Archive for September 2013

Zucchini Cakes from Cooking Journeys

I’m off on holidays this October, heading to Italy! So, I thought my good friend, Chef Luisa Rios’ recipe for zucchini cakes would be a great recipe to share because I read that zucca is the Italian word for pumpkin or squash and so zucchini was derived from its being a “little squash”.

Chef Luisa says that this is one of her most popular recipes! If you like this one, check out her website for more recipes, food ideas, and to learn about her amazing cooking services.

Savoury Zucchini Cakes Recipe

(adapted from


1 pound zucchini (about 2 medium)

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 clove garlic, minced

2 scallions, halved length­wise and thinly sliced

1 large egg OR 1 flax egg (1 table­spoon ground flax mixed with 3 table­spoons of warm water)

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

½ cup Bob’s Red Mill™ Gluten Free All Purpose Flour

½ teaspoon gluten free baking powder

Olive oil, for frying


1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. Grate zucchini using the large holes on a box grater. Season with the salt and toss well. Let stand for 10 minutes to draw the excess moisture out of the zucchini.

3. Meanwhile, whisk together the gluten-free flour, baking powder and black pepper in a small bowl.

4. Using a kitchen towel or clean hands, squeeze the water out of the zucchini and place in a large bowl. Add egg or flax egg, garlic and scallions and mix well. Add in the flour mixture. You may want to fry a tester cake to check your salt levels at this point; alter­na­tively you can salt the cakes as soon as they come out of the frying pan.

5. Heat olive oil in a large non-stick skillet. When the oil ripples, spoon rounds into the pan, about two table­spoons worth, flat­tening slightly. Fry until golden brown (about 2 minutes per side) and remove from pan to a parchment-lined baking tray. When all the cakes have been fried, bake for 10 minutes, flipping them after five minutes.

6. Remove to a cooling rack. Enjoy warm, at room tem­per­a­ture or cold. All are equally delicious!



Natural medicines good defence for flu symptoms

We face it every year. School season starts and shortly after, so too does cold and flu season.

It might seem inevitable that you are going to get sick when your family member returns home with a runny nose and a cough, but it is possible to defend against the seemingly unavoidable cold.

The way to a healthy immune system is similar to the path to good general health: nutritious food, restful sleep, regular exercise and positive attitude.

For tips to beat the cold and flu season this year, click here for my article in 24 Hours Newspaper.



Immune Boosting

When I was a kid, I tried to bargain my way out of any injections or blood draws. I once succeeded in talking my way out of a blood draw, much to the chagrin of my little sister who was chosen instead! Sorry sis!

Now I do my own injections on myself. This summer I injected my knees with Traumeel, Lymphdiaral, and Zeel and it worked!

Today was immune boosting day. One 2ml injection of Pascoleucyn to help me avoid joining the slews of folk who will suffer from colds and flus this fall and winter. If you want to do the same, ask me.

This is the recommended flu prevention protocol:

Healthy individuals: 1 ampoule in September or October (and possibly a 2nd ampoule in December or January)

People under stress, or the elderly: 1 ampoule per month

In situations of high susceptibility: 1 ampoule per week

Don’t want to do injections?

For the whole family, PASCOLEUCYN drops are useful for both prevention and treatment of cold and flu symptoms. One bottle usually lasts a family 1-2 seasons!

You might also consider my fave throat spray if you do get a tickle in your throat or get sick.



Heartburn, Indigestion, and Bloating…oh my!

Commercials showing an image of fire superimposed over the chest of a man eating his second big chili dog tells us that we can eat anything we want, provided we take their pill. While we will occasionally eat too much and choose hard-to-digest foods, some people still suffer from indigestion or heartburn even when trying to eat healthy.

For tips to better digestion, click here for my article in 24 Hours Vancouver.



Computer and Commuter Pain

As summer holidays come to an end, many people are now back to spending hours hunched over a keyboard, pounding out letters and numbers, slouched over a steering wheel in rush-hour traffic and stooped under the weight of heavy backpacks full of books.

For tips on how to relief neck and upper back pain, check out my article in 24 Hours Vancouver. Click here.



Positive Affirmations: 6 Steps for a Healthier You

Guest posting by Sean Wilkinson

By now, most of us are aware of the effects of stress and the havoc it can play on our immune system. Stress delivers hormones into the blood steam that left unchecked, can make people more susceptible to disease and illness. Discoveries in psycho-neuro-immunology (PNI)–the study of how beliefs, behaviours, and environment impact our health–have demonstrated some potent immune-boosting tools at our disposal: our words.

The mind and body are complex interconnected systems that science has yet to fully understand. However, research has uncovered that many of the things we say can have a tremendous effect on our physical self, including our immune system.

An effective easy-to-do procedure you can use to help achieve your health objectives is to create positive affirmations. It is a simple but powerful technique that will tap into the brain’s therapeutic capabilities.

1. Identify something that you want to change.

2. Imagine and list how you and others may react to those new changes.

3. Relax your body and your mind using any number of relaxation techniques, such as guided imagery, deep breathing, meditation, and yoga.

4. Once you have reached a relaxed state, visualize yourself–in as much detail as possible–having reached your goals. Imagine yourself being healthy, happy, and confident.

5. Create an affirmation that describes and celebrates your new achievements. Use the present tense because it asserts your willingness to reach your goals now. For example:

  • I feel healthy and  whole
  • I am full of vitality
  • I am getting stronger each day
  • Every day is new day full of hope
  • My immune system can handle any kind of bacteria or virus
  • I have a positive, optimistic outlook on life
  • I am pain free and my body radiates health
  • I have the power to control my well-being
  • I choose thoughts that will keep me healthy and happy
  • I am stress-free and relaxed


6.  Stay with this positive image and repeat the affirmations you have made for several minutes.

Create some positive affirmations for yourself. They can be an effective way to strengthen the mind and help direct the body toward better health.

Sean Wilkinson has a certificate in counseling science, a master practitioner diploma in neuro-linguistic programing (NLP), and a B.A. in applied communications. He has a passion for writing, particularly about health topics, education, and politics. If you would like Sean to write for you, contact him at



This morning I was blessed to be able to practice my yoga. The teacher’s goal today was to help us learn to fly. My favourite! I think I may have been a bird in another life as I used to look forward to my flying dreams. Sadly, being an adult, those dreams seem to happen very rarely now…something to work toward again. Figure skating at its best for me was when I felt like I was floating or flying. I love scuba diving because it feels weightless, like flying (snorkeling not so much for me as I feel like a sinking stone). Skydiving and bungee jumping gave me those brief moments of the freedom of flying (falling, really). 

But, rather than really enjoy it, as I usually do, today was a struggle. I felt more like a heavy brick than a bird. The day before I was thrilled to get up with relative ease into a decent handstand. But today my wings were clipped.

Frustrating. But then again, the lesson was there. Would I have listened to my teacher as closely as I did if I had thought I already knew what to do? Probably not. And really, the point of the lesson was not to actually do the handstand, donkey kicks in lotus pose, or glide through from seated position to chaturanga. The point was to tame the mind with breath, effort, focus, and control. And getting frustrated would not help any of that.

So, back to the breath. The bricks in my body were still there, but perhaps lightened a bit by regained deep and focused breath.

I see this happen with my patients from time to time. They come in frustrated that they have gotten sick or are not sleeping well or are in pain. This is part of living in a body. Sometimes we are given challenges.

This is life. When things get tough and we get frustrated, we need to rethink our lessons. What are we to learn? If your health is frustrating you, is there a reason to refocus your efforts? How can you lighten things up? Maybe it’s breath. Maybe it’s asking for help. Maybe it’s continuing with the effort today so that tomorrow will be less effort.


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