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Thursday, January 7, 2010

On Fibromyalgia

I don't know if this will help you, but I thought I would share my story. Maybe it will help someone else.

I'm not wimpy about pain. I get all my fillings done without any pain medication. I have sprained my ankles, burned my hand severely once and never even said Ouch.

But I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia 7 years ago, after being in pain for 20 years. I also had the symptoms of low thyroid, chronic fatigue, insomnia, pain in my legs, and IBS. I had a complete GI workup because the symptoms were so bad I wasn't able to function well anymore, but it was inconclusive. I was even screened for MS.

I used to think I was going to continue to slowly get worse for the rest of my life. I had adapted to it. I thought I just had to accept my fate. I learned lots of tricks for saving energy and still getting things done, but I would pay a big price later if I did too much, or missed any sleep. Missing sleep made me feel like I had the flu!

I tried elimination diets to look for foods I might be allergic to, and got food sensitivity testing done, and had already eliminated a couple of things I was sensitive to from that lab result. I ate really healthy and went for walks. I felt better for a few months, but the Fibromyalgia would never go away.

I am very strong; muscle-wise, and don't get colds and flu a lot, but last year I got sick several times. I was so sick my hair was falling out. I thought it was the end for me...I felt 100 years old!

So coincidentally, last year, I put my whole family on this diet for Autism to help my son. He was already partially on the diet, but wasn't strict enough for it to really work well. It is just easier to do if you cook the same for everyone. I decided to make sure to do it myself so I could see what my son was going through, and I thought it couldn't hurt to try it myself.

The amazing thing was that within 1 week of going on the GF/CF and No Yeast diet, all my symptoms went away, every one of them. Not only that, I have a lot more energy now, my skin looks better, and I feel like a weight has been lifted that I was carrying all these years.

I also lost all cravings for food. I used to feel hungry all the time--even right after eating--and I thought that was just because I had to eat less as I got older to maintain my weight. But I think because of the reaction to the gluten/casein, I wasn't absorbing the nutrients from the foods I was eating, and so I had no energy at all and felt hungry all the time.

Now, when I do get hungry, I don't have that dizzy, light-headed feeling anymore. I can exercise now without triggering it.

I also now can exercise without feeling worse, instead of better. I took up dancing, bike riding and I work out at a gym. All things that would have exhausted me before. I lost 40 pounds without even really trying. I just have had to learn to cook from scratch more, and I learned what to avoid. I just don't bring it into the house, and that makes it easy.

I think that the neurological effects that cause Autism in kids from eating gluten and casein can also cause the nerve and joint pain in other parts of your body.

In my opinion, Fibromyalgia is an auto-immune response to something, often triggered by being in an accident, surgery, childbirth, infection, or stress. It causes chronic inflammation and all sorts of other problems. In my case, what I have resembles Celiac.

The crazy thing is, I didn't do this for my health at all. I didn't do it to cure the Fibromyalgia. I had given up on that ever getting better.

I had been put on a low dose anti-depressant to help me accept my condition better, and thyroid medication, digestive medication, pain medication, etc..... chiropractic helped some. (I have TMJ, and neck problems from being a trick skiier.) Anyway, I was able to wean myself off of every medication (with Dr.'s monitoring.) Not needed anymore.

I can still get a flare-up if I eat something that has gluten or casein in it, or if I go to bed past midnight. But if I rest and am careful to stick with the diet (even very tiny amounts can trigger it) then I am back to being perfectly OK by the next day. My only lingering symptom is some stiffness that a good massage or a soak in a hot tub cures right away. It helps to take vitamins now, I think I absorb them better. I take extra B6, Iron, Calcium, Vit. D, B12, Choline, Inositol, Pro-biotics, and Magnesium. This all I need now.

I don't miss any of the foods I can't eat. Once I started the diet, I didn't want them any more. And my son is doing great, also. He's in a regular school, getting decent grades, and has lots of friends.

I don't know if Fibromyalgia is caused by gluten or casein or inflammation or whatever. It might have several causes. I know I got it after having a severe stress 20 years ago combined with getting a virus at the same time. And it got worse with any new crisis or illness. I thought I had worn out my Adrenal gland from stress. I do know that I had all the pressure points, and even more than that-- where there was both joint pain, pressure point pain, and this pain that felt like pins being pushed into my legs all the time, sharp pains would wake me up from a deep sleep.

I also had all the symptoms of low thyroid, and the thyroid medication helped to give me some energy, but it wouldn't last, and I could never take enough of a dose to really feel normal. I could function, but it felt like walking through molasses just walking across the room.

I don't know if people have ever tried this approach for Fibromyalgia. I don't see why anyone would think to recommend it for that. I guess I just got lucky, and what my type of Fibromyalgia is, was the same thing that was hurting my son, but in a different way.

I was mad at my Doctor because he never suggested even trying to look for a dietary problem. 20 years of pain!!! (Well, I didn't actually yell at him, but he got a very dissapointed-sounding lecture.)

All I know now, is that I walk around now just being aware of the feeling in my body, it feels like I'm floating. It is so strange to be in a body that doesn't hurt anymore. Its like its not even me.

My family saw so much improvement in me that several other family members have gone on this same diet without me suggesting it. I would never have suggested such a thing as this for anyone who isn't sick because I think it is more difficult if you don't have severe symptoms to motivate you to stay on it. One of them says it helps her with arthritis, and fainting spells (she's only 18). Another used it to loose some weight (she's a size 6 now.) And now another is trying it for a daughter who has ADD.

Oh, and I also eliminated Aspartame and High Fructose Corn Syrup and most food additives 9 years ago--after a relative was diagnosed with MS, and the whole extended family got rid of Aspartame then. She was a diet soda addict before getting diagnosed. (She's better now, but still has MS.) My other son gets a bad migrane headache if he drinks a diet soda. We all felt better, but eliminating those things was not enough to get rid of my Fibromyalgia. I still avoid them, though.

I hope this helps someone. More people are doing this that don't say anything about it to anyone, because two men I dated also couldn't eat anything with gluten in it. I found this out when we ordered our food in the restaurant!

I think it is worth a try, if you have tried a lot of regular treatments and that hasn't worked for you. Plus, it doesn't cost anything to do this--you just have to learn it, make some adjustments in your lifestyle, and cook from scratch more often. If you try it for a few weeks it can't hurt you in any way. It is a healthy way to live, actually.

I think I actually saved money. I take no medications, see the Doctor less often, and I get more done every day, with less help. When I don't sleep it is by choice because I am addicted to reading Forums!

Some people who have Fibromyalgia have said that they have improved from going on a low-carb diet. This is also called a Specific Carbohydrate Diet, and is sometimes good for Autism, also.

But to clarify here, the diet I am on is NOT a low-carb diet.
I eat lots of potatoes, rice, corn meal, and even some dairy-free chocolate, and lately I just discovered Agave Nectar for a sweetener, (YUM!)

Anyway, I am not doing this to loose weight. Low carbs is a great way to loose weight, and it probably works for short-term weight loss. What I am doing is a lifestyle change. I lost a little weight, and some puffiness, and swelling I used to get, but I am on this for good, so its not really a "diet." Its a lifestyle. I can still overeat if I am not careful, but I think that overweight just compounds Fibromyalgia and almost any other disease.

This is what I had for dinner tonight:
lemonade made with lemon juice and Agave Nectar, cucumber salad, a turkey burger made with onion salt (I had it plain this time, but I sometimes have it on a gluten-free bun,) a baked potato with olive oil margarine, fresh sweet corn, Hagen Daas strawberry gelato. This was delicious, and I am doing great!

This is a diet that avoids all gluten, which is a protein that is found in several grains, and avoids all casein, which is a protein found in milk products and is a common food additive in vegetarian products. These two proteins can combine to form a toxin that can affect the brain and nervous system. You have to eliminate even tiny amounts of these--even a few crumbs of bread or a dusting of flour on some candy can cause the symptoms to come back for a day.

It is really an Autism diet, but it has somehow been exactly what I needed. I was diagnosed by a regular Doctor with Fibromyalgia, using the typical tests, but really Doctors don't know that much about what causes it, and there is no real cure. As I said, I was given all the usual treatments, (except Lyrica so far.)

However, I consider myself "cured" because when I stay on this diet and am very strict with following it, I have no symptoms at all. I guess a real "cure" would be if I could eat whatever I wanted to, but I will settle for this one: no pain, no problems, no pills, no cost to do. I eat really well. It isn't rabbit food. I love the food I eat, and after the first week of feeling better, I have absolutely no desire for the things with gluten or casein in it. Can't beat that.

I will post more on this diet in the future as I transfer my writing from another location. Mainly was interested in it because of how it helps people with Autism, but since I feel so much better on it, I thought I would offer it as a possible suggestion for people with Fibromyalgia, since that is what I have been diagnosed with (I guess you could say "had" but it is in remission, I guess.)

I have a hunch that when some people who are like me try to do a low-carb diet, that they greatly reduce the amount of wheat breads and pastas that they would normally eat, and this is what causes the improvement.

I would go crazy never having carbs. I need some carbs for energy. I just eat different carbs than most American's do. But in China and Japan they eat very similar to this and do just fine.

So it was suggested that I might have Celiac, but I was tested for celicac. I don't have that. I wish the test would have shown it because then I would have a more standard diagnosis that I could get insurance to cover. I have heard though, that in other countries there is almost triple the rate of Celiac diagnosis (Italy has something like 30% of the population!!!) So there are some gastroenterologists that are thinking that here we have too stringent of a set of standards for diagnosing Celiac disease. Perhaps I should fly to Italy and get tested there (after eating a ton of pasta, yum!)

This is much more complicated of an etiology than just celicac disease, but I think that there is a part of it that mimics celiac disease. I know that the latest thinking with Autism is that there is a strong auto-immune component, and many of those that benefit from this diet are missing a key digestive enzyme required for humans to digest both gluten and casein. There is usually something that also causes irritation to the lining of the intestine, like a chronic candida infection (thrush, or yeast) and that irritation allows the toxins from this incomplete digestion to enter the bloodstream. The toxin can cross the blood-brain barrier and cause neurological troubles. It can also cause numbness in the other parts of the nervous system, and perhaps cause the symptoms I was having for all these years.....

This is rather contraversial in the medical community, but so many people are trying this diet anyway and getting better, that the controversy is pretty much moot.

This book was written by the wife of a gastroenterologist whose son is Autistic. He did some of the original research on this disease process and almost lost his license because it was such a novel finding (he discovered the toxins in the urine of Autistics).
So his wife wrote the book and published it--he couldn't. Its a great book that describes the entire complex process of how digestion, immunity, and neurology relate together in Autism:

"Unraveling The Mystery of Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorder A Mother's Story of Research & Recovery" by Karyn Seroussi

This is part of a new field of research that I am studying, called "Psychoneuroimmunology."

There are also many websites that address this diet. If you Google GFCF, you will get a lot of them. There are even some great cookbooks out there now. When I started with my son 10 years ago there was nothing at all to help. Now there are plenty of resources. But you have to know about it and want to try it. Its not hard to do, but you do have to get used to a new way of thinking and cooking. Once you get used to it, its not really a problem at all. (Except getting school, grandparents and others to help out by not sabatoging it.)

There is a good magazine that helps me a lot called "Living Without," and a great blog called "Gluten-Free Girl" and she also has a book out.

I love the way I eat now. I love to cook, and there are a lot more prepared products available now that are GF/CF that weren't around even just a few years ago, so I can make anything I want to eat, and still be okay. I feel great and I look better. Another bonus is that my skin is much better, I have noticed my skin has improved a lot.

I know of a few people with Asperger's Syndrome who also have serious digestive problems and fatigue.

I am a high-functioning Aspergers person. I don't actually have the diagnosis because I have been tested a few times in the last couple of years, and I test out as normal. But when I was younger I fit the criteria.

I know there are a lot of parents of Autistic persons who discover that there are adults on the spectrum in their immediate family when their child gets diagnosed. Part of this is heredity, and so that could be why I improved when my son did on the same biological treatments. Temple Grandin, and other Autistic adults I have researched all claim to have digestive problems and unusual body responses to pain, that have plagued them since childhood in their books. A lot of them are now being tested for these and going on specialized diets based on their lab results (often it is hereditary enzyme deficiencies, coupled with nutrient deficiencies, an inability of their liver to get rid of heavy metals and toxins, and chronic, low-grade infections such as candida.)

But there are new problems for children to deal with these days that made my son's heredity more of a problem for him, such as twice to three times the number of immunizations, environmental toxins, powerful antibiotics, food additives and pesticides that didn't exist when I was young. I feel like we are the Canary's in the mine...just the first to go.....

So here are some more recommendations from people with Fibromyalgia who have improved or gotten better:

Get your metal fillings replaced with porcelain if you can afford it.

For pain:
Try homeopathic Rhus tox 6C
Take 3x per day 1300 mg Glucosimine, Chondroitin, with MSM
L glutamine
Acupuncture & Chinese medicine
Arnica gel on painful areas, or tablets.
Magnets (bracelets, pads, shoe inserts, etc.)

For better sleep:
Take a bath with Epsom Salts in it before bed. 2-3 cups per bath.
Take a Melatonin.
If you have restless leg problems have your iron blood levels checked. Low iron can cause sleep problems.

For general better health:
Evening Primrose Oil
Omega 3 fatty acids (flax oil has this)
Vitamin B6 (helps with the brain fog)
Magnesium (helps prevent muscle cramping, helps with sleeping)
Vitamin B12 (helps with symptoms similar to anemia, and with brain fog)
The spices found in curry help, like Turmeric.

Yeast infections or candidia can be a symptons of a Hidden auto-immune desease.
Avoid products made with yeast, including Brewer's yeast.
Get your Doctor to give you a round of Difulcan and then Nystatin for a longer time.

Avoiding these things is mentioned in many places:
Aspartame (artificial sweeteners) can cause migranes
Sugar causes lethargy and brain fog
Gluten (in all wheat products)
Casein (in all dairy products except eggs)
Nitrites (in processed meats. You can find nitrate-free meats in groceries now.)
MSG (Monosodium Glutamate) can cause migranes
Artificial preservatives (salt, vitamin E, and citric acid are ok)
Artificial colorings cause muscle spasms and headaches

Take some vitamin D and/or go out in the sun about 15 minutes per day. This helps produce hormones that help you to sleep better.

For exercise, swimming is a good choice since it might not trigger the Fibro as much because it is low-impact. Then find a sauna or whirlpool to soak in. The heat might kill any lingering illnesses that your immune system can't fight off well enough--just like a high fever does.

Sugar aggravates Fibromyalgia. It made things worse for me. I remember that the thing that triggered a really bad year of illness for me was when I broke up with my boyfriend and ate a lot of Easter candy. After that, I got very sick, and realized that it was probably the sugar, when I did the same thing at Halloween and had the same problem. (It's really tough when you have kids around to avoid sugar!) I normally don't eat a lot of sugar, but when it is in the house, it is so tempting. I find its best not to have it around. I now give any extra candy to my local food pantry...not that I think they should be eating sugar either...just hate for it to go to waste.

I highly recommend that anyone who isn't feeling well avoid sugar at all costs. I think it aggravates all kinds of problems. There is some research that shows that the body's immune cells are reduced in number for several days after ingestion of sugar. I know one person who used to get sinus infections after eating a lot of sugar, and they stopped after she gave up eating processed sugar completely.

I use Agave nectar now for a sweetener because it has a low glycemic index (doesn't raise your insulin levels quickly.)

You can also use stevia. Stevia comes as a powder, made from a plant and you can even grow it in your garden, and use a leaf or two in your tea. Its really sweet.

If you are trying to loose weight, though, eating a lot of sweet-tasting things a lot might just stimulate your appetite, even if the sweeteners you are using are low in sugar.

If you were on a lot of anti-biotics after surgery or an accident, you might want to try taking a variety of pro-biotic supplements, or eating foods that are fermented, like miso, buttermilk, yogurt, tempeh, saurkraut, etc. Look for those that have live, active cultures in them.

I just read up on the Blood Type Diet while trying to help someone else with weight loss issues, and I discovered that the diet recommended for my blood type is the same as the GF/CF diet that has helped me so much. So perhaps you could try this diet also. You find out what your blood type is and then follow the recommendations for your type.

I really suggest that you try doing an elimination diet to determine if you have an immune response to certain foods. This means eliminating the most common allergens from your diet for a while. There are only about 7 allergens that account for over 90% of all food allergies/sensitivities. You do this for a couple of weeks, and then add back one allergenic food at a time, wait a day or two and see how you are affected by it. It is worth a couple of weeks to try this, and it doesn't cost anything but your time.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

What Gives Your Life Meaning?

"This is our life's purpose:
to make as meaningful as possible this life that has been bestowed upon us,
to live in such a way that we may be proud of ourselves,
and to act in such a way that some part of us lives on."

~ Oswald Spangler

Thoughts on Autism and Genetic Research

Katie Wright is the daughter of Suzanne and Bob Wright, a former NBC executive, who started the largest fund-raising organization for Autism research called "Autism Speaks" because their grandson, Christian Hildebrand was diagnosed as Autistic.

Autism Speaks has raised a lot of money recently for research on Autism, but nowhere acknowledges biological treatments for Autism and no money goes toward researching any possible environmental components in causes for Autism.

Katie Wright came out on "Imus in the Morning", and publicly stated that she believes her son's Autism was triggered by vaccines and that biological treatments, in fact, were working on her son. She shares her son's story in Chapter 19 of the book "Mother Warriors."

If the only research we are funding with enough money is on genetics, then does this mean that 1 in 100 of all children born in this generation are somehow "genetically defective?"

And if mothers are given a genetic test during pregnancy, will the various Autism genes (there isn't just one gene) be enough of a reason to abort the baby? That's a lot of abortions. Its also genocide. This is eliminating an entire genetic type in our children. What if these genes code for something like intelligence? A lot of Autistic children are very intelligent in specific areas.

I think that funding for genetic research is being focused on for three reasons:

1. If you can find a drug that 1 in 100 children will have to be taking for a lifetime, you have a lifetime source of continuing income for your drug company.

2. If you are a company that manufactures vaccines, and you want to keep on increasing the number of vaccines, that ALL children will have to take, you certainly don't want EVEN ONE of those vaccines to be found unsafe or unreliable for any reason.

3. If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
If all that allopathic medicine has to offer, is mainly drugs and surgery, then the only things researchers are going to get paid to do is figure out a drug or surgical treatment for anything. Researchers already know how to research drugs really, really well, since that is where all the funding is coming from; the sale of drugs. One drug's sales pays for the research of new drugs. And so the researchers are all trained to look for drug solutions, even if the best way to deal with the problem isn't by using a drug.

Wouldn't the best solution of all be to find things that don't require us to give costly drugs to young children, perhaps for the rest of their lives, just so they can deal with something in their environment that didn't exist a generation ago?

Wouldn't the best solution be found by looking at all the possible triggers and influences, not just the ones inside our children?

And furthermore, what if the genes that are found are influenced by the environment (they are "turned on" or "turned off" by various environmental triggers), but we never find this out because we are only looking for a genetic "flaw" and a drug "cure?" And what if it is something as SIMPLE as spacing vaccinations out differently, or combining them differently, or screening out vaccinating children with a lingering cold or allergic reaction, or manufacturing them with one type of process instead of another? Instead of seeing 1 in 100 children as genetically flawed or genetically mutated?

If the problem is triggered by something in a child's environment, and we are looking inside the child for the answer, then who are we hurting? The child.

We should not make our children a pawn in our financial medical games.

How Vaccinations are Made

These are the main ways vaccines are manufactured:

"1. Inactivated or "killed" vaccines: A chemical called formalin is used to kill the disease causing organism, but it still retain the antigen that triggers the body's immune response to create antibodies. Examples of this type of vaccine include the typhoid vaccine and the poliomyelitis vaccine.

2. Acellular vaccines: These vaccines use only the antigenic portion of the pathogen, such as its capsule, flagella, or protein cell wall. The Haemophilus influenzae B (HIB) vaccine is an example of an acellular vaccine. Since these vaccines don't produce a very strong immune response, they require a "booster" shot later on..

3. Attenuated vaccine: This type uses a weakened form or the live disease causing organism and creates the strongest immune response. Examples of attenuated vaccines include the one for measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR). Immunity lasts a lifetime.

4. Toxoid vaccine: The diphtheria and tetanus vaccines are examples of this type of immunization. They are made by using the toxin produced by the pathogen and then reducing its harmful affects with an aluminum salt. Toxoids require periodic booster shots.

5. Mimics: The vaccine for deadly smallpox was created this way by using the similar, but far less virulent, cowpox. In this instance, the immune response to the similar organism is enough to provide immunity.

6. Subunit vaccines: This recombinant DNA technology method of vaccine creation uses the genes of the pathogen that code for the parts of the organism that produce the strongest immune response. The genes are inserted into bacteria or yeast, which mass produce the desired proteins. These pathogenic but non-disease causing molecules can then be isolated, purified and used to produce the vaccine. The Hepatitis B vaccine is created this way."

From: "Science 101: Six ways vaccines are made"
~ Baltimore Science News Examiner, Mary Spiro

The MMR is a live or weakened form of the disease (weakened = not dead).

Measles virus has been found in the GI tract of Autistic children.

Vaccines and Autism

There are safer ways to vaccinate than we are currently doing. This is a fact.

We have been lax about thinking ahead. The original vaccines were created because there was a deadly disease that was absolutely horrible, and this method worked. But at a small cost of a few people. We were highly motivated to find ANY way to deal with polio, for instance.

Now we have twenty more vaccinations we give to very tiny babies...and nobody has really thought much about how many we can actually give to an infant without changing the infant's immune system in a negative way. What is the upper limit? 50? 100? Are we actually going to consider putting a copy or an original of every deadly disease known to man into every infant before they reach the age of two? Does anyone know how this will ultimately affect our children? The answer is NO.

We were lax about thinking about the effect of adding more vaccines, because the original mercury preservative was meant for one dose only. Twenty times that amount is way more toxic. Although there is really no "safe" level of mercury for a person.

It is a toxin, and the best amount of mercury in a baby is zero. That is also a fact.

We were lax in thinking about the effect it might have on a baby of reving up their immune system towards more than one deadly disease at a time. Did we study infants to see if their immune systems were developed enough to handle more than one vaccine at a time consistently? No.

Did we study what to do if we reved up an infant's immune system and it stayed constantly reved up? Do we know how to calm it down so the infant doesn't develop chronic immune regulation problems down the line? No.

Did we study other ways to deliver a vaccine besides injecting it? Yes. And the reason is that some of our immune system was designed to function at the nose and mouth, where the mucous membranes function to deal with invaders. Most diseases do not enter the human body directly into the bloodstream. They enter through the nose, eyes, mouth, genitals. The bodies' natural defense mechanisms were designed to face the first assault at these points, not directly in the bloodstream.
Yet, we still use injections for most immunizations.

Many diseases we are trying to eradicate are not as serious as the first ones we developed vaccinations for. This means we are not looking anymore for safer ways to deal with them. Vaccinations were never designed to handle every type of human disease. It probably isn't the best way to do this kind of health care.

If a disease isn't deadly, and we aren't at a huge risk of being exposed to it, then we need to balance the risks to many of our children of getting vaccinated for everything against the benefits of eradicating a disease with a vaccination alone.

Every vaccination needs a preservative, for one thing. Unless you can somehow get a "fresh" vaccination, every baby will be getting an injection of a preservative at the same time as they are getting the deadly disease pushed into their bloodstream. This preservative dose accumulates, and infants livers are not fully developed until age 3, and so might not be able to eliminate the toxic preservative.

We never planned to look into the genetic differences of various children and how that affects their reactions to vaccines. Some of these reactions are deadly. And so each time a parent brings a child to be vaccinated, they are taking the chance that their child's genetic makeup is the kind that will make the vaccination deadly to him. And so the vaccination is now itself a deadly disease. Only we have control over this one.

Let's take the control we do have and work to make vaccinations safer and more effective, and not to use the shotgun approach and vaccinate everyone in exactly the same way--we know for a fact that some people cannot get vaccinations without becoming seriously ill or dying. These children and adults should be allowed to live. They have a right to live.

There are other health care practices that could keep us safe from the risk of having a small part of our population un-vaccinated. Already we currently live in a society where not everyone gets vaccinated for many reasons. So we should not let the idea of vaccination make us lax about taking regular precautions to avoid illness. We can find better methods of public hygiene, and other types of medications and lifestyle practices that don't rely so heavily on trying only to "eradicate" the disease.

Although complete eradication is an admirable goal, and one worth pursuing, there will always be genetic mutations of viruses and bacteria that will cause us to continue to have to deal with public health concerns in the future. At what point will vaccination itself become unviable? At that point we will seriously be in trouble if we have no other resources to rely on.

A safer way might be to vaccinate only:
with thimerisol-free vaccines
with a minimum amount of total preservative (shake the bottle, etc.)
only one disease at a time
space them out long enough for the infant's body to get rid of the preservative before doing the next
space them out long enough for the infant's immune response to go back to normal before initiating the next immune challenge
never, ever vaccinate a sick child, wait until the illness is over
don't give Tylenol before vaccination, since this can affect the natural immune response

* Research needs to continue to find safer ways of preserving vaccinations. (Refrigeration-only comes to mind.)
* Research needs to continue to discover for which genetic types of humans vaccinations are fatal, or will cause serious chronic immune disruption, so that parents can make an informed choice about EACH vaccine.
* Research needs to continue to discover and educate the population about other public health practices that can protect our health so that we have several lines of defense against deadly diseases besides relying on vaccinations, in the event we "discover" there IS an upper limit to how often we can vaccinate an individual in their lifetime or at least in early childhood.
* Research needs to continue to discover ways to calm the immune system of a child or adult if/when a vaccination causes a reaction that does not stop on its own, or that continues toward an unhealthy process leading to chronic disease, like aut0-immune disorders, and severe allergies.
* Research needs to continue to find the best timing for a vaccination. There is probably an optimal time to vaccinate. For instance, many vaccinations require multiple doses because the immune system changes over time. Some of this is due to the child's development. There is also probably a "sub-optimal" time to vaccinate. In other words, there might be times in a child's development when it is the worst time to vaccinate.
* Research needs to continue to find ways to create vaccines that don't rely on animal proteins being injected into human bodies. This is one of the reasons many people are allergic to eggs. Many vaccines are created by injecting the diseases into live eggs.
* Research needs to continue to find a way to decide which deadly diseases are going to be best dealt with by a vaccination, and which we will deal with another way. Because there are too many diseases to vaccinate against all of them, since there are always going to be new ones appearing. There needs to be a process of thinking about what factors/elements are most important.

* We need to study if there is a better way to vaccinate, like vaccinating regions instead of everybody. Perhaps it isn't necessary to get vaccinated for certain diseases in every area at all times. For instance, when are we going to ever stop vaccinating for a particular disease?

Polio, for instance, is not a common disease anymore. Unfortunately, it was never completely removed from the planet. Governments all store deadly diseases for future use as a biological weapon or as a biological museum of DNA. We will never get rid of any deadly disease totally because of this possiblity. And because we can never prove completely to everyone's satisfaction that a disease is completly "gone," then no disease can ever be eliminated from the list of vaccinations, under our current vaccination policy.

My child had a bad reaction to a vaccine. I had a right to know that this was going to be a possiblity. Unfortunately, my Doctor didn't have access to the information I needed to make an informed decision about my son's vaccination. I want that information available for the next generation of parents so they won't have to go through what I went through. And if they do, it will be part of a much better informed choice than the one I was given and have to live with.

Everyone lives with the problem of the children who have been hurt by vaccinations. It affects the entire family, and the community. They require special education, special medical care, and often housing and supervision for the rest of their lives. I would like this "deadly" disease treated with the same care and concern about its "prevalence" as the ones that the vaccinations that caused it are trying to eradicate.

It's kind of scary to think that the FDA and the CDC might have a vested interest in the outcome of studies about vaccines that they consider mandatory and have recommended for years. But they do have a vested interest.

And so maybe they are a bit biased and motivated to prove the saftey of what they have been advocating. If mercury is safe, then why is it so important for them to reassure us that it is not in use in any more vaccines?

If they were to come out and say that mistakes were made or things were miscalculated, lawsuits would proliferate. And we couldn't have that.

So why can't we have accountability without lawsuits? Why isn't there any in-between ground between total acceptance of everything that is told to us, and a lawsuit? This makes it very hard for the medical system and the political system that deals with medical issues to adapt to change, to new knowledge, new developments, and new health threats. And even to respond honestly to requests for change in saftey regulations from groups of concerned parents.

Poem - Eyes


The pupils are the windows to the soul.

When you look into my eyes, what do you see?
You see two iris', (hazel) You see two pupils; darkness, blackness, no light.
You are seeing the actual optic nerves of my brain, cloaked in shadow.
You see me looking at you.
If I were there, If I were real to you, I would be
mirroring back to you what I see in you with my expression.

Without another "I am" you can't truly see who you are.

The world reflects things. A flat mirror shows your outside form.
The soul in my eyes is a reflection of you.
Shows you how you animate/energize others with who you are.

I want to share the October-chilled world with you,
and see myself and our world in your eyes.
I want to see the light, the fire of life, the anime of you, in your eyes.

Empathy is mirror neurons...mirroring feelings and experience back out,
and reading the mirror neurons responses in other's eyes.
It's a dance.
Who are you? Who am I? As we dance we discover the answer...

Look into the eye of G_od and see the moment of creation,
the emptiness that Was before He had We.

~ Me

Love Poem

A Poem

Love is the only thing that is created from no-thing.
There fore Love expands the universe.
The opposite of Love is fear; there fore fear shrinks it.
And that is what Love is There Fore.

Fore ward is expansion, but also creation.
In the beginning was the Word, and the word was Good.
And The Good was Love.
(And Love is Good.)
We nick-named it G_od a long time ago...

~Me, because I Am

Calendar Poem, TIME

A New Year.
A new Day.
A new Resolve.
A new Way.

A new Understanding,
Of an old Time.
An Old understanding
Of new a new Rhyme.

A new Poem,
An old Quote,
New Acquaintance,
Life felt, emotion wrote.

Shared feeling,
Halved pain,
Doubled joy,
Despair slain.

Rhythms repeat,
Mirror life's heart beat.
Material formed resonates,
The language of incarnation vibrates.

In the cycle of eternity
Recycled modernity,
Spend your life with me,
The best is yet to be.

In dreams we fly,
Above the snow.
Above the clouds,
The Son will know.

The Sun, gone three days
Rose up above the shadows.
These thoughts drawn by these words,
As mist above the meadows.

Meal Plan for Losing Weight

I just lost 44 pounds and I didn't really count calories.
I made lifestyle changes.

I know that diets, the way we have been doing them in America, don't work. We want quick fixes, and so we starve ourselves and then gain all the weight back plus more...we ruin our metabolisms and our health this way.

I made one change at a time, until I could stick to it. Then I would make another.

It takes 21 days to make a new habit. So to get the human tendency to create habits to work for you instead of against you, create new habits consciously for 21 days. Then you don't have to think about everything you do every time you do it, you just eat and live a certain way that works by habit.

I went through my house and got rid of everything that was a temptation for me and gave it to the local food pantry.

Then I only brought into the house what I knew was healthy for me to eat.

I gave myself some rules, that seem to work.

I don't eat after 8pm at night.

I eat 4 meals a day, with the biggest meal at lunchtime, so I can work some of the calories off during the day.
One of the "meals" is very small, like a handful of nuts and a piece of fresh fruit.

I always eat breakfast right when I get up in the morning.

I never eat huge amounts (volume) at one sitting, so my stomach eventually shrank and I feel very full if I overeat now. No binging.

I sit down when I eat. I enjoy eating my food.

Focus on how you feel when you eat.
Don't dissociate and go into a "zone" while eating. Notice when you feel full. If you learn your body's signals, your body will help you to decide what is best for it. Once you stop giving it intoxicating, overly strong flavored foods like soda and chips, you will notice the more satisfying subtle flavours of foods and these will keep you going.

Plan ahead for when you go places.

Bring food along if you have to so that you ALWAYS have a good choice with you at all times. Never put yourself into a position where the only food easily available to you is the addicting stuff.

Try at least one new recipe, one new food, every week,
so you can find excitement in your eating.

Don't think about what you are giving up, think more about what you are adding to your life.

Here's my recipe for you:
Fall harvest recipe:

Scrubbed and quartered skin-on small red potatoes.

Saute a large Vidalia (sweet) onion. Yellow onions fine, too.
Saute a blend of mixed fresh mushrooms.
Saute a pan full of fresh spinach.
Throw a splash of fresh lemon juice* in with the mushrooms and spinach while sauteing them.

Use half butter, half olive oil for sauteeing.

Sprinkle with sea salt, pepper.

Deglaze the pan with water or wine and pour over potatoes.

Optional: Add some crushed garlic to the spinach while sauteeing.

Serve all together with some fresh, unpasturized apple cider, or fresh grapefruit juice.

For dessert, figs.

* Use an organic lemon. Before squeezing the lemon for juice, use a lemon zester to get all the surface zest. Allow zest to dry on a paper plate. Use in recipes that call for lemon zest.

From talking with people who have weight issues, most of them seem to have become addicted to certain foods. Then they get cravings. The reason is that the foods they are eating, like Doritos, Cheetos, Chips, ect. are foods that are all partial foods -- they have had the enzymes and vitamins removed and so your body can't digest them correctly. This leaves them feeling hungry all the time, even right after they eat.

They also sound like they might have a sugar problem.

Sugar feeds yeast, and so you might have too much active yeast in your system. So when you cut back on the sweets, you get really bad sugar cravings. If you get rid of the excess yeast you will have fewer cravings for sweets. Go to a naturopathic Doctor and get a prescription for Difulcan or Nystatin to get rid of the yeast, and cut back on the sweets. After you give up sweets for a while, your taste buds will change and you will taste food differently. Sweets can also make you gain weight because they affect your insulin levels. You can get very sleepy and tired after eating sugar, and then it is harder to get the energy to exercise.

1. Start by taking a multi-vitamin every day.

2. Then learn to cook some things.
You don't have to cook "fancy" to eat well. In fact, it is often the "fancy" type cooking that adds all the sauces and flavourings that make you want to eat more than to fill you up. For a while, just don't put sauces on anything. Find out what each food really tastes like without anything added to it. You might find that what you are "hooked" on is really the additives, flavourings, oils and sauces that are put on everything that is processed before you buy it.

3. Try training yourself to only drink water.
You can buy some lemons and limes and slice them up ahead of time and add a slice to your glass each time you drink some water. This one thing will make a huge difference. Then you can use those calories to eat something more substantial and satisfying. I save glass drink bottles I get and rinse them out and fill them with boiled, cooled water and keep them in the fridge. I leave a little space when filling them so I can add a splash of lemon juice just before going out. This makes drinking water inexpensive, refreshing because they are cold, and very convenient. If your water tastes bad, buy a good water filter.

4. Learn to shop.
Avoid anything that is artificial. It is very possible that it is something ADDED to the foods you are eating that makes you crave them so much. There are over 400 chemicals that food manufacturers can add to foods without having to put it on the label. How do you know for sure that some of them aren't addicting?

The best foods in the store are around the edges. Shop the outer perimeter of the store. There is really nothing you NEED in the center isles. The center isles are all foods that have to be preserved in some way (and so think of it like it is "old" food -- not good.) If it can't spoil after a month, you don't want to be eating it in the first place....

So go to the produce section, and buy whatever looks the freshest.
Go to the frozen foods and refrigerated sections.

Don't eat all the stuff in the boxes and cans and bottles.

5. Learn what not to eat.
Cut out all the stuff made from flour for a while.
You can get rid of anything that started out as a white powder...white flour, pasta, etc.

6. Cut out all the stuff that is fried.
When you heat oil to very high temperatures you change its composition and make it not very healthy. Switch to using olive oil, and add it after cooking. You need about 3 tablespoons of oil a day for good health, so don't give up oil altogether. Learn to steam, saute, bake and broil foods. Then add a bit of olive oil and lemon after cooking for flavoring. Cut out all the things that are breaded for a while, like breaded meats, fish and vegetables.

7. Get more variety in your diet.
Add alternative forms of protein to your diet.
Don't just eat meat for protein, and if you do eat meat, don't eat any fat that is from the meat.
You can cook it with the fat, but remove the skin from chicken and the fat from beef before eating it.
If you need more fat in your diet, add it back in the form of olive oil. In fact, coating a chicken breast with olive oil before cooking it actually tastes better then with the skin.

Seafood is a great protein choice. Broiled, or baked, not fried. If you get it canned, like tuna and salmon, all you have to do is add a small amount of olive oil and fresh lemon.

Start eating some nuts (not peanuts), nut butters (any nut can be turned into a nut butter), but not too many. Just a small handful every day. Start having beans once in a while with meals. They are inexpensive, and give you a lot of fiber. If you eat more fiber and get your insides moving, your outsides will move better, too. After you get used to eating nuts as a snack, switch to the nuts that aren't coated in oil and salt. Then you won't be as tempted to overeat them.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Is there a rise in mental illness in young people in this country?

What I have noticed is that the immune system is relevant to the nervous system. There is a rise in allergies, food sensitivities and environmental toxins. When you include the manipulation of the human immune system with changes in our food supply and lifestyle, you get mental illness.

It used to be considered "common knowledge" that mental illness was inherited. So people avoided marrying anyone with mental illness in their family. Then Freud made mental illness mostly about the emotional environment a child grew up in. It was based on a bunch of myths about the human psyche that was based on symbolism, dreams, wishful thinking and abstractions like Id and superego. I agree that symbolism and myth have a place in understanding the healthy human psyche. But I think mental health and illness have a very real biological component, that we ignore or minimize at our peril.

I think that physical injury can also cause mental illness. There is a large component of mental illness that relates to mild traumatic brain injury from falls and accidents. With people engaging in riskier sports, these are a big component. And most mild brain injuries are forgotten easily (it is a common thing to forget them unless repeatedly reminded.)

Many years ago, some doctors noted the effect of a strict vegetarian diet, and some other types of diet on schizophrenia. Now we know that the genes that code for schizophrenia are in the same section of DNA as immunity is.

The answer ultimately, in my opinion, isn't going to be an increasing amount of the use of heavy sedatives and other drugs. It will be assessing the functioning of the immune system and the lifestyle of the mentally ill person. It will also mean carefully modifying and refining our current methods of influencing the human immune system. It will also require an admission that there are very real neurological effects in some people caused by chemicals we use in food production, distribution and storage.

We also will need to deal with mental illness in a more effective way that supports the family and the community so that the family can function while the mentally ill person is part of it. Separating the mentally ill from family and society didn't work very well and permitted many abuses and not much real progress in treatment. But just putting the mentally ill out into the streets didn't do much for them, either.

The way things work currently, the family is left out of the loop of services without guardianship, until things get so bad that the mental illness is often irreversable with current treatments because of self-medication with alcohol and street drugs that cause further brain damage.

Eating Healthy On A Low Income

Find a way to buy food in bulk. Even on-line might be better than the stores in your area.
Find a way to buy food in bulk. Even on-line might be better than the stores in your area.

Get enough for a month or two of brown rice and lentils.
Mix the brown rice (Basmati rice has the highest protein content) and the lentils and cook them together in a rice cooker. (Rice cookers are really cheap and go on sale a lot.) Add any kind of vegetables to this.

To save money on fuel costs, steam the vegetables above the rice as it is cooking in a steamer basket.

Add some olive oil, lemon juice, ginger, garlic.

Eat nuts and seeds for snacks that are higher protein. Sunflower seeds are inexpensive.

Try adding raisins or dried fruits (no sulpher) right into the rice when it is cooking for more flavour.

Snacks: Buy organic popcorn in bulk. Get an air popcorn popper. (You can't burn it then.)

Potatoes, onions, apples, pears, cabbage, celery, carrots are all inexpensive. Try to find organic versions.

Get to know any local gardeners in your area. Barter with them, doing gardening chores for some vegetables or fruits.

Search carefully for any organic farmer anywhere close to where you are. Support this farmer with the little that you do have so that you can both survive.
Find a way to buy food in bulk. Even on-line might be better than the stores in your area.

Get enough for a month or two of brown rice and lentils.
Mix the brown rice (Basmati rice has the highest protein content) and the lentils and cook them together in a rice cooker. (Rice cookers are really cheap and go on sale a lot.) Add any kind of vegetables to this.

To save money on fuel costs, steam the vegetables above the rice as it is cooking in a steamer basket.

Add some olive oil, lemon juice, ginger, garlic.

Eat nuts and seeds for snacks that are higher protein. Sunflower seeds are inexpensive.

Try adding raisins or dried fruits (no sulpher) right into the rice when it is cooking for more flavour.

Snacks: Buy organic popcorn in bulk. Get an air popcorn popper. (You can't burn it then.)

Potatoes, onions, apples, pears, cabbage, celery, carrots are all inexpensive. Try to find organic versions.

Get to know any local gardeners in your area. Barter with them, doing gardening chores for some vegetables or fruits.

Search carefully for any organic farmer anywhere close to where you are. Support this farmer with the little that you do have so that you can both survive.

Plant a small garden yourself. Try container gardening. Grow fresh herbs from seeds on your windowsill.

Sprout beans. Sprouting beans and grains skyrockets their health value.

Buy beans in bulk (black beans and Adzuki beans are easy to digest) and rinse, soak and cook them from scratch, add brown sugar and spices and make baked beans or refried beans.

Buy organic, non-GMO corn tortillas and wrap all this up in them.

Learn to make soup. The recipe is called "Stone Soup"

Take a clean stone and put it in a pot of boiling water. Put any in-season vegetables, onions, potatoes and anything around the kitchen, chicken, etc. add a bay leaf....simmer for about 20 minutes.

(p.s., you don't need the stone.)

Be sure to check out your local food pantry, and see if you qualify for food stamps. There are some food-buying co-ops that you can find or organize yourself. In our area (Wisconsin) it is called "SHARE." They pool their money to get better deals from food distributors.

Network with others in the same position you are. Make a lot of food together and share it. Take turns. It goes further, you waste less and cooking and eating is much more fun than eating alone.

Stay away from packaged foods to stay healthier. Shop around the outside of the grocery store. Fresh produce, frozen foods, bulk beans, grains, popcorn.

Good luck. Things will turn around soon. Keep looking up, keep your health up, and you will be ready for it.

Plant a small garden yourself. Try container gardening. Grow fresh herbs from seeds on your windowsill.

Sprout beans. Sprouting beans and grains skyrockets their health value.

Buy beans in bulk (black beans and Adzuki beans are easy to digest) and rinse, soak and cook them from scratch, add brown sugar and spices and make baked beans or refried beans.

Buy organic, non-GMO corn tortillas and wrap all this up in them.

Learn to make soup. The recipe is called "Stone Soup"

Take a clean stone and put it in a pot of boiling water. Put any in-season vegetables, onions, potatoes and anything around the kitchen, chicken, etc. add a bay leaf....simmer for about 20 minutes.

(p.s., you don't need the stone.)

Be sure to check out your local food pantry, and see if you qualify for food stamps. There are some food-buying co-ops that you can find or organize yourself. In our area (Wisconsin) it is called "SHARE." They pool their money to get better deals from food distributors.

Network with others in the same position you are. Make a lot of food together and share it. Take turns. It goes further, you waste less and cooking and eating is much more fun than eating alone.

Stay away from packaged foods to stay healthier. Shop around the outside of the grocery store. Fresh produce, frozen foods, bulk beans, grains, popcorn.

Good luck. Things will turn around soon. Keep looking up, keep your health up, and you will be ready for it.

Get enough for a month or two of brown rice and lentils.
Mix the brown rice (Basmati rice has the highest protein content) and the lentils and cook them together in a rice cooker. (Rice cookers are really cheap and go on sale a lot.) Add any kind of vegetables to this.

To save money on fuel costs, steam the vegetables above the rice as it is cooking in a steamer basket.

Add some olive oil, lemon juice, ginger, garlic.

Eat nuts and seeds for snacks that are higher protein. Sunflower seeds are inexpensive.

Try adding raisins or dried fruits (no sulpher) right into the rice when it is cooking for more flavour.

Snacks: Buy organic popcorn in bulk. Get an air popcorn popper. (You can't burn it then.)

Potatoes, onions, apples, pears, cabbage, celery, carrots are all inexpensive. Try to find organic versions.

Get to know any local gardeners in your area. Barter with them, doing gardening chores for some vegetables or fruits.

Search carefully for any organic farmer anywhere close to where you are. Support this farmer with the little that you do have so that you can both survive.

Plant a small garden yourself. Try container gardening. Grow fresh herbs from seeds on your windowsill.

Sprout beans. Sprouting beans and grains skyrockets their health value.

Buy beans in bulk (black beans and Adzuki beans are easy to digest) and rinse, soak and cook them from scratch, add brown sugar and spices and make baked beans or refried beans.

Buy organic, non-GMO corn tortillas and wrap all this up in them.

Learn to make soup. The recipe is called "Stone Soup"

Take a clean stone and put it in a pot of boiling water. Put any in-season vegetables, onions, potatoes and anything around the kitchen, chicken, etc. add a bay leaf....simmer for about 20 minutes.

(p.s., you don't need the stone.)

Be sure to check out your local food pantry, and see if you qualify for food stamps. There are some food-buying co-ops that you can find or organize yourself. In our area (Wisconsin) it is called "SHARE." They pool their money to get better deals from food distributors.

Network with others in the same position you are. Make a lot of food together and share it. Take turns. It goes further, you waste less and cooking and eating is much more fun than eating alone.

Stay away from packaged foods to stay healthier. Shop around the outside of the grocery store. Fresh produce, frozen foods, bulk beans, grains, popcorn.

Good luck. Things will turn around soon. Keep looking up, keep your health up, and you will be ready for it.

Mental illness can be acquired from cats.

Mental illness can be acquired from cats.

We just had a very bad case of cat hoarding discovered this year in this area. There were over 50 cats in a very nice-looking suburban home. The cats had taken over the house, and destroyed the interior of it. There were some dead cats found there, and the people had moved out eventually, just coming there to feed the cats! The entire place had to be condemned until it could be completely emptied and fumigated. I consider this a form of mental illness. I think that the mental illness might have existed before the cats -- they might have had OCD, hoarding, or ADD or some other problem first -- but they also could have gotten mental effects from exposure to cats first.

There is research that shows that the toxoplasmosis bug actually has figured out a way to enter the brains of rats and eliminate their natural fear of cats. The infected rats are then easier to catch, because they actually are attracted to the cats' urine (pheremones) instead of repelled by them. The reason this seems to be necessary for the bug, is that this bug can only reproduce inside of cats, not rats, so the bug has to somehow get itself from inside the rat to inside the cat in order to procreate.

This same bug can infect humans. However, does the bug know where to go inside a human's brain, since the human brain is so much larger than a rat's? (In most people.)

I think it gets to the human brain and gets lost there, possibly affecting other areas of the brain than intended. Perhaps this means that infected humans get a chemically enhanced love of cats from this infection, also causing other kinds of mental abnormalities. This mental illness then causes the infected person to harbor more cats than they would have otherwise (if not infected by toxoplasmosis), but with less mental organizational capability to care for them in a sanitary way, causing even more infection and disease for both the cats and the people. If the bug causes rats to be attracted to cat urine, this could explain why the people who own lots of cats don't seem bothered at all by their urine and litter, and stop cleaning up after them.

Other illnesses acquired from cats:

Afipia felis
Bartonella (Rochalimaea) henselae (cat scratch fever)
Bergeyella (Weeksella) zoohelcum
Brucella suis
Capnocytophaga canimorsus
Chlamydia psittici (feline strain)
Cutaneous larva migrans
Dipylidium caninum
Mokola virus
Neisseria canis
Pasteurella multocida
Plague (Yersinia pestis)
Rickettsia felis
Sporothrix schenckii
Visceral larva migrans
Yersinia pseudotuberculosis

NIMH Neuroscience Center, St. Elizabeths Hospital, Washington, DC 20032, USA.

Studies have suggested that some cases of schizophrenia may be caused by viruses. We hypothesize that such cases may be cases of viral zoonosis transmitted primarily from house cats. Epidemiological aspects of schizophrenia and a case-control questionnaire support this hypothesis.

Recent epidemiologic studies indicate that infectious agents may contribute to some cases of schizophrenia. In animals, infections with Toxoplasma gondii can alter behavior and neurotransmitter function. In humans, acute infection with the cat virus "T. gondii" can produce psychotic symptoms similar to those displayed by persons with schizophrenia. Two other studies found that exposure to cats in childhood was a risk factor for the development of schizophrenia.

Whether any geographic association exists between the prevalence of toxoplasmosis and the prevalence of schizophrenia is unknown. France, which has a high prevalence of Toxoplasma-infected persons, was reported to have first-admission rates for schizophrenia approximately 50% higher than those in England (41). Ireland also has a high rate of Toxoplasma-infected persons in rural areas (42)

Dr. Robert H. Yolken, the director of the Stanley Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University, and his colleagues reviewed military medical records. They found that soldiers who developed schizophrenia were twice as likely as other soldiers to show signs of Toxoplasma infection in blood samples."

People with cats should all be tested for cat transmitted diseases, particularly if they show any signs of mental instability. Children should also be kept away from cats and cat litter boxes. And where cats are allowed to roam outside should always have shoes on. Outdoor children's sandboxes should be kept covered.

What do you think of war?

"What do you think of war? Why has it survived? Is it needed?"

We only respect what we cannot control. We respect physical laws, (gravity) we respect those who insist on respect from us and have some control over us, (parents, bosses) we "respect" physical force, coercion, (the bully is bigger than I am.) We can be manipulated and deceived, no respect required. War is a form of control using physical force, and fear to manipulate. If someone killed everyone in a country that disagreed with them, or did things differently, or just for their land, (genocide) no respect is required, because no one is left to do things differently. You can shove people out of your area, but still might have to deal with them later as they might regroup and come back to shove you out. If we could respect rules that include both parties and could be enforced, war would devolve into whatever process is used to come to the agreements that both parties willingly abide by.

War is the way we determine the value of peace. Without it, we don't know the price of a life.

The conditions for which we will die are the currency of war. If you would give up everything for your child, and have a lot to give, you risk being a target of kidnapping. If you would die for your children, you can be blackmailed by warmongers into going to war to protect them, even putting your life or the lives of your community members at risk. War is blackmail. Negotiation seems pointless in the face of blackmail, but the answer is not to avoid negotiating with terrorists, because terrorism is simply finding out what you are willing to die for. The entire thing rests on the belief that war solves anything. War brings the victim into the ring with the perpetrator. They cannot see outside the ring. Peace changes the terms, changes the language, changes everything, but not through doing war. It is ridiculous to think that war creates peace. It is this thinking that perpetuates it. Show the fallacy and then believe and act differently. Its just that often, people don't know what peace looks like.

War takes away all normalcy. In war's presence peace becomes precious instead of boring. All's fair in love and war really only means that war hides a multitude of sins under the guise of crisis, urgency, and emotional thinking.

Vengeance is never practical in society. War is the only time or place that vengeance seems to belong. Thus giving lots of people an excuse to try it. Lure the person you hate to a war zone....

In jail, the most prized commodity is respect. Amongst prisoners respect is king. People kill for respect. And amongst thieves and murderers, killing is not a way to loose respect but to gain it. To lose the mentality of war we must loose the mentality of thieves and murderers. To respect restraint more than force is a pre-requisite for peace.

Repeat offenders come back into the system sometimes because on the outside there is less than on the inside. Inside is predictable rules that seem familiar to those raised in authoritarian families. Some had no authority at home, no rules, and the rules inside are better than none outside. The outside can have less protection than the inside. Perhaps criminals are treated even worse by a society on the outside. Neglect is worse than negative attention. Being inside walls is better than being invisible.

Terrorists, military, make a living wage in areas where there are no other jobs. The children of war have no jobs to go to. The example of their father's deaths leads them toward a job in killing.

War seems to create heroes, martyrs, is a safe haven for vigilantes. There is a romance to it. The heightened awareness created by the harsh conditions, the abrupt beginnings and endings, the urgency, the necessity of trusting total strangers with your life creates lifelong bonds. The empathy created amongst soldiers is heightened by the extreme emotions of war so that there is no mistaking the relational nuances, like there are in other, more mundane relationships, like family ties, and marital ties.

The stories of war from older heroes to younger create a vision of a way to be noticed, to be respected, to be somebody in a place where there is little to create attraction of a female except farming, poverty and seeming drudgery. This is the lure of the Pirate.

War changes love into fear and back again. We fear for our loved one's safety, and so the love has become fear, which leads to actions taken in the name of protection that directly mirror what is feared.

Protection becomes aggression. War is a place and a time when paranoia is normal. So the paranoid get listened to, respected and have a place. The opportunists can hide behind the paranoid to make money. When the fear dies down, they stir it up again to rake the coals into flames again because they cannot easily convert from wartime to peacetime business.

The conversion from wartime to peacetime operations cost more money, but have less political will behind it because the urgency is not there to be milked.

People will fight to feed their children. When people don't know what else to do to feed their children, they turn to violence because thinking gets the back seat when a child is starving.

I like the answer given by another person in this discussion:

"... as long as we all co-operate. That means that we won't demand a ridiculously high price for things that others need, and we won't just take something from others because it's cheaper to fight for it, than pay for it. We put the welfare of all as our top priority, and we won't try to oppress others until they have to go to war, just to get some kind of life."

We will have war as long as we have egos. Not the Freudian kind of ego, the existential kind. The kind of ego that sees everyone as a unique individual completely independent of every other ego. And the kind of ego that sees the source of all things as coming from "outside" in the world of things. The kind of ego that thinks that the answer to all problems comes from the "outside" of every person. So the material world is so completely mesmerizing, (Mesmer was a hypnotist) that we are hypnotized completely by it, with no light coming in from outside the perfectly square cube of the material world (a cube like a prison cell.)

A crack of light from the "inside" like a rose being seen for the first time, and we see the power of the other forces that create the material world to begin with. The pre-material world is invisible unless there are eyes to see it. This vision is necessary to peace.

The egos are children fighting over a toy. Peace is knowing all the other options to fighting over a toy.

If you can only see the one toy, you cannot see the complete abundance that is out there. And with visions of scarcity, no one believes in peace. If no one believes in peace, then this is the compete limitation of peace...not any other thing but this. All the soldiers in the world, (all the "peacekeepers") are not enough to bring peace if there is no belief in peace. Every single person on earth could be a soldier and it would not be enough.

The death penalty is "an eye for an eye." The world is a mirror. The deadly are killed. The death penalty didn't deter any of those on death row. To kill all those who have killed is just mirroring their action. To kill coldly, with precision and little emotion -- that describes most death row executions, and also often describes their crime. The only difference is that the executioner has seemingly more control over his actions at the time. And yet, he is being paid, and has almost as little say in the actual death and how it is done as the most senseless act done by a sociopathic perpetrator.

A quote from another friend:

"war is something else. It's not the primal, chaotic mayhem of actual combat. In concrete terms, war is what people choose to do because their other options are even worse. To provide them with some better options might lead to less of war. That takes work, not ideology. There is no mystery to what makes war and what prevents things getting to that point of decision. The mystery is how educated people with abundant knowledge at their fingertips will profess a love of peace while doing nothing actually to create alternative solutions to armed conflict.

Talking is a fun time. It is an ego thing. It is an expression of sentiment. It is the height of conceit and the ultimate form of moral impotence. Meanwhile, in many places, there are people whose actions speak louder than these empty words. They tend to the work of peace and grow solutions like a farmer grows food, and sometimes as a farmer growing food in fact, to feed people, so that deprivation does not predispose them to the rage for which war is a balm. There is no shortage of opportunity to support the preference for peace by working for it, but there is also no law saying you can't sit comfy on the sidelines having grand opinions and leave it at that."

Fighting war is not the same as creating peace. What you resist, persists. I like the visual of "growing peace." As has been said before, peace is not just the absence of war, it is a lifestyle and attitude of its own.
A vision of peace is better than any gun, but harder to buy and sell. And so if we "let the market decide" we will not have peace, because a dollar cannot see a vision. You can't sell a vision on Amazon, and if you did, it would be considered a scam.

A vision of peace should be free or it is for ransom, but war always has a price.

War is destruction of stagnation. It is change, and clears the table. It is a cruel easy way to start over. Peace is a balance of forces that allows for change that is more gradual and less risky to life. Construction and destruction must both exist. If destruction (reorganization) is impossible without violence, war will ensue.

"...People will always be fighting for their rights."

It is everyone's right to combine their actions with others to have rights, but the rights have to be agreed upon to be given without violence. We often don't know what rights we need or value or want, until violence or the threat of violence forces us to think about them.

I agree with this statement:

"...On one hand we have to recognize that further competition is necessary to culture what we are within. On the other hand we have to be sympathetic to the collective ideal that a less suffered competitive platform is valuable as well...."

Competition is great for improving skills, but compare and despair. Now that we have global means to see other ways of living in our own living rooms through the media, we are all at risk from people who compare their lifestyles with our own, despair of being respected, and will take violence as a path to rectification.

"As long as greed is in man's nature, war will be in his nature. There will always be a man/country "A" who will always want something man/country "B" has and will do whatever he has to to get it."

Greed is not a "nature" as much as a vice. Wanting to feed your family is not greed. Greed is a relative term. If money is power, and the greedy cannot be stopped from continuing to waste, corrupt and warmonger, then it is this that is the problem -- the control is in the hands of people who are in the grip of a vice. Money can't tell who is handling it. And so if money gravitates toward an unscrupulous person, then the unscrupulous actions will be rewarded. And rewarded over and over again. The money itself has no value system, yet we often treat people with money with more "respect" than people without money. And so the simplest way to gain "respect" and attention from others is to display a lot of money.

If we looked at people with money with the same critical eyes as those without money, we would see a different picture. If you take a person's money away (in your mind, see them as just a person with only generic clothes on their backs) do they "look" the same to you? Or do they seem less because their actions don't speak loudly for their character? If we were all to judge each other based on what the person's actions tell about them, and not about how much money (or power) they can bring to things, we might have a more just world. Because simply having money wouldn't buy respect anymore. This is what funds so many charities -- people with money making up for this difference in the way they act and are treated because of their money.

Greed is a tool of materialistic societies. Our country planned it this way. We capitalize on greed. We nurture greed. We feed on greed. This capitalistic system is supposed to work so that we can create wealth that we then put to good uses, even against our own natures. However, if we only do the first part (capitalize on greed) and not do the second, (put it to uses that benefit society and mankind as a whole) then we have failed entirely. Then we allow the greed to take over from its secondary place of generating wealth to the top place in our society, where greed, a snake without a guidance system in place...runs the show.

And this valueless thing, the dollar, profit, corporations with liability coverage, never does what is best for everyone, because it has no brain, no heart, no empathy. That we expect an inanimate process to rule our society is what causes war, because war is highly profitable. Human lives are "addicting."

Drug dealers give away addictive substances until the user is unable to function without the substance. Then he starts to charge for it. He can charge whatever he thinks you are able to earn, steal or beg from someone. He has control over your brain, your body, your talents, your resources, your family.

Family bonds are strong. If you threaten to take away a loved one, it works the same way. We are held hostage to our love for our families. If no one cared about anyone else, no one could be convinced to go to war and risk their life for someone else. So we are a lot less "self-serving" than we seem. If we put profit motives into this, we find that there is a price people are willing to pay. Then we have let the inanimate object/objective (money/profit) become in charge.

Money is simply a tool, like a gun. It is what we do with these things that determines everything. War is the result of money having power at a distance from the realities of life amongst real people. Every product, every service, every government, should be judged on how its existence, its trading, its movement in the world affects everyone involved. We can do this within countries (somewhat) but much less outside national boundaries. It seems, at the border, all the laws governing human behavior become lost. Nations can't seem to deal with each other with the same set of guidelines they use within their borders.

Third world countries learn to copy what was done to them when other countries came through and tried to control them. If we treat others callously, because they are far away, (out of sight, out of mind) and only the money passes between us, then we risk facing the same behaviors coming back to us later.

Peace. We have so many ways to manipulate human behavior. Advertising, marketing, movies, books, newspapers, propaganda... If we were to do as much for peace every day as we do to sell hamburgers and soda, we could have peace. Define peace, define success with peace, set a goal of peace, refuse to do non-peaceful things in this effort, and then practice it every day with a portion of our resources, and then check in real life to see that it is being done and not being corrupted.

We wait until war to value peace, and then we spend billions and billions on what we never wanted -- war. Those billions are rewarding warlike behavior. We must divert some of those billions to creating what we say we really wanted in the first place. Peace.

Green Energy - is there an economical way to get in on it?

The simplest way would be to sign up for a program through your energy company if you have one similar to ours in Wisconsin, called "Energy For Tomorrow." This program allows me to decide any percentage I want of my energy payment to be allocated to Green technology, such as solar, wind turbine and others.

This kind of program allows the energy company to do the work of deciding what is the most efficient use of Green dollar investment, and can use the combined money of many energy users to create capacity and build infrastructure that a single energy user could not.

You can advocate for your state to develop a program like this one if you don't already have something like it.

I like to think of Green energy in this way;
you can see your property as a single "unit." Everything coming onto your property is the "inputs" and everything leaving is the "output."

The money you make working determines any variations to the natural inputs and outputs, and you get to decide how to use your dollars to "vote" for what you want to influence in the economy. If you spend your money on an apple grown two states away with lots of agricultural inputs (like pesticides and artificial fertilizers) then you are "promoting" this type of business and trade. If you plant an apple tree, you get apples that 1. don't need to be transported from 2 states away, 2. don't need chemistry to help them to grow in a large scale monoculture (unless you apply it to your own apple tree.)

So, (inputs) your property gets sunlight, rainwater, ground water, wind and can grow things native to that area with little help. If the property was undeveloped and you just lived there under a tree and only ate what grew there, you would have the lowest possible carbon footprint, provided you didn't cut down all the trees for firewood and changed the ecosystem entirely. You could burn a dead tree, cut a few living trees but keep planting others, in other words, manage the ecosystem to keep it somewhat stable while including your presence. (Just like the other animals.)

As output, its everything you leave to others to deal with. Ideally, you minimize this as much as possible. You can produce energy for your neighbors by using your property to generate some kind of energy, and also gain income from this. Here, sustainability is the key. If you simply move in and cut down all the trees, dig up all the coal under the ground, drain the oil, and sell whatever can be sold, like the rocks (a quarry), the topsoil, and capture/kill the animals on it, then this is all non-renewable, because when its gone, its gone. If you generate pollution and waste that needs to be dealt with by your community through a municipal dump (storage), or air or water pollution, you are putting costs onto the community, as well as the environment. This includes if you produce food using toxins that later have health repercussions on others (your farm workers, those consuming your product, yourself and family.)

My local co-op has a zero garbage challenge. The idea is to commit to a certain period of time where you produce zero garbage that goes into a landfill. This is a fun exercise to try. Its very "eye opening."

You first carefully purchase only things that have minimal residual garbage left after its use. You use up the product to the end of its practical "lifespan." Then you re-use whatever you can that isn't used up. Then you recycle everything possible out of that. You compost anything that can be composted. What's left is your "garbage footprint." Some manufacturers will take back their products after its use and apply their resources to recycling or safely disposing of it. (For example, I know of a carpet manufacturer that takes back all of its used carpeting.) I got my output down to 1/5 what it was formerly, just by being conscious of what I was actually throwing away, and not buying things that I then would need to throw away.

Examples of sustainable outputs are energy generated through wind, solar, water and creative power. Food crops are sustainable if you take back the compost from your customers in some fashion (directly or indirectly.) Wind power is mostly sustainable if you re-use or recycle the turbines, minimise the impact on birds, ect. Water power is somewhat sustainable if you are careful to not block the entire waterway and prevent fish migration. As in a water wheel to power carpentry tools or for grinding grain used to be. Crafts you make can bring in cloth from others, that you make into a quilt, for instance, adding value to the materials, and sending the cloth input back out as a useful product, but making sure not to generate toxic waste during the production. Shipping your products very far away would not be as sustainable as selling them locally to your community.

I think there are many green things that people used to do that could be done again easily, but I think they simply went out of fashion.

For instance, my grandmother put all her laundry outside to dry in the sun. The sheets always smelled so good. She had a dryer, but preferred to line dry most of her laundry for this reason. The UV rays also provides some disinfection function. In my suburban neighborhood, you aren't allowed to line dry clothing because of the perception that it looks "tacky." I think it looks homey and sweet.

People used to compost everything. Pigs and chickens got a lot of it, and the rest helped the vegetable garden grow. The pigs and chickens "outputs" also contributed to the vegetable garden. You can buy nightcrawlers very cheap to use to turn kitchen scraps to top grade humus in a very small space -- a bin under the sink, in the garage, or in the basement. If you could have a "gentleman's farm" in your area, you could own a goat, which cut the grass for you, and get the side benefit of goat's milk. There is this cool, moveable chicken shed that houses a few chickens. When the chickens have left enough fertilizer on the ground (through the chicken mesh floor) the chicken coop is moved to another garden spot. The chickens eat the extra bugs.

Most homes had a cistern. They collected rainwater from what fell on the roof to use in doing laundry, housecleaning, watering the garden. You can buy large plastic rain barrels in my village from the township at cost and attach them to your downspouts, which lessens the amount of rainwater that ends up in our over-burdened sewer system. We have a local artist who paints them with interesting designs if you want that.

Almost everybody had a small kitchen garden, right outside the back door, where the cook could grab fresh herbs and salad fixings every evening, (lessening the need for taking vitamins -- most of the vitamins in fresh vegetables evaporate within hours, even refrigerated.) This lessens the need for refrigeration.

Most everyone had a root cellar, which was like a free refrigerator. In my area, the weather is cold enough most of the year to allow us to not need to use a freezer at all, yet everyone in our neighborhood has freezers that they pay to run all winter inside their heated homes. What a waste.

In girl scouts, (well, my church called it "Rangerettes") we learned to cook using the sun with reflectors. Lots of people used the sun to dry foods, which is probably the most natural preservative that exists. Saving a lot of chemical exposure.

Houses used to have very tall windows, with vents at the top. They used sun roofs, to get as much daylight and ventilation as possible, and many workplaces didn't even have artificial lighting. People went to sleep when the sun was down, and woke up when the sun came up, mostly. There is a lot of natural ventilation that is possible just from designing a home with the local breezes and topography in mind.

You can plant deciduous trees on the south side of your house for shade in the summer (trees that drop their leaves in the fall) and evergreens to the north for protection from the wind in the winter. You can change the temperature of your home up to 10 degrees this way. You can use a system of extremely fine mist to cool your patio without any fancy equipment, just using the natural cooling action of evaporation.

People used to travel "up north" in the summer, and go south for the winter, having two smaller homes instead of one large one.

People used to "use things up" instead of replacing them so quickly. They passed clothing from one person to another, some pieces becoming heirlooms. I have my grandmother's apron and wear it proudly. I have another grandparent's cast iron skillets (which will never be used up -- they will outlast me and four more generations...)

I make coffee and tea with a Melior pot. Also called a French Press. You put loose tea or ground coffee in it, pour boiling water in it, and use the press's filter when its ready to serve. No electricity required, and mine is so well made, it looks like new and is 12 years old. No waste, no paper filter is required, although you can add one for more refinement, but the ones that fit the melior are half the size of the other drip kind.

My favorite idea, that I hope someone will do someday, is to make gym equipment generate electricity. I went 3 miles on the eliptical trainer at my gym and I wish I could have converted that chemical energy into electricity to run the radio I was listening to. We all eat way too much (costing us energy in more ways than one) and then run like hamsters to work it off, producing nothing valuable with all that physical energy.

There is someone who invented a speed bump that generates electricity for a street light. Perhaps we can have stairways that move slightly each time we step on them, operating something else (a well water pump, for instance.) We have so much inventiveness, its a shame we have spent so many generations inventing things to use up fossilized energy so we can sell more of it to each other, instead of finding ways to get things done on site without having to sell or transport energy from one place to another. Sometimes the simplest and the low tech/high inventiveness solutions are the best.

A NASA engineer designed a sewage system that takes what comes out of a typical bathroom, runs it through a greenhouse, and produces clean water for a pond behind his house that he stocks with fish.

Pesto, GF/CF

Pesto (GF/CF)

Pasta Joy Gluten-Free Noodles
Fresh Broccoli, cut into bite sized pieces
Mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
Large bunch of fresh Basil
Pine nuts
Fresh Parsley
Fresh Garlic
Organic Olive Oil
Organic Butter
Humane certified, nitrate-free bacon, cooked crispy

Fry the bacon, crumble a few slices, set aside. Drain pan of bacon drippings, add a bit of butter and a teaspoon of olive oil, brown the mushrooms, set aside. Boil the pasta ten minutes, put the broccoli into a steamer on top of the pot.

Using a very sharp knife so the Basil doesn't turn brown, chop the Basil and parsley, dice the garlic, combine, chop up more together, chop the pine nuts, combine with the basil and garlic, chop some more, add salt, chop some more. Put into a large bowl. Add olive oil to cover, stir.

Put the cooked noodles into the bowl with the pesto and stir together until noodles are coated.
Serve topped with mushrooms, bacon bits.

Serve the steamed broccoli on the side.

GF = Gluten-Free (No Wheat)
CF = Casein-Free (No Dairy)

My Tuna Casserole Gluten-Free Recipe

Family Favorite Gluten-free Casserole Recipe:

Tuna Casserole


'Pasta Joy' Gluten Free rice noodles (we like the shell shape)
Tuna, fresh or large can
Small onion or one leek, chopped
One chopped stick of celery
One clove of garlic, crushed or diced
1 - 2 tablespoons of Lemon Juice (fresh is best)
1/2 teaspoon Dill
2 - 4 tablespoons of Mayonaise (make sure the label says gluten-free)
1 teaspoon Mustard
2 tablespoons of Olive oil
Sea Salt to taste
1/4 teaspoon of White pepper

Boil the noodles for 10 minutes, strain.
Saute the onion in the olive oil until it is almost browned, add the garlic, saute another minute or two.

Add the tuna if cooked, otherwise, remove the onions and garlic and saute the fresh tuna in the same oil until lightly cooked. Add the rest of the ingredients to the tuna. Mix all ingredients into the noodles.

* We use all organic ingredients.

Takes about 20 minutes to make.