Vegan Cheese

I have a damp heat constitution. So to keep myself healthy, I have to stay away from foods that cause dampness in the body. One such food that causes damp is dairy. For my health, I have given up all dairy. And as much as I love how I feel, I still miss dairy. I am a cheese lover, who doesn’t allow herself to have cheese.

So when I stumbled upon the recipe below, I was ecstatic. This recipe tastes delicious!

The only thing that I had trouble with was making it as stretchy as it claims. For me, I had to add more tapioca flour than suggested, 2 tablespoons as opposed to teaspoons. Other than not being able to get the proper texture, I was still happy to eat my failed attempts because it tasted so good.

The most difficult ingredient to acquire is the nutritional yeast. If you live in California, the best place to get it would be Sprouts Market. You can find it in the supplements section. 

Hope you enjoy this recipe. Sam is a godsend.

Vegan Mozzarella Recipe

Give Yourself a Break

I am very careful about what I eat. It’s not for weight loss but to preserve my health. It’s been fairly easy to follow my healthy lifestyle, especially because I don’t want to be a hypocrite towards my patients about healthy eating. But sometimes, I would lose sight of why I restrict myself from foods that I would love to binge on.

The side effects of healthy eating and regular exercise is weight loss. It’s a nice side benefit, especially when people begin to compliment you on how great you look. But with these increasing “compliments,” you begin to lose sight of why you changed your eating habits in the first place. Your new healthy lifestyle becomes a DIET.

As you can see, I don’t like the word. It implies struggle, loss and transience. When you use a word that comes with negative meaning, you begin to experience negative feelings and experiences.

I had such an experience. At some point, my healthy lifestyle became a diet. I realized this when I allowed myself to eat a bit of cake. And when I say a bit, I mean a tiny forkful. I felt guilty and ashamed… over a bite of cake. That shouldn’t happen. That one bite does not add inches and pounds onto my body. That one bite does not set my health back to when I was very ill. That one bite does not determine who I am.

When I realized my guilt over something so trivial, I decided to give myself a break. It’s ok to eat one bite of cake. It’s ok if you decide not to work out one day. It’s ok to feel guilty over trivial things. It’s ok.

Allow yourself these breaks and then get back to what you were doing. Avoid having cake the next time. Workout more vigorously and more joyfully next time. After feeling the guilt, shake it off and continue on.

Give yourself a break and choose to only use words that come with positiveness and possibilities.

Timing Is Everything

According to TCM, all of our organs are on a set schedule. Certain times of the day are when certain organs are at thei optimal. 

Follow the schedule below as best as you can for good health:

  • Poop between the hours of 5-7AM.
  • Eat breakfast between 7-9AM.
  • Eat lunch between 11-1PM.
  • Eat dinner between 5-7PM. Don’t eat after 7PM. Give your body at least 12 hours of fasting time before breakfast to promote ketogenesis.

Try this out and notice how much more efficiently your body runs.

Stress Inflammation Pain, Part 3

Diet plays a very important role on how our bodies feel. The huge spike in chronic pain cases is indicative of a society embracing a diet that is harmful to our bodies. From poor diet, a condition, described as “dampness in the body,” becomes a problem in the body. Why? Well, let us discuss what damp is.

According to TCM (traditional Chinese Medicine), damp is a condition of the body when things become sticky and dense and heavy. Because of this viscous material in the body, things are not able to circulate properly in the body, such as blood and/or qi (energy). When things are stuck, the body reacts by trying to either push through the blockage or avoiding it all together. When the body tries to push force the blockage out, it uses a lot of energy and sends a lot of qi and blood to the site of the problem. When this happens, it is similar to an overheating car trying to go up a steep climb. In the body, it is recognized as inflammation. Other times, the body will give up after a time and stop feeding qi and blood to the area which results in weakness and numbness in the area.

Now that we have discussed how dampness in the body can create inflammation and pain, let’s talk about how dampness becomes created in the first place.

Dampness comes a from a dysfunctional digestive system.

Your digestive system can be broken due to:

  • not eating enough
  • eating too much
  • many years of eating heavy, greasy and nutritionally empty foods
  • long term illness
  • sedentary lifestyle

Ways you can tell if you are suffering from dampness within the body is:

  • you wake up feeling heavy and sluggish
  • you have cystic acne
  • you catch colds easily
  • allergies
  • you’re tired all day, fatigue
  • overweight
  • you have to use a lot of tissue to wipe after each bowel movement
  • congestion

Foods to avoid when there is damp in the body: meat, dairy, eggs, sugar, refined flours, and processed foods.

For a more complete diet guideline, please go to your nearest acupuncturist. The reason for this is because there are a variety of reasons you may have developed dampness in the body and it may also manifest itself in a variety of ways. For instance, you have dampness in the body with heat symptoms, you may also need to avoid spicy foods. But if you have dampness with cold symptoms, you will need to avoid raw food or cold food.

If you have any questions, please feel free to comment.

Vegan Chocolate Pudding

Some time ago, I have decided to eliminate dairy, meat and white sugar from my diet, so that I may prevent a certain health condition from recurring. There’s nothing like experiencing a catheter to convince one to be as healthy as they can be.  Though I don’t find it particularly difficult to have this new lifestyle, there are certain times when I crave dairy.

One of the things I crave is pudding. So I searched the web and found an adaptable recipe (eatyourkimchi.com) and changed some bits to fit my tastes. Hope you like it.

Vegan Chocolate Pudding Recipe

  • 1/3 cup chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt or himalayan pink salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cup almond milk (or any other milk you prefer)
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar (or stevia, or honey but it won’t be vegan)
    • adjust to your taste

Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Leave in the refrigerator to set for 5 hours. Enjoy!

 

 

 

Stress Inflammation Pain, Part 2

In the previous post, I discussed how stress leads to inflammation and inflammation leads to pain. I also talked about how most of these chronic diseases, mostly to do with inflammation, are preventable. So in this blog post, we are going to talk about self care.

Doctors, acupuncturists, naturopaths, chiropractors, etc., for the most part, do a pretty good job at helping their patients. But even the best medical practitioners and physicians are unable to help patients if the patients themselves do not do the work required at home. And maybe that’s the problem. Most of us see taking care of our health as work. And boy do we hate work. We want things to come easy with little effort on our part. That’s why so many fall into the get rich quick schemes and waist trimmers.

Taking care of the only body that we have is not work. It is so much more than that. It is essential and also reflects how we view ourselves. For instance, when we see 2 cars of the same make, model and color drive by, we instantly can tell who takes care of their car with care and pride. One car will be shiny with clean rims, windows and mirrors. If you were to peer in the window, it has no trash lying around. When you hear it drive by, it sounds smooth because they take it in for regular tune ups and check ups. Care and pride went into this car.

The other car, however, tells a different story. It is dirty and the rims are caked. You can see dirty windshield wiper blade marks. Somebody may have written “wash me” into the dirt of the car. When you look inside, trash and other items litter the car, strewn about haphazardly. You can hear the brakes squeak and motor grumble. And to be honest, I am guilty of the unkempt car. I don’t take pride in my car because I don’t view it as very important. It just takes me from Point A to Point B. And the fact that I view my car in this way, is very apparent.

But our bodies should not be viewed in this fashion, ever! We may be able to replace our cars but we cannot replace our bodies. We need to view the bodies that we have as the most precious commodity, because it is. There is no wealth without health.

And how do we start self care? With proper diet and exercise!

When we discuss diet, we are not talking only about calorie restriction. We are talking about quality of food that we put into our bodies. Food is the building block of our bodies. When you think about your body, what is it built with? Is it built with twinkles and cheetos? Or is it built with a variety of whole foods? An easy way to tell if your food is nutritious, is by seeing how easily you can identify the ingredients on your plate. That’s whole food!

The next thing you need to do for self care is exercise. The best form of exercise, is walking. You don’t have to be extreme about it. Just walk.

I have a man in my neighborhood, who I consider my personal hero. He appeared a handful of years ago, out of nowhere. He walked around the neighborhood alone everyday at around the same time. Rain or shine, he was there, walking. When he first started out, I could tell that he was not the healthiest man. He had a rotund and taut belly like Santa. His face had a dark red hue to it, which spoke of circulation or liver problems. But as the years went by, he lost his belly and his complexion improved. And he looked years younger than what I first perceived him to be. And though I’m sure he changed other things in his lifestyle, walking was his definitely his go to exercise.

You don’t have to join a gym. Just walk and make sure to keep at it like my neighborhood hero. Sticking with one exercise and creating a habit of it, is the best thing you can do for yourself.

In the next post, we will discuss more about nutrition. Stay tuned.

Throat Soothing Tea

When you have a sore throat and/or cough, having some soothing tea is the best! Below is a recipe for Asian Pear Tea. Asian pears are great for moisturizing the lungs and throat. So if you have a cough due to a cold or a chronic dry cough, this tea will soothe it gently.

Asian Pear Tea Recipe

1 Asian Pear (any pear will do but will not hold up as well as an Asian pear)

Water

Honey

Directions: Cut up Asian pear into one inch cubes and place in a pot. Pour enough water into the pot to cover the pear. Bring water to a boil and then simmer for 30 minutes to an hour. Ladle liquid into a mug. Mix a tablespoon of honey. Sip carefully and enjoy!

Feel free to eat the cooked pear either in your the or separately.