2017/08/16 02:30:06 PM
Past Posts…

Let’s Talk Blog!

A Dream for America, Ecological Food Production

May someday, somehow, we Americans grasp the importance of nutritive sustenance and the pleasure found in our planet earth’s abundance along with conscientious gathering and production. That’s my dream. Only then will we secure national health.

I buy only Italian made pasta products. Why?  Because, they are reaped and prepared in a healthy manner, not only for we the consumer, but the earth as well.

On the back of every Montebello pasta package, established in 1388, the owner claims her mission:

I quote:

Montebello is an Italian classic . . . a true artisan pasta that uses long forgotten Old World techniques to create distinctive flavor and    texture. Durum wheat semolina is organically grown on a small cooperative of family farms in the rolling hills overlooking the Adriatic Sea. The semolina is then carefully ground and combined with pure mountain spring water to produce a fine dough which is extruded through bronze dies to create a rough texture. Instead of flash drying, the artisans of Montebello dry their prized pasta slowly. These old world practices produce a delicious, small batch pasta with a uniquely porous texture that cooks to al dente every time and holds sauces beautifully.

Enjoy Montebello knowing it is the finest pasta available.

Pasta Made with  Dedication to Land and Wildlife

Since 1388, the fields around the beautiful Montebello Monastery in Marche, Italy have been farmed without the use of synthetic agricultural chemicals. Over the centuries, natural cycles of crop rotation have nurtured an environment for healthy soils, beneficial insects, and abundant wildlife. Montebello’s founder, Gina Girolomani, restored the historic monastery and pioneered Italy’s Organic movement in the 1970’s. Today, all our power comes from renewable sources, 20% of which is self-produced from wind and from photovoltaic sources. We are proud that the Region of Marche certifies our land as a Natural Preserve.

“The earth is our mother, a mother that nourishes you and you have to take care of her.” Gino Girolomani, Founder, Monastero di Montebello.

No one could say it better. I beg our politicians, our industry food producers, and our health care workers to pay heed, listen, and change our food in America. Each individual can spur change by buying, dining out, preparing, and eating conscientiously.

YOUR DOLLARS COUNT; YOU ARE IMPORTANT TO THE WORLD; AND OUR PLANET.

 

 

 

 

Curried Couscous

Couscous is so simple, cook it by adding boiling water, look to instructions on box or bin, and let it sit a bit. Upon adding the hot water add curry powder and any quick cooking greens such as zucchini or spinach, and chives or scallions. Or, add them all! PS: I like this curry mix I found in Whole Food’s spice rack: Balti Curry, a mix of many Middle Eastern/Mediterranean flavors such as coriander, cumin, garlic, ginger, cilantro, clove, and star anise.

If you like, add cooked shrimp or chicken. Here is a quick way to stew your chicken. I prefer thighs, about five or so covered with 3 parts water, 1 part Sake, add thinly sliced fresh fennel, about 1 cups worth, 4 or 5 scallions cut into 2 inch pieces-green part included, and 1/2 tsp powdered ginger (if using fresh ginger add 5 or 6 quarter sized slices) and a good pinch of sea salt. Once the pot has come to a boil, turn down to low and simmer for about 45-50 minutes. How simple is that!

TIP: when you have a timed dish on the stove, or in the oven, set the timer on your lap top or I-Phone. Trust me there is plenty you can do while something is cooking, work, set the table, help the kids with homework, FB, read the paper, just keep that timer on your phone handy! I’ve ruined many a meal while stuck on FB. Argh!!!!

If using this curry dish as a salad, add the Creamy Chive Dressing in the Quick Lunch blog/recipe.

Happy Eating, Happy Life, but only if you enjoy Honest Eating!

 

Quick Lunches

We are always in a hurry, for me, particularly during lunch time. Unless, I can have my Mediterranean lunch which means late and big! And, inclusive of wine or beer. Then a nap, refreshed and ready to go for the rest of the day and evening. The Mediteraneans usually have their biggest meal late in the day, between 2 and 4, the British, interestingly, have their High Tea, or biggest meal of the day, at 4. Silly us, we eat the most soon before we sleep. Hum, think about that!

Anyhoo, back to quick lunches:

1) Avocado and toast, if you prefer: bruschetta.

2) Cannellini beans cooked and mashed with garlic and chives on toast.

3) Cook dinner with extra for the next day, example chicken or shrimp curry with couscous, add fresh spinach leaves to your carry container, and when you microwave the couscous the leaves will wilt a bit. Perfect! If you prefer to not use a microwave, and with good reason, this dish is good as a salad, just add a few drops of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, or Patricia Wells’ Creamy Chive Dressing, a mix of 1 fresh squeezed lemon, 1/2 tsp sea salt, 1 cup half and half, and 1/3 cup fresh chopped chives, really good! Put ingredients in a jar and shake. This keeps in the fridge for about 1 week.

Another, 4) Salad Nicoise, tuna seared with hot pepper flakes, or fennel, boiled Yukon or Red Potatoes with EVOO, lemon juice, red onion, and capers, hard-boiled egg, and lettuce: arugula, spring mix, or spinach. All of this can be prepared at dinner time with more to go for lunch. Ideas for you!

Salad Time! Shrimp

Crunchy Romaine, shrimp seared with garlic and fennel, creamy chive dressing, and Roquefort, refreshing!

To make the dressing, get a jar (save them from things such as pickles or jam) and add 2 tbl fresh squeezed lemon juice, 1/2 tsp sea salt, shake to dissolve the salt, then add 1 cup half and half, and 1/3 cup chopped chives, Thank you Patricia Wells for the Creamy Chive Dressing! One of the great chefs in my index.

Heat a pan with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, a couple glugs and cover the bottom, add about a tbl of chopped garlic, thin slices of fennel, about a cup, add some of the fronds, leave until you can smell the garlic and fennel fusing with the oil, then add your cleaned and shelled fresh shrimp, 16 shrimp, 3 minutes at most, remove just as they turn pink. Remember, never over cook fish. Remove from pan and let the shrimp cool a little. Trick with shrimp, do not fuss with them, cook 1 and 1/2 minute each side. Just as the transparency disappears and they turn pink they are done!

Break up your romaine, add chopped scallions to taste, not too much, tomatoes if you like, shrimp, crumbled Roquefort, and the creamy dressing.

Enjoy! Serves two

 

Letter to Whole Foods 2011 Still Relevant and Revolutionary

John Mackey and Jeff Bezos this is for you and Americans wanting to take charge of their lives and their health.

July/August 2011

Dear Whole Body Team Leader,

I am so glad to hear about Whole Foods’ “Healthy Eating Initiative” for more than one reason. One, I care about the health of our nation. Two, I have written a book that fits beautifully within your health initiative.

My book Honest Eating exposes reasons why we are driven to eat poorly, to eat the foods I call, “the bad foods that lie.” My book delivers information through a personal and warm voice, an empathetic voice. My book celebrates food, “the good foods that tell the truth.”

I not only recommend Whole Foods through out, pages 22, 115, 130, 132, 135, 136, 142, and 143, I also use as sources and quote from the very books Whole Foods is recommending for their “Healthy Eating Initiative.”

My book Honest Eating and Whole Foods Market are a win-win.

Sincerely,

Jane McClaren

. . . . Back then, I had my book in about 8 Whole Foods, from Nashville, TN. to CT. I wanted Honest Eating at every checkout counter. I wanted and still want to inspire Americans to eat for their pleasure and their body. Today my book still sells, why? Because the formula I promote for healthy living still stands solid against all the temporary, innovative yes, but blundering new diets. My book is not a new fad diet, its principles are tried and true, it is a revelation, and a revolution! Get healthy and love yourself, America!

Amazon, Bezos, Whole Foods, and Our Food

Two articles that if concentrated through social media and follow up could finally procure for US citizens the healthy food many other countries enjoy: seasonal, planet respectful food that tastes better and is nutrient rich while supporting, not killing, our planet. Think about it. Don’t we, planet and people, have a right to fair food?

 

The first article is from the October 9, 2016, New York Times Magazine, The Food Issue, Can Big Food Change? Articles by Michael Pollan and others examined in my blog here. The links below may not work, sorry. Try them first, please! But a google search will bring these about.

The second article is a plea from Alice Waters, the Berkeley chef of Chez Panisse who got organic gardens into schools and the White House. In a recent San Francisco Chronicle article Water’s argues that Bezos of the Amazon Kingdom could change food in America for the better with his recent pending purchase of Whole Foods.

http://www.nytimes.com/indexes/2016/10/09/magazine/index.html

http://www.sfchronicle.com/food/article/Alice-Waters-wants-Amazon-founder-Jeff-Bezos-to-11233797.php

Honest Eating at Joseph-Beth Booksellers

I am happy to report that Honest Eating is available at our local Joseph-Beth Booksellers here in Lexington, KY.

They do a great job with out of state sales; please contact them at your convenience.

http://www.josephbeth.com/Default.aspx

I want to thank all the readers who send me notes of appreciation, joy,and renewed exuberance!

Honest Eating is still challenging us to take an honest look at our lives, and to change what we don’t like.

Happy Days! and Honest Eating, to Love Food, Love Yourself, & Love Life!

 

Michael Pollan’s Big Food vs. Little Food

DSC_0205

Pollan’s article clarifies the Big Question, “Why in America do we continue to produce harmful ubiquitous food?” Simple answer, profit and lobbyists. “Where does our food come from and what is its effect on our health, and the health of the planet?” Pollan supplies answers through his journalisitic precision. Scroll down for a link to the article.

Bottom line, we the consumers care more and more about the ethics behind what we eat, and its effects on our health. Big Food knows this, and they are frightened for their brands. The brands we’ve known and trusted throughout our lives, the brands that make them a lot of money, and the brands that create a lot of power in Washington:

Cambell’s, Kelloggs, Post, Nestlé, Dannon, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, General Mills, Cherrios, Pepsi, Coke, Mars, Pepperidge Farm, Wonder  Bread, Swanson, Birdseye, Tyson, Jimmy Dean, and let’s not forget the franchises: McDonld’s, Wendy’s, Jack-In-the-Box, Arby’s, Burger King, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Applebee’s, Ruby’s, Outback Steakhouse (and all the other”steak houses”) many, many more, offering quick  and cheap food, that is if you don’t consider your health as a cost.

Old Italian adage, “It’s better to pay the grocer than the doctor.”

Big Food a 1.5 trillion dollar industry vs Little Food a 50 billion dollar industry, who will win?

It’s up to us, the consumers. If we continue to shop with our consciences, our dollars spent will speak.

Big Food’s vulnerability “is the conscience of the American eater, who in the past decade has taken a keen interest in the question of where our food comes from, how it is produced, and the impact of our everyday food choices on the land, on the hands that feed us, and the animals we eat, and, increasingly, on the climate.”

No one can write these words, this movement, better than Michael Pollan.

What to buy? Buy local, particularly local/organic, look for this stamp, and produce starting with the number “9”such as 90546, 92356. images

Sustainable fish, http://www.mcsuk.org/downloads/fisheries/PocketGoodFishGuide_2016_low.pdf

Humanely raised meat products, if you eat them, ask the butcher where it comes from and how it is slaughtered. At Lucky’s, and Whole Foods they will tell you.

Avoid all packaged and processed foods, do not eat at franchises, ask your waiter where the chicken comes from, if he doesn’t know the chef will know. Make your dollars count and your voice heard. The “Little Food” 50 billion dollar industry is growing,

For more on the subject of food, how to love it, prepare it, enjoy it, and be healthy this site has a great search engine for past articles and recipes, it’s all here.

For the full Michael Pollan article:

 http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/10/09/magazine/obama-administration-big-food-policy.html?_r=0

Roquefort Dressing on Butterhead Lettuce with Art

IMG_2605

Do you love cheese as I do? Especially Roquefort, the ewe’s milk cheese aged in limestone caves in France. Yummy!

How to dress the quiet butterhead leaves of lettuce with this pungent cheese, a startling flavor of simplicity.

Get out your wooden salad bowl. Dribble a couple glugs of Extra virgin olive oil. (A wee note on olive oils. Keep them fresh, do not store near heat, must be in a dark colored, green bottle, pressed no later than a year ago).

A couple glugs, or

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil http://oliveoillovers.com/extra-virgin-olive-oil/

2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar, along with a squeeze of lemon (acidic and alkaline)

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon sea salt, Maldive is good, or Go to Salt Works, https://www.seasalt.com

2 tablespoons of half and half cream

2 ounces roquefort cheese crumbled

whisk together with a fork

add a finely chopped slice of onion

add one head of hydrophonic butterhead lettuce,

Toss wildly! the secrete to a good salad is in the toss, this evenly coats the leaves with dressing.

Recipe is for 1 or 2 people, just multiply each ingredient for more.

Enjoy!

This reminds me of a very green painting I did not too long ago——–I call it,  “Three Forest Ponies.” 36X36, acrylic

forest-ponies

Here’s another on sale at Kennydid Gallery in Midway, KY———–I call this one, “Horses in Blue.” 36X36. acrylic

horses-in-blue

 

 

Book Sales

Unknown-1

I want to inform you that my book, Honest Eating, is no longer available on Amazon.

They have not paid me in the last 4 years I’ve been on the site. At any given time they can determine the cost of the book and sometimes sell it for $1.99. (This could put a lot of good writers out of business! The average income for a writer in the US according to a recent survey by the NYT’s is $12,000 per year. Same with artists. Awfully expensive to be creative in America.)

And, I just found out their Amazon Advantage services went up to $99.00 per year. This venue for sales is simply too expensive to keep up.

I’d like to rationalize that anyone truly wanting an honest look at food, and their individual releationship to food will buy the book directly from me. My book has been accedited by nutrtionists and dieticians, and distributed by the University of North Carolina’s Student Health Dept.

SLASH! SLASH !SLASH! No one is going to email me, right?

Honest Eating, How to Love Food, Love Yourself & Love Life available at Morris Book shop Lexington, KY

http://www.morrisbookshop.com/welcome

You can still e-mail me, I’ll send you the book, once I recieve a check for the cost of the book and the shipping. Total cost bought directly from me is $13.00. Or, order from Morris Bood Shop.

My book helps people understand food, “the good food that tells the truth.” It helps us understand the what’s, the where’s, the when’s, and the why’s of our eating habits. My book has changed how people think about food.

 

 

The Real Deal

Happy Kitchen

Hello! I’ve noticed some action on my site so thought why not get back in the swing talking about food, health, and the American food industry.

The profit-over-health food industry. All the giant grocery stores, Kroger, Publix, Harris Teeter, Fresh Market, strive for one thing–profit. Period. Industrial giants of the food industry, General Mills, Nestle, Dannon, Yoplait, Kraft, Land of Lakes, Campbells, destroy whole foods. Period. They replicate whole foods with fillers, chemicals, and preservatives costing the consumer more. Good news! You can easily avoid them!

I love food, so I hate to see the enjoyment of nourishing good food turn into junk. I have written a book that logically and truthfully guides you through the quagmire of the “good foods that tell the truth” and the “bad foods that lie”. I guide you through our relationship to food. I include a “what’s in your kitchen” guide along with easy recipes.

Avoid false food: 1) Shop where they sell organic 2) Shop where they sell humanely raised animal products. 3) Shop where they care about sustainability, fish, and land. 4) Prepare your own food, do not buy pre-prepared food. Learn to take the time to have some fun in the kitchen! Your body and family will thank you! Make it a team event, kids have got to learn how to choose and prepare healthy whole foods too.

Quick easy snacks: 1) Best and easiest snack, a banana. Bananas are packed with vitamins, minerals, and even some protein 2) Add peanut butter 3) Grab a bunch of grapes, get the real deal, and please, since when is colored water infused with laboratory fruit flavor better for you than the real deal? 4) Toast with avocado, a little sea salt, and Extra Virgin Olive Oil 5) Nuts, packed with energy 6) Say cheese, not the processed Kraft plastic stuff, get something that is satisfying! Expensive, sometimes, but not as expensive as healthcare.

I love this old Italian adage: It’s better to pay the grocer that the doctor! 

Don’t pay more for junk and get less. You will always get less when you buy altered, processed, laboratory created food and drink over the real deal. You know why fake is out there, because along with clever marketing, they can make a lot of money! They can’t make money when you pick something off a tree and deliver it to a vendor! Think about it! By the way, who pays for the marketing? We do in the cost of the product.

Get the “Real Deal!”

 

 

 

 

 

My Theory on Our Crumbling Democracy

  1. Premise: A democracy does not work without an active participating society.
  2. We are not an active participating society.
  3. Why? Because most of us middle income people, the majority, work 2 jobs, both spouses work, kids have multiple after school activities, and weekend sports, etc. We have food to buy and prepare, yards to care for, cars to take care of, errands to run, and we work maybe 70 hours a week, we spend time online, FB, Twitter, Instagram, games, research, news, etc. Finally, we have no time for writing letters we feel will not be read (this is not true), and no time for phone calls to our Senators and Representatives, and many have even quit voting.
  4. We have a hapless society living in despair and in need of repair.

 

How do we repair a hapless society?

  1. We wake up, and live conscientiously.
  2. We offer our opinions and advice to our representatives on a monthly basis, vent if nothing else. Show your true colors!
  3. We stop criticizing without back-up. Do something! Do not criticize without action.
  4. We stop judging our Congressmen and Congresswomen, and take a good hard look at ourselves, our values, what really matters to us, and then we take a good hard look at what we are doing about those values? Follow the path that moves you and share the principles of your values. You might find that they are not so different from many working harder than you to change things for the better.

What can our Congressmen and Congresswomen do to better understand us?

  1. Wake up, and see us.
  2. Ask yourselves, do you really think all we care about is a job? What about a life? We want a vacation, we want to go to the movies, to the opera, to the symphony, we want to have time to enjoy ourselves.
  3. Look at how the rest of the world looks at us, not with envy, but pity. We hear this ubiquitous phrase again and again: Americans live to work, we (pick any country) we work to live!

Capitalism

  1. Capitalism needs oversight, and smart citizens and representatives understand the very fine line between capitalism gone amok and creative ingenuity attained through struggle.
  2. What do we lose with a freewheeling economy? We lose jobs, excellent education for all, excellent health care for all, and equal opportunity for all.
  3. What is a freewheeling economy? Well, money rules, and there are more losers than there are winners.

I’ve written my thoughts, after Congress ignores freewheeling gun ownership, a freewheeling economy, and most of all, Congress ignores us, the citizens. A little reminder to our Congressmen and Congresswomen:

WE ARE CITIZENS.  We are not consumers. WE ARE CITIZENS.

I am sending this letter to Mitch McConnell and the President of the United States (that’s really preaching to the choir, but I want him to know, we are active, we care, and we have not given up!)

 

More on Gratitude, or Naikan, Directly from Tom Thompson

DSC_0926

Tom Thompson writes:

One of the most powerful and useful practices I have discovered is the Japanese practice of  Naikan. Naikan means “inside looking.” Yoshimoto Ishin, a self-made millionaire, discovered the usefulness of Naikan in his own awakening or enlightenment and he wanted to make this wonderful practice available to everyone

What now follows is my interpretation of Naikan as I teach it in the Hara Training at The Awakened Heart Center for Conscious Living.  http://www.theawakenedheartcenter.com/

Naikan enables us to develop a deep attitude of gratitude and respect for all of our life based on our actual experience. To practice Naikan, we do not have to believe anything. All we have to do is accurately report the truth of our daily life.

As we practice Naikan sincerely, we begin to realize, from the very depths of our being, that we live in a completely interdependent universe, that we could not survive without others, that MUCH MORE IS GIVEN TO US EACH DAY THAN WE COULD POSSIBLY GIVE BACK. 

The practices of Naikan that I recommend to begin with are four. I recommend doing them for 15 to 30 minutes right before bed, right before you go to sleep, except the fourth one which you can do anytime.

1) Ask what you have received from others today. Include everything such as where did you get the bed you are sleeping on, who changed the sheets, who made the clock by your bed for you, wrote the book you are reading, who taught you how to read. Once you get the hang of it, the list is always endless and always humbling. If we tell the truth, we have always received much more than we have given.

2) What have I given to others today? Be honest. It is good to see that we have given less than we have received. It is very important not to get involved in guilt and inadequacy here — that is not the point at all. The point is to directly recognize that we are not separated, isolated creatures but part of a much greater process that transcends our limited personality.  

3) What trouble have I caused others? Again, the point of this inquiry is not to create guilt or shame but rather to recognize we are far from perfect and yet this amazing universe continues to have us, support us, take care of us. As we practice Naikan, we begin to move from “I, Me, Mine” to the wholeness of “Us, We, Ours.”

4) Do secret services to others in which you receive no recognition. This practice is especially useful in relationships that are going through difficult times — whether at work or at home. We stop looking for something to complain about and instead look for situations in which we may be secretly useful. 

It is important to do theses practices daily and sincerely. In a very short time we will notice an amazing change in life and in ourselves. Our whole attitude changes for the better. If we make a sincere and deep commitment to Naikan, we can actually realize true enlightenment and be free.

Again, Naikan can be practiced by anyone of any faith or lack of faith. It requires no belief, only an honest assessment of the facts of our life. If everyone practiced Naikan, just imagine what the world would be like!

 

Energies

DSC_0946

 

We are born with certain, latent energies. These energies drive us to act upon them, to be a certain person with certain attainable skills. These energies form our values, what matters most to us. What we must do.

How and why, we do not know. We might ask, “What makes an artist?” “What makes a horsewoman?” Many of us answer, “We were born to it.”

A writer wakes early and writes because, “She has to.” A dancer dances because “She has to.” This driving life force enables us to live honest and true to ourselves no matter what obstacles heave in our way. Sometimes without cognition we just carry on as if swept by a powerful endless wave. What is the source of these energies that drive us?

I was born a horsewoman. My parents had no connextion to the world of horses. I never had a friend until my mid-twenties that rode a horse, yet I rented them on weekends, and rode at Camp Zoe, and sometimes in Wyoming. I feel a connection to horses, and I have always trusted them. Why? And, oh! What a gift!

But, why do some have no force, but evil? Has the energy to be been buried somehow, stifled, and misshapen by circumstance? Is the resulting fear and anger the only energies that drive the lost soul? Does this fear and anger cause frustration resulting in destructive behavior?

For those of us driven by a good energy that supersedes all else, let’s be thankful. In fact, let’s jump up and down, celebrate, and conquer those obstacles that are sure to come, and carry on! For the lost soul with no life enhancing energy, I pray to God for them and their tortured lives, as I pray for their victims who have the ill luck of being in their way.

I love horses, always have, and I thank my lucky stars everyday.

 

 

 

 

Honest Eating, It’s About Inspiration

“We have lost connection to our space and our place, all the life in that space, and a celebration of that space–our planet. Making ourselves feel deep dissatisfaction and alienation.  . . . . . It’s time we celebrate and find joy in our existence, expressing this joy with gratitude for the body/vehicle that transports us through this beautiful maze of atoms, forming potential, possibility, and equilibrium.”
This is the essence of my book. I follow with this: “Just a little side note about passion. It will fill you, engage you, and satisfy you  like no other substance.”
One reader posted. “If you want to change your life, but think you can’t; this is the book for you.”
I want my audience to find the joy and the celebration in their lives. I believe that we can not find this joy without recognizing the wonderment (a state of awe and respect) of our connection to all life; animal, plant and mineral; neighbors, family, co-workers; and our precious planet, our bodies.
If you want to make the most out of your treasured little time on this planet, while being carried by the one body you will receive in this short life, recognize and dwell within your values, your beliefs, and your desires. Now observe their effects on every other life form. Now ask, “Am I serving this place, or am I contributing to its demise?” Follow this question with the knowledge of how powerfully valuable you are to the whole, and pay attention to your body:  Am Serving my body, or am I contributing to its demise?