I used to drink frappuccinos and iced coffees.  Quite a lot.  I also weighed over 200 pounds, had health-related problems, and didn’t exactly look well.

So how does a person go from slushy, creamy drinks at Dunkin’ Donuts to beverages with health benefits and a fraction of the calories?  Like any change, it’s a process.

The words “almond milk” would likely have made me roll my eyes 10 years ago.  1%?  2%?  Skim?  Whatever.  Fast forward:  I began going to acupuncture for a repetitive motion injury, was told  I was “damp” and my “spleen was cold,” switched from cow to soy milk, learned that was still difficult to digest, didn’t like rice milk, and finally tried almond milk.  First sweetened, then not.  For the calorie conscious, it is to be noted that this product from Whole Food’s 365 line, an unsweetened almond milk, has only 40 calories a cup.  That’s low.  I use at least a little every day.

Raw cane sugar?  Honey?  Maple syrup?  Agave nectar?  Sweet N Low?  Splenda?  I think they each can arguably have a time and place.  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,


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 »