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Oct 14, 2016

Vegan Pumpkin Chili


For seasoning mix:
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoons ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
For chili:
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, finely minced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds and membrane removed, minced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced into ½-inch cubes
  • 4 large Portobello mushrooms, stemmed, wiped clean and cubed
  • 2 cups organic corn
  • 1 (28-ounce) can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pureed pumpkin
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups unsalted vegetable stock
  • Avocado and cilantro (for topping)

  1. In a small bowl, combine everything in the seasoning mix.  Set aside.
  2. Heat a large heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, and jalapeño and sauté until vegetables are soft, about 3-4 minutes.  Add the carrots and mushrooms and cook until carrots start to brown and mushrooms release some of their liquid, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes.
  3. Add the seasoning mix and stir to evenly coat.  Add the corn, tomatoes, pumpkin, beans and stock and mix well. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 45 to 50 minutes, stirring occasionally.  When carrots are fork tender, remove from heat, serve 1 cup of chili and top with desired toppings.

Oct 7, 2016

Medicinal Teas

Nothing goes better with the cold, crisp air than a warm cup of tea. Here at Riverwalk Natural Health Clinic we have several medicinal teas, that not only taste good, but make you feel good!

  • Allergy Support Tea
  • Chamomile Tea: Helps with relaxation, sleep, colic and digestion
  • Cold, Flu & Sinus Tea: Helps rid mucus build up, cough, cold & flu
  • Dandelion Leaf Tea: Helps with mild edema or fluid retention, natural diuretic
  • Detox Tea
  • Licorice Root Tea: Supports adrenal health, energy, anti-viral and respiratory support
  • Mineral Tea: Supports bone health and nervous system
  • Nettle Tea: Helps with allergies, blood cleanser and a good source of minerals
  • Skullcap Tea: Helps with insomnia, nervousness and anxiety
  • Tummy Tea: Helps with colic in children, stomach upset, gas/bloating and heartburn
  • Relaxing Tea

Optimal Health Omega

  • New Formulation
  • 3 times the absorption rate than anything else on the market
  • Small soft gel size makes it easier to swallow
  • Easier to Digest
  • Take 1 capsule per day with better absorption you can take less

Hormone Therapy Safety

Are you of the age where you are considering hormone therapy? If so, there are several safety issues you should consider.
Symptoms of hormone deficiency can include the following: anxiety, irritability, depression, low libido, weight gain, vaginal dryness, fatigue, erectile dysfunction, hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, breast tenderness, memory loss, PMS, PCOS, postpartum depression, infertility, recurrent UTI’s and incontinence.
If you have any of the symptoms above, you should be assessed for possible hormone deficiencies.  If you do have hormonal deficiencies, you do not just want to just treat the symptom but get to the cause of why you developed the hormone deficiencies in the first place.  This can be due to poor diet and lifestyle, stress, nutritional deficiencies or toxicity.  When assessing any health issue, you want to get to the cause of the problem and start with the least invasive therapy first.  In other words, the therapy with the least amount of side effects.  You also do not want to be on hormones the rest of your life.  Hormones are safe when you are using the smallest possible dose for the least amount of time.
A study reported in the medical journal JAMA Cardiology  ( found that women who start having menopausal symptoms at age 45 or less have a greater risk for cardiovascular disease.  Seventy-five percent of the woman age 45 or less with hot flashes have an increased risk of heart disease.  Just treating the menopausal symptoms with hormones does not reduce your risk for heart disease.  Lifestyle, behavioral and dietary treatments should be assessed and addressed to prevent heart disease in these woman.
Hormones include estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, thyroid, DHEA, pregnenolone and cortisol.  All sex hormones are made from cholesterol in the body.  Cholesterol directly makes pregnenolone which makes progesterone which makes cortisol in the body.  Progesterone is produced from day 14-28 of the menstrual cycle. Men also make progesterone in the testes and adrenal gland.  Progesterone controls water balance, sleep, thyroid function, blood sugar regulation, weight regulation, breast growth and skeletal growth.  
Cholesterol makes all of our sex hormones this is why you do not want cholesterol to be too low.  Many patients taking statins have very low cholesterol this can be causing your sex hormones to be too low. Because your body is not able to produce sex hormones without cholesterol.  Cholesterol also makes DHEA which makes estradiol and testosterone in the body.  
There are synthetic hormones which include Vivelle, Prometrium, EstraTest, Premarin, Prem Pro, birth control pills, etc. These synthetic hormones have been shown to increase one’s risk for breast cancer in some studies. There are also natural hormones or bioidentical hormones that naturally occur in the body.  These include three estrogens which are found naturally in the body estradiol, estrone, and estriol. These estrogens are bio-identical hormones which are synthase from plants in a laboratory.  Plants used in the process are wild yam and soybean.  Bio-identical hormone therapy includes estradiol, estrone, estriol, pregnenolone, DHEA, thyroid and adrenal hormones. Bio-identical hormone therapy is not the same as HRT (hormone replacement therapy) which is synthetic hormone replacement such as Premarin, Prem Pro, EstraTest and Prometrium.  There are no new studies on the safety of bioidentical hormones.  This is why less is better.
Testosterone effects libido, muscle strength, bone health, ligaments, energy and depression.   It is best to test total and free testosterone to know how much is available for the body to use.
Bioidentical hormones are administered in many ways topical creams, ointments, gels, transvaginal suppositories, oral and pellets.  Topical hormones are my preference.  This is the least invasive way to administer natural hormone therapy because the hormones go right to the targeted tissue.  Topically creams bypass the liver which is a safer way to administer hormones.  By taking hormones orally they have to be processed thru the liver and in turn have to pass thru many areas in the body before going to the targeted tissue.  Again when using hormone therapy using the least invasive treatment in the smallest possible dose and the least amount of time to get your body to obtain optimal health on its own.   Hormone therapy should be used along with dietary, behavioral and lifestyle changes to reduce your risk for heart disease.

Dr. Deborah Wiancek is a naturopathic physician who has a family practice at the Riverwalk Natural Health Clinic & Pharmacy for 18 years.  She can be reached at 970-926-7606 or Visit or follow

Cost Effectiveness of Naturopathic Medicine

Most chronic disease are due to diet & lifestyle issues.  These include heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, some cancers and diabetes.  Drugs do not treat chronic disease.  Diet & lifestyle changes get to the cause of the problem.
Each patient is treated individually because not all diseases are treated the same. You can see one doctor for allergies, gastrointestinal issues, anxiety, depression, menopause, infertility, skin issues, PCOS, pain etc.  Because it’s all related and there may be only one cause.  Instead of seeing many different specialists.  This saves time and money for the patients.
Drugs used to treat many of these diseases have become the 4th leading cause of death.  Once you’re on a drug your usually are on it for a life time.
Unnecessary tests are not ordered.  One third to one half of all lab test ordered are unnecessary almost doubling our health care costs.  
By getting to the cause of your health care problem you can eliminate drugs and prevent many of the top leading health care issues and live a longer life.  

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food,” Hippocrates. Proper nutrition is the foundation of a naturopathic practice, and food is utilized for both health promotion and disease prevention. NDs recommend diets individualized to each patient, though typically this means a balanced whole-foods diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole-grains, legumes, wild-caught fish and lean protein products. In order to maximize nutritional value and minimize environmental impact, foods are considered best in their natural state, obtained locally, and eaten seasonally. NDs recognize how difficult and complex dietary changes may be, and assist patients through these changes by providing very specific individualized recommendations, as well as educational materials and resources.
There is overwhelming evidence that unhealthy eating habits significantly increase the risks for morbidity and mortality. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) determined that poor diet and physical inactivity caused 15.2% of all deaths in the U.S. in the year 2000, and may soon overtake tobacco as the leading cause of death.  It has been estimated that better nutrition could reduce the costs of heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes by an estimated $71 billion each year. Obesity is also at an unprecedented high in the U.S. In 2009, the CDC reported that 66% of American adults, 17% of children ages 12-19, and 19% of children ages 6-11 years are overweight or obese.  The general dietary recommendations and follow-up strategies that NDs utilize with their patients could have a significant impact on both chronic disease and obesity. It has been well-established that diets high in fruits and vegetables are associated with decreased risk for chronic disease. In addition, fruits and vegetables are generally low in calories thereby supporting healthy weight management. NDs may also prescribe special diets such as the elimination diet, anti-inflammatory diet, and hypoallergenic diet. These diets have a long history of traditional use in naturopathic practice.  In one such study, the elimination diet was found to ameliorate clinical signs of inflammation in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and augment the beneficial effect of fish oil supplementation.
According to a study by NIH patients are increasingly seeking out NDs for many reasons, including wanting a holistic approach that addresses the root of the problem, wanting more time and attention, having not been helped by conventional care, and having had a previous positive experience with an ND. The conditions patients see licensed NDs for are many of the same conditions that they see conventional physicians for NDs are trained in potential drug/herb interactions and can provide educational support to patients and physicians. Naturopathic care may also reduce the need for some prescriptive drugs, and collaboration between the prescribing physician and the ND will be critical in determining medication dosing. NDs can also offer nutritional support around surgery and other procedures in order to reduce recovery time and potential complications. (Prim Care. 2010 Mar; 37(1): 119–136.

Learn more about Naturopathic medicine at Dr. Wiancek’s web site at Dr. Deborah Wiancek is a naturopathic physician who has a family practice at the Riverwalk Natural Health Clinic & Pharmacy for 18 years.  Dr. Deborah A. Wiancek is a graduate of Bastyr University, School of Naturopathic Medicine. She specializes in working with allergies, dermatology, gynecology, gastrointestinal, and pediatric health care. Dr. Wiancek is featured in the Idiot’s Guide to Natural Remedies and author of The Natural Healing Companion and created one of the first CD-ROMs in natural medicine called The Complete Natural Medicine Reference. She has been broadcasted by over 2,000 radio stations on various health topics. Dr. Wiancek has done various seminars including The Latest Research in Breast Cancer Prevention for the Betty Ford Breast Cancer Association. She has been featured in Women’s World, Ski Magazine, Energy Times, Prevention Magazine, Natural Health, United Hemispheres, and Cleansing Magazine. Website www.healthref,com ,,

She can be reached at 970-926-7606 or visit or follow

Naturopathic Therapeutic Order

  1. Establish the conditions for health
    • Identify and remove disturbing factors
    • Institute a more healthful regimen
  2. Stimulate the healing power of nature (vis medicatrix naturae): the self-healing processes
Address weakened or damaged systems or organs

    • Strengthen the immune system
    • Decrease toxicity
    • Normalize inflammatory function
    • Optimize metabolic function
    • Balance regulatory systems
    • Enhance regeneration
    • Harmonize life force
  • Correct structural integrity
  • Address pathology: Use specific natural substances, modalities, or interventions
  • Address pathology: Use specific pharmacologic or synthetic substances
  • Suppress or surgically remove pathology

What is Naturopathic Medicine?

Naturopathic doctors (N.D.) are primary care practitioners trained as specialists in natural medicine.   Naturopathic doctors treat disease and restore health using therapies from the sciences of clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, homeopathy, physical medicine, exercise therapy, counseling, acupuncture, natural childbirth and hydrotherapy. They tailor these approaches to the needs of an individual patient.  Naturopathic medicine is effective in treating most health problems, whether acute or chronic.  They get to the cause of the problem instead of treating the symptoms with drugs. Many naturopathic physicians have a DEA number and can prescribe pharmaceuticals but most of the time these are not needed.
In practice, naturopathic doctors perform physical examinations, laboratory testing, gynecological exams, nutritional and dietary assessments, metabolic analysis, allergy testing, X-ray examinations, and other diagnostic tests.  They are the only primary care doctors clinically trained in the use of a wide variety of natural therapeutics.  They combine and tailor these treatments to the needs of the individual based on a cogent philosophy that acknowledges the patient as a participant.
The naturopathic doctor (N.D.) has a degree from a four-year graduate level naturopathic medical University.  Naturopathic doctors must pass either a national or a state level board examination, and their actions are subject to review by a State Board of Examiners.  Because the course work in natural therapeutics is added to a standard medical curriculum, naturopathic doctors receive significantly more hours of classroom education than the graduates of many leading medical schools, including Yale, Stanford, John Hopkins and Mayo medical schools.

Principles of Naturopathic Medicine
  • The Healing Power of Nature (Vis Medicatrix Naturae) – Naturopathic medicine recognizes the body's natural healing ability, and trusts that the body has the innate wisdom and intelligence to heal itself if given the proper guidance and tools.
  • Identify and Treat the Causes (Tolle Causam) – NDs attempt to identify and treat the underlying cause of illness, rather than focusing on individual presenting symptoms.
  • First Do No Harm (Primum Non Nocere) – NDs begin with minimal interventions and proceed to higher level interventions only as determined necessary.
  • Doctor as Teacher (Docere) – NDs educate patients, involve them in the healing process, and emphasize the importance of the doctor-patient relationship.
  • Treat the Whole Person – Naturopathic medicine takes into account all aspects of an individual's health including physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social, and spiritual factors.
  • Prevention – Naturopathic medicine emphasizes optimal wellness and the prevention of disease.