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- Acupuncture and the Small Intestine
- TCM for Summer Heat
- In Summer, Nourish Your Heart
In Chinese medical theory, food is considered medicine. Food has qualities and functions biochemically and energetically that target specific organs. Not only that, but the action a particular food takes to benefit that organ in terms of taste, color and temperature is what is included in Five Element theory. Food has a relationship to both the natural elements as well as the organs in the body and balances the elements of fire, earth, metal, water and wood to healthy, generating cycles. continue reading
The Easy Way to Grill or Roast Vegetables
Wash, slice or cube your vegetables. As they have similar cooking times, group watery vegetables together: summer squashes, eggplant, peppers, tomato, asparagus. String beans, broccoli and cauliflower take a little longer to cook, but if you roast all together, you can alter the size of the slices, so that the longer-cooking veg are thinner, or smaller. The more thoroughly cooked will have a more caramelized flavor, the others will be crispier: you may find certain preferences for each vegetable. Add onion, scallion, leek, and/or garlic. I roast root vegetables together all winter long: carrots, beets, turnips, sweet potato. Add winter squashes, broccoli, or cauliflower.
Place your vegetables and marinade in a plastic bag or glass dish to marinade for the time you have available, an hour to a couple of days, or toss them all together in the pan, then spread them out for roasting. Moderate heat works well. Hotter works well toward crispy.
To start, just open your cupboards and use what you have.
If you’re ready for a change, check recipes or your supermarket condiment shelves.
Here are some ideas, try one from each line:
- Any oil and vinegar based salad dressing, or your favorite bottled marinade
- Extra virgin olive oil, avocado, sesame, coconut works great on root vegetables
- Balsamic, red wine, apple cider vinegar, or your favorite flavored vinegar
- Coconut amino acids (incredibly delicious!), soy sauce or tamari, Worcestershire, white Worcestershire
- Your favorite fresh or dried herbs, bottled mixed herbs, seasoned salts (avoid MSG)
- Salt and pepper, of course
Large slices work directly on the grill, smaller slices or cubes in a grilling basket, atop or folded into aluminum foil (here you can steam them in the extra marinade).
Oven (all year round!)
Long slices, short slices, cubes, or even diced (more for saucing). Use roasting pans if you are using any marinade other than oil alone, as sweeter ingredients like balsamic vinegar can make a mess of your pans. The thicker metal will also hold up nicely to high heat, but any baking pan will work, Pyrex, glass, or metal.
Sweet potatoes or potatoes can be tossed in olive oil, salt and pepper. Thinly sliced, they can be baked till soft, which takes less than 20 minutes at about 400 degrees, crispy takes a little longer (as do cubes), but pleases the crowd.
Kale chips are my favorite version of kale: wash, thoroughly dry, devein and tear the leaves into potato-chip size pieces. Toss in a little olive oil and salt. Bake on a cookie sheet or roasting pan at 350 for no more than 11 minutes, turning once. They come out dark green and crispy. Overcooked get brown, then black, very quickly.
Corn on the cob can be grilled in or out of the husk. I love this flavor. I pull the dry outer leaves and trim the ends, cutting off any trailing silks, then rinse or soak the corn so that the husks don’t end up a black mess on your grill (and floors). This method allows a lot of leeway in terms of attendance: turn once or twice. If you are grilling husked corn, you’ll need to be more attentive, turning them evenly. There’s no need to cook corn longer than ten minutes. Very fresh needs less.
As an important note: Nightshade vegetables can give some folks achy joints.
They are potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant. For people with recurring aches and pains, or those that come and go, seemingly without pattern,sometimes moving from joint to joint, I often suggest avoiding these vegetables for a couple of weeks, but I NEVER ask them to do that this time of year. Who can avoid a sun-warmed tomato fresh off the vine? If you are feeling achier now, this might be the cause, so pay attention to your eating habits, and consider this later in the autumn.
These aches may also be caused by some apparently innocuous food, which you would have difficulty sleuthing out. We do a Food Inflammation finger-prick test here. Most results reveal only a couple of items that really need to be avoided to improve body-wide symptoms. There is often a suspected food, such as dairy or gluten, but the unexpected shows up in most tests: lettuce, basil, salmon, and artichoke among them. The test empowers you with information to make your own choices, taking the guess-work out of food planning.
Many people like to add walnuts to food to add some zest and a little crunchy kick, but walnuts are much more than a flavor additive, as they are chock full of healthy properties and have been used in Asia as an overall health tonic and brain booster for years. Let’s take a nutty look at walnuts. continue reading
What an inspiring story of someone DOING something to actually aid those in need, right when they need it. Celebrity chef Jose Andres has been in the Carolinas this week, helping victims of Hurricane Florence by spearheading, organizing, preparing and serving the hungry people in the flood zones, as he has done in other disaster sites.
Take a look at what he does at this video or #chefsforPuertoRico:
Spring is a time of renewal, regeneration, growth and energy. The plants and animals awaken from the slumber of the cold winter months. The vital nutrients that have been stored in the roots of the plants and the bodies of the animals, comes to the surface and life becomes more vibrant and fluid. Human beings are no different. Humans tend to stay indoors more during the winter months and sometimes pack on a little extra weight in the process. As the weather warms, humans become more gregarious and spend more time outside enjoying nature. This is just a natural process. continue reading
I have just watched a couple of episodes for the online video series, Awakening from Alzheimer’s.
I highly recommend viewing it to anyone who knows anyone who has suffered Dementia, or for all of us who wish to maintain or brain health into our later years. Trust that I will also be implementing what I learn from this series in my practice.
The series began on 21 September, and currently offers one free episode per day. It appears you may view episode 1 throughout the series. This episode a good taste of some of the interviews with respected clinicians who have seen measurable improvements in their patients’ conditions. You may review all episodes October 6-9, and purchase the series at any time. Episodes appear to be 30-40 minutes in duration, and are posted from 9 AM EST to 9 AM the following day.
The modern world is changing every single day. Because of this constant state of change, our bodies are frequently having to adjust. We have a food supply being degraded and depleted of nutritional content, which in turn, causes our bodies to become depleted. Our soil and water is contaminated with antibiotics and deadly fertilizers. All of which become part of the food chain we rely upon. Because of this, antibiotics are failing and superbugs like MRSA are on the rise. Lack of nutrition and the overuse of antibiotics are just a couple of the things wreaking havoc on our intestinal health. But there are ways to combat this and keep the gut healthy. continue reading
Most people have heard of the field of acupuncture by now, but did you realize the scope of the practice encompasses Chinese medicine, which includes so much more than needles? Let’s explore this ancient therapy.
First of all, the practice of Chinese medicine starts with a diagnosis. The practitioner asks many questions to build a history; this includes the answers to digestion, appetite, diet, sleep patterns, bowel movement urination, pain, lifestyle, and stress level, for example. The acupuncturist will also be noting the voice pitch, hair luster, skin color and tone, as well as posture and mood of the patient and any significant odor. After that, there is a pulse and tongue analysis to determine where the pattern and root are, primarily. Finally, blood pressure is measured and other applicable tests done, including palpation of the body. After this history, a diagnosis and treatment plan is determined. What might be included in this plan? continue reading
Everybody knows that food is what gives our bodies the energy we need to survive. But not everybody is aware that certain foods should be consumed during specific times of the year. In areas like the Midwest, where fruits and vegetables are harder to keep on hand when the weather becomes colder, this principle is followed a little more closely. But in areas like Hawaii and Southern California, where fresh fruits and vegetables are always available and the climate is more moderate, people sometimes forget to eat according to the seasons. continue reading
Oriental medicine (OM) nutrition combines ancient wisdom with modern science. OM nutrition is a holistic approach, which aims to balance all five flavors within most meals with one or two flavors being emphasized for therapeutic purposes. OM nutrition for a hypertension emphasizes bitter flavors, sour flavors and energetically-cooling foods.
OM theory states the bitter flavor benefits the heart in moderation but an excess is harmful as it has a drying effect; for example, coffee is bitter. In moderation coffee acts as vasodilator increasing circulation but in excess it can raise blood pressure and has a diuretic effect. Modern scientific research has discovered while the human genome has 25 bitter taste receptors 12 of these are expressed in the human heart. continue reading