New Zealand Inspired Burger

Take the bun off the right burger and you can have quite a healthy, Paleo-appropriate meal. I was inspired to create this recipe after a veggie burger in New Zealand shifted my limited American perspective of what burgers could be. It forewent a defrosted and processed veggie patty, in favor of wholesome vegetables and sunny side up egg.

Grass fed beef allows for a higher nutrient content, with lovely marbling of the meat. I use grass fed 80/20 ground chuck, but ground round or sirloin would be quite fine. 80/20 is the tastiest burger meat but is also the most fatty. Ground sirloin is firmer and so if using, should beware of kneading too much. Ground round has a slightly gooey, softer texture. It is also feasible to mix chuck and round. Experiment to find your personal preference.

Pasture raised eggs (when truly pasture raised— not the bare minimum of what commercial farming requires for that label) are bright orange and look stunning when served on top of the patty.

I prefer to serve this burger paleo friendly, with no bun. It is beautiful served with no bun, or open faced on quality ciabatta or focaccia. The green of the avocado and sprouts contrasts beautifully with the deep red of the beets. The orange of pasture raised eggs complements.

Hummus is a great substitute for mayonnaise to keep this recipe Paleo friendly and dairy free. Along with the yolk from the egg, it adds texture and moisture. It also drips with the burger’s juices to give this recipe an appropriately decadent appeal.

Diet and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) notes:

To keep this recipe vegetarian friendly, serve with the bun but without the beef patty. For Paleo, serve without bun (or replace with lettuce wrap) but with the patty. I do not recommend this recipe as both vegetarian AND Paleo. It simply does not taste good.

This recipe is meat heavy in its Paleo form, so use with moderation. It is also grilled, which is considered high heat in TCM theory, another reason for moderation. The raw and cold vegetables in this recipe present yet another reason for moderation for patients with phlegm and deficient digestion issues. When in doubt, please consult your acupuncturist. The garam masala in the recipe counteracts some of the cold, but not enough.

Overall, this is a tasty recipe with a great share of nutrients, but too indulgent to be a staple.

Recipe

Burger Patty

1 lb of beef creates about 3-4 patties

1/4th a large onion, give or take, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar

A few pinches of Garam Masala

Salt and ground black pepper to taste

2 eggs

Optional: Substitute Worcestershire sauce (about 10 shakes) for the balsamic vinegar and garam masala. Be aware this breaks the Paleo diet.

Also optional: Minced Kale and/or beets

Put everything in a mixing bowl, knead with hands until things are mixed up uniformly, and meat is firm enough to form patties that do not crumble. Cook 2 minutes to well done each side depending on how rare/well-done you want it.

Toppings

Humus on both upper/lower buns, or dolloped over patty if not serving with bun.

Raw red onion, thinly sliced and separated

1/2 Avocado per burger, finely sliced and fanned

Sprouts (clover/alfalfa/etc), well washed and rinsed

Marinated beets

Arugula drizzled with olive oil and/or balsamic vinegar to taste, and lemon juice (a personal favorite)

Sunny-side up egg. Looks cool when served on top of patty with other toppings on opposite bun or nearby

Optional: Sauerkraut for an extra boost of probiotics

Burger Bun

Paleo: Serve with no bun or replace bun with lettuce wrap.

Vegetarian: Forgo the burger patty, use high quality ciabatta, focaccia, or bread/bun of your choice. Option to lightly toast, spread with hummus, and/or drizzle with olive oil.

Dr. Diana Yang, L.Ac., DACM is the founder of Limbic Acupuncture in San Francisco. Limbic Acupuncture is the first clinic in the United States to specialize in Chinese Medicine for Internet Gaming Disorder. A former intern at Restart Life, she is a licensed acupuncturist and life coach. She is a firm believer that gamers are some of the most brilliant people in the world, and that the way to win IRL is to “Think Outside the Skinner Box.” Follow her on Facebook.

Hearty Veggie Stew

Traditional Chinese Medicine is far more than just acupuncture treatments. It comprises a full lifestyle and philosophy for the sake of optimal health. When working with health goals, patients inevitably ask what foods to eat to treat their condition. I am starting a recipe bank to give ideas and make it easier to stay on track for optimal health. Made for patients, but open to anyone looking to get healthy!

Hearty Veggie Stew

Diet and Traditional Chinese Medicine notes: This recipe is Paleo friendly, great for tonifying and warming the Stomach and Spleen, and addressing excessive phlegm issues. This is a filling recipe that is suitable for patients working with me on weight loss goals.

This is a wonderful, easy to prepare soup that can last a few days refrigerated to fit busy work schedules. The flavors are enhanced over time. The longer the simmer, the better the taste. This hearty stew also refrigerates well, and starts tasting richer over the next few days. It also becomes more salty to the taste as it sits in the refrigerator, so if it is slightly bland the first day do not add much more salt to the pot. The veggies can easily be altered to suit one’s mood, making this a great staple for a clean diet.

Vary the vegetables in this soup. For the 3 cups of stock in the recipe, use 2 cups diced vegetables. I find the flavor of beef broth to best complement this type of stew, but one can easily use veggie or chicken broth as well. Homemade bone broth would be a great option also.

White pepper adds a farmhouse taste to complement the already warm spices in the recipe in place of black pepper.

RECIPE:

Bring to a boil over high heat, in a soup pot:

3 cups beef, chicken, or vegetable stock

Any combo of the following diced veggies (or anything you prefer. NO avocados):

Onions
Carrots
Celery
Chopped potatoes (Make sure they are small enough to cook through before eating. Additionally, potatoes contribute well to texture. I recommend red potatoes, cleaned, with skin on for both aesthetic appeal and nutrient value)
Green beans
Corn kernels (Frozen is convenient, and can sometimes com with carrots and peas too)
Peas
Lima beans
Cabbage
Broccoli
….or anything else


Garlic to taste (not optional), or dried ground garlic (not garlic salt)

Celery (not optional)

1.5 teaspoons tomato paste (or whole can, if desiring thicker base with more tomato flavor)

1/2 cup stewed tomatoes

A few shakes of Garam Masala (or a combination of the following: Cumin, Coriander, Cinnamon, Cloves, Cardamon)

Pinch of Basil

Pinch of Thyme

Pinch of Marjoram

Bay leaf


Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in:

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Salt and Ground White Pepper to taste

Serve garnished with parsley and avocado. Or just eat it. Enjoy!

Dr. Diana Yang, L.Ac., DACM is the founder of Limbic Acupuncture in San Francisco. Limbic Acupuncture is the first clinic in the United States to specialize in Chinese Medicine for Internet Gaming Disorder. A former intern at Restart Life, she is a licensed acupuncturist and life coach. She is a firm believer that gamers are some of the most brilliant people in the world, and that the way to win IRL is to “Think Outside the Skinner Box.” Follow her on Facebook.

The Power of Relapse in Recovery

Disclaimer: Every situation is unique. These are just possible guidelines for your consideration. They may or may not apply to you. No part of this article is medical advice. Please use your discretion and common sense. When in doubt, seek help from your own medical professional--not from this blog post.

Recently a developer interviewed me. He was working on a cell phone app to help its users develop healthy relationships with the internet. He asked me for things I keep in mind when coaching for digital detox. One of the most important things we talked about was the power of relapse in recovery, and how to harness it.

Relapse can be frightening, and certainly is not something to strive for purposefully. But it is a reality of recovery. And with the right approach it can be explored and harnessed for success.

Here are key points to keep in mind:

Relapse is NOT Failure

The first thing to address is that relapse is not failure. There is no need to label it as failure, nor associate with it it feelings of guilt, self-worth, or lack of progress. Relapse is an inevitable aspect of recovery that may happen multiple times.

Recognize that for every success story, there are multiple relapse stories. Someone clean for 100 days may relapse the next day. Another person in successful recovery for years may have had to relapse continually to get to that point.

Relapse may feel like a lonely place. Recognize that being clean is often broadcast and advertised; relapse is not. Both are necessary aspects of recovery. Labeling one as positive and the other as negative can be damaging to recovery.

One of the most difficult issues with detoxing from gaming or the internet is the stigmatization from society, parents, friends, and even from the person in recovery. Parents especially can have extreme difficulty with their children’s equally extreme internet habits, and can react poorly when relapse happens. While completely understandable, it is not helpful.

Negative labeling and judgement kills motivation and hope, and ultimately impedes successful recovery.

Instead, consider that:

Relapse is a Key Part of Recovery

It is important to see relapse as an important opportunity for self exploration and growth. Relapse grants, through first hand experience, the chance to figure out what each person’s individual triggers are. It is entirely one thing to discuss these things in theory with a professional, and another to have the experience directly.

Relapse allows discovery of what is unfulfilling in one’s life. It helps explore what empty spaces gaming or internet habits are fulfilling. This vital information is required for success. A person in recovery learns more each time relapse happens.

Additionally, coming out of relapse can become easier each time. One marker of good progress in recovery is how well one responds to relapse. Each individual’s process is unique and requires experience to discover.

Therefore, relapse is a chance to progress and ultimately be successful in each person’s individual journey of recovery. It is important to fully explore relapse without judgement or labeling. And anyone involved with the person in recovery can hopefully continue support through this crucial time in recovery as well.

Further Reading: An article with guidelines for parents can be found here, and an article for gamers can be found here.

Dr. Diana Yang, L.Ac., DACM is the founder of Limbic Acupuncture in San Francisco. Limbic Acupuncture is the first clinic in the United States to specialize in Chinese Medicine for Internet Gaming Disorder. A former intern at Restart Life, she is a licensed acupuncturist and life coach. She is a firm believer that gamers are some of the most brilliant people in the world, and that the way to win IRL is to “Think Outside the Skinner Box.” Follow her on Facebook.

Q & A with Diana Yang, The American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine @ The California Institute of Integral Studies

Recently my graduate alma mater, the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, did a Q and A with me about internet and gaming addiction in my private practice. Special thanks to Rachele Lam. See the full interview here.

Pro Bono Acupuncture for Internet Addiction

Limbic Acupuncture is currently looking for a few volunteers for our pro bono acupuncture program. These will be used for educational case studies as well as publications. All information will be kept confidential. Accepting all ages. Contact us at 415.236.2427 if interested! Thank you.

Can Acupuncture Help with Internet and Video Game Addiction?

 By Diana Yang. Originally published on GameQuitters.com. Read the complete article here

 

"How Does Acupuncture Help Video Game Recovery?

A study done in 2009 at Chengdu University on the improvement rate of Internet Addiction Disorder showed that acupuncture paired with psychotherapy had 91.3% improvement, versus 59.1% from psychotherapy alone 8 .

Quitting video games is already hard enough. With acupuncture, the chance of improvement goes from nearly half to nearly 100%."

Read the complete article here