Wednesday, January 31, 2007

In the old days they had no super markets, they had no gardens, they had no farms. We are talking the really old days.

Some people think this is humanity's most natural and healthy diet. As you've seen over these pages, I keep putting out food ideas as alternatives, not givens. This is something to be explored and not turned into dogma. Food is fun and experimenting is fun and trying out non-habitual pathways is fun.

I'll push that, the Feldenkrais Way, as I call it: the way of exploring, and going slower and lifelong learning and transformation and improvement. This I'm clear is good for all. The food thing, is more tentative. What you eat, this is a game that is great to play and to learn.

So anyway, cave people, didn't eat grain. They didn't eat sugar. They didn't eat dairy. They ate meat, fish, nuts, berries, fruits, vegetables, eggs, and insects. Most of the "cave man diet" people don't mention insects, but that was a big part of a primitive diet. Do you want to eat insects? Probably not, though the French eat snails. But that's what the beginning humans ate.

Some people turn this into a raw meat diet, which is an interesting experiment. There's a lot to be said for raw meat and raw milk and raw cheese and raw eggs. I won't give a long exposition here, but all the earlier comments of raw food having all the enzymes necessary for complete digestion of the food, those comments apply to raw meat and eggs and milk.

I personally, like raw milk that has begun to be digested by fermentation, which is either making it into yogurt (add a little yogurt and let it sit at warmish temperatures, in a sunny window or above the fridge) or kefir (same, add kefir and let it make itself), or sour milk (just let the milk sour with age.). I like to add enzymes (see link at side to Enzymes International) to get the milk to not only go toward yogurt or kefir, but to thicken a little towards cheese.

At any rate, if this seems interesting to you, lots of diets, like South Beach or Atkins, point you toward the cave person diet, and if you have diabetes, and you skip the fruit part of the cave person trip, you can do wonders for your health, and some have said, going raw meat will undo diabetes. So, it's all a grand experiment.

Meat without the greasy cooked smell needs a nice sauce to cheer it up, and it's pretty easy, either with soaked seeds, and some veggies like carrots, and whatever spices you love, like ginger, or turmeric, or garlic, or basil, whatever, to make a helluva nice sauce.


Life is good and so are you. Keep learning and discovering.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

If you have been following the essays in the WakeUp Feldenkrais sections, you have seen that this work is not about "fixing," but about finding greater unities and connections, by bringing back into awareness and actions parts of us have atrophied or been forgotten or never discovered.

We don’t fix.

And yet, when the headache comes on, we want it to "go away."

And, as Anat Baniel made clear in the recent training segment I attended: if we have something going "wrong," the problem is almost always in insufficient differentiation.

What does that mean if you haven't been to a Feldenkrais or Anat Baniel Training of late? It means that things are too simplified and tied together, that there is not enough subtly and complexity.

Say Iraq. Bad Hussein. Good USA. Solution: get rid of bad Hussein. And what has been the result?

Or in a marriage, when one partner gets stuck on some idea that the mate should "listen to me more." And that becomes the mantra, the demand, the complaint. None of the subtlety of when do they listen, when do they not listen, how do I make it hard or easy for them to listen, when do I listen, when do I act closed to them in just the way I complain they are closed to me. The Work of Byron Katie is nothing if not the differentiation of our fixed and enslaving "thinking / feeling" habits.

Anyway, with a headache, differentiation can often evoke amazing changes. This is just something I invented along the way.

The first and amazing idea, is to let the headache be, and get interested in it. This is the first and greatest differentiation: headache as something of which we can be aware, vs. headache as something being imposed on us from Beyond.

So here we go, on an awareness and differentiation parade.

On the in breath sense the headache on the right half of the skull and head, and on the out breath the left side. Then sense the exact contours of the headache while doing that, what is its size and shape. Its exact size and shape and texture.

Then begin to give the left half, now sensed as an exact shape, a certain color during the out breath, and the right half, now sensed as an exact shape, a certain color during the in breath.

And while doing this, sense the larger body and its shape as containing this smaller, two part, two colored, exact shaped headache.

So we have all this differentiation in the headache: right and left. Inside the contours of the headache and outside. The headache itself and the larger body. Our breathing in and our breathing out.

With all these to pay attention to and follow, and become interested in, the pain is often forgotten, and even when it is there, it is just in the headache contours and not in the rest of us, and is half the time in the awareness of one side of the head and in a certain color and shape, and half the time the pain is over on the other side in a certain color and shape.

Under this onslaught of interesting possibilities for attention the "pain" almost always dissolves. Our attention passes from out of our control victimhood, to in charge intentional exploration. We are no longer run by the "headache."

We are free to watch the headache, and to discover the awareness that is much closer to who we really are than this pain. We are the doer and the awarer and the explorer.

This is good.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

The joy of eating is one of our great pleasures in life. The tongue is a big part of our brain, an unfortunate antecedent to rampant cell phone usage but a good way to be for a species that has learned to communicate by language. The mother tongue is the language we first learn.

To sense and be aware of the tongue is a path to a heightened and altered state.

And to eat with awareness of flavors and the gestures of a meal is a great gift to ourselves.

So, we are having a nice gang of food sit around together and eat at our lunch breaks during the Anat Baniel Training. The training is great, and I’d suggest checking it out, (, if you are at all interested in dramatic and significant transformation in your own life and in your abilities to be of service to others, others as varied as golfers and skiers who want to improve their sport, to children with cerebral palsy and other neurological disorders, to “plain” everyday sore backs and necks and shoulders.

So we sit around, and have the old conversation: is this food good or bad for you and how harmful is eating sugar say, and how harmful is being obsessed with not having honey a bit if you are on a diet that is trying get rid of Candida.

I don’t know.

I think sugar can mess you up and rob vitamins and lead to worse health. I could be wrong.

I think if you are on a Candida diet you can have fun being strict or you can have fun being lax. I think both are good.

I think driving yourself nuts is probably not so healthy and definitely not so fun. Basically, what I think could be true, could be nonsense, I like to eat extremely healthy and then when I fudge, it’s fudging into fairly healthy, and I’m way ahead of the game.

What you like to do, is up to you.

I really like eating well. I think tons of good flavors and possibilities are out there. I think the more we slow down and really taste our food, and the higher the percentage of raw food we eat, the healthier we will be.

You don’t have to agree.

Love yourself, and let your breathing be full and easy and happy while you eat. This I can recommend without reservation.

Monday, January 22, 2007


To be human is to have all sorts of choices and chances. Choices to hold grudges or choices to forgive. At a concert tonight, John McCutcheon quoted his father in law as saying that the hatred we hold for other people is like poisoning ourselves and expecting that to hurt the other person.

If we want to be well and healthy, this is a must: to find anyone and everyone that we are having trouble, and forgiving them.

For our sake.

And for theirs.

If we don’t have the generosity to want someone else to feel better, even the rats and assholes, then we aren’t going to have the generosity to want the less well parts of us to heal and be happy again.

What other choices:

To be happy or not to be happy.

To be present or not to be present.

This is a lot. We have amazing choices.

To learn, or to stay in our ruts. Isn’t that great, all our choices?

Friday, January 19, 2007


The whole raw food thing has a couple of delicious attractors to it.

One: the food is easy and tastes good. A fresh peach off the tree is heaven. Some chard these days, that has been softened by frost after frost is delicious. They are right there for the picking, they couldn’t be any fresher and they taste great. This is fast foods the way fast foods is supposed to be: from the tree or ground right into your mouth if you are lucky enough to have your own garden and orchard, or have one to easily visit. ( Or ride a bike to, and cut out the fossil fuel connection.)

Two: the food is high in water. Our bodies, we all know are 70% water or more. Raw foods are full of water that nature has kissed with sun and soil and plant magical transformation. This is the best water you can get and raw foods are full of this water.

Three: every raw food has intact the enzymes that nature has provided for that food to breakdown. Either the food breaks down like the peach to create food for the seed, or the food breaks down the way chard would to return to soil and keep the cycle of growth and vitality going, but these live foods still have enzymes in them. So when you eat them, the foods break down inside of you and are much more easily digested. When we are young, or so the natural doctors say, we have extra enzymes, and so we can handle food without enzymes. As we get older, these enzymes get used up and the foods are harder and harder to digest.

Cooking destroys the enzymes. Any heat over 110 or 115 degrees (stick your hand in and have to pull it out quick), destroys enzymes, so all cooked food is worthless in having enzymes.

In nature, foods full of natural sugars have the enzymes to digest those sugars, and foods full of protein have those enzymes and foods with fat, have lipase to digest the fat. This is why Victoria Botenko talks of how she lost 120 pounds eating gobs of avocados. The lipase in the avocados digested her extra fat. And the lipase in sunflower seeds or almonds or raw butter or olive oil would also do the same.

Recall an earlier essay on seeds: to de-activate an enzyme inhibitor in seeds and nuts, soak them at least overnight, and then if you want even a little more umph in them, start draining and sprouting them. Again, we want to maximize enzymes for ourselves.

All good raw foods books, and the Price Pottenger Nutritional Foundation, have tons to say about nutrition.

You could try any of these, and many more:

Price Pottenger Nutritional Foundation.

Carol Alt

Raw Family

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


Many of these essays I write to pass on my understanding of some problem that has been bothering me for a long time, and since I’ve been gnawing away at it, and have chased down many dead ends, and have made some progress, I’m interested in passing on what I have learned.

And here’s a problem I have made little progress on, if I am to be honest. I could fake some answers: bundle up and get out into the cold, but really, I’m avoiding going outside now that we’ve got a cold snap.

And the “cold” here, in the forties and low fifties, much of the rest of this country would love to be experiencing now, in January, which is, after all a winter month.

So: I could and have bundled up and got outside. I’ve done real work in the sun. I’ve ridden my bike at top speed and worked up some happiness and warmth.

And still: I’m avoiding it.

So what tools do I have at my disposable?

The work of Byron Katie for one. And for a big number two, the idea of separating out the real sensation, from the story about what’s going on.

The real sensation, I realize, I don’t give much credence to, I don’t really get into the “present moment” with my sensations of being cold. Except when I first go to bed, and the sheets are icy, and I’m usually a bit cold to start with, I’ve realized and discovered, that to move a bit and let my feet feel the cold at its worst, and then to just breathe into and sense the coldness of the cold parts of me begins to dissolve a state of contraction and fear in me.

But this is with the help of a bunch of blankets covering me (we do sleep with the window open, in a room where we shut the door to keep the rest of the house from freezing, but it is cold in the sleeping room), so I know my body heat will start to rise.

But now. To go outside. Take a brisk walk, and not to avoid the cold. To sense which parts of me are the coldest, to sense what that cold is actually like as sensation, and to do the Work on the story.

The story that “this is too cold.” Or, that, “it should be so cold.” Or that, “I should have a better body that can heat up better in cold weather.” Or that I “need to eat more fat.” All these words give a place to burn off bits of the anxiety I experience when I get cold, but they end up draining and disconnecting me from the moment.

Which means I can’t be happy. Which is not how I want to live.

So, time to go take a walk and see if I can separate sensation and story. ( And I discovered….. still a lot to learn. Good.)

Saturday, January 13, 2007


.....Make it light.

So, la, la, we’ve come from breakfast to lunch to dinner. After roaming around on some raw foods sites, I must say that some present a strong case for just starting the day with fruit and others talk of the healing and miraculous powers of the

Green Smoothie,
which is a salad in a blender, say kale and spinach and some parsley, with some fruit to sweeten it, like pears, bananas, apples. (Again, if you are diabetic or into a Candida reductions program, maybe some stevia instead of the fruit.)

Anyway, you can hear from many people lots of ways to go, but I’d say: figure out a way to start the day eating raw and end the day eating light.

Remember the old word: supper, that was what they used to call the night meal. Supper was for soup. It was light. The main meal was in the middle of the day, and just a little soup, or a snack of fruit, or a salad to finish you up tidy, this was a way of life far more healthy than the big rich meals with which people cram themselves to hide from whatever it is that they wish to hide from.

So, maybe you’d like to try to eat lighter at night. A raw soup of carrots and ginger and some fennel or cucumbers. A cooked soup of some odds and ends in the vegetable world. Another Green Smoothie. Some fruit and a cup of tea. Try something like this, easy and experimental. See what happens.

See if you need less sleep.

See if you wake without the usual grogginess. See if you feel excited about life in the morning.

It’s all an experiment.


Wednesday, January 10, 2007


Okay. So you’ve started the day with some super food, or a piece of fruit, or a little bit of yogurt and you’ve snacked on some more super smoothie or a piece fruit or vegetable and you’re ready for lunch.

Here’s another shift in habit that drives some people crazy, and then again, some people like to try new ways, and many of the health advocates indicate this way of eating, and that’s food combining.

The main rules of food combining are simple:

1) Eat fruit alone, and on an empty stomach. ( I expand this and say fruit with any all raw meal is fine, including a nice thick high protein / fat raw smoothie).

2) Combine proteins with vegetables. The strict people just like protein and leafy vegetables, but I expand, protein and any vegetable that is raw. Not protein with cooked starchy veggies like potatoes and carrots and turnips and whatnot.

3) Combine grains with vegetables, here since the grains are already starch you can add starchy veggies, and it’s good, in my mind to have some raw veggies with your meals if you can.

What this leaves out is the combinations to which we are so accustomed: meat and potatoes, bread and peanut butter, pizza with the starch/grain crust and the cheese / protein filling. Some other day, I’ll give a little write about how milk products that are organic and aren’t raw aren’t so great, (with yogurt, kefir and butter being possible transitional exceptions), but for now: the old macaroni ( or pasta) and cheese: bad for you since the macaroni (or pasta) is in the refined flour category that Weston Price (see earlier essay) found common to all people with lots of ailments, and bad for you in combining the grain and the protein.

So does that leave anything for lunch?


And lunch, the middle of the meal day, many recommend being the main meal, the big meal of your day. See perhaps, The Three Season Diet. ((And, of course, buy from a local bookstore, such as Readers’ Books.)) This book, the three season diet, has many instances of people radically losing weight by shifting their eating to the middle of the day, and eating seasonally.

And what big meal would be nice with food combining?

Some meat and a salad.

Some (raw) cheese and a salad.

Some protein smoothie/ dressing/ dip and a batch of any sorts of veggies, be they salad or not.

Make your salad dressing a feast: olive oil, flax oil, miso, tahini, spices, raw apple cider vinegar, even a little fish oil. Some digestive herbs like ginger and turmeric and coriander. Make it yummy. Make sure the olive oil is organic and cold pressed. This is great for you.

Some whole grains, whole wheat, rice, millet, quinoa, barley, rye and some veggies or salad.

The key to getting things to taste good is your use of spices and your combinations. Again, lots of the raw foods and the various healthy eating books can give you recipes that follow these combinations.

Fit for Life by Harvey and Marilyn Diamond, is kind of the classic in this way of getting healthy by food combining. They encourage people to start the day with fruit alone, to make sandwiches (I’d say skip all bread, but if you do bread, do Ezekiel bread or one of those that are closest to being whole grain) with just tomato and onion and avocado filling say, to have a protein meal of steak and salad. I’d say, better, salmon and salad, and cook the salmon as rare as you can, but that’s getting ahead of ourselves.

The ideas are this: for lunch, eat a lot. Give yourself time to rest a bit after. Give yourself time to eat and enjoy. Give yourself time to eat and follow your breathing and have a sweet conversation, if only with yourself that’s fine too.

In this lunch have either protein and veggies

Or veggies and grains, preferably whole oats, or whole wheat kernels, or whole rye, barley, millet and so on.

As per always and always: food is fun. They are gobs of delicious ways to eat with these combinations.

See, perhaps: Raw Family Recipes. Or:

Think of your favorite ways to do the above food combining. Invent, create, discover.

(And one advantage to an all raw meal is that everything combines with everything else, since they all come with their enzymes intact.). Experiment. Enjoy. Thrive.

(Note. The essays are rotating through the three blogs, more or less one per day.
So you might want to check:
WakeUp Feldenkrais®
Life on Earth ::: Slow Sonoma
for the last two essays.)

Sunday, January 07, 2007


Health begins in the morning. And what nicer way to do this than a hug and a smile and a stretch and some exercise and some super smoothie?

drink in the Vita Mix
The whirl in the Vita Mix

Which means what?

It means: do a little exercise ( some stretches, wiggles, Feldie fun, take a talk of the short sort) and then have some wheat grass juice. Now that I’ve got a camera working in the digital mode, I’ll go through once more how to make super wheat grass. Not today, though.

Anyway: have some wheat grass and then do about an hour of real exercise. Or half an hour. Or twenty minutes. Do some.

Then have a super smoothie to start your day. You can see in the before picture the ingredients: soaked flax seeds, soaked pumpkin seeds, soaked sunflower seeds, Synergy, enzymes, ginger, Celtic sea salt and a little bit of Stevia.

This is to make a power drink, full of protein, full of fats that will lose not gain weight, full of nutrients. Here’s the list of what you get in Synergy:

Pure Synergy’s Ingredients (from web page: Synergy Facts)

Synergized® Algae 3.40 grams/serving
Fresh freeze-dried, cold-dried or Refractance Window™ dried: Pure Spirulina Crystals™*, Pure Klamath Crystals™*, Pure Chlorella™, Dunaliella*, Kelp*, Wakame*, Kombu*, Bladderwrack*, Dulse*, wildcrafted Dumontiaceae (Cryptosyphonia woodii).

Synergized® Phytonutrients & Enzymes 2.87 grams/serving
Fresh freeze-dried enzymatically active Sprouts of Millet*, Quinoa*, Broccoli*; Apple Fruit*; fresh freeze-dried Blueberry*, Raspberry*; Green Papaya Fruit*; natural plant Enzymes (Amylase, Cellulase, Lipase, Protease).

Synergized® Chinese Mushrooms & Herbs 2.61 grams/serving
Reishi*, Shiitake*, Maitake*, Agaricus*, Cordyceps*. Standardized 7:1 herbal extract: Astragalus Root*, Eleuthero Root*, Lycium (Wolfberry) Fruit*, Tang-Kuei Root*, Schizandra chinensis Fruit*, Atractylodes macrocephala Root, Fo-Ti Root, Paeonia lactiflora Root, Rehmannia Root, Codonopsis Root, Licorice Root*, Jujube Fruit, Poria cocos Root, Ginger Rhizome, Tangerine Peel, Polygala Root, Ligusticum wallichii Root.

Synergized® Green Juices 1.72 grams/serving
Fresh freeze-dried or CO2-dried: juice concentrates of Wheat Grass*, Barley Grass*, Oat Grass*, Alfalfa Grass*; Parsley Leaf*, Spinach Leaf*, Kale Leaf*, Collard Leaf*.

Synergized® Western Herbs 1.15 grams/serving
Fresh freeze-dried: Nettle Leaf*, Red Clover Flower*, Burdock Root*, Yellow Dock Root*, Skullcap Flower* and Leaf*, Dandelion Leaf*, Ginkgo Leaf*. Rosa canina Fruit (Rose Hips)*.

Synergized® Natural Antioxidants 2 milligrams/serving
Rosemary Leaf*, Clove Bud*, Sage Leaf*, natural Vitamin E (sunflower).


all ingredients, and the final drink
All of the ingredients and the final drink

Okay: so the Synergy gives you all that , the flax seeds give you gobs of omega-3 fat, the sunflower and pumpkin seeds give you high quality fat and energy. The enzymes give your body help in rebalancing all that we have lost over the years, the ginger makes it taste more fun, the Celtic salt gives a little help and some sea minerals and the stevia sweetens it up.

This is a drink a diabetic could drink, or someone wishing to rid their body of Candida. That’s another story.

If you are not in either of these categories, you can substitute all sorts of fruit, from berries, to apples, to peaches, to bananas to make this a delicious treat.

It’s fast, it’s super healthy and it’s easy to digest. Drink lots, and if you need a snack before lunch, either have a bit more, or if not diabetic or doing a Candida cleanse: have a piece of fruit. If you are: have either more smoothie, or some raw vegetable like carrot or celery.

This is a wonderful gift to yourself, and you might enjoy trying it. As I say in the link, the Synergy story is well worth reading, and if you do order it, mention me and Marlie and we’ll get a discount on our next purchase. The stuff is expensive and when you re-read the list of all the ingredients, you’ll see why.


(Note. The essays are rotating through the three blogs, more or less one per day.
So you might want to check:
WakeUp Feldenkrais®
Life on Earth ::: Slow Sonoma
for the last two essays.)

Thursday, January 04, 2007

To be healthy is one thing we all want. The sad part about being healthy is that you really have to eat healthy to be healthy. And you need to exercise. And you need to be relatively happy.

Which means: it’s a bit of a job.

And yet: the wonderful part of being healthy is that you get to eat really great tasting food. And another wonderful part is that you get to get outside and do what your body loves to do: move around. And a final wonderful part of being healthy is that you can enjoy your life so much more when you are happy and healthy.


We’ll talk some about happiness tomorrow ( see Happiness and the Work at the slow sonoma site, as these essays are one a day, but rotate thru the sites), when we come to the Byron Katie work, but for now please consider this as a stunning possibility: we are the ones who chose to be happy or not to be happy.

And now to food. It’s the new year and people like to think about eating healthy. The first thing that comes to mind, usually, is to eliminate junk foods. Good thought. If it comes in a package, if it’s got a list of ingredients on the package (or can), you can probably live just fine without it. If it’s served at a fast foods place, you don’t even have to hear what I have to say about that.

And still there is a core to healthy eating that is contradictory to the habits and addictions of most people in this sickly country. This core is to eat lots of fresh, raw, in-season and organic food.

And to avoid two elements.

A little background on these elements. In the 1930’s a dentist named Weston Price went around the world to find people with the best teeth. He found these people in small enclaves as varied in diet as blood drinkers in Africa, fish and oatmeal eaters in the British Channel Islands, fish and fruit and nut and vegetable eaters of the Pacific Islands, raw cheese and sourdough rye bread farmers in the Swiss Alps. Since this was the thirties, and the “modern” world as coming in fast, most of these people had relatives or a nearby village who had gone “modern,” which meant : sugar and refined flour. Without exception, the people who had gone “modern” had poor teeth and all the diseases of our time, cancer, heart disease, arthritis and so on. Those eating their “traditional” diets had almost perfect teeth (one cavity per twenty people or so), as well almost a total absence of these “modern” diseases.

He wrote a book about it, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston Price. And the modern way to get this information is to get Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions, and read all her commentary between and around the recipes. I advocate a different diet than Sally Fallon, but she makes the case strong and clear of what Weston Price discovered:

(1)IF YOU WANT TO BE HEALTHY, FIND WAYS OF GETTING SWEET WITHOUT SUGAR. Pears and apples, honey and stevia, sweet potatoes and carrots, there is a lot of sweet in the world without sugar. And


That’s “hard,” if you want to stay the same as everyone else, and maybe not so hard if you are excited to explore changing your habits, and seeing what life without bread and crackers and cookies and cakes is like.

For incentive, think of Scott Nearing, co-author (with his wife Helen), of Living the Good Life, out building with stone and working in his garden until his late nineties, and compare that with most of those we see even in their eighties.

There are many books out there with thousands of healthy and delicious recipes that live a life free of sugar and refined flour. Maybe you’d like to explore them. Maybe not.

These choices are always wonderful and exciting and best to be led by an intuitive pull. Maybe you’ll feel the tug.

(Note. The essays are rotating through the three blogs, more or less one per day.
So you might want to check:
WakeUp Feldenkrais®
Life on Earth ::: Slow Sonoma
for the last two essays.)