Archive for April 2016

Power Punch Smoothie Bowl Recipe

smoothie bowl healthy recipeSmoothie bowls are definitely trending now. And they aren’t hard to make, so why not make your own? I subscribe to Dr. Lipman’s newsletter. He’s an integrative, functional medicine MD in NY, and he recently sent out a recipe for a delicious smoothie bowl that I made the other day. It is so good that I’ve decided I need to share the recipe.

I found this to be really filling, so I made a take-to-work version for my leftovers.

Power Punch Smoothie Bowl
Serves 1
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  1. 1 scoop of your favourite protein powder (I used Vega One Coconut Almond)
  2. 1 cup almond milk (or non-dairy, non-soy milk of choice)
  3. 3 Tablespoons chia seeds
  4. 1 Tablespoon cocao powder
  5. 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  6. 1/2 teaspoon maca (I opened maca capsules for this)
  7. 1/ 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  8. 1/4 avocado
  9. 1 Tablespoon cashew butter
  10. 2 ice cubes
  1. This is a single serving, but I found it to be pretty filling for one sitting.
  2. You'll need to be organized the night before you want to make this one.
  3. Stir the chia seeds into the almond milk and keep it refrigerated overnight.
  4. The next day, mix all the ingredients in a blender.
  5. The mix will be very thick, not like a drink. You'll need a spoon.
Top with your choice of ingredients, like
  1. - coconut flakes
  2. - your choice of fruit
  3. - cacao nibs
  4. YUM!
  1. This is the kind of recipe that is adjustable to your own tastes.
Acupuncture, TCM, natural health, Vancouver, BC

Is sugar bad for me?

is sugar bad for me TCM health nutritionPerhaps you’ve been told to cut back on salt, to limit your intake of saturated fats, and to eat more fibre. But, I think that the most common dietary mistake in our modern world is, for many of us, too much sugar. The problem is that we’re designed to like the sweet stuff–wired to like it. Many of my patients ask me, “is sugar bad for me?” 

In a recent article I wrote for my TCM colleagues, I talk about the history of sugar, how it affects our brains, the problem with too much (especially processed sugars), and how Traditional Chinese Medicine addresses sugar and the sweet flavour. 

Is Sugar Bad For Me?

Maybe not. Not if you don’t have too much. It’s necessary. But, I can tell you, no one has health problems from a lack of cookies, cream puffs, or pop. Check out my article on sugar here: Sugar article in Medicinal Roots Magazine. There’s a discount code there if you’d like to take my short online course on sugar, if you want to learn more. You may also want to check out the whole TCM magazine: Medicinal Roots Spring 2016.


Group Acupuncture for Limited Time

New to acupuncture? Limited health budget? Starting in MAY and for a limited number of sessions, Connect Health is offering a few group acupuncture sessions. Call now for one of these coveted spots.

What is Group Acupuncture?

Group acupuncture VancouverIn a typical group acupuncture setting, you will receive your treatment in a room with 1-3 other people. Treatments are booked every 20 minutes, so you can quietly discuss your concern with your practitioner before receiving the actual treatment. We do ask that patients be mindful of being as quiet as possible so that everyone can benefit from a relaxing and peaceful environment.

Even though there isn’t any group chat, some people find it reassuring knowing they are not alone. There is a sense of community that is created when people experience their health collectively. Better yet, book times with your family and/or friends, so you can get healthy together.

This is a fantastic option for people who are seeking additional treatments, but for whom cost may be a barrier. This setting may not be right for you if you feel that privacy may be a concern. Additionally, if you are seeking acupuncture for a fairly complex health issue, it might be better treated in a longer one-on-one session with our registered doctors of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Dr. Carr or Dr. Cmolik.

Paula Woodward is a registered Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner from Kelowna who will be offering the group acupuncture sessions May 7th, June 4th, June 25th, and August 13th for $25 per treatment.

We look forward to seeing you, and if you have any questions about whether or not group acupuncture might be right for you, please feel free to contact Connect Health’s office at 604-733-4400.

By Paula Woodward and Dr. Melissa Carr


Acupuncture for sprains and strains

acupuncture for sprains strains injuryI’ve been doing a fair amount of acupuncture for sprains and strains lately, so I thought I’d share why you want to make acupuncture one of your first choices for treatments if you are unlucky enough to injure yourself.

I’ve sprained my right ankle twice. The first time, I was playing intramural volleyball in high school. I jumped up to block a ball, and when I landed, someone’s foot was on my side of the net, so I crash landed when I came down on it. It was a bad sprain. I still remember how it felt when the doctor stuck his finger into the tennis ball-sized swelling that I had once called an ankle. The image here is kind of what my ankle looked like, though my legs were somewhat less hairy. 🙂

I had a number of physio sessions–icing, taping, ultrasound, and exercises. I was on my school’s volleyball team so after a week or so of rest, I continued to play with my ankle tightly wrapped. Once healed, my ankle was not the same. I turned it constantly. The stretched ligaments were no longer as supportive as they should have been.

The second time I sprained my ankle, I was in TCM school. I was simply running across the street when my ankle did its then common floppy roll. Boom. On the ground and writhing in pain. This time I had TCM on my side. I received acupuncture and Chinese herbs, and I did my own version of stabilizing exercises. I was told by the medical doctor that my ankle would be worse, even more prone to sprains and strains, as those lazy ligaments would have even more laxity. They don’t. My right ankle is now just like my left–uninjured and strong–ankle. This is just one of the reasons I recommend acupuncture for sprains and other injuries.

Acupuncture for Sprains and Injuries

Acupuncture can help improve local blood flow to an injured area. That helps bring in healing nutrients and remove waste products from damaged tissue. Acupuncture can also relieve pain, allowing you to be able to sleep well, instead of struggling to get comfortable at night, for faster recovery. Acupuncture supports stress management. One of the ways it does so is by causing a release of feel-good hormones like endorphins. If you are less stressed, your body can be in a healing state instead of a defensive state.

If you’re worried about needles, don’t. If your injured part is too sensitive for me to treat directly, I can treat around it. And, acupuncture is not painful. Acupuncture needles are skiiiiinnnnny. Super skinny. That makes it easy for me to treat you comfortably.

So, if you are injured, don’t hesitate. Come in for acupuncture for sprains, strains, tears, inflammation, bruising, fractures (after proper xray, bone setting, and other medical emergency treatment, of course), or other injury so you can heal faster and better than with time alone.

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