Utopia’s Winter 2014 Newsletter Edition


Blessing to you all, I do hope you are all keeping warm in what seems to be one of Melbourne’s colder winters. I for one am wanting to spend more time at home in front of the fire and I must say enjoying the quiet time in doors. Although there has and still is a few colds and coughs lingering around, I notice that the ones that prepared their immune systems in the autumn have benefited by either not coming down with the flu or recovering much quicker.

Utopia has the distinct smell of Moxa wafting through the air. This herb is used externally to warm the yang qi of the body, move the stuck energy and internally to invigorate the blood. Also this is helpful in moving babies out of the breech position and ready to come forth into this world. If your young child is suffering from repeated coughs and running noses, then their immune system may need a gentle warming with moxa to help strengthen their bodies; this can be the perfect adjunct to help clear up the phlegm, as well as reducing diary and wheat in their diets. Make sure they are having a warm breakfast – even heating up the milk helps on their cereal, although porridge is a better option.

Some of you may have noticed a new face in clinic. We would like to welcome Jo Balmforth. Jo joined the clinic this month, she is a Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapist. If you’re not sure of this modality please take the time to read Jo’s profile (click here) and all about Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy (BCST). I had heard of this type of healing over the years but hadn’t experienced the deep relaxation of it until meeting Jo, so I would encourage anyone interested to come in the month of August while she is offering a welcome special with a 20% discount.

Remember we are in the Water phase of the year and this relates to the Kidney energy and the best time to do deep nourishment of our yuan/ source qi, so the body is strong for the Spring and reduces the allergies that so often are present in Spring.

I hope the slow cooker is being well used, I made a delicious Osso Bucco the other day and eaten the following night, inspired by a client, I raced off to the market to collect the ingredients: osso bucco, sweet potato, carrots, celery, onion, dried apricots, and served with green beans and red pepper. The marrow in the bones is an excellent tonic for the kidneys and brain. Some of you realise I’m more of the creative style cook than one that follows recipes to the ‘T’, so under the recipe section here is a general guide, and if that works, I will endeavor to add more creative cooking experiences for you.

Osso Bucco


I used 4 pieces of Osso Bucco

Stalk of celery

½ onion chopped

1–1 ½ Cup sweet potato,

1 Cup carrot

About 10 dried apricots (I prefer the Australian ones, as they are local and slightly more sour).

About 250 gms green beans

½ red pepper

Stock or water and stock cube for those that don’t have stock

Method: Sauté onion and celery in a heavy base pan with a lid that can go in the oven.

Oh, I added coriander powder at this point too.

Brown the meat, next add the stock and put the lid on and turn down the heat.

Cut up sweet potato, and carrots and apricots, this gets added into the dish after 15 mins of the meat cooking, so the stock should be simmering; you need to watch the fluid level so it doesn’t dry out. Remember casseroles are also known as wet dishes, because they have a sauce.

These dishes are always better the next day and something that can be cooking while you’re making another evening meal.

So the green bean and red pepper get added about 8 mins before you want to serve. I like my green vegetables to still be green and crisp. NB Red peppers can be added earlier if you prefer.

This dish can be served with a carbohydrate, such as: rice, couscous, or any number of grains. But I didn’t feel the need.

Beef & Vegetable Stew Japanese Style

Serves 2


1 new season potato, cut into small pieces

Vegetable oil

200gms /7 oz finely sliced brisket beef or oyster blade

1 small onion, peeled and sliced.

1 carrot, peeled and cut into pieces

½ packet Shirataki noodles (gelatinous noodles) or rice noodles

¼ c caster sugar

2 tabs Mirin

2 cups water

2 cups Dashi, see recipe at end of recipe to make Dashi

4 tabs soy sauce

6 snow peas

Method: Trim corners of potato, this avoids breaking when cooking.

Pour a little oil in a saucepan and swirl over base. Add beef onion, potato, carrot and shirataki noodles, stir for a couple of minutes. Add sugar and mirin, stir again.

Pour water and Dashi into pot. Cook for 15 minutes, occasionally removing the scum from the surface. Add soy sauce and snow peas and simmer with lid on for a further 15 minutes.

Serve with rice ball or a bowl of steamed rice.

NB. To make 500mls of Dashi, use cooked kelp dashi; 500 mls shiitake dashi, use 20 g bonito flakes. All are available at Japanese grocery stores.

Tamari is a gluten free substitute for soy sauce.

I have also been really benefiting from dry skin brushing at this time of year, not only to remove the dry winter, but also to stimulate my circulation.

I have mentioned to some that I am heading over to China towards the end of September to further my studies, I must say, I’m excited to be returning as it has been a few years between trips. I always feel inspired to be learning and gaining more knowledge to share with you, I will spend time in the Pediatric Department and Acupuncture and gather more information for my book.

I hope to see you all before I leave or on my return early October.

In good health,

Team Utopia