change in a healthy direction

I have never been a total health freak. In fact, I went from barely eating in my early ages to eating tons of crap as a young adult. I admit my body has put up with a lot of my bullsh*t. But as I got older, my body became more and more reluctant to my abuse. I was getting sick very often with stomach pains and indigestion problems (stress didn’t help matters either), and these issues would occur more and more frequently. Finally, in September 2010, I decided this on and off relationship with my digestive health needed to end, and I needed to at least try to get myself healthy again.

Most changes don’t happen over night. To make big changes, you often need to make a series of small changes that, when put together, becomes a big change. I started my change in diet by adding breakfast to my daily routine. On most days, I have to wake up at 5am for work. That really doesn’t give me a lot of time to prepare a fancy breakfast. So I started with something simple: oatmeal.

To be completely honest, I have NEVER liked oatmeal; it looked bland and didn’t have much of a taste. But I chose to start eating oatmeal because I had heard so much about its benefits and it was simple enough to make. Here are just some of oatmeal’s health benefits:

1. It is a good source of both soluble and insoluble fiber.
Soluble fiber is good for lowering LDL cholesterol because it basically soaks up and carries out the “bad” cholesterol from the body as it digests. Insoluble fiber helps prevent constipation by moving waste through the body more easily.

2. It is good for heart health.
The cholesterol lowering effect of oatmeal helps reduce risks of heart disease. Due to its high fiber content, oatmeal may help in lowering high blood pressure as well.

3. It can lower the risks of cancer.
The phytochemicals found in oatmeal have cancer fighting properties. It is particularly good for preventing colon cancer because it kind of cleans your colon by forcing food particles out of your system.

4. It is good for your memory.
Oatmeal has plenty of vitamin B that is essential for the brain and nervous system to function properly.

5. It can help you if you are trying to lose weight.
The soluble fiber in oatmeal absorbs a lot of water, which slows down the digestive process. This can keep you feeling full for a longer time so you don’t feel hungry as often.

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I highly recommend adding oatmeal to your diet (or even part of your diet). Since incorporating oatmeal into my diet, I have found that my skin has gotten softer and it has drastically improved my digestion. My oatmeal is usually mixed with water and milk so that it is more fluid-like. I find it easier to digest than when it is clumpy the way it should be. I just eat it plain with a bit of ground cinnamon, but if you want you can add fruits (i.e. blueberries) to it. If you don’t like the bland taste, you can add some brown sugar to it as well. Go ahead and get creative!

take a look at this beautiful world…for me

4 years ago, there was a time when I lost my vision. It was just temporarily, a mere 20 minutes or so, but to me it felt like eternity. I guess I should have taken that as a warning. My body tried talking to me, but I didn’t listen. And now, this is what my world looks like.

It happened very suddenly. Like most people, I had never heard about this condition before. It is called a “6th cranial nerve palsy”. Basically, it is a dysfunction of a nerve in the brain that affects the muscle surrounding the eye, preventing the eye to move horizontally as it should. In other words, my left eye can’t really move. This causes an onset of double vision [medical term: diplopia] because the eyes are no longer aligned properly.

Many people have asked how I am doing and are concerned. As far as I know, this is not a life-threatening condition. However, I have yet to confirm it is not caused by other minor/serious health issues. I want to thank everyone for their well wishes via Facebook comments, messages, emails, tweets, texts, and phone calls. I cannot express just how much this all means to me right now. I ensure you, I will keep everyone posted and will do my best to remain positive.

My message here today is simple: Cherish what you have now and don’t take the little things in life for granted. The little things such as your vision. Often times we neglect the things that come to us naturally and take for granted what we are born with, let it be our motor skills or our family. I hope this experience inspires myself and others to become more appreciative of life.

Turn around and take one look at this world, at the beautiful people around you, and just be thankful you are alive.