s Garden with activities teaching the four elements – Fire, Water, Earth, and Air.

Brookside Park

360 North Arroyo Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91103

Pirate-themed park right next to the Rose Bowl Aquatic Center that has bbqs, swings, sand, and playground equipment.  Pretty clean and modern for a playground, and has a good amount of shade.

Baby Polkadot

380 East Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena, CA 91101, (626) 577-2214

If you are looking for a clean indoor playground, this place has a bounce house, ball pit with slide, ride-on toys, climbing structure, imaginative play materials, and more.  Drop-in rates or expensive monthly membership.  

Kids Klub Pasadena Evening Weekend Program

380 South Raymond Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91105, (626) 795-2501

Hourly babysitting for the evenings and weekends in a huge facility that is normally used as a preschool during the week.  Great ratio of teachers-students, ie. under 2 years old the ratio is 3:1, and they have plenty of toys.  They also offer dinners for a small fee.  I think every city should have a Kids Klub to help parents have a date night regularly!

BEST FOOD:

Cafe Linda

34 East Holly Street, Pasadena, CA 91103, (626) 584-0712

A very small Thai restaurant hidden on one of the streets off of Colorado Boulevard in Old Town Pasadena.  We love that Linda is the one that is always there welcoming and serving you.  Our favorites: Tom Kha, Pad Thai, Pad See Ew, Green Curry, and Japanese Eggplant.

My Vegan

633 South Arroyo Parkway Suite 3, Pasadena California 91105, (626) 578-9017

A friendly vegan restaurant that serves Thai-inspired dishes.  Our favorites: Orange Chicken, Yellow Curry Noodles, Spicy Wild Mushrooms, and Pad Thai.  

Lette

14 South Fair Oaks Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91105, (626) 793-5551

Sweet Wedding Almond Macaroons.  Enough said.

– Kings Row Gastropub

20 East Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena, CA 91105, (626) 397-3010

My husband loves their pulled pork sandwich and beware of ordering their extremely tasty, but very unhealthy, portobello mushroom fries.  Secret sauce!

BEST FOOD OUTSIDE OF PASADENA:

SinBala

651 West Duarte Rd, Arcadia, CA 91007, (626) 446-0886

Always crowded Taiwanese restaurant, famous for their sausage dishes.  I just like getting their authentic Taiwanese-style shaved ice with red bean, flan, almond jello, mochi, lychee and brown sugar (on the side if you want it less sweet).  

Kang Kang

27 East Valley Boulevard, Alhambra, CA 91801, (626) 308-3898

A casual food court restaurant where you order and then sit down.  Must get their Shanghai Pan Fried Shen Jian Bao, hot, juicy, and tasty if you eat it freshly made.  They also have a huge shaved ice option for dessert.

Din Tai Fung

1088 South Baldwin Avenue, Arcadia, CA 91007, (626) 446-8588

Famous for their Juicy Pork Dumplings (Xiao Long Bao), but we also love their Pork Chop fried rice, Spicy Shrimp & Pork Wonton, Shanghai Rice Cake, Sauteed Spinach, and the Sweet Taro Dumplings for dessert.  Probably the nicest and most modern Chinese restaurant you will experience, with every employee greeting you with hellos and goodbyes, and using their ipads to serve you.

Porto’s Bakery

315 North Brand Boulevard, Glendale, CA‎, (818) 956-5996‎

Amazingly affordable pastries and bakery items that are addicting like their Guava and Cheese pastry, Almond Danish, or Pineapple Danish.  Mix the sweets with a little bit of savory and make sure to try their Potato Filled Balls.  

Bottega Louie

700 South Grand Aven, Los Angeles, CA 90017, (213) 802-1470

With over 5000 reviews on Yelp, this restaurant meets all your expectations just in the first moment you step into the beautiful venue.  Delicious food, cocktails, and of course, desserts.

MILK

7290 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036, (323) 939-6455

MILK serves mostly desserts, from cupcakes to milkshakes to my favorite – ice cream macaroon sandwiches.  Something you can’t find everywhere!

Savoy Chicken

138 East Valley Boulevard, Alhambra, CA 91801, (626) 308-9535

Just get the Hainan Chicken.  Dip it in the sauces and eat it with rice and I don’t understand why it tastes so good.

Blockheads

11311 Mississippi Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90025

The new craze is snow ice, or a modern twist on shaved ice.  Blockheads really does shave the ice so smoothly that the ice melts on your tongue and you don’t have to do any “crunching” like you normally do when chewing ice.  I like the Black Sesame base, but that’s just a personal favorite.  

Seoul Sausage

11313 Mississippi Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90025

Next door to Blockheads is one of my friends’ restaurants who won the Great Food Truck Race in Season 3.  They have a very simple, but unique, menu mixing up Korean flavors into traditional items like fries or cornbread.  

*****

If you are ever visiting Pasadena, or maybe you live in Pasadena and have not tried some of these restaurants or activities, I hope this list is helpful.  I am sure there are lots of other “Best of Pasadena” places that I did not get a chance to discover during this past year.  Please share your favorites with me if you have a recommendation!   I am sure I will visit Pasadena again in the future and would love to try them!

Blueberry Crumble Protein Smoothie

Blueberry Crumble Protein Smoothie

My latest obsession… healthy, delicious, and satisfies my dessert cravings!

I dislike protein powder.  I can usually taste the chalkiness, the artificial flavor, and the strange texture.  I’ve tried it multiple times in multiple forms, and eventually gave up on it because I couldn’t stand the taste.  I have a large bag of protein powder in my pantry that I just didn’t want to throw away, but it literally just sits there taking up space.

Well, thanks to Anna G. from Breakthru Fitness, I have been introduced to her newest concoction – the Blueberry Crumble.  It is SO GOOD.  So good that when I am doing an intense workout like Peak 10, I dream about the Blueberry Crumble and use it as motivation to work harder.  So good that when I’m drinking it, I can’t stop even though I’d like to save half for later (which I never do).  So good that when I finish drinking it, I am actually very very sad, maybe depressed even.  So good that I look forward to having one every single day.  Yum (as I finish my last sip of today’s allotment).  Sigh.

Thank you Anna, for sharing this wonderful recipe with me and for changing my view on protein powder tasting good.  Now I can actually follow up my workouts with a healthy, protein-packed drink that I absolutely love love love.  Hope you guys love it like I do!!!

Blueberry Crumble Protein Smoothie

Ingredients

* 6 ounce Almond Milk (I use Trader Joe’s Vanilla Unsweetened)

* 3/4 tablespoon Almond Butter (I use Trader Joe’s Raw Crunchy Unsalted)

* 1 scoop Whey Protein Powder (I use GNC and get the vanilla flavor)

* 1 scoop Granola (I use Trader Joe’s Lowfat Granola with Almonds)

* 1/3 cup fresh Blueberries

* 1 cup ice

Directions

Toss all the ingredients into a blender.  Pour into a large cup and I dare you to only drink half =)

Serving Size: A delicious 16 ounce smoothie.

Calories: 311

(or you can make a 12 ounce smoothie with only 241 calories using 4 ounces of Almond Milk, 1/2 tablespoon Almond Butter, 1 scoop Whey protein, 1/5 cup Granola, 1/4 cup Blueberries, and 3/4 cup ice)

5 Ways to Stay Healthy at 94 Years Old

Staying Healthy at 94 Years

Being thankful for a beautiful and healthy 94 year old great-grandmother!

Today, my grandmother turned 94 years young.  And the amazing thing is that she is still the same Nai Nai I remember as a child – independent, thoughtful, active, energetic, and passionate.  How is she still just as healthy now as she was 30 years ago? 

Here are 5 ways to stay healthy that we can learn from my grandmother:

1) Learn to Cook

To this day, every time I see my Nai Nai, I am greeted with a ridiculous amount of home-cooked food stored in various plastic containers (see #3 below), including a huge tub of Almond Jello because she knows I love and will eat the entire thing.  My Nai Nai loves to cook and besides her thoughtfulness to give away food to others, there are actually a lot of side-benefits to cooking regularly, some of which include:

– being able to take care of yourself and your own meals

– eating healthier because you know exactly what ingredients are in your dishes

– building muscle strength (some of the pots are really heavy – no joke!)

– and stimulating your mind by reading recipes, measuring food, or remembering the steps to make a dish

2) Stay Social

My Nai Nai lives in a senior community center where she takes care of herself and her own apartment, but there are friends nearby and activities to participate in.  Almost every day she has some social engagement where she and her friends go on a field trip somewhere or they are taking a class together or they are just sharing a meal together and gossiping!  Staying social prevents us from being too isolated and lonely.

3) Express Yourself

Anyone who knows my Nai Nai knows that she has a very strong opinion about everything.  She knows exactly what she wants.  What matters here is that she cares.  If we stop caring and become apathetic about everything, then we lose that spark, that passion, that should be inspiring us everyday.  Here are some specific examples of what my Nai Nai cares about:

The U.S. Citizenship Test: My Nai Nai came from China in the 80’s to live in the United States.  She speaks very limited English.  And yet, 10 years after immigrating to the U.S., she decided she wanted to take the U.S. Citizenship test.  She spent months listening to a tape recording of questions and answers, memorized it all, and PASSED the test.  That’s determination, considering she really can’t carry a conversation in English, at all.

Re-using Please: Remember in #1 above I mentioned the various plastic containers that my food was stored in?  Well, my Nai Nai is the queen of re-using.  Containers from the grocery store get re-used (think round margarine tub).  Wrapping paper from birthdays and Christmas exchanges get re-used.  Yes, we all open wrapping papers slowly and carefully.  Presents she received from others get sent to you.  Re-use.

Dress to Impress: At 94 years old, my Nai Nai is one stylish lady.  Not only does she continue to take care of her skin every night, style her hair, wear make-up, and coordinate her outfits to match her jewelry, but also she loves her shoes!  You will never catch her in any flats.  Despite already having several falls in the past couple years (including stitches a month ago!!!), my Nai Nai will forever be wearing her heels (fortunately less than 2 inches!). 

4) Exercise Everyday

Of course my Nai Nai came from a different generation where she never needed a car, and therefore never learned how to drive.  Moving to the U.S. was a challenge because everything is very spread apart and transportation is essential.  Fortunately, my father lives close to my Nai Nai and frequently drives her to places that are a bit farther like a doctor’s appointment or her weekly grocery runs.  However, on a day to day basis, my Nai Nai exercises by walking around the neighborhood by herself (though we aren’t so fond of that), walking to the CVS a few blocks away, or walking to the In N Out because for some strange reason she loves their burgers….. I am sure if the rest of us did not have the luxury of relying on our personal cars, we would all be much, much healthier!

5) Believe in Something

Simply put, get in touch with your spiritual health.  My Nai Nai is a strong Christian and she has her weekly church services and fellowship that she attends (and takes the bus to), and on a daily basis, she prays.  Not only do we need to be physically and mentally strong, but also we need to be spiritually strong too.

*****

We have a lot to learn from the people around us.  Today, I am unable to physically celebrate with my Nai Nai in person because I live far away, but I am celebrating right now her presence and influence in my life, and now in my daughter’s life too.  We may not all be meant to live 94 years, but we all are meant to find purpose and passion in our lives every single day!

Happy 94th Birthday Nai Nai!