Many people say they are too busy to cook, but no one seems to be too busy to eat!

This is often remedied by a lot of eating out, take-out, and make-do meals. I’d like to encourage people cook and eat at home, so here are some of my tried-and-true tips for making cooked-from-scratch meals a daily reality, even after the most exhausting days:

Make sure your pantry and freezer are stocked with good-quality ingredients for quick and/or “emergency meals.” My pantry standbys include canned beans, quick-cooking grains (like couscous and bulgur), white and sweet potatoes, and pastas. Plus, prepared sauces like marinara, barbecue, Thai peanut, and salsa. In the freezer are whole wheat English muffins, veggie burgers, pita bread (for quick pizzas), corn and wheat tortillas. Basic frozen veggies include corn, peas, green beans, and spinach (all organic if possible!). With fresh produce on hand, there are a myriad of nearly-instant meals that can be created with these basics.

Plan three full meals for the week ahead, allowing for two nights of leftovers. And do so BEFORE you go grocery shopping to prevent running back and forth to the store all week for ingredients. There is nothing worse than walking into the kitchen after a long day without a clue as to what you want to make. I try to practice what I preach, but whenever there is a week that I’ve left unplanned, I really regret it! Just 15 or 20 minutes of meal planning per week saves lots of time and simplifies your life immeasurably.

On Sunday, try to prepare a couple of basics for the week to come. Cook some plain brown rice (or other grain), bake some potatoes, sweet potatoes, or squash. Bake a quick bread or muffins, or prepare a good pasta sauce. Knowing that you have even one item that’s already prepared when you enter the kitchen at 6:00 is a sweet feeling, and the rest of the meal then comes together quickly.

Once a week, make a big one-pot meal that can stretch to two nights—a hearty soup or stew, chili, a casserole, or something that can be prepared in a crockpot. Then, all you need is a simple salad and fresh whole grain bread to accompany the meal.

Keep it simple! You need not spend hours cooking or use dozens of ingredients to create tasty meals


(written by a class of 8-year-olds)

Grandparents are a lady and a man who have no little children of her own. They like other peoples’.

Grandparents don’t have to do anything except be there when we come to see them. They are so old they shouldn’t play hard or run. It is good if they drive us to the shops and give us money.

When they take us for walks, they slow down past things like pretty leaves and caterpillars.

They don’t say, ‘Hurry up.’

Usually grandmothers are fat but not too fat to tie your shoes.

They wear glasses and funny underwear.

They can take their teeth and gums out.

They have to answer questions like ‘why isn’t God married?’ and ‘How come dogs chase cats?’

When they read to us, they don’t skip. They don’t mind if we ask for the same story over again.

Everybody should try to have a grandmother, especially if you don’t have television because they are the only grown ups who like to spend time with us.

Asked where his grandma lived. “Oh,” he said, ”she lives at the airport and when we want her we just go get her. Then when we’re done having her visit, we take her back to the airport.”

It’s funny when they bend over, you hear gas leaks and they blame their dog.


Serves: 4

Sweet potato sauce for pasta? Try it and see! Serve with strips of colorful sauteed bell peppers and zucchini.

Sweet potato sauce:
1 tablespoon light olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 to 2 1/2 cups diced sweet potato (1 large)
1 cup low-fat milk, rice milk, or soymilk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound spinach or tri-color cheese tortellini or small cheese ravioli
Minced fresh parsley for garnish, optional

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan. Add the onion and garlic and sauté over medium-low heat until golden. Add the diced sweet potato and just enough water to cover. Bring to a simmer, then cover and simmer gently until the sweet potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.

Transfer the mixture from the saucepan, including the liquid, to a food processor. Add the remaining sauce ingredients and process until smoothly pureed. Transfer back to the saucepan and set aside, covered, off the heat.

Cook the tortellini in plenty of rapidly simmering water until al dente. Drain, then stir them into the sweet potato sauce. Heat gently and briefly, just until well heated through.

Serve, garnishing each serving with some parsley, if desired.

Chiropractic and Spinal Research

(from the archives)

Did you know there are thousands of papers describing the wonders of chiropractic and spinal care in health and disease? Remember: a person with any kind of health problem needs chiropractic. Being free from subluxations could make a big difference in any disease. Feel free to send these studies to anyone you know. By the way, is there any disease or condition you’d like to know about?

Bipolar disorder. A 52-year-old man diagnosed with bipolar disorder sought chiropractic care for lower back pain. The man had symptoms of depression, anxiety and jerky, uncontrolled movements on one side of his body. He was adjusted using Thompson Technique protocol and advised on the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids. After 4 visits, the jerky movements associated with his anxiety attacks had subsided and his depressed state had improved.

Headache, neck pain, arm pain. An analysis of forty-seven random controlled trials reviewed chiropractic care for headaches, neck pain, cervico-brachial pain and/or upper back pain. It took a mean of 17 visits to resolve headaches, neck pain and upper back pain.

High blood pressure. Atlas vertebra subluxations were found associated with decreased blood to the brainstem and increased blood pressure. Fifty patients with Stage 1 hypertension received either an upper cervical adjustment or a sham procedure. Patients received no drugs during the 8-week study. At week 8, there were significant reductions in systolic and diastolic BP for the group receiving adjustments. The authors wrote “restoration of Atlas alignment is associated with marked and sustained reductions in BP similar to the use of two-drug combination therapy.”

Words of wisdom

What I want in my life is compassion, a flow between myself and others based on mutual giving from the heart.
– Marshall B. Rosenberg

Your Incredible Neck

Your neck is made up of seven bones, referred to as cervical vertebrae, with discs between them.

There are a lot of structures in your neck. Your bones are strapped together with ligaments; tendons attach your bones to muscles and your neck is full of muscles that attach from your head and vertebrae to your ribs, shoulder blade (scapula), collar bone (clavicle), breastbone (sternum) and other structures in your chest. You’ve also got millions of nerves, blood and lymphatic vessels all over the place. In addition, there’s a food tube (esophagus), an air tube (trachea), a voice box (larynx) and so many more things it would take many pages to discuss them all. Your neck is a very busy place.

Your neck vertebrae are numbered from top down, C-1, C-2, C-3 all the way to C-7. Two neck vertebrae have special names: C-1 is also called the atlas (because it holds the globe of the skull) and C-2 is referred to as the axis (because it is involved in the turning of your head).

Chiropractors pay particular attention to the neck because inside your neck, inside your vertebrae, is a special canal: the spinal canal. Your spinal cord passes through your spinal canal. If the neck vertebrae are not properly aligned, the billions of nerves making up your spinal cord may be affected.

The result? A misalignment (subluxation) of a cervical (neck) vertebra can cause almost any health problem. Your resistance to disease, your immune system, your brain, your internal organs – all can be adversely affected by an unhealthy neck.

We spend so much time on computers and in cars that are two of the major sources of stress and injury. Speak to your chiropractor about simple techniques that you can use to reduce stress and tension in the neck and shoulders.

Do flu shots work? Ask a vaccine manufacturer.

Listen to this short but powerful interview.

Do you personally get the flu shot?
No, I mean…why are you asking me that?

Some of the ingredients in the flu shot:
Egg or chicken protein
Influenza viruses – (most (!) are inactivated)
Neomycin, polymyxin and gentamycin – antibiotics
Thimerosal [mercury] – a harmful (poisonous to the brain) preservative
Betapropiolactone – a disinfectant
Nonoxynol – used to kill or stop growth of STDs
Octoxinol 9 – a vaginal spermicide
Formaldehyde – embalming fluid used to kill viruses

Do you really want that concoction injected into your body?


6 servings

In Native American mythology, squash, corn, and beans are known as of the “three sisters.” These are the very crops, along with garden vegetables, that the harvest festival of Thanksgiving is meant to celebrate!

1 small sugar pumpkin or 1 large butternut or carnival squash (about 2 pounds)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 medium green or red bell pepper, cut into short, narrow strips
14- to 16-ounce can diced tomatoes, with liquid
2 cups cooked or canned pinto beans
2 cups corn kernels (from 2 large or 3 medium ears)
1 cup homemade or canned vegetable stock, or water
1 or 2 small fresh hot chiles, seeded and minced
1 teaspoon each: ground cumin, dried oregano
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 to 4 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Cut the pumpkin or squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds and fibers. Cover with aluminum foil and place the halves, cut side up, in a foil-lined shallow baking pan. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until easily pierced with a knife but still firm (if using squash, prepare the same way). When cool enough to handle, scoop out the pulp, and cut into large dice. Set aside until needed.

Heat the oil in a soup pot. Add the onion and sauté over medium-low heat until translucent. Add the garlic and continue to sauté until the onion is golden.

Add the pumpkin and all the remaining ingredients except the last 2 and bring to a simmer.

Simmer gently, covered, until all the vegetables are tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

If time allows, let the stew stand for 1 to 2 hours before serving, then heat through as needed. Just before serving, stir in the cilantro. The stew should be thick and very moist but not soupy; add additional stock or water if needed. Serve in shallow bowls.

The ant nebula

The ant nebula, a cloud of dust and gas whose technical name is Mz3, resembles an ant when observed using ground-based telescopes. The nebula lies within our galaxy between 3,000 and 6,000 light years from Earth.

Spinal Column December 2008

Lanjopoulos Family Chiropractic
309 E Saginaw Hwy, Grand Ledge. 627- 4547

Greetings all and all the best wishes of the Season to you and yours.

As 2008 draws to a close, we’d like to send a shout out to all who contributed to the “BESTEST” Stuff the Bus EVER. We raised over $4000.00 dollars and had a well stuffed bus and piggy bank!

This past year has really zoomed past and we are looking at a year of great change ahead….should be interesting.

Jessica is setting herself up to move into the next level of study now that she has (or will have in mid Dec) her associate’s degree.

Erica’s Ayden is all of seventeen months old and as cute as a button. Motherhood suits Erica.

Having Brenda in the building has been fun, the decorations are bonus.

Damaris will have her eighth quarter done…only 6 more to go!…..

Ray and I continue to enjoy our office space and see our second anniversary on the horizon!

I desired to know why one person was ailing and his associate, eating at the same table, working in the same shop…was not. Why? What difference was there in the two persons that caused one to have disease while his partner…escaped? Why?
– D.D. Palmer, Discoverer of Chiropractic,
The Chiropractor’s Adjuster, 1910


The Big Idea
Your Incredible Neck
Memory Loss
Chiropractic and spinal research
Do flu shots work?
The ant nebula
Too busy to cook?
“Three Sisters” Stew
Tortellini or Ravioli in Sweet Potato Sauce
Baked Sweet Potatoes and Apples
What is a grandparent?

Bye. See you next month. Don’t forget to stop by for a chiropractic checkup – it’ll make your life happier and healthier. Want hard copies of this newsletter? Stop by the office and we’ll give you some for your friends and relatives. If they have e-mail, have them write to us and we’ll add them to our subscriber list.