Monday, April 27, 2009

Food, Inc. - the movie

Please see the movie "Food, Inc." It places an unpalatable plate of facts in front of you that you will have a hard time stomaching the next time you wheel through a supermarket.
  • It's time we learn about the way our food is grown, processed, and distributed.
  • It's time we take a long hard look at the food we consume and buy for our families.
  • It's time to change the way we look at the "food industry" and demand something different - for our bodies, for our environment, and for our food producers.
As Josh always tells me, "vote with your dollar. That is the best way to be heard." What great advice. :)

Taken from the TakePart website:

About the Film
How much do we really know about the food we buy at our local supermarkets and serve to our families?

In Food, Inc., filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the veil on our nation's food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that's been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of our government's regulatory agencies, USDA and FDA. Our nation's food supply is now controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, the safety of workers and our own environment. We have bigger-breasted chickens, the perfect pork chop, insecticide-resistant soybean seeds, even tomatoes that won't go bad, but we also have new strains of e coli--the harmful bacteria that causes illness for an estimated 73,000 Americans annually. We are riddled with widespread obesity, particularly among children, and an epidemic level of diabetes among adults.
Featuring interviews with such experts as Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation), Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma) along with forward thinking social entrepreneurs like Stonyfield Farm's Gary Hirshberg and Polyface Farms' Joel Salatin, Food, Inc. reveals surprising -- and often shocking truths -- about what we eat, how it's produced, who we have become as a nation and where we are going from here.

I couldn't have said it better myself. Another great local resource for local, sustainable food:

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Amy Taylor: a lesson on mindful gratitude

"Why am I thankful to be alive?... ... ...Let me ask that again, because its not an easy question to answer... ...Why am I THANKFUL to be A-L-I-V-E?"

This is the question that was posed my Amy Taylor to a group at the Taylor Family Benefit J, K, and I attended on Saturday. This question has been resonating in my mind ever since that night.

A question that Amy, a beautiful woman about my age, asks herself everyday. You see, Amy lives her life with passion and mindfulness. She taught us all a lesson on living "love", having endless patience for those you love, and just "being" in the moment. And being reverant to the miracle that we are here.

Living a life of gratitude and living a life of mindfulness are things that I believe every human aspires to do. Amy truly lives this way - and it is magical to watch. And she calls others to come awake, and live this way also. Can you imagine what the world would be like if we reminded ourselves to think everyday about what we are greatful for?

Amy, you have given me a gift by watching how you live. Thank you.

Today, on Thanksgiving, I honor you, Amy. I honor your beautiful heart and spirit. I honor your husband Warren, who loves you to no end and in ever present as your knight. I honor your children, Arbor and Bella, and the beautiful and free hearts you have taught them to love with.

Happy THANKSGIVING to you all! I'm thankful for each and everyone of you. Much love!

Thursday, October 16, 2008


I stumbled upon a really cool site that is about the "call for a paradigm shift in the way we think about the world and human relationships. We believe that a nonviolent world is possible and we strive to provide a forum for envisioning the world in this way."

I love that mission statement. How cool that some people take enough time and thoughtfulness to promote something they feel passionate about so selflessly, in hopes of sharing an idea - making a difference. What better cause than promoting a Peace-filled existence.

I am a peace lover, and a peace advocate. Though, when I really stop to think about it, I am a pretty passive advocate of peace. I don't knock on doors, put signs in my yard or bumper stickers on my car, or really put myself in a socially uncomfortable situation to promote what I believe in. Why are we so afraid to talk about potentially socially uncomfortable things?

I've often thought of getting involved in promoting peace as a sustainable world view in a more active way. Maybe that will be my next personal goal... Have any ideas for me?

“Be the change you want to see in the world.” Mahatma Gandhi

Monday, August 4, 2008

Naturally Sweet

My newest favorite site where "green" & "organic" meets "sweets". Debra, honey - you are speaking my language!

In my quest to live as organic as possible, with careful thought to sustainability...I am now discovering a way to bake away to my hearts content with no remorse. I will never give up sweets, only make them with more care and more of Mother Nature.

Coming out of the oven tonight - Chocolate Orange Zucchini Bundt (Sweetened with evaporated cane sugar)...ummmmm naturally delish!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

donate life...donate love

I watched a staggering documentary on organ donation, organ trade and the ethics and issues surrounding the statistics on transplant lists in the US. Here are some facts:
  • About 95,000 American's are on the list, waiting for an organ.
  • Fewer than 1/2 of the 95,000 will receive the organ they so desperately need to live.
  • Everyday, 18 people die waiting from lack of available organs for transplant.

This off-balance supply and demand relationship has created a dark and seriously unethical "body part" trade on the black market in less developed nations. There are stories all over the world...

A woman in rural India, sold one of her kidneys in a move to hinder the crippling poverty she and her son live in. She was then betrayed by the body parts broker, and only collected less than 20% of the money promised to her. Her young son, now is suffering from jaundice and kidney failure. She doesn't have a kidney to spare.

China, the worlds leader in executions, recently admitted to harvesting organs for sale or trade or recently executed prisoners. Without consent of the prisoner or their family. Who is profiting off of this? Hmmmmmm...

American's are flying abroad to receive transplants in 2nd or 3rd world nations, because there aren't enough organs donated stateside. This impacts the unethical trade and harvesting demand abroad; while certainly affecting the availability of transplant to natives in need in those countries.

Click here for more information on organ donation or find out what it takes to become a donor. I have always had "donor" listed on my license, but found out that I should also have my name on the donor registry for the state of MN. I urge you to look into it, put some thought into it...

Stories of hope for people who have received donations here.

Give life. Give love.

P.S. For the record, when I die, please take all that you can use, and cremate the rest. Peace out!

Monday, March 10, 2008


I feel like doors are opening themselves to me. 2008 is going to be a good year, a year of surprises, and manifestation of "me". For years, I've struggled with considering of all the possibilities of life, and how to allow life to unfold and reveal itself to me. I'm starting to feel like I've hit my stride on this new path. A path where all of the possibilities are exciting, and I truly believe that anything can happen. The beginning of a mind shift - to see things in a new light that impact my spirituality, career path, relationships, and the way I live, think, and create daily.

I create what I see.
The world around me is a reflection of self.

It might sound crazy, but its true. Words of wisdom for all the ages that I have been reading and hearing about, albeit now - living these words.

A short writing on Manifestation:
The art of manifestation involves visualization, adaptation and persistence. It also requires the participation of others. To take something from a mere thought to an existing entity requires many steps. Along the way there may be roadblocks or challenges to overcome. Others may place barriers in your way, or you may sabotage yourself. As thoughts become words become actions, opportunities to give up or change direction will surface. To truly manifest you must continually add to your creation until it is done. Otherwise it will not get done.

There are many reasons that my vision may fail. There are just as many reasons that my vision can succeed. As we follow the path of manifestation, we must recognize new input and adjust accordingly. With good intention and persistent activity, a mere thought can become reality.
Copyright 2008 Glenn Stewart Coles

A dear friend, let's just call her "Lovikins", challenged me on a hike early this winter to put myself in the place I want to be. A friendly kick in the pants, if you will. Thank you, Lovikins. 11-08-08, baby!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Meditation class

I went to an introductory class on embodied meditation last night. Meditation is always something that I have been curious about, and have tried in different forms for many years. The practice of meditation exists in unison with mindfulness, or living mindfully.

And those who know me best, know that my mind is NEVER silent - commonly referred to as the "monkey mind". My goal in meditation is to find calm, balance, and to learn to call my mind back to the present moment.

Meditation isn't about thinking of nothing - it is about staying with the breath and staying in the present. Acknowledging, accepting, and noticing what is around you and in you. And it is hard to do.

My meditation guide, James, kept insisting that "you need to give the mind something to do." Last night, James had us students try and "stay with your breath" for 3 whole breaths. James says, if you can do that, you are doing really well. I made it for 1.5 before I heard the guys stomach gurgling next to me and a creak in the building and I was off wondering about those noises, completely removed from my concentration on feeling my breath move through me, hearing it, being it. I'm a novice, I'll take the 1.5 breath concentration as "I'm doing alright."

We also practiced body scanning, which is a really great way to relax your muscles. Try this:

Right now, tell yourself to tune into your hands - feel your hands. Can you do it? Can you feel every buzz, sensation, temperature, pressure, vibration?

I was happy to learn that I am pretty darn good at body scanning. I am able to tune into different parts of my body quite quick and deeply. This is something that I attribute to my yoga practice as well the many years that my sister & I would listen to
Spinoza Bear cassette tapes as were falling asleep. Thanks, mom! (For you parents out there, these are great for kids.)

James is a big believer in Tai Chi in his practice; something I've been intrigued in but always thought looked silly, to be perfectly honest. He calmly led us through a very simple Tai Chi movement. I was amazed at the peace I felt - so much so that I'm going to try and find a Tai Chi class to really try it out. James believes that meditative practices that are using movement are easier to start with then "sitting", gives the mind something to do.

What I have been missing is actually making meditation and mindfulness a practice in my life and part of my wellness lifestyle. I am planning to head to the
MN Zen Center this month to check out a beginners session, and get myself on the road to practicing mindfulness in my everyday life.