Saturday, November 5, 2011

My Time in Vietnam

I'm here in Vietnam working on the next steps of my own inspired vision of living fully. How is the best way I can give what I have to the world? I intend to bring the latest answers which I discover to that question to everyone I encounter and to every client contact I make.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Some Notes on Healing Our Self

As I pursue knowledge, training and greater ability at working with the body(mind) for greater health, energy and opening of awareness I find myself speaking with more people all the time who are very interested in what I am doing and in how they might benefit from understanding it. I am working with people on a range of things that includes management of water quality, food choices, design, cooking skills and even certain kinds of behavioral change.

I think that people see us differently depending on the hat we wear when we interact with them. I'm wearing a few hats, but the conversations all seem to come back to creating whole experience. Many people experience lack and they seek to fill it. Folks who have tried some very ineffective or even destructive ways of filling the holes, will start to seek out real, lasting solutions as they observe and reconsider the strategies they've used and that have failed them; What I am happily discovering these days is that real, lasting solutions exist, in fact, they've been here all along. Of course!

When it comes to healing our body, our mind I am finding that many people seek outside constantly and that as a culture we seem to be conditioned to ask someone else what to do when we are not well. When working with people on more existential questions I refer to this as "exporting power". When there is no obvious physical construction to what is being worked on, one can often, very quickly and easily, see the contradiction of going outside to find solutions or help. "Obviously, if this is just a thought I am having, then once I make an effort, I can think something else!", one might think. And it is true. Then, once the new thoughts are thunk, we can make a habit of thinking in these new ways anytime we have an issue.

In tension with this is our relationship to the physical wherein we are often taught to treat the body(brain) as if it belongs to someone else and is not in our domain. But if not ours then whose is it? I say that it is ours first; by "ours" I mean whomever is there looking out from the point of view that locates your awareness as emanating from the physical location around which "your" body is manifest. Even if you maintain certain religious stands, then God(s) have given you this body as a vessel to care for and to transport you through this incarnation.

Point being, that we are the ones who must ultimately be responsible for the body(mind) which we inhabit. It is good to seek opinions, to seek help, to seek medicine. But, in the final count, we must take responsibility and to do so we must have the most complete connection and receptivity between that physical vehicle and our infinite intelligence as we can create. We do this through many means including exercise, massage, yoga (union), sex, eating, drinking fresh water, breathing good air and much else.

In regards to many of the folks I have spoken to who are at the threshold of taking control of this aspect of their lives; The most important factor in healing our selves is knowing that we can, knowing that we have control of our health, of our bodies, of our weight, of our energy, our strength our focus and our thoughts, even what we do with our emotions. Once we decide what we want from our health and that we can bring it about, we've taken the first step to making it real.

To illustrate; I spoke to someone the other day who had mild diabetic condition and he was opining the misery of his incurable condition. I told him that there are people who don't believe it incurable and that it's being cured daily, he could check out what Tree of Life had to say about it or just search the web if he liked. He told me that if it were curable he wouldn't have it. I asked him if he had considered quitting smoking. I think this bares itself well enough. He is living in a stunted personal paradigm of possibility. If he's diabetic and smoking a pack-a-day, then what has he really done about his dis-ease?

I met another fellow in the desert in Nevada, he'd developed a brain tumor and been given 6 months by his doctors. He cried, moped, gave up and then lifted his middle finger high for all to see. This gentlemen left for the Amazon basin and worked with a shaman there who told him he couldn't understand why the tumor should kill him and administered a series of treatment. That was about... 12 years ago, he's been in remission ever since. Everyone has heard these kind of stories, but what we should start to understand is that they are the rule, not the exception. We live in a miraculous world and the first step to performing miracles is taking responsibility for ourselves, understanding our own power.

In every case of healing, what must happen first, even if we must find help of a practitioner in a specific field, is that we must align with a belief in our ability to become what it is we desire, in this case, healthy; Then we can find the medicine we require. The state, the resonant energy, always pre-exists the manifestation. We must be ready to receive before any solution will come. Why should anyone internalize the idea of "incurable" about a condition they have? Or, in reductionist terms, what harm could possibly come from believing that one can do good for oneself?

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Super Fruit Mash... Deluxe Recharge

This is a recipe that I make a a little different each time and you can do it with all kinds of fruit. The following is a basic version that includes the ingredients I consider most essential, just remember if you change the fruit, you might need to change the sorts of spices or other sweeteners you use in order to get a balance. This preparation will give you great soothing energy. It is delicious and speaks directly to your body. I started creating variations of this while in Peru traveling in the Amazon basin. None of the foods in it need refrigeration or cooking and it can be done with a knife, fork and spoon which is all I had to use. It was the perfect food to recharge the whole bodymind after a strenuous night.

Ceremonial Mash:

2 T coconut oil
1 ripe banana
Big handful raw cacao nibs
handful raw almonds, mashed or cut up slightly.
1 Mango, torn up
t Maca
vanilla bean if you've got it
bit of honey, start small, it may need very little

Mash it all together, being sure to spread the coconut oil among the other ingredients.

The fat source is very important, especially if you've been taxing your mind adventuring. Sub avocado for coconut oil, maybe even Durian fruit. No Mangos?? No problem, lose 'em altogether or try some papaya, cherries, bluberries, strawberries. Most things will work if you adjust the other flavors. Prepare as attentivley as you can in a beautiful piece of glass or ceramic ware and it will bring great life to all those who partake.


Foods that travel well and don't need a fridge

Many folks work or go to school and would like to bring their own homemade meals with them. They may prefer the quality of their own foods, the nutrition, the enjoyment we get from feeding ourselves or just don't care to spend extra money on eating out. Sometimes there is no refrigerator or acceptable heating source (see note below) around for them to use while they are working or in class. This is by no means meant to be the final word but does offer some ideas for people who run into this issue. So, here are some food ideas for people with no fridge or heat source!

Energy bars, will keep all day unrefrigerated without any problem. But, just as you would with any food don't leave it in high-heat area or sunlight (in a car during summer for instance).

Salads' ingredients mostly grow in the sun so a few hours in a container aren't going to cause any problem. The thing that goes wrong when left to sit for too long is dressed salads. This isn't the lettuce or carrots or whathaveyou going bad, this is the salt-oil-acid combination in the dressing accelerating the decay of the salad ingredients. The way to deal with this is to pack dressing separate and only dress what you intend to eat. There are a million sorts of salads you can make and that's a conservative number.

To get the best nutrition out of a salad that will transport with you like this, it is helpful if you keep the components in larger pieces. This means that you might prefer chopping less, and shredding less. It also means that you might choose fewer things that you might need to shred, such as raw beets. The more you cut up your produce and let it sit around, the more it oxidizes and loses living energy. Avoid buying pre-shredded produce such as carrots. But, if you want a salad with shredded beets, arugula, raisins and walnuts and you are going to work and you know it will sit around for a few hours. Make it anyway! It will still be good for you, it will still be delicious, just hold the dressing off until you are ready to eat.

One salad that does very well if you dress it in the morning and let it hang out for a a few hours is kale. Raw kale is very tough and tends to tenderize and become more flavorful after it has had time to cure. Try this kale salad! Consider other tough greens for similar uses as well, such as collards or mustard. Another fantastic leafy relative that holds up well is cabbage which can be used in salads or you may consider creating a coleslaw that doesn't use mayo or dairy. Consider a nutcheese, sundried tomato sort of direction, perhaps a tahini... many possibilities. Have a little bit of live sauerkraut!

Some people are worried their food will go bad too quickly, so check this idea out.. Sauerkraut is fermented cabbage, nut cheese is fermented nut-cream, cheese is cultured milk. Leafy greens just sitting in a container don't have the conditions to ferment and will hold up ok as long as the environment is damp. Cooked meat, kept warm and allowed to sit for a while tends to grow the kinds of things that like that environment and which we should avoid. Point here is that good food and bad food is kind of a fuzzy line anyway and lots of the things we love to eat are some kind of controlled rotting process. Knowing a little bit about how this works can help us decide how to create and transport the best foods for these situations.

A lot of your quicker degradation of food quality or ferment has to do with having a lot of sugar mixed with other things, warm and sitting in the sun... I was once told a story about how to make some very quick, cheap moonshine; It involved taking some old donuts at the end of the workday and putting them in a clear plastic bag with some water; Hang this arrangement over a tree limb and wait. Strain it out after about a week and you'll get at least drunk from the contents... probably have some other unpleasant effects.

Soups often keep very well at room temperatures and many of them are very tasty that way as well. Some soups, such as gazpacho and many raw soups are only to be eaten at room temp or even cold. Which of these might work depends upon your tastes as well as the type of soup. Consider a raw carrot ginger soup; this one is very good, but you'll need to reduce the recipe by about 3-4 depending on how much you want to eat. Or yell at me and I'll get to rewriting.

Besides soups, consider stews and chilis. Here's a link with a whole bunch of raw soups or try googling "raw soup recipe" there are more soup recipes than you could make in a lifetime and most raw soups will hold up at room temp for a few hours.

Fruits come in endless variety and are prewrapped to stay fresh (apple, orange, mango, cherry, dried- raisins, figs, dates). If you get tired of one, there is a whole bioregion more of fruits you may not have even tried yet. There are also some vegetables such as carrots, celery, marinated
vegetables in all sorts of sauces, avocados, coconuts, all of which can be eaten on the go. How about some hemp seeds, to toss onto one of those salads you were going to bring? You could pack an apple, some almonds, celery and some soup you had for dinner.

I like to have a steel knife, fork and spoon with me when I'm going to places where I expect to want to eat. These open up all kinds of possibilities like: avocado, olives and a banana. Those three instruments allow you to open, scoop out and mash all sorts of things so you can have a lot of foods fresh anywhere! If you carry a bowl with some coconut oil, cacao, hemp seed, agave already mixed up you could break that out and add a mango or a banana, or both and you would have one of the most delicious, sustaining meals you could dream of in the time it takes to peel the fruit. Check out this fruit mash recipe. Ever just eat whole cacao beans dipped in honey? A few of these and some almonds ooooh! Macadamias! Its fantastic and will keep you going through the middle part of a day without weighing you down; have with an avocado, but be sure to have some leafy greens or fresh fruit later.

Often a good stir-fry or steamed vegetable dish from dinner can be tossed with some brown rice, maybe make some dressing and eat at room temp and still be quite tasty. You could also add some nuts and grated carrot to give it a little bit of a fresher note; hold the dressing until you are ready to eat.

I also find that hummus travels well, bring only a portion though as it will lose freshness going back and forth. Bean dips and other similar foods too. The issue I see many people run into with things like hummus is that they eat it with pita or cornchips and then they feel heavy. Try bringing along some washed lettuce leaves to eat with it instead; try something hardy, romaine perhaps. Have with a few olives, perhaps some carrot spears, maybe a fresh tomato. I like to carry a little bit of sea salt with me for occasions like this, but if you have some good olives you're already there!

Hope you enjoy these suggestions. Please leave a note if you have some other ideas and I'm sure soon more will come to mind.


*Another possibility if you like warm soups and stews, try getting a thermos or, for cooling only, they make little mini coolers that are just enough space for a lunch.

Note: If you don't know what "acceptable heating" means, I am referring to the microwave, the machine that emits enough high frequency radiation to heat-up frozen TV dinners or transmit telecom data into outer space... Don't heat your food with these things. Don't even stand in the same room with them when they are on. Ever notice how they mess with radio transmission? That is because they are emitting radiation. They damage the chemical constitution of foods causing oxidation, loss of nutrients and the rendering of various components of our meals into toxic waste.. Eat something cold or get a hotplate, find a window and wrap your food in a black blanket! Leave the microwave out of your life!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Parsley Pesto (no cheese, but with some traditional flair)

Just made up a batch of this, hard not to eat too much.

Bunch of flat parsley, chopped
Handful Walnuts, chopped
2/3 cup EV olive oil
1/2 t sea salt
t ground black pepper
4 cloves garlic pressed or fine
handful hemp seeds
T lemon juice
t lemon zest

Chop parsley in uneven manner coarse to fine. I had a lot of stem and decided I wanted to eat them since it all looked so pretty, so I put the stems through a blender, you can do this, or save them for juice or stock. The lower ends of the stems are a little too coarse without processing. Put everything except nuts and seeds into a bowl and mix it up, Macerate the mixture some by stirring aggressively with strong wooden spoon. Add remaining ingredients and test. Adjust as necessary. If the flavor is flat, try sea salt. Yum!

Note for the equipment freaks; Do not put the whole mess in a processor as this will homogenize the pesto into something more like a dip. When it's done it should separate as it sits and you can dig in there with bread or crackers or whathaveyou to get that variety of flavor back out. A pesto isn't really a dip, it's probably more akin to a salsa or chutney in that they all tend to have liquid and solid portions and are generally not completely combined into a smooth paste or cream consistency.

If you want a bit of a cheesy flavor, but want to stay non-dairy, try adding a bit of nutritional yeast and holding back some of the hemp seed. Or if you want cheese, hold the hemp and use Regiano. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

How to Add a Little Bit of Sustainability to Your Kitchen

It drives me up the wall! Watching someone spill a drink and then grab a couple of paper towels to sop it up from the floor or table. So imagine if every time someone spilled something, you would go outside, find the nearest tree and hack a limb off... This will never work and it doesn't matter if it's recycled or made of hemp or whathaveyou. There is no need for this. It's just a very wasteful habit created by industry adverts and laziness and it's time for us all to get over it. Paper towels are useful, but in the running of a kitchen you need them for very little and can do without them totally. They cost you money that can be better spent as well.

How to use little to no paper towels and napkins? Pretty easy! Get some dish towels and inexpensive linen napkins. If you have some old bath towels these are fantastic to keep around for bigger disasters. You'll likely rip them in half or thirds to make them more manageable. When something spills reach for an already dirty dish towel or one of the big disaster towels instead of that role of dead tree. When it's soaked, wring it out over the sink and go again. If the stuff you are mopping is staining, then dry and save it for an appropriate laundry load. Your disposable paper usage can be cut to nothing in an instant.

The only thing I use a paper towel for is to wipe my iron pans clean using oil and salt. Even then I tend to use about a quarter of a sheet. Fabric towels can not not be effectively cleaned after this process without unreasonable effort. Everything else is a job for fabric, washable towels. After a little while you will get the hang of it and realize that it is pretty simple. You'll have your new towels, your salty veterans and the lowly floor cleaning towel that you don't like the guests to see. If you don't have a washroom, keep a bucket under the sink to drape the towels over allowing them to dry and you'll never find them mildewed or stinking.

Good Luck!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Some feedback on dehydrated breads and crackers.

Since I had some dried cornmeal and spelt I tried using them as ingredients in some of what I did. I've decided not to do that anymore. It's tasty, but missing something that seems only to come from baking. I've made some other breads using sprouted buckwheat, sprouted kamut, ground flax, chia seed and various other ingredients. The breads with the sprouted grains are far and above the ones made with ground, dried. I also experimented with using other vegetables such as zuchinni, tomatoes and onions all of which helped to produce a more flexible and tasty bread. The bread made with sprouted grains, but without zuchinni and tomatoes is very good but is more like a thick cracker. I prefer the softer, thin breads and will concentrate on them. I may try making a tortilla chip when fresh corn becomes available. Crackers are no problem.

I've got a Garden Master dehydrator, it's fantastic, but it's round and I'm making breads and crackers so I'm going to look to sell and get an Excalibur 9-tray I believe.