Jun 152018

Spring seems to be my favorite time to talk about Chinese Medicine Food Therapy and how one can tailor their diet to the season for healing. In May 2018, I did a lecture on this topic and am posting my notes and recipes here:
Spring: Time to Tame the Liver
Summary Table of Spring Foods discussed
Five Element Chart

Recipes, etc.
Anti-Aging Brain Mix recipe
Raspberry-Lime Aqua Fresca
Ban Lan Gen Chong Ji
Dandelion Flower Syrup
Stir-fried Watercress with Almonds and Ginger
No-Cook Mint Syrup
Mint Syrup (cooking required)
Rose Hips Lemonade (with Hibiscus)

References for recipes are in the documents themselves.
This is an update to notes in my Spring 2013 Newsletter.

Jul 062016

Here’s a ‘Simple Marinade’ recipe I use often in the summer to grill vegetables. This recipe includes rosemary, oregano, basil and garlic – culinary spices that are amongst the top 10 antioxidant-containing spices (or herbs!) to use while grilling meat (or vegetables) to protect against creating carcinogenic compounds.1
Simple Marinade

For more information on safe grilling, see this Safe Grilling Guide from the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

1Prevent Grilled Food from Charring Your Health. Includes another yummy sounding marinade – using cherries!

Aug 262014

I attended the Institute of Functional Medicine’s Nutrition Conference this year. It was held in San Francisco in May 2014, and since the speakers were many of the scholars I have been following for years and the conference was held so close to home, I could not pass up this opportunity to see these physicians and leaders speak in person! It was a wonderful experience, and as always, I came away with more ideas on how to educate patients about maintaining health (there is always more to LEARN)!

(Click here to learn more about ‘What is Functional Medicine?’)

Here are highlights of some of the sessions I attended:

  • Food Rules: A Candid Conversation with Michael Pollan
    Dr. Mark Hyman, Chairman of IFM, leading authority on Functional Medicine (FM) and best-selling author in this field, interviewed Michael Pollan, food activist, journalism professor and author of In Defense of Food, Omnivore’s Dilemma and Cooked. Michael Pollan started the discussion by quoting Wendell Berry – “People are fed by the food industry, which pays no attention to health, and are treated by the health industry, which pays no attention to food“. Berry’s words such as these and others on agrarian agriculture lead Pollan from a career as an editor of one of the best magazines in the US (I think – Harper’s Magazine), to author and educator in the politics of our food culture. Pollan discussed the food politics in the US, which results in a lack of a health-oriented food policy, likening the sugar industry of today to the tobacco industry of the 1950’s. He discussed that this current administration is silent about the food industry (except for Let’s Move!), has no ‘food policy’, citing such examples of “incoherent policies” as subsidizing the sugar industry while also subsidizing insulin pumps, and our soybean and corn “monoculture”. Pollan discussed the food industry’s ability to make Americans think they are eating healthy by what he terms as ‘Nutritionism’ – where processed food is marketed as ‘healthy’ because of added nutrients (‘fortified with Vitamin D’, for example) – but as he points out – “real food cannot change its nutrients”! Pollan and Hyman also discussed that the ‘health care crisis’ of today is the “catastrophe of the American diet”, with Hyman noting “we have outsourced our cooking to corporations”, which I think is an excellent way to think about what has happened to the American diet! Hyman also discussed specifically how high-fructose corn syrup damages our intestines, leading to ‘leaky-gut syndrome’1 occurring very frequently in our population, causing a multitude of chronic health issues. Pollan believes that any ‘food policy’ by our government has to be towards health, since it is of “huge economic value” to reduce Type 2 diabetes. He also mentioned that in the US, “40% of hospitals have ‘fast food'” today! He also believes that “industrial agriculture is unsustainable”, that we need to look at “the real cost of food production” and that it is possible to feed all the people in the world via small, sustainable, organic, local farming with its built-in, natural resiliency to change. Pollan mentioned that even Mexico now is moving towards having a ‘food policy’ (such as limiting food marketing to children, eliminating junk foods from schools since they promote disease, and putting taxes on soda and junk food). Pollan is also known for a set of Food Rules, and here is the most famous and best one:

    Eat (real) food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

  • Medical Nutrition Therapy in the 21st Century: The Future of Personalized Nutrition, presented by Jeffrey Bland, PhD. Bland is the biochemist and research scientist at the forefront of Functional Medicine, being a co-founder of the IFM, Metagenics, Inc., and Bastyr University, and the founder of Functional Medicine Update aka Synthesis. Bland initially reviewed the categories of nutrients: 1) Essential Nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids and fatty acids, 2) Conditionally Essential Nutrients, such as CoQ10 and Lipoic Acid, 3) Spice‐Derived Phytochemicals, such as beta-carotene, lycopene, curcumin, and lutein, 4) Accessory Nutrients, such as probiotics, prebiotics and fibers, and 5) Replacement of Insufficient Metabolites such as galactose and pyruvate. Although research-based and quite technical, Bland’s talk was about how modern nutritional research is showing how these various nutrients affect our genetic expression and cellular function, and that there are many mechanisms which can influence our physiology. This science is now known as NutriGenomics. Bland summarized by saying that “medical nutrition therapeutics requires the design and implementation of a dietary program that is personalized to the patient’s genetic characteristics, environment, health status, and lifestyle”. To do this, since “no two people are identical with regard to how they respond to their diet” and “there is considerably more variation in nutrient needs among individuals than is indicated by the RDIs” (Recommended Daily Intake), those practicing FM should:

    • Evaluate the type, amount and form of plant‐based foods in the diet.
    • Make sure that vegetables and fruits are providing adequate amounts of all the major phytochemical families.
    • Use specific phytochemical concentrates including herbs and spices to amplify specific influences on genetic expression for the management of imbalanced physiology.

    Bland also just had a new book published, Disease Delusion: Conquering the Causes of Chronic Illness for a Healthier, Longer, and Happier Life. This is finally a book for the layperson describing all that Functional Medicine is today, including what current nutritional research tells us to date. Basically, FM treats all chronic illness by combining the latest research in genetic science, systems biology and nutrition, with laboratory testing and nutritional, lifestyle and environmental factor analysis, and then using a patient-centered approach, offers nutrition, lifestyle and natural medicine treatment options. It can be quite amazing how diet and nutrition tailored to the individual, using NutriGenomics along with lifestyle adjustments can influence the health of the individual with great success!

    I will write a book review soon of Bland’s book summarizing the approach of Functional Medicine to treat chronic illness (it will be posted on this blog and linked here).

  • Nourishing the Whole Self: The Food & Spirit Clinical Approach to Patient Transformation“, presented by Deanna Minich, PhD. This dynamic woman has a PhD in Nutrition, is the author of several books2 and has created a system of connecting the Ayurvedic Chakra system to ‘Food and Spirit’, via the modern Functional Medicine outlook of diet and lifestyle. Her approach especially resonates with me, since it is similar to my approach of integrating the dietary and nutritional approach of Traditional Chinese Medicine with Functional Medicine. She discussed the ‘elements of health’ and how to integrate it via her ‘therapeutic elements’ of Food & Spirit. She used the analogy that combining ‘good energy’ (from food, people or experiences) and ‘quality matter’ (from whole food and supplements) combine to give us ‘optimal health and well-being’. She has a toolkit of an assessment questionnaire, workbook and affirmation cards (I really love these!) to help patients with a personalized diet and lifestyle plan to maintain health. For more information see Food & Spirit. Dr. Minich also recently organized an online Functional Medicine “Detox Summit”, which includes many of the same speakers as the Nutrition Conference held in SF.
  • Nutrition Controversies: What’s the ‘Right’ Diet?
    This was a set of research-based presentations of three common modern diets. The panel consisted of both research scientists and clinicians. It was initially discussed by the moderator that answering this question is inherently very difficult from evidence-based scientific studies due to several reasons – but mainly due to the difficulty of defining a diet, getting participants in studies to achieve adherence to a diet, and probably most importantly, food and diets are not homogeneous, but rather are very diverse, or heterogeneous. He also pointed out that researchers have made the mistake thinking “there is a single healthy diet that’s right for everyone”. The presenters were:
    • Mediterranean Diet, by Mimi Guarneri, MD, a cardiologist and author ofThe Heart Speaks
      Paleolithic Diet, by Loren Cordain, PhD, nutrition professor and researcher and founder of the Paleo Diet,
      Plant-Based Diet, by Joel Fuhrman, MD, a family physician and author of several books, including Super Immunity and The End of Diabetes

    • The excellent moderator was Christopher Gardner, PhD, a nutrition researcher and Professor of Medicine at Stanford University, who realized that the best way to summarize ‘the right diet’ from these researched, varied diets was to highlight what these researchers and physicians are in agreement on! It is:

      1) Added sugar in our diets is out of control
      2) Eat lots of vegetables
      3) Eat low glycemic fruits
      4) Reduce consumption of potatoes (more dangerous when more insulin resistance)
      5) No trans-fat (often added to processed foods)
      6) No processed foods

    Recipes from the IFM Conference:
    I have recipes from Rebecca Katz, Chef and author of Longevity Kitchen, and other contributors, plus these were also provided:
    Smoothie Recipes at IFM Booth

    1 ‘Leaky-gut syndrome’, or intestinal dysbiosis or intestinal permeability is caused by inflammation and resulting damage to the intestinal walls from several possible factors: an inflammatory diet (such as excess carbohydrates or sugar, processed foods, or allergens such as gluten or dairy, etc.), medications (antibiotics, corticosteroids, antacids), viral infections, parasites, stress (increased cortisol), environmental toxins, yeast or bacterial overgrowth, hormone deficiencies, and autoimmune disease processes.
    2 As I am writing this, I realize I already have one of her books in my office, for perusal and for sale both! An A to Z Guide to Food Additives: Never Eat What You Can’t Pronounce.

  • Dec 032013

    I now have some great new products available and all of them are food items to help support a healthy diet! These products are from Dr. Mao Shing Ni, affectionately known as Dr. Mao. Dr. Mao co-wrote one of the first Chinese Medicine dietary therapy books years ago, called the “Tao of Nutrition”, which is basically considered a classic text in this field today. Dr. Mao has written many others books about health from a Chinese Medicine perspective as well. Dr. Mao is now more widely known since appearing on the Dr. Oz show in recent years. Dr. Mao’s most recent book is the “Secrets of Longevity Cookbook”. (See my book review also.)

    1) One recipe published in this cookbook is his Hot Herbal Cereal. This recipe, modified slightly, is now available pre-packaged for easy preparation from Dr. Mao as “Dr. Mao’s Beautiful Hot Herbal Cereal“. This is a gluten-free combination of over 20 ingredients that has been eaten in his family for generations. As he says in his cookbook, this is a ‘one-stop, complete-nutrition meal’! It benefits the heart, immune system, digestion, helps metabolism and moods, and is also anti-inflammatory.1 The ingredients are:

    Whole grain brown rice, mung beans, dried chestnuts, long-grain white rice, white lotus seeds, black rice, oats, green lentils, red lentils, black beans, millet, black sesame seeds, dried fox nuts, small red beans, red kidney beans, white beans, green split peas, black-eyed beans, yellow split peas, lima beans, pink beans, pinto beans, poria cocos, wild yam root.

    2) Dr. Mao’s Longevity Spice Blends: These are special herb and spice blends, also published in the “Secrets of Longevity” cookbook2 , created by Dr. Mao for his patients to incorporate into their diets and then made available pre-packaged as well. There are many blends, and the following list are those that I am carrying in my office at this time:

    Digestion Spice Blend: Without proper digestion, your body isn’t able to absorb the nutrients from the healthy food you are eating. This blend supports healthy digestion, helping ensure regularity, absorb nutrients, and relieve heartburn, gas, and bloating.

    Anti-Inflammatory Spice Blend: This spice blend helps combat inflammation, making it very helpful for arthritis support and muscle pain.

    Sexual Health Spice Blend: Hormonal and sexual support for both women and men is supported by this blend.

    Metabolism Spice Blend: The herbs and spices in this blend help increase your energy level and boost the function of your metabolism, making it good for healthy weight management. This blend can be helpful for insulin resistance and pre-diabetes care.

    Heart Spice Blend: The herbs and spices in this spice blend are an all-around heart support, helpful for heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, pre-diabetes conditions, and diabetes.

    3) Anti-Aging Brain Mix
    I originally came across this recipe in Dr. Mao’s book, “Second Spring”, published in 2009, and have shared it with my patients since then. And Dr. Mao has also made this available pre-packaged (with slight modification). This is a nice medicinal ‘trail mix’ combination to snack on daily, and wonderful for your health and brain too! Ingredients: walnuts, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, dried goji berries, dried apricots, and dried blueberries.

    1 Ni, Dr. Mao Shing. Dr Mao’s Secrets of Longevity Cookbook. Kansas City, MI: Andrews McNeel Publishing, Inc., 2012, p. 77.
    2 Ibid, p. 47-49.

    Sep 262013

    This was my paternal grandmother’s recipe (I am unsure of the original source). I still love it to this day. It is very simple to make (no-bake), and the pie is very light – perfect for after the heavy meals of the holidays. The trick is to whip egg whites to be very stiff, making sure to use room-temperature egg whites. (I now substitute a gluten-free crust I make, which is similar to a graham cracker crust.)

    3/4 cup brown sugar
    1 envelope unflavored gelatin
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 tsp cinnamon
    1/2 tsp nutmeg
    1/4 tsp ginger
    3 egg yolks
    3/4 cup milk
    1-1/4 cup canned or cooked pumpkin
    3 egg whites
    1/3 cup sugar

    Combine first 8 ingredients and bring to boil. Then stir in pumpkin and chill slightly. Beat egg whites and sugar. Fold into above mixture. Put into crumb crust.

    Sep 202013

    This cookbook is a jewel! Dr. Mao, as he is affectionately known, is a 38th-generation doctor of Chinese Medicine, a co-founder of an acupuncture college, a prolific author, and of course, a well-respected authority on Chinese Medicine. Hippocrates said ‘let food by thy medicine’, and Dr. Mao shows one how in this book full of recipes from centenarians and from many years of experience with patients from around the world. The intro to this book gives ‘Top Ten Longevity Habits for Good Digestion and Good Health’ and the recipes focus on using his ‘Top Ten Healing, Anti-Aging Foods’ (which I must add, is very similar to my ‘Top Ten Foods for Longevity’ article written in 2010). Additionally, Dr. Mao’s book lists commonly-used culinary herbs and spices for specific health conditions, and each recipe notes which health condition(s) it can benefit. There is also specific menu combinations given for certain health conditions. But the real ‘treasure’ of this ‘jewel’ are the recipes themselves! Besides being healthy, these recipes are unique, scrumptious, and most of them are simple and easy too, so one who is new to cooking healthy should not be overwhelmed at all. Sample recipes are: Banana Buckwheat Pancakes (gluten-free), Avocado Hummus, Chicken Mango and Butternut Squash Soup, Vegetable Almond Pie (gluten-free), Millet Pilaf, Curry Vegetables with Brown Rice, and Pecan Pudding. (Some of the recipes use dried Chinese herbs, all of which are readily available at my office from my ‘herbal pharmacy’ – GoJi berries, hawthorn fruit, chrysanthemum, etc.) And I must lastly mention Dr. Mao’s Hot Herbal Cereal recipe – it is a combination of over 20 grains, nuts, seeds, beans and legumes that his family has been eating for generations – it is really a ‘one-stop, complete-nutrition meal, as he describes! Definitely consider adding this treasure of a cookbook to your kitchen shelf!

    Dr. Mao is also the author of several other books, many of which I consider ‘must-haves’ for those interested in Chinese or Natural Medicine – Second Spring: Hundreds of Natural Secrets for Women to Revitalize and Regenerate at Any Age and Secrets of Self-Healing: Harness Nature’s Power to Heal Common Ailments, Boost Your Vitality, and Achieve Optimal Wellness.

    Sep 192013

    Heavenly Herbs and Acupuncture Newsletter:

    Autumn – A Time to Nourish

    Referenced in this newsletter is a “Chinese Medicine and Food Therapy Lecture Series” talk that I will give on September 26, 2013. Those lecture notes will be posted on my blog soon thereafter (and will be referenced here)!

    Here’s a pdf version of this newsletter (but unfortunately, links do not work):
    Autumn – A Time to Nourish

    Sep 172013

    This is a great combination of root vegetables for Autumn. Autumn corresponds to the Lung energy in Chinese Medicine, and the flavor associated with Autumn is pungent or spicy. Hence, this is an Autumn Lung Tonic.

    Kale, one bunch – line bottom of stove-top pan
    2 parsnips
    1 daikon radish
    1 carrot
    1 turnip, preferably green
    1 taro root (difficult to obtain fresh everywhere, dried root soaked overnight could work)
    1 rutabaga
    1/2 cup bamboo shoots (usually canned)
    tofu, marinated or baked (5-spice ideal, or teriyaki (gluten-free preferred))
    1-1/2 cup broth, preferably shiitake mushroom, but veggie or chicken broth can be substituted
    sesame oil (pref roasted)
    vegetarian oyster sauce
    2 TBS rice wine

    Mix together last 3 ingredients. Cut or slice veggies so they are the same size. Add liquid to veggies. Med-high heat to boil 30 min. Then lower heat to medium-low flame for another 30″ to an hour until veggies are fork-tender. If thickening desired, add cornstarch, water, more stock/sauce combo. Add sesame oil when done cooking for added flavor.

    Medicinal qualities of ingredients:
    Kale – warm, slightly bitter; strengthens Stomach, good for ulcers
    Parsnips – warm, pungent; good for common cold
    Daikon – cooling, pungent, sweet; affects Lung and Stomach
    Carrot – neutral to cool, sweet, pungent; lubricates colon (enters LI), benefits vision, clears heat, strengthens all internal organs, promotes digestion, reduces cholesterol per research
    Turnip – cold, sweet, bitter, pungent; clears heat, cough, removes dampness, detoxifies
    Taro – neutral, sweet, pungent; benefits, regulates digestion, clears heat, good externally for bug bites and a drawing salve (raw)
    Rutabaga – sweet, similar to turnips
    Bamboo shoots – cooling, affects Lung and Large Intestine; clears Lung heat, fiber helps lower cholesterol per research
    Shiitake – neutral, sweet; anti-tumor, promotes healing, strengthens Stomach; lowers cholesterol
    Ginger – warm, pungent; affects Lung and Stomach; good for common cold, cough, anti-toxin, nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, expels pathogens

    From: Nam Singh‘s Chinese Medicinal Cooking Class, circa 1996, San Francisco. (Blessings to Nam Singh for his great knowledge in Chinese Medicinal Cooking and sharing some of that knowledge with me!)

    References used:
    Chinese Medicine Dietitics, by Jeffrey Pan and Adam White
    The Tao of Nutrition, by Maoshing Ni and Cathy McNease

    Sep 162013

    Olive oil, as needed
    Onion, white or yellow preferred (but use what you like)
    Swiss chard, kale, bok choy, spinach, mustard greens, or any combo of greens you like (basically we all need to eat more dark, green leafy veggies)
    Mushrooms, shiitake or maitake, or any type preferred can be used such as portobellos, buttons, chanterelle, enoki, or combos of above (shiitakes/maitake are recommended here since they are more medicinal)
    Tamari or Bragg’s Amino Acids (gluten-free soy sauce)
    Rice wine

    Cut up all the veggies first (into bite-size pieces). Stir-fry the garlic and onions initially in a little bit of olive oil. Add those veggies that need to cook longer first. Add tamari, condiments and culinary spices to taste throughout cooking time. Typically the green, leafy veggies are best to add at the end since they require little cooking time to wilt. Top with options listed below (sesame seeds, sesame oil, peppers, etc.)

    Possible additions for exciting flavor options:


      Garlic powder (I tend to use both fresh and powdered since we are garlic lovers)
      Sliced, or pressed ginger
      Vegetarian oyster sauce (or regular one)
      Sesame seeds (black are considered more medicinal)
      Five-spice powder
      Rice wine, fermented
      Rice vinegar
      Roasted sesame oil (add for flavoring at end, do not cook)
      Seaweed (Nori, Dulse, Hijiki, etc.)
      Cayenne pepper (whole or flakes)
      Jalapenos or other peppers
      Vegetable broth (could use instead of olive oil, or use for flavoring)
      Miso (instead of tamari)


      Snow peas (I love these!)
      Bell peppers (all colors)
      Zucchini, any summer squash
      Green beans
      Green onions/scallions, leeks
      Edaname or soybeans
      Tofu or tempeh, marinated or not
      Whatever veggies you like!

    Spices such as oregano, rosemary, thyme, basil, sage can be added for an ‘American’ or Italian flavoring vs. Asian spices.

    Recommend using organic veggies and spices as much as possible too.

    Jun 192013

    Natural Electrolyte Drink recipe

    Additionally, I always carry the product ElectroMix in my office, an instant electrolyte drink mix by Alacer Corporation (the makers of Emergen-C).

    A more comprehensive product can also be obtained at my office, Endura. This is a high-quality, ‘high performance’ electrolyte and mineral drink mix from the nutraceutical company Metagenics, with a really nice taste. For details and list of ingredients, see: Metagenics Endura. I usually don’t keep this in stock year-round, so it will normally need to be special ordered – however, this only takes a few days. For those online viewers, this product can be ordered directly through my Metagenics online store:

    Heavenly Herbs and Acupuncture Online Store

    May 222013

    Heavenly Herbs and Acupuncture Newsletter:

    Spring – A Time for Renewal

    Referenced in this newsletter is a “Chinese Medicine and Food Therapy Lecture Series” I started in April 2013. I gave a lecture entitled “Spring – Time to Tame the Liver!”©. Lecture notes will be posted on my blog soon (and will be referenced here)!

    Here’s a pdf version of this newsletter (but unfortunately, links do not work):
    Spring – A Time for Renewal

    This newsletter includes a few book reviews also.

    Apr 042013

    You Can Make Yogurt in Your CrockPot!

    From Stephanie O’Dea, New York Times author and blogger Stephanie O’Dea’s website or more direct link at Crockpot365 Blog

    (Summarized here since blog post above is too hard to read and follow while in your kitchen! But her posting does have pictures for those of you who need them. And I thank Stephanie O’Dea tremendously – I love this simple way to make yogurt and have used it many times!! I recommend using organic milk and organic yogurt starter though. Note: I have never added fruit as noted here – I add fruit later when I eat it instead (save plain yogurt for starter though, for sure.) —Sheryl Sanchez, L.Ac.)

    The Ingredients.
    –8 cups (half-gallon) of whole milk–pasteurized and homogenized is
    fine, but do NOT use ultra-pasteurized. (Debbie recommends starting with
    whole milk until you get the hang of yogurt-making)

    –1/2 cup store-bought natural, live/active culture plain yogurt (you
    need to have a starter. Once you have made your own, you can use that as
    a starter)

    –frozen/fresh fruit for flavoring

    –thick bath towel

    –slow cooker

    The Directions.
    This takes a while. Make your yogurt on a weekend day when you are home to monitor.

    I used a 4 quart crockpot. This is so exciting. My fingers are shaking!

    Plug in your crockpot and turn to low. Add an entire half gallon of milk. Cover and cook on low for 2 1/2 hours.

    Unplug your crockpot. Leave the cover on, and let it sit for 3 hours.

    When 3 hours have passed, scoop out 2 cups of the warmish milk and put it in a bowl. Whisk in 1/2 cup of store-bought live/active culture yogurt. Then dump the bowl contents back into the crockpot. Stir to combine.

    Put the lid back on your crockpot. Keep it unplugged, and wrap a heavy bath towel all the way around the crock for insulation.

    Go to bed, or let it sit for 8 hours.

    In the morning, the yogurt will have thickened—it’s not as thick as store-bought yogurt, but has the consistency of low-fat plain yogurt.

    Blend in batches with your favorite fruit. I did mango, strawberry, and blueberry. When you blend in the fruit, bubbles will form and might bother you. They aren’t a big deal, and will settle eventually.

    Chill in a plastic container(s) in the refrigerator. Your fresh yogurt will last 7-10 days. Save 1/2 cup as a starter to make a new batch.

    Oct 312012

    A patient and friend posted this on Facebook a little while ago. Recipe sounds healthy, simple and yummy! It uses coconut flour, so therefore it is gluten-free too!

    Pumpkin Blender Muffins (gluten-free)

    If coconut flour hard to get, I recommend trying almond flour instead? I think that would taste better than a rice flour substitution, for example.


    12/27/12 update: Made these muffins and love them!! Used coconut oil (make sure you have it warmed to a liquid form – the brand I had said it melts at 76 degrees – my house isn’t that warm this time of year!) and coconut flour as the recipe suggested, and basically the same spices (used my own ‘pumpkin pie spice’ I had on hand). Recipe makes exactly a dozen muffins. Only problem was that the muffin does stick to the muffin paper… maybe a bit more oil would help that? Definitely better when warm vs cool as the recipe author says too!

    Aug 062012

    This is a Traditional Chinese Medicine recipe for cough, with or without phlegm: Pear and Rock Sugar Elixir recipe. It tastes great, is very easy to make and you will even think you just had a dessert that is good for you!! It is basically poaching a pear and making yourself a nice, little cough syrup.

    It is traditionally made with Apricot Kernels, or Xing Ren, but almonds can make this recipe easily accessible to anyone. And if you want the Chinese medicinal for more effect, Xing Ren is always available in my office at a very reasonable cost.

    More ideas for variations to this recipe:
    – Apple juice (organic, unfiltered) could be used instead of the sugar and water.
    – Cinnamon and/or cloves and/or ginger could be added if one has a ‘cold’ cough (clear, watery, or white phlegm, or other symptoms of cold, such as chills, no sore throat).

    Jun 242012

    This is a handout that I wrote in 2010 for a lecture I gave at a local gym. This lecture was also covered by an article in the local paper, the Paradise Post, by Bonnie Sitter, “Ten Healthy Foods that could lengthen your life”, March 2010. (But sorry, it is not available online.) I now also give to to many patients as a general guide to start using dietary therapy for health.

    Top Ten Superfoods for Longevity: A Medicinal Food Approach

    Addendum for recipes are not provided here since I don’t have rights to publish recipes from references. However, the recipe references are in the handout and most could be found online.
    There are a few recipes I have adapted or obtained from classes, and I will eventually post them online. But for now, please feel free to email me at if you would like them.
    (References also are to a few of the good books on dietary therapy, for those really interested in healing with diet.)

    Oct 142011

    Rebecca Katz is the author of the cookbook The Cancer Fighting Kitchen and is a senior chef of Commonweal Cancer Help Program in Marin County, California. The Commonweal Program is the epitome of teaching people to use Integrative Medicine to treat cancer. This cookbook is full of good, healthy, fun and EASY recipes and useful for anybody who KNOWS they should eat healthy but aren’t sure where to start!