Just for fun…..

Veggie Abundance by apple_pathways
Veggie Abundance, a photo by apple_pathways on Flickr.

Looking for tricks to remember better eating habits?
Try this-

C carbonated drinks
R refined sugar
A artificial sweeteners and colors
P processed foods

O OMEGA 3 fatty acids
D drink water

Guess What Month November Is?

Pears by Marshed
Pears, a photo by Marshed on Flickr.

Each month of the year has a connection to a particular organ of the body according to traditional Chinese medicine. Simply speaking, each month provides a chance for you to do something nice for that organ. November is lung month and as you might have guessed from this entry’s picture, pears are a nice thing to do for your lungs.

Take your favorite type of pear and core it. Fill the center with honey and steam until soft. The next step: enjoy!

This recipe is particularly good for lungs that feel dry, if you have a dry cough, if you live in a dry climate that dehydrates you easily. (Get the idea that pears hydrate?) They are also good anytime after a cold or if you just have a persistent cough.

Here are the other months of the year and their organs:

February-urinary bladder
April-large intestine
May-small intestine
June-san jiao (I know- what the heck is a san jiao? Use this month to do something great for your lymph system)
July- kidney
October-pericardium (considered a separate organ in TCM)
November- lung

Did You Know To Eat This With That?

PTDC0004Food combining is not a new idea. People combine different foods to maximize the effects of taste, texture, color, fat burning capabilities or to maximize nutritional capabilities. In TCM (traditional Chinese medicine),  we combine foods to maximize the foods’ effects on qi, blood, yin, yang, body fluids, hot, cold or effects on the different organ systems. Did you know, however, that you can also combine foods to minimize the potentially negative effects of certain foods? It’s true!

How do you minimize the potentially negative effects of high-temperature broiled, fried or grilled meats? Add rosemary to the meat while it is cooking. High temperature cooked meats create substances called heterocyclic amines (or HCAs for short). HCAs have been linked to cancer including colon and breast cancers. Rosemary has two great antioxidants: rosemarinic acid and carnosol that both go after and detroy HCAs.

Try adding rosemary to your next meat marinade and know that you are doing something preventively GREAT for your health!


Strawberries by anoop_gkris
Strawberries, a photo by anoop_gkris on Flickr.

Yum and double yum! This weekend I had my first fresh strawberries of the season. Is there anything more felicitous for spring?

While you may be eating your strawberries because they are lip-smackingly good, you are also doing yourself a wonderful favor nutritionally. Strawberries are high in vitamins C and E, beta-carotene and anti-arthritic phyto-chemicals. They are an excellent source of soluble fiber. Not only do they guard against anemia but they also help prevent gout, arthritis, kidney issues and cancer.

All that and delicious to boot? Yes!

This Is NOT A Glass Of Milk (From A Cow)! But You Might LIke It Just As Much

Homemade almond oat milk by Haus of Gloi
Homemade almond oat milk, a photo by Haus of Gloi on Flickr.

In Chinese medicine there is an imbalanced state of health that we call damp accumulation or if it’s thick enough, phlegm retention. It doesn’t sound pleasant does it? When you visit an acupuncturist it’s one of the things we’re checking into about you.

If your health challenges do include damp (ask your acupuncturist if you don’t know!) it is very likely that you’ll get the “Let’s-see-if-things-improve-if-you-cut-out-dairy” talk. “CUT OUT DAIRY?!?!?!?” is the most popular response to that followed by a close second: “What about getting enough calcium in my diet?” Your acupuncturist knows quite well that if they suggest no dairy that they are about to get the stink eye at best and maybe threats to their overall safety at worst (usually cheese is the sticking point) but they will suggest it anyway because the possible benefits to your health could be life changing.

And be prepared, there are delicious milk substitutes that have a higher daily value percentage of calcium than milk and green leafy veggies often trump those numbers as well.

So, let’s look at the numbers for one cup of each….

  Milk Almond Soy Flax Rice
Calcium 28%DV 45%DV 45%DV 30%DV 30%DV
Protein 8g 1g 6g 0g 1g
Fat 7.7g 2.5g 3.5g 2.5g 2.5g
Calories 149 60 90 50 120

Hopefully, these numbers will give you the courage to go out and try something new. Just remember to always consider any allergies you might have to a new substance.

Have fun!

Yum! Almond Milk

20120610_4325 almond by williewonker
20120610_4325 almond, a photo by williewonker on Flickr.

Ha! Even though almonds have been mentioned before on the blog here, they are certainly worth a second mention. It’s all about milk today: almond milk. Yes, OF COURSE you CAN just buy almond milk from the store but it’s even MORE FUN (and fairly easy) to make it yourself!

1. Buy some really good almonds.
2. Rinse those really good almonds.
3. Let said almonds soak up to 48 hours in clean water.
4. Drain and rinse almonds
5. Place almonds in Vitamix or equivalent thereof.
6. Add enough new/clean water in to cover almonds. (More water makes a waterier milk, less makes a creamier milk)
7. Mix almonds and water until almonds are completely chopped.
8. Strain milk through cheesecloth to remove solids.
9. Enjoy (within a few days or you will end up with a booger-like mucous to deal with).
And voila- excellent almond milk.

In Chinese medicine we use almonds to boost lung function, improve qi and blood levels, relieve a cough, transform phlegm and to lower rebellious qi.

And you thought it would just taste good!

World Wide Web

World Wide Web by Bull3t
World Wide Web, a photo by Bull3t on Flickr.

Okay, it’s high time to let everyone know (who hasn’t heard it yet from visiting the practice that is!) about a great website that will give you the full…ahem, skinny…regarding the nutrition of any given food. I recommend it for patients needing to eat a low inflammatory diet or a low carb diet or a high protein diet or a diet good for weight loss or a low glycemic diet or for anyone wanting to know which foods are the most nutritious and filling and so on. In other words, how ever you want to tweak your diet, or if you are just interested in learning what your week to week eating is doing for you, this is a very useful thing.

Hint: look for the- enter a food name in the upper right side of your screen to get started. I recommend trying both wild chinook salmon as well as milk chocolate to see good ranges between inflammatory and non-inflammatory foods.

What foods did you try? Did you find anything that surprised you? Have fun with it and let us know what you find out in the comments section!


Delicious Flowers

Cherry Blossoms by Calsidyrose
Cherry Blossoms, a photo by Calsidyrose on Flickr.

Back again from warmer climates where they are enjoying their cherry blossoms. It reminded me of the pickled cherry blossoms my Japanese friend brought for me to taste. It was a fun way to enjoy this timeless icon of spring.
It is still a bit early for cherry blossoms to be blooming here in northern California but they aren’t too far behind. This week the pear tree blossoms popped- always the official start of the riotous flowers of spring. It made me excited to think of all the edible flowers available to adorn your favorite dishes. In the Chinese materia medica we use many flowers as herbal medicine but this list today is just for fun.
(Just remember- don’t eat any flowers that have been sprayed with anything undesirable including chemicals or animal “by-products”.)

A good list includes:

Calendula flowers
Dianthus (aka Sweet William)

When in doubt, keep it out (of your mouth that is!) Always consult with an expert in your area.

And if you are still in the throes of winter where you are, never fear spring is near.

The Top 10 Foods Of Fiber

LES FIBRES DE PSYLLIUM by jacquietowers29
LES FIBRES DE PSYLLIUM, a photo by jacquietowers29 on Flickr.

1. Psyllium, ground 700g/cup
2. Flaxseed, ground 30g/cup
3. Almonds 28g/cup
4. Beans 19g/cup
5. Oat bran 15g/cup
6. Raspberries 8g/cup
7. Sweet potato 8g/cup
8. Pumpkin seeds 5g/cup
9. Apple 4g/cup
10. Grapefruit 4g/cup

More about fabulous fiber later!

Guest Post…

We’re trying something new and fun for the blog today. The following information comes from a wonderful patient who was willing to share a process she found was good for her health. This blog entry isn’t necessarily meant to endorse this process but solely to stimulate you to put on your thinking cap about all of the potential chances out there to make good choices for your health. For this patient it was finding this kefir.  There is always something more you can do for your health . Thanks CM for sharing!

Having been diagnosed over 20 years ago with an auto immune disease, I have always been on a search for good health. I have always taken a probiotic for good digestive health in some form or another. Doing research for another alternative of probiotic I came across an article for Water Kefir. It comes in a grain form and adding liquids and a few ingredients and letting it set on the counter for a few days you have your elixir. I was not quite sure if I was getting any noticeable benefits until I was in the hospital for a few days and forgot to take it each day for several weeks. Starting up a new batch, my favorite with coconut water and FRESH cut up pineapple I started to see a very noticeable improvement, especially in my skin and hair. My completion took on a glow and my hair textured and shine improved and I have many good hair days and of course the best of all, good potty habits! I have also eliminated any heartburn which I had suffered with for years. My husband also started taking it and stopped, you know how men can be. He has since restarted a few months ago and is a true believer. He will even take some with him when he travels with great success with his digestion! I found that drinking it in the morning or midday will also give me a great natural pick me up, just not too close to bedtime.

Using the Kefir Grains to make Water Kefir is actually pretty easy. And the best part is you can grow as much as you need, and then keep making a fresh batch of Water Kefir for your entire family to enjoy each day.

Here’s how you do it in 4 easy steps…

Step 1: Add Ingredients

Add the following ingredients to a clean quart sized canning jar…

1 quart of spring water
1/3 cup organic brown sugar
1 tsp of molasses (optional)

Mix ingredients until all the sugar is desolved

Step 2: Add Kefir Grains

Add 1/4 cup Kefir Grains.

Place a cap on the jar and let it sit for 48 hours so it can ferment and create the Water Kefir.

After 48 hours, taste test it. If its too sweet, let it go another day. They can ferment up to 5 days.

Step 3: Strain Water Kefir

When the Water Kefir is cultured to your liking, you can strain out the grains, and now you can drink the Water Kefir.
Step 4: Rinse & Repeat

Rinse the grains well with room temperature water and repeat the process using the grains.
…See how EASY that is?

You and your family can drink it every single day and it will only cost you just a few cents per day.

For more information : http://www.waterkefirgrains.com

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