This is an easy, inexpensive and delicious soup you can have anytime for a filling and nutritious meal or snack. It’s low on calories and high in vitamins. You can purchase a blend of Syrian spice mix at most international stores. I purchase mine at Rossman’s in Brooklyn, NY – they have a plethora of Middle Eastern spice mixes that can give a ‘kick’ to any dish from meat to beans and everything in between.

3 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 medium onion
1 bag carrots
3 stalks celery with leaves (keep leaves separate)
3 cloves garlic minced
1 qt low-sodium vegetable broth (or make your own if you have the time)
3 tbsp. Syrian spice blend
1 tbsp. chopped cilantro
1 tbsp. chopped Italian flat parsley
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. cracked black pepper

Instructions: dice the carrots, celery and onions. Heat a Le Creuset dutch oven over medium heat and remember: hot pan, cold oil. Wait until the pot is heated to add the oil. Add carrots and toss in oil, then add onions, and celery. Give a toss occasionally until they begin to golden and soften. Add garlic, salt, pepper and spice mix. Toss and cover pot to ‘sweat’ the vegetables for about 10 minutes. Remove lid and add stock, and herbs. Stock should cover vegetables; if not, add water until vegetables are just covered with liquid. Bring to a boil, then cover pot, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for an hour. Allow soup to rest for an hour so the flavors can settle. Blend mixture in a blender, Ninja or food processor until completely pulverized.
Serves 6.
This soup can be refrigerated or frozen for future enjoyment!

As we see on television’s ‘what’s in your wallet?’, I ask you this:  what’s in your pantry?  Pantry supplies can make a dull meal of chicken breast and asparagus into an exotic meal full of explosive and complex flavors.  A pinch of this and a few drops of that can transform an ordinary meal into something special.  Here are a few of my favorite ‘go to’ items in my own pantry:

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Health clubs have been packed with new members and ‘prodigal children’ these past two weeks.  But did you know that most people give up on their New Year’s resolutions after the first month?  Very often this is because people set monumental goals for themselves with very little planning.  Here’s a tip for all of you – whether you are training for a sporting event, trying to lose a few pounds or just want to get into a healthier lifestyle….MAKE A PLAN!  Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is a svelte, muscular body or perfect healthy lifestyle.  Don’t envision yourself climbing that steep mountain of a goal; make a plan to stride over many small hills that will get you to the other side of the mountain without so much difficulty.

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Whole grains are much healthier for you compared to refined grains. Here are a few facts for you to think about during your next adventure to the market: eating foods containing whole grains are tasty, nutritious and contain dietary fiber which can help lower your cholesterol levels, risk of stroke, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity. Because you will feel ‘full’ faster from ingesting whole grains, you will most likely eat less and lose a little weight in the long term. Whole grains contain vitamins that your body needs on a daily basis for proper homeostasis and keeping your immune system in tip top shape. Refined fibers can’t help you…period.

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Chill n Grill Safely This Summer

The CDC just published a great ‘cheat sheet’ on how to ensure you grill safely without contracting food-borne illnesses.  Check out the link for food safety tips.  Enjoy your 4th of July Independence weekend.  Be safe and have fun.
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May is Pelvic Pain Awareness Month

Pelvic pain can be defined as chronic pain (experienced for more than 6 months) that is not menstrual (period pain for females). Pelvic pain affects both men and women and can present as some of the following symptoms:

  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Painful penetration
  • Painful orgasm
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Generalized pelvic pain
  • Post surgical pain
  • Prostatitis
  • PCOS/Endometriosis
  • Scar tissue pain
  • Yeast infections & Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
  • Incontinence
  • Constipation & bowel disorders
  • Postpartum pain

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Last weekend, I was at my favorite green grocer to stock up on fruits and veggies for the week.  I live in Manhattan, so it isn’t cheap to eat well if one is purchasing groceries in the Big Apple.  I’m fortunate enough to own a car and I go outside Gotham to do my shopping.  This saves me a lot of money and allows me to purchase those ‘special items’ that would be prohibitive if I were to obtain them close to home.  Manhattanites refer to Whole Foods as “Whole Paycheck”.  The prices are outrageous and most folks just cannot afford to shop there.  In general, it’s just plain expensive to purchase good healthy food and so cheap to buy a Happy Meal at McDonald’s.  There’s definitely something wrong with the picture.  So, where do you shop and for what items if you have a tight budget, but would like to eat healthy and nutritious meals?  Ask me….I’m the Queen of Cheap Eats, but Great Eats!  You may need to take a train or bus if you’re in Manhattan, or get into your car and drive a few miles, but there are some wonderful grocery/green markets you can shop for some of the best produce, fish, meat and grains in every area.  Do a little research. In many neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens for example, local restauranteurs have set up a grocery store specifically for the community.  Universal Produce is one such market in Astoria, Queens.  Rossman’s is another market in Brooklyn.  The  fruits, vegetables, dairy, meats, fish and grains they purchase for their many restaurants are the very items being sold to the community at a discount.  The same produce that might cost you $40 at a well known supermarket might cost you $10 at a community-based market.  That leaves you $30 in your wallet for those special items you’d love to purchase for a memorable meal; or, you could just be happy with an extra $30 in your wallet for a fun activity.So, if you don’t have a community based market within a reasonable distance, what can you purchase that is super healthy and won’t break the piggy bank?  Well, Weight Watchers recently did the research (so let’s give them the credit here).  The following is a list Weight Watchers published in September 2017 magazine:Quinoa:  at $2.14 per pound, a 3/4cup cooked serving is $0.21.  This serving contains 8g complete protein and 60% of daily manganese needs.  It is an anti-inflammatory, has heart healthy fats and essential fatty acids.Carrots & Cauliflower:  at $0.98 to $2.48 per pound, the cost of a cup of each is approximately $.0.20 to $0.50 per serving.  These two veggies are filling and full of Vitamin A and antioxidants.  A cup of cauliflower contains 73% of daily vitamin C and can reduce the risk of certain cancers.Kiwi:A  at $3.56 per pound or %0.53 per kiwi, you can either eat it like a New Zealander (did you know their currency is named a ‘kiwi’?) and just rub the fuzz off between your hands and eat it like an apple, or scoop the fruit out from its skin or peel the skin from the fruit.  This little green guy is loaded with vitamin K and vitamin C.  It’s fun, looks great and it’s loaded with flavor.Kale:  at $0.11 per cup serving, Kale is King in my book.  You can eat it raw in salad, sautee’ it and make a bed of cooked Kale to lie under your pasta or protein source.  You can juice it, make soups from kale…oh, and let’s not forget about those great kale chips!  Kale contains lutein for eye health, It’s high in vitamins A and C, has manganese and is good for your bone health.Oats:  at $0.07 per half cup serving ($1.09 per pound), this grain will not only make your wallet happy but keep you happy all day long.  Cooked, raw, made into snacks or cookies (not so much sugar in the mix, please), oats are full of fiber, it’s gluten-free and has been found to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and breast cancer.This is just a start, folks.  There are so many wonderful healthy and economic choices out there for you to choose from.  Do a little research – go explore your green grocer and look for items that you’ve never tasted.  Take your smart phone with you and google each item’s nutritional value.  Spend a little time online and look for recipes for some of the items I’ve mentioned and take a good look at legumes (beans).  Food Network has some great recipes and I swear by Weight Watchers if you’re trying to lose a few pounds or just need a ‘reset’ in the food department.

Nutritional Counseling at Golden Acupuncturist

If you’re a bit lost and need nutritional counseling, call or email the office and set up a consultation for my Wellness Program.  This is a 12 week lifestyle program I have developed and tailored to each person’s individual needs and goals.  Your goal might be to lose 10lbs, gain 5lbs, be in fit shape for that triathlon, marathon or vacation, or maybe you just need to live a healthier lifestyle.  I’m here to help you.  I work with you to achieve your goals.  Intrigued?  Contact me and we’ll talk.

New Office Location

If you haven’t already heard, my new office is bright, beautiful and fabulous!  I am now located at 156 William St (8th floor)which is just 1 block from newly constructed Fulton St hub.  My office is within Beyond Basics Physical Therapy.  The facility is newly built with state of the art equipment and facilities.  If you haven’t visited my new space, call or email me.  I’d be happy to show you the facility, introduce you to great therapists and schedule you for a treatment in this calm, peaceful environment.  Stay tuned for more healthy tips on this blog and please pass it on to friends, colleagues and family.  As always, your feedback and referrals is what helps me serve you better.  Happy July and be happy and healthy!

Ok, people…it’s that time of year.  The social season has kicked off with black tie galas, the cooler weather has abruptly shocked us into late fall here in the Northeast, and Thanksgiving has crept upon us!  The Great Turkey Day awaits!  Most of us are scrambling with last minute travel and cooking plans for the Great American Feed Fest.  Even most gyms have cancelled regularly scheduled classes and have modified hours of operation this coming weekend.

Listen up!  You’ve been working very hard to lower your blood pressure and cholesterol; keep those extra pounds off…how many hours at the gym and how many carrots have you eaten the past 6 months to look good in that very favorite pair of jeans or slinky dress?  Don’t mess up your good work!

Here are a few simple and healthy tips to get you through the BIG T DAY without compromising both your waist and your health:

  • Wherever you are going for your Thanksgiving dinner, don’t go hungry.  Have a salad, a healthy snack (yogurt with fruit, a boiled egg on a piece of toast or almond butter and honey on toast) prior to venturing out to the venue.  These snacks will keep you full and you won’t arrive to your destination famished – ready to devour everything in sight.
  • Choose your battles and win the war!  Instead of going straight for the cocktail, have a seltzer with lemon or lime to start the party.  Alcohol naturally increases the appetite…seltzer water with lemon or lime will taste refreshing and keep you in the ‘light’ mood longer.  You can have most appetizers any time of the year, so instead of the fatty cheese/saucisson platter, go for the fresh shrimp instead.  Most sides at Thanksgiving come once a year, so enjoy!  Select what is unusual.  Have a taste of everything if you desire, but keep the portions SMALL.  Most hosts/hostesses have plenty of leftovers; you don’t have to eat the equivalent of 6 dinners at one seating.  Ask politely and discreetly if you may have a plate to go for the next day.  Your host/hostess will be so flattered (and so happy not to have leftovers themselves), they will be more than delighted to fix you a plate for the next day.
  • Try to do a little exercise the morning of your Feed Fest.  Take a brisk walk, go to the gym, or just play with the kids or dog in the back yard. Any activity is good.
  • Oh, dessert…..choose your battles. Determine what is ‘really worth the calories’ and the hours it’s going to take to burn off those calories in the coming week.  Remember, ALL the holiday parties begin next week, so make a plan….and stick to it!

Most importantly – just have fun!  Don’t drink and drive!  At some point, share with your fellow guests  what it is you are grateful for this year.  Take a few moments to reflect on your blessings.

I’ll leave you with my thoughts on Thanksgiving:  I’m very grateful I’m allergic to turkey and have no palate for most of the dishes served at Thanksgiving.  It makes the day much easier to manage.  I’m grateful for the family members who love me, for the friends I cherish and for all of you; because without you, I wouldn’t be who I am.

God’s peace and have a blessed Thanksgiving!

I’ve had 25 year olds crash on me during a boxing session many times over this year.  They complain they’re ‘out of shape’.  I tell them ‘just wait ’til you get to be my age….get up!  I’m old enough to be your mother!’  That’s when they ask me how old I actually am and what I eat for breakfast…No folks, I don’t eat nails for breakfast.  Typically, I eat fresh oatmeal (overnight cold or cooked) with fresh fruit, or a dollop of greek yogurt over fresh fruit. A hard boiled egg with a slice of toast and fruit is nice on a weekend when there’s more time.   If you’re over 50 years of age and want to elevate yourself to super hero status, read on….

Contrary to some beliefs, breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  It literally means ‘break fast’, because way back in the olden times, there was a gap from the last meal of the day to the next day’s first by approximately 12 hours.  Breakfast literally meant to ‘break the fast’ from the prior evening.  The American Heart Association has concluded that people who ‘eat breakfast daily are less likely to have high cholesterol and blood pressure, and people who skip breakfast — about 20 percent to 30 percent of U.S. adults — are more likely to be obese, have inadequate nutrition, show evidence of impaired glucose metabolism or be diagnosed with diabetes.’  This means a HEALTHY BREAKFAST!!  But eating a healthy breakfast doesn’t give you a ‘free ticket’ to eat poorly for the remainder of the day.  Here are a few tips to help you be fitter, faster, live longer and healthier:

Eat your larger meals earlier in the day:  this allows your body to metabolize and use those calories throughout the day.  This also allows your body to process glucose more effectively and efficiently.

Don’t eat during late night/overnight hours:  unless you are working the overnight shift, you should be resting and sleeping, not eating during the late evening hours.

Schedule your meal times:  this gives your body a routine for processing nutrients.  This helps your digestive system and overall metabolism.  At the end of the day, your waistline will thank you for it.  If you have difficulty wrapping your head around the concept, give this some thought:  babies and children  are fed at certain times of the day and only given healthy snacks intermittently (we only hope!).  There is something to be said for this school of thought.

Portion control:  you are what you eat.  Recently, I travelled to the great state of Texas.  I was appalled at the breakfast menus at any given restaurant….3 eggs with 3 types of cheese – fried, ham, bacon and sausage and your choice of fries or home fries…oh yes, the buttermilk biscuits – all on one plate.  Can we say obesity, cholesterol, metabolic syndrome, and heart disease?  Many Texans are ‘big’….now I know why.

Last but not least….MOVE AND MAKE MUSCLES!!!  For my fellow 50+ fans out there, read this:  as we age, men lose bioavailable levels of testosterone and women lose estrogen.  This affects muscle mass.  Muscle mass burns more calories than fat, so the less muscle mass you have, the more fat your body will accumulate.  I’ve seen many a person over 50 complain that they eat like birds, do cardio until they drop, but cannot seem to lose that extra 2 inches around their waist.  Belly fat runs deep and can cause insulin resistance, inflammation (which can affect the joints), and cause your cholesterol to leap to new heights.  WEIGHT TRAINING twice weekly in addition to cardiovascular exercise thrice weekly can help you build muscle mass and thereby burn more fat.

So, there you have it.  All you need to get yourself fit and fabulous in no time.  I’m wearing the same size dress I wore 15 years ago and in the same ‘walking around weight’. Obviously at 55, I’m slower than I was at 40, but there’s no grass growing under my feet and I can still hold my own at any gym.  It’s all about lifestyle, folks.  Life is short….don’t watch it go by from the sidelines.  Get back in the game.  Remember, Winners don’t quit.  Quitters don’t win.  Losers never try.  See you at the gym or I’ll just see you out there!



There are three very important tools required for long term weight loss:

  1. a digital food scale
  2. your eyesight
  3. basic math skills

It doesn’t matter whether you are counting calories, weight watchers points, or any other  numbers counting weight loss plan.  Long term weight loss comes with measuring your food portions (the digital scale) because your eyes (eyesight) might THINK they know what 3 or 5 ounces looks like, but in reality most people’s eyes read 10 or 12 oz as 3 or 5oz.  Counting calories or points (basic math skills) adds up how much caloric intake you should allow yourself on a daily basis.  1 + 1 = 2…NOT 1!  Cheating on the math does nothing but cheat yourself.  At the end of the day, you want to make all your efforts to live a healthy and fabulous life worth the while.

Regular acupuncture sessions CAN help you lose weight, but just like smoking cessation, you have to have the DESIRE to make a change.  I can help you turn your bad habits into healthy habits.  Call or email my office and together, we will get you to achieve your goals.