Blog by Melissa and David Sokulski, L.Acs.

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Monday, October 26, 2009

Buy Gift Certificates Online!

You can now buy gift certificates to the Birch Center for Health online!

You can purchase a specific service or package, or choose an amount and let the recipient decide on which services they'd like! (If you'd like an amount different than what is offered, simply call us at (412) 381-0116 and we can take your order over the phone.)

Give the gift of health: Buy a Gift Certificate from The Birch Center Today!





Choose Services and/or Amount






Thanks and enjoy!

Melissa and David Sokulski
Licensed Acupuncturists
The Birch Center for Health
(412) 381-0116

Please sign up for our monthly newsletter! We have raw recipes, information about Acupuncture and Chinese medicine, and overall wellness information. Sign up today and receive your free gift: 10 Ways to Improve Your Health Right Now. We'd love to stay in touch. Thank you!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Use Traditional Chinese Medicine to Prevent or Treat Swine Flu (H1N1)

Birch Center's own acupuncturist Melissa Sokulski's article on Traditional Chinese Medicine and Swine Flu was published in Natural News:

(NaturalNews) There is a lot of fear of Swine flu (H1N1) this season, but Traditional Chinese Medicine has effective techniques both to boost immunity and recover from flu, which are thousands of years old.

In Chinese Medicine, flu and colds are considered ... read more


In case you missed it, we did a 4-part series on Swine Flu and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) right here on this blog! Check it out if you missed it:

  • Part 1: Prevention of Swine Flu with TCM
  • Part 2: Treatment of Swine Flu with TCM
  • Part 3: Chinese Herbal Treatments of Swine Flu
  • Part 4: Building Immunity with Fermented Vegetables

We hope you enjoy the information we provide on our blog and newsletters. If you have other questions, especially specific questions about your own condition or health, or would like an appointment, please contact us online or by calling (412) 381-0116.

Thanks again,
Melissa and David Sokulski
Licensed Acupuncturists
The Birch Center for Health
(412) 381-0116

Please sign up for our monthly newsletter! We have raw recipes, information about Acupuncture and Chinese medicine, and overall wellness information. Sign up today and receive your free gift: 10 Ways to Improve Your Health Right Now. We'd love to stay in touch. Thank you!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Chinese Herbs Show Promise For Diabetes Prevention

An article by Amy Norton was recently published in Reuters about Diabetes Prevention and Chinese Herbs.

Here is an excerpt:

A number of traditional Chinese herbs may help control blood sugar levels in people at high risk of diabetes, a new research review suggests.

The review, which examined 16 clinical trials of 15 different herbal formulations, found that the herbs generally helped lower blood sugar levels in people with "pre-diabetes" -- those with impaired blood-sugar control that can progress to full-blown type 2 diabetes.
(Read the full article here.)

How exciting that studies like this are being published in the mainstream media!

We carry many Traditional Chinese Herbal Formulas
at The Birch Center for Health, and are happy to assist you choose the right one for you.

There are many other things that can be done to control one's blood sugar, including:

  • Eating a diet high in raw vegetables, especially leafy greens

  • Cutting out white and brown sugar, white flour and white rice from one's diet

  • Reducing (or eliminating) alcohol consumption

  • Drinking Green Vegetable Juices

  • Acupuncture treatments are an excellent way to balance the body's energy and optimize health

If you have specific questions about your own health condition or would like to schedule an appointment, please call us at (412) 381-0116, or send us an email: BirchCenter@gmail.com.

We hope you enjoy the information we provide on our blog and newsletters. If you have other questions, especially specific questions about your own condition or health, or would like an appointment, please contact us online or by calling (412) 381-0116.

To Your Health!

~ Melissa and David Sokulski

Licensed Acupuncturists
The Birch Center for Health
(412) 381-0116

Please sign up for our monthly newsletter! We have raw recipes, information about Acupuncture and Chinese medicine, and overall wellness information. We'd love to stay in touch. Thank you!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Keep Your Heart Healthy and Strong with Traditional Chinese Medicine

At the Birch Center for Health, we offer Traditional Chinese Medicine to keep the Heart healthy and strong, even when a person does not have typical symptoms of heart disease.

Heart health is fundamental to whole body health. Many people have a family history of heart disease, high cholesterol and/or high blood pressure. The standard American diet contributes to high rates of heart disease in this country. Some people have symptoms correlating to heart conditions: heart palpitations, heart pain, shortness of breath, fatigue after light exertion. Hypothyroid conditions can also put us at risk for heart disease.

Yet many people do not know if they have heart weakness. With Chinese Medicine, one does not need to already have symptoms of heart disease for heart weakness to be detected and corrected.

Historically physicians in China were paid to keep people well; when someone became sick it meant the physician did not do their job.

At The Birch Center, we consider all symptoms: sometimes even insomnia or anxiety can be indicative of a weakness of heart energy. They also look at the tongue (the heart reflects at the tip, and the color of the tongue indicates the state of the blood in the body), and feel the pulse: the first position on the left side reflects heart energy. When a weakness is felt in any meridian, needles are placed to help the body balance the energy and correct the weakness.

There are also powerful Chinese herbal formulas which can help the energy and blood of the heart meridian and whole body. We carry these formulas at The Birch Center, and can help choose the correct formula:

  • Si Wu Wan: to boost the body's blood
  • Ba Zhen Tang: to help the whole body's qi(energy) and blood
  • Gui Pi Tang, when the energy and blood of the Heart and Spleen are effected
  • An Mian Tang: when the Heart weakness shows up as insomnia


Other remedies can also help the heart. Hawthorne Tea and CoQ10 are two important supplements to take. We often purchase supplements such as these at www.iherb.com. With coupon code MEL526 you will receive $5 off your first order.

Leafy green vegetables also play an important role in heart health. Chlorophyll, found in dark green leafy vegetables (the pigment which gives plants their green color), is excellent to build our blood.

The molecule of chlorophyll is almost identical to a molecule of hemoglobin, except instead of iron at its center, chlorophyll has Magnesium, which is highly beneficial to the heart.

Swiss chard, collard greens, and kale are high in chlorophyll, as are wild edibles such as dandelion greens and lambs quarters. As winter approaches, we also like to use green powders, such as Vitamineral Green, an amazing raw food powder by Healthforce Nutritionals which we are pleased to now carry at The Birch Center for Health.

Ways to get greens more greens into your diet include:

  • Salads
  • Green Smoothies
  • Green Juices
  • Blended Salads or Energy Soups

Recipe for Green Juice:

Feed the following vegetables and fruits through a juicer for a delicious, green, heart-healthy juice:

  • 3 stalks celery
  • 1 small cucumber
  • 1 handful parsley
  • 1 large apple
  • 1/4 organic lemon, with peel

We hope you enjoy the information we provide on our blog and newsletters. If you have other questions, especially specific questions about your own condition or health, or would like an appointment, please contact us online or by calling (412) 381-0116.

Thanks again,
Melissa and David Sokulski
Licensed Acupuncturists
The Birch Center for Health
(412) 381-0116

Please sign up for our monthly newsletter! We have raw recipes, information about Acupuncture and Chinese medicine, and overall wellness information. We'd love to stay in touch. Thank you!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Q and A: Answering Your Questions

I wanted to take some time to answer some questions we've been receiving for the benefit of everyone who may be wondering about these things.

The first one is about the coupon we've been giving out:

Hi,
Saw the coupon for $5.00 coupon at iHerb.com (coupon code MEL526). Are you at the Birch Center, recommending these products?
Want to order a few, however, hesitant about ordering these supplements on line without know anything about them.I am assuming you are, as they were in your newsletter, however, just wanted to confirm.

Would appreciate your input before I order anything.Trusting your opinion.

Hope to hear from you.


Thanks so much for the question! Sorry I didn't make that more clear:

Yes, we order our supplements online from iherb. They have a huge range of brand names, so if you have other questions about specific products, let us know and we can try to help. We are very happy with iherbs prices, discounts, service and selection. We have bought all sorts of vitamins and supplements, as well as sea vegetables like nori sheets, cacao (raw chocolate), goji berries, green powders, essential oils, bath salts and homeopathic remedies.

Just let us know if you have other questions, but I do recommend them. They ship very fast and the customer service has also been very nice and helpful to us (when we needed it) as well.

The coupon we offer is for $5 off your first order, and it is with coupon code MEL526.


The second question was also supplement related:

Hi Melissa/Dave,

Dave mentioned taking a mix of mushrooms, as a supplement to help my immune system. Is there a specific product that you recommend?

By the way, thanks for recommending iHerb - I'm finding all the vitamins and supplements I'm looking for on this site, and they do have the best prices I've found on the web.

Thanks for sharing all the good info on this blog!


Thank you for the compliment and the question! The product Dave mentioned is called Immune Renew, and it's from NOW Foods. We actually carry this at the Birch Center. It is a blend of medicinal mushrooms plus the Chinese herb astragalus, which is greatly beneficial for the immune system. This time of year is an excellent time to take this supplement, as we described in Part 3 of our 4-part series about Swine (and other) Flu and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Make sure to take the Immune Renew when you are feeling healthy to keep yourself strong. If you find yourself with symptoms of cold or flu, it is often best to switch to an herbal formula specific to that, such as Yin Qiao, Gan Mao Ling, or Echinacea. More information about herbs to keep yourself healthy during flu season can be found here.

As we mentioned, Immune Review and the Chinese herbal supplements are now available at the Birch Center, but Immune Renew, Echinacea, Emergen-C (the vitamin C supplement we love) and other supplements can also be found on www.iherb.com, and coupon code MEL526 gets you $5 off your first order.

Thanks so much for all your questions, please keep them coming!

We hope you are enjoying the information we provide on our blog and newsletters. If you have other questions, especially specific questions about your own condition or health, please contact us online or by calling (412) 381-0116.

Thanks again,
Melissa and David Sokulski
Licensed Acupuncturists
The Birch Center for Health
(412) 381-0116

Please sign up for our monthly newsletter! We have raw recipes, information about Acupuncture and Chinese medicine, and overall wellness information. We'd love to stay in touch. Thank you!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Swine Flu Part 4: Building Immunity With Fermented Vegetables

Here is the final part in our 4-part series on Swine (and other) flu and Chinese Medicine.

In Part 1, we discussed flu prevention.
Part 2, we discussed what to do to recover from the flu quickly.
Part 3 was Chinese Herbal Medicine and Remedies
And now we have Part 4: Building Immunity with Fermented Vegetables.

Our body's immunity is enhanced by having the proper intestinal flora. Often, if we have taken antibiotics or have otherwise compromised our bowel health (balance), yeast has overgrown and we suffer symptoms such as poor immunity.

We have many dietary tools at our disposal to help remedy the problem:

  • drastically reduce our sugar intake; sugar causes yeast to flourish and impedes our immunity more,
  • take probiotics to restore the “good bacteria” in our intestine,
  • eat cultured or fermented products, which are filled with live cultures which are beneficial to our intestinal flora and our health.

Some products which contain live cultures include

  • unpasteurized miso (and when you make miso soup, do not boil the miso or the live cultures will be killed, see part 2 for a miso soup recipe)
  • raw sauerkraut (often called cultured vegetables)
  • raw pickles
  • raw kim chi
  • yogurt
  • kefir
  • kombu
  • rejuvelac (a fermented beverage made by soaking sprouted wheatberries in water overnight.)

These live foods restore balance to our bodies and greatly enhance our immunity.

Many of these foods are eaten in the East, and are a staple in Macrobiotic cooking – a healing style of diet which has its roots in Japan. Kim chi is a hugely popular spicy Korean style of fermented vegetable, and pickles are very common in the East and West, though many of the ones you buy in the store are made with cooked cucumbers and then pasteurized, so there is actually no live culture in them.

Real pickles
are simple to make. I prefer using the pickling cucumbers and cutting them into fourths lengthwise.



I put them in a canning jar and fill the jar with filtered water. I also add two peeled and crushed garlic cloves and about a Tbsp of dill seeds. I've also read that adding a grape leaf (if you have one on hand, which we do have growing in our garden) will keep the pickles crispier. Finally, I add a couple Tablespoons of sea salt, and check it for taste.



I usually cover with the regular canning top, but the next day I will open the jar and taste one of the cucumbers to test for saltiness: usually I add more salt at this point. I taste them every day and in only a day or two more you have delicious live dill pickles, better than you will find at any store!

Coming up I will share a step by step pictorial of how to make cultured vegetables and kim chi: equally as simple, healthy and delicious as the pickles were to make. I'll also post a book review of my favorite book on the subject: Wild Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz, which we now carry at the Birch Center, along with canning jars (and sometimes we even have extra SCOBYs for making kombucha!)

Thank you for tuning in to our series on Traditional Chinese Medicine and the Swine Flu. I hope you feel more empowered to take control of your health this season, and know the healthier you are the less you have to fear about what goes around.

If there is any topic you'd like to see us cover on the blog, please comment below or send us and email to BirchCenter@gmail.com. Also, if you'd like to make an appointment for a health consultation or an acupuncture treatment, please call us at (412) 381-0116. We look forward to hearing from you.

Thanks,
Melissa and David Sokulski
Licensed Acupuncturists
The Birch Center for Health
(412) 381-0116

Please sign up for our monthly newsletter! We have raw recipes, information about Acupuncture and Chinese medicine, and overall wellness information. We'd love to stay in touch. Thank you!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Swine Flu and Traditional Chinese Medicine, Part 3

Part 3: Herbs and Supplements to Keep you Healthy and Strong During Flu Season

Welcome to Part 3 of our 4-part series on Swine Flu and Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Part 1: we covered Prevention
Part 2: we covered what to do if you find yourself with the flu

Today we will discuss herbal ways to keep yourself healthy and strong during flu season.

One thing we want to stress: receiving acupuncture and/or Chinese herbal supplements for whatever symptoms you have, will only bring you more in balance, and make your immunity stronger.

You may find yourself giving an herbal supplement not mentioned here: that is ok. Chinese medicine is specific and unique to each individual. The herbs mentioned here are general recommendations, if you want to find out the best supplements or herbal medicines for you, please give us a call at (412) 381-0116 to set up and appointment. We would love to see you and take the time to personalize a program for you.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the actions the herbs have on your body is very important. The herbs we mention to strengthen immunity should not be taken if you already have a cold or the flu. Instead, it is important to switch to herbs which will expel the exterior, which means push the invading pathogens out. We will mention herbs for both situations below.

If you are in generally good health and what to stay that way, one supplement we have available at the Birch Center is called Immune Renew. This is a combination of the Chinese herb astragalus, reishi and other medicinal mushrooms. This combination is excellent for the immune system, and is often recommended to people with lowered immunity in general, for example people going through chemotherapy, or have immune deficiency syndromes.

Chinese herbal formulas which are good to tonify qi include:

  • Immune Renew: discussed above

  • Four Gentlemen, which is a basic formula to boost the qi

  • Bu Zhong Yi Qi Wan, boosts the body qi but also has a "lifting" action, if there are sinking symptoms such as bleeding and prolapses

  • Gui Pi Wan - boosts the qi and blood, when there are also signs of blood deficiency, which may show up as anxiety, irritability and insomnia

These all help boost general qi and affect the immune system, but in slightly different ways. Again, there are other formulas which may be more beneficial to you based on your individual symptoms. The one that matches you best is the best one for you to take to make you stronger and boost your own immunity. If you would like to consult with us, we'd be happy to see you. Just call (412) 381-0116 to set up an appointment.

If you find yourself coming down with something, feeling a bit run down but no general symptoms, you can take Echinacea and vitamin C. We love the brand Emergen-C, which has 1000 mg of vitamin C, plus B vitamins, magnesium and a few other things, and mixes into water for a delicious beverage. These products can be found at health food stores, or can be ordered online through www.iherb.com. Use coupon code MEL526 for $5 off your first order with iherb. We order from iherb regularly, their prices are awesome!

Another option is the Chinese herbal formula Yin Qiao Wan. This is especially good to take if you notice signs like sore throat, headache, thirst, or yellow tongue coating.

If you find yourself with a full blown bad cold or flu, Gan Mao Ling, is a wonderful Chinese remedy.

We do carry both Yin Qiao and Gan Mao Ling at the Birch Center.

Nutritionally, we mentioned miso soup yesterday, with scallions, garlic and ginger, all of which have the action of pushing the "invaders" out of your body.

The miso has the added benefit of being a live fermented food: tomorrow we will talk about how beneficial fermented (or cultured) foods like cultured veggies, sauerkraut, natural pickles, yogurts, etc are for your immunity. We'll talk to you then!

If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment for Acupuncture or to discuss a program of herbal medicines or supplements, or come by to pick up any of the herbs we mentioned, please call us at (412) 381-0116 or send us an email to BirchCenter@gmail.com.

Thanks!

Melissa and David Sokulski, L.Acs
Birch Center for Health
Pittsburgh, PA
(412) 381-0116

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Swine Flu and Traditional Chinese Medicine: Part 2: Recovery

Welcome to Part 2 of our 4-part series on Swine Flu. Yesterday we discussed ways to prevent the flu and keep our immune system strong and healthy. Today, we are going to discuss what to do if you happen to find yourself with the flu.

Symptoms of flu include sore throat, fever, chills, fatigue, body aches, headache, and digestive upset. In terms of Traditional Chinese Medicine, these are symptoms of an "external pathogen invading the body." The symptoms you feel are signs of your body fighting to expel it.

Steps you can take to help yourself get better, faster include:.


  • Rest, but allow yourself fresh air, consider opening windows to air out a room

  • Miso soup with ginger, garlic, onions/scallions (recipe below)

  • Acupuncture: to help the body release the external invasion.

    There are excellent points such as TW 5 (on the forearm) and LI 4 (on the hand) which can help the body expel the pathogen. We also typically include points such as Sp 6 and St 36 (both on the legs), which strengthen the immune system and settle digestion. At the Birch Center we also include local points and manual treatments such as moxabustion (heating of an herb on or above the skin or on acupuncture needles), cupping, gwa sha and massage to help your body expel the pathogen, symptoms diminish and energy increase.

    To schedule an acupuncture appointment, or come in for a free 20-minute consultation (with no obligation) please call (412)381-0116, or email BirchCenter@gmail.com.


  • Chinese Herbal Formulas such as Yin Qiao and Gan Mao Ling (both available at the Birch Center).

    Yin Qiao is often taken at first signs of the flu, especially when a sore throat is present, and Gan Mao can be taken if the flu has settled in, causing cough, stuffiness, and eye symptoms. We can help you choose depending on symptoms and how long you've had the flu.


Recipe for Miso Soup

Soup is always comforting when we are sick. Miso soup is beneficial on many levels, including the addition of unpasteurized miso (can be picked up at Health Food Stores), which contain live cultures full of beneficial bacteria which help strengthen our body's immune systems. It's important not to boil the miso, as this will kill the bacteria.

In addition to the miso:


  • sea vegetables such as wakame (purchased at Asian food stores or natural food stores) are also extremely strengthening to the system
  • onions, garlic and ginger all help expel external pathogens

Directions:

Heat 4 cups of water in a pot to just above body temperature: from 105 to 115 degrees. It should feel hot to you, but you should not burn your finger when testing the water.

To this heated water, add:

  • 3 Tbsp chopped scallions
  • 1 clove crushed or chopped garlic
  • 2 tsp dried wakame seaweed (if not already in small pieces, cut the dried seaweed into tiny pieces with a scissors before adding it to the water. It will expand greatly and soften once it's in the water)

In a bowl, take a heaping Tbsp of miso and mix with some of the warmed water until it's a thin paste, then add it into the pot of soup. Taste and season with dried ginger and sea salt, if necessary.

Enjoy.

Tune in tomorrow when we discuss in more detail the herbal remedies and supplements that can help you prevent and recover from colds and the flu.

If you have any questions or would like to set up an appointment, please call The Birch Center at (412) 381-0116, or email BirchCenter@gmail.com.

Thank you!

~ Melissa and David Sokulski, L.Acs
The Birch Center for Health
(412) 381-0116

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Swine Flu (H1N1) and Traditional Chinese Medicine, Part 1: Prevention

There is a lot of fear of Swine flu (H1N1) this season, I thought I'd take a moment to give our take on Swine Flu, flu in general, and Traditional Chinese Medicine.

This post got very long, so we decided to do it as a series this week, and break it into parts.

Today will be:

Part 1: Prevention: Keeping the body's immunity strong

The rest of the week you will see:

Part 2: Recovery and Swine Flu: What to do if You Get the Flu
Part 3: Chinese Herbal Medicine and Swine Flu: A Review of Some of the Best Herbal Formulas and Supplements to Keep you Healthy and Strong
Part 4: Fermented Vegetables: The Way to Health

We hope you enjoy this series. If there is anything specific you'd like to see addressed, either about Swine Flu or any other condition, please comment below or send an email to BirchCenter@gmail.com.


Part 1: Prevention


Much of the hype and fear around this flu has thankfully settled down, as it turns out this flu does not seem to be any more deadly than any other flu. If you are in good health, your chances of coming down with the flu are decreased, and your rate of recovery is faster.

Please do not feel the need to rush out and get the vaccine. This vaccine contains mercury in the form of thimerisol (preservative), and has not been widely tested. For more information with a cautionary view of vaccines, please check out 9 Reasons not to Give Your Child Get the H1N1 Vaccine by Dr. Mercola, and at the end of this post is an interview with an MD (on Fox news) cautioning against this vaccine.

In Chinese Medicine, flu and colds are considered an invasion of the body of external pathogens, usually cold or heat. Cold often turns to heat in the body, and we have signs of sore throat, fatigue, achiness, cough, and stuffiness.

When our body's Qi (Energy) - especially Wei Qi (Immune Energy) is strong, we are able to fight off these invasions. The energy pathways responsible for keeping the Qi strong are the Digestive energy and Lung Energy (which controls the Wei Qi.)

To keep our Qi strong and prevent the flu and common cold:

  • Eat a Healthy Diet, full of fresh raw fruits and vegetables

  • Cut out sugar, especially white and brown sugar, corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup. These lower our immunity

  • Wash your hands frequently with regular soap and water (here is why we do not recommend anti-bacterial soap)

  • Get outside in the fresh air. Take walks and expose yourself to sunshine (Vitamin D).

  • Acupuncture - Acupuncture is fantastic to strengthen the entire body, balance energy, and strengthen the Qi and Wei Qi. Even if someone does not have other symptoms, they can still use acupuncture to help boost their immunity. Also, when someone is coming in for other symptoms, the balancing of the body done during acupuncture will impart an increase in immunity, even if that is not what we are working on specifically during the treatment.

    To schedule an acupuncture appointment, or come in for a free 20-minute consultation (with no obligation) please call (412)381-0116, or email BirchCenter@gmail.com.

  • Herbal Medicine and Supplements to keep immune system strong. We carry quite a few Chinese herb formulas at the Birch Center to strengthen immunity and keep one strong, including:

    • Immune Renew, which contains the Chinese herb astragalus and medicinal mushrooms such as Reishi and Maitaki

    • Four Gentleman - a classic herb formula to keep the Qi strong

    • Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang, a combination of ginseng and astragalus, used in specific cases to strengthen the body's Qi


Additional Ways Keep Digestion Strong, which will in turn keep the whole body's Qi, including Immunity, strong:

  • Fresh Raw Foods, which are full of natural enzymes

  • If trouble digesting foods, can take enzymes with food

  • Bao He Wan is an excellent Chinese herbal formula to help with digestion, especially if there is a feeling of fullness, bloating, gas and slow digestion after eating (we also carry this at the Birch Center.)

  • Fermented Vegetables

  • Probiotics: supplements, yogurts, kefir, fermented/cultured veggies, miso

  • Acupuncture to Strenghten Digestion: Control Points such as Spleen 6 and Stomach 36 keep the digestion strong and flowing


Please check back on Thursday for Part 2: Recovery: What to do if you find yourself sick with the flu this season.

Here is the video of an MD explaining why he would NOT give his own children the H1N1 vaccine:



If you have any questions or would like to set up an appointment, we would love to hear from you. Please give us a call at (412) 381-0116 or email BirchCenter@gmail.com.

To purchase any of the formulas mentioned, please call our office at (412) 381-0116. You may stop by Monday through Thursday, but please let us know first, that way we can make sure someone is there to help you.

Thanks so much!

~ Melissa and David Sokulski
Acupuncturists
Birch Center for Health

(412) 381-0116

Friday, October 2, 2009

Raw Food Potluck and Wild Edible Walk Sunday

If you are interested in raw foods and wild edible plants, please join us in Schenely park this Sunday, October 4 at noon (Steeler game is not until 8:20 pm this Sunday, so you won't miss a thing!)


Black Walnuts - still in their green hulls - which we will likely see on Sunday


This event is sponsored by the Pittsburgh Raw Food Meetup Group, so if you'd like to attend (it's a free event), please join the meetup group (there is no charge to join) and RSVP on the meetup invitation page. This way you will be contacted if there are any last minute changes (weather!), and given the full information about the whereabouts and who to contact with questions. We hope to see you there!!!

If you are new to raw foods: this is a potluck, so please bring a dish containing only raw (uncooked) fruits and veggies...a simple fruit salad is always welcome (no canned fruit, though, only fresh.) If you are feeling adventurous, check out some of the many raw recipes on sites like www.goneraw.com or the wonderful recipe page of the All Raw Directory. If you are really inspired, you may want to check out some of the raw "cook" books we recommend in the raw food section of our bookstore.

Here is a simple recipe I am preparing tonight:

Garden Fresh Tomato Salad


5 Garden Tomatoes, chopped
1 clove garlic, pressed (or finely chopped)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil (or you can use fresh thyme or oregano)

Mix all ingredients together well and serve...delicious!

See you soon!

~ Melissa and David Sokulski
Licensed Acupuncturists
The Birch Center for Health
(412) 381-0116

Please sign up for our monthly newsletter! We have raw recipes, information about Acupuncture and Chinese medicine, and overall wellness information. Thank you!