Archive for May 2013

24 Hours Newspaper: Acupuncture not Voodoo

“It’s not voodoo,” he said. These words were spoken by an acupuncture patient and fan. He’s right! Acupuncture is not voodoo, though to some, that is exactly what it may look and feel like. For the rest of the article, click on Acupuncture Gets Straight to the Point of Pain (or click here for the PDF version).

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Bye Bye Thirties

I’ve been thinking about today for awhile now. My focus about my birthday had been on turning the “big 4-0.” But a couple of nights ago I had a different thought. I remembered that it was soon approaching my last day of my 30s, and I wasn’t ready for that.

The thing is, I know that one day older is really nothing. But there is something symbolic about this number. I remember celebrating my parents’ “over the hill” 40th birthday parties, and I remember that as being significant. So, no matter how much people tell me that 40 is the new 30, it still feels like more than just a day.

But age really is more than a number. It is possible to be chronologically 40, but biologically closer to 30 or 50, depending on lifestyle choices. Instead of trying the impossible–slowing down time–today I decided to be grateful about my health and think about what choices I make that keep me doing the things I love. So, here are my top healthy habit suggestions:

1. Eat a healthy, balanced breakfast. TCM would suggest a warm breakfast to stoke the digestive fire. But as the weather turns warmer, perhaps a hot meal seems less enticing. I make up 6 jars (3 for me, 3 for my husband to last 3 days) of oatmeal breakfast, varying the ingredients slightly, as I like.

Off to yoga

2. Yoga! I love yoga! But, if yoga isn’t for you, choose any regular movement routine that you enjoy, and that doesn’t injure your body. Exercise releases endorphins, feel-good hormones that are also released with acupuncture.

 

Breakfast in a Jar
Serves 1
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup rolled oats (gluten-free optional)
  2. 1 scoop protein powder (optional, but I find this helps me feel full longer)
  3. small handful of goji berries, golden berries, or raisins
  4. 1 tsp chia seeds
  5. 1/2 tsp raw cacao powder
  6. 3 heaping Tbsp yogurt (dairy-based or coconut or almond yogurt)
  7. 1/3 cup alternative milk (I like coconut milk or almond milk; flavoured, if you like)
Instructions
  1. Stir all together in a jar.
  2. Keep in fridge.
  3. It is ready to enjoy after at least 1 night.
Notes
  1. You can switch up your ingredients as you like. Try cut fruit, nuts, seeds, other dried fruits, etc.
Acupuncture, TCM, natural health, Vancouver, BC http://www.activetcm.com/
3. Spend time with people (and maybe animals) who make you smile and laugh. Laughter keeps you young! Hugs and simple touch also helps with the production of hormones and biochemicals that support your immune system, nervous system, and heart.

4. Practice mindfulness. Find ways to cut back your mind clutter. Meditation, deep breathing, mindfulness practice, or other similar routines help reduce the negative effects of an overactive mind, thus helping to better manage stress. Practicing mindfulness doesn’t even have to take up more time. If you pay attention to your food as you eat, you will even digest your food better and enjoy it more!

Some of my fave healthy snacks

5. More veggies. Talk to 5 different dieticians or nutritionists and you might find 5 different recommendations for what you should eat. But, all of them would say “more veggies.” The tricky part is sometimes how to add more vegetables into your diet. Soups, stews, slow cooked meals, steamed veggies, roasted veggies, pre-cut vegetables in your fridge…these are all good things to increase. But, one of the easiest tricks is to make shakes. My fave shakes now include kale, fruit, leftover tea, and flax seeds.

6. Practice gratitude. Someone I know shares her daily gratitudes on her Facebook page. I love reading those! Perhaps you can borrow this idea. Or write it in a journal. Or use an app like Gratitude Journal.

7. Practice kindness. Don’t you feel great when you do something nice for someone? It doesn’t need to be something big, but practicing kindness brings huge feelings of reward. And, bonus…sometimes people do nice things back for you!

8. Find your dharma. This was the topic in my yoga class this a.m. Dharma is your purpose. Your raison d’être. Your meaning for being here. What is your purpose? What makes you tick; makes your heart sing; gets you revved up for your day? If you are lucky, like me, you have a job that you love and you live your dharma. If you don’t love your work, find another way that you can get some dharma into your life.

9. Get help. Talk to a qualified health provider to address your health issues and help you stay healthy!

10. Rest. Ok, so this is one that I could work on. I haven’t got it all figured out yet–maybe by my 50th birthday. But, I cannot deny that rest is key to recovery, rejuvenation, and restoration.

If you have any tips on how you stay feeling healthy and vibrant, please share!

 

 

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Live a little

“Live a little.”

This was what my husband said to me when I said “no thanks” to his offer of some artificially flavoured popcorn. My response was, “I want to live a lot! That’s why I choose not to eat that crap.”

Now, to be fair, I don’t like cheese-flavoured things. I don’t like spicy. And I’m just so-so about popcorn. So, this particular snack of jalapeno cheese flavoured popcorn was not a temptation for me. I may have said yes to a piece of dark chocolate cake or a muffin.

But, really, even my biggest temptations are enjoyed in moderation. I enjoy a piece of high quality dark chocolate almost every day. But, it’s a small piece that I make sure to savour. After all, we are more likely to fully appreciate the things that are limited. When we think of something as “special,” we pay more attention to it.

I am certainly able to eat a large muffin every day–and almost all café muffins are super-sized large. I used to do that. But now, I rarely eat muffins–i.e. cakes-in-disguise–and no longer miss them. I also don’t miss the fatigue, headaches, and excess weight that came along with eating them. So, given a choice of eating or drinking items that make me live my life a bit weaker and perhaps a bit shorter, I choose to “live a lot” and select foods that support my health, while savouring small amounts of foods that also feed my “live a little” self.

 

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24 Hours Newspaper: Rhino Horns Don’t Work

I wanted to set the record straight. Rhino horns do not benefit human health. Rhino horns, tiger bones, and bear bile each belong to those respective animals, not in our herbal remedies! Check out my article about this in 24 Hours newspaper. No Proof Rhino Horns, Tiger Bones Increase Performance (or click here for the PDF version).

 

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Ouch! But no boo boo

Have you ever hit your shin so hard that the moment it happened you knew it would be a doozie, but you get to wait a few seconds after the hit while you hold your breath and wait for the pain to arrive? You have enough time to figure out what exclamation you are going to make. Are there innocent little kid ears around? Will “shoot!” help or does this hit require something a bit more expletive?

I did this a little while ago. You can see the cut that happened immediately. But what you don’t see in this picture is the bruise that should have appeared. Should have appeared, but never did. Why? Because I immediately started a routine of applying Traumeel cream to the area. Then reapplied every 3-6 waking hours for a couple of days. No bruise. Pain went away quickly. This picture was taken 2 days after the hit, when my shin should have been a lovely shade of blue or maybe yellow.

I love colourful, but prefer my skin not display a rainbow. Thank you Traumeel! Oh, and I should mention that I do injections of Traumeel for those who have deeper pain than just a bruise.

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Nutri-Simple

I love food! But I’m not fond of cooking. I like a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, but sometimes find it challenging to implement enough in quantity and variety. So, I bought a Nutribullet. I thought about buying a Vitamix. I thought about that for a LONG time! But, limited space, the cost of the Vitamix, and a friend’s rave review of the Nutribullet made up my mind.

And now my husband and I share a healthy shake every day. This is just one of my favourite blends.

Kale Mango Protein Shake
Serves 1
Pack a punch power shake
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Prep Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 1-2 leaves of kale
  2. 1/2 zucchini
  3. 1 mango
  4. 3-4 strawberries
  5. 1 scoop chocolate protein powder (I used New Zealand Whey)
  6. 2/3 cups kefir (my failed attempt at making yogurt with sugar-free coconut milk ended up being a lucky mistake) or use water or your choice of milk or milk alternative
Instructions
  1. You can use a Nutribullet, Vitamix, or blender to mix all ingredients.
Notes
  1. If you want it cold, place in the fridge or add an ice cube. Or use frozen fruit.
Acupuncture, TCM, natural health, Vancouver, BC http://www.activetcm.com/
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My 2nd article in 24 Hours Newspaper

Conventional modern medicine has fancy machines, expensive medications, and complicated surgeries. TCM uses simpler, but still powerful means for diagnosis and treatment. Check out my article in Vancouver’s 24 Hours newspaper:

Ancient Traditional Chinese Medicine Approach Has Relevance In Modern Times

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