Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A New Day a New Source

Today as I was leaving work I looked in my box and found a pleasant surprise, a new magazine called CLEAN EATING.

Now usually I don't promote so called "health" focused magazines do to their promotion of certain diets, quick (and often unhealthy) fixes, and ridiculous integration of unhealthy advertisements... but I have to say that this new issue has been surprisingly satiating. Not only does it have a plethora of lip smacking recipes that promise to nourish and please the body, it also makes life a little easier with Pull out shopping lists, complete menus and totally valid, interesting, and intellectually stimulating articles. I would highly recommend getting your own copy if you are interested in life's little pleasures....

While I could spend all day writing up my excitement over the vivid displays of "shrimp jambalaya,""sweet potato fries," "cherry tomato meatballs," "baked apples & figs," and "papaya salsa" I have time constraints to follow...and on this blog are Cindy's forte. Instead, I want to give a breif and hopefully helpful synopsis of an amazing article I read in this issue called "The Yoga of Eating" by Peggy Hall...

Hall uses her much deserved published space to refocus our mental processes towards food and the neccesary function of eating towards a more healing, nourishing, and calming path...much like that of yoga. Her description of how they relate is as follows:

First, Hall points out that "yoga teaches us that everything in infused force energy. When you eat a certain food, you absorb its [life force energy] and it becomes a part of your very being" (Hall 58). Eating well, therefore is essential to our body's functioning both physically and mentally. A fast food chain burger and fries, devoid of nutritional value, provides us with very little pure energy, where as fresh, wholesome, organic foods re-energize us on multiple levels.

Second, Hall discusses how "yoga teaches us awareness through breathing" by teaching us a consistency that breeds mindfulness" (Hall 59). This relates to food because as we learn to enjoy our food, we MUST eat mindfully by discerning specific flavors, textures, and more. When we do this eating small amounts in a mindful state is more satisfying than "shoveling it in."

Hall's third and maybe most powerful point focuses on the similarity between yoga and eating on the path to self acceptance, trust, and compassion. Yoga is meant to teach these things by promoting a harmony in the body between mind, body, and spirit. We can apply this to our food when we stop seeing food "as the enemy and instead listen to the messages encoded in cravings, appetites and tastes, as we develop trust in these messages" (Hall 59).

The message doesn't end with that but that is what really struck me. I would definitely recommend seeking out this magazine.

Here are some more helpful hints for mindful eating that she gives as a footnote:
  1. eat sitting down
  2. enjoy your meals in a pleasant setting
  3. engage all five senses while eating
  4. allow yourself time (you deserve it!)
  5. avoid eating or preparing food when you're stressed
Let me just end by saying this folks...As mentioned in a previous post, I myself have dealt with food issues for much of my life. It has only been in the past 2 years that I have really begun to refocus my energy and lifestyle patterns. Some of the suggestions Hall gives have been some that I have had to learn over time in order to go from barely surviving to thriving...Nonetheless, seeing these all together in such an amazing format is can never have too many reminders to slow down and enjoy life.

Works Cited:

Hall, Peggy. "The Yoga of Eating." Clean Eating. Winter 2008: pp 58-60.
Yoga. 30 Jan. 2008. 30 Feb. 2008.


Sunday, January 27, 2008

Back in the Northern State...for now

Dr. Greenfield and I got back around 5:30pm tonight after a weekend full of learning. I must admit, I am tired, but my excitement far outreaches that sensation.

The seminar was excellent. It flew by and left my head spinning with so many ideas. It not only satiated my original expectation it left me hungry at the bit for more. I know that I promised a synopsis for you all but unfortunately there is just no way to convey the knowledge I retained in a blog post. There is just no way to do it justice. But don't worry what we learned will be applied to you all...lovely patients.

I will give you a taste of information though because I like to keep my promises... so here is my tactic: Just so that you know that the information I am going to give you is merely one pearl of knowledge in a sea of oysters I am going to randomly flip through my 90 pages of notes ...right now... and drop my finger on a random bit. So here goes the spinning globe affect....

And the verdict 52
Whole Food Supplement Protocols
Section: Natural Muscle Building Protocol...

Muscle degeneration is a growing problem among us all. We get little exercise, unknowingly eat nutrition deprived food every day and stress our bodies out. Athletes are especially prone to this problem in the world of "fast food" eating and Supermarket "vitamin" taking athletes. even if athletes stray away from protein supplements bought for $5 a gallon and the next gimmicky energy bar the impact of constant athletics without sufficient nutritional support is highly prevalent and may lead to many disorders including chronic fatigue, osteoporosis and more. This protocol is a healthy and essential way to get athletes and people in general on the right path to muscle retention and regeneration!

*note: Dr. Jeanette Birnbach (our speaker) gave us a list of several general protocols that work with many people when trying to acheive a certain health improvement. Healthy Muscle Building for Repair is just one of these. There are many more, and the great thing about being a patient of Dr. Greenfield's is that she is an expert at taking these protocols and formulating them to fit your body in conjunction with your lifestyle. *

This Seminar gave us a natural muscle building protocol of Standard process supplements that have been effective over and over on people interested in this subject. A list of around 6 supplements and dosages was given to us that, when tailored to the individual acheive this goal over time in a healthy manner with lasting effects because the change is from within a persons natural body functioning...not just a synthetic effect.

When I say that this protocol can be tailored to the individual I must stress that it is essential that you come in and be tested on these supplements to acheive the maximum affect desired. While these are completely all natural and derived FROM FOOD ONLY certain imbalances in the body that are not previously tested for can upset the regime and the affect. Age, weight, lifestyle, and more are all factors that help Dr. Greenfield decide what combination of these supplements would work best for you.

It is exciting to know, however, that by taking these supplements in WHOLE FOOD FORM we can help our bodies to heal from within instead of masking an affect through pharmaceuticals. Our goal is self sustaining one wants to feel good through the facade of drugs that contain side effects, toxic ingredients, and the eeriness of the unknown! Standard Process Supplements are FOOD...and food has been around since well...forever. It is well tested and highly approved as an essential part of LIVING.

Please call our office at (919) 845-3280 to set up an appointment today. It is never too soon to start taking steps towards self sustaining health and away from synthetic existence. It is our mission to help you help yourself!

Just an update before I go: On February 9th Dr. Greenfield and I will be traveling to Greenville SC for another excellent Standard Process Seminar on the process of the SP Cleanse Detoxification Program. Anyone with weight problems, intestinal issues, fatigue, stress, and more could highly benefit from this program. This seminar will be the kick-off to help us get our Detox program started in our practice which will include information sessions, a health screening to determine if necessary or allowable and support meetings to keep us all going on the system. SO get excited about this. I'll update more after our seminar.


Saturday, January 26, 2008

QUICK checkup

Alright folks,

I'm still in SC learning away, but I had to update really quickly to show you all the new feature on CCWwellness blog. If you look to your right you will see Cindy's Recipe Index. The first post on this link has been updated and let me tell you folks you will NOT be disappointed.

Cindy Karas is one of the best cooks in the Raleigh area. She is extremely knowledgeable about nutrition and taste she is extremely skilled in incorporating the later in to the former. The first recipe is Cindy's Favorite Granola. We decided to start out with a simple breakfast go ahead and get ready to wake up to a tasty bowl of yum!


Thursday, January 24, 2008

21st Century Nutrition


One more day till the weekend, which is especially exciting for me ladies and gentlemen! Tomorrow after work I am hopping in the car with Dr Greenfield and taking a 4 hour "road-trip" to grand ol' Columbia, SC for my very first seminar sponsored by Standard Process! Dr. Greenfield goes on these amazing adventures regularly...hence the library of knowledge installed in her brain...but this is my first and I am very excited.

The speaker will be Jeanette Birnbach, the hostess will be Jane McNeil, and the topic is 21st Century Nutrition. I have heard nothing but GREAT things about them both. Don't worry I plan to update you all when I get back so STAY POSTED.

Before I continue with today's blog topic I wanted to put another "feeler" out there for topic suggestions. Anything that you want to learn more about please email me at and i'll do my best to get a discussion posted. Even if I don't know the answer to your question I have a broad range of informants that can help me on just about any health topic possible.

Now back to the subject. Due to my upcoming trip to South Carolina I have been thinking a lot about modern nutrition. To be honest, I have no idea what angle Jane is going to take on 21st Century Nutrition this weekend, but my own personal wheels are turning on the possibilities, and the first thing that comes to mind is the introduction of healthy yet pre-packaged snacks. Not only are many of these snacks sans unpronounceable preservatives and additives they are also often dairy, wheat, nut, soy, etc. free! And snacks aren't the only thing that cater to the ever prevalent allergy list and trans fat dilemma, there are thousands of foods out there that you can cook, order, unwrap, or microwave that really are...can you believe it?....Healthy! Even if you feel convenience takes precedence over whole food nutrition you can still live a healthy life! Go figure...

But the obesity epidemic continues to rage. Cardiologists offices are more and more packed, Pediatricians continue to deal with more and more life threatening cases...lets face it....we have a problem. But why? The Options are out there?!?! are the nutritionally void, trans fat and preservative over-ridden, refined sugar coated options as well, and that is what we, in the 20-21st centuries have learned to accept. Our taste buds have become accustomed to bacteria ridden meat flavored by seasonings made on the New Jersey turnpike (Fast Food Nation), lunch "meats" and bacon coated "salads" loaded with MSG, candy bars loaded with Soy Protein Isolate, and more. The list is endless and increasingly more astounding.

However, obesity isn't the only problem. In this extremist society we can't have one extreme without the other. The horrible effects of 90% of food on our market have driven many people, young women especially, to forgo eating altogether. Instead of dealing with obesity and more these people use food, or the lack thereof, as a marker of their own personal identity. Upset? Binge! Can't deal with life? Restrict! Happy and Content? I don't deserve that so guess I better purge! Food and the process of eating becomes a punishment...all because most people don't know how to have a healthy diet with convenience and structure that won't make them unhappy or obese.

Granted many psychological issues come in to play when dealing with eating disorders, but, speaking from past experience with this debilitating disease, it sure doesn't help when you think of eating as punishment instead of a neccesary function of life.

In short, 21st century nutrition appears to be, from a general perspective, a battle between two evils.

The truth hurts...especially when it comes in the form of a stroke or self starvation...

So where is the happy medium? I can tell you one thing...finding it takes work. Work to erase all the cultural stereotypes and marketing tactics that big corporation food and the society and culture surrounding it have placed in our heads. It also takes research and consistent health care. For me, becoming aware of how my body works physically, emotionally, and spiritually is what saved my life. Learning how my emotional experiences effect my intestinal tract, or how toxins residing in my organs can create a sense of utter fatigue and weakness, is only the tip of the iceberg. There is so much more out there to live and learn. In fact it is my mission to keep on the path of constant learning...and hopefully my seminar this weekend can shed some more light on the process of living a healthy life!

Update 2/3/08
Check out this link to learn why it is so important to seek the path to self sustaining health rather than jumping on the next prescription band wagon.


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

New Developments!

Hello Everyone!

Sorry for the big break in posts but there has been a lot going on this week here at CCW and, well , I hate to admit my imperfections, but I haven't had time to post here because I need sleep! ;o)

Anyway, on to the topic of this post (which incidentally has much to do with the reason I have been so MIA) the many new developments here at CCW! Let me just pre-empt this conversation by saying that we all have reason to get excited because next month is going to be big for all of us here at CCW and all of you amazing patients at home! We have so much planned and being planned for this Spring that it is hard to keep up with. So here is the rundown of what we DO have set in stone...

Thursday, February 7th, we will be having our much awaited OPEN HOUSE!
The invitations are being sent out as we speak (or rather as I write) and the presentations, demonstrations, and interactive possibilities are being developed constantly! The general feel of this event will be a social event where our patients and friends can learn more about the options our practice has to offer, taste a little wine, have some hors devours, help us taste test some potential organic products we will be selling, maybe receive some free treatments and more. As the person planning this event, I promise you that it will be the event of the season, so don't miss it!

The following night, Friday February 8th, CCW will continue to flow with the momentum of our open house by sponsoring our first free movie night. We will be showing "Supersize Me" by Morgan Spurlock in the AIHF Conference Center down the hall at 6pm. The movie will be followed by a round table discussion for any one who wishes to participate. It's free, it's fun, and there will be free food! What about that isn't exciting?!

The fun doesn't stop on Friday, however. Saturday, February 9th, CCW will be having our Acupuncture Clinic Open House from 11am-3pm. This will be the first Saturday in a series . Brian Kramer, L.Ac and Andre Tse, L.Ac will use this as a kick off for this new format which will involve 30-45 minute group setting acupuncture treatments for only $30. An amazing price. For more information on this great opportunity please call our office at (919) 845-3280. If you have always wanted to try acupuncture but haven't then this is your opportunity.

OK, OK, so I know this is a lot to absorb at once, so I won't even go in to the other developments we have in the works. Let me just "wet your whistle" a bit by saying that when we start brainstorming about helping our patients the list gets immense! And, hey, if you have anything to add to that list we are ALWAYS open to ideas. Some of our best are coming from patients as we speak!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Healthy on a Budget

It's Saturday, my weekly food shopping day. I just got back a few hours ago and filled my fridge, which is always a nice feeling. I love knowing that my kitchen is fully stocked, especially when it is stocked with healthy and fresh foods that my body feels good eating. Admit it, it is never fun to realize that you have just worked a full day, you are exhausted, and now you have to figure out dinner plans on the way home...relaxing? I think not.

Inevitably, after every shopping trip I feel slightly shocked, and taken advantage of, after realizing how ridiculous the price of food is. Then again, after I settle down, get it together and realize that I spent less through groceries than if I were eating out all the time, my nerves are appeased...lately, though, I have had a nagging feeling that despite the money i'm saving through having a well stocked kitchen, I could be saving more, hence my excitement when I checked up on one of my favorite health websites today and saw an article that proved to be highly beneficial! Here is an exert:

Here are the 14 top tips you need to know to find healthy food, even on a tight budget:

  1. Choose local foods over organic foods.
  2. If all that’s available or affordable is fresh, conventionally grown produce, buy it, wash it well at home, and eat it.
  3. Look for local farms and food coops offering raw dairy products, eggs, produce, and grass-fed meat. This will allow you to cut out the middleman and save money. Buying in large quantities, such as a side of grass-fed beef, can also save you money in the long run as long as you have room to freeze it (and you consume it before it goes bad).
  4. Skip prepared or pre-cut foods, which can cost up to double the amount as the unprepared versions.
  5. Plan your meals ahead of time (including cooking large batches and freezing some for later) so you don’t splurge on expensive, unhealthy fast-food at the last minute.
  6. Pass on junk foods like potato chips, soda, cookies, candy, and other snacks. These are a complete waste of money.
  7. Buy lots of fresh veggies, they’re usually less expensive than canned versions (just make sure you use them before they go bad).
  8. Only buy what you need. Keep track of what’s in your pantry so you don’t double-up on foods unnecessarily.
  9. Clip coupons and use them when you can (but don’t buy something unhealthy just because it’s on sale).
  10. Watch the register when you check out of the grocery store. They often ring up wrong prices, at your expense.
  11. Shop with a calculator so you can determine if it’s really a better deal to buy something in bulk.
  12. Watch weekly specials, and be aware of what’s really a good price. You can often find organic produce on sale for less than conventional produce if you know what prices to watch for.
  13. If you have the space, grow your own fresh veggies such as greens, broccoli, tomatoes, cucumbers, string beans, etc.
  14. Remember this rule of thumb: Fresh food is always better than frozen, but frozen is better than canned.
I hope you all get as much insight out of this simple list of tips as I did. For more great information from Dr. Mercola just visit and sign up!

Have a great weekend!

Works Cited 7 January 2008. Dr Mercola. 12 January 2008 [].


Friday, January 11, 2008

Question time ladies and gents...

It is 10:30 on Friday night and I'm spending some quality time on the couch snuggled up with my blanket and two dreaming dogs at my feet. I know what some of you are thinking..."it's Friday night and she is 'spending time on the couch'?" Well I may be 25 but after a week of endless "go, go, go" I need some relaxation time. It is only fair ;-)

Anyway I thought that I'd get a note in on here while i'm enjoying my herbal tea and intermittent doggie yawns and whimpers. Relaxation doesn't mean that I have to drop everything.

So to the point. I'd like to get some feedback from all of you lovely readers out there. CCW is really broadening our patient education system and I would love to know what you are interested in learning more about or discussing in general. We are going to be beginning lecture series soon, and we have our first movie night on February 8th in the AIHF Conference Center from 6-10pm in which we will be showing and discussing "Supersize Me" by Morgan Spurlock. To help you help us here are some general things to think about to get those wheels turning:

  • you confused about any aspect of nutrition? Is the media so over-saturated with "health" information that you don't know how to navigate it?
  • Do you need stress management information? Would you like to share what has worked for you or hear the same from other people?
  • Are you interested in a service we offer other than the one you are currently using but just need more information about it?
  • Do you need to know how to pack a healthy lunch for you or your children?
  • Are you confused about combining certain foods at meal times?
  • Is there a health related movie you have been dying to see that you feel would be better to view in an forum discussion setting?
This is just a general list of some questions. I would love to get any personal questions that have plagued you, or anything you have caught yourself pondering randomly. Anything is helpful so if you have a "light-bulb moment" please email me your questions at

Also, the movie night is open to all of our patients and all practitioners and employees of AIHF offices. We look forward to seeing you all there. Please call for information (845-3280). I promise it will be a great time!

Have a Relaxing Weekend!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Gluten Free Bread Machine?!

Breadman TR2500BC
Breadmachine with several excellent functions including a GLUTEN FREE setting!!!

I have to admit that I've never really been a kitchen gadget "fan" per say. However, once I realized that I had Crohn's disease, Celiac disease, and a Corn allergy (my three C's) I decided i'd make cooking for my limited digestive tract as fun and interesting as possible. My kitchen boasts everything from a food dehydrator to special ladle holders for the side of my pots and pans. The list continues to grow, and let me tell you, each new gadget gets its own review.

The latest gadget is no different. I have wanted one of these lovely items for months (ever since I read about Gluten Free Bread machines on Karina's Kitchen and I was thrilled to open it up on Christmas morning. However, with all the holiday traveling i've done I haven't had enough time at home to test it out. Poor me...

Well my attitude is sufficiently bright and shiny tonight, as I am finally home and STAYING here (at least for a month or so). What does this mean??? I get to try out the "Breadman"!!!
I just got back 4 hours ago but I immediately went to the nearest store (which unfortunately is not a health food store) and got a gluten free mix to test it out!

My first attempt was using Bob's Red Mill Hearty Whole Grain Bread Mix which (lucky me) is also wheat, corn, and dairy free! I really wanted to get a generic sandwich loaf bread (like Pamela's Ultimate, which I have heard GREAT things about) but I couldn't find one so I plan on going to Whole Foods tomorrow to stock up on different mixes.

So my review is as follows:

Taste: While I am not a huge fan of the particular mix that I got (it was a little too strong and "pumpernickle-esque" for me) I have to admit that the texture of the bread I made in this bread machine was AMAZING! Not only was it moist, it was (while a little dense) very fluffy and filling! I was astounded that GF bread could bread! I can't wait to try other mixes and hopefully formulate a few of my own.

Preparation: I found it incredibly easy to set everything up. It might have taken me 3 minutes to combine the ingredients in the correct order, Set the machine, and walk away. Plus, unlike the general bread settings which can run a 3 hour cycle or more, the GF setting was just under an hour and a half (so less waiting in drooling anticipation to be done ;op)

Presentation: This is the only area that I really had any qualms about. While the bread tasted great and was easy to make, it didn't come out as "pretty" as I would have expected. The dough paddle in the bottom of the pan leaves an indentation in the loaf itself. Because of this the middle loaves aren't really good for sandwiches or serving because they are misshapen. I plan on saving them to dip in soup or to use as bread crumbs though.

Overall I am highly pleased and would definitely recommend purchasing one of these if you have celiacs disease, suffer from wheat intolerance, want to cut back on the gluten, or just want a great tasting and easy homemade loaf of bread. I'll update this post later with my opinion on some other mixes.

Have a great Tuesday and Happy Healthy Living!

As Promised I have an update on another mix used in the Breadman. Last night I tried out Bob's Red Mill's Cinnamon Raisin Mix.

I wouldn't recommend this AT ALL. The texture was too dense, the bread was bland and not at all "cinnamony." In fact the only sweetness came from the raisins which did not get evenly dispersed throughout the dough during the kneading process.

I give this one two sticky thumbs down.

2 more reviews on bread mixes for you lucky readers ;o)

Namaste Bread Mix:
This bread had a great taste. It rose well and tasted like a really hearty french bread. It is great for sandwiches or dipping and you would never know it was gluten free. I highly reccomend it for presentable bread in its fullest form.

Bob's Red Mill Homemade Wonderful bread mix:
I LOVE the taste of this bread personally...however it may not please everyone's pallette. It had a slightly "eggy" taste after baking (somewhat like a yorkshire pudding...i know it is a bad description but i'm coming up empty on this one). Also while dense it did not seem too much so. I would definitely stick to using this mix for toast, or as a grain at dinner time as it has a distinct flavor that I wouldn't want to cover up in a sandwich...just me though.
One problem I had with it was that it rose unevenly even after I reached in to the machine twice to level it out. Another reason it isn't too ideal for even sandwich slices.


Friday, January 4, 2008

As Promised...

So as promised in the last post it is time for the monthly recipe. Get ready to experience a slight watering of the mouth, a desire to bring out your inner chef, and finally a tingling of the taste buds!

OK you are probably thinking one of two things:

  1. Tasty??! HAH! Health food can't be tasty
  2. Tasty??! Well there goes my plan of healthy eating.
Well sit back and relax because not only are the recipes I promote healthy AND tasty, they also cater to many common food allergies. True not every food allergy is represented in EVERY one of my recipes, but I do my best to give options. In addition you can always email me or call the office to get recipes that cater to your specific allergies and limitations. I have a lot of great suggestions!

So back to the purpose...."good eats"

"Rustic Chicken Soup for the Soul"

"Baby it's cold outside" and this recipe will warm you right up! I got this particular culinary delight from one of my favorite Gluten Free Blogs Karina's Kitchen (there is a link on my sidebar). Her food is amazing and caters to many allergies (as she has many of her own)

Rustic Chicken Soup for the Soul- Gluten-free recipe

This is an easy healing soup with the goodness of cabbage [so soothing to a celiac's tummy] and lots of garlic [a natural immune booster and cold fighter]. Karina says she "made it like a stew, starting with a layer of split chicken breasts on the bottom of the crock [drizzled with olive oil]. Then [she] added eight cloves of fresh chopped garlic, lots of cut-up veggies, herbs, a can of fire roasted diced tomatoes, green chiles, and just enough organic chicken broth to cover the veggies."

Virgin olive oil, as needed 3-4 split chicken breasts [free-range organic, if possible], rinsed, patted dry 8 cloves fresh garlic, ch
opped Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste 2 heaping cups thinly shredded cabbage [bagged cole slaw mix is fast and easy] 1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, cut up 1 yellow summer squash, cut up 2 zucchini squash, cut up 6 to 8 baby Yukon Gold potatoes, cut up 1 4-oz. can chopped green chiles - mild or hot, to taste 1 teaspoon rubbed sage 1 teaspoon each of: dried basil, oregano and parsley Hot red pepper flakes, shake to taste 1 14-oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes 2 or more cups organic chicken broth, as needed A dash or two of Worcestershire sauce, to taste, if desired [may omit]

Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil into the b
ottom of a slow cooker. Lay the chicken breasts in the bottom; top with half the chopped garlic. Season with sea salt and pepper. In a large bowl, combine the shredded cabbage, bell pepper, yellow and zucchini squashes, potatoes, and green chiles; and toss them with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Season with sea salt, ground pepper, herbs and a shake or two of hot red pepper flakes. Toss to coat. Pour the veggies into the crock in an even layer. Pour on the diced tomatoes. Add the chicken broth and a dash of Worcestershire sauce, to taste. The liquid should just about cover the veggies. If you like more of a brothy soup than a stew, add more broth. Cover and cook on high for 5 to 6 hours, until the chicken is tender and easily breaks apart into pieces with a large spoon [my chicken was thawing from the freezer, and very cold when it went into the pot, so adjust your cook time accordingly, if you need to].

Taste test for seasoning adjustments. I added a pinch of brown sugar to mine to balance the tomato-garlic and spice. Stir in any seasoning adjustments and serve.

Makes four hearty servings
This recipe is gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, corn-free.

Quick Suggestion: Alicia, one of our office managers, made this delectable dish this week and while she highly enjoyed it she had a few very valid suggestions:
  1. do not mince or chop the garlic. Float the peeled cloves for better texture and flavor. When mincing the garlic you often get the gritty pieces in some spoonfuls that may not be too pleasing to the palette. Floating them allows you to either pick them out before serving or easily spot while eating.
  2. be wary of the green chiles. If you do not handle spicy well then cut the order in half on that ingredient. It will still give it flavor sans the "kick"

"Braised Collard Greens"

It is NEW get out the "good luck food" (greens of course...a Southern Tradition!)
However, following tradition doesn't mean that you have to suffer through the process of eating these lovely veggies...instead make them edible! Try out this recipe from A Veggie Venture

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 pound fresh collard greens, cleaned, trimmed & chopped (see below for more detail)
1 cup chicken broth (I used the leftover giblet stock)
1 tablespoon vinegar (I used balsamic, the inspiring recipe called for cider vinegar)
2 teaspoons sugar (don't skip this, it really helps counter the bitterness that greens can get when cooked)
Salt to taste
Red pepper flakes to taste

(If you're cleaning/prepping the greens yourself, you may want to do so before starting the skillet.) Heat the olive oil in a large skillet til shimmery. Add the garlic and cook for a minute. Stir in the greens, stirring to coat. Add the remaining ingredients. Cover and cook til tender about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust seasonings

Works Cited:

Allrich, Karina. Karina's Kitchen: Recipes from a Gluten Free Goddess [Internet]. 2007 Feb- [cited 2008 January 4]. Available from:

Kellogg, Allanna. A Veggie Venture [Internet]. 2008 Jan-[cited 2008 January 4]. Available from:


Thursday, January 3, 2008

The Spine...Online!

Hello All! I hope 2008 is treating you quite well! I have been ill today and unfortunately this has set me back on my work at CCW a bit (I guess that will teach me to "fudge" my diet restrictions). However, I was able to do a little bit of internet research while curled up on the couch and I found an interesting interactive tool called the "ChiroMatrix."

Basically this tool is a free online guide to the spine for chiropractic patients. It shows, by simply clicking on different vertebrae what organ systems etc. are affected by a spinal subluxation in that area. In short the ChiroMatrix shows how the nervous system and the spine are intricately intertwined to affect your individual health and wellness.

I found this to be an interesting and useful tool for two reasons.
  1. First of all, it is interactive. Not every person learns through lecture, or literature. Many require or at least benefit from the use of hands on material. I definitely benefit from this style of learning.
  2. Second, this tool is easily accessible online and can be used as a quick tool to understand chiropractic diagnosis etc.
It is important, however, to remember that this tool can't give a person a full diagnosis, or treatment plan. It is limited to simple information and can not show EVERY possible effect of a spinal subluxation. However, it can be a useful tool to access for increased understanding of chiropractic theory.

Thanks for stopping by and again, I hope 08' is treating you all well! My next post will include the January recipes so stay tuned!


Tuesday, January 1, 2008

January One!

Hello Everyone!

I am still in CT braving the snow, but I am thinking of all of you down south and I can't wait to get back!

While I am out of state, however, I would like to make a few statements of encouragement for the new year. To begin, I want to encourage everyone to toss out their overambitious new years resolutions. Every year we take ample time to ponder these annual goals. We decide to lose a plethora of weight, to travel the world by next year, to increase our incomes by unheard of amounts...but in the end, most of us end up disappointed and no where near our goal. Why?

The answer is simple...too much pressure. Most of us center our goal around an all or nothing mentality. "Either I lose 30 lbs by June or I quit!!!" Not only is this overly ambitious, it is discouraging and it weighs on our self esteem and self worth.

Because of this I say NO MORE RESOLUTIONS. Instead dedicate yourself to bettering yourselves in small ways. When you see the sun is out, take a walk. When you have the choice between organic or non-organic foods choose organic. When you feel "off" take a break to relax and center yourself. At the same time, however, don't "beat yourself up" over not making the "correct" decision in your life every single time. To er is human, and boy are we all human! If you find yourself overly stressed don't focus on the fact that you didn't step back and breathe earlier, instead live in the NOW. Relax and get yourself back on track with out harping on the past. Finally, if you can't accomplish your goals solo there is NO SHAME in getting advice from an expert. In fact, it is probably the smart thing to do, as long as you trust your instincts and do your research in conjunction with this outside information. It isn't helpful, and it isn't healthy to do otherwise.

My personal journey in life has often times put me in similar situations to the instance above. I get down on myself for not exercising enough, for not traveling enough, for not getting enough done in the day, for not being the "best" that I can be. In the end I always feel the same after one of these self reprimanding sessions...overwhelmed and unhappy. Because of this I have learned that there is no point to this behavior. It doesn't help me improve, it only helps me focus on the past.

So for now I am going to live in the present.
I know that the holidays have been hard on my health care routine.
I've eaten things I technically shouldn't
I've traveled too much and not exercised enough
I've slept too little
I've been a person in an unstable world. I accept that, I've moved on, and shortly i'll be back to the better life. When I return to Raleigh I will get back on my treatment plan of Acupuncture, Tuina, AK, NET, and Ion Cleanses. I will take it all in stride, and I look forward to feeling much better.

For now, I will focus on wrapping up the holidays. That is all I can do. I can't take back the corn syrup that was in that piece of chocolate I ate, or the 3 less hours of sleep I got last night. Instead I can appreciate that I got to see family, friends, and snow. I can revel in all I have been given and all I have been able to give. I can look outside, see the sunshine, put leashes on the dogs and head out for a brisk walk in the snow. I can enjoy the moment for all it has to offer.

Happy New Year!