Featured Post

Nutrition and Hormonal Balance

  Good Morning,  Nutrition and Hormonal Balance As an acupuncturist in the area of fertility, I realize tha...

Subscribe Updates via email

Subscribe Updates via email

Enter your email address:

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Gratitude Project


Good Morning!

The Gratitude Project
by Andrew Pacholyk, MS, L.Ac.

This is a self awareness exercise I started in my practice in New York City over
15 years ago. It has always been an offering to my patients who come in during
the week of Thanksgiving for treatment. I would ask them to take home this
handout and to fill it out in their private time. If they were interested in
doing a little self attunement exercise, this would be the ideal time, as we can
be more conscious of the benefits we receive in our lives.

At this time in my life, things maybe going great or they may not be the best.
Regardless, TODAY I am grateful for:

1. ___________________________________

My life is full of hidden blessings. I will name three of them I may have

1. ___________________________________

2. ___________________________________

3. ___________________________________

I was able to eat today. I am thankful to have food to eat today because:

1. ___________________________________

I woke up in good health today. I am so grateful for this because:

1. ___________________________________



I may not have woken up in the best state of health today, yet I cannot be more
thankful because:

1. ___________________________________



I am most grateful for three people in my life. Who are they and why?

1. ___________________________________


2. ___________________________________




There has always been a song or piece of music in my life that I have been very
grateful for because:

Name of song: _________________________

1. ____________________________________



I have command of my senses today. I am eternally grateful for each one of them,
as there are some who do not have the ability to use them. I am grateful for
each one of them in this way:

Sight: _________________________________

Hearing: _______________________________

Taste: _________________________________

Touch: _________________________________

Smell: _________________________________

My happiness depends on:

The path of my life depends on:

My choices determine my:

My final thought of gratitude is about:

I hope that this exercise in self awareness has been a helpful one and I thank
you for taking the time to be a part of it for yourself.


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Recipes: Traditional Gingerbread Man Cookies


Good Morning!

Recipes: Traditional Gingerbread Man Cookies


3 cups flour
2 teaspoons Ginger, Ground
1 teaspoon Cinnamon, Ground
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg, Ground
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1 egg


Mix flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg and salt in large bowl. Beat
butter and brown sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until
light and fluffy. Add molasses and egg; beat well. Gradually beat in flour
mixture on low speed until well mixed. Press dough into a thick flat disk.

Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Roll out dough to 1/4-inch thickness on lightly
floured work surface. Cut into gingerbread men shapes with 5-inch cookie cutter.

Place 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges of cookies are set and just begin to brown.

Cool on baking sheets 1 to 2 minutes. Remove to wire racks; cool completely.

Decorate cooled cookies as desired. Store cookies in airtight container up to 5

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Tips for Caregivers


Good Morning!

Tips for Caregivers

Whether you are in the health care profession or taking care of a loved one or friend, being a caregiver is a gift. It is a great opportunity to put someone else's needs before yours. We all need help at one time or another in our lives. We may also need to help others when the situation calls for our assistance. 

Caregiver burnout is a common problem. It is difficult to be around someone who is in pain or has a debilitating situation often because we love them so and find it difficult to see them like this. Also, when someone is ill, in pain or not well, their is a certain energy about them that is not the norm. 

Because of this energy deficit or imbalance, it can be a real challenge to be around them for periods of time.

The National Alliance for Caregivers make these suggestions:

1. Find someone you can talk to and discuss your feelings. All feelings are legitimate, even those that upset you (anger sadness,guilt).
2. Set realistic goals. Balancing work, family, and time for yourself is difficult. Determine your priorities, and turn to other people for help with some tasks.
3.Make time for yourself, even if it's just an hour or two. Go to a movie, have lunch with a friend, or just sit and read a book.

Preventing Burnout 

Caring for another person, especially over a long period of time, can be physically and emotionally draining. You may find yourself feeling listless, forced to do routine tasks, and wishing to be someplace else. If this sounds familiar, you are a candidate for caregiver burnout.

1. Joining a caregiver support group: Check the newspaper or local library to locate one in your area. Sharing experiences with others can help you manage stress, locate resources, and reduce feelings of isolation.

2. Talking to a professional: The clergy, social workers, psychologists, and nurses are often trained to provide counseling on caregiving issues. Help may also be available through your employee assistance program.

3. Taking advantage of respite care: Respite care is a service that provides temporary care for an older person. Respite care may mean help with a specific task or having health care providers care for your relative at home or in a extended care facility while you go on vacation.

4. Recognize signs of stress: Stress can take its toll on you in many ways. Be aware of changes in your thinking, in your physical health and in your behavior.

Signs of Stress 

Stress related symptoms can include a feeling that something undesirable is about to happen, dry mouth, swallowing difficulty, hoarseness, rapid breathing and heart palpitations, twitching or trembling, muscle tension, headaches, backaches sweating, difficulty in concentrating, dizziness or faintness. Nausea, diarrhea, weight loss, sleeplessness, irritability, fatigue, nightmares, memory problems, and sexual impotence. 

The single most important point you can make about stress is that in most cases it's not what's out there that's the problem, it's how you react to it. How you react is determined by how you perceive a particular stress. 

White Light Protection Exercise 

Attracting and retaining people's energies as a caregiver is a very common occurrence. In a metaphysical sense, the best way to protect yourself from negative energy is with White Light. 

Sit, or lay on the floor and close your eyes. Imagine White Light warming and engulfing first, your Crown Chakra and bathing your eyes in light. Let the White Light warm your mind and relax and release all thoughts....... 

Move the White Light down the Chakra centers and let it bath each one and allow the White Light to massage each Chakra Point. Finish at the Root Chakra. 

Then allow the White Light to engulf your entire being. This protects your aura from negative energies and allows your "psychic defense" to come into play. 

This can be done at any time, in any place. Just close your eyes and visualize this White Light Protector. 

Cleanse with the positive thought or affirmation as "energy follows thought."

Friday, December 13, 2013

Crystals for Christmas


Crystals for Christmas
Any gemstone makes a beautiful holiday gift! There are some obvious, as well as some not so obvious choices I would like to mention, that can make a great gift as well as have great significance.
Chiastolite: The "Cross Stone"
This powerful crystal balances one's perspective in both creativity and practicality. It is used as a sign of devotion towards awareness and dispels negativity. It signifies both death and re-birth and helps one to understand the realization of immortality. It is used as a bridge for "crossing over". It helps one to assimilate during times of change. It provides insight to answers when problem solving. This stone has a reputation for astral journeys and is used as a gateway into the mysterious. This stone allows for the overcoming of fear, the facing of reality and overcoming of the unknown. It exhibits the axis and angle in a different color from the rest of the crystal forming a natural cross.
An excellent all-purpose, high level gem amplifier and electrical conductor, especially on Solar plexus and Heart Chakra. Strengthens meridians, nerve system, digestion. Positively charged with warming sun energy. Often worn by teachers/healers, especially after much self-healing (addictions, childhood...) Attracts prosperity, stores, amplifies thoughts/emotions/energy (Greed too). Yang. Pink = Gold + copper. Lovingness, warmth, spirituality. Amplifies gem effects. White: Combines sun and moon's energy, thus higher conductor and amplifier. A regenerator, helping one renew oneself. Works on the physical, mental, and spiritual planes. It benefits the nervous system and improves the ability of the nerves to transmit information in the most efficient manner. Gold settings: Gold is ruled by the Sun a masculine planet, and therefore imparts a more assertive energy to crystals & minerals that are mounted in it.
Medium brown, green, blue or red, these stones are accented with tiny coppery glitter. Goldstone is a man-made stone, a type of glass with glittery metallic material in it. It is a valid classification, as it has many properties of NATURAL glasses, such as obsidian which are modified by its being man-made and having been doped with additives. Originally created when alchemists were working towards creating gold. Gently uplifting, mildly helpful to Solar plexus Chakra to reduce stomach tension, protect center of body.
 Herkimer Diamonds:
These clear crystals closely resemble diamonds, but are really quartz. Considered a "Dream stone", they are used in meditation or under your pillow to enhance visualization, astral travel into the light and dream recall. Most effective on the Brow and Crown Chakra therefore, this stone shifts the brain powerfully into alpha/deep stillness. Amplifies and stores thoughts, energy; and can be used as a bridge to stimulate energy flow up through the Chakra centers, opening the Brow and Crown Chakra for a strong, clear channel for psychic readings and meditation. This stone helps you choose a direction to follow that will offer the path of least resistance. They contain a store of ecological memory that can be utilized by a person who can tune into the energy. Can also guide you in remembering your own past-life experiences.
The ancient Chinese culture has revered Jade for centuries. Jade is considered the health, wealth and longevity stone. used also for courage, wisdom, justice, mercy, emotional balance, stamina, love, fidelity, humility, generosity, peace, harmony. Jade is known as androgynous, therefore it is considered having a gentle, steady pulse of healing energy. Jade is found in different colors and can be used on the appropriate Chakra based on its color. Properties common to all colors of Jade include its ability to mellow one's existence. Helps one rid themselves of negative thoughts and energy. Very beneficial to the heart in both physical and spiritual senses. It is a very protective stone and will keep its wearer out of harm's way. Jade bounds us to our earth energies and physical instincts. Jade is a humbling stone.

A silicate stone, which cntains water, it correlates with our emotions. Clarifies by amplifying and mirroring feelings, buried emotions, desires (including love and passion). Less inhibition, more spontaneity. Crown and Brow Chakra. Visualization, imagination, dreams, healing. Easily absorbs, stores emotions and thoughts.
In tune with emotions, water and women, especially pregnant women, pearls are a symbol of pure heart and mind; innocence and faith. Because it is from the sea, it has watery and lunar elements, therefore it is used for balancing emotions, especially for water signs. Absorbing by nature, this mineral absorbs thoughts and emotions and because of this, must be used with caution. If you feel excessively negative while wearing a pearl, it will hold that energy until it is cleansed. Remember, Pearl is the result of layer upon layer of substance produced to combat irritation. Pearl can cool and soothe. It is very nurturing. If using pearls in conjunction with other gemstones, consider Diamonds to amplify and purify, or Emeralds to bring negative energy out and disperse it.
 Quartz: "Rock Crystal"
Quartz is the Master Healer and the "stone of power"! Probably the most versatile multipurpose healing stone. Easy to cleanse, store information/energy in, program or amplify energy and is used as a healing instrument. The natural tendency for quartz is for harmony. Quartz can both draw and send energy therefore it is effective for sending/receiving guidance. Quartz is used for transformation in healing and in all levels of change (mentally/emotionally, physically and spiritually). Quartz stimulates the natural crystal in body tissues and fluids to resonate at the highest healing frequency. Quartz works with All Chakra and master gland for balancing, cleansing and healing. It is the perfect stone for complete Aura balancing.
This famous corundum stone is found in blue, green, pink, purple, clear. Blue: Communication, insight, intuition, clairaudience, inspiration, spiritual prayer/devotion, peacefulness. Pituitary and Thyroid. Detoxing skin, body. Antidepressant. Cools, contracts, soothes, thus reducing inflammation, fevers, nosebleeds. Hearing problems, TB, burns, etc. Nervous system (& Epilepsy) and meridians. Strongest if next to skin. Especially Throat Chakra. Also: wisdom, will, centering, cheerfulness, luck. Reduces radiation effects, anxiety, procrastination. Some effects subtle.
This metal is excellent for mental, emotional, and physical releasing and cleansing. Works on mind/emotions to see life's overview, our emotional balance, and need for patience. Like the moon's energy, silver has a gentle, cool, smoothing effect. Therefore, it reduces inflammation, fever, nervous system stress. Best with the gentler, cooler-colored gems. Works with pituitary and upper energy centers, therefore, works well on the psychic mind, unconditional love and healing. Generally, it has a cooling Yin energy. Wear this metal when you feel attracted to it. Silver works best as a communicator. It assists in verbal and representational communication. It should be worn only when it feels right.

Essential Oils: Creative Living with Intention


Good Morning!
Essential Oils: Creative Living With Intention
Living your life with intention involves engaging all of your energies and strength. Creating intention in your life is both affirming what you want and being satisfied with being on the journey. It is about making change and manifesting this change through the power of thought and actively making an effort to do so. Deciding on your true intention, honoring your intention, even if you have not yet reached your goal, is how you bring forth the power of change. Then, putting it out there for the Universe to unfold it, is the final step.
Commit regular time with yourself by evaluating the more subtle contexts of your life. This implies looking through the window of your soul and giving yourself a regular evaluation and then honoring your intention as to what it will become.
Close your eyes, envision yourself at your goal, and take a few deep breaths of success. Put your energy into reinforcing your trust that you truly want to grow, to evolve, and change. "Energy follows thought" and energetically, a part of you is already where you want to be.
Keep reminding yourself that each time you affirm your intention, each time you commit to the process, you are actually doing something positive. The process itself clears your mind of fears and affirms your unique and powerful spirit.
Don't just wish you would live with intention. Take the first step and trust where you will lead yourself.
"It is not good enough for things to be planned - they still have to be done; for the intention to become a reality, energy has to be launched into operation." - Walt Kelly
Essential Oils for Intention

The power of our senses can be harnessed as an unbelievable tool that you can use to your life's advantage! Diffusing essential oils stimulate our olfactory nerve. These essence can restore balance and harmony to your body and to your life. The energy of a scent can invigorate your intention. Here are some of the most interesting oils below:
Basil: This oil is wonderful for poor concentration, nervous tension, digestive problems and insomnia. Basil is used to support the process of deep change. Rich, sweet and pungent, use this oil to evoke intention.
Bergamot: Uplifting, refreshing and encouraging. It can help relieve anxiety and depression, ease grief and sadness and increase mental alertness.
Cinnamon: Cinnamon bark was first recorded in Chinese formularies as early as 2700 B.C. The herb has been used as a healing aid for stomach upset and gas, diarrhea, rheumatism, kidney ailments, and abdominal pain. Cinnamon bark contains the essential oils of cinnamon and can stimulate concentration focus and memory.
Frankincense: Sedative, elevating, warming, used for anxiety, apprehension, fears, nervous tension and stress-related conditions. It slows down and deepens the breath, which makes it helpful for meditation. This oil is helpful for bringing about clarity in decisions.
Lavender: Balancing, stimulating, strengthening, good oil for mind clearing and focus.
Peppermint: Refreshing, increases concentration, increases memory, strengthens the nervous system and is used for fainting, headache, mental fatigue, migraines and stress. Peppermint oil is used to pinpoint intention and stimulate action.
Rosemary: Stimulates the adrenal cortex, used for nervous and emotional exhaustion, apathy, depression and stress. Clears the head, improves memory and concentration, reduces mental fatigue, combats headaches.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Recipes: Thanksgiving: Planning a Healthy Dinner


Good Morning!

Recipes: Thanksgiving: Planning A Healthy Dinner

Planning a healthy Thanksgiving is easy and affordable. When we think of this feast day, we think of foods laden with rich gravies, sugar filled desserts and heavy dressings. I offer up some "alternative answers" and finds substitutes for these Thanksgiving table favorites that are high in processed sugar, saturated fats and cholesterol.

Rosemary and Garlic Roasted Turkey

1 whole turkey (10 to 12 pounds)
6 to 8 garlic cloves
2 large lemons, halved
2 teaspoons dried rosemary, crushed
1 teaspoon rubbed sage

Cut six to eight small slits in turkey skin insert garlic between the skin and meat. Squeeze two lemon halves inside the turkey and leave them inside. Squeeze remaining lemon over outside of turkey. Spray the turkey with nonstick cooking spray; sprinkle with rosemary and sage. Place on a rack in a roasting pan. Bake, uncovered, at 325 degrees F for 1 hour. Cover and bake 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours longer or until a meat thermometer reads 185 degrees F. Serving: 8-10.

Super Squash Soup

1 red onion chopped fine
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups pumpkin puree
pinch of finely chopped ginger
dash of fat free milk or milk alternative (soy, rice, almond)
pinch of cinnamon

Prepare: Saute onions until tender. Add chicken stock and pumpkin puree and ginger. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add milk (alternative) and cinnamon.

Homemade Gravy without the fat

You can make gravy from your turkey drippings but only use the drippings that are not fatty. You can see the fat floating on the top of the drippings. Skim that fat off with a table spoon before you make your gravy. After you skim off the fat on the turkey drippings then boil the drippings and add a cup of water mixed with corn starch. Mix the ingredients until they are thick like gravy.

Low Fat Gravy

1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh mushrooms
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 cups reduced-sodium fat-free beef or chicken broth, divided
2 tablespoons cornstarch
Pinch pepper

Prepare: In a saucepan, saute onion, mushrooms and parsley in 1/4 cup broth until vegetables are tender. Combine cornstarch, pepper and 1/2 cup of broth; stir until smooth. Add to pan with the remaining broth. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally: boil for 2 minutes. Serving: 2 cups.

Orange Zest Mashed Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a wonderful low calorie, low glycemic alternative to white potatoes when prepared properly.

4 medium sweet potatoes
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup hot milk (or milk alternative such as soy, almond, rice or fat free milk)
1 tsp olive oil
2 tsp orange zest

Prepare: cook sweet potatoes until tender. Peel and transfer to bowl. Stir in 1 cup pumpkin puree. Mash with fork until smooth. Stir in milk and splash in olive oil. Add orange zest and serve. Serves 6-8.

Fresh Fruit Compote

Fresh fruit is great part of any Thanksgiving meal. Fruit represents abundance and it is a great source of vitamins and fiber. Consider melons, grapefruit, oranges, apples, cherries, apricots, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries or any fruit you would like and cut them into bite size pieces. Mix them all together to make a tasty fruit salad. You can cut and squeeze one lemon over the fruit. As an addition, add dried cranberries, acai berries or a handful of chopped walnuts, almond slivers or mini carob bits.

Fat Free Pumpkin Pie

Crust Ingredients:
1 cup dry bread crumbs

Filling Ingredients:
1 small Sugar pumpkin (2 lbs. size)
1 1/2 cup Pumpkin, canned
4 Egg whites
2/3 cup Sugar (or sugar alternative such as agave or stevia)
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Ginger
1 teaspoon Finely grated fresh ginger root
1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
1 1/4 cup Fat free evaporated milk

Crust Preparation: Spray 9" pie plate with vegetable cooking spray. Scatter crumbs evenly pressing into plate. Spray crumbs with spray & bake crust at 350 degrees F. for 10-15 minutes until dry and lightly brown. Cool on rack.

Filling Preparation: If using fresh pumpkin, rinse, stem, and halve pumpkin. Scrape out the seeds and cut into 2" chunks. Using paring knife, remove skin & place pumpkin in large baking dish. Add 1/2 c water & cover dish tightly with foil.

Bake at 350 degrees F. for on hour, until soft, checking to make sure that water has not evaporated, adding more if needed. Cool and puree pumpkin in food processor.

Scrape cooked fresh pumpkin or canned pumpkin into bowl then whisk in egg whites. Whisk in sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg & evaporated milk, one ingredient at a time, whisking smooth between each addition.

Pour into prepared crust. Bake at 350 degree F until filling is set, 1 hour. Cool on rack. Refrigerate if prepared more than a few hours in advance of serving. Serving:6-8

A Word About Eating

Yes, it is a holiday but that does not mean you have to go into an uncontrollable spiral! Be aware of your calorie intake. If you are unsure about the calories in your meal, I feel it is essential to learn this amazing tool for effective weight loss. Record in your ledger or journal the calories of everything you put in your mouth for one week. Be in tune to the total calories you consume daily, and make an effort to replace high-fat foods with low-calorie ones like vegetables and fruits.

Discipline applies to any matter in life. I cannot stress enough how discipline is the second most important aspect in weight control or achieving any kind of success in your life! It is the secret to the most effective, efficient and well strategic plan you can give yourself! Being successful, losing weight, maintaining relationships are not tasks that come easy for most people. They are all things we must work hard on creating, keeping and maintaining! (Why do you think diet plans have *Results not typical with an asterisks? Because most people have a lack of discipline). You probably already have some forms of discipline in your life. You pay your bills by a certain time, you show up for work every day, often plan your finances, your meals or walk your dog. These are all disciplines in your life already. Some of us need a little more in our lives than others. The whole idea with these suggestions is to show you just how much you are eating, how many calories you are consuming and to get you into a pattern, which will set you up for great success!

Portion control does not have to go out the window on the holiday. This was a hard lesson for me to learn. As a dancer and someone who always worked out, I felt I had my portioning under control. I eventually learned why I would get that bloated and discomfort feeling after eating. It was my portion size. Sure I was active and exercising but as I aged and my metabolism slowed, my portions were not changing with the rest of me! Once I understood the discipline behind this, it changed my life!

If it all goes out the window in wild abandon, please, forego the guilt and take solace that although you had one day of calorie binging, it is better than doing this everyday. Guilt has never served anyone in any capacity. Making these tips a lifestyle, over time, is the key.