Why Asian Pears?

November 16, 2010

As we continue into autumn, many of my patients have been reporting what are known in Chinese Medicine as lung dryness symptoms.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine theory, each season has a corresponding organ system.   The organ system corresponding to autumn is the lung, and the lung system is particularly vulnerable and sensitive to dryness.  Therefore it is very common to express lung dryness symptoms such as a dry cough, dry skin, dry throat, and dry nasal passages during autumn’s dry days.

In additional to applying topical moisturizing agents and taking medicinals to suppress cough, we can choose to eat foods that moisten and protect our lung system internally.  Eating foods that are in season are mother nature’s medicines that help to both prevent and ease symptoms.

One food to moisten lung dryness is an Asian Pear.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Ginger Crinkle Cookies

November 4, 2010

Many recipes for cookies are full of refined ingredients with very little nutritional value.  While these cookies still contain fat and calories, they use several natural and nutritionally beneficial ingredients such as black strap molasses, turbinado sugar, ginger, cinnamon, and whole wheat pastry flour.  Foods that contain real food, fat, and fiber tend to be more satiating (and satisfying!) than their fat-free/sugar-free alternatives.   Try them – they make the whole house smell amazing.  Personally they are one of my favorites, and I’ve made dozens of batches.  Let me know what you think!

Ginger Crinkle Cookies

In terms of Chinese Medicine, these cookies are warm in nature and are suitable for those with cold and deficient conditions.  Ginger and cinnamon are two foods that are used in Chinese herbal medicine.  They are warm, harmonizing, and moving in nature.  Those who experience nausea or stomach pain due to cold should eat foods with such characteristics.  People with excess heat or dampness should avoid or minimize consumption of these cookies as too many could aggravate their symptoms.  Not sure what your pattern is?  Ask your Chinese Medicine practitioner 🙂

In good health,

Molly

As we transition into autumn, it is time to start preparing and eating more warm and nourishing foods.  Everybody needs to eat breakfast, and starting with wholesome grains is a good way to go.  Try spreading some ghee (clarified butter) on these delicious and healthy muffins.

Are you somebody who normally grabs a muffin on the run?  Often, convenient choices that we find on line at the local coffee shop are full of sugar, hidden calories, and processed ingredients that are difficult to digest.  The ingredients in this recipe offer a lot of nutritional value and will give you a good start to the day.  Try making a batch on Sunday night, and eating the muffins throughout the week.  You can freeze them too.  That’s convenient!

In Chinese Medicine, dates are said to nourish the blood and calm the spirit.  Additionally, flax is a good source of Omega 3 fatty acids and can be beneficial in lowering LDL (bad cholesterol), blood triglycerides, and blood pressure.

Molasses Muffins with Flax and Dates

In good health,

Molly

It All Adds Up

September 22, 2010

What would happen if you took the stairs all of the time?

In your apartment building?

In the building you work in?

In the building your friend/boyfriend/sister lives in?

To the 5th floor of your acupuncturist’s building?

Up the escalator from every metro ride you take?  (Bethesda’s is scary long!)

One of the main reasons that people cite for not exercising is lack of time.  But if you added up all the stairs you COULD take in a week, you’d be surprised at how many steps you could get in.  These short bursts of exercise help elevate the heart rate, strengthen the muscles in your legs, and burn calories.

In terms of Chinese Medicine, taking the stairs would regulate qi, move blood, and calm the shen.

If you make the effort to locate the stairs and stop making excuses for taking the elevator/standing on the escalator, good things will happen!

It all adds up.

In good health,

Molly

Are You Your Diagnosis?

September 15, 2010

Often times, a diagnosis from a doctor provides relief.  It’s a reasonable explanation for symptoms and validates concerns and feelings that something is wrong.  “I knew something didn’t feel quite right,” we think.

Sometimes I believe we are so welcoming of a diagnosis that it becomes a part of who we are.  When we think of ourselves, that diagnosis is part of what we consider.

A lot of thought and attention, and time and money, might go into trying to fix the diagnosis.  Conversations are had with friends and loved ones, advice is given from health care providers, and endless internet searches are performed.  The diagnosis gives us something to do, something to research, something to worry about, something to update friends and family on.  We receive treatment, care, medications, advice, sympathy, empathy, worry, concern, help…

I think sometimes we can get so attached to a diagnosis, that getting rid of it becomes harder than just the symptoms going away.  Letting go of a part of our being seems more difficult than letting go of the headaches…or the IBS…or the depression…. Read the rest of this entry »