Community Response to Peak Oil

With all the negative press and emotional churning our country has been experiencing with today's headlines of a spiraling economy and peak oil looming, you'll be delighted to watch this video on the positive impact these seemingly negative events are having. This is another valuable reason to support our local producers, start your own gardens, and continue to invest in our communities. I hope you enjoy this clip as much as I did:



To check out more of their work (or buy their video), check out he Community Solution's website at: http://www.communitysolution.org/poc.html

Have a wonderful day!
Laura

Fruits and Vegetables - Getting the Most for Your Money

Fruits and vegetables are good for you. We all know that. But they can be expensive. What can we do to save the cost and still get the best produce money can buy?

To get the most out of your produce and your wallet buy fruits and vegetables that are grown locally and in season. Fruits and vegetables begin to lose their nutritional value immediately after being picked. The longer they are in transit, the more nutrients are lost. Even though organic foods are more expensive, you are receiving more nutrients and less harmful toxins (herbicides & pesticides) from them. In addition, you are supporting your local farmers, which in the end can also save you money by helping their business grow!

The best way to buy local, organic produce is from local farmers and farmer’s markets. You not only get your fruits and vegetables closer to their harvest time (less time in transit and on the shelf means more nutrition and less cost), but you have less people handling your food, less transportation cost (good for your wallet and the environment), and you can make local connections.

Another way to get great organic produce from local farmers is to have an organic grocer, like Planet Organics, deliver produce right to your door! I love this, as a busy mom it definitely is a time saver!

By buying local, organic fruits and vegetables you are getting more nutrients per dollar than buying conventional , shipped-in produce – not to mention, getting more short and long-term health benefits.

If still can’t tweak your budget enough to buy organic food, try to at least buying organic fruits and vegetables that have the LEAST amount of pesticide residues on them. According to the Environmental Working Group, those foods highest in pesticides are: peaches, apples, sweet bell peppers, celery, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, lettuce, imported grapes, pears, spinach, potatoes, carrots, green beans and cucumbers (in that order). Scoring low, as the cleaner and perhaps safer to buy conventionally grown produce, are; onions, avocados, frozen sweet corn, pineapples, mangos, sweet peas, asparagus, kiwi, bananas, cabbage, broccoli and eggplant. (Get the complete list here.) Washing your foods helps but does not eliminate toxins, and peeling the skins off of them also reduces the toxins but at the cost of also losing a large amount of nutrients.

Buying frozen fruits and vegetables may be a good option for those who can’t get local, organic produce within their budget. Many times, fruits and vegetables are frozen close to their harvest time so the nutrients are preserved to a higher degree than other methods of preserving. Canned food isn’t recommended because the heat, processing, and additives all create a lesser quality of food for optimal health.

Be a comparative shopper and find the best deals in your area. It doesn’t save time, money, or the environment to drive great distances to save a few bucks, so stick to your area. Normally, buying bulk saves you money, but since fruits and vegetables are perishable you can really only do this with items like nuts, seeds and other dried foods on your list.

Reduce the amount of other foods in your grocery cart to allow for more organic produce. This is not only wise on your budget, but in your diet and health as well. We get the most active and life-giving nutrients from living foods. They will fuel your body much better than a lot of the canned, boxed, bagged and packaged foods in your cart. A rule of (green) thumb is, if your great-great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize your grocery item as ‘food’ than chances are, your body won’t either.

And while we are on the subject of reducing grocery bulk, once you get in the habit of buying mostly fruits and vegetables (this may take a while) you can even begin to reduce the quantity of the produce you buy too. As your body becomes adjusted to more live fruits and vegetables it will be receiving more nutrients per bite, therefore need less food for optimal health… experts also say eating less over-all and choosing nutrient-dense produce is the key to health and longevity.

Another reason many of us have a bulky grocery bill is that we put a lot of items in our grocery bags that are comfort foods rather than nutritional foods. So to help reduce the amount of foods we buy (for our health’s and budget’s benefit) begin to identify what you really need to feel ‘full of life’ and replace your comfort food with something even more pleasurable to you… family, sports, an outdoor activity, yoga, friends, reading, a spiritual practice, meditation, a new career, a hobby, or whatever feels right to you. Your mind, body, spirit and wallet will all be happier for it!

In our quest for the best produce, don’t forget the power and economic value of super foods and fresh, raw food concentrates. They may seem pricey at first glance, but dollar for dollar many of them are a great bargain for your budget and more importantly for your health.

Finally, when we are looking for the best bargain in our nutritional pursuits, we come to the realization that once we put a higher value on something like our health, which is fueled by high-quality living produce, we most likely can find a way to support it. What we focus on expands. Focus on health, quality nutrition, happiness and a means of receiving it… and you may surprise yourself how quickly God and the Universe respond. May your journey of good nourishment and good nurture be delicious!

Here's a summary of smart-buys for quality fruits and vegetables:

· Buy local, organic food – preferably from farmer’s markets
· Buy conventional produce that is low on the pesticide list
· Buy frozen fruits and vegetables, if needed
· Compare prices from local stores
· Reduce the amount of non-produce items on your list
· Reduce your overall grocery bulk
· Replace comfort foods with free pleasures
· Buy quality, whole food concentrates
· Put a higher value on health and be open to receive it

Transitioning Kids to Living Foods

It is hard enough to get adults to eat enough fruits and vegetables, especially high-quality, raw ones. But anyone with a child knows that the task is much more challenging. Many parents worry about their toddlers who seem to eat very little. When they do eat, the foods of choice are not usually naturally colorful, fresh produce in large variety. And getting a school-aged child or teenager who is always on the go (and pressured by peers and the giant food marketing industry) to eat well seems like a very uphill battle. None-the-less, the value of fresh, raw fruits and vegetables and other naturally raw, nutritional foods are vital for not only the body, but for those growing minds and spirits too.

Here are a few basic steps to begin the transition:

1. Transition Slowly. Slowly remove the more toxic & processed foods from their diet;

2. Replace processed foods with organic fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds;

3. Put healthy snack trays out in an accessible place for your child. Some items might include: raw nuts, raisins, broccoli trees, carrot sticks, dried fruit, sliced fruit (these can't stay out too long, however without oxidizing).

4. Be a good example yourself. All the pushing, coaxing, and words in the world won’t come close to your own action of eating healthier. One of the best steps is to be a good role model yourself.

For example, I never asked my 3-year-old to eat Kale before. She saw me munching on these big, raw, green leaves for many weeks. After a long morning of play, I was munching on one and had yet to give her a snack. She said, "Mommy, I want that!" I gave her the rest of my kale (two-thirds remaining) and she ate the entire thing! Ever since then, she likes kale. Strawberries on the other hand, I've asked her 100 times if she wants them... a big NO. We all have our tastes, but I think if we allow kids to be curious about food and give them a chance to approach it before pushing it on them, they just may be more willing to try it.

5. Supplement their diet with a high quality, whole food supplement that they will actually eat. It is best to avoid synthetic supplements.

The Vegan Child: If your child is on a vegan diet, make sure you are giving him/her a good source of B12. Dr. Gabriel Cousens' has recently said this regarding vegan and raw food diets:

"Consistent research over the last decade has shown that vegans and live food people of all ages and sexes have a much higher risk of becoming B-12 deficient. This does not mean that everyone becomes B-12 deficient. This deficiency is particularly true with newborn babies, especially babies of vegan live-food nursing mothers who are not using B-12 supplementation." Read More...

Healthy Treat Ideas For Kids

Kids of all ages love raw vegetables when served with tasty dips. These may include hummus, veggie dips, whole milk yogurt, nut or seed butters, healthy salad dressings and more!

Apples - (wedges, diced or whole)
Asparagus – (spears, steamed)
Bananas - (peeled, whole or sliced)
Bell peppers (all colors - sliced long)
Berries (all kinds!) (fresh or frozen)
Broccoli – (florets, steamed or raw)
Carrots – (sticks or rounds, steamed or raw)
Cauliflower – (florets)
Celery – (sticks with or without nut or seed butter)
Cherry tomatoes – (whole or sliced)
Cucumber – (sticks and rounds)
Green beans – (ends removed, steamed or raw)
Jicama – (slices and sticks)
Mushrooms – (small whole, cube large)
Napa cabbage –(leaves)
Peas (raw, frozen, or steamed)
Radishes – (whole or slice sides, “petals”)
Raisins - (just they way the are)
Sugar snap/Snow peas – (whole, slivers)
Sweet Potatoes/Yams – (sticks, rounds)
Yellow squash – (sticks and rounds)
Zucchini – (sticks and rounds)

Want a fun meal with your kids!
Try healthier pizza!
Use a whole wheat pita bread for the crust. Put fresh tomatoe sauce and veggies to top. Cook like a pizza! To make them smile even more, make the veggies into a face! Olives for the eyes, brocolli hair, red bell pepper for a mouth, a mushroom for the nose. For more veggies, ground up some of their favorites and put that on top of the tomotoe base before making a face. Of course, for those who can tolerate cheese, add that too!

What Experts Are Saying About Children's Health

Why should we be concerned about children's health? Check out wht some experts are saying, and then know we can be a positve force in making a healthy change for our kids and ourselves!

The US Surgeon General now ranks being overweight and obesity as the #1 public health concern. The disease consequences of obesity are greater than those of any infectious disease epidemic.

Dr. William Sears: “We are eating factory processed nutrition which is genetically unknown food to our bodies.”

Experts say: Approximately 70% of disease is directly related to what we eat and drink.

Dr. David Katz: “This generation of kids growing up today will be the first generation to have a shorter life span than their parents.”

Cancer kills more children than any other disease.
Gale encyclopedia of Children & adolescents, 1998.

Children at the age of 3 have fatty deposits in their arteries.
Bogalusa Heart Study

By age 12, 70% of all American children have developed beginning stages of hardening of the arteries.
Bogalusa Heart Study.

Less than 7% of children and adolescents consume the recommended 2 servings of fruit and 3 servings of vegetables per day.
Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine 1996.

Dr. David Katz: “Children today will experience more chronic degenerative disease as a result of their poor eating habits than from cigarettes, alcohol and drugs combined.”

Katie and the Body

Here is another great video clip regarding health and the body.

Katie & Fear

This is one of my favorite "Works" of Katie. So many of us experience Fear. But is it real? And what are we putting ourselves through? Check out this amazing discovery directed by Bryon "Katie".

Bryon Katie and Cancer

I love Bryon Katie! "Katie" has an amazing gift to share with us. She helps reveal a truth inside of us that brings us peace and ease. The Work is actually a logical process in which the mind can walk itself out of stress. See the clips below for examples of her work. For more on Katie's great work, visit her website directly: www.thework.com

Check out this heart-touching work dealing with "cancer".



If you like that, you probably will love her book: Loving What Is.

Don't you love it?

Raw For 30 Days Movie!

Check out this Great Movie Trailer of "Raw for 30 Days". The feature movie is set to be released in Spring 2008!

Raw Food Facts

Of all the species of life on earth throughout history, only one alters it from its original raw state. No wonder why our species experiences more diseases than all other species combined.

The SAD diet includes on average about 5,000 artificial additives each year.

Raw broccoli contains just about as much calcium as whole milk and is linked to lower cancer risks.

Simple, Live Food

Simplicity can be easily be found in food, however complex our grocery stores, restaurants, food advertisements, and kitchens have become. All we need to do is look back to nature. We remind ourselves where we and our food came from, and it wasn't a brightly colored, shrink-wrapped container.

Nature has provided humans and animals life as long as we've been here: before fire, farms, and factories. In it's raw form, food is more nutritious and life-giving than, obviously, its processed and cooked counterpart.

Why eat Live Food? Because of the laws of nature that say:

* Things produce after their own kind;
* From Life only can Life be created;
* We are what we eat

The concept is simple.

Live food creates a live body, dead food creates a dead body. Our bodies were designed to be fueled by live, organic foods. They are rich in nutrients, enzymes and life energy. When cooked, processed or altered in other ways, food nutrients, enzymes and constituents become damaged and our bodies no longer can utilized the life force food has to offer; instead, our bodies have to work harder to digest them. Void of digestive enzymes, our bodies steal metabolic enzymes just to get the food through. And a lot of it never makes it's way out. There it sits heavy, toxic, and begins to degenerate our life vitality.


Today's World

In essence, there is nothing more simple than going out in nature and picking a nutrient-rich, edible plant, consuming it, and being vitally nourished by it. However, in our current civilization, our simple pursuits may not be so quick to actualize. Concrete pastures; forests of buildings; toxic land, air, and water; little land or time to garden and prepare food leaves us with our simple hungry mouths wide open for a box of whatever-it-is we eat. And then, of course, there is the issue of what we are used to and what is 'normal'.

To Start

If you are remotely interested in health, nutrition and/or eating Live Food, please visit some of the resources on my website to learn more. I encourage you to start simple, even if it is adding a salad a day to your diet. (This is one of the BEST ways to transition to Raw/Live Food). Understand the facts (which is much too involved for the simplicity sake of my site). Educate yourself. David Wolfe's "SunFood Diet Success System" is an excellent book on how to successfully enter a Live Food lifestyle. In addition, buy a good recipe book, like "Raw Food, Real World". These two books were my first experiences with this new diet.

Preparing and eating live food can be as fun and complex as you make it. You can still have your ice-cream, pizza, burgers, chocolate, chips and more. I've found it is fun and delicious to make these treats. In fact, I am loving the taste of my food more now than I ever have. Honestly. However, in the pursuit of simplicity, when I feel overwhelmed with the process, I simplify (again), and grab a piece of fruit, kale, or nuts. Yeah, I learned to like that which I thought would never enter my mouth - kale.

Living Food (Raw Food)

Living Food (Raw Food)

Why choose living foods? Live (Raw) contain more life (more enzymes your body needs to digest so it doesn't have to deplete other resources, more vitamins, minerals and nutrients, and more vital life energy to name a few). Is a Twinkie, sausage, or donut grow when you plant it in the ground? Can a cooked apple re-grow itself? Nope. But I have a whole seedling patio garden started from the seeds of the fresh, live food I eat. That is life force. (So I actually haven't tried to plant donut, but I would be amazed if a donut tree sprouted up!)

There is a wealth of information on Raw and Living foods in books and on the internet. I hope to touch base just a bit more here, but if you are at all interested check out the other links and resources on the subject.

I am not here to judge an eating, health or any lifestyle practice someone else has. I think it is important to enjoy, approve and be happy with our own individual lives. And if this lifestyle could be part of that path for you, I hope some of the information and resources I share will be of use. With that said, here is a little more information on Live Food. Bless your journey, whatever it may be.