Bite-Sized Caprese Appetizers

So this recipe is hardly reinventing the wheel–if you haven’t eaten it, you’ve almost certainly seen it. But sometimes some things are so good and so seasonally perfect that you just need a little reminder.

Ingredients
24 grape tomatoes
24 fresh mini mozzarella balls
24 fresh basil leaves
1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 clove minced garlic
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
24 toothpicks

Instructions
Place a tomato, basil leaf, and mozzarella ball on each toothpick. Place on a serving plate or tray.
Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, and garlic and drizzle over the appetizers. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
To eat, bite everything off the toothpick all at once.

Lamb Meatballs with Lemon-Cumin Yogurt

Fresh mint and cilantro pair with the classic Mediterranean spices of cinnamon, cumin, and coriander to liven up ground lamb and plain yogurt. To prepare these as a main course, form larger meatballs and serve with pita and couscous.

INGREDIENTS (15)

For the meatballs:

1 pound ground lamb
1/4 cup finely chopped white onion
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the yogurt:

7 ounces whole-milk Greek yogurt
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh mint
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Zest of 1 medium lemon, minced

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat the oven to 375°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
  2. Combine all meatball ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly with your hands.
  3. Form into 30 balls (about 2 teaspoons each) and place on a baking sheet.
  4. Bake until meatballs are no longer pink in the middle, about 15 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, combine all yogurt ingredients in a small bowl and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Mix well. Serve with the meatballs.

CLASSIC ALMOND AND CACAO ENERGY BALLS

A classic energy ball recipe for you all! This is an easy, simplified version of my favourite snack – this time with just five ingredients. These little beauties are my go to when I need a pick me up and my fridge/freezer is always piled high them. You can add extra hemp powder if you want to boost the protein kick.

 

INGREDIENTS:

200g almonds (1 cup)

400g medjool dates (2 cups)

4 tablespoons raw cacao powder

2 ½ tablespoons almond butter

2 tablespoons coconut oil

METHOD:

Begin by placing the almonds in the food processor and pulsing until they are nicely crushed.

Add the medjool dates and coconut oil and pulse until it’s fully mixed

Add the almond butter and cacao and then mix again in the food processor.

Take a tablespoon of the mixture and roll into a ball. Continue doing this until the mixture has finished.

Place the rolled balls into the freezer for around 1 hour, then remove and store in an airtight container in the fridge.

 

6 things to look for in an Acupuncturist

japanese acupuncture

Not all Acupuncture/ Chinese Medicine practitioners are the same. Just like not all GP’s are the same. Some are much better than others. And with something as mysterious as Chinese Medicine, it’s not easy to know what to look out for. Here is a list to help you find the best Acupuncturist/ Chinese Medicine practitioner for you.

 

1. Qualifications

In Australia, a person can advertise themselves an an Acupuncturist only if they’ve completed a 4-5 year degree. Beware of Dry Needling! Practitioners use this term because they are underqualified to stick needles in you. Click here for more information.

2. You feel cared for and put at ease.

Actually this could be said for any health practitioner. From specialists to Reiki Healers. If they don’t demonstrate care, thoroughness and leave you feeling at ease or confident in their care, see someone else.

3. They get results.

You should feel a positive change in your health within 4 acupuncture sessions. No matter what your having treatment for. Sometimes it’s an improvement that you don’t expect like better sleep, digestion, periods or feeling more calm. Note: 4 sessions need to be no more than 2 weeks apart to be effective initially.

4. They teach you something

Your Acupuncturist/ Chinese Medicine Practitioner gives you advice or you learn something. Every great Chinese Med practitioner knows that prevention is better than cure. It’s their job to help you get better and stay better. Whether if be stretches, nutritional advice or stress management tips. You should be learning something from your Acupuncturist. Even if you don’t want to 🙂

5. They do’t use the same points in every session.

A great acupuncturist know that there are subtle changes happening in your body all the time, and how to work with these changes. Hence, they’ll use different acupuncture points accordingly.

6. They are healthy!

Your practitioner appears well and calm. Yes, we all have bad days but a great Chinese Medicine practitioner will have better health than most.

 

If the person sticking needles in you doesn’t tick all these boxes. I suggest you consider seeing a different practitioner. Don’t know where to look? Here is a directory of qualified Acupuncturists by locality. . And yes, I run a clinic in Ivanhoe, Inner North East Melbourne which has 5 excellent Acupuncture/ Chinese Medicine Practitioners. Click here to read more about us.

Flower Essences for Emotional Balance

AUSTRALIAN BUSH OR BACH FLOWER ESSENCES – restore the balance between the mind and body

The Indigenous people of Australia have been using flower essences to heal emotional imbalances and physical injuries for thousands of years while the earliest recorded European use of flower essences was in the 12th century.  We now know that cultures on all continents around the world have used this traditional method of healing for centuries.

Dr. Bach rediscovered and popularised the use of flower essences in UK in the 1900’s, while the use of Bush flower essences in Australian has never been forgotten by the indigenous people, it is only relatively recent that they have become used for health treatment by non-indigenous people.

Both Bach and Bush flower essences can be used to cast out negative emotions and help restore peace and wellbeing.

Our Naturopath Andrea Mallett is now offering 30 minute consults that will focus on providing you with a specialized blend of ‘Herbal Tea’ or a ‘Bush or Bach Flower’ remedy that is specific to your individual needs.

30 MINUTE NATUROPATHY CONSULTS – $60.00

Call us on 9486 5966 or click here to book:

Healing Herbal Tea

Want simple solutions for stress, insomnia, colds, IBS or period pain? Do you prefer Natural Remedies? Did you know that Herbal Teas can provide many health benefits?

Some of the health benefits that can be gained from drinking herbal tea include:

• Relief from stress and anxiety, improved sleep, calming of nerves
• Improved immune health, quicker recovery from colds, nasal congestion and infections
• Relief from digestive issues IBS, indigestion, constipation, diarrhoea, gas and bloating
• Relief from pain associated with the menstrual cycle
• Assist in labor, childbirth, recovery and breast feeding
• Treatment of headaches and migraines

Our Naturopath Andrea Mallett is now offering 30 minute consults that will focus on providing you with a specialized blend of ‘Herbal Tea’ or a ‘Bush or Bach Flower’ remedy that is specific to your individual needs.

30 MINUTE NATUROPATHY CONSULTS – $60.00

Call us on 9486 5966 or click here to book:

Healthy Pregnancy Help

Starting a family is an exciting time in people’s lives and we all want to do the best we can for our baby.

The body’s requirement and demands for specific nutrients increases during pregnancy for the health of both the growing baby and mother as well as post pregnancy recovery and breast feeding to ensure a good supply of milk.

But optimal nutritional intake and lifestyle changes are also required prior to conception for both partners. Ideally preconception care should start at least 4 months prior to conception.

The production of a bountiful, mobile supply of healthy sperm and a healthy follicle (egg) that result in successful conception and pregnancy requires an adequate intake of certain nutrients.

Changes to certain lifestyle factors that may be affecting the health of the sperm and egg such as smoking and excess alcohol consumption are also important.

Being under or overweight can affect conception as can a poor level of fitness.
Stress and environmental toxins such as household cleaners and cosmetics are other factors that may affect conception and pregnancy.

Our consultation with our Naturopath will include a thorough assessment of your diet and lifestyle and provide recommendations and advice for:
• Preconception health
• Pregnancy health for mother and baby
• Labour and birth
• Post birth care
• Breastfeeding care and support
• Different stages of your growing baby

Diet and lifestyle changes alone can make a huge difference to our health in most cases but sometimes additional help may be required in the form of herbal medicine and or supplements.

Find out how we can help regardless of what stage you are at.  Our Naturopath, Andrea Mallett will know what to do. $20 off initial consults with Andrea this January 2017 only. Call 9486 5966 today to book today.

Herbal Remedy for Asthma on Special

Ancient Herbal formula Sheng Mai San is helpful for:
Asthma
Bronchitis
Chronic Cough
Congestive Heart Failure
COPD
Stroke
Anginaasthma relief

This herbal formula is a simple one, comprised of three ingredients; the original specification for a single dose was (1):
Ginseng 1.5 grams
Ophiopogon 1.5 grams
Schizandra 7 fruits
Sheng Mai San is widely used in Chinese Hospitals for many conditions. Ask your Chinese Medicine practitioner if it could help you.
20% off Sheng Mai San in December 2016 only. Limited Stock.

Click here to read more about the herbs.

Acupressure Help for a Hangover

Excellent Acupressure points to Ease the Excesses of the Xmas period

The abundance of food and/or alcohol during Christmas and New Year festivities can leave one feeling a little less than celebratory. However, there is no need to wishfully request that Santa grants you pain free indulgences as self massage of several acupuncture points can be used to relieve headaches, nausea, bloating and indigestion; usually within 10 minutes.

The descriptions below may not be absolutely clear if you aren’t particularly familiar with anatomical terms but the locations should become apparent in conjunction with the respective diagrams. All of the following points have an active area of at least a few millimeters so they can be found with minimal searching and confirmed by the presence of a tender sensation when pressure is applied: When pressing these points it is customary to use the thumb, index or ring finger, and to apply fairly firm pressure to the point for a minimum of 3 minutes so that the tender sensation is felt through this time.

Bladder 2. Located on the medial extremity of the eyebrow; in the supra-orbital notch. This point has an almost immediate effect for the relief of headaches. Use both points with an index finger on each.

 

 

. Located between the first and second metacarpals, in the high point of the muscle; at the midpoint of the second metacarpal. This point is one of the most commonly used by acupuncturists in the treatment of headaches and facial conditions: It has a relaxing effect and is especially useful in cases of frontal headaches.

Stomach 36. Located approximately one finger breadth lateral to the lower border of the tibial tuberosity in the superior portion of tibialis anterior. This is a very useful point for sluggish digestion, bloating and stomach ache.

 

. Located one sixth of the distance from the anterior wrist crease to the cubital crease between the tendons of palmaris longus and flexor carpi radialis. This point is frequently used to treat nausea and stomach pain.

 

Located half way between the umbilicus and the bottom of the sternum. Use this point to ease stomach pain and indigestion.

If you feel you need a little extra help to remedy these holiday induced ailments drop in to Freedom Chinese Medicine for some acupuncture and/or Chinese herbs; and of course the traditional water and vitamins will ease the return to normality.

Written by Dr. Daniel Gibbs

References:

Anshen, Shi, 2003, Internal Medicine, Bridge Publishing Group,Walnut California

Xinnong, C. et al. 2009, Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture, Foreign Language Press, Beijing China

How does your Gut Garden Grow?

 

gut issuesDid you know you have a garden growing inside your digestive system?
You may have heard the word ‘Microbiome’ being used in relation to our health lately.
Microbiome is the collective name for the many trillions of bacteria that live on our bodies and inside our gut – essentially our gut garden.

For a garden to be at its best it needs to be tended, fed, watered and cared for. Without loving care the plants and flowers die and the weeds and pests take over.
It is the same for our microbiome garden when we don’t care for it – the good bacteria suffer while the bad flourish.
This imbalance can contribute to a multitude of health issues including:
• Digestive system – IBS, IBD, weight gain abdominal pain
• Immune system – colds, viruses, allergies
• Emotional – moods and sleep
• Vitality – fatigue
• Skin conditions – acne, eczema, rosacea

There are many factors in our modern lifestyles that upset the balance of our good gut bacteria by affecting their growth and diversity and thus allowing the bad bacteria to thrive.
Some of these factors include:
• Poor diet – processed and refined foods
• Additives and chemicals in our food
• Medications especially antibioticsabdominal pain
• Chemicals in cleaners, skin and hair products
• Environmental toxins and pollution
• Antibacterial cleaners
• Lack of contact with dirt and nature
• Lack of exercise

If you would like to learn how to improve your health by restoring the balance and nourishing your precious microbiome, our Naturopath Andrea Mallett can help.
Andrea will thoroughly asses you diet and lifestyle to identify factors affecting your bacteria imbalance and create a plan specific to your needs.

Andrea is available on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Freedom Chinese Medicine. Call 039486 5966 or click below:

Share on FacebookEmail this to someone
Share with a friend