Tuesday, August 20, 2013

SAUERKRAUT ~ A Tutorial!

We've received many requests for a Sauerkraut tutorial, and figure a post is the best way to get it to everyone. This is a great beginners recipe, and our personal favorite. If you'd like to omit the carrot, feel free. We prefer it for the color and the slight sweetness it adds to the flavor. 
Here's a step-by-step tutorial! *Scroll down for the recipe.

 Gather your ingredients
Whole Organic Cabbage (Green or Purple)
2-3 Organic Carrots, shredded
Sea Salt
Caraway Seed

We use caraway seed from O-Organics, (Safeway) and natural sea salt 
from Real Salt (Fred Meyer, Whole Foods, New Seasons)

Slice or chop cabbage. 
Wash cabbage, remove outer leaves, and set aside. Cut cabbage in half, remove core, Use a shredder or sharp knife to shred. (We prefer the consistency of store-bought cabbage, so we use a knife to slice ours into long 1/8" pieces, then make 2-3 cross cuts against the "grain.".  A food processor may also be used, but will produce a very short, choppy consistency.) 

 Place shredded cabbage in a large bowl and sprinkle with sea salt. 
Allowing the salted cabbage to sit (while shredding the carrots) brings the liquid out of the cabbage to make the brine.  

 Grate the carrots and add to the bowl. 

 Using a wooden spoon or flat-bottomed jar or glass, 
press down firmly until the juice pools at the bottom of the bowl. 

(It will do absolutely no good, but if you think it will, practice a few NUCCA moves) 

Juicing the cabbage takes a little arm power. Allowing the cabbage to sit after
 salting makes this step easier. We will sometimes give the cabbage about 
20 minutes to 'weep', before juicing. 

Transfer layers into a wide-mouth jar, sprinkle each layer with caraway seed, and use the wooden spoon or glass to pack the cabbage mixture into the jar and force the liquids to the top of the vegetables.

The brine must cover the cabbage mixture to ensure proper fermentation and
 prevent the growth of film or molds. If you need to, keep pressing down on the
 cabbage to bring out enough brine to cover.

Place a couple of clean folded cabbage leaves on top of the fermenting 
cabbage mixture to seal the surface from exposure to air.  

For extra protection, add a small heavy item such as a shot glass or clean rock to
 the top of the cabbage leaves to keep the fermenting cabbage covered with brine.

Seal your jar and place on a countertop to allow the fermentation process to begin.

Formation of gas bubbles indicates fermentation is taking place. A room temperature of 68 to 72° is best for fermenting cabbage. Fermentation usually takes 5 days. Refrigerate after fermentation is completed, or the desired taste has been reached.

Whole shredded organic cabbage (green or purple)
2-3 grated organic carrots
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. caraway seed

Remove the outer leaves from washed cabbage. Cut into halves and remove the core. Use a shredder or sharp knife to cut the cabbage into shreds. Grate carrots with a cheese grater or food processor.
In a large bowl, sprinkle 1 tsp. of sea salt and 1tsp. caraway seed on a head of shredded cabbage. (or salt to taste.)  Let the salted cabbage stand for several minutes to wilt slightly; this brings the liquid out of the shreds to make the brine.

Using a wooden spoon or flat-bottomed jar or glass, press down firmly until the juice pools at the bottom of the bowl. Transfer to a wide-mouth quart jar and use the wooden spoon or glass to pack the cabbage mixture into the jar and force the liquids to the top of the vegetables.
Place a couple of folded cabbage leaves on top of the fermenting cabbage mixture to seal the surface from exposure to air, and prevents the growth of film or molds. For extra protection, add a small heavy item such as a shot glass or clean rock to the top of the cabbage leaves to keep the fermenting cabbage covered with brine. Seal jar.
Formation of gas bubbles indicates fermentation is taking place. A room temperature of 68 to 72° is best for fermenting cabbage. Fermentation usually takes 5 days. After fermentation is completed, or the desired taste has been reached, cover the jar and refrigerate.


Do you make your own sauerkraut and enjoy using additional ingredients? Share your tips/favorite additions! And let us know if you tried this recipe and what you thought! 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Keep GMO Out Of Your Vegetable Garden

With less than two weeks to go before the official FIRST DAY OF SPRING, many of us have been admiring the vegetable seedlings that are appearing outside of local farm and garden stores, and perusing seed displays and catalogs. 

To keep costs low, many families elect to grow their garden from seed. The problem is that  many seeds are now genetically modified or engineered...meaning they have had genes, specifically DNA molecules from different sources, introduced to their genetic makeup to produce bigger plants, disease resistant plants, pesticide compatible plants, or  plants with some other 'desirable' trait. The problem is, that genetically modified seeds produce genetically modified produce, and a large number of studies and incidents have implicated GM foods in a wide variety of health problems, including accelerated aging, immune dysfunction, insulin disorders, organ damage and reproductive disruption. (Natural News)

At our home, we consider the word 'Monsanto' to be the equivalent of a cuss word. Most likely you have heard of the U.S.-based multinational agricultural biotechnology corporation that is the leader of genetically engineered seed,  and the targeted subject of the must see documentary, 'FOOD, Inc.(Available from Netflix)  Monsanto is the company that brought us Round-Up and Agent Orange, and Round-Up resistant crops such as corn, soy, canola and cotton, and most recently Round-Up resistant alfalfa seed, which may mean the end of organic dairy products. They sell 90% of the US’s GE seeds. (wiki) Seminis, often referred to in correlation with Monsanto, is a seed company bought out by Monsanto in 2005 that is estimated to control 40% of the US vegetable seed market and 20% (or more) of  the world market, and cannot be considered a safe, non-GMO, company. (wiki)

It has recently been reported to me that one of our favorite local seed companies, Territorial Seed, was added to the list of seed companies that sell Monsanto or Seminis products.  I found this statement to be depressing and also surprising, as I was of the understanding that Territorial was a GM free company and I love receiving and ordering from my beautiful Territorial catalog every Spring.  So I began my in-depth research into accurately identifying Monsanto/Seminis owned or supported companies. I found that Territorial did business with Seminis before the Monsanto acquisition in 2005,  and that Seminis supplied a large percentage of their stock before the merger. Territorial decided to phase out of Seminis products instead of dropping all varieties immediately. They now report that as of this year's Spring catalog, they have phased out of all Monsanto/Seminis seed.  

In an effort to educate our patients, I feel it is important that you, as a backyard gardener, are an informed consumer in the area of garden seeds. During my research, I  came across many inaccurate reports of companies that are "owned by Monsanto," but are in fact  independently owned companies that  purchase products for resale from Seminis, a Monsanto owned company.
 In the end, this puts money in Monsanto's pocket. Monsanto is in the very active process of buying up seed companies that sell to the backyard farmer or family gardeners, in an effort to monopolize the seed market, and I believe in doing whatever I can to keep that from happening for the health of present and future generations. The following list names companies that are either owned by Monsanto, or those that are independently owned, but do business with Seminis, (marked with an *) a Monsanto company. The small italicized text has been added by me after further research.  The original list of companies, which has been slightly modified according to my fact-checking, but seems to be the most accurate, was found here,  
This list has been compiled after weeks of research, and while I make every effort to be as factual as possible, it may not reflect very recent changes in a company's stock.  For this reason, it is important to do your research if you decide to purchase from any of these companies. 
If you are aware of any corrections that may need to be made, please contact me so I may research it further, and make any necessary changes. 

Audubon Workshop
Breck’s Bulbs
*Burpee - Admits to supplying Seminis seed, but claims the company does not sell GMO seed. Owner George Ball addresses the Burpee/Monsanto connection here.
Cook’s Garden
Dege Garden Center
*Earl May Seed - A family owned garden center serving Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri and Kansas which provides a number of Seminis varieties, including Seminis Performance Series Sweet Corn, a Monsanto creation.
E & R Seed Co
*Ferry Morse - owned by Groupe Limagrain of France,  a big GMO seed producer. Also affiliated with Jiffy and Lilly Miller companies, according to their website. I have contacted Ferry Morse, and am waiting for a response. Will update as soon as I receive any information. 
Flower of the Month Club
Gardens Alive
Germania Seed Co
Garden Trends
*Johnny’s Seeds - After inquiring into their current relationship with Seminis, this is the response I received on February 3rd, and the reason they are included in this list:
“ We offer a number of traditionally bred varieties sold by their subsidiary organizations Seminis and De Ruiter. These varieties are important to many of our customers for the unique combination of desirable traits that they possess.
Thank you for sharing your concern. This kind of feedback from our customers has driven discussion at every level of our organization for our entire 40 year history. If you would like a list of the Seminis and De Ruiter varieties that we presently sell, please email us at customerservice@johnnyseeds.com.” 
*Lilly Miller - see 'Ferry Morse' above.
Lindenberg Seeds
McClure and Zimmerman Quality Bulb Brokers
Mountain Valley Seed
Park Bulbs
Park’s Countryside Garden
R.H. Shumway
Roots and Rhizomes
Seeds for the World
Seymour’s Selected Seeds
Snow - It is not clear whether Snow Seed Co is independantly owned, or a Monsanto company, but they do list Seminis as one of their suppliers on their 'Supplier Page.'
Spring Hill Nurseries
*Stokes - Supplies Seminis seed, but addresses whether they supply GMO seeds on their FAQ page with a simple "No." 
T&T Seeds
Tomato Growers Supply
Totally Tomato
Vermont Bean Seed Co.
Wayside Gardens
Willhite Seed Co.

In addition, Seminis has a list of suppliers and distributors of Seminis/Monsanto seed on their website.

Now more importantly, where can you find non-GMO seeds from companies not owned by, or in business with Monsanto? The following is a list of companies that are non-GE and local to the PNW, or non-GE that I am personally familiar with. 

Additionally, check out the Safe Seed Pledge for additional companies that have signed the CRG's (Council for Responsible Genetics) pledge, declaring that they "do not knowingly buy or sell genetically engineered seeds." Created in 1999, the Safe Seed Pledge helps to connect non-GM seed sellers to the growing market of concerned gardeners and agricultural consumers. Please keep in mind that there are many companies that have NOT signed the pledge, but sell only safe seed. It is best to contact the company directly if you want clarification.


Amishland Seeds - One-woman owned and operated; sells only open-pollinated varieties grown by the owner. 
Abundant Life Seed - A Territorial Seed sister company
Baker Creek Heirloom Seed - Owners Jere and Emilee Gettle share their non-GMO pledge on their website's About Us page. They sell only open pollinated seed and  actually test their seed before selling them to ensure that they have not cross pollinated.
Ed Hume Seeds - A family owned PNW company out of Puyallup WA.
Landreth Seed Co.
Seed Savers Exchange -  a non-profit organization dedicated to saving and sharing heirloom seeds since 1975.
Territorial Seed  - Originally did business with Seminis before it was aquired by Monsanto. Have reported to have phased out of ALL Seminis and GE seed as of this year.
Uprising Seed Co - Family owned and locally operated organic company out of Bellingham WA.

Happy and Healthy Gardening!

Post by Dr. and Mrs. Perin
Vancouver Wa Washington Portland Or Oregon

Monday, November 5, 2012

TOYS for TOTS Holiday Drive and CURRENT Patient Specials!

For more information or to schedule your appointment, please call the office at 360-597-4784.   
We look forward to seeing you!
New patient special not valid with Medicare, Worker's Comp, or Auto Accidents.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Wholesome Eats - 3

My wife came home last week with a half gallon of delicious raspberry honey from Honey House Farms in Brush Prairie. We usually grab a quart, but decided it was time for a big batch of granola - and maybe some more bars for the freezer. If you like the sound of a bowl full of homemade granola and cold milk, give this recipe a try. It's our favorite - after years of testing.  :) 


2 cups gluten-free rolled oats not instant
1/2 cup chopped cashews
1 cup peanuts or slivered almonds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup flax seeds
1/2 cup toasted, unsalted sunflower seeds
1/2 cup coconut  I always use unsweetened, but you can go for the sweetened kind if you'd like
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup dried fruit (dried apricots, craisins and dried apple)
scant 1/4 cup coconut or almond oil  butter works too
1/2 cup local honey


Mix the first 7 ingredients in a large bowl.

Measure oil into the measuring cup and swirl it around before pouring into bowl.

Then measure out the honey in the same, unwashed cup. The oil will help the honey exit the cup.

Toss everything together until evenly coated and then pour out into a baking pan. I use a large roasting pan, as it keeps everything contained while turning. A cookie sheet with a lip also works, but you have to stir it slightly more carefully if you use that.

Bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes, turning it with a spatula every ten minutes or so. You want everything to be an even golden brown.

When it is finished cooking, return the baked granola to the mixing bowl, add the raisins and fruit and stir to combine. Stir gently several times as it cools, so that it doesn't clump together too much.

*If you like your granola to be slightly clumpy, use about 1/4 c more honey than the recipe calls for, and stir only enough while it cools to break it up to your preference. 
This recipe stores well in an airtight jar, or in a ziplock/sealed glass pyrex bowl in the freezer.


Monday, January 2, 2012


With the New Year comes many ‘resolutions’ and personal goals. You may have promised yourself you’d exercise more, eat healthier, stop smoking, get more sleep…. Whatever your goals, we would love to be able to help you achieve them! 2012 Brings many changes for us as well, including our new
FREE Health and Wellness Workshops,
which we are excited to offer to our practice members and friends. Many of you have expressed interest in clarification on many different health issues, and it is our goal to teach our practice members what they can do to be healthier in all aspects of their lives.

Beginning this month, we will be holding FREE workshops in our Vancouver office on the 3rd Tuesday of every month. These workshops will cover a variety of health related topics. We invite you to share in these informative, open discussion format workshops, and learn how to steer your health in a positive direction! Space is very limited, so please RSVP on our website, HERE, or call the office at (360) 597-4784 to reserve your spot. Your friends and family are always welcome!


January 17, 2012 - What Is Health?
Is health merely the absence of pain? Does ‘health’ come in a pill bottle? What exactly does it mean to be healthy? Our introductory seminar on the importance of understanding and achieving health.

February 21, 2012 - Vitamin D/Omega 3’s
Winter in the pacific NW= Low Vitamin D levels = Health problems!
Omega 3….No, you do not get enough from your Tilapia dinner.

March 20, 2012 – Understanding Food Labels
What are all those ingredients? Layman’s terms please?

April 17, 2012 – Got Organic?
Is it really better? Where/how to buy, and inexpensive options too!

May 15, 2012 – Natural Living Basics
Interested in self sustainable living? You can grow your own food, raise chickens for eggs, make your own detergents and cleaning products.

June 19, 2012 – Water!
Sources, ingredients, bottle-types, filtered, tap, fluoridated, chlorinated….it’s NOT just water.

July 17, 2012 – Exercise
From everyday life enhancing routines to stress-relieving, calming, and heart healthy options

August 21, 2012 – Good Fat/Bad Fat
New information on saturated fats, brain function, and when to use certain oils, when to avoid them.

September 18,2012 – Detox 101
Thinking about a cleanse or detoxification?
Learn the differences between the leading techniques and expected results.

October 16,2012 – PMA (Positive Mental Attitude)
Dr. Perin has mastered the art of PMA’s, and wants to share proven approaches to thinking and living positive. Is your glass half full?? Or half empty?

November 20, 2012 – Artificial sweeteners vs. Natural sweeteners
NO calories?! It must be healthier! Or not.
Agave – huh?

December 19, 2012 - Diet Fads
The differences, pros, and cons between the latest diet fads, just in time for your 2013 resolutions! Find out which ones are healthy, and which ones to stay away from.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Wholesome Eats - 2

We LOVE these tasty Energy Bars! They are easy to make, high in protein, and freeze well. They are great for lunches, desserts, kids snacks, and are especially helpful for those that are always on the run, or skip meals. (tsk. tsk.) All of the nut/seed ingredients are easily found in the bulk section of Fred Meyer or your local health food store. Give them a try and let us know what you think!

1 c. sesame seeds
2 c. rolled oats
1 c. coconut
1/2 c. sunflower seeds (unsalted)
1/2 c. chopped cashews
1/2 c. slivered or chopped almonds
1/8 c. chia seeds (optional)
1/2 raisins, craisins, or dried cherries, blueberries or dates
1 c. peanut or almond butter
1 c. honey
2 tsp. vanilla

Mix together first 8 ingredients in large bowl. Combine peanut/almond butter, honey, and vanilla in separate bowl. Drizzle over nut/seed mixture until well coated. Press into 9x13 baking dish. Cover and bake at 350' for 15 minutes. Allow to cool, and cut into squares. ENJOY!

Thanks to Jaydene F. for sharing the recipe!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

LOL (Laugh Out Loud)

You've heard the saying, "Laughter is the best medicine," right? But have you ever thought about just how true that can be?

Stress is one of our major killers. It effects us both physically and mentally which wears down our immune systems and makes us susceptible to many illnesses and disease. Stress causes our bodies to increase production of  hormones such as cortisol, epinephrine, and dopamine, as well as growth hormone. But when we laugh, a physiological change occurs in our bodies, that helps to ease pain and reduce stress.

While visiting friends recently, my wife and her teammate found themselves in a losing game of pinochle. And by losing, I mean somewhere in the -600 range on the scorecard. She says,

"I am not a fan of losing, especially to my husband who was on the opposite team, and so naturally I was in a really bad mood. Every glance at that score sheet, and each of Joe's ill-attempts to hide his self-righteous grin only made things worse. My poor team partner saw my snappy attitude as encouragement for a change in scenery, so she proceeded to turn on some music and join her husband in a hilarious dance routine, which was only made funnier by her pregnant belly. I laughed so hard my stomach ached, and I couldn't dry my watery eyes fast enough to not miss any of the show. The mood totally changed after that wonderful laugh, and even though we lost the next game by about the same margin, I knew I just needed to see that dance routine one more time and everything would be better."


Many studies have been conducted on volunteers which measure blood pressure levels, hormone fluctuation, immune activity and cholesterol levels during and after they watched funny videos. The results of one such study conducted by Loma Linda University's Dr. Lee Berk and Dr. Stanley Tan, titled the 'Laughter-Immune Connection,'  showed increased activity in interferon-gamma in blood samples, (IFN activates T cells, B cells, immunoglobulins, and Naural Killer cells, fights viruses, and regulates cell growth.) which suggests that laughing boosts your immune system and increases your resistance to disease.

Another of  Berk and Tan's studies showed that repetitive laughter has some of the same effects on the body as exercise. Tests administered to the volunteers in the study showed that laughter affects blood pressure, hormone levels and endorphines in much the same way that exercise does. When you exercise, your heart rate increases, and you breathe faster, which sends more oxygen to your brain, and oxygenates your blood. Laughter can have the same affect.


Perhaps most benefically, laughter releases endorphines in our brain, which are our body's natural pain blockers. A study published in the Journal of Holistic Health showed that patients who were told one-liners during surgical recovery, and before pain medication was administered, perceived less pain when compared to post-surgical patients who didn't receive a dose of humor as part of their care. 

I have recently made a habit of searching for laughter-inducing materials to reduce my own anxiety and stress levels. A funny video, a book of jokes, or reading through my wife's records of the funny things my kids say causes my attitude to improve, and my outlook to become brighter. So find your favorite stand-up comedian on YouTube and have a chuckle....or listen to these contagious laughs for fast, free stress relief.

'With the fearful strain that is on me day and night, if I did not laugh I should die.' 
- Abraham Lincoln

'A merry heart doeth good like a medicine, but a broken spirit drieth the bones.'  -Proverbs 17:22

'The most wasted day is one without laughter.' - EE Cummings

'Laughter is an instant vacation.' - Milton Berle

Humor and Health - Paul E McGhee, PhD. 
Laugh If This Is A Joke  - Lars Ljungdahl (JAMA) 
The Laughter-Immune Connection - Dr. Lee Berk, PH, MPH; and Dr. Stanley Tan, MD, PhD
Laughter Is The Best Medicine - Melinda Smith, MA; Gina Kemp, MA; and Jeanne Segal, PhD.
Humor in Healthcare - Alice Facente, RN, MSN  (JHN)