Golden Milk Turmeric Tea

Have you been hearing the buzz about drinking Golden Milk to cure almost everything?  This beverage’s main ingredient is turmeric, the spice that is responsible for the yellow color of many curry dishes.  In the clinic, our patients who experiment with taking turmeric for chronic pain have had great results.  Turmeric’s active component, curcumin, has over 600 health benefits ranging from anti-inflammatory to anti-carcinogenic.  It has been used to promote digestive health, regulate metabolism and weight, maintain cholesterol levels, boost memory and brain function and boost immunity.  So now that we’ve established that everyone over the age of 5 needs to start drinking Golden Milk pronto, here is our beloved Nital with her family’s recipe.  She started drinking Golden Milk as a kid growing up in India and still makes it each night before bed. 

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Fight Inflammation with Diet

Inflammation is a driver for many types of disease processes from Alzheimer’s to Cancer and Heart Disease.  Inflammation also plays a role in tight muscles and chronic pains.  If you haven’t ever tried an anti-inflammation diet, then you probably don’t know just how good your body can feel. 

There are 8 easy rules to follow:

  • No Processed foods
  • Strive to eat 10 servings of fruits and vegetables per day – with an emphasis on colors, extra points for red, blue and dark greens. 
  • Proteins should be primarily fish, beans and whole soy products like tofu and tempeh.  Lean meats, eggs and cheese limit to 2 servings per week.
  • Eat lots of fats each day including extra virgin olive oil, avocados, seeds and nuts, walnut or hazelnut oils. 
  • Eat whole grains like brown, white or wild rice, barley, oats and quinoa daily.  Can also have rice noodles and Japanese noodles like udon and soba up to 3 servings a week.
  • Drink lots of water and white, green or oolong teas daily.
  • Include turmeric, ginger, garlic, chili peppers, cinnamon in your cooking
  • Eat 70% dark chocolate as your dessert

Following these 8 rules will make sure that you get lots of antioxidants and plenty of fiber.  It is uncomfortable at first to forgo a lot of processed diet staples but eating whole foods like this should be our norm.  The processed foods should be treats only on occassion, and actually become less attractive once you eliminate the chips/crackers and cereals completely.  A diet like this is great to try for two weeks but if you can find a good rhythm with it, this is a long-term solution to reducing inflammation in your body.  Eating this way can help cure some common aches and pains while also helping prevent major health concerns.  Give it a try - you have everything to gain!  

Panzanella with Immune Boosting Lemon Garlic Dressing

Make 2017 the year that you love eating veggies with recipes like these!

This is a hearty but refreshing salad recipe that I make at least every other week.  And yes, gasp, bread is one of the feature ingredients!  If you are not eating bread then of course you can leave it out, but only if you have to.  There are endless variations to keep it interesting and it is an excellent wintertime recipe as it is best eaten at room temp, not cold. 

In this recipe I share a garlic trick I learned from my mom who makes all of her salad dressings from scratch.  It involves smashing the garlic with the side of your knife, using a little salt to grind and smash it until it is liquid-y.  This releases all of the juices and flavor and good-for-you ingredients garlic has to offer.  Especially important to keep your immune system in top form during the winter!

Ingredients:

1 loaf of very crusty bread chopped

1 English cucumber, halved and sliced

Couple handfuls of grape tomatoes cut in half or 4 big tomatoes chopped

½ medium red onion sliced thinly

¼ cup olive oil

1 Tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar

1 biggish garlic clove

½ lemon juiced

¼ tsp salt

fresh ground pepper

 

Method:

Arrange the bread cubes on a baking sheet and drizzle lightly with olive oil.  Bake at 275 F for about 20 minutes until the bread is crisp but not browned. 

In a large bowl combine bread, cucumber, tomatoes and onion.  (For variations, you can add chick-peas, olives, zucchini, etc)

Make the dressing:  Take the clove of garlic and mince on a cutting board.  Add the ¼ tsp of salt on top of the little mound of minced garlic.  With the flat side of the blade, use the knife to smash the garlic.  Smash through the mound, re-mound it and then smash through it again and again until you have created a garlic paste.   This is the way to get maximum flavor out of garlic for any recipe that calls for garlic.  (Mix smashed garlic with melted butter to make amazing garlic bread)  In a jar, add the smashed garlic, olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, and fresh ground pepper.  Shake your dressing and then add to the bowl of veggies, stirring to coat.  Let it sit for one hour at room temp then enjoy! 

A Resolution for Stress

Looking back on 2016, for many reasons it was a difficult and stressful year for many of us.  Sometimes life just gets hard, right?  Not to mention the collective stress of the election was shocking in its intensity.  No matter what else was going on in your life, the negativity and anger surrounding politics this fall was painful.  What do we do with all of those feelings now?  What did you do to cope?  How much stress can we actually handle? 

Over the holidays I spent quite a bit of time thinking about how I can better prepare myself for stress.  How can I strengthen my calming reflex so that I can withstand discomfort and difficult feelings without letting it ruin my mood for an entire day or days at a time?  Obviously, I can get acupuncture more regularly and that is great maintenance for chronic stress.  In addition though, what keeps coming up as the solution for me is sticking with a Mindfulness Practice. 

Mindfulness or “Being Present” is a form of meditation but one that you practice throughout the day.  It is a simple concept.  If you are completely present, external forces and worries are no longer a problem because there is only you and your current focus.  For example, if at work your job demands that you take care of an urgent task, you can stress out about it because you have a long list of other things to do.  Or you can be present and focus completely on that task, and now there is only that task and you.  When you’re done, you can move on to the next task.  See?  No stress.

If you are cooking dinner and your child interrupts you, you can stress out about getting dinner done on time or you can shift focus and then there is only you and your child.  You can appreciate who your child is and be grateful for the moment you have with her.  Then you go back to making dinner.  No irritation, no stress. 

The general idea is that stress is created in our minds.  Training your mind to be present becomes a way to handle any problem.  It allows everything else to fade away, leaving only you and whatever you’re dealing with right now.  This is, of course, a practice.  Meaning that it is fully expected to be challenging to do at first.  I have dabbled in the Practice of Being Present for years but am making 2017 the year that I anchor it deep within my daily life.  I hope that I can inspire you as well to find a mindfulness practice to keep stress at bay this year.  When I get particularly overwhelmed, this quote is my favorite reminder:

Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the Earth revolves – slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future.  Live the actual moment.  Only this moment is life.”  Thich Nhat Hanh

Best Wishes for a Happy and Healthy 2017!

Tis the Season of Thanks and Giving

The holidays are just around the corner so it’s time to get some folks crossed off your list!  Give the gift of health and peaceful relaxation this year with a gift card to TAC!   Gift cards are available in any quantity, and we make it a breeze: you can stop by either our Raleigh or Chapel Hill clinic locations, or simply call and pay via credit card and we'll mail or email you the gift card. 

For the months of November and December in Chapel Hill, massage gift cards are buy 5, get 1 free! You can keep them for yourself or give them as gifts. 

Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving and joyful winter holidays!

From all of us at Triangle Acupuncture Clinic

Vegetable Fatigue?  Tahini is here!

The hardest part of sticking to a low carb or healthier way of eating is many times more about boredom than it is cheating.   Here are two great Tahini sauces that contribute different delicious flavors to vegetable staples like broccoli, green beans, sautéed greens, sweet potatoes, raw veggies and salads.  Both of these sauces will make eating raw, steamed or roasted vegetables flavorful and exciting again.   The bonus is that Tahini is derived from ground sesame seeds, imparting all kinds of healthy fats and nutrition to keep you full and satisfied. 

 

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Thanks for your Pledge of Support!

The Walk-A-Thon to raise awareness about the benefits of acupuncture was a big success!  Thank you so much to everyone for supporting us as we walked the 5K.  The money we raised will support political action to stop a bill from dissolving NC’s acupuncture licensing board.  The walk also educated the public about acupuncture as an alternative to prescription opioids for pain treatment. 

It was a beautiful day to walk and we felt really blessed to have all of your support.  We are devoted to the protection of our licensing board and urge you to take any action steps possible to send the message that you want acupuncture to stay.  Visit the North Carolina Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine for updated information on how you can help.  

Again, thank you for all of your pledges, it means a lot to us.

NC Acupuncture Needs Your Help

Coming up in the next legislative session in early 2017, there will be a motion for a bill that includes eliminating the North Carolina Acupuncture Licensing Board (NCALB).  This would be the first time that a state acupuncture licensing board has ever been eliminated in the United States.  The profession of “acupuncturist” is under fire by other healthcare professions with more political power who wish to utilize a form of acupuncture called “dry needling” without observing the same educational standards set forth by the North Carolina and National Acupuncture Licensing Boards.  

Of course we are particularly worried about what will happen if such a bill were to pass.  The NCALB performs several crucial functions, the least of which is enforcing the training of acupuncturists in our state.  Every licensed acupuncturist is expected to have over a minimum of 2,000 hours of training and 650 hours of clinical internship, a degree from an accredited acupuncture program and a board certification from the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture, which requires over 40 hours of continuing education every year to maintain licensure.  For “dry needling,” which is acupuncture by a different name, healthcare professionals can take a 52 hour course to augment their professional skillset and then insert acupuncture needles into their patients.  By eliminating the NCALB, these healthcare professionals will be free to practice acupuncture without worrying about licensure to do so. 

We are justifiably concerned about the unlicensed practice of acupuncture in North Carolina and fear for the safety of North Carolina citizens if this bill should come to pass.  We are also unsure of our future ability to practice acupuncture without a state license should this come to pass.  This is why we’re asking for your help.

1. Visit the North Carolina Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and look under the Public tab for more information on how you can help fight this legislation.

2. Donate to the Walk for Acupuncture 5K Saturday October 29th, proceeds go to our lobbyist to fight this legislation.  Donate by clicking here.  

We appreciate your support very much!

Become an Acupuncture Ambassador Today!!!

Do you want more insurance coverage for acupuncture?
Do you think Medicare/Medicaid should cover acupuncture?
Would you like to see Acupuncturists working in hospitals?
Does our healthcare system need more coordination with Complementary and Alternative Medicine?  

A new program launched by the North Carolina Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCAAOM) is going to directly tackle these issues.

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