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St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner, so there’s no better time to pack as much green on your plate as possible. From a tasty lunch bowl full of veggies to vegan pesto for dinner, our resident nutritionist Erica Fowler is serving up some powerfully plant-based recipes to help you eat nutritiously all day long!
Getting enough greens in a day can be challenging! That's one of the reasons I love this smoothie. It’s a great way to get the nutrients of mango and ginger with all the amazing benefits of spinach—without the extreme green taste.
- 2 cups mango (fresh or frozen)
- 2 cups of spinach
- 1 inch of fresh ginger
- 1 cup of orange juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 frozen banana
- 1 cup of water
- 1 tablespoon of chia seeds
- Add all ingredients to blender. Blend until you reach your desired constancy, adding more water if needed.
- Pour into glass and enjoy!
Nourishing Green Everything Bowl
This nourishing bowl is great when made fresh, but also feel free to double the recipe and meal prep for a couple of days. This can be eaten cold or also placed back into a pan and sautéed for a warm green dish!
- 2 cups of wild rice
- Large head of curly kale, washed and de-stemmed
- 1 avocado
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 heads of broccolini
- 2 cups of pre-washed green beans
- 1 cup of edamame
- 2 small radishes, thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons hemp seeds
- Cook 2 servings of wild rice per the instructions on the package. Set aside.
- Place washed and de-stemmed kale in a large bowl. - Add 1/2 the avocado and lemon juice to bowl and use both hands to massage the avocado and lemon into the kale leaves until the leaves feel tender. Tear the leaves into bite-size pieces (save the other half of the avocado for a topping on the salad).
- In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Add broccolini and steam until tender. Remove from water.
- In the same pot, steam green beans, until tender. -Remove from water and set them aside with the broccolini.
- Lastly, steam the edamame for a few minutes. Now that the veggies are steamed, you are ready to build your nourishing bowl!
- Use about 2 cups of the massaged kale as a base for the bowl and build from there, adding ½ cup of cooked wild rice, a handful of the edamame, cooked green beans, and broccolini. Top with sliced radishes, remaining avocado, and sprinkle with hemp seeds. - Repeat for each bowl. Enjoy!
Creamy, vegan basil-avocado-cashew pesto for your favorite pasta dish or veggie bowl. Raw basil and garlic have been proven to act as an anti-inflammatory and immune system boosters.
- 1/4 cup raw cashews
- 2-3 cups of fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 avocado
- 1-2 cloves garlic, peeled
- ½ tbsp lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon pink salt
- Gluten-free pasta noodles (my favorite is Jovial)
- Top with homemade vegan parmesan
- 1 teaspoon hemp seeds
- Gluten-free pasta: follow the instructions on the package to cook the noodles
- Pesto: Add all the ingredients to blender or food processor. Pulse until the desired consistency is reached. Season to taste (adding more garlic, salt, etc.)
- If too thick, add a small amount of water and continue to pulse.
- Place GF Pasta in a serving bowl, topping with pesto. Serve immediately and enjoy!
Hemp Seed Date Balls
The perfect power ball to get you through a workout or for an afternoon snack. Hemp seeds contain amino acids and are considered a complete protein. They are also a great source of good fats and fiber!
- 1 cup of raw almonds
- 20 pitted dates
- 3 tablespoons of raw cacao powder
- 2 tablespoons of almond butter
- 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon of chia seeds
- 1 tablespoon of hemp seeds
- 2 tablespoons of water
- Pinch of pink salt
- Dash of cinnamon
- 1/3 cup of shredded coconut
- 1/3 cup of hemp seeds
- In a food processor, place a cup of raw almonds and blend until it becomes a loose meal.
- Add the rest of the ingredients into the food processor and blend until it is mixed well.
- Take 1 tablespoon of the mixture out and roll into a ball with your hands, place shredded coconut in a bowl and hemp seeds in another.
- Roll the ball to cover the outside in the coconut or the hemp seeds and alternate this process until the mixture is gone.
- Place balls in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one hour to set. Enjoy!
Acupuncture is extremely beneficial for various ailments ranging from digestion to carpal tunnel, but the level of effectiveness varies from person-to-person. I’ve had Sciatica patients spend months combating their back and leg pain, and others hop off the table in two hours, never needing a follow-up appointment. Some rotator cuffs take six weeks; others take two years.
Why is this?
While your body's response to acupuncture depends on the complaint or injury, it also depends on your overall health, and how well you take care of the injured site between sessions. If we eat junk food all the time, are inactive, don’t sleep well, or overwork ourselves, then injury is imminent, and recovery is going to be hard. Equally, if we ignore an injury or don't care for it, then we will likely stay injured for longer.
So, let’s break down what’s best for you when it comes to acupuncture:
“How often should you get acupuncture with specific ailments?”
This is different for everyone, but here are some general guidelines.
More is better.
Acupuncture has cumulative effects, so while most feel relief after one session, it likely will not have resolved the issue. Multiple follow up sessions are needed, and for your own comfort, it’s recommended that you use sessions before the effects have completely worn off each time.
Every time you receive a session, your relief should be more significant, and the effects should last longer—bringing the injury closer to resolution. With this in mind; the worse the injury, the more frequent you’ll want to receive acupuncture. Several times a week is standard, that way you will get out of discomfort faster, and you’ll need fewer sessions overall.
Understanding acute versus chronic ailments.
Some acute symptoms like nausea, dizziness, bleeding, swelling, or anxiety will clear up on the spot. However, for recent injuries pertaining to tissues, like a strained muscle, you can use three acupuncture sessions in one week with great effect. For example, with strained lower back muscles, you will feel less pain in one session, a significant reduction in inflammation and symptoms within three sessions. An ankle sprain is a little more serious and may take two or three weeks, but the general idea is the same.
With stubborn pain, or chronic issues like sciatica, skin rashes, nerve pain, hormone irregularities, it can take a bunch of sessions to see lingering results. Often there will be relief right after each session, but the symptoms return quickly (albeit with a little less vengeance). This just means the results are happening in smaller increments. For this reason, your practitioner will tell you to come in over three times a week for two or three weeks so you’ll get more relief faster, but you can space the sessions out as you begin to feel better.
“What can I do to make my acupuncture benefits bigger?”
As mentioned, how you care for yourself between sessions makes a big difference. Here’s a few pro tips.
Your practitioner will give you specific directions they want you to follow for your ailment, but generally, after an acupuncture visit, it is wise to drink a lot of water and rest.
Here’s the obvious thing we don’t often consider. If you get instant relief for your pulled hamstring, but then you go running the next day, it’s going to take forever to heal! That injured body part needs to be pampered and catered to. Your acupuncturist will give you food, supplement, lifestyle, and movement suggestions to use between sessions– use them all.
I’ve seen countless patients walk in with frozen shoulder, spend 90 minutes in the chair with various points and stimulation techniques, and then leave swinging their arm painlessly with 50% more range of motion. If they eat well, do their physical therapy, and are kind to their shoulders, the effects will last. Then, next time, we can add another 50% on to their range of motionBut, if they paint a house or swing a baseball, then I see them go right back to square one overnight. How we take care of ourselves between sessions really matters.
You will want to note any changes; no matter how small or irrelevant they seem. Your practitioner is armed with many protocols and techniques. They will always start with the combo that they’ve seen work best for your complaint, from there they will work backward or tweak it slightly based on the information you give them. Make sure to tell them every detail, even if it seems unrelated.
One lady, with unrelenting pain, finally revealed a game-changing nugget to me while nonchalantly laughing about her need to wear neck scarves everywhere. I found out she had been experiencing chills and had a significant aversion to wind during the summer. This “irrelevant” snippet made me radically change the protocol, and she was pain-free and healing rapidly within four sessions.
So, there you have it. How acupuncture benefits various body parts depends on the area concerned, but also on how we treat our bodies before, during, and after injury.