What is Alcoholism? Through the eyes of Chinese Medicine….

24 04 2015

According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence alcohol is the most commonly used addictive substance in the United States- 17.6 million people, or one in every 12 adults, suffer from alcohol abuse or dependence. Although the disease is often progressive and can be fatal……..it is also treatable.

Alcoholism can be defined as a chronic disease that carries with it a universally recognizable set of symptoms, including:

  • impaired control over drinking,
  • preoccupation with the drug “alcohol”,
  • use of alcohol despite adverse consequences,
  • and distortions of thinking, most notably denial.

In TCM terms, excessive alcohol induces dampness and heat accumulation that blocks orifices in the head region which can cause unconsciousness and speech disorders. Long-term consumption of alcohol is said to damage the mind, impair the stomach, exhaust the blood and jing and lead to health problems.  Jing, by the way, is the most vital substance in the body that cannot be replenished…..once it’s gone, it’s gone.

So before we go down a scary road of health concerns, let’s make the decision to begin our journey on the path to recovery. With a few simple lifestyle changes and lots of hard work you will beat this dis-ease.

Let’s start with……

Herbal Recommendations

Kudzu or the Kudzo Flowers  – use as a tea (one ounce per serving twice a day for 3-5 weeks).

Milk thistle – 100 mg taken 2 or 3 times a day.

Aloe Vera  – 2 tablespoons daily.

St.John’s Wort Chinese herb900 mg per day for 6 weeks. Skip one day a week. Stay out of the sun.

Nutrition Therapy

Food to avoid:  alcohol, lettuce, raw fruits (with the exception of pear), dairy, sugar, eggs, preservatives, highly processed foods, margarine, lard, vinegar, salt, antibiotics, greasy fried foods, chocolate, excessive coffee, lamb, cold, cold food like ice cream or smoothies…… even iced water.

Good food choices:  Pear; foods rich in omega-3 oils: sardine, tuna, pork, flax, beef & liver; all the spices: turmeric, basil, bay, marjoram, cumin, fennel, dill, parsley, mint, lemon balm, nutmeg, oregano, rosemary, chives;

Sprouts; seaweed; chlorella (detoxifying so buy a good brand); spirulina (regenerating, again be careful the brand); wheat grass; spinach; kale; celery; dandelion; swiss chard; beets; broccoli; kohlrabi; brussel sprouts; cabbage; cauliflower; raw goat milk; kelp; mushrooms; adzuki beans; kidney beans; mung beans; legumes in general.

  A fabulous soup recipe!

2 lbs Carrots*
1 bunch of Asparagus*
I bunch of Celery*
2 cups of Almond Milk
1 table spoon of cinnamon
2 table spoons of nutmeg

Boil separately the Asparagus and the Carrots.
Blend Asparagus, Carrots, and Almond milk. Add water for right consistency.
Pour into pot.
Chop celery and add to mixture.
Add nutmeg and cinnamon.
Simmer for 2 hours.

*Carrots, Asparagus, and Celery have strong effects on the body to drain damp heat.

LifeStyle Changes

Consider adding Tai-chi, Qi-gong, Yoga and/or Meditation to your weekly routine.  Counseling (Group or Individual) and/or LifeLine Therapy (or some other form of emotional release technique) is recommended.  Zen Shiatsu and/or Acupuncture treatments regularly until desire results are achieved.  Alcohol destroys the body’s sensory system, Zen Shiatsu and/or traditional acupuncture therapy will help you bring it back to life.

Acupressure Points for Treating Alcoholism

SP-6

Spleen 6 is an acupuncture point on the lower leg that is commonly used to invigorate blood, harmonize the Liver and tonify or strengthen the Kidneys (the place that stores the all important Jing).

LI-11

Large Intestine 11 is another good point to self treat.  Located at the outside edge of the elbow crease pressure can be applied easily with the opposite hand. Helps to regulate qi and blood. Grasp, apply pressure and hold. 60 seconds to10 minute stints throughout the day…..every day. Watching TV? Pressure on the points. Have a quick break at work? Thumb pressure on LI-11. You will quickly find you can even treat both arms (or ankles) simultaneously. The benefits will be worth the effort and trust me, it quickly melds into a favorable habit.

Thanks to traditional Chinese medicine and a few lifestyle changes you will overcome a serious illness, heal your body and start your new healthy life.

And, don’t forget to hydrate….drink your water…..good water!

Resources





Journey to Handstand, an Instagram Yoga Challenge

16 04 2015

In March, Kerri Verna @beachgirlyoga and Kino MacGregor @kinoyoga hosted a thirty day yoga challenge to help instagram participants learn the basics of building up the strength to learn how to successfully hold beautiful handstands in various positions and arm balances (and to promote the launch of their cody app). Sponsored by ALO Yoga @aloyoga participants had the chance to be chosen for a weekly $250 gift card if they participated daily. Hundreds, maybe thousands of us rallied and started posting daily selfies. Sometimes graceful….sometimes not. To this date 99,509 posts have the hashtag #journeytohandstand (a contest requirement).

Being someone who has ‘done’ yoga here and there throughout my life but never ‘practiced’ yoga and who can hold a handstand for a few seconds I thought the contest was going to be fun and easy. Boy, was I wrong. What the hosts made look graceful was something entirely different when I attempted. And on film, nonetheless.

A week in, my wrists and shoulders were sore and I had a whole new respect for yoga and THE Handstand. Completely humbled I continued on inspired daily by other participants posts and words of encouragement. It was gratifying to watch everyone’s progress and to be a part of their very public journey.

Not to mention, I learned a ton about my i-phone, all the great settings including built in filters and the time-lapse feature, a few fun photo/video apps and a ton more about myself.

Here’s a peek at what that month looked liked for me #shamelesscontestselfies:

(Unfortunately, I deleted a few of the terrible ones before I decided to write this post – there was one where I looked just like Cousin It!!!)

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The Top 10 Workout Songs for April 2015

8 04 2015

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Spring is in full swing, the weather is warming, and April’s top 10 songs will bring the heat to your workout as well. This month’s picks provide a steady rhythm with most of the mix clocking in between 122 and 130 beats per minute (BPM). Within that range, you’ll find chart returns from both Carly Rae Jepsen and Ricky Martin and the latest from Ariana Grande and Andy Grammar.

On the warm-up and cool down fronts, you’ll find an upbeat tune from Jason Derulo and a remix from Skrillex and Diplo’s Jack Ü side project featuring Missy Elliott. Lastly, while pop and dance hits generally rule the gym, the most popular workout song of the month actually came from Kid Rock. At 132 BPM, the title track from his new album First Kiss is also the fastest song in this month’s playlist.

While some months’ selections vary wildly, April’s favorites make a virtue of their consistency. Along those lines, the mix features plenty of quick tunes, an emphasis on good vibes, and a few surprises to keep things interesting—everything you need to get up and moving.

Here’s the full list, according to votes placed at Run Hundred–the web’s most popular workout music blog.

Jason Derulo – Want to Want Me – 115 BPM

Carly Rae Jepsen – I Really Like You – 122 BPM

Ricky Martin – Adios – 128 BPM

Zedd & Selena Gomez – I Want You to Know – 130 BPM

Madonna – Living for Love (Dirty Pop Remix) – 129 BPM

Ariana Grande – One Last Time – 126 BPM

Deorro & Chris Brown – Five More Hours – 128 BPM

Andy Grammer – Honey, I’m Good. – 123 BPM

Kid Rock – First Kiss – 132 BPM

Jack Ü & Kiesza – Take Ü There (Missy Elliott Remix) – 80 BPM

To find more workout songs, folks can check out the free database at RunHundred.com. Visitors can browse the song selections there by genre, tempo, and era—to find the music that best fits with their particular workout routine.





The Secret to Healthy Living – Eat Alkaline Foods!

2 04 2015

Stumbled upon an interesting article a few years back and it has been saved in my ‘drafts’ folders since waiting patiently until today when I stumbled upon it again. :0) After making sure all the links are still good I am happy to share this fascinating information with you. Unfortunately, Americans tend to eat a diet that is high in acidity so it is especially important that we add alkaline foods to our diet so we don’t develop dis-ease.

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What is the Acid Alkaline Diet?

The 7 Most Alkaline Foods. Recipes provided.

The top 7 are:

1. Spinach

2. Kale

3. Cucumber

4. Broccoli

5. Avocado

6. Celery

7. Bell pepper  

 

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Spice Up Your Life (and Food) with Fresh Herbs! Salad Dressing Recipes!

26 03 2015

Spice Up Your Life!

Easily shift your thinking to make healthier choices………..trade butter and sauces for fresh/dry herbs without sacrificing flavor.

I am so excited Spring is almost here in Chicago because that means I can start throwing seeds into the garden and watching the beautiful herbs appears everywhere. Growing a herb garden couldn’t be easier. Fresh flavor always at hand right out the backdoor. When it’s this convenient you can easily shift away from butter and fatty sauces.

We use herbs in EVERYTHING from eggs to meat, from soups to salads but my favorite is to make herb flavored olive oil and vinegar.

FOR OLIVE OIL: 

  • 1/2 cup of herbs (choose one or use a mixture: parsley, basil, thyme, oregano)
  • 1 tsp lemon or orange zest OR a clove of garlic
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 3 cups extra virgin olive oil

Place clean, dry herbs and other ingredients in a sterilized 1-quart jar. Heat oil until warm (do not boil!) pour over herbs and allow to cool. Once cooled, pour oil through wire-mesh strainer and discard solids. Cover and store oil in refrigerator for 1-week. Discard after 1 week. Please note: Olive Oil does get cloudy when stored in the refrigerator – it is still edible.

USES:

  • Drizzle over tomatoes
  • Drizzle over cooked vegetables
  • Toss with pasta
  • Brush on meats or vegetables before grilling
  • Use on salads
  • Use to dip bread

FOR VINEGAR:

Cover herbs with vinegar. Leave on counter or pantry (somewhere it does not get hit by direct sunlight) about a week (plus or minus a day or two). Sampling for flavor. When it achieves the flavor you desire, strain. Store in a cool dark place.

We have found that different vinegar taste better combined with certain herbs, so that is what I am listing here…but please feel free to play. We also like to make what we call “The Italian” which is a combination of basil, thyme, oregano & parsley which works well with red wine vinegar and white vinegar.

White Vinegar: Purple Basil, Sage, or Nasturtium

Red Wine Vinegar: Basil, Thyme, or Oregano

Apple Cider Vinegar: Mint

Rice Vinegar: Garlic Chives or Cilantro

USES:

  • Use as salad dressing
  • Use in stews
  • Fabulous on chicken and fish

Still need a little more flavor? TRY THESE ALTERNATIVE HEALTHY DRESSINGS:

Spicy Garlic

  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup grated romano/parmesan cheese
  • 1 pinch red chili pepper flakes

Combine in food processor or blender and blend.

Cucumber Yogurt

  • 1 cup chopped seeded peeled cucumber
  • 3 tb plain low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 tb olive oil
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp dried dill

Combine in food processor or blender and blend.

Shallot & Grapefruit

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped shallots
  • 2 cups fresh grapefruit juice (about 3 grapefruits)
  • 2 tb chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 1/2 tsp honey or 3/4 tsp agave
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tb olive oil

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add shallots; cook 5 minutes or until golden brown. Stir in juice. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and cook until reduced to 1 cup (about 6 minutes). Remove from heat; cool.

Place the grapefruit juice mixture, cilantro, honey, and pepper in a blender; process until smooth. With blender on, slowly add 2 tablespoons oil; process until smooth.

Still on the lookout for a good healthy Ranch dressing, so if you know of one please comment below and let me know where I can find the recipe. That’s the only dressing I really miss and have found and tried several recipes that were absolutely terrible. :(

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Salad in a Jar Makes the Perfect, Easy, Healthy Lunch On-the-Run!

19 03 2015

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The Basics:

The dressing goes in first. This is the most important step to the layering process! This ensures that your salad ingredients don’t get soggy.

Then go with fruit or anything else big and chunky. This will keep the delicate ingredients from getting wet.

Then the fixings. Little things like shaved nuts, raisins, cheeses. The ingredients that you definitely don’t want soggy.

And, if the salad you are making has leafy greens, they go in last!

Jicama Salad

These are my two absolute favorite salad-in-a-jar recipes!

Orange & Jicama Salad – Serving 4 jars

  • 2 Valencia oranges, chopped
  • 6 radishes, diced
  • 1 jicama, cubed
  • a handful of cilantro, chopped
  • red sail lettuce, chopped
  • a dash of Himalayan sea salt & crushed black pepper

Mix all the ingredients, except the lettuce in a large bowl, toss to coat evenly. I do not use dressing because the juice for the oranges is enough. If you would like more I would suggest adding a tablespoon (or two) of orange juice. Seperate out into the 4 mason jars. Top with the lettuce. Refrigerate.

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Not Your Average Boring Kale Salad – Serving 2 – 3 jars

  • 2 pieces of bread (sourdough, rye)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Himalayan sea salt
  • 1 cup chick peas, cooked
  • 1 cup pecans, walnuts or a combo, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries, cranberries or apple chunks
  • 1 head of kale

Dressing:

  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup grated romano/parmesan cheese
  • 1 pinch red chili pepper flakes

In a large skillet, heat a tbsp of olive oil, tear chunks of bread off and sautee in pan with a dash of salt until golden brown. Set aside. Combine all the dressing ingredients and blend in a blender or food processor. Pour dressing into Mason Jars, followed by fruit, chick peas, nuts, bread chunks, lettuce. Refrigerate.

These recipes are so easy and once you have made them a few times you will quickly see how easy it is to improvise with anything you have on hand. Have fun and enjoy the many flavor combinations various fruits, nuts and beans have to offer!

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Clove Essential Oil

12 03 2015

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The benefits of clove uses can be traced back to ancient China and India. Clove has been found to contain a significant amount of eugenol, an active chemical component that gives this essential oil its energizing fragrance and a variety of therapeutic benefits.

Properties:

  • antioxidant
  • analgesic
  • antibacterial
  • anti-fungal
  • anti-inflammatory
  • anti-parasitic
  • antiseptic
  • antiviral
  • disinfectant
  • immune stimulant

Primary Uses:

  • Addictions (especially tobacco)
  • Blood Clots
  • Candida
  • Corns
  • Fever
  • Fungal Infections
  • Herpes
  • Hormonal Balance
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Liver Cleansing
  • Lupus
  • Mold
  • Thyroid Dysfunction
  • Toothache
  • Viral Infections
  • Warts

How to Use:

Aromatic

  • Diffuse three to four drops alone or mixed with other essential oils (blends well with basil, bergamot, cinnamon, clary sage, grapefruit, lavender, lemon, orange, peppermint, and rosemary).
  • Mix with water in a spray bottle and use to wipe down surfaces.
  • Inhale directly from the bottle or the palms of hands.

Internal

  • Add one drop to your favorite recipe.
  • Dilute one drop in 4 ounces of water.
  • Place a drop or two in a veggie capsule to fight candida, balance hormones, detox liver or boost immunity.

Topical

  • Put a few drops on a cotton ball or Q-tip and apply directly to gums or teeth to soothe discomfort.
  • Combine with coconut oil and massage on the bottoms of feet or directly on to sore muscles.
  • Put two to four drops into a quarter glass of water and use as a mouthwash.
  • Add a drop or two directly to toothpaste before brushing.

Resources:

  • Living Magazine, Winter 2014
  • Modern Essentials. A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils.

 

Want to Learn More?   Related Articles:

50+ Benefits and Uses of Clove Essential Oil

The Healing Properties of Clove Essential Oil

Essential Oils

101 Uses for the Intro Kit – Lavender, Lemon & Peppermint – Part 1

101 Uses for the Intro Kit – Lavender, Lemon & Peppermint – Part 2

101 Uses for the Intro Kit – Lavender, Lemon & Peppermint – Part 3

 








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