Wednesday, June 18, 2014

We Are What We Eat

When given a choice on meals I tend to lean toward that of a lacto-vegetarian. That means I include dairy (preferably raw), eggs and fish in my meals. My husband, on the other hand, is a carnivore.   It has been a 22 year personal conflict for me.  In the last year I have been aware of a lot of information floating the internet about animal treatment.  In this year of CHANGE,  watching my husband suffer through the results of his life choices, I am beginning to recognize this as an opportunity to re-assess my own  values.

 I admire anyone who can abstain from eating the flesh of another. Not everyone can. Some people's glandular chemistry prohibits this. They may try to honor the philosophy but find their health losing ground after a time. We live on a planet where every life force relies on another for its survival. Lions, water buffalo and alligators co-exist sharing the same watering holes...until supper time. Then the weakest or youngest is culled from the group; it maintains a natural balance. Animal waste becomes food for plants.

People who choose vegan as a more humane choice should read a book titled The Secret Life of Plants by Thompkins and Bird. It is filled with fascinating research showing the ability of plants to communicate with us, their reactions to violence  and even how they have mutated to meet 'request' from humans. It leaves the understanding that just because we don't stroke or hear plants doesn't mean they don't have a voice. Just because we don’t see red doesn’t mean they are not bleeding.
So, which species deserves to die and which to live? Which is more important than the other? In nature no species, plant or animal, is better.  Humans are the only species that the planet can survive without; it’s as though we are guest here. We are also the only animal that kills for pleasure or money. Our greed is the disruption to nature. This is one of the subjects looked at in my book- SHIFT: A 5th Dimensional Approach. All of these thoughts added to my husband’s preference are why I have tried to practice compassionate eating (and living).

Eating compassionately is eating when hungry- being thankful not only for the food but for the plants and animals that have given their lives so that we may live- asking a blessing on their spirits- not eating more than  needed nor wasting.
To me the inhumanity comes not from killing to live but from the treatment of animals- whether they are cows, calves, dogs or cats. The animal INDUSTRY of our developed nations is horrible. Visit the 'farms' and see how  animals are treated before they are packed into trucks, herded into lines where they stand watching the animal in front of them tortured, shot or electrocuted. You will refrain from eating meat. We call it meat instead of animal to de-sensitive ourselves.  We call it beef instead of cow, pork instead or pig and milk fed veal instead of 7 day old baby calf. The names and packaging frees us from feeling accountable.  We buy more.

As I witness the violence in our culture, the words “we are what we eat” take on new meaning. Words such as terrorized, abused, and beaten should never be in the same sentence with food we are consuming. Please know where your food comes from and how the animals are treated. Maybe the levels of violence existing in the world will reduce. All life should be honored. Taking one life to save another is a hard call but to me it should be the only reason to kill. Hopefully, all will learn to live gently and not support those who do not. 

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Friday, June 13, 2014

Change from the Inside Out with Sauerkraut

It’s a fairly accepted belief that change influences lives on all levels of existence. What we sometimes struggle with is whether –or even how -introducing something new on one of those levels can cause an effect on another. However, evidence of this is found by simply noting positive changes that occur after  introducing something new, such as: practicing yoga, sleeping in total darkness or incorporating live foods like homemade sauerkraut into the diet. These practices bring the changes wanted by influencing the unseen core of an existing problem. 
Sauerkraut is a live food. That means it gives more energy to your body than is needed for its digestion and assimilation.  Live foods pass their life force vitality to those who consume them. Eating live foods is an effective and natural way to change or improve a current level of wellness.  Introducing this higher vitality gives a boost of energy that causes cells to awaken from a sluggish or dormant state. Raw and live foods offer the highest levels of energy and sauerkraut can be both.

I’ve known people to heal joint pain, lower blood pressure or blood sugar and lose belly fat by increasing their water consumption, eating more raw veggies and including fermented foods into their daily diet. That’s what sauerkraut is, a fermented food. It’s cheap to make and easy to do. You just need a standard kitchen food processor, large plastic or glass bowel, cutting board, some quart jars or crocks (I’m using my slow cooker crock) cabbage, sugar, vinegar, and noniodized  or pickling salt, along with about 30-45 minutes.
To make 1 quart
8-10 cups of shredded cabbage, loosely packed (1 2lb. head)
2-3 teaspoons of the salt
1 cup of filtered water
2 teaspoons of sugar
2 teaspoons of white vinegar
optional seasonings (mustard seeds, juniper berries. caraway seeds)
A sterilized wide mouth quart jar with lid
Shred the cabbage, place in a large plastic bowel and mix with any seasonings and salt. Stirring the cabbage releases its juices. Let rest for 10-15 minutes and stir again. This can now sit for 20-30 minutes if you choose.

Pack the shredded mixed cabbage into the jar tapping it in with the tip of a wooden spatula. Add the salt to the filtered water and pour over the cabbage filling the jar to the rim. Cap loosely and place jar on a tray to catch any overflowing juices during the fermentation period. It’s best to place the jar and tray in a shaded or dark area and keep the temperature of the jar between 65-72 degrees for  2 -3 weeks. In our Caribbean temperatures one week is enough.

Check the containers occasionally. Make sure the cabbage stays below the liquid. Top off jar with salty (1 teasp per cup) water if the water level falls below the rim. Skim off any white spots or film from the top and close the lid again. Once the bubbling has stopped, make sure that all white film is gone from the surface, capping tightly and wipe off the jar. Keep it stored in the refrigerator until it is completely gone.

If you want to make more than a quart just double or triple the ingredients. Sauerkraut can be placed in quart ziplock bags and frozen. There is lots that you can do with fresh kraut such as: salad toppings, main meal or even a cheese and veggie sandwich.  Just remember when you heat process the finished jars to store them your kraut will not be live or raw anymore. 

There are other live or raw recipes through my blog; scroll through. Sometimes changing the most obvious problems in our lives takes a change at the cellular level. That’s what drinking lots of water and eating live food can do. Let me know how it works for you or if you have questions.
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