Not Anti-Gun, Pro Wellness- Individual to Societal.

With fearful thinking, often the tendency is to jump to conclusions before all the facts are gathered, and certainly before the issue is understood.

Here are a few examples:
Consider how those most strongly opposed to a plant-based diet are often the very ones who haven’t tried it, and who won’t, being up to their waste in the quicksand of their own pride and misinformation. This tendency has to do with fears, misunderstandings and perceptions about the topic.

This applies to many things under the sun.

Fear of spiders or snakes:

My reptile buddy and I have encountered this type of logic many times while hiking. While well into the benches, inevitably we’ll come across a person who is trying to kill a snake. My friend will run up to them and ask them to reconsider their logic about why they are going to kill the snake. As he convinces them to let him set the harmless snake free, he engages in a dialogue with them that has them chasing their tail in illogical assumptions. Basically that the nonvenomous gopher snake was going to go T-rex on them, chase them down and kill them. When their freak out mode stops and they realize it is a non-venomous Gopher snake that is very shy and would much rather get out of the way then “chase them” they realize their fear of the snake was unfounded and irrational.

Guns:

This is another biggie in that way, especially here in America. Often those most strongly opposed to guns are those who have never seen or fired one. The hyped up fearful logic is almost that the gun has a mind of its own and will fire repeatedly in excess, going off at random like a bomb. Each of these are discussions in and of themselves, but these are to make a point that often fear and hype is mass produced/shared about something that in the end is unfounded and the pace of the panic is completely irrational. The mode or actions then put into place are also irrational. Having said that, I will make it clear that I am not anti-gun, I am pro mental health, (all health in fact,) or wellness; I am pro wellness. While I agree that tighter restrictions on those who have access to assault rifles and handguns may be beneficial for general public safety, a weapon that requires practice, responsibility and discipline is of course not by itself the root of the problem. There is always a deeper issue. But fearful thinking does not accommodate this reality.

There is an interesting side note along those lines: If you have read my first memoir, The Wellness Diaries you will know that at one time I was quite paranoid, and this was getting the best of me. Without changing my course as explained in the book, I was being completely controlled by my fears that were quite irrational and it would have likely led me to trouble. At one time I was a permitted concealed gun carrier. I went through the classes and paid my fee to legally carry a concealed hand gun. However, during a conversation about it with a counselor at the time, she gave me something to consider: with the irrational thinking I was experiencing at that time, it was maybe not a good option for me. I thought about it over a few weeks, and after much thoughtful consideration, I decided to no longer carry the gun-I voluntarily gave up the practice. I decided pas pour moi, (French) carrying the gun was not for me. I did not regret my decision, realizing that maybe carrying a loaded gun is not for everyone. Maybe not everyone can or should be gun packers. Maybe those people who show responsibility and self-discipline can make the choice and maybe that number of people is enough.

This was a turning point for me. The counselor did not coerce or nag me in any way. My freedom to choose was not threatened; she simply gave me something to consider… And consider it I did. I believe this is presents a good example of a way to honor freedom to choose and giving other individuals the time to reach their own conclusions and to let go of a worn out practice (for them) in their own way and on their own terms.

Snakes, microbes, spiders, guns… Reconsider the logic, and if your mind is in freak out mode and fueled by fear, chances are it is not thinking logically or rationally.

-Owen

Think About it for the Month…

When you feel yourself getting lost in the sauce at this time of year, you can remember that it is winter, and there is wisdom in considering allottment in terms of 3 forms of currency: time, energy and money. The ethics, status and justification of the latter is debatable, but we’ll use it for this post today. Everything under the sun takes one or all of these three for humans. While society may continue to teach you to just keep going and it will all work out if you just take your 74th pill or energy drink, you can remember that that energy must come from somewhere, and this time of year is at a time when less is being produced (unless you live along the equator). You can choose to step back, let go, reconsider, ground, center, breathe, take your time, be realistic, and to prioritize and plan.

Spending energy when it is not there is not wise, but foolish.

Time, energy, money. If you are a human that can read these words. These are your forms of currency.

Enjoy your rest.
And “as long as you love me so, let is snow, since it’s the most wonderful time of the year.”

-Owen

Sodium, Water and Macrobiotics! (Vegan readers, you may want to consider this)

Hi Everyone,

I have a friend Sylvia Ruth Gray who eats a vegan diet and is going healthy and strong at age 79. She has traditional influence in the Japanese macrobiotics discipline. Recently, she and I were corresponding via email and she was able to provide some tips that cleared up some trouble I was having with sodium. Omnivorous diets are naturally a lot higher in sodium, and if you are vegan, you may need more sodium than you had thought. Along with your healthy lifestyle, you may want to consider experimenting with traditional macrobiotics and seeing how it works for you. Veganism (including the religion ;)) haha is quite new. It is an urban creation, and as far as study and research goes, the diet doesn’t have a lot of time behind it.
Sylvia’s knowledge and study is extensive. She has written a book, many articles, and has also signed her books at my annual ecomarkets. After all, as I mentioned in The Wellness Diaries there were no primitive vegan populations-except one in Japan as I learned from Sylvia’s insightful book. Humans have evolved with certain dietary requirements, and it stands to reason that an individual of the modern world may do well to find answers in the combination of disciplines such as traditional macrobiotics and vegan diets while striving for optimal health.

In our emails Sylvia reminded me of several healthy populations including The Tarahumara Indians of Mexico (who as she indicated used to run 100 miles a day just for fun) and some peoples of the Middle East with a tea ceremony who drink little liquid and are still very healthy.

She made some excellent points in the discussion such as plant-based diets being the correct diet for humans in developed countries; whereas sometimes in developing countries, a bit of fish, poultry, or even a prairie dog can mean the difference between survival and starvation for them and their families. But if industry has killed off most other wild animals and overfished the oceans…

It is a very good point and fitting for this very long, ongoing discussion of humanity practicing and learning to live more sustainably on the earth.

If you experience specific problems such as salt sensitivity, water retention, or g.i. problems, you may find the macrobiotics discipline a helpful partner to an already healthy plant-based beginning. As with the practice of any worthwhile discipline (martial arts, dance, yoga, meditation, study) entering the room of that philosophy is only the beginning. Trying it for yourself, observing its effects on you and interacting with and building upon the contents of that room is the next fundamental step. There is a lot in the macrobiotics room, so be patient with yourself, take your time and learn as much as you can.

In reference to my e book Eyes On The Prize, I call macrobiotics plant-based blackbelt techniques.

For any plant-based questions as it pertains to macrobiotics, you can email Sylvia at:
sylviaemailatgmaildotcom

Enjoy the learning by trial, error IN joy of the journey.

-O

Holiday Plant-Based Burgers-Excellent


Are you sick of hearing about C A R B S yet???

Too bad.

Here is an excellent source of C A R B S that tastes fantastic! Veggie burgers have been called vegetarian junk food, and while that may be true if eaten as daily fare, they are great for the holidays and other social events. I say these Beyond Burger brand veggie patties are essential for those plant-baser/C A R B eaters at your holiday social gatherings. As veggie or gardenburgers go, I have considered them a rare treat, but these are actually tempting to keep on hand as a weekly splurge or something (probably a slight exaggeration). Anyway they’re good! Most people who still eat the Standard American Diet like how they taste and it is actually hard to tell the difference.

At any rate be sure to try some and happy ALL holidays!

-O

Human Diversity And Biodiversity-Two Essentials

Last year, December 2019, I attended a live performance of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker for Christmas. It is one of my favorites and I can never see it too many times.

One thing I have missed the very most during this COVID-19 craziness is the option of attending live concerts and many forms of the arts. Regardless of where you are on the accept or reject spectrum of this worldwide reaction of nearly the entire year 2020, you probably won’t deny that one year ago it was more convenient to do the things you like to do.

The answer to many of the world’s problems is a multi-pronged approach, but one of those essential prongs is diversity. There is so much out there to learn and explore! It is a wide world and everywhere has something charming and unique.

I submit that there are two parts of this proposed solution: 1. Expanding the diversity of humanity. 2. Promoting the biodiversity (thriving plants, and animals) of the planet.

Like the biodiversity of plants and animals of today that we humans need, which took eons of time to form. Likewise, the diversity of humans in terms of culture and art alone took centuries to form and perfect to the applicable and performance state that we enjoy today. We humans need both types. We also need each other, the lessons and wisdom acquired from other lands. This must be shared and spread. It is human diversity at its finest.

There are many things that I am grateful for, but among them are practices or philosophies from other areas of the world about each of which volumes could be written. Many wonderful and profound practices and food that I personally feel grateful for come from China. For example, I am grateful we have the awareness and knowledge of Feng-shui, the wonderful health benefits of green tea, (ooh and who can forget veg Moo-goo gai pan? yum, yum) the martial arts, (many areas have their own flavor of martial arts too including Russia, Japan, Israel, Brazil etc), accupuncture, Taoism to name just a few from China alone. I have also been grateful for Buddhism from India, to know of it and to have had the chance to explore it.

Where would we humans be without the knowledge expanded, the wisdom shared, the diversity that has been spread? We would either be in trouble or quite bored and lonely. Without the recent yet gradual spread of diversity throughout humanity I believe that our troubles our differences would have collapsed our foundation before now. Abundant diversity is essential to the continued well-being of people, planet and nations.

I need to experience the people, plants, animals, food, spices, climate, herbs, art and culture, of China, Europe, Russia, Singapore, Mexico, Rome, Japan, etc, and all distant lands, and I submit that you need this too.

We all need to experience these, so let’s create the sustainable setup that allows and encourages this. Enjoy these through the food, culture art and soak it in through mindful reverence from earth to human what was done to create that music that inspires you, that specialized martial arts’ technique or that exotic dish that bursts with wonderful flavor and aroma. Pick any topic and it will have an extensive history of its own and volumes upon volumes could be written about that very history. Oftentimes the history was tumultuous and very sad. It is amazing what was done so that we could experience and enjoy what we do today. Most of the reasons for that tumult and sadness have a common denominator: the learning by trial and error and current understanding of humans. Looking back, we see the errors and we call it history. Hindsight is better than foresight. Even today with our clever gadgetry and technology, it is humbling to consider current understanding of humans and the nature of things. Oftentimes we assume that we know, and we don’t. At those points where we thought we had arrived and were “good to go” were some of the greatest historical errors since now we know better. There were also historical moments-miracles where just the right decision or combination of factors prevented disaster. The history of everything under the sun changed drastically for better or for worse after World War II. This year 2020 on many fronts has been compared to WWII, pre, post during. As collective humanity, we do our best; and hindsight is better than foresight.

Take note of practices, philosophies, teachings from far away places of the world that have enhanced your own life. You’ll be amazed with what you discover and by how enriched your life already is through diversity.

A few years ago I was at a non-profit event where a certain Russian dance was being taught and practiced in a group of people. We would clap our hands five times and then rotate, to then clap and move again in precise harmony and unison. It is amusing to note that my dog happened to be with us and with each rotation, he thought that person was approaching him to give him affection. He was so determined to get the overdue pat on the head that seemed to keep missing him, that we ended up integrating a brief pet on my dog’s head as part of the dance with each rotation. It actually worked surprisingly well and added to the laughs and the fun of this obscure Russian dance we were learning.

I am by no means a great dancer, but I know enough to appreciate the hours of rigorous training and skill that goes into any dance number. We practiced until we were all tired and while we were far from having the dance flawless, the necessary focus and the togetherness was very fun and there was something special about it. It brought me in tune with myself and others to a degree that had been foreign to me prior to this experience.

Reflecting on this caused me to recall that every single country, culture and people on earth have their own unique forms of expression including dance. There is also unique music, food, spices, medicines, beliefs desserts, and many forms of art. The world is so fascinating. It makes you want to see it all! We all have been, or know of someone who has been to these places that we only hear about. China, Thailand, the Philippines, Russia, the Serengeti, Rome, etc. Think of your own experiences in any of these places, or the people’s stories who have been there. I touched on this in an essay of my second book, Life Is Conscious, Live with Purpose. Abandon Fear. Coexist.

The stories, mixed beliefs and shared experiences of other lands are captivating. Every single people and culture on earth has something extraordinarily unique and worth sharing for the further improvisation, diversity, well-being and unity of humanity. It is a new perspective of cultural evolution being enhanced by organic evolution. The two can and should live harmoniously.

Ever since participating in this Russian dance, I have learned more about Russia and it sounds like a fantastic place to visit. I only know a handful of informative bits about it, but it sounds spectacular. There is lake Baikal; in ecology class, we learned that it is the oldest, and largest lake in the world. It is more like a sea and it houses the only freshwater seal in the entire world. How fantastic is that?! I have a bird-guru friend from a zoology class who was scheduled to take a university songbird research trip in this region of Lake Baikal, but it was canceled due to the unprecedented events of 2020. I hope things clear up and she gets to go at a later time.

Further, we could never forget the music of Tchaikovsky. The famous Russian composer most noted for the classic Nutcracker. This meager pile adds up to the things that intrigue about the great, (with bitter cold winters; I can’t even imagine how cold) and vast area of Russia, but this meager stack makes me want to go there and see for myself. It sounds amazing, and it would be so incredible to see so many of these wonderful places, people and cultures, not from the standpoint of exploitation and conquest, but with intent to preserve, learn, share (in equal exchange, I might add) and taking nothing but wisdom, harm-free, ethically sourced souvenirs purchased from locals, and photos.

I hope that humanity can overcome its differences long enough to stop fighting with each other and damaging the earth. I am interested in exploring the diversity of the people all over the world, for in this are the answers to the social and environmental plagues of today, and I hope you can do this too. The biodiversity of the planet, (the plants and animals) unique to each area is also essential and at the top of my list. The two go hand in hand and are equally important. We will feel more alive as we increase and preserve the diversity of other creatures and life forms (biodiversity) as we do the same work for ourselves of our own cultural evolution and diversity.

There is much to learn and to explore. The new models, in order to work properly must include the encouragement of human diversity and keeping alive many cultural traditions and ethnic arts, and preserving biodiversity. It is too bad that the option to see and experience places and other people only exists for a fraction of people throughout the world. This is due to social discrepancies, economies and setups that don’t allow or accommodate freedom of choice.

What if it could be though? What if it were open and the design encouraged everyone to simply take turns experiencing or tasting other areas and cultures? The world would be a better place. Each would benefit from the “lessons {or spirit} of each land” (Staples, O. 2013 Life Is Conscous), and these would speak to that individual as nothing else can, and in the ways most needed.

I submit that it takes many types, many influences and many teachings stemming from the depths of the lessons of all lands that improves the world. Diversity and biodiversity go hand in hand and they are the answer. I hope humanity can learn to unite instead of further divide so that it can be so. Fierce competition, greed, fighting each other no longer serves humanity.

Instead, models and modes that foster awareness, education, unity, sustainability, cooperation and diversity are the answer.

Here is a local author with an interesting look at Russia, very fitting for this post. This book slipped the local author and the suggested reading section in my latest memoir since I had so much going on at the time. My sister gave me a copy of the book as a gift, signed by the author and it is a recommended read. Many reasons now combine to the intrigue of Russia and makes me want to see it someday. As an advocate of human health, the enviornment and sustainable living, I disagree with the part about McDonald’s, of course. Still, the book is very insightful providing a clear glimpse of Russia’s societal problems but especially its warm hearted, even if oppressed people, and vast (even if unimaginably cold) unique beauty. While reading, I felt like I was there in the frigid cold, white endless blanket of Russia:

A Train to Potevka by Mike Ramsdell

Also, several aspects of the philosophy proposed on this blog, and in my books such as post-small business, down the corporate ladder, ways of the folks, diversity, individual expression and creativity, the arts, and folk and classical music are exemplified through my sister’s Red Desert Violin online violin classes. She has students from all over the world.

So here’s to the natural spread, sharing and growth of two kinds of worldwide diversity and to the enjoyment of concerts and live events once again sooner than later, from 311 to Tchaikovsky, in normal fashion like we did a year ago. I hope we wake up from this wiser, more diverse, and open minded.

Happy ALL holidays to ALL.

-Owen

Pardon mademoiselle, can I get some more C A R B S with that please?

Hey Everyone,

These are some edamame and chickpea noodles that are fun to try. They are organic and non GMO, and I was really impressed with the flavor and the texture of the edamame noodles! I had not tried them before, and personally, I prefer chewy noodles, (so these were perfect) but you can cook these longer if you like a softer texture. They are excellent with briefly steamed green onions and sesame seeds, (which, remember are a good source of calcium, as Dr. Fuhrman’s website shows).

Have you heard the joke that illustrates just how out of hand the carb phobia has become? “You can now hold up a grocery store with the word carb.” Yeah, it’s way out of hand and is an example of industry promoted misinformation. If you say CARB 5 times you ain’t goin’ to heaven.

“What are carbs again?”
“I don’t know; but I know they’re bad.”

While highly processed carbs may increase the chances of weight gain for some; CARBS with little to no processing such as beans, rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes, (starches) are the correct diet for humans and are excellent for you. It is what you are designed to eat.

These noodles have a unique flavor and texture unlike anything else. They’re great after that sweaty workout for replacing C A R B/glycogen storage. (Don’t forget to replace the electrolytes too).

Here’s a lean, green C A R B machine right here-have been for more than 10 years now, and I’ve maintained the same weight and muscle mass. I think for the next post, I’ll show a photo of me in my speedo flexing my upper body musculature while holding a carton of oat milk and rice cakes.

Okay, let’s not and say I did. Anyway, be sure to try some of these noodles! And have some C A R B S (heaven will still find you) for both your and health and mine.

C A R B S. That’s what I said.

“I’m sensing your sarcasm.”
“Good, I sure hope so, because I’m laying it on pretty thick.” -David Spade, Tommy Boy

For a closer look at the details of the C A R B issue that is both amusing and informative, be sure to check out the documentary Gamechangers about bad a** plant-based athletes.

For more informative rantings that are also amusing as well as historical about this and other related topics be sure to check out my new memoir:The Irony of the Well
Remember that these blog posts are appetizers. The banquet is found in the books

Thank you for reading, learning and being open,

O

The Post University Fast

Something I was toying around with a bit seemed to choose now instead of later. I had been telling myself that after university, I wanted to do what I call a lifestyle fast.

University life is very hectic; it keeps you hopping, frothing, edging on your seat, laughing, crying, minioning at the mercy of your ability to follow instructions and retain information on little sleep, and high stress. It is very fast paced and high strung. I had driven so much during that time that I knew I wanted to take a “fast,” not only from driving but from that extreme mode that was taxing not only for my health but for the environment.

My time at university as stressful and hectic as it was, was very much worth it. I love learning, and an education is a great privilege, one that I hope that all people have the opportunity to enroll in education about life. It doesn’t have to be “to get a job” but to expand your mind and for more ideas to play with.

The past month or so I have arranged my life so that I only drive twice a week. This is my fast. Winter is a good time to do it, and I am really enjoying it. I walk the dog, read a lot, have caught up on some writing, work with my hands, keep in contact with friends and family and observe the birds, weather and even the occasional insect (at least until last week) that I still see flying around! Amazing creatures. It was an apropos time to do this, and I am glad to do it. It feels great. It helps to counterbalance somewhat that heavy-on-the-earth feeling that I had while so fast and driving so much during my time at university. It is a consciously different pace, which I discuss in the second book, Life Is Conscious, Live with Purpose, Abandon Fear, Coexist.

If you can, I recommend trying a lifestyle fast also and see what you find!
Do you have your eco flask? Every time I drink water I feel good in knowing that this is a one time purchase, and I don’t contribute plastic to the landfills, or worse, our oceans, parks, forests, lakes or streams.
Next time you’re out and about, you may want to pick up an eco flask. It’s a great feeling.

Remember that these blog posts are crackers and celery sticks. The banquet is found in the books.

Have a great weekend,
O

Article with Before and After Photos

Part of the story from my first memoir, The Wellness Diaries was featured in an article of Vegetarians in Paradise:Words from other Birds-Owen Staples Thank you again to Zel and Reuben Allen of Vegetarians in Paradise for the feature! The article includes excerpts from the book, and includes before and after photos; it is fun to resurface it every now and again to share. The photos are significant when you recall that the only difference at the time was the elimination of dairy, having gone from vegetarian that ate a lot of cheese, butter and cream to a eating a whole foods plant-based diet with no dairy. I began to ride my bike a lot more at the time also.

The photos say much about the weight loss, but there was also the decrease in cholesterol, the improved outlook on life, and perhaps most profound, the change led to the whole picture, a more solid meaning of life, a sense of purpose if you will-my purpose. Becoming acquainted with the earthly enchantments that teased out and about the buried-at-the-core-happiness, I now communicate it, live it and became it. I have found “my thang” so to speak. By searching the mysterious exchanges of within, I learned the important lesson of not trying to fill myself up with too many things from the outside. The improvement in health helped me to cut through the bogus, the clutter and to see with better clarity. Five books later I have written a thing or two about what I discovered.

This philosophy is also about you and where your journey will take you…

Your wellness tip for today: Don’t aim merely for weight loss, but learn to dance, play and wrestle with what makes you happy and be receptive as you watch for your purpose…

This takes time and layers. It is possible for every person on the planet to enjoy a long life of learning, discovery and expression. The happiness is the high-quality bread that accompanies you during your hike, not the destination. The learning, the bike ride and the dance continues.

Wishing you well in the exploration and interplay-those layers of sky, earth and ocean that is you.

“Know thyself; but consider other beings and things too”.

-Owen

A Quick Follow Up About the Asian Market Post

These are some examples of gems that I have discovered at the Asian market from that post:In Your Neighborhood, or Not?

They are good brands that I have found and really like of curry powder with a small ingredients list, and sweet potato noodles. Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of pure carbs,(see, it’s not a swear word after all), vitamins and minerals, and while these are in a more processed form, they are still good for you and fun to try. They are tasty, inexpensive and add a very unique texture to any cuisine. They hold moisture and lock in the flavor of ginger and sesame seeds like nothing else.

I love the curry brand because it has a small ingredient list of things that I can pronounce and I know what they are, with no MSG added. Plus the bottle is made of glass, which is more eco-certainly beats plastic. Now check that out!

Enjoy, and happy Friday (vendredi hereux). I wish I could write it in all 6,000 + languages of the beautifully diverse earth, but no such luck yet.

To your good health,

Owen

Info about Almonds and Plant Milk


You gotta love bumblebees-cold tolerant as all get out!
I found this article about almond milk and bee safety:Foodrevolutionnetwork

If you haven’t already subscribed to the Food Revolution Network with John and Ocean Robbins, I highly recommend that you do. It is loaded with information about sustainable food choices, nutrition, and tips for conscious choices backed by research for daily living.

As far as the almond milk, anything that helps the bees is a good thing. Those poor hymenopteran girls need all the help they can get. If you don’t already know, we humans are toast without bees and other pollinators. It is a big deal and it matters. Food matters.

I know what you’re thinking: “Oh man! One more thing that I can’t eat, or that has to be organic!” I understand and share your frustration completely. Currently, organic is more expensive too, and not everything should have to be organic. You see the reason for this. Health shouldn’t be so expensive and it should not be so much work. All these add up to just the point. The clean and sustainable practices should not cost the earth. It is bass ackwards; it is ineffective and unacceptable that the food supply is being adulterated, the standard is sinking, and unsustaianble practices still slide to increase volume and profits. This just needs to be accepted and changed to right-side up universally.

Too much of a good thing in a giant industry can become ruined. This is exactly why I have been saying for a while now, “lots of littles” instead of a few giants that dominate the market. This is hard to do with the current structure and monopoly, but we can unite together and demand results. Do you like healthy food, pure water and clean air? So do I. See, we aren’t that different after all.

Yes, it is definitely a time to raise the bar. I have seen it too many times to believe otherwise. When an industry or a corporation begins to grow it is hard to continue the beginning quality without cutting corners. The cut corners usually are such that the environment pays the price, and since we all live downstream from each other and breathe, drink, and eat what is sown, this returns to us. We’ve seen it time and time again, and this is exactly why voting with your wallet, demanding clean, safe, healthy food that is not full of contaminants, GMO’s etc is an excellent choice. It takes many people being well informed, making demands and voting with their wallets.

Is it a royal pain in the $$* in the mean time? Yes. But until things are right side up again we gotta keep workin’ it; with enough people insisting on reasonable and rational practices and pure, clean food (and water and air), change will happen.

So yes, I am going to do some trial and study on this myself and switch to other plant milks (Oat milk is sounding pretty cool right now) for a bit. Almonds and almond milk is of course great, and it is a great alternative to dairy; it’s just that the bees and other pollinators need to be a top priority, especially in the food industry.

I have written all about this and other issues and give examples in my recent memoir:
The Irony of the Well

Thanks for reading,

O