aloha friday

erin-walker-462490-unsplash.jpg

four days until christmas and thrilled that my youngest son austin is home for a visit. my mom is counting the days and can’t wait to feed him. that’s what grandmothers do. for christmas eve dinner, we’ve decided to have a fondue dinner which will be fun and different for us. in hawaii the cuisine is a mix of many cultures. so for holiday dinners it’s common to have traditional food mixed in with korean, japanese, portuguese, filipino, chinese, & many other cuisines. my mom is korean so no matter what the meal, if it’s at her house there will most likely be kim chi and other little ban chan which are little side dishes served tapas style. happy holidays to all my fellow parkies.

~ 27 breakfast recipes for a hungry holiday crowd.

~ fda approves focused ultrasound for pd. this is interesting and something i want to read more about.

~ this is a great tip for list makers - the rule of 3.

~ can’t wait to see mary poppins returns.

~ happy holidays!

Living w/Style & Parkinson's: Sharon Krischer

Biking with Mr. Twitchy

Biking with Mr. Twitchy

Sharon Krischer has an incredibly full life. She has a wonderful blog called Twitchy Woman, which gave me the inspiration to start my own blog and is a motivating advocate for Parkinson’s. So I was thrilled that she agreed to do my first interview in a new column called Living w/Style & Parkinson’s.

Sharon tell me a little about yourself.

I grew up in St. Louis, met my husband, Joel, at the University of Illinois and followed him to University of Michigan where he went to law school.  I live in Beverly Hills, California with Joel, otherwise known as Mr. Twitchy, and our dog Lucy.  We have 3 daughters and 4 grandchildren.  I have a master’s degree in Audiology and had my own Calligraphy and stationery business for about 15 years.  I then got involved with non-profit organizations, serving as president in several of them and found my niche training others to become leaders. We love to travel and have been all over the world in the last 10 years.  

Sharon & marilyn, stylish at the parkinson’s moving day walk

Sharon & marilyn, stylish at the parkinson’s moving day walk

Enjoying the cold fall weather in Quebec

Enjoying the cold fall weather in Quebec

What is your journey with Parkinson’s? 

I started noticing some odd things in the spring of 2008.  I would be writing and my foot would start to shake, and it intensified after breaking my other ankle in August. In January 2009, my Internist sent me to a Neurologist who said I had a Parkinson’s like tremor.  He put me on Requip and sent me home with no information about PD.  I was also diagnosed with breast cancer that same month and had a lumpectomy and 6 weeks of radiation.  It was not a good month for me.  When I came out of my fog from everything about 6 months later, I went back to my internist, insisting that I needed to change doctors.  He then sent me to a Movement Disorders Specialist, who diagnosed my PD, changed my medications and gave me a lot of information.  I have been with her ever since. I have been fortunate that I have tremor dominant Parkinson’s, which progresses much slower than other types.  10 years later, I am still doing well. 

I began to get involved with the PD community about 5 years ago when I started getting phone calls and emails from people asking if I would talk to their relative, friend, co-worker who was recently diagnosed.  Those meetings led me to start my blog, Twitchy Woman, in March 2015 to reach out to a broader audience.  I never imagined that I would still be writing the blog almost 4 years later.  And the blog has created many opportunities for me, including being an official blogger for the upcoming 2019 World Parkinson Congress in Kyoto.

PD women looking good!

PD women looking good!

I love reading your blog and in it I can see how active you are in the PD community. What would you say those who are thinking about being more involved and what is a good way to start?

Start in your community – go to a support group, join a PD exercise, boxing, yoga or dance class to meet others with PD.  Attend local programs put on by a local or National PD organization.   Find out how you can get involved in one of the organizations at the local level.  The Parkinson’s Foundation, Michael J Fox Foundation, APDA (American Parkinson’s Disease Association) Brian Grant Foundation and Davis Phinney Foundation are all National Organizations that are good to reach out to.

What are you enjoying right now? 

My grandchildren!  Actually, all things considered, things are pretty good for me, and having Parkinson’s has opened up a whole new world of opportunities. I have met many new friends with PD, we laugh together and cry together, we understand each other.

 What is one of your challenges right now? 

My tremor in my foot is acting up again, creating some problems for me.  I did not start to take Sinemet until 5 years ago and have never increased the dose.  I am worried that my symptoms are starting to get worse.  My other challenge is to slow down.  I often take on much more than I should because I forget my limitations.

Do you have a morning or evening routine that helps you start or end the day well?

I take my dog on an early morning walk, which at this time of year, is before the sun comes up.  It is so quiet and peaceful.  A good way to start the day.

Do you have any favorite beauty products?  

I use mostly Laura Mercier products.  However, my dermatologist has a cleanser that she developed, which has really helped relieve my dry skin.  And for my itchy scalp, a beauty supply recommended Klorane Sos Serum with Peony for Sensitive and Irritated Scalp, which works better than anything else for me.

How would you describe your style in three words? 

Casually stylish, contemporary, youthful

 What is something you do for self-care?

It seems that everything I do is for self-care:  yoga, boxing, tennis.  Exercise 5-6 days a week.  Massage every two weeks.  Piano lessons, which are supposed to help my brain.  Playing tennis with friends every week, leading an active life. 

On one of her travels around the world

On one of her travels around the world

 
With Ninja Warrior, Jimmy Choi

With Ninja Warrior, Jimmy Choi

What makes you laugh? 

 My husband and my grandchildren!

 What or who inspires you right now?

 I am inspired by all of those people with PD who work hard to live the best life possible with a chronic disease.

 A food you love, a dessert you love, a song you love. 

I love berries, pasta with a great tomato based sauce and almost anything chocolate, especially good brownies.   A song I love:  Your Song by Elton John

Thanks so much Sharon!

Don’t miss Sharon on her blog at Twitchy Woman and her Facebook page @twitchywoman. Sharon will also be blogging for the World Parkinson’s Congress this June from Kyoto, Japan.

keeping a positive attitude

lauren-peng-43963-unsplash.jpg

it’s always amazing to me to see how positive, people with pd or other chronic illnesses can be. they are the first to offer empathy, constantly spreading positive messages, and looking for the bright side in tough situations. and that’s in spite of having some really tough days. or maybe it’s because we have some really tough days.

on those tough days you try to go with the flow, ride it out, work through it, keep yourself occupied, remember that it could be worse, put it into perspective, feel sorry for ourselves, or get irritated that it prevents us from doing the things we want to do. any and all of the above. boy, no wonder we’re so tired. but we always seem to remember that the storm too shall pass, and there will be sunshine again.

i look at Instagram and see the daily posts of inspiration and encouragement. I read all the wonderful blogs of people with pd, or an online forum who share their personal journey and i can’t help but feel better at that moment. so the next time you’re having a tough day, connect with someone else who has pd and most likely their support will be just the thing you need to feel a positive attitude again. i’d love to hear if you have had an experience with how someone else with pd helped you through a tough day? ~kai

aloha friday

IMG_0081.JPG

christmas is getting closer and i’m enjoying the season. we’ve agreed as adults in the family that we won’t exchange gifts but will get gifts for the kids. there really does come a point in life when you just don’t want more stuff and it’s the time spent with each other that really does mean the most to me. this weekend i’ve volunteered to paint my moms guest bathroom and maybe bake some holiday goodies. hope you have a peaceful weekend.

~ michael j. fox foundation 2018 year in review. lots of great research ongoing.

~ balloon based play therapy for parkinson’s-this is a fascinating article and i think is a great idea.

~ oh parkinson’s - this new holiday song for parkie’s made me laugh!

~ the new york times cooking site revealed their 50 most popular recipes of 2018 and the number one recipe was chicken francese. if you’re looking to free form cook, a nice pot of portuguese sausage, kale, & potato soup would be comforting. saute an onion, a few cloves of garlic, add sliced sausage. when its brown add some chicken stock and thyme if you have some lying around. simmer for a few minutes, add a couple of diced potatoes and shredded kale, s&p to taste & cook until soft. with a chunk of good bread & a glass of wine, what else do you need?

~ enjoy reading books? how about doing the 2019 reading challenge from the modern mrs. darcy along with me.

~ don’t wait for someone else. do it alone.

easy slow cooker applesauce

OriginalPhoto-565051585.023254.jpg
HipstamaticPhoto-565053329.971906.jpg
HipstamaticPhoto-565069462.439748.jpg

this is an easy and healthy snack or dessert that’s great for adults and kids. i used granny smith apples because their tartness balances out the sweet. it’s great on yogurt with a sprinkle of granola or nuts, warm oatmeal, or ice cream. enjoy!

6-8 granny smith apples, cored & cut into quarters

1/2 cup apple juice or cider

3 Tablespoons sugar or honey (i used coconut sugar but any sugar will do)

sprinkle of cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

pinch of ground cardamom (optional)

add all of the ingredients in a slow cooker and mix together. put on high and check after 2 hours and mash with potato masher or inversion blender into big chunks. Cook for another 1 to 2 hours checking after each hour and mashing to your desired smoothness. Add a little additional liquid if needed each time you check on it.