WARNING: science-based nutrition will rock your world.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Kill The Clown!

Hi All,

No, I'm not wielding a kitchen knife, but I am in pursuit of Ronald McDonald's head.  My weapon is more effective and doesn't involve bloodshed!

Out of Our Minds Animation Studio in Winston Salem NC has joined the effort to help children get healthy, and we have big, doable visions. The nutshell version of the project is this: internationally-respected OOOM Studio will develop animation (what kid doesn't like cartoons?) and I will write kid-friendly nutritional content to match.

Please, please watch this informative, poignant video (less than 5 minutes), then pass it to everyone you know. 10,000 hits on this site in a week will help us procure some much-needed funding.

To watch the video, please go here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4SZjtmjnnpU

Thank you for your help. Enjoy the last few days for 2010, and let's make renewed health for America's children a goal for 2011!

Until then, go well. Love and Peace to all, Lynn Byrd, TheByrdfeeder

Saturday, December 4, 2010

From the 25th Annual Sustainable Agriculture Conference

I'm blogging from the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association's Sustainable Ag Conference in Winston Salem, NC. Great gig! My first little article was posted this morning. About Soil Biology. Took lots of notes.

Lost all notes. Winged it. Hmmm...so I wrote about kissing.

You can follow along here: http://www.carolinafarmstewards.org/blog/

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Excito-rama: Today's Caca Award Winner

    FIRST RUNNER UP:  Kraft Foods Kool-Aid
I despised Kool-Aid as a kid, and I really despise it now. Look, if Kraft would just call this junk what it is, I could (maybe) ignore this product. But to market something as being good for a child when it's not (look at the label, it's fairly obvious what I'm talking about), is unconscionable in my book.

KOOL-AID INGREDIENTS: Sugar, Fructose, Citric Acid (Provides Tartness), Contains Less Than 2% Of: Natural And Artificial Flavor, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Vitamin E Acetate, Calcium Phosphate (Prevents Caking), Acesulfame Potassium And Sucralose (Sweeteners), Artificial Color, Red 40, Blue 1, BHA (Preserves Freshness).

You may defend Kraft Foods and say, "But, they're building playgrounds and donating to my kid's school when I purchase their product!" Then, I am forced to drop my head and pray, "Oh, My God! When will this insanity end?"

If you complain about the United Corporations of America, yet purchase any product made by the corporations you complain about, either stop your complaining, bend over, and take it like the Industrial Food Complex slave you have unwittingly become, or start spending your money wisely and educate your fellow PTA members to follow suit.

Go ahead, be the change! It will  be hard, but you will love yourself for regaining your integrity and common sense. And if you love yourself, you will love this and other nutritionally devoid products right out of your child's life. Good on you!

And the CACA AWARD WINNER is: Crystal Light!

This, from the Crystal Light website: "Crystal Light is committed to protecting our environment and making changes that make a difference." Huh? 

Get this: Kraft Foods and Crystal Light are now collaborating with The Nature Conservancy to help keep our water from drying up. Yep, it's true. Can you say pig lipstick?

CRYSTAL LIGHT (basic ingredients) Ingredients: Citric Acid, Potassium and Sodium Citrate, Aspartame*, magnesium oxide, contains less than 2% of natural flavor, lemon juice solids, SOLIDS, acesulfame potassium, soy lecithin, artificial color, yellow 5, BHA (preserves freshness. Contains: soy. *phenylketonurics: contains phenylalanine.

Wanna know what's unsafe about Crystal Light, other than just about everything? Check out the Center for Science in the Public Interest by clicking here, and be sure to click here and peruse their list of food additives. If you see something with an X beside it,  that means you should avoid it because 1) it isn't safe in any amount, or 2) it's poorly tested and not worth the health risk.

SURPRISE! Both aspartame and acesulfame potassium receive big Xs. Just so you know, aspartame is an excitotoxin.

An EXCITOTOXIN is, very simply, a chemical (a pesticide, or a food additive, or Agent Orange, for example) that has a negative effect on the human nervous system. Excitotoxins don't always cause complete nervous system damage, but, at the very least, can and will overstimulate mental activity. However, many of them - including aspartame - have been linked to seizures, brain tumors, brain lesions, Alzheimer's, and strokes. Oh yeah, and obesity. Excitotoxins confuse the body.

Furthermore, aspartame also causes dizziness, visual impairment, severe muscle aches, numbness, pancreatitis, high blood pressure, retinal hemorrhaging, and depression. It is suspected of causing birth defects and chemical disruptions in the brain, and we've barely scratched the surface. Want more?

Click here to read an excerpt from the book Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills by Dr. Russell L. Blaylock, MD. Please, educate yourself about this subject so you'll understand how to protect your children from the people who pretend to care about them.

Nature Conservancy, may you receive 4 sacks of excitotoxic-laden caca in your Christmas stocking this year for selling out. No more ching from me.

Haas, Elson M.: The Staying Healthy Shopper's Guide. Berkeley: Celestial Arts Publishing, 1999.
Haas, Elson M.: Staying Healthy with Nutrition, 21st Century Edition. Berkeley: Celestial Arts Publishing, 2008.
Fallon, Sally: Nourishing Traditions, revised 2nd edition. Washington, DC: New Trends Publishing, 2001

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Last Hurrah

"Hey, Morning Glory...please, tell your story...don't want no tears upon my pillow, crying's for the weeping willow..."
- The Subdudes

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Bedtime Snacks

It's official: we can eat a light snack right before going to bed and still have sweet dreams! As a matter of fact, for some people, a snack will  increase the quality of sleep and improve body chemistry. How? By decreasing the likelihood of a hypoglycemic episode in the middle of the night.

Have you ever been awakened by hunger? Well, guess what? You might suffer from low blood sugar. A light bedtime snack just might be your ticket to Paradise.

The advice still stands to not eat a huge meal late in the evening. If you've ever enjoyed a whopping bowl of spaghetti with bratwurst, wiped up the sauce with a concrete block-sized portion of garlic bread, and quaffed half a bottle of red wine at 9pm, then gone to sleep at 10, you know what I'm talking about.

But, let's say you're awake at 10p, and you feel empty inside. You've subscribed to the 8pm rule - NO EATING after 8pm - because that's the Prevailing Weight Loss Myth of the Diet Dictocrats. So, you go to bed hungry, and you wake up 3 or 4 times during the dark hours, then the alarm sounds and you wonder why you feel lousy after spending several hours slumbering.

 Are you willing to chuck this old, worn-out wisdom and opt for a little bedtime snacky snack as a trial? You have nothing to lose but your sleep-deprived, maniacal tendencies.

And please, know this: sending a child to bed hungry will whack out their body chemistry. "Punish" them by withholding caffeine and sugar instead.

Suggested bedtime snacks: 
  • a small serving of vanilla yogurt, maybe with a few blueberries or some other fresh fruit
  • a spoonful of nut butter on a half piece of toast
  • a small apple
  • 3 or 4 raw almonds
  • a slice of raw organic cheese
  • a small piece of chicken or turkey
Avoid these foods as right-before-bedtime snacks, unless you want to go for the ride of your life:
  • sardines
  • beer and leftover pizza
  • pickles
  • any meat in a can

And if you're really lucky, the sleep fairy will tuck you in and sprinkle sweet dream dust on your pillow. Sleep loose, fly high...see you on the Eagle Nebula! (click here for some beautiful bedtime visuals)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Convenience, Part 2

 "Remember when we used to lug a Thermos jug to the beach with us? Good lawd, what a drag that was. Had to fill it up, then wash it out and all...that's what I love about plastic water bottles. You can buy them anywhere; you know, even the Seven Eleven sells good flavored waters now. And they're just so safe on the beach. Well, sometimes I recycle, if it's convenient. We don't have recycling capabilities at the beach house, though, so we put the bottles in the trash with everything else. I hate it, but we don't have room in the car for recycling."

If this is your line of thinking, it's time to pull your head out of  the sand, take a look around, and become revolutionary in a way that protects your best interest. Here's what I mean: if I had access to a beautiful beach house, and the largest freakin' collection of plastic trash EVER was floating around in the sea somewhere out beyond my porch, I'd be thinking more about how to protect something I dearly love - like the ocean and every little living thing in it - and less about the convenience of plastic bottles.
A couple of suggestions:
Invest in a stainless steel or BPA-free water bottle, and travel with it. Buy your kids one in their favorite color. The bottle pictured above cost $12.

For more information about the dangers of BPA (and you want to know this if you have children, or if you've been chronically sick and can't figure out the cause), visit the Natural Resources Defense Council by clicking here. Type BPA in the search box, top right corner of the page.

Keep a mason jar on your work desk. I love drinking water (and wine) from glass jars. Makes me feel rugged and self-sufficient. Do it; you'll find a challenging column of numbers less daunting when you pretend to be a moonshiner figuring your books.

Those silly old plastic-makin' artificial flavor-lovin' revenuers gunning for your income will be SOL because you're drinking plain old water out of a glass jar. This crazy thought will make you smile, and the smile will activate the water, and the water will create rainbows of gratitude in your body! Now, that's convenient.

Convenience, Part 1

CONVENIENCE means freedom from difficulty or trouble.

But, what happens when our brand of convenience causes difficulty or trouble for others? What does it look like? When it comes to plastic, it looks like the world's largest floating landfill.

At your earliest convenience, please round up the kids and watch this 7 minute TED presentation by Captain Charles Moore, Algalita Marine Research Foundation, about The Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

For the love of all creatures great and small, please consider the impact of your conveniences, and design your own grand plan for revision. Begin by decreasing - and then eliminating - your disposable plastic use.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

BAD POOKIE: Today's Caca Award Winner

Kellogg's Disney Princess Fruit Flavored Snacks
This quote, from Kellogg's:
"Snacking right isn’t just about picking the “right” products. It’s about eating food in a way that is right for you and your family. Check out the tips and tricks that can help you turn snack time into an opportunity for your family to squeeze more nutrition into your day."
Is this snack right for any family? If we squeeze more nutrition into our day, is this our reward?


 If you're thinking, "Oh, but it meets 100% of the Daily Value established for Vitamin C, and it's a fat-free product, so at least it's the lesser of the evils," slap yourself about the head a couple times to reestablish blood flow to your brain. I challenge you to drop the complaisant shoulder-shrugging, and stop spending your hard-earned money on crappy Kellogg's products.
 Get your mama or papa bear groove on (you don't have to birth children or be an Alaskan to understand what that means) and protect the babies by refusing to put this caca in your grocery cart. Grow a set and learn to say no!

This type of snack isn't princess food, it's evil witch food. Tell that to your kids.

Betty Crocker Fruit by the Foot (a General Mills product)

This quote from General Mills Sales, Inc.:
"We continually set targets for bettering the nutritional profile of our foods, and we keep addressing social and environmental challenges. Our goal is to be among the most socially responsible food companies in the world."
INGREDIENTS: Pears from concentrate, sugar, maltodextrin, water, corn syrup, partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil. Contains 2% or less of: carrageenan, citric acid, acetylated mono and diglycerides, sodium citrate, malic acid, xanthan gum, locust bean gum, vitamin C (ascorbic acid) potassium citrate, natural flavor, color (yellow 5, red 40, blue 1).

Do these ingredients give you hope that GM is setting a target for nutritional betterment?

Here's Why They Win: They are altruistic in a greedy kind of way. I know you're disappointed, and maybe a little mad. You are asking yourself, "But, aw, how can that be?"

Here's the Way It Works: You buy their crappy snacks for your kid, and they'll send your kid's school money! Your school can have a new playground, thanks to General Mills,  and all the little sugar-addicted, fat-riddled children can go outside and try to play for 20 minutes. See? You support GM by sacrificing your good sense and your child's health on their altar, and they will reward you with books and toys. Please, for the love of Pete, take off your blindfold; the fox is guarding the hen house.
Here's What GM says:  "We all shop for groceries, sometimes two or three times a week –- or more. Now turn those shopping trip into easy cash for your school, and encourage friends to do the same! Just look for the Box Tops logo on hundreds of products like Cheerios®, Hamburger Helper® and Kleenex®, in almost every aisle of the store. All you need to do is clip and send them to your school’s Box Tops coordinator —- each one is worth 10¢ for your school." (Feel better now?)

Please, pay attention. This is the Industrial Food Complex working on your head and making you believe they care. Win win? I don't think so. More like win win lose. GM wins, schools win, kids lose. 

It's always a good idea to care about your kids first.

4 big bags of smelly caca to General Mills for screwing with our heads, and one more for being Betty Crocker's pimp daddy.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Bully Fuel: High Octane Sugary Snacks

IN THE 1980s, several large studies evaluated the affects of eating a high sugar diet and its relation to antisocial or aggressive behavior. These studies are 30 years old now. We didn't pay attention then. 
      IT'S TIME to pay attention.

In one study, 174 juvenile delinquents (the treatment group) were placed on a sugar-restricted diet for 2 years. 102 other kids (the control group) were fed a “normal” diet during the same 2 years. During the study, the number of incidents of antisocial or aggressive behavior was reduced by 45% in the treatment group.  (Remember, the treatment group was on the sugar-restricted diet.)

Measured antisocial and aggressive behaviors included assault, robbery, rape, aggravated assault, auto theft, vandalism, child molestation, arson, and possession of a deadly weapon. Just so you know...

In the largest study, 3,999 incarcerated juveniles were studied for 2 years (same deal: half or so in the treatment group, the rest in the control group). Sugary soft drinks were replaced with fruit juices, and high sugar snacks (candy bars) were replaced with non-refined carbohydrate snacks (popcorn).
Here's what happened:
  • suicide attempts were reduced 100%; these kids stopped trying to kill themselves
  • the need for restraints to prevent self-injury was reduced 75%
  • disruptive behavior was reduced 42%
  • assaults and fights were reduced 25%
What fuel is your child getting? Sugar addiction has deadened the hearts, heads, and souls of some of our most precious children. It has blocked their best intentions, and filled them with rage and depression.
A Few Suggestions
  • listen to your child; many of them are more savvy than you are about nutrition, thanks to community health and nutrition educators
  • educate yourself, then talk to your child about sugar addiction side effects (acne, aggression, anger, depression, sweating, anxiety, hunger, dizziness, headache, visual disturbances, decreased mental function, confusion, obesity)
  • read food labels, and avoid purchasing any food with High Fructose Corn Syrup added (including most ketchup, salad dressings, candies, and processed foods )
  • provide fresh, organic fruit or old fashioned cooked in the pot popcorn as an after school snack
  • did you get the part about reading food labels? Put down the crap - for good
  • Fire soft drinks from your life, and from the life of your child. Set the example, beginning today
  • Your child may not exhibit any obviously negative signs from eating sugar, but may be allergic to the chemicals and artificial ingredients laden in these products. Hmmm...
Sugar Measurements
  •  4 grams of sugar = 1 teaspoon
  • 1 cup of sugar = 48 teaspoons
  • 1 pound of sugar = 2.3 cups of sugar
  • 165 pounds of sugar (the average sugar intake per American per year) = approx.18,000 teaspoons of sugar 
  • average per person: 49 teaspoons of sugar daily
  • 20 ounce Mountain Dew: 22 teaspoons of sugar
  • Snickers Bar: 7 teaspoons of sugar
Use good judgment; enjoy a homemade cookie or three, throw in some high quality chocolate or other favorite treats on occasion, but be discerning in your choices! The regular addition of soft drinks and cheap sugary snacks may provoke horrid behaviors with sad outcomes.

You will be heading in the right direction by refusing to buy any product pictured in this post.

Let's honor our children by helping them break the sugar addiction. Let's help them learn to honor each other and play well together, for this is their natural way of going.


Benton D. Hypoglycemia and aggression: a review. International Journal of Neuroscience, 1988; 41:163-168.
Schoenthaler SJ. Diet and crime; an empirical examination of the value of nutrition in the control and treatment of incarcerated juvenile offenders. International Journal of Biosocial Resources 1983; 4:35-29.
Schoenthaler SJ. The northern California diet-behavior program. An empirical evaluation of 3,000 incarcerated juveniles in Stanislaus County Juvenile Hall. International Journal Biosocial Resources 1983; 5:99-106.
Pizzorno J. and M. Murray. Textbook of Natural Medicine, 3rd ed. V2. 2006 Ch. 178 Hypoglycemia, 1784 85.

    Monday, October 4, 2010


    Abundance means having enough to share.
    Abundance doesn't mean earning more money so we can buy more stuff.
    Think of abundance as fulfilling your needs and helping someone fulfill their needs, too. 
    Your soul shines when you think of abundance this way.

    Monday, September 27, 2010

    Rainy Day Lunch with The Subdudes

    This little pick me-up-meal is filled with fiber, high in trace minerals and B vitamins, plus it's fun to eat. If you're still living in the Dark Ages of calorie-counting, you'd be sitting on a little over 400, including the butter and olive oil.

    You're looking at a cup of miso soup with lime and cilantro, 2 Wasa crackers with butter, 3 peppers from the garden (a flirty Gypsy, a sleepy Cubanelle, and  a take-charge Jalapeno), lightly steamed okra drizzled with olive oil, lacto-fermented spicy cordito saurkraut, and lacto-fermented tarragon onions.

    For information on the fine art of lacto-fermentation, check out Sandorkraut's (AKA Sandor Ellix Katz) Wild Fermentation website here.

    After lunch, I hit the hammock for some studying behind my eyelids. Blame it on the rain.

    "The rain is working very hard,
    It's got to water every little seed...
    It's beautiful and ordinary,
    Making life seem very good indeed.
    The rain keeps falling down, but it don't bother me."
            -The Rain, written by John Magnie and Tim Cook (The Subdudes)

    Friday, September 3, 2010

    The Seven Day Mental Diet by Emmet Fox

    The original version of this pamphlet was published January 1935. I revised it in August 2010. You'll feel Mr. Fox when you read it. It's quite long, so take your time. It's a doozy of a read!

    The subject of diet is one of the foremost topics of the present day in public interest. Newspapers and magazines teem with articles on the subject. The counters of the bookshops are filled with volumes unfolding the mysteries of proteins, starches, vitamins, and so forth . . . the whole world is food-conscious.

    Experts on the subject are saying that physically you become the thing you eat — that your whole body is really composed of the food you have eaten in the past. What you eat, they say, is the foundation for the physical health of all the tissues composing your body — and there you are.

    Of course, no sensible person has any quarrel with all this. It is perfectly true, as far as it goes, and the only surprising thing is that it has taken the world so long to find it out. But in this article I am going to deal with a subject that is equally profound and far-reaching in its effects: mental dieting.

    One very important factor in your life is the mental diet on which you live. It is the food which you furnish your mind that determines the whole character of your life. It is the thoughts you allow yourself to think, the subjects you allow your mind to dwell upon, which make you and your surroundings what they are.

    Everything in your life today — the state of your body, whether healthy or sick, the state of your fortune, whether prosperous or impoverished, the state of your home, whether happy or the reverse, the present condition of every phase of your life in fact — is conditioned by the thoughts and feelings which you have entertained in the past, by the habitual tone of your past thinking. And the condition of your life tomorrow, and next week, and next year, will be conditioned by the thoughts and feelings which you choose to entertain from now onwards.
    Photo by Kirk Gollwitzer
    In other words, you choose your life.
    You choose all the conditions of your life when you choose the thoughts upon which you allow your mind to dwell. Thought is the real causative force in life, equal to or greater than all others. You cannot have one kind of mind and another kind of environment. This means you cannot change your environment while leaving your mind unchanged, nor can you change your mind without your environment changing too.

    If you change your mind your conditions must change too.
    Your body must change, your daily work or other activities must change; your home must change; the color-tone of your whole life must change, for whether you are habitually happy and cheerful, or low-spirited and fearful, depends entirely on the quality of the mental food upon which you feed yourself. Please be very clear about this. If you change your mind your conditions must change too. We are transformed by the renewing of our minds. With thoughtful practice, you will see that your mental diet is really the most important thing in your whole life.

    A thoughtful person will realize this essential truth immediately. The practical difficulty in applying it, however, arises from the fact that our thoughts are so close to us that it is difficult, without a little practice, to stand back and look at them objectively. Yet that is just what you must learn to do.

    You must train yourself to choose the subject of your thinking at any given time, and also to choose the emotional tone, or what we call the mood that colors it. Yes, you can choose your moods. Indeed, when you understand this, you gain control over your life! Moods habitually entertained produce the characteristic disposition of the person concerned, and it is his disposition that finally makes or mars a person's happiness.

    You can be healthy, you can be happy, and you can be prosperous
    - if you have a good disposition. If you are sulky, or surly, or cynical, or depressed, or superior, or frightened half out of your wits, your life cannot possibly reach its highest level of worth. Be determined to cultivate a good disposition, and you will gain everything life has to offer. Be determined to start now; carefully select all day the kind of thoughts that you are going to think. Shape your life into the kind of thing you want it to be because this is the true path to happiness.

    In short, if you want to make your life happy and worthwhile, you must begin immediately to train yourself in the habit of thought selection and thought control. This will be exceedingly difficult for the first few days, but if you persevere you will find that it will become rapidly easier, and it is actually the most interesting experiment you could possibly make. In fact, this thought control is the most thrillingly interesting hobby that anyone could take up. You will be amazed at the interesting things you will learn about yourself, and you will get results almost from the beginning.

    Now, many people know this truth; they make sporadic efforts from time to time to control their thoughts, but the negative thought stream is so close, and the impacts from outside so constant and varied, they struggle to make progress. Keep steady! Form a new habit of thought which will carry you through when you are preoccupied or off your guard as well as when you are consciously attending to the business of the day. This new thought habit must be mindfully practiced, and the foundation of it can be laid within a few days.

    The way to do it is this: make up your mind to devote one week solely to the task of building a new habit of thought, and during that week let everything in life be unimportant as compared with that. If you will do so, then that week will be the most significant week in your whole life. It will literally be the turning point for you. It is safe to say that your whole life will change for the better. In fact, nothing can possibly remain the same. This does not simply mean that you will be able to face your present difficulties in a better spirit; it means that the difficulties will go.

    This is a profound way to alter your life, and being in accordance with Nature and the Universe, it will succeed. By working in this way you do not have to struggle to change conditions over which you have no control. What happens is that you apply these principles, and the conditions change spontaneously. You cannot change conditions directly — you have often tried to do so and failed — but go on a seven day mental diet and conditions will change for you.

    This then is your prescription. For seven days you must avoid dwelling - even for a single moment - on any kind of negative thought. You must watch yourself for a whole week as a cat watches a mouse, and you must keep your mind on thoughts that are positive, constructive, optimistic, and kind. After one week, the habit of positive thinking will begin to be established, and something incredible happens. Your entire vibration increases! You feel vibrant! Some extraordinary changes for the better will have come into your life, encouraging you enormously, and then the future will take care of itself. The new way of life will be so attractive and so much easier than the old way that you will find your mentality aligning itself almost automatically.

    This seven day mental fast is only for one week in your life, and it will definitely alter everything for the better. For the rest of your life here, for all eternity in fact, things will be utterly different and inconceivably better than if you had not carried through this undertaking.

    Begin your focus now to prepare yourself. Think about this mental fast for a day or two before you begin. When you are ready, you will feel surrounded by positive energy, and you may feel lighter. Yes, you may actually feel it. You may start the fast any day in the week, and at any time in the day, first thing in the morning, or after breakfast, or after lunch, it does not matter, but once you start you must go right through for the seven days. That is essential. The whole idea is to have seven days of unbroken mental discipline in order to get the mind definitely bent in a new direction once and for all.

    If you make a false start, or even if you go on well for two or three days and then for any reason "fall off" the diet, the thing to do is to accept your misstep, rest your mind for several days, and then to start again afresh. There must be no jumping on and off, as it were. You remember that Rip Van Winkle in the play would take a solemn vow of teetotalism, and then promptly accept a drink from the first neighbor who offered him one, saying calmly: "I won't count this one. Well, on the seven day mental diet this sort of thing simply will not do. You must positively count every lapse, and whether you do or not, Nature will. Where there is a lapse you must go off the diet altogether and then start again.

    Now, in order to forestall difficulties, let’s consider them in a little detail. First of all, what is negative thinking? A negative thought is any thought of failure, disappointment, or trouble; any thought of criticism, or spite, or jealousy, or condemnation of others, or self-condemnation; any thought of sickness or accident; or, in short, any kind of limitation or pessimistic thinking. Any thought that is not positive and constructive in character, whether it concerns you or anyone else, is a negative thought. Do not bother too much about the question of classification, however; in practice you will know whether a given thought is positive or negative. Even if your brain tries to deceive you, your heart will whisper the truth.

    Second, you must be quite clear that what this practice calls for is that you shall not entertain, or dwell upon negative things. Note this carefully. It is not the thoughts that come to you that matter, but only such of them as you choose to entertain and dwell upon. It does not matter what thoughts may come to you provided you do not entertain them. It is the entertaining or dwelling upon them that matters. Many negative thoughts may come to you all day long. Some of them will just drift into your mind of their own accord seemingly, and these come to you out of the race mind.

    Other negative thoughts will be given to you by other people, either in conversation or by their conduct, or you will hear disagreeable news perhaps by letter, email, or telephone, or you will see crimes and disasters announced in the newspaper headings. These things, however, do not matter as long as you do not entertain them. In fact, it is these very things that provide the discipline that is going to transform you during this epoch-making week.

    When the negative thought presents itself — turn it out!
    Turn away from the newspaper; turn out the thought of the unkind letter, or jealous remark. When the negative thought floats into your mind, immediately turn it out and think of something else. Best of all, think of God, or Nature, or whatever encourages you to smile, relax, and become centered. A perfect analogy is furnished by the case of a man who is sitting by an open fire when a red hot cinder flies out and falls on his sleeve. If he knocks that cinder off at once, without a moment's delay to think about it, no harm is done. But if he allows it to rest on him for a single moment, under any pretense, the mischief is done, and it will be a troublesome task to repair that sleeve. So it is with a negative thought.

    What of those negative thoughts and conditions which it is impossible to avoid at the point where you are today? What of the ordinary troubles that you will have to meet in the office or at home? Such things will not affect your diet provided that you do not accept them by fearing them, by believing them, by being indignant or sad about them, or by giving them any power at all. Any negative condition that duty compels you to handle will not affect your diet. Go to the office, or meet the cares at home, without allowing them to affect you. They are there, you acknowledge their existence, but when you retain your inner peace, positive mind, and power, all will be well.

    Suppose that you are lunching with a friend who talks negatively — do not try to shut him up or otherwise snub him. Let him talk, listen mindfully, but do not absorb what he says, and your diet will not be affected. Suppose that on coming home you are greeted with a lot of negative conversation — do not preach a sermon; quietly acknowledge its existence, but simply do not absorb it. It is your mental consent, remember, that constitutes your diet.

    Suppose you witness an accident or an act of injustice - instead of reacting with pity or indignation, do anything that you can to right matters, give it the right thought, and let it go at that. You will still be on the diet.

    Of course, it will be very helpful if you can take steps during this week to avoid meeting anyone who seems particularly likely to arouse the devil in you. People who get on your nerves, or rub you the wrong way, or bore you, are better avoided while you are on the diet; but if it is not possible to avoid them, then you must take a little extra discipline — that is all.

    Suppose you have a particularly trying ordeal next week.
    If you have enough spiritual understanding you will know how to meet that in the spiritual way; but, for our present purpose, wait and start the diet as soon as the ordeal is over. Take this mental diet seriously; think it over well before you start.

    People often find that the starting of this diet seems to stir up all sorts of difficulties. It seems as though everything begins to go wrong at once. This may be disconcerting, but it is really a good sign. It means that things are moving; your goal is in view! Suppose your whole world seems to rock on its foundations. Hold steady; let it rock, and when the rocking is over, the picture will have reassembled itself into something much nearer to your heart's desire.

    The above point is vitally important and rather subtle. Dwelling upon these difficulties is in itself a negative thought which will throw you off the diet. Accept that your world is rocking in appearance, but to refuse to take the appearance for the reality. Allow your newfound positive perception to become your reality!

    A closing word of advice: Keep this tremendous project strictly to yourself – make a confidential deal with your soul. When you have come through the seven days successfully, and secured your demonstration, allow a reasonable time to elapse to establish the new mentality, and then tell the story to anyone else who you think is likely to be helped by it. And, finally, remember that nothing said or done by anyone else can possibly throw you off the diet. Only your own reaction to the other person's conduct can do that.

    Safe travels on this wonderful, life-altering journey!

    Thursday, September 2, 2010

    This One's For the Boys!


    Erectile Dysfunction (ED) affects 100 million men worldwide. Extended periods of improper nutrition, impaired circulation, emotional stress, and prescription drugs are the primary causes of ED.

    A change in diet and lifestyle will, in most cases, reduce blood pressure which supports a reverse in ED. When the blood pressure is under control, and medication is no longer indicated, some men find they are able to more easily achieve and maintain an erection.

    98% of the diseases blamed as the cause of erectile dysfunction are nutrition and stress-related, including diabetes and arteriosclerosis. Those diseases can normally be cleared up with a change of diet and/or lifestyle. In other words, outside of illness, erectile dysfunction is primarily caused by depleted nutritional status, a blocked circulatory system, high emotional stress, or prescription medications.

    Stress and Erectile Dysfunction

    If you are over stressed, you must identify the cause of it, or find its source. If your stress level is high because of a person close to you, talk it through with that person. Engage their help and work out a way to eliminate it, or to at least reduce it to a comfortable level.

    If you find the cause of your stress to be difficult and unreasonable, disconnect from it. Kindly and respectfully move away from it. In other words, peacefully resign all persons, places, and things that are no longer part of your life. Focus on drawing more positive, calming energy into your life, and you will find yourself less stressed. Too much stress is not only destructive; it is also a prime cause of erectile dysfunction. For more information about stress and ED, please go here.

    Nutrition, Supplements, and Erectile Dysfunction Good nutrition and supportive supplementation may help improve ED. Please consider adding the following dietary tips to your daily routine:

    • Eat whole, fresh, unrefined, and unprocessed foods. Include organic fruits (especially blueberries, cherries, raspberries, and strawberries), green leafy vegetables, whole grains like quinoa and brown rice, beans, seeds (including ground flaxseed), nuts, olive oil, and cold-water fish (salmon, tuna, sardines, halibut, and mackerel) on a daily basis.
    • Avoid as best you can, or confine to special occasions, sugar, dairy products, refined foods, fried foods, junk foods, and caffeine. Eliminate one day of fast food eating until you are ready to eliminate a second day. Eliminate two days per week until you are ready to eliminate fast food from your diet completely.
    • Avoid over-consumption of alcohol and other mind-altering substances.
    • When you eat processed or refined foods, avoid trans fats (partially hydrogenated fats) especially, as these fats are an artery’s worst nightmare, and have a profoundly negative effect on libido and performance.
    • Drink 50% of your body weight in ounces of water daily (e.g., if you weigh 200 lbs, drink 100 ounces of water daily). If this seems impossible, start with a small daily increase and build your way to your recommended amount.
    • Sufficient zinc is required to achieve an erection, and sufficient potassium is required to maintain an erection. Consider asking your doctor to check these levels during your next visit.
    • Vitamins E, C, Selenium, and Vitamin B-complex are supportive of vascular health and may be taken in conjunction with a high quality multi-vitamin.

    It is important to consult a physician about erectile dysfunction to determine the cause, correct any underlying organic factor, and receive appropriate treatment.

    Please consult your health professional before taking any supplements.

    PS - a dear gentleman friend advises: if you have suffered a head injury or repetitive-type trauma (think football player in high school, for example), and experience ED, please have your testosterone level checked. Your pituitary gland (the body's Hormone Staging Area) may have been damaged long ago! Your relatively simple fix may be testosterone supplementation. See your health care practitioner for more information.

    Sunday, August 15, 2010

    Last Meal

    Let's say you lost your bearings, made a grievous error in judgment, sold fresh cow's milk to a neighbor in North Carolina, and found yourself cast in the real time version of "Dead Man Walking." What would you request for your last meal?

    I would go for a loaf of Farm and Sparrow peasant bread, dense and chewy center, crust dark and laden with seeds; a bowl of soft Spring butter from my friend Kathy's cowgirl Hope; a palm of coarse Himalayan sea salt; a salad of peppery arugula dressed with lime and olive oil; a bulb of Jill Klosterman's garlic, squeezable and roasted; four squares of rich, Fair Trade dark chocolate - 77% or better; and a bottle of vintage Bertani Amarone.

    What's your last meal?

    Last Meal, by Bill Holm

    On death row you celebrate your last night
    with your last dinner, your choice, your last craving
    to make at least your stomach happy before it stops
    craving anything at all. Many choose
    simple food: a hamburger, mac and cheese, ice cream.
    What might it be for you, my friend?
    Duckling Rouenaisse? A roast of unborn lamb?
    Washed down with Veuve Cliquot '59 and old Armagnac?
    And how do you know, my friend, that you are not
    eating your last meal at this very table now?
    Chew slowly. Make sure you take in all the body and the blood.

    "Last Meal" by Bill Holm, from The Chain Letter of the Soul: New & Selected Poems. © Milkweed Editions, 2009.

    Tuesday, August 3, 2010

    What is Life All About?

    Jaco, in his role as Emcee for the ACS Relay for Life, 2009

    "Life is about joy. If you're not having fun, what is the point? Joy is a state of mind and body. We cannot be happy in mind if our bodies are not happy...
    It's important to decide what is fun and meaningful for each of us, personally. Life is short, so make everything as joyful as possible."

    -excerpt from Conversations with Dog by Kate Solisti-Mattelon

    Monday, August 2, 2010

    What's Your Dietary Direction?

    Dietary direction can be defined, very simply, as the cumulative effect of specific groups of foods on our overall health. The groups are based on protein, carbohydrate, and fat intake which are the three macronutrients the human body depends on for life-giving energy. The body reacts in certain predictable ways when a person’s dietary direction leans heavily in favor of one macronutrient over the other, for good and for bad.
    The three established dietary direction categories are catabolic (alkaline, cleansing, breaking down), anabolic (acid, grounding, building up), and neutral (warming, comforting). These states of being are determined by our personal food choices, and those choices help determine the state of our overall holistic balance.
    Catabolic foods, for example, include fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, fresh juices, and herb teas. All the foods included in this category have some fiber content, and are high water content foods as well. They are hot weather foods that help remove toxins from the body, and are good for quick energy, but not for sustaining it. A catabolic diet direction is carbohydrate-dependent, with 70 – 80% of its calories supplied by carbohydrates, 10 – 15% by protein, and 10 – 15% by fat. A beneficial catabolic dietary direction makes use of unrefined and unprocessed carbohydrates which are those found in natural plant form.
    Anabolic foods include red meat, poultry, fish, dairy products such as butter, milk, and cheese, soy products, eggs, beans, seeds, nuts, and nut butters. These substantial foods are settling, stabilizing, and grounding, and are common components of a balanced diet, especially for people with a high metabolism, or for those suffering from all forms of Attention Deficit Disorder. However, some of these foods can be clogging and cause sluggishness, and must be balanced. An anabolic dietary direction receives 40% of its calories from carbohydrates, 30% from protein, and 30% from fats. A diet that is consistently high anabolic, or acid-forming, will set the body up for illness on a cellular level. The Standard American Diet is a high anabolic and acid-forming dietary direction.
    A neutral dietary direction strives for a more balanced caloric distribution, as 50 – 60% of calories are supplied by carbohydrates, 20 – 25% by protein, and 20 – 25% by fat. Neutral foods have a neutral pH level, and include cooked starches, root vegetables, whole grains, cereals, breads, pastas, soups, and nut milks. A neutral dietary direction does not necessarily correlate with an optimum diet, as many of these foods can be depleting or clogging to the body if eaten in consistently high quantity. However, a neutral dietary direction includes foods that are considered comfort foods, or foods that are warm and stabilizing (oatmeal, for example), and are welcome additions to a balanced diet.
    Understanding dietary direction helps put the eating experience in proper perspective. The concept of dietary direction provides a simple explanation of how to balance the body through food choices; it is uncomplicated, and easy to understand. With practice, you will be able to determine your dietary direction, and adjust your food choices accordingly.

    Sunday, August 1, 2010

    Basil Pestomania: Is There Any Cure?

    Nope, there's no cure if you're a freak for garlic and basil; might as well suck it up and make the BEST dang pesto you can. I'm partial to The Byrdfeeder recipe myself. Here it comes.

    Harvest 4 cups of basil from your garden, or barter with a friend or neighbor.  I'll trade one of my five organic 3' basil bushes for some high quality olive oil, Parmesan cheese, and raw walnuts. Heck, come on over, we'll make pesto together!

    4 cups fresh basil
    1 cup raw walnuts
    1 bulb garlic (the entire head)
    1 cup olive oil
    1/2 -  1 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese, or a combination (I like less cheese)
    a liberal amount of coarse ground black pepper (24 turns at least)
    coarse sea salt to taste (taste pesto after adding cheese, then add salt; otherwise, you may over-salt your creation)

    In a food processor, grind basil, garlic, and walnuts; slowly add olive oil with motor running; add cheese and pepper, and mix quickly; taste, add salt, adjust. Yep, it's that simple to make pesto.
    The Almost Perfect Bite: pesto and tomato

    The Perfect Bite: soft happy egg, pesto, cherry tomato

    Tuesday, July 20, 2010


    "Just living is not enough," said the butterfly, "one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower."  
    ~Hans Christian Anderson

    Monday, July 19, 2010

    Homemade Tomato Sauce: Worth It?

    48 tomatoes...

    48 tomatoes...

    48 tomatoes, plus a tart...

    Pick, scald, peel, seed, chop, drain. Break for decaf and dark chocolate.

    Saute one large sweet onion in 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add two large bulbs (heads) organic garlic and a generous splash balsamic. Add tomatoes, a light palm of salt. Basil? Not this time. Medium heat for 3 hours, uncovered. Stir...stir. Low heat through the night, uncovered.

    Rise. Smell. Stir. Yeah, baby. Jar. Freeze.

    Breakfast: scrape pot with crusty bread. Top sauced bread with homemade pesto. Eat, standing, eyes closed. Aaahhh...bella. Lick lips.

    48 tomatoes, 2 quarts of righteous sauce. Each to be consumed with a $48 bottle of something red. Double mark-up, you know.

    Worth it? Yes. Make your reservation now. Space limited. You bring the wine. Something Italian, perhaps...or vintage Californian.

    Stool Art: Bistro, by Cindy Cash, 1996

    Saturday, July 17, 2010

    Cucumber Pulp: Tzatziki and Other Edible (Or Not) Ideas!

    You're looking at the foundational ingredients for Tzatziki (pronounced "zat - ZEE - key," silent T), a traditional, nourishing and intensely flavorful Greek-inspired dip or sauce. Its uses are only limited by your imagination. Please revisit the post on Whey (June 29, 2010) for instructions on making Greek-style yogurt - easier than rocket science, I promise.

    Ingredients for Tzatziki (I rarely measure, and you don't have to, either, unless you're baking):
    • The curds from one quart of plain, whole milk yogurt
    • The pulp from 4 large cukes (seeds included, unless they offend you; if you didn't remove them before pureeing your cukes, it's no big deal; I use the seeds - lots of nutrients in seeds!)
    • 2 or more cloves garlic, finely minced
    • A generous squeeze of lemon juice
    • A couple of tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • A generous tablespoon of fresh or dried dill
    • 4 or more fresh mint leaves, finely minced (optional, but soooo good)
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    Put all ingredients in a bowl, and smash with a large fork. Taste, and adjust seasonings. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour to blend flavors.

    How to Use Tzatziki 
    • Spread on tomato or turkey sandwiches instead of mayonnaise...you may never look back
    • Dip fresh garden veggies in it
    • Dress grilled lamb or other meat of your choice
    • Top a baked potato with it
    • Experiment and share your results with us!
       More Uses for Cucumber Pulp
      • Natural Make-up Remover and Skin Soother (sunburn remedy): slowly simmer the pulp with a cup of milk; strain and store the liquid in a jar; refrigerate; clean your face before bedtime, or gently rub on skin irritations. Thank the well-used pulp, then toss it in the compost bin.
      • 1/2 cup pulp replaces 1/2 cup of oil in homemade bread, cake, or biscuits
      • Turn a cool bath into a spa treatment
      • Make a batch of chilled summer soup...hmmm...gazpacho... 
      • Add to your garden compost, if you're out of energy; but first, see if your dog or cat will eat it

      Friday, July 16, 2010

      Sun Salutations

      "Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life."
           - Rachel Carson

      Garden Equivalent of Ruby Red Slippers

      "Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm." Abraham Lincoln

      Cucumber Juice: Spit of the Garden!

      Cucumbers are the gold medal winners in my 2010 garden. I can't give them away fast enough, and they  grow monstrously large if not picked hourly; cukes love to play hide and seek.  I decided to juice the bigger ones, figuring I'd take cool baths with cucumber juice, read some Jane Austen, and pretend to be the favored daughter of respected but cash-poor Victorian aristocracy who gets the guy and the horse at the end.

      But first, I tasted it.

      How oddly refreshing, I thought. So I shared the beautiful green juice with a friend who gagged, shuddered and softly said, "This tastes like someone else's spit." Well, that got me to thinking about the old woman who once was my mountain neighbor, and the day I was stung by five yellow jackets while transplanting zinnias. She reached in her mouth, pulled out a wad of tarry tobacco spit, and daubed it on my stings. Instant relief! Could cucumber juice have the magic properties of Lily Wykle's spit? If a garden produced spit, would it come from a cucumber? Well, yeah. There has to be something productive to do with those overgrown blimps.

      How to Juice Cukes: wash and slice your cukes in half, no need to peel if they're organic; scoop out the seeds ONLY if they offend you; cut up the slices into large chunks. Place chunks into your blender or food processor. Puree until smooth; pour the puree into a strainer lined with cheesecloth; after a few minutes, you may want to help the juice separate from the pulp by gently squeezing and wringing out the cheesecloth; save the pulp for later use. Pour into a glass container and chill.

      How to Serve: straight up, or, with a squeeze of fresh lemon, or frozen into cubes and floated in a glass of water or a Bloody Mary. Make sure the juice is well chilled, and give your taste buds a day or two to adjust. The more you sip, the better it becomes. Open your mind and heart to cuke juice; the benefits will be obvious soon enough.

      What people are saying about cucumber juice (other than the spit comment):

      • Cuke juice helps with aching, painful joints – and after 2 days of juicing cucumbers I was pain-free
      • Cucumber Juice is extremely good for your hair, skin and nails
      • Cucumber Juice is high in potassium - a great natural source of electrolytes
      • Cucumber Juice can help lower your blood pressure
      • Cucumber is a wonderful source for silica
      • Silica is important for healthy connective tissue, ligaments, cartilage, muscles, tendons, and bone
      • Cucumber juice supplies the body Molybdenem, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Manganese, Tryotophan, Magnesium, and Chlorophyll
      • Cucumbers are a great way to cool down your body's inflammatory response
      • Cucumber is very alkaline; cancer cannot live in an alkaline environment
      • Cucumber juice is also used to heal and cure issues with acne, water retention, arthritis, kidneys, eczema, psoriasis, and hair loss (really? hair loss?)
      • Cucumber juice is a diuretic and therefore has wonderful cleansing powers
      Cucumber Juice: Nature's internal spit-shine!

        Eat The Rainbow: Simple Recipes Included

               What could be easier than this lunch?
               (OK, a drive-thru, ha ha ha)

        Chickpeas: cook a bag of chickpeas according to directions (overnight soak, etc.), OR open a can, drain it, and rinse the peas in cold water. Throw them in a bowl. Anticipate your next delicious move.

        Party Dress for the Chickpeas: toss a handful of herbs (cilantro, dill, basil, parsley, or a combo), a jalapeno pepper, a couple tablespoons of olive oil, some lemon juice, and a pinch of salt in a blender or food processor; add more oil and / or lemon juice if needed. Pour what you need over the chickpeas, and refrigerate the rest for later. You'll use it again.

        Four- Minute Steamed Okra: set up your well-used steamer basket scenario (see July 2nd post for explicit steaming directions); when the water steams, add the okra; set the kitchen timer for NO MORE THAN 4 minutes. Remove the basket promptly, and drizzle the little green alien pods with olive oil and sea salt.  

        MY HEARTFELT OKRA TESTIMONY: eating okra lightly cooked this way will change your world, I swear. My favorite okra recipe used to be this: boil a quart of salt water; add a pound of okra; cook for 20 minutes, then flush down the toilet. Think you don't like okra? Think again, my friend. I was a card-carrying okra hater unless it was fried dark brown and covered with ketchup. Stewed? Ugh. Still makes me gag just thinking about it. But, this, I'm serious; it's my favorite summer food. Be brave, and you will be rewarded.

        Chilled purple cabbage: turn your burner on medium high; in a frying pan, heat up a couple tablespoons of chicken broth or water; add a couple of cups or more chopped cabbage of any color (mine happened to be purple which turned a lovely color of blue when cooked - much more palatable than the artificial blue of M&Ms); add a liberal pinch of salt, a squeeze of lemon juice, and stir; after a minute or two, you might need to add another tablespoon or so of liquid, depending on how old the cabbage is - the younger it is, the quicker it will cook - and cover it for another minute. It takes approximately 5 minutes or less to cook cabbage this way, and it will be crunchy, not mushy. Eat what you want, and store the rest. Cabbage is good for breakfast, remember?

        Marinated Cukes and Onions: Slice a bunch of garden cukes as thin as you can; slice a large sweet onion very thinly, too; in a large casserole-type glass container, layer the cukes and onions. Boil one cup of apple cider vinegar, one cup of water, and 1/2 cup of honey or organic cane sugar. Pour the hot mixture over the cukes and onions until the veggies are covered. If you need more liquid, just add more vinegar and water. If you want these babies even sweeter, add balsamic vinegar at the end.

        Cherry Tomatoes and Fresh Peppers: wash 'em, eat 'em.