Diet, fertility, food, food allergy, recipe, Traditional Chinese Medicine

Vegetarian quiche: a tasty gluten & dairy-free recipe

quicheOn the weekend I gave this paleo quiche recipe a whirl. I have to say that I was mightily impressed.

The great thing about the paleolithic diet is that they don’t use grains or dairy and so us gluten and dairy-free people can borrow their recipes.

Even though you have to make the base (which is made from almond meal, eggs and fresh herbs), it’s still quite a quick and easy recipe.

I doubled the zucchini and onion in the recipe – but would love to try this recipe with some sweet potato and maybe some olives to add  sweet and salty flavours to the recipe, plus some extra colour. I’d also add another one or two eggs to the filling to have it rise a little higher on the base when cooked. Use coconut oil instead of butter in the base if you are doing the dairy-free version.

From a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective, this quiche is a Yin and Blood nourishing dish. The almonds are moistening for the digestive system and lungs, and the eggs nourish the fluids and blood of the body (particularly they are noted as a female reproductive organ tonic). If you want to nourish the Blood further, add spinach or kale to this recipe.

The base was delicious and minus the savoury herbs would make an excellent base for a sweet fruit tart. This will be my next cooking experiment and I shall report back! Watch this space…

To book an appointment at the clinic or further information on Chinese Medicine contact Dr Sarah George (Acupuncture).  Sarah is a practitioner of acupuncture (AHPRA registered), massage therapy and natural health.

Diet, food, food allergy, recipe, Traditional Chinese Medicine

Delicious vegetarian nachos (gluten and dairy free)

nachosOne of the areas my patients seem to struggle with is how to eat well when life is busy. Limited time means that eating wholesome, healthy, homemade food can seem out of reach and so it becomes that fast food is an easy replacement if the meal isn’t skipped altogether.

I’d suggest having a few quick and easy recipes up your sleeve for busy nights when you don’t have time to cook your ideal healthy homemade meal.  (Here‘s some other ideas for anyone who finds being busy and healthy mutually exclusive.)

My first fall back is an omelette packed with veggies. It’s fast and nutritious. Here’s my recipe.

Another quick meal is vegetarian nachos. I try to squeeze in as many nutritious foods as I can into these. I’ve ditched the dairy (no sour cream or cheese here) and well, these nachos are bulked up with so many other great ingredients that you just don’t need it.  Plus, they are so much tastier than any nachos I’ve had anywhere else.

From a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective I see this as a yin and blood nourishing meal.  The red kidney beans, spinach and tomato mix support the blood. Avocado provides good oils for the body and nourish our yin. The chili and onion are pungent and warm aiding the digestion of the richer, cooler and more nourishing ingredients.  From a nutritional perspective, this meal is full of fibre and contains a good serve of vegetarian protein.  The lycopene in cooked tomatoes are particularly good for prostate health in men.

Ingredients

  • Organic corn chips
  • Kidney beans (best case scenario: soaked the night before and cooked, otherwise 1 can of organic canned kidney beans)
  • Cooked tomatoes (here’s a nice way to replace canned tomatoes to avoid the BPA lining in the can, otherwise 1 can of organic diced tomatoes)
  • Organic salsa (as hot as you like it), 1 jar
  • Avocado
  • Half a lemon
  • Half a red onion, finely diced
  • Baby spinach leaves

Method

  1. In a small saucepan mix and heat kidney beans and tomatoes.
  2. Mash avocado with onion and squeeze lemon juice into mix.
  3. Spread half the corn chips onto a large plate and top with spinach leaves.
  4. Spoon half of the hot tomato and kidney bean mix over the corn chips.
  5. Top with half a jar of salsa.
  6. Lastly, serve with half the avocado mix on top.

You should have enough of the corn chips, bean mix, salsa and avocado mix to make a second serve.

To book an appointment at the clinic or further information on Chinese Medicine contact Dr Sarah George (Acupuncture).  Sarah is a practitioner of acupuncture (AHPRA registered), massage therapy and natural health.

acupuncture, Diet, fertility, food, herbal medicine, pregnancy, Traditional Chinese Medicine

Nourishing the blood with TCM and whole foods

Blood deficiency (xue xu) is a diagnostic term we use in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for someone who is showing signs and symptoms of inadequate nourishment of the blood to the body. It is not uncommon for the women I see for pre-conception care, fertility treatment and pregnancy support to have an element of blood deficiency as part of their diagnosis.  Although, blood deficiency is not limited to women in their reproductive years and can also be present in men.

Signs and symptoms may include:

  • lightheaded
  • poor memory
  • mild anxiety
  • difficulty falling asleep
  • pale (face, lips, tongue, nails, eyelids)
  • weak nails
  • hair loss or premature greying
  • low energy
  • blurred vision or floaters in the vision
  • dry eyes, skin and hair
  • tics, tremors and numbness
  • women: light or absent periods (maybe after a history of heavy periods)

A lot of these symptoms are consistent with those of iron deficiency anaemia.  TCM blood deficiency is more than iron deficiency however.  It does describe a condition involving a lack of protein building blocks, vitamin B12, folic acid and other nutrients, but more so, blood deficiency, in its TCM sense, is to do with the whole substance that is blood – that is, there is not enough good quality blood in its entirety to nourish the body.

To correct a blood deficiency, we look for possible causes of the blood deficiency.  The three most common are:

  • excessive bleeding (often menstrual, but not limited to this)
  • poor digestive function (not absorbing nutrients)
  • poor diet which is lacking in nutrition (nothing worth absorbing)

Acupuncture alone cannot nourish the blood but it can improve digestive function to enhance absorption.  Blood is a substance and we need good foods ingested so that we have the building blocks to be absorbed by the body to manufacture it well.  The two best ways to build and nourish blood are:

  • Diet: Plant sources include dark green (purple/red) leafy vegetables, seaweeds, spirulina, sprouts, legumes and whole grains. Richly coloured foods (often red) are valued for building the blood including goji berries (Chinese wolf berries), dried apricots, dark grapes, blackberries, raspberries and black strap molasses.  Additionally, animal sources include organic meat, eggs and liver (although it is not healthy to exceed 300g/week in the long-term) and soups based on meat bone broth. Support your digestive system with lightly cooked and warm foods and add some spices to aid digestion such as ginger, cumin, fennel and cardamom.
  • Herbs & supplements:  To nourish the blood more efficiently an herbal formula may be developed for your individual situation.  This may include herbs such as dong quai (dang gui), rehmannia, withania and nettle leaf.  Supplements may include iron, vitamin B12, folic acid and to enhance iron absorption vitamin C may be also taken.

To book an appointment at the clinic or further information on Chinese Medicine contact Dr Sarah George (Acupuncture).  Sarah is a practitioner of acupuncture (AHPRA registered), massage therapy and natural health.