FERMENTED BEETS

A few months ago a Patient brought me a jar of fermented beets that were absolutely delicious. We know that fermented foods are really good for the gut micro biome especially a diverse number of fermented foods as they feed different strains of bacteria. Here is her recipe. I am also sharing some of the local resources for helping you do your own fermentations.

This link below is the Mountain Feed & Farm Store in Ben Lomond where I bought my supplies. https://www.mountainfeed.com/products/complete-mason-jar-fermentation-kit There are multiple jar systems available to ferment. I chose the Mason Wide tops kit.

For one jar, I use about 1/4 teaspoon or so of Caldwell starter so I can use less salt. I bought it at the Mountain store. https://www.culturesforhealth.com/caldwell-starter-culture-for-fresh-vegetables.html?gclid=EAIaIQobChMItuqBzO6r1wIV0brACh0oHgjLEAQYAiABEgJVkvD_BwE
I use one tablespoon of Celtic grey salt. Many people use Himalayan pink salt, but I find the taste too harsh. Both websites, mountainfeed.com and culturesforhealth.com,  are excellent resources for fermentation.

Instead of using a starter culture, people use just salt or whey that is strained from yogurt. I have a friend who strains yogurt to make Greek yogurt for desserts with fruit. This article discusses the different choices for fermentation. https://www.culturesforhealth.com/learn/natural-fermentation/salt-vs-whey-vs-starter-cultures/

FERMENTED BEETS
One quart wide mouth jar
Pickle Pipe Silicone Airlocks (or other airlock system)
Fermentation weight
3.5 Cups distilled water (important to use distilled to avoid bleach which should halt the fermentation)
3 or 4 Beets
1 large Leek
Fresh Basil, rosemary, thyme
Teaspoon of whole pickling spice and teaspoon good Italian seasoning (put in a little muslin bag)
1/4 teaspoon of starter culture

Put the washed jar, top, and weight in a large bowl then pour some boiling water over them to sterilize. Peel and slice beets and leek thinly using a mandolin. Place beet slices in the jar, alternating with fennel and fresh herbs until the jar is almost full. Include some fennel fronds. Put dry herbs and pickling spice into a muslin bag or square of muslin and tie up, then place in the jar. Press everything down tightly with wood tamper included with kit or something similar. Mix distilled water with salt and stir until dissolved, then pour into the jar until all of the beet mixture is under water. Place weight and add more water if needed. Secure with airlock. Shake jar a little to try and release air bubbles.

Find a dark, cool place to store the jar, such as in the rear of the lowest cabinet. After a week the fermentation is complete. Replace the top with a lid and refrigerate.

How to keep a healthy balance.

How to keep a healthy balance

1. Surround yourself with people who help you grow

This is important because love gives us energy and energy is life. When we have people in our life that either take our energy or don’t love us and cause pain and hurt, it takes our energy away from being who we are.

2. Eating Healthy

When we put healthy food in our body, we can have a clear mind and body to function at our best. Some of the common foods to reduce in our diet are sugar, caffeine, wheat and dairy. You can always try eliminating food and see if your body reacts.

3. Spend time doing something you love

It is good to have things in your life that bring you joy and it’s usually better to choose things that are only yours. Spending time with your partner and kids is fine but it needs to be something you can turn to even if you are all alone. Gardening, crafts, cooking, sports, photography are all things you can choose that can be a solo activity enjoyed on your own.

Autoimmune Disease

With Autoimmune issues on the rise today, people are more and more concerned with prevention and how to protect themselves.

What is a Auto-immune condition?

Whenever the body starts attacking its own tissue and cells, we characterize this as auto-immune. Some of the most common auto-immune conditions are hypothyroidism, gastro-intestinal issues, arthritis and many more. Auto-immune conditions are categorized by the organ they attack and are not currently being treated as an attack on the whole immune system.

Here are a small sample list of auto-immune diseases:

* Rheumatoid Arthritis
* Sjogren’s arthritis
* Lupus
* Celiac Disease
* Polymalgia Rheumatica
* Multiple Sclerosis
* Ankylosing Spondylitis
* Vasculitis
* Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Crohn’s, Ulcerative Colitis
* Type 1 Diabetes

What causes Auto-immune conditions?

As a growing number of conditions falls under the auto-immune category, we wonder the possible causes. Some are more likely to have auto-immunity in their families, some from toxins, more from poor diet (weight can play a factor), smoking, drug use (including prescription), severe or chronic stress and hormonal imbalances. There are more than 80 classified autoimmune diseases and they can be difficult to determine where they come from and which one you have.

What are the most common symptoms of Autoimmune disease?

* Fatigue
* Joint Pain
* Swelling
* Skin problems (like eczema)
* Abdominal pain and discomfort
* Recurring Fevers
* Swollen Glands

If these symptoms sound vague and like the symptoms of a lot of different diseases, you would be right and this makes diagnosis so difficult.

What testing is done?

Doctor’s start with laboratory testing to determine which type or category of disease a patient has and may order the following tests:

* Anti Nuclear Antibodies (ANA)
* Autoantibodies (thyroid or other organ based)
* Immunoglobulin A (IgA)
* C-reactive Protein (CRP) Test
* Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR)
* Complement Test C1, C1q, C2, C3, C4, CH50, CH100, Total Complement

How is it treated?

Autoimmune conditions are treated in several ways such as diet, exercise, nutraceuticals, hormones, anti-inflammatories and sometimes steroids if the attack is severe enough. Most people try and use natural alternatives and only steroids when more severe attacks occur. Below is a list of treatments including Dr. Walker’s favorite functional medicine strategies:

* Diet: Auto-immune Protocol Diet (AIP) similar to paleo but much stricter (see a basic list on our website link)
* Exercise: Low impact exercise such as yoga, biking, swimming and walking with mild weight lifting being done as ability allows
* Nutraceuticals: Vitamin A and D, Liposomal Glutathione, Short-chain Fatty acids, Turmeric, Boswellia, L-Glutamine, essential minerals (some of Dr. Walkers list)
Steroids and auto-immune suppressants: in more severe cases
* Hormones: Estrogen, progesterone, thyroid hormone, melatonin to help balance the system.
Anti-inflammatory drugs: Ibuprofen and Naproxen

If you are struggling with what you think may be auto-immune don’t suffer alone, there are lots of health care professionals to help you and at our office we work together with your specialist to make sure you are uniting both functional medicine and Western care to have the best and healthiest you possible. We don’t want the feeling of sickness to prevent you from enjoying life!

Why Birth Photography?

Why Birth Photography?

As a birth doula for the past 4 years, I've seen many partners become parents with the birth of their child. There are such loving yet intense moments between couples when laboring. I started to capture some of these moments when a client would ask to get some pictures during the process and I was always taken back by the beauty in those raw moments.

In sharing these photos with my clients, they were able to process their birth a little easier by filling in the spaces where their memory wasn't serving them properly. Of course, during labor, a mama can be in a totally different realm while working to bring her baby into the world. These images of moments I witnessed helped the mama in understanding her birth journey and even in understanding her power as a woman birthing her baby. As one of my recent clients explained in a testimonial of my services, Parts of the delivery were so fast and sort of a blur in our memories, so the photos are a gift we will always treasure.”

Since adding birth photography to my birth doula work, I capture what I see as it unfolds in front of me. I feel so amazingly privileged to be witness to such precious and raw moments. To be trusted by a mama to guide her through this event and to watch as a couple become parents is an indescribable honor. To be able to capture a woman's partner holding her bravely, caressing her loving smile between contractions, rubbing out stiffened shoulders with soft yet strong hands, holding the scissors with a shaky hand to cut the umbilical cord. These are moments the couple is living as the process unfolds and to have the ability to share my perspective with them after all the hard work is done is so fulfilling and magical.

Why birth photography? The birth of a baby is one of the most amazing experiences of our lives, some would say more so than getting married. To allow our body to grow a human being and then work to bring that human into the world, in whatever means necessary, is something you will remember for a lifetime, but will fade in detail. Capture the moments with birth photography to give yourself, your partner, and especially your baby the gift of remembering the details of his or her entrance into the world. The joyous smiles, grimaces, yawns, sweat and tears, and everything in between are worth capturing. As most of the dads explain after hiring me to take photos for them, “I couldn’t imagine having to try and take photos while I was supporting my wife through labor.” Would you have tried to take photos of your own wedding day? If not, consider hiring a birth photographer to capture these precious moments in your life so you can be less stressed and more focused on the work ahead.

If you are interested in learning more, please visit www.heartworkdoula.com and contact me about your birth photography wishes. We will discuss, in detail, the arrangements before so you can be worry free when it comes to the arrival of your little one!

Caren Hespeler

Persimmon Cookies

My favorite cookies are Persimmon Cookies and they were my Grandma’s recipe.  I would get them every fall when the persimmons would ripen on the tree and she would make them. We would sit and eat them around her table.  This recipe is similar to hers since I can’t find hers - this one reminds me of the joy of holiday goodness.  This is based on this awesome mom’s recipe.  https://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/persimmon-cookies/

Persimmon Cookies

FOR THE COOKIES:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon cloves

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup persimmon pulp (from 2-3 persimmons)

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup chopped walnuts (optional, we omitted)

1 cup raisins

FOR THE ORANGE GLAZE:

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1/4 cup fresh orange juice

1 teaspoon orange zest

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicon baking mats and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and spices. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter with the sugar. Beat in persimmon pulp, egg, and vanilla. Slowly add in the flour mixture until everything is combined. Fold in the walnuts, if using, and raisins.

Drop by rounded spoonful’s onto prepared baking sheets. Bake for approximately 12-14 minutes or until cookies are brown around the edges and set. Let cool on baking sheets for five minutes and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the orange glaze, in a medium bowl, combine the confectioners’ sugar, orange juice, and zest together. Whisk until smooth. Dip the cookie tops into the glaze and twirl the cookie. Set cookies back on wire rack for glaze to harden.

How to stay on the Diet you Choose at the Holidays


  1. Present your diet as a get “Healthy Plan” instead of a weight loss plan.
    People are pretty excited about someone pursuing health but the we often get jealous of someone potentially losing more weight than themselves (there is an oddly sabotaging attitude about this issue).    Also as a doctor I would much rather people think about making dietary changes for healthful reasons than weight being the motivation.

  2. Be up Front
    Tell people what you are eating and what you have to avoid so they won’t think you are insulting their famous cookies or family pot roast recipe.  People are more likely to feel important and validated if they know up front you won’t be eating so they don’t focus on you not eating their food.

  3. Come prepared
    Bring your own foods especially if your diet change is due to finding some new food allergies.  If you suddenly can’t eat dairy then some holiday favorites may not be available to you. Coming prepared with your own food/drink will help you enjoy your holidays all the more.

  4. Remember that your family loves you and just wants to share.
    Especially grandparents like to cook for people they love and this may be upsetting to them if you refuse their food, but it isn’t about  them.  Your diet is important to you and they should respect that; they may give you a hard time only because they feel hurt you aren’t trying their food.  Remember that you love your family always.

Vegan Buddha Bowl

Prep time 20 mins.

Cook time 30 mins

Total time 35 mins

The Recipe is based on Alex Caspero’s Buddha bowl but has a chick pea twist that Dr. Walker and her Children just love. Zara Calls the Garbonzo’s “ More Rabonzo’s please.”

Serves: 4 bowls

Ingredients

Tofu Bowl

  • 2 cups cooked brown rice

  • 1 cups shredded carrots

  • 2 cups spinach leaves

  • 2 cups broccoli florets

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil or additional sesame oil, divided

  • 1 cup chickpeas (drained and rinsed, if using canned)

  • salt/pepper

  • 16 oz extra firm tofu, pressed and drained


Peanut sauce

  • 1-2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce

  • 1/4 cup 100% pure maple syrup

  • 2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce

  • 1/4 cup creamy or crunchy peanut butter


Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cube tofu and place in a single layer on a non-stick baking sheet and cook for 30 minutes. If you aren't using a non-stick baking sheet, lightly spray with cooking spray. Remove from oven and place in a shallow bowl.

  2. Whisk together the ingredients for the sauce (sesame oil, soy sauce, maple syrup, chili garlic sauce, peanut butter) until creamy and smooth. Add 1/2 of the sauce to the tofu bowl and let marinate while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

  3. Toss the broccoli with 1 tsp sesame or olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Place in the oven and roast for 30 minutes until just tender.

  4. Heat remaining olive or sesame oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add tofu, in batches, along with the marinating sauce until crispy and golden browned, about 3-4 minutes.

  5. Assemble 1 1/2 Cups Cooked Chickpeas (1 can), Drizzle Olive Oil or other neutral oil, 1/2 tsp Salt, 1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika, 1 tsp Chili Powder, 1/8 tsp Turmeric, 1/2 tsp Oregano. Place the mixture on a cookie sheet with parchment paper and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.


 

To serve this dish, divide the brown rice among 4 bowls, top each bowl with ? cup shredded carrots, ? cup spinach leaves, ? cup broccoli, ? cup garbanzo beans and a few pieces of tofu. Drizzle with remaining peanut sauce.

 

10 Best Food High in Calcium

10 Best Foods High in Calcium:

  1. Collard greens: 268 milligrams per 1 cup cooked

  2. Broccoli: Calcium content: 86 milligrams in 2 cups raw

  3. Broccoli Rabe: Calcium content: 100 milligrams in one 2/3-cup serving

  4. Kale: Calcium content: 101 milligrams in 1 cup raw, chopped

  5. Edamame: Calcium content: 98 milligrams in 1 cup cooked

  6. Bok Choy: Calcium content: 74 milligrams per 1 cup shredded

  7. Figs: Calcium content: 121 milligrams per 1/2 cup dried

  8. Oranges: Calcium content: 74 milligrams in one large orange and 27 milligrams in a    cup of orange juice

  9. Tofu: Calcium content: 434 milligrams per half cup

  10. White Beans: Calcium content: 63 milligrams in 1/2 cup cooked

UTI’s

Urinary Tract infections are categorized as a bacterial infection of the urethra, bladder or kidney. This infection is usually from a bacteria in the intestinal tract such as E.coli and can infect both males or females.

What are the symptoms of Urinary Tract infection?

  • Strong and frequent urges to urinate

  • Painful or burning sensation when urinating

  • Strong smelling or Foul smelling urine odor

  • Back pain

  • Bloody or cloudy urine

  • Fever and fatigue

  • Chills and aches


How do we get a Urinary Tract infection?

The two most common ways to get a urinary tract infection are not wiping properly and during sex (coitus). Men have gotten a bad wrap for having the dirty penis causing the UTI’s but typically in either scenario the infection of the urethra comes from transmitting bacteria in the ones own intestinal tract to the urethra. Our own bacteria is causing the infection. When our own intestinal E.coli or other bacteria go up the urethra, we get an infection. Women are more likely to get UTI’s than men due to the relative short nature of our urethra, but men also get UTI’s and unfortunately for men if there isn’t some sort of contact infection, it can often be an indicator for prostatitis or other male health issues.

How do you diagnosis a urinary tract infection?

Doctor’s direct a patient to do an in-office urinary dipstick test and if this is positive they may decide to send it out for a culture or they may not. Treatment is usually given based on a lab culture, if a doctor thinks that the white blood cell count in the urine is high enough. Blood in the sample usually indicates the infection is in the bladder and possibly to the kidney. The doctor may perform what is called a kidney punch test to determine if the infection has spread that high and if sensitivity is present to that point or not.

How are Urinary Tract infections Treated?

Western Medicine will usually treat using antibiotics but as many know, antibiotic use can alter the flora in your gut and reduce the body’s natural immunity.  There are alternative methods of treating mild UTIs that are just as effective and have fewer side effects than antibiotics.

In Chinese Medicine, we view a UTI as a damp heat accumulation in the Kidney and Urinary Bladder channels.  There are several acupuncture points along these channels that specifically benefit urinary function.  We would also use points on these and other channels to clear excess heat from the body.

If a patient has a full urinary tract infection they are treated with a course of antibiotics, our office will add D-mannose and Saccromyoces Boulardii to help prevent side-effects of the antibiotics and to prevent adherence of the bacteria while the antibiotics work. Cranberry pill or cranberry juice unsweetened are also excellent choices to help getting over an infection.

If you are someone who has chronic infections, it may be wise to do a stool sample to determine your good and bad bacteria that are present and balance them so future infections are not as easily contracted. Drinking cranberry juice somewhat regularly also can help prevent UTI’s. Practicing good habits, such as wiping front to back and urinating after sex can both be helpful. Changing toilets to the oval shaped bowel so that when men sit their penis doesn’t have contact with the toilet rim during bowel movements.

Chinese Herbal Remedies:

  • Ba Zheng Tang: This is a classic Chinese formula that clears damp heat from the urinary organs.

  • Long Dan Xie Gan Tang: This formula also clears damp heat from the kidneys and bladder but targets liver channel symptoms as well such as headache and dizziness.

  • Chuan Xin Lian: This formula is antibacterial and antiviral and is great for decreasing inflammation and clearing toxic heat.


What are the best Herbs for Preventing Urinary Tract infections?

  • Uva Ursi

  • Oregon Grape

  • Horsetail

  • Berberine

  • Corn silk

  • Cranberry


What are the best Home Remedies?

  • Drink natural cranberry juice (not the sugary kind)

  • Take 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar per day

  • Up consumption of healthy fats to balance hormones (cod liver oil, butter, chia)

  • Vitamin C

  • Acidophilus based probiotics

  • Crushed garlic as a natural antibiotic


 

Acid Reflux & Acupuncture

What is acid reflux?

Also commonly known as heartburn, acid reflux can range from mild and infrequent to severe and constant.  There are many causes of this painful problem.  Some cases are diet sensitive, meaning the issue is caused or exacerbated by the intake of specific foods and drinks.  Some common culprits are coffee, alcohol (especially red wine), citrus fruit and juices, eggs, chocolate, and spicy foods.

Other cases involve structural problems such as a hiatal hernia.  This is when a portion of the stomach pushes up above the diaphragm.  Other people might suffer from overproduction of stomach acid.  This is also a common issue during pregnancy especially during the later months as the uterus takes up more space in the abdomen and creates upward pressure on the stomach.  Also, during pregnancy, the hormones relax the valve separating the stomach from the esophagus, allowing acid to move up out of the stomach.

Not only is heartburn unpleasant and painful, it can also cause damage to the lining of your esophagus if left untreated.  You can read about the long-term effects of untreated heartburn here: http://www.webmd.com/heartburn-gerd/guide/untreated-heartburn#1

How does Traditional Chinese Medicine help?

From a TCM perspective, acid reflux is diagnosed as Rebellious Stomach Qi.  The flow of the 12 main channels in the body all have a specific direction they follow.  The stomach channel flows from the face down to the feet.  This makes sense when you think about digestion in general.  We want the food to move down and out.  When the flow of qi is disrupted for whatever reason, the natural direction can be reversed which can cause belching, hiccuping, vomiting, and reflux. Think about when you have experienced indigestion.  Instead of food moving through your digestive tract as it should, it feels like it won’t go down and you may feel that upward movement of gas or food for several hours as your stomach and other digestive organs work hard to move it through.

Acupuncture redirects the qi in the stomach channel by opening blockages along the channel and restoring the channel’s natural downward movement.  Herbs are also extremely helpful, especially in cases of chronic heartburn.  Herbs can replace your over-the-counter heartburn medications such as Tums, Zantac, or Pepto Bismol as a natural alternative with fewer side effects and issues with long-term use.

What else can I do to lessen my discomfort?

Here are some simple tips for beating the burn:

  1. Sleep with your upper body slightly elevated.

  2. Don’t eat late at night.  Try to eat several hours before going to bed to give your body time to digest before laying flat.

  3. Try peppermint or ginger to aid general digestion.

  4. Take probiotics to ensure proper gut health.

  5. Reduce intake of exacerbating foods.  Pay attention to what flares your heartburn and remove it from your diet.
    Iris Martin, Light & Joy Acupuncture Inc.