Paleo Meal Creation: Let’s Try Making It Easier

Well, the time has come for me to give up the ghost of not needing to be on the paleo diet and for me to jump right back on the horse.

I said it before, and I’ll say it again: The path to success exists in NOT QUITTING.

But persistence and perseverance alone won’t get me where I need to go. I need to quit making things harder than they need to be, and after reviewing the Whole 46, I can tell that I made things much harder than they needed to be.

Paleolithic man certainly didn’t try to be as gourmet as I have tried to be. He grabbed whole fruits, ate roasted animals and raw (or very lightly cooked) veggies, and I seriously doubt it took him an hour (or more!) to make every meal and then clean up afterward.

Thus, I’m going to try to think more like a cavegirl when I put together the meal plans for next week and our grocery shopping list.

And yes, I will be sharing it with you, dear readers.

I anticipate more bananas, avocados, yams, and fish will be working their way into our diet and that homemade popsicles made from blended fresh fruit will completely rock. Right now, I’m fantasizing about watermelon lime…

If any of you have any suggestions as to meals or websites for me and our family to check out, I’d really appreciate it! I’m always looking for good ideas or meal charts. I know they’re out there.

Thanks, and I hope you’re having a great day!

Chapter 55: Mysterious Marking

To contain De in all its generosity, is like being a naked child.

Poisonous insects do not sting him,
Ferocious beasts do not seize him,
Birds do not use their talons to take him away,

Bones are weak, muscles are soft, but
his grasp is strong.

He does not yet know the difference between female and male,
but his organ is functional and life bringing.

All day, he will cry without needing to become hoarse, (for he is in harmony)

To not need to be hoarse is called harmonious.
To know the harmonious is to be enlightened. (as all children are)

It is a benefit to be born or to grow.
To speak of it is auspicious.

The heart and mind enable vital breath to speak to power.

Familiar strong things speak of immorality,
immorality long ago.
(Immorality which was ended by the Tao)

U.C. Irvine immunologist is getting the chance to create a new line of neural stem cells!

According to News Medical, an immunologist at U.C. Irvine has been awarded a $4.8 million grant to create a new line of neural stem cells to treat multiple sclerosis!

The novel approach of creating this new line of neural stem cells is that it not only would encourage the deterioration of myelin to slow or halt, but to even potentially be repaired!

Neural stem cells are hypothesized to be able to repair not only damaged myelin but also the entire damaged nerve cell, thus restoring abilities to those of us with multiple sclerosis who have been disabled by the disease.

This is considered one of our best hopes for regenerative therapy, and so I’m very excited about this treatment, especially for the thousands out there who are more affected by the disease than I am.


How to Train Infinite Compassion and Endless Pity

It is not my normal way of being to copy someone else’s phrases for meditation.

It is especially not my normal way of being to suggest that my readers do the same, but I am going to today.

I was sent the following from Bhikkhu Samahita in his Daily Drop of Dhamma Delight, and as I read it, I knew that it was something that I both want and need to work on and would like to share with you.

For your meditation:

Sitting alone, in silence, each early morning, with closed eyes, one wishes:

May I radiate and meet with only infinite pity, sympathy, and compassion!

May I & all the various beings on the 31 levels of existence develop & find
only this genuine gentleness of infinite pity, sympathy, and compassion!

May I & all beings on the sense-desire, fine-material, & the formless plane
develop & encounter this tender infinite pity, sympathy, and compassion!

May I & all beings in the front, to the right, the back, the left & below as
above develop & experience caring infinite pity, sympathy, & compassion!

May I & all beings in this city, country, and universe always be fully aware
and deeply mindful
of this warm infinite pity, sympathy, and compassion!

May I & all beings in this city, country, and universe examine all details &
subtle aspects
of this benevolent infinite pity, sympathy, and compassion!

May I & all beings in this city, country, & universe put enthusiastic effort
in their praxis
of this affectionate infinite pity, sympathy, & compassion!

May I & all beings in this city, country and universe find enraptured joy &
jubilant gladness
in this fond infinite pity, sympathy, and compassion!

May I & all beings in this city, country, & universe cultivate the tranquillity
of quiet, silent, stilled, & endlessly merciful pity, sympathy, & compassion!

May I & all beings in this city, country and universe attain concentrated &
absorbed one-pointedness
by this infinite pity, sympathy, and compassion!

May I & all beings in this city, country, and universe dwell in imperturbable
equanimity joined with this
loving infinite pity, sympathy, and compassion…


Great Weekend and Hopefully a Great Week.

I just had a great weekend.

For all the melancholy regret that I’ve had regarding not being in California, this weekend gave me ample reason to be glad to be a resident of the Chicagoland area.

We got to spend quality time with some of my husband’s best friends, who are quickly becoming some of my good friends, and we also had a good cookout with the family. The requisite number of charred hot dogs to be eaten for the holiday were achieved and then some, and I’ve come to realize that it’s okay to be comfortable here.

There are things in Chicago/Romeoville that are just missing from our experience right now that we had in abundance in Los Angeles: sweet, healthy treats like Robeks and Pinkberry, savory noms like the Ethiopian food at Messob and our favorite Mexican haunts, Tres Hermanas and Casa De Ramos, and fresh sushi isn’t nearly as easy to come by either. I miss the rolling hills and the beach, my friends, and the feeling of being where “it all happens.”

But in trade, things here are laid back and calm. We’ve got a beach by a freshwater lake, so I hear, Hot Doug’s encased meats are an amazing treat, and while Mr. Taco’s tacos aren’t the same as those at Tres Hermanas, their nachos are nothing to sneeze at. I can survive with Jamba Juice as a Robek’s replacement, and even make my own smoothies at home.

Not to mention, the gaming community in the Chicagoland area is much stronger. It’s much easier to find folks who like to roll a D20 (or D10 even), and who get together for LAN parties, because this place comes pre-loaded with friends who are bigger gamers than I am. Geeky me, I feel like a n00b from time to time. 🙂 At least I finally have a copy of Halo to practice with…

And I’m not the only musician in our group, which is also a good thing! Our living room right now makes me smile: You can’t help but think about (and practice) music when you’re faced with a piano, a drumming practice pad, 2 guitars (mine and Adam’s), a bass guitar (Nick’s), and a RockBand setup (Vdrums & 3 USB guitars for the Xbox).

I think my favorite thing about living here right now is that I’m remembering that life doesn’t have to be a constant treadmill of checking off a “to-do” list. It can be a celebration. You can spend your time doing things that you enjoy, sprinkled here and there with things that need to be done in order to continue to do those things that you enjoy.

To that end, I’m bleaching my hair again and dying it blue, because it makes me and Adam both happy and it’s fun. And I’m pretty sure I’m going to spend a ridiculous amount of time playing video games and practicing guitar today because I can.

I hope everyone reading this is doing well! I know I am. 🙂

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

I just wanted to take a moment to wish everyone a very happy Memorial Day and Memorial Day Weekend. I probably won’t be on this weekend just because I have a tendency to ignore the internet when my husband is home.

On a more serious note: Memorial Day is all about honoring our fallen veterans. Both of my grandfathers fought in WWII and they impressed upon me the seriousness of this day. Grandpa, especially — right before he passed me a well-grilled burger. 🙂

I have many friends who are currently in or just out of the U.S. military, and so I want to thank you all for your service to the country and your efforts in protecting our freedoms.

I hope everyone has fun this weekend! Be safe and stay cool!

Angeleno no more, Chicagoan for-ev-er? Or at least the foreseeable future.

I think I just realized we’re not moving back to CA — at least not within the next decade.

Part of me wants to cry and throw a temper tantrum about how hard I worked to get to the city where the TV convinced me we’re all supposed to want to live. (Not to mention how much I actually loved living there.)

The other part of me is excited we’re looking at houses, and is glad to be somewhere that we have so much of an emotional safety net, filled with friends and family.

This state’s laws blow as far as compassionate caregiving, and there’s no Pinkberry or ocean, but if we get a place in the city, at least there are trains and a bigass lake that’s got a beach of sorts. And I’ll miss the hell out of r0x0r parties, but at least here we have Biel-bashes out in Indiana.

Right now, the things about CA that I’m really missing are (in no particular order): Ethiopian food, farmers’ markets, the arts being EVERYWHERE, performance venues being all over the place (not that I performed, just that I had the opportunity), and the topography! I miss the hills, and I miss my friends, though I try hard to keep up as best as possible through Facebook.

But the best thing about IL is that my husband is gainfully employed somewhere that values him, and where we have the kind of security necessary to build a life together. That’s something that’s far more necessary than any of the things that I miss about CA.

Another thing I really like out here is how green it is. There are trees everywhere, and there are loads of lovely hiking trails and places to go on nature walks — lots of nature preserves.

So it’s not even half bad that we’re staying here. It’s just something that I’ve come to accept.

Sometimes you can think that you’ve found where you belong and it can end up being someplace else entirely. I guess things like that change from moment to moment.

I mean, we’d never be able to afford a big home in Burbank, CA, but we’re able to look at places out here with 3 or 4 bedrooms and stay within our price range. Ultimately, we get more bang for our buck in IL!

I guess it just means I have friends out west who I just HAVE to visit. Lucky me! 🙂

Chapter 54: To Study and Observe (The Tao)

A good builder is not promoted
(because he is good!);
A good snuggler is not pushed away
(because the snuggles would disappear!).

For posterity, offerings and sacrifices will not be turned away.

If you study the Tao, your De (goodness/virtue) must be genuine.
To be a student of the Tao, you must have De in excess. (Who knew?)

To study Tao in the home, shows that your De is constant.
To cultivate Tao at the state level, shows that one’s De is great.
To cultivate Tao in Heaven and Hell, shows that De is universal and omnipresent.

Because they are setting a good example to watch as people,
musicians and revolutionaries observe each other,
because villages look at villages,
because nations look at nations,
because everything and everyone compare themselves to one another.

How do I know everything tries to become correct?

Because of this.

(The Tao. I am alive. I experience it.)

Chapter 53: The Benefit of Proof

To make an introduction
of myself correctly
to know of my existence,
we must be alone,
because I cause fear.

The great Tao is a barbarian,
and most people prefer
an easier-going path.

A dynasty, very divided,
its fields covered with weeds,
storehouse devoid of content;

Clothes, language, affairs,
show advantage – a double-edged sword!

Loathe food and drink,
Wealth, money, and remainder
are plundered to boast.

To act in such a manner is against the Tao!

A Ragtime For the Bedraggled

I just wrote some lyrics. I’m gonna post em here – so I guess it’s more of a poem for y’all, since I haven’t recorded any sound with it. It’s about MS. I’m in a bit of pain at the moment: achy all over, tired, and I was thinking about how hard some of us work (at least I know I have at times) to be super happy and present — it’s about like putting on a Vaudeville act. I started hearing ragtime music in my head, and this is what came out.

A Ragtime For The Bedraggled

Silent inner predator,
It’s as though you are the
p h y s i c a l
manifestation of my
seething self hatred;
And I think
now that I’ve
Gotten it
Under Control
You Should Be Tooooo…

[:You should cooperate.
Why don’t you just play nice?
You seem to be the only part of me
that don’t know how. (ba-dump ba-dump!)

And maybe that’s why you devour me.
It’s cause I’m so sweet!
Well maybe I’ll never get that
Under Control,
But I will get you.
OooooooOoooooooOooOoo…. :]