Thursday, December 11, 2008

Just an update on how my first few races have gone. On Thanksgiving in the, WMAC Turkey Trot, I placed third overall, and first in my age group (40-49) with a 5k time of 18:48. The next weekend I ran in the Mayor Mary Higgens' Hot Chocolate run in Northampton, Ma, another 5k, with a time of 18:31. In the Northampton race, I placed 28Th out of over 1,300 runners. Not bad, considering I have only yet begun.
It was a little weird getting up to the starting line at last weekends race, because they have markings for where you should start based upon the time you think you will run. And I was right up front with all the competitive racers. I felt proud, and thought to myself, If I keep the training up, next year I can come back and win this.
How's that for cockiness?
And of course, as soon as you feel invincible, the universe brings you right back to earth. Because, two days a later I got back spasms, and consequently, I haven't run all week. It was my fault. I felt so good after the race, I didn't stretch, get a massage or anything. Now I'm laid up.
Anyway, my race last weekend was interesting, as I'm still learning, week to week, what to expect from myself. I started out slow, thinking my adrenaline and the other runners would drive me to run a fast first mile. That wasn't the case as I ran a slow, 6:12. first mile. Well, I knew then that I had to put it into another gear, and so my second mile was 6:00 minutes flat. Now, knowing I only have a little more than a mile to go, I start running a bit faster, running at 5:48 for the third mile.
Taking twelve seconds off each mile tells me I could have run a better race, and perhaps I could have run to a faster time; but, I am very pleased at where I am.
Now, I just have to get back out there before I go crazy sitting around on the couch with my heating pad.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

We'll, I'm excited! I have one person following my blog. And, if you are that person, I appreciate it (No sarcasm here). Now, since I have that one person-you, I am going to try to make it worth your while for checking in, now and again, to Berkshires Raw. Who knows we may get two of you one day. Thanks again, M

Tim VanOrden making sacrifices


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Poison On You?

Choosing Products That Promote Beauty and Well Beingby Barbara L. Minton (see all articles by this author)(NaturalNews) Millions of Americans are adversely affected each year by a silent from of chemical warfare that's taking place every day within the comforts of our own homes. While we worry about the chemical weaponry of terrorists and lead-contaminated imported toys, we are literally poisoning our immune systems with thousands of toxic chemicals that are known carcinogens, hormone disrupters, and cancer-causing agents.It starts with your morning routine. If you are a man, you will probably use shampoo, soap, toothpaste, mouthwash, deodorant, hair gel or styling products, shaving cream, and aftershave or cologne. A typical day for a woman starts much the same, with the added possibilities of shower gel, body and face cream, lotion, moisturizer, make-up, hair spray, perfume, and nail polish. By the time you have made it to the door, you have swallowed, inhaled and absorbed through your skin hundreds of toxic chemicals, some of which have been proven to be deadly to laboratory animals and many of which are known to be carcinogens.If you are suffering from dry flaky skin, persistent skin irritations, rashes, sinus problems, allergies, asthma, respiratory ailments and other health problems that never seem to get cured, it may be time for you to examine the negative effects your personal care products are having on your health. It's great to exercise and watch what you eat, but you must also watch what you put on your body and even what you use to clean your house if you want to achieve optimal health.Any substance you put on your skin, or inhale will enter your bloodstream just as surely as if you had swallowed it. Once these chemicals enter your bloodstream, they are perceived by your immune system as foreign and not recognizable, and they are perceived by your liver as toxins. When your immune system and liver are dealing with toxic chemical overload they aren't available to do the jobs they were intended to do. That's why people who insist on putting toxic chemicals into their bodies suffer from frequent bacterial and viral infections, other mysterious maladies, and even cancer.Have you ever taken a close look at the ingredients in your personal care products? Whatever you are seeing probably includes water. Is there anything else on that label that you recognize as a naturally occurring substance you might actually want to put inside your body? If it doesn't occur in nature, it shouldn't be inside of you, because you are a natural being.Kiss My Face Corporation makes a wonderful soap bar that lathers up and cleans just fine. The only ingredients on its label are olive oil, water and salt. There are no toxic chemicals or fragrance. That's what a label should look like. How does the label on your soap look?No matter what the advertisements try to make you think, fragrance does not come from flowers or anything else natural. More than 4,000 chemicals are used in fragrances, many of which are waste products from the petroleum industry. Several of them are known to cause cancer, birth defects, infertility, and brain and central nervous system damage including Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson's Disease and Alzheimer's.Since so many products are now scented, the number of people who are made ill by fragrances is steadily increasing. Babies and children are especially vulnerable along with those recovering from illness or disease. Chemical fragrances are everywhere: laundry detergent, fabric softeners, dish washing liquids, suntan products, sunscreen, incense, lotions, moisturizers, lip balms, almost every personal care product, and more. It's even found in many products labeled as unscented because it is contained within a compound when that compound is added to the product.Exposure to scented products can cause the persistent symptoms that mystify people, such as chronic aches and pains, headaches, allergies, swollen glands and lymph tenderness, heart palpitations, memory, fatigue, asthma, nausea, and neural-motor functioning including dizziness, and fainting. Exposure in children and even adults can cause learning and behavioral problems, attention deficit and hyperactivity in addition to any of the other symptoms. Continued exposure to chemical fragrances along with other toxic chemicals can cause development of Multiple Chemical Sensitivities Disease. When you have this disease, the slightest whiff of a toxic chemical makes you so ill you cannot function. Your ability to interact with the rest of the world is seriously compromised.It's tempting to say to your self that these products must be alright or the 'government' wouldn't let them be sold, but this isn't true. The personal care products industry is not supervised. The FDA does not require manufacturers to register their products or to file safety data on the ingredients they use in them. They are free to put in as many toxic chemicals as they want. The only thing that stops them is reaction from the public. A few years ago, magazines came with scented strips advertising the latest perfumes. So many people were sickened and complained that the strips were discontinued. If enough people refuse to buy toxic products, manufacturers would stop making them.Products you use while taking a shower are particularly dangerous since you are using them at a time when your pores are opened by hot water, allowing quick and easy access to your bloodstream. A look at the ingredients in your shampoo may be shocking. There are more than 100 toxic chemicals traditionally used in shampoo, and most brands contain 20 to 30 of them in addition to chemical fragrance and dyes.Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) is a dominant ingredient in almost all shampoos. In addition to its toxic effects on your immune and detoxification systems, SLS has been shown to corrode the hair follicles and impede hair growth. It has been blamed for premature hair loss. The Material Safety Data Sheet provided by the U.S. government says exposure to SLS can lead to burning, coughing, wheezing, laryngitis, shortness of breath, headache, nausea and vomiting. The American College of Toxicology says that SLS stays in the body for up to five days and maintains residual levels in the heart, liver, lungs and brain.While there are many natural alternative substances available that will clean and beautify you far better than these toxic concoctions, the large corporations that produce personal care products won't use them because it would cost too much money and interfere with their profits. They even try to disguise their cheap chemicals with tiny amounts of natural ingredients that are prominently featured on the front of the bottle. This is done to deceive you into buying what you think is an item that promotes health. But turn the bottle over and you will see a mind boggling list of toxic ingredients.If you have decided that you don't want to pay your hard earned money to a corporation that strives to deceive you and tell you lies, you will find that discovering how to replace your toxic products with products that promote good health is a very difficult task. No matter what it says on the label, there are virtually No products in any of the discount stores, traditional supermarkets, or drugstores that are not filled with health compromising chemicals.Some supermarkets featuring organic or health sections carry Burt's Bees products. These are certainly far preferable to those produced by the large corporations, but Burt's Bees has recently been bought out by Clorox Corporation, so its quality may soon be compromised. For now, some of Burt's Bees products are safe, and some contain toxic ingredients such as fragrance, endocrine system disrupting glucose oxidase, and borax (the active ingredient in most ant poisons).You will have a better chance of finding products that promote health at a health food market. But even there, you can't just walk in and buy what appeals to you on sight. Many products marketed as 'natural' contain high levels of toxic ingredients. Whole Foods Market publishes a list of ingredients not allowed in the foods they sell, but many of these ingredients are contained in their personal care items. Apparently it is alright with them if the toxins enter you body through your skin instead of your mouth.When you try to replace your personal care products with ones that promote health, you will find that almost every item you pick lists ingredients that sounds like chemicals. The only way to be sure of what you are buying is to research these ingredients. Here is a website where you can easily research many of these ingredients using their search box: ( .Many people have found that the easiest and most cost effective way to shop for health promoting products is online using one of the large supplement companies such as Lucky Vitamin or Vitacost. Each of these carries an amazing array of the personal care and cosmetic products typically found in health food stores.There is one line of products that stands out above the rest. Aubrey Organics consistently provides items that are of very high quality and free of toxins. Many of their lotions and shampoos are highly scented with natural oils. Of course, these products are fairly expensive, but if you order them online there is a substantial savings.Kiss My Face makes that luscious olive oil soap without scent or in several scents created from chemicals. Many of their other products contain an array of toxic ingredients.Jason's is good for toothpaste, making several flavors without fluoride or significant toxic chemicals. But again, much of their line contains objectionable ingredients.Cosmetics made entirely from minerals are gaining in popularity as witnessed by the astounding growth in Bare Essential shops. Mineral cosmetics provide the affects of traditional cosmetics and don't contain toxic chemicals. There are several other companies that sell cosmetics made from minerals. Their products are available at health food stores and online.It's not easy to make the change from disease promoting personal care products to those promoting health. It seems to require some trial and error, a lot of time to do research, patience, and a commitment to paying higher prices for the products you use. But once the change is made and these products become as familiar to you as the ones you used to buy, it will be easy from that point on. You will realize that you have made a significant investment in your future health and freedom from disease, and you will feel proud of yourself. You will know that it's all a matter of priorities.After you have found products in every category that you really like and seen how good you feel using them, you probably won't even consider returning to the old brands. You will feel good about spending your money on products made by a company who knows its future rests in producing products that keep you healthy, rather that a corporation that sees you only as someone to be exploited. And you may realize that looking your best can be achieved only with the vibrant glow of good health shining from your insides out.
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Monday, September 29, 2008

A Few Pounds Here And There

I don't mean this to sound trite, or somehow, for me to come off as not being considerate of other peoples problems considering their weight, but I need to lose weight. I know I'm not overweight for walking around everyday doing my thing. But for me, trying to be a competitive runner again, I need to lose about nine pounds. And I am having a very hard time doing it.
Two months ago I weighed 158. Since then I have done a lot of running, and now I weigh 158. So you can say, we'll I'm obviously eating more calories to compensate for my exercise, or I am gaining muscle, and muscle weighs more than fat, or my body likes it at 158 and that's where it's going to stay. There could be truth in all of that, but ten pounds of extra weight for a runner is about thirty seconds of time in a mile run. Think about carrying five pound weights in each hand as you run around a track and you'll get the idea of what I'm talking about.
So, here's my plan. If I analyze my eating patterns, I probably do eat too much at night, which can be a huge issue in weight gain for most people. For me, I think it's keeping me where I am. I often like to make a large smoothie a few hours before bed, so that's the challenge, to give that up. But I do not like thinking in any way of abstaining when it comes to food. The raw vegan life is about abundance, not about giving things up. The whole world opens up to you in a way one could never have envisioned. That all sounds very grand and maybe pretentious, and certainly blown out of proportion when talking about a smoothie, but I don't want to get locked into a method when considering my diet. But a method this way comes.
I am going to try only juicing vegetables after noon if I feel like I need something nutritious, or plainly, something in my stomach. Hopefully, this will get me down to my goal weight before my first race in November. I'll let you know.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

All right, I'm back!
I had been inspired about two months ago by Tim VanOrden and his Running Raw Project. Tim and I are about a year apart in age, and like myself was a runner way way back, about twenty something years ago. He has taken up mountain racing and other grueling races to prove the point that eating a raw vegan diet is not only good for you, but also is the diet for athletic success. He is out there every day competing against much younger people than himself, and winning.
So, I'm quite excited about this possibility to go out there and race again after all of these years. The last race I was in was the Western Massachusetts Valley Wheel Championships my senior year in high school, 1985. I was seated number one in the half mile. The quick re-cap of that race is: I took off so fast on the first quarter mile (in fact, I would have won the quarter mile race) that my whole body cramped up in the last 200 yards of the race, and I finished sixth. That was a most ignoble way to finish my running career, but I never enjoyed running enough to keep up with it. I ran because I was good at it, and I liked to win. That's it.
But now, the competitive juices are flowing again. And because it's not in my nature to just go out and jog every day. I am training to be a competitive runner again, against all of the odds.
So, here are my goals:
To run a competitive 5k road race on Thanksgiving. That doesn't mean I have to win, it just means that I will stay with the best runners for most of the race.
To do that my time goals are these:
By the end of this month I will be able to run seven minute miles for over three miles.
By the end of October, I will be able to run six minute miles over the same distance.
And finally, on Thanksgiving I will run five and a half minute miles for the race.
Ambitious, yes. Possible, we'll see. I don't believe it could be possible eating as most people do. But on a raw vegan diet, the best food in the world, it is all possible. The rest is up to me. To do the training, stay injury free, and take on all the responsibility for my results.
I would like to, time permitting, to make this blog a running and life journal, for my own benefit.
See you on the road.

Monday, March 24, 2008


Here's a poem I wrote today. The poem itself is not perfection, just the intention behind it.

The first thing I want to say is
you are all perfect.
It took the Heavenly Father
billions of years
to negotiate just the right amount of
star explosions
tidal forces
lava rivers
geometrical disturbances, and
alchemical reactions to produce this
The Earthly Mother was implanted by the seed
of the Sun, and
gave birth to you.
Inside of the coconut is her breast milk.
All of her life,
her seeds, and
her fruit
are for you to eat.
This is your meat.
All of the sky is your room to grow.
The, Tree Of Life,
gives blessings to you
every day.
All you see in nature is perfection,
and all you can see in yourself is
But the shimmering, still lake
looks back at you
and all it sees is

Monday, March 17, 2008

Manifestations and Mindfulness

Is there a paradox between living in this moment and manifesting a future? Is it possible to view the universe just as it is without any individual perceptions? I have been struggling with these two questions recently. My Sensai Monshin Naamon, from the Tendai Buddhist tradition has said that he does not believe in manifestation. Yet, there is a time in our meditation service where we focus our, "thoughts and prayers" on those who are sick, or having some other type of problem. But if you do not believe that people have the ability to manifest happiness, health and prosperity, then what are we doing when we are giving our, "thoughts and prayers" to these people or conditions? Obviously, I have to ask him this question, and hear what his answer is.
I understand how one attains Buddha hood by giving up our preconceptions and prejudices, and to see life as it is. I know every aspect of life is impermanent and that all suffering comes from our desires, and fear of change. I know that my perception as an individual is a false perception, and there is nothing which separates me from everything else in the universe. I know we train our minds through meditation and chanting mantras. Yet, I also know 500 Buddhist monks praying for non violence in Washington D.C. cut the homicide rate down by a third, and that experiment has been demonstrated before with the same results in different places. What caused the homicide rate to go down? Did the monks visualize peace in Washington D.C. and manifest that outcome? I don't know, but I suspect they did.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Foraging! here was my first thought on the concept of foraging: "You have to be the cheapest person in the world!" Now, here is my opinion today: "Out there in the woods is the healthiest food in the world!"
Almost every thing we eat in a typical U.S. diet is: pasteurized, hybridized, radiated, poisoned, genetically modified, and chemically altered. If you go into any U.S. grocery store, and buy anything but the organic products, (not to say that all the organics are good for you either) you are ingesting the worst drugs (food) you can put into your body. We should call grocery stores, Drug Stores, not just for the reasons I've mentioned above, but the food/drugs they sell are a quick fix to feel good. Their products are filled with carbohydrates, high fructose corn syrup, too much sodium etc., to give you the feeling of being full, and the feeling of being full-filled. But, like any other drug, you're going to crash and burn. I am not making a mistake calling food, drugs, here. There is no difference! The problem with the food/drugs the doctors give you is that you are already sick by the time they give it to you. And, the food they give you treats, what? The symptoms of your disease, which is poor nutrition, poor environmental conditions and/or a poor self image.
This summer I'm going to look for the wild plants that surround us. The first, wonderful thing about foraging, as I mentioned before is, the food is free. That speaks for itself. The second wonderful thing about foraging is, the plants have not been altered, ever! They evolved because they are strong, and all the nutrients we need are out there, in those unspoiled plants.
There are a couple of things to think about, though. Be sure you're not foraging on a super-fund sight, and be sure, if you're foraging in a city, state or federal park, be aware of people with badges and guns. Of course it would be wrong to dig up our parks, but gathering some blueberries shouldn't be a crime. I know their argument: If you let people forage, they're going to take advantage of it and, destroy the park. Trust me, in this culture, you are never going to find enough people performing the more difficult task of foraging to eat. Just don't take all of the blueberries, all right. And, save some for the bears and birds.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Buddhism Homework

Below, is a completed “homework” assignment given to me by my Sensei Monshin Naamon from the Karuna Tendai Dharma Center. This is my work, and has not been sanctioned or adopted by the Karuna Tendai Dharma Center. I believe it would be beneficial to all if we could adopt, some, or all of these responsibilities as members of our global society.

Responsibilities for the Members of the Karuna Tendai Dharma Center

1) Members of the Tendai Buddhist Institute will be a group that practices love and compassion for all beings. To achieve this aim, members will be mindful of their impact on those they come in contact with. Showing patience, love and respect for others. They will be mindful of the environment by not consuming energy or food resources unnecessarily above and beyond their physical needs, and by doing the least amount of harm to non-human animals. Members will work to promote peace in their community, nationally and globally.

2) Members will be active participants with-in their Sangha by being students of the Dharma, by attending meditation services, Sangha events and retreats whenever possible. Members will also support the Sensei in his/her pastoral duties when called upon to service. Also, members will give financially, what they can afford to the Tendai Buddhist Institute, so that it may carry out the purposes of its mission statement.

3) Members will practice non-attachment to the physical and nonphysical world. Members will not be influenced by wealth and fame, or by the desire for things that others may be perceived to have. Members should understand that all things are impermanent, so therefore there is no ownership of any material, living or spiritual objects in which to possess.

4) Members will practice being in the present moment at all times, knowing that the future and the past do not exist. Members will not attempt to escape the present moment by using drugs and alcohol, but always being sober and clear headed. Also, Members will practice the realization that all one sees is their own perception of the world. Therefore, Members will not be stringent or self-righteous in the way they conduct their daily lives, but will be filled with humility, understanding and loving-kindness when engaging other people.

5) Members have the responsibility for seeking there own enlightenment, and praying for the enlightenment of every sentient being.

This second part, is another "homework" assignment that I wrote, concerning the First Cardinal Precept in Buddhist philosophy.

The First Cardinal Precept: Not To Deprive Any Being of Life

Sentient beings are defined as, “characterized by sensation and consciousness” by, this attempts to qualify one form of life: life that is aware of its own existence. I would presume these specific life forms are the “Life” one is not to deprive from any other being. Microscopic bacteria, viruses, insects, parasites etc. can and are killed by our very existence. As humans, we have not been able to perceive any ability by these organisms to suffer from real or imagined pain. Certain religious groups such as the Jains seek to do no harm to any living organism, but to deny ourselves life would be the only way to not participate in their demise. The most important work on this subject, I believe, is Peter Singer’s book “Animal Liberation” which goes beyond non human animals “rights”, but to their capacity to suffer. Since it is the nature of every sentient being to: One, live and Two, to live without needless pain or suffering, it would seem to be an axiom for a Buddhist to not contradict these natural laws.

It has been perceived wisdom for some Buddhists for many, many years, from what I understand, that the precept covers specifically the person doing the killing. That is, one is not responsible for the depriving of life from any being as long as it was not done by ones own hands. Consequently, one may go to the grocery store and buy the packaged meat, fowl or fish and not be in violation of the precept. Or more so, it is not in violation of the precept to accept food prepared by someone who killed or purchased meat, fowl, or fish. This way of thinking would make it acceptable if someone contracted a killing for a person, and that killing resulted in a benefit to the contractor, but as long as that person did not get their ‘hands dirty’ per se., there would be no violation to the precept. I believe, that any person partaking of meat, fowl or fish is responsible for the life that was deprived by their decision to eat that living being. In fact, it has been calculated that a vegetarian saves approximately one hundred lives a year just by refusing to eat non human animals. The butcher does not kill regardless to the demand of his efforts.

Another important aspect of not depriving life to humans and non humans are environmental concerns. Some of these, such as: Global warming, pollution, toxic dumping etc. are direct violent attacks on life. Indeed, there is a concern to environmentalists that the planet will suffer mass extinctions in the near future due to human influence. We can make the same argument as before, that a certain amount of environmental suffering will take place just by our very existence. The building of a house will up-root trees and may destroy underground homes of various non human animals. The wood to build the house may have devastated a forest, and perhaps the wood was treated with a poison that pollutes the soil and water where it was made. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the Buddhist to be sensitive to the environment by buying products that do not pollute, by conserving energy, and by recycling used products.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Fifteen Great Foods

I went to the website, veganpeace, which is not a raw site, but they have a lot of nutritional information on vegetables, grains, nuts and seeds. They have graphs which break down the vitamins and minerals in a particular food, Kale for example. It will tell you that one cup of Kale has 134% of the daily amount of vitamin C we supposedly need, (I’m not being sarcastic) 206% of vitamin A, 684% of vitamin K, 26% of manganese, and so on, and so forth. And with all that, you can also click on specific vitamins and minerals, and it will tell you which foods have the most of these nutrients.
So, I thought, maybe it would make sense to go through all of the vitamins and minerals and see if I can come up with, let’s say, ten foods which would satisfy our daily needs. Not that I would limit myself to eating these ten foods, but to get an idea of which foods I should, perhaps, concentrate my diet around.

Now, everything changes all of the time, and which foods are good for a raw-living foods person changes like I change my underwear: for example, pickled foods, mushrooms, honey, dried fruits, and anything dehydrated, has gone from bad to good, to good to bad. So, I want to say, without doing a major study, and surely not thinking of every possible nutritional pro or con, and admittedly, having worked on this for about an hour; I have come up with fifteen foods which, pretty much, presumably, cover our nutritional needs.
They are, in no particular order:

1) Spirulina
2) Passion Fruit
3) Almonds
4) Sunflower Seeds
5) Shitaki Mushrooms
6) Oranges
7) Kale
8) Bananas
9) Cacao
10) Raw Tahini (ground sesame seeds)
11) Flax Seeds

12) Avocado
13) Goji Berries
14) Acei
15) Hemp Protein

This list seems, to me, to be helpful. Of course, there is a lot of play within these food varieties. For example, any dark leafy green will give you all the vitamin K you could ever want. But, I thought, given everything I know about food nutrition now, these foods represented the best of their nutritional relatives.

Monday, February 25, 2008


I am currently writing this story, and I wasn't going to post it until it was done, but I thought, what the heck, put it out there, and just add and edit it as it goes along. So here it is.

Once upon a time, a noble King named Meriwether lived in luxury and plenty in a beautiful Kingdom. The Kingdom stretched in great distance from north to south, and east to west.
There was a vast arid desert to the west. To the east of the desert lay a mountainous region. To the south a tropical jungle, and to the north sat green grasslands covering many a hill and dale. Finally, in the middle of it all, in a temperate valley, stood the city of Meriwether, where King Meriwether held his court.
King Meriwether was a man who never wanted for anything. He wore handsome garments stitched from the finest silks and linens. When he slept he rested his body on goose-feathered pillows, and the furs from foxes and bear. When he bathed, he used aromatic soaps, perfumes and oils from rare animals and plants. The King liked to bathe many times a day because he did not like the smell of the human body.
The King ate delicacies from the many regions of his land. The goats and cattle produced remarkable cheeses. The beef was considered to be the most delicious and tender. For breakfast, the King would eat fluffy eggs and buttery biscuits. For lunch, he would eat braised ham, poached liver of ducks, soft billowy loaves of bread, and chocolate pudding made from the fatty milk of his most prized cows. For dinner, he supped on the ribs of bison, mashed potatoes, perfectly cooked wild game from his forests, and cakes made from whipped eggs, sugar, and wheat ground to fine flour.
The King was a goodly man and greatly cared for the people of his Kingdom, so he wished for them to eat as well as he did. He sent out his cooks to all parts of his land. They showed people in the markets how to prepare foods just as it was prepared for the King. The people, who once only ate fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds from their farms for thousands and thousands of years, now gave their lands over for the grazing of animals. The people were very grateful, and did just as the King’s cooks instructed them to do.
But for all of the wonderful food the King was eating, and the lifestyle he was living, he never quite felt well. The King suffered from depression, anxiety, and nervousness. There were days when King Meriwether would not leave his bedchamber, nor pull open the fabrics covering the windows of the palace. All day he could lie in his bed without even lighting a candle. The King suffered from periodic blockage of the bowels, headaches, and rashes on his skin. He had gained weight every year since he had become King. All of his old robes no-longer fit, and were packed away in large chests.
The Kingdom of Meriwether went on as such for many, many years. And, for much of that time the people thought it was the best time to be alive. For people who used to eat meat very infrequently, now ate meat every day. For people who never drank cow or goat’s milk, but only fresh water from the lakes and rivers, now drank milk two to three times a day. The people said that they felt stronger because of their new diet, that is was the natural way people should eat.
As time moved on, the people of Meriwether had begun to notice differences in their land, and amongst their people. Where at one time there lived the great tropical forests of Meriwether, now it had been mostly burned down and replaced by more fields to raise animals. Where at one time the arid desert region was small and hugged the coast, now it had spread into the once great rolling grass lands, and each year the desert spread wider and wider. The people, who were once renowned for their peaceful ways, now were impatient and were quick to temper. Neighbor fought amongst neighbor, and fisticuffs became a common spectacle. Also, they stopped considering other creatures as living beings, but saw them only as food, and as such, treated them with cruelty. And, over time, some of the people’s health complaints became the same as the Kings’. Many of the people of Meriwether could no longer work, but rather were bedridden, with many types of ailments never heard of before.
It was at this time in the history of, Meriwether, that a woman named, Anastasia, walked out of an oasis in the desert, and began talking of another path for the people.

Friday, February 22, 2008

My First Garden

This summer, for the first time, I am going to plant a garden. Not just fruits and vegetables, but native plants scattered willy-nilly about the front and side of the house.
I have often looked in amazement, how beautiful these gardens are, with their stone paths, tall grasses, and clumps of flowers.
When I was ten years old, I remember the ChemLawn truck going through the neighborhood, spraying everybody’s yard. Row by row, every house with a perfectly green lawn, without a single weed. What a miracle! Children played on these lawns. Nobody worried whether there were chemicals leeching into the water supply. It was just a miracle of modern technology; a Walt Disney dream of urban perfection. And, of course, it was easy. Nobody had to spend any time getting dirty, and there were no judgments from your neighbors; we all had the same lawn.
Think what if every home in these suburban neighborhoods had grasses they could juice. What if they had bushes of blueberries and raspberries growing right in their front yard? What if the people living in these houses were outside every day planting and picking their fruits and vegetables? Nobody would feel disassociated from society. There would be a sense of community most of us have never known. What if everybody was composting, and eating vegetables that didn’t come in cans and plastic?
Think of how much water we use to grow grass we don’t consume! At least the grass on an environmental disaster of a golf course has a purpose.
Most people have good intentions. Even the companies, who make the poisons, may believe that what they produce is a benefit to society. But hopefully, we are finally moving into a new consciousness.
My new conscious is telling me to plant a garden.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A Poem

Here is a poem my cousin, Suzie, from San Jose, California wrote. I think its beautiful set among fields and farm. And, the other thing that is wonderful about the poem is the compassion given to the frogs trying to make their way across the road.
The poem has no title.

I feel like an ant among humans, a little out of place, but too awestruck to move out of the way.
The peace and tranquility is amazing, and I swear, if the mosquitoes didn’t eat me alive, I’d lay
out under the stars all night.

This evening we scooted the frogs out of the road so they wouldn’t get squished by the
random passerby. At dusk, millions of frogs cross the road from the soy bean fields to the
grass, and many get caught before they make it. In daylight, you can see flat little frog tiles dot
the road, and I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t try to save a few.

At home, the most amazing thing you can expect to see is the contrast of hot pink flowers
bursting out from a giant bushel of green leaves. It stops me dead in my tracks every time as if
it’s the first, and last, time I’ll see that kind of beauty. That and buttermilk poppies; bright,
playful and vast along the most barren stretches of freeway.

But here, there’s time to take it all in and appreciate the slow pace and beauty of the lush clusters of trees along the waterways, between one farm and another.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Another "Raw Family"

I know the book "Raw Family" already exists, but I should tell you about the wonderful healing that has occurred in my family. When I started this living-raw food diet on June 18th 2007, I just wanted to see how it would make me feel. The miraculous cures and health claims made me very skeptical, but I thought that I should see for myself before dismissing them out-right. I wasn't sick, as far as I know, though I was sixty pounds overweight. I challenged other members of my family to join me, as well. My wife was sick all the time, had migraine headaches on a weekly basis, and had a medicine chest full of prescription drugs. My Mother has type 1 diabetes, and although she takes great care of herself; her cholesterol level was higher than she wanted, we wondered whether she could reduce the amount of insulin she was taking, and in a separate issue, she had a chronic sinus problem. My Father, always a lean man, started to get the late fifties mid-section that most people just accept with getting older. And finally, my sister was about to go into surgery to get a cyst removed that was about to explode. You know what's coming: My Father and I lost the weight; my wife doesn't experience migraines anymore, and is almost completely off all her medications, my Mother's cholesterol levels are normal, she has reduced the amount of insulin she was taking, and the sinus problem vanished in one week. And, when my sister went to go for her surgery, the cyst was gone. So, my one month experiment is now my way of life. I'd have to be a fool to go back to sickening cooked food again.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Butt to Head to Head to Hand

Yesterday as I was sitting on a chair with little cushion, my rear-end was getting soar. No big deal that happens to every one, you just adjust your position and forget about it. But as my mind made a connection to my butt, I looked at my hand, at a place I had cut myself in the bakery a few days ago. And, of course, instantly I could feel my hand, and how it felt. I wash my hands all day because I work with food, and it is winter, so my hands are a bit dry and there are some cracks where the knuckles are. Then I thought, where did the feeling go from my rear-end? Then I thought of somewhere else on my body, and made a feeling connection to that spot. Now I was no-longer feeling my hands.
It is amazing that the observer, "The Mind" only makes a singular focus, for the most part. And this might seem like a big "duh" to many people, but it is a profound experience. Because this is the key to all our preceptions, our decisions, and our understandings of the world: WHAT WE CHOOSE TO FOCUS ON CREATES OUR WORLD! So, obviously, if you focus on negative thoughts, and live in the past you will suffer from depression, regrets and hopelessness, evreybody already knows that, but our reality goes beyond keeping a positive out-look on life, because we choose and control the physical and spiritual world we see. The feelings in our body are a physical reality, as our the images that come through our eyes, the sounds through are ears etc. And in our brain we make the connection to these objects and assign a feeling to them from our past experiences. Our brain sends out the message to the whole body on one single idea in our head. When we look at someone. When we are watching t.v., and reacting emotionaly to a world of illusion. Our palms might sweat, we might get goose-bumbs, the hairs on the back of our neck stand up. Every cell in our body is responding to each thought we think. And in doing so, the mind is createing a physical emotional reality in the world we see. So, think peace-filled loving thoughts, and make peace a reality. If everyone did this, this world would be a paradise.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Mission Statement

To create a forum for practioners of mindful living, and a living foods diet and lifestyle.

We reject, out of hand, the publications and information from corporations, the medical & pharmaceutical community, and the government.

We believe that a living foods diet & lifestyle is the most symbiotic and healthful connection to the planet.

We believe a living foods diet is a conduit for spiritual awakening that promotes peace, and loving-compassion to all human and non-human animals.

We promote the ancient teachings of the Essesnes, Eastern spiritual practices, and yoga

We wish and pray for the enlightenment of all sentient beings.

Please add ideas and comments to the mission statement.