Spring Foods

Eating in Season

Spring is the season of growth and is flourishing with fresh fruits and veggies.  This is a great way to cleanse our systems after months of heavy winter foods and stews.  What better way to align yourself with nature and its rhythms while keeping your body balanced and healthy than eating foods harvested in-season?  Now is the time to enjoy tender, leafy greens, and fresh fruits bursting with color, and flavor!  This means produce that is very dense in nutritional value when locally grown, and also easiest on the wallet because they are so plentiful! Most of these springtime foods help to strengthen the liver, detox the body, decrease risk of stroke and heart problems, protect against cancers, lower blood pressure, and give you energy for the longer, sunnier (and fun-ner!) days ahead!
To find out what’s in season in your region/state, check out these sites:  Sustainable Table & Epicurious
Here is a list of some of our favorites for spring:
Spring Greens
Collard, mustard, dandelion greens, spinach, watercress, arugula, Belgian endive, raddichio.  These greens are high in chlorophyll and also pack in vitamin A, folic acid, complex B vitamins, and vitamin C, along with minerals and antioxidants.  Mix and match these greens into an interesting spring salad, add pine nuts or pumpkin seeds, radishes, and top with and herb-mustard vinaigrette.
Rich in fiber, magnesium, good source of vitamin B complex and vitamin C.  Look for artichokes with tight, compact leaves, ripe green color and fresh-cut stem ends.  Try steaming in water with some lemon juice.  Serve with a yogurt-based dip with chives, garlic, herbs and splash of lemon juice.
Contains an incredible 114% of recommended daily allowance of vitamin K per 1 cup serving!  This is especially important for bone health.  Also contains nearly 66% RDA of folate, which helps maintain a healthy cardiovascular system.  Choose odorless, bright green stalks with dry, tight, clsed and compact tips.
The purple/crimson color comes from powerful anti-cancer fighting phytochemical called betacyanin.  Great for strengthening the liver and detoxifying the body.  Try roasting with garlic, then slice and pair for feta cheese for salads
Fiddlehead Fern
Excellent source of vitamin A, which is important for eye health, and a good source of vitamin C.  Also contains fiber and rich in iron, potassium, niacin, riboflavin, magnesium and phosphorus.  Look for a tight coil and only an inch or two of stem beyond the coil.  Choose small, firm, brightly colored ones with no signs of softness or yellowing.  Keep well cooled and tightly wrapped to prevent drying out for up to three days.  They are versatile and easy to use, have a mild taste similar to asparagus with an added nutty bite.  They can be used similarly as asparagus or broccoli florets, such as a simple stir-fry.
Rich in iron, antioxidants, vitamin A, C and E.  Aids in eye health, digestion, has anti-cancer properties, and is beneficial for those with anemia.  Squeeze gently in the palm of the hand to determine ripeness. Store at room temperature for 1-2 days.  Refridgerate peeled, cut mangoes
Pea Shoots
Packed with vitamins A, C, and folic acid.  Sold in big tumbled masses, look for bright vines with fresh, vibrant leaves.  Avoid vines with brown or mushy ends or damaged leaves.  Taste best when simply sautéed with olive oil, garlic and shallots.
High in vitamin C and manganese, a mineral important for strong bones and connective tissue.  Contain bromelain, a proteolytic enzyme that breaks down protein, which can help in digestion.  Bromelain is also considered an effective anti-inflammatory and can help relieve painful joints common to osteoarthritis.  It also has the ability to reduce mucus in the throat, so if have a cold with a productive cough, add some pineapple to your diet.
The leafy green portion is edible and contain high amounts of vitamin C, plus calcium.  Chop up the roots and leaves to add nutrition, flavor and crunch to salads.  Or steam the roots with carrots, and marinate them in an orange-flavored dressing.
Good source of fiber, moderate source of vitamin C and calcium.  Studies have linked the fiber from rhubarb to reduced cholesterol levels.  Select bright crisp stalks that aren’t curled or limp.  Deep red stalks are sweeter and richer.  The leaves should never be eaten.Wonderful in puddings, but its sharpness also works well with meat and oily fish dishes.


It’s that time of year where we are finding any reason to be outside in the fresh spring air.  As our lunch breaks get longer, our meals become al fresco, and we find ourselves taking the “long” way home, here’s another great (and environmentally friendly) reason to be outside. Farmers Markets!!  There are so many benefits to shopping at a farmers’ market in your neighborhood.  There you have access to fresh & healthy food direct from the farmers and growers themselves. Shopping at a farmers’ market is good for you, your local farmers, and your community.
When shopping at farmers’ markets, you can safely assume that the food you are purchasing has not traveled a long distance (hence, local).  You are doing your part in reducing the energy consumption needed to sustain large food systems. It’s not a secret that the food at the farmers’ markets are fresher and the tastes bolder, but did you know that they are in fact more nutritious as well?  It’s true. The shorter the time between harvested food and consumption means more nutrients are preserved in our food. Another great reason to visit a farmers market near you!
Whether you live in the city or the suburbs, finding your local farmers market is as easy as an online search at Local Harvest or contacting your local chamber of commerce.

Since Spring has officially arrived, here’s a recipe for Braised Spring Vegetables, where you can buy the yummy ingredients locally!
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 bunch radishes, trimmed and quartered lengthwise
1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 red onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
3 thyme sprigs (optional)
Pinch sugar
Kosher salt
2 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
1 bunch scallions, trimmed and halved lengthwise
1/4 cup white wine
1 bunch asparagus (about 1 pound), trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths
1 bunch Swiss chard (preferably red), leaves torn into bite-size pieces, stems cut into 1-inch lengths
1/2 pound sugar snap peas, trimmed
1 cup vegetable or chicken broth
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup shelled fresh or frozen peas (about 1 pound in the shell)
1 small head Boston lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
6 tablespoons grated Parmesan
1.Heat butter in a large skillet over high heat until sizzling. Add radishes and cook on one side until dappled golden brown, about 5 minutes. Turn radishes and sear for 3 minutes more. Transfer to a bowl.
2. Add oil to pan and stir in onion, thyme if using, sugar and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is golden brown, about 10 minutes (reduce heat if it starts to burn). Add garlic and cook 30 seconds. Add scallions, cut-side down; cook until light golden, about 2 minutes. Pour in wine and boil, stirring, for 2 minutes.
3. Toss in asparagus, chard stems, sugar snap peas and broth. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for 2 minutes. Toss in chard leaves, peas and lettuce; season with more salt and pepper. Cover and cook until wilted, about 3 minutes. Stir in cheese. Serve with dumplings, polenta or noodles.
*recipe and photo courtesy of NYTIMES

Spring Forward towards Health!





No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow.  ~Proverb
Can you believe spring is almost here? After an especially brutal winter, we can finally put away our snow boots and wake up with the sun! Spring is one of the most joyous seasons. As we welcome longer and brighter days and the fresh spring air, we must prepare our minds and bodies for this new cycle. Be a step ahead and don’t let allergies or insomnia ruin your spring fling. So, before you shed off all your winter layers,  Remedy NYC has some tips on how to tackle some of springs trickiest symptoms.
Contact us for more information or to set up your appointment!

More sunshine, longer days, warmer weather, flowers beginning to bloom, and more chances to play outdoors!  All signs that spring is finally on its way in.  While this may be welcome after a long winter, they also signal the onset of allergy season for many people, affecting at least one-third of all Americans with sneezing, sinus congestion, runny nose, red, itchy eyes, skin reactions such as hives, and even severe reactions triggering asthma attacks.
People think they only have two options: hide out and stay indoors, missing out on all picnics and outdoor activities, or take prescription/OTC meds daily to temporarily control the symptoms only to then deal with a host of unwanted side effects such as drowsiness, low libido, depression, altered smell and taste, and high blood pressure.  But another option exists: a natural remedy that has been shown to provide relief for those suffering from seasonal allergies!
In a 2004 study published in Allergy magazine, weekly acupuncture treatments and Chinese herbal medicine can effectively treat the acute symptoms of seasonal allergies, while also treating the underlying cause to help prevent future allergies from occuring.  The aim is to regulate the immune response to allergens, and unblock the body’s flow of energy to restore balance to the body and strengthen the immune system to create substantial long-term health benefits.   Treatments over the course of a few weeks will help to strengthen your body’s defenses against allergens and help to mediate your body’s response to the irritants.  Now is the perfect time to start the acupuncture treatments!  Contact us to schedule an appointment.

Tips to help manage allergies
  • Eat local, seasonal foods. It keeps us in tune and in balance with the natural cycles around us.
  • Eat local honey, and – if you do not have a reaction to it, test by having only a tiny granule at first – local bee pollen. The local honey and bee pollen is made from pollen of local flowers, in a form that is utilized by the body. Thus, when the body is later exposed in the environment, the immune system does not see it as an invader and react against it.
  • Drink green tea and chamomile tea, both contains natural antihistamines
  • Avoid mucous producing foods like dairy and cold/raw foods which can exacerbate symptoms
  • Drink water to stay hydrated and keep the sinuses hydrated and for proper lymphatic drainage
  • Rinse your nasal passages to clear the allergen irritants out (see instructions below)

Nurture your nose
Between winter’s cold air and the allergies of spring and summer your sinuses can take a beating. Not to worry…there is a tried and true Ayurvedic ”solution” to this problem. The Neti Pot is a simple way to clean your sinuses and get rid of infection-causing bacteria. Neti Pot use helps relieve colds, allergies and sinus infections.
Mix a 1/4 teaspoon of finely ground non-iodized salt in 8oz of water.  Use the purest salt available because impurities in the salt can be irritating. Lean forward and turn your head to one side over the sink,keeping the forehead at the same height as the chin, or slightly higher. Gently insert the spout in the upper nostril so it forms a comfortable seal. Raise the Neti Pot gradually so the saline solution flows in through your upper nostril and out of the lower nostril.  Breathe through your mouth. When the Neti Pot is empty, face the sink and exhale vigorously without pinching the nostrils. Refill the Neti Pot and repeat on the other side. Again, exhale vigorously to clear the nasal passages.

We’ve all experienced sleepless nights spent tossing and turning in bed. Studies indicate that insomnia affects one in three adults every year in the US which means that over 90% of people experience some degree of insomnia in their lifetimes.  An occasional sleepless night is normal, but did you know that chronic insomnia has serious effects on our physical and mental health?
According to the National Sleep Foundation, poor sleep means more than a slow start the next morning.  Insomnia can impact your quality of life and can lead to mood disturbances such as anxiety, lack of motivation, decreased attention span, difficulty concentrating, and depression.  It can also contribute to physical problems ranging from headaches and weight gain to heart ailments.  Quality sleep helps you thrive by regulating hormone levels, boosting immune system function, and increasing blood supply to organs and muscles.  Without proper sleep, your body and brain will be ineffective at performing its daytime activities.
What causes insomnia?
Insomnia is when a person has trouble falling and/or staying asleep and does not feel refreshed after a night’s sleep.  It includes tossing and turning, waking up throughout the night (whether from dreams or habit), and being unable to fall asleep after waking up in the middle of the night.  Various factors contribute to insomnia; these include: stress, irregular work schedules, medications, chronic pain, drug or alcohol abuse, major life changes, hyperthyroidism, depression and anxiety.
How can Chinese Medicine help?
The World Health Organization lists insomnia as a condition that can be treated safely and effectively with Acupuncture.   Acupuncture clears obstructions in the muscle and nerve channels, and assists with the flow of oxygen-enriched energy throughout the body which results in calming and relaxing the sympathetic nervous system.  Benefits of acupuncture include deeper breathing, improved digestive capability, and a general sense of well-being.  Acupuncture works to bring your body and mind back into its natural rhythm thereby securing more restful sleeping patterns.

Tips for a better night’s sleep
Regardless of what’s causing your insomnia, it is important to establish and maintain healthy sleep habits.
At night:
  • Establish a regular bedtime routine and regular sleep-wake schedule
  • Avoid large and heavy meals at least 3 hours before bedtime
  • Create a comfortable sleep environment that is dark, quiet and cool.
  • Make it a rule not to work with a laptop, use your cell phone, or watch tv while in bed
During the day:
  • Exercise regularly, but finish your workout at least 3 hours before bedtime
  • Incorporate physical and mental relaxation techniques such as yoga and tai ji
  • Consume less or no caffeine, particularly late in the day
  • Avoid alcohol. Even if it helps you fall asleep quicker, it actually worsens insomnia by causing shallow, unrefreshing sleep
  • Avoid nicotine altogether as it has a detrimental effect on the lungs, heart, sinuses, and circulation.  And it also interferes with sleep as it is a stimulant that prevents the brain from resting

RECIPE: Lullaby Longan Tea
(Ancient Wisdom, Modern Kitchen by Wang and Sheir)
This sweet and nutty-flavored beverage is gentle and soothing, and especially good for anyone who has trouble falling asleep.  Longan fruit, which is reputed to add luster to the skin, can also be brewed as a single-ingredient tea.  This recipe serves 1 to 2.
Combine the 8 pieces of dried longan fruit (long yan rou), 10 lotus seeds (lian zi), and 2 cups water in a small pot and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat and simmer, covered with the lid slightly ajar, for about 10 minuttes.  Strain out the herbs and serve.
Ingredients can be bought here in NY Chinatown.