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Creative Therapy
September 2011

“The hand is the window on to the mind.” ~ Immanuel Kant

Creative_Therapy"Of all our limbs,” explains Professor Richard Sennett, “the hands make the most varied movements, movements that can be controlled at will. Science has sought to show how these motions, plus the hand’s different ways of gripping and the sense of touch, affect the ways we think.” Sennett expounds at length on this topic in his book, The Craftsman, and teaches sociology at New York University and The London School of Economics and Political Science.

He explains that making things by hand engages the brain in special ways. The furniture maker, the musician, the glassblower or any other person engaged mindfully in arts and crafts needs to first “localize,” or look at just what is there—a piece of wood, a musical instrument or melted glass. The second step is to question—“What can I do with this?” The third is to open up—figure out how to create something unique.

 
Hobby Farming
August 2011

Growing a Good Life from America’s Roots

FarmingSmall-scale farming—whether it’s called hobby farming, market gardening, part-time truck farming or homesteading—satisfies many Americans’ yearning to work the land for pleasure, as well as profit. These days, you’re just as likely to find a hobby farm in the city or suburbs as on a country lane.

Anyone serious about growing a large percentage of their own food, raising animals, tending colonies of bees, nurturing an orchard, generating their own renewable energy onsite or managing a timber stand or pond might be considered a hobby farmer. It’s about living close to the land, caring for it and letting it inspire daily life. It also can contribute to the family’s livelihood through sales of products such as honey, fresh produce, eggs or surplus energy.

“Living on our farm allows us to engage with the natural world with its seasonal patterns, provides many of our family’s needs in a sustainable way and offers a marvelous foundation for our homeschooling adventures,” enthuses Heidi Hankley, who lives with her husband and two kids in a straw-clay insulated home with a wood-fired masonry heater. Her husband commutes to his environmental engineering job in Madison, Wisconsin, and helps out after hours.

 
Juice Up
August 2011

Drink in Nutrients for Energy and Health

JuicingWe all know that eating an ample amount of fruits and vegetables does the body good, but what about drinking them? Juices extracted from whole fresh produce deliver pure liquid nutrition. Each sip proffers clean bio-available fuel, instant energy and cell-quenching hydration.

Juicing is an optimal way to add more fruits and vegetables to any diet, particularly for kids that are finicky about food. Stripped of produce fiber, the clarified juice contains all of the plant’s health-promoting compounds in a form that is extremely easy for the body to digest and absorb. Fresh juice can be assimilated in as little as 15 minutes on an empty stomach—a true fast food.

An array of fresh juices provides a concentrated source of a full spectrum of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and enzymes needed to fortify, protect and nourish the body. Because fresh juice requires very little energy to digest, it allows the body to direct more of its energy into repairing cells and tissues. More, fresh juices work to “speed the recovery from disease, by supporting the body’s own healing activity and cell regeneration,” advises Dr. Gabriel Cousens, a raw food advocate known for treating diabetes through nutrition.

 
Upgrading School Food
August 2011

Chef Ann Cooper Helps Kids Eat Right

Chef_Ann_CooperCalled the “Renegade Lunch Lady,” Chef Ann Cooper is helping change the world one healthy food at a time. The author of books such as Lunch Lessons: Changing the Way We Feed our Childrenand In Mother’s Kitchen, she’s championed sound youth nutrition since 1999. After upgrading menus in several New York and California schools, she moved to Colorado, where she directs nutrition services for the Boulder Valley School District, bringing smarter and healthier school lunches to its 28,000-strong student body.

When it comes to healthy lifelong nutrition, what are the three biggest mistakes young people make?

In general, I would say the three biggest mistakes are drinking their calories— not understanding how many calories are in sodas, eating way too much sugar in general, and not eating enough colorful fruits and vegetables.

What are the consequences of poor nutrition?

Poor nutrition means overall poor health that results in diseases such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and strokes. Too often, young people eat a diet of highly processed foods with high percentages of fat, salt and refined sugar (as well as dyes and additives) and it absolutely, unequivocally causes disease. It’s an acknowledged fact that poor nutrition is literally killing our kids.

 
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