Saturday, June 28, 2008

Patriotism - mixed reviews

Recently a close friend of ours commented to SH, " I admire your patriotism. I wish I could say I had more of it in me." It's been of recent that I am seeing an increasing questioning of this country we call the US of A. Some of it might stem from my generation growing up in a rare slice of time in history with relatively few major wars and in its place, an amazing time of prosperity. We are becoming removed from the men that fought to make our country what it is. We might be forgetting why we have the freedoms we have as time marches on and puts a larger and larger gap between the generations that fought and the generations that live in the wake of prosperity our country has. And now with this never-ending Iraq war, cynicism is on the rise for sure.

Anyway, such mixed emotions over the Love of Our Country are not happening in Texas (or the east coast or Southern states)...Red, White, and Blue, hard work, and love for our country are the pulse of these areas.

So, when the audience would not stop cheering as they rose to their feet when David was done performing, he decided to do a sneek preview of his latest release, "the Star Spangled Banner". It's been commissioned for him to play it tonight (Sat, June 28th) in Ft.Worth, before the fireworks to a crowd of about 250,000 people - but the crowd in Odessa, TX demanded more, so he delivered.

Within 5 notes, the entire crowd rose to their feet, put their hand on their heart and stood in solemn respect as he ripped this song out. Chills over my whole body formed as I sadly wondered if this would happen in parts of Oregon. Out of a desire to not offend the Muslim population at an elementary school in Portland, OR they decided to drop the Pledge of Allegiance from their end of the school year ceremonies. When I lived in Ecuador or my SH lived in Germany, it was neither expected from us or done by them, that they stop singing their National Anthems or Pledges of Allegiance to their country.

In a few hours, David will be playing the National Anthem for the Proud Americans in Ft. Worth, Texas at Celebrate Freedom. He is on a line up today with Skillet, Chris Rice, Jaci Valezquez, Kirk Franklin, Lincoln Brewster, David Crowder Band, Aaron Schust, and tons others with Luis Palau speaking - all coming together to celebrate their country and their God.

Why do you love the USA?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Notes from the Road - this time, Texas!!

Just got back from another show with David Klinkenberg. Right before the show, we spent time relaxing on this porch. Got so caught up chatting with Hence Barrow, that we forgot, for a second that we had a show to do!! We showed up to the theater at 7:15 - just in time for the 7:30 show, I suppose!!
Once again,we had the privledge of going to the heartland – the mighty state ofTexas. We were there, mainly to do a benefit concert for a batterdwomen shelter, but this time, I came away changed.

Our show was in a historic theater in Odessa, TX. Here is David, on stage. Obviously, I am missing from the piano - stage right - as I snuck off to take a few shots!
The sweet promoter that put the show on, had us lodge at her family's working dude ranch. I fell in love with the whole family, having the chance to drink sweet tea and eat Pearl's home cooking with Pearl, Calvert, Hence, Pat, Becky, George, and my brother - family used to spending many meals together. Here's the extremely large kitchen that hosts 20 to 30 cowboys and their families on many occasions. It's truly about families doing life together. Such a contrast to our independent nature in the NorthWest.As I listened to the stories of this family that has lived on this exact piece of property since the mid 1800s and slowly took time to study the pictures hanging on their walls of weatheredf aces that only begets wisdom, I longed to have time to talk with each of the men who have left a legacy of American work ethic, family values, and commitment that seems to be slowly fading in the American culture. Pictured here - Granddad Barrow. He was born in the current office of the house we stayed at and died, at age 97, 2 doors down the hallway from where he was born. Now that's what I call sinking your roots deep. He spent his years ranching, raising his family, supporting community, and volunteering in his Baptist church. He was a man of fun stories, lots of spunk using his hats 'till they about fell apart to the chagrin of his wife Thelma 'cause he "hadn't gotten all the use out of it yet!" and sunup to sundown work. At 95, he was still out riding, side by side with his sons and grandsons on his horse. Barn dances were made festive by his fiddle-playing and stories of the day. This man of hearty laughs, stories of the land, and a spirit that had him riding side by side with his living legacies almost 'till the day he died was only doing what his own daddy taught him on that same land. Henry Barrow, settled that land living out of his covered wagon, a tent, and a dugout until they built a house out of adobe bricks. In 1906, they traded that little ranch for the present day ranch in Ector County. As part of the trade, they acquired 222 head of cattle. Henry Barrow and his wife raised their 4 children - including Hence Barrow, pictured below, all the while keeping their Eyes fixed on His Maker.
What a legacy!!

The close-knit ranching community is a model for us all. It's a way of life I'd love to see in every neighborhood in America. Neighbors routinely combine efforts to get their massive tasks accomplished. A typical job of branding a neighbors herd, brings in cowboys from all nearby ranches, up by 4:30 am to beat the heat, with a hearty lunch prepared by the ladies of the ranches by 1:00 – serving 20 or so hungry cowboys, kids, and wives. Oh if I could be a fly on the wall at these festive occasions! The stories, the laughter, the comraderie!! Kids at the tender age of 6 are out riding side by side with daddy, learning the tough lessons of the land. One little guy said to his daddy, "Daddy, I am so hot!" to which Cowboy Daddy replied, "Son, we are all hot. Stand in my shade if you like, but there's work to be done!"
Turn-of-the century saddle - used in the Wild West shows of the 30s and used by Hence Barrow on the Barrow's ranches.
This Barrow ranch had purchased land through the years to have 3 full ranches operating. The one we stayed on was a small ranch for Texas– only 7500 acres. Since the land is so arid in Texas, ranchers are required to have 1 cow per 100 acres. Their other 2 ranches were 80 and 100 sections. Pause to define for all us non-land folk – a section is 640 acres!!
This littler ranch that we were on had 2 homes on it that had been lived in by Barrow folk since the turn of the century. Casually, Pat told of us of Granddad's fiddle. Like so many amazing artifacts on this property, it was apparently from Italy with a date stamped inside from 1595. David did some quick research, with a jittery heart of shock, to learn that it's either a paperweight or completely priceless, depending on if it's the real thing or simply a fake.
Other relics adorned their family museum that included an entire wagon, used by Grandpa Barrow and his father on that very ranch, some relics from the Civil War, old tools, kitchen gadgets and stoves from the turn of the century, worn out boots and Working Hats, saddles from th e1800s and early 1900s and many other Americano artifacts.
Their collection is a result of staying in one spot for 100 plus years. Their friendship and family connections run wide and deep, as they chose to stay put, invest their lives where God has them, and carry on in the ways of their forefathers, keeping one hand holding on to each other's and the other hand holding the hand of their Father God in Heaven.

This tarantuala greeted barefoot me on the porch one evening. My screams for help brought a cowboy running who saved the day!

Part 2 of my adventures in Texas coming soon!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Let's tribute Daddy's all Week!

Over at Blind Pig & The Acorn, Tipper did a great tribute to her daddy. You could add your tribute to your daddy on her site - click here.

Here's what I wrote on Tipper's Blog :

My 3 facts: 1. His life was not about his agenda, but about his kids agenda. Many hours spent together playing football, soccer, or swimming in the backyard with us. Our weekends were not about him, but were about us.
2. He is so gentle. My kids have not fallen asleep in anyone's arms, other than their parents, except for this gentle man.
3. He is a talker and a listner. Breakfasts at my daddy's house often bleed into lunch. We just sit around talking about everything, filling up the coffee cup, until the morning turns into afternoon.

My daddy quietly goes about his life, fixing anything that breaks, building anything that he can dream up, creating art in beautiful buckskin paintings, growing an abundance of flowers and veggies...most importantly, he's always there, unconditionally.

But what my daddy can't do, is manage to even get his radio to play intune!!

Monday, June 16, 2008

We have a winner!

My little PrincessSprout pulled out of the hat the name of our winner! Thank you all for playing along - it was quite fun to see your guesses and I was amused at how close you all really were.

So, drum roll please, our winner is

And the answers are:
1. Wish Bone Thousand Island Dressing
2. Hamburger Helper (mac & Cheese type)
3. Quaker Chewy Granola Bars, Raisin and Cinnamon
4. Campbell's Homestyle Vegetable soup

I chose these items as they are so common, and we readily eat them up, but if we truly considered what it is we are eating, we might choose to leave it on the shelf. In future posts, I hope to share with you research regarding many of the ingredients found on the labels of common foods with the hopes of helping us all achieve vibrant health. I'll post links to articles and summarize research that hopefully will help all of us learn more about why our every day foods are keeping many of us tired, battling colds/flus, and/or battling chronic diseases. As a mom, I know that I want to have vibrant energy for living each day out to it's fullest.

Thanks for playing! I will do it again!!

Friday, June 13, 2008

My Aha! Moment of the week - A Playful game of tag

The UnMentionable Moment and the Saga that surrounded that, prompted me to tag 8 of you to hear some of your Aha! Moments of The Week. We all have these moments - we are going along life, and then something happens that tugs our heart in a special way. Simple comments from a child or profound moments at a graduation ceremony, or maybe God sheds some light on a situation for you, or maybe.... All these moments shape us and if you'd be so kind, maybe you could share them with us.

Here's my Aha! Moment of the week

Yesterday, I drove through a quaint little tourist town near my home and saw a group of Red Hat Society ladies decked out with purple clothes and red hats and found myself giving them a quick honk - they all looked up and waived at me happily as we all waived at them, equally as enthusiastically. As I explained to the Sprouts who these women were, I began to tear up. "These women, have raised their kids, raised their puppies, done their hours of volunteering, potlucking, floor cleaning, roast making, diaper changing, and maybe even some loved-ones burying...and now they are free to just get together for the simple sake of Fun. They can break the rules, wear purple and red, stop all the endless To Do list accomplishing and just be together." I shed a happy tear for them - while I sped by with 2 small sprouts and a new puppy - me at the beginning of the journey, them in the middle of theirs - and I felt a kinship with them and an energy to savor my sprouts and my puppy, for some day, in a flash, I could be wearing a Red Hat, laughing at days gone by.

Your Aha! Moment of the Week
1. All right, here are the rules.
2. We have to post these rules before we give you the facts.
3. Players write their Aha! Moment Story and post it on their blog.
4. Players also post these rules and a link back to Pounding the Pavement (so I can read all of your stories!).
5. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Butterlies and gas

Get your entries in by Friday to win your very own CD!! Click on THIS LINK.

On the way to do the unmentionable (someday I might be able to divuldge my humerous, somewhat embarrassing, but heartwarming Saga Of The Week), I was super excited. I exclaimed to the kids, " I am so excited I have butterflies in my stomach!!"

PrincessSprout innocently saw a moment to teach mommy abit about the 'ole bod, "Hey mommy, that could give you gas."


"I have hearts in my stomach, just flowing out."

The next day I had post-Unmentionable-Event- Major- Second Doubts- Cold Feet- "Oh no, what have I done?!!" bats flying around in my stomach.

And that does cause gas.

What is your favorite Saga of the Week?

Monday, June 9, 2008

Giveaway for your thoughts!!

Know Your Ingredients, Quiz #1!
Extended deadline: Now you have until Sunday, June 15th at midnight, pacific time

OK - so I have been inspired to do some drawings and give aways here at pounding the Pavement!! We all like to get gifts, so here's your chance.

In the spirit of helping us all be more aware of what is innocently sitting on those grocery store shelves, I am going to give you 4 different ingredient lists to 4 different common foods.

If you leave your best guesses in the comment section of this post as to what they each are, I will enter you in a drawing to win your very own David Klinkenberg CD!! If I pull your name and you got one exactly right, you will win 2 of his CDs!! By the way, I just got word that his latest album is second most popular in the Christian Supply National stores, right under Kutlass!! Go David!!

Deadline is Friday, June 13th, midnight, Pacific Time.

Name This Product #1
Soybean Oil, high fructose corn syrup, water, pickle relish, vinegar, tomato paste, salt, dehydrated egg yolk, algin derivative and xanthan gum, mustard flour, natural flavors (MSG!!!), dehydrated onion, spice, calcium disodium EDTA

Name This Product #2
Enriched macaroni, dried cheddar cheese, corn starch, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, dried tomato, salt, buttermilk, sugar, hydrolyzed vegetable protein and other natural flavorings (MSG!!!), dried onion, dried corn syrup, disodium phosphate, dried garlic, sodium caseinate, citric acid, dipotassium phosphate, FD&C yellow No. 5, and other artificial color, sodium sulfite and BHA

Name this product #3
Rolled oats (with oat bran), rolled whole wheat, brown sugar, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil (soybean and/or cottonseed oil), nonfat dry milk, dried unsweetened coconut, oat bran, honey, corn syrup, raisins, crisp rice (rice, sugar salt, malt), brown sugar, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil again (soybean and/or cottonseed), corn syrup solids, glycerin, high fructose corn syrup, almonds, raisin juice concentrate, sorbitol, salt, cinnamon and cinnamon extractives, BHA (a preservative), citric acid (a stabilizing agent)

Name this product #4
Hint: often given to people when they are sick
Beef stock, carrots, tomatoes, potatoes, celery, peas, zucchini, green beans, cabbage, water, modified food starch, spinach, salt, vegetable oil (corn, cottonseed or partially hydrogenated soybean oil), dehydrated onions, yeast extract and hydrolyzed vegetable protein, high fructose corn syrup, monosodium glutamate (MSG!!!), beef fat, caramle color, natural flavoring, dehydrated garlic and oleoresin paprika

Post your comments on this post by Friday for your chance to win!!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Chapter 2 - SH down for the count

I'd like this blog to inspire anyone who reads it to realize the power of lifestyle changes to improve your health, your mood, your mind, and even your Spirit! It's just the stuff I've seen in action, and it started with SH. Each weekend I will try to post another "chapter" of my pamphlet and during the week, there will be a smattering of things from recipes to family moments.

Since Jan 2005, all 4 of us in our little sprouting family have suffered from different ailments. All common ailments, really, but unacceptable when you know what good health feels like. I spent my 20s never hardly even getting a cold, never having to stop plans due to being under the weather, just getting to seize each day to its fullest. This began to end around Jan 2005 when the started after StudHusband did not treat a strep throat infection.

Actually, it started before that. Years of wrong eating and other toxic practices kept building up until the final straw in Nov, 2004 began to add the final effects. There's only so much the liver can handle before it is filled and can't do it's job too well. In Nov, SH decided my $500/month expenditure on food was obviously too much and that he would masterfully show me how to spend quite a bit less. For 2 months in a row, he performed his magical shopping prowess and spent about half of what I had been spending. He stuffed our fridge and freezer full of whatever he found in Canned Food Outlet - suddenly my freezer contained corn dogs, my cabinets were stocked with Top Ramen and Mac 'n Cheese. The fruit bowl was brimming with 2 apples and a banana and the veggie draw in the fridge contained a cucumber.

Welcome to the SAD diet. The Standard American Diet. It's cheap, in the short run. The combination of chemically laden food, high sugar, low vegtables, and the Holiday Season onslaught of sugar meant that his body was finally done. It could no longer handle another thing. So the first sign of it's inability to fight back was his contraction of strep. Strep is around us all the time, and it's certainly around SH all the time - he's a TEACHER!! But this year, his body gave in. He didn't deal with the strep throat and then his body erupted in a full body rash that we thought was scarlet Fever. It actually was a full body explosion of psoriasis. I am talking every inch of his body itched and burned in an inflamed rash like explosion.

He went from StudHusband to non-functioning husband. Doctors said what they always say, "here's some drugs, but be warned, you will never get rid of this. This is the new you". They had him on a slippery drug path of needing stronger and stronger drugs to try to help him cope. Eventually, he'd be needing a weekly visit to the dermatologist for light therapy. Then he would need drugs so strong that he'd need monthly liver biopsies. So, therapy would clearly shorten his life, even though psoriasis itself wouldn't. Now we were spending hundreds and hundreds of dollars on prescription strength creams and doctor visits per month.

He did use some low level steroid creams in the beginning just to survive until his internal cleanup could take effect. This became our focus. He discovered Dr. Pagano's work. A chiropracter on the east coast who has devoted his practice to tough psoriasis/excema cases. With few exceptions, what he teaches works, but it's not easy.

His book in detail describes the importance of cleaning up the internal systems of the body, and of course, despite what the doctors said that food doesn't matter, food is the key. In Jan the rash first showed up, by June we were in Cape Cod and StudHusband was returned to his rightful throne of studness - no signs of psoriasis, the disease that dermatologists assured him was incurable and not related to what he was eating. The skin is one of the body's many mechanisms for ridding the body of toxins. Those that suffer with psoriasis or excema simply have a body that is stressed and using the skin as a way to get what it can out of the body. It's the red flag that something is wrong. Many of us don't have this little warning system. My body never seems to use my skin as a signal to me - it suffers in total silence. Really StudHusband
is blessed to have this little red flag system - any time he starts to get a little toxic, his body will develop a little spot now of psoriasis. He just gets a little stricter on what he's eating and it disappears quickly.

Tune in later this week for details of what we did. Beneficial for so many problems that we all face, not just skin issues...including reducing the number of pesky colds you might suffer from.

Since StudHusband did the internal cleansing that year, he has had maybe 1 tiny little cold. The years of bronchitis (12 years straight of bronchitis every year) are gone and his system is strong enough now to keep him going hard all year, despite going to work in a giant germ cesspool. We do spend $800 to $1200 on food but hardly ever see a doctor. The net result is more money than we have had in years as we don't have the huge medical drain on our budget any longer.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Rich cheddar sauce - Raw and yummy

If you actually read that last ridiculously too long post, I wish I could give you a blog award. The point of the article was simply that God's sunshine is good for us. Studies are coming out linking lack of Vitamin D (the vitamin produced in your body when in the sun) to all kinds of diseases, including cancer. Yet we slather up with chemically infused sunscreens that put cancer causing toxins into our body (all things on the skin enter the body) stopping the rays that help create the vitamin D but doing little to stop the rays that are linked with cancer. The key - don't get burned, but enjoy your sun!!

Overview on the importance of sun exposure to reduce your risks of cancer:

Why you should trash your sunscreen:

In light of a super long post last time, we'll keep this one short and sweet. Today is a raw recipe that again, utilizes stuff of the earth, not processed food that your body doesn't know what to do with. Eating "Raw" just means you eat food that's just that - raw. So, the only kinds of foods that I am willing to eat this way are fruit, veggies, nuts, and seeds. There are some that eat their meat and dairy raw too. I'd drink raw dairy if I could get my hands on it, but that's for another day. Here's a blog that has lots of info about raw living.

Raw is great for those of us who avoid dairy as there are lots of mock dairy recipes that allow me to eat cheddar cheese, cheesecakes, chocolate mousse, and fudge and it's totally based on fruit, veggies, nuts and seeds!!

These foods contain such a rich blend of nutrients that they have the power to heal you. So eat your yummy cheese dip, all along keeping your eyes and heart focused on the Healer, the Great Physician, the brilliant mastermind behind the creation of all these incredible foods!

Here's the great Cheese dip Recipe. Much better then chemically induced onion dip made from a prepackaged powdered dip mix.

1 large red bell pepper
1/4 C water
3/4 to 1 C raw cashews (or sunflower seeds or almonds)
1 T Raw Tahini (sesame seeds ground up 'till they turn into a Peanut butter type consistency)
3 T Nutritional Yeast *Brewer's yeast (Optional)
1 1/2 t seasalt
2 t onion powder
1 clove garlic
2 T lemon juice

Blend it all up until creamy. Add water if it is too thick.

Dip crackers and veggies and enjoy! Can also be a spread on a sandwich. or use with raw pasta (made out of any squash, like zucchini - really yummy!)

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Your light bulb will soon be illegal!

Dr. Mercola has lots of great info.
This article is from his website - full article in the link above. It's quite long - just skim it to get the idea that SUN is good, our light bulbs are not, and this new full-spectrum bulb is a good happy medium. Your incandescent light bulbs will be illegal by 2012 so why not start early getting bulbs that are healthier for you and can reduce energy costs by about 70%!!! StudHusband utilized the sun to overcome his health issues a few years ago. Here's to good health and sunny days!!

Ladies and gentlemen,

Very shortly, you’ll be witness to the actual turning of a page in history. You’ll see something you’ve taken for granted every day of your life, slip slowly into the mist of the past.
I’m talking about the common, run-of-the-mill, everyday light bulb.
Earlier this year, Congress passed a bill that will literally outlaw the use of old-fashioned incandescent light bulbs.
A recent news release stated that the new law is part of a massive governmental energy-saving program that will completely phase out the use of those energy-gobbling incandescent light bulbs by the year 2014.
That’s right, starting in 2012 it will actually be against the law to use regular incandescent light bulbs.
You might be wondering what on earth the government is up to now – going after a light bulb?
I admit, it does sound pretty radical, but think abut this…
Once the change is in effect, the boost in energy efficiency and savings will be at the very least a whopping 70% overall!
And what does that mean for you?
A 70% decrease in energy use translates into huge savings on your utility bill. Plus, it’s very good for the environment overall.
That’s a win-win for you -- and the environment.
So, the first to go will be the 100-watt bulb. And the transition will continue until the last 40-watt bulb is replaced in 2014.
That’s just a little over 5 years!
And the best part yet is…

You’ll Be Able to Get More Health Benefits from Sunlight…
They probably don’t even know it -- but the government is practically making it a law for you to get more of the healing benefits of sunlight into your life.
In moderation, sunlight improves your immunity, prevents disease, increases intelligence, stimulates your metabolism, and boosts your energy level.
Specifically, the full spectrum of the sun's light rays has been shown in medical and scientific studies to:
Positively influence your risk of getting sick (there is a preponderance of evidence suggesting that decreased sun exposure is closely related to your risk of acquiring the flu, a common occurrence particularly during the colder months).
Lower your blood pressure (in fact, the farther from the equator you live, the higher your blood pressure).
Even help babies sleep better at night (this is great news for you parents out there).
The problem is that getting adequate sunlight isn't easy these days. Most of us suffer from "sunlight starvation." We all need about one hour of unfiltered sunshine each day. Unfortunately, the majority of us don't even come close to receiving that amount.

Are You Getting the Unfiltered Sunlight You Need?

Did You Hear the Latest about Light Bulbs?
A new law is set to ban the sale of incandescent light bulbs, due to concerns about energy costs and greenhouse gases. Yet, light bulb manufacturers admit that typical compact fluorescents are at best a temporary fix, because they contain mercury, emit hazardous EMFs, and few recycling centers accept them.

Gloomy days, clouds, and rain obstruct the sun's healing rays and dampen your mood.
And of course, you probably spend too much of your time indoors, with poor incandescent or fluorescent lighting, sometimes even without windows. And windows themselves (even eyeglasses) block some of the 1500 wavelengths present in sunshine from reaching your retina and nourishing your brain and body.
Furthermore, your children and grandchildren spend their days in unhealthy, dully-lit classrooms.
Moreover, sunlight-blocking air pollution and haze permeate most metropolitan areas ... all year long.
And to add to all this, you may have been brainwashed by prevailing medical "wisdom" into fearing (and avoiding) the sun. Slathering on toxic sunscreen. Wearing sunglasses whenever you're outside. Worrying about deadly melanomas, a skin cancer wrongly blamed on even moderate sun exposure.

You know I’m fond of any natural therapies that are simple, inexpensive, and address the underlying causes of disease. Well, it's hard to get more basic than sunshine. And light itself, including both the sun's rays and genuine full spectrum lighting, is the most natural element that I know of.
As Easy as Screwing in a Light Bulb

You know I am fond of any natural therapies that are simple, inexpensive, and address the underlying causes of disease. Well, it's hard to get more basic than sunshine. And light itself, including both the sun's rays and genuine full spectrum lighting, is the most natural element that I know of.

Sunlight's Long Legacy of Healing
You may find it interesting to know that sunlight has an ancient legacy of healing. Prehistoric tribes and entire civilizations revered and worshipped the sun for its healing properties. Using light to treat medical conditions (both physical and mental) came to be known as heliotherapy -- thousands of years ago. This was the precursor to the therapeutic use of full spectrum lights.

In fact, both Hippocrates and Pythagoras wrote about the many benefits of sunlight to promote healing. One Greek city, Heliopolis, was well-known for its temples of healing sunlight.
Herodotus, the "father of heliotherapy", wrote that exposure to the sun is necessary to help people overcome failing health. In winter, spring and autumn, Herodotus recommended that the patient should permit the rays of the sun to strike full upon him; in summer, this method should be used moderately because of excessive heat.

Surprisingly perhaps, this isn't so different from what I and other holistic medical practitioners recommend now -- thousands of years later. Only now, we have the option of supplementing natural sunshine indoors with pure full spectrum lighting.

And even better: now we can offer you these full spectrum light bulbs affordably. But you must act quickly, because our shipments have a tendency to sell out rapidly (it’s happened several times before) .

By the way -- I have personally used full spectrum lighting for seven years now, and can honestly say that they have provided an enormous boost in my ability to tolerate the often gloomy days where I live (near Chicago).

In fact, I have my entire home lit with these full spectrum light bulbs. Sometimes, during particularly gray days, my home is the only one in the neighborhood that glows with bright, blue-white light -- not the sickeningly drab yellow light that comes from incandescent bulbs ...
So why all this fuss over light bulbs anyway, and what the heck is full spectrum lighting? You'll understand after reading about all the amazing benefits you will get from these one-of-a-kind full spectrum lights.

Benefits like:
Improved mood
Enhanced mental awareness, concentration and productivity ...
Superior visual clarity and color perception ...
Better sleep ...
Super-charged immune system ...
More energy ...
Reduced eye strain and fatigue with a glare-free and comfortable reading environment ...
Greater learning ability and intelligence ...
Sunlight Starvation Starts in Your Brain
To begin with, when light enters your eyes, it not only goes to your visual centers enabling you to see; it also goes to your brain's hypothalamus.

The hypothalamus is so important to the body's functioning that it is known as the brain's brain. This means that it controls the part of the nervous system regulating automatic and metabolic processes in the body. The hypothalamus controls body temperature, hunger and thirst, water balance and blood pressure. It links the nervous system to the endocrine system.
Additionally, it controls the body's master gland, the pituitary, which secretes many essential hormones. The hypothalamus initiates the body's stress response, affects our emotions and controls immune functions.

Significantly, our "body clock" is also housed in tiny centers located in the hypothalamus. Our body clock-controlled circadian rhythms are the 24 hour cycles of light and darkness.
These light-sensitive rhythms are not an invention of modern society. They are biological constructs imposed upon us by Mother Nature.
Consequently, anything that disrupts these rhythms (like inadequate sunlight) has a far-reaching impact on our body's ability to function.
This explains why, since sunlight has been shown to be the most effective regulator of the body clock, it is also the quickest method of recovering from jet lag. (Or you can supplement sunlight with full spectrum lighting indoors.)
But it gets even more interesting. In 1998, scientists found that they could reset the body clocks of study subjects by shining bright lights onto the back of their knees. This demonstrates that areas of the skin are significantly affected by light, just like the retinas of our eyes. This led researchers to conclude that the body may have more than one body clock, although the eyes still seem to be the main route by which the circadian system senses light.
So why the anatomy lesson?
Well, the body clock control centers in the hypothalamus are also connected to the pineal gland, which is considered the body's light meter. The pineal gland secretes the important hormone melatonin.
Melatonin, the "hibernation hormone", increases with decreased light, which explains that tired feeling that comes on when it begins to get dark outside -- even if it is only 4 o'clock in the afternoon. And it also explains why decreased melatonin is found in those with insomnia (and why full spectrum light is beneficial for healthy sleep).
Conversely, serotonin, the brain hormone associated with mood elevation, rises with exposure to bright light, and falls with decreased sun exposure. This has been proven by many scientific studies, including one reported in the well-respected medical journal Lancet in 2002. This study measured blood levels of serotonin, finding that production of serotonin by the brain was directly related to the duration of bright sunlight.
This has been proven by many scientific studies, including one reported in the well-respected medical journal Lancet in 2002. This study measured blood levels of serotonin, finding that production of serotonin by the brain was directly related to the duration of bright sunlight.
What's more, full spectrum lighting has even more benefits...
Improve Your Performance at Work and Home With Full Spectrum Lights
Sadly, antiquated fluorescent lights are still the norm in the average work setting, the place where most Americans spend half their lives. Studies have shown that poor lighting in the workplace triggers headaches, stress, fatigue and strained watery eyes, not to mention inferior work production.
Conversely, companies that have switched to full spectrum lights report improved employee morale, greater productivity, reduced errors and decreased absenteeism.
Naturally, if you own your own business, I would certainly recommend a complete switch to full spectrum lighting throughout the workplace for those reasons noted above. In fact, that's exactly what I have done in my own office. Now all my employees have the benefit of full spectrum lights for their good health, mood and productivity.

As a consequence, you will certainly have decreased eye strain and fatigue with less glare while working in front of your computer monitor -- this has been just one of the great benefits that I can personally attest to.
Those who work at home -- as well as those who just want the healthiest home environment possible -- can enjoy all the benefits of natural balanced sunlight indoors by switching to Mercola Healthy Home full spectrum lights. Better health, better mood, better productivity, and better energy ...
By the same token, those who enjoy hobbies such as sewing, drawing, or crafts like scrapbooking will notice a decrease in eye strain (and the tight muscles that go with it) ... and find the improvement in color clarity and vibrancy quite obvious while working under natural full spectrum lighting.
Equally important, older individuals generally require more light than those who are younger, just to perform the same tasks comfortably. In fact, one study concluded that workers over age 50 required twice the light level of young adults for comfortable work.
So, it certainly stands to reason that our aging population -- especially baby boomers and retirees -- have eyes which are seriously challenged by poor lighting.

Your Children's Teachers Will Thank You
In a similar fashion, with full spectrum lighting, your children and grandchildren will be able to read, learn, study and do their homework much more effectively at home. In fact, studies of the use of full spectrum lighting in classrooms and schools overwhelmingly demonstrate positive effects on learning performance and achievement.
Pioneer light researcher (and full spectrum light inventor) Dr. John Ott first coined the term "malillumination" to describe sunlight deficiency and the harmful effects of typical cool-white and pink-colored fluorescent light on learning, behavior, health and longevity.
Even back in 1980, scientists reported that cool-white fluorescent lighting produced increased levels of the stress-producing hormones ACTH and cortisol. They noted that their findings explained the agitated mental and physical behavior of children sitting all day under artificial lights, and recommended a change to illumination similar to that of natural light.
Dr. Laurence Martel, President of the National Academy of Integrative Learning, Inc., believes that light, particularly full spectrum light, is a critical element in what he calls the ergonomics of learning. As he puts it, malillumination is to light what malnutrition is to food.
Dr. Martel references a large body of research evidence indicating that the cool-white fluorescent bulbs found in virtually all classrooms cause increased stress, hyperactivity, anxiety, fatigue, irritability, attention problems and poor learning performance.
Because of this, he coined the term "posillumination" to refer to the simulated sunlight found in full spectrum lighting. He states that there is an overwhelming body of research showing its positive impact on human behavior, learning, health, hardiness and longer life.
According to the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, poor lighting is one of the major environmental dangers at school that our children are subjected to. This journal cited studies showing the positive benefits of "daylighting" or creating classrooms with full spectrum lighting.
In one study done in a North Carolina school, children attending classes with full spectrum lighting vs. traditional lighting were healthier overall, attended school several more days per year, and exhibited more positive moods. And a California school study showed that students in classrooms with more natural lighting demonstrated faster progression in both math and reading tests.
And students aren't the only ones noticing benefits in the classrooms. Teachers have reported more energy, elimination of headaches and decreased frustration when classrooms have been fitted with full spectrum lights.
Unfortunately, unless you are a wealthy philanthropist, you may not be able to upgrade your child's school to full spectrum lighting. However, you can upgrade your child's home learning environment to promote the highest level of functioning possible by replacing lights in your home and, especially, your child's study area with full spectrum light bulbs.
Pets and Plants Need Full Spectrum Light Too
Just like you, your pets need adequate sunlight -- and will derive much the same benefit from Mercola Healthy Home full spectrum lighting in your home. With veterinarian bills rivaling the cost for our own medical bills, boosting their health is an extra bonus of using full spectrum light ... and just makes good sense.
Similarly, plants also grow better under full spectrum lights. Obviously, plants depend on quality light for their growth -- just like we do. Relying on sunlight coming through windows during part of the day is not adequate. Add to this other factors such as air pollution, cloudy weather, and dirty windows (or no windows) and you can easily see how the addition of full spectrum lighting will make your green thumb even greener.
What Makes A Light Full Spectrum?
I apologize in advance if this gets a bit technical. However, as a consumer, you are owed all the facts so that you can make informed choices, especially with such important issues about your health and well-being -- wouldn't you agree?
First of all, you should consider these key points:
In order to achieve natural balanced sunlight INDOORS, your light bulbs must contain a full spectrum of color (imagine all the colors of the rainbow).
Additionally, true full spectrum lighting must contain infrared (IR) and ultraviolet (UV) wavelengths. (The hazards of UV have been vastly exaggerated -- moderate levels of UV are not only safe, but essential for good health.) Mercola Healthy Home full spectrum light bulbs contain all these essential ingredients (full color spectrum, IR and UV) to help you receive the complete balanced complement of natural light.
Third, there is no such thing as an incandescent full spectrum light bulb (despite what some unscrupulous sales people might tell you). Inexpensive neodymium bulbs touted as "full spectrum" lights will not give you the health benefits of true full spectrum, and are consequently no bargain.
And fourth, fluorescent bulbs are the ONLY type of bulbs that currently produce complete and healthy full spectrum lighting. But, as you will see, not all fluorescent bulbs are the same ...
There is some terminology you need to be aware of to really understand why Mercola Healthy Home bulbs are TRUE full spectrum lights ... and why many bulbs on the market are not.
Two terms you should understand are Correlated Color Temperature (CCT) and Color Retention Index (CRI).
Correlated Color Temperature is a scale used to describe temperature in degrees Kelvin (abbreviated as 'K'). The CCT rating for a lamp is a general indication of the warmth or coolness of its appearance. As CCT increases, that means the appearance of the source light has shifted from reddish-white toward bluish-white; in other words, the higher the color temperature, the cooler the color appearance.
Now, this may seem counter-intuitive -- we want to believe that bluer light sources have a lower or "cooler" color temperature, and that yellow light sources have a higher or "warmer" color temperature. However, the exact opposite is true.
Lamps with a lower color temperature (3500K or less) have a warm or reddish-yellow to orange-white appearance. Saturated in red and orange wavelengths, the light brings out warmer colors such as red and orange more richly.
Lamps with a mid-range color temperature (3500K to 4100K) have a neutral or white appearance. The light is more balanced in its color wavelengths.
Lamps with a higher color temperature (4100K or higher) have a cool or bluish-white appearance.
So don't be confused: summer sunlight at noon on a clear day has a very cool appearance at about 5500K. The light is saturated in green and blue wavelengths, bringing out cooler object colors such as green and blue more richly.
This color temperature of 5500K is exactly the temperature found in Mercola Healthy Home full spectrum light bulbs, making them comparable to mid-day sun, the time of day when the sun has its highest "photobiotic" activity.
The other term you should understand, the Color Rendering Index or CRI, describes how a light source makes the color of an object appear to human eyes; how well subtle variations in color shades are revealed. CRI is expressed as a rating from 0 to 100; the higher the CRI rating, the better its color rendering ability.
Imagine two objects, one red and one blue, which are lighted by a cool light source with a low CRI. The red object appears muted while the blue object appears a rich blue. Now take out the low CRI light source and put in a cool light source with a high CRI. The blue object still appears a rich blue, but the red object appears more like its true color.
One common misconception is that color temperature and color rendering both describe the same properties of the lamp. You can see from the above descriptions that this is not the case. Color temperature describes the color appearance of the light source and the light emitted from it. Color rendering describes how well the light demonstrates colors in objects.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Clara Bar Mock Recipe

Part 2 of Chapter 1 is coming soon!! This book I am writing will have many recipes as well interspersed throughout it. So anytime you check in to visit, you could get more chattering or you might just get a great recipe for living!

Clara Bars - awesome power bars for keeping you active!!

¾ c soft or soaked dates
¼ c sunflower seeds
1 c walnuts
1 c almonds
1/3 c coconut flakes
¼ c flax seeds, ground
¼ apple cored and chopped
2-3 T cacao powder
¼ c blue agave
¼ c honey (I omit this – too sweet for me)
½ tsp. vanilla
¼ tsp sea salt
Place nuts and seeds in food processor and pulse chop until everything is well ground, but with chunks remaining.
Add all other ingredients and blend until well combined. Shape into “bars” and place on Teflex sheets and dehydrate at 115 degrees for 8-10 hours. (Or do it in your oven at the lowest temp you can do it at.)

Monday, June 2, 2008

A moment for Princess Sprout

A few weeks ago I was horrified to discover a huge chunk of PS's hair missing in action. Her glorious blond crowning glory had been snipped off by the hands of a little curious PS who "wanted to see what her hair felt like when it wasn't attached to my head." THE SAME!! I could have spared you the experiment!!

I tried to use various means to cover up the sin - bandannas, rubber bands, barretts - but invariably, it would fall out and expose the truth. Her scraggly appearance had to come to an end, it was time to visit the salon.

So today, PS has been transformed into a little pixie. "Don't worry mommy, " she said, giggling under her kid cape as she sat on the chair at the salon, "You don't have to cry mommy, it'll grow back!"

She easily had 10 1/2 inches to share, so we asked them to donate it to Locks of Love: to be used to make a wig for a child without hair. In the end, the thought that her beautiful blond hair would be used in this way dried up all my tears.

Way to go little sprout!! You look like a kindergartner now!! She loves it!! I miss the long blond hair of yesterday but I must admit, this cut fits her spunky personaltity!