Saturday, January 17, 2015

Building Character in 2015

As often happens in the course of human events, 2014 was about as predictable as the time and place of the next meeting of the Galactic Federation of the Parallel Universe.

The New Year, 2015, is now upon us and we’re all along for the ride. The journey may be a pleasant one or a hundred miles an hour down a dead-end street, often depending on your point of view.

Although every year is the same duration, they actually seem to go faster as you grow older. When you’re ten years old, one year is ten percent of your life. When you’re fifty, one year is only two percent of your life -- thus, the illusion of faster time as you get older.

Every year, life seems to get easier and more complicated at the same time.

I can remember when my grandmother had an actual icebox on her back porch and a man would stop by every couple of weeks to deliver a huge block of ice. My grandmother lived in a large two-story house, in Wisconsin, and her only heat came from an oil furnace in her living room and a wood-burning stove in her kitchen. She had running water but no water heater. A Saturday night bath was a major project that included heating water on the wood-burning stove and toting it down the hall to the tub.

A hundred years ago, things were quite a bit different.

  • The United States of America had only 45 states. Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Alaska and Hawaii had not yet been admitted to the Union. Texas was a state but it was too late to do anything about it.

  • Life expectancy in the United States was 47 years. Pneumonia, tuberculosis and diarrhea were the three leading causes of death. Then as now, women were the leading cause of headaches.

  • The average wage in the United States was 22 cents per hour and the average worker made less than $400 per year. On the positive side, there was no income tax.

  • There were only 8,000 cars in the United States and less than 150 miles of paved roads. The maximum speed in most cities was 10 miles per hour. The only drag race was a foot race between transvestites.

  • Drive-by shootings were a major problem in Denver and other cities in the west. Apparently, teenage boys would gallop through town on horseback, randomly shooting pistols at whatever caught their fancy.

  • Only six percent of Americans graduated from high school. One in ten adults couldn’t read or write. These days, many more people graduate from high school but they don’t necessarily know how to read or write.

  • Marijuana, heroin and morphine were all available over-the-counter at corner drugstores. Coca-Cola contained cocaine instead of caffeine. Freedom of individual mind and body once actually existed before the government decided it had a right to control what mood we’re allowed to enjoy.

  • The closest thing to a computer was an accountant with ten fingers and ten toes, or a Chinaman with an abacus.

It’s hard to predict what the New Year has in store for us. The human race is a work in progress. We take two giant steps forward and a giant step backward. Whenever we get to a crossroad, we occasionally chose the wrong direction.

 Perhaps someday we’ll reach the Promised Land. Until then, the best we can do is to savor the journey.

May the New Year bring joy to all and Peace on Earth.

But if we must endure more hardship, that’s okay too -- after all, suffering builds character.

Quote for the Day -- “The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.” Horace Walpole

Bret Burquest is the author of 10 books. He lives in the Ozark Mountains with a couple of dogs and where building character is a daily task

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Food Combinations -- What to Eat When

Dr. George Goodheart (1918 - 2008) was a chiropractor who founded applied kinesiology.

In 1964, Dr. Goodheart discovered a correlation between muscles reacting in a strong or weak way when his patients came in contact with certain foods, nutrients or chemicals, regardless of their age or gender.

For example, when he asked a patient to hold a chemical-based sugar substitute in one hand and extend the opposite arm at a right angle to the body, no matter how hard the patient tried to hold the opposite arm in position, the muscles would become inexplicably weak.

This discovery, whereby the body inherently knows what serves its needs and what is harmful, became known as "Applied Kinesiology."

The International College of Applied Kinesiology was founded in 1975 to provide information and instruction on Dr. Goodheart's research to health care professionals. Dr. Goodheart served as chairman of the Research Committee for 32 years.

The following information was formulated from Dr. Goodheart's research.

When we eat what we eat is directly related to how much benefit we receive from it.

Inadequate absorption of food causes degeneration of tissue -- a combination of high protein and high starches inhibits the absorption of nutritional factors of foods and creates an unnecessary burden on the entire digestive system. Consequently, consuming large quantities of nutritious foods will yield little or no benefit if other foods consumed at the same time interfere with the proper digestion of vitamins and minerals of the nutritious foods.

Carbohydrates are digested mostly in the small intestine -- proteins are digested mostly in the stomach. Thus, it becomes problematic when combining carbohydrates and proteins.

For example, consuming a food rich in calcium (such as cheese) that reaches the small intestine when an alkaline digestive process is present, then very little of the calcium will be available. The calcium will have a chemical reaction with the alkali making it unable to be absorbable, thereby passing through and out of the body unused. No matter how much cheese is consumed, a calcium deficiency will occur because the calcium is not absorbed. However, if foods rich in calcium reach the small intestine when an acid condition is present, much of the calcium will be utilized.

When we consume carbohydrates (sugars and starches) the small intestine becomes alkaline, creating a condition whereby essential factors in other foods yield no benefit. Plus, the carbohydrates may also interfere with the digestion of certain proteins in the stomach area, thereby potentially causing partially digested protein foods to become toxic.

Conversely, fats leave the stomach largely unchanged and upon entering the small intestine cause the gall bladder to empty bile into the small intestine. The bile emulsifies the fat and releases fatty acid, thereby neutralizing alkaline secretions in the small intestine.

What to Eat When -- If consuming mostly carbohydrates, do not eat fats and if consuming mostly fats, do not eat carbohydrates. Do not combine high fats (butter, cream, bacon fat) with high starches (bread, potatoes, sweets, cereal, pasta) at any one meal. If consuming bacon and eggs for breakfast, do not include toast or cereal.

What to Eat When -- Do not combine carbohydrates and acids. Do not consume high starches and sugars with acids (orange juice, lemon juice, vinegar, etc.). When you consume orange juice with cereal it causes stomach acid but when combined with high protein (bacon and eggs) the digestive tract works fine.

What to Eat When -- Do not combine high proteins (meat, fish, eggs, cheese) with high starches (potatoes, cereal, breads, sweets) at the same meal. According to a study at the Mayo Clinic, sugars inhibit the secretion of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, thereby interfering with the digesting of proteins which require this acid for proper digestion.

Do not fear eating too much protein, unless you have no control over your appetite or have a medical condition that dictates otherwise. Any excess protein above your body's requirement for growth or tissue repair will be utilized as energy and body heat.

Dr. Goodheart's Rules (listed below) for good health involve eating enough of the essential foods and eating them in the right combinations:

1) Eat all kinds of meats, fish, eggs, leafy vegetables, citrus fruits as the safest way to avoid deficiencies.

2) Do not combine pure fats with high starches in any one meal.

3) Do not combine acids with high starches in any one meal.

4) Do not combine high proteins with high starches in any one meal.

5) Eat fats freely with proteins and acid solutions.

6) Be sure to get enough of each essential nutritional element as follows:

  • Meat, fish, fowl, eggs -- one serving of each or two servings of one per day with butter or other fat
  • Milk, buttermilk or cheese -- two glasses of raw organic milk or buttermilk, or two and one-half ounces of cheese per day (or one glass of milk or buttermilk plus an ounce or more or cheese)
  • Raw, low-starch fruits, and raw green and yellow vegetables -- two servings per day or one large salad bowl per day
  • One or two tablespoonfuls of a plain cod liver oil, or its equivalent in other fish liver oils, or their concentrates in capsules -- but if you use capsules, then be sure to take plenty butter fats and cream -- your liver must have fats, if it is going to make bile for you
  • If you are a carbohydrate eater, supplement with yeast or other equivalent Vitamin B Complex -- other natural fats and oils may also be necessary as the fact remains that natural fats and oils are absolutely necessary in ample quantities for natural, healthy metabolism.

I am not an expert in this area -- do your own research. I suspect we all have a different physiology and requirement for proper health maintenance. But if Dr. Goodheart's research is valid, then perhaps we should pay close attention to food combinations.

Quote for the Day -- "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food," Hippocrates

Bret Burquest is the author of 10 books. He lives in the Ozark Mountains with a couple of dogs and where proper nutrition also requires peace of mind.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

The Venting of a Psychologist

Many moons ago, I was blundering my way through life at Robbinsdale High School, in Robbinsdale, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis. One of my best friends in those days, and subsequent years, was a fellow classmate who was also blundering his way through life.

After high school, I eventually graduated from college with a B.A. in Business and an M.S. in Management Information Systems. My old high school friend went on to get a PhD in Psychology and practiced his profession in the Minneapolis area for several decades until he retired a couple of years ago.

My old high school friend chose to remain in Minnesota, where mosquitoes flourish and winter temperatures are prefixed by a minus sign, whereas, I have roamed around the country, living at more than 50 addresses in 12 different states, trying to figure out what to do with the rest of my life.

In any event, being a PhD Psychologist, my old high school friend has always been cool, calm and collected. However, recently various events in Washington DC had unfolded somehow causing my old high school friend to vent his frustration by sending me an e-mail containing a single paragraph, which reads as follows:

"I can give you something to work on to quell your boredom.  I have been listening to the wailing of liberals and have decided that there has been too much rancor in this bad country we live in.  Ergo, I am starting a petition to make Obama a king.  Also, to do away with that pesky constitution that has thwarted all of his good intentions to create a nirvana.  He can then dispense with congress so he doesn't have to deal with those mean republicans, and can simply make a speech and make an edict that will bring utopia to our land.  We won't need a military or police forces anymore, as who in their right mind would want to harm the citizens of the only utopia in the world, and who would even think about breaking the law when all of their wishes and wants will be supplied by government.  Also, government can take over all means of production so they can fix prices so no one will be making evil profit.  Also, he can tax the wealthy to 98%, and corporations (before the gov't takes over all production) to 94%.  As king of an utopia he will be respected by all of the world powers who won't want to hurt us utopians, therefore, we won't need a military to defend ourselves.  Think of all the money we will save and how much the king can give to poor people, and to the hordes of people in the world who will flock to this utopia.  I am making you my czar of the king petition, no need to discuss salary as all needs and want will be provided by King Obama and the utopian  system he wants us to live under, because he really cares about us.  Oh, one more thing, because he cares so very much, we should make him king for life so he can have the time to bring all of us under the control of his utopia."

Apparently, my old high school friend wants me to spearhead the effort to bring about the coronation of King Obama as ruler for life in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.

Yes, I was very flattered to be considered for such an important assignment, but I wrote a swift note back to my old high school friend informing him that I was quite content to remain a hermit in the Land of Ark, where all the beautiful people live and time stands still.

I don't know if he went on to select a replacement to take my place -- I suspect he simply did a primal scream for a couple of minutes, then packed his gear to go fishing at his cabin in northern Minnesota.

Quote for the Day -- "My friends, we live in the greatest nation in the history of the world. I hope you'll join with me as we try to change it." Barack Obama

Bret Burquest is the author of 10 books. He lives in the Ozark Mountains with a couple of dogs and has many intelligent friends in far off places.