Dr. Jaquel Patterson – Bridgeport

“The sky is the limit with naturopathic medicine.  You really can choose any path you like.”

Diversity and an eclectic nature is at the forefront of what has drawn Dr. Jaquel Patterson to the profession.  In her own practice, she covers a variety of medical conditions from autoimmune diseases to allergies and from Lyme disease to anxiety/depression.  It is this wide variety of coverage, coupled with the passion naturopathic doctors are known for that helped inspire her and continues to motivate her in the profession.

 

Laying the groundwork to become an ND

For Dr. Patterson, the path to becoming a naturopathic doctor included a very personal inspiration.  During her teen years, she saw her mother “struggle with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).”  Both of these autoimmune conditions are debilitating, and Dr. Patterson felt that the conventional medicines and treatments did not address her needs fully.  Prior to that, she had already been interested in alternative medicine as a child, having seen the benefits at home.

 

She took a break from the medical pathway to enter the business field for a few years.  Once she decided to get back into medicine, she went back to school part-time (while still working a full-time job) to finish her pre-med requirements.  After two years of doing this, she enrolled in the ND program at the University of Bridgeport College of Naturopathic Medicine (UBCNM).

 

UBCNM as a springboard

When she attended an open house at UBCNM and was able to hear ND’s speak about their profession, she says that, “I knew I was in the right place.  It felt like I was going full circle back to my roots.”  The fact that the campus was close to where she lived and serviced a variety of diverse populations just served to seal the deal for her.

Dr. Patterson greatly appreciated the opportunities to learn at UBCNM and how it helped transition her into the community health side of medicine.  She participated in the community clinics and then began to serve in a variety of community outreach capacities, including acting as the Health Chair of local chapter of the NAACP.   She has also served with the Southern CT Sickle Cell Disease Association of America and was elected on the National Board for Sickle Cell Disease Association of America.

 

 “Living the dream” after graduation

During her third year at UBCNM, Dr. Patterson attended New York Lobby Day.  There, she met the CEO of a health center that saw over 65,000 patients.  It was this contact that gave her an entrance into the field when she graduated.  From there, she excelled by leading “quality improvement initiatives for childhood obesity, which was the highest in the Bronx at the time, diabetes and hypertension. My work was recognized by Community Health Care Association of New York State and was used to help develop models in other FQHC’s in the state.”

 

Finding fulfillment as an ND

Since getting her start, she has continued working not only as a naturopathic physician, but also as an administrator, eventually becoming CEO of her own health center.  Her work directly impacted the behavioral health needs of 21,000 patients.  Today, she has her own practice, Fairfield Family Health where she works “with a robust team of 6 other healthcare providers including naturopathic physicians, primary care consultant, pediatric nurse practitioner, nutritionist and physical therapist.”  She is also the first UBCNM graduate to be elected President of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, as well as the first person of color to hold this position.

 

Advice for aspiring NDs

To sum up her advice for aspiring NDs, Dr. Patterson has this to say: “It is a rare opportunity to find something that appeals to your heart and that creates butterflies in your stomach.  If you have that feeling about naturopathic medicine, you need to make sure to follow that path.”  She feels that this bold step will be the key to success and a life without regrets.

 

Learn more about Dr. Jaquel Patterson:

www.fairfieldfamilyhealth.com

Instagram: @doctorjaquel

Twitter: @drjaquel

Facebook: Naturopathic Care By Dr. Jaquel

 

How Do YOU Take Care of Your Mental Health?

With the hustle and bustle of the 24/7 news cycle, and family and work/school responsibilities seemingly adding more to our to-do lists than there are hours in the day – we thought we would compile some of AANMC’s favorite ways to recharge our battery and unplug from day-to-day stresses.

1. Exercise – Get clammy! Walk, dance, play a team sport, swim. The ‘what’ doesn’t matter as much as just making it happen. Shoot for at least 30 minutes daily.

2. Nature – Don’t have time to get out into nature regularly? Bring the outside, in. Open a window or try to work where you can see the beauty of your natural surroundings. Invest in a houseplant or two. Grow window herbs. And when you can, and as often as you can, make an effort to walk, hike, play or swim and ground yourself in nature.

3. Unplug – Literally. If you are consistently tethered to a mobile device or screen, there can be something very freeing to completely disconnecting and going ‘off-grid’. Try to do this for 1-2 hours before bed at a minimum and if you can – schedule a weekend a month and a week a year, completely TECH FREE…

4. Meditate and quiet your mind – People often associate meditation with a long and intricate process. It can be as easy as practicing clearing your mind of any active thoughts before bed. Letting whatever does come to mind quietly float away to black. It doesn’t need to be complicated. Start out small and work your way up from there. To make it easy for you we found a great link from our friends at Mind, Body, Green who’ve created an article with everything to know to have a great meditation. If you prefer a quick, even easier start to your meditation, go to this Huffington Post piece on the four easiest ways to guided meditation.

5. Laugh – sometimes laughter IS the best medicine. Some ideas to tickle your funny bone: Watch a comedy, read a book of jokes, get together with friends for a night of ‘most embarrassing stories’…. The ideas are endless.

6. Social support – when was the last time you had a deep, long and uninterrupted heart to heart with a loved one or friend? Are your personal relationships filling your cup or emptying it out? If more are emptying – then it may be time to reassess who you allow in your sacred circle of friends. Social support and our ‘village’ is a vital component to our ability to adapt to stressors. Make sure you take time to nurture yours.

7. Get organized – sometimes being a little proactive and cleaning your space or organizing the day can help minimize the stress that comes with clutter of both your mind and surroundings. While cleaning may not be everyone’s favorite activity – there is a good amount of satisfaction that comes with a tidy and organized space. Pencil it in on the calendar if you have trouble making it a regular habit.

Is it My Hormones? Combating PMS and Irregular Periods Naturally

Join the AANMC and Ellen Lewis, ND to learn about natural approaches to women’s health.

Is it My Hormones? Combating PMS and Irregular Periods Naturally

Dr. Lewis covers:

Learn More About Becoming a Naturopathic Doctor

Receive information from one of our 7 accredited schools in 8 locations across the U.S. & Canada.

The Naturopathic Kitchen: Cilantro 101

The Naturopathic Kitchen: Cilantro 101

We live in a fast-paced world with the convenience of ready-made, processed meals. However, with that convenience, can come a hefty price – our health. Meal choices are not only determined by hunger, they can be influenced heavily with a small dose of awareness. Some people are hesitant to step in to the kitchen because they were never taught the art of healthy cooking. We agree, it can be intimidating starting out, and this blog is intended to take away a little of the fear of the unknown.  Through this series, we intend to help educate you on easy ways to incorporate natural foods into your diet. Each week we will highlight a food or herb and its related health benefits. In addition, stay tuned for helpful hints and a tasty recipe for you test out. Today, let’s take a closer look at a popular herb used around the world – cilantro.

Cilantro 101

Whether it’s in a fresh salsa, Thai food or an Indian curry, chances are you have probably had cilantro and weren’t even aware of it. If you were to try it on its own; well, that is a different story. Cilantro is a robust herb with a bittersweet citrusy flavor. Not only does it offer flavor to a wide variety of dishes, it is also known for its high antioxidant properties and high mineral content.

Where does cilantro come from? Where can I find it?

Cilantro originated in the Mediterranean and Western Asian regions, though “Chinese parsley” can be found around the world in many windowsill herb gardens. The plant is formally known as coriandrum sativum. The leafy greens are referred to as cilantro and the seeds are called coriander, each offering a wealth of health benefits and different flavors.

How does cilantro help my health?

Cilantro is a powerful antioxidant and a great source of vitamins and fiber. It contains a flavonoid called quercetin that has demonstrated antioxidant properties.

Let’s try it out with a delicious and nutritious recipe!

Fish Tacos with Cilantro Cabbage SlawThe Naturopathic Kitchen: Cilantro 101

This recipe was prepared with cod as fresh fish was in limited supply. For a more robust flavor, substitute wild, (not farm raised) red snapper or Mahi Mahi. Not a fan of tortillas? Enjoy this entrée on its own or on a bed of leafy greens.

Ingredients

  • 1 large fillet of fresh (not farm-raised) cod
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ t sea salt
  • ¼ c. fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 t chipotle chili powder
  • 1 t oregano
  • 2 limes, zested and juiced
  • 1 t olive oil
  • 8 radishes, julienned
  • 3 scallions, julienned
  • 1 avocado, peeled and mashed
  • 2 1/2c shredded Napa cabbage
  • 4 non-GMO corn tortillas

In a small bowl combine garlic, salt, cilantro, chili powder, oregano, lime zest and olive oil. Place fish in an oven-safe pan and brush half of the garlic mixture on each side of the fillet. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, flipping the fillet half way through. Remove from oven and discard any skin. Flake the fish into bite size pieces using two forks. Toss fish with remaining half of the garlic mixture, radishes, scallions, avocado and cabbage. Serve in tortillas. *hot sauce optional

Fish Tacos with Cilantro Cabbage - from The Naturopathic KitchenNot sure about this recipe but still want to incorporate the benefits of cilantro into your diet?

Cilantro pairs well with a variety of dishes, especially in Asian or Latin American cuisine. Try adding the leafy greens to your protein, soups or salads for extra flavor without the added sodium.

 

 

 

Dr. JoAnn Yanez on KCAA 5/09/18

Dr. JoAnn Yanez, Executive Director of the Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges (right), joins KCAAs “On the Brink” hosts, Erin Brinker (left) and Tobin Brinker (middle) to discuss naturopathic approaches to managing seasonal allergies.

Full Transcript of Interview Below.

Topics Include:

  • Inflammation as the body’s defense to allergies
  • Natural therapies to manage and mitigate inflammationallergies - girl blowing flowers
  • Your body’s natural eliminatory processes
  • Ways to reduce home allergens
  • Quercetin
  • Upcoming webinars and webinar archive
  • And More…

Erin Brinker: Dr. Yanez, welcome back to the show.

Dr. JoAnn Yanez: Good morning, Erin.

Erin Brinker: You know, I’m just stumbling this morning. I don’t know what … I just … Maybe I haven’t had enough caffeine.

Dr. JoAnn Yanez: Oh, well (sneeze). What are we talking about today?

Erin Brinker: Oh, my! Seasonal allergies. Maybe I’ll blame it on allergies. My allergies are just raging right now.

Dr. JoAnn Yanez: I just came back from the greater Washington, DC area two days ago and there was a yellow coat of pollen dust over everything.

Erin Brinker: Oh, my goodness.

Dr. JoAnn Yanez: It was so intense, so I was thinking … What am I going to do for myself? Oh, yeah, we’re talking about allergies. This is very timely. Yes, there was this thick coating of yellow pollen everywhere and you could just feel it in your throat. You felt it in your nose, and this is the season. Here in California we’ve got lots of things blooming right now; grasses, trees, you name it. Folks are struggling.

Erin Brinker: How do you … Because for me, I get the seasonal allergies. I’m allergic to the pollens and things. The times where I have lived in areas where they get a lot more rain and therefore a lot more flowers, I’m miserable. I love the flowers, they’re beautiful, but I can’t breathe.

How do you protect yourself?

Dr. JoAnn Yanez: Okay, well, it’s a little complicated and it’s going to depend a bit on what you’re allergic to. Allergies are this thing of total load. The more you’re exposed to and for how long of a time, for the amount of time, really is going to indicate your body’s response, because over time your body recognizes the allergen and builds the response… What is an allergy? It’s basically, here’s something in my environment, whether it’s food or something in the air, that your body is seeing as something to attack, and so now it sets up an inflammatory response. Inflammatory response leads to your red, itchy eyes, your runny nose, your itchy skin, your constricted airways. All of that is part of the body’s ability to protect itself from something it sees as no good.

What do you do? Well, you limit the things that your body sees as no good to the best of your ability. Now, you can change what you eat. You can increase your water. You can’t stop breathing, though.

Erin Brinker: No, you can’t.

Dr. JoAnn Yanez: That’s the tricky part. You really can’t just hold your breath until allergy season is over. What are some other options? Well, there are nasal rinses that you can do. I definitely tell people with seasonal allergies to stay indoors during that high pollen time, which is about 10:00 to 4:00. Pollen is highest during the hottest part of the day. That heat and the dust and wind mobilize pollen, so stay inside if you can during that high pollen time, number one.

Number two, if you have been outside and you come back home, take a shower. Wash it out of your hair. Wash it out of your nose and nasal passages. Do not just go straight into bed, because guess what you’re doing? You’re taking all that pollen that was on your body, and where are you putting it?

Erin Brinker: Oh, in your sheets.

Dr. JoAnn Yanez: Yes, ma’am.

Erin Brinker: Oh, okay.

Dr. JoAnn Yanez: Then what are you doing? You’re rolling around in it all night, so-

Erin Brinker: Yes, and wheezing and probably snoring.

Dr. JoAnn Yanez: Yeah, so I always tell folks if you are really sensitive, take a shower. Wash off before you … when you come back home. Rinse it out of your nose. Rinse it out of your hair and your clothes. Change your clothes, because that pollen is in there. Like if you’re allergic to cats and you go to somebody’s house and they have cats, what do you do? You’re going to take that clothing off, you’re going to wash up, so the same thing is true with these seasonal allergies. Remove your shoes. Do not wear shoes in the home.

Erin Brinker: You know, so many cultures take their shoes off when they enter a home or a business. That’s just what you do. Germans, for example, they would never dream of walking around somebody’s home, including their own, with their shoes on. Here, we don’t think twice about it.

Dr. JoAnn Yanez: Yeah, and what are you doing? You’re tracking in all of the pollen, everything that you’ve walked through, through your home.

Erin Brinker: I’m looking at … There’s an article about seasonal allergies on the AANMC.org website which is great. There’s always a great blog post. The one thing on here that really surprised me was apple cider vinegar.

Dr. JoAnn Yanez: There are a number of natural therapies that can be used to help manage inflammation, help to balance your digestive system. All of those, I think probably the most studied ones are going to be turmeric, curcumin, ginger, butterbur has some research out there. The research is still developing on a lot of these supplements, but there are a number of different ways that you can help manage and mitigate some of that inflammation that’s happening in your body.

Honestly, the number one rule with allergies is avoidance. Like I said, if you can avoid those allergies in the first place, aside from not breathing, lower those by avoiding foods that you may be sensitive to. Dairy, citrus, gluten, wheat can be some of the higher offending foods for a lot of people. Keep your body as clean and functioning well. Keep your organs of elimination going; that’s pee and poop and sweat. If you can continue to eliminate and use your body’s natural eliminatory processes, get whatever stuff is out of you, that is really the root of naturopathic approach.

A good air filter in your home is also really, really vital. Vacuuming with a HEPA filter can help. If any of that pollen has come inside, making sure that you’re cleaning your home environment, changing your sheets regularly. All of those things, just keep your house as clean and clear of the pollen as you can.  I personally sleep with an air filter going on in my bedroom 24/7.

Erin Brinker: Yeah, we just changed the filter in our HVAC system this weekend. First of all, it made the air conditioner work better, more efficiently, but stuff gets captured in that filter that you need to get out of the house.

Dr. JoAnn Yanez: Well, I’ve even seen … Folks who are sensitive, I recommend additional air filters, an air purifier for them that pull out a bit more than just your home’s HVAC system would.

Erin Brinker: There’s a supplement on here that I’ve never heard of. Quercetin?

Dr. JoAnn Yanez: Quercetin.

Erin Brinker: What is that?

Dr. JoAnn Yanez: Quercetin is a supplement that has anti-inflammatory properties. It can be useful, oftentimes taken with vitamin C to decrease and mitigate the inflammatory response that’s associated with allergies. There’s been a number of studies demonstrating, both in humans and in animals, demonstrating mitigation of the inflammatory process. It’s one of those things, again, when used in concert with other anti-inflammatory herbs like turmeric and ginger, that may be helpful for some people in managing the immune response that’s associated with allergies.

Erin Brinker: Back to the apple cider vinegar, which I, again, I found that very interesting. If you drink it three times a day, you can clean out your lymphatic system. Will you feel … When you go and get a really deep tissue massage and they focus on the lymphatic system, you might feel ill for the next couple of days until all that stuff is cleared out. Is that true with the apple cider vinegar?

Dr. JoAnn Yanez: You know, I am not up on the current research and literature on ACV. I know that there are a lot of pros and cons to using apple cider vinegar. Some folks swear by a little bit in the morning with some water and really just kind of setting the tone for their system, setting the tone for the digestive tract and stimulating digestive juices to start flowing so that it improves the overall digestion for you during the course of the day. But again, I think, each one of these is going to be individual. There are going to be some folks who needs things. None of this is a substitute for talking to your doctor and finding out what is right in your situation and your condition.

Erin Brinker: You all have an event coming up on May 15th. I’m totally putting you on the spot. It’s listed on your AANMC website titled “Is It My Hormones? Combating PMS and Irregular Periods Naturally.” It’s a webinar. Can you talk about that?

Dr. JoAnn Yanez: I sure can. Every month we host a webinar series on all different types of topics. I think we’ve covered the Virtual Fair that we had last month. This month we’ve got Dr. Ellen Lewis who’s going to be talking about women’s health. I think many folks suffer in silence. They think PMS and irritability and bloating and pain with their periods is a normal thing. There are a lot of things that you can do naturally to manage your hormones and to really mitigate some of the issues that folks can have with their menstrual cycle. She’ll be talking a little bit about fertility, but mostly about the hormonal management of the monthly cycle.

Erin Brinker: That is on May 15th. It’s 12:00 to 1:00 Eastern Time, which would mean 9:00 to 10:00 Pacific Time. Will it be available … and all of your webinars, are they available in archive form if you can’t be there for the webinar?

Dr. JoAnn Yanez:  We record all of our webinars, so there is an archive for all of our past webinars. I always tell folks, it’s a really great repository. We have topics spanning everything from diabetes to depression. I think that it’s really a great resource. We have wealth of information from naturopathic doctors, faculty from our naturopathic schools, all talking about all different types of topics. It’s a great place if you’re just starting to figure out the natural health industry? How does a naturopathic doctor work with patients? What do they do? It’s a really great resource that we have available for people to understand some of the basics. All of our doctors will cover a case and how that case was managed with that disease with naturopathic medicine. They’ll also usually give some tips for folks who are considering this as a career.

Erin Brinker: Wonderful. As always, this has been a treat. How do people get a hold of you, follow you? Are you on social media, et cetera?

Dr. JoAnn Yanez: We’re everywhere and on AANMC.org! You can find whole lots of stuff there, and all the social media handles that we’re available on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, et cetera.

Erin Brinker: Well, Dr. JoAnn Yanez, thank you so much for joining us. We look forward to our next conversation.

Dr. JoAnn Yanez: Awesome. Thank you and have a great day.

Erin Brinker: Thank you, you too. Now it’s time for a break. I’m Erin Brinker.

Tobin Brinker: And I’m Tobin Brinker.

Erin Brinker: We’ll be right back.

Learn More About Becoming a Naturopathic Doctor

Receive information from one of our 7 accredited schools in 8 locations across the U.S. & Canada.

The Future is Bright for Naturopathic Medicine

The future of naturopathic medicine is bright!

In the past decade or so, healthcare has changed immensely. From legislation to technological advances, it’s definitely a “brave new world” in healthcare. It should come as no surprise that students are flocking to these careers and the schools that provide training in these areas. Healthcare is moving in a different direction when it comes to how a patient’s treatment is approached. Health services are now being delivered by a team of professionals instead of just one lead provider. Part of that team approach includes naturopathic doctors who can help treat a variety of issues. That’s why naturopathic medicine is a great option for those who want to have a direct impact on the health of others.

ND Job Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, eleven of the top twenty fastest growing occupations are in health-related fields. Traditional healthcare is not the only field that is growing rapidly. Naturopathic medicine will add 24,000 potential new jobs this year and the growth rate is expected to continue at an almost steady 10% per year. In fact, naturopathic medicine is now rated as having an “excellent” career outlook. Health Careers websites report that “the projection for making a prosperous living in this field are excellent for the foreseeable future. Naturopathic medicine continues to gain acceptance and recognition throughout the United States and Canada.

This trend in healthcare is largely due to the fact that Americans as a whole are beginning to turn a corner on their health and realize they need to make significant changes to their lifestyle. For instance, the CDC has recently reported that roughly 30 million Americans have diabetes, but another 84 million are “pre-diabetic”. As a result of this news, many people are looking to eat healthier and live more naturally, including seeking naturopathic options in healthcare.

As a sign that naturopathic medicine is growing, take the recent results of a survey of healthcare providers that showed “twenty-eight prominent health systems, hospitals, and cancer treatment centers now have one or more licensed naturopathic doctors on staff at their facilities”. Many states are now offering pathways for students of naturopathy to become fully licensed naturopathic doctors. For students who are interested in becoming a naturopathic doctor, the path is rigorous, and worthwhile. It includes a doctoral-level program accredited by the Council of Naturopathic Medical Education which comprises four-years of post-graduate work.

Is a Career in Naturopathic Medicine Right for You?

Naturopathic medical schools across the country are looking for new applicants to their programs. But is a career in naturopathic medicine a good fit for you? To be certain a career in this field is right for you, take a look at the basic beliefs of a naturopathic doctor:

• First, do no harm: Utilize the most natural, least invasive and least toxic therapies.
• The healing power of nature: Trust in the body’s inherent wisdom to heal itself.
• Identify and treat the causes: Look beyond the symptoms to the underlying cause.
• Physician as teacher: Educate patients in the steps to achieving and maintaining health.
• Treat the whole person: View the body as an integrated whole in all its physical and spiritual dimensions.
• Prevention: Focus on overall health, wellness and disease prevention.

In order to be a successful naturopathic doctor, students must have a strong interest and affinity in science. Besides knowing and understanding evidence-based science, students should be able to think in a complex manner about multiple causes for health problems. A sense of community and commitment to volunteerism is also important, as many naturopathic doctors provide a valuable link to natural medicine for the underserved. Having good communication skills as a naturopathic physician is vitally important. Becoming an educator to those in the community about how to care for themselves is a significant aspect of the naturopathic career.

What Specialty Fields are Available for Students?

Just as with traditional medicine, naturopathic doctors may want to specialize in certain fields. Future naturopathic doctors could choose to narrow their focus of practice to include one of the following:

• Cancer Treatment—This growing health concern has shown promise of treatment using naturopathic techniques as presented by the Oncology Association of Naturopathic Physicians (OncANP).

• Environmental Medicine—If you are interested in focusing on the environmental causes of health care problems, then this specialty, promoted by the Naturopathic Association of Environmental Medicine (NAEM), is worth consideration.

• Gastroenterology—With the obesity problem becoming larger every year, this field focuses on digestion and intestinal issues. The Gastroenterology Association of Naturopathic Physicians (GastroANP) is devoted to this discipline.

• Generative Medicine—The use of gene expression and its connection with the patient’s environment is behind this particular specialty that is fostered by the Institute of Naturopathic Generative Medicine (INGM).

• Homeopathic Medicine—Small doses of a substance can be used to help the body bolster its own healing abilities is a promising specialty promoted by the Homeopathic Academy of Naturopathic Physicians (HANP).

• Hormone Therapy—The Endocrinology Association of Naturopathic Physicians (EndoANP) is helping train doctors to treat different diseases and ailments by treating the endocrine system which regulates hormones.

• Midwifery—Holistic natural childbirth is changing the way that women view the entire birthing experience. As such, the American Association of Naturopathic Midwives (AANM) is promoting this exciting new field that also helps treat infertility among couples.

• Parenteral Therapy—This field (also known as intravenous therapy) is headed by the Academy for Parenteral Therapies (APT) which seeks to treat a variety of healthcare problems with the IV administration of vitamins and minerals.

• Pediatrics—If you are looking to help guide children down the path to a lifetime of good health, then pediatrics is the field for you. The Pediatric Association of Naturopathic Physicians (PedANP) Is dedicated to this specialty.

As with traditional medicine, there are numerous specialties for NDs. The more patients learn about their own health and the causes of their problems, the more they will continue to seek out naturopathic treatments that blend mind, body, and spirit, in healing the whole person. That is why naturopathic medicine is an exciting, vibrant field for those looking to make a difference.

Ready to take the next step in becoming a part of the future of medicine? Complete the request form to receive answers about your personal road to a career in naturopathic medicine. Your future self thanks you!

The Naturopathic Kitchen: Dill 101

The Naturopathic Kitchen: Dill 101

Each week we go back to the basics to use food as medicine in an effort to lead healthier lives. It can be intimidating to try new things especially when you don’t know what it is good for or how to prepare/cook it. Let’s learn together. Today, our focus is dill.

There’s so much more to dill than pickles which is probably what you first thought. Let’s dig into its history, origin, where you can find it, and how it works to benefit your health. Finally, let’s test it out with a tasty recipe: Dill Chicken Salad. This recipe is a delicious addition to any spring picnic or daily lunch box.

Dill 101

Dill has been used for centuries dating back to Greek and Roman eras as a culinary and medicinal spice. In fact, the word dill means “to calm or soothe,” likely stemming from the herbs power to treat upset digestive and immune systems. Dill is a light feathery weed that should be cleaned carefully with as little moisture as possible to prevent wilting. Its aroma and strong flavor make it a great compliment to many dishes, especially seafood and appetizers.

Where does dill come from? Where can I find it?

Dill originates in the Mediterranean region but today, its benefits are enjoyed throughout the world. You may find fresh dill weed in the produce section of your local grocer or in dried form in the spice aisle. It’s also pretty easy to grow in a kitchen windowsill.

How does dill help my health?

Flavonoids in dill work as an anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial to benefit the digestive and immune system.

What medical symptoms is dill good for?

• Breath freshener
Anti-flatulence
• Heartburn
Menstrual disorders
Digestive health
Wound healing
Free-radical fighter for cancer prevention
Strong antioxidant

Let’s try it out with a delicious and high protein recipe!

Dill Chicken Salad

Ingredients
• 2 organic chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
• 3/4 c. organic Greek yogurt (or coconut yogurt for a dairy free recipe)
• 1 T fresh dill
• ¼ c organic dried unsweetened cranberries (can substitute dried unsulfured, unsweetened cherries) *optional if on a low glycemic/low carb diet
• ¼ cup chopped raw, unsalted walnuts
• ¼ c diced green onion
• ¼ c diced red onion
• ½ c. arugula/spinach mix
• salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl combine ingredients and mix well. Scoop onto your choice of bread or romaine lettuce for a lower-carb option.

Not sure about this recipe but still want to incorporate the benefits of dill into your diet?

Try adding dill to your water to freshen your breath, add to Greek yogurt for a healthy veggie dip, in soup, or sprinkled over your fish fillet.

 

 

 

 

Dr. Alexandra Power – Boucher

“There are many aspects of the profession that I love, but I think the amount of educating I get to do as a Naturopathic Doctor sticks out to me the most.”

There was an unusual impetus that inspired Dr. Alexandra Power to start down her path to becoming a Naturopathic Doctor—a Robin Williams movie. “I first thought about becoming a doctor after watching the movie ‘Patch Adams’ as a child, and the desire just grew from there.” That film, about a doctor who uses the healing power of humor to help his patients was enough to encourage that young girl into becoming the accomplished ND that she is today.

What finally sealed the deal to put her on this path was a chance encounter with an ND to deal with a few chronic health issues of her own. Once she saw how much personal interaction she could have with patients, Dr. Power realized that going into naturopathic medicine was the best choice for her.

Laying the groundwork to become an ND

As a high school student, Dr. Power was under the impression that she wanted to become a pediatrician, so she volunteered in a pediatric hospital unit. As happens for many in this type of setting, she found that the reality of the job did not match her perceptions, and she was left somewhat disillusioned with the profession: “Something wasn’t right for me…I wanted to spend lots of time with my patients, and I wanted to look at their health from a more holistic and preventative viewpoint.” This, coupled with the grueling shift work medical doctors endure turned her away from the profession.

But a visit to a naturopathic doctor for her own health issues reignited her passion to become a doctor. She says that after the initial consult, she was hooked and knew becoming an ND was the path for her. “I loved that I would get to spend an hour with my patients on their first visit, and delve into everything that may be contributing to the symptoms they are experiencing.” From there, she tailored her University courses towards this goal.

Boucher as a springboard

When she began her naturopathic medicine studies, Dr. Power decided on Boucher for two main reasons: location and size. Boucher was close to her home and she knew the challenging curriculum would go much easier if she stayed near her support system of family and friends. But the other thing that sold her on Boucher was the “small class sizes and community feel.” She adds that she loved getting to know her professors and having the opportunity for one-on-one time which made Boucher a better fit than a larger school.

In addition to this, she attributes part of her success at Boucher with her networking abilities. “Every time a professor or guest lecturer put out an offer to meet up with students to talk about the profession…I took them up on it.” She also got out to conferences, asked plenty of questions, and helped form relationships within the profession. This attitude helped earn her multiple job offers even before she graduated.

“Living the dream” after graduation

Dr. Power had a significant support system in the ND program with her—her future husband Dr. Rory Gibbons. “When we were done [with] board and licensing exams, we got married and honeymooned in Europe for a post-graduation celebration!” This was the perfect way to rest, relax and recharge after finishing such a demanding educational program. Once she returned home, she began working at the clinic where she is currently employed.

Finding fulfillment as an ND

Today, Dr. Power works in North Vancouver at Restoration Health Clinic. “The mentor that I hunted down during school owns the clinic and focuses her practice on women and children—which is exactly what I want my practice to look like.” She currently works three days a week at the clinic and then uses the rest of her time to “set up meetings in the area to get my name out there, do patient research, catch up on emails, prepare presentations, schedule social media posts, and more!” It is the flexibility of the profession that has allowed her to do all of this and still find time to spend with her husband and friends exploring local trails and cycling.

Advice for aspiring NDs

For those who are considering the profession, Dr. Power suggests that you do your homework. Specifically, she suggests that you “reach out to naturopathic doctors in your area and see if they would be willing to meet up and answer questions.” In addition, she also suggests that aspiring NDs talk to clinics in their area and find out about volunteer opportunities, so that you can “get a good taste of what the field is like.” You can also visit the ND schools you are considering and spend time observing classes. Anything that you can do to find out about the profession will help you to be successful in the future.

Learn more about Dr. Alexandra Power:
Website: www.dralexandrapower.com
Instagram: @dralexandrapower
Facebook: Dr. Alexandra Power, ND

The Naturopathic Kitchen: Garlic 101

You’ve heard us say it before, healthy living starts in the kitchen.  Many people find that cooking can be somewhat bland when first starting out, however, that need not be the case!  This week we highlight one of our favorites, Garlic – the stinking rose. Garlic is not only a healthy addition to your meal but a very tasty option as well!

Garlic 101

Garlic is one of the most widely used seasonings. From meat marinades and soups, to (YES) herbal tea, garlic is a versatile herb that is a fan favorite. Besides being indispensable in many kitchens, garlic is a potent medicine that has been used for centuries dating back to Hippocrates. It has been shown to help the immune system and cardiovascular health.

Where does garlic come from? Where can I find it?

Garlic can be found worldwide though it is believed to have originated in Southeast Asia. You can purchase garlic in its natural form in the produce section of your local grocer or in its powdered form in the spice aisle. Garlic may also be found in oil form. The garlic bulb itself is made up of many cloves. This is important to know so you don’t overkill an entrée when trying a new recipe.

How do I peel garlic?

There are many ways to get garlic out of its skin. If you just need a clove or two you can pick them off, then smack with a large flat blade or spatula and the skin will separate. It’s also fun for kids to try!

It can then be sliced, diced or macerated with a mortar and pestle and a pinch of salt.

How does garlic help my health?

Garlic works primarily through the sulfur component called allicin. Allicin gives garlic its distinct scent and goes through the digestive systems to release its therapeutic benefits.

What medical symptoms is garlic good for?

High Blood Pressure

High Cholesterol

Diabetes

Antimicrobial

Let’s try it out with an easy and nutrient dense recipe!

Roasted Garlic and Sundried Tomato Spaghetti Squash

Not a fan of spaghetti squash or pine nuts? Substitute with a noodle and/or alternative nut of your choice such as whole grain linguini and walnuts.  Dairy free? You can substitute coconut or almond yogurt for organic Greek yogurt.

Ingredients

  • 1 spaghetti squash, cooked and scooped out of the shell
  • 1/3 c. canned sundried tomatoes in olive oil
  • 3 T olive oil from sundried tomatoes
  • ¼ c. parmesan cheese or vegan cheese substitute
  • ½ garlic bulb
  • ½ c. sliced mushrooms
  • 2 free-range organic chicken breasts, cooked and cut into strips (can be removed for vegan version)
  • 1 c. organic spinach and arugula mix
  • ½ c. organic cherry tomatoes, cut in fourths
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Pinch of parsley

Strain the olive oil from the sundried tomato and heat in skillet. Retain sundried tomatoes in a separate bowl. Sauté mushrooms, chicken and garlic. Add spinach/arugula mix and sundried tomatoes. Stir well and add spaghetti squash. Sauté for an additional 2-3 minutes until the mixture has heated through. Dish and top with parmesan cheese, cherry tomatoes, pine nuts, crushed red pepper and sea salt. Garnish with fresh parsley.

Serves 2.

Not sure about this recipe but still want to enjoy the benefits of garlic in your daily living?

Try incorporating garlic into your pastas, beans, steamed veggies, potatoes, and meats for great flavor and even better health benefits! One thing that’s great about garlic is that it isn’t selective with what it pairs with, making it a tasty match for just about any entrée or side dish.