Tag Archives: diet

How to Obtain the Magic Healing Power of Herbs: If Only You Are Willing to Wait

When I was in college, I took a course on child education. We did an experiment with two children to test how patient they can be and what their motivation is when it comes to rewards. Our subjects were twin girls at the age of 5. They didn’t know why they were coming in or what was going to happen. Our experiment began with separating the twins into 2 different rooms. One room had our subject Stacey, and the other had her sister Valerie. They couldn’t see, or hear each other between the room which validated that they won’t copy each other and there are no other influences. This experiment we were testing is called the marshmallow test. By tempting the child with a marshmallow on a plate you explain that if they are willing to wait 10 minutes without eating the marshmallow, you will be rewarded a second marshmallow at the end of the 10 minutes. But if the subject eats the marshmallow before the 10 minutes are up, there will not be a second marshmallow.

The experiment began when the instructors explained the rules to the girls in their separate rooms and the instructors placed the giant, delicious marshmallow in front of them and then left the room. We were able to monitor them through a tinted window but they weren’t able to see us. We watched the instructors leave the room and as they did, the girls’ eyes were locked on the marshmallows. Stacey would try and distract herself, avoiding the temptation by poking the marshmallow, looking at other things, playing with her fingers. 5 minutes have gone by and she is still avoiding the temptation. She would lie on her hands just staring at the marshmallow, until the 10 minute mark hit and the instructor came and congratulated her with praise for being patient and gave her a second marshmallow. Now as for Valerie, the minute the instructor walked out, Valerie was poking and prodding the marshmallow, all her focus was on that marshmallow. She would sit and pick it up lick at it but not eat it, then place it back on the plate. As far as 7 minutes into the experiment the temptation was too much and she was ready to chow down on the delicious treat, which we could see she thoroughly enjoyed. At 10 minutes the instructor came in and asking, “What happened to your marshmallow?” as Valerie shrugged with innocence. And she clearly didn’t get a second marshmallow.

With two opposite results, we found that some kids have the patience to wait to reap the benefits of a greater reward while others want what they want then and now getting the satisfaction when they please. This shows in their personality where Stacey is more introverted, patient, and shy and Valerie more boisterous, extraverted, and is confident in what she wants. Now you may be asking what does this story has to do with herbs?

More and more over the years, patients ask me about our herbal treatments, how it works, what the process is and the most prominent question is, “how long is this going to take?” For years this question asked over and over again and the answer is always, “I don’t know.” So many factors go into the healing process it is impossible to know the exact amount of time it will take for you to get better, and anyone who is in the health care profession that claims to know how long a treatment will take or how long it will take for you to heal then they are obviously lying and fabricating the idea that your problems will go away fast which it doesn’t.

When it comes to health and specifically herbal treatments, time is your enemy or your friend whichever way you want to look at it, but time is a major factor. Everyone expects magic herbs that will all of a sudden heal their ailment in a moment’s notice. But the reality of it is this, whatever time it took you to acquire this ailment or illness is about the same amount of time it will take to cure it or even longer!

Unless you like the concept of western medicine where they will cure your symptoms by giving you magic antibiotic pills that will make things worse in the long run but take care of your current symptoms right away then go for it! There is your “magic” cure. But when it comes to herbal medicine, the herbs work to build your immune system to work with your body, not against it, and after years of mistreating, years of poor eating, and years of bad habits, it will take a long while to build that immunity back.

The herbs start by detoxifying the body. If we have to put a time frame on it, usually 3 months is about when the detoxification process is at its peak, that is if you are eating right, exercising, drinking water, sleeping well, not in stress, and taking the herbs to detox on a regular basis. In 3 months any one of the factors I mentioned can be interfered with so that time gets extended to 5-6 months. Right there you are at 6 months into the healing process.

The second part of the process is building your immune system back up. If you are still continuously making the better, healthy choices then your immunity builds up to heal whatever your health problems are. But if you are still in the detoxification process than it will still take longer for you to build the immunity.

As time drags on you are wondering, will I ever get better? The answer is up to you! It is your choices, your habits, and your willingness to achieve optimal health. You are the one that wants to get better, so work toward it! For examples sake you won’t simply get a marshmallow just because you asked for it! It requires patience.

Patience is a rather difficult virtue to obtain this day and age. Everything is so fast paced, fast food, fast cars, fast commercials, fast schedules who has time to be patient? You’ve got better things to do rather than work with your ailment or illness. But it is that very mindset that gets you in trouble in the first place. Have you ever had a project where you worked through it real fast but the outcome of the project was only half –assed and not as great as it could have been if you were to take time and do it right? The same applies to health. The more you tend to your health and the more time and effort you put into it, the more likely you will get better fully.

It’s easy to fantasize that there is a magic cure that can make things better right away, but with patience, you will find that when you work toward improving yourself, let the herbs take its course, and let time heal your wounds then and only then will you achieve optimal health. The old saying goes, good things will come to those who wait. Just wait…and you will get the marshmallow, maybe even two!

You Are What’s Important To You

Your health is a reflection of how you take care of yourself. When I got married to Kaz, he made a funny joke that, “I better not get fat.” In return, he better not become bald (please don’t tell my husband). I kept mind of it, I love myself, and the chances that I will get fat isn’t a worry. I knew that if I became fat, it was because I didn’t take care of myself, I didn’t eat right. Growing up, we only ate at home. Eating out was unheard of, and having a snack meant eating fruit or vegetables. That was my upbringing and although here and there I do eat out and snack on junk food, it isn’t a bad habit. I learned to stop and do my best to stick with our Bland Diet Sheet. Is food important to you? I think the new sensational food fads are over rated. You will constantly hear of new findings in science about diets, and diet interventions. I don’t believe in special diets like the protein diets or all fruit diets or even juicing. If weight is the problem, stop eating bad and create a balanced meal. Start changing your life style. Science has nothing to do with our eating habits, it is our own discipline. And when you don’t feel well do something about it.

Food is highly important for our own existence. For survival needs, people everywhere could eat the same food, to be measured only in calories, fats, carbohydrates, proteins, and vitamins. But people of different backgrounds or cultures eat very differently. You might say that different cultures have different food choices. (The word choice is used here not necessarily in an active sense, granting the possibility that some choices could be imposed rather than selected.) We see how food habits change and seek to explore the reasons and consequences. You are what you eat! What may work well for one may be bad for others.

The Chinese diet has a long, complicated history, based on thousands of years of Chinese medicine. Chinese culture is based on the philosophy of “yin” and “yang”, as well as the “Five Elements.” From medicine, and martial arts, to dance, and cooking Chinese culture is built on a foundation of balance, harmony, contrast, and adapting to change.

Part of that balance can be implemented with food. Each organ is tied to an element and a taste. For example, bitter is tied to the heart and fire. Sweet: spleen/earth, sour: liver/wood, spicy: lungs/metal, salty: kidneys/water.) In building a healthy meal, all five of these tastes should be incorporated. That is said to keep the body in balance, which in turn protects it from disease.


A Dying Art Form: Cooking From Scratch

I have always hated cooking, there I said it. I hated the process of cooking, I hated cutting my own food up because I am a totally clumsy and would cut myself on accident some way or another, and I extremely despise the clean up process after you are done making a meal. I disliked this task so much I would avoid cooking at all costs, which in turn led me to eat out more… And to be completely honest, I was a horrible cook. I had no idea what to cook or how to cook anything…Instant Mac&Cheese and Top Ramen anyone?

For example, one time my boyfriend Igor and I were making soup. We added in the broth and the vegetables like potatoes, carrots, onions, garlic, and tomatoes, ect… Igor had already added a little bit of noodles to give it more heartiness to the soup. Not knowing I added A WHOLE BOX of shell noodles which made this soup very thick. As the noodles started to expand, there was almost no broth left. So we just ended up eating a bowl full of brothless noodles, with little vegetables.

There was also another instance when I was making pancakes, the recipe called for vegetable oil and not watching what I was doing, I grabbed an olive oil containing garlic and added it to the pancake mix. When I was in the middle of cooking I was thinking, “Man what smells like garlic?” and as the pancake finished cooking I took one bite and instantly knew I fudged up.

So these are just petite examples of my clumsy cooking experiences, too many to share. But at the beginning of January of 2016 I made it a goal to expand my cooking habits and to explore the art of cooking from scratch.

Although it took me a very long time to get the hang of cooking from scratch, I started with really small and easy recipes to get me started. I’d make omelets, pancakes (without the garlic oil), sandwiches, and stir fry with rice to name a few. As I started to notice that cooking wasn’t really that bad, I started to build the confidence to learn how to make even more complex dishes.

To start, I decided what my staple foods were going to be for the week; Igor and I take turns with making food, so we plan out what meals we like and what each dish requires. We love spaghetti squash (great substitute for noodles) with our own homemade pasta sauce, pesto sauce with chicken (which goes well with almost everything), stir frys including bell peppers, onion, garlic, basil, carrots, broccoli, and boiled & buttered vegetables with rice (which is my favorite). These are the meals we always have ready in our fridge.

We pick one day of the week (sometimes every other day when one of us has the time to cook) and we prepare our dishes ahead of time. This makes it easy for us to grab and go and helps the cooking process go by faster.

With this inspiration to cook from scratch, this year for thanksgiving, we made everything, and I mean EVERYTHING from scratch. We also visited our local farm and bought most of our produce from there. I admit it wasn’t easy but it was sure nice to know that all the food we were making had ingredients that were not a mystery to us.

The food tasted amazing compared to the pre-packaged and instant food we use to get. We also had a well rounded assortment of different dishes from mashed potatoes, to brussels sprouts and cabbage, mixed vegetables, stuffing (made from whole wheat bread that was made from scratch, onions and celery), and of course the turkey.

As I have started to cook from home more and more, I have started to notice that my palate for food has changed as well! If I went out to eat with family or friends, I notice that the food is much more salty and less enjoyable than if I were to make something at home. The food I make tastes way better. As I transition from buying pre packaged foodstuff to making everything myself, It has helped me realize that your taste buds do much more than enhancing the flavor of food, and it plays a real important part of your digestion of food.

Americans have acquired a savory flavored addiction. If it isn’t stewing in sauces and high sodium, it doesn’t taste good. Our palates have conditioned itself to reject “bland” tasting food, or in my view real food, because everything you find in the store is packed with sodium to ensure shelf life. When eating food there are many factors to consider when it comes to taste and proper digestion. The first factor being taste, and how the food feels in your mouth. The second factor is the actual macronutrient content of the food.

Saliva contains calcium, amino acids, nitrogen, natural chlorine, oxygen, ammonia, proteins, carbon dioxide, and sodium. These substances all enhance metabolism, growth and the body’s immunity system, and help with lubricating the mouth and throat aiding the digestion process when chewing food.

Food manufacturers take advantage of this natural occurrence and go to great lengths to find the perfect blend of salt, sugar, fat, and additional flavorings to excite your brain’s reward center and taste buds thereby assuring you’ll eat more. With processed foods these factors are some of the reasons why processed foods can be so addicting such as:

• Rapid food meltdown and vanishing caloric density. Foods that quickly melt in your mouth trick your brain into thinking you’re not eating as much food as you really are, despite the fact you’re stuffing in plenty of calories. A prime example of a snack food
that has perfected this is Cheetos
• Dynamic contrast. This is when a combination of contrasting sensations produces pleasurable sensations, such as biting through a crunchy chocolate shell, followed by a soft, creamy center filling

• Sensory specific response. Repetitive flavors, or flavor overload, tend to lead to decreased sensations of pleasure. In short, you “get tired” of eating the same flavor again and again. Your palate can even tire of a flavor within minutes. Processed food manufacturers circumvent this by creating more complex flavor and sensory profiles.

• Salivation response, which boosts taste and feelings of pleasure. Examples of foods and/or ingredients that promote salivation include butter, chocolate, ice cream, and mayonnaise

• Calorie density. Junk foods are designed to convince your brain that it is getting nutrition, but to not fill you up. This is accomplished by combining the ideal ratio of calories to prevent satiety signals to go off

Eating food has become a lost art form, and what I mean by that is we don’t eat because we have the need to, we eat because we want to. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, although with all the addicting chemicals put into our food, it’s hard to stop eating. A patient of ours once said, “We live to eat, and we forgot how to eat to live.” People are eating too fast, and not thoroughly chewing their food, which results in huge chunks of half digested food going into your stomach and making your body work twice as hard to digest it. Chewing your food 15-20 times and giving yourself time to eat and enjoy food will benefit you in the long run.

As the holiday season continues, it’s key to keep in mind that, winter is a time for rest and relaxation, and what is a better way to do that than to get together, eat good food, and surround yourself with loved ones, who will also get the pleasure of enjoying great food with you!

I challenge you this season, to make a whole holiday meal plan from scratch. Going to a farm and getting to talk with the people who grew the food was very educating and they also had so many tips on recipes, how to potentially grow my own food, and much more. Your kids would love it too! Helping support your local farmers is much more rewarding than buying something from the store. Do your taste buds a favor this year and treat it to some really good wholesome food.

Happy Holidays


What To Eat When It’s Cold Outside

The holidays are the most joyous times of the year. Get into the holiday spirit in a big way and round up family and friends to go to events and be very active. Spend time in creating healthy foods like simple vegetable dishes, cultural foods that your grandparents made, make it memorable. Often the holiday seasons brings stress, emotional turmoil, rich foods, and late nights. All of these can affect your health and well-being. Let’s make a good change.

In the cold winter months, people desire to eat more food. This increases gastric acid and poses a threat to the gastric mucosa. Chronic stomach problems like ulcers and even stomach bleeding. The rule of thumb is to only eat 70% full and no later than 6pm. Give your stomach at least 3-4 hours to digest before bedtime. Generally, the digestive system enters an active stage in winter and that’s why dietary reinforcements are usually more effective than in other seasons, stomach problems also often occur due to cold air, eating unsafe foods like hot pots, and stimulating spicy foods.

Also, cold food should be avoided to reduce stimulation of gastric fluids, especially at breakfast. As most of the organs are still in a state of sleep, eating cold foods may result in contraction and poor blood circulation in the digestive system, leading to indigestion. There goes your cup of orange juice in the morning!

Warm or relatively hot foods, however, can help stimulate blood circulation and wake up the organs. Wearing a belly belt, or covering the stomach, can also help protect the stomach from the cold. Warming fruit with hot water, or briefly boiling it, before eating is a good alternative if you must eat it. Generally, the antioxidant like polyphenol in fruit won’t be damaged at 100 degrees Celsius. Boiled fruits will effectively nourish organs, move bowels and promote digestion, as well as reduce possible stimulation in the stomach.

And since immunity decreases with cold temperatures, we should also be aware of infectious digestive ailments with typical symptoms like diarrhea and vomiting. Uncooked foods are the first group recommended to be crossed off the menu.

As for patients with chronic stomach problems like inflammation or ulcers, it is essential to quit smoking, drinking and eating other stimulating foods as well as avoid bad moods and fatigue. It is also advised to take precautionary herbs to stop relapses of stomach problems.

Stay hydrated. Water helps your body cleanse toxins and fight germs. With furnaces blasting, lots of party foods, and alcohol, your personal water table needs all the help it can get. Remember, caffinated beverages and alcoholic drinks actually take water out of your system.

If you stay cautious of what you eat and how you prepare foods, learn to read ingredients, you will have much better intestinal health. You are what you eat. Eat wisely and drink smart.

Enjoy this holiday with good health,

With Deceiving Product Labels, Comes Hidden Surprises!

Due to the winter season, you are bound to get a cold at least once. Well that’s exactly what happened to me this month. But thanks to Gum Wall tea, drinking plenty of fluids, and staying well dressed for the weather, I was able to have a speedy recovery. And to top it all off, the best food to have when you are sick is a big bowl of soup. Mmm, I personally love tomato soup. So I thought, I’ll go to the nearest Trader Joe’s and get my self some comforting soup. After I ate this delicious meal I began to talk to Juli about my cold. She exclaims,” you know what it is, its those pre-made soups you’ve been eating”. In the back of my head I was thinking “Psh what? How could that be? It says Tomato Soup on the label and it came from Trader Joes! It’s bound to be healthy.”

Next thing I knew, Juli and I were looking at the back label. She started reading the bad ingredients: Cream, Chicken Stock Concentrate, Butter, Modified Corn Starch, Unbleached Enriched Wheat Flour, Flavoring, Chicken Flavoring, Yeast Extract, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein (secret labeling for MSG) and worst of all Chicken Fat!!!  I was literally eating a bowl full of chicken fat and preservatives! But why? Why would you put these ingredients in Tomato Soup? Well in commercial grocery stores there are many things they do not tell you.
After looking up Trader Joe’s policies on labeling food, they secretly label certain ingredients to make it sound healthy when in actuality its still preservatives! For example Soy Protein is an added MSG preservative. You’d think calling it Soy Protein sounds healthy but its just disguised to persuade you to buy it. I found more information on Trader Joe’s which was really alarming considering that they’re whole campaign is promoting nutritional and healthy foods. I found a snippet of an article that stated this woman’s experience with trying to find out what was really in their food and how they label their products. Here she states “During my research, I found out there is no regular independent third party certifier verifying their products are non-GMO or non-MSG on a regular basis at Trader Joe’s. It is completely up to Trader Joe’s product supply team to regulate GMOs and MSGs from suppliers – not the Non-GMO Project or the USDA (for organics) that requires a high level of MSGs and GMOs. If there are complaints about a product, Trader Joe’s will conduct verification with a secret third party that they won’t disclose, but it’s completely up to the consumer to alert Trader Joe’s with a complaint. In fact, Trader Joe’s stated that their products “don’t allow for auditing using the Non-GMO Project because there is an additional cost associated with that.” A representative from Trader Joe’s went on to say, “We tend to not label our products a whole lot, and won’t until there is a government regulation to understand what non-GMO even means, we aren’t going to label products that don’t have specific FDA guidelines.” So this begs the question – what does non-GMO mean to Trader Joe’s? Are they making up their own definition because they claim they don’t have direction from a governmental official?” This is just one example of how grocery stores can mislead you into buying their pre-made or packaged products. And Trader Joe’s isn’t the only culprit!

When I was younger I use to work for a grocery store, and I noticed that many grocery store chains cut corners on not just how they label their products but as well as how they present their products and don’t follow the mandatory health regulations. Some examples of this includes how the meat department presents their food, and how some in store deli’s prepare their food. So how do these unseemly con artists do this?

For some meat departments, presentation and preservation is more important than good quality. One instance is some meat departments dye their meat with red dye to make them look “fresh”. Another instance is some grocer’s use red light bulbs to make the meat look more appealing. Many grocery stores buy their meat in bulk and upon receiving their meat from their distributor they freeze it and keep it in the freezer for months before using it. So, that delicious steak could possibly be 7 months old…ew. An interesting factor to also keep in mind is the processing equipment such as slicers, grinders, and other machines. Some health inspectors aren’t trained well enough to know the cleaning process for a machine and might not even know how to detect if its even clean or not. From an article I was reading one health inspector goes as far to explain, “They beat into our heads how to inspect restaurants. But there was very little training focused on grocery stores. They took us through a grocery store in one day and then turned us loose, even though the stores have all this processing equipment that’s tough to clean. And I have to admit, I’d look at some of these machines on my inspections and say, “Yep, looks good.” But I didn’t really know what I was looking for.” So even in some cases the equipment might not even be clean!

Taking a look at the Deli, you see a variety of different pasta’s, salads, sandwiches, etc…An interesting question to raise is how do they prepare all that food, and where do they get it? Since the incident with my tomato soup, it has peaked my curiosity, and I am more determined to ask questions about the food I want to purchase. I went to the store and walked up to the deli and was interested in a sun-dried tomato pasta. I asked the deli clerk what was in the pasta. She shrugged and answered,”I don’t know, we get it from out of state.”Shocked I asked which state they were getting this from and still she was uncertain of where it came from. So continuing my investigation I asked another deli clerk the same questions and he didn’t know either. Not even the manager knew. No one knew what was in the food or where it came from and here people are buying it? That disturbed me a little. Even though this was just one store, some deli’s recycle expired food from the produce section or shelved products that are about to expire and use that to make their food. Well with my experience it was obvious that they weren’t making the food from scratch so it was probably filled with preservatives. Not even the deli’s contain fresh food.
So how can we avoid being attacked left and right from fake, processed, and highly preserved food? There are a couple different solutions. One being to cook at home. I’ll be the first to admit, cooking isn’t my favorite thing in the world. You come home exhausted from your day and the last thing you want to do is make a meal and then the worst part is clean up. But the reward that comes from cooking is amazing! You know what’s being put into your food. You get to pick what goes in it and there aren’t any mysterious chemicals saturating your food! Not only that but if you plan ahead in the week of what you want to make for you meals, you can be prepared and won’t have to struggle last minute to find something to cook.

Another solution to staying away from bad foods, is well, simple. READ THE LABEL! Read what is on the package. Granted that maybe the label isn’t 100% true but still take a look at what is in the food, for example if it has any form of sugar ending in “ose” (Sucrose, Dextrose, Fructose, Glucose, High-fructose corn syrup) then its probably bad for you. Also keep an eye out for words like Natural Flavor (if its natural why can’t they tell us what it is?), Dextrin, Fruit juice concentrate, Artificial Flavoring, Soy Protein, and Extract. The saying goes, “if you can’t read or pronounce anything on the label, don’t buy it.”
All in all stores are going to sell what they want to sell. It is our job to make sure we understand what’s going into our body. Start this New Year off right with your eyes wide open! Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the food you want, read the labels carefully, and it’s so much better to cook meals at home. Be happy, eat well, and most of all be healthy!

With Love,

Shaila Suleman

The Connection Between Protein And Exercise

Last month my family took a trip to Sequim, WA for a tour to learn about Organic farming. Paul Gautschi shared his knowledge of raising healthy food, modeling mother nature. Paul made a great impression upon me with how he emphasized the importance of healthy eating and with the idea, we are what we eat. He gave us an opportunity  to ask him questions, and the best part was getting to taste all the vegetables and fruits.

Curious, I wanted to know his opinion about eating protein. But instead of answering my question, Paul answered me with a question. The question was if I have ever raced a horse? A race horse needs energy to race and will eat hay in order to exert extra energy. Then he further explained that protein is hard to digest, and if you don’t exercise to utilize the energy the protein is providing you then it just sits in your system.

I believe that in our sedentary lifestyle (known as lazy or couch potato) protein is very hard to digest.

I’d like to further emphasize the fact that if you are planning to loose weight, you need to have a high protein diet, because you need the extra energy. But for those who are less active will have a problem digesting protein. Create a balanced diet, 56 grams per day for sedentary man and 46 grams per day for women. Our crops is where all the best nutrient are.

Have I ever raced a horse? Of course I wouldn’t race a horse. In the history of China, horses and chariots were a vital part of China’s military force and horses represented power and nobility. In Feng Shui, a horse is used to symbolize movement and power.  Think about this question, if you think that you are lacking in protein then race a horse after you have eaten a steak or will you end up laying on the sofa, too full or bloated to move? Then should I eat grass like a horse? I prefer more vegetables myself.

We must remind ourselves that we are what we eat, what goes in must come out. The more protein you eat the more sluggish you become. Realizing that the holidays are around the corner, we bring out the best plates and serve the richest meals, we must end it with a bunch of Taifu Plus (Digestive aid) and might as well combine it with E15 for extra detox. Best wishes to our guts and please keep it nice and clean.

Love, Juli

Why We Need To Eat More Fruits And Vegetables!

Are we eating enough vegetables and fruits? Fruits and vegetables are nutritious and delicious. They are packed with vitamins and minerals. As a balanced diet, it is suggested that adults eat 100-200 grams of fruits and 400-500 grams of vegetables every day. Fruits and veggies provide fiber that fills you up and keeps your digestive track happy. Fruits and veggies are nature’s treat. There are so many fruits and vegetables to choose from, what is the best for us?

Here in America, our biggest problem in balancing Yin and Yang is our diet. It is often referred to as the “Yang Diet” for it is composed of primarily foods and cooking methods which are yang qualities known as dry heat. As the stomach and intestines need moisture, our yang diet doesn’t include any. Too much Yang, results in a number of complications and perhaps eventually in a noticeable illness. As a result, an individual suffers from food blockage, stomach and intestinal pain, gas, a bloated stomach and so on. When the whole system becomes dry, skin dryness, psoriasis, dandruff, loss of hair and acne become just a few of the outcomes, which may result from too much heat in the system.

It is fundamental to health. We are what we eat. Our emotions, the change in season, climate and our sex may influence our health as well. Meaning, we have to create our health care, create a balanced diet, clearing negativity, keeping our earth clean and most important treat your body with respect and others as well.

Eating seasonally, so in warmer weather seasons you may have more fruits and vegetables, while in colder seasons more grains. Fruits that are grown locally, fresh and in room temperature, should avoid chilled fruits. The digestive system doesn’t function as well in summer as in other seasons and cold-temperature foods may reduce gastric juices, leading to poor appetite and indigestion. Some fruits should not be eaten on an empty stomach, including tomatoes, bananas, oranges, hawthorn and persimmon.

If you eat leafy green vegetables our brains function better, the thinking is clearer. The brain needs a fairly large supply of oxygen to function at its best. It is of utmost importance that our body receive enough oxygen, especially while curing any disease. Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, green vegetables and radish sprouts are all is cruciferous vegetables that bring about consistent types of changes in the gut bacteria that are known to metabolize glucosinolates, lignans and fiber. In fact, the ability to metabolize glucosinolates (and convert them into cancer-preventive isothiocyanates) may be a very important factor in prevention of certain cancers, especially cancers of the digestive tract.

It certainly takes time to prepare vegetables, but what a reward!



What You Should Know About Kidney Stones

Our food is the well being of life.

It is easy to fall into the pattern of eating fast, convenient, prepared food, especially in our often frantic lives. But we are not nurturing ourselves, relying on latest trends like supplements, special Atkins diets or only fruit diets. I believe that moderation is the key. A little of everything is good, too much is poison.

In the recent years, I’ve seen many female patients with Kidney stones. A pain worse than labor! If the stone is anywhere near 4mm it has to be blasted. Not trying to be mean, but men having kidney stones can appreciate women for giving birth.

The unfortunate thing about kidney stones is that once you have had one there is a significant chance that you will have another one. Fortunately, there are things that you can do that may help prevent future occurrences. Approximately four out of five kidney stones are calcium stones. Dietary factors that can lead to the development of these stones and lets get us great details.

Supplements like Calcium, Vitamin D and (ascorbic acid ) Vitamin C taken in high doses can increase stones. Too much of a good thing: When it comes to vitamins, more is not always better. Once the kidney Qi is deficient it takes a whole lot of care. We suggest our DTF Pills to help along with a good diet and not too much of any vitamin.

In many ways, we don’t really need much advice because we already know basically what we should do: eat a variety of foods, especially whole grains, fruits, and vegetables; minimize candy, soda and other empty calories; and watch how much we eat. And of course do some physical activity each day and the goal of 8-10 full glasses of fluid each day.

A trend comes and goes. The best vitamin is through foods not a pill.

“Saving Time, Giving Space, Creating a better you, follow through and love you, But we must Love one more…”


How To Live An Allergy Free Life

When I was a kid, I suffered a bad case of asthma. Fortunately, it was never a life and death situation, but severe enough to prevent me from having a normal life. The attack occurred often in the middle of the night in bed. I remember myself being on my knees, my elbows and head down to the pillow, wheezing and coughing, trying to cough out a mucus mess from my lungs all night long. It was miserable. Not to mention, getting a decent amount of air into my lungs was a struggle. My condition began to improve significantly as I was seriously getting into sports activities during middle school.

I thought to myself, “Building stronger lungs from high aerobic activities must be the key to defeating asthma.” So, I kept at it. However, my allergy conditions like, runny nose, itchy eyes, eczema all got worse during the same period. And they persisted throughout my teen age years and into my late twenties. There was a time I even had to use nasal spray just to keep my runny nose from dripping onto everything I touched. My nose and eyes were always red, my lips were so dry, chapped and swollen that I couldn’t even open my mouth wide to eat. I know now, and I sort of knew back then, that bad eating and drinking and smoking habits had something to do with my terrible health. But what I didn’t know was that all of my allergy symptoms including asthma (I didn’t know asthma was also allergic reaction) were triggered by the substance called Histamine.

Histamines play an essential role in the body’s immune response in a number of ways. For example, they trigger the mucus-producers—called “goblet cells” to create more mucus. The goal of the mucus production is to create a wetter, more fluid environment, so that allergens can be trapped and carried away from the body.  Many people suffer from allergy symptoms like a runny nose, watery/itchy eyes on the daily basis because of our body’s defense mechanism. In the case of asthma, histamines overreact and produce far more mucus than needed. They are also responsible for the inflammation which exacerbate the constriction of the airway.

Many people are allergic to certain foods, most notoriously peanuts, as well as airborne allergen like dust, mold and pollens. If your histamine tolerance level is very low you must stay away from them as much as possible. However, what I found was quite surprising to me. It turned out that most of the food we eat regularly have a certain level of histamine in them. Some of the food contains high level of histamine, and some have low levels. And some foods cause our body to release histamine as they enter our digestive system. Another fact I found about histamine was quite shocking to me. The level of histamine increases as the food gets stale. It means that the left-over meal that has been sitting in the refrigerator for a few days has much higher level of histamine compared to a freshly prepared meal. So, the left over dinner for tomorrow’s lunch is not recommended if your allergy symptoms are severe. So let’s take a look at list of commonly consumed foods that contains higher level of histamine.

Histamine-Rich Foods

Fermented alcoholic beverage, especially wine, champagne and beer; sauerkraut, vinegar, soy sauce, kefir, yogurt, cheese, sour cream, butter milk, dried fruits (apricots, prunes, dates, figs, raisins), most citrus fruits, walnuts, cashews, and peanuts, avocados, egg plant, spinach, tomatoes.

Histamine Releasing Foods:

Alcohol, bananas, chocolate, cow’s milk, nuts, papaya, pineapple, shellfish, strawberries, tomatoes, wheat germ, artificial preservatives and dyes.

Low-Histamine Foods:

Freshly cooked meat, poultry, freshly caught fish, gluten-free grains (rice, quinoa), mango, pear, watermelon, apple, kiwi, cantaloupe, grapes, fresh vegetables (except for the ones listed above).

You may not have obvious allergic reactions to histamine rich foods if your histamine tolerance level is high. But, remember that inflammation from histamine can cause other symptoms like headaches/migraines, difficulty falling asleep, sluggish digestion, nausea, fatigue, abnormal menstrual cycle and many others. So, please pay close attention to your body’s response to certain foods or allergens. In many cases, outcomes from histamine reaction are subtle and often benign. But they may accumulate and turn into something serious if you don’t take care of it early.

For those who suffer from chronic allergy conditions, we have herbal pills called AE. Many people have reported back to me during severe allergy season that their allergy symptoms were so much better with regular intake of AE. As for me, my digestion improved overnight because of AE. It took me a while to figure out that my entire digestive system was inflamed and swollen because of the histamine rich foods. Bloating, indigestion, sluggishness, tightness around the abdomen are no longer an issue. Even inflammation in anal area is gone. Thus, no pain. (For those who are new to our newsletter, I wrote an article about my battle with hemorrhoid and the solution in the past issue. You can view the past issues at www.hensenherbs.com/resources/newsletter-archive)

 -Kaz Isogai


A Battle In The Garden

I am wimpy when it comes to horror movies. I don’t like watching them at all. Just a thought of watching them gives me a chill through my spine. If I ever watched frightening movies like, “Friday the 13th” or “Texas Chain saw Massacre”, I would most likely wet my pants, cry like a baby and hide under the blanket just like a frightened child during a thunder storm. Any images that provoke the thought of violent killing make me sick to my stomach. As a matter of fact, as I type the first paragraph of this article, I am already feeling nauseous and I will probably vomit all over my laptop very soon.

So you can safely say that I am a gentle, peaceful, Buddhist-monk-like being who avoids any fighting, conflict, or argument. If someone dangerously cut in front of me while driving, I would just sit back and breath deeply and focus more on enjoyable things like listening to the sound of my own voice as I sing loud in the car. I might even close my eyes (not recommended while driving) for a few second to meditate to calm my mind. Since chasing the driver and holding him at gun point is out of question and not my style, I might let myself indulge in the thought of making his life miserable by pouring a pound of sugar into his gas tank, which by the way causes sticky mess inside and completely ruin the engine. I admit that I could be mean-spirited sometimes, but living peaceful and mindful life without any act or thought of violence is my priority.

So I was totally devastated when I realized that hundreds of friendly earthworms were being murdered by my own hand. It was like 1994 Rwandan Genocide all over again, but this time it was happening in my front yard.

A healthy earth worm.

A healthy earth worm.

If you are long time reader of our newsletter, you might remember one of my articles in the past, “A Confession Of A Middle Aged Man – I am sorry I will never do it again.” In that I described how I completely destroyed my front yard lawn by spraying notorious weed killer, “Round Up”. It successfully killed everything. Everything, except for weeds. My lawn burned immediately and turned into golden brown. It was a disaster. Fast forward 1 year, after long winter rains and complaints from my wife and kids. I finally decided remove the old ugly dead lawn full of weeds with a shovel 1 square feet at a time.

To my surprise, there was fairy rich healthy soil beneath much of the areas where lawns had been relatively healthy compared to the areas severely affected by weeds. I had to dig deep though in order to get most of roots (both from weeds and lawn) out.

Truth is that thick layer of soil was being pulled out of the ground because of it was stuck in the dense root system. So each time I dug, a big 8-10 inch-deep hole was created. In order to fill the hole I had to shake the soil out of sod, which was almost impossible to do because of the sod’s weight and dense roots. So I put the sod upside down and started hitting the soil out of the roots really hard with a shovel. That’s when I turned into a cold-blooded mass murderer of earthworms. At first, I didn’t know what was happening because I was so busy trying to fill the hole. Then all of a sudden, I realized I was chopping earthworms en masse with a brutal force. I became an evil psycho killer in the movie “Seattle Garden Shovel Massacre.” Later I learned they are able to regenerate their body after decapitation, so I shrugged it off and moved on.


I may have disturbed the earthworm kingdom and killed some of the them in the process, but I learned something important. Their sacrifice didn’t go wasted. The first thing I discovered is that lawn thrives in the area where rich healthy soil is abundant. Many earthworms can be found in the healthy soil. But weeds have a tough time growing. Healthy soil usually is very dark and said to have pH level between 6.5 and 7.0. Anything above 7.0 is considered alkaline and anything below is acidic. So it should be slightly acidic to neutral. On the other hand, I noticed that weeds were rampant in the area where the soil is light in color and rather dry and sandy. It was even worse in the area where I applied ‘Weed killer’ last year. As a matter of fact, there was about 3 inches of pure white, crumbly, dried-clay-like layer under the carpet of thick weeds. It seemed completely lifeless. No earthworms dare to explore into the white layer.

Yet, I noticed weeds really thrive in that kind of environment where acidity is really high. So having a soil with balanced pH level (closed to neutral) is the key to maintaining thick healthy beautiful lawn.

It is eerily similar to the health of human body. The blood of healthy human have the pH level between 7.35 to 7.45 which is slightly alkaline. The human body is said to be free of cancer if the pH level stays in this range. When the body becomes too acidic, it creates an ideal environment where diseases thrives. But you should never confuse blood pH level with the pH level of your stool, which tends to be more acidic (between 4 and 7). I once knew a naturopathic doctor who was obsessed with an alkaline diet. She ate only the foods with high alkalinity. She carried around the pH test strip everywhere she went and checked her stool with a strip every time. If the result was not alkaline, she would eat more alkaline food. She pushed it to the extreme.

The concept of ‘BALANCE’ or “yin & yang” never entered her mind. She believed that she has to be really, really alkaline in order to be disease free. I heard she died a few years later.

The lawn will die if the soil is too acidic, but it will also become prone to diseases if the soil is too alkaline. The human body works the same way. If the body is too acidic, high in toxicity, inflamed from over-nourishment (main causes of yang diseases) cancer and other diseases thrives. But if you become too alkaline, cold, under-nourished you become too weak to fight diseases.

Healthy weeds!

Healthy weeds!

The concept of “yin & yang” is pretty simple when it comes to diet. When you eat too much of yang foods, including but not limited to meats, spices, artificial flavors, alcohol, coffee, sugar or anything that is hard to digest, your body become acidic, inflamed and create ideal environment for diseases. So you could, for example, balance it by fasting in which your body eliminates toxic waste and all the excess, and repair ailed organs. Fasting is a fairly fast process, but it is really tough. So you may choose to stick with a diet consist of foods that are more yin or easy to digest.

In general leafy vegetables and certain types of grains cooked properly without much seasoning falls under the “yin’” category. It may take time, but eventually your body will achieve perfect yin-yang balance in the process. One of the fastest and most effective ways to bring balance back to the body is to regularly drink a cup of herbal tea prescribed by a Traditional Chinese Herbalist. An experienced herbalist like Juliana can spot imbalance immediately, and prescribe a package of herbs to counter and cleanse excess toxicity out of the system in a very short period of time.

The time it takes to heal one’s body still largely depends on the his willingness to follow good diet and lifestyle suggested by the herbalist. Good diet consists of foods that are easy to digest. They are usually the least acidic and minimally stimulating or inflammatory. Good lifestyle means that you should avoid any destructive habits or stress and focus more on the activities such regular exercise, meditation or anything that will bring you happiness and peace of mind. So here is the equation you should always keep in mind:

Good Herbs + Good Diet + Good Lifestyle
= Fast Healing

Kaz Isogai