Archives for April 2018

April 17, 2018

Eat to Live a Better Life!

This week marks the beginning of the fifth month I have been working with Patty Berry, RD. In previous blog posts I’ve shared my progress without sharing the amount of weight, to this day I don’t have an accurate number, and frankly, I don’t care about the number. Living a healthy lifestyle is more than a learning experience, it is more of an awakening! I never realized how many components are involved in eating a healthy diet. It is so much more than portion control, types of food, timing of meals, and food preparation. Eating healthy is a commitment to change, not a temporary change until a desired result is attained, but a commitment to accountable eating habits and maintaining lifestyle changes. I needed to safely change to help manage my chronic condition. It was evident to me that my excess body weight might be increasing inflammation and may also be affecting medication effectiveness. What most impresses me about my growth by working with Patty is the steady improvement of decreasing stiffness and increased mobility. Whether these are attributes of diet or increased exercise, doesn’t really matter, but I’m loving it.

Here are a few of the elements of healthy living I’ve adopted and ways working with Patty has been both challenging and satisfying:

…after our initial conversation, Patty coordinated my specific needs and tailored a food plan not only for my health needs, but more importantly by my food preferences and lifestyle.  

…by regular interaction whether by phone, email, or video conferencing, she consistently helps me with challenges I face eating healthy, at times tweaking my food choices and meal plans, making it work for me.

Patty’s non-judgmental approach to slip ups allows discussion and accountability without sense of failure or of making a mistake.

…the added bonus of working with this dietician is her savvy food shopping experiences, food prep, exercise, and just about anything that will make this experience meaningful and worthwhile.

It feels so good to not be complaining about my weight, just sharing this wonderful experience.  Have a great week!

April 10, 2018

Smooth Sailing into Year 3!

This month we celebrate the second anniversary of RA Style & Flare. This blog was launched as a means to share information that empowers individuals to live life with Style & Flare in spite of Rheumatoid Arthritis, or any other chronic illness.  That’s what I shared with my readers two years ago in the about post, but I never came clean on why I was really embarking on this blogging journey.

It would be difficult to describe the myriad of feelings I experienced when a name was given to the excruciating pain that was ravaging my body.  After all the medications that were prescribed and the medical information that was given on the initial appointment, I left the appointment overwhelmed, dazed, and still in excruciating pain.  Enough about the particulars, I got home and immediately started searching for and reading blogs about RA.  I was really looking for success stories or stories of encouragement that living life with RA was going to be no big deal.   Sad to say, most of the blogs turned out to be negative descriptions of life with RA and what they share and do was a projection of their own reality and attitude, that was scary as hell!  Even though I truly understood the pain and frustration many of the writers felt, I needed to disconnect from the negativity, I was hurting and needed a life line.  The inception of writing this weekly blog has forced me to understand that medication is only a part of the equation that makes living with RA bearable.  I write about different areas that I need to address due to the changes my body regularly experiences.  In the last two years I’ve been remiss by not mentioning how important it is to surround yourself with people that are winning at life, the ones that enrich your life, that help and not hurt you.  

In previous blog posts I have acknowledged the support I’ve received from friends, family, and caregivers, and today I must add to the list.  For quite a few months I’ve been following a blog written by Leigh called phat50chick with RA.  I met Leigh for the first time today at lunch.  We have a lot in common and it only proved to me how important a positive attitude is.  I think the lunch was good, but the company was better!  It really was refreshing to spend time with a likeminded woman who shared some of her life experiences with RA that helped me and she made my day a little brighter simply with by her positive energy.  So on the 2nd year anniversary I am celebrating my blog and its future, plus the acquisition of a new friend!  Have a great week!


April 3, 2018

48 Hours Newport, Rhode Island

With the prediction of the fast approaching 4th nor’easter of the season to hit our coastal town, my friend Elise and I set out to avoid this first day of spring, storm. Both of use needed some relief from the battering of the previous storms and the lack of electricity, this seemed to be the perfect solution. We set out early on March 21st for a 21 mile ride along the low roads to reach our destination, Gurney’s Resort, Goat Island! It became a truly an exciting and invigorating ride when approximately five miles from the resort our visibility and speed significantly decreased due the furious snow fall. We felt it was a sign that we were lucky to get out of Dodge in time and be staying at a resort that would not lose power and be equipped to keep us entertained and extremely happy! 

Let’s cut to the chase!  This was the storm that never materialized after that brief burst of snow, we stayed put waiting for its delayed arrival that never came!  Just like having a chronic illness, sometimes the best laid plans don’t happen and you make the best of what can be!  Well, the following is what we did on our 48 hour staycation in Newport!

Our room overlooked the East Passage, south of the Newport Bridge.  Even with the heavy fog and cold we stayed on our balcony and enjoyed the beauty of the angry ocean.  The room was clean, modern, and comfortable.  The Nespresso in the room was greatly appreciated, as well as the Gilchrist &Soames toiletries.  


Everything about our stay at Gurney’s was wonderful.  The Regent Lounge, had the most delicious Negroni Fresco’s and chili calamari.  The workout room was small, but well appointed, and the pool was absolutely delightful!     

We stayed at the resort the first two days, only venturing out for dinner.  From the front desk, concierge, and valet service all the staff went above and beyond to make our stay perfect!  There is a coffee bar in the lobby, a decanter of fresh fruit water replenished as needed, and a day spa with the most extraordinary views!

View from the mani/pedi station!

What I’ve learned from this experience is what I now believe was the intendant reasoning of taking a staycation, a relaxing, restorative, and enjoyable experience. In comparison to my  Staycation” in January 2017 which was an exhausting experience and not a heck of a lot of fun, this was a true staycation. The unpredictable weather we faced is similar to what individuals with chronic diseases face each day, uncertainty of what the day will bring, and making the most of what is present.  Waking up on the day we were leaving with the sun shining and calm seas, we left the resort to stroll the empty streets of Newport and visit some interesting local businesses.

Audrain Automobile Museum

The museum floor overflowed with muscle cars that looked like pieces of art!

Seashells In Bloom

Coastal items ranging from home decor, jewelry, apparel, and so much more!


A skin care clinic and retail store that sells 100% natural, handmade, herbal skin care products!

 The aroma of this store was intoxicating!

We meandered through the streets for hours before leaving for home, and wishing we could have stayed a bit longer!