This morning NPR ran an interesting story discussing weight loss and food choices for women of the Baby Boomer generation. The take home message is simple, focus on what you can eat. Rather than bemoaning all the desserts and rich foods you cannot indulge in, think about increasing the fruits and vegetables. This will help [...] read more..
Thursday 30 August 2012
Saturday 25 August 2012
Working on another weight loss success! Patient started treatment seeing for weight loss about 8 weeks ago and has lost 13 lbs! I was a bit worried too in the beginning because she wasn't really controlling her diet very well and doesn't get much exercise. It is my policy that acupuncture and Chinese herbs are an adjunct to your exercise and food plan but I also believe that acupuncture will make the digestion work better and improve the overall metabolism. So, she has been very faithful with her treatments and little by little she has been eating less because her appetite is well controlled. She is also very faithful with her acupuncture appointments.
303-947-6224 - call me to see if your health insurance policy covers acupuncture
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Thursday 23 August 2012
Vegan Chia PuddingOK, remember the Chia Pet TV commericals?
Who would have thought that Chia seeds would be a superfood? Or so delicious!
Chia is a plant that is native to Mexico and Central America. It was cultivated by both the Aztecs and the Mayans who highly valued this food, and the word "Chia" actually means "strength" in Mayan.
Chia seeds are a source of complete proteins, they are loaded with omega 3 fatty acids, are rich in calcium, are a terrific source of anti-oxidants and have a low glycemic sugar index.
The seeds, when soaked in a liquid, swell up and become like little miniature pearls of gelatin. They remind me of tapioca.
They are high in both soluble and non-soluble fibers and hence aid digestion.
Since this food contains no gluten, they make a good staple food for those with celiac or who have gluten sensitivity.
My colleague Anca Marinescu, L.Ac., shared with me this delicious recipe for Vegan Chia Pudding.
From a Chinese dietary viewpoint, this pudding is a great Blood builder and will nourish Yin. It contains food that will help you support your circulatory system, strengthen your digestion, regulate your bowels, and support immunity. The spices warm and support the Spleen and will open and course the meridians while supporting the Kidneys.
Go ahead, try this delicious and healthy dessert!
Ingredients for Vegan Chia Pudding
Vegan Chia Pudding
3 Tbsp of Chia seeds
2 cups of almond milk (or soy or rice, cashew, hemp etc)
1 cup raw cashews soaked in water for 2 hours and liquid discarded
5 dates roughly chopped
2 tbsp virgin coconut oil
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp dried coconut flakes (optional)
1 pinch of pumpkin pie spice
1 pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Soak the Chia seeds in the almond milk for 2 hours or overnight.
Soak the raw cashews in water for 2 hours and discard liquid.
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth and creamy.
Serve garnished with more coconut flakes and a sprinkle of pumpkin spice or try a garnish of fresh fruits or nuts..
makes 6 servings. read more..
refreshing watermelon ice drinkIn the U.S. we are experiencing a drought summer. I'm sure this is due to the effects of global warming. It is reported that the polar ice caps are at their lowest in recorded history and that the melting of the ice caps will create ever warmer temperature patterns.
In this heat, there are dietary strategies to help the body cope with environmental heat and dampness (humidity).When the body is very hot we use foods in East Asian medicine to cool it down.Xi Gua (Watermelon) is a traditional food used in China during the summer to help people stay cool. It is served at the end of every meal as a sweet and delicious treat that helps clear both toxic heat and dampness out of the body, while replenishing the body with fluids.
In China, Hong Kong and Taiwan there is a favorite summer drink called "watermelon ice" that is really the most refreshing and delicious drink one could hope for in the midst of the worst hot and humid days of late summer which we refer to as summerheat damp season.
Here's the recipe:
Take 3 slices of watermelon and remove seeds and rind.Place in a blender along with 2 cups of ice.Add 1 tbsp of cane sugar and 1/4 cup of water
Blend ingredients together.garnish with mint leaves
This is a delicious, cooling and hydrating drink.
If you have a weak digestion do not over-indulge in this treat. Adding cold foods to a weak digestion will exacerbate your weak digestion. read more..
Saturday 11 August 2012
Traditional Chinese Medicine has been used to treat skin conditions for thousands of years. While Perioral Dermatitis is a newly recognized disease, only about 35 years old, the Traditional Chinese Medicine treatments for similar skin conditions remain helpful in addressing the condition. Symptoms of Perioral Dermatitis Perioral Dermatitis is a skin disorder which causes an [...] read more..
Thursday 9 August 2012
Fibromyalgia is a medically unexplained syndrome affecting the muscles and connective tissues. Currently, the disease affects as many as 12 million Americans and has been reported two times as prevalent in deployed veterans. Acupuncture may be helpful as an adjunctive therapy for fibromyalgia.“Agonizing pain, debilitating fatigue, joint stiffness, and … read more..
Wednesday 8 August 2012
I see a lot of patients in my practice that are battling serious diseases – cancer, heart failure, diabetes – or very painful injuries – torn ligaments, back pain. These patients have found that acupuncture can help relieve pain, ease symptoms and strengthen their body to better fight the disease or condition. But, it should [...] read more..
The process of treating back pain with acupuncture, or any pain for that matter, is complex. As an acupuncturist, we have many factors to consider in the treatment. Important factors for the acupuncturist to decide are what acupuncture points to use, how long the needles stay in, what position the patient should lie, the use [...] read more..
Sunday 5 August 2012
Dear Acupuncture Patients and Supporters,
The Department of Health and Human Services is accepting comments until January 31 about their plan to determine the list of services that will comprise the Essential Health Benefits package in future state insurance plans. The Acupuncture community is being advised that a strong show of support for the designation of acupuncture as an essential health benefit will demonstrate public demand and is critical for the inclusion of acupuncture into mainstream health care. Letters sent between now and January 31 will be counted by HHS, the time to act is now!
Please e-mail the Department of Health and Human Services as a patient at EssentialHealthBenefits@cms.hhs.gov and CC the American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine at email@example.com. Please include one or more of the following points:
1) you have received acupuncture care and found it effective and essential,
2) share your story if you are willing,
3) you would like acupuncture covered by federal and state insurance plans. read more..
Well, the hot, humid weather has returned here in NYC prompting me to come back and check my previous posting on "roasted barley tea". There were a few comments and questions regarding options for teas that do not contain gluten. So, I want to share some more thoughts on the roasted teas.
To Lady EZ: I'm so glad that you are having some benefits with the symptomology of your rheumatoid arthritis from eating macrobiotically. One thing to monitor is if you get too internally cold from the diet. It has a lot of energetically cooling foods (very good if you have an inflammatory condition. But you also want to monitor that you don't weaken your foundational yang/warming energy of the body that gives functional strength to the organs). Its best to do the macrobiotic diet with a practitioner trained in this dietary therapy. Each person has a unique constitution so there is not one diet that is good for everyone. Keep attuned to your body and I'm sure you'll find the path forward.I want to repeat, if you suspect you have any gluten intolerance (which can contribute to inflammatory conditions) do not eat Barley.
For those who wish to branch out and try another roasted Asian tea I want to suggest"Korean Roasted Corn Tea" also known as "Oksusu Cha". For my readers who were asking for gluten-free roasted teas. Here is a terrific option!
This is a large kernel corn grown in Southern Korea and it is traditionally roasted then brewed in hot water to make a lovely, mildly sweet tea. It is traditionally used to support kidney health, help lower blood pressure and help with diabetes. Its mild sweet flavor is one of the five phase therapeutic flavors that strengthens the Spleen (considered the chief organ of digestion).Corn tea will help with stomach bloating and pain from indigestion and is also helpful in relieving fatigue and malaise. This is because its tonification benefits to the Qi of the Spleen help with digestion, with fluid metabolism and with the Spleen's role in building Qi and Blood which fuel and nourish the body.This tea, like "Roasted Barley Tea", is good for hot and damp weather. It will help the body metabolize fluids in the heavy, damp and turbid weather of summer that can cause so many issues around digestion (soft stools, cramping, bloating), swelling of joints, headaches, and malaise.Sometimes people mix the "Roasted Corn Tea" with the "Roasted Barley Tea". The sweetness of the corn tea will offset the bitterness of the roasted Barley.
If you go to Korean food stores you will often find the Roasted Corn tea in bags. It is simply the roasted corn.Here is an easy recipe for the tea:
1/4 cup of roasted corn5 cups boiling water
Bring water to a boil in a pot and add the roasted corn. Turn the heat down to a simmer and let the corn steep in the water for 15 minutes or until a nice light golden brown color.Strain the tea to remove corn.You can drink this tea hot or cold. Its absolutely refreshing as a chilled drink in summertime! read more..
In a recent NY Times article it was revealed that chickens tested in the U.S. contain detectable levels of arsenic, and the active ingredients found in Tylenol, Bendadryl, and Prozac. In addition, a class of antibiotics that includes the brand name "Cipro", called quinolones were found in chickens. These antibiotics are supposedly banned in poultry production.
If you are alarmed, you should be.
It seems that profit driven agri-business may not be telling the consumer what is in the foods that we consume.
The NY Times article went on to discuss how independent studies conducted on ground chicken feathers prove the presence of the substances since feathers will accumulate concentrations of chemicals in the food that chickens are fed.
Chickens are being purposely fed these substances to raise profit margins. Arsenic is used in low levels in the chicken food to lower infection rates and to cause the meat to take on a pink color which is considered more desirable by consumers. The Times article notes that chickens are fed caffeine to help them stay awake longer in order to eat more so that they will grow faster. They are fed the active ingredients of Prozac and Tylenol to keep them from being anxious which can affect the quality and size of the bird. Its ironic that they are being fed both stimulants and sedatives.All of this leads to increased profits for the producers.
What else are they not telling us?
Within one generation, sperm counts have begun to fall globally. Sometimes by as much as 50% in some populations. Nobody has yet determined the cause of this, but it is postulated that the increasing toxicity of food, water and the environment may be a contributing if not principal factor.
Cancer rates continue to increase.
I think this is a wake-up call. Until there is accountability for the products that we are consuming- it doesn't make sense to assume that the corporate foods that we are being fed are healthy.
I encourage you to eat lower on the food chain. Eat as many whole foods as possible and avoid processed foods. Consume less animal proteins. It is better for the environment, leaves a smaller carbon footprint and will ensure that you are eating healthier. Animal fats can have concentrations of toxic chemicals.Eat organic, local produce. Buy your food as close to the source of its growth as possible.Support local organic farmers.You can join local food cooperatives, go to farmer's markets and join community sponsoredagriculture groups which sell shares in a local organic farmer's harvest. read more..
Saturday 4 August 2012
I just got picked as one of the top 50 acupuncture blogs by a fellow blogger who runs a site called Sonography Technician. William Neeson the founder of the blog writes a wide range of helpful articles on different health topics. You might find his postings useful, as he does a fair amount of research on health blogs and then writes articles on particular topics with named resources. This week its acupuncture and yours truly was mentioned in his top 5.Thank you William. I'm honored. read more..
Please invite a friend and join the Wellness Celebration!
HAPPY YEAR OF THE YIN METAL RABBIT!!!
Stonewell AcupunctureMichael Ishii, L.Ac.
Start the new year by sharing the gift of health and wellness. I am hosting a special gathering for friends and family of my patients. Come join us to usher in the Year of the Rabbit and learn some great health and wellness strategies. I'll be demonstrating and sharing delicious and healthy Asian foods for the Year of the Rabbit. You are most welcome to bring guests. Its a great way to introduce people to East Asian Medicine!
Sunday February 13th, 20111pm-3pm
900 Broadway, Suite #404(on Broadway between 19th and 20th Streets)
ACTIVITIES TO INCLUDE:
MEDICAL QIGONG TO USHER OUT THE QI OF THE TIGER YEAR AND USHER IN THE QI OF THE RABBIT YEAR
NUTRITIONAL WELLNESS SUGGESTIONS FOR THE YEAR OF THE RABBIT
STRATEGIES TO PREPARE FOR THE SPRING SEASONAL TRANSITION FOR THOSE WHO SUFFER FROM ALLERGIES AND RESPIRATORY PROBLEMS THIS IS FOR YOU!(ITS TIME TO STRENGTHEN THE GALLBLADDER SYSTEM AND PREPARE FOR SPRING!)
NEW YEAR'S REFRESHMENTS AND TREATS FOR PROSPERITY AND LONGEVITY!
PLEASE RSVP firstname.lastname@example.org(646)729-7722 read more..
Wednesday 1 August 2012
Five Phases Congee for chronically ill or cancer patientsWhen your loved one is struggling to get enough nutrition into their system and the digestion may be effected, the foods that you cook for them ought to be very easy to digest. They should be cooked and warm which will support the Qi of the Spleen and the digestion.
In Chinese and East Asian medicine there is a long understanding that the prepared food of choice is a nutritious rice porridge known as "congee" in Mandarin or "jook" in Cantonese. I have discussed these in past blog updates.Today I want to discuss a congee for very chronically ill people, and in this case cancer patients. But note that Five Phase Congee is good for any sick person and makes a very nutritious breakfast for anybody.
I call this Five Phase Congee and it is a congee that I use to impart nutrition, strengthen the Qi of the five organs and stop weight loss.
The Chinese character for "qi" depicts a man eating a bowl of rice in his house and there are vapors of life sustaining essence rising from the rice. White rice is easier to ingest and digest than brown rice. It will also help arrest diarrhea, a common side effect of chemotherapy.
The basic congee recipe is 1 cup of Japanese or Chinese white rice to 5 cups of liquid.This is easiest when cooked in a crockpot rather than a traditional pot on the stove. Its much simpler to cook, not requiring constant attention and stirring to prevent burning. The congee will require at least 4 hours of cooking for the rice to properly dissolve into a thick soupy gruel.
Basic Congee recipe:
2 cups of white rice 10 cups of homemade chicken stock 4 cloves of garlic, 2 ginger roots (size of your thumb) sliced
Put all ingredients in the crockpot and cook for 4 hours, stirring ocassionally.Start with high heat and turn down to low heat after 2 hours.
This will be your base and you can then use this for several days. Keep it refrigerated, then reheat portions as necessary.
Chicken Stock: Yellow GoldLet me discuss here the chicken stock as it is prepared by a dear friend of mine, Deborah Todd.
I call this Yellow Gold. It is the most powerfully delicious and nutritious chicken stock I've ever come across and it is like essence of chicken. This is powerful medicine.
In a large soup stock pot, put the skin and bones (the carcass) of a large organic chicken. Fill the pot with double filtered water (about 3 quarts). Add a whole head of garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced. Add a cup of thinly sliced ginger (use a mandolin). I should mention here that chicken is considered a powerful tonic for the Spleen and digestion. When the digestion is very weakened, making a stock is the best way to gain the benefits for your patient. The two aromatics will warm the digestion and the internal organs and strengthen the Spleen as well. Ginger will also help settle an upset stomach if the patient is having nausea. You can also add other cooking herbs/vegetables if you like: celery, carrot, rosemary, thyme, etc.
Add 3 quarts of water and 2 TBSP of sea salt.
Sea salt has more minerals in it and an enhanced flavor that is easier to taste and more palatable to chemotherapy patients who often lose sense of taste. You can always add more salt later, but start off conservatively.
I have altered this recipe slightly by adding 5 dried shiitake mushrooms. Mushrooms enhance the immune system and I use enoki and shiitake a lot in my decoctions.Cook this pot with the lid ajar for at least 6 hours over the course of 3 days. Add water whenever necessary. All of the connective tissue should dissolve and the bones should separate and sink to the bottom.
Chill this pot of soup whenever you are not cooking it and let the fat congeal on the top. Skim off and save this fat in a separate container and store it in the refrigerator.
After three days of cooking and skimming the fat there are two last steps to clean your broth.