Veggie Thanksgiving Feast

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This is one way to enjoy Thanksgiving and keep a plant-based diet on track.

The main dish is a pot pie with quinoa, lentils, golden beets, rutabaga, parsnip, white potato, carrot, garlic, onion, celery, seasonings and vegetable broth. I used puff pastry for the crust, so this is not vegan. The sides are green beans sauteed with garlic, steamed asparagus, cranberry orange sauce (made with white grape juice and sweetened with a little honey at the end of cooking), and baked apples with pecans. The dessert is a sweet potato pie made with white and purple sweet potatoes. I made some candied pecans and whipped cream to top the pie. read more

Addiction and Wellness

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We are all addicts. There is an amazingly long list of chemicals that we are completely dependent upon. Think about it. The withdrawal that we experience if we stop consuming a majority of these chemicals is catastrophic. Even deadly. If we did not have access to oxygen or glucose or sodium or any number of other chemicals, we would experience devastating pain, seizures, convulsions, and eventually die unless we receive the substance that has been withheld.

Of course I am using this metaphor very loosely, yet it is a perfect way to illustrate a point. We typically do not think of the dependence on the chemicals that we call nutrients in the same way as we think of the dependence on the chemicals that we call drugs. Yet, in a variety of ways, there is really no difference. In almost every case, there is an appropriate dosage for the chemical. Currently we have a list of chemicals that we would prefer to keep out of our bodies, like arsenic or cyanide. We call these chemicals poisons, yet the history of medicine has examples where these poisons were included in treatments for disease. Also, all chemicals are found in nature, and we do ingest them in very small amounts with no ill effect. There are certain nutritional theories that consider the importance of trace elements and trace minerals to overall health and wellness. read more

Avoidance and Wellness

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Here is a topic that was raised in dinner conversation with my wonderful wife. She is often the inspiration for many of my posts. I can always count on her to explore spiritual and interpersonal issues that are very relevant to personal wellness.

When I use the term avoidance, I am speaking of the process where we turn away from a reality that may be less comfortable to face. Sometimes this reality has to do with our relationships with others. Sometimes it has to do with our intrapersonal relating. I have written about the power of denial in the past. Denial is a blatant refusal to see something that is right in front of our faces. Avoidance is similar, yet it is not a blatant refusal. It is more of a process of turning away. This does not deny the existence of the issue; it just puts the issue out of view. In denial we are actually capable of transforming the reality into something different. In avoidance, we just kick the can down the road in a different way. In either case, we are not accepting the reality that is present in the moment. read more