Homemade Raw Sauerkraut

Raw fermented foods are your friend, but most fermented foods you find at the store have been pasteurized killing off all naturally occurring probiotics. The great news is that the healthier grocery stores do carry raw versions of sauerkraut and kimchi or even better you can make it yourself for pennies.

Our microbiome the world which lives and dies in our gut plays a major role in our overall health and mental state. The more it is studied, the more it proves to behave as our second brain. Fermented foods also help in healing GAPS and GAPS is worth knowing more about so please investigate!

I was at the community market recently and purchased two heads of napa cabbage for a dollar apiece an amazing bargain and now owning them removed any excuse from me finally making my first batch of raw sauerkraut.

$1 napa cabbages

Very important to the raw fermenting process is avoiding introducing bacteria to it or leaving air to feed it. Therefore use boiling water to clean the jar or jars, bowl and any tools you will use for this. Also, ensure that when filling the jars that no air remains in the jar. Remember this is Not canning, we are not cooking anything this is a raw fermentation.

Pull the outside leaves off of the cabbage and set aside a couple of clean, big ones. You may use almost any type of cabbage or vegetable for fermentation. Slice the cabbage as thin as you like and place into your bowl. Add two teaspoons of Real Salt or sea salt, that prevents the growth of pathogenic bacteria, and begin messaging. Your hands will get a great workout and as the seconds pass you will notice the bowl begin to fill with cabbage juice as it releases its water.

After a matter of only a few minutes, your work in the bowl will be complete. Begin to fill your jar with the cabbage packing it down every inch or two to ensure the removal of all air until close to the top. At this point place a leaf or two over the top of the shreds and ensure that the jar is filled to the top with its juices or add clean salted spring water or fresh celery juice until full.

Now it is only a matter of allowing nature to work its magic. You have created the environment suitable for fermentation; it just needs to be given three to four days without any sunlight in a steady 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit world to thrive.

Open your jar and smell the tang of fermentation, enjoy the fruits of your labor and then refrigerate the rest to slow down the process and enjoy as you will. As long as the brine stays above the cabbage, it will keep for a very long time in there. Should not be a concern because once you start enjoying it it likely won’t last too long.

Enjoyed mine most with fresh tomatoes.

Once you make and enjoy consuming your first batch, you will already be contemplating the next. Good luck with it and let us know how it turns out. Feel free to share as you care to, find us on Facebook and be Well!

Freedom Through Forgiveness

Maybe they spoke cruelly to you or caused any level of physical or emotional pain. Perhaps you were on the receiving end of abuse of any and every kind. Maybe the pain comes from one or many omissions of affection, love, security, acknowledgement, kindness, or maybe their failure to forgive you.

Making it to the point you have in your life experiences of all kinds have you had, and some of them stick with us for a lifetime both the “good” and the “bad”. Other than perhaps while drinking, drugging, sexing, shopping, eating, working, etc. the memories remain and sometimes so do the feelings.

We are allowed to forgive those who have wronged us no matter the level of their interaction with us. The action of forgiveness in no way excuses the behaviours of the person/s but rather frees you from being tethered to them in an unhealthy fashion mentally and emotionally.

If you are holding onto a resentment or many of them against people or institutions consider how freeing it will finally be to release them with love or at least no more hate, anger, or resentment. Have as many resentments as you wish, but they will never serve you.

Anytime you have forgiven, and that same resentment pops back into your mind, this is normal, give them to God or the universe in words or thoughts and remind yourself that you have already released them for good. You are welcome to remain victimized, and that is your right. However, it will never serve you as well as being empowered and moving forward untethered to the pains of old.

May love be in abundance in your life, may you forgive yourself as well in allowing yourself to move forward from this day. Sometimes charity starts at home and who are we not to forgive ourselves. Enjoy your weekend and Be Well!

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Lifetime Friendships

I wanted to share with you a friend of mine that was one of those people who always made you feel welcomed. I was fortunate enough to speak at his memorial service along with a few of his friends from Tuskegee and have liberated a good deal of it here today and on we go.

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Clarence Laudrec Shivers was born in 1923 and grew up in the city of St. Louis. As a child Clarence shoveled coal from the back of his dad’s coal delivery truck and was orphaned at 16. Although he had no real intention of joining the military one day he decided to take the entrance exam and passed with very high numbers and was offered a position within the Tuskegee Experiment, so he focused, excelled and graduated at the top of his class in 1944 of the 332nd Fighter Group.

He then went on to instruct other pilots both black and white in the Pacific. After twenty years he retired from the Air Force as a Lieutenant Colonel and began to focus on his life-long passion, art. After receiving his degree from Bradley University and landing in Spain with his wife Peggy he began to create paintings that would become treasures for them that own them. They left Spain and moved to Colorado Springs. It was in less than a year later that I first met Clarence. I was thirteen, and we had moved right next door to the man who would become my friend, teacher, excellent role-model, and second father.

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He used to tell me stories of what it was like to be black and working to defend his country in the 1940’s and yet he was treated worse than the prisoners on the base. He had to walk on base behind yellow lines and could not step into many of the white only buildings on base and in town. He encountered racism and bigotry almost every day but knew it was simply ignorance and did his best not to focus on it. He never seemed bitter to me but more disappointed that people at the time were so backward. He was proud of his race and had a love for others in it to do well in life. He believed that we were each responsible for our destiny and since he was able to make himself into a man to aspire to, that all others could do it if they chose to put in the work, effort, and persistence to make it happen.

Did I mention that he could sing and whistle as good as any professional? Often I would hear him next door working out in the garage or yard and whistling some beautiful melody. His wife Peggy is an opera singer and singing Christmas songs at their piano with them was a highlight for me. The last time I sang with Clarence was in a cemetery out in East Texas for a family gathering one very hot summer day in 2005. I would start in on an old Nat King Cole tune, and he would simply join in. We laughed a great deal that weekend and I longed for times when we were younger and had more time together.

Clarence had great woodworking tools and taught me how to use many of them. When he was commissioned by the Miller Brewing company to create calendars for black history month, I helped him cut the boards and paint the base coats on the originals. When in the late 80’s he was commissioned to sculpt the Tuskegee Airman memorial that now stands at the US Air Force Academy he invited me to work with the clay on the original so that my fingers work would be on it also.

Lt Col Clarence L. Shivers

He would always laugh and tell stories of how I would follow him around like a puppy dog always wanting to talk or do things with him. He would also brag about the fact that the wooden deck we built onto the front of his house was still standing after some 20 years. He sold me one of the best cars I ever owned; it was a brown 1974 Datsun 260Z. He helped me create one of the first base boxes ever built, for the back of the Z. He taught me how to tip the right people to make things happen quicker. He also talked to me about life and girls. I recall one day in particular when I had used an unkind word to describe a girl. He pointed out to me that the term I used was not accurate and gave me a new perspective on how I viewed girls from that day forward.

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As a young adult I moved away from Clarence and Peggy finding my way back to Texas and also to New York but remained in contact and spent time with them several times over the years and I watched as my buddy Clarence begin to lose his short-term memory and his essence began to fade. I would get a kick out of telling him on a phone call the next time I was going to be in for a visit several times, as he would forget he asked. It told me he was looking forward to seeing me, and he was always smiles and laughs when we were together.

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Christmas shopping with Clarence for Peggy as he got older was always an adventure, and I was always was so very proud and grateful to be his friend. Most recently we would go to lunch or dinner and he always really enjoyed how the food tasted. The last time I saw him, he handed me a Commandant of Cadets’ medallion from the USAF Academy, and he would not let me give it back to him. I have that here with me, a physical connection to him. He and Peggy were role models for me growing up. They simply loved me for who I was and were always on my side. Going through life and its many changes I always found acceptance, kindness and understanding with them over the years.

Clarence found it hard to believe I had grown taller than he.

Clarence found it hard to believe I had grown taller than he.

Back in 1993, they started the Shivers African-American Historical and Cultural Collection at the Pikes Peak Library District that lives on and has grown ever since. His handsome face is part of the Black Americans in Flight mural that is at the St. Louis Airport. His paintings and sculptures are collected by art collectors & museums across the globe. One of his works was featured in the feature film “A piece of the action” with Sidney Poitier. His last few paintings were of a spiritual nature are featured here and are some of his finest works.

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He & Peggy were also involved in bringing Jazz legends to the Rockies as well as supporting local youths. For him to pass during black history month is fitting as he is an incredible part of their history and will be forever present in the future. Aside from his wife and children I think Clarence was most fond of his statue of the Tuskegee Airman that stands at the US Air Force Academy. He will always live in our memories and his works of art, and I will miss him for all of my days.

Enjoy your weekend, share this all you like and Be Well!

Hemp. It does a body good!

This weeks blog is early since it is Hemp Week and if you don’t already know all about it, read on! The first drafts of America’s Declaration of Independence and Constitution were written upon it, Henry Ford built a car from it that was fueled by it, and Washington and Jefferson both grew it. Cultivated for over 10,000 years it was the very first American crop to exceed $1 billion dollars.

It can be made into over 25,000 different products including paper, plastics, textiles, paints, food, fuel, oils, rope, sails, etc. Hemp is one of our planet’s most amazing plants and June 6th through 12th is national hemp week!

Industrialized hemp is not cannabis (marijuana), and no amount of smoking industrialized hemp can get you “high”. Prior to 1900, almost all medicines were cannabis-based as it contains proven healing properties from its THC, CBD and others. Legalization of many forms of cannabis has spread across the US. Today’s pharmaceuticals are reported to kill on average one person every 19 minutes for properly prescribed and taken medication, as a side effect. There has never been a single case of death due to cannabis or hemp, except for the times hemp rope was used in hangings.

US 1914 $10 bill printed on hemp paper with image of hemp being harvested on the left.

US 1914 $10 bill printed on hemp paper with image of hemp being harvested on the left.

Government and corporate criminals stole hemp from the American people back in 1937 when they lumped it together with cannabis. Twenty years earlier the government had announced a program to focus on hemp cultivation rather than deforestation. However, folks with tree pulp processing patents, petroleum interests as well as massive tree-filled landowner/paper producers stood to lose a fortune from further embracing hemp. Corporations like Hearst and DuPont profited massively as a result of the Government making all-natural solutions illegal (see product list above) and allowing the patents of countless petrochemical based solutions (rayon, nylon, pharmaceuticals, etc.).

A single acre of hemp produces the same amount of fiber as four acres of trees. A hemp crop can be grown three times in a single year while trees take 10 to 15 years to mature. Hemp requires no pesticides, half the water it takes to grow cotton, and will grow in all fifty states. We have been importing it from Canada, and we look forward to buying it locally sooner rather than later. Hemp is now being grown in America once again as the people regain the right to make the most of a natural and effective resource. The time has come for such a blatant misuse of government power and corporate corruption to cease so that all people will benefit.
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All parts of the hemp plant are used: the seed in shell is normally toasted; the center of the seeds or the hearts can be bought whole or in a powder form as protein and as an oil; the fibers of the plant can be made into paper, plastics, textiles, paints, oils, etc. The seeds contain all the essential amino and fatty acids that support optimal health. The seeds contain vitamins and minerals, Omega 3 & 6 Acids, in a perfect ratio of 1:3 to benefit our bodies and minds. Hemp also contains both Super Omegas Stearidonic Acid and Gamma Linolenic Acid, which allows the body easy conversion of all of its Omega 3 & 6 goodness.

Hemp also requires no pesticides since it grows so tall and close together weeds cannot grow and it can easily be grown in all fifty states as it was before our government was purchased by private industry.

If you investigate the facts further, you too will wonder how such a blatant series of lies have been told for so long to the American people. Based on results, hemp will make its way back as will cannabis, to be considered a norm in American society. I look forward to passing organic hemp fields growing as far as the eye can see. Knowing that it will create fuel, food, housing, and clothing. I go into further detail in my book Nutritional Truths. You can purchase hemp foods at healthful grocery stores or on Amazon. Please share this with those for whom you care. Till next week, Be Well!

Think again:)

Think again:)

Life is Perception

From our earliest learning’s we begin to place filters between what we see and experience and how we perceive it. While one sees themselves as a victim, another who has had, similar experiences will see themselves as empowered and moving forward confidently as they have left the past. A lifetime of suffering may remain if one remains negatively tethered to the past.

While the story of the six blind men encountering an elephant is thousands of years old from India, the poem that made it popular across Europe and America was released in the mid 19th century by English author Godfrey Saxe.

The poem speaks to many ways we are locked into perceiving things we know little of. It can be tied to religion, education, cultural conditioning and how our short sidedness often does us no favors. May you enjoy the story/poem and find this serves you.

Blind Men and the Elephant
A Poem by John Godfrey Saxe

It was six men of Indostan,
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant
(Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation
Might satisfy his mind.

The First approached the Elephant,
And happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side,
At once began to bawl:
“God bless me! but the Elephant
Is very like a wall!”

The Second, feeling of the tusk,
Cried, -“Ho! what have we here
So very round and smooth and sharp?
To me ’tis mighty clear,
This wonder of an Elephant
Is very like a spear!”

The Third approached the animal,
And happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands,
Thus boldly up and spoke:
“I see,” -quote he- “the Elephant Is very like a snake!”

The Fourth reached out an eager hand,
And felt about the knee:
“What most this wondrous beast is like
Is mighty plain,” -quote he,-
“‘Tis clear enough the Elephant
Is very like a tree!”

The Fifth, who chanced to touch the ear,
Said- “E’en the blindest man
Can tell what this resembles most;
Deny the fact who can,
This marvel of an Elephant
Is very like a fan!”

The Sixth no sooner had begun
About the beast to grope,
Then, seizing on the swinging tail
That fell within his scope,
“I see,” -quote he,- “the Elephant
Is very like a rope!”

And so these men of Indostan
Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right,
And all were in the wrong!

MORAL
So oft in theological wars,
The disputants, I ween,
Rail on in utter ignorance
Of what each other mean,
And prate about an Elephant
Not one of them has seen!

I hope you have a wonderful weekend and feel free to share this and questions please ask. Be well!

The Need to Be Right

If you look into the not to distant future, you can see Christmas and New Years. Hope your plans are coming along, and you are looking forward to spending the Holidays with friends, family or maybe with both! No matter how it looks may you be looking forward to it.

I in no way claim to be perfect at anything other than at being me. While I do several things very well, there is always room for improvement and may I always remain open to learning new and other ways of accomplishing tasks.

Earlier in my life I was caught up in being right. Even if you were accomplishing a task if my way to accomplishing it was different from yours, then you were doing it wrong. I would then inject the proper way to do it and often this was met with some or an equal amount of resistance. Needless to say, I didn’t know what I didn’t know.

What I finally learned along the way was that there are almost always several ways to meet an objective and mine will not always be the most effective or only way to do it. While I will stand behind my methods, I m often open to learning new perspectives and processes.

I grew up thinking us guys need to have all the answers, and while today I have many of life’s answers I know I will realize again and again that I still have much to learn. And that is perfect!

May the holidays bring you much joy and a copy of Nutritional Truths makes a great Christmas or Hanukkah gift for the ones you love! May your days be merry and bright, feel free to share this as you wish and Be Well!

My mother made this nativity in the early 70's

My mother made this nativity in the early 70’s