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Archive for December, 2007

I found this marvelous list of blessings, in the form of scientific explanations, and they are truly wondrous. The everyday view is not the most accurate view; there you will see the miracle you are, even without the spiritual base, which helps you be even moreso.

Therefore, on this nearly last day of the secular year, even as terror and wondrous miracles co-exist side-by-side in our world, find strength in “being the Miracle” you truly are!

 With that strength and view, change your world, then our world.

With my sincere wishes that our world may find true Peace this year, by all of us not being willing to allow it to be taken from us AND by finding it within ourselves, first, I wish you all a wonderful New Year!

This is a keeper! CLICK THE LINK BELOW! Unfortunately, it won’t all fit here!

From: www.thread-of-awareness.com/20FACTS.HTM

Don’t forget these essential scientific facts.

1

You are unique.

Don’t just think of yourself in terms of diabetes, or any other illness. You are far more than that! Make sure you share this with your family, friends and especially with children. Keep their uniqueness and fresh outlook alive. They ARE the future and we need to nurture them by letting them be themselves, as much as we can.

This contemplation engendered is some of our most important food-for-thought. All of this is fantastic and real at the same time;  I hope you feel special.

Best to all —

Em

PS – Be sure to check our Title Archive on the Upper Nav Bar, for more great choices!

(c)2007Em https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com
If you desire to use or quote from my article, please include the full copyright citation and website address.
“Everyone knows someone who needs this information!” (TM)

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//milonee.net //milonnee.net/bengali_recipes

Now, of course, the holiday season is in full swing and the usual weight-gain, from 5 – 15 pounds, will be devasting to deal with, so everyone, but especially pre-diabetics and diabetics, needs to pay attention to this information. Also, any diabetic who wants to use more natural based, successful therapies, as part of their care, needs to read this series about special foods. This time, learn about the medicinal impact of India’s karela melon, now available globally.And, guess what? India is a country where a diabetic crisis is about to explode, like it is already in the United States of America, but even moreso, unfortunately. Tens of millions of undiagnosed diabetics exist in both countries, and the numbers of those identified is steadily rising. Junk foods and sugary foods are the main culprits in both populations, especially among the young.

By the way, India is also the source of humanity’s first medical system —- known as Ayurveda, which was developed more than 5,000 years ago — and it remains as a long, independent medical tradition. 

Indeed, that effective medical treatment system, which is the basis of all other major, medical systems,  prompts me to look at the way that Indian culture is dealing with the crisis, which is largely caused by:
1) less traditional dietary food choice
2) more sedentary and stressful occupations
3) degraded environment

Reality is that all of these same issues contribute to the huge new incidence in diabetes in every industrialized country, like the USA, Great Britain, Australia etc.

Moreover, through Ayurveda, there’s a long list of now-called “alternative therapies” in its practice, but many of these protocols are the “original treatments” which served Humanity for millennia (from before Pasteur’s drug-oriented, germ-based theories appeared only 150 years ago). Ayurveda’s treatments are very effective options.

Before we go any further: in using any of the foods in this series as diabetic therapy, make sure that you consult your physician beforehand and get exact numbers of times to monitor your blood sugars more frequently, as your blood sugar levels will change when you consistently use the foods in this series. Do not use this particular food while you are pregnant or trying to conceive!

Now, pay attention, I’ll say it again. These foods will effectively lower your blood sugar levels – thereby reducing your need for your diabetes medications, if you use the foods regularly, so you must monitor and consult for changes in your medication dosage. Hopefully, one day you will be able to get the news from your doctor that your medication is not needed any more. This has happened to people using this protocol.

In fact, karela melons are so effective at targeting blood sugar that the government of the Phillippines officially endorses the use of Karela, as one of their mainline diabetic therapies (more on that later). 

Now, in the spirit of Hippocrates, the Greek physician credited as originating Western Medicine’s protocols and philosophy,“Let your food be your remedy and your remedies be your food.”

See for yourself. Incorporate these new foods into your diet one at a time, maybe trying them for 2 weeks before adding another of these therapeutic foods from the series. Be sure to monitor your blood sugar levels more frequently in those first weeks. Much can happen in the first 1 – 2 months to change your diabetes positively.

Remember, the first food in the series was Cucumber. Now, we’ll learn about Karela, another member of the Gourd Family, botanically, which is a very alkaline food; that is one reason it is “bitter”, and by reducing your systemic acidity, and alkalinizing your cellular pH, via the bitter compounds in karela, you are acting to solve a major cause of your diabetes. If you maintain body-wide normal pH of 7.35, then your diabetes is unlikely to return.
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In fact, Karela Melon  is also known as: bitter gourd, balsam pear, balsam apple, ampelaya, papailla, melao de sao caetano, k’u kua kurela, kor-kuey, ku gua, foo gwa, pava-aki, salsamino, sorci, sorossi, assorossie, sorossie, sorossies, pare pahit, peria laut, peria, peria katak, bitter melon, mara, tsuru reishi, ngai uri, muop dang, springkomkommer, wunder-balsamapfel, balsamini lunghi, balsamina.
………………………………………………………………………………………..

Simply stated, Bitter Melon (Momordica charantia Linn.) is both a nutritious bumpy skinned vegetable and a trusted medicine; it grows abundantly in many tropical regions. Unlike most medicinal herbs, bitter melon is commonly eaten, proof positive of its safety, but you need to pay attention to the times when you should NOT use it e.g. when pregnant!

As I said, it is a member of the cucumber family, and the lighter green colored to the ripened orange colored gourds are a little less bitter but  www.rain.org/greennet/docs/exoticveggies/html/bittermelon.htm says that the orange ones are more potent and not to eat much of them or any).  Find karela in Asian markets or the ethnic vegetable section of your market, especially from spring through summer. Many markets are beginning to carry them year round. Select firm, 5″ – 12″ long, light-green to yellow veggies, without soft spots. Refrigerate them in a paper bag for 3 – 5 days. Cut immediately before use, only.To reduce the bitterness, discard seeds and fibrous central-core section (but for diabetics, try to learn to use these parts, too).

Believe me, please understand that this vegetable is extremely bitter, and that is the exact component which contains a very effective, high dosage of ‘plant insulin’. It lowers human blood-sugar levels very effectively.

And, what’s more, if you tend to also have hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), you should not use bitter melon or use only half the recommended amount and monitor yourself, because it lowers blood sugars even further.

Here’s something else. Karela also helps those who have liver problems. And, a component in the seeds has been found to aid those with auto-immune diseases.

When you first start eating karela, it may seem very potent, so for flavor and for enjoyment, the bitterness can be moderated or balanced out in using time-worn, traditional cooking recipes.When recipes suggest blanching the melon ‘to reduce the bitterness’, this undoes what we are trying to accomplish, so do not do that technique.

Know this, in the Philippines, ampalaya (karela, bitter melon) has been included as part of the current national program’s treatment protocol in Operation Diabetes. This makes it one of the few (maybe even the only) herbal products in the world endorsed by a national medical association of over 1,500 doctors. This has been using the karela (ampalaya) as a vegetable and as Charantea.

Let me explain also, that Bitter Melon also requires you to monitor your cholesterol lowering drugs, too, if you take them. It makes them more potent, so less medicine may be needed.

Meanwhile, I believe that if you use karela long-term, then also take a probiotic capsule of friendly flora everyday e.g. acidopholus capsules. Having yoghurt is not sufficient as the numbers of bacteria are too low. Bitter Melon effectively kills off many bacteria, including your friendly ones, which must be there, in your intestinal tract, to make vital substances for you, and protect you from other pathogenic bacterias. Tropical diseases have begun to invade Europe, due to global-warming, so many of the everyday protectors, long-used in the tropics, may have to become part of daily life in Europe now too. See the article at New York Times listed in Reference section, below.

Plus, I have read to only use concentrated bitter melon preparations right AFTER a meal … this would be a better way to start using this therapy, in my opinion, especially if you are not under the care of a physician who understands the action of this food therapy.

Again, make sure you are monitoring your blood sugars more often so you see how this food’s beneficially affects you. Hopefully you will be able to reduce your medications soon.

Traditional prescriptions:
Have the juice of three to four karelas early morning on an empty stomach (WOW!).
OR Powder the seeds of karela (measuring 1 teaspoon), mix with water and drink it. (This second form may be practical in India, but we do not have a ready supply to just use powdered seeds.)
OR A traditional South American prescription is: juice 1-2 fresh bitter melon fruits and drink twice daily.

New traditional prescription: Westerners are promoting Bitter Melon in other forms e.g. Charantea (which is used in the Phillippine protocol). This is likely to taste better to the Western palate and can be combined with citrus flavors … see a recipe on their site www.charanteausa.com I would also flavor it with a bit of low-glycemic agave nectar.

Tea Take 1 cup after every meal, 3 times a day
OR Capsules: Take 1-2 capsules after meals,  3 times a day.

“Charantea contains the food’s key compounds that help maintain normal blood sugar levels”. These include:

___ a polypeptide-p (a plant insulin similar to animal insulin)
___ charantin (a steroid mixture)
___ vicine (a pyrimidine nucleoside)

“Researchers are looking into possible modes of action caused by the interplay of these compounds.”

Just think about this. The alkaline pH of karela helps to undo the overly-acidic bodies most of us have – from stress, inefficient metabolisms, the biochemistry of fear or eating and drinking too many acid-producing foods. Diabetes and other chronic disease is exacerbated and even caused by the inflammatory processes and degrading, catabolic cellular processes instigated by over-acidity.

Just for the record, in using karela, we return to kitchens all over the world, where it is utilized by many societies regularly as a vegetable or beverage. As food, karela can be taken on a regular basis by everyone in your family except for pregnant women, breast-feeding women and children below 7 years old.

Most importantly, Karela has a natural birth-control aspect to it (don’t rely on that component completely, please!) AND it will abort fetuses, so do NOT use it if you are pregnant! And for those couples who are seeking to procreate children, do not use bitter melon while trying to conceive, either, as it can abort the embryo, too.

So, let’s begin. Many Asian and South American cuisines use bitter melon e.g. Phillipines, India, Okinawa, Thailand. Here are some recipes, and you can easily find others online. The whole vegetable, including skin and seeds is edible; even the leaves and stems are too. In fact rain.org site says: “the young leaves are also harvested and used as potherb. The immature fruits are a good source of vitamin C and provide some vitamin A, phosphorus, and iron. The tender vine tips are an excellent source of vitamin A, and a fair source of protein, thiamin, and vitamin C.”

Here are some recipes to try. My suggestion is to keep the potent flavor and healing-power of karela intact, while blending it with other foods, to mask these strong flavors thereby effectively making the whole dish pleasing to your palate.

Best Regards,
Em

For more articles, please check the full Archive at the Title Tab, on the upper toolbar. Thanks. 

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http://milonee.net/bengali_recipes/bitter-melon/bittermelon.html

Bengali Thétor Dal (Karela with Lentils)

1. Boil moong dal (split yellow moong/mung beans or lentils) in water until half done.
2. Lightly stir fry cubes of bitter melon and onion slices flavored with cumin seeds, chopped red/green chillies and grated ginger in some vegetable oil or even better in some ghee.
3. Add this to the boiling dal, also add salt and some turmeric powder.
4. Boil until both bitter melon and dal are fully cooked.
5. Serve with rice as a starter, as the Bengalis do, to get digestive juices flowing. This is a thick dal, not a watery one.

Em: you could also use this as a dip, rather than serving it over rice.

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<http://milonee.net/bengali_recipes/bitter-melon/bittermelon.html

Bengali Korola Bhaté (Mashed Bitter Melon)

If you are using green bitter melons, boil them and then mash them. You may eat or leave out the seeds. Adding some mashed boiled potatoes to this also tastes good and helps reduce the bitterness. Add salt and dried red chili peppers fried in oil (add both the chillies and oil). Mash until there are few or no lumps and just scoop out a serving. Serve with plain boiled rice as a starter.

For ripe bitter melons, coat them in vegetable oil and grill or roast them whole then mash them. Mix in salt, mustard oil and chopped chili peppers (red or green) as seasoning. Again you may leave out the seeds if you wish. Serve as a starter with plain boiled rice although these are not so bitter.
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http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=86015

Sudhir’s Karela

Scoop out the flesh and seeds and roughly chop it. Put the empty gourd shell aside, for the moment.

Saute the inner flesh and seed mix with lots of onions, coriander powder, Jeera powder (ground cumin), turmeric and chili powders.

Cool the karela and stuff inside the shells of gourds. Lightly oil the outer skin of the gourds and cook the stuffed gourds either in the oven for 30 minutes at 325 OR in a wok over low heat for 35 minutes, turning constantly for even cooking

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http://www.bittermelon.org/pages/eat/umami_recipes.html

Bitter Melon Chips

2 ripe bitter melons
1 tbs. curry powder
1 tsp. sea salt
½ tsp. cayenne
½ tsp. cardamom
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbs. sesame oil

1. Using a mandolin or with another slicer or a very sharp knife, slice the bitter melon into 1/8″ slices.
2. In a bowl combine the rest of the ingredients thoroughly to make a marinade.
3. Toss bitter melon slices in the marinade. Be sure to completely coat each slice.
4. Place the karela slices on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper and place in a pre-heated 325 degree oven for 15-20 minutes, or until they begin to crisp.
5. Remove them from oven and let cool on the sheet tray to harden them further.
6. If you do not plan to serve the chips immediately, then store in an air tight container, in the freezer for up to a week.

—————————————————————————-http://www.bittermelon.org/pages/eat/sour_recipes.html

Green Papaya and Bitter Melon Salad
based on a recipe by Chef: Hiroko Kikuchi

Sauce/Dressing:

approx. 1T organic apple-cider vinegar (Bragg’s or Spectrum)
approx. 1T nam pla (Thai or Vietnamese fish sauce)
approx. 2 teaspoons agave nectar or Succanat
Celtic sea salt
organic cayenne pepper

organic lime, lemon yuzu or ponzu sauce (Asian grocery)

bitter melon (goya)(karela) (amplaya)
leeks
scallions
coriander
Thai basil
Asian mint or regular mint
green papaya or daikon radish
jicama

*add any additional vegetables you like (carrot, cabbage, endive or red bell pepper are good)

Garnish:
crushed raw almonds or pecans

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For Sauce:
add nam pla, sweetener, salt, pepper and vinegar to a little boiling water (maybe start with 1/4 cup).
Simmer a few minutes. Add lime in the end. And chill it until room temperature.

The Vegetable section of the Salad:

1: Slice bitter melon.
2: Thin slice leeks and green onion.
3: Peel the jicama and the green papaya. Thin slice (“julienne” – the finer, the better)
4. Add any other veggies you choose, sliced very thinly, too.
5: Mix everything together, gently, in a large bowl. Add herbs.
6: Tear up the herbs, for better fragrance.
7: Pour the sauce into the mixing bowl, and combine thoroughly.
8: Taste and balance the spicing.
9: Crush nuts, and add to the top of the salad.

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Other recipes with different views or techniques:

www.wailana.com/lifestyle/recipes/recipe.php?id=48
http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/asianveg/msg0818541820091.html

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REFERENCES:

http://in.rediff.com/getahead/2005/mar/14diab.htm
http://in.rediff.com/getahead/2005/mar/15diab.htmhttp://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QA/QA303253
www.charanteausa.com
http://www.rain-tree.com/bitmelon.htm

 http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Cookbook:Bitter_Melon 

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/23/world/europe/23virus.html?em&ex=1198645200&en=6df00655b38d8d65&ei=5087%0A

(c)2007 Em https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com

If you desire to use or quote from my article, please respect my copyright and include the full copyright citation and my website’s location in your article. Thanks.

“Everyone knows someone who needs this information!” (TM)

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NASA via www.lesliehawescom/wordpress www.sacredstonescenter.com 

Here are ways to make your last-minute gift-giving count in a whole new way! You can be sure that living Life on this Path will bring you much Joy.

SOME GOOD WORKS – for the Holiday Season, and all year long!

___    Remember “NORSE”(TM) when thinking about food – “Natural, Organic, Regional, Sustainable, Everyday”! Go into battle for your own Health and our Planet’s, each meal. Your body and your Earth-Mother will thank you! What you do moment-by-moment accrues, and affects all of us. Please think, then make life-sustaining choices.

___   Brad Pitt’s foundation to rebuild the devasted, formerly impoverished “9th Ward” of New Orleans, Louisianna. I say: ‘Donate a Doorknob’(TM) or whatever you can afford, personally OR donate a whole house, if you are a corporate representative. These poorest people have been without their homes and proper shelter for 3 years now. What a government scandal. Learn more at: http://makeitrightnola.org and read the New York Times article at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/03/arts/design/03pitt.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

___   In the truest spirit, donate as anonymously as you can. Here is a particularly worthy cause. Last October, in New York City, life changed for an incredibly vital, active 67 year old, whose whole Life has been a daily testament to giving Hope and Love to others. Her name is Susan Barron and you can read her story at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/22/nyregion/22about.html?pagewanted=2&hp  

and you can help her to recover and heal, after giving others Healing all her life, by donating to her long-term health care needs at:

http://www.friendsofsusanb.com/

___   As you are planning your spring garden, curl up with your seed catalogues and plan seed purchases to be part of the “Plant A Row For The Hungry” Project. Last year, tons of food was donated to local Food Banks by gardeners in this program. Please join in. For more information: email Elizabeth: gardenwrite(at)comcast.com where you replace (at) by @ (I did this format so robots won’t be able to “harvest” her address).

___   Plant Trees – Leave a Legacy – Heal Our Earth.
Please visit raw-food guru David Wolfe’s non-profit site which hopes to plant 3 fruit trees on earth for every person – yes, that’s a lot of trees! But if we are to have enough healthy, fresh, raw food, this is a labor of love which must be done!

You can find David’s site at: http://ftpf.org/mission.htm

Another site I saw mentioned is www.treegivers.com

___   Buy Handmade! Take the pledge at: www.buyhandmade.org and find out why doing this is SO important. Then continue onto the links on that page to find where artists and crafters congregate. One such site is www.etsy.com

Remember, living life in a more Voluntary Simplicity way, is kinder to our planet and to your pocket, too. It’s got nothing to do with “deprivation”! Learn more, and especially read the section called Practice at:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simple_living

http://www.simpleliving.net/main/

Please put your money where it really works, rather than into conspicuous consumption of material goods — that is my sincere suggestion.

Choices like these can be used anytime to make a more memorable, meaningful present for anyone.

If you have more suggestions, please write to me at the answer box in About Me, and I will check them out. Thanks.

For more articles, please check the full Archive at the Title Tab, on the upper toolbar. Thanks. 

Have a blessed Holy Day, whatever religion you may be, as many are about to celebrate now, as the Winter Solstice comes.

Best to all — Em

(c)2007 Em https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com

If you desire to use or quote from my article, please include the full copyright citation and website’s address.

“Everyone knows someone who needs this information!” (TM)

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Linda Spillers, New York Times www.msn.com Divine Chocolate

This is an historical epic, of giant proportions, important to all peoples on the planet. It happened in Judea, the land of Israel, 2,200 years ago

Hanukkah* (Hebrew for “dedication” or “consecration”) marks the re-dedication of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem after its serious, purposeful desecration by the Seleucid-Greek (Assyrian / Syrian) force of Antiochus IV Epiphanes and commemorates the “miracle of the sacred oil.”

After all, twenty-five years into his reign, around 175 BCE,  in the occupied land of Judea, (where the Jews had dutifully paid their taxes etc, to their oppressors, but held to their own religion and traditions), Antiochus IV Epiphanes inexplicably looted the Temple in Jerusalem. Jews were massacred throughout the land, and Judaism was effectively outlawed. In 167 BCE Antiochus ordered an altar to Zeus erected in the Temple.

But, guess what? Mattathias the Hasmonean, a Jewish priest, and his five sons Jochanan, Simeon, Eleazar, Jonathan, and Judah led the Jewish rebellion against Antiochus. Judah became known to history as Yehuda HaMakabi (“Judah the Hammer”).

Also, the Makabi (Maccabee) revolt was sustained for years, an amazing accomplishment against the world’s most dominant army, but in the interim, in 166 BCE Mattathias died. Judah, the youngest, but a brilliant general and tactician, took his place as leader of the Revolt. By 165 BCE the Jewish war for Religious Freedom was finally successful, against the Seleucid monarchy, the ‘greatest’ army-on-earth at the time.

The facts are: at the re-dedication of the Temple, following the victory of the Jewish Makabi fighters, there was only enough consecrated olive oil, in a cruet still sealed by the High Priest, for one day’s light to fuel the Ner Tamid, the “eternal flame”, which must glow above the Ark of the Covenant in the Temple.

Miraculously, the oil burned for eight days, which was the length of time it took to press, prepare and consecrate fresh olive oil, for this sacred task.

So, Hanukkah is also known as the Festival of Lights, and is an eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication. It is always celebrated beginning on the 25th of Kislev on the Hebrew calendar, but as Judaism has a lunar calendar, it can fall on any different 8 days between the end of November and the beginning of January, on the secular calendar.

Today is the 6th day of the festival this year, and tonight we will light the 7th candle, for the “day” always begins in the evening, as it says in Genesis ‘ … and there was evening and there was morning, the 1st Day”.

Frankly, the Hebrew’s successful Maccabean Revolt in 2nd Century BCE, became Humanity’s first war for religious freedom, and the first guerilla war where a vastly out-numbered and only lightly-armed people (Jews) defeated the ‘world’-dominating army (Greeks  – in this case, the Seleucid Greek branch of Syrian generals). In this sense, this Holy Day belongs to all people, everywhere, always, because the Cause was for religious tolerance, for the first time in human history.

Quite simply, the festival is observed by the kindling of the lights on a special candlabrum called the “Hanukiah”, or “Hanukkah Menorah”.

One extra candle or oil lamp’s wick is lit on each night of the holiday, refilling the candles or oil lamps each 24 hours, and progressing to all eight lights alight on the final night. Each night, the candles are placed and lit from right to left, in succession.

As you may know, this menorah is different from the 7-branched giant menorahs which were stolen by the Roman Emperor, Trajan, and then they were sent to Rome from the Temple in Jerusalem, later in Jewish history. They are “lost” to the Ages, now.

And, remember, the extra light on the Hanukkiah, is called a “shamash”, (Hebrew: “guard” or “servant”) and is always lit first, each night. The shamash is used to light the other wicks.

A separate, distinct location on the menorah, (usually higher or lower than the others) is where you will locate the Shamash.

Further, the purpose of the extra light is to follow the Talmudic (Tracate Shabbat 21b-23a) prohibition against using the Hanukkah lights for anything other than proclaiming and meditating on the Hanukkah history. Their candles’ light is sanctified and holy. So, the Shamash’s light is the one that is “used” if any daily activity happens near the candles. **

By the way, the story of the Makabis’ Deeds is not in the Old Testament, as that document had been codified centuries earlier in the Great Assembly, but the story was kept in the Septuagint, to remember their heroism over the nearly 2,200 years since then.

In addition, at this time, we also remember the courage of 2 Jewish women:

 1) the martyrdom of Hannah and all of her seven sons. According to the Talmudic story in 1 and 2 Maccabees, a Jewish woman named Hannah and all of her seven sons were tortured and executed by Antiochus’ for refusing to bow down to a Greek god-statue and to eat pork; both would be in violation of Jewish law.

And

2) the heroism of Judith (Yehudit), the daughter of Yochanan, the High Priest, sister of Mattathias the Hasmonean Maccabee and aunt of Judah Maccabee.

In the Book of Judith we learn that the Greeks were camped surrounding the village of Bethulia, and they cut-off the water-supply to the village in their siege, while waging the larger war to conquer all of Judea. The villagers’ situation was desperate, so Judith, a pious widow, told the city leaders of her plan to save her people. She planned to go to the Greeks and surrender to the general, Holofernes.

He was smitten by her beauty, and he intended to seduce her, but her plan triumphed. She patiently plied him with wine and fine cheeses, and then killed him when he was in a drunken stupor.

When the Greeks saw their general dead, they were overcome with fear, while the Jews immediately launched their successful attack on the army. The town was saved and the Assyrian-Greeks were defeated.

Indeed, in Judith’s honor, Jews eat cheese pancakes (latkes) and other dairy delights at this time. (By the way, the acidic cheese can be ameliorated and pH balanced by using sweet potatoes or leeks or squashes in other more-alkaline latkes or dishes, at the same meal.)

Latkes are made because the centerpiece of remembrance is to use Olive Oil. But it can be used just as well in wonderful Sephardic vegetable salads or in a delicious Venetian Jewish Olive Oil Cake, as in can be represented by fried food, like latke pancakes.

 In truth, Jewish recipes are from all over the world, for in the 2,000 years of the Jewish Diaspora, Jews have become the first global culture. Jews have been in Italy and Greece since before Greek or Roman Empire times, and traveled to the far reaches of North Africa and wild-Europe, including Spain, during and after the Roman Empire; Jews traveled all the way to India, Burma and China (and maybe Japan) long before European “explorers” did. Jews traveled to the Americas before Columbus (it is believed he was a “Marrano” Jew whose family had been forced to convert to Christianity, and maybe that is why he knew so firmly that “America” [“something”] was there to be “found”).  And it was the Jewish navigator, from Columbus’ crew, who stayed behind as the “first”, “official” European to reside in the Americas; he stayed as an ambassador of the Spanish. ***

Back to the celebration — typically three blessings (“Brachot” singular “Brachah”) are recited during the candle-lightings of the eight-day festival. On the first night, Jews recite all three blessings; on all subsequent nights, they recite only the first two. The blessings are said before or after the candles are lit.

The candles are always placed and then lit from right to left, in succession. 

After the prayers, the family has dinner, opens gifts and plays the dreidl game (savivon, in Hebrew). The letters on the savivon are the initial letters for the words “A Great Miracle Happened Here”.

Hanukkah “Gelt” (gold-foil covered chocolate coins) are hidden around the house for the children to find and eating potato latkes (pancakes) with appleasauce and sour cream (smetana) have been Northern European tradition since the Americas were “discovered” (again) 500 years ago. Chocolate and potatoes were American foods newly introduced to Europe. But there were long-standing treats beforehand, using other foods, as in the dairy latkes mentioned above and the delicate, coin-size sugar-syrup and rosewater-soaked pastries of the Mid-east and the North-East and Southern Mediterranean Rim Jewish communities (all the areas of the Jewish Sefardim). There are many favored Hanukkah recipes, from Jewish communities throughout the world, not just potato latkes!

To foster Understanding about what is being said, in the hope that barriers to Understanding are broken down, I am including the prayers.

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The first blessing
Sung all eight nights just prior to lighting the candles:

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, Who sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to kindle the Chanukah lights.”

Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech ha’o’lam, asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav, v’tzivanu l’hadlik neir (shel) chanukah .

The second blessing:
Sung all eight nights just prior to lighting the candles:

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, Who performed wondrous deeds for our ancestors, in those days, at this moment.

Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech ha’o’lam, she-asah nisim la-avoteinu, bayamim haheim, (u)baz’man hazeh.

The third blessing:
Sung only on the first night just prior to lighting the candles:

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, Who has kept us in life, sustained us, and brought us to this moment.

Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech ha’o’lam, sheh’heh’cheh’ya’nu veh’ki’yeh’ma’nu, veh’he’g’a’nu laz’man ha’zeh.

After kindling the lights – “Hanerot Halalu”
While the lights are kindled the Hanerot Halalu prayer is subsequently recited:

We light these lights for the miracles and the wonders, for the redemption and the battles that you made for our forefathers, in those days at this season, through your holy priests. During all eight days of Hanukkah these lights are sacred, and we are not permitted to make ordinary use of them except for to look at them in order to express thanks and praise to Your great Name for your miracles, Your wonders and Your salvations.

Hanneirot hallalu anachnu madlikin ‘al hannissim ve’al hanniflaot ‘al hatteshu’ot ve’al hammilchamot she’asita laavoteinu bayyamim haheim, (u)bazzeman hazeh ‘al yedei kohanekha hakkedoshim. Vekhol-shemonat yemei Hanukkah hanneirot hallalu kodesh heim, ve-ein lanu reshut lehishtammesh baheim ella lir’otam bilvad kedei lehodot ul’halleil leshimcha haggadol ‘al nissekha ve’al nifleotekha ve’al yeshu’otekha

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As Hanukkah is also a lesson in conservation of natural resources, today’s Jews carry on a long tradition of trying to respect and repair our Earth – Mother. This is the doctrine of Tikkan Olam – The Repair of the World.

In that spirit, you can read more about the Green Menorah Covenant at:http://www.shalomctr.org/node/1186

 www.shalomctr.org

May we always be Grateful.

As Hanukkah draws to a close this Wednesday, before sundown, other peoples all over our planet look forward to their Holy Days and celebrations, many of which are timed to highlight the Winter Solstice, and Humanity’s longing for the return of the  ‘Light to the World’.

May you enjoy the time spent with family and friends, and use some of this time for Reflection. Each of us crafts this world, with our thoughts and with our deeds. You are the instrument of positive Change. Please make it so.

Best to all — Em

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PS – Read more articles by clicking the tab for Titles Archive on the upper toolbar. 

* Hebrew: Hanukkah is also spelled Chanukah or Hanukah

** Please read more about the traditions online, and there are lots of Jewish (even Hanukkah) recipes, at Epicurious.com, New York Times and www.jewishfood-list.com

*** Current archeology shows evidence that groups of Europeans who last lived in France became “native” Americans founding communities on the mid-Atlantic Eastern seabord and down thru the Mississippi Valley to establish or contribute their technology to the famed Clovis Culture in New Mexico; other Europeans became “native” Americans in the Northwest of the US — as evidenced by the latest ancient skeletal remains of Kennewick Man in Washington state — along with Asians from Siberian Tribes who became the larger contributor to ethnic Native Americans; Jews (travelled to America’s Southwest, as evidenced by ancient petroglyphs, written in very ancient forms of Hebrew; they possibly used the same natural routes Spanish explorers “found” centuries later); the Norse Vikings (visited and settled a tiny piece of  Eastern Canada’s tip of PE Island and Nova Scotia as “Vinland”), and possibly Egyptians (to the Mayan areas of Central America, bringing their mathematical technology) and certainly, the Chinese (to the middle of Mexico’s western coast) — all came to the Americas BEFORE Columbus did under the Spanish flag.

 (c)2007 Em https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com

If you desire to use or quote from my article, please include the full copyright citation and website address. Thanks!

“Everyone knows someone who needs this information!” (TM)

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Astonishing, isn’t it? Doesn’t this meal look great? How can you resist it! Here’s a beautiful, delicious example of an alkaline pH meal — avocado sushi, wrapped in nori and served with wasabi horseradish and fresh ginger on the side. Yum! Better yet, eating in a pH-balanced way doesn’t have to be ‘weird’ and it can be fun and adventurous too. Want to learn more? Let’s start!

By the way, if you make vegetarian sushi at home, like I often do, then it is much healthier to use short-grain organic brown rice, as it is more pH neutral than the white rice in the sushi above, (which my husband got commercially). White rice, except for japonica type, has quite an acidic pH, surprisingly.

Far fetched? Not at all. Each form of any food has its own pH value and it is based on how it’s exact metabolic residues are after we use it in our body for energy. If that food’s ash is alkaline, then we say the food is an alkaline food. You can see a chart series of the best alkaline vegetables at:https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com/2007/11/27/ph-strategies-use-alkaline-winter-vegetables-to-produce-an-alkaline-ph/

Get this. Grains are generally quite acid-forming! There are some grain substitutes which are alkaline e.g. quinoa and wild rice.  Millet,  japonica rice and (some say) oats are actually the only somewhat alkaline grains  (keep their use very moderate).

But you know what else?  The reason we are discussing alkaline vegetables is because they need to be the foundation of your diet. So, first off, let’s check out some powerhouses! Today, it’s —

CUCUMBER:

It’s a seldom-thought-about vegetable that we eat all year, although it’s normally best in season, which is summertime. But for anyone who is trying to become pH balanced, cucumber is critical. Fact is that cukes are some of the most alkalizing foods on the planet and they are so portable. For example, there’s a company which is now marketing what they call a “Gorilla Sandwich” * and what is that? Guess! All kinds of yummy raw veggies, seeds, nuts etc. layered into 7/8 of a hollowed-out cucumber, and ‘topped with a unique cap from the tip of the other 1/8! It’s really easy picnic food and that means it’s perfect for eating at work, too!

In any event, just remember to use the part you hollowed out; make it into juice or whizz it into salad dressing. It is not good to fractionalize food; always try to eat the whole food, preferably at the same meal, as that’s what your body expects and understands.

Here’s the details on this fun sandwich and if you make some tasty versions, please write me at the box at the About Me tab, above:

http://www.gorillasandwich.com/

But, remember this, if you are chronically-ill OR have weakened or upset digestion, you need to have the best food-combining in mind. For instance, fruits do not combine well with anything else. Purists will allow you to combine them with vegetables or each other (but melons can only be eaten alone, not even with other fruits!).  So, for best digestability and your being able to utilize all the lovely organic food you buy, bear that in mind.

Furthermore, vegetables are the only food group that food-combines with any other group, and still allows proper digestion. It’s simple, find respect for veggies; take time to find your favorites and aim for far more than 5 different ones a day!

Just for the record, cucumbers are members of the Gourd Family, botanically, and many members of this food-family are helpful for pH alkalinity to provide pH balance in our acid-producing world.

Treat yourself. Here’s a favorite cucumber dish of mine; it is one I have from my maternal grandmother, Eva, who was a wonderful, expert Sefardic Jewish cook, and Sefardi cuisine, like all Mediterranean Diet cuisines, emphasizes vegetables. And now, let me introduce my Mum.

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This salad is also a favorite of my Mum, Muriel, who has been our family’s matriarch for the past 17 years. She turns 85 at the end of this week. We wish her “Happy Birthday and Many Happy Returns!”

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Nanna Eva’s Cucumber Salad

___   Take ripe, sweet organic tomatoes and slice in 1/4″ thickness or in half, if grape-size or cherry tomatoes

___   Add thinly sliced leek, white section only,  from a medium size leek, (use the tops elsewhere in the meal and a little as garnish, if ultra-finely sliced)

___   And 1/4″ slices of English cucumber, unpeeled, or regular cucumber (peel it if it’s been “waxed” and then scrape it lengthwise with the tines of a fork to make it beautiful, when sliced). (Use about twice as much tomato as cucumber.)

___   Add several tablespoons of organic, extra-virgin olive oil

(My addition would be to substitute 1T organic hempseed oil or organic flaxseed oil instead of one of the olive oil measures.)

___   add an equal amount of Bragg’s or Spectrum’s organic apple-cider vinegar (ACV), with the enzymatic mother-of-vinegar.  Be sure to use an organic ACV (buy them online), and not a chemically-produced, commercial one like Heinz! BIG difference for Health – Heinz-types are extremely acid-producing in your body; surprisingly, these specific natural-types are alkaline producers!

___   sprinkle with Celtic or other excellent sea-salt and fresh-ground black pepper

Marinate a few hours in refrigerator, in a glass container, and toss periodically so all vegetables are seasoned. Serve cold.

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Scandinavians also have marinated cucumber salads, so you can get some ideas from there, too.

And, here’s another which is easy to make and keeps well, too.

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Shelley Redford Young’s Energizing Cucumber Salad
from “The pH Miracle” by Dr. Robert O. Young, PhD, DSc

2C      cucumbers, chopped (organic or hothouse-grown)
2T      organic, parlsey, chopped
1 – 2T lemon juice, (preferably organic)
1T      flax seed oil or olive oil (preferably organic)
1/3C   finely chopped peppermint leaves

Toss everything together and chill overnight. Toss again before serving.

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Or, if you prefer, instead of that commercial “stuff” with its high table-salt amounts and flat taste, try this.

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I added at least one more vegetable ingredient, so I call it:

Em’s V-9 Cocktail

1 large or 2 medium, sweet tomatoes  OR 1 pint grape / cherry size organic, vine-ripened tomatoes

1   English cucumber, chunked approximately in 1/8ths
3 -4 cloves of organic garlic (make sure it’s not from China!)

1   organic red bell pepper, cut in sixths
3   organic romaine lettuce leaves, each cut in thirds

1   leaf organic kale or 3 leaves of frisee endive or 1 handful of mixed, organic  Spring Greens pre-washed salad

1/2″   gingeroot, scrubbed and minced OR about 1T sliced sushi ginger

1t   kelp granules (  www.seaveg.com ) and / or 1/4 C alfalfa or clover sprouts

1/2 a can / carton of coconut juice** or lite coconut milk, more if needed OR  same amount unsweetened almond milk

2t   hemp oil*** (optional)

Wash the veggies, as needed. Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender, and run until it is smooth.

Taste first! Add some sea salt, fresh cayenne pepper or black pepper, if desired. Enjoy!

GARNISH:

hemp seed or chopped parsley

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* Gorillas are the largest and strongest Primates, and they are completely Vegetarian. We can learn a lot about our natural dietary birthright from them.

**  Coconut juice is the water inside the coconut when it is first opened; it is a perfect food, if from a previously unopened, undamaged nut. Coconut “milk” is made from the flesh of the coconut. Read more of my articles about coconut in the Title Archive on the upper toolbar. There’s lots to learn. It’s an important food.

***   Hemp oil is the best vegetarian source of heart-healthy, brain-healthy Omega-3 essential fatty acids, the kind we need daily and that we buy wild-caught salmon, mackerel and sardines for. Always keep hemp oil refrigerated, away from light, and never cook with it; use it only for smoothies, salad dressings or other raw uses. Get it and hempseed from Nutiva  http://nutiva.com  .

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Well, That’s it for now. The 8 day Festival of Lights, Hanukkah, begins this evening, so I will be busy this week with Mum’s birthday and 8 days of celebration! I wish all of you a wonderful Holiday Season and that, as we near and pass the Solstice, we will see our Lives brightening with Hope, which then results in Action, to make a more Peaceful, Safe world now and always.

Best to all — Em

(c)2007 Em https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com

If you desire to quote from or use my article, please respect my copyright and include the full copyright citation and website address in your copy. Thanks!

Everyone knows someone who needs this information!” (TM)

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