The Underappreciated Foot


I’ve got foot problems.  My grandfather had flat feet, and guess whose genes passed that happy physical issue on?  Of course, of all the grandchildren I’m the only one with flat feet.  Consequently, my feet are wide, but not only that, my left foot is a size seven-and-a-half, and my right foot is a size seven.  I buy size seven-and-a-half shoes and hope that my right foot doesn’t step right out of it.  It’s been a lot of fun over the years.  I’ve hardly ever gotten to have those fancy, pretty shoes, mine are all sensible and wearable – boring!

However, in my twenties I had some inserts made that I still use at least three times a week to help with my flat feet.  While these inserts still work, at some point in the future I will have to have new ones made (they are quite old, after all).  I only hope that I’ll be able to afford it.  I did go to a podiatrist about eight years ago regarding my big toe.  It was giving more grief than usual and the pain was getting intense.  He said that the only thing to do would be to break my toe, and put a tiny little rod in it.  If we did that, I’d never bend my toe again!  That of course, was unacceptable as far as I was concerned (and it still is).  There would be no more downward facing dogs, or other Yoga poses I love.  I’d walk with a limp, etc. etc.  That is not happening.  So, even though my toe hurts, I walked over 900 miles last year, and am on course to walk over 1,000 this year.  How do I do it?  I use pads in my shoes.  Yes, that’s all.  I really should be soaking my feet and thanking them for all the work they do for me.  As a matter of fact, that’s what we all should be doing.  Thanking and taking care of our feet.  Where would we be without them?

Below I’ve left a link that explains about the anatomy of the foot in some detail if you’re interested.

Here are a few links regarding the care of your feet.  Please take care of your feet.  They are so important!



Fast Food, A Large Problem is Just Getting Larger


According to a study done by Boston University and Tuffs University, fast food makes up 11% of the average American’s diet.  It’s also been helping with the increase in obesity, diabetes and heart disease.  So, how has this happened?  Well, the portion sizes have increased over the last 30 years along, with the amount of sodium that is put in these products.  The portion size has increased a whopping 22%.  That actually surprised me, however, I haven’t been in a fast food restaurant for at least 5 years, so I had no idea.

Since, according to this study, 33.6% of Americans eat at a fast food restaurant every day no wonder that according to research, 40% of adult Americans are obese.  Not only are the foods more calorie-dense, but the increase in sodium is also problematic.  Too much sodium can lead to heart disease and strokes.  This is a health crisis, and so far, trying to make adults aware of the problem doesn’t seem to be getting anywhere.

It doesn’t seem as if there is a will to begin the intervention that would help in addressing this situation.  The Trump administration is backing the food industry with pushing back against food labels that would warn consumers about the levels of sodium, fat and sugars in prepared foods.  If you could come up with a solution to this problem of obesity and illness, what would it be?  Leave your ideas in the comments below.



Yes, I’m Still Vegan


There have been a lot of people in the vegan community who have suddenly decided that they no longer are vegan due to health problems.  The most popular reasoning for this decision is that after numerous 21-day water fasts; drinking detox teas, doing a “colon cleanse”; eating a restricted diet; and traveling to tropical islands, they have discovered they have health problems.  I wonder why?  A 21-day water fast?  Restricted diets?  Detox teas and a “colon cleanse”?  Going to tropical islands which are teeming with bacteria and/or parasites?  Any or all of these reasons could lead to health problems.

Then, there is the “other” reason – just not getting enough protein in their diet.  First of all, has anyone, anywhere ever died of a protein deficiency?  No, of course not.  The amount of protein that the body “needs” each day is small, and there is scientific evidence that if you eat a plant-based diet with plenty of amino acids, your body makes its own protein.  Besides which, certain types of beans have a protein index of up to 28.5 grams of protein per one cup.  In order to round out your protein, brown rice, nuts, and oatmeal help to complete the package.

My journey toward veganism began when I was a child who finally put together the fact that animals had to be killed in order to be on my plate.  I was appalled at the fact, refused to eat and threw a temper tantrum refusing to eat any meat.  After about a week of “discipline” and having meat forcibly shoveled down my throat, I gave in.  There is only so much “discipline” a six-year-old can take.  It took me too many years to give up all animal products, and that is the fact that makes me ashamed.

Why am I still Vegan?  Because I’ve seen the slaughterhouse videos.  I’ve seen the lives of the animals that people put on their plates.  I’ve seen human torture of animals used for meat and dairy.  It makes me sick.  Another reason, as if I needed one, is that eating those animals is what is killing humans; cancer, heart disease, the list goes on, are all linked, again, scientifically, to eating meat, seafood and dairy.

Knowing all that I know, I would never stop eating a plant-based diet.  I refuse to add to the destruction of the planet, to the horrific lives that animals lead in order for humans to eat meat.  If you want to know more about the scientific facts of a plant-based diet, please go to


Tao Te Ching – Verse 29 – We Are the World


I recently picked up a translation with commentary of the Tao Te Ching at my local libraries’ book sale.  While the book itself was slightly battered, what I found inside is a treasure-trove of wisdom passed down over the last 2,500 years.  Verse 29, We Are the World, relates to today with its emphasis on how the most powerful and wealthy seek to destroy the planet.  Below is Verse 29 as it was translated by Ralph Allan Dale.  Read it, reflect on these powerful words and let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Verse 29 – We Are the World

 Those who have most power and wealth

treat the planet as a thing to be possessed,

to be used and abused according to their own dictates.

but the planet is a living organism,

a Great Spiritual Integrity.


To violate this Integrity

is certain to cull forth disaster

since each and every one of us

is an inherent part of this very organism.


All attempts to control the world

can only lead to its decimation

and to our own demise

since we are an inseparable part

of what we are senselessly trying to coerce.


Any attempt to possess the world

can only lead to its loss

and to our own dissolution

since we are an intrinsic part

of what we are foolishly trying to possess.


The world’s pulse is our pulse.

The world’s rhythms are our rhythms.

To treat our planet with care, moderation and love

is to be in synchrony with ourselves

and to live in the Great Integrity.

Taken from Tao Te Ching  A New Translation & Commentary by Ralph Alan Dale Copyright 2002 by Ralph Alan Dale



Having Fun!


Sometimes we get so busy living our lives and fulfilling expectations that we literally forget to have fun.  Every year for my birthday, I buy myself (and my daughter) tickets to two productions at the Jorgensen Theater of the Arts located at the main campus of the University of CT.  I’m really lucky that I live only about 15 to 20 minutes away from campus, and therefore I’m grateful that I can do this every year.  The first production we went to was Postmodern Jukebox.  It was excellent, and we had a great time.


Just two weeks ago, we went to the second production that I bought tickets for, and saw Mayumana.  For those of you who don’t know, Mayumana is a talented group of artists who dance, play various percussion instruments, beat-box, create funny skits, and are all-around entertainers.  We had a blast, as did the entire audience.  It was a much-needed night out at the end of a very long winter.


Don’t forget to do something fun fairly often.  It’s important to your mental health, and can keep you going during the dark times of life.  So, whatever it is that brings you joy, don’t forget to add it to your “to do” list.  Have fun!



Eating an Anti-Inflammatory Diet is a Good Thing


Inflammation is bad for your health, and can lead to all kinds of problems if it becomes a chronic issue.  Some reasons that can trigger chronic inflammation include smoking, obesity, alcohol and chronic stress.  When we suffer from chronic inflammation our body can attack itself and this may lead to more serious issues such as: cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity or asthma.  As you can see, avoiding chronic inflammation would be quite a healthy thing to do.  Just a note, inflammation does have an important part to play when we are injured, or our body is fighting off an infection, however, we don’t want inflammation as a constant part of our life.


To treat this problem, we could take over-the-counter drugs, but that can lead to other health problems.  As with most issues, it’s healthier to add to, or deduct from certain foods in our diets.  Some of the foods you should avoid include: refined carbohydrates (white bread and pastry); all fried foods; red meat; processed meats – hot dogs, luncheon meats, alcohol, and an excess of refined sugars.

Foods that help to reduce inflammation include: olive oil (I recommend eating as little oil as possible – fats are not good for you), but extremely small amounts of olive oil can be beneficial in your quest to control chronic inflammation.  Green leafy vegetables are excellent at fighting inflammation – so, spinach and kale would be a good addition to your diet.  Tomato, fruits such as cherries, blueberries and oranges are great at this also.  They also recommend fatty fish, but since I’m a vegan I would skip that suggestion, instead I eat the following:  dark red grapes, broccoli, cauliflower, beans and lentils, avocado and nuts.  The spices turmeric and cinnamon are also helpful.

So, as you can see, there are healthy ways to combat chronic inflammation.  Eat well and live healthy!




What Burdens are You Carrying?


I think that this is a quote that we all need to think about.  There are so many times in our lives that if we stop and reflect, we will realize that we’re carrying burdens that we don’t need too.  How many times have you looked around and discovered that under all the burdens that you’ve got tied to your back, there are ones that are no longer necessary?

Personally, I’ve spent too many years feeling burdened by things that went wrong in my birth family that were never my fault.  But that knowledge never stopped me from feeling guilty anyway.  It’s not a baby’s fault if a parent has a seizure; it’s not a child’s fault if a parent is so frustrated that he needs to lash out and physically reprimand the child for no wrong-doing.

But, guilt for both these actions and others has burdened me all my life.  So much of my time has been spent trying to figure out what it was that I did, when in fact I did nothing wrong.  And, I’m sure that I’m not alone.  Every one of us is carrying burdens that either were never ours, or were something for us to deal with, and let go.

Try your best to decide to put down some of your burdens.  Drop what you can, because more mountains will be on the horizon, and how will you climb them if you’re busy carrying millstones that were never yours to carry?  Let learning happen, and then let those burdens go.  They were never meant for you to bring along with you.