About Me

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I am an acupuncture and Oriental Medicine student at Emperor's College in Santa Monica, CA. I am over halfway through my Master's program and am currently a clinical intern. You can contact Emperor's College Clinic at 310-453-8300 to schedule an appointment with me.

I have been vegan for over three years and I love living a vegan lifestyle. Not only does eating vegan food make me feel and look great, but I sleep better and have more energy. Incorporating "kind" practices into my life gives me a sense of serenity in the fast paced world in which we all live.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Babe, Pig in the City...in China

Read this incredible article about Babe, the brave slaughterhouse pig. This story will warm your heart for sure!

[Photo Credit: Rex]

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Vegan Sloppy Joes in the Crock-Pot

I have to admit that I was skeptical about this recipe at first, but it really turned out well. It also reheated well for left-over meals the following days. If you like smokey flavored BBQ, then this recipe is for you.


Servings: 6
Prep time: 5 minutes
Total time: 3 to 4 hours

Ingredients:
Initial ingredients:
2 (15oz) cans garbanzo beans
1 (15oz) can black beans
2/3 cup (two handfuls) carrots, shredded
1/3 cup bread crumbs
1 bell pepper, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 teaspoons Paprika

Last 30 minute ingredients:
1 cup shredded or minced greens (collards, kale, etc.)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
Salt and pepper, to taste
Buns, for serving
Add all the initial ingredients to the crock-pot and cook on low for 3 to 4 hours. Be sure to keep an eye on the crock-pot the first time you make it. Stir occasionally as needed. Thirty minutes before serving: Add the greens and tomato paste. Add the salt and pepper right before serving and more Paprika if needed. Serve on a lightly toasted bun with your favorite BBQ side dishes.


Modified from the original recipe found here.

Friday, May 16, 2014

On My Radar: May 2014

I spend some time each week reading articles either for the pure sake of learning or for entertainment. This blog is mainly dedicated to veganism and Traditional Oriental Medicine, but I find other topics to be relevant for this blog as well. In my efforts to educate myself to become the best health practitioner I can be, an integral part of healing is educating my patients and community. 

This monthly blog series will consist of news stories and articles regarding things that are "On My Radar."


Can Patients Afford Their Medicine?
With the rising cost of healthcare, it should be on the doctor's radar to check if their patients are having a difficult time paying for their health. This could mean paying for doctors visits, medications and supplements, or even healthy food. Check out this article from the NY Times to see just how many Americans need help paying for basic health necessities. 

GMO Labeling Bill in CA, Again!
A new bill that would require the labeling of packaged foods and produce that has been genetically engineered (aka genetically modified) was heard in the Appropriations Committee on 5/12/14. Read here about differences between the new bill and Prop 37. Look for upcoming news about how it did in the latest committee hearing.

The Health Benefits of Smiling
Read this great article about 15 health benefits of smiling.

Digestive Health
This is a simple, to-the-point article about digestive health. One of my favorite areas of practice is digestion and I've had great success using acupuncture, nutrition counseling, and Chinese herbal medicine to treat digestive imbalances. Please read this article to see if you have less than optimal digestive health. You'd be surprised to know that many people with digestive issues don't know they even have a problem. If digestive issues go untreated, it can lead to toxic build-up in the body and cause seemingly unrelated symptoms.

Valerie Harper Kicks Cancer's Butt!
See how the beloved TV star has used conventional medicine, Chinese medicine, and mindfulness to live more than one year past her predicted "expiration date."

Three Surprises About Acupuncture
This article talks about three of the most common surprises that people encounter when first learning about acupuncture: 1) acupuncture is not just for pain, 2) acupuncture is relaxing, and my personal favorite 3) acupuncturists go to school for a long time. 

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Can Kids Get Acupuncture?

[Photo Credit]
The answer is, YES! Kids can absolutely get acupuncture. Many times, kids don't even need to have a needle pierce their skin; non-invasive tools can be used to stimulate the body's natural healing mechanism. Children are very resilient and have a lot of Qi (pronounced 'chee'), which allows them to heal much faster than adults. There is a Japanese-style technique called Shoni-shin that uses non-puncturing tools to promote healing in children.

Acupuncture for children can be very effective before any medications need to be used. Reducing medications can help the child continue to build a strong and healthy immune system on their own. It will also prevent future resistance to antibiotics and other drugs.

Pediatric acupuncture can be very helpful in treating cold and flu-like symptoms, headaches, abdominal pain, digestive discomfort, allergies, and many other common issues that children face. Not to mention the adverse side effects of pediatric acupuncture are minimal and usually only include minor bruising.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Crockpot Fajitas

Seriously, the easiest recipe EVER! And it was so delicious!

Servings: 8 fajitas  

Ingredients:
2 roma tomatoes, diced
4 ounce can diced green chilies
 
2 large green bell peppers, seeded and sliced 
2 large red bell peppers, seeded and sliced
1 large onion, sliced
1 1/2 Tablespoon vegetable oil 
2 teaspoons cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder  
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt


[Photo Credit]
Directions-
1. Spray crockpot with a thin coating of non-stick spray.
2. Add all of the above ingredients to the crockpot and mix with a large spoon until all vegetables are coated with oil and spices.
3. Set your crockpot to low and cook for 4-6 hours.
4. Serve with warmed tortillas and your favorite sides, such as black beans, spanish rice and avocado.


Slightly modified from the original recipe.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Mindfulness

Lately, I have found myself thinking a lot about mindfulness. Being mindful has many definitions, but what I think it boils down to is living and thinking in the present moment. How many times during the day do you think about your next appointment or meeting, what you have to do tomorrow or this weekend, or what has happened in the past. All of these thoughts are based on the past or the future, not the present.

I find myself in this fast-paced life of school, work and living near Los Angeles craving a slower pace. Mindfulness helps me slow things down and calm my mind. I recenlty took a big step towards mindfulness by making a conscious effort to stop checking my social media networks. These networks often serve as a distraction when I need to focus on my studies, my work, or my patients. After two weeks of "being off" social media, I already feel more connected to the people in my life and most importantly myself.

Some other mindfulness practices I have are breathing exercises like meditation and yoga. I also practice mindful eating. During mindful eating, I really focus on the nourishing food that is going into my body. I put down my cell phone, turn off the TV and focus on chewing my food as many as 50 times each bite. Eating can be a very social part of our lives and that's fine, but I try to find at least one meal per day where I eat alone and focus entirely on my chewing and the nourishment of my body from that food.

By practicing mindfulness I am more relaxed, I can more easily solve problems that come my way, I can handle stressful situations with less stress and more efficiency. 

How do you add mindfulness to you life?

If you are looking for more information on mindfulness, check out the following blog. I follow this blog regularly and it gives me a lot of different tools to incorporate mindfulness into all aspects of my life. Mindful Influence Blog

[Photo  Credit]

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

On My Radar: April 2014

I spend some time each week reading articles either for the pure sake of learning or for entertainment. This blog is mainly dedicated to veganism and Traditional Oriental Medicine, but I find other topics to be relevant for this blog as well. In my efforts to educate myself to become the best health practitioner I can be, an integral part of healing is educating my patients and community. 

This monthly blog series will consist of news stories and articles regarding things that are "On My Radar."

How Qi Gong Can Help Treat Insomnia
Here is an article that describes, yet another Chinese Medicine modality, Qi Gong and how it can help a very common condition...insomnia. Coming in October 2014, Hong Kong University will be conducting an experiment on 300 insomnia sufferers to scientifically determine the effectiveness of Qi Gong on insomnia. I am excited to see Qi Gong's influence expanding around the world.

How Sugar Affects the Brain
This is a fascinating and easy to understand video of how sugar affects our brains. I believe that natural sugars that are found in raw foods are good for us...our brains need glucose (sugar). But I do not believe that processed sugar and sugar substitutes are beneficial for our bodies or brains at all.

Heartwarming Video About Animals and Love
I loved this video about a young boy in the Philippines who uses his precious resources to help some stray dogs.  


Plant These Flowers to Help Save Bees
We are learning that the bee population is dramatically dwindling due to some unidentified cause (or so they tell us it's unidentified). If you want to help fight bee death, plant some of these awesome plants and flowers to help save the bees.


Too Much Gas After Eating Fiber-Rich Foods?
Check out this post from one of my favorite websites to get answers about bloating and gas after eating fruits, veggies, or beans. It has a few good tips on how to reduce gas and bloating. 


Organic Food Co. Acquisitions
If you're trying to avoid fueling the pockets of food giants like General Mills and PepsiCo, take a look at this info-graphic to see which organic food companies are now owned by the big dogs. At least these big companies are expanding their market to include organic brands...what do you think, is this good or bad?


Where Does Protein Come From?
This info-graphic shows the many ways vegans and vegetarians can get quality protein without eating meat, eggs, or dairy.


Guide to Avoiding GMOs
Use this awesome guide (and website) to aid in your avoidance of GMOs. The Environmental Working Group's website has some stellar information about food and everyday products we use and their toxicity to ourselves and our environment.


The Borrowing Shop
This is a really cool idea about borrowing and trading items in the community so you don't always have to go out and buy something that you'll only use once. I hope we can start implementing these borrowing shops here in the states.