Sweet Potato Power Brownies

If you ever needed a reason to work out, this pre-workout snack is it! These brownies are light, fluffy and sweet. With the perfect combination of carbohydrates, fat and protein, as well as a little kick of energy from the cacao, this snack is not only great for your workout but will also help assist you in a quick recovery.



2 medium sweet potatoes

6 eggs

2/3 cup (53g) raw cacao powder

1/2 cup (170g) raw honey or maple syrup

1/2 cup (130g) almond butter

1/2 cup (56g) almond flour

1/4 cup (55g) plus 2 tablespoons (for greasing), butter, softened

1/4 cup (48g) coconut palm sugar

2 teaspoons (10ml) vanilla extract

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp sea salt



Preheat the oven to 200°C. Bake the sweet potatoes until soft, about 1 hour. When cool enough to handle, peel and mash.

Reduce the heat to 180°C and grease a 23 x 33 cm baking dish.

Place all the ingredients into a food processor and blend well. Spread the mixture into the prepared baking dish and bake for about 30 minutes. They are done when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Once they have cooled for a few minutes, cut into squares and refrigerate. They can be stored in the freezer as well.

Yield: about 24 brownies.

Source: Super Paleo Snacks, Landria Voigt


Easy Tasty Parsley Soup

I love a tasty, healthy recipe that’s simple & easy to prepare. This one ticks all those boxes, so I’m sharing it with you:)…

Serves: 4

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 potatoes, peeled and sliced
1 large bunch (about 150g) fresh parsley, thoroughly washed and chopped
1 litre water
1 1/2 chicken or vegetable stock cubes
salt and freshly ground black pepper


Preparation: 5min › Cook: 15min › Ready in: 20min

Melt the butter in a saucepan and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Stir in the sliced potatoes and cook gently over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until they are slightly cooked and golden coloured.

Stir in the parsley then pour in the water and add the stock cubes.

Bring to the boil, the reduce heat and allow to simmer for 5 to 10

Remove from heat. Use a hand held immersion blender to puree the soup.


Source: http://allrecipes.com.au


Spring Vegetable Risotto

8d03fd4c-2a9c-4988-bbf1-999f40319b95Serves 4


6 cups (1.5lt) reduced salt chicken stock

1 tbsp olive oil

1 leek, sliced

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1.5 cups (300g) Arborio rice

1 cup (120g) frozen peas

100g green beans, trimmed, blanched & halved

1 zucchini, sliced

½ cup chopped parsley leaves

2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese

Bunch of baby rocket


1. Heat stock in saucepan until simmering.

2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a saucepan on medium. Cook leek & garlic for 5 minutes, stirring, until soft. Stir in rice and cook for 1 minute until rice is translucent.

Add ½ cup of stock, stirring until absorbed. Repeat with remaining stock, ½ a cup at a time, stirring, for 15-20 minutes, until stock is absorbed. Fold through peas, beans & zucchini and cook for another 5 minutes until rice is tender & creamy.

3. Remove from heat and stir through parsley and parmesan. Stand covered for 5 minutes. Season to taste and serve with baby rocket (or similar).

4 Ways to Help Ease Psoriasis

This common skin condition is an autoimmune disease characterised by abnormal patches of skin over the body. 85-90% of sufferers present with silvery plaques with red lesions typically found on the forearms, navel, shins and scalp. [1]


Due to it’s complex nature there is no known cure for psoriasis but there are many treatment options available. This includes aspects of your life that you can change to ease the symptoms..

  1. Look at your diet.

So commonly overlooked in many sufferers. In my experience I have seen people who have been adding fuel to the fire just by eating the wrong foods.

Since it is an autoimmune disease, it is important that you are not increasing the immune response by consuming inflammatory foods.

These foods include sugar, high fructose corn syrup,[2] vegetable oils (peanut, corn, sunflower etc)[3], refined carbohydrates (white flour, white bread, white rice, pasta) [4] and excessive alcohol (daily recommended intake is 2 standard drinks for males and 1 standard drink for female) [5]

  1. Get enough sleep

Sleep! Making sure you are getting enough quality sleep can be a game changer. Research has shown that sleep deprivation leads to an increased inflammatory state in the body. [6] One should aim to be in bed at 10pm to facilitate deep sleep by 11 and 7-9 hours of quality uninterrupted sleep time is optimum.

  1. Target stress

Whether it be psychological or environmental stress, it plays a big role in inflammation.[7] Try implementing stress management techniques whether it’s via meditation, going for walks, or simple breathing exercises. Also, you can reduce environmental stress by identifying whether there are elements at work or home that your body may be reacting to, such as excessive dust, chemical cleaners or air pollutants.

  1. Have acupuncture and herbs

You can book yourself a session to get Acupuncture and/or a herbal prescription. Acupuncture has been shown to be effective in decreasing inflammation as well as initiating the body’s ability to heal itself.[1] Having acupuncture can also cause the release of the feel good hormone serotonin which gives you an opportunity to de-stress.[2]

In addition, herbal formulas can be taken orally or topically to help ease the symptoms and work in conjunction with acupuncture.[3]  Finally, as Chinese Medicine is a holistic modality, your practitioner will also make sure to address the many facets of your lifestyle to facilitate better relief of your symptoms.

Written by:

Dr. Rebekah Loh

Acupuncturist & Chinese Herbalist

rebekah lohRebekah is a super qualified and enthusiastic practitioner. She has a double degree in Health Science and Chinese Medicine she also has a degree in Biomedical Science. Rebekah completed further study in hospital internships in Nanjing, China and Taichung, Taiwan.

She speaks English (fluent), Mandarin Chinese (intermediate) & Cantonese (beginner).

Rebekah can help with a whole range of conditions, and she is particularly passionate about women’s health, obstetrics, gynaecology and fertility.

In her spare time, Rebekah likes to play Futsal, Badminton and Viola.

Click here to make an appointment with Dr. Rebekah Loh.



[1]Boehncke, WH; Schön, MP (26 May 2015). “Psoriasis”. Lancet. 386: 983–94.

[2] Schultz A, et al  (May 2015) “ Differences and similarities in hepatic lipogenesis, gluconeogenesis and oxidative imbalance in mice fed diets rich in fructose or sucrose”  Food func May;6(5):1684-91

[3] Okręglicka K (2015) “Health effects of changes in the structure of dietary macronutrients intake in western societies.” Rocz Panstw Zakl Hig. 2015;66(2):97-105

[4] Spreadbury I “Comparison with ancestral diets suggests dense acellular carbohydrates promote an inflammatory microbiota, and may be the primary dietary cause of leptin resistance and obesity.” Diabetes Metab Syndr Obes. 2012;5:175-89

[5] Oliveira A1, Rodríguez-Artalejo F, Lopes C “Alcohol intake and systemic markers of inflammation–shape of the association according to sex and body mass index.”Alcohol Alcohol. 2010 Mar-Apr;45(2):119-25.

[6] Mullington J (2010) “Sleep loss and inflammation” Best Pract Res Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2010 Oct; 24(5): 775–784.

[7] Yun-Zi Liu, Yun-Xia Wang, and Chun-Lei Jiang (2017) “Inflammation: The Common Pathway of Stress-Related Diseases” Front Hum Neurosci. 2017; 11: 316.

8 Freek JZ et al (2003) “Anti-inflammatory actions of acupuncture” Mediators Inflamm. 2003 Apr; 12(2): 59–69.

9 Yoshimoto K et al (2006) “Acupuncture stimulates the release of serotonin, but not dopamine, in the rat nucleus accumbens. Tohoku J Exp Med. 2006 Apr;208(4):321-6.

10 Shikang M et al (2018) “Psoriasis therapy by Chinese medicine and modern agents” Chin Med. 2018; 13: 16.

Chinese Medicine for Cough Relief

Having a cough can really change your day, or night! And sometimes the standard remedies don’t help. We see many people in our clinic with shortness of breath, sore muscles, and tiredness from being woken by a coughing fit during the night. The most common causes of cough are smoking, asthma, acid reflux, post-nasal drip, and a common cold or flu that just won’t go away. In my clinical experience, many people present to the clinic with a cough after a recent personal loss too. Thankfully, we can often help cough, no matter what the cause.

Chinese Medicine & Acupuncture can help. Regardless of whether the cough is ongoing or recent. Dry or productive (phlegmy).  Chinese Herbal Medicine and Acupuncture addresses the underlying cause (or “root”) of the condition. Coughing is often considered a symptom (or “branch”) of a deeper condition in the body. The root and the branch conditions are what your Acupuncturist is assessing when they take your pulse and look at your tongue.

Your Chinese medicine appointment for cough

The use of acupuncture alone to moderate asthma in adult patients is supported by the recent findings of the Acupuncture Evidence Project. And the treatment of cough has a long history in Chinese Medicine.

Acupuncture can help you with your cough by:
– Relieving the cough
– Opening your airways more
– Loosening phlegm
– Relieving muscle pains that can follow a bout of coughing.

Your practitioner may also choose to use cupping therapy to relieve your cough by increasing blood circulation and encouraging phlegm to leave the lung. They may also prescribe Chinese herbal medicine, give you dietary advice, or provide you with herbal teas to treat the underlying cause of the cough.

It is important to really understand the reason that you are coughing. Without understanding the ‘why‘ it is difficult to treat the ‘what‘, and this is where you can really benefit from a practitioner assessing you.

We have 5 excellent Chinese Medicine & Acupuncture practitioners here at Freedom Chinese Medicine in Ivanhoe, Melbourne. Mention this article to receive $20 off your first session. To book, click here or call us on 03 9486 5966.

Written by Dr. Heather Dowall

Dr Heather Dowall


Dr  Heather Dowall is a warm, intuitive and enthusiastic practitioner. Heather graduated from Endeavour College of Natural Health with a Health Science degree majoring in Acupuncture.

Heather is passionate about fertility and pregnancy support, pain relief, cancer support, and providing relief for anyone experiencing anxiety, depression, emotional trauma or PTSD.

Mention this article to receive $20 off your first session. To book, click here or call us on 03 9486 5966.



Acupuncture Evidence Project (McDonald J, and Janz S, 2017). The full document (81 pages) is available from the Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association Ltd (AACMA) http://www.acupuncture.org.au.

Orange & Passion fruit Buckwheat Protein Pancakes


6 each Eggs
3 each Egg yolks
1/4 cup/30g/1oz Buckwheat flour
1/2 each Banana
1 tsp Natvia/ Stevia
1/4 tsp Baking soda
1 tbsp/20g/0.7 oz Greek yogurt
1 tbsp/7g/0.2oz Milled flaxseed
1 scoop Vanilla whey protein

Orange & Passion Fruit Greek Yogurt
1 small tub Total Fage Greek Yogurt
1 each Orange, Juiced and zested
1 tsp Natvia
2 each Passion fruit
Servings: 10 mini pancakes


Preheat Oven 180°.

Pancake batter – in a large mixing bowl add eggs, buckwheat flour, banana, Natvia, baking soda, greek yogurt, flaxseed and whey protein. Use an electric mixer to blend the pancake batter to a smooth, runny consistency.

Cooking – in a large frying pan add some coconut oil (1/4 tsp.) place egg rings on the pan, leave some space between them. Pour pancake batter into egg rings using ¼ cup measurement, don’t fill to the top, half fill the egg rings. Once you see bubbles forming remove from pan. Finish cooking in the oven. See next step.

Oven- on a lined, greased baking tray, place the egg ring on the tray and gently remove the pancake by gently pushing it out. Give it a quick wipe to remove the excess batter and repeat the process until pancake batter is completely gone.Regularly flip pancakes over in the oven to ensure they are cooked evenly.

Orange and Passion Fruit Greek Yogurt- in a mixing bowl add greek yogurt, juice of an orange, orange zest, natvia and passion fruit- stir until combined.

Viola – plate up and enjoy.

– See more at: http://www.sweeterlifeclub.com/recipes/orange-passion-fruit-buckwheat-protein-pancakes/#sthash.TDTQTOJ5.dpuf

Hay fever Prevention Is Now

Have you noticed the wattle blooms and flower blossoms lately? Have you seen the bare trees with buds forming? Do you feel that wind and occasional afternoon sunshine? Yup, Spring is around the corner.

Now is the best time to treat hay fever with Chinese Medicine & Acupuncture to prevent an itchy, sneezy springtime. That’s right. Before you have symptoms.

Want some more information and evidence? Here is some.

Did you suffer with hay fever last spring? Well you needn’t. We can help.

Click here to book online. Or call 9486 5966.

Beef, Vegetable & Barley Soup

Hearty & Nutritious!

Serves 8


2 tbs olive oil,

500g beef check steak, cut into 2 cm cubes

1 large onion, finely chopped

3 teaspoons sweet paprika

3 carrots, peeled, cut into 1 cm cubes

2 swede, peeled, cut into 1 cm cubes

2 sticks celery, thinly sliced diagonally

8 cups chicken stock

1 cup pearl barley



  1. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large, deep saucepan over medium-high heat. Add beef (in batches if needed) and cook for 3-4 minutes or until browned. Transfer to a plate.
  2. Add remaining oil and onion to pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until tender. Add paprika and cook for 1 minute. Add carrots, swede, celery,, stock, 6 cups water, barley and beef. Bring to the boil. Skim any scum. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, for 75 – 90 mins or until tender. Season with salt and pepper.

Note: This soup is freezing friendly. Can freeze it for up to 3 months. Handy for a quick, filling meal in winter!


Slow-cooked Chicken Casserole

It’s a great time to use your slow cooker or crock pot. Here is an easy, tasty & healthy slow-cooker recipe. I’ve made this 2 weeks in a row, I just improvised with the vegies & flavours so they were different enough!

Serves 5-6


1.5 kg chicken pieces

2 carrots, sliced

2 onions, sliced

2 stalks celery, sliced

salt & pepper to taste

1/2 cup chicken broth or white wine

3/4 teaspoon basil or oregano


Place half the carrots, onion and celery in the bottom of the slow cooker. Add the chicken, salt, pepper, liquid and remaining vegetables. Sprinkle with herbs. Cover and cook on (Auto) for 6-7 hours.


Acupuncture for IBS

Does your bowel seem irritable? Does it bloat, hurt, not empty properly, make you nauseas & constipated? Or do you have diarrhoea, frequent loose stools, urgency or frequency? Do you worry that your Irritable Bowel Syndrome will play up at that next outing, work meeting or social function? Does your gut make incredibly loud noises, seemingly at the worst possible times?

We can help you. We can determine the underlying cause of your digestive problem and treat it naturally with a holistic approach, whether it be by using diet changes, herbal medicine, acupuncture, stress management or a combination of therapies. A recent review of 6 statistically significant studies, from 1966 to 2013 found that Acupuncture has a 96.7% total effectiveness rate of treating IBS¹.

abdominal painAre you tired of being offered medications and solutions that only treat the symptoms momentarily before they reoccur again? With Chinese medicine you will get a holistic and individualised treatment tailored specifically to help you. That way your IBS gets better and stays better.

We can determine what type of IBS you have and the best way to remedy it. Using both acupuncture and herbs, the underlying imbalance which is causing your IBS can be addressed, so you could start to notice improvements within just one month. Leaving you to feel better and lighter, free of the burden of bowel symptoms.

wellnessAre you concerned that acupuncture may be painful or herbs might be difficult to take? Well, they aren’t. It’s much easier than what you’ve been experiencing. But don’t take my word for it, come in and try it yourself. The first 10 new patients who come in for an appointment and mention this article will receive 50% off their first session. What have you got to lose?

Contact the Clinic on 03 9486 5966 or click here to book online

Look forward to helping you soon,
Dr. Jason Callanan

Jason has been practising Traditional Chinese Medicine for more than 10 years. In addition to his Acupuncture degree, he has also completed a Masters in Chinese Herbal Medicine.

Jason was first introduced to Acupuncture more than 25 years ago when he received treatment for a back injury he was told would need surgery; instead he received six sessions of acupuncture which successfully resolved the issue. Following this experience, he developed a strong passion and interest in Chinese Medicine.

His treatments may include Acupuncture, Massage, Chinese Herbal Medicine, nutritional support, exercise advice… to treat illness, as well as maintaining wellness and vitality.

Jason is an experienced, caring and enthusiastic practitioner with a strong interest in musculo-skeletal issues, digestive health, and the restoration of emotional well-being and balance.

Jason is available on Mondays, Tuesdays & Thursdays at Freedom Chinese Medicine in Ivanhoe, Melbourne. Contact the Clinic on 03 9486 5966 or click here to book online



1. Orloff, S. (2014). Acupuncture Proven effective for treating IBS Symptoms. World Journal of Gastroenterology.