(no subject)

Blueberry Fig Torte

2 whole wheat pie crusts
10 mead soaked dried figs
1 handful of chai soaked rasins
pinch of cinnamon
nutmeg (about half as much as the cinnamon)
1T vanilla
liquid from one coconut
meat or two coconuts

About 2 cups blueberries
About 2 cups pine nuts
About 2 cups fresh mint leaves

Bake pie crusts until golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool. In a food processor, combine all remaining non-topping ingredients and process until smooth. Contents should be about the consistency of applesauce. Pour half of mixture into each pie shell. Sprinkle top with approximately equal amounts of each of the topping ingredients. Chill. Serve cold.

The mint and blueberry worked extremely well together for me as part of this dish. Very unusual flavor, but quite tasty.

Christmas Feast

It should be noted that whatever you may feel to be the case or choose to believe about my reasons for being on this particular set of health benders, or the science behind them, you are welcome to that perspective. But in our lives, D was at the point that she was contemplating an extended medical leave of absence because she could not function as a human, and I had more diagnoses than I can even keep track of. That is where this began. We were both dying of the Western way of life, slowly and ambiguously and with a great deal of "well, we really don't know why" from even the very best doctors we could buy. Both of our problems are dramatically on the path of improvement through this and a handful of other changes I have researched. Among the many things affected, I do not spend every hour of my day exhausted and in constant pain. I no longer fail to heal from joint distress I have had since I was 13. I no longer fail to heal from sprains and pulled muscles I used to suffer from for months until re-injuring them again and again. It does not hurt to walk up or down stairs, to move in ways a normal human day requires like bending to remove laundry from the dryer. My migranes have fallen away to no more than one a month, and usually then I can track what I did wrong. My sex drive has stabalized and I am much less weepy than I had been. The depression has stabalized again, my breasts don't hurt at random, my ovaries no longer get stabbingly painful cysts popping, and my "fibromyalgia" and "irritable bowl syndrome" that several western medical treatments including one surgery hadn't touched, are gone. And I do mean gone. I had tried a variety of perscription pain meds, lost a gall bladder and many other things before I finally gave up on believing no answer could be found that would be enough.

There are people who will tell you that some singular thing will cure it all. I am not one of those people. Unless, perhaps, self education is that one thing. I have changed everything, and nothing. It is hard to explain. The western scientific world had given me quite the list of things to avoid and I have disproven nearly every one for my own physiology over time by coming to understand why that thing was malfunctioning instead of how to avoid the potential of a malfunction. Most of the suggestions were half truths based on treating the prevention of symptoms instead of educating me about why I might get that symptom based on some other behavior or dietary lack or what have you. So in that sense, I have stopped a lot of arbitrary change that wasn't working. but I have changed a hundred million things that were much more subtle than the average suggestions from the Western medicine that were killing me. Instead of avoiding high fat which consistently added weight slowly over many years of doctors telling me to try harder, I am finally losing weight without trying by eating much more fat, but understanding the complex details of how to choose what my body is signalling a need for and how to ensure that what it gets is really what it thinks it was asking for. I understand why that hundred doctors told me to avoid saturated fats. It was the 3 minute answer. The quick fix they could convey in the time the insurance companies would pay for, and they hoped it would be enough to bring things back into balance. Only it wasn't working. It wasn't that they meant me harm, but they weren't going to take the time to teach me what, if they were lucky enough to learn it at all, took them as much time to learn as it would most people to aquire a master's thesis. They couldn't even if they'd wanted to. The answers aren't simplistic and there is no "get out of consequences free card" but you can pick your consequences and learn your own signaling system and find your own path. Not only can you, but I have come to believe it is the only way to enjoy a healthy lifestyle in the US if you are in any of the high risk, highly suseptible categories of people, here. So long as we take for granted that which we believe we know, we cannot know more. To borrow a line, "Yesterday you knew you were alone on this planet. Just think what you'll know tomorrow". You cannot find that which you do not want, in every fiber of your being, to see.

I cannot possibly relay here, all the 6 months of study of scientists and doctors all over the world, farm science, soil and air quality monitoring bodies, anthropology, psychology, physiology, water analysis, Oriental medicine, nutritional study, etc that I have waded through. Many will say the jury is still out on the reasons I am doing what I am doing. But it is my opinion that the jury has been in a long time, but we alternate between being too busy to notice, being too distracted to care, being too miserable to look into it, too skeptical to believe, too impatient to research it all far enough, too willing to believe there isn't yet enough evidence to deal with the hassle of change, too willing to accept any single "expert" or "proof" or "disproof" or single nation's perspective, and many other similar problems. We suck at science in this country. We suck in part because we are so very sloppy with language and the media is so sensational and ratings driven. But the information is out there if you can question the legitimacy of every single thing you read that claims it knows instead of claiming it has found evidence that seems to point to x. The information is out there if we are willing to act on hunches, experiment on ourselves the way we have been experimented on for years by the media and medical and drug industries looking for fast answers they could feed us for profit. Most of the data is out there for those who choose to do the research and are creative enough to pull it together and capable of both fantastic projective hypothesis and absolute skepticism of anything claiming that either it has the one true answer, or that the answer isn't available, the jury is still out no matter the evidence you have found and how well what you seem to need seems to be working for you, etc. Both are extremes of human emotional interaction with their words and concepts and self worth. They are justifications for inaction, stagnation and acceptance of whatever burdens them now. But most people choose to spend less than 1/100th of the time on research that I have spent, and even those trying to find it, are often looking in vastly too narrow and limited a direction. Most people are not generalists and do not pull together the descriptions of African wild animal preserves and their observations, with the findings of nasa, the US government, Hitler's torture research, Chinese nutrition studies, farming history and technology, evolution in isolation and with exposure to US medicine, and the physiological processes of fat creation, transfer and utilization, among the many many sources. That is their choice and one I can even understand. But it is a choice. And it is not my choice.

There are costs and benefits to all ways of life, and every day we choose which costs we accept. Most of the time that means choosing the costs we know and disbeleiving in sufficient evidence to try what we know not of. That is a choice we all have, but one I personally was tired of being limited by. And I believe, for whatever reason(s), that I am one of the cannaries in the mine, and I am tired of it, and leaving the mine while I still can for different consequences I am more okay with than being sacrificed to the alter of willful ignorance and a lack of interest in change that I too used to suffer.

With that, on with the story:

We decided that since we didn't know what to get Deb's parents for Christmas, since they might be leaving the country for Costa Rica to get away from the insanity that is the US and retire, that we would give them a gift of time and service. Since they were getting back the 23rd, it was going to be interesting to accomplish a Christmas Eve dinner they were hosting at their house, so I decided to make a whole lot of interesting new things for them as experiments. I'm not even going to try to list it all at once, right now, but will add them here over the next couple of days, with opinions of my own about how they worked out. I shall invent names of the recipes as strikes my whim.

Nearly Newtons

(all nuts and produce were raw and organic)

Bottom Layer:
About 2C Brazil nuts
About 1C dried figs
About 1C cinnamon mead soaked (overnight) pecans
About 1C unsoaked pecans
About 5 Organic, no sugar added Dates
About 1/2 a handful of chai soaked (overnight) rasins
About 2C unsoaked rasins

Top Layer:
About 10 cinnamon mead soaked (overnight) dates
About 3C chai soaked rasins
the juice of one lemon
about a quarter lemon worth of zest
the fruit of one mango and one banana
About 10 Sherry soaked dried figs

To make, Add all bottom layer ingredients (or as many as will fit in a couple rounds if necessary and then mix by hand in a bowl) to the food processor and process until extremely sticky paste is formed with none of the nut bits being larger than a grain of uncooked rice. The goal is for this layer to be easily scooped out, extremely stiff stuff that is sort of like a chewey granola bar in texture. Add more unsoaked nuts to dry out mix, or more unsoaked dried fig to sweeten or increase adhesion of ingredients for this layer, as needed.

For the topping, blend all ingredients in a food processor and let run until smooth. End result should be the texture of a very thick and sticky applesauce like substance or the fruit you would use to spread out and make fruit leather in a dehydrator. It should be spreadable, but not thin. Add more dried and unsoaked fruit to stiffen, or more soaked fruit or lemon to thin as needed.

In a pan, spread the first layer and then chill for 20 minutes in a fridge. Then spread topping across it, return to fridge until ready to serve. Because of the use of dried fruits and nuts and lemon and alcohol, this dish can last a very long time in the fridge, relatively.

I was making a whole lot of food, so you may want to adjust to smaller portions. But the end result was very much like a less candied fig newton in flavor and was extremely tasty and comparatively low sugar since all ingredients lacked any added sugars and none was included in the recipe. It is a sweet dish because drying fruit brings out the sugars in the fruits, but not nearly so sweet as fig newtons or other such experiences with overly candied dried fruits.

Food and Health

There are many other things I should be putting down here, but what the hell, I should start somewhere, right?

So anyway, I have been on this health education bender that sort of started here in this journal many moons ago. I have spent enough time on food research that I probably could have a degree in biochem at this point. But that aside, there have been some practical behavior things that have changed in our lives as a result of the various things I've learned. While I cannot even begin to ellaborate on all the stuff I have learned, at the moment, one of my current running experiments has to do with live food.

By this I mean that in the US for reasons related to lawsuit paranoia and complete failure of the average populace to think things through all the way to their logical conclusion, we have created a many faceted monster. One of the primary facets relates to the foods we buy and eat in combination with the medicine we experience from the western world.

The basis of antibiotic consumption assumes that we have constant intake of sufficient good flora to replenish any of the good organisms we lose through antibiotics that kill indescriminantly. The food industry, for reasons of shelf life, appearance, customers lacking sane criteria, desire for more profit, less spoilage, etc, have done everything in their power to "stabalize" foods we are consuming so that they are absolutely predictable. Of course, living things are hard to pin into predictable pigeon holes, so slowly over time, all the food has become dead, because dead is an utterly slow predictable state with a long shelf life.

What do I mean? Well, in order to recover from antibiotic use, we have to constantly and consistently be consuming foods that have not been A)Genetically altered for sweetness, B)Gentically altered for lack of diversity (ie sweeter, less likely to spoil, bigger, perfectly shaped, pretty, etc), C)Lacking the vitamins and mineral diversity the human body needs from natural soils that are not stripped of nitrogen, low on magnesium, etc, D)Not paesturized (paesturization does what it is supposed to do: kills everything. How many living, air breathing, aerobic creatures do you know of who can survive on death and rot?) foods and juices with living enzymes and active cultures killed E)and without being artificially created for speed of production or stability for long shelf life and uneducated "health" marketing reasons, etc, such as low fat sour cream made of acidified milk, rather than natural aging of milk, F) and without substances "added" back in after overprocessing to account for nutritional defficiencies in the dead food without also adding the living substances and fats and such which the body required to process those vitamins and minerals and "added" substances.

There are many reasons, but suffice it to say that many many modern ailments can be traced to things like a lack consumption of calcium added back into skim milk without the fats that helped to prevent that calcium from causing gall bladder problems and kidney stones and other imbalanced absorption problems. That is just one of many examples.

So the experiment has been one of finding ways to prepare living foods. Foods that aren't cooked to the point that they lose water solluable vitamins and living enzymes and cultures. It involves buying only organic veggies, only real dairy products (unfortunately Colorado does not permit the sale of unpaesturized dairy products, but it is at least possible to only buy those which are whole milk products, real cultures in yogurts and sour cream, etc), real cultured foods like unpaesturized vinegars, etc.

There are some people who take this phenominon to the extent of having nothing cooked in their diet. I am trying to find some relatively easy, relatively quick ways to compromise to allow most of the things we might miss of cooked food, while rendering them at least partially living foods with vastly higer vitamin content and vastly lower contaminations, artificial preservation means and imbalanced intake of nutrients.

So I am doing a fair amount of experimentation with foods and intend to try to write down at least the successes in this journal so that I can find them again and utilize the recipe again. You are welcome to try them yourselves, but please attribute me if passing them along.

So, tonight's experiment:

1 bag curly noodles
1 bunch chopped chard
6 organic roma tomatos cut in 6ths
1 sweet potato, grated
1 carrot, grated
about 2 tablespoons of garlic
1 cup unpaesturized "v8"ish drink
1 tub real, cultured sour cream
1/3 cup unfiltered, unpaesturized apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons whole, unfiltered organic olive oil
1/8 cup parmesean shredded cheese
1/8 cup romano shredded cheese
itallian spice
spicy Mrs. Dash
1 pkg sliced pepperoni, quartered (without terrible additives you can't pronounce)

Toss noodles half the vinegar, half the olive oil and the chard in a pot of cold water, and turn on high. Once noodles and chard are softened (before boiling happens), drain noodles and chard.

Combine vegetable drink, remaining vinegar and olive oil, sour cream, sweet potato, carrot, garlic, cilantro, itallian spice, spicy Mrs. dash in blender. Puree.

Toss in tomatos, cheeses and pepperoni with noodles and chard. Pour in contents of blender, stir and serve.

A thank you for the beauty inside a friend.

I have always wanted to create. To create for others the gasping impossibility of beauty that I have found so much of in the world and words of others. But I have spent so many years staring down the lense of human incompetense and blindness that I fight more days than not for something besides despair at how much any such effort will only fall on deaf ears.

I spent so many hundreds of hours being jarred and yanked about from disjoint where there should be flow, and the broken content of a million staggering eyes that held no more fluid of life than a slatted spoon. So many years of painful realization that most people cannot even see. So many years understanding that the vertigo of beauty, the air that cannot be drawn in the face of infinity is lost on people. Trapped inside those bodies.

It is easy to lose myself in the oozing nature of despair at the content of so many empty faces. But just when I have given up on creating meaning for those who will not see, someone with talent like hers comes along and I wish that I could contain in words what it does for my soul just to get to share in what she sees. Just to be brought to tears with simple words, breathless and nourished by proxy to her inner light. I wish that I could show the world the depth of what she sees.

Thank you. Bless you for blessing us all.

(no subject)

If that wasn't clear, for any of you that I have in some way dropped on the floor, just assume I am a jack ass who means well and don't feel bad about pestering the fuck out of me to get me to actually retract my head from my ass and communicate with you in some useful way. You will not annoy me with persistence or creativity. And while it shouldn't be your responsibility to create functionality where I am inept, it is at least more effective if you would still actually like to hear from me and or see me and I have been failing utterly to not be a complete dip shit myself. Thank you. That is all.

(no subject)

Pet peeve #314:

Being so freaking ADD that you cannot manage to coordinate with real friends to actually see them while being emotionally self destructive about those for whom time is made but who clearly didn't deserve it.

(no subject)

Irrational pet peeve #312

Extenuating circumstances related to other people's disrespectfulness make it impossible to express upset about mistreatment by a friend to said friend without it being hopelessly conflated with other issues which make the initial mistreatment almost impossible to express without assumptions of motivations falling places that you are really pretty sure aren't relevant to the specific mistreatment involved. Knowing full well that telling someone their friendship abuse is unkind will be instead taken as pettyness about the specific details of the manifestation of that mistreatment.

Irrational pet peeve #313

Caring enough about one or more parties responsible for "other people's disrespectfulness" that I would rather be pissed for several days and keep it to myself and be used than express outloud what will be misinterpreted as other than what it is really about.

(no subject)

Irrational pet peeve #311.

Someone who professes to friendship falls in love with an idea you offer them about an activity to do together on the one short chance you get to see that person. That person then plans to partake of your hospitality but so alters the activity that you are excluded from it either through failure to think of you at all or failure to be considerate in the slightest about the guest list, or both.

I know it probably wasn't meant to be cruel. I know said person probably just failed entirely to comprehend very overt information that some third party's were not welcome in my life, and in wanting to see them zirself, failed to even think about the message it sends or exclusion and taking advantage it creates. But what I want to do is give in to the desire to retract my offer of courtesy if that is the treatment of friendship to parties involved. *sigh*

I am being stupid and pissy, probably, but there you have it.