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 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

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.

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.)