Saturday, March 19, 2011

SPRING CLEANSE WOMEN'S CIRCLE


Friday, May 7, 2010

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Meat Free Monday

I am not a vegetarian. Yet I was deeply moved by this letter from Paul McCartney to Gwyneth Paltrow & wanted to share it. The facts enclosed are mind boggling!
 Hi Gwyneth!
Ok, here’s the story on Meat Free Monday. In 2006, the United Nations issued a report which stated that the livestock industry as a whole was responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than the whole of the transport sector put together.
I found this interesting particularly because people at the UN are not a vegetarian society and therefore, could not be accused of bias. They pointed out the following facts:
  • The Livestock industry produces gases that are extremely dangerous for the future of our environment.
  • The two main gases, methane and nitrous oxide, are considered to be more harmful than CO2 (methane is 21 times more powerful than CO2 and nitrous oxide is 310 times more powerful than CO2) so the data suggests that this is causing a highly dangerous situation for ourselves and, more importantly, for future generations.
  • Methane also remains in the atmosphere for 9 to 15 years; nitrous oxide remains in the atmosphere for 114 years, on average, and is 296 times more potent than CO2 - the gases released today will continue to be active in degrading the climate decades from now.
  • Livestock production is land intensive: a recent report by Greenpeace on land use in the largest meat producing state in Brazil found that livestock (cattle) production was responsible for vastly more deforestation than soya.
  • A third of all cereal crops, and well over 90% of soya, goes into animal feed, not food for humans. Eating less meat will free up a lot of agricultural land which can revert to growing trees and other vegetation, which, in turn, will absorb more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
  • Livestock production is water intensive: it accounts for around 8% of global human water use. The estimated 634 gallons of fresh water required to produce one 5.2 ounce (150g) beef burger would be enough for a four-hour shower. For comparison, the same quantity of tofu requires 143 gallons of water to produce.
  • Livestock production is the largest source of water pollutants, principally animal wastes, antibiotics, hormones, chemicals from tanneries, fertilizers and pesticides used for feed crops, and sediments from eroded pastures.
  • The meat industry is set to double its production by 2050 so even if they manage to lower emissions by 50%, as they have promised to, we will still be in the same position.
With this in mind, my family and I launched Meat Free Monday in the UK, an idea which has been gaining support from people like Tom Parker-Bowles who, after a lifetime of denigrating vegetarians, recently wrote in his Daily Mail column, “I wince at the memory of my boorish antics” and who pronounced himself “intrigued” by MFM: “There’s no doubting the plain common sense of the message…Meat Free Monday is something to really savour”. Another supporter is Al Gore who stated that initiatives like Meat Free Monday “represent a responsible and welcome component of a comprehensive strategy for reducing global warming pollution and simultaneously improving human health."
Even a number of schools have already done this in the UK with great success. The town of Ghent in Belgium has a meat free day and, amazingly, Sao Paulo has one even though Brazil is a large exporter of meat. In Sweden, the government is now labeling food to give the consumer the opportunity to understand the dangers of indiscriminate food consumption and there are many more examples appearing online.
The point is that so many people these days are looking for ways to “do their bit” for the environment. We recycle - something we never would have dreamt of doing in the past. Many people now drive hybrid cars but most people understand that we cannot leave this important issue to the politicians of the world. Recently, at the Copenhagen Conference for Climate Change, this issue was not even on the agenda and so I believe it is once again left to us, the people, to do it ourselves.
It’s amazingly easy to take one day in your week, Monday or any other day, and not eat meat. When you think about it, there are so many great alternatives, for instance, in Italian cooking, so many of the dishes are vegetarian already and Thai and Chinese cuisine are the same. All it means is that you have to think a bit about what you’ll eat that day but, in actual fact, far from being a chore, it’s a fun challenge.
Having been a vegetarian for over 30 years, I find it very simple and in fact, tasty and most enjoyable.
So there it is! Next Monday - don’t eat meat and do your bit to save this beautiful planet of ours. For more information, ideas and lots of meat free recipes, go to the official Meat Free Monday website.
Thanks Gwyneth!
Rock on ya’ll!
Paul

Saturday, January 23, 2010

THE 13 INDIGENOUS GRANDMOTHERS







I have been a massage therapist for 14 years. One of the things that I advise my clients to do is to soak in an Epsom Salt bath afterward. It draws out the lactic acid & is very detoxifying to the body. The response is almost always the same. "My grandmother always did that" or said to do that. Then they go on to say that they just didn't give it any credence. Whether it was just an old wives tale...or just simply outdated & no longer useful. As if all the pills & quick fixes & technology are.


We are a society that is bereft of what holds heart & meaning for us. We are disconnected, fragmented & shut down, as evidenced by our economic crash. We are more concerned about our economy than what is happening in our homes. We are more concerned about what is in our retirement account, than what our child just said to us 5 minutes ago. We are more concerned about what our house is worth, than what is going on inside of our homes. I believe this is what The 13 Indigenous Grandmothers speak to.


Last month, the Grandmothers held their 7th Council Gathering in Sedona. I had the privilege to go with 2 friends of mine. It was one of the most powerful experiences in my life. I have been unable to write about it until now. How do you put into words an experience that goes so far beyond words? How do you begin to convey a message that is not of the mind, but one so deeply embedded in the heart & the soul?


There were around 500 there. From all walks of life. One woman had traveled from Spain. Another woman that I met, had driven from Georgia down to Florida to pick up a friend. They then drove across country to Sedona. And I believe she was in her 70's. This is what a draw these powerful women bring.


The Grandmothers are from all across the world. They are from Africa, Tibet, Nepal, 2 from Brazil, Nicaragua, Mexico, 2 from South Dakota, Montana, Oregon, Alaska & Arizona. They meet twice a year in each others homeland & hold Council. They found it deeply important to travel to each homeland, to experience each woman right where they live. To experience their people & their traditions. That was mind boggling to me. Especially because they each live without much money to speak of. Yet they deemed it of utmost importance to learn about each other & their cultures. That spoke to me on such a deep level.


Each of them come from such different ways of life. Different beliefs. Different traditions. Yet their curiosity & respect reach past those differences. I watched as each woman held the Council Fire in Sedona. We watch to see if there is something that we can connect to. Dismissing something if we don't understand or get it. They sat there in reverence for each prayer uttered. Many many tears for the degradation of the sacred way of life.



They are of the Earth. They are of the Sky. There are of the Waters. Each of their traditions are based on this. All of our Relations. They spoke so much of that. Our relations to each other, & in how we walk on this Earth. How we honor the trees & the water & the creatures. 

One day was devoted to the Water. They spoke of what Phoenix is doing to the Colorado River. And we just turn on our faucets. We are robbing the Earth for our own benefit. With no regard to how it will affect the next 7 generations. We take & take & take from the Earth. We poo poo the environmentalists if we are wanting something they are fighting against. We mine the minerals. And on & on & on.


Then there are the children. To see the Grandmothers & the children in the same room just filled my heart. Observing how their eyes lit up when they spoke of the children. Their devotion to teaching them. And also learning from them. Watching them guide them in learning the rituals & sacred traditions. The deep respect for the elders & the young alike. Stopping. Taking notice. Just being with them. Nurturing. Yet in our culture, so many times our children are so far removed from their grandparents that they never get this opportunity.


Our culture is SO technology driven. Technology isn't a bad thing within itself. Yet it has gone way out of control. Oprah has even had shows where families are texting each other when they are just in the next room. She just now had a show about the dangers of texting in cars. How many people have died because of that. AND we think this is the thing that we want to take to other countries. Our technology. Our way of life. I think we have done enough of that. Can we not see what it has done to our own lives? To our families? One Native American spoke to this at the Council. He said he didn't even know his own native language until his 40's.


They speak of Honor & Deep Respect. Prophecy. And of vision. From Jyoti, who had a recurrent vision of an international circle of women elders. To the 16 letters sent out. 13 responded. Then in the 1st Council Gathering, Grandmother Rita came forth with 13 stones & 13 eagle feathers that her grandmother had given her when she was 9. Telling her that one day she would be on a council of 13 Grandmothers. And that she was to gift them with these eagle feathers & stones.


So I wonder...what part of the prophecy are you meant to bring forward??


Friday, January 22, 2010

CARROT SOUP WITH DUNGENESS CRAB



Serve this lively soup, a fine showcase for Dungeness crab, to brighten up a winter day.
Prep and Cook Time: about 50 minutes.
Total Time: 50 minutes
Yield: Makes 4 servings

  • 2 1/2  tablespoons  butter
  • 1  medium chopped onion
  • 1  pound  sliced carrots
  • 1  large bay leaf (or 2 small)
  • 2  tablespoons  white rice
  • 1  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2  teaspoon  lemon zest
  • 6  ounces  shelled cooked Dungeness crab (from a 1 1/2 lb. crab)
  • 1  tablespoon  fresh lemon juice
  • 1  tablespoon  minced chives, plus chopped chives for garnishing

Preparation

1. In a 5-qt. pot over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add onion, carrots, bay leaf, white rice, salt, and black pepper. Cook, stirring, until onions are light golden, about 6 minutes. Add 5 cups water and bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 25 minutes. Remove bay leaf.
2. Working in batches, purée soup in a blender until smooth. Return soup to pot, stir in lemon zest, and keep warm. In a small bowl, toss crab with lemon juice and minced chives. Put an equal mound of crab mixture in the center of each of 4 soup bowls, then ladle soup around crab. Garnish with chopped chives.

Sunset, JANUARY 2008


Thursday, January 21, 2010

INSOMNIA


I have struggled with insomnia for most of my life. Waking up several times a night. Sometimes not being able to go back to sleep. Or not being able to go to sleep in the first place. I finally resorted to taking a Tylenol PM to help me sleep. And ended up doing that for the last 5 or so years. 

I believe that insomnia can be an indication of a toxic overload in our bodies. Yes there can be many other factors also. But the first thing I always look at is diet & nutrition. Or the lack there of. I have a healthier diet than most. And yet still a good detox is always in order when my body is out of whack.

I have been off of coffee for 3 weeks now. And my last PM was almost 2 weeks ago. I am sleeping thru the night & am able to go to sleep easily.

In one of my juicing books 'Juicing For Life'  she outlines the nutrients needed & the vegetables that contain those nutrients.

Niacin~cofactor in the conversion of the amino acid tryptophan into the sleep-inducing chemical serotonin (Broccoli, Tomato, Carrot)

Vit B6~also cofactor in the conversion (Spinach, Carrot, Pea)

Magnesium~also cofactor in the conversion (Parsley, Collard Greens, Blackberry)

Calcium~aids in muscle relaxation (Kale, Collard Greens, Broccoli)

Folate~may help restless leg syndrome (Asparagus, Spinach, Kale)

Lettuce & celery are traditional remedies for insomnia.

Juicing Recipes~~

TRADITIONAL SLEEP POTION                     
3-4 Lettuce Leaves
1 Stalk Celery
Juice. Drink 30 minutes before bedtime

TRADITIONAL NERVE SOOTHER
1 Stalk Celery
3-4 Carrots
Drink 1 hr before bedtime

SWEET MAGNESIUM SMOOTHIE
1 pint Blackberries
1 ripe Banana
2 oz Silken Tofu
1 Tbsp Brewer's Yeast
Juice Blackberries. Combine with other ingredients in blender or a food processor & blend until smooth. Garnish with Blackberries. Drink 1 hr before bedtime