It’s a snow day! It’s a snow weekend! So far we have about 3 inches of snow; with 20+ more expected. I love it! We are hoping the power stays on, but while we have it, we hammered out some cooking. Simmering on the stove right now is a HUGE pot of vegetable soup. I’ve been making it a lot lately. It’s easy, it uses whatever you have on hand, and it’s good! It also is a good dish to eat in the winter, as eating warm soups in cold weather allows us to live in accordance with the seasons.

Always start with mirapoix (onion, celery, and carrot – these 3 ingredients should always be on hand, in my opinion).

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So often I hear, “I tried every diet, and nothing has worked.”

For this discussion, it is first necessary to define what a “successful diet” is.  Is the goal of your diet to lose weight?  Gain muscle?  Correct a leaky gut?  Achieve pregnancy?  Reduce anxiety?  Gain energy?

Most of my efforts in experimenting with different diets have been centered around weight loss and management.  But since reaping other health benefits with dietary changes, I have expanded my personal definition of a “successful diet.”  If you learn something that leads to better health, is that not success? Read the rest of this entry »

Often I remind my patients that it is much easier to make a poor food choice in this country than a healthy one.  Our brains are bombarded by marketing that evokes all senses and arouses all emotions.  Unfortunately, the majority of what is offered is of poor quality (and that’s putting it lightly, in my opinion).

How often have you had a ‘sour stomach,’ felt overwhelmingly tired, or wondered guiltily how many calories were in that meal or snack that you got at a (fill in the blank):  cafeteria, restaurant, county fair, bar, or sporting event?  Washington, D.C. has made great strides in providing nutritional information at restaurant chains so we can be aware of what we ingest, yet I still find the options limiting and unacceptable.  I can make hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, and salads that taste amazing, have more nutritional value, and have a fraction of the fat and calories of some public vendors.  It’s sad to see what could be a healthy meal messed up by poor ingredients and improper cooking techniques. Read the rest of this entry »

A Good Place to Start

March 1, 2011

If you follow my updates and news articles I post (or are one of my patients), you will notice that although I am not a vegetarian, I promote vegetables.  A lot.  I really do think that if we eat the full spectrum of  variety from mother nature, we will have little desire – and little appetite – to overeat other foods.   Not to mention our body tissues will be exposed to all of the different colors, textures, and flavors that exist naturally, and which many studies suggest ward off disease, promote immunity, and make us look healthy.

I have learned several ways to get more vegetables into my diet.  Although they seem obvious and simple to me now, there was a time when vegetable meant the lettuce and tomato on top of a (fried) chicken sandwich.  With fries.  And a Diet Coke.  Multiple times a week.  My entire diet was beige.  I didn’t even eat ketchupRead the rest of this entry »

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 »

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

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