Roast Vegetable & Chickpea Soup

Roast vegetable & chickpea soup

Serves 6

2 (500g) eggplant, cut into 2 cm pieces

2 small (500g) organge sweet potato, peeled, cut into 2cm pieces

4 (500g) zucchini, cut into 2 cm pieces

2 red onions, cut into wedges

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

3 garlic cloves, crushed

400g can diced Italian tomatoes

4 cups salt-reduced vegetable stock

2 x 400g cans chickpeas, drained, rinsed

¼ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped

  • 1. Preheat oven to 230oC. Line 2 large roasting pans with non-stick baking paper. Place eggplant, sweet potato, zucchini and onions in a large bowl. Add oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss vegetables well to coat. Spread vegetables evenly over trays and roast, swapping trays after 30 minutes, for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden and tender. Sprinkle garlic on top for the last 5 minutes of cooking.
  • 2. Place roast vegetables, tomatoes, stock and 2 cups water in a large saucepan. Simmer, partially covered, over medium heat for 20 minutes. Using a potato masher, roughly mash vegetables. Stir in chickpeas. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes or until warmed through.
  • 3. Remove soup from heat. Stir in parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Serve.
  • Tip: Soup can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • Cost per serve $2.37

Hormones: Subtle is Powerful

Ever wondered if Mercury in retrograde will affect your week? Well, try seeing how a hormonal fluctuation will affect your whole day! Have you ever tried on your favourite bra for that perfect dress only to discover that your breast size has changed overnight? Ever suffered with premenstrual acne, period pain, excessive facial hair, hot flushes? Have you ever had inexplicable weight gain? Or have you been intensely angry with your partner one day, only to discover in the very next day or two, that it was due to a premenstrual mood swing? We often underestimate the power of our hormones. Even when they’re in balance, they can run or ruin our day, imagine what it’s like when they’re out of balance!

hormone imbalance

Hormones basically act as chemical messengers in our body, transporting a signal from one cell to another. And it is a subtle signal. For example, only a small amount of hormone is required to alter cell metabolism. We have many different types of hormones; estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, adrenaline & cortisol, thyroid hormones and many more. Hormone signals control the internal environment of the body through homeostasis.

Now, homeostasis is a process that Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) knows a lot about. TCM Doctors simply call it – balance. TCM, especially acupuncture, is very effective at sending chemical and electrical messages in the body. Subtle and often powerful messages. Just like our bodies hormonal signals, acupuncture has proven to stimulate the release of neurotransmitters in our body such as endorphin and enkephalin2. All of these complex messages can keep us functioning at our optimum. We can utilise acupuncture to help the body self-regulate hormonal balance; Yes, we can do something to ease those troubling symptoms!


Different language is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to describe balance, namely Yin and Yang. But we are essentially talking about the same thing: a system in which variables are regulated so that internal conditions remain stable and relatively constant. TCM has an advantage in addressing hormonal problems as it takes a holistic view. Meaning that it views your body, mind and it’s functions as a whole unit, complete with all it’s complex interactions.

Our body is often well equipped to regulate itself, but sometimes it needs a helping hand. Take menopause for example, most women’s biggest hormonal challenge. Menopausal symptoms can arrive when our estrogen levels naturally decline. Acupuncture can significantly reduce menopausal symptoms, not by replacing lost estrogen, which Western Medicine attempts to do, but by stimulating endorphins to stabilise the body’s temperature controls1.In my clinic, I regularly see women obtain significant rapid relief of menopausal symptoms, without unpleasant side effects.

menopause relief

PMS, or Premenstrual Syndrome can also be alleviated by some hormonal fine tuning with TCM. Whether it’s premenstrual mood changes and irritability that ail you or the more physical symptoms of headache, breast tenderness, bloating or fatigue. It is very easy for a qualified Chinese Medicine/Acupuncture practitioner to reduce these symptoms within three months.

Hormonal problems which can contribute to weight, sleep and fertility issues can also be helped with TCM. As can Thyroid Disease and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. These more complex hormonal balance issues can take 3 to 6 months to be balanced by Chinese Medicine and/or Acupuncture. A good practitioner will also teach you ways in which your diet and lifestyle can add or subtract from your hormonal balance.

If your hormones are making you suffer, I strongly suggest you don’t put up with it, seek some help. Give Acupuncture or Chinese Medicine a try! Click here to book.

Written by:

Dr. Elaine Hickman

B.H.Sc. TCM (Acupuncture), Cert.Cl.Ac (Beijing)

Registered Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

Dr Elaine Hickman sitting at clinic desk


1. http://www.bodyandsoul.com.au/health/natural+health/acupuncture+for+menopause,11089

2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18711761

Q. Do you prescribe raw herbs?

A. No. However the herbs that we prescribed come in granules, powders, and pill form. You don’t have to cook them; you can just take it with water. It is just as effective, but it is a lot easier to take, the dosage is easy to calculate, and better quality controlled.

Q. How many treatments will I need?

A. For most conditions, 3-4 treatments are needed to affect significant improvement. For complex cases, a first course of treatment is usually between 4 to 6 sessions. This can vary depending on the individual cases of course. The practitioner will advise you on this after a diagnosis of the problem has been made.

Q. Does Acupuncture hurt?

A. No. People are consistently surprised that acupuncture is usually painless when done by an experienced, gentle practitioner. If there is a sensation felt, it may be like a mosquito bite. Usually people find the treatment very relaxing, and most people fall asleep during the session. We also provide needle-free treatment using a low-level medical laser & finger pressure. These are also painless.

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