Health Promotion Newsletter Issue No.15

31 May

springIt has been two months since the last newsletter. I hope that everyone is doing well and enjoying our long awaited spring weather!

There are a few updates that I would like to share with you.

  • Firstly, the Thai Chi demonstration in partnership with Fife House had a great turn out! It was proposed by ACAS that we extend the Thai Chi workshop schedule by an additional three weeks to accommodate for its popularity. Fife House had generously offered to take over this workshop as of Saturday, June 01, 2013 and will continue to run it every Saturday thereafter.  The workshop will continue to be located to 490 Sherbourne Street in the ground floor community room from 10:30am to noon. All existing and new participants are welcome to attend. Should you have any questions, please contact your support staff for clarity.
  • Secondly, on April 05, 2013 the HIV Aging and Mental Health Workshop presented by Dr. Evan Collins was a huge success. This workshop was generously sponsored by Janssen. We had over 34 participants attending the workshop. For those who did not have the opportunity to attend, if you require additional information, please check in with the support staff or myself. Thank you to all the volunteers for setting up for this event as well as the translation.
  • Thirdly, May 14, 2013 the Thai massage demonstration had a great turn out. The participants had the opportunity to experience the hands on the benefits of Thai massage. Thank you to our sponsor Moss Park Pharmacy, as well as the presenters Kierston, Jerry and Jessi Leduc.
  • Just to remind all of you Trillium Massage College continues to give us a great discount when you go to the campus for a treatment. The price is a mere $15.00 and they have even extended their clinic hours to include both Monday and Tuesday from 1:30 – 3:30 pm. If you would like to arrange your initial appointment please contact me and I would be happy to facilitate the introduction. Please give me at least two weeks’ notice as they book up quite quickly.
  • The upcoming event, the pre Pride Pink Party, will be taking place on Saturday, June 22, 2013 from 4:30 to 7:30pm. The venue has yet to be determined. Please keep an eye out for the invitation, but as a reminder I am hopeful that all attendees will be sporting some shape or form of pink attire to demonstrate their Asian Pride!

I understand that it is allergy season again; therefore I am reattaching the article about managing your allergies in the hopes that it gives you some relief. At the same time, I also understand that many of our clients are very busy and do not have time to cook. This issue I am suggesting two recipes in a  slow cooker format to hopefully assist with healthy option in a time crunched life.

Kenneth Poon – Health Promotion Worker

download healthnews_issue15 (.pdf file)


• frequent headaches, especially those located over the nose or forehead
• breathing through an open mouth and not the nose
• stuffed-up feeling in the nose (with or without discharge)
• plugged- up feeling in the ears
• itchy, scratchy throat
• inability to sleep well

Typical symptoms are runny nose and watery eyes but are not present in all allergy sufferers.

Spring allergens:

The pollens of budding trees (birch, poplar, walnut, sycamore, oak and ash) produce symptoms

Late Spring allergens:

The pollens of grasses such as sweet vernal, bermuda, timothy, red top, some bluegrass and others.


as summer approaches, much of the vegetation dies. This, plus the high humidity levels, produces an excellent environment for the growth of mold fungi which grow on dead grass and leaves, straw, and other plants.



Those who eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids are less likely to suffer allergy symptoms than those who do not regularly consume omega-3s. They help fight inflammation and can be found in cold-water fish, walnuts, flaxseed oil, and grass-fed meat and eggs. Horseradish, chili peppers, or hot mustard added to food can act as natural, temporary decongestants. 

Stinging Nettle:

A natural approach to anti-histamine treatment. Urtica dioica behaves very similarly to anti-histamines but without the side effects of mouth dryness and drowsiness. Around 300mg per day will offer relief for most people, although the effects may last only a few hours.


A bioflavonoid, quercetin helps stabilize mast cells and prevents them from releasing histamine. Foods that are high in quercetin include: citrus fruits, onions, apples, parsley, tea, tomatoes, broccoli, lettuce, and wine. Quercetin mops up free radicals that cause cell damage. For best effects, start at least 6 months before allergy season begins.

Neti Pot:

These small vessels shaped like Aladdin’s lamp have been used in India for thousdands of years to flush the sinuses and keep them clear. Cleansing with salt water can help to rinse away pollen grains and help treat allergies and other forms of sinus congestion.

 A study published in the International Archives of Allergy and Immunology found that nasal flushing was a mild and effective way to treat seasonal allergies in children, and markedly reduced their use of antihistamines.

 To flush your sinuses, mixed a quarter to a half teaspoon of noniodized table salt into a cup of lukewarm water and pour it into the pot. Lean over sink with your head cocked to one side, then put the spout of the neti pot into one nostril and allow the water to drain out the other nostril. Use about half of the solution, then repeat on the other side, tilting your head to the opposite way. Gently blow out each nostril to clear them completely. Neti pots are widely available at natural health food stores. Use your neti pot twice a day during allergy season especially in the morning and after spending time outdoors. Use the neti pot before bed to prevent snoring caused by allergies and to promote optimal overnight breathing.

Slow-cooked Chicken Curry

Slow-cooked Chicken CurryIngredients: 

1 medium onion, cut into crescent moons
1 1/2 pounds organic chicken breast or thigh meat (boneless)
4 large carrots, cut into thick slices
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 can coconut milk
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon mild curry powder
2 teaspoons Herbamare or sea salt
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
chopped cilantro


Place the onions in the bottom of the slow cooker. Cut the chicken into chunks and add it to the slow cooker along with the remaining ingredients. Gently stir, cover, and cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours.

Stir in peas, cover to let them cook for a minute. Garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve.

Image source:

Slow-cooked Beef Stew

Slow-cooked Beef StewIngredients: 

1 medium onion, diced
3 to 4 large carrots, cut into ¼-inch rounds
½ pound mushrooms, quartered
1 pound grass-fed beef stew meat
½ cup water
¼ cup dry red wine
¼ cup tomato puree or sauce
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
1 ½ teaspoons sea salt or Herbamare
½ teaspoon ground black pepper


Place the onion, carrots, mushrooms, and stew meat into a 3-quart slow cooker. In a small bowl whisk together the water, red wine, tomato puree, and arrowroot. Pour into the slow cooker. Add the salt and pepper. Mix all ingredients together. There won’t be enough liquid to cover the ingredients. This is how it should be so don’t be tempted to add more liquid.

Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours. Sometimes I crack the lid for the last 45 minutes or so of cooking in order to cook off some of the liquid which creates a thicker stew. Serves four.

Image source:

Moroccan Chicken

Moroccan ChickenIngredients: 

5 boneless skinless chicken breasts, chopped into bite size pieces
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon mccormick’s montreal steak grill seasoning
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
olive oil
1/2 of an onion (White, Yellow or red, your choice)
1 cup chicken stock, from a box
1/2 cup raisins (if you want, you can use more)
1/2 cup prune (if you want you can use more)
couscous (optional, any flavor you want)


Put everything in pot: oil, onions, chicken, then spices, fruit, cover with stock and slow cook for anywhere from 4 hours to no more than 10. The longer it cooks, the better it will be – but it WILL dry out after 10 hours unless you a little extra chicken stock.

Image source:

Slow-Simmered Jambalaya

Slow-simmered JambarayaIngredients:

2 (14 1/2 ounce) cans stewed tomatoes, undrained
2 cups ham, broiled and diced
2 medium onions, chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, diced
2 celery ribs, sliced
1 cup long-grain rice, uncooked
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons ketchup
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined (fresh or frozen)


Thoroughly mix tomatoes, ham, onions, bell pepper, celery, rice, oil, ketchup, garlic, thyme, black pepper, and cloves in slow cooker.

Cover; cook on LOW 8 to 10 hours.

One hour before serving, increase heat to HIGH. Stir uncooked shrimp. Cover; cook until shrimp are pink and tender.

Image source:

Split Pea Soup

Split Pea SoupIngredients:

2 cups split peas
2 quarts water
2 onions, chopped
2 carrots, sliced
4 slices Canadian bacon, cut in small pieces
2 tablespoons chicken bouillon, powder
fresh ground black pepper


Cook on high to get it hot, if you have time, then lower the heat setting to low and cook 8 hours.

Don’t fill the crock pot too full, due to foaming.

Stir, adjust the seasonings and serve.

Image source:

download healthnews_issue15 (.pdf file)

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