Hi, my name is Ai Nguyen (pronounced ‘I Win’). Welcome to my blog!
From the name of my blog: HealthBloxforWomen.com, some may think I am an authority in the health and/or nutrition field. From reading the content of my blog, you may even think I’ve earned myself a culinary degree, at least one in Asian cuisine. I am not either. I am a woman who have beaten many odds in life and have found a way to live a vibrant, healthy life. I am here to share with you my knowledge of what I know about health, fitness and nutrition, and let you know that if I can do it, you can too.
My story: I was born premature, more than 10 weeks before full term according to my mother. Growing up in Vietnam during war time, and after the reunification of North & South which resulted in famine & poverty during the early years, I was always sick. Before the age of 13, I had every illness imaginable. The only organ that wasn’t wrong with me was my heart. I was constantly in and out of hospitals, that was when my mother could get me to a hospital. Most times, I depended on occasional visits from “Quack doctors”, and God’s will to keep me alive. When we moved to the States in 1980, my health eventually got better. My health concerns came to fade and life took on different priorities. Health & nutrition weren’t exactly in my vocabularies in my twenties and thirties.
During those two decades however, I got to experience many culinary adventures. After graduate school, I landed a job as an IT Consultant, which required 100% travel. For over ten years, I was constantly on the road, and ate out most meals. I visited many restaurants, from LA, San Francisco, to Manhattan & Albany, NY, from Santa Fe, New Mexico to the Cosmopolitan area of Tampa, FL. Expenses weren’t a problem in those days, so anything goes. I came to develop a very expansive palate. On long weekends or on time off, my boyfriend at the time, now husband, and I would take trips to Italy, France, Spain, Hong Kong, China, Thailand… just to eat. Well, we did and saw few other things too. After we settled down and started a family, we both decided that what we love is food and travel so we left technology and joined the tourism industry and never looked back.
A year after my second child was born, at the cusp of turning 41, I was diagnosed with Medullary Thyroid Cancer. I can no longer ignore health and what I put in my body. I am reminded again that I am not one of those lucky ones who are blessed with good DNAs. In the course of the last eight years, leisure time is reading hormone, anti-aging, anti-cancer and nutrition books. I depleted most books in these categories at the local libraries. I also own an impressive enough collection myself from Amazon and the book stores. Even though I don’t have a health related degree or certification, I can say I have a thing or two to share when it comes to taking good care of your body. I also love to cook (and eat) and found that though my DNA doesn’t serve me well, my heritage has come to benefit me a great deal through my journey to wellness. Food, when prepared correctly, can be the best medicine for your body. Asian food contains a wealth of nutrition. Spices such as turmeric, ginger, lemongrass, cinnamon, onion, garlic, as well as herbs such as Thai basil, mint, perilla and garlic chives all have medicinal values. Spices and herbs also give depth and flavor to food. Though I don’t always cook ‘Traditional’ Asian food at home, I do make use of Asian spices and herbs in most of my cooking. Delicious Asian food also does not need to contain MSG or loads of salt, sugar and white starch. Knowing what and what not to put into your body, and not necessarily how much, is the key to staying healthy and fit.
These days, at the age of 49, life for me is about beating hypothyroidism, making sense of menopause, working full time, keeping my family healthy by cooking them every dinner, hosting good friends and families with tried and true recipes that I create and striving to look like Brooke Shields in her green bikini. Oh, once in a while, we still travel and eat too.
Being healthy & fit doesn’t need to require all the right elements such as good genes and wealth and time as some may think. It’s also not about consuming 1,200 calories a day eating tasteless food and going to the gym 5 times a week. It is about having the knowledge to treat your body right and to appreciate what you have and work effectively to nourish it. I hope you’ll find this site helpful in your quest to becoming more healthy by eating delicious food.
Thank you for visiting.