Coconut Chai Pudding

Recently, I’d been having a hard time finding a local, reliable source for organic bulk culinary spices so I decided to try ordering some online from Mountain Rose Herbs. When my package arrived, I was thrilled to open each spice packet, smell all the mouth-watering scents and spend the time refilling my spice jars. To […]

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Why our willpower fails us

We typically think of willpower as the inner strength that we use to resist temptation. We use it to choose the apple instead of the cookie. Or the salad instead of the french fries. Willpower is used as the foundation for many diet programs and without it we falter and fail. We tell ourselves that […]

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Ginger Lime Broccoli and Sweet Potato Soup

So, it’s the start of winter/summer here in the Bay Area. This means at any given moment in the day it can be 55, windy and freezing cold or 75, sunny, hot and dry. Maybe we should call this Sinter? Wummer? Winmer? Suminter? As a result of this “season”, I find myself alternating between eating large amounts of raw vegetables salads and big bowls of hearty warming soups. Here’s one of those soups I put together last night – enjoy!

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Is Fat Bad?

Have you ever seen a lion stalk a herd of wildebeest searching for the skinniest one with the least amount of fat? In the natural world, fat is a prized commodity. It is calorie dense, allows longer satiety because it burns slowly and provides needed nutrients not found in other food types. Humans have been […]

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Super simple steamed brassicas!

Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of this recipe. Every time I serve it, people rave about how good it is and then can not believe that all it contains is steamed veggies, olive oil and salt! This is the perfect way to help you get your daily 1-2 servings from the Brassica family. Ingredients: […]

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Super Easy Applesauce

Super Easy Applesauce I have a confession to make. I am not a fan of fruit. It’s not that I don’t like it – I’d just rather eat a carrot, or a cucumber over an apple or an orange any day! There are, of course, exceptions to my fruit disapproval – I love strawberries and […]

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Chicken soup

CHICKEN SOUP My mom always made chicken soup when I was sick as a kid, saying it was “good for colds”. A few decades later, the Mayo Clinic lists chicken soup as a cold remedy, writing that it is anti-inflammatory and relieves congestion. PubMed (an online database of medical journals) even has a study showing […]

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Castor Oil Packs

Castor Oil Packs One of my favorite and most often prescribed naturopathic treatments is use of castor oil. The term “castor oil” often elicits a distasteful response as people recall various stories, commercials, or even the infamous Tom and Jerry episode where castor oil was used as a punishment for bad behavior. I do not […]

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Eat less and exercise more? Is that right?

The “Calories In, Calories Out” model has been the dominant paradigm for several decades.  This model asserts that if you decrease “calories in” by eating less and increase “calories out” by exercising more you will lose weight.  Many, many people have not had this experience.  They will eat a small bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, […]

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Pork and Beef stuffed Squash

Ingredient List: 5 small kabocha or kuri squash 1 pound each 100% pasture-raised ground pork and ground ground beef 1 red onion 2-4 cloves garlic coconut oil olive oil salt Dukkah All about the ingredients: Dukkah means “to crush” and referrs more to how this part of the recipe is made rather than the actual […]

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Green Smoothie

Green smoothies can be a life-changing way to get loads of nutrients quickly and deliciously. Once you get the hang of making them and stocking the right ingredients, you’ll have a delicious glass of energy in your hand in about 5 minutes. Ingredients: -1 cup washed greens (Spinach, spring mix, lettuce, kale, chard, cabbage, etc.) […]

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Brussels Sprouts

They may look like baby cabbages, however, Brussels sprouts deliver loads of heath benefits. The buds are rich in protein, dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Ingredients: -1 lb Brussels sprouts -2 cloves garlic -Juice from 1/2 lemon -Olive oil to taste -Salt and pepper to taste Directions: Place oven rack at highest level in […]

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Roasted Asparagus

Asparagus season is here! Did you know that asparagus is not harvested until 3 years after planting? And that white asparagus is just green asparagus that has been deprived of sunlight? Visit your local farmers market for fresh, organic asparagus. High in fiber, folate, potassium and vitamins C and K, it is a delicious, healthy […]

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Kabocha Squash

Kabocha squash is rich in beta carotene, high in iron, vitamin C, potassium, and smaller traces of calcium and folic acid. It also contains minute amounts of B vitamins. Kabocha seeds are very high in zinc, which is proven to minimize the intensity and duration of colds and flus. How to prepare Kabocha squash: (Works […]

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My First Gluten-Free Year

It seems that everyone is going gluten-free these days. As more and more products labeled gluten-free appear in grocery stores, many people are buying these “healthier” products without really knowing what gluten means.

Well, in case you don’t know, gluten is a protein found in certain grains such as wheat, barley and rye. In gluten-sensitive people, it can cause inflammation and immune imbalance.

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The Gut-Brain Connection

It is a common saying among naturopathic doctors that the gut is the “second brain.”
This is because the enteric nervous system of the gut can function independent of the central nervous system (the brain). At the same time, these two systems are connected.

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter associated with our level of happiness, low levels showing a correlation with clinical depression. Interestingly, the majority of serotonin in the body comes from our gut.

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Spaghetti Squash with Hazelnuts

Ready for an unexpected treat? This yummy recipe features the smoky flavor of hazelnuts. Hazelnuts contain healthy fats that can help clean out the plaques from blood vessels. They are also rich in proteins, fiber, essential vitamins and minerals. And last but not least, hazelnuts contain a rich supply of phytosterols, which are found in […]

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Going from Someone Who KNOWS to Someone Who DOES

Overweight and taking daily steroids for a rare condition that causes him to chronically break out in severe hives and rashes, Joe Cross hopes to give his health a major jump-start and perhaps inspire some people to join him along the way.

The movie features Joe chatting up people he meets. Their reactions to his endeavor are priceless. They mirror all of the possible reasons one could have for not making healthy dietary changes.

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Depression, Anxiety & Survival

“I just want to be happy.”

Such a simple statement, often said in exasperation or perhaps with a touch of resignation.

When we think of happiness, we think of a state of being or a goal. Even the U.S. Constitution alludes to its attainment. But happiness is not an end in itself; rather, it is evidence. It is a byproduct of a life well lived. Happiness is a signal from that wise part of ourself that we are going in the right direction.

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Are You Getting Enough Vitamin D?

Vitamin D has become a popular topic in the last few years, with more studies and articles about it appearing in the media every week. The available information consistently shows us there are even more benefits from Vitamin D than previously known.

We use the term “vitamin” in reference to Vitamin D, which in reality acts more like a hormone than a vitamin in the body. It is essential in the regulation of calcium metabolism, helping our bones to become and stay strong. Since Americans have one of the globe’s highest rates of osteoporosis, it is in our best interest to prevent the disease by taking adequate amounts of Vitamin D.

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Eating Breakfast

The benefits of eating a balanced breakfast are many (more on what balanced means in a minute). The biggest impact that I see in the lives of my patients who switch from being breakfast skippers to regular breakfast eaters is that they have balanced energy throughout the day and improved mental clarity.

The afternoon slump (usually between 2-4pm) that once lured them to a cup of coffee, a cookie or a piece of chocolate no longer occurs. Gone is the insidious brain fog that compelled them to leave work early. Now these clients have enough energy and motivation left over to cook themselves a real dinner that nourishes the body and brightens the soul.

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Warming Socks

Starting to feel low or like you are on the cusp of a cold or another acute illness? Warming socks may be the perfect antidote. Warming socks increase circulation, stimulate the immune system and decrease congestion. Some people even find that they sleep more peacefully and handle stress better when using them on a regular […]

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What is an Antioxidant, Anyway?

The word antioxidant is thrown around a lot, but what exactly is an antioxidant? In order to understand antioxidants we must first understand free radicals.

Free radicals are like little explosives that float around the body starting fires and causing damage to cells and DNA. Free radicals are produced in our bodies to fight infection and are designed to kill bacteria, viruses and other foreign materials. When inflammation becomes a persistent state as it is in diabetes, heart disease and most of today’s chronic diseases, it leads to the constant production of free radicals. Without a bacterial cell to destroy, these free radicals turn to our own cells. This is called oxidative damage and is associated with things like cancer, atherosclerosis, autoimmune disease and aging.

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Are All Steps Created Equal?

We are underway at the office with our second exercise challenge. Each of us has set a personal weekly fitness goal, tracking our progress with stars on a chart—quite basic but effective.

Initially, my goal was some combination of 10,000 steps, a 90-minute yoga class or a 60-minute gym session 5 days a week. To help motivate me and based on the recommendation of a patient, I got myself a pedometer call the FitBit ( It helps me track my steps, physical activity and if desired, calories, weight, blood pressure, blood sugar and sleep. It is simple, easy to use, relatively inexpensive and highly recommended.

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Getting My Butt to the Pool

On an almost daily basis I imagine what my life would be like if I were “That Person.”
The one who maintains all of the good habits, keeps the house organized, goes to the gym every day, goes to bed at a reasonable hour and takes vitamins and supplements on schedule.

I compare myself to That Person and say to myself, “If only I were as organized I would be happy.” At that point I take a deep breath and remind myself that although I may not be a paragon of perfection, I am smart and resourceful and have a passion for a healthy lifestyle.

Following this conversation with myself for the nth time, I committed to working with respected coach Dr. Sydney Metrick, who specializes in personal organization. My hope was that I could learn some strategies for maintaining all of the healthy lifestyle habits that I value so much.

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Walnut Pesto

This antioxidant-rich pesto is also dairy-, soy-, gluten- and egg-free. It tastes delicious and is reminiscent of pesto made with pecorino, despite its being completely dairy-free. Ingredients: -1-3 ounces raw walnuts -2-4 cloves of garlic (depending on desired taste and garlic tolerance) -2-5 bunches of basil (depending on desired taste) -Juice from 1-2 lemons or […]

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Banging Your Head Against the Keys

One of my favorite Sesame Street characters was singer-songwriter Don Music. He composed songs like “Mary Had a Bicycle” and “Whistle Whistle Little Bird.” He often struggled with lyrics and in his frustration he would bang his head on the piano keys, moaning, “I’ll never get it! Never! NEVER!”

Ever feel this way about your healing journey? You put in the effort, you’re feeling happy and healthy, and then suddenly things kind of fall apart and you feel like crap again?

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12 Quick Tips for Staying Healthy During the Holiday Season

With Halloween behind us, we have officially entered into the holiday season. The days are shorter, the nights longer and cooler. Our clocks have changed. Social commitments are up and our adherence to dietary protocols is likely down.

The abundance of activities during this time of year threatens to knock us out of balance and push us back into a state of ill-health/dis-ease. Here, then, are a few tips to help you make it through to 2014 as healthfully as possible.

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