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Friday, July 17, 2015

Follow the Pain & "Superlife" by Darin Olien

"Follow the pain", I quipped to a friend of mine in an e-mail recently.

"Follow the's a compass point leading the way out".

The context of this comment is complicated and probably unnecessary to detail.  We are both working on our emotional fitness in a specific context that is often drama-filled; I'll just leave it at that.

But did you ever write or say something to someone and then it began to tickle a part of your brain, coming back to visit you as if to say, pay attention here, there may be something for you to learn?

I think we can and do use others as a mirror for ourselves....what bothers us about others can often merely be a reflection of our own foibles, short-comings and can point us to areas that need improvement.

Follow the pain.

In my own case as I work to stretch out of my comfort zone in a few areas of my life, I find the seductive pull of the status quo nearly irresistible.  Why am I resisting change?  Change is inevitable and can be exciting.  The universe abhors stagnation as does nature.  All arrows point to change and change is the only constant!

Why resist?

Follow the pain.

In my childhood, change meant pain.  I craved consistency, predictability, stability.  Even the mere sound of the automatic garage door opener starting up signaled a massive energetic response coursing thru my body....all systems on red prepared for anything, fight, flight or sink into despair.  It became a Pavlovian 'bell ring' to my adrenal glands.  Growing up in a home with an abusive alcoholic will do that to a person.

I thought I had long ago slayed that demon.

Follow the pain.

Could it be that the craving for stability was now, in my late adult life, planting itself firmly in my path to becoming the best me as a formidable road block?

I think so.

Follow the pain.  Embrace change.  Chart a new course.  The unknown does not always signal pain....sometimes it brings new discoveries and happiness only heretofore hinted at.......


Superlife, by Darin Olien.

I ordered this book after hearing Rich Roll's conversation with Darin on a recent podcast.    Darin's basic approach to nutrition and the 'superlife' is by integratingwhat he identifies as the five life forces (nutrition, hydration, oxygenation, alkalization and detoxification).

He talks about feeding our cells properly; that if we do that, we've got the rest covered.  I've only skimmed through parts of the book, but I already know I am going to find it quite useful.  I especially like the section in the book that categorizes food by purpose, so, for example, if you wanted to eat to address stress issues, you could look to see what foods support the systems/organs that help us cope with stress.

There are recipes and general guidelines.  (I will forgive Darin's inclusion of eggs and a tiny bit of dairy here and there as otherwise most of the information blends with my other research -- although he does use oil). 

I enjoy his clear writing style and statements that cut through to the crucial points such as these on p. 129:  "The mere fact that our immune systems react to animal-based food should tell us that it contains something unhealthy for us.   .........every meal triggers a new bout of inflammation, which we constantly renew with every plate placed before us.  At some point it becomes a chronic conditions.  Our immune systems don't get a breather."   He goes on further to define this condition as 'nutritional stress', something that I think is vital for us to understand and deal with properly in order to achieve optimal health.

I'm sure I'll do another post on Darin's book.  Learn more about him here:


Cool beans.  Wet conditions have made my garden go just crazy and I'm still harvesting lettuce which normally would be long past its prime.  Fresh garden lettuce in July in Ohio, hard to believe.

I doubled up on a bean I tried last year that I thought would be fun for my grand-daughter to grow....dragon tongue beans.  (I ordered from Baker's Creek:    The plants are huge and bushy and I harvested the first of the beans this week; not only are they fun, but they are mighty tasty just lightly steamed, plain.  And you gotta love a bean named after dragons.

Sue, enjoying the simple beauty of the garden, dragons and all, in Ohio

Friday, July 10, 2015

A Soggy July and The Rich Roll Podcast featuring Darin Olien

It's raining here in Ohio....again.  We seem to be in this pattern and can't get out; can't get the hay in because the fields are so wet, can't, can't, can't.

....but there is a lot that we CAN do.

For one thing, the raised garden beds are happy!  My garlic 'crop' is in.  This is my first try at garlic and I planted mostly the variety Music.  My bulbs seem to be smaller than those I see at the local farm market, but then I didn't add any fertilizer.  They smell wonderful though!  I'll definitely be planting more this fall.


 The kale, collards and lettuce
 especially have been spectacular.

 With the cooler temps, we've had a
 steady harvest of a variety of lettuces.

I've had some time to do some inside work too and catch up on my favorite podcast.  Rich Roll continues to put out interesting and timely content.  

Find him here: 

I recently listened to episode 153 featuring Darin Olien, dubbed the Indiana Jones of Superfoods.   Darin has a great story about how he came to look to food to find health and is a staunch believer in the healing capacity of foods.  I particularly like that Darin gives back and is immersed in helping indigenous cultures protect themselves from corporate greed.  

Find out more about Darin here:

I ordered his book and hope to glean a bit more knowledge about what it takes to fully thrive.  I'll carve out some time to review his book here later.

Speaking of books, I did pick up Rich Roll's new book, the Plantpower Way.  I've only glanced at it, and will write up a post about it when I've had a chance to do it's beautiful and colorful pages justice and to try out some of the recipes.


Tonight I'll get a chance to use some of these garlic having them fresh from my garden.

I'm going to try a pesto, but most recipes I find have tons of oil.  I'm going to try processing some scapes, sunflower seeds, a bit of nutritional yeast and avocado for fat/moisture.  Will snap some pix and upload later!

Happy (albeit soggy) Summer!

Sue, loving the garden, in soggy Ohio