Articles Archives

Vata Pacifying Diet

Vata Pacifying diet   Oct 1 through Feb 1                       

Remember, never say never and variety is the spice of life.

*Okay in moderation    **okay


Generally most sweet fruits

Cooked apples, applesauce, apricots, avocado, bananas, berries, cherries, coconut, fresh dates, fresh figs, grapefruit, grapes, kiwi, lemons, limes, mangoes, melons, oranges, papaya, peaches, pineapple, plums, soaked prunes and raisins, rhubarb, strawberries, tamarind.

Fruits to avoid

Raw apples, cranberries, dry dates and figs, pears, persimmons, pomergranates, dry raisins and prunes, watermelon


In general vegetables should be cooked

Asparagus, beets, cooked cabbage* only, carrots, cauliflower*, cilantro, cucumber, daikon radish*, fennel (anise), garlic, green beans, green chilies, Jerusalem artichoke, leafy greens*, leeks, lettuce*, mustard greens*, okra, black olives, cooked onions, parsley*, parsnips, cooked peas, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, rutabaga, spaghetti squash*, cooked spinach, sprouts, summer squash, taro root, turnip greens*, watercress, zucchini


Vegetables to avoid

Artichoke, beet greens, bitter melon, broccoli, brussel sprouts, burdock root, raw cabbage, raw cauliflower, celery, fresh corn, Dandelion leaves, eggplant, horseradish, kale, kohlrabi, mushrooms, green olives, raw onions, raw peas, peppers, white potatoes, prickly pear, radish, tomatoes, turnips, wheat grass sprouts, winter squash.


Amaranth*, Durham flour, cooked oats, pancakes, quinoa, rice, seitan, sprouted wheat, wheat if your not allergic to it


Grains to avoid

Barley, buckwheat, cold dry puffed cereals, corn, couscous, crackers, granola, millet, museli, oat bran, dry oats, pasta, polenta, rice cakes, rye, sago, spelt, tapioca, wheat bran


Red Lentils, Mung beans, mung dal, soy cheese, soy milk, soy sauce, soy sausages, tofu*, tur dal, urad dal


Legumes to avoid

Aduki beans, black beans, black-eyed peas, chick peas, kidney beans, brown lentils, lima beans, miso, navy beans, dried peas, pinto beans, soy beans, soy powder, split peas, tempeh, white beans



Most dairy is good

Butter, buttermilk, hard cheese*, soft cheese, cottage cheese, cow’s milk, ghee, goat’s milk and cheese, ice cream*, sour cream*, yogurt diluted and spiced*

Dairy to avoid

Powdered cow’s milk, powdered goat milk, plain or frozen yogurt


Animal foods

Beef, buffalo, dark chicken, white chicken*, duck, eggs, fish, salmon, sardines, shrimp, dark turkey

Animal food to avoid

Lamb, pork, rabbit, venison, white turkey



Black pepper, mango chutney, chili peppers*, coriander leaves*, dulse, gomasio, hijiki, kelp, ketchup, lemon, lime, lime pickle, mango pickle, Mayonnaise, Vegenaise, mustard, pickles, salt, scallions, seaweed, soy sauce, sprouts*, tamari, vinegar

Condiments to avoid

Chocolate, horseradish


All nuts are ok

Almonds, black walnuts, brazil nuts, cashews, charole, coconut, filberts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, peanuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, walnuts


Chia, flax, hulva, pumpkin, sesame, sunflower, tahini


Seeds to avoid

Psyllium, popcorn


All oils a good both externally and internally with the exception of coconut and avocado, which can be used externally only.



Beer and white wine*, almond milk, aloe vera juice, apple cider, apricot juice, all berry except cranberry, carob*, carrot juice, chai, cherry juice, grain coffee, grape juice, grapefruit juice, lemonade, mango juice, miso broth, orange juice, papaya, peach nectar, pineapple, rice milk, sour juices, soy milk if spiced or hot, vegetable bouillon


Beverages to avoid

Hard red wines, apple juice, caffeinated beverages, carbonated drinks, chocolate milk, coffee, cold dairy drinks, cranberry, iced tea, icy cold drinks, pear juice, pomegranate juice, Prune juice, cold soy, tomatoe, V-8

Acceptable herbal teas

Ajwan, Bancha, Chamomile, Clove, Comfrey, Elder Flower, Eucalyptus, Fennel, Fenugreek, Ginger, Hawthorne, Juniper Berry, Lavender, Lemon Grass, Licorice, Marshmallow, Oat Straw, Orange peel, Pennyroyal, Peppermint, Rosehips, Saffron, sage, Sarsaparilla, Sassafras, Spearmint.

Herbal Teas To Avoid

Blackberry, Burdock, Cornsilk, Dandelion, Ginseng, Hibiscus, Yarrow, **Lemon Balm, **Hops, **Jasmine, **Nettle, **Passion Flower, **Red Clover.


All spices are good

Sweeteners to avoid

White Sugar


Food Supplements

Aloe Vera, Bee Pollen, Amino Acids, Minerals, royal Jelly, Spirulina, Vitamins A, B’s, C, D, E, P and Folic acid

Food Supplements to Avoid

Barley Grass, Brewers Yeast, Vitamin K

Acupuncture for PCOS – YES!

Screen Shot 2013-10-07 at 5.30.08 PMI often say that Chinese Medicine is one of the best modalities to treat chronic gynecological issues such as infertility, PCOS, dysmenorrhea and amenorrhea. There have been several studies recently that showed the benefit of acupuncture for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).

This past spring a Swedish study compared using acupuncture to meeting with a therapist for 10-13 weeks. The author’s conclusions also showed that acupuncture can be an effective treatment for PCOS. A fantastic review article on acupuncture and PCOS was recently released. You can download the article here or get it here.

For those that are not interested in reading a research article the conclusion is that there is a lot of evidence on the benefit of acupuncture and PCOS. Given that there is also a lot of good research on diet and PCOS improvement I believe the best approach is not just using acupuncture but to incorporate diet and lifestyle changes to improve PCOS outcomes. As a dietitian I do have post graduate training in PCOS nutritional counseling and am very happy to help you improve your GYN symptoms.


Yours In Health,

George Mandler LDN LicAc



File:Telomere.pngA telomere is a sequence of molecules (DNA in this case) that are at the ends of chromosomes to protect it from damage during replication. A long telomere equates to a more times it can replicate without errors. Shorter telomeres mean that each time a chromosome replicates it has more of a chance of errors. This is part of the aging process at the cellular level. Short telomeres equate to fewer possible cell replications and thus shorter survival. Long telomeres equate to more cellular replication and longevity.

Telomeres are designed to shorten as we age. Each time a cell replicates the telomere shorten. Telomeres are a way to make sure creatures (human and otherwise) do not live forever. It makes sure we age and eventually our cells die (programmed cell death is known as apoptosis).

Billy Joel sang that only the good die young. However a just released study entitled “Effect of comprehensive lifestyle changes on telomerase activity and telomere length in men with biopsy-proven low-risk prostate cancer: 5-year follow-up of a descriptive pilot study” refutes those concepts.

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Acupuncture and physical exercise for affective symptoms and health-related quality of life in polycystic ovary syndrome



Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) have symptoms of depression and anxiety and impaired health related quality of life (HRQoL). Here we test the post-hoc hypothesis that acupuncture and exercise improve depression and anxiety symptoms and HRQoL in PCOS women.


Seventy-two PCOS women were randomly assigned to 16 weeks of 1) acupuncture (n = 28); 2) exercise (n = 29); or 3) no intervention (control) (n = 15). Outcome measures included: change in Montgomery Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS-S), Brief Scale for Anxiety (BSA-S), Swedish Short-Form 36 (SF-36), and PCOS Questionnaire (PCOSQ) scores from baseline to after 16-week intervention, and to 16-week post-intervention follow-up.


A reduction in MADRS-S and BSA-S from baseline to 16-weeks post-intervention follow-up was observed for the acupuncture group. The SF-36 domains role physical, energy/vitality, general health perception and the mental component of summary scores improved in the acupuncture group after intervention and at follow-up. Within the exercise group the role physical decreased after treatment, while physical functioning and general health perception scores increased at follow-up. The emotion domain in the PCOSQ improved after 16-weeks of intervention within all three groups, and at follow-up in acupuncture and exercise groups. At follow-up, improvement in the infertility domain was observed within the exercise group.


There was a modest improvement in depression and anxiety scores in women treated with acupuncture, and improved HRQoL scores were noted in both intervention groups. While not a primary focus of the trial, these data suggest continued investigation of mental health outcomes in women treated for PCOS.

This is a meta-analysis which means that gather many different research papers and focus on combining and contrasting different studies to draw a conclusion. In this paper they showed the via functional MRI (fMRI) the brain response for needling is different than other stimulation at the same point.


Acupuncture is a therapeutic treatment that is defined as the insertion of needles into the body at specific points (ie, acupoints). Advances in functional neuroimaging have made it possible to study brain responses to acupuncture; however, previous studies have mainly concentrated on acupoint specificity. We wanted to focus on the functional brain responses that occur because of needle insertion into the body. An activation likelihood estimation meta-analysis was carried out to investigate common characteristics of brain responses to acupuncture needle stimulation compared to tactile stimulation. A total of 28 functional magnetic resonance imaging studies, which consisted of 51 acupuncture and 10 tactile stimulation experiments, were selected for the meta-analysis. Following acupuncture needle stimulation, activation in the sensorimotor cortical network, including the insula, thalamus, anterior cingulate cortex, and primary and secondary somatosensory cortices, and deactivation in the limbic-paralimbic neocortical network, including the medial prefrontal cortex, caudate, amygdala, posterior cingulate cortex, and parahippocampus, were detected and assessed. Following control tactile stimulation, weaker patterns of brain responses were detected in areas similar to those stated above. The activation and deactivation patterns following acupuncture stimulation suggest that the hemodynamic responses in the brain simultaneously reflect the sensory, cognitive, and affective dimensions of pain.


This article facilitates a better understanding of acupuncture needle stimulation and its effects on specific activity changes in different brain regions as well as its relationship to the multiple dimensions of pain. Future studies can build on this meta-analysis and will help to elucidate the clinically relevant therapeutic effects of acupuncture.


Cracking the Egg and Cholesterol Myth

cracked eggsI still have patients tell me they’re avoiding egg yolks because of the amount of cholesterol and the danger of heart disease. This is unfortunate, because egg yolks are very nutritious, and there is little evidence of any correlation between eggs and heart disease. A just released study has debunked the “eggs and cardiovascular risk” myth once again. The unbiased non-egg industry authors conclude: “Higher consumption of eggs (up to one egg per day) is not associated with increased risk of coronary heart disease or stroke.”

The fact is that eating cholesterol does little to increase the level of cholesterol in your system; saturated fats are a more likely culprit. But both cholesterol and saturated fats are necessary in the diet. Every cell in the body is made up of cholesterol and phospholipids — both abundant in egg yolk — as well as saturated fat, which keeps the cell from collapsing in on itself.

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Happy Chinese New Year

Here is a great blog post that a colleague Jeffrey Grossman LAc offered as a repost…

It’s about a month into the New Year. Do you already wish you had a do-over for your New Year’s Resolutions?

If so, you’re in luck. You do.

February 10th is the Chinese lunar New Year. The celebration of the New Year, the Spring Festival, is China’s longest and most important holiday. Because it is based on a different calendar, it falls on a different date between January 21 and February 20 every year.

You can think of Spring Festival as Christmas and New Year all rolled into one. Just like our holiday season, it’s a time of celebration, visiting family and friends, giving gifts and preparing for the next year.

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Components of Wheat ProteinWhen I use MRT blood test for food sensitivity testing sometimes it can be non-food items that are causing symptoms. If the patient does not experience significant improvement in health after the first week of the MRT/LEAP diet then I instruct the patient to check ingredients in cosmetics, toothpaste, soap, and skin cream. It may be a hard concept to grasp, but sensitivities and allergies can be triggered via transdermal (through skin) route as one doesn’t necessarily have to ingest something to trigger an immune response. A recent interesting Japanese study demonstrates this point very well.

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Tapping in acupuncture needleThe lack of acupuncture coverage by insurance companies in Massachusetts at best disappointing. Very few companies actually cover acupuncture treatments. I know I save insurance companies tens of thousands each year. I have little doubt that my acupuncture colleagues in Massachusetts in total save insurance companies many millions. We would save insurance companies more money if we weren’t a last resort.

How could I be so sure we are saving so much? One metric is simply based on people telling me they need surgery. Back, knee, intestinal, hip etc. Many times after a series of acupuncture treatments people feel remarkably better. If they underwent surgery those procedure are often at minimum $15,000 per procedure. ( typically much more). If people came to us before getting an expensive MRI the cost effectiveness would be even further realized.

Many people are not interested in taking medications with side effects. It seems more and more people are waking up to the fact that mediation for chronic conditions only treats symptoms and does little to help the underlying issue. Acupuncture is one of many great modalities that can help correct chronic conditions that Western medicine where western medicine has little answers except medication or surgery. Those answers can be very costly.

The review just released below demonstrates the cost effectiveness of acupuncture to back up my claim.

Acupunct Med. 2012 Dec;30(4):273-85.
A systematic review of cost-effectiveness analyses alongside randomised controlled trials of acupuncture.
Kim SY, Lee H, Chae Y, Park HJ, Lee H.
OBJECTIVE: To summarise the evidence on the cost-effectiveness of acupuncture.

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Natural Solutions for Pregnancy Complications

Pregnancy is a critical time for smart dietary choices and proper nutritional support to improve the health of a baby. But pregnancy and childbirth in the opinion of many has become has become a pathology and medical procedure with excessive interventions that can negatively influence a mother and babies’ health.

Of course a small percentage of pregnancies require modern medical intervention in the forms of medications and potential surgeries. Modern medicine has saved countless pregnant women and newborn lives. But I don’t agree with the unnecessary overuse of strong medicines or procedures that have little clinical evidence of safety and potential deleterious side effects when safer options are available. Read the rest of this entry

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