Parents are always looking for a fun way to engage their children, especially in these times. I came across the Wild Food Homeschool Teaching Guide, by Linda Runyon, from the Wild Food Company (OffTheField.com). Linda writes: “Over my decades of teaching about wild food, I’ve noticed that people who become interested in learning it often have two reactions — one right after the other. First, there are many who had no idea that FREE, tasty nutrition is available everywhere, right under their nose. Second, wheels start turning in their minds as they realize that they have come upon information that practically guarantees that they and their loved ones need never go hungry.”
Children are fascinated with the idea of going out in their back yard, or to an open field or forest, to find that the wild food growing there can be picked, washed, and eaten. They, soon after, become very interested in finding additional wild plants to identify and harvest. They love to help prepare meals that can be served using the foods that they themselves gather. The guide includes a “Rules of Foraging” list and a fun project where you rototill a patch of ground in your yard to just wait and see what springs up naturally to identify, harvest, and eat.
How does the body heal? What steps does it go through? When extrapolated to groups and to society, how do the principles of natural healing give us insight and hope, as we interreact (dance together) and strive to create a better world?
In 2005, Thomas C. Chavez wrote a fascinating book on the entire healing process titled, Body Electronics: Vital Steps for Physical Regeneration, which combines nutrient saturation (through natural, dietary choices and limited supplementation), personal consciousness, and peer support. A seminar leader on these subjects since 1984, he was one of the earliest students of Body Electronics pioneer, Dr. John Whitman Ray. He co-pastors with his wife at Christ the Healer United Church of Christ. He teaches “how to gourmet raw” and has supervised raw catering extravaganzas since 2002.
Chavez entered the world of active health care in 1975 as an Emergency Medical Technician and soon became a student of massage, shiatsu, herbalism, Bach flower remedies, nutrition, and neuro-linguistic programming (NLP). He became a practitioner of homeopathic medicine in 1979. Gabriel Cousens, MD, Director of the Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center, says that Chavez’s work “provides the basis for a complete transformation of body, mind, and spirit.” We will outline here the foundational principles of Chavez’s Six Laws of Cure.
Every child remembers summer-fun foods—my favorite was watermelon! When my first child was 8 months old, she grabbed my watermelon rind and started teething on it—her first food! Since then, I have watched and studied for information on these wonderful balls of Mother Nature’s purest water. Here’s a sampling.
Starting in 1979, Dr. N.W. Walker, who wrote Colon Health—The Key to Vibrant Life, states: “The cause of death is colon neglect. Flush it out! Maintain the water balance in your systems. The human body consists of 65% to 70% water. About one gallon is eliminated every 24 hours and must be replenished.”
In 1988, Ann Wigmore, ND, DD, in The Alchemy of Change, wrote: “Watermelon is a real treasure! It is classified as both a fruit and a vegetable. It is the most alkaline of any of them. It provides a great aid for overcoming any acid condition. Considering our present hazardous water conditions, watermelon contains the best natural water.
The endocrine system is the synergistic interaction of all the glands. It is directly related to our emotional, feeling body and light centers. The adrenal glands are located in the trunk of our body, which in martial arts, is known as the chi or qi area, and our furnace. This gives us our first clue that we’re in the fire element and drinking or eating a lot of cold, icy drinks can put that fire out. In quantum physics (patterns within patterns), it’s the figure-8 flow, as above so below—the Alpha/Omega return current of life’s journeys.
The adrenal glands sit like two tiny pyramids on top of the kidneys, seated on a pad of fat. Simplified, they consist of an outer core and an inner core. The outer core secretes the hormone cortisol, which controls swelling and bacterial, excess heat, also known as inflammation, the precursor to all disease in the body. Along with stress, inflammation is at the core of burned-out adrenals (also known as exhaustion or chronic fatigue). That’s why MDs give cortisone shots.
The inner core of the adrenals releases adrenaline, our jump-start in the morning, and maintains our level of energy all day long. The adrenals are sunlight activated, as all the hormone system is. This gives us our second clue, that sun gazing, used for centuries, is a great way to strengthen, heal and repair your adrenals.
Looking out at the snow-covered garden and frozen ground, as winter lingers on, I count on my greens to provide me with chlorophyll, known as “liquid sunlight.” I recently had the wonderful opportunity to meet Sam Mascari, owner of Montana Roots in Livingston, and to tour his magical greenhouses. Right before my eyes, I saw what I had previously only read about—an aqua-ponic, recirculating, greenhouse ecosystem! It starts with the tank of fish that provides fertilizer, which is then pumped into a biological filter bed that is rich with worms and beneficial bacteria.
Montana Roots is a year-round, sustainable farm that grows a variety of microgreens, shoots, leafy greens, herbs, and edible flowers. Sam explained to me the difference between sprouts and microgreens. Sprouts, grown in a jar, are more the germinated seeds and the roots; whereas, microgreens are eaten after the first leaves (called cotyledons) emerge from a plant. It grows in soil that is a significant part of the embryo within the seed of a plant. Upon germination, the cotyledon becomes the embryonic first leaves of a seedling, before adult leafing occurs.
I used to think that I am just one drop in the cosmic ocean of life. It has always amazed me as to how my fellow man could make a statement and impact worldwide, when it seemed like all I could do was just keep up with my own back yard and its daily responsibilities. We all face the challenge of balancing our inner spiritual life with the outer—education, raising our families, careers/jobs, fun and play, which can seem all consuming.
Until… very recently, I found my 20/20 vision for heaven on earth. Here’s how it works. And yes, it does start right in our own back yards. One cosmic drop of the ocean (you) and one drop (me), we collectively make up the powerful impact of that ocean and our earth.
Allergies affect everyone from time to time and because of that, it is a multi-billion dollar industry. Misunderstanding the body and its functions leads to confusion. According to Roger Bezanis, the renowned author, researcher, formulator, health-care pioneer, educator, and former comedian, Big Medicine says: “When in doubt, medicate it or take it out!” Some people would want to try other alternatives.
Dr. John H. Tilden, the son of a physician, born way back in 1851, was one of those people. Graduating from med school in 1872, Dr. Tilden based his drugless practice on his theory of clearing the body of toxic poisons and allowing nature and the intelligence of one’s own body to heal itself. The key, he felt, was to constantly eliminate toxic waste as fast as it is produced. In his 1926 book, Toxemia Explained—Antidote to Fear, Frenzy, and the Popular Mad Chasing after So-Called Cures, he taught his patients how to live so as NOT to create a toxic condition and to retain a healthy body free of disease. Here are some of Dr. Tilden’s thoughts…
Yes, the temperatures are dropping, making it the perfect season to reach for warming foods. Think: Herb teas, hot lemon-ginger water, broths, soups, stews, sauces and gravies, crockpot, slow-cooked meals, and warming smoothies. Include: Garlic, onion, Mexican hot peppers, radishes, all types of sea vegetables. Use: Herbs like basil, oregano, peppermint, ginger, horseradish, mustard, paprika, cayenne, sage, and turmeric. Add: wasabi, umoboshi plum paste. Spices too: cinnamon, clove, star anise, licorice, nutmeg, allspice, and pumpkin-pie spice. Stir your rose-hips tea with a cinnamon stick!
Dr. Richard Schulze, ND, MH, is known for his natural-healing crusade. He reminds us: 1) Cayenne pepper promotes overall core warmth, circulation and heart health. 2) Horseradish root goes right to the head. 3) Ginger root goes out to the extremities and back in again internally, creating movement as a wave of warmth. There you have it—heart, head and hands!
Our bodies are made up of systems, most of which you are familiar with: skeletal, muscular, cardio- vascular, digestive, nervous, immune, and respiratory. Yet, how often do you hear about the endocrine system? It consists of the glands and organs shown above. Off the top, we have been hearing about the thyroid, adrenals, pancreas and reproductive. However, the least known is probably the thymus.
The endocrine system is mostly related to our thoughts, feelings, and emotions, which affect our physical body. It rules! We truly are sunlight activated, chemical, hormone, and electrical beings. If you are in an arm-wrestling match with your hormones, who do you think is going to win? Your hormones, of course!
I used to think my family was a hormonal wreck—myself included! I could cry at the drop of a hat while under stress, due to lack of sleep, or seasonal/monthly changes in my body. I came to realize we had unbalanced hormones we were fighting with under added pressure.
Did you know there are both cooling and warming foods? That’s right. We eat for many reasons, yet some are less obvious. For example, we eat foods that grow in our climate zones, the same zones that we plant by, because the plants that grow in our climate have built into them what we need to also survive well in our area. So here we are, leaving summer behind, and on the threshold of winter. Autumn is a transition season, not only for the plants and animals but also for us. All gardeners know that the critters will focus on eating different plants at different times of the year. Does your diet reflect that change?
Summer’s cooling foods, like bananas, grow in warmer climates. Does that mean I never eat bananas? Of course not, yet I choose to eat them in the hotter months and know they won’t keep me very warm in my neck of the woods at 20 below! Many people say, “Well, I eat a banana a day because I was told I need potassium.” Bananas are a source of potassium, but dates, by weight, have 50% more potassium than bananas (Prevention Magazine).