Archive for June 2014

Don’t use pills for summer insomnia

24 Hours logoI wrote this article and then the very next day had 2 patients email to ask me for information about treating insomnia. That on top of the usual in clinic requests I hear during appointments. That just goes to show how ubiquitous sleep issues are. 

I know many of you take sleeping pills, but I highly recommend looking for other options. I mentioned it in my 24 Hours article, but didn’t include the quote:

Receiving hypnotic prescriptions was associated with greater than threefold increased hazards of death even when prescribed <18 pills/year. 

That’s huge! Here’s a link to that research: Hypnotics Association with Mortality or Cancer

Acupuncture, herbs, and supplements offer healthier alternatives. Check out my article on sleep in 24 Hours by clicking here.

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Cooling Soup

It’s officially summer and the weather is heating up. When the weather gets warm it often doesn’t feel like soup weather. Unless, that is, you make a chilled soup like this Chilled Cucumber and Dill Soup from my friend and favourite chef, Luisa Rios of Cooking Journeys.

Though cucumbers contain a lot of water, they are still packed with nutrition. Keep the skin on for a good source of fibre, silica, potassium, and magnesium. This low calorie vegetable is also rich in vitamins A, C, and folic acid. Because of the silica content, cucumbers are particularly good for healthy connective tissue–bones, cartilage, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. It is also important for healthy skin and hair.

Dill (I’ve blogged about a delicious dill soup before) is great to help with your digestion and is both antimicrobial and anticancer.

Chilled Cucumber and Dill Soup
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 large cucumbers
  2. 1 small handful fresh mint
  3. 1 small handful fresh dill
  4. 2 cups vegetable stock
  5. 2/3 cup plain yogurt (or for a vegan option, use silken soft tofu)
  6. salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Trim the ends of the cucumber and discard the seeds.
  2. Chop the cucumber into chunks and place in a food processor.
  3. Add the mint and dill.
  4. Process until finely chopped.
  5. Add the stock and process until well mixed.
  6. If you want you can press the soup through a fine strainer (though I probably wouldn't bother).
  7. Gradually whisk the yogurt into the soup until well blended.
  8. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  9. Cover and refrigerate overnight or for at least 4 hours.
  10. Whisk the soup well before serving and taste for seasoning.
Notes
  1. Chef Luisa suggests chilling the serving bowls to make for an even better presentation and serve with a nice, thin crisp bread.
Adapted from Cooking Journeys
Adapted from Cooking Journeys
Acupuncture, TCM, natural health, Vancouver, BC http://www.activetcm.com/
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Keep dad healthy for years to come

24 Hours logoIn honour of Father’s Day June 15th, I wrote this article in 24 Hours. But, it’s really about health for all, particularly those with a personal or family history of heart disease. And, really, all of us should be taking extra special care of our hearts. Traditional Chinese Medicine considers the heart to be the “King organ” of our bodies–the most important. So, “Long live the king!”

For the PDF link to my article in 24 Hours Vancouver, click here: Keep dad healthy for years to come

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Get past the “ick” factor

24 Hours logoYes, Chinese herbs tasted awful to most. I tell my patients to be ready for the worst tasting “tea” they’ve ever had. Either they agree it’s the worst, but are prepared for it, or they are happy to report that it’s “not that bad.” The good news is two-fold. One, it doesn’t generally taste that bad by week 2, as your taste buds adapt to bitter–they’re usually much more accustomed to sweet and salty. And two, the health benefits start to kick in.  Click here for the PDF of my article in 24 Hours Vancouver newspaper: Get past ‘ick’ factor for herbal benefits.

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