Consuming LESS-This is not about dieting!

I take offense that my role as an American is to be the consumer to/of the world. Is it like a slug in the gut to you too when they talk about economic growth and housing starts without talking about the triple bottom line(earth, people, profit)?


I've been trying to get more involvement in being a producer in my life and reducing the things to purchase or purchasing things without the 'value added.' My pickles this year so far have been made with cukes, garlic and dill I grew myself! Part of me wants to collect seawater and extract the salt and part of me thinks that's a bit much.


Let's talk about showering and shampoo. Giving them up-well, the shampoo, not the shower. Admittedly, I thought the results would be grungy before I tried it. And I thought the folks blogging about it were a bit over the top, perhaps, very rural without running water or indoor toilets. They spoke of a transition your hair would go through.....-I didn't find that to be true.


However, this urban dweller has discontinued the use of shampoo and neither I nor my hairdresser can tell the difference. This allows for a quicker shower-you get straight to the rinse Saves time and water. I still find myself going through the hand motions of shampooing while the water is running through it. Hand help shower heads do seem to help speed things up and decrease water use too. Given the ongoing drought I'm predicting a new genre of reality TV-water wars, where the winner is the one who uses the least amount of water and is still in the socially acceptable hygiene range.


What's the longer term effects on my hair? Honestly, I can't tell a difference. So let's reconsider the shampoo myth. One less product to purchase, one less bottle to recycle, less stuff going down the drain. Saves time. Saves water. Does not cause you to become a social outcast or pariah. Your baby just needs a bit of a rinse not a complete lathering.


What can we do away with next? You're not using dryer sheets are you?


Kaiten Rivers, Naturopath, permaculturist, researching and recruiting to save the world.

America's Test Kitchen GF Cookbook-FINALLY

I have been a fan of ATK-America's Test Kitchen for years-if you follow the instructions to a T you can be certain the dish will turn out exquisite.

Ever since a lab test told me I would be better off gluten free, I have been waiting for ATK to take on GF-lot of mixes and recipes and products in the gluten free version are pretty disappointing.

So far I have made buckwheat tabbouli, dinner rolls, Hearty Flax seed bread and the pizza crust.

They have there own GF flour blend to make on your own but they also give instructions for adapting the recipe for a brand name GF flour blend.  Powdered psyllium husks and almond flour are examples of the ingredients they use in different applications.  I have been pleased with what I made so far-the dinner rolls were light and fluffy and tender. The Hearty Flax seed bread was a nice round shape with a decent crust and a, well, hearty chew and whole grain flavor.  The pizza crust, while it had an extra step of parbaking  turned out to have a great texture and crunchiness I haven't found in other GF version.  I am looking forward to making more-like the chicken pot pie and the pie crust and the oatberry pilaf.  Granted, ATK isn't all natural, whole foods type of cookbook. But most of what you would be making from wheat flour isn't what I would put in the healthiest of food categories anyway.  I also picked up two other GF cookbooks, one that uses oat flour, which I want to use more and has recipes for cream puffs and pretzels and the other that uses traditional bread making techniques, like making sour dough for the levening and slow rising in the refridgerator for 12 hours to 5 days. So it can take days to get one loaf of bread!  She uses ingredients I haven't tried before, Expandex, for one and I'm not sure it agrees with me-I need to give it another trial-but it was fun to have pumpernickel and looking forward to the 'No-Rye Rye bread.  I'll let you know.

Eating On the Wild Side-Making the most nutritious choices in the grocery store, farmers' market and planting your garden

Apples and bananas are junk food. Jo Robinson, of Vashon Island give us yet one more thing to consider when making out food choices.  I know, we already go through so many variables-local, imported, GMO, organic, gluten free, etc. Ms Robinson brings forth the variation of phytonutrients in different varieties of produce.  Some of her finding run counter to popular paradigm-white peaches are more nutritious than yellow. Yellow peas are more nutritious that green peas. And some foods provide MORE phytonutrition when COOKED. Maybe time to reconsider that all raw food diet.

Before GMO, before DDT, before chemical fertilizers, and even before hybridization we were loosing nutrient density of foods by choosing for the bigger and the sweetest. So the modern apple and modern banana are junk food compared to their wild ancestral counterparts.

Ok so a little from the book-but first a few things about apples. The apples you find at the market of a certain variety, say Red Delicious, all come from grafts of the one original Red Delicious tree. Turns out if you grow an apple tree from seed, you have no idea how the fruit will turn out. It's very rare for a new apple to be something we would consider pleasant to eat. Most turn out to be "spitters."  Not great for pie making but suitable for hard cider. So if we revisit our American folklore or history, our wholesome Johnny Appleseed was more likely bringing alcohol the frontier-well, the raw ingredients for alcohol production-at least that's how I remember it from 'Botany of Desire' by Micheal Polland.

That being said, back to the phytonutrients of apples.  Wild varieties, though small and bitter can contain 10 to 65 to 100 times more phytonutrient than organic grocery store apples. Commercial apple species have pretty close to nil in antioxidant and cancer fighting qualities 5 raisin size Nepalese apples equal the phyto nutrients in one Honey Crisp.  Monty's Surprise, a variety found in New Zealand, has the highest concentration of proanthocyanidins and the highest number of flavinoids than any other known species.  When tested at the French National Institute for Health and Medical Research, Monty's Surprise reduced the growth of many different kinds of cancer cells and was the best apple at destroying colon cancer cells.  So perhaps the reason we have such and increase in cancer is that we eat 'healthy foods' that are just mere nutritional shadows of the varieties of wild ancestors.

Back to the book-Eating on the WIld Side ISBN 978-0-316-22794-0 is paradign shifting.  It's science, history, cooking and storing tips in addition to all the stuff about phytonutrients.  I hope to be telling you more about other produce in the future.  The good news is since apple trees are grafted, if you have a tree established, you may be able to graft on some branches or buds of a more phytonutrient rich variety onto your tree.  As a side note, if you have a fruit tree that you don't want to take care of or know of any in your area, you can refer those trees to the Fruit Tree Steward Program. It's a group of volunteers who train to tend to fruit trees with the intention of harvesting fruit from abandoned and neglected trees to share the bounty with foodbanks, the tree owners and the stewards.

C7 radiculopathy-Gone! with ABC

c7 neck pain

Dr Rivers: Nearly seven years ago I was diagnosed with a C7 Radiculopathy; an MRI indicated a bulged disc in my neck. My left arm ached continuously with no relief. I had little to no neck mobility and I was completely unable to look over either shoulder. I had significant, continuous pain in my neck and had to apply ice frequently just to function in everyday life. The neurologist prescribed traction and for about 2 years I received regular physical therapy treatments of traction, specific exercises, and massage. Over time, I would say the traction was reasonably successful. My left arm stopped aching; though it would frequently go numb, especially when I was sleeping. I had more range of motion in my neck but still had to turn my head very carefully to avoid pain. Finally, I lived with a dull, continuous ache in my neck – 24x7. Although I was not routinely using ice, I had to be careful to get enough sleep and let my neck rest or the pain would become more intense and my arm would go numb more frequently.

I had not been back to physical therapy in nearly four years but the dull neck ache was getting worse and my shoulders were continually knotted up. I decided to schedule an appointment in order to get a prescription for massage therapy to see if that would help. When I phoned to make the appointment, I was asked if I wanted to schedule a naturopathic appointment or an ABC (Advanced BioStructural Correction) appointment. I said naturopathic but hung up the phone wondering just what ABC treatments were. Looking online, began to research ABC and as I read about it I thought “maybe this will help me!”

 The results have been phenomenal. The dull neck ache is gone – all neck pain is gone – even when I don’t get enough sleep. My range of motion is what remember to be “normal” – as good as before I was diagnosed. I can turn my head and look over either shoulder, further than I have for years – all with no pain. And I’ve not been awakened in the night with my arm asleep since beginning treatments!

An added bonus is how great my feet are. For two years I have worn orthotics to reduce my bunion pain. But even with orthotics and expensive shoes I would wake up in the night with aching feet; sometimes from just the weight of the blankets. I couldn’t go barefoot even for an hour or two without my feet aching.

At my first visit you counseled me about my shoes and recommended I try not wearing my orthotics. I was very skeptical, but I took my orthotics and arch supports out to try it “for a while”. That was over a month ago. My bunions no longer ache. I’ve not been woken up with bunion / foot pain. I can go bare foot all day and my feet do not ache!

The ABC treatments have made a significant improvement to my health and general wellbeing. It is so awesome to be free of pain!

 Thank you for your compassionate care and striving for excellence. I look forward to seeing more improvements to my health. I give my full permission to use my statements as you see fit; I hope that sharing my ABC experience will encourage others to try it and realize the health benefits Advanced BioStrutural Correction will give them.

Autoponics-the permaculture version of aquaponics

I have watching the videos from the Regenerative Leadership Institute for their PermaCulture Design Course.  If you aren't familiar with Permaculture-well, it makes organic gardening look like the new conventional farming(which it is in many ways).

about Max Meyers

Max Meyers from NorCal Aquaponic was going over his version of a aquaponics system-no waste, self feeding system.

"Waste is as resource not to be wasted"

The strawberries in the store looked beautiful-but what about the pesticide residue?

toxic strawberries

  This may be one food you want to get organic

I have been seeing fresh strawberries for awhile this spring in various stores-and now they are looking deep red and lushious. However, in past years The Environmental Working Group had rated strawberries as one of the most contaminated conventionally grown types of produces (not to mention the 'flu' farm workers get at the time of crop spraying).  So I thought it would be a good time to update my EWG's 2012 Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce.  The Environmental Working Group is a great resource for toxins to avoid in personal care items, foods,and cleaning supplies. They also have info on BPA and a water filter buying guide.  Check it out and download your EWG's Shoppers Guide to Pesticides in produce.  In the current rating strawberries are 5th on the Dirty Dozen list behind APPLES, celery, sweet bell peppers and peaches.  They also have a list called Clean 15 which ranks  the conventionally grown  least contaminated by pesticides produce.  Onions are number one and avocados number 4-so those I feel OK about buying non-organic, especially if the organic is unavailable or alot more expensive.  You can use these guides to help you decide which items you will really want organic. I am happy to see that asparagus is 7th on the clean 15 list.  Can't find or can't afford organic all the time?  Know that eating the produce is way more beneficial than not eating produce.  And a good rinse or soak can bring the pesticide levels down further.  Well, I'm going to be more careful with the apples and more indulgent with the aspagagus.  And if you have a source for organic strawberries that you'd like to share...........