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"Free and critical minds can emerge only by a return to the source-the primary sources. A free and critical mind takes nothing for granted and is not intimidated by "authorities" who frequently may be more confused than the general public. Free and critical minds seek truth without chauvinism or shame." - Dr. Asa G. Hilliard III (1)

“One single bit of information, if missing, incomplete, out of order or just plain wrong, has the potential to significantly alter thought processes, conclusions, decisions and behaviors, even when that one single logic entry exists in a sea of accuracy.”

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Fluoride, Aspartame, BPA, Polysorbate 80 - Food Fight #17

Food Fight #17

The following post contains essential information in keeping with the ongoing Food Fight Health Series.

Please retake control of your health and your life by first reading ”How Can We Have A Healthy Economy If Virtually Everything We Eat And Drink Is Constantly Making Us All Sick?” by Michael Snyder.

Note: If the inside of a can of food is lined with a white plastic coating, it has BPA.

How can any of this be true?

Many of us Americans make decisions based on a faulty foundational thought process that incorporates some right questions such as "How can the government and the FDA allow this?" or "Why hasn't the media not sounded the alarm?" and “Where are the experts and researchers?” Yet we reach the wrong foundational conclusion that government, media, researchers and experts are mostly objective entities and people who are looking out for us no matter what. This prevents us from linking many of our health crises to food, water and personal products. We simply do not want to believe what we consume oftly is killing us softly. These products are also greatly diminishing our quality of life and thus our full potential and thus our ability to realize hopes and dreams. It's that serious.

Thinking Straight

Toxic things in the human body affect the brain and therefore our ability to “think straight.” Ask yourself, why would anyone want you not to think straight? Who benefits? Here's a clue. Power never admits a wrong that diminishes power AND power never tells a truth that prevents the accumulation of more power.

BTW: Food Fight 6: The Quick Fix discusses side effects.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Voting For Thanksgiving

What America stands for is not defined by constitutions or other documents but by the documentation of elections. Who the majority votes for tells you what the country is about. Who the majority reelects tells you even more about their basic beliefs, thus their future actions.

We live in the world we vote for.

If the majority of Americans wanted things to change, things would change.

How quickly we ban together to create a furor and protest over airport screening procedures despite the reality of their necessity.

Where is this outrage against what passes for food, against housing crises, against inadequate education, against the exploitation of nature, against obese governments and against anything that makes a difference for every American at the fundamental, we-hold-these-truths, level.

Americans must like the death, maiming and psychological damage of their sons and daughters over bullcrap. Why else vote for massive destruction the second time? Americans must not appreciate what it takes to change the entrenched and unrepentant “good guys.” Why else not vote for giving change a decent chance at breaking through these barriers? Americans must like unemployment since it has been caused by the longstanding slow leak that has siphoned the air out of opportunity only to cushion corporate bottom lines. The workforce merely serves as insulation to keep the superstructures on Wall Street nice and cozy. Thank you Uncle Sam and Lady Liberty. Good looking out.

Other Americans will often warn me, “Careful what you wish for.” Not once have I heard, “Thankful what you vote for.”

Everything Americans have gotten over the years, we've voted for - every opportunity, missed opportunity, celebration and many calamities. If Americans wanted their unemployed neighbors to continue to get extended benefits they would not have voted for those who continue to block these extensions under the guise of a budget that can't be balanced unless Americans vote for stripping the government naked so it can get a thorough cleaning.

If Americans wanted an end to bipartisanship (as polls mislead you to believe) they would not tolerate the dishonorable Senator from Kentucky, Mitch McConnell, and anyone who supports his un-American promise to destroy the President at the expense of millions of Americans.

If Americans wanted foreclosures to stop or slow down and their own property values to stabilize they would hold anti-tea party-like rallies against banks and suggest, via the blogosphere, airport screening-like boycotts. Come on! Banks don't have to foreclose as hastily as they are. Leave the people alone. Charge interest on unpaid balances and give the people at least a 6-month payment deferment so folks can regain their footing. Seems like banks are in a hurry and trying overly hard to be in the “owning real estate business” by unmercifully making homeless more Americans during these extra shaky times.

The vote of a righteous American availeth much. Have faith in prayer but focus on the vote. Eat together tomorrow but vote for better tomorrows for hard-working and eager to be working again Americans. Americans ought always to vote so no American today has to face the same uncertainty of survival that faced the Pilgrims. What will our next vote say about what we are really thankful for?

Friday, November 12, 2010

DNA & Genetics of Belief: A Dynamic New Approach

It's impossible to change when you don't see how (believe) you can.

A plant in my flowerbed grows 4 feet tall and blooms. In the middle of the yard where the mower is used frequently, it flowers at 3 inches. In just a few years, this plant has learned to adjust. I am inhibiting its inbred tendencies and it is finding a way around me. The plant has changed the set of instructions its parents, siblings and relatives live by. It has altered its DNA. It has changed its individual self.

You do yourself a dreadful disservice if you go along with the notion that some longstanding aspects of your nature are unchangeable because “it's in your genes, genealogy or it's genetics..”

“Adaptation” or “mutation” both mean a change in DNA. The former is preferrable to the latter. If humanity's genes can change during the lifespan of others then it is not impossible for it to change within your individual lifetime. You are not hard-wired and steel coated. You are soft-wired and placenta-coated. Every cell is an embryo responsive to molding. Even in older humans.(1)

Consider this. In order for there to be seasons or no seasons there must be a pattern of actions and reactions. These patterns are flexible. They take into account innumerable influences such as celestial movement, living organisms and other aspects of the natural world (oceans, volcanoes, forests and rocks to name a few).

The climate has never stopped changing. The world is alive. Each aspect acts upon the others. The natural world is constantly adjusting, passing on new sets of instructions and changing patterns. You will not be fit to thrive, let alone survive, in a changing world unless you do the same.

Thankfully you are not a plant or a season and have more flexibility to respond to influences that may inhibit you. You can direct your life. You can think through your life. Keep at it and keep away from those who see your attempts to change as curious rather than perceive it as courageous. That 3 inch plant only grew leaves for awhile. This year it figured it out, completed its reinvention process and is once again doing what it came here to do.

By changing just one part of any one of your instructions, you can alter the course of your life. It's not about nature “versus” nurture It's both. Nurture yourself and change your very nature. Will it be finances, relationships, spirituality, health, historical knowledge, self honesty...?

Evolution is about experimenting with what works. It's about choosing the best option that ensures short-term viability but does not derail long-term possibilities.(2). Evolution is about reassessing and trying again. It's about reassessing and changing again and again and...

Don't inhibit yourself by stubbornly or fearfully holding onto a set of beliefs that are not working for you. DNA is dynamic and so should be the mental instructions flowing through your brain. These are the philosophies you've lived by for so long. You must change what influences you if you want to change anything at all. This is a certainty. Change what you allow into your mind. Find a way around your current inhibiting self to get to the new unlimiting you. Begin changing the genetics of your beliefs.

DNA could just as well stand for Dynamic New Approach.

Note (1): You can't teach an old dog new tricks but you can train the puppy inside.

Note (2): Some examples: You don't work for money now that prevents you from later fulfilling your dreams. You don't tell a lie today that will catch up to you tomorrow. You don't destroy your health ever in exchange for anything.

Biblio Video containing the most recent influence in the quest for evolution beyond the spin cycle: "Different, Not Deficient" Reverend Jeremiah Wright at NAACP Dinner, Part 3

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Friend or Foe or Shoeless Joe

This is a good article for combining perspective and reality, 30 Reasons Why You Should Be Really Nervous About The State Of The U.S. Economy by Michael Snyder.

What we have is classic self-fulfilling prophecy coming home to roost. America, from jump, has operated from a single core principle/fallacy. We can do anything, anytime, anywhere and use deception and wars (of all types both foreign and domestic) to fix it/hide it/cover it up/deny it. In other words, this is the fallacy many parents warn their immature teenage children about. "You're not going to live forever so quit behaving like you can act now and consider the consequences later and then dodge them." America suffers from the selfish dementia known as Daffy Duck Syndrome: The world is mine, mine, all mine.

America, by way of Europe, is the quintessential pathological liar and needs help. It's coming in the form of forced rehabilitation by the emerging, converging and surging markets led by China. (Fasten your seatbelts for a different kind of turbulence other than the one you've become accustomed to. Americans will have to re-balance their common and normal-seeming off balance understanding.)

If America was a person, it would be a poor choice for a friend.

The linked article above does not take into account basic problems that says everything about the nature of America. Despite being the mis-conceptualized but properly idealized "land of opportunity" it does not adequately provide such for its children and elders. Not good. There is much to be said here, but by simply looking at public education and services and assurances afforded to its senior citizens you can tell that America is not a good parent or a good Uncle or a good person despite how many of its patriots obligatorily parrot the phrase, "America is a great nation."

Sadly, many will still continue to be offended by the truth and want to hear something different and ask, "Say it ain't so, Shoeless Joe."

Monday, October 11, 2010

Immortality, Death & Crooked Rugs

My son is showing much earlier promise than I did in questioning what society is promoting as okay.

He calls Aspartame and other such chemical concoctions camouflaged in food, “immortal substances” because it's impossible for the digestive system to change them into anything useful.

He made an analogy regarding the healthy potato's transformation into a french fry. If a potato was a person it would be like wearing a grease jacket from Deathdriana Furs.

To a large degree, Aspartame and french fries are as American as baseball, hotdogs, apple pie and Honda. I try to keep him aware that in many instances, it is best to do the opposite of what America promotes. He then reasoned the only thing America doesn't do the opposite of is the opposite (of it's current backwards way of thinking).

After all this I notice the rug is every which way for the umpteenth time. Is this the way kids silently rebel – kicking up rugs? I'll straighten all the rugs if it allows him to stay straight on health by focusing his attention on the food fight and larger life issues by simply questioning what is natural and normal.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Feel Away Fear

Fear is fast. It will catch you. Fear is slick. It tags along undetected like a stowaway. It has a great nose. To demonstrate its prowess, fear will give you a head start and then sniff out your successful hiding place. No one else may ever know it but you. The only way to get away from fear is to step through it or over it as you continue to move in a positive direction. In American football this is called moving north and south towards the goal line instead of east and west towards the sideline.

Fear is a feeling; therefore, you can't think away fear. You must feel away fear.

Fear is a spirit. It always has the advantage over emotions and thoughts. That's why fear is able to get you to feel and believe fully in what is completely unhelpful. Fear knows the heart and mind are limited.

Truth is, fear is a coward and tries to make you one. It knows you have a resident superhero on your side. Your spirit, the perfect gift from the eternal one, is your personal assistant, partner and mentor. It is a match made in heaven to give you the advantage against that which seeks to limit you from becoming what the Creator intended.

You might know your spirit by other names: instincts, intuition, second nature, the zone, in tune, connected, psychic, energy, gut, comes naturally and the frequent, “something tells me...” These aspects of awareness are your spirit trying to find a frequency you will respond to. Your spirit is your best best friend. Your spirit is always saying, "Can you feel me? Can you feel me now?” It is God within you. Is it powerful or not? Are you powerful or not? The answer is not yes or no but an undeniable positive feeling. It is the same feeling of confidence that rushed from the center of creation and become the sound that vibrated everything into being.

You can feel away fear with your portion of this Great Spirit. With it, you're always in the game and able to make an incredible comeback.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Nature: One Happening Season

In my house are two plants with rigid, treelike trunks. They step forward and backward - moving, but not progressing in four years. At least they're surviving. As close as I've been, I didn't realize how much they're leaning and how unnatural this has been. Again I'm told they need a significant change; so, finally back outside they go.

Just halfway into the season one is standing tall. The other is still blah. A new pot, soil and support are added. Its roots thank God. In a short while, the main branches are moving towards center with renewed energy.

The season is still at hand and both plants are replacing dull, older parts with leaves reflecting their inherent richness. They complement themselves. Other plants sharing in this, beyond what hearing or seeing can detect, are also becoming robust.

It's amazing what, what's natural for you, can do. A lot can happen in one season.

All is within yourself. Know your most inward self and look for what corresponds with it in nature.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Reconstructing Natural Habitat

Just by listening to nature shows one common theme becomes obvious. The greatest threat to each and every kind of wildlife and plant is the destruction of its habitat. Doesn't matter where it lives, that destruction is caused by man. That's a species like me.

With just a few small changes to how I interact with “my property” wildlife now seems to feel a little more at home. Several species are newly noted this year.

Either a meadow or prairie vole has been seen darting for cover. A few well fed racoons passed through. A rabbit hopped over and found only the dandelions munchworthy. Frequent visitors are a toad, goldfinches, grasshoppers, dragonflies, damselflies, a yellow ladybug and insects I can't name. Though honeybees are touted for their work ethic, bumblebees are no slackers. In fact they might be the haaardest working in the beeosphere. They're at it from first to last light.

With all this going on, the vegetables and fruit have not been affected beyond the point of small reasonable sharing. Free sun, rain, soil activity and pollination should always bring reciprocity.

What seems to be working:

1.Not using chemicals for fertilizer or to kill other plants or insects.
2.Leaving leaves throughout fall and winter.
3.Mulching leaves and grass back into the grass. The simple way to invite birds from the sky is to invite them from the ground up.
4.Limiting use of yard waste containers by recycling plant material. Run the lawn mower over it.
5.Planting a greater variety of plants including native ones.
6.Allowing native plants already present to grow.
7.Allowing the lawn in the back yard to grow a little higher so more plants can complete a life cycle which supports other life cycles. A privacy fence has made this easier.
8.Avoiding smothering many life forms and processes with plastic.
9.There are more dandelions in the front where I cut more frequently. Since I was the only one with a field of dandelions, I pulled 95% of them by hand and of course they are making a comeback. In the backyard, where everything is left alone, dandelions exist in balance.
10.Planting extra veggies for giving back to nature for keeping me alive.

The reality is everyone's home turf is nature's habitat. A broken chain is a broken chain. Once we stop damaging our yards for our limited selfish purposes, we'll automatically reconstruct a more welcoming environment.

If our personal, limited understanding is in alignment with the expansive, universal understanding, then life is easier to bear and we can be more productive.

See Also:
Natural World Observations: Going Wild Like A Flower In Spring Breaking Free

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Veggie Fest 2010

For anyone within driving distance of Naperville, Illinois, consider attending Veggie Fest 2010.

If unable to attend, a visit to the website might reveal a sponsor or link useful to your journey.

Click Here For Veggie Fest 2010. or cut/paste,

Monday, July 19, 2010

Individual Responsibility of Oil Spills

Oil spills are the result of just one of the practices harmful to the natural world. Whether we live near other waters or inland, we are not out of the reach of Prince William Sound or the Gulf of Mexico. Neither can we escape individual responsibility.

Businesses and governments are not the cause of environmental problems, they are merely reflections of the majority of individuals. Society reflects the beliefs of its individuals. These beliefs accumulate and spillover into larger society as the policies and practices of its institutions. When enough individuals change their beliefs, society automatically changes. Business will stop going anywhere for anything and using any method to get it. Governments will stop allowing it. Governments will also stop using common monies for its preferences. Individuals will conduct personal private boycotts which will automatically put offending businesses and politicians out of business.

Yes, individuals can reduce the negative effects of large scale disasters such as oil spills by changing their small scale, individual approaches to the natural world. Once enough individuals demand better of themselves, they will not accept excuses from companies and public agencies. There'd be a sincere focus on avoiding man-made disasters.

For instance, we require flood insurance for those living in areas that nature might flood. We should also require environmental damage insurance if any aspect of a business might harm nature. These insurance premiums would be collected by the industry and in case of damage, the entire industry would pay. You gotta pay to play and put in to get in. Although there would still be outside monitoring, this could make each industry mostly self-policing in terms of always being proactive about environmental damage.

Consider the following 12 quotes, proverbs, musings & reflections.

1. Take what's natural, take a part of me.
2. A civilized society does not bite the land that feeds it.
3. Smart people do not leave nature smarting.
4. A man not informed by nature can be many things except wise.
5. People that exhibit intelligence do not inhibit nature.
6. A high regard for technology shouldn't cause a low regard for nature.
7. Parents who mistreat nature want their kids to have a badder life than them.
8. Quality of life is in the ecology of life.
9. Loving gardening and loving nature are not the same things.
10. If grass grows in the garden does it become a weed?
11. There is no personal relationship with God without also having one with nature.
12. If not mindful of nature we are out of our natural mind.

Related: President Obama, I Am Responsible For The Economy

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Gardening: Plants Minister By Example

The more time I spend amongst nature, the more merrier I become. This is all due to their life examples.

No matter which plant ministers, a common theme is that gardening is not a matter of expertise. Expertise has a tendency of getting in the way of progress. It is a supposed lack of expertise that fuels a fear of failure that keeps a lot of people from returning to being friends with nature. Gardening is simply placing plants and seeds where they have a chance to grow and trusting nature to do most, if not all, of the rest.

Life Example 1: Two sunflowers arose after sleeping in layers of soil since Fall 2008. Two things:

(a) Some seeds do emerge. Keep placing 'em on soil and amazing things will happen.

(b) The petals of one sunflower is all yellow as commonly thought. The petals on the other plant are mostly red with streaks and tips of yellow. This same variance has also occurred on the same plant. These seeds came from the same seed head, the same mother. This is the story of human diversity, esp. the varying trait of skin tones.

Life Example 2: A rose bush I considered dead and tried to completely remove three years ago has steadily come back strong. From just a pinky-sized, dried out looking, scrub of a stalk, it produced several crimson roses this Spring. It has the same irrepressible spirit as the peach tree. Patient willingness for inner growth during a transition period leads to the outward revealing of already present success. Strong roots prevail.

Related Posts:
Gardening – The Hardest Part
Spiritual Forgetfulness, Afrikan Amnesia
Growing Food: Green Thumb Not Required But Three Things Are. Food Fight #51 – Another Grown-Folks Misconception

Monday, June 21, 2010

Spiritual Forgetfulness, Alkebu-lan ( Afrikan) Amnesia

“No man whose vision is bounded by colour can come into contact with what is highest and best in the world.” --Booker T. Washington

Unless you believe in multiple sets of original woman and original man, every person on the planet is of Alkebu-lan descent. Some of us just have a shorter lineage back home. Many of the names groups of people go by amount to splitting the one original bloodline way past hair thin. This has restricted the flow of healthy energy to the global mind. The lack of wholesome energy to our collective mindset has led to spiritual forgetfulness, Alkebu-lan amnesia and social ills.

If groups properly identified their ethnic heritage, they would all use the prefix, “Alkebu-lan” as in Alkebu-lan-American, Alkebu-lan-Asian, Alkebu-lan-Indian, Alkebu-lan-Arab, Alkebu-lan-Inuit, Alkebu-lan-Hispanic, Alkebu-lan-European and so on. This connects the first to the last. As it stands, cultural identities are truncated.

Who claims a proud heritage yet disowns their mother? Who rewrites their family history? There is no one holy that denies their greatest grandmother is Queen Mother Alkebu-lan.

There's a lot to do to restore Alkebu-lan Awareness to the world. There are a lot of people of every colour who seem to have forgotten that it is their responsibility to uphold their complete heritage.

The best determinant of who “ our people” are, is our spirit. The spiritual self allowed early huemans to accomplish and achieve more than the brain power of modern humans. Extended periods of learning from the greatest spiritual teacher, intuition, made it possible for the foundations of many great things to rise in Alkebu-lan. Modern mind-based intelligence and civilizations would be unrecognizable without tens of thousands of years of Alkebu-lan influence on the world via Alkebu-lan migration and the return to Alkebu-lan for study by later generations of these migrants. In the name of cultural and present-day pagan pride, we have forgotten a lot more than where we all came from.

An Alkebu-lan consciousness is ultimately about restoring, healing and uniting all her children, even those with acclimatized colours. I'm not sure how we can become like God or God like or Christ like or one with The Creator unless we are seeking to become one with our extended family, no matter how far removed. I'm not sure how any of the major societal problems can be solved without restoring our memory.

If we were educated and not merely institutionally informed, we would always seek and strive for the refinement of impurities from the soul. We would allow ourselves to be led where our spiritual intelligence guides and not where our mental intelligence overrides.

"There comes a time when all the cosmic tumblers have clicked into place and the universe opens itself up for a few seconds to show you what's possible." --Terence Mann, fictional character from the movie, Field of Dreams.

Current empire-obsessed civilizations lack vision and virtue. Every hueman and every generation will get several opportunities to peer into the womb of possibilities. Will you acknowledge your family tree is merely a branch on a baobab or iroko that is over 200,000 years old? If your family history or ethnic heritage does not go back this far, much has been forgotten. Once we restore our spiritual connection to each other, a lot changes in the world because we are remembering and gaining insight into who we really are.

Ivan Van Sertima on FTP-Part2A: The Origins of Man, (10:40)

Dr Cheikh Anta Diop : Humanity Origin, (29:52)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Gardening - The Hardest Part

Something In The Water

Going outside soon after rain ceases is a time of heightened anticipation. Even if it's still cloudy and temperatures are cooler, plants have progressed noticeably. Seeds, leaves, blossoms and fruit have taken giant steps forward with mother's and father's blessings. I try to remain aware of when it's likely to rain so I won't get in the way of this process by using processed water (tap water) instead.

Rain and shine then rain and shine is optimal for many plants - at least the ones I have, especially the young ones. The young always thrive with a lot of natural love. I get excited when the forecast indicates an every other day or partial day of rain. This elation starts to crescendo when the wind turns up leaves or an expanse of darkness approaches or the perfume in the air invokes a refreshing memory of rain or all three. If I've just scattered seeds, they are destined for a quicker, stronger start.

After an early drenching rain today, I stepped into the backyard. I discovered nine more tomato plants growing all over the garden. Tomatoes have so much resiliency. Several were growing in the midst and shade of other plants. This is another example of why "weeding" to the nth degree seems most unnecessary. I will honor the growth of these thirteen tomato plants to show my appreciation and to experiment again with how much soil space a plant really needs, especially annual edibles. I did cut some of the limbs of nearby plants to allow more exposure to sunlight of these self restarters. This could very well be, The Year Of The Tomato.

There have been many other types of plants popping up all over the yard. Since this is the natural, inevitable way, this year is one of letting things grow where they choose as much as possible. I try to work around these proactive plants in the garden and cut around them in the grass. I'm excited about the single seed growing under the apple tree. Continue to listen to your natural mind it seems to be saying. This new arrival obtained enough nutrition to rise up in shin high grass. This flower must be a fierce competitor to be able to steal nutrients away from an established tree and thick grass. All three are doing fine.

Even though it probably has more to do with the effect of rain on organisms in the soil, there's something in rainwater that is so wonderful for plants. In most cases, rain is more pure than tap water. Plants don't need a lot of the extra, unintended stuff we offer them. They do need as much stuff from natural sources as possible. Lastly, plants don't need us doing a lot of tinkering with prescribed methods and processes. Staying out of the way, if anything, is the hardest part of gardening.

See Also:
Natural World Observations: Going Wild Like A Flower In Spring Breaking Free
Growing Food: Green Thumb Not Required But Three Things Are. Food Fight #51 – Another Grown-Folks Misconception

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Empathic Civilisation

At its core, this blog is about opening awareness - not by choice but by charge. As a result, it pushes boundaries in content and creativity. Awareness is essential to improvement in any fashion. It is essential to changing your circumstances. The blog and author of, CRPS/RSD A Better Life aids graciously in my personal quest.

After listening to an invigorating perspective in the video, Empathic Civilisation, it released these thoughts:

It contains a very powerful message indeed! It takes our thinking back to a foundational level which is absolutely what is necessary so we can stop kidding ourselves. I love the notion of empathizing with fellow creatures and the environment and that to be able to do so is a hallmark of civilization. This is the next step in our long-stalled evolution – to move beyond the limited amount of empathy that currently trickles through and is mostly stagnant in societies. The video also clearly links a lack of basic empathy to the undesirable things in societies.

The subtext of the video also states that in order to have empathy to the global, encompassing degree we need to, we must challenge our current beliefs and practices in terms of our institutions such as education, government and businesses.

Amazingly, today, before watching the video, the following thoughts came to me:

We want spirituality as long as it doesn't take too much dedication.
We want personal growth without having to change too much and as long as change leaves our current lives and relationships pretty much intact.
We want nature, but not too close, especially in our yards.
We want to claim intelligence, knowledge and smartness as long as we don't have to seek out and think out what we believe or reconsider beliefs from time to time. With this type of mindset, the world must have remained flat to many people for years after the correct awareness was achieved. In order to fight against recent human propensity to become stuck, we must consider new information, especially new information that is actually old.

We want to care, have empathy, but not too much, i.e. about Haiti as an earthquake victim but not as having the right to independence of governance and prosperity without outside determination to prevent the latter. Lastly, we want to care about the plight of Africans on the surface but not about the multi-country effort to plunder its riches below the surface including the disentombing of its sacred treasures in Egypt. Obviously it costs too much to care if Africans prosper from the resources in the land of their birth.

I suggest watching the video. I also suggest bracing to absorb the impact.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

10 Easy Gardening Tips

Food Fight #16

If you've made a few of the changes in the previous articles, the food fight for better health should be getting easier. It becomes even easier when you incorporate homegrown food. This may sound like a lot of work but gardening is easier than you think. Try one or more of the following ideas and you'll quickly experience more enjoyment than effort.

1.Just Grow It. If you're really hesitant, just grow an herb in an indoor pot. Some stores sell them planted and ready just like a house plant. At nurseries and independent garden supply stores that sell plants, soil and pots, they'll do it for you. If you have a taste for a more hands-on approach, keep reading.

2.A Green Thumb. Another Dumb Myth. There are no anointed ones who are the aces of agriculture. Gardening has nothing to do with a mysterious set of procedures and skills where everything always succeeds and award-winning results are achieved by someone with “the knack.” Gardening is simply placing a seed or plant in soil and letting nature do what it does naturally. Without my interference, nature has taken flower seeds from all my flower beds and planted them all over the yard. They are thriving yet I did nothing. To show how easy it is, nature planted these new flowers in and among grass and dandelions and other plants. Plants are determined to survive. Given half a chance, they will.

Someone reminded me of an important truth. When you spit watermelon seeds in the yard, some of those seeds will grow. My advice to anyone unsure of growing something is to not try too hard to grow it and it'll likely grow.

3.Soil Yourself. If you want to save time and money year after year plus get better results, learn more about soil health. Read a little bit and make one of the changes you can easily make right now to improve the soil. You will end up doing less and less to the landscape, especially those things that are counterproductive like removing leaves and grass clippings and suffocating the soil with plastic. Caring for the soil makes it okay to always have a dirty mind.

4.Try Bigger, Think Basic. Don't limit yourself to a small garden or no garden at all just because you think it's too much work. Hire someone to turn your soil or install raised beds. Plant in pots. Use the containers house and garden plants come in. I've used the black trays to grow salad greens and spinach. Also, cut the tops off plastic gallon containers that milk, juice and detergent come in, poke holes in the bottom and use those outside. Most people also seem to have plastic butter containers available on a regular basis. Buy containers at the Dollar Store. Ask neighbors for stuff they throw away or have lying around. You can use anything that holds soil and can allow for drainage holes. You could plant in a shoe. I've also used small plastic trash cans and the plastic containers used now mostly to store things in basements.

5.Try a Different Design. Still fighting for space in a garden you already have? Consider this. Do not use the one planting row and one walking row design. Plant two rows side by side with no walking space in between. Make each row 12 inches wide. In one row plant flowers, herbs and other perennials, especially highly beneficial plants for gardens, usually native flowers. In the other row plant annual vegetables. Then have a walking row and then two more planting rows. From just one walking row you can reach four planting rows. This works well when planting near a fence or wall or other barrier you can't reach from both sides. Make all the outside rows, perennial rows. If your garden is small and you can reach it from all sides you don't even need rows. You only need a center spot to provide access to all of interior plants. There are plenty of design variations to try.

At a minimum, separate perennial edibles from those you have to replant each year so at least that portion will be almost completely self-sustaining.

Grow cool season veggies in the heat of summer. Don't not plant them because Spring is almost over. Plant them between rows of taller, bushier plants such as corn or tomatoes or plant in pots and move the pots to partial shade when the heat is on. Also consider planting them in an area that receives the shortest and/or weakest sun.

6.Pace yourself. If you'd love to grow a lot of veggies every year but doing it all within one or two weeks seems daunting, do a little bit at a time. Plant a few things over four weekends or try every day or so over a 30 day period at the beginning of the planting season. You will still have time for all of the plants to mature.

7.When To Water. Compare often heard rules and common practices to what nature does. Since God waters whenever, I pay little attention to the advice to only water in the morning. Yes, the heat of the sun does dry the leaves during the day. Depending on the day, foliage can dry in an hour or less even if it's 7 p.m.

Air movement can also help dry the leaves, even at night so as long as I don't place the plants too close to prevent air circulation, I'm not concerned. I've found that melons, squash and pumpkins seem most susceptible to disease when their leaves are often wet at night and there is no air circulation. Sometimes you will forget or not be available to water in the morning. Water when you can.

Most plants need to stay moisturized. They need water in their bodies at all times to stay alive, stay healthy and to grow leaves and fruit. Don't allow your plants to suffer from thirst, waiting for the next morning's watering, just because you're worried they might get a disease – especially when the heat and humidity of summer days and nights is intense.

8.Forget the weeding. There are no weeds in nature, none. Many plants can help and complement your garden plants and help the soil. Quit worrying about unwanted plants stealing the nutrients from flowers and vegetables. Nature grows on top of itself, thickly and densely, yet everything lives and flourishes. Just help the soil, naturally, the way nature does. Remember, new plants grow in our yards in and among the grass and other areas without any help from us. If there's only enough nutrition in the soil for the limited number of plants in your garden for one growing season, your soil is extremely deficient.

Remember, numerous plants grow in the smallest amount of soil found in cracks of driveways and sidewalks. These are places we never do anything to, to improve the soil. How much more should wanted and unwanted plants be able to thrive in soil we are helping become more fertile? The only real problem with unwanted plants in the garden might sometimes possibly be blocking sunlight or preventing air circulation. Prune them a little. Healthy soil can support many plants simultaneously.

I'm not sure how dandelions came to be so hated by us when it is so useful. Furthermore, a child who has not played with dandelions or caught one of their fairies on breezy days, misses a pure pleasure. What child would not want to catch a fairy, make a wish, ask them where their magical kingdom is, release them with a boost of breath and then watch their silent flight? In the country, we didn't do most of the things city dwellers and suburbanites do and yet we were not overrun with dandelions. It's as if nature insists on placing dandelions in our manicured settings because so many of it's creatures depend on them.

9.Learn Natural/Organic Solutions To Problems. Most are based on maintaining a more diverse environment. There are natural plants and methods to deter rabbits, squirrels, deer, etc.

Use organic material as mulch. This year I used the leaves I removed from the rain gutters. They were partially decomposed due to sitting there since Fall. After I unclogged each gutter, a lot of black water came out. Next year I intend to catch this nutrient-enhanced rain water and pour it around some plants.

Save those tree branches that fall during storms and use them to support garden plants. If you can, make a small brush pile for the birds. Birds close by means a lot of insects will die. Other wildlife might also be attracted to the brush pile if they are in your area such as opossums, raccoons, rabbits, snakes, hawks, foxes, etc. Use branches to make wood fires instead of using charcoal. Wood ash can then be used as fertilizer for certain plants as long as you use paper and twigs to start the fire and not lighter fluid.

Stop cultivating. Stop working yourself to death working the soil to loosen it to help plants. Although cultivating is good exercise, let worms, ants and other plants loosen and enrich the soil while you take a long walk. Their activity in your garden will aid root growth along with water and air penetration. Worms will come if you keep the soil covered and cool with organic mulch or living mulch. Let dandelions work the soil.

Plants will grow and produce without human cultivation. I suspect the reason some cultivate is to try to get the absolute most production out of every plant. For the average backyard gardener this is unnecessary and unwanted since most tend to give plenty of produce away because they have so much.

10.Experiment Unscientifically. Plant some plants and plant some seeds. Use plants and seeds of the same item to see how they grow. Plant something fun this year like pumpkins or gourds or anything new. Take several of the dried flower heads of perennial flowers you like and toss them in a spot where you want more to grow. Some usually will, especially if seedeaters don't find them.

Nature is the only master gardener. Everyone else is an apprentice. Let nature show you how and also do most of the work. Let nature keep insects in balance. Let nature provide the fertilizer. While nature is working, watering your plants, appreciate rainy days and the beneficial aspect of lightning to plants.

Compare all the benefits of gardening to the actual effort it requires from humans and it's obvious it doesn't get any easier. Enjoy the diversity of plants in your yard and the diversity of nature it attracts. Enjoy the freshest, most organic food possible, compliments of nature's loving labor. Nature doesn't even mind if you take all the credit.

See Also: Natural World Observations: Going Wild Like A Flower In Spring Breaking Free
Growing Food: Green Thumb Not Required But Three Things Are. Food Fight #51 – Another Grown-Folks Misconception

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Food Fight in the Garden: #15

Food Fight #15

It's planting season 'round here and it's on! From now and for several more months, homegrown food will be tasty, practically free, treats. One of the things that can kill this joy is a food fight in the garden.

A common gardening complaint is insects making a meal of plants. This is natural and normal. What's not natural or normal is for there to be so many plant-eating insects that they significantly affect the garden. This only occurs when there are not enough natural predators of these insects.

What Starts The Fight?

The reality is, if you plant it, they will come. If you plant fruit and vegetables, you will attract insects that eat them. On the other hand, beneficial insects that eat garden-eating insects will come in fewer numbers or not at all if one or more of the following exists in your borrowed space:

* No plants beneficial insects love .
* A one plant lawn, meaning grass only.
* You cut your grass too low and too often.
* Manmade chemical fertilizers on your lawn.
* Manmade chemical fertilizers for your garden, flowers, shrubs or trees.
* Removing grass clippings and leaves from your yard.
* Landscape consists of common, non-native group of plants everyone has.
* You do things to annihilate ants and dandelions.
* You use bug zappers.

In other words, you, the homeowner, can instigate a food fight in your garden in the name of “taking care of your property” and by having an antiseptic view of nature's beauty. These environments are not very hospitable to beneficial insects, insect-eating birds and earthworms (compost makers who love grass clippings and leaves).

A Fair Fight

To keep the joy in gardening, the environment must have a fair chance. You can help by stopping certain aspects of land raping aka landscaping and then by adding a variety of plants that support a greater diversity of living things.

One of the best plants to add is fennel. It provides a six for one deal. Fennel attracts five beneficial insects, plus you can eat it. I'm sure there are other benefits to the soil, microorganisms and birds. Also plant caraway herb.

Other plants that attract multiple insects, including bees, plus birds are Fern-Leaf Yarrow (Achilla Filipendulina), Common Yarrow (Achillea Millefolium), Queen Anne's Lace aka Wild Carrot (Daucus Carota), Golden Marguerite aka Ox-Eye Chamomile & Dyer's Chamomile (Anthemis Tinctoria), Orange Stonecrop aka Stonecrop, Sedum & Kamschatka (Sedum Kamtschaticum), Four-Wing Saltbush aka Shadscale, Wing-Scale & Salt Sage (Atriplex Canescens), Purple Poppy Mallow aka Buffalo Rose & Wine Cups (Callirhoe Involucrata), Tansy (Tanacetum Vulgare), Sulphur Cinquefoil aka Upright Cinquefoil, Rough-Fruited Cinquefoil & Sulpher Five Fingers (Potentilla Recta) and Alpine Cinquefoil (Potentilla Villosa).

Plant as many types as possible. Helpful annual plants are not listed since I believe in the plant it once method and those above are more than enough. However, a highly praised annual is the Marigold (Tagetes Tenuifolia).

Let Fighters Fight

In general, plant anything that attracts lacewings, some of which are listed above. This takes the fight to the basic level. In any arena, fundamentals win fights not fancy know-how.

Use organic fertilizers such as compost and manure. Also plant herbs and nuts and berries and other fruit. To make it really simple for starters, just plant a packet or two of wildflower seeds. In the meantime, stop feeding the birds. Once you do, they will eat the insects in your yard including ants. Ants are essential. They benefit the soil, eat other insects and dandelion seeds.

Do more of the above and you won't have to resort to using mail order bugs. Once balance is restored, you won't even have to spray organic mixes on the leaves of your plants. Nature is more than capable of handling itself in the constant fight for survival as long you don't disrupt the food chain, life cycle, nesting places and hiding places for even the tiniest living organism.

Seek to understand what keeps soil healthy and remember, all those plants you might consider as weeds are part of the equilibrium. Try to leave some of every type that naturally grows, including dandelions.

Caretaker's Responsibility

There's no question the real food fight in the garden is caused by humans fighting against the natural order. Start transforming your borrowed landspace back into more of the mini Garden of Eden it should be. Make it a sanctuary and cooperative storehouse of sustenance so you, insects, birds and more can share and enjoy the rewards of another growing season.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Food Fight 14: Information Misinformation

Food Fight #14

I received some misinformation about fruit. Tainted truth and beliefs can interfere with our ability to win anything, including our food fight.

Email: If you eat fruit on an empty stomach, it will play a major role in detoxifying your system and supplying you with a great deal of energy for weight loss and other life activities.
My Thoughts: Eat fruit whenever. Eat any food before bedtime if it keeps away hunger. Lingering hunger is a greater threat to health and sleep than when we eat fruit.

Email: Once you've mastered the correct way of eating fruit, you have the secret of beauty, longevity, health, energy, happiness and normal weight.
My Thoughts: This plays into vanity and laziness for those seeking a quick fix when the simplest, safest way is food and activity.

Email: Eating a whole fruit is better than drinking the juice.
My Thoughts: I agree with this natural way.

Email: Drinking cold water after a meal causes cancer. It is best to drink hot soup or warm water after a meal.
My Thoughts: What happens if we drink cold water before or during a meal? What about cold water-melon on an empty stomach? What about cold milk with cereal? Water is not what's killing most of us unless it has dangerous chemicals in it. Everyone should read the water quality report for their town and research the risks associated with those chemicals and decide if you think it's safe. For instance, fluoride in water might be a bigger threat than whether water is cold or warm.

I am not concerned about the temperature of my water. We gain greater health benefits by avoiding toxic relationships that suck the life out of and kill more of us. By the way, drinkable water flowing from mountain springs is cold.

Final Thoughts:
Where are the vegetables in this email? Being healthy depends on natural sensibilities. We don't need a Masters of Science Degree in Fruit Eating. If we complicate food, health, and nutrition, we ain't gonna do right for ourselves for long.

The diligent food fighter is neither a glutton, eating everything in sight, nor are they gullible, believing everything that sounds right. The food fight, just like most things, is a fight for our focus and thus, a fight for our entire lives.

Extra Practice: Here's another example of truths that attempt to gain our confidence and then quickly move us towards the untruths, Not So Slick Foolishness. Can you tell me just one of the several flashing warning signs in this message?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Defeating Difficult Days & Temptations: Food Fight 13

Food Fight #13

Every fight, including a food fight, has difficult days that threaten to deliver a weakening punch to progress. The repeated impact of these difficult moments can be minimized at home, work and play.

Difficult Food Days: What Triggers Temptations?

What causes a difficult day? For me it happens when I just don't feel like eating anything I've been eating for the past several days. It happens when I don't have enough quick and easy food to combine to suit my taste buds. It happens when I'm out and about and allow myself to get too hungry and the first smell of anything remotely edible turns me into an undisciplined fighter. One complete surrender to putting a bunch of garbage in my body, though it tastes good at the moment, is potentially the reawakening of a habit I'm trying to stay away from.

What can be done? My main defense is to always be in search of new foods. I try to buy something I don't normally buy each time I go the store. This adds variety to my eating routine and spices up my taste buds. Instead of a salad, add veggies to other foods like spaghetti sauce, baked beans, eggs, mashed potatoes. Make soup. Make a new kind of smoothie. Every time you eat, get in the habit of trying to think of ways to add more fruit and vegetables to the meal. Herbs, tomatoes, onions, garlic, peppers, mushrooms, avocados, olives and many other veggies go well with many dishes. There is no science to this, just add what you like. Renew your acquaintance with a less frequently eaten food. Eat your salad in a pita or wrap. If you'd like, add a little mustard along with turkey, tuna or shrimp. Consider pan toasting the bread in olive oil for added flavor.

What can be done when you're at work? Eat a full breakfast at home. If you have no snacks or packed lunch handy, have a few restaurants in mind that have some healthy choices. Post the list in front of you. My first recourse is Subway since they are plentiful. Drink water and in that drawer filled with condiments, forks, knives, napkins and plastic bags, place some raisins, nuts, granola bars, natural peanut butter, dark chocolate, etc. Keep gum, Lifesavers or other hard candy in your pocket to help fight off a craving. Parties and food brought to work by others are a big threat to healthy eating so it is best to plan ahead each day.

When you're just out having fun, carry food and water in your car, purse, gym bag or in whatever you take with you. If you simply avoid soda you're one step closer. You can do so by having water with you and buying a cup of ice or freezing the water in the first place. Planning makes a huge difference in the outcomes we achieve.

Difficult Activity Days: What Impedes Momentum?

What happens to threaten the amount of activity I get? Usually it's getting involved doing something else and not eating on time. This throws me off schedule and makes me not feel like being active because usually by the time I do eat and allow it to digest some, it's late in the day. Sometimes difficulty is caused by not getting to bed on time due to talking on the phone, watching a movie, writing or internet stuff. Some days I'm able to get a late start. On other days I must get up before I'm rested.

What can be done? If extremely busy, try setting an alarm or a calendar event on your phone as a reminder to be active.

What can be done to keep the energy level up and ready for activity? Most of all make activity a priority and blend it into everyday life such as walking, biking, swimming, basketball, tennis, skating, playing with the kids, the dog, etc. If you must go through an exercise routine or machines then try to keep it at the same time each day and guard that time as though your life depended on it. Nothing can get in the way without your permission. Many of the chores, errands and items on your long list can wait, especially stuff to do around the house. Health can't wait, it will only continue to deteriorate.

Set a workout alarm that warns you at least 30 minutes before it's time so you can begin to stop doing what you're doing and start preparing to be active. Prepare your workout environment by making sure everything is ready such as lighting, temperature, water, towel, music, etc. Watch a healthy eating, exercise or doctor show while being active. Avoid interruptions such as the phone and doorbell. These things are requests not requirements. It's your time for your health. If you do everything else first, your health will be last. This is no mystery.

When you're not quite feeling like it, just start stretching and you can usually turn the energy tide in your favor. If not, then just go a little slower and take more breaks. Do a few less repetitions, use a little less weight, shorten the walking distance. Do as much as you can. Focus on breathing. Focus on the muscles being used. Distract yourself from the activity using music, television or by saying encouraging words to yourself such as “I will be healthier,” “I have willpower,” “I can do this,” “You can't beat me,” “I am strong,” and whatever keeps you determined not to be defeated when faced with difficulty. If you must, think of proving any naysayer or knucklehead wrong. Better yet, remember your goals and reasons and speak them.

The biggest threat to being active over the long run is to skip one entire workout. One missed workout is potentially the beginning of a habit you don't want to start. It's better to do half a workout today and try to get in a full amount of activity the next day. The second biggest threat to remaining active is to injure yourself by not stretching, going too hard or too fast and not paying attention to body aches or the proper body form and posture when being active.

Clobbering Difficulty

Defeating a difficult day or temptation is easier when you know it's coming. Prepare your mindset in advance that part of achieving any goal is overcoming difficulty. Each time you resist a food temptation or struggle through a workout, you win what you want. You prove to yourself you are tougher than the challenges. You prove you deserve the goal. Visualize food rejuvenating your cells, enhancing your life. Visualize the physical appearance you want. Visualize health. Do and say what you have to to be healthy.

Sometimes you're going to want to eat a doughnut and you should. When you do consume something with little nutritional value, try to make it only one portion or serving. Eat a small order of Micky D fries. Just make sure you resist the urge most of the time. The more you develop the habit to defeat difficult days and temptations, the easier it becomes. Be proactive. Plan a small weekly treat to dampen the desires that cause you to forget food is more than just something to eat. Buy or make healthier sweets sometimes so you remain in control of what you're eating.

You know best what makes it difficult for you to stick to your fight plan. Plan your food and activity each day just as you plan what to wear to fit changing circumstances. Where do you want to go today with your health? How do you want your health to look? The same way you protect your hair from the rain is the same way you protect your health when difficult days and temptations try to dampen your health.

Fight back with a counterattack. When you practice your response, you improve your chances of success. When you see a difficult day or temptation coming, you'll instinctively sidestep, counterpunch and knock it back in the direction it came from.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Food Fight 12: Running For Health Coverage

Food Fight #12

Because I always feel like running. Not away, because there is no such place...Because running will be the way your life and mine will be described... --Gil Scott-Heron, “Running,” I'm New Here, 2010.

Many of us feel compelled to do a lot of ripping and running. This type of running requires so many resources, there is nothing left to run for the cover of health.

We run in a race where the finish line is ever-changing. Here's one instance. We start out following the course and expecting social security and pensions to be there in sufficient amounts at the end. Many of us find out the end is not what was promised though we ran and ran some more. Secondly, even if those two treats are intact at retirement, other factors often lower the values of the prizes. This leaves us exhausted after all that running around and now unable to keep up as the world moves on. With less than expected to finally begin to live on, we glance in the rearview mirror far too often to see if happiness might be in that direction.

Though in constant pursuit of “a better life,” Americans are some of the unhealthiest people on the planet. Health and a better life don't seem to both fit into the national dream.

I am grateful for the opportunity to adjust the way I'm running my dream race. I am 60% of the way through the regular course. Even if I was 99% of the way through, it ain't over 'til it is. I saw a runner fall down part ways through a race. When she got up she was in last place. She won the race. Some say this is an example of something amazing. I say this is an example of something achievable. “Amazing” might make it seem beyond the average person. “Achievable” is within the reach of anyone with desire.

I have picked myself up and am thankfully in pursuit of greater health. When we run towards the prize of overall health, our sensibility to make the necessary adjustments as we run remains with us. With this compass we can navigate a path where we control the requirements and the rewards. Many of the useful things that other way of pursuing happiness offers will be added. Things that had more and less significance will trade places. A healthy lifestyle keeps us in proper running condition. It does not leave us worn out or wanting in the latter stages.

It has now been 92 days and I am healthier than I've been in 30 years. How is this possible when running in the wrong direction for so long? Better health is not elusive. It is waiting for each of us. We know that after just a few days of no longer smoking, drinking or eating poisons health improves. Now combine that with better nutrition and more activity. Once we place the race for health in our favor by redirecting our resources towards this goal, we can often make up a lot of ground quicker than it took us to lose it.

It's time to stop running away from individual, born-to-be selves. This is exactly what we are doing if running is a detriment to our health. Health is our first responsibility. It should be our highest priority. It's time to start running for the greater health we had before adulthood knocked us off course. Pick life up and get back on track. Make some adjustments, run for the cover of health and enjoy life every step of the way.

BTW: Healthcare reform is great but if health insurance actually ensured health, I could end this series.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Food Fight 11: Dietary Supplement Safety Act of 2010

Food Fight #11

Just as there is strong evidence of increasing health and nutrition awareness, there is also a movement to limit individual choice and access to a number of self-health options, called supplements. The Dietary Supplement Safety Act of 2010 seeks to limit options just as healthcare reform is supposed to create options.

More and more individuals are opting out of many non-foods and thus have less of a need for drugs. Many drugs have unsafe aspects but the unsafe part is minimized under the heading of side effects. If there is a public safety necessity to regulate supplements at all then simply have the providers list possible side effects rather than trying to eliminate supplements.

The US Department of Agriculture, US Department of Health & Human Services, US Food & Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency are supposed to have the best interests of citizens in mind. Yet, for starters, there are many dangerous pesticides allowed in farming and dangerous chemicals allowed in food. The government doesn't need any new oversight. It needs to trim down and properly administer its most critical responsibilities.

Against The Act:
Beware of the Dietary Supplement Safety Act, sponsored by, a seller of supplements.
Sign Petition, sponsored by Life Extension, a seller of supplements. Capwiz, provides an email service to help advocacy groups reach government officials.

For The Act:
Sponsored by an athletic organization trying to deal with the problem of doping by athletes.

Additional Food Information:
Food, Inc. Documentary seen on The Oprah Winfrey Show.

One thing we must absolutely understand is that “FDA approved” is not a guarantee of safety. If it were, we wouldn't have to worry about what has been approved to be sold as food. Having the government make decisions for our health is like having a lion for a guard dog. It is a threat, not because of its natural desires, but because of the fatal belief that those desires can be kept subservient to its dedication.

Since we are taking control of our health, let's keep control by keeping the government from interfering. The government wants to regulate dietary supplements when they are doing a poor job of regulating safety of the dietary foundation - food. The only thing The Dietary Supplement Safety Act of 2010 will do is allow for criminalization of natural medicines while ignoring the legalization of unnatural medicines that have been sold for decades. It will take away one of the supports a health hungry nation needs. Many more of us are now on the right path and I'm certain the trend is evident to those who sell that other stuff. Without natural options to create the health we seek, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness become less self-evident.

The Dietary Supplement Safety Act, just based on the name alone, implies the government is looking out for our safety. It implies they are being diligent and detailed. How about a Food Additives Safety Act, a Food Processing Safety Act, a Food Farming Safety Act, a Genetically Engineered Food Safety Act and so on? What do you think?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Food Fight 10: Eating Healthy Is Expensive!?

Food Fight #10

The most controllable path to health is through food. Why not choose this path? One reason might be the belief that eating healthy is expensive.

There will always be lower priced “things” to eat. Many come with hidden costs. They contain minimal to no nutrition and usually contain toxic ingredients. These poisons clog our systems and further diminish the functioning of undernourished cells and organs. Think skin, brain, liver, pancreas, colon, bones, eyes, spinal cord, nervous system, immune system, etc.

Those who say eating healthy is expensive make it seem as though they are very conscientious about money. They appear to say, “If it costs more than I think it should, I will not pay for it.” I doubt if they know what they are doing with all the money they think they are saving by buying half foods and non-foods.

Here's a short list of costly things we usually find a way to pay for. Gasoline, clothes, more clothes, dry cleaners, jewelry, cable, televisions, phones, newspapers, magazines, soft drinks, stuff, eating out, going to the movies, batteries, DVD's, CD's, houses, furnishings, finishings, what nots, cars, car washes, hobbies, habits, hairdos and vacations. We also pay for beauty products, prescriptions and over the counter medications. We decide what we deserve.

When we decide the health of those we love is important, eating healthy will not be so expensive that it keeps us from buying food. We can't afford not to afford food. What we can afford is to grow more of our own food and support local growers. We don't have to go immediately to organic, whole food and health food stores. We can eat more plant food and less stuff we know ain't doing us a bit of good.

If anyone still believes food is expensive and eating healthy is expensive, do the math. Even if we ate from the dollar menu each time we were hungry we'd still pay more in a week's time than if we had food available at home. An overall grocery budget based on food often can be cheaper or only marginally more expensive. We get more mileage out of every dollar in terms of more meals when we buy individual ingredients and put together meals at home. When we factor health into the decision, we are getting way more than our money's worth.

To say eating healthy is expensive is an excuse to avoid changing habits and, if necessary, giving up or reducing just one or two other things we spend money on. It is our priorities and our values that make eating healthy expensive.

Previous Posts: Food Fight 1-9.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Food Fight 9: Spiritual Nutrition

Food Fight #9

Nature is a spiritual system just as much as, if not more than, it is a scientific system. Since food is nature, food has a spiritual component. Food contains the spiritual energy and influences of the sun, moon, moisture, soil, organisms, insects, wind, birds and much more. We can receive nutrition from these creating energies if we approach eating as a spiritual experience also.

We acknowledge the spiritual aspect of food when we lift up prayers before eating. Many also celebrate the spiritual connection of food during thanksgivings, harvest festivals, rain ceremonies and daily cultural practices.

When we appreciate, enjoy and take pleasure in food through each of our senses, we tap into spiritual energy. When we appreciate the components of nature that make food possible, our souls are also fed.

If we maintain appreciation while we eat, we can receive the spiritual nutrition already present in food. This is the same nutrition our spirits receive when we appreciate any natural thing such as a beach, forest, park, tree, houseplant, butterfly, fresh air and even a spider for doing one of its things, keeping other insects in check. When we are in appreciation of the natural world, we feel eased and rejuvenated as we acknowledge these gifts. The longer we remain in this grateful state, the better our spirits feel.

Maintaining appreciation while we eat lifts the experience above the physical hunger and pleasure that causes us to eat dangerous things and also causes us to overeat. Appreciation slows us down. It causes us to chew more and allows time to drift, reflect and absorb the life forces that are saturating our senses and capable of satiating our souls.

Previous Posts: Food Fight 1-8

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Food Fight 8: The Fight Doctor

Food Fight #8

If I'm ever going to get my health back in shape, I must embrace the responsibility of being my own primary healthcare provider. I must become my own fight doctor.

Despite expensive healthcare, umpteen tests, early detection checkups, annual physicals and plenty to eat, a major problem was never diagnosed – malnourishment. As a result, a prescription was never written to see a dietitian for proper nutrition.

I had a separate specialist for practically every part of my body but not one medical professional for the nutritional health every part of my body needs. That would be too much like healthcare.

I'm no longer accepting everything the medical industry tells me as the sum of all possibilities. “We don't know” might be an honest response but when it comes to my health, it is no longer an acceptable answer. There is always a reason why things happen. There is always a cause for good health and bad health. Answers are out there somewhere in nature and even in science itself. I must reengage my thinking to educate myself on these options. I choose to no longer remain limited by experts tied to research who are unable to reach the conclusion that a nutrition checkup should be a basic medical test. At least I am getting frequent privacy notices.

If you hate going to the doctor's office in the first place, repeat after me. I'm going to do everything I can to health myself by making sure I'm always the doctor in my house.

Note: While writing this post, I came across wonderful proof that the necessity for early nutrition monitoring has made it out of the thinking stage in this country. Although this addresses obesity in children, everyone could benefit from this step forward in health plans.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Food Fight 7: I'm Not Fat Trap

Food Fight #7

This recent safari towards better physical health began with giving myself a decent fighting chance by using food for its intended purpose - to strengthen every cell in my body. The journey has evolved into many beneficial discoveries. If you've read the other posts in this series and have not taken another step towards better health, perhaps you're on track or perhaps you've fallen into the I'm Not Fat Trap. This trap is self set and supported by dozens of daily social messages. These messages tend to make you feel pretty good about yourself for being anything but fat without getting to the heart of what health is about.

The skinny, slim, little, small, petite and thin aka usually underweight are often caught by this trap. Those neither underweight or overweight are frequently caught by this trap. Finally, those who have gained several pounds aka the slightly overweight sometimes fall into this trap.

Often there is a learned tendency in these three categories to not feel any necessity or urgency for lifestyle changes to improve health. “I'm Not Fat, no need to worry about that.”

Pain, disease,compromised immune systems and the conditions for cancer ain't just caused by too much exterior fat. You still must have a healthy lifestyle to strengthen your body against other ailments. Many of these problems are caused by things that affect all body types. Not looking fat doesn't even guarantee you won't have obesity-related problems. Why? Too much body fat on a non-fat looking body is still dangerous to health. That's right. You can be not fat and fat at the same time. This alone should stop the envy of those who ”can eat anything and never gain weight” because not looking fat doesn't mean having a free pass from health problems.

And another thing. Just because you're not fat doesn't mean you have more muscle than fat. Many of those who think, I'm Not Fat, would be better off by reducing some fat cells and replacing some, if not all, of those fat cells with muscle cells. Muscle weight is good weight.

Here's another warning that has not been sounded often and loudly enough. Just because you're not fat-looking on the outside doesn't mean you're not fat on the inside. Do not think “I'm Not Fat” and then sit back on health. Don't. It's a trap of the false sense of security kind. The simple truth might be, “Yes you probably are fat.” The time is now to hurry up and eat food! The time is now to tone up just the same as the overweight! Obtaining and maintaining physical health always begins with food, activity and you. This should be the focus everyday, not how much you weigh.

Look at body type as your primary barometer and that becomes more dangerous to your physical health than any virus. If you focus on health, the body type you should have will follow. Learn to love yourself as a picture of health.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Food Fight 6: The Quick Fix

Food Fight #6

Give me something
To answer my prayer
Hurry, fix it quick
So I can skip healthcare

Just like a fighter whose hope is in a knockout punch instead of in a disciplined fight, the quick fix mentality is a one shot attempt to overcome a lot of hits to health.

For years I took prescribed pills thinking that was pretty good healthcare. In addition, I kept eating way too much non-food. I made no attempt to change the external habits that created the internal conditions that made the pills necessary. Pills became a quick, easy fix.

Approached improperly, multivitamins can also become a quick fix. I now consume bee pollen, aloe vera gel and multi-nutrient food. My current plan is to not take pills because I'm too early in my recovery and fearful of slipping back into depending on any kind of pill to give me everything I need. I am fearful a multivitamin might give me that same old false sense of security that will ease me back into eating doughnuts, combo meals and drinking sodas. Medicines, shots, medical treatments, medical procedures, vitamins, supplements and fortified foods are not substitutes for eating right every day and being active.

Now that I have a better awareness of my health, I encourage anyone taking any pill for any reason to become doubly focused on eating food. The main reason to take most pills is that the body is already weakened, is being overwhelmed, needs help or can't get enough satisfaction from a healthy diet. Anyone not taking any pills should try to avoid having to by using food as a primary preventative measure.

During most of my grown-up years I sank slowly in quicksands of quick fixes. Despite modern conveniences I was living an inconvenient life entrusting my primary healthcare to an industry rather than myself. I was guilty of killing myself softly. Those days were so sweet with so much available to eat. That's tongue-in-cheek because my malnourished immune system began to act like me and attack me. My immune system began to assist me in the slow suicide I started.

Here's a glimpse at inconvenience from a future viewpoint on “The Outer Limits”
Person 1: How long did it take you to get here?
Person 2: 11 microseconds.
Person 1: That's not too bad.
Person 2: It's only 11 million miles! It's supposed to be instantaneous!
Person 1: It used to take 1 minute.
Person 2: How did you stand it?

As you can see, quick fix thinking lurks everywhere.

Until recently I was putting everything before healthcare. A quick fix fits perfectly into the busy lifestyle of an adult with a lot of responsibilities. Even though the pills were prescribed by a doctor, I gladly cosigned and did as I was sold. At no point did my immune system get better. I tried drug after drug to see which one would hide my symptoms best. One made me nauseated, one made me hungry a lot and one endangered my liver. These and other side effects meant other parts of my body were being affected that shouldn't be.

A side effect is not something that happens just on the side. A side effect is a direct in-side effect. This is not a minor thing. A side effect is an undesired effect we accept as a tradeoff in order to get the desired effect of taking medicine. When you realize what has to happen at the cellular level for a side effect to occur, you know any side effect is serious and often dangerous to health.

A quick fix usually attempts to fix symptoms. A quick fix is unlikely to be a solution and often causes more problems. Just be careful not to use something that can be helpful as a replacement for daily discipline. Improvement is possible if we are willing to take the time to do it right. The miraculous preventative and curative powers of food happens one bite at a time. Stay fixed on health.

As I learn to change my lazy ways
I'm less concerned with saving time
looking good and how clothes fit
and more concerned with healthy days

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Food Fight 5: Raw v Cooked Undercard

Food Fight #5

I would like to address the comment made on your last blog, "Food Fight 3 - The Weigh In," where the reader made the following statement:

Most of us accept cooked food as the normal means of supplying the body with nutrients. We do not realize the living cells of our bodies don't take nourishment from dead ingredients found in cooked foods. After eating a complete meal our stomachs are full but we still haven't given the body any nourishment and we are slowly starving the body's cells.

I would like to know what evidence they found to substantiate that remark. Man has been eating cooked food since the beginning of time and I don't think “cooked food” serves to breakdown the body. Yes raw foods are good but that doesn’t mean that cooked foods are not.

Most warm blooded animals have a diet of all raw food yet they still get sick or die from disease. Some foods have to be cooked like rhubarb, kidney beans, fish. Heat brings energy to foods such as these. See Idealism vs. Realism in Raw Foods.

A brief thought was added to this conversation last week. This is the lengthier reply.

I understood the reader to mean “cooking” in the sense of improper cooking. At any rate, it's clear heat can help make some foods edible. Some nutrients can't stand the heat. Others can survive longer. No matter what, too much heat is something to avoid when cooking anything. The more alive plant food is when we eat it, the more alive we will be. This tells me if I am seeking health via nutrition, home gardening will have a great impact. This is not necessarily scientific, it's a spiritual awareness with the natural order.

I am becoming more mindful of not cooking food to death. Improper cooking does lower the nutritional value of food. This improper cooking is not only caused by the amount of heat but the duration. Other things that affect the nutrient content of food whether they are being cooked or not is water, air, temperature and every step from growing to processing to transportation and storage. So even if food in supermarkets is barely alive and contains low nutrition, why kill it the rest of the way by being unaware of the potential consequences of improper cooking?

Yes there are some foods that must be cooked. Beyond those, it takes a lot of faith in man's ability to believe cooking food that can be eaten uncooked brings about equal or greater nutritional value. In general, I do not have that kind of faith in man's ability to trump the Creator on something so critical and basic to life such as nutrients in food. I've read of a small number of exceptions but more often than not, uncooked is better.

A frequent misconception is a meal must involve cooking when actually a meal is simply about preparing food for consumption. A home-prepared meal is what I'm talking about. This perspective partially alleviates the pressure and mystic surrounding meals that involves magnificent recipes, magically combining ingredients, heating devices and a magician's hat. It's a lot simpler to bring together foods for a meal when the items don't have to be cooked together.

Preparing food is instinctual, innate and spiritual. Children will prove this untaught, thus Creator-given, ability by combining things (without cooking) parents have not considered. Parents tend to overteach these instincts out of children the same way they tend to overcook the nutrients out of food.

I see raw food versus cooked food as part of the individual refining process we must work through as we retrain our eating habits. Healthy lifestyle improvements will often require looking further and further into things, not just on the internet but looking within ourselves and to spiritual guidance.

Food preparation decisions should be made on an item by item basis. I will continue to eat raw foods and cooked foods. To cook or not to cook is more like an exhibition fight where the winner has been predetermined. The main question for me is what must I eat or not eat? After that I consider what to cook, how to cook it and what cooked/uncooked balance works best for the health I'm trying to achieve. For some, Natural v Cooked is at the top of the fight card, so read the answer someone else gave.

Better Nutrition. Less worries. Health to all. Life to all.

Previous Posts: Food Fight 1-4

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Food Fight 4: The Fight Plan

Food Fight #4

Every fight has basic rules. Food fights are no exception. If you wanna win, you'd better know what those rules are. First, set goals and take them in stages. Then, refine and repeat until you achieve what you seek. This is a basic fight plan.

Now for a little more detail. Unless you already have a specialized health condition that causes you to monitor certain things, you will do your health a lot of good by not obsessing on calories, fiber, starches, fats, saturated fats, good fats, cholesterol, protein, antioxidants, metabolism, dieting, etc. These self-imposed concerns are greatly minimized by eating a variety of food and getting regular activity.

A few more common obsessions are carbohydrates, sugar in fruit and fat in avocados and nuts. If it's food, eat it, especially if it comes from plants. Just make all other food (that does not come from plants) a side dish, an accent or an accessory to meals.

Eating more food means quitting non-food. If you can't quit right away, taper the unhealthy stuff out of your diet. One way could be to buy a more healthy version each time until you're strong enough to leave it alone.

Here are a couple of sites I've found useful as I continue to build my plan:

1. The World's Healthiest Foods. Also use the Food Advisor, FAQ's and search box.

2. Use the search box to learn causes and solutions to many food-related or health-related conditions such as skin, prostate, menstrual pain/cramps, insomnia, headaches, back pain, acne, weight loss, cancer, etc.

Use other websites to double-check this information if you sense the need.

The last part of the basic fight plan is to plan for the predictable. Keep healthy snacks and drinks at work. If you don't prepare your own lunch, make a list of places that sell food and use them only. Keep healthy snacks and water in your car. Certain trail mixes, nuts or fruit perhaps. This part of the plan will help you bypass the mostly fake food joints waiting at every intersection of no preparation and unable to resist temptation.

When it comes to food fights, a fight plan doesn't have to be burdensome. Be confident in your ability to create your own reality. Use what has and hasn't worked to shape your exact path to health. Do not stress trying to follow every bit of advice. Just watch what you eat, how you prepare it and what you add to it. A fight plan can be even simpler than that. Eat food and get active.

Previous Posts: Food Fight 1-3

Friday, January 29, 2010

Published in Short Humour Anthology

A previous blog post, Shopping Conspiracy & Depression has been included in the anthology, People of Few Words – Volume 2. The Short Humour Site is the publisher.

This anthology, People of Few Words - Volume 2, is available in paperback via Without purchasing, you can still read Shopping Conspiracy & Depression on Writer's Whirlpool and leave comments here and on

Monday, January 25, 2010

Food Fight 3: The Weigh-In

Food Fight #3

Health means so much more than just exercising or “dieting” for the purpose of losing weight.

(1) How your body exercises internally, (2) your ability to be active/exercise and (3) weight loss are significantly affected by what you eat.

Before you concern yourself with exercising and losing weight, concern yourself with eating food. Remember, “food” is good for the cells of the body. Each time you eat, a simple reminder could be: Concentrate on the weight of what is on the plate. Is your plate heavy on food or non-food?

This approach should weigh in your thoughts whenever you think about your body weight. This approach says, it's better to think about food a lot than not. Not thinking about food is pretty much the problem.

Are you getting your daily nutrient requirement from food? If not, begin the transition back to health. Start by eating more food, then increase your activity level in a week or two. Why?

As you eat more food and less non-food, your body's functioning will begin to transition also. The body and the mind will both begin to adjust as you change your eating habits. Your body will begin to detoxify and learn how to function with less and less of the addictive additives in many of the things you probably consume. If you increase your activity level and increase your food intake at the exact same time, the body and mind will also have to deal with two sets of changes at the exact same time.

Set initial goals of at least 50% improvements in both food and activity level but start with the nutrition side first. This will provide more energy and help you endure as you become more active. Use the time you don't spend being active during that first week or two, actively learning about food choices and purchasing those choices. Your pantry will help put you in position for lifestyle success.

I will let you in on more good news. Once you start eating food and committing to daily nutrition, there's no room to eat much else. There will also be less and less of a desire to eat much else. The more and more you self-educate on what eating food can do for you and what food can do for some of the things you're suffering with, you will be empowered. That alone will squash a lot of desire. What used to be tempting will begin to become sickening to the sight and smell. Once you eat, embrace and taste the natural goodness of food deep in your cells, the mind and spirit will be stimulated as well.

Your bouts with your bottom, belly and thighs is a fight that could be much easier by pigging out on nutrients. Eat a lot of food. It much easier to be active and be motivated to exercise when your cells have energy. The heavier you are on healthy eating, the lighter you will be on your feet.

Previous Posts: Food Fight: The Fight System and Food Fight: Fixing The Fight

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Food Fight: The Fight System

Food Fight #2

Last week we learned:

(1) What “food” really is.
(2) We can significantly influence our health every time we eat.

This week is about how food affects the immune system. The immune system is the second biggest item affecting our health. The first reader to respond last week referred to it. It is also mentioned most of the time when food and nutrition are discussed. It has one function. The immune system is the body's fight system.

The immune system is our defense department. Its job is to fight off non-beneficial germs. Its weapons are millions of cells. These cells need ammunition. This ammunition is energy from food. If cells don't get this energy, the immune system cannot protect us. In many instances, our health starts to slowly lose ground, so there could be a tendency to not believe this or think it's not that serious.

My immune system has been so weak and so confused for so long, I am suffering from “friendly fire.” My immune system is fighting me instead of protecting me. My immune cells are attacking my skin cells. That's like the police attacking citizens. Hmmn!

What causes an immune system to malfunction like this? Generally accepted medical professionals, their organizations and the governments in this country say they don't know. I am certain years of not giving these cells the energy they need has contributed to this infighting. I am certain years of opening my mouth and swallowing a lot of chemicals in the stuff I've eaten has messed up the mental circuitry of these already weak cells. When the mind is messed up anything can happen. My mind has been short circuited due to shortsightedness and this is what has happened. My immune system has significantly broken down. I'm reaping what I've eaten.

Whenever we eat things that contain any portion that is not food, the body still has to decide what to do with it. If we're lucky it won't be digested and will pass through the stool. If we're partially lucky, non-food is absorbed into the blood but quickly swept out through the kidneys. If we're totally unlucky, which I suspect is usually the case, the non-food chemicals use up energy, interfere with nutrients, are absorbed into the blood, are circulated to cells, are stored in cells and alter cell performance. When cell after cell after cell is interfered with and cannot do its job, chaos and confusion becomes our general health condition. Where the negative effects stop, we're the last one to know.

One more analogy: Unnecessary chemicals/drugs/poisons/toxins in our food, in our bloodstream and in our bodies are not guests we can simply and eventually get to leave. Non-food ingredients are the kind of guests who steal something or harm us every time. Once we let these known criminals in, they take, little by little. These type of guests track mud, put their feet on the furniture, do their laundry, eat our food, take get the picture. Tell someone your guests have been robbing you, are more trouble than they're worth and have been acting this way for years. They will immediately ask who keeps inviting them and why invite criminals and good-for-nothings into your body in the first place. As we open our mouths and swallow before answering, those two seemingly small actions, will be the entire answer.

Just because we get check ups, vaccines, flu shots, wash our hands, stay home when sick, go to the doctor, take medicine, get rest, drink fluids and eat something doesn't mean we are taking care of the basics of health if what we eat is lacking the energy our cells need. We can make improvements right now by educating ourselves about food, especially nutrition and the immune system. This should help us understand how critical it is to drastically reduce eating things that work against our immune system and therefore, against our health. Since our immune system is designed to fight for us, the immediate, intelligent, life choice is to stop fighting the system.

Previous Post: Food Fight: Fixing The Fight