Chick Pea Roast with Sherry Sauce – (Vegetarian)

I got this recipe from a book called Classic Vegetarian Recipes By Parragon.  It’s somewhat of an intermediate level recipe, but if you’re willing to put in a little extra effort, the reward is worth it.

  • 16-oz can of chick peas (garbanzo beans) drained
  • 1 Tsp marmite (yeast extract)  [I used yeast here instead]
  • 1 and 1/4 Cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 and 1/4 Cup white breadcrumbs  [I used 3 slices of bread instead]
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 and 1/4 Cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 Ounces canned corn, drained [I used frozen corn instead]
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp Dry sherry
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable stock
  • 1 Tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 8 Ounce puff pastry
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 leek, thinly sliced
  • 4 Tbsp Dry sherry
  • 2/3 Cup vegetable stock


Chick Pea Roast – Before

Put the chick peas, marmite (yeast), nuts, and breadcrumbs in a food processor.  Blend for 30 seconds.  Put the onion and mushrooms in a large skillet and saute for 3-4 minutes.

Stir the chick pea mixture into the skillet.  Add corn and garlic.  Stir in the dry sherry, vegetable stock, cilantro, salt and pepper.  Bind the mixture together.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Preheat oven to 400° F.

Roll the pastry out to form a 14″ x 12″ rectangle.  I think they usually come in 12″ x 12″ squares, so it’s not that difficult to stretch out a little bit more.

Shape the chick pea mixture into a loaf shape.  Place the mixture in the center of the pastry puff dough and wrap the pastry around it, sealing the edges.  Place the seam side down on a dampened cookie sheet and score the top in a criss-cross pattern.  Mix the egg and 2 Tbsp milk and brush over the pastry to glaze.  Cook in oven for 30-35 minutes or until risen and golden.

Heat the oil for the sauce in a pan and saute the leek for 5 minutes, stirring.  Add the dry sherry and vegetable stock.  Simmer for 5 minutes and serve with the roast.

Chick Pea Roast – After

TCM Notes:

This dish is yin in nature and neutral in temperature.  The chick peas.

Chick peas are sweet and moderate in nature.  They regulate the Spleen and Stomach and promotes detoxification.  Chick peas are good for treating diarrhea.

Garlic is a powerful anti-bacterial, help digestion, and prevents diarrhea. Eating garlic on a regular basis lowers the risk of stomach and colon cancers according to research.

Onion supports the immune system.  It can also open the pores and release exterior attack from colds and flu.

Dry Sherry is an alcohol, warm in nature.  Sherry promotes digestion and increase blood flow.

Mushrooms typically support the immune system.  Mushrooms have different properties depending on what type you are using in the cuisine.

Vegetable Quiche – (Vegetarian)

  • 1 9″ pie crust

    Vegetable Quiche

  • 1 clove of garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 Cup onion (chopped)
  • 1/2 Cup grape tomatoes (chopped)
  • 1/2 Cup zucchini (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup watercress (chopped)
  • 4 baby red potatoes (diced)
  • 2 and 1/2 Tbsp butter
  • 1/4 Tsp curry powder
  • 1/4 Tsp Herbs de Provence
  • 1/2 Tsp salt
  • 1/8 Tsp pepper
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/4 Cup milk
  • 1/4 Cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 Cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 Cup baby spinach (chopped)


Heat oven to 450°.  Spread pie crust into bottom of glass pie dish.  Prick bottom of crust.  Cook pie crust for 5 minutes.  Remove crust from oven.  Lower oven temperature to 350°.  

Beat eggs, milk and 1/4 cup parmesan cheese in bowl.  Set aside.  Saute garlic, onion, potatoes, zucchini, salt, pepper, Herbs de Provence and curry powder in butter.  Add sauteed ingredients to pie crust.  Add tomatoes and watercress to pie crust.  Mix vegetables together and spread evenly into pie crust.  Pour egg mixture over vegetables in pie crust.  

Cook at 350° for 25 minutes.  Sprinkle topping over quiche and cook for another 10-15 minutes.  Check center of quiche for doneness with butter knife.  Knife should come out of center clean.

TCM Notes:

This dish is slightly cool in nature.  The eggs and potato are heavy and yin, while the fresh vegetables are more yang.

Turmeric, typically found in curry powder, is an herb also known as Jiang Huang.  It invigorates blood stagnation caused by cold from deficiency.  It also moves qi in the epigastrium and abdomen.  This herb is also good for gynecological disorders. (Materia Medica, Bensky)

Cuminalso found in curry, is known as Xi Hui Xiang in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).  Cumin harmonizes the Stomach, stops pain, and warms the abdomen.

Eggs are yin in nature.  They tonify the yin and blood of the body and lubricate dryness.  They are slightly cool in temperature.

Potatoes are neutral in temperature and are used in tonifying the Spleen.  Potatoes also harmonize the Stomach and lubricate the intestines.

Garlic is a powerful anti-bacterial, help digestion, and prevents diarrhea. Eating garlic on a regular basis lowers the risk of stomach and colon cancers according to research.

Mountain Biking (Cycling) and Numbness in Hands

English: From Image:Gray411subclavius.png, for...


Gray's anatomy
Pectoralis Major

Riding a bike is great exercise.  There’s no doubt about that.  But, there are some parts of riding that aren’t so great.  Some of the common complaints from cyclists are low back pain, neck pain, and knee pain.  These complaints typically come from poor riding position, muscular imbalance, and/or extended amounts of time spent on the bike.  Other, less common bike injuries that I see in my clinic have to do with anterior shoulder pain and numbness or tingling in the hands and fingers.  As you will soon find out, these two issues tend to go hand-in-hand.

The bike position of the rider is dependent on a couple of variables: body shape, bike geometry, and bike setup.  For the purposes of this discussion, let’s assume that the rider is on a standard mountain bike.  Mountain bikes, in general, place the rider in a forward leaning position.  The rider’s body is sitting on a saddle and the torso of the man or woman is bent over the top tube, where the hands of the rider stabilize the torso by gripping the handlebar.  In this position, the upper body is performing a number of positional adjustments to provide comfort:  (lumbar and thoracic) spine is flexed, (cervical) spine is extended, shoulders are horizontally adducted, and arms are outstretched.  To keep the torso stabilized, your muscles grip the handlebar and apply force directed along your arms towards your shoulder joint.

The muscles that contribute to stabilizing your upper body on the bike are manyfold.  They all work synergistically to keep you fairly upright on the bicycle.  Since this article is about shoulder pain and numbness and tingling in the hands, we will narrow down the discussion to two common culprits of these problems.  Both of these muscles, pectoralis major and subclavius, are heavily involved in cycling and can be stressed to injury.

When riding a bike, the pectoralis muscles are in a shortened, flexed state.  They are large muscles that expend tremendous energy during cycling.  For most fit riders, the pectoralis muscles are strong enough to handle the load placed on them.  But, the problem arises when the pecs don’t get stretched between rides and remain in a shortened state, even when off the bike.  (Stand in the mirror and look for the shoulders to be rolled or hunched forward.  This could be a sign of tight pectoralis muscles.)

The same situation goes for the subclavius.  On the bike, the subclavius muscle is also in a shortened state.  Albeit a small muscle, the subclavius is within close proximity to some major nerves and vessels that traverse underneath the clavicle and down the arm.  When this muscle shortens, the clavicle gets pulled downward onto the subclavian artery and vein.

Tight, shortened pectoralis major and subclavius can contribute to thoracic outlet syndrome and impede lymphatic drainage of the breast.  Breast tenderness and edema are symptoms of muscle tension as well as numbness, tingling, and/or weakness in biceps, radial portion of the forearm and fingers.  Treat the pecs and subclavius by stretching.  Opposing muscles, or antagonists, such as the rhomboids, latissimus dorsi, and trapezius should be strengthened through exercise.  This balancing of strength on the shoulder joint provides stability through the entire range of motion.

I highly recommend acupuncture and massage therapy as the first line of treatment for numbness and tingling in the arm and fingers from cycling.  These are natural, drug-free therapies that can assist you in your recovery process.  See your alternative health provider and learn more about what they can do for you.  Implementing a stretching routine to lengthen the pecs and subclavius muscles and offset extended periods of time on the bike.

An example treatment at my clinic would be:


Pain Trying to Undo Your Bra Strap? It Could Be This Pair of Muscles…

Infraspinatus - Muscles of the Upper Extremity...Infraspinatus Muscle

“It hurts when I try to undo my bra.” Or “Taking off my shirt is painful.” Or “Combing my hair hurts my shoulder.” Or “I have problems reaching behind my back.” These are common complaints for trigger points in the rotator cuff muscles, infraspinatus and subscapularis.

There are 4 rotator cuff (RC) muscles that assist in movement at the shoulder (supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, and subscapularis). These muscles hold the head of the humerus in the glenoid cavity, as well as provide mobility. An imbalance in rotator cuff muscles can be painful, as well as severely limit the joint range of motion (ROM). That imbalance can also lead to trigger points that are painful when touched.

Two muscles that tend to get stress and overwork injuries are the infraspinatus and subscapularis. These are two of the four rotator cuff muscles in your shoulder. When there is difficulty raising the arm above the head or behind the back, doctors
typically diagnose frozen shoulder. Frequently enough, I hear other diagnoses such as bursitis, adhesive capsulitis, neuritis, etc. attached to the one for frozen shoulder. Muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatory meds are sometimes prescribed without regard
for more effective, natural methods of relief.

The function of the infraspinatus is to externally rotate the humerus. (It’s the kind of motion that allows you to bring your arm back to throw a ball.) The function of the subscapularis is to internally rotate the humerus. (This is the forward and downward motion of throwing a ball.)  As you may know, these muscles are antagonists to one another. Each opposes the function of the other. This concept is important, because the health of one muscle will usually affect the health of the other. (It’s a yin-yang theory of balance.)  Therefore, treatment of both the infraspinatus and subscapularis are imperative in a complete healing plan.

The infraspinatus is located on the shoulder blade itself. The muscle above the spine of the scapula is called the supraspinatus (‘above the spine’), while the muscle below the scapula is called the infraspinatus (‘below the spine’). If one is flexible enough, he or she may be able to reach over their shoulder with the opposite hand and palpate the infraspinatus muscle.  One of the key causes for tight infraspinatus muscle is holding the arms out in front for extended periods of time.

Acupuncture and massage are two extremely effective methods for treating the infraspinatus trigger points. Stretching after each therapeutic treatment is important to help relax musculature and improve circulation.  To treat the infraspinatus at home, while you are between your physical therapy, acupuncture, or massage treatments, invest in a tool to help you work out trigger points in the infraspinatus.  August Point Wellness carries the Sciaticare Ball, an effective trigger point relieving tool for many different musculoskeletal trigger points.  Instructions on how to use the Sciaticare Ball for infraspinatus can also be found on our website here.

The subscapularis is a slightly more difficult muscle to address.  Located under the scapula, this muscle is the largest and strongest of the rotator cuff muscles.  Along with acupuncture and massage therapy treatments, the sufferer should also learn to stretch the subscapularis muscle.  (Sometimes stretching alone is NOT enough to release the muscle spasm.)  The most effective method that I have found to stretch the subscapularis is the broomstick stretch.  If you do not have a broomstick handy, you can try the subscapularis doorway stretch.  (For now, Google these stretches for images and videos on particular stretches.  I hope to add images to this post soon!)

With the way most people use their shoulder, a strength imbalance causes the subscapularis to be strong, while the other three RC muscles are weak.  Therefore, after the trigger points have been worked out of the RC group, one should begin strength training on these muscles.  Exercises that isolate the individual RC muscles are a great start.  Pair it up with exercises that stabilize the scapula and regain strength and flexibility in your shoulder!

A sample treatment that I may use in my clinic would be:

  • Acupuncture – SI9-SI12, GB21, Rhomboid Motor Points (MP), UB10, Subscapularis MP, LI16
  • Massage Therapy – Entire Rotator Cuff Set, Pectoralis Minor, Serratus Anterior, Upper Trapezius
  • External Liniment/Rub –  Sciaticare Penetrating Muscle Rub applied over  muscles for faster healing and improved blood flow.  Patient would apply Sciaticare PMR daily and massage into area to promote circulation and healing.  Application of Sciaticare PMR before any rehabilitation exercises would be recommended as well.

This type of frozen shoulder pain usually requires 4-6 treatments to really improve ROM and show results.  Obviously, your results may differ.  You may need to modify your posture, work ergonomics, and lifestyle as well.