Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Mindful Meditation for the Midsection

My stomach is a needy little bitch. Every hour, like clockwork, her desperate cries for a nosh are like whines inside a minivan: Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? But I noticed that when I’m away from home, the hourly clock doesn’t strike. This revelation told me that maybe it was more than grouchy gastric juice at work. Maybe my mind was the bitch.

So I started meditating, thinking mindfulness would lead to stomach fullness. I would ask myself if I’m really hungry or is it just an emotional need to indulge my digestive system. But eventually I became so mindful, my mind started asking my stomach all kinds of nosy questions. For instance:

Mind: Are you really hungry?
Stomach: Mind your own beeswax. When you read something, do I ask you if it’s something you really need to know?

Mind: Did you know there are hungry people all over the world who don’t have the option to eat every hour?
Stomach: There are a lot of illiterate people, too. Maybe you shouldn’t read so much.

Mind: Did you know that in 2020, there won’t be enough food to feed everyone on the planet?
Stomach: Then I better fill up now while I have the chance.

Soon, I realized my mindfulness needed to be more mindless. Since it was clear I needed a tutor to learn how to stop thinking, I went to different meditation classes and downloaded different apps to learn how to turn off my brain. There was MM (Mindful Meditation), TM (Transcendental Meditation) and TMI (no meditation). But worrying about "going under" just made it harder to go under. Maybe I need Viagra for my void because at $15 a session, I want my void to go all hour long.

I'm thinking there should be an app for extracurricular noshing called Mindful Meditation for the Midsection. Hell, I could write the script in my head while I’m trying to go under.

You are feeling full.
That grumbling sound is all in your entitled little head.
That jittery feeling is from the organic, fair-trade, shade-grown double espresso.
It’s been 60 whole minutes since you chewed. Boo effin’ hoo!

Lately I’ve been wondering if the fact that I’m not as hungry when I leave home is actually real. Could that jittery feeling I associate with hunger actually be an endocrine disruptor from a toxic chemical or allergen in my environment? Endocrine disruptors can be found in cleaning products, paints, carpets, cosmetics, personal care items, pesticides, air pollution, etc. They can make you feel hungry when the hunger hormone, ghrelin is released by endocrine cells in the stomach’s lining that stimulates the appetite. And at home, my nose runs a lot, yet it stops when I leave. But there are so many things in our environment that interact with each other, it may be impossible to know what's making me feel the need to nosh.

Whether it's my stomach, my mind or my hormones, I figure meditation can't hurt. But at this rate, by the time I get to my happy place, it'll have condos and a strip mall. In the meantime, I better get to work on that app. it’s been an hour since I’ve eaten, and I’m famished. 

Friday, August 28, 2015

The Bernie Sanders Schmear Campaign

I, like hordes of others, feel the Bern. With his thick Brooklyn accent, rolled-up shirt sleeves and bare-bones language, Bernie Sanders has the cajones to say what no other politician dares: “If the Koch brothers and the billionaire class hate my guts, I welcome their hatred. Because I am going to stand with working families.” 

Right on! You tell 'em, Bernie! However, it begs the question: How are the billionaires planning to bring him down? How low will they go to eat him alive? So I did a little digging into Bernie's past and came up with six ingredients that they might use in a "schmear" campaign. Introducing the billionaires' Bernie slanders.

The Bagel

The Schmear: Bernie Sanders is not a U.S. citizen.

The Spiel: Bernie Sanders would be the first Jewish president. His father was an immigrant from Poland whose family was killed in the Holocaust, and his mother was born to Jewish parents in New York City. It was common for Jewish immigrants that moved here after the Holocaust to change their last names, and Sanders’ original family name was Glassberg. Hoo-boy! Are the haters gonna love this! 
The Billionaire Backer: Donald Trump
The Campaign: With the Donald leading the charge, the birthers will accuse him of being a citizen of Poland and residing in this country illegally. Trump will pledge to evict all American citizens of Eastern European descent and to have a fence built around the U.S. by election day. While he's at it, he'll build one around Poland, too.
The Copy: This man is not who he says he is. What else is Bernie Glassberg lying about?
The Tag: Bernie Sanders: show us your birth certificate!

The Cream Cheese

The Schmear: Bernie Sanders is too old.

The Spiel: With hair as white as Philadelphia cream cheese (and just as thick, without the guar gum), at age 75 (upon inauguration), Bernie would be the oldest president to take office. But there were other Philadelphians with white hair too, namely, George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. While Reagan left the White House at the age of 77, Bernie, at the end of his first term, would have a longer shelf life at 79.
The Billionaire Backer: The Koch brothers
The Campaign: The Kochs will have their 1%-fat cronies who own the major health insurance companies dig through Bernie’s medical records to find a smoking gun. If they don’t find a pre-existing condition, don't worry, it'll still be covered. A TV spot will show a close-up of an x-ray of a heart with clogged arteries. Pan back to see it's sitting on a bed stand next to a telephone, a glass of dentures and a hearing aid which the camera zooms in on. The phone rings, and we hear a voiceover.
The Copy: It’s 3 am. Iran just deployed a nuclear weapon. There's a phone ringing in the White House. Shouldn’t someone answer it? 
The Tag: Bernie Sanders. He can't hear you. 

The Lox

The Schmear: Bernie Sanders is a socialist.

The Spiel: Smoked salmon is popular in both Jewish culture and in Scandinavian countries. And Bernie calls himself a “democratic socialist” like in Scandinavia, which advocates a democratic political system alongside a socialist economic system. However, when Bernie was in college, he was a member of the Young People’s Socialist League—the youth affiliate of the Socialist Party of America. However you slice it, he will be branded a radical.
The Billionaire Backer: The Walton Family (owners of Walmart—not John Boy and company) 
The Campaign: Full-page ads with a picture of Bernie standing next to a different leader in each ad: Karl Marx in a factory, Stalin in a gulag and Mao in a rice field.
The Copy: Bernie Sanders wants to take away your home, your car, your clothes and your big-screen TV. Can we really afford a President Sanders? He's bad for business and bad for labor.
The Tag: Bernie Sanders. Never low prices.

The Onion

The Schmear: Bernie Sanders hates Israel.

The Spiel:  While Sanders appears to have a pro-Israel stance, when you peel away the layers, it’s not so clear. Though he lived in a kibbutz for a few months in the 1960s, earlier this year, he was the first Senator to announce that he would skip Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to a joint session of Congress. And in 1988, Sanders didn't mince words when he condemned Israeli attacks on Palestinians as “reprehensible.” That’s enough to make a poor billionaire hawk cry big, onion tears. 
The Billionaire Backer: Sheldon Adelson
The Campaign: A TV spot filmed inside a Jewish sanctuary shows an empty energy bar wrapper next to a torah on a pulpit, and we hear religious, cantorial music with a voiceover.
The Copy: Once, Bernie Sanders ate an energy bar before sundown on Yom Kippur. Can we trust this man to support Israel when he won’t even fast on the holiest day of the year?
The Tag: Think you know Bernie Sanders? Not so fast!

The Tomato
The Schmear: Bernie Sanders is a womanizer.

The Spiel: While Bernie Sanders is no tomato-chasing lothario, he did have a child out of wedlock (hey, it was the '60s). Sanders married his college sweetheart Deborah Shiling in 1964, but they had no children and divorced in 1966. His son, Levi Sanders, was born in 1969 to Susan Campbell Mott. In 1988, Sanders wed Jane O'Meara Driscoll and considers her three children his own. While he would be only the second divorced president in history (Reagan was the first), he wouldn’t be the only president to sire a love child. Thomas Jefferson, Warren G. Harding and Grover Cleveland did, and rumor has it that William Henry Harrison and John Tyler did too. At least Bernie didn’t hook up with one of his slaves.
The Billionaire Backer: Donald Sterling
The Campaign: Different TV spots with present-day Bernie and a different slutty, young woman. We hear a slow, sexy song with lots of groans (think Barry White) and a voiceover. 
The Copy: In the 1960s, Bernie Sanders fathered a child out of wedlock. Will he be up to his old tricks in the White House?
The Tag: Bernie Sanders. Just another horny democrat.

The Capers

The Schmear: Bernie Sanders is a criminal.

The Spiel: While attending the University of Chicago, Bernie was involved in many protest activities in the Civil Rights Movement, including the March on Washington. As a student organizer for the Congress of Racial Equality and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, he coordinated sit-in protests against segregated campus housing, for which he was arrested.
The Billionaire Backer: Wall Street CEOs of Citigroup, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase
The Campaign: TV spot with Bernie in a prison uniform in solitary confinement.
The Copy: This man has a criminal record. Think he's too big to jail?
The Tag: Bernie Sanders belongs in the big house, not the White House.

Hang in there, Bernie! Us 99 per centers have your back! 

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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Fashionista Farmer: Santa Fe Print Edition, Part 2

If you saw my post from the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market featuring prints charming, then you must be chomping at the bit to meet the Royals. What constitutes fashionista-farmer royalty? Is it organic, fair-trade, non-GMO, gluten-free, cruelty-free, rainforest alliance certifications? Nice try, but no. The farmers must simply display their wares with artistic flair, a sense of style and be farmstand eye candy. And for bonus points, their clothing must be color-coordinated with their products. Yep, I make the rules around here, and that’s what constitutes fashionista-farmer royalty. If you beg to differ, please take it up with the authorities by filing a formal complaint at the Bureau of Fashionista Farmers. In the meantime, eye some candy.

Mixed Greens and 50 Shades of Gray
Both provocative and high in folate, the man in gray and his matching ensemble was Prints Charming-certified.

Salve-y Lady 
This herbal salve seller rubbed me the right way with her originality.

Chimayo Red-hot Couture 
His clothing may have been half-baked, but his shades, hat and tablecloth provided the sizzle—along with the chile, natch.

Multi-hued Hot Couture Ensemble
Between her chile print apron and his hot, red shirt, they proved to be worthy chile-istas.

Earth Mother Ensemble
Her sage wisdom shone through with a retro, herbal-forward sensibility.

Karl Lavender Field
His many products went on like lavender fields forever. He even grew his own shirt. 

Aqua and Taupe Scone Ensemble, Sans Gluten
In addition to baking gluten-free, she gets bonus points for her fully baked color vision.

Beet Scone Ensemble, Sans Gluten
She also gets bonus points for matching. I hope the scones taste as good as the ensemble looks.

Hemp-glassed Baker, Sans Hemp
I didn't see hemp listed as an ingredient, but he still gets points for his whacky vision.

Batik Chic Baker 
What a pleasing pastry presentation, down to his coordinated shirt. Kudos, baker dude!

Cafe Accompaniment in Pink
He even matched the bacon, but regrettably, not the breakfast burrito. 

Which is your favorite fashionista farmer?

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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Fashionista Farmer: Santa Fe Print Edition

You think I care that New Mexican farmers think I'm a stalker? That's the price you pay for being a Santa Fe Farmers' Market "enthusiast." It’s been three years since I was there last, and the thrill never gets old. Is it because these homegrown purists practice organic, sustainable agriculture the way their foremothers did? Check. And because everything is hyper-local and unique to the area? Yup. And that they spit in the face of Monsanto and Big Chemical? Yessiree. But New Mexican farmers also have an eye for color and composition that puts other markets to shame. So I’m showcasing some of the print backdrops upon which they so artfully display their wares. And the designers, I mean farmers, are pretty colorful too. But you'll discover that in Part 2. In the meantime, meet prints charming.

Hot couture (chile powders) and dried jujubes (bottom)
Flower power (chévre with edible flowers)
Lavender fields forever
Chocolate, red chile, toffee bacon donuts

Gluten-free beet and apple scones; GF blue corn, green chile and chévre scones

Goat milk soaps; sage and wormword sticks

If you liked meeting the prints, just wait till you meet some of the farmers in Part 2.

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