April 13, 2013
Just in case you don’t already know this, Satan exists.
And its current name is Monsanto.
I’m now in a place (emotionally and spiritually) where I can hear/read about Monsanto without having a nervous breakdown (as I did in January 2011, though I probably didn’t mention it to you as it was a small one).
Why am I talking about this depressing topic? Well, the ElephantJournal article “Monsanto: The Most Evil Company in the Universe” showed up in my twitter feed today.
And you know what? I was ready. I was ready to face it. I feel strong enough in myself at this moment that I knew I wouldn’t start crying or get utterly depressed. I was ready to shift on this topic.
Though I’ve tried to avoid it the past year or two, I was actually thinking about Monsanto around the time of my birthday last month. I am doing Creative Life Coaching sessions with Lakshmi (she’s amazing) and she mentioned that the topics that upset us most can show us where our passions lie, and hence the direction to move in in our lives – our purpose for being here on the planet on this go-’round.
I wrote the word “Monsanto” in my notes; at the end of our session I copy/pasted/Skyped my responses to her questions and exercises and sent them back to her.
Lakshmi lives in Portugal; much of Portugal is GMO-Free, and Lakshmi hadn’t heard of the corporation Monsanto.
So when she saw the word she thought I was talking about the Portuguese town of Monsanto – which I, on the other hand, had never heard of, but had seen a photo of once.
Here’s some crazy synchronicity:
This town Monsanto in Portugal is pretty much THE COOLEST PLACE I HAVE EVER SEEN.
IT’S BUILD INTO/WITH BOULDERS!
You don’t even understand. Aside from living in a tree house (see my post on how I Want To Live In a Tree Boat House – yes I made it up), living in boulders is pretty much my wet dream. I’ve loved rocks since I can remember, I grew up bouldering in Southern California, and I have spent hours clamoring over and sprawled across boulders. I don’t really understand why, but I love boulders big time.
So when I saw how this heavy word, THE most upsetting word in the human language (for me anyways) could be shifted in an instant to something so unbelievably cool that I hadn’t even known had existed –
This gave me hope.
Hope that I could overcome the rage/fury/terror that would come up when I heard or saw the word Monsanto.
Because now I know a secret. That yes, Monsanto is a horrible evil life-threatening monster that is overrunning the globe and polluting nature with man’s hubristic fiddling (and the results of man’s hubristic fiddlings are never good; the Greeks knew that).
But now I know that when I think of Monsanto the horror, I can ALSO think of Monsanto the Magical. Monsanto the Magical Boulder Town, which I will someday visit, I sweartogod, if not possibly live.
Anyways, what do we do when faced with the satanic behemoth monster that is called Monsanto, the one that helped make the nuclear bomb and agent orange and DMT and bovine growth hormone?
Here’s what we do:
1. We educate ourselves as to what vendors sell/products are made using Genetically Modified Organisms and we consciously choose to stop “feeding” them with our money energy (I’m sorry to tell you that Whole Foods surrendered to Monsanto back in 2011, hence my breakdown).
2. We learn to grow our own food.
3. We create local and independent seed banks to protect and share naturally-occurring heirloom seeds.
4. And we enjoy the f#@% out of our delicious, local, organic food.
And then, we all go visit Portugal.
January 26, 2013
“He reached into the pocket of his sports jacket and produced a Japanese fan – the first of several startling objects to emerge from there, so that I came to think of the coat as having magic pockets.”
It wasn’t that line from a Wired article that made me want to be Oliver Sacks. Well, like Oliver Sacks, really.
It’s that today I had the sudden impulse to begin simplifying and planing all of my food consumption. Like, scheduling exactly what I will eat and at what time. And as I was typing this schedule up, I remembered the quirky neurologist who eats the same thing. Every day. And has, for many years. 1/2 a gallon of soy milk, prune juice, sardines, tabbouleh, 7 apples, 7 oranges – “I am very greedy and impulsive, so I have to have a rule.” Strangely, though I listened to this story a few years ago, I actually had 7 apples, 7 pears on my newly organized weekly shopping list. (Just to clarify, I will not be eating sardines and prune juice).
Oliver says he never gets bored with his daily food – he claims he “enjoys it with equal relish every time.” Additionally, each day he goes to a nearby chocolate store and gets exactly one dollar’s worth of broken 72% chocolate.
He has been doing this for years. Once he accidentally got 22 pounds of kidneys rather than 2 pounds; too shy to point it out, he took the 22 pounds of “palpitating kidneys” home, and ended up eating kidneys for 10 days straight, before vomiting uncontrollably and never eating kidneys again.
To listen to the fascinating Oliver Sacks clip on Radiolab – one of my favorite podcasts of all time – click here. (It’s a clip from episode about Choice, when a lot is too much).
Have you ever heard that Einstein would wear the same clothes so as not to use up precious mental energy on the mundane and unimportant decision of what to wear? Well, Oliver has similar motivations.
Making choices is draining, and scientist have found that too many choices actually make us MORE unhappy than too few choices.
I notice that I’ve generally heard about men doing this kind of thing – perhaps it’s a form of mild Autism… the founder of Facebook wears the same clothing every day too. And Steve Jobs did, before he exited the planet.
So, here’s what I’m going to try eating for this week:
6am: Hot water + lemon
8am: 1 apple + 3 dates + 10 almonds + 1 spoon chwanprash
1pm: Kitcharee (½ cup mung, ½ cup basmati) with squash & carrots
3:30: 1 apple or pear + 3 dates or figs
6:30pm: Leftover kitcharee + asparagus
I haven’t done a challenge (or a cleanse) in a long time. We’ll see how it goes!
To read the Wired interview from whence the opening sentence about the fan and magical coat was taken, click here.
October 5, 2012
“I’ve signed many agreements with iTunes… I don’t know what they want from me anymore.
Surely they know I agree with them!!!”
Lately I’ve been thinking back on my childhood interests. One of them was, a bit strangely, stand-up comedy. At the age of seven I remember watching videos of Bill Cosby and Eddie Murphy, and laughing so hard I thought my hernia stitches would burst open. I also remember watching every episode of Stand-Up Spotlight on VH1, the host of which was a young, abrasive, butchy, heavily New York-accented Rosie O’Donnell.
Stand-up has remained a consistent love over the years. Does my early and enduring love for it mean I should I be writing comedy? Maybe it’s time for an improv workshop…Or maybe I just need to laugh more!
November 17, 2011
Idle Words, www.idlewords.com, is my new favorite blog. The posts – essays, really – are well-crafted, interesting, and witty. An inspiration!
Here are a few choice tidbits:
“Why maintaining the elevator should require eleven hours of hammering is something I try not to think about, just as I avoid asking why this particular elevator has to get its inspection certificate stamped each month instead of, say, every three years.”
“I just finished a summer studying Arabic at the Monterey Institute for International Studies… just down the road from a grim military counterpart called the Defense Language Institute, where young men and women learn how to eavesdrop on the nation’s enemies, provided that the enemies speak slowly and limit their conversation to hobbies and the weather.”
“Eating steaks in Argentina feels like joining a cult. You find yourself leaning on friends to come visit, and writing YOU JUST DON’T UNDERSTAND in all caps more often than feels comfortable.”
February 24, 2011
Obviously, I battle with consistency. For awhile I’ll post regularly and feel like I’m doing good, and then procrastination kicks in and I put the brakes on my creative expression. Call it upper limiting, call it self sabotage, call it fear – I’m working on working it out.
That’s the main issue.
BUT, I also have two good technology-related excuses:
1. Internet: Our house is plagued with internet issues; I haven’t had a reliable connection at home for some time. Perhaps it’s the resident ghost. We’re getting a new router this weekend; maybe we should draw a pentagram on it, or waft some sage smoke over it for protection…
2. Computer: I spilled safflower oil all over my laptop keyboard last summer. I was certain I’d killed it, but it turns out my Vostro is fairly hardy and has stayed alive. As time passes, though, it gets increasingly spastic. Sometimes it beeps at me angrily on startup; sometimes I have to press control-alt-delete to make it past the main boot page. Once it’s up and running it likes to pull up my battery meter and show me how much battery power I have left. Every 30 seconds. It also likes to paste everything on the clipboard 7 times in a row whenever I hit the M key (the built-in keyboard no longer functions; I’ve been using an external board for a few months now). Or my computer will decide to open 47 tabs in Google Chrome. If I scream and hit the built-in keyboard when it starts opening tabs, sometimes I can get it to stop around 15.
I’m still here. I’m still thinking. I’ll still be posting occasionally during my lunch breaks.
I’m hoping a Mac is in my near future.
February 17, 2011
I’ve fallen off the wagon.
Or rather, I’ve swan dived off the wagon, face first, mouth open, into a kiddie pool filled with liquid dark chocolate. And cashews. And caramel. And peanut butter. And cheesecake.
Allow me to ‘splain.
Since January 1st of 2011, I have been going through a cleansing process to break old habits of eating. Not the lemon-water-cayenne-pepper type of cleanse, but a whole/natural/unprocessed/organic foods type of cleanse. I’ve been eating mostly fruits and veggies from Farmer’s Markets, supplemented by hemp milk and dried lentils from Trader Joe’s. Little to no refined sugar, processed foods, dairy, red meat, and absolutely no caffeine or alcohol (except for a cup of decaf coffee – it was gross, even though it was Intelligensia – and a splash of wine out of a a roommate’s 2-week-old bottle that I put in some soup I was making for dinner guests).
I could count on one hand the number of times over the past 40 days that I’d eaten refined sugar.
It started with a free lunch. The VP at our company owed me lunch – I forget why – so I opted for Tender Greens in Culver City. Tender Greens is one of my all-time favorite restaurants. I’m not sure if it’s the mashed potatoes or the price point or the fact that the produce and meat is sourced from a farm in Oxnard, but I just love me some TGs.
They also have some of the best desserts in LA.
So that’s when the slide began.
I got a cookie. A delicious oatmeal cookie with chocolate chips and pistachios. Pistachios!!! The cookie was huge, round, perfectly crispy on the outside. Amazing.
That’s it! I thought. Not another grain of refined sugar for at LEAST a week!
But then… then the next afternoon I found myself in front of a table of Nicobello chocolates on a sidewalk on Abbot Kinney. Free samples – FREE SAMPLES – of some of the most – ok, THE most – delicious, vegan, organic, fair trade, locally-made, antioxidant-packed, all-the-right-marketing-words “HEALTHY” truffles I’ve ever tasted. PUMPKIN CHAI truffles, Blueberry Almond truffles, Ginger Green Tea truffles, Walnut Flaxseed truffles, Sunflower Banana Butter truffles, Pure Cocoa Bliss truffles…
I bought a sampler, with one of each flavor. I systematically destroyed the six truffles over a 30 minute time span – as I strolled down the street, as I perused an art gallery, as I drove home with the top down in the sunshine.
Oh yeah – I also polished off a (small) bag of their Maple Nut Munch, with 72% dark chocolate, Maple Pecans & a touch of sea salt.
That’s it! I thought. SERIOUSLY this time, not another grain of refined sugar for at least another week!!!
The next day I ate super healthy – fruit, veggies, leek & sweet potato soup.
But then… then my roommate’s friends came over to have a Grammys party.
And a huge glossy fruit tart from Whole Foods.
I hadn’t had pizza in about 50 days at this point, and I hadn’t had more than a few tastes of cheese on the occasional salad. I caved.
I don’t feel like I ate THAT many slices of pizza, but I was in pain for about an hour and a half afterwards. I’m guessing it was my stomach trying to figure out how to digest the huge globes of low-quality (and probably hormone-laden) cheese I was gulping down. Then there was the fruit tart with the sandy buttery crust that I love so much.
I may have had two slices of the fruit tart.
Monday I think I actually made it through the day without sugar. Tuesday, however, I had another slice of the leftover fruit tart (it was a friend’s birthday!), and then I actually dug into giant box of Lemon & Raspberry Cheesecake Factory Cheesecake that’s been in our freezer for a few weeks (I did not eat the whole thing. Thank god).
Today was the doozy – I went to Trader Joe’s, and my willpower buckled completely and I bought myself two kinds of chocolate – Soft Peanut Brittle, which is rather like a less dense Butterfinger, and Dark Chocolate Covered Caramels, which are actually a bit too chewy for me. That didn’t stop me from eating a few handfuls of each before dinner tonight (I did also give away 1/2 of the Peanut Brittle to the parking attendant as I left the garage – I like to brighten the attendant’s day).
So, that’s where I am. I am utterly failing at the No Refined Sugar part of my challenge.
But you know what? That’s ok. Along with my discipline challenges, I am also practicing self-acceptance and self-kindness. I could beat up on myself, be mad at myself, be disappointed, but instead, I’m going to let myself eat chocolate for a bit. When I’m ready to stop again, I trust that I’ll stop.
I also realized today the main reason behind why I have been binging like this – my period is a week late. No baby scares here, unless it’s the immaculate conception of the second coming of Christ. Actually, I’m certain it’s because I had some female friends spend the weekend at my place the week before last, and at least one was on the rag. My body syncs up with pretty much any woman’s cycle if I spend more than a few hours with her – I once didn’t get my period for two months when my closest female friend (and neighbor) got pregnant.
So, I’m fighting against the power of biology and whacked-out hormones. Additionally, I’ve noticed that my body tends to go into binge mode anyways if I lose any weight, which I have what with all the fruits and veggies I’ve been eating. It’s a bit annoying, but I can’t blame my body for trying to protect me from what it apparently interprets as risk of imminent death.
I’ll take these chocolates I bought from Trader Joe’s with me to work tomorrow to divvy up amongst coworkers. Hopefully I’ll be able to go hiking this weekend. Maybe I’ll try doing some eating meditations when I’m tempted to bing again.
And most importantly, I hope my hormones even out soon. If they don’t, I may need to invest in a larger pair of jeans.
January 17, 2011
from BE HERE NOW by the Lama Foundation:
Example: Some body looks at you seductively…
An ice cream cone goes by…………
Will it ever be
THE BIG ICE CREAM CONE
IN THE SKY?
Will it ever be an ETERNAL Ice Cream Cone?
Or…. Is it always going to melt?
You gotta keep eating it
Yet it melts & melts,
That’s the problem
You gotta keep eating it cuz it will melt…
….& then it’s gone
& you know that taste in your mouth when you
finish &… You want a glass of water? Right?…
Then you have a glass of water & there’s that
Then, you’re ready for the NEXT one…..
To get rid of THAT one………
Let’s take a walk…. & you take a walk…..
It’s cold out. Let’s have some hot chocolate,
Yes, let’s have some, & on & on & on & it’s called
You see: the opposite of craving is saying
BABY, THIS IS THE WAY IT IS
HERE & NOW
THIS IS IT
I ACCEPT THE HERE & NOW
RIGHT AT THIS MOMENT!!!
January 17, 2011
Be authentically you; figure out how to serve the world.
December 6, 2010
This might be the most beautiful youtube video I’ve ever seen. It actually made me tear up a little the first time I watched it – rarely do you see such an expression of PURE, unadulterated JOY.
I love the look of rapture on his face at 0:07. And make sure you watch the 2 minute mark, it’s pretty funny.