When Did It Become Okay?

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When did it become okay to eat chemically processed food? Food that we know, for a fact is chemically processed, but oh so amazingly  convenient – a part of our modern addictive lifestyle and easily available with very little effort on our part.

What is food today in Consumer Land (you know – right here, right now)?

Food (a loose interpretation): Items bought packaged for longer shelf life in megastores and minimarts. Food bought at fast food locations. Food grown and sprayed with poisonous pesticides and processed using artificial methods and mutiple chemical additives for flavor enhancements and longevity.

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When did it become okay to make money off of treating and healing sick people? Or worse, not seeing them at all if they haven’t got the right insurance.

When did it become okay to not be able to afford to take your animal to the vet? When did it become okay to buy products (almost everything) with built-in, short term obsolescence … guaranteeing you’ll buy the “new & improved” version?

Not only are too few of us not thinking about cause and effect, even more of us are not seeing beyond our nose, or should I say the view screen of our smartphones, tablets, computers, television, and so on. Not my opinion, just absolutely true facts!

“It saddens me when, as a race, we humans have been given so many advantages and yet our worst emotions still rule us.”~ Plh

Greed (now called profit margins & for us lesser folks, the constant seeking for a “better quality of life”)
Laziness (now called convenience)
Sloth (now called comfort)
Hatred (against anything and everything you don’t like or fear)

And so we’re left with our own personal rationales for why we do what we do, as we each (more or less) contribute to our downfall.

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Wake up! Open your minds, your heart and your awareness. We can bring about dramatic improvements, if we want to, or continue to be harbingers of our eventual failure as a human race.

As always – our own individual choice to make.

Penny L Howe

Our Body’s Fluid Gyroscope – Balancing for Health!

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The fluid gyroscope of life!

Many of us are familiar with a gyroscope. A device that maintains orientation during motion. Mechanically it’s a spinning wheel or disk where the axle (center) is free to assume any orientation. The momentum of the wheel causes it to retain it’s position. Although the orientation does not stay the same, it changes according to a response from outside forces.

eafc_original_gyroscope

Not wanting to become more technical here using words like “torque”, rate of spin, and “moment of inertia” I think I only need to say the basics are clear. Although gyroscopes today are exceedingly sophisticated in usage, the idea remains the same. The control or balance of a thing.

We (humans) do have a type of liquid gyroscope built into our body for its health, but we don’t pay very much attention to its signals. Actually we don’t listen at all. We just go get a pill to fix things which is usually an artificial bandage on the real problem – being out of cynic with our bodies natural rhythm.

Within each of our human bodies are a multitude of fluids released during the course of the day. They assist the mind and the body in functioning properly. When the body is off balance (not doing okay) various types of chemicals will be released by the mind/body in an attempt to correct the problem.

These chemicals are reacting to outside forces (much as a gyroscope does) We feel the effects of these chemical releases; headache, a sore tummy, stiff muscles and joints, feeling weary; just to name a few. That is our human chemical gyroscope trying to adjust that which is off kilter.

 

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The next time you’re not feeling well listen to your body, I’m guessing that, frequently, stress is going to be the leading factor causing the discomfort. If the stress is not released, or lessened we can and do end up very ill, many times fatally.

All because we aren’t listening to the fluid gyroscope in our body. Our body does want to fix itself and it can. But we need to do our part too.

Start making those changes today in your life style (small ones to begin with). Get enough rest, eat healthy and regularly. Drink lots of fluid. Exercise. Take time off from stressful jobs and or situations (This includes all the caregivers out there who care for loved ones.) Remember to have fun and so on.

Each of these can be accomplished even with an incredibly busy schedule … Make it so, you’re worth it!

Thanks for stopping by,

~ Penny

reprint from February 2013

Fudge – Anticipation and fulfillment of a comfort food!

making fudge

Homemade Fudge

So I made fudge today.

It was one of “those days”. You know the kind, where something a little extra is needed and I do admit to loving chocolate. Homemade fudge is one of my favorites. There is something absolutely wonderful and soothing about fudge, but not just eating a piece (or two).

The whole experience is wonderful. The chocolate aroma that lingers not just in the kitchen, but throughout the house and of course the anticipation of …

spoon of fudge

Spoon Full of Fudge

… eating the fudge left on the mixing spoon (Emma called dibs on the spoon) notice she’s enjoying her fudge while she listens to her favorite tunes.

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Enticement of a pan of fudge

… to cleaning out the fudge left in the pan (Jordan called dibs on the pan.) Notice she even stopped her conversation on her iphone while she enjoyed scraping the pan for every morsel of the delicious chocolate.

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Fudge – Have a piece, or two!

 

As for me … Well I had a few pieces of fudge with a glass of milk while I sat down and wrote this blog. I’d share the fudge with you if I could. Just know I’m thinking of you even as I finish the last little bite!

Mmmmmmmmmm! It is so yummy, yes definitely a comfort food! I feel very comforted right now.

Hope your week is going well for you, thank you for stopping by,

~ Penny

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Going Banana’s – Updated

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAbout a year ago I wrote about bananas. A post about the “fruit” of it all – The Banana! One of my favorite fruits, simply yummy and delicious!

We eat more bananas in the United States than apples and oranges combined. In some parts of the world, bananas keep millions of people alive.

Although extremely popular, the banana is mysterious; nobody knows how they evolved or from where they originated. Entire Central American nations have been said to rise and fall over the banana.

There are very real concerns about whether the banana of today will survive. As the result of commercial enterprise the (Cavandish) banana with its very own specific reproductive system, is now a genetic duplicate of the next, and highly susceptible to the same blights. Today’s yellow banana is increasingly threatened and there is as yet no cure.

Scientists are focusing on banana varieties still found in nature. Wild bananas can still reproduce by seeds andbanana's by copyright by nick b are constantly confronted with fungi. I stay hopeful researchers will discover resistance genes that can be transferred to the now seedless varieties. (A return to a more natural approach might be a good idea.).

And Bananas are very, very good for you. Rich in nutrients, vitamins, minerals and fiber – A source of energy. They help people suffering from anemia, can help in reducing high blood pressure and preventing bone loss by lessening the damage done by foods containing high levels of sodium/salts (found in the typical modern American diet). They can also help to balance blood-glucose levels and reduce mood swings.

Bananas are excellent for those suffering with ulcers. They can help lower gastric juice levels and build a protective coating in the stomach and in reducing heartburn symptoms. Bananas contain tryptophan, serotonin and norepinephrine which can lessen depression and also help a person to relax.

just-bananasThe B vitamins found in bananas help calm and soothe the nervous system, vitamin B6 in particular which can reduce the symptoms of irritability and sleeplessness.

Bananas help to lessen cravings for sugar and other sweet snacks. They are helpful in preventing age-related macular degeneration and strokes.

Even the peels serve a few useful purposes. They make a great fertilizer in the garden, especially for roses. Bury a few peels near the bush, and the peels will normally cause the roses to thrive. Pimples can be dried out naturally by rubbing the inside of the banana peel on the affected area on the skin.

As for me I try to include a banana in my daily protein smoothy. But what I really love is Banana Ice Cream. And the exciting thing is it’s made entirely from bananas – nothing else.

HOW TO MAKE BANANA ICE CREAM!

Save up those bananas that are beginning to be not quite but almost too ripe to eat. And/or just use fresh ones. Peelbanana-ice-cream-1 the bananas, cut into small bite size pieces place on a tray and freeze. Once frozen I put the frozen pieces in baggies and keep them in the freezer until ready to use. When your ready to make banana ice cream you:

  • Remove frozen bananas from the freezer (2 or 3 per person
  • place the banana pieces in a powerful blender or mixer
  • Blend
  • Add only a few pieces at a time

This does take a while.

banana-ice-cream-2There is enough fat in the banana and water that has been frozen in the bananas along with the natural sugar that by blending it long enough you end up with “Banana Ice Cream”.

If you like bananas you’ll love this healthy treat! The taste is so incredibly ice coldbanana-ice-cream-3 creamy and yummy, it really is banana ice cream!

Give it a try, good for you and so delicious! Great for a hot summer day! It was 106 degrees here yesterday. Will be 104 today. Stay Cool and thanks for stopping by,

~Penny

Penny L Howe

Irresistible Craving!

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Late this afternoon I realized I was experiencing an irresistible craving!

One that just would not go away.

You know the kind I mean. You crave it so bad it just won’t stay out of your mind!

So here’s what I’m craving, up close and glorious!

~

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~

I love strawberry shortcake! The combination of freshly baked cake, with lusciously sweet and succulent strawberries, topped off with a huge dollop of fluffy whipped cream – Yummmmmm! Had to share my craving.

Just a few months away from Strawberry season! Can hardly wait. Is there a food you’re craving right now?

~ Penny

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Sensuality – Taste Me

Savoring the Flavor

Food is the first thing that comes to mind right? (or were you thinking of something else when you saw the title? Hmmm,) It’s amazing what our imagination can conjure depending on how words are presented.

The sense of taste — like all sensations — resides in the brain. The taste buds in your mouth have receptors that send messages to your brain. These messages help the brain interpret the characteristics of what you are tasting – the flavors.

What do you think about when you think about tasting something? Most probably what you enjoy eating, would be my guess. Tasting is not only recognizing that which you are eating but is also defining the pleasure received from the taste of a thing.

The word appetizing comes to mind. If I’m going to taste something I certainly would like it be appetizing – taste good. I want to know there are going to be pleasant feelings involved with the tasting.

The sensual aspect of tasting is the experience of appreciating the flavor in a manner that lends itself to more fully enjoying the process. Notice that “taste” is a word frequently used to describe the “experience” of anything in life. “Tasting life, savoring the richness”. The sensual meaning of the word comes across loud and clear. “the appetizing qualities of a woman”, “it’s all a matter of taste”, all the word associations connected with the sense of taste expand your feelings on a subject when they are applied.

When we eat we are chewing, ingesting, and swallowing. When we are tasting we are savoring the experience, that is the sensual difference to remember.

Once more, the best way to be sensual when tasting is to – Savor!

Savoring the Essence

The creamy mellow consistency

so deep the richness

sweetly succulent

juicy

lusciously delicious

so moist

so intoxicatingly sensual

this taste sensation

my mouth exploring

the

Exploding riches of taste

The Peach!

*****

***

I hope this has been a good weekend for everyone, Don’t forget the Poem Challenge, the deadline is Friday my friends, Take Care of you ~ Penny

Copyright © 2012 by Penny l Howe

Going Bananas

Aha! Gotcha, this isn’t what the title suggests at all, or actually this is precisely what the title suggests. It is a blog about the fruit – Banana.  This is a fun and health post about one of my favorite fruits – the common ordinary everyday banana. Hopefully you will leave here today with a little more knowledge about a very simple yummy and delicious fruit.

That yellow thing you peel and eat, the banana, is a fruit. Here in America we eat more bananas than apples and oranges combined. In some parts of the world, bananas keep millions of people alive.

Although extremely popular, the banana is mysterious; nobody knows how they evolved or from where they originated. Cultural lore suggests that in ancient translations of the Bible, the “apple” consumed by Eve is actually a banana. Entire Central American nations have been said to rise and fall over the banana.

To me, the saddest thing about the banana of today is whether it will survive. As the result of commercial enterprise the (Cavandish) banana with its very own specific reproductive system, is a genetic duplicate of the next, and therefore all are susceptible to the same blights. Today’s yellow banana is increasingly threatened and there is as yet no cure.

In the past year, scientists began focusing on the banana varieties still found in nature. Wild bananas can still reproduce by seeds and are constantly confronted with fungi. It is the hope of researchers to discover resistance genes that can be transferred to the now seedless varieties.

When it comes to nutrition, Bananas reign.  They are rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber – A source of energy. They contain iron, which helps those suffering from anemia. Iron stimulates the growth of hemoglobin in the body. Bananas contain potassium; reducing high blood pressure and preventing bone loss by lessening the damage done by foods containing high levels of sodium/salts (found in the typical modern American diet). Vitamin B6 also helps to balance blood-glucose levels, reducing mood swings often associated with PMS.

Bananas are excellent for those suffering with ulcers, as they can help lower gastric juice levels and build a protective coating in the stomach and in reducing heartburn symptoms.
Bananas contain tryptophan, serotonin and norepinephrine, which can lessen depression and also help a person to relax. The B vitamins found in bananas help calm and soothe the nervous system, vitamin B6 in particular which can reduce the symptoms of irritability and sleeplessness. Bananas are an excellent first choice for solid food for infants, as they are easily digestible and non-allergic.

Bananas also help to lessen cravings for sugar and other unhealthy sweet snacks. They are helpful in preventing age-related macular degeneration and strokes. Even the peels serve a few useful purposes. They make a great fertilizer in the garden, especially for roses. Bury a few peels near the bush, and the peels will normally cause the roses to thrive. Pimples can be dried out naturally by rubbing the inside of the banana peel on the affected area on the skin.

I snapped this photograph looking down inside before removing the ice cream!

As for myself, I love bananas. They are the first item that goes into my fruit smoothies. I also use them as creatively as possible in other dishes. Recently I happened upon something new and different – Banana Ice Cream, truly unique because the only ingredient in the ice cream is the banana, nothing else. I think it’s one of the few foods that one can make ice cream without having to add any other ingredients.

HOW TO MAKE BANANA ICE CREAM!

I tried this for myself. Save up those bananas that are beginning to be not quite but almost too ripe to eat. Peel the banana, cut into small bite size pieces, place on a tray and freeze for a few hours.

Remove from the tray and place the banana pieces in a powerful blender or mixer. And blend. Add only a few pieces at a time. This does take a while.

There is enough fat in the banana and water that has been frozen in the bananas along with the natural sugar that by blending it long enough you end up with “Banana Ice Cream”.

If you love bananas you’ll love this healthy treat! The taste is so incredibly ice cold creamy and yummy it really is banana ice cream!

Hope everyone enjoyed my post today If you love bananas try the ice cream. It is delicious!

Have a happy, healthy day today, Penny

The Places I Blog

If anyone is curious this is my summer blog/office.

I actually have three locations. The first is my bedroom, sitting up in bed with my laptop enjoying morning coffee.  Franky and Jonny actually have the room they need to be interactive and loving with me. Between the two of them we’re talking more than 50 lbs. of cat. What can I say; they’re my guys, my BIG guys.

The second location is the family room, where everyone hangs out – on and off – during the typical day.  Sometimes noisy but most delightful in a good interactive way with children/friends coming and going, a teenager w/friends coming and going, and adults/we discourage a lot of coming and going with adult friends. That’s more of a let us know when you’d like to drop by kind of thing.

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And the third I already mentioned, the patio outside. It works on sunny/cool days, not so much on overtly stormy or roastingly (I know it’s not a word but it works for me) hot days!

And just so you know, I tastefully omitted any references to the ongoing chaos that accompanies a house with 2 adults, 2 preteens, 1 teen, 2 dogs (1 little, 1 large) and 4 cats. I did this to keep up the appearance the photos hopefully represent, ambiance in a pleasant and comfortable habitat. Did it work?

Oh, Oh! …Tempus Fugit (A Latin expression for time flies.). It’s time for a smoothie. I love smoothies. This one has (I don’t use a measuring cup people, it’s a ‘personal what-you-like thing’ but if anybody wants to know the approximates I’ll be happy to share) fresh blackberries, strawberries and blueberries, a frozen banana (Thank you Alton Brown from Good Eats on the food channel – great tip about what to do with the slightly too ripe bananas. Peel the bananas, wrap with plastic wrap and put in the freezer.) Anyway after the fruit I add a handful of uncooked oatmeal (boosting the fiber) and some plain yogurt (probiotics) Doesn’t it sound healthy? Well its also delicious!

Okay, back to my writing while I sip on my smoothie. Tomorrow’s the day I respond to the wonderful blogger awards I was recently given by some very nice people. Everyone have a good day, today! And yes I am now headed outside to my 3rd office!

One more thing, I can’t help myself, a photo of my cats when they were adorable little kittens. I’m constantly asking myself – What Happened?

A Package of…Cat

Is it just me or are some of the changes in the ‘modern’ world really scary? The new norm!

For example recently at an outdoor farmer’s market I overheard pieces of a conversation between a mommy and her three children of varying ages (Estimating age range from 6 to 10 years.)

Mommy: “Isn’t this fun?”

Children: Various responses of disinterest!

Mommy: “Let’s pick out some fresh veggies and fruit!”

Children: Various responses of disapproval! “I don’t like those.” “WHAT is THAT?” “Can we go now?”

Mommy: Stating the magic words of immediate turn off for kids everywhere. “Vegetables and Fruit are really good for you.” You’ll grow big and strong!”

(Now don’t get me wrong. I grew up on a farm where we had our own homegrown produce and there were honestly very few vegetables that I really liked. So in that area things are pretty much the same. It was the next response that was a little chilling to me.)

The eldest child: “Can’t we just go to the store and get some real food. You know, the stuff in packages!

When the “Normal” food that we eat is heavily processed, chemically altered, packaged for the purpose of longer shelf life while providing greater marketing appeal – how much have we really gained/lost in the translation? And how far will it go? When does it end…?

p.s. – I don’t know how franky got into the empty plastic wrapping and it did take me a few minutes to extricate him from inside. However I did think the photo brought emphasis to the point I was trying to make!

If change be a constant, may we not aspire to become part of the change…in a good way * PennyQuote