[Adapted from Shape Magazine]


  • 1      1/2 cup quinoa
  • 2      water [or chicken broth]
  • salt
  • 1      heaping cup cucumber, quartered
  • 1/2      cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4      heaping cup Kalamata olives, sliced
  • 1/4      cup red onion, chopped
  • 2      green onions, chopped
  • 1      lemon, juiced
  • 3      tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2      tablespoons white wine vinegar [or red wine vinegar]
  • 2      garlic clothes, minced
  • salt      + pepper
  • 1/2      cup feta cheese


In a medium pot, bring 2 cups of water [or chicken broth] and quinoa to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover, 16-18 minutes. When all the water is absorbed, remove and fluff with a fork.

In a large bowl, combine cucumber, tomatoes, kalamata olives, red onions, and green onions.

Dressing: whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, white wine vinegar, garlic and salt + pepper.

Drizzle a little bit of the dressing over quinoa/vegetable mixture, a little at a time.

Note: before adding in the cheese, be sure to ask if any of your guests have allergies or sensitivities to dairy.

Season with salt + pepper, top with cheese, serve and enjoy!


Spinal Stenosis

xray lumbar spine

What is stenosis? Spinal stenosis is created by the narrowing of the spinal canal. This narrowing may be caused by mechanical problems or by abnormalities in the aging spine. It may or may not result in low-back pain, limping, and a lack of feeling in the legs.

Stenosis is often a degenerative condition. It may exist for years without causing pain or discomfort, but a fall or an accident can trigger characteristic stenotic pain. Numerous factors can cause stenosis, such as thickened ligaments, expanding infection, abscess, a congenital or developmental anomaly, degenerative changes, vertebral fractures or dislocations, or a spinal cord tumor.

How is stenosis diagnosed? Spinal stenosis can be diagnosed based on the history of symptoms, a physical examination, and imaging tests. An MRI is a very poor predictor of future disability in stenosis. An electrodiagnostic study is more dependable for information on a stenotic spine. To diagnose stenosis caused by an abscess or an infection, blood work analyzed by a laboratory may be required, while vertebral tumors and spinal tumors require finely tuned imaging.

How is stenosis treated? There are three basic treatment approaches to spinal stenosis: the conservative medical approach, which frequently involves bed rest, analgesics, local heat, and muscle relaxants; the conservative chiropractic approach, which includes manipulation, exercise and self-care techniques; and surgery. The source of the stenosis often dictates the treatment.

Ultimately, stenosis is a chronic condition that cannot be “cured,” but it often can be improved, and improvement can be maintained over the long term. Patients can work with a health care provider, such as a doctor of chiropractic, to reduce symptoms and improve their quality of life.

Signs and Symptoms of Stenosis
• Pseudoclaudication—pain triggered by walking or prolonged standing, which is usually improved by sitting in a forward leaning flexed position • Numbness, tingling, and hot or cold feelings in the legs • Muscle weakness and spasms

 © 2012 Copyright American Chiropractic Association. | Terms of Use 1701 Clarendon Blvd. Arlington, VA 22209 Web development services provided by Singlebrook Technology


2 Tbs extra virgin coconut oil
1 Tbs ginger, chopped
2 Shallots, sliced into slivers
5 Garlic cloves, chopped
3 Cups butternut squash, cubed (about 1 medium squash)
1 Can coconut milk, full fat
1 Tsp Salt
1/2 Tsp Pepper
2 Cups green beans, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 Cups cauliflower, cut into bite-size pieces
1 Can garbanzo beans
2 Cups baby spinach, packed

*Serrano Chili


Heat coconut oil in a large saute pan over medium heat
Add the shallots and ginger and cook for about three minutes, until the shallots become clear
Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes
Add the squash and pour in the coconut milk, simmer for 15 minutes
Add the green beans, cauliflower, and garbanzo beans to the mixture, simmer for an additional 15 minutes
Remove from heat and add spinach, stirring until wilted
Serve over rice or quinoa

*I like a little heat with my coconut milk, so I added a chopped serrano chili with the squash and coconut milk.


OK, no picture but my family really loved this.  Very yummy.  Great choice for a pot luck or family gathering.  Check out Amber’s blog.  She is a Petaluma native.  Very talented and wonderful woman.

  8 serving

4 cups of cooked brown rice (about 2 cups uncooked)
1 Tablespoon olive or peanut oil
1 package organic extra firm tofu, cut into small cubes
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup green onions, chopped finely
½ cup sliced almonds – toasted
8oz bag cole slaw mix- with carrots
½ cup dried cranberries, chopped

The Dressing
1/4 cup Sesame seeds (toasted)
1/3 cup Soy Sauce
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup vegetable oil or sesame oil
2 tablespoons honey
2 Tablespoons ginger, finely chopped
1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Cook the brown rice according to package instructions and set aside to cool in a large mixing bowl. Meanwhile heat a medium sauté pan, add oil and sauté tofu until brown, add peas and cook until just warmed through. Remove from heat and let cool. Meanwhile mix dressing in a small bowl. Add remaining ingredients to rice as well as tofu mixture and dressing. Toss well and taste to adjust seasoning. This dish can be stored in fridge for up to 5 days and is great eaten hot or cold.

I like to cook a lot of brown rice at a time and store in the freezer. This is great for friend rice, soups, stews or just reheated with a bit of water to add to a recipe like this one!  * If you don’t have cooked brown rice on hand, Trader Joe’s has frozen individually bagged brown rice and a very delicious Rice Medley which consists of brown rice,red rice and black barley.  I used half and half and it looked and tasted great. I also substitute soybeans for the peas. (son hates peas)

It is also nice to use diced chicken instead of tofu and this will make a great addition to a bed of greens as a hearty salad.



1 Red pepper
1 Orange pepper
1 Zucchini
1 Onion
1 Pint cherry tomatoes 5 Cloves garlic, minced
4-5 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 Cup loosely packed basil leaves
Salt & fresh black pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 450F.

Chop the peppers, zucchini, and onion into similarly sized pieces, about 1/2″.
Combine chopped vegetables and garlic, and drizzle with olive oil to lightly coat. You may not need all of it.
Add generous proportions of salt and pepper, and stir.
Divide the veggies between two baking sheets and spread the out evenly into one layer.
Bake the vegetables at 450 for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft and browned, being careful not to overcook or burn.
While the veggies cook, cut the tomatoes in half.
When the veggies are soft, remove the pans from the oven and evenly distribute the tomatoes amongst both pans.
Stir to mix well with the rest of the veggies.
[This is where we added the eggs.]
Cook for another 10-12 minutes, until the tomatoes are soft and their skins are wrinkled.

In the mean time, roll and slice the basil into small strips.
When the vegetables are soft and caramelized and the tomatoes have released their juices, the ratatouille is done.
Remove from the oven and adjust salt and pepper levels if necessary.
Stir in basil strips and serve.


Pain serves an important function in our lives. When you suffer an acute injury, pain warns you to stop the activity that is causing the injury and tells you to take care of the affected body part.
Chronic pain, on the other hand, persists for weeks, months, or even years. Some people, often older adults, suffer from chronic pain without any definable past injury or signs of body damage. Common chronic pain can be caused by headaches, the low back, and arthritis. Unfortunately, there is scant objective evidence or physical findings to explain such pain.
Until recently, some doctors who could not find a physical cause for a person’s pain simply suggested that it was imaginary— “all in your head.” This is unfortunate because we know that all pain is real and not imagined, except in the most extreme cases of psychosis. Emerging scientific evidence is demonstrating that the nerves in the spinal cord of patients with chronic pain undergo structural changes.
Psychological and social issues often amplify the effects of chronic pain. For example, people with chronic pain frequently report a wide range of limitations in family and social roles, such as the inability to perform household or workplace chores, take care of children, or engage in leisure activities. In turn, spouses, children, and co-workers often have to take over these responsibilities. Such changes often lead to depression, agitation, resentment, and anger for the pain patient and to stress and strain in family and other social relationships.
How is depression involved with chronic pain?
Depression is the most common emotion associated with chronic pain. It is thought to be 3 to 4 times more common in people with chronic pain than in the general population. In addition, 30 to 80% of people with chronic pain will have some type of depression. The combination of chronic pain and depression is often associated with greater disability than either depression or chronic pain alone.
People with chronic pain and depression suffer dramatic changes in their physical, mental, and social well-being—and in their quality of life. Such people often find it difficult to sleep, are easily agitated, cannot perform their normal activities of daily living, cannot concentrate, and are often unable to perform their duties at work. This constellation of disabilities starts a vicious cycle—pain leads to more depression, which leads to more chronic pain. In some cases, the depression occurs before the pain.
Until recently, we believed that bed rest after an injury was important for recovery. This has likely resulted in many chronic pain syndromes. Avoiding performing activities that a person believes will cause pain only makes his or her condition worse in many cases.
Signs and Symptoms
Some of the common signs and symptoms of chronic pain include:
  • Pain beyond 6 months after an injury
  • Allodynia—pain from stimuli which are not normally painful and/or pain that occurs other than in the stimulated area
  • Hyperpathia—increased pain from stimuli that are normally painful
  • Hypersensation—being overly sensitive to pain
Signs of major clinical depression will occur daily for 2 weeks or more, and often include many of the following:
  • A predominant feeling of sadness; feeling blue, hopeless, or irritable, often with crying spells
  • Changes in appetite or weight (loss or gain) and/or sleep (too much or too little
  • Poor concentration or memory
  • Feeling restless or fatigued
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in usual activities, including sex
  • Feeling of worthlessness and/or guilt
What is the treatment for chronic pain and depression?
The first step in coping with chronic pain is to determine its cause, if possible. Addressing the problem will help the pain subside. In other cases, especially when the pain is chronic, you should try to keep the chronic pain from being the entire focus of your life.
  • Stay active and do not avoid activities that cause pain simply because they cause pain. The amount and type of activity should be directed by your doctor, so that activities that might actually cause more harm are avoided.
  • Relaxation training, hypnosis, biofeedback, and guided imagery, can help you cope with chronic pain. Cognitive therapy can also help patients recognize destructive patterns of emotion and behavior and help them modify or replace such behaviors and thoughts with more reasonable or supportive ones.
  • Distraction (redirecting your attention away from chronic pain), imagery (going to your “happy place”), and dissociation (detaching yourself from the chronic pain) can be useful.
  • Involving your family with your recovery may be quite helpful, according to recent scientific evidence.
Feel free to discuss these or other techniques with your doctor of chiropractic. He or she may suggest some simple techniques that may work for you or may refer you to another health care provider for more in-depth training in these techniques.

© 2012 Copyright American Chiropractic Association. | Terms of Use 1701 Clarendon Blvd. Arlington, VA 22209 Web development services provided by Singlebrook Technology

makes 4 burgers

  • 1 pound ground chicken breast
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 2 (4 ounce) cans of diced green chilis
  • 2.5 ounces of monterey jack cheese, cut into tiny cubes + more for topping
  • 1/2 tablespoon honey
  • juice of half a lime



Preheat your grill or heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. In a bowl, combine chicken, oil, salt, pepper, onion powder, cumin, garlic, cheese cubes and 1/2 a can of green chilis. Mix until just combined, then divide into four sections and form into four patties. Place on grill or skillet and cook on each side until golden and cooked through, about 2-3 minutes per side. Once you flip the burgers, add additional cheese on top to melt.

While the burgers are cooking, toast buns if desired and combine remaining green chilis in a bowl with honey, lime juice, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper (green chili sauce here adapted from bobby flay). When ready to serve, spoon green chilis on top of cheeseburgers and eat!

Note: if you use ground chicken (as opposed to ground chicken breast) you can omit the olive oil or use a bit less.

 note-  I found cooking in a skillet worked really well as the burgers are a bit wet.   I personally would cut back on the cheese a bit, either reducing the mixed in cheese, or eliminating the top cheese.  All in all, really pretty yummy. 



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