Food As Medicine

The fall semester for 2015 begins in one week! Here's a little preview of the Food As Medicine program: … [Read more...]

On what to feed your puppy

On what to feed your puppy

Some of you that follow my Facebook page have probably seen my updates detailing the birth of five puppies to my female dog (named Sophie) in late April. For those of you that haven’t seen them, I have compiled an online photo album of the last few months, detailing their growth and development. If I were to come up with a single word that describes the whole process of being surrogate grandparents to these baby canids, it would be ‘epic'. Every day since their birth has been a day of interest, excitement, and wonder. From a neurochemical perspective, snuggling with puppies has done a lot to raise the collective oxytocin levels at our house. Over the past summer, our front garden with its jumble of humans and puppies lying lethargically in the grass has at times resembled something like a opium den, attracting a steady stream of "customers" from far and wide.  Of course this bliss has been interrupted on occasion. For example, I definitely under-estimated their collective, destruct … [Read more...]

Q&A: Side-effects of Maca?

Q&A: Side-effects of Maca?

Maca (Lepidium meyenii, and other Lepidium species) is a food and medicinal plant originally used by the indigenous peoples of Peru and Bolivia, who collect and consume both the leaves and the root. Although marketed as an aphrodisiac and energy enhancer, it's traditional use suggests that it was rather more important as a food, the leaves used as a fresh vegetable, and the root (hypocotyl) dried, pulverized, and used as a flour in baking. The root in particular is comprised of about 60-75% carbohydrates, and contains smaller amounts of protein (<14%) and fats (<2.2%). Given its traditional importance as a food, rather than as a medicine, claims for its medicinal efficacy should be viewed with a some skepticism - especially when consumed in small amounts as a supplement. There are many anecdotal reports of its medicinal efficacy, but much of this comes third hand from companies selling it as a supplement. A survey of the medical literature suggests a benefit on exercise … [Read more...]