Good Bugs In Our Body

Another wonderful article written by my father, Mark Spain. As the article mentions below, if you are interested in a probiotic supplement, please feel free to talk with me about recommendations. 

The flora in our gut is sometimes referred to as the forgotten organ to highlight their important metabolic and protective roles. These microorganisms, over 99% of which are bacteria, are present in a quantity tenfold greater than the total number of cells in our body, and are estimated to contain about one hundred times as many genes in aggregate as there are in the human genome. They perform various functions including:

  • Helping to digest certain foods that the stomach and small intestine have been unable to. 
  • Aiding in the manufacture of substances like neurotransmitters (including serotonin), enzymes, vitamins (notably B’s and K), and other essential nutrients.
  • Crowding out less savory microbial characters, thereby nurturing the integrity of the intestinal epithelium that is so important in protecting us from infection and inflammation. 
  • Training and modulating our immune system, helping it to accurately distinguish between friend and foe. 
The gastrointestinal tract of a normal fetus is sterile. During birth and rapidly thereafter, the infant’s 
gut is colonized by a microorganism milieu, the composition of which is in part dependent on the mode 
of birth (cesarean or vaginal), on feeding (breast or bottle), and on environmental conditions. By about 
the age of three, the gut flora population becomes relatively stable and similar to that of adults. It is, 
however, highly personalized, and continues to be influenced by both environment and diet. And while 
adaptable to change, the flora can become unbalanced in some specific situations.


What are the implications of such imbalances? One of the most interesting, and conceivably significant, 
recent ideas among a growing number of medical researchers is that inflammation may be the common 
denominator of many, if not most, of the chronic diseases from which we suffer today. And one 
theory is that the problem begins in the gut with a disorder of the flora causing loss in permeability 
of the epithelium, which if breached, allows for entry of bacteria, endotoxins, and proteins into the 
bloodstream. In turn, the body’s immune system mounts a response, and experiments suggest that, 
over time, the resulting low grade inflammation may lead to the chronic diseases.


How do these imbalances occur? Two crucial factors are use of antimicrobials and diet. Antibiotics 
are revolutionary for the treatment of infectious diseases, but our gut flora are susceptible to their 
effects as well. Studies have shown that a course of antibiotics both decreases total bacterial counts 
and causes shifts in relative proportions of certain populations. Resilience seems to be varied, ranging 
from return to something like the initial structure within a few weeks to persistence of an altered 
microbial community for years. Moreover, we are exposed to antibiotic residues in meat, milk, and 
surface water, and the routine use of products containing other antimicrobial compounds, such as hand 
sanitizers, additionally assaults our gut flora.


Eating habits can significantly impact both the composition and the well-being of our gut flora. 
Fermented foods like yogurt, kimchi, and sauerkraut contain large numbers of probiotic bacteria, 
and while most of these don’t appear to take up permanent residence in the gut, there is evidence 
they might in some ways positively influence the existing community. On the nutrient side, what we 
typically consume doesn’t feed the gut, only the upper gastrointestinal tract. Highly processed food 
deprives the trillion gut microorganisms of the nourishment (collectively termed prebiotics) they like 
best: undigested complex carbohydrates – from sources such as resistant starch (in bananas, oats, and 
beans), soluble fiber (in onions and other root vegetable, and in nuts), and insoluble fiber (in whole 
grains, especially bran, and in avocados) – which are fermented to produce short-chain fatty acids that 
nourish the gut barrier and help prevent inflammation.


So in light of this information, what should we do? First, don’t panic. In keeping with the concept of 
moderation, there are sensible ways to go about enhancing our gut health.
  • If you willing and able to do so, introduce some fermented foods into your diet on a regular basis.
  • Eat more unprocessed foods. A lot has been written about the goodness of whole grains, and now you have an even stronger reason to include them in your nutritional regime. Al dente pasta and lightly cooked vegetables also give the bugs more to chomp on.
  • By all means take antibiotics as required to tackle serious medical conditions, but question the need in other circumstances, such as when prescribed prophylactically (e.g., in conjunction with a viral infection).
  • Recent news stories have reported on a move to prohibit treatment of food animals with antibiotics, and that would be a good thing. Meanwhile, make common sense decisions about what to feed yourself and your children. 
  • Try to stay away from soaps, lotions, and other products containing antimicrobial compounds. There are “natural” counterparts to such goods, but again, common sense should be exercised in their use.
  • Talk with your healthcare practitioner about prebiotic and probiotic supplements. Get beyond the hype and learn the facts in order to determine whether they are right for you personally. And as with other types of food supplements on the market, there is a myriad of commercial products from which to choose, and so be an informed consumer.
Now you have some idea of the current state of knowledge with respect to this forgotten organ of gut 
flora, and while there is much yet to be learned, you probably possess enough information to begin 
treating it better. Even small steps hold the potential for freedom from the kinds of ailments that can 
reduce the quality of our lives sooner or later.


Summer Squash: Delicious and Nutritious

Those of you who have been in for an appointment on a Thursday over the past month have met my father, Mark.  He's officially retiring at the end of June, and he's going to continue helping me out in my office one day a week.  My Dad is a really great writer, and he's the guest author for this blog post.  Enjoy!


Spring brings not only warmer weather but also the beginning of a glorious bounty of great things to eat from the garden.  Abundant during these times is summer squash, typically considered to be the triumvirate of zucchini, yellow crookneck and straightneck, and scallop, or pattypan.  For some, summer squash does not inspire, instead conjuring up memories of a limpid vegetable (it’s actually a fruit) sitting in a pool of water in the plate, or southern style drowning in butter and leaving not much else to taste.  Additionally, there’s often little consideration of squash’s nutritional value in the way that carrots are prized for beta-carotene or dark leafy greens for their bonanza of vitamins and minerals.  So the next time you think squash, appreciate what you’re getting and know how to prepare it in a way that satisfies your senses.

There’s a lot of healthy goodness packed into summer squash.  It’s a great source of conventional antioxidant nutrients like Vitamin C and Vitamin A, as well as the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin that are especially helpful in protection of the eye, including against age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.  Benefits also abound for blood sugar regulation which requires the ample presence of B-complex vitamins, many of which are found in valuable amounts in summer squash.  And the dietary fiber in summer squash includes pectin polysaccharides that an increasing number of animal studies have shown keep insulin metabolism and blood sugar levels in balance, and protect against the onset of type 2 diabetes.  Some of these same nutrients also have anti-inflammatory properties and so provide a useful double punch in potentially combating cancer and other chronic diseases.

Summer squash is delicious raw with your favorite dip, or grated on a salad or a sandwich.  Steamed with other vegetables, sautéed in a bit of olive oil, oven roasted, or grilled are simple ways to enjoy its natural flavor.  If you’re more adventurous, ratatouille, with its mélange of onions, bell peppers, eggplant, and tomatoes, is a tasty choice.  And newspapers, cookbooks, and the internet are chock full of all kinds of recipes, any number of which are sure to please.  Here’s a fresh, colorful summer side dish of zucchini stuffed with tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil.


2 medium 2-inch-wide zucchini
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 cup quartered grape tomatoes
1/2 cup diced mozzarella cheese, preferably fresh
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil


  1. Trim both ends off zucchini; cut in half lengthwise. Cut a thin slice off the backs so each half sits flat. Scoop out the pulp, leaving a 1/4-inch shell. Finely chop the pulp; set aside.
  2. Place the zucchini halves in a microwave-safe dish. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Cover and microwave on High until tender-crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. (Alternatively, steam in a steamer basket over 1 inch of boiling water in a large skillet or pot.)
  3. Whisk oil, vinegar, shallot and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Add tomatoes, cheese, basil and the reserved zucchini pulp; toss to combine. Divide the filling among the zu-canoes.


Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT)

Healing with the use of light is not new.  Light therapy was reported to be effective for many conditions by Hippocrates.  With the development of the laser and its special properties, using light as a treatment modality has gained more popularity. This is because we can now use specific wavelengths of light and give accurately measured doses of energy directly to the appropriate treatment site.  This was not possible with other light sources.

Low level lasers, also known as cold lasers, have been in medical use around the world for over 30 years.  This modality has a long record of successful clinical studies that demonstrate its medical efficacy and safety.

Low level lasers supply energy to the body in the form of non-thermal photons of light.  Light is transmitted through the skin’s layers (the dermis, epidermis and the subcutaneous tissue or tissue fat under the skin) at all wavelengths in the visible range.  However, light waves in the near infrared ranges penetrate the deepest of all light waves in the visible spectrum.  When low level laser light waves penetrate deeply into the skin, they optimize the immune responses of our blood.  This has both anti-inflammatory and immuno-stimulatory effects.  Light transmitted to the blood in this way has positive effects throughout the whole body, supplying vital oxygen and energy to every cell.

The Physiological Effects of LLLT:

• Increased cell metabolism and ATP production
• Improved blood circulation and vasodilatation
• Analgesic effect
• Anti-inflammatory and anti-edematous effects
• Stimulation of wound healing

The Benefits of LLLT to Patients:

• Relieves acute and chronic pain
• Increases the speed, quality and tensile strength of tissue repair
• Increases blood supply
• Stimulates the immune system
• Stimulates nerve function and regeneration
• Develops collagen and muscle tissue
• Helps generate new and healthy cells and tissue
• Promotes faster wound healing and clot formation
• Reduces inflammation

What to Expect During a Laser Therapy Treatment Session 

For most people, laser therapy is quite passive.  There are no pulsating shocks, as in forms of electronic stimulation, nor heat as with ultrasound.  The most noticeable sensation is the touch of the probe head of the laser as it comes in contact with the skin.

Some patients (3-5% of those undergoing light therapy) have reported a slight tingling or tapping in a nerve or along a nerve pathway.  Some have noted that they are able to sense a slight feeling of warmth.  For the most part, however, the treatment, which may last from 2 to 20 minutes, is not noticed at all.

Following (and even during) a laser therapy session, approximately 75-80% of patients being treated can notice an immediate improvement in their condition, though it can take 3-4 sessions before a noticeable change occurs.  This will depend primarily on the type of condition being treated and the length of time the condition has been present.

Generally, the more chronic or severe the condition, the longer it takes to respond.  The majority of conditions treated will take anywhere from 4-5 or 10-18 treatments.  Once again, the number of treatments depends upon the severity of the condition and its duration. 


I am very excited to now be offering this new therapy as part of my practice!

An Introduction to Chinese Herbal Medicine

Medicinal substances have been used in China for millennia, and Chinese Herbology is a complete system of diagnosis and prescription that is powerful in its ability to address complex health issues.  When I prescribe herbs for my patients, I often get asked many questions about the composition of the formulas as well as about how they work.  In this Introduction to Chinese Herbal Medicine, I’ll be introducing some of the basic concepts used in Chinese Herbology to help demystify the complex process of herbal prescribing.

Chinese Herbology has its roots in four primary historical texts that all date back to about the third century.  The texts are the Yellow Emperor’s Classic (Nei Jing) that outlines the basic theoretical principles of Chinese medicine, the Divine Husbandman’s Materia Medica (Shen Nong Ben Cao) that is credited with being the first compendium of Chinese herbal knowledge, the Discussion of Cold-Induced Disorders (Shang Han Lun) and the Essentials from the Golden Chamber (Jin Gui Yao Lue) both of which go into great detail about diagnostic pattern differentiation and prescribing of Chinese medicinals. 

One of the most basic things to keep in mind about Chinese herbal formulas is that they are not merely a mixture of random herbs that is haphazardly put together.  Each formula is a carefully crafted blend of herbs that work synergistically to balance and enhance each other to bring about the best therapeutic results.  This balance can take many forms such as one herb strengthening the effect of another, one herb counterbalancing an undesirable property in another herb such as toxicity, or one herb working to harmonize all the herbs in the formula to make it easier to process and digest.  Additionally, specific therapeutic strategies and methods underlie the formulation and application of herbal combinations. 

The herbs in formula combinations are divided into four categories: chief, deputy, assistant, and envoy.  The chief herb is the main herb(s) in the formula that is directed toward the principal pattern of disharmony.  The chief is an indispensable ingredient and has the greatest effect upon treating the pattern.  The deputy herb(s) aids the chief herb in treating the principal pattern of disharmony and also serves as the main ingredient to treat any coexisting patterns.  The assistant herb(s) reinforces the effect of both the chief and deputy herbs, and also directly influences a less important aspect of the main pattern.  The assistant herbs also moderate or eliminate the harsh nature of other ingredients and reduce the toxicity or side effects of other herbs in the formula.  The envoy herb(s) focuses the action of the formula on a certain channel or area of the body.  The envoy also harmonizes and integrates the actions of the other ingredients in the formula.

The formula for allergies, Jade Windscreen (Yu Ping Feng San), that I mentioned in my last blog post is a good example.  The chief herb in this formula is Astragalus.  This herb is directed against the primary pattern of disharmony, which, in the case of allergies, is an imbalanced immune response.  Atractylodis, the deputy, reinforces the action of the chief herb by helping to normalize immune response, and also goes a little further by strengthening the lung and spleen energy, thereby addressing the root cause of the immune imbalance.  Ledebouriellae, the assistant herb, helps both the chief and deputy herbs stabilize the immune system while also protecting the body from invasion by wind.  (See my last blog post for more information about wind and allergies.)  This formula does not include an envoy, illustrating the fact that not every formula has every component.  Likewise, many formulas have multiple deputy and assistant herbs.

It is this multi-layered treatment approach that allows Chinese herbal formulas to be so effective.  Each formula is designed carefully to not only address symptoms, but to also go deeper to address the cause of the symptoms.  The formulas, therefore, not only provide symptom relief, but they also help to correct the body’s imbalances to prevent the symptoms from recurring.  The complexity behind each formula is why it is always best to consult with a formally trained Chinese herbalist to make sure that you take the most appropriate formula for your specific condition.        

Traditionally, herbal formulas were decocted by boiling raw herbs and drinking the resulting liquid.  This form is known as a tea.  Because raw herbs require a good bit of time and effort to cook, granules are an easier way for a practitioner to have the same ability to modify a formula for a specific patient without requiring the patient to cook herbs.  Granules are decocted herbs that are then dried into a powder form.  The powder is then reconstituted with boiling water and taken as a tea.  Many classic formulas are also available in tablet or tincture form, and these are also wonderful choices.  Herbal formulas work best when patients take them, so it is always best to give patients a choice about how to take their herbs to see which form will fit best into their lifestyle.

Ah - Choo!!!

Here in the Triangle, if you suffer from seasonal allergies, you’ve probably already started to notice that familiar tickle in your nose and throat that signals the arrival of spring pollen.  Maybe you’ve been sneezing, have been mildly congested or had a runny nose, or perhaps you’ve even noticed some mild burning of your eyes or itchiness of your skin.  All these symptoms, from a Chinese medical point of view, point to the climactic influence of the spring season – wind. 

Chinese medicine views seasonal allergic rhinitis symptoms as being primarily caused by the pathogenic influence of wind.  Wind is qualified by symptoms that occur quickly, are rapidly changeable, affect mostly the upper part of the body, and occur at a very surface level – for example, mucous membranes and skin.  From the perspective of Chinese medicine, those of us with underlying deficiencies, often of the spleen, kidney, or lung, are especially susceptible to invasion by wind, and, therefore, conditions like seasonal allergies.

Luckily, there are many natural options to help relieve allergy symptoms.  One of the best choices for effective and side effect free treatment is acupuncture.  Acupuncture works incredibly well because it not only relieves current symptoms, but also balances the immune system and corrects underlying deficiencies to help prevent symptoms from recurring.  Regular treatments are most effective during allergy season, ideally starting acupuncture therapy a few weeks before symptoms hit their peak. 

Chinese herbal medicine is another very effective choice, and can be combined with acupuncture for faster results.  One of the most basic formulas used during allergy season is Jade Windscreen (Yu Ping Feng San).  This formula is incredibly simple and elegant, comprised of only three herbs – one that expels wind (Ledeboureilla root), one that supports the lung system (Astragalus root), and one that supports the spleen system (Atractylodes).  The simplicity of this formula also makes it highly adaptable for each individual patient’s presentation.

Using a neti pot can also be of great help during allergy season.  Nasal irrigation with saline can be extremely effective at washing allergens out of the nasal passageways and preventing an immune response.  Additionally, the saline helps to moisturize the nasal membranes and control swelling.  Goldenseal and/or grapefruit seed extract are great additions to the traditional saline wash.

Supplements can also be of great support to your system this time of year.  Quercitin can help to normalize the histamine reaction, Bromelain thins mucous and reduces nasal passage swelling and inflammation, and good quality probiotics help to normalize large intestine and gut function and, therefore, support the immune system as a whole.

Remember, there’s no reason to suffer this season.  Try some of the many natural options available to you to find relief from allergy symptoms!



Winter, a Time to Rest


In our western culture, we are very “production oriented.”  Time is money, right?  We place a lot of value on being industrious and getting things done.  We don’t, however, see the flip-side so easily, often neglecting to take time to rest and rejuvenate, often seeing these things as being a “waste of time” since we can’t easily measure tangible or material benefits from taking time off.  The effect this type of behavior has on our body is cumulative, and, over time, we start to experience health problems because of our unwillingness to slow down and rest.  What we experience in this regard varies greatly from person to person, depending on each individual’s constitution.  Some people may be able to push themselves harder for much longer without seeing any detriment, and for others, this type of behavior may take a more immediate toll.  Either way, the body’s energy reserves are being taxed and used up at a greater rate than they are being replenished, and this, eventually, will lead to a health related issue of one sort or another – lowered immunity and autoimmune disease, insomnia and poor sleep, thyroid and adrenal dysfunction, digestive upset, migraines, chronic muscular tension, and menstrual issues just to name a few.  On the extreme end of the spectrum, this type of over-taxation on the body can even end up expressing as cancer.  The burden of chronic overwork can show up absolutely anywhere in the body, depending, again, on where a particular individual has a tendency to fall out of balance or a constitutional weakness. 

According to the Five Phases (also called Elements) in Chinese medicine, to prevent this kind of deep depletion of our reserves, we need to support and take proper care to nourish Water.  The Water phase/element is associated with the kidneys and the urinary bladder, and I’m sure this makes intuitive sense, as these are the two primary organs that are responsible for physiologically processing much of the water in the body.  Water is also associated with the deep endocrine and glandular processes of the body, the production and regulation of hormones, and the bones.  The kidneys, in Chinese medicine, are where the root yin and yang (the root energy) of the body is stored.  In addition, the kidneys store the precious substance called jing, which is our body’s deepest core essence, akin to measurable physiological substances that trace our ancestral inheritance like our DNA.

As most of the processes governed by the Water phase/element are at the deepest level of our being, it is easy to understand the significant importance of taking care to nourish this system well and provide it with proper maintenance.  In the case of Water, proper maintenance equals REST.  

Rest becomes especially important this time of year, as the Water phase is associated with the season of winter.  We can liken Water energy to a seed buried deep in the frozen ground.  The seed, like our kidneys, holds within it all the requirements for it to germinate, sprout, push up through the soil in the spring, grow tall and full and vibrant, and eventually release new seeds to go through the same process of birth and growth.  However, none of this can manifest if the seed, during the winter, is not given the proper time to mature within itself and rest within the soil before beginning its emergence into the warm sun of springtime.  The same is true for us as humans.  Winter is the time of year that we should be resting and rejuvenating – storing our energy for the spring when it will be time for us, like the seed, to burst forth with our creative energy for all the new projects we want to accomplish in our lives.  If we don’t take the time to let our energy consolidate and our ideas coalesce, then we won’t, ultimately, have much to offer once the energy is there in spring to support our growth. 

The evidence of this is all around us in nature.  In winter, the atmosphere is quiet and still, the days are short, and the climate is cold.  The cues we are getting from nature are to stay inside, stay warm, and rest well.  So make sure to slow down this winter, take some time off, and let your body restore its deep level energy to support you to be even more productive in the coming months once the weather warms and the days grow long again.  Take a nap, curl up with your favorite book and a nice cup of hot tea, have a soak in the tub – whatever helps you to relax, unwind, and be still.      

Replenish Your Reserves with Bone Broth

One of the easiest and most healthful ways to nourish our bodies is to follow the tradition of our ancestors of utilizing the whole animal when we cook.  One wonderfully economical and nutritious way to do this is by making bone broth. 

Broths are ideal food for us as they are very easy to digest, and our body has to expend very little effort to utilize the nutrients contained within them.  Bone broth, in particular, contains an astounding assortment of beneficial factors such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur, collagen, the building blocks for glucosamine and chondroitin, essential amino acids, and many other highly absorbable nutrients and trace minerals.   Additionally, the nicest part about getting our nutrients from a natural source, such as bone broth, means that we are also getting any supplemental, perhaps as of yet unknown, co-factors needed to support the digestion, absorption, and metabolism of the primary nutrients.  This is especially true for bone maintenance and regeneration.   

Another unique aspect of bone broth is that it contains marrow, a very nutritious substance rich in omega-3 fatty acids.  In Chinese medical theory, marrow is considered to be an extraordinary substance that nourishes our deep development, growth, and our jing.  Jing, in Chinese medicine, is akin to our life essence – the reservoir from which we draw energetic sustenance during our entire lives.   By supporting our jing with smart dietary choices, we can make sure our reserves don’t easily run low, and that we always have the energy we need to take care of everything that’s required of us in our busy lives. 



  • Marrow Bones – use only organic, free-range, hormone-free animal bones such as beef knuckle bones or a chicken carcass
  • 1 – 2 tsp. rice wine or apple cider vinegar or lemon juice (the vinegar/acid helps to dissolve the calcium and other minerals out of the bone)
  • Root vegetables and/or any other vegetables for flavor (optional)

Place bones (and vegetables if you are using them) in a soup pot and cover with water by two inches.  Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to simmer, and let the broth simmer from 12 – 24 hours for chicken bones and 24 – 72 hours for beef bones.   As the broth cooks, scrape off the foam that rises to the top.  Once cooking is complete, remove the bones and vegetables with a slotted spoon, and refrigerate the broth so the fat separates and solidifies at the top.  Scrape off some of the fat, but not all, as saturated fats help the body to assimilate minerals and vitamins.

The broth can be refrigerated for several days or frozen for several months.  I like to freeze the broth in ice-cube trays, making it extra easy to use in recipes throughout the next several months.  Bone broth combines really well with miso for an extra nutritious soup or stew, but you can season this broth however you like.

You may also use a crock pot to make this recipe even easier!

Remember, when you take the time to make this broth, you are nourishing and supporting yourself at the deepest level possible!

Cooler Weather, Warmer Foods

As summer gives way to autumn, it becomes important for us to make appropriate changes in our diet to support our bodies in the cooler weather.  While cooling foods like salads and other raw vegetables are good for our bodies during the hot weather months, once the outdoor temperature begins to fall, we need to incorporate more warming foods, such as cooked vegetables, soups, and stews into our daily menus.  This helps our body in many ways, especially when we look at the digestive processes from a Chinese medical point of view.

In Chinese medicine, the process of digestion utilizes a great deal of metabolic heat (digestive fire) to break down, absorb, and integrate all the nutrients from our food.  Because of this, our digestive organs (the spleen and stomach in Chinese medicine), are highly susceptible to the pathogenic influence of cold.  If we collect too much cold in the digestive system, we don’t process and absorb the nutrients from our food efficiently.  In addition, we might also get unpleasant physical symptoms such as abdominal pain, cramping, bloating, gassiness, constipation, or diarrhea.  By keeping the relative balance of cold and heat in check in the digestive system, everything flows much more smoothly, and our bodies are able to function optimally.

Acupuncture and Chinese herbs are, of course, very supportive to the digestive processes in our body.  These modalities can help regulate digestion and elimination, as well as normalize metabolism.  Dietary therapy, however, is a crucial part of maintaining the balance that we achieve from therapies like acupuncture.  This is why dietary therapy, along with acupuncture and herbal medicine, is one of the very important branches within Chinese medicine.

Many of my patients have been asking for another recipe, and this seems like the perfect time to share one of my very favorite stew recipes.  During fall and winter, I think I make this stew about every other week because I love it so much.  I hope you enjoy this one as much as I do!






1 ½ tsp olive oil
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
Freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp fresh thyme, chopped and divided OR 1 tsp dried thyme, divided
1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped and divided OR 1 tsp dried rosemary, divided
2-4 cloves garlic, minced and divided
1 lb sweet or hot sausage cut into one-inch chunks
1 (19 oz.) can white cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
½ cup dry white wine (I use cooking sherry)
½ cup chicken broth
3-4 roma tomatoes, cored and cubed OR one can peeled, diced tomatoes
Hot pepper sauce
1 bag baby spinach, stemmed and coarsely chopped

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large soup pot.  Add onions, salt, pepper, half the thyme, half the rosemary, and half the garlic.  Cook for 4 minutes, stirring frequently.

Put sausage in a skillet and cover with ½ cup water.  Cook over high heat 8-10 minutes, or until the water evaporates.  Remove the sausage from the skillet, and add to the soup pot with the onions in it.  Brown all lightly – about 4 minutes.  Add beans, wine, broth, tomatoes, and a dash of hot pepper sauce.  Add remaining thyme, rosemary, and garlic.  Reduce heat and simmer for 4 minutes.  Add spinach and cook an additional 15-20 minutes until the sauce is somewhat thickened.

Serve with a crusty baguette and ENJOY!

Jin Gui (Golden Shield) Qi Gong

As a practitioner of Chinese medicine in the service of tending to the health and well-being of others, it is extremely important that I take the best possible care of myself.  To this end, one of my primary practices is qi gong.   Qi Gong is one of the five branches of Asian medicine, and is considered, along with tai chi, to be an internal martial art.  This means that the practice of qi gong focuses on cultivating the internal energy of the body (the same energy we tap into when providing acupuncture therapy) to establish and maintain superior health.  There are countless forms of qi gong, each taking a slightly different focus on what the practice seeks to cultivate in the body.  The form that I practice, Jin Gui (Golden Shield) qi gong, focuses primarily on cultivating health, vitality, and longevity, as well as on unlocking the vast potential of the human energetic system.  I have practiced many forms of both tai chi and qi gong over the years, and the Golden Shield system is by far the most beneficial system I have found.  I invite you to visit the following link for more information:  My teacher, Michael Hynes, resides in the mountains of western North Carolina, but he is willing to start a class here in Raleigh should there be enough interest.  If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, please let me know, and we can get something going in the triangle!  

An interview about Golden Shield qi gong with my teacher, Michael Hynes:

Click here to listen to the interview

A video introduction to Golden Shield qi gong put together by a colleague of mine at Five Branches University, Natan Bar-Shimon (see parts 2-6 on


September is Cholesterol Awareness Month

September is Cholesterol Awareness Month, so let’s take a closer look at what cholesterol is and how we can make sure we keep healthy levels maintained in our bodies.

Cholesterol, in and of itself, is not bad.  Cholesterol is a waxy substance that is found in all of our body’s cells.  We need cholesterol in our bodies to maintain many normal physiological functions, including the production of new cells.  However, there is good and bad cholesterol. 

High-density lipoproteins (HDL) are the “good” cholesterols.  These molecules help to control excess cholesterol in your blood by collecting it and carrying it to the liver where it is broken down and processed out of your body.  The higher the level of HDL in your blood, the less “bad” cholesterol you will have. 

Low-density lipoproteins (LDL) are the “bad” cholesterols.  These molecules carry cholesterol to the many organs and tissues in your body that require it.  However, if your body has excess LDLs, the excess continues to circulate in your blood, and, overtime, it will begin to build up on your blood vessel walls and collect as deposits called “plaques.”  These plaque deposits cause your blood vessels to narrow, and blood flow is restricted.  This can lead to high blood pressure and coronary artery disease.

Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can play a role in helping you to maintain healthy cholesterol levels by approaching you as a whole person and correcting the underlying imbalances in your body.  There are four common patterns we see in Chinese medicine that correspond with high cholesterol.  Often these patterns can be distinguished based on other conditions a patient may have, such as difficulty losing weight, heart disease, arthritic changes, or inability to digest and assimilate food properly.  Our bodies are very complex, and, in most cases, a combination of these patterns will be present in any one individual.  Treatment with both acupuncture and herbs will yield the best and most lasting results.  It is always important, however, to keep up with blood work via your primary physician to make sure that your cholesterol levels are in a good range.

Diet and lifestyle also play a crucial role in maintaining proper cholesterol levels.  The Mayo Clinic has put together some wonderful information regarding the top five diet and lifestyle choices that can help you maintain proper cholesterol levels.  I have reposted the information here for your convenience.

The top five cholesterol lowering foods according to the Mayo Clinic are:

1. Oatmeal, oat bran and high-fiber foods

Oatmeal contains soluble fiber, which reduces your low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the "bad" cholesterol. Soluble fiber is also found in such foods as kidney beans, apples, pears, barley and prunes.

Soluble fiber can reduce the absorption of cholesterol into your bloodstream.  Five to 10 grams or more of soluble fiber a day decreases your total and LDL cholesterol. Eating 1 1/2 cups of cooked oatmeal provides 6 grams of fiber.  If you add fruit, such as bananas, you'll add about 4 more grams of fiber.  To mix it up a little, try steel-cut oatmeal or cold cereal made with oatmeal or oat bran.

2. Fish and omega-3 fatty acids

Eating fatty fish can be heart-healthy because of its high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which can reduce your blood pressure and risk of developing blood clots.  In people who have already had heart attacks, fish oil, or omega-3 fatty acids, reduces the risk of sudden death.

Doctors recommend eating at least two servings of fish a week. The highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids are in mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna, salmon, and halibut.

You should bake or grill the fish to avoid adding unhealthy fats.  If you don't like fish, you can also get small amounts of omega-3 fatty acids from foods like ground flaxseed or canola oil.

You can take an omega-3 or fish oil supplement to get some of the benefits, but you won't get other nutrients in fish, like selenium.  If you decide to take a supplement, just remember to watch your diet and eat lean meat or vegetables in place of fish.

3. Walnuts, almonds and other nuts

Walnuts, almonds and other nuts can reduce blood cholesterol. Rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, walnuts also help keep blood vessels healthy.

According to the Food and Drug Administration, eating about a handful (1.5 ounces, or 42.5 grams) a day of most nuts, such as almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, some pine nuts, pistachio nuts and walnuts, may reduce your risk of heart disease.  Just make sure the nuts you eat aren't salted or coated with sugar.

All nuts are high in calories, so a handful will do. To avoid eating too many nuts and gaining weight, replace foods high in saturated fat with nuts.  For example, instead of using cheese, meat or croutons in your salad, add a handful of walnuts or almonds.

4. Olive oil

Olive oil contains a potent mix of antioxidants that can lower your "bad" (LDL) cholesterol but leave your "good" (HDL) cholesterol untouched.

The Food and Drug Administration recommends using about 2 tablespoons (23 grams) of olive oil a day in place of other fats in your diet to get its heart-healthy benefits. To add olive oil to your diet, you can saute vegetables in it, add it to a marinade, or mix it with vinegar as a salad dressing.  You can also use olive oil as a substitute for butter when basting meat or as a dip for bread.  Olive oil is high in calories, so don't eat more than the recommended amount.

The cholesterol-lowering effects of olive oil are even greater if you choose extra-virgin olive oil, meaning the oil is less processed and contains more heart-healthy antioxidants. But keep in mind that "light" olive oils are usually more processed than extra-virgin or virgin olive oils and are lighter in color, not fat or calories.

5. Foods with added plant sterols or stanols

Foods are now available that have been fortified with sterols or stanols — substances found in plants that help block the absorption of cholesterol.

Margarines, orange juice and yogurt drinks with added plant sterols can help reduce LDL cholesterol by more than 10 percent.  The amount of daily plant sterols needed for results is at least 2 grams — which equals about two 8-ounce (237-milliliter) servings of plant sterol-fortified orange juice a day.

Plant sterols or stanols in fortified foods don't appear to affect levels of triglycerides or of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), the "good" cholesterol.

Other changes to your diet

For any of these foods to provide their benefit, you need to make other changes to your diet and lifestyle.

Cut back on the cholesterol and total fat — especially saturated and trans fats — that you eat. Saturated fats, like those in meat, full-fat dairy products and some oils, raise your total cholesterol. Trans fats, which are sometimes found in margarines and store-bought cookies, crackers and cakes, are particularly bad for your cholesterol levels. Trans fats raise low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the "bad" cholesterol, and lower high-density lipoprotein (HDL), the "good" cholesterol.

Although your doctor may have told you to lower your total cholesterol, it's important to raise your high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, which is known as the "good" cholesterol.  It might sound like a mixed message, but reducing "bad" low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and increasing HDL cholesterol is a great way to lower your risk of heart disease.

Make your lifestyle count

Your lifestyle has the single greatest impact on your HDL cholesterol.  Even small changes to your daily habits are extremely beneficial to help raise your HDL levels.

Don't smoke.  If you smoke, quit. Quitting smoking can increase your HDL cholesterol by up to 10 percent.

Lose weight.  Extra pounds take a toll on HDL cholesterol. If you're overweight, losing even a few pounds can improve your HDL level.  

Get more physical activity.  Within two months of starting, frequent aerobic exercise can increase HDL cholesterol by about 5 percent in otherwise healthy sedentary adults. Your best bet for increasing HDL cholesterol is to exercise briskly for 30 minutes, five times a week. Examples of brisk, aerobic exercise include walking, running, cycling, swimming, playing basketball, raking leaves — anything that increases your heart rate. You can also break up your daily activity into three 10-minute segments if you're having difficulty finding time to exercise.

Choose healthier fats.  A healthy diet includes some fat, but there's a limit. In a heart-healthy diet, between 25 and 35 percent of your total daily calories can come from fat — but saturated fat should account for less than 7 percent of your total daily calories. Avoid foods that contain saturated and trans fats, which raise LDL cholesterol and damage your blood vessels.

Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats — found in olive, peanut and canola oils — tend to improve HDL's anti-inflammatory abilities. Nuts, fish and other foods containing omega-3 fatty acids are other good choices for improving your LDL cholesterol to HDL cholesterol ratio.

Drink alcohol only in moderation.  If you choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation. This means no more than one drink a day for women and everyone over age 65, and two drinks a day for men.



Dr. Oz speaks up in favor of acupuncture and alternative medicine

Dr. Oz believes that "alternative medicine, at least as I envision it, is a very different way of thinking about the role of health in your life. Health is a sacred process. You are emotionally connected to the people around you; you live in relationships that are healthy for you. Food is not just something you pull off a shelf—it has a life force to it." Whereas conventional medicine identifies ailments and attempts to fix them, he says, this alternative mindset seeks to prevent ill health from arising.  Oz believes the greatest medical advances of the next decade will come from manipulating the body's flow of energy, as Chinese practices such as acupuncture seem to do.

Springtime Liver Support

From time to time, all of us experience episodes of irritability, short-temperedness, and moodiness.  If these symptoms are a constant issue for you, or if they interfere with your ability to enjoy life, then your liver system may need some extra attention.

Spring is the season of the wood element in Asian medicine, and the liver is one of the organ systems, along with the gall bladder system, associated with wood.  This is why it is very important during this time of year to pay extra attention to these systems in our body and give them the support they need.  If we neglect the early warning signs, such as frustration, chronic irritability, or moodiness, then we may develop more severe presentations of disharmony such as anxiety, depression, insomnia, digestive difficulties, and decreased immune function.  

All of the symptoms mentioned above are a result of qi not flowing smoothly in our bodies, and the liver system governs the free flow of qi.  Therefore, if we are experiencing a complex of symptoms related to the non-smooth flow of qi (liver qi stagnation), we need to focus some attention on bringing the liver system back into balance so its proper functioning can be restored. 

In addition to some of the emotional symptoms already mentioned, liver qi stagnation can present with pain in the area below the ribcage, difficulty taking deep breaths, continual sighing or yawning, abdominal distention, nausea, belching (especially with a sour taste), diarrhea or constipation, a feeling of something stuck in the throat, irregular and/or painful periods, and premenstrual symptoms such as breast tenderness and/or swelling.

Acupuncture and herbal medicine are extremely effective at relieving liver qi stagnation, but there are also many things you can do at home to help move your qi and bring your liver back into balance.  Exercise (especially outdoors!) is one of the absolute best things we can do to break up qi stagnation and restore proper flow to our bodies.  The exercise doesn't need to be intense; even activities like yoga and stretching will be incredibly helpful.  Eating fresh, leafy greens are also very supportive to the liver system, as is drinking water with lemon and milk thistle tea.  Milk thistle helps the liver with its detoxification functions, helping the liver rid our body of toxins and other damaging substances. 

Here's a lovely recipe to help you support your liver system:

Broccoli Rabe (or Broccolini) Sauté

1 bunch broccoli rabe (or broccolini) - washed and roughly chopped
4-5 green onions - sliced into 1 inch pieces
12 oz Goji berries - washed
2-3 tblspns olive oil
Pinch sea salt

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a frying pan.  Add green onions and saute for 2-3 minutes.  Add broccoli rabe/broccolini and goji berries.  Cook until tender (a few minutes more), and season with salt.  Serve with plum vinegar, if desired, and chrysanthemum tea (another wonderful way to support our livers).  Enjoy!

Society for Acupuncture Research 2010 Conference - Chapel Hill

I was lucky enough to be able to attend some of the Society for Acupuncture Research Conference held earlier this month in Chapel Hill.  The conference theme this year was "Translational Research in Acupuncture:  Bridging Science, Practice, and Community," and the focus was on presenting new, state-of-the-art research in acupuncture and Asian medicine.   

Research in acupuncture and Asian medicine is quite a difficult task, as most of the modalities practiced within the scope of Asian medicine do not fit neatly into the standard western medical research protocols.  It is, of course, debatable whether or not the current protocols within the world of research are even useful for demonstrating the effectiveness of many mainstream western medical treatments and interventions.  

There were many intriguing ideas presented by leaders in the world of Asian and complementary medicine.  The presenters included Ted Kaptchuk (one of my favorite figures in the world of Asian medicine) of Harvard University who researches the placebo effect, and Helene Langevin of the University of Vermont who has studied the interactive role that connective tissue plays upon insertion of an acupuncture needle into a human body.

It was truly an honor to take part in the conference, and I invite you to read this article from the Wall Street Journal to learn more:

Pets: Making a Connection That's Healthy for Humans


We feed them, groom them and sometimes even dress them. We coddle them in a multitude of ways, taking great pains to make sure they are healthy and worry when they are not. When they pass on, the loss for many is as profound as any other. Perhaps we do so much for our pets because, according to a variety of sources, they do so much for us.

Naturally, you would expect the American Veterinary Medical Association, the nonprofit Delta Society – for the connection of humans and animals – and the Humane Society to extol the many benefits of having pets. But the U.S. Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta also gives the family dog, cat and or other pet a hearty endorsement.

The CDC notes on its Web site: "Pets can decrease your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, triglyceride levels, feelings of loneliness. Pets can increase your opportunities for exercise and outdoor activities, opportunities for socialization."

Benefits like those may explain why pet ownership has risen from 56% of American households in 1988 to 62%, or 71.4 million households, in 2008, according to the 2009/2010 National Pet Owners Survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association.

A lot has been written in the last few decades about the benefits of having pets, but it seems there’s more to our relationship with them than many people realize.

For the full text of this article, please click here:


An Update on Haiti

This update has been provided by the American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AAAOM).

Acupuncturists Help Heal Haiti

      In the wake of the recent devastation in Haiti, which has affected hundreds of thousands of individuals, a 3,000 year old-medicine has emerged as a remedy for survivors and relief workers to combat stress and trauma.  Free community-style acupuncture, provided by the volunteer-based organization, Acupuncturists Without Borders (AWB), has been the source of that relief this last week, in their first of many trips to Haiti.  According to volunteers and Sarasota News Network’s (SNN) witnessing journalist, Mia McCormick, the treatments AWB offered during the pilot visit to Haiti February 3-8 were highly effective within a matter of minutes, resulting in a visible decrease in discomfort and creating a rare light of hope for those affected most by the dark and devastating event.  Local doctors observed their patients feeling sudden hope, which seemed dramatic in those impacted most by the dark and devastating event.
      In these types of trying situations, acupuncturists can be one of the greatest supports.  Once the people affected by this type of tragedy have water, shelter, food, and immediate medical attention, the need goes to the next critical step of mental, emotional, and spiritual care, along with ongoing physical care; this is where acupuncture comes into play.  Acupuncturists can provide significant calming relief in these situations.
      Diana Fried, Executive Director of AWB, who recently traveled to Haiti to organize the relief efforts, stated the purpose of her visit was to assess the needs on the ground in Haiti for acupuncture services.  She found that there is a tremendous need and desire for acupuncture treatments for physical and emotional trauma.  A number of volunteer groups expressed, in addition to the need for treatments, an interest in having AWB come back to train local nurses, doctors, medical students and other health practitioners in the NADA protocol, so that they can use it in the field on an ongoing basis.  Fried added,”Everyone in Haiti has had a terrible loss...everyone is suffering from some level of traumatic stress and/or post traumatic stress disorder.  We feel honored that our treatments are welcome in Haiti, and that we can do our small part to help ease the suffering, and bring about some recovery for the body, minds and spirits of the Haitian people, whose lives we touch."  The American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, the national trade association for acupuncturists in the Unites States and the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM), the certifying body for professional acupuncturists, have teamed up to promote AWB’s relief efforts and the benefits of acupuncture treatment for individuals affected by disaster.  Dr. Kory Ward-Cook, CEO of the NCCAOM states, “Many are not aware of the healing effects of receiving acupuncture treatment during the aftermath of an overwhelming disaster such as the Haiti earthquake.  By bringing this medicine to the streets of Haiti, not only are they improving thousands of lives, but these acupuncturists also bring public awareness to the value of this medicine during crisis situations.”

Winter Goodness: Kidney Qi Boosting Black Bean Chili

Kidney Qi Boosting Black Bean Chili
2 cups black beans, sorted and soaked
4 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons dried oregano
3 onions, finely diced
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
4 teaspoons sweet paprika
2-3 tablespoons ground red chile
2 cups peeled, seeded, and chopped tomato, juice reserved
1-2 teaspoons pureed chipotle chile
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
A dash of red wine or sherry vinegar
Optional garnish: sour cream

Drain the beans.  Put them in a soup pot, add fresh water to cover by 4 inches, and boil for 5 to 10 minutes.  Remove any surface scum, lower the heat and simmer partially covered.  While the beans are cooking, toast the cumin seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat.  When they turn fragrant, add the oregano, shaking the pan so that the herbs don't burn, and toast for about 5 seconds.  Turn the mixture onto a plate to cool, then grind it to a powder.

Saute the onions in the oil in a skillet over medium heat for 7 to 8 minutes.  Add the garlic, 1.5 teaspoons salt, the cumin mixture, paprika, and ground red chile.  Lower the heat and cook until the onions are soft, another 5 minutes.  Add the tomatoes and juice, 1 teaspoon chipotle puree, and the cilantro.  Simmer for 15 minutes, then add this mixture to the beans.

Continue cooking until the beans are completely soft, about 30 minutes altogether, making sure the water level stays at least an inch or two above the beans.  Taste and season with more chipotle and salt, if needed, and add a dash of vinegar.  Ladle the chili into bowls and garnish with sour cream, if desired.

Acupuncturists Without Borders -- Helping Haiti

Acupuncturists Without Borders (AWB) is an organization that provides immediate disaster relief and recovery to communities that are in crisis resulting from disaster or human conflict.  This is accomplished through the use of community style acupuncture, whereby caring, compassionate treatment is provided in a group setting.  This model of treatment allows many people to be treated at the same time, allowing a collective experience that provides community support and relief from stress and trauma. 

The Vision of Acupuncturists Without Borders:
"Knowing that unresolved trauma can have repercussions for decades, we offer the services of volunteer acupuncturists to provide treatment to interrupt this cycle of pain and chaos and relieve suffering.  By partnering with local organizations and treating with community style acupuncture in group settings we can support the healing of the whole community."

Acupuncturists Without Borders is currently organizing volunteers and collecting funds to respond to the devastating earthquake in Haiti.  To read more about AWB, or to make a contribution to support the organization's work, please visit:


Magnesium: An Important and Often-Overlooked Mineral

by Jennifer Spain, L.Ac.

      Magnesium is a mineral that is found abundantly in legumes, dark green leafy vegetables, and most whole grains and seeds.  It is estimated that up to 70% of the population of the United States is deficient in magnesium, this being mainly attributable to diets high in refined foods and low in whole grains.  Historically, humans had a much higher intake of dietary magnesium.  Around 1900, the estimated intake was about 475 mg per day, as compared to around 200 mg currently.  The minimum recommended daily allowance for magnesium is 350 mg/day for males and 280 mg/day for females (350 mg/day during pregnancy or lactation), with an optimal daily intake of 600-800 mg/day.  High intakes of calcium, vitamin D, and protein increase the need for magnesium, as it plays a critical role in their absorption.

      Magnesium deficiency is considered to be one of the most under-diagnosed deficiencies, and according to Russell Marz, author of "Medical Nutrition from Marz," symptoms of deficiency can include fatigue, irritability, weakness, muscle tightness or spasm, dysmenorrhea, high blood pressure, cardiomyopathy, nerve conduction problems, anorexia, sugar cravings, poor nail growth, and anxiety.  Magnesium deficiency can be caused, of course, by not ingesting enough of the mineral, but it can also be caused by any condition that increases loss of electrolytes or shifts the electrolyte balance (as in kidney disease or with diuretic therapy such as high blood pressure medications), malabsorption, hyperthyroidism, pancreatitis, diabetes, or even simply chronic diarrhea (which magnesium can also cause if taken in too large amounts).

      According to Paul Pitchford in “Healing with Whole Foods,” magnesium helps the body maintain a smooth and flowing nature, and is therefore applicable in disease patterns where there is stagnation or erratic change.  Most of these patterns, from a Chinese medical point of view, reflect disharmonies in the liver and gallbladder officials and can often manifest as mental and emotional imbalances like irritability, depression, bipolar disorder, sleep disorders, and premenstrual syndrome.  In addition, magnesium is believed to calm nerve function, relax the muscles (including the heart muscle) helping to soothe cramps or spasm, ease erratic patterns such as migraine, calm digestion and relieve constipation, and help to balance blood sugar levels.  There is also research to support magnesium’s role in strengthening the structural aspects of our body and skeletal system to aid in conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, arthritis, and osteoporosis by forcing calcium excesses in the soft tissues into the bones.

      An abundance of soft-tissue calcium is weakening to the body and can actually exacerbate syndromes like fibromyalgia that already place a great deal of stress on the bones and nervous system.  There has been research that suggests that calcium is not able to enter the bones without adequate amounts of magnesium.  One study provided participants with abundant calcium and vitamin D but withheld magnesium, and all subjects except one became calcium deficient.  Once magnesium was reintroduced into the diet of the study participants, calcium levels began to rise dramatically.

      Calcitonin, a hormone that increases calcium in the bones and keeps it from being absorbed into the soft tissues, is the link between magnesium and calcium absorption.  Magnesium stimulates calcitonin production and, therefore, increases calcium absorption into the bones while drawing it out of the soft tissue.  Large amounts of soft tissue calcium can predispose an individual to degenerative diseases of the kidneys, skeleton, heart, and vascular system.  Excess soft tissue calcium has even been linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease, as increased calcium levels can induce the formation of the beta-amyloid plaques associated with Alzheimer’s.  Magnesium can help to maintain a more healthy balance of calcium between the soft tissue and bone.

      The best dietary sources of magnesium are dried seaweeds, beans, whole grains (especially buckwheat), nuts, and seeds.  Interestingly enough, chocolate has the highest magnesium content of all foods except seaweed.  Good news for all of us chocolate lovers out there!       

Food, Standard Amount

Magnesium (mg)


Pumpkin and squash seed kernels, roasted, 1 oz



Brazil nuts, 1 oz



Bran ready-to-eat cereal (100%), ~1 oz



Halibut, cooked, 3 oz



Quinoa, dry, ¼ cup



Spinach, canned, ½ cup



Almonds, 1 oz



Spinach, cooked from fresh, ½ cup



Buckwheat flour, ¼ cup



Cashews, dry roasted, 1 oz



Soybeans, mature, cooked, ½ cup



Pine nuts, dried, 1 oz



Mixed nuts, oil roasted, with peanuts, 1 oz



White beans, canned, ½ cup



Pollock, walleye, cooked, 3 oz



Black beans, cooked, ½ cup



Bulgur, dry, ¼ cup



Oat bran, raw, ¼ cup



Soybeans, green, cooked, ½ cup



Tuna, yellowfin, cooked, 3 oz



Artichokes (hearts), cooked, ½ cup



Peanuts, dry roasted, 1 oz



Lima beans, baby, cooked from frozen, ½ cup



Beet greens, cooked, ½ cup



Navy beans, cooked, ½ cup



Tofu, firm, prepared with nigaria , ½ cup



Okra, cooked from frozen, ½ cup



Soy beverage, 1 cup



Cowpeas, cooked, ½ cup



Hazelnuts, 1 oz



Oat bran muffin, 1 oz



Great northern beans, cooked, ½ cup



Oat bran, cooked, ½ cup



Buckwheat groats, roasted, cooked, ½ cup



Brown rice, cooked, ½ cup



Haddock, cooked, 3 oz