Tremendous Tranquil Trees

Decided today to speak about something near and dear to me, trees. Where I currently live is nicknamed the Tree Farm as my home is surrounded by acres of trees in all directions. For me, tall trees are comforting and remind me how short human life is and how without them we would likely not stand a chance of survival. Plus they can produce fruit or nuts, be used for fuel and construction, be fun to climb, look at, lay under and hey, maple syrup!


Tree facts
*There are upwards of twenty thousand tree species on Earth.
*Trees receive about ninety percent of their nutrition from the air and only ten percent from the soil.
*Trees can induce rainfall by cooling the earth and through their leaves transpire moisture into the sky through their leaves, with an acre of maple trees transpiring up to twenty thousand gallons into the air daily.


*Over the course of its life, a single tree can absorb one ton of carbon dioxide.
*The oldest trees on Earth include the California Bristlecone Pine and Giant Sequoias that live four to five thousand years.
*The habit of knocking on wood for good luck comes from primitive tree worship when knocking on trees was believed to summon protective spirits in the trees.


Hope you learned something new and feel free to share as you care to and enjoy yourself-it’s later than you think. Be Well!

Grown Meats

Looking at a recent poll showed that while Baby Boomers who lived the vegan lifestyle was at 2 % Generation X was at 5% and millennials were at 12%, proving that fewer and fewer Americans are consuming animal flesh, animal products, and by-products.

In addition to not eating animals vegans do not use leather for their shoes, jackets, purses, etc. nor do they use any soap, makeup, cleaning product, or item derived from or tested on animals or bugs including honey, wool, down, and silk, etc. It is most often from a compassionate standpoint, while for others it is for the health benefits or both.

As for what vegans eat, I would like to focus today’s blog on two straightforward unprocessed meat alternatives. Go to a place like Trader Joe’s and investigate all the faux meat options they have, it may surprise you. I want to cover two alternatives that you can prepare at home from its natural state and enjoy without too much effort.

Jackfruit is an amazing alternative, grown throughout India and Thailand and the trees grow large with a canopy full of fruit. The fruit itself can range in weight from 35 to 80 pounds. They can be purchased smaller and whole at an Asian market or in the can at those same markets, and they are beginning to carry it at regular grocery stores as well in the can. Ideally get it packed in water or brine. Drain water and slice up the fruit to behave much like a pulled meat and add to any sauce or recipe. Investigate the thousands of recipes online and enjoy!

Jackfruit tree, Opened fruit, fleshy pod with internal nut and BBQ stye

Jackfruit tree, Opened fruit, fleshy pod with internal nut and BBQ stye

Mushrooms are also a great alternative, and they can be portabellas, button mushrooms, and my new favorite is oyster mushrooms. They can be smoked and added to a BBQ sauce or sautéed and treated like meat in your favorite dish. From Indian food, BBQ, and Mexican food they’re my favorite meat replacement. Online find hundreds of recipes for a mushroom-based meal.

Oyster, portobello and button mushrooms

Oyster, portobello and button mushrooms

At the healthy grocery store, you will find dozens of options for alternatives made from processed soybeans like tofu and less processed soybeans making Tempe and from wheat gluten many types of Seitan are available and tasty. Do a Google search, and you will find a myriad of meat-free alternatives.

When I first wrote Nutritional Truths almost two years ago, I was still eating meat but knew the day would come when I would not. It has been over six months ago now since I gave up eating animals and I have not missed it a bit nor do I miss all the internal conflict that had been growing over the past couple years.

I thank you for taking your time to drop in and maybe learn something new. Please subscribe, share as you may and Be Well!

On Love

Many moons ago I worked with a fellow named Bob Bell who was twice my age and would share various bits of information on life with me and one day while talking about relationships he wrote down the following poem for me. I found the original yesterday made a few adjustments and wanted to share the poem with you.

Made Over
She had seen him and she liked him; He was single- so was she;
She grew interested in him- such a case you often see.
He reciprocated promptly, and it gratified the maid-

In a thousand modest manners her delight the maid displayed.
He was certain that he pleased her, to the turning of a hair,
And was sure that e’en his failings seemed to her as virtues rare.
But within her heart the maiden softly murmured, day and night,
“With a little making-over he’d be exactly right.”

Week by week the two kept meeting; day by day their friendship grew;
Each was certain that the other had a loyal heart and true.
He was sure she was perfection, sure she thought the same of him,
and the trust he thought she carried kept the man in moral trim.

His belief in her perfections made him ask the maid to wed,
And she gave no hint of doubting in the tender “Yes” she said.
Yet this thought was interwoven with her new-found loves delight:
“With a little making over he would be exactly right.”

They were wed. She made him over. He’s another chap to-day;
But in lopping off his failings other things were cut away.
He has lost the faults she censured, but the scars are plain to see,
And she’d like to have him back again just like he used to be.

For she learned a costly lesson: That when God has made a man
He is founded, framed and finished on a pretty careful plan.
And this one-time maiden murmurs in her sorrow, day and night:
“If I hadn’t made him over he would be exactly right.”
Strickland W. Gillilan

This poem could certainly apply to the opposite gender, and you will find some truth in it. I learn things from many people along the way and am grateful. Reminds me of the adage “If you’re having a hard time being grateful for the things you have then try being grateful for the things you don’t have that you don’t want.” No matter, enjoy the poem, feel free to share, have a great weekend and Be Well!



God Food

Many of us grew up in a home where meals came from a drive through or out of a box, bag, can or container. Therefore, today fresh vegetables often do not reside at the top of our list of things we crave to eat. Fat, salt, and sugar are at the top of that list because that is how we are hardwired. Understand that at the time of our wiring we did not have a drive through on every corner or grocery stores filled to the brim with fake foods.

All processed carbohydrates (buns, coatings, fries) behave like sugar in our brains making fast food, and most processed foods hit on all three cylinders and then there’s the copious MSG added. Examining the Standard American Diet the vegetable we most consume are potatoes, fried potatoes. All supported by the amount of fast and restaurant foods we eat. Although potatoes do offer some nutrition when baked, the sweet potato has more to offer us nutrition wise.

Growing up, my idea of a vegetable outside of potatoes was green beans or spinach fresh out of the can. Iceberg lettuce tomatoes and cucumber would make an appearance on the occasional spaghetti night. It was not until I learned about holistic health did I come to realize how many vegetables support health and help keep disease away.

Organic vegetables are full of vitamins, minerals, enzymes and antioxidants all to support our wellness. I refer to vegetables as God food or food that loves you back. Foods created by God trump foods made by man every time!

The easiest way to fill yourself with more veggies is either to fill your blender half full with greens and then make a smoothie. Many favor young beet, chard & kale greens or spinach. Add frozen bananas, berries, almond milk or coconut water, maybe ground flax, chia or hemp hearts and you’re all set.

You can also finely dice up zucchini, yellow squash, carrots or use the food processor and add them to any meat or non-meat sauces, loafs, meatballs or patties. Invest $30 in a spiralizer and use zucchini or squash in place of pasta and don’t forget spaghetti squash for another way to sneak more veggies onto the dinner table.

Organic vegetables feed our bodies and mind better than anything you can get from a drive-through, box, bag, can or container. If the vegetables are raw, then all the enzymes are in play. If you’re only into sharing your love with those that love you back, then become more familiar with a true love, vegetables.

May your weekend be a great one, share as you like and Be Well!

A rainbow of nutrition awaits in vegetables

A rainbow of nutrition awaits in vegetables

Valentine’s Day Once More

Valentine’s day over my lifetime thus far has changed a bit over the years, and I recall my earliest school days of passing out Valentines to all my classmates via their Valentines bags taped across the chalkboard. It also meant an opportunity to make a card for mom though I don’t recall dad ever getting one.

Giving flowers made the scene as I became a teenager for girlfriends on Valentines, which has carried on to this very day. Yes, they are overpriced and die in a few days, but if your beloved enjoys them, then you buy them. Sure cards and candy can go a long way to saying I love you and a nice dinner too but florists have bills to pay too.

For as long as I remember NECCO Sweethearts have been a part of my Valentine’s Day. They began making them back in 1866 and though the sayings and flavors have changed over the years they remain my favorites. Yes due to the ingredients I cannot recommend them, but they are a tasty treat. So tasty they make eight billion of them a year, making them the best-selling Valentines candy, even over chocolates.

I also spent years along the way without a particular Valentine so I would either just ignore it or ask a friend to dinner or lunch to celebrate being single. One time I broke up with my girlfriend the beginning of February knowing, I would then not get to deal with all the flowers, etc. on Valentine’s day. Don’t hate.

Our now six-month-old puppy Paisley has brought a new level of love into our lives, and again I say “Who knew?” I was trimming her nails after her bath today and cut into the quick. She did not yelp or seem affected by it, but man do those nails bleed.
Seems you can get by a drug to place on it or use an 80/20 mix of cornstarch/baking soda to stop the bleeding.

I felt so terrible making my dog bleed but have confirmed that it is not all that unusual and I have more knowledge of how to avoid it going forward. More puppy wellness info can be easily had on Mercola Pets.

No matter how you choose to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year may you enjoy it and whoever your Valentine is, even if it is you! Be kind to yourself and share as you wish-Be Well!

Paisley Greeting

Paisley Greeting

Funeral for a Friend

I shared with you last week about my free-spirited friend Daniel dying far too young at 31. Yesterday was his memorial service, entombment, and 32nd birthday party attended by family and friends from all over the country. Shame he was not there to enjoy it and yet through all the folks that loved him he most certainly was there. From buddies, he grew up with to girls that had just met him last year everything spoken about Daniel was positive and loving, just like him.

The memorial service/mass was moving as his sisters and parents shared their memories, thoughts and love for Daniel. His cremains were then entombed in the churches columbarium in a beautiful courtyard on the grounds with his mother and father placing his urn into its final resting place. His mom later shared with me how odd it was that it had been 32 years ago to-the-day they had first placed Daniel into her arms. While it should have been her grieving last night, she was the one consoling the all the girls with broken hearts.

The evening held a celebration of Daniels life at a local pub attended by hundreds of people and just as many funny stories. It was wonderful hearing all the adventures of Daniel from all manner of friends from Colorado to California and beyond. His family enjoyed the stories most of all learning wonderful things about him and learning what a positive impact he had on all he met.

Another’s death may bring about self-reflection, assessment and contemplation of one’s mortality, in this case, it has been a process of learning much more about how Daniel lived on his terms touching people in a positive way as he lovingly made his way through life. Makes me miss him even more.

His family came up with a new slogan, and that is when faced with not knowing how to handle a particular situation, consider the motto WWDD What Would Daniel Do and then go for it. In most cases it would be to have fun, laugh and love everyone around you.

Be sure to take the time today to reach out to those you love and remind them of all they mean to you. Consider forgiving someone you haven’t, not to absolve them of their trespasses but to free you from the bondage created by unforgiveness. Please feel free to share this as you wish and Be Well!

I will see you Daniel on the flip side!

Daniel hotel Standard in LA April, 2014

Daniel hotel Standard in LA April, 2014

Only the Good Die Young

Receiving a call from a friend of mine on Wednesday afternoon, I was surprised to hear her husband’s voice on the phone and knew that something was amiss. He went on to state that her brother had flipped his car while driving out in California the night before and was killed. I dislike calls like that, and so it goes.

Daniel was just thirty-one and in those years, he likely lived a few lifetimes between Texas, Colorado, and California. His countless friends and loves have shared stories and tales of the life of Daniel, and the one consistent comment and fact is that Daniel is a free spirit. He was also loved by all who ever knew him.

His smile and hugs were always welcome as were the times spent talking with him, hanging out, catching up and dreaming out loud. He was a hair stylist, botanist and a real joy to all that ever spent time with or knew him. He is one of a kind, and the world is a bit less fun as a result of his leaving.

“We never know what we have until it is gone” could not be truer today than ever for me. I wish I would have reached out to him more and made sure to see him every time he was in town.

I used to call him Danielson, like Mr. Miyagi, and I guess I still will only without his smile in response. As the years pass death seems to be the one thing that still surprises me when it happens. We will all get a go at it one day, and I trust that what lies beyond is more amazing than we could ever imagine.

My heart breaks for his family and all the pain and grief they are experiencing, which is the norm and will somewhat pass over time. CS Lewis said, “The death of a beloved is an amputation.” In a sense it certainly is. To them, I say I love you, and we all share in your grief and miss knowing that Daniel is walking the Earth, just out of sight. He now knows all the truths about the universe.

Until we meet again Daniel, you will be forever missed. To my reader, make sure everyone you love knows it and may your weekend be a great one. Feel free to share and Be Well!

Daniel & Brett  2013

Daniel & Brett 2013

An amazing story of Love

Having a first puppy as part of our family as given me an entirely new appreciation for our canine friends. It is impossible to describe the immense love I feel for her and after eight weeks it just keeps growing.

Our Paisley with a question

Our Paisley with a question

My commitment on this blog is to share truths that will serve you and those you love well and after reading this story I was brought to tears, ok sobs, and I credit the expansion of my heart as being brought about by puppy love.

Stay away from dog food containing corn, soy, or other things you cannot pronounce as your dog’s body was not meant to be fueled by them. For all solutions to pet issues check out Dr. Mercola Healthy Pets online.

Let’s head back to 1920’s Tokyo where a University of Tokyo Agriculture Professor Hidesaburo Ueno would walk each morning to the train station followed by his Akita dog Hachiko who would then return in the afternoon for his humans return to the station.

Faithful Hachiko

Faithful Hachiko

Until one day at work in 1925 when Ueno died while lecturing and of course never came back to the station to walk home with Hachiko. Hachiko would return to the train station each and every day after to wait on his friend.

Doing this for ten years until his death. At that time, someone erected a statue of Hachiko. Recently a photo of Hachiko surfaced showing him waiting one day at the train station.

Hachiko waiting on his friends return in 1934

Hachiko waiting on his friends return in 1934

While some folks in China will raise dogs to eat Japan has a long history of loving and appreciating dogs and cats. In fact, the photo below is of his funeral shows the love that was felt for him.

Hachiko Funeral

Hachiko Funeral

The part of the story that produced more than a few sobs is that honoring the event from 90 years ago the University of Tokyo’s Agriculture Department has recently erected a bronze statue of man and dog together at last.

Together at last!

Together at last!

Together at last installation

Together at last installation

Feel free to share this as you care to and Be Well!