Monthly Archives: October 2008

Flu Vaccine??

‘Tis the time of year that my patients start asking me about the flu vaccine. So what do I think….

I can see, from the public health perspective, why it is so readily available. But most of us have good, solid immune systems that will fight off the flu, even though we may not appreciate the symptoms.

The vaccine developed each year is based on an educated guess. Remember last year was it? When there was a bad flu going around and then a shortage of the vaccine? The funny thing was that people were scrambling to get the last dregs of a vaccine that didn’t actually work for the flu that we got. So even though you get the vaccine, there is no guarantee that the flu that goes around will be the one that the scientists chose to vaccinate against.

Most of the available vaccines are preserved with thimerosol which contains mercury. So would you rather get the flu or detoxify your body from heavy metals?

I recommend that people stock up on homeopathic Occillococcinum and start taking it as soon as they notice symptoms. And if you are get very ill or dehydrated, seek medical care.

Healthcare Future is Bright

I spent this past weekend in San Diego at board meetings for the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (  Meetings, by their very nature, drive me a little crazy. I just get antsy. Even the most riveting of meetings. I should remember to take my knitting.

I have to say, since was appointed and subsequently re-elected, I have been blessed to spend several weekends each year with some of the most brilliant, large-minded, compassionate people in the naturopathic profession.

We have moved to the governance model of leadership, therefore we struggle at times with our transition. But overall it will serve the AANP and the profession much better. Instead of doing staff work, we are now engaged in thinking and visioning and looking to the future. I am so excited to say that I feel the future is very bright for naturopathic medicine.

As people struggle in our current healthcare system, naturopathic medicine offers what is missing – compassionate and effective care, along with prevention at a price we can afford.

I have also taken on the job of the convention chair, so be listening for our upcoming call for abstracts. The 2009 conference will be held in Tacoma, WA and the theme is “Physician, Heal thy Planet.” Naturopathic medicine is a perfect blend with environmentalism. We are very excited about how this will shape up.

Local organic sustainable produce

We (Geoffrey and I) went to the most wonderful place this weekend. It is called Green String Farm ( and it is quite the find. If you live in the area of Petaluma, I strongly encourage you to visit.

Beautiful fall produce at Green String

Beautiful fall produce at Green String

The people are so friendly and helpful. Everything is pretty much $2/pound. You can just load up the scale with gorgeous heirloom tomatoes, peppers, lettuces, apples or whatever strikes your fancy.

I got a container of figs that are out of this world.

We also bought all of the roma  tomatoes they had and spent the rest of the weekend playing in my passion for the perfect marinara.

Not only is this place a delight for you, but it is also good for the planet. They go beyond the usual organic farming practices to make it the most sustainable and healthful farm they possibly can.

Their commitment to growing crops in a way that does not harm the planet is certainly laudable. Not to mention inspiring to us little backyard gardeners.

We found a place on the way home that farms dahlias. Not sure that they have the same ideals in terms of sustainability, but they sure are pretty.

The bounty on my counter!

The bounty on my counter!

I got home and couldn’t resist taking a photo of some of my winnings. I think I was a farmer or photographer in a past life. It just made me so happy to see all of this out on my counter.

Shopping like this is also inspiring to cook and eat healthfully. I use my mother’s “antique” pressure cooker to cook the beets. They are good with tahini sauce or just plain or in a salad.

The carrots went in the bottom of the pan that my hubby roasted a chicken in.

The tomatoes and garlic are happily canned in 6 pints of marinara. That is where the peppers ended up too, after we roasted them.

I think the artichokes are for dinner tomorrow. Perhaps as an accompaniment to fish.

And that little purple cabbage – isn’t it cute?? I will chop that for my veggie wrap sandwiches or for a veggie stir fry when G is at work.

Sunflowers at the market at Green String Farm.

Sunflowers at the market at Green String Farm.

Gratitude paperclip

Have you heard the segment or read in The Secret where the guy was carrying around this special stone and ended up selling them to people as gratitude rocks? I thought it was a great idea – there is nothing that makes us feel better about our circumstances in life than being truly grateful for what we have.

But I don’t always wear something that easily holds a rock. And then what if you lose it? I decided to carry around a gratitude paperclip. It’s one of those big ones – that make you thankful just that someone thought to make a paperclip a little more substantial. Then if I misplace it I can easily grab a new one.

As I sit here navigating the wonders of corporate America’s “customer service” I really need to convince myself to be grateful. It’s either that or start throwing things. And that has never gotten us anywhere.

So – I again take a deep breath, hold onto my paperclip, and make my list.

On a happier note – I did get my October Newsletter out yesterday. If you aren’t on the list – go to my website and sign up ( Most of the articles on there on the website.