New Year, New Location in Clackamas, Oregon

cori 5I am so excited to have joined the lovely folks at Love Acupuncture and Wellness Group in Clackamas and to be able to offer naturopathic primary care services on the east-side of the metro area.

Love Acupuncture is an amazing home for my practice and I hope you will come see me there. The clinic is a welcoming healing space that houses an entire team of amazing wellness practitioners. In addition to naturopathic medicine, there are also acupuncturists, massage therapists, and a chiropractor to meet all of your health care needs.

In the coming months I am hoping to be able to offer more times and days at my Clackamas location, but right now you can find me there Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10am-6pm. Just like at my Hillsboro location, I am in network with most commercial health plans and can also bill CareOregon for naturopathic medical services.

Wishing you a happy and healthy New Year!

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Paleo Fruit and Nut Muesli

I recently created this recipe out of breakfast boredom. It immediately became a favorite staple in my house and I hope it will be a favorite in yours too. You can increase the recipe and make up most of the ingredients (minus the apple and milk) ahead of time to use as needed; just keep it in an air-tight glass container. This delicious Paleo muesli is packed full of nutrient-dense goodness with plenty of protein, fiber, and complex carbs to start your morning off right.

Serves 1-2

  • 1/2 apple, cored
  • 1/4 cup raw pecans
  • 1/4 cup dry roasted or raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup roasted hazelnuts
  • 1/4 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
  • 1/8 cup raisins
  • 1/8 cup dried cranberries (look for apple juice sweetened varieties to avoid processed sugar)
  • 1/2 cup non-dairy milk (optional, but highly recommended)

Chop the apple and nuts into small, bite-sized pieces and add to a bowl. Mix in the raisins, cranberries, and coconut. Eat as is, or serve with a bit of non-dairy milk. My current favorites are So Delicious Cashew Milk and the unsweetened variety of Milkadamia macadamia nut milk.

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Vegetarian Yellow Split Peas with Ginger and Cumin (Dal)

Dal is an Indian lentil stew that is delicious for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Dal has an extensive history as a staple food in Indian and South Asian diets. I love dal as a comforting and hearty stew with lots of warming spices. It works well as a main course for breakfast or a side dish for lunch or dinner along with basmati or cauliflower rice.

Dal also has some amazing health benefits! The split peas are a heart healthy source of fiber and the spices (turmeric, ginger, cumin, coriander, and fennel) are anti-inflammatory and support healthy digestion.

I hope you enjoy my take on this wonderful dish!

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Serves 4-6

  • 1 cup yellow split peas
  • 5 cups water
  • 2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 2 small red potatoes, chopped
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbs organic unrefined coconut oil
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp whole cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp whole fennel seeds
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 3 handfuls of baby spinach
  • 1 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2 small tomatoes, diced
  • Juice of ½ lemon

Bring the water, split peas, and turmeric to a boil in a large stock pot. Once it’s come to a rolling boil, turn down the heat and cover. Allow the split peas to simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are soft but not falling apart.

In the mean time, heat the oil in a large pan on medium heat. Sauté the onion, cumin seed, fennel seed, and ginger for 5 minutes or until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the potato and carrot, salt and pepper, ground spices, and the onion/spice mixture to the pot of lentils and simmer 20 minutes more. Add the spinach and cook about 5 minutes until the spinach is wilted. Turn off the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Garnish each serving with chopped tomatoes and cilantro, and serve warm.

Paleo Cumin Spiced Cauliflower Fritters with Ginger Cilantro Chutney

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I love these Paleo cauliflower fritters for a nice change to my typical breakfast routine. When I’m busy it’s easy to get into recipe ruts, eating the same thing every day for breakfast. These fritters are easy to make ahead to eat throughout the week when I’m craving something flavorful and filling. They also make a great afternoon snack paired with a cup of hot tea!

These fritters are inspired by the Indian flavors that I grew up enjoying in the bay area. Although they use some traditional Indian spices, they are not an authentic Indian recipe. The fritters are accompanied by a mint cilantro chutney, which is a delicious Indian sauce that is super easy to make and goes well with other foods like grilled meats and roasted veggies.

I hope you enjoy them!

Makes 6 fritters

Paleo Indian Spiced Cauliflower Fritters

  • 1 medium head cauliflower
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds, whole
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds, whole
  • 1/2 tsp brown mustard seeds, whole
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper, ground
  • 2 Tbs coconut oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 Tbs coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup almond flour

Note: If you can’t find whole spices at your local grocery store you can find them online or substitute ground spices instead.

“Rice” the cauliflower using a food processor or box grater. Using a metal steamer basket in a large pot filled with 1 inch of water, steam the cauliflower for 5 minutes. Allow the cauliflower to cool.

Melt 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in a large heavy bottomed skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté for 3 minutes. Add the ginger, cumin, fennel, and mustard and cook for 5 more minutes.

Once cool, scoop the cauliflower rice into a large piece of cheese cloth and squeeze out all the excess water. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and combine with the onion and spice mixture and the rest of the ingredients.

Melt 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in a large heavy bottomed skillet over medium heat. Form the cauliflower mixture into 6 small patties. Cook the fritters, covered, for about 4 minutes on each side until they are golden brown. Serve hot with Fresh Ginger Cilantro Chutney.

Fresh Ginger Cilantro Chutney

  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1 jalapeno, stemmed and minced
  • 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 2 Tbs lime juice
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 2 dates, pitted
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 Tbs coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup water

Soak the pitted dates in a small bowl with the water for about 5 minutes to soften. Add the dates and the soaking water to a blender or food processor. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until well combined. This chutney will keep in the refrigerator for about 5 days.

 

Loving Kindness: Shining Light on the Shadows

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I have heard from many people in the past few weeks who are struggling with significant fatigue and depression. Although these feelings are common any time of year, they seem particularly heightened lately. I suspect that this has to do with many factors afoot in the world right now.

In Autumn, as the days get shorter and the nights get longer, it is naturally a time of going inward. As we watch the seasons change and the abundance of spring and summer fades into the stillness of winter, we can be reminded of our own mortality and the fragility of life. And in the stillness when we reflect on our lives, we might not always like what we see. When our expectations for ourselves and others do not align with reality this can cause great stress.

We are also nearing the end of a bitter election season, where much ugliness and turmoil has been brought to the surface. As we wait to see what is in store for our country, there seems to be a great deal of fear and distrust on all sides.

Now, more than ever, it is a good time to work on understanding, accepting, and ultimately transforming shadows. Shadows are those parts of ourselves that we dislike, the parts that embarrass us, the parts that frighten us. These shadows are also seen in the larger world in the form of hatred and violence. One of my favorite ways to deal with shadows is with a practice called Meta, also known as Loving Kindness Meditation. This is a wonderful way to shine light on ourselves, our loved ones, and even those we may consider enemies.

Top 10 Herbs for Healthy Kids

Looking for alternatives to over the counter pain relievers, decongestants, and cough syrups for your kids? Herbal remedies have been safely used for thousands of years to treat common ailments from cold and flu to upset stomach. Herbs can be especially great for kids, but not all herbs are safe for children. Children are more sensitive to medications than adults and respond well to gentle and mild remedies. Here are a list of my 10 absolute favorite herbs to have in your family’s medicine closet!

1. Chamomile

chamomile-flowersChamomile (Matricaria chamomilla, Matricaria recutita) is a star children’s herb and has historically been used for everything from colds, teething, colic, indigestion, restlessness, anxiety, and irritability. It is the perfect herb for cranky infants and toddlers who are in pain and can’t get to sleep. Chamomile has a mild sweet flavor with just a hint of bitterness. In part, it’s the bitter flavor that helps to relieve gas pain and digestive upset. Chamomile tea is readily available from many grocery and natural health stores. A small amount of honey can be added for children over 12 months to make the tea even tastier. Chamomile tea is generally considered safe, even in infants (6 months and older). Because Chamomile is in the Asteraceae (i.e. daisy) family, it shouldn’t be given to anyone with an allergy to other species in this family.

2. Echinacea

Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea, Echinacea angustofolia) is a superb immune herb and can be used both orally and topically to treat and prevent infections. Echinacea is most useful for treating infections when used at the first sign of illness. You can find Echinacea in tea, tincture, glycerite, and even chewable tablet form. You can also use Echinacea tea or tincture to clean cuts and scrapes, but if you think a wound might be infected or if the wound was caused by a bite (human or animal) you should always seek medical attention.

3. California Poppy137_1050

California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica) is a very gentle and safe herb to calm the nervous system. It’s useful for restlessness, ADD/ADHD, pain, and sleeplessness. Although related to other types of poppies, California Poppy is a different species from the Papaver varieties and does NOT contain opium. California Poppy is best used in children over the age of 2 years.

4. Peppermint

Peppermint (Mentha x piperita) is a tasty medicinal and culinary herb. It supports healthy digestion, relieves gas pain, and can even slow down bouts of diarrhea. Peppermint can also be used to soothe fever or relieve congestion. Peppermint is best used in children over the age of 2 years. My favorite form of peppermint is as a tea. A small amount of honey can be added for taste. Honey can also help to calm cough and studies have shown that it’s more effective than over-the-counter cough syrups.

5. Lemon Balm

Lemon Balm (Melissa Officinalis) has a refreshing lemony mint flavor and is calming to both the digestive and nervous systems. It can be useful for colic, stomach upset, restlessness, anxiety, irritability, and fever. In folk medicine, Melissa is often referred to as the Gladdening Herb. You can use lemon balm as a tea, tincture, or glycerite. Lemon balm is also easy to grow in your home garden!

6. Elderberry

elderberriesElderberry (Sambucus nigra) is a powerful immune booster and natural anti-viral. Because it’s also a food, elderberry is gentle enough to take daily during cold and flu season to prevent illness. Studies have even shown Elderberry to be effective at fighting the H1N1 flu virus (aka “Swine Flu”). Elderberry has a sweet, pleasant, fruity flavor that most kids love. Syrup of the cooked fruit is my favorite way to take this amazing medicine, although it’s also available in other forms including tablets, gummies, tinctures, glycerites, and powdered drinks.

7. Calendula

calendula

Calendula (Calendula officinalis) is a perfect herb to have in your first aid kit. It’s very soothing to the skin and helps to reduce inflammation and kill germs. Calendula is commonly used to heal diaper rashes, minor burns, and cuts and scrapes. Calendula tincture can be applied topically to small wounds. For sensitive or very irritated skin, you can use a calendula cream or salve.

8. Mullein

Mullein (Verbascum thapsus) is a common plant found growing wild in many gardens and roadside areas. Mullein is often used in tincture form to soothe dry, irritated coughs. The oil of mullein leaves and flowers can also be used to relieve the pain of ear aches. Commercial preparations of mullein oil often have added garlic and/or St. John’s Wort to improve effectiveness.

NOTE: Don’t use ear oils or other over-the-counter products if the ear drum has ruptured. Because of the risk of complications, I always recommend seeing a medical professional for any suspected ear infection.

9. Thyme

Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) is a lovely respiratory herb that is also anti-microbial (i.e. it kills germs). The fresh or dried herb can be made into a tea to relieve cough and congestion or you can add a few sprigs to a pot of hot water to use as a decongestant steam inhalation.

10. Nettle Leaf

stingingnettleThe leaves of the stinging nettle plant (Urtica dioca) are high in protein and minerals and are nourishing to many systems in the body. Freeze-dried nettles or strong nettle tea can be effective for relieving seasonal allergy symptoms. Nettle acts as a mast-cell stabilizer, reducing the release of histamine in the body. For children you can open up nettle capsules into applesauce or combine nettle powder with nut butter and honey to make medicine balls.

NOTE: If you’re collecting your own nettles, make sure they are from a clean location because this plant can absorb heavy metals from the soil.

Herbal Medicine in Children

It’s worth saying that although the herbs mentioned above are generally regarded as safe every child is different and no medication, herbal or otherwise, is right for every body. Talk with a licensed naturopathic physician or integrative medical doctor about appropriate herbs and dosages for your child’s age, weight, and health conditions.

Herbal Definitions

  • Tea: Herbs steeped in hot water to extract the taste and medicinal properties. For bulk herbs, use 1 heaping tablespoon in 8 oz of boiling water.
  • Tincture: A medicinal liquid herbal extract made from steeping plant material in alcohol and then straining.
  • Glycerite: A non-alcoholic liquid herbal extract made from vegetable glycerine. Many children’s formulas are glycerites rather than tinctures. Glycerites have a naturally sweet flavor.
  • Syrup: A concentrated extract made by boiling juice with added sugar or honey.
  • Salve: A thick ointment used to promote healing of the skin. Salves often contain oils, herbal extracts, and beeswax and are for topical use only.

Selected Resources for Further Reading

 

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