Latest News from Charmaine: February Newsletter: Microgreens

Latest newsGreetings all,

Well, I am back from Grandmother time and, while it was hard to leave the little munchkin Alfred, and his parents, I am glad to be back in my routine again.  Dr. Ray and I will be going back for his christening at Easter… we will be away from the office  4/10 thru 4/17.

February is always a strange month…short in calendar days but long in passing as we all get anxious to see spring….It is also a month to stop and assess your health goals…make sure you are eating right, cutting out the sugar and processed foods and drinking LOTS of water.  Check out the article in the newsletter debunking a few nutritional myths.

I have enclosed two wonderful recipes that I came across recently and are now part of my cooking rotation.

Just saw a great little article on (of all programs) Ask This Old House about growing microgreens and it reminded me that I need to get back to growing them again…been a little crazy with the holiday season and new baby..  Anybody interested in a class?  Let me know and if we can get 5 or more people together, we can make it happen.

A giggle I saw on a billboard in Canada recently…The question is posed:  How long is a minute?….The answer is ……It depends which side of the bathroom door you are on!!!


Vegetarian Bolognese

Serves 4-6

Found on Green Kitchen Stories

2-3 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 large carrots, peeled
2 sticks celery, rinsed
4 tbsp green olives, stones removed and slightly bruised
1 tbsp fresh basil (or 1 tsp dried)
1 tbsp fresh oregano, rosemary or marjoram (or 1 tsp dried)
125 ml / ½ cup red wine
100 g / ½ cup uncooked beluga lentils (or puy), rinsed
400 ml / 1 ½ cup vegetable stock (or water)
2 bay leaves
2 x 400 g / 14 oz tins crushed tomatoes
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve
pasta of choice

parmesan cheese or vegetarian equivalent
fresh parsley
olive oil

Heat the oil in a large saucepan on medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté for a few minutes. Meanwhile, chop one of the carrots and the celery into 1 cm / 1/2 inch chunks and add them to the pan along with olives and dried herbs (if using). Let soften for a couple of minutes, add the red wine and let cook until the alcohol evaporates. Add lentils, half of the vegetable stock, bay leaves, tinned tomatoes, fresh herbs (if using) salt and pepper. Grate the remaining carrot and add it as well. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and let simmer for 30 minutes or until the lentils are cooked, stirring from time to time as not to burn the base of the sauce. Add the remaining stock or water, little by little, to loosen the sauce whenever it is looking dry.

Cook your pasta of choice. Serve the sauce stirred through the pasta, topped with a sprinkling of grated cheese, fresh parsley or other herbs and a drizzle of oil.



Serves: 8 


Enchilada Sauce

  • 28 ounce can diced fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1½ Tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Enchilada Bake

  • 1 Tablespoon avocado oil or coconut oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into small bite-size chunks
  • 2-3 Tablespoons finely chopped jalapeño
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 1 15 oz can black beans
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican cheese
  • toppings: chopped green onions, chopped cilantro, sour cream, avocado


  1. Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. Make sauce by combining all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth and set aside.
  3. Add oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot add onion and garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add jalapeño and sweet potatoes. Cover and cook for 12-15 minutes or until sweet potatoes are tender. The cook time will vary based on how big your sweet potato chunks are. Just be sure they are fully cooked and tender. Add black beans and baby spinach. Toss to combine and remove from heat.
  4. Grab a 9X13 baking dish, lightly grease and start layering ingredients for the bake. Place four tortillas over the bottom of the dish, add ⅓ of the enchilada sauce, ½ of black bean and sweet potato mixture and ½ of the cheese. Add 4 tortillas, ⅓ of sauce and ½ black bean and sweet potato mixture. Add 4 tortillas, ⅓ of the enchilada sauce and top with the remaining cheese.
  5. Bake uncovered at 425° for about 20 minutes or until the top layer of cheese has melted and the bake is hot throughout.


Christopher Gardner, a nutrition professor at Stanford University and a long-time vegetarian, debunks common misconceptions about healthy eating.

Now that the holidays have come and gone, it’s time to hunker down and commit to the resolutions we’ve made. For many of us, this means striving for, and more importantly sticking to, a healthier diet.

Unfortunately what that actually entails can be hard to pin down. We live in the age of fad diets: Nutrients, foods, and entire regional cuisines are dismissed as unhealthy, only to be re-embraced shortly thereafter.   With that in mind, I’ve decided to dispel some fundamental misconceptions about how we approach healthy eating.


The anti-carb/low-carb craze has gone too far. No matter the health philosophy you prescribe to — be it veganism/vegetarianism/pescetarianism, or a Paleo/gluten-free/low-carb/high-fat diet — you’re likely in favor of eating a wide variety of delicious and vibrantly colorful non-starchy vegetables, such as heirloom tomatoes, butternut squash, carrots, mixed salad greens, swiss chard, and sweet red bell peppers. For carb watchers, the irony here is that these are all carbohydrate-rich foods (65% to 90% of their calories come from carbohydrates). For the record, beans, whole grains, fruits and all other vegetables are carbohydrate-rich foods, too.

So instead of stripping out all carbs from your diet, which would mean eliminating healthy and delicious foods such as the veggies listed above, focus on reducing your intake of added sugars (i.e. sugars not naturally found in fruits and other plant foods) and refined grain.

The average American consumes far too much of both. While the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends that less than 10% of our daily calories should come from these sugars, the typical American exceeds that benchmark. This is true across all age groups but particularly for children two to 19-years-old. On average, boys and girls in this demographic get around 16% of their daily calories from added sugars. Because the body breaks up and absorbs sugar very quickly, a sugary diet floods the bloodstream with high amounts of glucose. Over time, this can lead to a range of metabolic problems including obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

In addition to sugar, as a nation we’re eating far too much refined flour, the main ingredient in household staples such as white sliced bread, cereals, cookies, crackers, and pastries. Unlike whole grain flour, refined flour grain is milled to remove its bran and germ, which also removes most of its nutritional value, leaving behind the starchy carbohydrates. Because starch is essentially just long strings of glucose, a diet high in refined flour can lead to the many of the same problems as a diet packed with added sugars.

Bottom line: Instead of vilifying carbohydrates, focus on eating whole, unprocessed meals and avoiding processed foods that often contain refined wheat and added sugars.


Judging from the explosion of protein products — a category that includes bars, smoothies, even protein water — you’d think our national diet is deficient in this basic food component. Which, frankly, boggles my mind. As a country, we consume more protein per person than any other nation.

While some demographic groups do fall short of protein recommendations, including teenage girls and the elderly) others greatly exceed it. Teenage boys and adult men, for example, average 100 grams of protein a day, nearly double the recommended 56 grams.

In reality, it’s not hard to find naturally protein-rich foods. This goes for vegetarians and vegans as well.

(Side note: Stop asking these folks where they get their protein. They are fine, really!)

While lean meats such as chicken and salmon are good sources of the stuff, protein is also found in plant foods. And despite the widespread misunderstanding around the topic, it’s possible to get all 20 amino acids (including the nine essential amino acids not synthesized by our bodies and thus supplied only by our diets) from a combination of legumes, whole grains, nuts, vegetables, and fruits

Bottom line: Our obsession with artificial protein products is a distraction. In lieu of seeking out protein powder, bars, etc., focus on eating a balanced diet (think lots of vegetables, legumes/beans, nuts, seafood, whole grains and fruits, and less processed snacks and foods high in saturated fat, salt and sugar).

Related: Here’s Why You Can’t Stop Procrastinating


What with all the attention being paid to carbohydrates and protein, it’s easy to forget about fiber. We shouldn’t, though. Fiber, which is a form of carbohydrate that we can’t digest and thus can’t be absorbed in our upper small intestine, travels on to our lower intestine and feeds the microbial community living in our colons. This may sound gross, but it’s important: A slew of recent research has connected the health of our gut bacterial populations, known as the microbiome, to our overall health, impacting everything from digestion, to weight, to mental health.

In the absence of enough fiber, the microbiota chew on, and subsequently thin, the colon’s protective mucus lining, which wreaks havoc with our immune function and promotes an inflammatory state that can contribute to a variety chronic conditions, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer.

If you’ve noticed a theme in this column, the trend doesn’t stop here. The solution to getting enough fiber is simple: eat more whole foods, especially nutrient-dense vegetables and other plant foods that are rich in fiber.

The final word: Don’t buy into the industry-driven hype. Stop fearing carbohydrates, and stop obsessing over protein products. Healthy eating isn’t about adding supplements or avoiding entire nutrient categories. Instead, it’s about consuming plenty of carbohydrate-rich (which usually means fiber-rich) plant foods, and balancing those with smaller amounts of grains, dairy, meat, and the occasional treat. Love your food, and let it love you back.

Chiropractic Case Studies: Sciatica, ADHD, Developmental Delays, Fatigue

Researching Chiropractic

Chiropractic clinical case histories have been a regular feature of our patient newsletter since its inception. There seems to be no limit to the health problems that respond to chiropractic care. How many people suffering, on drugs, facing a life of limitation could be helped by chiropractic care?

Probably most of them.

Bilateral sciatica in a 77-year-old man.Older man's hands crossed holing a walking stick

The patient was examined for the presence of vertebral subluxation complex using infrared thermography, radiography and video fluoroscopy. Vertebral subluxations and a deviated sacrum were located. After 1½ months of care there was a marked reduction in sciatica symptoms.

Two children with neurodevelopmental issues.

Case 1: An 11-year-old girl with ADHD.young girl in front of tree

She had difficulties with reading comprehension, handwriting and mathematics. Since beginning chiropractic care, her social interaction and emotional state improved. By her 23rdvisit she was in the A range and selected to be tested for the honors program.

Case 2: Developmental delays in crawling and walking in a 13-month-old girl.

The mother described the child’s crawling as a ‘scooting’ motion since the patient’s buttocks remained in contact with the ground. She also was not standing on her own or trying to walk. After four adjustments, she was crawling normally, had taken four steps unassisted, and had not performed the scooting motion since the second visit.

Fatigue, loss of energy and depression in a 30-year-old male.

He also complained of occasional headaches and acid reflux. Over an eight-month period the SF-36 general health survey demonstrated significant improvement particularly in the areas of General Health, Mental Health, and Mental Component Summary with improvements in fatigue and malaise.

What diseases do chiropractors treat?

The answer is: None of them and all of themPalmer

Chiropractic is not a treatment for named diseases but should be sought out no matter what conditions or diseases a person suffers from or is diagnosed with – back pain, depression, cold. flu, cancer, autism, allergies, asthma – everything from A to Z.

How can that be?

Chiropractic’s purpose is to release subluxations – blockages or interferences in your body that prevent you from functioning at your best.

Think of chiropractic subluxation correction as you would good nutrition. What diseases do you need good nutrition for? All of them!

The chiropractic message is simple: do not live with subluxations and do not let your children, your spouse and your friends and relatives live with subluxations.

One day going to the chiropractor for a subluxation checkup will be done by most everyone on a regular basis. We need to start more conversations with, “Hey, did you see your chiropractor this week?”

Have you?

Vitamin D Fights Cancer

Vitamin D Fights Cancer  woman sitting in a field of flowers in the sunshine

The most powerful cancer fighter ever discovered is naturally-occurring vitamin D. One study found that low vitamin D significantly increases overall cancer risk.  While another study showed that the vitamin D you make from sunshine lowers your chances of dying from 15 kinds of cancer.

Another study found that vitamin D can lower the chance you’ll get cancer by 77% and production in the skin decreases the likelihood you’ll get the following cancers:

  • stomach
  • colorectal
  • liver
  • gallbladder
  • pancreas
  • lung
  • breast
  • prostate
  • bladder
  • kidney cancers

Vitamin D also enhances mood; boosts your immune system; prevents bone and muscle weakness; fights heart disease; prevents diabetes; fights arthritis, pain and inflammation; prevents Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis.

The easiest, safest and cheapest way (it’s free) to increase the amount of vitamin D your body produces is through regular exposure to sunlight, which is not easy, especially during the winter months. Many nutritionists therefore recommend 5,000 IU every day with the D3 form especially important.

Foods that Contain Vitamin Dbeautiful breakfast of eggs and toas laid out for a picnic in a sunny field

Nutritional sources of Vitamin D include:

  • fatty fish (like herring, sardines, tuna, mackerel, and salmon)
  • beef liver
  • cheese
  • egg yolks

2 Easy Tricks for Better Sleep

Wear socks to bed …socks pinned to a clothes line

Swiss researchers found that people fell asleep quickest when their hands and feet were warmest. This happens because warm feet and hands cause blood vessels to enlarge, allowing more heat to escape your body, which in turn lowers your core temperature faster and causes you to fall asleep. Putting on socks may help you fall asleep in half the time it normally takes.

… But not a braselection of bras in a store

Bras, with their straps and hooks and especially underwires, dig into the skin and interfere with the flow of lymph through your lymphatic system. The result can be health problems that, apart from irritations, welts, indentations and cysts, include an increased risk of breast cancer. One 1991 Harvard study found that wearing a bra 24/7 increased the incidence of breast cancer by 100%.


Neck and Lower Back Pain

Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.

– Maria Robinson

Did you know that neck and lower back pain often accompany one another? drawing of spinal column and nerves

Nearly every chiropractic patient who complains of chronic or even occasional lower back pain reports that they have occasionally woken up with neck pain or neck stiffness. Coincidence?

It’s No Coincidence

Although your spine is made up of many different spinal bones (vertebrae) going from your lower back (lumbar area) up to the top of your neck (cervical area), your spine is one entire unit. Therefore, each part can affect the other parts.

By the way, that includes more than your spine. Your entire body may be affected: your arms, hands, legs, feet, head, internal organs, brain, muscles, tissues, glands and more may be affected.

Now you know why chiropractic care is so powerful. When your subluxations are located and corrected, your entire body benefits in many ways.

Chiropractic helps your nerves communicate better so all your parts work together more efficiently.

Mushroom Lentil Barley Stew (slow cooker)

Another great slow cooker stew recipe. Great for Michigan winters!soup bowls and dried lentils


  • 2 quarts vegetable broth
  • 2 cups sliced fresh button mushrooms
  • 1 ounce dried shiitake mushrooms, torn into pieces
  • 3/4 cup uncooked pearl barley
  • 3/4 cup dry lentils
  • 1/4 cup dried onion flakes
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons dried summer savory
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • salt to taste
  1. In a slow cooker, mix the broth, button mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, barley, lentils, onion flakes, garlic, savory, bay leaves, basil, pepper, and salt.
  2. Cover, and cook 4 to 6 hours on High or 10 to 12 hours on Low. Remove bay leaves before serving.