Archive for February, 2008

It's All Over Now, Baby Blue


February 16th, 2008

broken computer

I think it may be over.  For my computer, I mean.  It’s not working.  It turns on, but the screen dies.  It works, but it goes black.  Anyway, I’m out of commission for a bit.  Check back with you later…

date
 

Unfolding Mysteries


February 12th, 2008

new seeds

Well, I went through my first 3 lbs. of wheatgrass seeds like that. So, I ordered a few more. 10 more lbs. I’m also experimenting with a few more sprout mixes: Beanies, Nick’s Hot Mix, and the Russian Mix. They are all from SPROUTPEOPLE. I’ll let you know what I think of them.

bedhead

The last several days I’ve been seriously under the weather. At first, I thought maybe I was having some sort of detox. But this was pretty intense. It felt like the worst flu I’ve ever had, but somehow not flu-like. It’s amazing what a bright flash can do for pasty skin. I wasn’t really able to get out of bed for a couple days. I’m wondering if this has anything to do with the weird CALL I got from my doctor’s office last week. Time will tell…

cream of asp

In other news, I made this soup last week that turned out really well. Cream of Asparagus. I threw in the asparagus left over from the SUSHI I made. Then, I threw in some water, walnuts, half an avocado, some miso, a little wakame. They went for a spin in the VITAMIX. Then I poured off the soup and added some wakame flakes, asparagus tips, and fresh BUCKWHEAT SPROUTS from the garden….MMM! Pretty tasty. Though I have to admit, in this below zero weather I’m really missing the warm soups.

date
 

Pesky Little Buggers


February 8th, 2008

buggers

Earlier this week, I had a pretty promising visit to the doctor. My asthma has been improving a ton. My IBS was neatly diagnosed last month. I was pretty optimistic that I was on the road to getting on with my life. My doctor as much as told me so. But then, he called me back later. ‘No big deal,’ he said. ‘I’m just a little concerned about these blood tests. Just stop in anytime, and we’ll just check on them.’

UGH! These little buggers are my nemesis. Sure enough, I get the call today. My white blood cell and lymphocyte counts are low. Something strange going on with my immune system. They’re not sure what this means.

Well, it means that I’m going to have to go and see more doctors for now.

It’s kind of ironic. Pretty much every member of my family, co-workers, friends, and acquaintances have made this observation. It sounds like you’re immune system is off. It makes common sense. After all, I was exposed to an ongoing onslaught of toxic gas for four years. You would expect my immune system to have taken a beating.

But I have to admit, it’s really hard not to get impatient with our medical process at times. Things tend to take a million years longer than you’d like them to.

date
 

Caucus Night


February 6th, 2008

avo asp sushi

Last night, my friend Elizabeth came over after the caucus for dinner. The caucus was insane but really inspiring. There were many more people than they were expecting. It’s great to see people getting engaged in the process again. Afterwards, I made some little avocado and asparagus rolls with a wasabi miso dipping sauce. I pretty much ripped the entire recipe from LIVING CUISINE. I really like everything I’ve tried from this book so far, but I haven’t really experimented with it much yet. So, this week I decided to base my entire shopping list on it.

sushis

These little rolls were delightful. The only thing I really changed was that I added some fresh buckwheat sprouts from my GARDEN. The flavor was great. There were some really diverse elements from miso to cilantro to green onion to parsley to lemon zest. It sounded strange on paper, but it was a lovely combination in my mouth.

red leaf salad

The salad was also from the same book and modified slightly with red leaf lettuce, satsumas, blood oranges, walnuts, sprouts, and a few goji berries. Really simple, but it hits the spot. For dessert, I got experimental enough to deserve it’s own post (coming soon…).

date
 

Thoughts on Cloning


February 5th, 2008

cloned cows

There has been a lot of talk lately about the FDA approval of cloning. I actually am fairly well informed on this issue as I used to be a medical researcher. I have a masters degree in biology from a pretty prestigious research university. I used to work in a genetics research lab, and I taught genetics at the undergraduate level. I was working in this environment when the first cow was cloned.

It’s interesting that at the time, scientists (in private) were raising a lot of concern about the viability of these animals. Reproduction is actually a very elegant system of checks and balances that allows many layers for correction if something were to go awry. These checks are removed in cloning. During the lifetime of an animal, their system (and genome) undergo a lifetime of assaults to their fidelity (mutations). This allows for variation and evolution over time. Reproducing with another animal who has also undergone a lifetime of assaults, allows those changes to be kept in balance. The likelihood of two animals having the exact same mutations is very unlikely. By combining their gene pools, the offspring is protected from the deleterious effects of these changes. Unfortunately, cloning bypasses this system. Newborn clones are born with a lifetime of genetic assaults intact. An analogy would be making a copy of a cassette tape. The first generation copy would have noticeably less fidelity but would still be audible. However, each subsequent generation would be more affected eventually resulting in white noise (remember poltergeist?).

My concern with cloning as an industrialized commodity would be that it allows a clone to fit neatly into patentable business models. Mass producing clones of cows which were genetically well-off – Super Cow lines, so to speak. Cloning hasn’t been around long enough to study the impact for several generations. We’re still studying the first generations of clones. It seems extremely irresponsible to me to be able to make the assessment that they are safe. Further, it clearly would not be profitable for a company to clone just one generation of Super Cows. Real money is made from mass production. Real money will be made from several generations of clones.  From Super Cows to White Noise.  This is what frightens me. People do not understand the implications (or don’t want to). By the time they do, a few handful of people will have become very wealthy while our food supply will be hopelessly inundated with these tainted animals.

In general, I’m not a very politically active soul. I don’t believe in politics. I’m a cynic you could say. I believe in having beliefs, but I think that once they become movements they turn into something else entirely. So, I tend to keep my thoughts about such things to myself.

However, I read this OP-ED piece today that I found really disturbing. It was clearly slanted and projected a general concern about the safety of cloned meat as being overreactive and ill-informed. It presented Jerry Greenfield’s (of Ben and Jerry’s) quote, ‘It’s just weird’ as the most compelling evidence to be concerned while eluding to possibilities of saving third world countries from starvation as arguments for. These are reasonably political stances to assume, but they are not based on any evidence or seemingly a very thorough understanding of the subject matter. Interestingly, that was what the author was accusing those concerned about cloning of.

My two cents, cloning is bad news. REALLY bad news. Unfortunately, I don’t have any money to make my argument more convincing. But the fact that the FDA is able to overlook something which is so glaringly obvious raises a lot of concerns with me. Just who is paying them after all?

date
 

Some Observations About Wheatgrass


February 4th, 2008

art of analog

Well, it’s been about a month since I started my experiment with my WINDOW GARDEN. I like how you can see the back of the audio geek magazine in the lower left corner. It says ‘The Art of Analog’.

harvesting

My boyfriend took some pics of me harvesting wheatgrass from the garden. I found that initially I was not cutting the grass close enough to the bottom. So, I wasn’t getting the maximum harvest.

one day harvest

This is about how much grass I harvest from half a tray of wheatgrass. I’ve been doing about a half a tray a day. Ann Wigmore says that it’s important to take at least one day off a week. This somehow makes your body more receptive to it. I guess it’s sort of like how they say you shouldn’t work out every day. You need a day of rest.

one day juice This is the max amount of juice I’ve harvested from a half tray.

shot and a half It works out to be a little less than 2 shots.

grapegginerparsleyapple We’ve made some pretty intense juice concoctions. This one is grapefruit, apple, pear, parsley, ginger, and wheatgrass. WOAH!

lime parsleypear wheatgrass This one is similar but we used lime instead of grapefruit – a little more mild but still pretty punchy.

lime parsley pear grass apple juice

I like how there’s a guitar pick in this picture.

cooking with gas

Now we’re really cooking with gas. I moved all the raw books to another shelf so I could get the maximum output from my window. This is how my garden looked a couple days ago.

garden 2-1

I’ve got 4 trays of wheatgrass going (at various stages – about 2 days apart) and 2 trays of sprouts (one buckwheat and one french garden blend).

wheatgrass

I know what you’re thinking…The all important question: How do I feel? Do I think it’s helping?

Well, it’s interesting. People talk about how you get all this extra energy after a few weeks and get addicted to the feeling. I have definitely been noticing that I’ve been craving more greens. Esp in my smoothies. We made one the other day that was just coconut and fruit – one of my favorite a few months ago. I felt somehow unsatisfied. I wanted something green in it. I’ve definitely noticed a pick me up from drinking it. But I will say that as I’ve mentioned in EARLIER POSTS, I’ve been working through some health issues lately. So I don’t feel like I’ve reached my potential yet. There have been days especially in the last week or so where I’ve gotten glimmers of feeling AMAZING. But they aren’t consistent. I’ve also had days where I’ve felt really tired and nap prone – kind of like I’m trying to work through something. So I guess my answer to the how are you feeling question is that I’ve had little teasers about where this can go, but I get the sense that my body is going to have to work through some things before I can get there. If that makes any sense. It took Ann Wigmore 3 years to work through her chronic diarrhea this way. So, I’m not expecting an overnight miracle here. And I AM really encouraged by the glimmers I’ve seen. If I could get to a point where I felt that way consistently, amazing things would happen. So, I’ll keep moving in that direction. And I’ll keep you posted…

date