Tuesday, January 29, 2008

. . . how sweet the sound.

"It is a sad fate for a man to die
too well known to everybody else
and still unknown to himself."

~ Sir Francis Bacon

The other day I was watching a movie about William Wilburforce and the abolition of the slavery trade in Britain. The movie is called "Amazing Grace" because, as a child, Wilburforce met and was greatly influenced by the man that wrote the song "Amazing Grace". John Newton was a reformed slaver and he wrote "Amazing Grace" as a hymn. It's quite a moving film, a definite tear jerker for sensitive folks such as myself! The Sir Francis Bacon quote above was in the movie and it just touched me so deeply that I thought I might share it.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Neti Pots are from Heaven!

I am just coming out of a nasty week long flu and I must say that sinus pain is one thing that really kicks my... Thank God, or whoever you want to thank, for neti pots! If you've never heard of a neti pot then you have got to try one. They clean out your sinuses like nothing else can... a steaming hot shower on the face is pretty fabulous in a pinch but nothing beats the neti pot! My mode d'emploi is to scoop about a quarter tsp of salt into the pot and then bring my tap water to a temperature that is comfortably warm (I test the comfort level of the water temperature in my mouth.) I fill the pot and then I agitate the water to make sure the salt is absorbed. Finally, I put the spout into one nostril, tip my head and the pot to allow the water to drain through one nostril and out the other then draining into the sink. When I finish with nostril number one I repeat the process with nostril number two and then I clean my little pot with soap and water and enjoy a few pain free moments. Simply follow the directions that come with your neti pot and you will thank heaven for that purchase. The photo above is one of the cooler neti pots that I've seen and if you click on the photo it'll link you to that product at Peaceful Company. I have no affiliation, I just liked their neti pot.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Food For Thought

I have been thinking quite a lot about the beef industry of late. In case you are unaware, the beef industry is a huge part of our environmental crisis. Cows (and sheep) burp and fart methane gas which contributes at least as much as, and possibly more than, our petroleum burning cars contribute to global warming. Because of their four-chambered stomachs, a cow may fart up to 600 litres of methane every day, which is enough to fill 40 party balloons. Methane is a much more powerful greenhouse gas than its more common counterpart carbon dioxide, with one kilo of methane warming the Earth 23 times as much as the same mass of CO2.(Sarah Lewis for The Argus) And apparently that's not even including the gas passed through belching. Yikes! Being a vegetarian is actually good for the environment, alas! Now... I know that it is highly unlikely that people will just stop eating beef, not even to save the planet. And I don't think that it is entirely necessary either. Eventually it may come to that but, to kick things off, a drastic reduction in beef production might just help. Ya think? Hmmmmm.

Now here's some serious food for thought. Take a walk through any grocery store's meat department and look at all the meat and then check out the freshness dates. What happens to the out of date meat? I certainly hope that it's going into the garbage. In a better world it would go to be composted, of course, and hopefully that day will come. But just take a moment to think about all of the meat that ends up in the garbage before it even leaves the market. Now think about all of the times that people purchase meat and then forget to cook it or for whatever reason it goes uneaten. Okay, now think about all of the beef that is burned or cooked but still goes into the garbage. Imagine all of that meat, that HUGE pile of rotting meat wasting away, and for what? Just ponder, for a moment, how many cows that must represent. How many cows are in that pile just so that we won't have to wait for more than a few minutes in the drive thru? If that doesn't hurt your heart, well then buster, you need a transplant.

It seems to me that if the mass production of beef is harming our environment and so much of said beef is going into the garbage anyway, well, beef should cost a lot more and be quite a bit less available. If we want to be able to continue to eat beef we need to relearn what it means to appreciate that beef. Moderation is the cornerstone of health and it is the key to a truly joy filled life. I recently heard something so pertinent on The Sundance Channel, I heard a man say that he considered "disposable" to be a dirty word. Can I hear an "Amen!"? And I will add "convenience" to the new list of dirty words. I think that perhaps it's time for us all to grow up and get over our desperate need for convenience. In my experience, the best things in life are rarely convenient and never easily won.

So please think about cutting back on your beef consumption and do your body and taste buds a huge favor and buy organic! You will enjoy your beef even more, this I can promise. Do it for yourself, do it for the children, do it for your country, the planet... I don't care why you do it, just do it!

In the spirit of full disclosure, I am not a vegetarian. Shocking, I know! My family have been or are currently vegetarian but I have never been able to sustain myself without meat. I was muscle tested by a naturopath/nutrition specialist, in an ashram, who cringed when he was forced to admit that meat and fat were in fact what my body was testing positively with. In other words meat and fat are my natural diet. I don't eat red meat every day and I only eat organic or free range with no additives, hormones or whatever... but I do still eat meat and I enjoy it too! Now you know my dirty little secret.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

A Lil' Morning Oxygen Please

"It ain't happenin'!" was my response to my cousin, Kanti, when she suggested that I try her new morning shake. Spinach and banana? Blechghgh! No way! Then I realized what I had said, my inner adult took the reigns and I told her I would try it. She was right, it tastes great! I called her right away and told her that she was right. Now, a couple of months later, I drink them almost every morning. I have my own variation, I like making things my own. Here's a fun fact, our bodies get oxygen from three sources; the air we breathe, H2O (water) and fresh raw fruits and vegetables. So if you want to oxygenate... go raw! Now here's what all the fuss was about, and it really is yummy.

Jen's Banana Spinach Shake

2-3 bananas ~ peeled, sliced and frozen overnight
two to three handfuls of organic baby spinach (rinsed)
water(start with 1/2 cup and add as needed to desired consistency)
1 tablespoon flax feed oil (Udo's Oil is great too)
1 scoop Green Vibrance Super Food , spirulina or whatever spirulina based powder suits you
1 tablespoon agave syrup
1/8 teaspoon vanilla

Blend the bananas and water until smooth (I break up my frozen bananas a little with a knife first) and then start putting in the spinach, adding water as needed. I don't like my shake to be too thick but to each your own. Once the spinach is fully blended the shake will just look like a St. Patrick's Day Delight and then you add the Green Vibrance, oil, agave and vanilla. Then in the immortal words of Devo "Whip it good!"

The base of this shake is the bananas and spinach so have fun, if you like, with the rest!

It sounds very strange but it tastes very yummy and it's soooooooo good for you!