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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, August 31, 2011

Deficiencies – Get Rid of Yours and Be Healthy!

Food Fight #29

I found the following article by Margaret Durst to be very useful as a summary for how nutrition affects daily life: Deficiencies – Get Rid of Yours and Be Healthy!

My Take Away From The Article

If we want to get the most out of life, we must get the most out of our bodies. If we want to get the most out of our bodies (including the brains we use to make every decision), we must get all the nutrition the body requires. In order to always have this nutrition, we must get the most out of our food. Every meal must contain “high quality” fresh un-interfered with, fruits and vegetables.

Caution: Don't treat supplements as The Answer. Instead, consider them a temporary measure while urgently addressing food choices and other lifestyle choices. Food is created in the correct ratio and form. It's up to us to make a meal of it.

Related: When cells do not get the pure ingredients they need to function, something will go wrong if the deficiency lasts for an extended period.
The longer our systems are forced to operate on less, the more susceptible our systems are to disruption and corruption..
The most controllable path to health is through food.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Who You Calling Ghetto?

The term “ghetto” is improperly defined in numerous, seemingly authoritative, places. Ghetto never did mean a place where minorities live. It could very well mean a place where all kinds of people live today.

Original Meaning of Ghetto

A ghetto is a Latin word for a factory that makes weapons The whole area where the factory was located came to be known as the ghetto. This just happened to be the area chosen to put the Jews.

Calling it a ghetto had nothing to do with the Jews being Jews. Neither was it called a ghetto because they were low-class, poor, criminals or the area was rundown.

Basic Meaning of Ghetto Today

Based on the original meaning of the word ghetto, if you currently live in a place where there's a factory that makes weapons, then you live in a ghetto.

For us today, a usable definition of ghetto is:
A defined geographical area where people who share a similar characteristic are separated. This separation can be either forced or by choice.
Do I Live In A Ghetto?

Probably. Can you identify any common characteristic you share with the people where you live? If so, you live in a ghetto.

Many of the poor, middle class and rich live in ghettos. College towns have a ghetto component. Some gays live in ghettos. Martha's Vineyard is a ghetto. The Jews today live in ghettos by choice. Many church goers and parishioners live in ghettos. The Kennedy complex is a ghetto. The Quakers and Mormons live in ghettos. Gated communities are ghettos. Beverly Hills is a ghetto. Monks live in ghettos for three different reasons: ethnicity, religion and gender. People who perform similar work and live in the same area are in a ghetto. Some people live in intellectual ghettos. When Americans go to other countries and work, they often live in a common area – ghetto. This list can go on and on.

To say, “That's ghetto!” is not saying much unless you identify what characteristic makes it so. Even at that, how useful is the word ghetto anyway. It only tells us people in an area are similar. Why not let the characteristic speak for itself and ghettover the word ghetto?

Related: Ghetto by India.Arie


Friday, August 19, 2011

President Barack Obama's Job Evaluation

I applied for a job. They interviewed me, believed in me and hired me for the position. I went to work and was given lots of tasks to perform right away. I had a lot of broken things to fix. Every time I tried to do something my coworkers got in the way. They ended up telling me the way they wanted me to do my job. The people who hired me, my absentee bosses, didn't back me up. They gave me fewer tools and resources. “You're not doing your job,” they said and threatened to fire me every day.
The president of anything, needs the support of the people who hired him and the support of coworkers in order to do the job.

Truth is, the citizens who hired the President of this USA, abandoned Obama in the November 2010 midterm election.

Truth is, a significant portion of congressional coworkers have been more disagreeable with this President than has ever occurred with any Democratic President. In fact, they have outright refused to work with the President and boldly said so. What kind of people will put a company out of business just to make the president look bad?

Under these conditions, for an American citizen to say, the nation's President is not doing the job, is to not understand the political process at all, not understand the extreme working conditions this time around and not understand what it can be like trying to work with people who don't think you are worthy of the job. If voters can't comprehend this, then America will go back to losing to the greater of the evils.

It was the American business/financial industry that threw the economy into this recent recessionary tailspin which also caused the global economy to spin out of round. How does this become the President's sole responsibility and single-most critical criteria to assess job performance?

If the President had the power to fire, or at least transfer, uncooperative coworkers, I guarantee you we'd see the change you can believe in. If fact, the only reason health care legislation passed is because Democrats had more members in Congress.

Currently, the American people are signing off on a media-written performance evaluation. Before we put someone's job in jeopardy, the decent thing to do would be no less than what we'd want for ourselves – give the person a reasonable opportunity to do what they were hired to do, especially when there's a lot of catch-up work to do. Even if we can't be fair-minded, we should at least evaluate the process and information we use to make hiring decisions.

Americans, when we vote for a President, we should also vote for and keep the same Party into the majority in Congress. This will make the job evaluation process straightforward and all the campaigning and reporters in the world won't be able to disguise who did or didn't do their job.

Related post:
Individual Responsibility For Oil Spills

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Eat Corn Uncooked Not Raw

Food Fight #28

There is unnecessary confusion on the internet consuming corn.

Can We Eat It Raw?

Yes. Most parts of fresh plants we cook we can eat uncooked..

Can We Digest It?

Yes. It is the fiber in plants and the fiber in corn we don't digest.

One of the likely reasons some folks have difficulty digesting corn is that it has not been recently picked. This corn will be firmer and tougher. Chew this corn thoroughly and it will be easier to digest.

Another digestive difficulty is corn that has had its properties changed. Because most commercially-grown corn has been genetically tampered with, eating it invites who knows what to our digestion, nutrition and health. What all of us definitely should know is that GM/GMO corn ain't natural.

We must ask ourselves, should I expect natural processes inside me, such as digestion and other chemical processes to work smoothly without a hitch or hiccup when these processes encounter unnatural things regularly and in abundance? Add to this analysis the fact that we rarely get proper nutrition each day. The longer our systems are forced to operate on less, the more susceptible our systems are to disruption and corruption.

Does Corn Provide Nutrition?

Yes. Corn, like all fresh food, provides nutrition. Fiber itself is a nutrient.

Since fiber helps optimize digestion and digestion is how we get nutrients out of food and into our bloodstream, eating fresh food becomes a self-healing prophecy.

Corn is more tender, delicious and nutritious when we eat it uncooked, the way the Creator serves it.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Craving Sweets, A Heavenly Addiction

Food Fight #27

We shouldn't kick ourselves because we crave sweets. We shouldn't try to control it either. We should roll with it. There's a reason we have this heavenly-tasting addiction.

Craving sweets is natural. One of our basic instincts is to desire sweets because many fresh foods from plants and from the waters contain sweetness. From the beginning, humans were made to crave sweetness so they would desire the things they should eat and know when food is ready to eat.

The main reason humans today have a major problem with their sweet craving is that a lot of what we eat is not fresh food. Since our diets now lacks this freshness, our sweet craving has little to no chance of getting satisfied the way it should.

Instead of man-made sweets, our sweet craving is supposed to make us think of seafood, fruits, vegetables and such. If we were to rekindle and follow this natural instinct by eating as intended, we would be getting our sugar fix and a bunch of other nutrients at the same time.

We shouldn't feel guilty because we crave sweets. It is not an evil urging. We just need to reset it. The natural sweetness in food and our natural desire for it is an addiction made in Heaven.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Healthy Food Tastes Like Fresh Outdoors

Food Fight #26

A television commercial states:
...and you know how hard it is to find healthy food that tastes good.

Based on this logic, then the majority of what we eat, that does taste good, must not be good for us at all. It must be unhealthy and not food.

Where Is The Tasty Healthy Food?

Is it really that hard to find fruit? Is it hard to find nuts? Is it hard to find vegetables? I live nowhere near the ocean but can find fresh fish and shrimp. If anything is hard, it's finding food nurtured to be nourishing. Food has a natural seasoning that evolves during its growing process so if we really want food that tastes divine, all it takes is making some different decisions.

Find Healthy Food Near Home

Getting food from local sources is the best way. There is nothing more local than raising and tending to our own food. My son and I are both gaining greater appreciations for this the more we grow and taste the essence of fresh homegrown food. If you believe healthy food that tastes good is hard to find, then try standing in the garden and enjoying natural goodness flavored by the Master Gardener and served by the Master Chef.

There is an extensive variety of food on this planet, so yes, it would be hard to find food that tastes good if we're mainly looking in stores when we should be looking outdoors.

Quotes To Consider:
From one to six times every day, we voluntarily open our mouths and swallow pieces of toxins because they taste good.

“Healthy food” is redundant but at least it's a double positive.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Eat Okra Uncooked Not Raw

Food Fight #25

Food is only raw if it must be cooked.

Okra, uncooked, is a tasty delight. Same is true for many uncooked vegetables. Okra is misunderstood, avoided and abused just because it produces a thick substance when cooked certain ways that causes many to perceive okra as “gross.”

The solution: Don't cook it. The freshest okra, that from the garden and eaten as is within ten minutes of picking, has a milder okra flavor than the cooked version. Like many fresh vegetables, there is also a hint of sweetness.

We usually don't automatically cook fruit but are way too quick to cook vegetables. Pick a little Kale, Brussels Sprout Leaves, Sugar Snap Peas, Tomatoes, Carrots, Lemon Balm, Basil and Oregano and you have a true garden salad that all you have to do is bite into. Eating food this way is more enjoyable on every level when I grow it myself and am eating it right in the garden or in my Al fresco lounge.

The less we do to food the better. I love the satisfaction of taking care of my health each time I eat food in its freshest, most natural state.

With grass growing under our feet, my son and I admired the okra he planted and just harvested. He took a tentative but brave bite after watching me relish the first one. There was a slight nod after three seconds of chewing followed by an expression which seemed to say, “Okra, who knew?”

Related post:
Food Fight 5: Raw v Cooked Undercard

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Inner Child, My Prisoner

The young believe in possibilities; the old, inevitables.

A child's capacity for learning expands with learning. Observing, exploring and experimenting are delightful.

A child moves easily past dismay because there is no ego in the way. Memory is reserved for new things, forward things, bettering things. In this un-adult-erated state, a child travels the path of infinite possibilities.

Slowly I agreed to the education of conformity. My inner child wouldn't cooperate so I placed it in a prison of my perspective. A perspective that lost sight of me.

I wobbled plenty yet I walk. I've wandered plenty but am finding my way back to free.

Related articles:
Passion-Let It Go
Opening The Gift Of Childhood
Encouragement: The Gift Opener

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Stocks Fall, Self-Esteem Fell

Before the downgrade of the US credit rating was announced Representative Barney Frank, said ...I’m just puzzled that people pay attention.

Well Barney, there's no reason to be puzzled. People pay attention for the same reason they pay attention to the claims and counterclaims of politicians.

The public has a malleable mind that can be shaped by a whisper, shout or suggestion. The difference is how quickly a reaction is needed. The mind of the people has been trained to trust sources who portray themselves as thorough, and objective and knowledgeable. The main culprits are popular media, politicians at every level, Wall Streeters and business bigwigs.

If we are to ever experience significant personal growth we must acknowledge the nature of this multi-headed beast.

All the tongues from Washington to Wall Street are permanently forked and tangled together so the sounds they make are like the ones we made as kids when we held our tongues and tried to talk.

We don't have to give meaning to this gobbledygook. Just let 'em keep talking and telling lies. We should mostly do nothing or the opposite.

We don't have to allow media to instigate us to make ill-advised choices. Let them work each other into frenzies. Do not allow this Medusa-like creature to turn you hardheaded in the wrong direction.
BTW: Why do all these news sources all talk about the same things each day in the same way if they are “independent and objective?”

Barney, be not confused as to why people are freaked out and stocks are falling. We are doing as we've been trained and educated. We turn to you to tell us the important things. We need you to explain what we've heard. We need you to help us focus on information that we hope will help us make the best decisions for ourselves and be the best we can be.

You need us too. You need us to keep trusting you and believing we need you. You need us to wait to be told what's going on. You need us to doubt and diss-believe anything you don't say. You need us to lack confidence in our ability to be the discerners that is supposed to come with the developing cognitive ability of adulthood. You need us to trade the fullness of our capabilities and purposes for a life of gobbledygook.

Even though most of your information is either late or of no consequence to us, we continue to stay in a relationship with you believing we can't make it without you, just like those with no or low self-esteem. This has a lot to do with why, the wealthiest one percent has more wealth than the bottom 90 percent combined. All information, no evolution. Stocks are falling now because self-esteem fell long ago.

People, take this into consideration: When stocks fall, someone is shaking us like trees trying to shake them loose from our hands. Someone is also either catching the stocks or picking them up. There are no stocks left lying around on the ground because in order for someone to sell a stock, someone else has to buy it.

In other words, every time you hear there is a sell off in stocks, there is also an equal buy in. The difference is, one side is shaken and scared while the other is certain and salivating. One is panicked, the other prepared. The rich get richer when we simply listen to the news they own because information is more valuable than stocks.

Additional Reading:
30 Lessons from Warren Buffet & Bill Gates

Monday, August 8, 2011

Health & Nutrition: Information Stupid

Food Fight #24: The TKO

What do coconut milk, avocado and nuts have in common? At the basic level they all come from plants. Some of us believe they are opponents and should be foods of concern since we are told they are high in fat and calories. Wow! This is what I call “information stupid.” We allow jab after jab of ill-formed information to knock us senseless and out of the fight of our lives.

If we believe something from a plant is unhealthy then we've completely lost our sense of connection. The first question should be, “Is it intended to be eaten by humans?” After that, it's not necessary to go through experts, scientists and researchers to comprehend basic truths about food.

Vitamins, calories, fat, etc. are the minutia. Too much of this type of information has come between us and our spiritual intelligence when it comes to knowing what to eat. These details are just more jabs of information but a jab will do us in.

Food comes from natural sources. Food comes from plants and animals. Food does not have to have nutrition added to it because food is nutrition and nutrition is food. If our diets consisted of an array of foods, then what we eat would not have to be fortified or supplemented.

When discussing fruit with people, several have interjected, “That contains a lot of sugar!” My response, “It comes from a plant.” My silent response, “What the hell!”

If we ate a wide variety of food mostly from plants, we wouldn't need to know what food contains what nutrient. Natural sense is the only expert advice we need.

One thing we can be certain of: If it comes from a plant that is intended for human consumption, eat, drink and do not be wary. Spend more time asking, “How is this food grown? How is it handled? How is it processed? Is anything unnecessary or harmful added? How am I preparing it? Also, if it interacts with medicine then should I be taking something made by man and avoiding something made for my health by my Creator?”

Spiritual/Intuitive Side

Food helps put us in concert with what sustains life. This also means, the more and more we eat food and food only, the greater our chances of getting in tune with what we should/shouldn't eat and what information we should/shouldn't swallow. We would then be able to dodge jabs of information every fighter knows will be thrown at them but just like them, shouldn't cause us to count ourselves out.

Additional Reading:
Don't Let The Experts Shut Down Your Brain
Gardening: Plants Minister By Example
Food Fight 8: The Fight Doctor
Patient-Centered Care, Hillary Clinton's Blood Clot, Concussion & An Insult To Common Sense
Financial Information Sources, Gaming The Economy & Our Education

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Companion Planting: Three Sisters, Oh Bother!

Planting corn, squash and green beans together is a symbiotic relationship recognized long ago. The corn provides a support for the climbing beans and squash's broad leaves shelter the soil from sunlight, thus preserving moisture and retarding growth of other plants. I'm sure there's more to it but the potential of the Three Sisters to help use limited space more efficiently was enough for me to try it out even though sharing the same soil is at the basis of what an ecosystem means.

First experiment, first results

The corn matured beautifully but by harvest time, the green beans had coiled themselves so tightly around the stalk and the ears, it was difficult to pick the corn without damaging the green bean vine.

Also the green beans were both adventurous and amorous. They traveled over to other stalks and met in the air above the corn and entwined themselves into several multi-vine groups. These masses were higher than the corn and thus each weightier and weightier group, with nothing to cling to, bent over and over taking corn stalks with it. Add whipping about in strong winds and the risk of vines breaking increased.

Mind you, I didn't plant the beans until the corn was in the shin to knee high range.

I did plant the squash at the same time the corn seeds went in but used squash plants. The corn overtook the squash, casting its low-lying sister into photosynthesis reducing creeping shade.

At my house, the Three Sisters did not work or play well together. Perhaps it was the space allotted and/or the varieties chosen but with lessons learned, there's hope.

Next experiment, what might work

1. Start with more overall space for the trio.

2. Plant squash on the outside rows of corn only, approximately one squash for every 8 to 12 corn plants. Getting to the squash, corn and beans without acrobatics should then be easy.

3. Plant squash on the outside of the corn facing the strongest sun, otherwise the squash will get “sun-squashed.” Seeking light beyond the corn's shadow, these sun-starved plants started to spill outside their allotted space.

4. Don't cheat on the suggested plant spacing.

What else might work to bring the Three Sisters back together in an average city/suburban space? You tell me.