Category Archives: Nourish

Homemade Honey & Oats Granola Bars

by on September 12, 2014


Healthy, Tasty, Portable.  What’s not to like?

Finding a snack that will provide you with energy and is easy to pack and carry isn’t always easy.  Granola Bars fit the bill but can be pricey. This recipe for homemade granola bars will be satisfying and easy on the pocket book!

And, an added bonus, oats are known to lower cholesterol levels, provide fiber in your diet, and help combat heart disease, just to name a few of the benefits.

Homemade Oats and Honey Granola Bars

What you need:

  • 4 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup canola or grapeseed oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup honey

To make the bars:
1. Preheat oven to 325 F.
2. Combine the first 6 ingredients in a bowl – this is your “dry” ingredients
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, vanilla and honey.
4. Pour the wet ingredients over the oat mixture and stir to combine. Make sure the dry ingredients are completely saturated. This may take a few minutes.
5. Place granola mixture on a parchment lined baking sheet and shape into a rectangle, about 13 x 9 x 1 inch thick.
6. Bake for 25 minutes – a little longer for crunchier bars
7. Allow to cool completely then cut into 3 x 1 inch bars.

Note: Substitute raisins, dried cranberries other dried fruit for the chocolate chips.

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The Meaning of Life – As Seen through The Eyes Of My Patients

by on September 3, 2014


As we approach the High Holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur this month, I find myself becoming more reflective, particularly about what’s important in my life. Twenty years ago I was asked to complete a biographical survey for a physician newsletter about my personal interests, which included questions such as the latest book I read, my favorite movie, etc. There was one question that stood out, “What is the meaning of life?” My response, “God knows.” It occurred to me a few years later that I could delve into a better understanding of this existential question by probing my patients for their stories about what has been meaningful in their lives. You may wonder how during a 15-20 minute visit with patients I could have time for such a discussion. One cannot come out and say, “Tell me the meaning of your life,” but I felt I could approach the topic experientially. Most of my patients were well established with me so at the end of the visit, I would simply say, “I am curious; what is the most meaningful experience you have had in your life?” For brand new patients, I would say, “I would like to get to know you better. Can you share with me the most meaningful experience in your life?” Often there would be a pause, but almost everyone was able to share something personal with me. The funny thing was that visit did not seem to last any longer. The bonus to me was the satisfaction of a person confiding to me something intimate. The advantage to my patient was therapeutic listening. We developed an unspoken trust between the two of us.

So what did my patients share with me? The majority of responses were related to family. Getting married or “having a family” was the number one response from men. Most women responded that having children was their most meaningful experience in their life, and if broken down further, it was the birth of their first child that was particular noteworthy. The second most common response was surviving a serious health condition. I don’t know if this was a consequence of the setting where I asked this question, but I was impressed of the intensity of a particular health condition on a person’s well-being. For example, a woman could define her life as before and after the time she got breast cancer, or someone else would define his life before and after he had a heart attack or had bypass surgery. In some instances, patients would express thanks to me for having saved their life. (Until then, I had not realized they felt that way.)

Some of my male patients shared with me the profound experience of having fought in a war. Others found significant meaning by “finding God” or religion. Many found meaning in their work or by volunteering. Of the hundreds of people I asked this question, only two patients mentioned “money” as playing a meaningful role in their life. One mentioned money in the context that he gave his son his entire life savings so his son could attend business school. The other one was an emigrant to the U.S, who arrived with $1000, invested in real estate which became worth over $100 million. He was proud of his achievement and looked forward to giving a substantial inheritance to his three sons.

The older a patient, the more careful was the response. I asked a 95-year-old patient about what was most meaningful in his life. He was suffering from angina for which he routinely popped several nitroglycerin tablets each day. His response was that every day was meaningful because he was happy to wake up in the morning. Initially, I thought he was dodging my question, but it took a moment for me to realize what he was telling me was profound. He taught me that everyone should approach each new day as being a gift.

As we approach the Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, think about what provides meaning in your life. Be prepared in case your doctor happens to pop the question to you when you least expect it!

Jerry Saliman, MD is a volunteer internist at Samaritan House Medical Clinic in San Mateo. He retired from Kaiser South San Francisco after working there more than 30 years. While at Kaiser SSF, Dr. Saliman was also Chief of Patient Education. He received the 2012 “Lifetime Achievement Award” given by the Kaiser SSF Medical Staff.

Editing acknowledgement: Ellen Saliman

Neither the PJCC or our guest columnists provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please make your health care decisions in partnership with your health care provider

Perfect Recipe For Summer Tomatoes

by on August 13, 2014


Don’t know what to do with all of those delicious summer tomatoes? You probably have some day old bread around too. Try this delicious Panzanella Salad. It is the perfect dish for any summer meal!

Panzanella Salad

Serves 8 |  Hands-On Time: 25 m |  Total Time: 25 m

5 cups 1-inch bread cubes
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup minced parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 large ripe tomatoes cut into wedges
1 large red onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/2 cup oil-cured olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup shaved Parmesan


Brush or toss bread cubes with some olive oil and garlic.  Dry the bread in a 350° F oven on a cookie sheet for 15 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally

In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, parsley, and salt. Fold in the bread, tomatoes, onion, olives, and basil. Toss with the Parmesan.


Recipe by By Jane Kirby , June, 2001 for Real Simple

High Blood Pressure – The Hidden Killer

by on August 5, 2014


On April 12, 1945, President Franklin D. Roosevelt was sitting in his living room having his portrait painted by artist Elizabeth Shoumatoff, who later became most renowned for “Unfinished Portrait” of FDR. Also present was Lucy Mercer, Eleanor’s social secretary, but most notorious because of her affair with the president. His dog, Fala, and two cousins were in the room as well according to biographer Doris Kearns Goodwin. At 1:00 pm, FDR complained of “traffic pain at the back of my head,” and collapsed, unconscious. His cardiologist quickly arrived and recognized the signs of a cerebral hemorrhage, a type of stroke. One could argue that one of FDR’s visitors that day triggered his stroke, but it is much more likely that years of untreated high blood pressure led to FDR’s demise at the age of 63.

High blood pressure or hypertension still remains a hidden killer at large. It is estimated that high blood pressure kills approximately 1000 Americans each day due to its effects on Continue reading

Summer Smoothie with a Vitamin Boost

by on July 15, 2014


Strawberry Peach Refresher Smoothie
Serves 2

Are you ready for something cool, delicious, and good for you?

This smoothie uses the mild tasting green, bok choy, which is known as a cancer-fighting cabbage because of its good source of beta carotene.  In just one 9 calorie cup of bok choy, you receive 63% vitamin A, 52% vitamin C and 8% calcium of your daily recommended value.


  • 2 cups bok choy, fresh
  • 2 cups almond milk, unsweetened
  • 1 cup strawberries*
  • 2 cups peaches*

*Use at least one frozen fruit to make the smoothie cold.


  • Blend bok choy and almond milk until smooth.
  • Next, add the remaining fruits and blend again.

Pour into glasses and enjoy!



Monkey See, Monkey Do — How Behavioral Modeling Influences Health

by on July 1, 2014


My 2-year-old granddaughter seemed to welcome her newborn baby sister with bland indifference. I observed her as she played with her blocks and other toys and did not appear to be perturbed by the presence of a new member in her family. After she had dinner, I was surprised when she set out deliberately for the couch, wrapped her mother’s pillow around her lap, lifted her shirt, and clutched her bear to her chest. It was dinner time for her bear! While it was fun to watch her precise imitation of breast feeding, it made me stop and wonder how we as adults subconsciously follow patterns of behavior that may not reach our cognitive awareness. Continue reading

Guilt-Free Edamame “Guacamole” Recipe

by on June 27, 2014


Summertime barbeques, Superbowl parties, and taco tuesdays are all great excuses to serve some guacamole.  But, lets face it, we’ve all struggled with a little guilt over how many calories we are consuming chip by chip.  This Edamame “Guacamole” recipe is about half the calories of avocado guacamole and is higher in protein too. Delicious and healthy! You don’t need an excuse to serve this any day.

Edamame “Guacamole”
Half the calories and 3 times the amount of protein of guacamole made with avocados – 86.7 cal., 6.7 g protein Continue reading

Welcoming The Shadow: Dealing With Negative Self Talk

by on June 25, 2014


“When we were one or two years old we had what we might visualize as a 360-degree personality. Energy radiated out from all parts of our psyche… But one day we noticed that our parents didn’t like certain parts of that ball of energy that we were. They said things like, “Can’t you be still?” or “It isn’t nice to try and kill your brother.” Behind us we have an invisible bag, and the part of us that our parents don’t appreciate we, to keep our parents love, put in the bag. By the time we go to school the bag is quite large. Then our teachers have their say: “Good children don’t get angry over such little things.” So we take our anger and put it in the bag. By high school it is our peers whose opinion we value sufficiently to stuff more parts Continue reading

A Healthy Lunch Is In The Bag

by on June 10, 2014


A nutritious brown bag lunch is not only easy to prepare, but economical and healthier than the usual cafeteria fare or fast-food options. Not to mention, a good midday meal can help bolster those notorious mid-day slumps and keep you on your game. Here are a few tips for bagging a healthy lunch.

Think Outside the Box
The healthiest lunches should contain foods from three different food groups: a protein, whole grain, and a fruit and/or vegetable. However, this doesn’t mean you’re stuck with the Continue reading

HIV Awareness: HIV Testing Day is June 27

by on June 3, 2014

HIV-625My twin daughters were born in August of 1981, just two months after a publication from the CDC reported the first cases of a rare lung infection that eventually led to what became known as the AIDS epidemic. Because they were very premature, my newborn daughters required numerous blood transfusions from Irwin Memorial Blood Bank in San Francisco. One daughter received over 40 different transfusions. In 1985, the FDA approved the first blood test to detect HIV antibodies in the blood, and blood banks began their first screening of their blood supply. It was shortly thereafter that my wife and I received a letter from the Continue reading