Monday, December 13, 2010

Some Great Gifts for your Green Friends

Just a couple of gift suggestions (I know that the season has almost run out)that are inexpensive, sustainable, and pleasing to people who are living lightly on this planet and/or would love to start doing that...

How about some Bokashi Starter?
Bokashi is a sort of compost where you deposit a hand-ful or two of probiotic ('good' bacterial compound) after depositing each of the day's food and table scraps in a bucket. It is covered with a tight lid. When the bucket is full, it is buried in your garden. In a short time (10 days to 6 weeks, depending on where you live) you can dig up the soil and you will not find a trace of the original food scraps, just rich loamy soil. Go here to see the set of pails you can set up.

For the Vitamix nut
I'm finding that there is really no one so loyal to a product as the owner of a Vitamix. I guess you would find the same brand-name loyalty for other appliances, like a fridge or a coffee-maker, if there were nine other things that fridge or coffeemaker could do? Many Vitamix enthusiasts (like moi) use their 10-in-1 appliance daily. And because of that, the maintenance of every little nut and bolt becomes precious. The Vitamix's 7-year performance warranty (yes, you read that correctly) covers a lot but, you know, there comes a time when you need a new tamper or are craving the specially made nylon spatulas. Go here, click on Accessories (in the left sidebar). Or, if you want to call in your order tollfree, call Brenda at 1-800-848-2649 ext. 2305. Please give her #06-002685 as a referral #. (If you decide to buy your daughter or wife a vitamix, shipping costs are covered in U.S. and Canada whether you go in by clicking here or by calling the Vitamix company and giving the reference number 06-002685. Thank you, and have a very Merry Christmas! ~Cynthia Zirkwitz



Sunday, December 12, 2010

Niacin + Organics = No Depression?

Niacin from Amazon.com
Back in the 1950's three of my mother's younger sisters worked in a psychiatric hospital. The older of the three, my Aunt Pat, was a registered psychiatric nurse (R.P.N)and worked with Dr. Abram Hoffer. At the epoch of mental health "management" with pharmaceutical drugs, this famous (or infamous?)maverick psychiatrist believed, along with others like Dr. Linus Pauling ("the Vitamin C doctor")that mental illness was basically "an inborn error of metabolism."

Dr. Hoffer promoted the massive use of Vitamin B3 (Niacin) as relief for some forms of mental illness such as depression. Tryptophan (an amino acid found in dark turkey meat and nuts) was also one of Dr. Hoffer's favourite "medications".

Andrew Saul, Ph.D., worked with Dr. Hoffer in his later years (he died in 2009). Go here to listen an interview by Dr. Mercola of Dr. Saul talking about how organic food and vitamins, like Niacin, can be startlingly effective in dealing with depression today. It is certainly clear to me that I feel better when I eat good quality, nutritious fruits and veggies. I haven't tried Niacin for a long time (I DO remember that "niacin flush" though) but if we have a dark and dingy winter I just might give it another go.