| |I love Quinoa and what can be done with it. You can have it for breakfast with almond milk, walnuts and a dash of maple syrup or cinnamon (great on a cold winter morning), or for lunch as a salad. This recipe is easy, and I usually make a big batch on Sunday evening, so my husband and I can take it to work a couple of times a week. For the olive oil, I use our local supplier Tri-Cities tasters because their products are amazing, but if you don't live around Port Moody, then shop locally in your area for an infused chipotle oil.
Quinoa: 1 1/4 cup dried
Asparagus: 1 bunch diced
Mushrooms: 2 cups sliced
Red pepper: 1 diced
Green pepper: 1 of diced
Wild Salmon: 6 oz
Tri-Cities Tasters Chipotle Olive oil
Chili powder: a couple of pinches
Sea Salt: a couple of pinches
- Cook the quinoa in 2 1/2 cups of boiling water (always rinse before cooking), until the water is gone (about 15 minutes).
- Bake the salmon for 15 minutes at 425 degree. Then flake it into pieces.
- Sauté the asparagus, mushrooms and peppers with 2 tbsp of chipotle olive oil until tender, add the chill powder and cook for 2 more minutes.
Once everything is cooked, baked and sautéed, mix it all together, add the sea salt and 2 tbsp of chipotle olive oil. Voila!
Serve warm and enjoy!
Healing Cedar Wellness
| |I assume you know what a nutritious diet consist of, so I won't talk about healthy nutrition. We are all aware of what's good and what's bad for us in terms of food (at least, I hope so). All we need is to be prepared.
Here are 3 tips to help you be prepared:
1- Meal Planning: this is the hardest one for people, but it pays off tremendously in the end. My husband and I spend our Sunday evenings cooking for the week (okay I cook, he keeps me company). We drink a glass of wine and have great conversations, our bonding time if you will. For about 2 hours, I cook our weekly meals. I make 3 to 4 different dishes (see below for ideas) and put them in containers. I hard boil eggs. I cook meat and fish which can be paired with a salad as a quick meal. We both bring our food with us to work. We eat real, nutritious food, and also save money!
2- Keep snacks handy: if you're hungry and you're away from home, the easiest thing to do is stop somewhere and grab food. Unfortunately, there aren't many healthy options around. Keep water with you at all times; have nuts or seeds handy (they make a quick, healthy and fulfilling snack, and don't need a fridge); and make your own trail mix, ensuring you keep a bag in your car or purse.
3- Eating out: you need to be mentally prepared for this one. There are healthy choices at most restaurants and coffee places. Not perfect choices, but at least options. Order foods that are wholesome, such as grilled and sautéed meat or fish, with vegetables, and with the least amount of sauce. No bread, no dessert, but enjoy a glass of wine if you wish. Remember, you're there to enjoy the people you're with. At the coffee shop, have a tea, coffee or any natural beverage, no food unless you brought some nuts to munch on. At the convenience store, fresh fruits and unsealed nuts or seeds are probably your only healthy options.
Here are some healthy menu planning ideas:
Lunch & dinner:
- 2 Brown Rice Cakes with almond butter, 1 apple & Green tea (this one is for people that just need a light start to their day);
- 1 Cup of cooked quinoa, with 1/4 cup of almond milk, chopped walnut, cinnamon & chia seeds (this is for people that have tendency to feel cold easily);
- Smoothie with one avocado, an apple, 1 juice of a lemon, kale, spinach and celery with ground flax seeds (this is for people who have tendency to feel warm often);
- 1 omelete made of 2 eggs & 2 egg whites, chopped mushrooms & grilled asparagus, sea salt and pepper & green tea (for those who like some savory food upon waking).
- Thai Coconut Chili
- Cooked quinoa with sautéed veggies (asparagus, garlic,mushroom, red & yellow peppers all chopped), add sea salt, paprika and olive oil. Option to add cooked chopped chicken or salmon
- Grilled meat or fish, with a big salad (mixed greens, sliced tomato, sprinkle goat cheese, sunflower seeds, olive oil & lemon juice)
- Ratatouille Gluten free lasagna
- Salad as a meal: arugula, chickpeas, tomato, red & yellow peppers, walnuts, add chopped grilled tofu, meat or fish to it, dressing (olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sea salt and Italian seasonings).
- Handful of nuts or seeds with a fruit
- 2 hard boiled eggs with cucumber slices (perfect for a warm summer day)
- Almond butter on apple slices
- Plain goat yogurt with berries
- A glass of wine with a piece of dark chocolate (great evening snack)
- Mashed yam with cinnamon & nutmeg & cashews (great for the cool winters)
- Smoothie: parsley, beets, strawberries, and almond milk.
You've heard it before: if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Once you start being prepared for most of your meals, eating healthy won't be that difficult.
Registered Acupuncturist at Healing Cedar Wellness in Port Moody
| |Achieving balance in life is not always easy but it should be what we all thrive for. We all know what can impact our health, and what to avoid (i.e.: drugs, smoking, stress...), in order to stay grounded. Let's focus on what we can DO to prevent chronic illnesses and live a long happy life.
- Eating a wholesome non processed diet that suits you need.
- Go play outside, get some fresh air daily no matter what the weather is like.
- Exercise: whatever you enjoy, hiking, swimming, playing sports, yoga, tai chi.
- Get some sleep, go to bed every night at the same time, practice deep breathing and
let your body relax.
- Having family and/or friends support is crucial to your wellbeing.
- Do you have a purpose, a goal, a vision? Work on it daily.
- Listen to your favorite music, dance, sing and fill your soul with harmony.
- What are you passionate about? what makes you happy? what makes feel alive?
- Use natural therapies for preventive measures: get massages, acupuncture, chiropractic adjustments regularly, talk to a Naturopathic doctor, use infrared saunas, talk to a counsellor...
What is a healthy diet? It's all relative, really. To some, it means not eating out, to others it might be eating fruits and vegetables daily. But really, how good are your eating habits? Here are clues indicating you're not eating that healthy after all. 1- Your recycling box is full
Great, you contribute and do your part for the planet, but it also means you eat a lot of packaged food. Most of these are processed and not whole. Here's a list of not so healthy packaged foods: Cold cereal:
if you cook quinoa or steel cut oats, then great, anything else has been processed and stripped of nutrients. Juice box:
eat the whole fruit and get the full spectrum of vitamins. Unless you juiced it yourself, this is pure sugar. Yogurt container:
you can make your own, or at least buy the natural organic kind, not the fruit or flavored ones. Cracker box:
even though it maybe advertised as organic and low fat, it is still processed, unless it's raw or you baked it. 2- You're eating whole grains and buy natural organic food
Patients often tell me they eat whole grains, mostly consisting of bread (which still has sugar in it and preservatives), crackers, whole wheat pasta, and whole grain cereals. Most of these are often processed with white flour and other ingredients, and most don't contain much fiber or nutrients. Eating organic is a good choice, but some of these products are not fully organic and sometimes still contain preservatives which are not natural or easily absorbed by the body.3-You're vegetarian, eating low fat, gluten free...
Being vegetarian is relative to what you eat. It could mean eating fries, pancakes and cookies all day long. As long as you eat healthy and whole foods, it doesn't matter if you eat meat, fish or are vegan.
The low fat craze of the 80's is not as prominent anymore, but some people still believe that eating avocado, nuts and seeds, and adding olive oil to their salads will contribute to weight gain. These foods are full of nutrients and provide essential fatty acids required by the body to stay healthy.
You've chosen to eat gluten free, perhaps because you have been diagnosed with Celiac disease, have a sensitivity to wheat, or simply think it is healthier for you. However, it won't provide perfect health unless you eat real wholesome food. There are many gluten free products out there that are processed and stripped of fiber and nutrients, which basically negates any health benefits. So what else are you supposed to eat? Is there anything left? Sure, and here's some help.
I believe in the 80/20 diet. Eating healthy 80 % of the time and having a little less good food for the rest.80% of the time, eat the following:
20% of the time, consider some of these:
- Nuts and seeds: raw, roasted, sprouted or even making milk out of them.
- All fresh fruits and vegetables: cooked, steamed, raw, stir fried, grilled...add spices, olive oil, sea salt, or cook them in wine (I'm French, after all).
- Fresh wild fish, wild meat or organic meat (Free of hormones).
- Quinoa (not a grain by the way), brown or wild rice, buckwheat, sprouted grains.
- Sweet: raw honey, stevia.
- A glass of wine.
- Dairy: hard and older cheeses (goat is best), goat yogurt, raw milk.
- Brown rice cakes, home made granola bars.
- Dark chocolate, at least 75% cocoa.
Look for recipes that are simple, quick and delicious, and enjoy the benefit of a healthy diet. Start slow, introduce new foods and eliminate one processed food each week. Plan ahead. Before the start of the week, hard boil a few eggs, grill salmon, cook some quinoa, and make a veggie stew. Bring nuts and seeds everywhere so you're never caught without options to eat healthy when out of the home. It will become a habit in no time, and you will reap the benefits of optimum health.Clara CohenReg. Acupuncturist at Healing Cedar Wellness
| |Chronic Insomnia
It can take form of unable to fall asleep when going to bed or waking up during the night and not being able to fall back asleep. It affects 30% of elderly and one out of 10 North Americans. 50% of insomnia disorders are attributed to anxiety, stress, or depression.
- Emotional or mental disorders.
- Chronic illness such as Fibromyalgia, Arthritis, Parkinson's.
- Diet: eating late at night, too much food, indigestion, coffee consumption.
- Jet lag
- Medications such as beta blockers or decongestants.
- Lack of Calcium and magnesium.
- Sedentary lifestyle!
- Restless leg syndrome, sleep Apnea may also be the cause of insomnia.
- Supplement with Calcium and magnesium (it has a calming effect).
- Melatonin 2 hrs before bedtime (It is a natural hormone to promote sleep used occasionally only and do not give it children).
- Herbs: Valerian root, lemon balm, kava kava or hops in tea form before bed.
- Food that promotes sleep to be eaten at dinner time or as a snack before bed: banana, figs, dates, nut butter, turkey, yogurt.
- Food that stimulate your brain and to be avoided at night: cheese, sugar, chocolate, bacon, ham, sausage, sauerkraut, tomatoes, spinach and eggplant.
- Do not eat large meals in the evenings.
- Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine 6 hrs before bed.
- Go to bed when tired, establish regular sleeping patterns, do not watch Tv in bed, do not read or watch stimulating programs, use your bedroom only for sleep and sex, sleep in a dark quiet room with a comfortable temperature.
- Take a hot bath before bed, exercise regularly.
- Put your worries out of your mind and concentrate on pleasant memories.
Have you tried acupuncture and Chinese Medicine? It works wonders for sleep.Clara CohenHealing Cedar Wellness
I am very humbled by the recognition and wanted to thank everyone who took the time to vote and show their support. I love my job and going to work daily, is always a pleasure. I will continue to provide great treatment and do my very best to help each patient reach their health goals!
What is the best time to exercise? Worst time for coffee? Best time to meditate? Worst time to watch a thriller? According to Acupuncture and Chinese medicine theory, each system/organ is most active during specific 2 hour spans within a 24 hour day. Since great health is all about balance and prevention, here's a few things you may want to do (or avoid) during these specific hours to reap the benefits of optimum health.
Did you know that most heart attacks happen around noon? The Heart system/organ is most active between 11 am and 1 pm: avoid caffeine and any stimulants during that time. Look at the Latin countries: they take their time at lunch, they don't multitask, they relax and enjoy their food. At lunch, leave the office, go for a walk, breathe some fresh air and eat peacefully without distractions. I know: easy to say, and not always easy to do. But give it a try at least a few times/week.
Do you wake up often between 1 am and 3 am? This is the Liver system/organ time. The liver helps the body regenerate at night. So when someone is awake during those 2 hours, it is usually a good indication that stress is a factor. If you do wake up during the Liver time, figure out ways to relax and deal with stress. Listen to your body, it gives you clues all the time.
What is the best time to exercise? Definitely not in the evening between 7 and 9 pm. The Pericardium system/organ is prominent between those hours. Being the cover of the heart, the pericardium protects it. So this would not be a good time to exercise vigorously, or watch a thriller in your bedroom before sleep. Instead it’s the perfect time to meditate, listen to soft music or take a warm bath.
According to Chinese medicine, the Spleen system/organ is strong between 9 am and 11 am, and is in charge of the muscular energy of the body. So this period is often the best time to exercise, right after breakfast.
The Stomach system/organ is between 7 to 9 am. This should make sense to everyone, as it is the best time to eat breakfast and feed the body for the day ahead.
The Large Intestine system/organ is between 5 to 7 am. Obviously the best time to have a bowel movement. But if you have one later during the day, it's still good! Not having one at all is a problem!
Chinese medicine is fascinating, and makes a lot of sense. It really promotes listening to the body and mind, as well as working on a daily basis at keeping our health in balance and preventing illnesses.
Port Moody Healing Cedar Wellness
| |Diana Mehta read my blog and liked the post on my experience with a Gluten Free diet. She contacted me as she was doing a piece on how many people are omitting wheat and gluten from their diet. Here's her article published in the Vancouver Sun, The Ottawa Citizen and Global News. Interesting..."Gluten Free goes Mainstream"Clara CohenPort Moody AcupuncturistHealing Cedar Wellness | |
How I made my husband enjoy a healthy diet
Are you having a tough time changing the health habits of your significant other? Almost ten years ago, I met a great guy who is now my husband. When we met, we had the love of the outdoors in common, so our dating process was filled with kayaking, hiking, mountain biking and camping in beautiful British Columbia.
So we had the outdoors and traveling in common, which was fantastic, but when we decided to move in together, it wasn't an easy ride at first.
Because I enjoyed cooking, I was in charge of grocery shopping and meals preparation. And because he had an office job that required him to dress up, he was in charge of laundry and ironing (yes ladies: it's true, I don't do laundry!).
When we first dated, I was shocked at his fridge supplies: orange juice, milk and ketchup: that was it! He ate out every day, fast foods, hitting the Food Court at work, and a quick coffee in the morning: yikes! No fruits, no veggies! He also was allergic to dust, animal dander and every spring, had hay fever. He was covered in rashes on his legs and had one bowel movement every week (Oh my!).
So when we moved in, I decided to turn his health around. It was tough and I had to make small changes weekly because let me tell you, I came across a lot of resistance.
He used to say to his friends: "There is no food in our house", while our fridge was full. Because no junk food meant no fun to him. He used to say: "What is that? Bird food? It looks funny" at every meals the first year.
I took it slow and Each week I changed only one thing:
I never bought junk and made his lunches and breakfasts: he saved money (which he was very happy about) and in spite of the resistance, he ate it all, admittedly with some complaint at first, but soon realized his health was improving. I also added supplements and acupuncture to his regimen.
- Introduction to meatless dinners
- Fresh Fruits salads for snacks
- Almonds and dark chocolate for hiking
- Tasty salads with goat cheese, walnuts, olive oil and balsamic vinegar
- Plain yogurt with stevia and organic strawberries
- Broccoli with shaved Parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil
- Quinoa with coconut milk, seeds, and cinnamon for breakfast
- Grilled fish, asparagus and mushrooms with rosemary and seas salt
- Sweet potatoes bakes with chili pepper and paprika
- Summer smoothies after a sweaty tennis game
Today, he has no allergies, his skin is rash free, and has a daily bowel movement. He probably will be embarrassed I'm mentioning his daily bathroom ritual (Dr. oz opened a whole new world to us since he talked about poop). He's never sick with the flu and hasn't miss a day of work in years. He loves healthy foods and actually will request my brown rice stir fry dishes, grilled asparagus, salads and smoothies. Of course bad habits die hard. He still likes fast foods and will enjoy it once in a while, but at least not every day and keeps telling me, he owes me his health. So it's all worth it!
When you find it difficult to keep your kids or partner on a healthy path, remember that in the long run, they will thank you and appreciate the effort you made on their behalf. Just do it slowly, incrementally and with love, the reward is so worth it.
And for the record, I brought health to my hubby but he opened up a new world to me, and now I really enjoy reading the news and watching science fiction movies with him. In the past ten years, we have grown from each other and our relationship is stronger each year because of it.
Here's to health, family life, and constant growth.Clara CohenPort Moody & Coquitlam AcupuncturistHealing Cedar Wellness
"Red wine is great for my health."
Looking deeper at research & Acupuncture
Have you heard? French people have very low occurrence of Cardiovascular diseases and less heart attacks than North Americans. Of course, you've heard. Books, television, and articles basically have been telling us that even though the french diet is heavy in fat, cream and butter, their hearts are in great shape. And all because of red wine. Are you kidding me?
I was born and raised in France and I can tell you, it's true! They don't die of heart attacks. Oh no, they all get liver failure and lung cancer, instead! So much better. The instance of Lung, and throat cancer in France is enormous: my mom smoked 2 packs/day for 60 years (that's an average there). Liver cirrhosis and Liver failure is also very common: I have been around enough drunk people to see the effect of alcohol has on them. Not pretty.
So drink red wine, eat cheese, and butter your white bread, apparently you'll be just fine.
So my point here is when reading about research, take it with a grain of salt. Because it's all relative. When studies come out about acupuncture with percentage of success or failure, I smile. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a complex modality and very thorough, but unfortunately it is very difficult to measure its results. Here's why.
TCM looks at the root cause of the problem, not the outcome. Each patient is unique with their own constitution, lifestyle and living environment. If a study looks at the effect of acupuncture or Chinese herbal remedies on insomnia, it would be difficult to get an accurate result, as the study conducted would treat all participants the same way. But everyone is so different how could it work?
Let's look at 2 patients (Sue & Mark) coming for the same reason: Insomnia.
- Solution A: sleeping pills for Sue & Mark. Not my kind of temporary solution, but what the heck, if that's your cup of tea.
- Solution B: natural treatments: herbal teas, melatonin. Temporary natural solution. Helpful.
- Solution C: TCM treatments. Long term results. The practitioner needs to do a full consultation (sometimes lasting over 1 hour to be totally thorough) and establish a treatment plan suitable for each patient. It may take a while for the issue to be resolved depending on how long it's been going on, but it will result in a longer lasting effect.
2 patients, 2 different symptoms, 2 different people:
- Sue: takes 2 to 4 hours to fall asleep each night. She says, she has a million thoughts running through her mind at night, she starts worrying and cannot shut her brain off (Did you recognize yourself there?). She eventually falls asleep but in the morning, she has to drag herself out of bed. She's fatigue all day long. She gets anxious often and worries constantly.
- Mark: goes to bed at 11 pm and falls asleep easily. He wakes up though every night between 2 am and 3 am and he just lays there, feeling restless. He's never tired. He is jumpy, feels stressed due to his job and gets irritable and short tempered with his family.
Those are 2 different types of insomnia. And that just the sleeping part, we need to figure out what else is out of balance in the body, and look for the root cause (In the 2 cases, emotions and stress). So we'll ask about each and every system in your body, from your digestion to your memory. If we treated those 2 patients the same way, it would not work well. Sue looks weak and deficient, so we may strengthen her, and calm her overactive mind. Mark seems strong but too hyper, so we may relax and soothe him in order to calm his mind. Different treatment principles.
TCM is a complex medicine that treats the patient first, not the disease, and looks at the root of the problem for prevention of re-occurrence.
I have been practicing for many years and still get amazed by the great outcome of Acupuncture & TCM treatments. it challenges me every day and I love how specific a practitioner has to be in order to help patients feel their best and reach optimum health.
Give it a try, you too will be amazed.
Port Moody & Coquitlam Acupuncturist
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