Friday, September 27, 2013

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Monday, January 16, 2012

1/2 Vegetable Breakfast: Brussels Sprouts

Vegetables with breakfast seems to be really challenging for a lot of people. I think that has more to do with our own mindsets about what foods belong in what meals. Don't let yourself be limited - a little side salad with frittata or some shredded veggies in your omelet or tofu scramble can increase the flavor, fiber and nutrition of the most important meal of the day. This morning I added a side of Brussels sprouts to my usual egg on toast and they were delicious!

Here's another way you can try these much-maligned, but extremely nutritious greens. I've always liked Brussels sprouts, but I'll probably always make them this way from now on, because they are so much better and even some die-hard haters have been converted. The main change: shred the sprouts.

Shredded Brussels Sprouts
  • 2 cups of Brussels Sprouts - trimmed and sliced or shredded using the slicing blade of food processor
  • 1 leek or large shallot - cleaned and sliced
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
After prepping the vegetables, heat the oil in a wok or saute pan, add leek or shallot and saute, stirring frequently for 3-5 minutes over medium heat. Add Brussels sprouts and continue stirring for about a minute. Reduce heat and cover - continue cooking over low-medium heat for another 5-10 minutes until sprouts are softened. Add salt and pepper to taste. So simple, so delicious. I've seen several recipes for Brussels sprouts prepared this way - some included other add-ins like crumbled bacon or poppy seeds - feel free to play with the flavors. My rule for vegetables: keep trying them - you may not like them today or prepared one way, but you don't want to miss out on them prepared a different way!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Your Plate Should Be 1/2 Vegetables

Every one of my patients has probably seen this image. I draw it on their treatment plan to remind them to focus on eating vegetables. It's very gratifying to see this image mirrored on the Harvard School of Public Health website. HSPH recently rolled out guidelines for what they are calling "the new nutrition." Their recommendations are based on reviews of the scientific evidence and are a compelling validation of the dietary advise naturopathic physicians have been espousing for years. Look for Harvard Medical School Healthy Eating: A guide to the new nutrition by Teresa Fung for the complete list of recommendations.

When I draw it on their treatment plans, my patients' responses range from incredulous to outright denial. So I decided to share a few examples of how I accomplish this at home. In the coming year, I'll be adding photographs of actual meals that I make and eat to show you how I incorporate 1/2 vegetables into my diet. This photo shows a quick and easy lunch we prepared this week that meets the 1/2 vegetable rule.

Lunch consisted of:

Take away the chicken salad on toast and the rest of the meal is raw, vegan/vegetarian, gluten free and represents 4 different types of fruits and vegetables and approximately 3-4 servings. You could substitute a small serving of any combination of beans and rice or add a bean burger patty on toast to keep it vegetarian. Are you eating 1/2 vegetables? Want to share some of your ideas or meals? Add them to the comment section below!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Bieler Broth Recipe

I mentioned Bieler Broth in my last post so I wanted to share the recipe with you all. Dr. Henry Bieler recommended this broth for many conditions to restore acid-alkaline balance and sodium-potassium balance. It's a good soup for when you aren't feeling well. Another good option for preventing and treating illness is this garlic soup.

Bieler Broth
1 lbs. zucchini, trimmed
1 lb. string beans, ends removed
2 sticks celery
2 bunches parsley, stems removed
filtered water, enough to cover

Place parsley in water and boil or steam vegetables for 30 minutes or until tender. You can eat as is or blend into a creamy soup. You may optionally add sea salt or fresh garlic to the blend.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Starve a Fever, Feed a Cold

Everybody gets sick sometimes and when you get sick, it can be important to stay home for a couple of days. I've been home for a couple days myself fighting off an upper respiratory viral infection. As adults, it's hard to prioritize staying home and getting enough rest when we have jobs, hobbies, social networks, children, pets and school that require our attention. You may need some extra rest to help you fight off the infection, though. It's also vitally important to pay attention to your diet when you aren't feeling well.

My husband asked me if I should be starving or feeding my illness. "Starve a cold, feed a fever? Feed a fever, starve a cold?" Though he couldn't remember this old axiom, it is "starve a fever, feed a cold."

So, is there any truth to it? Maybe. When you have a fever, your body is working hard to fight an infection. Digesting a full meal may be challenging at that time. Does that mean you should fast completely? Not for long periods of time, but you can ease the challenge on your digestion by consuming primarily liquids, such as water, herbal tea, fresh juices, green juices, smoothies and broths. Bieler broth is a good option.

What about feeding a cold? Common colds tend to last longer than fevers and it's important to keep up one's strength. Eating somewhat simply is still important. All the liquid options mentioned above are still good choices, but you can add some solid high nutrient foods, like fresh vegetables and lean protein sources.

Important things to avoid include sugar and dairy. Sugar is the prefered fuel source for viruses and bacteria and directly depresses the immune system so it's the worst food you could choose when you are unwell. Dairy is highly allergenic, inflammatory and mucus producing (this is controversial, but for me it's definitely true) so it's also something to avoid while you are ill. When you are unwell, you should also avoid any known food allergens and highly processed foods - keep it simple.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Resolution Solutions 2012

Happy New Year 2012.

It’s that time of year again and if you’re like many of us, you’re all making the same resolutions, again. Stop drinking or smoking, go to the gym, lose weight. Some of the other popular resolutions that get recycled every year include spending more time with family and friends, participating in your community, getting organized, starting a new hobby or learning a new skill and getting out of debt. These are all good goals and the reason we see them year after year is that they are never really “done.” You can’t complete “spend more time with family and friends” or “getting organized.”

Here are some tips to help you keep and succeed in your resolutions this year:

1. Consider choosing a guiding word rather than a resolution.
Mentor Christine Kane suggests this as an option for providing more of a framework for the year rather than goals that may or may not resonate. See this page for a free guide to discovering your word for 2012.

2. List your priorities.
We’re all busy with loads to do - work, school, parents, children, pets, hobbies, homes - it can be very overwhelming. While many of these are on a equal footing, they can’t all get equal attention.
What are the items you can let slide this year? What are the items you might have been letting slide that you really want to focus on? This can be enough to refocus you or can be the basis on which you set resolutions for 2012.

3. Keep your goals SMART: Specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely.
[you don’t have to keep this part as strict text - feel free to format in a more readable manner]

Specific - if your goal is to spend more time with family, how much more time - if you live locally, you might set the goal to have dinner with your family once a week. If your goal is to lose weight, set a goal for a certain number of pounds.
Measurable - this doesn’t have to include scales and measuring tapes (but they help!), but has more to do with how you determine if you’ve reached your goal. If the goal is to get organized, maybe your measure if the size of the pile of loose papers “to be filed” on your desk.
Attainable - this will vary for each person, but SMART goals are both challenging and within reach. Being attainable also requires that you have the time, energy and attention to give to achieving your goal.
Realistic - your goal should also be something that can really happen. Flying to the Atlantis on the back of a winged pig is not a realistic goal for 2012.
Timely - “Goals are dreams with deadlines” (Diana Scharf Hunt) New Years resolutions are always somewhat timely, because you make new ones every year, but if 365 days is too long, bring your window in somewhat or even break your goal into parts with shorter deadlines. This will help keep you on track and also give you some milestones to celebrate along the way.

4. Keep your word, priorities or goals visible. Tape it to your mirror, post it on your dashboard in the car, write in on paper and use it as a bookmark, make it your theme or wallpaper on your computer or smart phone. Remind yourself frequently of your desired outcome to keep motivated through the year.

5. Enlist help.
You are the only one who can accomplish your goals, but you don’t have to do it alone. Share your resolution with friends and family and ask them to gently remind and support you. Enlist professionals who have experience and resources in the area of your focus. If your goals are health related, including weight loss and smoking cessation, the physicians at True Health Medicine can help with dietary advise, appropriate supplementation or herbal medicines, specialized diets and acupuncture.

If you’re still stumped, I suggest this resolution: try acupuncture in 2012!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Common Cold According to Chinese Medicine

Here in the Pacific Northwest, the cold winds are a-blowin' once again and it's time to get your scarves and hats out. Classical Chinese medical theory attributes common cold/flu symptoms to what we call "external invasion" of pathogenic factors, very commonly wind and cold.

The easiest way to prevent external invasion of these pathogens is to block their path of entry - indeed, it's to bundle up. Most importantly, keeping your neck covered when out in the cold, windy weather. Keep your scarf handy and wrap your neck even when going outside briefly during these cold windy days. Dress in layers and take a jacket as well so that you don't get cold even when the sun is shining. Another assist is to end your hot showers with a brief cold rinse - this helps to close your pores as well as to return your blood from the surface of your body to the center.

If you do get sick, Yin Qiao (also the herbal ingredient in Airborne) is a common Chinese formula for cold. Chinese herbal formulas are prescribed based on the pattern of your symptoms, though, so it won't work for every cold. For an evaluation of your cold, treatment with acupuncture, cupping and moxa as needed, and custom herbal formula, make an appointment with Dr. Wendy Rogers or Dr. Bijana Devo Kadakia.