An Overdue Personal Update – Starting the year with a bang!

Living in India: A closed chapter.

This blog used to be quite personal, telling you about every single adventure (the bad and the good) of our lives in India, then our move back to the US, all the challenges and changes we faced, and even our personal love story.

I’ve become a bit distant showering you with photos of my travels recent and past and not enough Mani and our lives. Although I do give you a tiny glimpse of my life with my weekly small pleasures blog event.

But there are things that have happened that you don’t know.

And once and for all I shall answer a question many of you have asked me: we are not going back to India, at least for now. A year after waiting to see if our fate would take us back there, we cancelled our India house lease.


Our current home.
Our current home.

We are still living with our friends/landlords in our own basement apartment that we rent built by them in the historical school they bought and remodeled from scratch in the country in Oregon. In fact, you can now even rent out two of their guests rooms on airbnb!

We have no plans to move, but since 2008 we haven’t been in a single place for longer than a year so given that pattern we might end up moving before the end of this year. We never really have plans to move and then we move, and to very unexpected places too. I am actually very curious to see how 2015 will go.

We are loving Oregon. We’ve so far visited Woodburn, Mt Hood, Hood RiverThe Dalles, Astoria, Seaside, Cannon Beach and of course Portland, a city I have fallen in love with.

portland waterfront downtown

2015 has already been eventful.

Our car got broken into, they broke the window and stole hubby’s backpack which was completely hidden in the car and contained his laptop, which is his job as he is a computer programmer. It sucks. The insurance covered the window, but not the stolen goods.

While the car was getting fixed, for a few days I was driving the rental they provided, a convertible white mustang with a California plate. Unfortunately it wasn’t warm enough to put the hood down. I enjoyed speeding a bit though, don’t tell the police.


One major thing that happened that I never told you in 2014 was that at the young age of 40, hubby was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. He has suffered from depression and anxiety most of his life which are part of it, unfortunately they don’t diagnose you until you start getting the tremors. He was actually relieved to finally know what was wrong and work towards it.

However he refused to take the common Parkinson’s treatment medicine, a dopamine agonist, which is supposed to help with the tremors but the side effects are horrible. Impulse-control disorders and Alzheimers are just some of them. We both believe that this medicine, in big part, is what killed Robin Williams as many close sources talk about how he had been recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s and he had been sober for a while. It still saddens me to think about!

We miss you.

Hubby has been tackling the disease via tons of exercise, functional neurology exercises, better diet, and supplements. All of these things have made him feel a lot better and even seen an improvement. There is no cure yet, and taking the dopamine agonist is not the way to go.

As for me, I started working out after a year of not working out. I feel like exercise is the best thing one can do for one’s health. My mood has been way better since I started and of course my fitness, my heart and my muscles. I can’t recommend it enough!

I take crossfit classes, which I had never heard of when I first joined. I simply found them nearby and gave them a try, there’s not a lot to choose from where we live. Apparently it’s kind of a fad and kind of a cult haha, there are tons of crosfitter jokes in the web, but I really enjoy the classes! If you don’t do anything for physical health, I suggest just start going for walks, it’s truly important for the body and mind.

We both also started visiting a functional neurology doctor. Hubby for his Parkinson’s and me to find out what is wrong with me (for at least 10 years I’ve had many symptoms that have been bothering me, but I won’t bother telling you about them as I’ll sound like a webMD glossary). After two visits, more testing needs to be done, but it sounds like I have a gut problem, possibly an immune problem, and a bit of a left brain problem. In the coming months I will know and learn more. This book inspired both of us to pursue functional medicine. It’s changing our lives.

Starting this year, we also both got health insurance for the first time in many years. We thought it was a good thing until it seems they don’t cover anything we need and we are just paying in vain.


Related to the above, diet takes big part in health. By diet, I mean what we eat, not eating less. The more we find out about pesticides, the evil Monsanto, Roundup, and the way animals are treated, the more we want to eat less of all that. For a few months now I have been trying to buy only organic and non-GMO. We have gone mostly gluten-free, not because we are intolerant but because wheat is one of the most poisoned foods, and going gluten-free means no wheat. Wheat is also an inflammatory food, which is terrible for neurological diseases, and really anyone. I also try to buy grass-fed, and pastured dairy and meats as much as possible. I just don’t want tortured and “poisoned” animals to go into my being.

The Horrific Truth about Roundup

We are not strict diet anything, (vegan, vegetarian, paleo, etc), all we want is to eat well which in this age, especially in America, it seems it’s really hard.

Homemade West African chicken stew, “belly dance” beet salad and coconut rice. My latest “cooking project”.

I cook a lot, which is often the best pathway to eating well. The less you eat out the better, followed by staying away from processed foods. I always make and pack my husband’s work lunch, and I make breakfast, lunch and dinner at least 5 times a week. We still enjoy eating out in Portland, it’s our guilty pleasure.

It’s really unfortunate how just 100 years ago, none of this was a problem.


mexico city view4
Mexico City without pollution.

It seems like exotic and foreign travel has been on standby in my life for a while. My recent travels all consist of hometown visits. Which don’t get me wrong, are great; as soon as I stand on airport soil, I’m happy. But I would not complain if I found some random flight tickets in the mail to go to Italy, Australia or Argentina. Where’s the travel fairy at?

Hubby’s 2015 horoscope said that foreign travels are to happen this year. I don’t believe in horoscope, but I want to believe that! Cause you know I’ll be going with him. My horoscope talked about the good fortune that’s coming for me in the love department which is silly because I already found it years ago.

So there you go! A pretty thorough update.

How has your 2015 been going?

12 thoughts on “An Overdue Personal Update – Starting the year with a bang!

  1. I love your posts, thanks for sharing! sorry to hear about your Hubby´s laptop and Parkinsons, but i think you are in the right path to health!!! i will definitly try to start soon workingout, i didnt workout in 14, so definitly will try this 15! i am sure excercise is the best thing . also try to do some savings, i am the WORST in saving money, and i want to go to India this year. xoxo


  2. I was sorry to hear of your husband’s debilitating disease diagnosis. I hope the research and medicine will help his Parkinson’s disease. I know your love and family and friends being there for him will bless him and keep his spirits lifted, too. Hugs, Robin


  3. Mani thank you for sharing. I am sorry to hear of your husband’s diagnosis. It sounds like you and he are making many healthy life choices and changes. I am sending positive energy and very best wishes for continued improvement. Hugs across the miles.


  4. I respect people who write posts like this for their honesty. (I’m still struggling to put my own 2014 into words.) This was well-written and insightful. Best of luck on the health front in particular.


    1. Thank you so much. Sometimes I wonder to myself why and how I post such personal and honest posts to the public.


  5. Ups and downs are part of life but sounds like you have both had more than your share of longer term challenges thrown your way. All the more admirable to tackle head on through healthy eating and fitness. Wish you nothing but the best in living as well as you can, with laughter and love the best medicine of all!


    1. Thank you Carissa, I appreciate your kind words. We are hanging in there and actually kind of excited to see what 2015 will bring.


  6. Timely diagnosis is the first step to cure, love the strategy you guys have adopted to tacking health issues. Wish this new year helps in putting those issues to rest, wish you both a very happy new year and much travel ahead 🙂


  7. I really hope this New Year brings you good news for your husband’s condition. And I look forward to reading about where you go wandering next. But since I don’t know much about Oregon or Mexico, I’m happy to read about those places too!


    1. Thank you Karolyn! I wish you a great year as well.


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