I’ve been using a simple slow cooker for several years now. It’s become hands-down my favorite way to cook- filling my home with incredible smells and leaving me with leftovers to freeze for a few weeks later. Slow cooker meals are the epitome of fall and winter eating: warm, comforting meals that help you to eat seasonally (and locally), since meat and root vegetables are perfectly suited to this method. In looking over a few online forums, I realized that there are a lot of people who aren’t sure how to use one. Read below for FAQ’s and links to a few of my favorite recipes. Read more
Plants as Medicine: Safe at-home Herbal Remedies
About a month ago I had the pleasure of attending the “Wild Medicine” Exhibition at the New York Botanical Gardens (on view through Sept 8th). Plants from around the world which are also used as medicine (in both ancient and modern times) are featured, including an Italian Renaissance Herb Garden and many other plants. Many of the plants in the exhibition are traditionally used as Chinese Medicine Herbal remedies. Read more
By now you all know that Chinese Medicine recommends avoiding raw foods due to their tendency to over-cool our digestive system. However summertime is one exception. To counter the hot weather outside, I advise eating about 40% raw foods this time of year (as opposed to 5-10% in the winter). The best way to do this is by eating dishes such as Salad Nicoise, which combines cooked ingredients (potato, green beans, tuna and hard-boiled eggs) along with raw (tomatoes and lettuce). I also recommend avoiding eating too close to bedtime. After eating, your metabolism temporarily increases, raising your body temperature just a bit. Cool temperatures are best for restful sleep. Read more
Coenzyme Q10, also called CoQ10, is an antioxidant which could improve egg quality in women with high FSH or of advanced maternal age. It’s believed to help through its effect on the mitochondria, which is a part of the cell involved in energy production and proper cell division (in this case, that cell is the egg). As cells age, researchers believe the mitochondria isn’t able to produce enough energy for proper cellular division, resulting in abnormal eggs or chromosomal abnormalities. The hypothesis is that by supplementing with CoQ10 the egg has more energy and is able to once again properly function and divide. Read more
In the past several years I’ve seen quite an increase in the number of my patients whose doctors recommend they try DHEA for improving egg quality. Leading centers such as CCRM in Denver and CHR here in New York routinely recommend their patients with egg quality concerns take it for several months leading up to an IVF cycle. Here I hope to tell you a little about what DHEA is and how it might help.
DHEA is a substance naturally present in the body that is a precursor to several hormones, including estrogen and testosterone. Recent research has found that women who took DHEA for 3-4 months prior to an IVF cycle using gonadotropins (injectable ovary stimulators) had dramatically increased fertilization and pregnancy rates. Women also reported side effects of feeling stronger, a higher libido, better memory and feeling mentally sharper. This is consistent with studies that have found higher DHEA levels in those with higher concentration and memory function. Read more