Alzheimer's: Avoid Red Meat, Rich, High-Fat Foods

Eating a low fat diet with lots fresh fruits and veggies is basic for building a healthy body. A familiar '70's mantra is "You are what you eat". The body requires fresh, vitamin rich foods to build strong blood. The nutrition from blood is used to create your body's energy: Qi in Chinese medicine speak. Strong qi and blood are needed for the cells, organs and systems such as immune function, digestion, brain, lungs, cardiovascular, renal (kidney) and so on to be healthy and preform all its vital functions.So it is not surprising that the NY Times reported in April about a recent study showing seniors with a diet rich in fresh vegetables, nuts, light meats such as fish and poultry are at lower risk for Alzheimer's…

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UN Urges Global Move to Meat and Dairy-Free Diet

I don't get asked so much any more, but there were 4 main influences in my decision in becoming a vegan: Earthsave was putting up graphic photos of mistreated livestock in the windows of my local health food store. Got me thinking.Diet For A Small Planet by Francis Moore Lappe which laid out the advantages of a planet based diet verses a meat based diet in terms of environmental impact and the challenges of feeding the growing world human population.I'm a native CA who came of age there during the 70's. Vegetarian diet seemed more healthy and at the time i was making a 180 degree life change from ice cream for dinner and a smoking habit to holistic health.Spiritually, i do not believe that it's ok…

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Red Cabbage Salad: Another Summer Fav

Here's another summer favorite of mine: Red Cabbage Salad with Toasted Walnuts & Raisins. I'm posting this at the request of a dear patient of mine who seeking some variety in her diet.When I was in acupuncture college at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in San Diego (PCOM), one of my fellow interns was a macrobiotic chef and supported herself and her son through a take out business of macrobiotic meals which she delivered to the school twice a week. these were delicious, wholesome meals cooked with love and thoughtfulness, and were greatly appreciated by the students, for whom she provided extra large servings so that we would have leftovers for lunch. How i loved these meals, but getting the recipes from Nancy was quite difficult. It…

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Black Soybean Salad – One of My Favs for Summer

When you work full time, taking time to prepare a fresh lunch is a luxury. I found a home that is near to my office, so i am fortunate to be able to go home for lunch. i have quick things i can make or reheat in 10min. This being a vacation week, the pace is a bit slower than usual, so i basked in opportunity to make one of my favorite summer salads for lunch. it took about an hour to prepare & eat. a long lunch for this working professional.Black soybeans may not sound real appetizing, but they have a surprising nutty flavor. Finding them takes a little Internet hunting, esp. if you want organic. i got this last batch from a CO based web…

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Cholesterol: Sugar Raises It, Nuts Lower It, Chinese Medicine Treats It

Most associate cholesterol with a high fat diet. Increased consumption of sugary soft drinks combined with more sedentary lifestyle (sitting in front of computers & electronic devices) have caused the rise in obesity seen since the 1970's. The NY Times reports in Vital Signs that sugar and soft drinks also account for high cholesterol.A recent study (funded by the nut industry, but confirmed by results in other independent studies) found that eating nuts lowers cholesterol.In the NY Times Vital Signs column, Roni Caryn Rabin reports: “Nuts are rich in unsaturated fats, and that is a main driver in lowering cholesterol,” said the lead author, Dr. Joan Sabaté, a professor of nutrition at the School of Public Health at Loma Linda University in California. “They are the richest…

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NY Times: Many are Misdiagnosed with Food Allergies

Many people who think they have food allergies do not, according to a front page article in this morning's Times. The true number is only 5% of adults and 8% of children, according to a new report on allergy diagnosis, commissioned by the federal government."Yet about 30 percent of the population believe they have food allergies. And, Dr. Riedl said, about half the patients coming to his clinic because they had been told they had a food allergy did not really have one . . . People who receive a diagnosis after one of the two tests most often used . . . [skin prick test and IgE antibodies] . . . have less than a 50 percent chance of actually having a food allergy, the investigators…

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Breakfast Rice

I've been making this sweet baked rice for breakfast for the past year. It's easy and provides a slightly sweet carbohydrate to begin the day. Those who like hot cereal in the morning might like this. I find that generally about 2 hours later I'm ready for some protein.Lately I've been eating local Amish eggs. I've been assured that the chickens are well treated, spend lots of time outdoors and have plenty of room to move about. So as a vegan, I'm ok with eating these eggs that are raised on small, local farms. They provide animal protein which Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) feels is a required source of nutrition for building blood.I found this recipe in The Angelica Home Kitchen cookbook (Leslie Mc Eachern). Angelica's Kitchen…

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Alocohol Worsens Allergies

I love the Really? column in the Science Times section of the NY Times. In April Anahad O'Connor reported that studies are showing that alcohol worsens allergy symptoms due to the histamines and sulfites they contain. Wine is the worse offender, and women are twice as likely to be affected as men.2005 Swedish StudyA 2008 Danish study showed that drinking 2 glasses of wine daily doubles risk of symptoms, even for those who are otherwise unaffected.Other foods that release histamines included cheese, pickled/fermented foods & yeasty foods: breads, cider and grapes. Maybe the grapes are causing the issue with the wine.Chinese medicine is quite effective at treating allergies. In my clinic, I generally do a combination of individualized herbal formulas and acupuncture. During the allergy season we…

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Drink Lemon Water @ Room Temperature

The average American drinks iced beverages throughout year, especially during warm weather. In Chinese medicine we disagree with this practice, and advice our patients to drink room temperature or warm beverages.Why? Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) sees digestion as a warm process: it takes heat to break down the food in the stomach and intestines and extract the nutrients we need. Putting cold foods and beverages into the stomach weakens digestive function (Spleen Qi, in TCM speak). When digestive function (Spleen Qi) is weak, nutrients do not get extracted in order for the body to make strong Qi (energy) and Blood (nutrition for the cells, organs, muscles, skin and tissues). Fluids are not transformed well, setting up the processes for inflammation, edema, phlegm (allergies and sinusitis) and damp/oozing/blistering…

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Dietary Basics: Do's and Don'ts

This is the one year anniversary of my blog. I began this blog at New Year's last year with a popular post about yoga practices and lifestyle suggestions for health and longevity (see January '09 archives). The response encouraged me to continue blogging, and i discovered that i enjoyed it: averaging 4-6 posts/month. Readership has increased throughout the year and I've attracted a few comments and followers. I'm pleased to learn that there is an audience interested in my point of view.Like most of the world, I've been in slow gear this past week+, working a reduced clinic schedule. I've been using the leisure time to rest and watch old movies, a yin activity for winter solstice.Today I've picked up a book that's been on my shelf…

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