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Today I remember….

My mother….

February 15, 1931 - September 11, 2010

Hisako Ujifusa February 15, 1931 - September 11, 2010

and the victims of 9/11


May they rest in peace….


Just recently, Bruce and I were featured in the Innovators of Vancouver segment which outlined how Elguji and we, as individuals, innovate and leverage social media in our lives.

At first I was really nervous at the thought doing this, but after all was said and done, I had a great time and felt that the segment turned out very good.

If any one of you know me well, I am pretty much the “quiet reserve” behind Bruce’s flamboyant personality.  I don’t have a problem with that as it is my nature of being just that.  Growing up, I was taught not to brag or boast about your successes or endeavors and that the recognition would come from within and from others on their own.  But with the rage of social networking and the continuous movement of needing to be recognized for your uniqueness to set yourself apart from the rest of the social media frenzy has pushed everyone to become their own “attention seeking whore” aka ASW.

Now there are many ways of being an ASW, all of which can be subjective.  However, the key to becoming successful in “tooting” your own horn has to come genuinely from within with honesty, class and unpretentious.  The key is not to brag or to bring attention to yourself or to say, “look, look, look at me”, but only to state your successes and how you obtained the goals you set out to do.  Everything else will fall in place when people recognize you as an example they want to follow.

So even though being an ASW is not in my nature, I guess sometimes you just have to do it…and sometimes its not so bad!

Low carb, nutritious snacks are crucial for kids or adults with diabetes.  Managing blood sugar is always a challenge for those with diabetes and even for those that don’t have it.  But eating healthy and sticking to a low-glycemic diet can be very tricky and sometimes confusing.  The trick? Think protein, fiber, and healthy fats as a source of good healthy snacks.

Here are 12 snacks that you can pack that are both healthy and tasty:

1.  Hard boiled eggs

2.  Cheese sticks

3.  Fruit bowls

4. Trail mix

5.  Applesauce cups

6. Protein bars

7. Cottage cheese snack packs

8. Apple

9. Veggies and dip

10. Black olives

11. Popcorn

12. Cereal

For more information, visit

Its hard to believe that today marks the one year anniversary of Leroi Moore’s death.  Although he may be gone, his music and influence on the band will always exist.  DMB’s latest album, Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King is a great tribute to Leroi and to the band itself.

“We’ll be drinking big whiskey while we dance and sing,” “Why I Am.” “And when my story ends, it’s gonna end with him/Heaven or hell/I’m going down with the GrooGrux King.”

Rest in peace Leroi….

Leroi Moore

Leroi Moore

I’ve read this book (Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff…and it’s all small stuff) by Richard Carlson a long time ago, but just recently have picked it back up in light of some events that have been occurring in my life.

When I first read this book years ago, I understood his concepts and theories about life and what it brings daily.  It was simple and straight forward.  But it has only been just over the past few years that I have REALLY started to understand it and actually apply it to my life.  Many of his “chapters” cover very basic and common sense items.  Things that you would think would be simple to do and apply, in reality are not.  It takes conscience effort and consistency to make it a part of your daily routine and life style.  Some examples that stand out in my mind are: (and are ones that truly hit home for me)

  • Develop your compassion
  • Don’t interrupt others or finish their sentences
  • Let others have the glory
  • Learn to live in the present moment
  • Let others be “right” most of the time
  • Be the first one to act loving or reach out
  • Ask yourself the question, “will this matter a year from now?”
  • Surrender to the fact that life isn’t fair
  • Imagine yourself at your own funeral
  • Seek first to understand
  • Choose your battles wisely
  • Choose being kind over being right
  • Think of what you have instead of what you want
  • Listen to your feelings (they are trying to tell you something)
  • Keep asking yourself “what is really important”
  • Live your day as if it were your last

When life’s drama unfolds itself upon me and I find myself becoming stressed, depressed or angered, I try to reflect on this list and apply them to my life.  I may not always be successful, but I am making a conscience effort to make things better.  And in the long run, I find myself becoming a better person and a less stressed one at that!

As I watch and observe the actions of individuals as they face adversity, I often want to yell out to them one of the items on this list.  If only they understood what these small words mean and the power that it can bring to oneself!  The peace and serenity one would feel cannot be expressed and only lived.  I am not saying that I am a perfect person or that I don’t fall back on my old ways, but I can say that I am making a conscience effort to make changes in my life.

People need to understand that there are consequences to their actions and that they need to take accountability for those actions.  Life is too short to be arguing over petty things that one does not have any control of, or trying to change things that they cannot.  Once you have a good understanding of what this means, you will find that your life becomes a lot less stressful and that you have internal peace.

I hope people take time to read this simple, but powerful book “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff…and it’s all small stuff”.  It’s helped me in my life and I hope that it will help someone in theirs.

Very clever….never thought of doing this….could save you some time and money!


Great Tip

What is PVC?  Yes, it is commonly known as the vinyl called polyvinyl chloride used in many items and is considered very poisonous.  However, that is not the PVC that I am referring to in this blog entry.

Not many have heard of PVC from a health perspective.  The acronym “PVC” stands for Premature ventricular contractions” or also known as Premature ventricular complexes, ventricular premature beats, ectopic heartbeats and extrasystoles.  PVC are extra, abnormal heartbeats that begin in one of your heart’s two lower pumping chambers (ventricles). These extra beats disrupt your regular heart rhythm, which normally starts in the upper right chamber (atrium).  These extra contractions usually beat sooner than the next regular heartbeat. And they often interrupt the normal order of pumping.  As a result, the extra, out-of-sync beats (which may feel like a flip-flop or skipped beat in your chest) are usually less effective in pumping blood throughout the body.  Premature ventricular contractions are very common and most people never feel them.

So what causes PVC and irregular heartbeats?  Certain triggers such as heart diseases or changes in the body can make the ventricles electrically unstable. Underlying heart disease or scarring may also cause electrical impulses to be mis-routed. Premature ventricular contractions may be associated with:

  • Chemical changes or imbalances in the body
  • Certain medications, including common asthma medications
  • Alcohol or illegal drugs
  • Increased levels of adrenaline in the body, caused by caffeine, exercise or anxiety
  • Injury to the heart muscle from coronary artery disease, congenital heart disease, high blood pressure or infections (myocarditis)

So why am I writing about PVC and show so much interest in this medical condition especially when it is so common?

A few years ago, I was diagnosed with PVC.  It started after the birth of my first child.  I thought I was having a heart attack and was having some very weird sensations in my chest.  They ran a myriad of tests on me – ECGs, Holter Monitor, Event recorder, etc. — all to no avail.  Every test that I was subjected to either came back normal, or the event monitors were never able to record the event when it happened.  Doctors pretty much dismissed that I had any condition since I was in good health and had no precondition issues such as high blood pressure, heart disease or high cholesterol.  Talk about frustration!  This only added to my anxiety, hence creating more PVC attacks.  It was a vicious cycle.

I knew that I was experiencing something abnormal but I learned to live with it.  I was never diagnosed with the condition until years later.  Because the events were happening more and more, I decided that I would go back to the doctor and have it rechecked.  The first visits to the doctors (when I was first having the attacks), I lived in northern California.  I had then moved to Washington and this is where I was diagnosed with having PVCs.  My Internist took my concerns very seriously and never underestimated my condition or concerns.  He too ran the same set of tests to no avail.  We finally ended up with me doing a stress test (or what is known as an Exercise Stress EKG).  The PVC event occurred while I was doing the stress test and he was able to see the results and make a diagnosis!  He was so ecstatic and so was I!  Luckily, my PVCs are benign.  However, I need to watch or be aware of my events and make sure that they do not get worse or occur too frequently.  You can choose to control the condition with heart medications, but I opted not to do this.  Instead I chose to change my lifestyle and try to stay away from things that trigger an attack (caffeine, alcohol, stress, anxiety).

The risks of having PVC are that you are at a higher risk of developing serious heart rhythm problems.  And frequent and uncontrolled premature contractions can lead to chaotic, dangerous heart rhythms and possibly sudden cardiac death.

So, if you ever notice, that I never drink any high energy or caffeinated drinks.  I do drink alcohol, but when I over do it, my heart and body take the beating and it takes me a few days for my heart to feel normal again.  I love my dark chocolate, so I haven’t given that up!  And I try very hard to keep my stress levels down.

There you have it!  PVC 101!  I hope you were able to take away some knowledge by my experiences.  It’s not a fun condition to live with, but it is something that you can live with.  There are far worse things out there and I feel blessed that overall, my health is pretty good.

Do you know your ABCs? That is your A1c levels, your blood pressure and your cholesterol profile?

For those that do not know your ABCs, here is the guideline to good health:

AA1c, or hemoglobin A1c test

* ADA goal is less than 7%.
* AACE goal is 6.5% or less.

BBlood pressure

* < 130/80 mmHg for non-pregnant adults.


* HDL (good) cholesterol – >40 mg/dl (1.0 mmol/l) in men; >50 mg/dl (1.3 mmol/l) in women
* LDL (bad) cholesterol – <100 mg/dl
* Triglycerides – <150 mg/dl

There are tons of weight loss diets, strategies, programs, etc. out there that people swear by.  Some are good, some are bad, some are effective, some are not.  Here is a list of weight loss tips that are very different from what you would normally hear from your typical diet guru.  Take a look and see what you think:

1.  Stick to measuring tape

2. Choose soup

3.  Learn from former smokers

4.  Address your mental state

5.  Add to your repertoire

6.  Choose foods that take time

7.  Retrain your taste buds

To learn more about these tips visit

More than a year ago SMITH on-line magazine challenged their readers to compress their life story into six words. The magazine was flooded with 15,000 entries and almost 1,000 of these tag line life stories have now made it into the book Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous & Obscure. (by Larry Smith, Rachel Fershleiser)

My 6 word life story is “Mother, Wife, Daughter, Friend, Professional – Perfect”

To keep the challenge going, I challenge you to write your 6 word life story.


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