Traditional Chinese Medicine Approaches to Enjoying a Healthy Spring

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In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), each season is associated with specific elements, organ systems, and energies. Balancing these within the body through the year is essential to overall health and wellness. Spring is associated with the element wood, which rules the liver and gallbladder. I had the chance to ask New York-based Acupuncturist Sharon Yeung, founder of Five Seasons Healing, about Chinese medicine approaches to help the body transition from winter to spring and manage some of the most common ailments we deal with this time of year.   Spring is associated with the element of wood and the liver…

Which Came First?

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It all started with cookies. My 4-year-old was transfixed as two eggs cracked and stirred into a bowl of peanut butter and brown sugar became something glossy and stir-able, the delicious new whole much greater than the sum of its parts. His love for eggs deepened when we met his friend Addy’s chickens. After a morning spent playing at her house in Ohio, Addy’s dad took our whole gaggle of kids out to the chicken coop with empty cartons, one per child, to fill with fresh eggs. My son clutched those eggs in his lap the whole way home. His…

Tiny Kitchen, Big-City Taste: Essential Oils

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Fat plays an important role in health: it’s key to nutrient absorption and numerous body processes, including cell signaling and hormone function. It’s a concentrated energy source and helps promote fullness and satisfaction. It also helps keep hair, skin and nails healthy. Fat is a kitchen essential as well. It aids in the cooking process and lends flavor. Butter and oil are the most commonly used cooking fats, but how to choose which ones? There are so many different kinds! New York City apartments aren’t exactly known for having an abundance of kitchen space. That doesn’t mean you have to…

Tips and Tricks to Navigate the Traps of Eating Out

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We are social beings.  We work while sipping warm beverages at our favorite coffee haunt.  Hold business meetings over meals.  Date over a drink.  Celebrate with dinner at our favorite restaurants.  Even when we’re not eating out, we’re taking out – either from the local market pre-made counter, or our go-to delivery.  With small kitchens the norm in NYC, why cook? That may all be well and good for our social and professional status, but not so great for our waistlines.  However, there is hope!  You’re paying good money – don’t be meek about asking for adjustments to suit your…

Cooking as a Mindfulness Practice

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Connecting poached salmon with padmasana may seem a little absurd, but if my experiences at the stove and on the mat have taught me anything, it’s that, at their core, meditation and cuisine are the same. Take yoga, for example, and forget for a minute its outermost representation, yoga as a series of poses. Let’s even, for just a minute, forget about the second layer, the physical benefits of the practice, and pare all the way down to the core. Yoga and meditation are about being aware, appreciating the present moment, and loving yourself intensely. We do yoga because we care about ourselves. If we…

Artichokes: A Taste Of Spring

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Spring is here, and we know what that means: a bountiful harvest of a variety of fruits and vegetables for the season of rebirth. Of course, living in the urban mecha of New York City, obtaining fresh fruits and veggies year round isn’t all too difficult. With farmers markets being central parts of many parks and neighborhoods around the city, New Yorkers shouldn’t need to care what veggie or fruit is in season right? Wrong! Having local farmers in designated areas in the city year round certainly is a boon, but that doesn’t mean fresh produce is a guarantee. Everything…

Common Cumin

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It was a cold blustery afternoon.  I was putting my 10-day-old daughter to sleep. Little did I know I was going to be struck by the abdominal monster …”The Gas.”  My daughter slept in no time. Going by the old saying, “Sleep when your baby sleeps,” I was about to catch some sleep, when I felt an acute cramp in my abdomen. I pooh-poohed the cramp because I was too busy catching the sleep. The acute cramp metamorphosized into a ball of pain. The ball travelled to my chest. I was not able to breathe. The ball then took a…

5 Reasons To Support Farmers Markets

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Spring is officially here and with that being said, so are nature’s most delicious and nutritious crops! Say goodbye to winter eating patterns and hello to light snacking and in-season fruits and vegetables! The place to purchase these foods? Farmers markets. Here are five reasons to start shopping at your local farmers market: Taste Produce, such as fruits and vegetables sold in a farmers market are those in-season, which allows them to be the freshest and most flavorful. These crops have time to fully ripen and are brought directly to you, the consumer to be sold. They are loaded with…

Tempting Snacks Your Body Will Love

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A doughnut or croissant in the morning tastes delicious, but the white flour and sugar are sending your body an urgent message: “Blood sugar on board; send insulin quickly!” Sugar and flour are simple carbohydrates, ending up in your bloodstream within a few minutes. Your pancreas senses the dangerously high blood sugar and releases insulin to pull the sugar (glucose) out of the blood and send it to other cells of the body to be used or stored as energy. Because high sugars are so dangerous, your body always sends in too much insulin, and this big insulin spike is…

My Herbal Medicine Adventures in the Tropics – Teachings from the plants (and a recipe)

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I love the Caribbean and go back year after year to either a new or familiar country. I quickly feel at home as I melt into the heat and slow down and soften into life among mango, guava and almond trees, among the palms and coconuts, and the Caribbean Sea. And I am always excited to learn what I can from and about the local plant and trees. On my recent trip to Roatan, Honduras I gathered and made tea with guava leaves, helpful for the stomach, and with soursop leaves, renowned for their immune-building properties. My first full day…

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