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Nov 20, 2014

Coconut, Pecan Brussels Sprouts


  • 3 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 T Enfuso Pear White Balsamic Reduction (or other fruity white balsamic)
  • 2 tsp Bragg’s Aminos (or light soy sauce)
  • 1 T black sesame seeds, plus more for sprinkling
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 14 oz. Brussel sprouts, shredded
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 1/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/3 cup dry roasted pecans, chopped

Whisk together dressing ingredients.
In a large bowl, toss together brussels, carrot, coconut and pecans. Combine with dressing. Top with extra sesame seeds just before serving. Crack out.

Red Wine Chocolate truffles

Red Wine Chocolate Truffles
Yields 30-40 truffles
8 ounces (225 grams) high quality semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 (120 ml) cup dry, red wine (I used a Merlot)
2 tablespoons (30 grams) butter, melted
1/2 cup (40 grams) cocoa powder
Place the finely chopped chocolate in a small bowl. Set aside.
In a small saucepan, bring the wine to a boil over medium-high. Remove from heat and pour wine over the chocolate. Let stand for 5 minutes to fully melt the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate has completely melted and is silky smooth. Stir in the melted butter.
Allow the chocolate to rest until it begins to firm up, about 30 to 45 minutes. Stir every 5 to 10 minutes. If the chocolate gets too hard, melt over a double boiler and repeat the cooling process. (Do not refrigerate or freeze the chocolate to shorten the cooling time. This will only result in truffles with an uneven texture.)
Place the cocoa powder in a small bowl. Using a spoon, pick up anywhere from a teaspoon to a tablespoon of chocolate (the amount will depend on how large you want your truffles) and roll it between your palms until it forms a sphere. Roll the truffle in the cocoa powder until it is completely covered. Place the truffle in a fine mesh strainer and shake to remove the excess cocoa powder. Set on a baking sheet to firm up.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 week (or in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 weeks). Bring the truffles back up to room temperature before serving. If the truffles have absorbed the cocoa powder, you can re-roll them before serving to give a more polished appearance (in fact, I suggest this for the best results).

Nov 10, 2014


Fatigue, frequent infections, and chronic, conditions, (such as asthma, allergies, skin conditions, headaches, arthritis, heart disease, and cancer) are common occurrences in our culture.  If you are experiencing these or other adverse health conditions, your health care provider can work up a health plan specific to your case after taking a complete case history and doing any appropriate physical exam and lab tests.  Whether or not you are experiencing any of these, there are measures you can take on your own to treat or prevent ailments which decrease you vitality.  By doing so, you can enhance your sense of well-being and freedom from disease.

While your health care provider can make a specific dietary plan based on your particular case, some general healthful guidelines are as follows:

Avoid Sugar
Sugar depresses the immune system and competes with Vitamin C for uptake by white blood cells.  This starts in 30 minutes and lasts 5 hours.  Sugar also decreases the secretion of stomach acid and digestive enzymes from the pancreas, impairing digestion and allowing the overgrowth of undesirable bacteria in the gut.

Avoid Caffeine
Caffeine causes increased secretion of adrenaline and cortisol from the adrenals, which suppresses the immune system.  Coffee also irritates the digestive system, causing food to move through more quickly and decreasing nutrient availability.

Avoid Alcohol
Alcohol also suppresses immune function.  In addition, detoxifying alcohol to get it out of the body places quite a load on the liver, impairing its ability to participate in its other functions, including energy production.  Alcohol also creates a hypoglycemic, or low blood sugar, response.

Avoid Processed Foods
Between the food additives and the decreased nutrients, they not only provide inferior nutrition, but also have damaging effects.
Avoid Foods to Which You Suspect You Are Allergic
In addition to creating mucus, drowsiness, gas, etc., it is clearly compromising to the body to be repeatedly exposed to substances it can’t tolerate.  In addition, these foods can cause asthma, eczema, arthritis, migraines, and other chronic conditions as well as susceptibility to acute infections.

Avoid Tobacco
Tobacco not only damages the tissue of the respiratory system with which it comes in contact, but it also creates free radicals which damage tissue elsewhere, especially blood vessels, allowing the buildup of cholesterol plaque, causing the condition called atherosclerosis, or hardening/narrowing of the arteries.  The cancer causing agents in tobacco increase the risk of cervical cancer.  Smoking also depresses the immune system and causes Vitamin C deficiency.  It is a source of carbon monoxide, a brain toxin.  As such, it contributes to depression.  In addition, smokers typically ingest more caffeine and sugar which further impair vitality.

Eat Whole Foods, Especially of Plant Origin
Besides being excellent sources of nutrients as they occur in nature, this is a good way to increase fiber intake.  Fiber allows normal elimination of waste products through the colon, causing decreased absorption of toxins.  Fiber can also bind cholesterol and breakdown products of intestinal bacteria, hastening their departure from the body.

Eat Fresh Vegetables and Fruits
Besides providing fiber as discussed above, these foods are good sources of vitamins and minerals which are required for enzyme reactions and overall health.  They are also sources of carotenes and bioflavonoids which scavenge free radicals, preventing tissue damage, inflammation, cancer, migraines, arthritis, vascular disease, etc.

Drink lots of water
1-2 quarts of water per day keeps cells hydrated and speeds up the removal of waste products from the body.

For many patients, it may be advisable to consult one’s health care provider for guidance in designing an exercise program if not already accustomed to exercise.  Exercise increases respiration and circulation.  Thus, more oxygen and nutrients are delivered to the tissue and waste products are removed more quickly. Exercise also relieves stress and enhances well-being.

Stress Reduction
Living with less stress not only feels better, but there are concrete explanations for its effect on overall health.  In a stressful situation, the adrenal glands secrete adrenaline and cortisol, which suppress immune function in general.  One result of this is a lack of secretory Immunoglobulin A (sIgA), the first line of defense in the gut.  A deficiency allows for an influx of toxins from the gut---incompletely digested food and bacterial byproducts.  Enough of these can overwhelm the liver and end up in the general circulation, causing food allergies, psoriasis, eczema, migraines, rheumatoid arthritis, etc.

Stress also impairs digestion.  Secretion of digestive enzymes is decreased, as is the movement of food through the digestive tract.  Decreased digestion and increased constipation both contribute to impaired vitality.

Life is meant to fulfilling and enjoyable.  Yet it is so common in our culture to feel overwhelmed by life situations or stuck in an oppressive job.  If stress is a major part of your life and you feel you have no options, consult an emotional and/or occupational counselor.  Living with an unpleasant situation can not only decrease your happiness, but can impair your overall health, contributing to conditions as serious as high blood pressure, heart disease, ulcers, etc.  Conversely, laughter and enjoyment increase immunity as well as well-being.

An example of an exercise to enhance well-being which takes very little time is as follows: At the beginning of the day, take about ten minutes to close your eyes and go inside yourself.  Pay attention to your breathing, slowing it down, breathing in deeply and releasing tension as you exhale.  Meditate on a phrase like “I have enough time” or “I will take good care of myself’ or some other message which is significant for you.  When ready, come back into the outer world ready for your day.  when done with work, repeat this to transition from work time to private time.  This time, allow yourself a few additional moments at the end to look around you as you re-emerge into the world.  Let yourself be aware of trees, grass, flowers, bugs, wind, sounds, other people.  Make these a part of a ritual so that relaxation becomes an automatic part of your life.

Physical Medicine:

Besides feeling good, massage increases the circulation of blood and lymph, thus enhancing the removal of waste products and toxins.

This is a technique which enhances the flow of cerebrospinal fluid, which provides nutrients and cushioning to the brain and spinal cord.  It is also profoundly relaxing.
A technique you can do at home on a daily basis is finishing your hot shower with a cool rinse.  The hot water brings blood into the tissue with its oxygen and nutrients.  It also brings in white blood cells and increases their activity, thus enhancing immunity.  The cold water constricts blood vessels, pushing waste products out of the area.  After the initial constriction of blood vessels, the body attempts to return to normal by dilating blood vessels.  This is an automatic reflex and enhances vitality.  Best results are obtained from as big a difference in temperature as possible between the hot and the cold, but it is essential not to emerge chilled.  Also, the cold water will take getting used to.  A good way to approach this is to turn up the water as hot as is comfortable for a few minutes at the end of the shower.  Then, turn the water to cool (or if that is too much, to tepid) for fifteen seconds.  Over time, increase both the coldness of the water and the length of time.  Work up to having only cold water on and staying under the cold water for one to two minutes.  A good way to judge the amount of time is going by when you feel your heart and respiration rate slow down (they’ll initially increase in response to the cold).  As you emerge from the shower, you will see that your skin is flushed and you feel more awake and vibrant.

The above are ways for you to stay well on an ongoing basis and to feel better---lighter, brighter, more energetic, relaxed, excited and vibrant as you proceed through life.

Oct 27, 2014

Pumpkin Muffins

Pumpkin Pie Muffins

Text Size 
Yields 12-15 muffins
1½ cup whole wheat flour
½ cup packed brown sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp cloves
¼ tsp ginger
¼ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup unsweetened pumpkin puree
½ cup honey
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 12-cup muffin pan, or line with paper liners. Stir together the whole wheat flour, brown sugar, spices, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center; place eggs, pumpkin, oil, and honey in the well. Mix just until the dry ingredients are absorbed. Spoon into muffin cups so they are ¾ full. Bake for 18 minutes or until the tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool in the pan before removing from cups.
Calories: 177; Total Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 130mg, Carbohydrate: 25g, Fiber: 1g, Protein: 2.2g


Protect Yourself From Viral Infections

Vail Daily health column: Protect yourself from viral infections

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The cold and flu season is upon us. In fact, it started early this year with the enterovirus in our schools. Ninety five percent of the colds are due to viral infections. This means that antibiotics do not work for most colds. Antibiotics only work for bacterial infections and not viruses. 
Since we live in an area where tourists come from all over the world, we get many different types of viral infections. I have lived in the Vail Valley for 17 years, and it appears that every year these viral infections get worse. Many people get colds that last for three weeks and they’re still going to work or school, thereby exposing others. So how can you get your immune system ready to protect you this season?
First, make sure you take a good multiple vitamin that contains the antioxidants vitamin A, C, D and selenium. These antioxidants protect the immune system from viruses, bacteria and chemicals in our environment. Many people are deficient in vitamin D. This is why it is important to get a blood test to make sure you’re not deficient. Vitamin D protects against colds and flu, as well as breast cancer, prostate cancer, allergies, asthma and dementia.  
Many people are also deficient in probiotics. Probiotics protect our immune system in the gut, so probiotics can also prevent us from viral, bacterial and parasite infections. Good probiotics should be refrigerated.
Other tips include:
• Make sure you wash your hands frequently, especially after touching areas such as door handles, phones, pens and computers where many other people are working. Don’t shake hands with a lot of people. 
• Get eight hours of sleep a night.  
• Exercise one hour, five times per week. Many people in our community tend to do too much exercise, which can actually deplete your immune system. 
• Eat healthy. Eat at least 5 to 12 vegetables a day and protein with each meal. Drink alcohol in moderation; two drinks no more that three times per week. Take sugar and fructose out of your diet. These foods are responsible for inflammation in the body.   
• If you start feeling a cold or flu coming on, immediately start taking antiviral herbs such as echinacea, garlic, ginger, osha, astragalus root, schisandra, etc. These are the strongest in tincture form. These can get rid of a cold within 24 to 48 hours.  
• Drink hot teas such as ginger, lemon and honey. I have formulated a cold and flu tea that works very well. 
• Eat chicken or miso soup with ginger and garlic. 
• Eliminate products with dairy while you are sick. Dairy products contribute to increased mucus.
• Using a neti pot can help, especially if you get a lot of sinus infections. 
I offer a cold and flu clinic in which I examine your sinuses, throat, ears and listen to your lungs. Then I craft a specific antiviral tincture related to your condition. The key is responding as soon as you get sick. There is no need to be sick for three weeks this winter.  
Deborah Wiancek is a naturopathic physician who has a family practice at the Riverwalk Natural Health Clinic & Pharmacy in Edwards. She has been practicing in the Vail Valley for 17 years. To schedule an appointment, please call 970-926-7606 or email wiancek@ Visit or for more information.

Oct 17, 2014

Raw Macaroon Recipe

Serves 4 ~ Yummy!


  1. 3 cups raw, shredded unsweetened coconut
  2. 3 medjool dates, pitted
  3. 1/2 teaspoon alcohol-free pure vanilla extract

Blend ingredients in a food processor.  Use a cookie scoop to make tablespoon-sized balls or roll by hand.  Dehydrate at 105 degrees heat in a 220 -degree oven for 4 to 6 hours.  

Asian Coconut Shrimp

Delicious shrimp recipe to serve over steamed rice. 


  • 1 1/2 teaspoons olive or coconut oil
  • 1 medium shallot, very finely chopped
  • 1 small jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt
  • 1 1/2 pounds shelled and de-veined medium shrimp
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro 
  • Steamed rice, for serving
  • 1/4 cup dry-roasted unsalted peanuts, chopped

In a large skillet, heat the canola oil.  When it begins to shimmer, add the chopped shallot and cook over moderate heat until softened, about a minute.  Stir in the jalapeno and lime zest, then pour in the coconut milk.  Add the sugar, season generously with salt and bring to a simmer.  Add the shrimp and cook, stirring frequently, until opaque, about five minutes.  Stir in the chopped cilantro.  Spoon the shrimp and sauce over steamed rice, sprinkle with the peanuts and serve. 

Butternut Squash in Fresh Green Curry

This simple fresh curry paste takes only minutes to prep.  Delicious with healthy, sweet butternut squash and accompanying rice. Recipe can be made with prepared curry paste if time is limited.


  • 1 small butternut squash, about 1-1/2 pounds
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped shallots or yellow onion
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon peeled and coarsely chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 fresh green jalapeno chilies or 1 fresh green serrano chili
  • 3 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro leaves and stems
  • 1 can (14 ounces) unsweetened coconut milk (about 1 3/4 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves

Trim off the stem and blossom end of the butternut squash.  Halve lengthwise and scoop out and discard the seeds and fibers.  Cut into large chunks and carefully peel each chunk.  Cut the peeled chunks into 1-inch pieces.  You will have about 4 cups. Set aside. 

In a small food processor or blender, combine the shallots or onion, garlic, ginger, chilies, the 3 tablespoons of water, and 1/2 cilantro.  Grind until you have a fairly smooth consistency.  You will end up with about 1/4 cup of bright green paste.  

Shake the coconut milk can well.  Spoon out 1/2 cup into a medium saucepan and bring to a gentle boil over medium heat.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until it thickens and releases its sweet fragrance, about 3 minutes. 

Add to the curry paste and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until it has dissolved into the coconut milk.  Add the remaining coconut milk, 1/2 water, salt, and squash.  Raise heat to high and bring curry to a boil.  Turn down heat if necessary to maintain a gentle boil and continue cooking until the squash is tender.  About 15 minutes. 

In the meantime, cut all but a few of the basil leaves crosswise into thin strips.  When the curry is cooked, stir in the basil strips and the remaining 1/4 cup of cilantro.  Remove from the heat and transfer to a serving bowl.  Garnish with the reserved basil leaves and serve hot.

Serves 4 to 6 people. 

Sep 30, 2014

Quinoa Black Bean Pumpkin Soup


Quinoa Black Bean Pumpkin Soup makes for a hearty and filling meal full of healthy and nutritious ingredients. Gluten-Free and Vegan too.

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 red chili pepper, diced
  • 3 cups cubes pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup quinoa
  • 20 ounce can black beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • For garnish:
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • handful cilantro, diced
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  1. Heat oil in pan over medium heat and cook onion for a few minutes. Add garlic and red chili pepper and cook until aromatic.
  2. Add pumpkin and spices and cook for a couple minutes.
  3. Add 2 cups of the vegetable broth and quinoa. Bring a boil and cook for 5 minutes before adding the remaining vegetable broth. Bring to a boil.
  4. Add beans and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes.
  5. Served garnished with cilantro, avocado and lime juice.

Sep 26, 2014

Pumpkin Protein Bars

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup applesauce, unsweetened
  • 1/2 cup egg whites or 2 large eggs (use egg replacer for vegan version)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup or honey
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 + 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 cup protein powder, vanilla (add extra 2-3 tbsp maple syrup if using unflavored)*
  • 1 + 1/2 cup quick or old fashioned rolled oats (use certified gluten free oats for GF version)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • Cooking spray
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F, line 8 x 8 square baking dish with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Set aside. 
2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, applesauce, egg whites, maple syrup, vanilla extract, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda and protein powder. Add oats and walnuts, stir well. Pour mixture in prepared baking dish, level with spatula and bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven, let cool for 10 minutes and transfer to a cooling rack to cool for another 30 minutes. Cut with a serrated knife into 8 or 10 bars***. Serve warm or cold. 
Bars made with eggs will come out more moist and rich, but for a leaner version use egg whites - they still are super moist. **Substitute protein powder with almond or any nut flour. ***For smaller portions cut into 10 bars.
Storage Instructions: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months.

Sep 22, 2014

Free Supplement and Drug Interaction Consultations for Naturopathic Medicine Week!

Are you combining drugs with supplements and herbs?  Have you wondered if what you are taking in combination is safe? This can be very complicated for the average consumer to figure out. On Wednesday October 8th, the Riverwalk Natural Health is offering free consultations to go over all medications, supplements and herbs that you are on to let you know if what you’re taking is safe. Fifteen minute consultations will be free all day from 9am to 6pm at the Riverwalk Natural Health Clinic & Natural Pharmacy in Edwards, right across the street from Starbucks. 

When: October 8th 9 am - 6 pm
Where: Riverwalk Natural Health Clinic & Natural Pharmacy
Who: Dr. Deborah Wiancek

Please RSVP to the Riverwalk Natural Clinic at 970-926-7606

Sep 15, 2014

Cold & Flu Clinic

Dr. Wiancek prescribes antiviral and anti-bacterial herbs to boost the immune system and prevent cold.                                                                           Schedule an appointment today! 970-926-7606 
Feel a cold coming on? 




30 minute sessions.  Walk-ins Welcome!

Sep 12, 2014

Questions to Ask Manufacturers before purchasing any herbs.

1. Do you buy your herbal raw materials directly from the 
grower or from an intermediary supplier? 

2. Do you grow any of your own botanicals?

3. How do you validate herbal raw material genus and 

4. Are your herbal ingredients organic? Are they 
ecologically wild harvested?

5. What solvents do you use to extract your herbs?

6. Are you Prop 65 compliant?

7. Can you provide test results for your products showing 
results of heavy metal tests, testing for pesticides and 
other contaminants?

8. How do you validate potency? Can you provide results 
of potency testing?

All Botanicals are Not Created Equal

5 Pillars of Quality Botanicals – varies by manufacturer:

 – Design: Evidence-based formulation & appropriate 
dosage form

– Authenticity: Ingredient identity is always verified 
using validated methods

– Potency: Ingredient & finished product potency is 
verified using validated methods 

– Purity: Proven freedom from biological & chemical 

– Validation: Evidence of safety and efficacy for intended use

If a particular herbal product does not work for your health conditions it may be that it was not a quality product.  Our products at the Riverwalk Natural Health Clinic are chosen by the above 5 pillars.  

Sep 8, 2014

Buyer Beware

People take herbals and dietary supplements to stay healthy; it doesn’t always work.

Nearly half of all adult Americans take herbal and dietary supplements, presumably in order to get or stay healthy, but new research finds many of them may be doing themselves more harm than good.

Liver injury caused by herbals and dietary supplements increased from 7% to 20% in a U.S. study group over a ten-year period, according to a study published in Hepatology, a journal of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.

Despite popular belief, bodybuilders and endurance athletes aren't the most affected. Liver injury caused by non-bodybuilding supplements occurs more often in middle-aged women and more frequently results in death or the need for transplantation than liver injury from bodybuilding supplements or conventional medications."While many Americans believe supplements to be safe, government regulations require less safety evidence to market products than what is required for conventional pharmaceuticals" said the study's lead author, Dr. Victor Navarro of Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia.

Medical evidence shows that supplements are used more often by women, non-Hispanic whites, those over 40 years of age and those with more advanced education. Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) III indicate that multivitamins, minerals, calcium and fish oils are the most commonly used supplements.

The study examines hepatotoxicity due to supplements compared to medications, enrolling 839 patients with liver injury between 2004 and 2013. Liver injury cases included 45 caused by bodybuilding supplements, 85 attributed to non-bodybuilding supplements, and 709 due to medications.The research team determined that among cases enrolled, liver injuries from herbal and dietary supplements rose to 20% during the study period. While bodybuilding supplements caused prolonged jaundice (median 91 days) in young men, no fatalities or liver transplantations occurred.

Death or liver transplantation occurred more frequently among cases of injury from non-bodybuilding supplements, 13%, than from conventional medications, 3%. Liver injury from non-bodybuilding supplements was more common in middle aged women.Navarro and the other authors of the study said the public needs to be aware of the potential dangers of using dietary supplements and advise that supplement producers, government agencies, healthcare providers and consumers work together to improve safety