Sarah’s Family Favorites

The Holidays are here again!!! 

We thought we would give you a couple of our favorite recipes to try if you’re looking for something new to whip up.


Pumpkin Pie

I have been making the same pumpkin pie recipe for the past 15 years for Thanksgiving. It is a definite crowd pleaser, it even calls for a whole pie pumpkin that you cut up and bake in the oven, AND it’s easy! If I can make it, you can make it. Give it a try, you will be happy you did.

IngredientsPumpkins

  • 2 Pie Crusts – home-made, gluten free, frozen, or whatever you please
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 pie pumpkin to equal 1 1/2 cups cooked pumpkin, mashed or pureed
  • 2 cups scalded whole milk
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten

Method

  1. Preheat Oven to 425°F.
  2. Combine all ingredients, except pie crust, in a large bowl and beat until smooth
  3. Pour wet ingredients into 2 pie crusts.  Bake at 300°F  for about 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the filling is firm.

 


Family-style Granola

My mom has mastered a granola that is delicious, full of healthy ingredients and so much lower in sugar than most anything you can find in the store. It feels so good to make your own granola and you can play around with it and add your favorite nuts or seeds. It is the perfect thing to have around if you are entertaining the family or it makes a great hostess gift if you are being entertained!  Let us know if you come up with your favorite version.

Ingredients

granola

  • 8 cups of oats (gluten free is you prefer)
  • 2 cups of sliced almonds
  • 1 cup of raw sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup of pumpkin seeds
  • 1 1/2 cups of coconut flakes
  • 3 Tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons of water
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons of vanilla

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 300°F.
  2. Take the first 6 ingredients and mix together into a bowl.  Set to the side for later use.
  3. Take the last 6 ingredients and mix together in a bowl and microwave for 30 seconds
  4. Pour on top of oats mixture.  Stir together and then pour onto a cookie sheet.  Spread onto pan evenly.
  5. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.  Check to see if browned, if not stir and let cook for additional time.

Jake’s Caesar Dressing

Who doesn’t love a great Caesar dressing? But oil based, not creamy!! Fresh greens are such a great addition to any meal and so simple. My husband always has a batch of his Caesar dressing in the refrigerator ready and waiting.  We can always quickly bring a salad to anyone’s house or include it in a meal at home. I never get sick of it. Let me know what you think!

 


Ingredientsceasar-dressing

 

  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste (or more to taste)
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ¾ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan (optional)
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Blend thoroughly and salt to taste
  2. Keep it in the fridge, it tastes better with age.

 

I hope you enjoy! Sarah

 

 

Implementing Positive Changes to your Sedentary Lifestyle

Your Sedentary Lifestyle Is Turning You Into a Nervous Wreck


By: Sarah Goodyear

The link between a sedentary lifestyle and anxiety was reinforced recently by new research comparing sedentary mice and mice that exercise. The study, published in the Journal of Neuroscience and covered in the New York Times,  where I first learned about it, suggests that habitual inactivity can cause increased anxiety in animals that don’t move around much.

Researchers at Princeton University compared the behavior and brains of mice that were allowed to exercise on wheels in their cages to those who instead “sat quietly.” The mice that were active showed more inclination to explore new environments when given the chance, an indication of less anxiety. When dunked in cold water, as stressful for mice as it is for humans, the running mice reacted more calmly than the sedentary ones.

This effect has been observed before, but the new study delves deeper into the mechanisms behind it. Analysis of the rodents’ brains revealed that the running sparked the creation of excitable neurons that prompt activity, and resulted in a huge new supply of neurons that produce GABA, which has a soothing effect on the nervous system.

The normal human solution, which is to walk around the world as we work, gather food, and play, is increasingly inaccessible to us.

Is there a connection between our own sedentary lives and our epidemic of nerves? According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in America, afflicting 18 percent of the nation – some 40 million people. Eleven percent of middle-aged women in the U.S. take anti-anxiety medication.

Correlation is, of course, not causation. But this latest study adds to other science that connects the amount we do or don’t move our bodies and our mental health.

Part of the problem, of course, is that too many Americans see movement as something to be done at a discreet time. Work at a treadmill desk, your own little exercise wheel in your own little cage! Drive to a spin class at the gym! There, you can ride up imaginary hills with your fellow creatures trying to escape the perils of the sedentary life!

The normal human solution, to walk around the world as we work, gather food, and play, is increasingly inaccessible to us. And even when it is not, we frequently perceive it to be inaccessible. According to the Federal Highway Administration’s 2009 National Household Transportation Survey, 68 percent of the trips taken by U.S. residents between ½ and 2 miles in distance were made by vehicle. Only 23 percent of such trips were made on foot.

One-third of respondents reported no walking trips whatsoever in the previous week.

“The greatest barrier to walking more is the perception of too much traffic, not enough street lighting, or wide road crossings,” reports the FHWA. “People are also concerned about crime, had no nearby paths or sidewalks, and were too busy to walk more often.”

But “working out” is never going to be a solution for everyone, or even for most people. It can be expensive and strenuous and dull. Instead, we should be encouraging people to see walking (or biking) as part of their daily routine — not a special activity to be engaged in wearing special shoes on a special path, but simply the sensible way to get from one place to another. Imagine how much calmer we might be.

Andrew R. Cline, associate professor of media and journalism at Missouri State University, has a blog in which he advocates what he calls “‘the 1-mile solution.” He suggests that people use a simple tool such as Walk Score to assess what services are within a one-mile radius of their homes, and then simply walk or ride a bike to make those trips. Cline writes:

I’m … suggesting that we … put effort into an idea that is sustainable and could grow the numbers by creating a habit. It is, after all, mostly a habit that puts us behind the wheel of a car to travel one mile. It’s habit that makes the risk and expense of a 1-mile car ride seem normal.

If people do try their own “one-mile solution,” they may discover exactly what the FHWA was talking about: a pedestrian environment unpleasant or downright hostile to travelers on foot. Maybe then we’ll finally have the political capital we need to lobby for real infrastructure improvements that allow people can get the activity they need in a natural human way, rather than spinning like mice on a laboratory wheel.


WHAT YOU CAN DO TO IMPLEMENT MOVEMENT THROUGHOUT YOUR DAYimages-3

  • Invest in a standing desk. These can be found at your local office depot, IKEA also has them online or in the Portland location. Utilizing a standing desk can help you stay moderately active while staying where you are. Here are some options: Three dimensional leg swings; keeping one foot on the ground start by tapping the opposite toes back and forth. Do this for 20-30 seconds and then tap the same foot across the midline of your body and back and forth. Finally rotate your hip, knee and toe inward and then outward, creating rotation in the body. Now, repeat on the other side. By doing this you have created a small amount of mobility in three dimensions leaving your body happier than simply standing still. Even if you do not have a standing desk available to you you can do these exercises to help you stay active without having to leave your work space.

  • Make a point to get up from your work space and walk around. Here is an idea. Instead of bringing a giant water bottle filled at the beginning of your day, keep a smaller cup or bottle at your workspace( 8-12 oz). Make yourself a goal of refilling the cup/bottle 4-5 times throughout your work day. When your cup/bottle is empty you now have a time to get up and move a little, walk to the water fountain or sink and stretch your legs. There is an extra bonus to this system! When you sip water throughout your day rather than gulp tons all at once your body actually absorbs hydration more efficiently. When we gulp tons of liquid all at once our body systems get overwhelmed with the large amount, only takes what it can use at that moment and flushes out the rest, along with other vital nutrients.

  • Graze on your food throughout your work day and on your lunch break take a walk outside. By taking a break from your work environment even if it is only for 10 minutes you can feel refreshed. Go outside, get some fresh air, and move your body! Your brain will thank you. If you are not able to leave the building then find an empty hallway or stairway to walk up and down a few times.

  • Set an alarm on your phone or computer to give you a movement break. If you are the type of person who will sit down at your desk and power through your day without looking up then you try this out. When the alarm goes off get up and take a little walk. Set your alarm every hour or so throughout your day and your brain and body will be happier.

 



 

5 Healthy Snacks for the Fall

With Fall in full force here, Acupuncture Northwest has 5 healthy snacks to get you through the next couple months!

Pumpkin Energy Bites

These bites are fantastic to have for an on the go snack that will provide you with healthy fats that will keep your brain and body happy throughout day. They will also satisfy your fall craving for a sweet pumpkin treat without all the processed sugar.

All of the ingredients for this recipe can be found at your local Whole Foods or new Seasons.

1 cup pitted dates

1/2 cup pecans

1/3 cup pumpkin puree

1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakesunknown

2 tsp vanilla

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground cloves

Pinch of salt

METHOD

  1. Place the dates into a small bowl and cover with water. Let soak for 10 minutes, then drain.Place the pecans into a food processor and pulse until finely ground.

  2. Add in the rest of the ingredients, including the soaked dates. Pulse until combined. Adjust the spices to taste. Place into the refrigerator for 30 minutes to chill.

  3. Use your hands to form the dough into small balls. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

 

Sliced Apple & Justin’s Packet: The Combination

screen-shot-2016-09-30-at-10-23-31-amFall is apple season and we are lucky to live in a part of the country where we have access to the best of them. Go to any farmers market and you will find a wonderful variety of delicious and organic apples harvested close to home. If you have never heard of or tried Justin’s nut butter you are missing out, don’t worry though! You can start loving it now and for the rest of your nut butter loving days. There are multiple flavors and types of nut butters (Peanut, hazelnut and almond) these are combined with yummy ingredients such as honey. You can find these in the nut butter isl of any Whole Foods or New Seasons. Nuts contain healthy fats as well as protein and when combined with a fresh sliced apple you have hit the healthy fats and natural sugar jack -pot.Fall is apple season and we are lucky to live in a part of the country where we have access to the best of them. Go to any farmers market and you will find a wonderful variety of delicious and organic apples harvested close to home. If you have never heard of or tried Justin’s nut butter you are missing out, don’t worry though! You can start loving it now and for the rest of your nut butter loving days. There are multiple flavors and types of nut butters (Peanut, hazelnut and almond) these are combined with yummy ingredients such as honey. You can find these in the nut butter isl of any Whole Foods or New Seasons. Nuts contain healthy fats as well as protein and when combined with a fresh sliced apple you have hit the healthy fats and natural sugar jack-pot.

 

Cranberry Endive Boats: via Trader Joe’s recipes

Endive is a form of lettuce with an immense amount of nutrition that will bring your body the vitality it needs for maintaining a healthy metabolism. Many vitamins found in endive can assist the body in regulating blood sugar levels and metabolizing carbohydrates as well as a boost of fiber and vitamin K for your eyes. Add Trader Joe’s Cranberry Chevre and some sliced almonds and you have a nutritious and delectable snack.327mainimage

  • 1 pkg TJ’s Red & White Belgian Endives

  • 1 log TJ’s Cranberry Chevre, softened to room temperature

  • 1 pkg TJ’s Raw Sliced Almonds

Separate whole endive leaves from the base, rinse and pat dry. Spread cheese evenly on the individual endive leaves, then sprinkle with sliced almonds for garnish and a little crunch.

 

Spicy & Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

When You have carved your pumpkins or cut all your squash and have hundreds of seeds toss some spices on and bake them into yummy, crispy morsels!

 

  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds, rinsed and drytoasted-pumpkin-seeds-recipe-9new

  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne powder

  • ½ ounce olive oil

Method

  • Preheat oven to 375-degrees F.

  • In a bowl combine all ingredients until seed are coated well.

  • Spread evenly on a baking sheet and bake until toasted and slightly browned, about 15-20 minutes, tossing halfway through. Watch carefully to avoid burning as all ovens vary on cook times. Remove from oven, and let cool before serving.

 

screen-shot-2016-10-07-at-10-16-06-amVeggie Crisps

There are going to be times when we crave something salty, crispy… and likely not the healthy stuff our body needs. If you find yourself in this situation here are some options that won’t leave you feeling guilty. Kale Crisps and Sweet Potato Chips will satisfy these craving while giving you more nutrition than a greasy handful of potato chips would. Sweet potatoes are packed with vitamin K( the good stuff your eye health). Kale being a dark bitter green will give you tons of antioxidants which aid in anti-inflammatory responses within the body’s cells. These are linked to cancer fighting agents due to the increase of oxygen in the body cells and tissues. Eating these foods cooked to a crisp does decrease the nutrients available to your body so whenever possible eat the raw version to get the full vitamin and nutrition effect. This is because when foods are cooked at an extreme degree ( roughly 350 degrees) the live enzymes within the foods die therefore they are no longer available in their highest form of nutrition. However, you will still get a great amount of nutrition from these options over a bag of processed chips!

Ingredients

  • ½ bunch of kale, about 10 stems

  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • ¼ tsp Sea Salt

  • Pinch black pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 250° F, and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats, and set aside.

  2. Remove the stems from the kale and tear the leaves up into large, but bite-size pieces. Wash the kale by submerging the torn leaves in a large mixing bowl with cold water and then thoroughly dry in a salad spinner or lay them out on a clean kitchen towel.

  3. In a large mixing bowl, working in 2 batches, gently massage the oil into the kale leaves to coat them.

  4. Lay them out in a single layer on the prepared baking sheets and evenly sprinkle the salt, and black pepper over all of the chips.

  5. Bake for 15 minutes, then rotate the baking sheets and bake for an additional 15 minutes, until crispy.

  6. Let stand for 3-5 minutes before eating.

 

Baked Sweet Potato Chips

INGREDIENTSscreen-shot-2016-10-07-at-11-15-52-am

  • 2 sweet potatoes, washed and dried thoroughly

  • 1 tsp olive oil (olive oil spray is best)

  • salt and pepper, to taste

  • parchment paper

  • Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

  • Using a mandoline, slice sweet potatoes as thinly as possible.

  • Pat sweet potato slices dry with paper towel, add to medium sized bowl.

  • Spray slices with olive oil mist (or add 1 tsp olive oil) and generously sprinkle with salt, pepper, or any other herbs you’d like to add.

  • Lay slices on baking sheet lined with parchment paper, do not overlap.

  • Bake at 250 for 1 hour, until crispy.

  • Turn oven up to 350 and let chips brown very slightly. Watch chips and make sure they do not burn.

  • If you’d like them cool, place on a cooling rack and let sit 10 minutes.

  • Serve and enjoy!

Foam Rolling

Foam Rolling Tips

Foam Roller
Foam Roller

Your body is one giant tissue network. Your tissue ( muscles, tendons, ligaments etc.) forms and settles depending on how you move or do not move your body. If you sit on a couch all day or at a desk chair your tissue will become very good at sitting in a chair position. When you try to move your tissues in ways they are not use to (run, yoga,stretch) they goes through an adaptation period,you may experience tightness or soreness. This does not mean you should not move, and run, and be active! You may just need a little bit of manual manipulation after you get started to help you perform your best. The body tissues will get gunked up from being sedentary, holding onto stress, or from lack of stretching after bouts of movement/exercise. Foam rolling is a great way to un-gunk the tissues and release tension and knots and alleviate fatigue.

Position the foam roller on top of one leg. Begin by rolling from the top of the knees and over the quads. Maintain pressure throughout, and breathe evenly. After spending some time at the quads move to the posterior hips. You can sit on the foam roller with your hands at the sides for support. You can work on one side at a time here. Start at the glutes and roll down toward the back of the knee. Do this on both sides. From here you can move to the hip flexors. These get so gunked up! The space between the top of your quads and hip bone. Turn onto your belly with the foam roller placed into one side hip flexor. Apply pressure and roll back and forth slowly and evenly into the space. Repeat on the other side. To get into the low back/mid back place the roller at your low back with your feet flat on the floor. Bring your hands to the back of your head interlaced to support the neck. Roll up and down while applying pressure. Feel free to move in different directions to break up any specific areas around the spine. From here you can place the foam roller right below your cervical spine at your shoulder blades and roll down the back toward your sacrum. Keep your fingers interlaced at your neck for support. As you roll down exhale deeply through your mouth to allow muscles to relax as you move over them. If at any point during foam rolling you feel sharp pain in an area, stop the movement and adjust the body or move to a different area.

By utilizing the foam roller for just a few minutes a day not only are you breaking up knots you are also bringing blood flow and nutrition into areas that need to recover. A test you can do before and after you use the foam roller is a simple full body roll down. Start standing with feet underneath the hips and roll down to touch your toes. Recognize how far you are able to reach and then once you have completed foam rolling, do this again. It is very likely you will see increased length in the body with just those few minutes of manipulation.

The foam roller we recommend can be found here.