Monday, February 27, 2012


                             "Time: That which man is always trying to kill,                                      
                                         but which ends in killing him."

                                                               Herbert Spencer 

How often have we said when asked "What are you doing?" responded, "Oh, I'm just killing time."?  Think about that for a minute.  When it comes to our time here on earth, time is finite. We have only a certain amount.  Why would we kill any of it? 

I suppose it's because I'm getting older (really older, for which I am exceedingly grateful considering the alternative) that I'm focusing more on what time is left for us all.  I know that as I draw my last breath, I'll regret all that time I killed.
I'm not saying here that every moment should be productive, but that when you're not producing you should appreciate the beauty of what's all around you.  The love of family and friends; the quiet of sunrise, punctuated only by the sounds of nature; the shimmer of dew on the grass; the joy of just being alive.  Sit outside and close your eyes and listen to the sounds of life all around you.  That's not killing time - that's loving it.

Saturday, February 25, 2012


Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Put a mirror on the table and watch yourself eat.  Studies have shown that people who watch themselves eat, ate considerably less than those who did not.  Hmm.  Wonder why?  Could the old conscience be kicking in?

Am I Blue?

The color blue makes food look unappetizing.  Put a blue light in your fridge and in the light over your dining table.  It's not surprising that restaurants have a Blue Plate Special..  Their customers eat less.

 Oink, oink

Use visualization.  Picture a piggy at the slop trough.


 ThinkYourself Thin

  Picture a square of chocolate (dark chocolate, of course).  Close your eyes and see yourself opening the package and removing one square of chocolate.  Hold it up to your nose and inhale the rich aroma.  Now imagine taking a small nibble off the corner of the square.  Don't chew it, just let it slowly melt on your tongue. Feel the silky texture.  Roll it around your mouth until it disappears.  Continue taking small bites and slowly, slowly finish your chocolate square.

People who used this visualization technique were satisfied with only one or two squares of chocolate, because their satiety level was so reduced. 

If all else fails, get a roll of duct tape; tear off about 8 inches of it and press it firmly over your mouth.

Friday, February 24, 2012



That old saying, "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again" has a ton of truth in it.  Most people fail because they don't keep on trying.  Who knows, the next time after you've given up might be the one that works, but if you stop you'll never find out.  How about a few examples of folks who never gave up no matter what anyone said?

  • Albert Einstein didn't speak until he was four years old and didn't read until he was seven.  His teacher said he was "mentally slow, unsociable and adrift forever in his foolish dreams."  He was expelled and was refused admittance to the Zurich Polytechnic School.
  • Beethoven handled the violin awkwardly and preferred playing his own compositions rather than improving his technique.  His teacher called him hopeless as a composer.
  • Thomas Edison's teachers said he was too stupid to learn anything.
  • Henry Ford went broke five times before he finally succeeded.
  • Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper editor for lack of ideas.  He also went bankrupt several times before he built Disneyland.
  • Babe Ruth was famous for setting the home run record, but he also holds the record for strikeouts.
  • Grandma Moses didn't begin painting until she was 76 years old and kept painting for the rest of her life.  She died at 101.
  • Winston Churchill failed sixth grade.  He did not become Prime Minister until he was 62, and then only after a lifetime of defeats and setbacks.
  • Louisa May Alcott, the author of Little Women, was told by her family to find work as a servant or seamstress.
  • Stephen Hawkings never let his severe disabilities stop him from using his brilliant mind. 
Celebrate every small success.  Regard failure as a learning experience and move on.

It's never too late to follow a dream.  If you let rejection, despair and mockery influence what you do, you'll lose the chance to see what you could be.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Here goes the crusader again!  Our crusade today is the avalanche of Genetically Modified food that is overtaking our markets.  Ever since those busy little scientists started tinkering with cross-species genetics, i.e. Monsanto bringing us RoundUp resistant crops, etc., it has become more and more of a challenge to find foods that haven't been tinkered with.  The FDA is currently deciding whether or not these foods should be labeled as GMO.  (Why  should that even be a question?)

For those of you who want to know which foods are non-GMO - yes there still are some - you can download a PDF booklet that gives you a list of all the presently  non-modified foods that are available.   Download it, print it off, and take it with you when you grocery shop.

Our advice?  If ain't in the booklet don't eat it.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Technology is wonderful and nobody appreciates that fact more than the Chinese.  In their never ending quest to produce more food for their burgeoning population, to say nothing of their food imports to the U.S, they may finally have stepped over the line.

Like our food manufacturers, the Chinese are great proponents of growth hormones to speed up the growth of crops, animals and anything else that they can think of.  In their zest, they neglected to educate some of their farmers in the proper use of these chemicals.  As a result, many small farmers have been busily running around their fields injecting too much growth hormones into their crops during the wrong part of the season.
They created Frankenmelons that suddenly spontaneously exploded, splitting their rinds and covering their fields with a riotous blanket of red, oozing watermelon pulp.

Monday, February 20, 2012


If you're still puffing away on those nasty cancer sticks, you might be interested to learn that smokers shorten their life spans by  13.2 years (men) and 14.5 years (women).   If that isn't bad enough, you don't just die sooner, but that death is more likely to be a painful one of respiratory illness, heart disease and/or cancer.

You might be interested in an article from Green Living called "The Shocking Ingredients in Cigarettes".    If you still want to smoke after reading this, then at least you know what you have to look forward to.  When even Phillip Morris warns of the danger of their additives on their web site, you know that it's no fairy tale.

Saturday, February 18, 2012


From whalebone corsets to thongs, women have been slaves to fashion.  Corsets were torture devices, but don't let anybody tell you that thongs are comfortable.

Here's an excerpt from Undies Thru the Ages in the February issue of our Life-Style magazine:

     Let's spend a quiet moment being grateful for today's fashions.  In the 1800's, having a 14" or 16" waist was considered the height of style.

     Many women deformed their rib cages and squeezed their innards to try to conform to this torturous trend.  They were prone to fainting spells and nobody seemed to figure out that it was (see the rest of the article, complete with pictures, on Page 3 of the February issue of Life-Style.)

Friday, February 17, 2012


Let's give a big 'Hip, Hip, Hooray' to our food scientists who, with the help of the wonders of chemistry, provide us with 17,000 new foodlike products each year.  Many of these new yummies are supplemented with a dizzying array of vitamins and minerals to keep us in tip-top shape.  Even thought that shape is round, they want us to know that they are taking care of us.  The fact that they have to add these supplements because their processing has stripped most of the nutrients from the base foods (mostly corn and soy) that they spring from, is merely a footnote on the page of progress.

Buy this - it's good for you!

These foodlike substitutes  (as distinguished from real food) have taken over your friendly neighborhood supermarket.  The 32 BILLION dollars per year that the food industry spends on marketing these substances has convinced many of us that this is a healthy way to eat.

What would Grandma say?

Is it an easier way to eat?  You bet it is.  Why would you spend time cooking up some steel cut organic oatmeal for breakfast when you can tear open a handy packet of maple and brown sugar flavored instant oats and add some boiling water.  It's all oats, right?  WOW!  Grandma would be thrilled to have all that extra time for the computer or the TV.  What's that Grandma?  Oh, don't be so old-fashioned.

Ya just gotta eat more

This is energy-dense food - not nutrient-dense food.  Even most of the whole foods we can purchase are only as good as the soil they are grown in.  The new commercial farming methods - which feel that crop rotation is unnecessary and chemical fertilizers and pesticides are the way to go - have produced food that is nutrient deficient.   The more nutrient deficient the food you eat, the more your body will demand - just to get enough to function - often minimally at best.  And we wonder why we're fat.

Y'all come back now

I could go on and on (yes, even more than I have already).  There are books galore on the subject and I'll be referencing some of them in future posts, but for now just realize that you need to find a remote place miles from civilization and grow everything yourself.  Fish from crystal clear streams,hunt wild game and pick mushrooms and nutritious weeds.  What do you mean there are no more places like that.  Don't be such a pessimist.

If you'd like a list of non-GMO foods to help with your shopping list, you can download this nifty little booklet for free.

Thursday, February 16, 2012



Some of the most extraordinary people I know are terrible procrastinators.  So could it be that procrastination isn't so bad after all?

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of books on how to cure your procrastination. I wonder is procrastination a disease I need to be cured of?  Is it a disease?  Is it really that bad?  I admit, I procrastinate a lot of the time (a good example, I've been working on this post for over a week but became sidetracked while doing damage control on another important task I procrastinated on), so I guess I do need some help.   Instead of buying a self help book I knew I would never finish (because I procrastinate), I went online and looked for a remedy for my own dumbassery.

Monster Spray?

Cattle Prod?


Okay, so I didn't find any remedies that I , for one, would consider (except maybe the cattle prod), but I did learn a bit about procrastination.
                                                  There are those of us who "do"
                                                     those of us who "do it later"

For those who "do", good for you.  For the rest of us who "do it later"- we are either thrill seekers,  avoiders or, sadly, both.

A thrill seeker;
  • Works best under pressure
  • Waits for the last minute to experience the euphoric rush
An avoider;
  • Needs instant gratification; large projects or jobs require too much of their time without producing instant feedback.
  • Will rationalize, "I'll feel more like doing it tomorrow" or that "it" isn't as important as whatever they are presently doing or thinking about doing.
  • Has the belief that if ignored long enough the problem will resolve itself.

Warning: If you are both a procrastinating  thrill seeker and an avoider you have probably already gotten yourself in real trouble.  People who live on the edge like this need help. They've lost their business, home and even been arrested for procrastinating over paying their speeding tickets.

If you're about to have any of the above happen to you check out the informative sites below.

Pro-Active Steps to Prevent Procrastination
2 Tricks to Overcome Procrastination

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Spices have been used for thousands of years in traditional medicine and are now being 'discovered' by Western medicine.  A wonderful source of phytochemicals, which are plant compounds with amazing healing properties, spices deserve a prominent place in your pantry.


CINNAMON - An anti-inflammatory that can help alleviate pain and stiffness.  It effectively lowers blood sugar and reduces the need for higher levels of insulin.  A study published in Diabetic Care showed that cinnamon could help lower total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides in Type 2 diabetics.

OREGANO - It has 42 times more antioxidant activity than apples and 12 times more than oranges.  It contains a powerful cancer-fighting compound called rosmarinic acid.  It is also an anti-inflammatory and is a source of calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron and potassium.

GINGER - In Ayurvedic medicine ginger is known as the "universal medicine".  Ginger has been used by Chinese healers for thousands of years to fight nausea - even seasickness.  Animal studies show that ginger has anti-microbial effects and helps boost the immune system

   ROSEMARY - Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, rosemary can help memory and promote healthy brain function.  

TURMERIC - It's anti-inflammatory properties are because of curcumin which makes curry dishes yellow.  In India turmeric is used for treating arthritis.  Research also indicates that it may have anti-tumor effects.  It is often used in place of the expensive saffron to impart a yellow color to dishes.  Try it in scrambled eggs or any rice dish.  

THYME - This can help relieve chest and respiratory problems.  Along with rosemary and sage, thyme is what makes the house smell great at Thanksgiving, but use them often to make food taste wonderful.

Although the doses of some spices used in research are higher than you would use for seasoning, it would seem logical that frequent use in food preparation would be beneficial.  Of course, fresh spices are best, but if you use the dried ones be sure to buy them in small quantities and replace them often since they age - even as we do.

Monday, February 13, 2012


Stop!  Before you put that hot dog in your mouth, take a close look at it.  Disregard the mustard, pickles and chili - just look at the dog.  For years we have all known that some pretty unhealthy things are wrapped up in that innocent-looking foot-long, but we were never quite sure just what they were.  
Your intrepid editors have researched this earth-shaking question and now present the results
      Mechanically Separated Meat (MSM) - a paste-like and batter-like meat product produced by forcing bones, with attached edible meat, under high pressure through a sieve or similar device to separate the bone from the edible meat tissue.  (From USDA website)

Besides the "meat" that goes into a conventional hot dog or sausage, there is a long list of other ingredients that make them what they are.  Along with spices, flavoring, water and salt, there are other additions which enhance color and flavor and maintain "freshness".

     Binders - added soy filler, helps processed meat maintain shape.

     Starter cultures - live bacteria added to ferment sausage

     Phosphates - helps emulsion stability; known as the all-purpose chemical because it is used in dish detergents, meats and seafood, biscuits, toothpaste, fertilizer, cola drinks, pet food, canned fish and condensed milk.

     Erythorbate -controls nitrite curing reaction, maintains color.

     Dextrose - refined cornstarch, used to balance salty flavors.

     Citric Acid - for tangy flavor.

     MSG (Monosodium Glutamate) - a flavor enhancer.  Research on the role of glutamate in the nervous system has raised questions about the chemical's safety, and it has also been studied in relation to migraine headaches, diabetes, asthma, atrial fibrillation and depression.

     Nitrites and Nitrates - potassium nitrate and sodium nitrite are added to preserve meat longer than nature intended.  They are used not only to preserve the product, but they are what makes hot dogs red and maintains their plump consistency.  According to research from the Cancer Prevention Coalition, during the cooking process nitrites combine with amines to form carcinogenic compounds.  


You can opt for organic or sustainably-raised meat products.  Health food stores and the better supermarkets carry them.  They contain no nitrites, additives, hormones, preservatives, fillers, artificial flavors and no organs or brains or "mystery meat"; just ground beef, pork or poultry.  

Be sure to look for a 100% Organic label, as well as a Grass-fed or Free-Range label.  Sea salt and cane sugar, rather than sodium and dextrose on the label will ensure a minimally processed doggie.

Sunday, February 12, 2012


Now that you've discovered what NOT to get your Valentine this year, here are some suggestions for things they will really love.

For Him - Deluxe Ghost Hunting Kit (I kid you not)

For Her - Take Care Bear (better than a Teddy Bear)

See the complete list on Page 19 of February Life-Style magazine.

Friday, February 10, 2012


Before you give the woman of your dreams something along the line of athletic socks or tickets to your favorite team's upcoming big game, stop, think it through and make sure your gift isn't--------see page 1 of the February Life-Style magazine.

Also Worst Valentine Gifts for Guys in this issue.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


As an addendum to our previous post PLASTIC, THE GOOD, BAD, UGLY, we thought you might be interested in some further information.

Researchers from Yale University traveled to Ecuador's rainforest to look for fungi capable of eating polyurethane plastic, and they say they found more than one!  Pestalotiopsis microspora is the fungus they showed to have the most ability to survive while consuming and degrading polyurethane in aerobic and anaerobic (oxygen-free) environments.  This, obviously, was done in a lab, but the possibility of using this fungus in a landfill deserves more investigation.  (Source: Biodegradation of Polyester Polyurethane by Endophytic Fungi, Applied Environmental Microbiology).

This paper also noted that more and more plastic is being produced every year and cites the 2006 production at 245 million tons.  In fact, one industrial facility in China is expected to have the capacity to produce one million metric tons per year - that's just one facility!

Now if we can just keep the seagulls from eating the fungus------

Monday, February 6, 2012


Plastic - how did we ever live without it?  Everything seems to be made of it or contains it.  Too bad it's such a hazard to our health and the health of our planet.  Our landfills are full of it and every bit of plastic that has ever been created still exists (except for the little bit that has been incinerated, which releases toxic chemicals). 

 In the ocean, plastic waste is accumulating in vast areas where, among other things, fish are ingesting toxic bits at a rate that will soon make them unsafe to eat.

Some common plastics release harmful chemicals into our air, food and drinks.  Maybe you can't see it or taste it, but if you're serving your dinner on plastic you're likely eating a little plastic for dinner.

Of course, there's good (kinda) plastic and bad plastic.  If you don't know the code, how can you tell what probably isn't harmful and what is toxic?  Never fear, Over 40?- So What! to the rescue.  Following is a code list that will steer you into safer waters (not bottled - remember the landfill).

We hope this information will help you to make informed decisions when you purchase plastic materials.  We are sure after reading the chart that we will never again buy eggs in anything but a cardboard container, and forget plastic wrap altogether. 

We are indebted to Healthy Child Healthy World for some of the content of this post.

Friday, February 3, 2012


What could taste more wonderful than fresh berries?  Be they strawberries, blueberries, raspberries or blackberries, they stand alone as the easiest and most healthful dessert you can imagine...more (including recipe) on page 7 of February Life-Style