Saturday, October 11, 2014

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Another Take on Cumin Lamb Stir-Fry

The New York Times this week offers this article and video on how to make Chinese-style cumin lamb stir-fry:

We have a similar recipe in our book, where we note that Traditional Chinese Medicine considers lamb among the warmest of meats. The spices are also warming, making this dish an excellent meal for the winter months or for anyone feeling a chill or experiencing fatigue.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Foods for Summer - Cool as a Cucumber Salad

We've had our first really hot summer day this year in San Diego, which reminded me that traditional Chinese medicine advises us to eat according to the seasons. In the hot months of summer, certain types of food--which happen to be in season this time of year--help counteract the heat of summer and replenish lost body fluids.

Good summer foods include watermelon, tomatoes, mung beans, cucumber, lotus root, coix, bean sprouts and ocean fish. In addition to their other benefits, fruits and vegetables help provide us with sufficient fluids and promote digestion. Traditional Chinese medicine also tells us that sour and salty foods ease irritability and insomnia from excess sweating.

Here's one simple and delicious recipe that helps counteract Summer Heat.

Cool-as-a-Cucumber Salad

1 medium-sized cucumber, peeled
1 clove garlic, crushed and then minced
1/4 cup wine vinegar
2 tablespoons dark sesame oil

1. Using a blunt instrument, such as the handle of a knife, pound the cucumber's surface to soften it slightly an absorb the salt and salad dressing. (Optional.)

2. Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon, if desired. Then cut the cucumber widthwise into thin slices or slivers.

2. Sprinkle and toss with salt, to taste.

3. Combine the cucumber, garlic, vinegar, and sesame oil in a bowl and toss well.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Making Friends with Germs

Traditional Chinese medicine has long approached the body as a garden to be tended, nurtured through good habits, including a diet of a variety of wholesome foods and promotion of good digestion. In this week's New York Times Magazine, Michael Pollan writes about the host of microorganisms that live on  us and in us, reaching a similar conclusion--eat wholesome foods and pay attention to their effects on the flora responsible for our digestion. As has long been the folk wisdom in the East, the article also points to fermented foods such as miso and kimchi as particularly beneficial in this regard.

For the full version of this thought-provoking article, see

Friday, January 4, 2013

Happy New Year!

We followed the Japanese tradition of eating mochi (rice cakes made of pounded sticky rice) to bring in the New Year. Roasted in the oven for eight minutes at 450 degrees, our mochi pieces puffed up and became crispy and golden on the outside, and gooey and sweet on the inside. We use a dipping sauce of soy sauce and maple syrup mixed in about equal parts.

This year, we decided to try brown rice mochi. Somewhat unexpectedly, they were a huge hit. The whole grain provided a slight nutty flavor and a more robust texture to the treat. Many of the mochi pieces didn't even make it to the dipping sauce before being devoured!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Yuan to Speak at Pacific Symposium

Yuan Wang is a featured speaker at this week's Pacific Symposium 2012. Her talk, titled "Practical Facial Rejuvenation using Tradition Chinese Medicine Methods," will be held on Thursday, November 8, from 2 to 5 PM.

"Today, more and more people are looking for natural anti-aging methods," she says. "Chinese medicine has a history of using natural ingredients to keep one healthy while combining Eastern traditions with a Western lifestyle. This course will introduce and explore practical information, focusing on TCM facial skin-care and common facial disease treatments."

The Pacific Symposium is held at The Catamaran Resort Hotel, 3999 Mission Blvd., San Diego, CA. For more information, see

Yuan will also be giving a talk on "Practical Skin Care with TCM Herb & Food Therapy," on Sunday, November 18, from 10 AM to 4:30 PM. Sponsored by the San Diego chapter of the California Alliance of Acupuncture Medicine (CAAM), the seminar will be held at the Rancho Bernardo Swim and Tennis Club, 16955 Bernardo Oaks Drive, San Diego, CA. The single seminar fee for the CAAM talk is $85 ($50 for students) and includes lunch; practitioners receive 6 continuing education units.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Guest Blog: Incorporating Proper Nutrition into Your Cancer Treatment

We are pleased to post a guest blog from Jillian McKee, blogger and outreach coordinator for the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance. Jillian emphasizes the importance of eating natural foods for healing and preventing disease--a message we embrace wholeheartedly. Remember, also, to keep balance in mind when approaching your diet!

If you have been recently diagnosed with cancer, you may be trying to change your life for the better.  Changing your diet and the way that you eat is one of the best things that you can do. Proper nutrition can help anyone's health, whether it be someone with cancer or someone who is trying to prevent it. There are several things you will need to know about proper nutrition and the benefits that you will notice once you change your diet. These benefits will improve your well being so that you can feel better each and every day.

It is important to remember that proper nutrition is not a cure for cancer. What does come from changing to a healthy diet is more energy and better recovery from cancer treatments. You will find that having more energy is a much-needed benefit because after treatments, such as those treatments for mesothelioma, you may feel very drained. You will find that a healthy diet is one of the best things you can do for yourself during these rough times.

The diet you should be following is one that is rich in vitamins and nutrients. As a cancer patient, weight loss is a major issue that you are going to face. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables will help you to maintain a higher caloric intake while ensuring that you are getting all of the vitamins that you need.  Vitamins are essential for helping the body to repair itself and protect against illness. You will find that many natural and wholesome foods contain a variety of vitamins that your body is more than likely craving.

As with any diet change, it is essential that you speak with your doctor before just going and changing the way that you eat.  Only your doctor knows your individual health history and will be able to advise you on what you should or shouldn't be eating. Many doctors will establish a diet plan for you so that you can get enough calories in the day to prevent weight loss. Discussing healthy options with your doctor may be a good idea to help you on the journey to recovery.

Proper nutrition is one of the best things you can incorporate into your daily life. Whether you are currently diagnosed with cancer, trying to prevent it, or are in remission, the right diet will help your body to be healthier overall. You cannot simply live off of processed junk food and assume that these empty calories are going to help your body to heal and thrive. Vegetables and fruits that are organic and packed with vitamins are a far healthier choice for you to be making. Be sure to incorporate a healthy diet with your cancer treatment so that you can improve overall well being.

(Photo by mhaller1979 [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons)