Community Gardening and Self Sufficiency

Raisedbedsforrent0_medIn just about three weeks from now I will plant my first vegetable in my raises bed gardens. This day will not only mark the first day of becoming more self reliant on my own healthy food production, but will also stir the creativity inside me to start a movement like the world has never seen before since Victory Gardens of World War II. You see, I believe that it is possible for a community to come together in a way where it is possible to produce enough food for an entire community to survive. Let me explain this.

First lets assume that we have 30 families in one given neighborhood who enjoy gardening. If each family created raised bed gardens using only the most pure soils and refrain from pesticides by using natural techniques each could supply a quantity of organic vegetables. Of course they aren’t allowed to be called organic according to government standards, but who cares. So each family would only grow one type of vegetable. John up the street is growing peppers and Jane across the way is growing zucchini. In this way it allows each family to become an expert at growing that given vegetable that they volunteer to grow. Another reason for the one type of plant idea is that each vegetable plant requires different standards of growing. While Jane knows that her zucchini plants will require room to grow, Tim’s tomato plants will require baskets to hold the plant up as the tomato’s weight down the plant.

HothFarmersMkt1TPAssuming that this could be created the second step is simple distribution amongst the group. If each family came together on a Saturday morning and shared their yield of vegetables with all the others in the group then each family would have a nice supply of vegetables to get through the week. It seems simple enough. If there is an overproduction it is possible to sell the extra vegetables to others in the neighborhood at a price which is much lower than they could find at their local grocer. Any funds generated in this process would of course go towards the groups needs for the next year’s grow.

So now, let’s take another step. Lets assume that there is on person in the group who knows the process of canning, dehydration or quick freezing. Could it be possible to produce enough vegetables in one season to create enough food for the whole year for the group? Can this group become totally self sufficient to the point where they do not have to rely on outside sources? I don’t know, but in the next few years I may have an answer.

Let’s say that each family becomes so good at this practice that they start creating more raised bed gardens and producing even more of their given vegetable. The group creates their own gardeners market each Saturday morning and start generating more funds for the group. There is a local rancher in town who only raises the healthiest of cattle by using only those methods which are kind an natural. If the group was to come together and use the funds they have to purchase the meats that this rancher produces it would not only give the a rancher a source of income, but also provide for the group. This could work with chicken, eggs, butter, milk and the list goes on.

Grow-savings-with-solar-investmentAnd what about the advantages of saving money? Food is expensive. And as the years go by it is one thing that you can always count on that it will be more expensive next year than it was the year before. It may be expensive the first year to put together the gardens, but that first year should pay for itself in savings on purchasing these same foods from the grocer. And I am sure they are much healthier.

I could go on and on about how this community could continue to grow but I am going to stop here and leave it up to your imagination. This is not some new idea as it has been practiced throughout the centuries before us. It hasn’t been until recently that we as humans have stopped relying on each other for survival and put our trust in large scale farming and manufacturing. And Yes, it is a lot easier to simply pick up our groceries from the local supermarket, but think about what we have lost in this process. Many of us don’t even know who our neighbors are. We have lost that sense of community as we struggle through our crazy work schedules. We have given away our control of feeding ourselves by relying on outside sources to produce our foods for us. As a child I remember spending time with my Great Grandfather working in the garden. How many children today are given the same opportunity to get outside and get their hands dirty and be one with nature and actually interact with other children and adults in their neighborhoods. Wow, talk about strengthening the bonds of community! As families get together on Saturday mornings to not only share their garden productions they also share stories of gardening, cooking and all kinds of subjects you slowly see new friendships being made. You have to admit that there is nothing that brings people closer together than food.

So as of right now this is just an idea in my head as I stare out the back door and look at those raised beds I built. I know that this is already happening and have learned of community gardening where a plot of land is dedicated as a community garden, but I thought that I would take it one step further. Let me know what you think of this idea and also if you think it would be something that could be done in your own neighborhood. I would absolutely love the feedback.

Blood Sugar- 93, Weight- 168.2


Breakfast- Cottage Cheese
Lunch- Burger, Salad
Dinner- Beef Ribs, Green Beans

Posted in Adventures, Body Building, Finances, Fitness, Flowers, Food, Fun, Gardening, Health, Life, Minimalist, Nature, Oregon, Paleo, Permaculture, Primal, Simple Living, Type II Diabetes, vegan, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 33 Comments

I Am Raising the Bar

RAISE01I am raising the bar slightly today with weights. The last several times that I did exercises with my arms I started noticing that with just doing that one set that I was surpassing my goal of 12 reps. Today I am raising the weight 10 lbs on each exercise except for dips due to the fact that I have my machine maxed out on that exercise.

I have been waiting for this day to come because when I first changed my routine from 3 sets to just one set I wasn’t really sure if it would have a negative effect on gaining muscle mass and strength. This proves to me that this method is working, although maybe a little slower that it would it I were continuing to do 3 sets with each exercise. But the other benefits are incredible. I am not getting those crazy cravings during the day, I am not being exposed to my body becoming inflamed and I am able to get a good workout in each day in less time.

So yesterday I made just one change in my diet. I made sure I got in that big salad for lunch and today my morning glucose reading is once again down in the eighty’s. So this too is something that is working for me and I must include that salad with each lunch. Slowly all the pieces are coming together for me in this battle to live a healthy life with T2D and it makes me happy in knowing that although I have this disease I will still be able to live my life out in manner that will provide me with all the benefits of maintaining good health as I grow older.

Blood Sugar- 88, Weight- 168.4

Treadmill- 20 Minutes

Bowflex- ARMS
Curls- 170 lbs – 12
Hammer Curls- 120 lbs – 12
Tricep Pulldown- 160 lbs – 12
Dips- 310 – 18

Breakfast- FASTING 18 Hours
Lunch- Sausage and Eggs
Dinner- Steak, Salad

Posted in Body Building, Fitness, Food, Health, Paleo, Primal, Simple Living, Type II Diabetes, vegan, Vegetarian, Walking | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

A Big Ass Salad

big-ass-saladSomething I did yesterday caused my blood sugar to rise this morning. Although it remains under 100 it still jumped from 84 yesterday morning to 99 this morning. I went a little heavier on the resistance exercises and I did not eat a salad. Chicken Parmigiana for dinner, could of it been the mozzarella cheese? Other than that I cannot see what might have caused this up spike. Sometimes it is hard to pinpoint exactly what the cause my be. I know that there are times where I am doing everything pretty much identically each day and all of a sudden my glucose is elevated for what appears no reason at all. Of course there is always a reason and sometimes we just have to dig a little deeper. But in this case I do believe that it is a lack of vegetables in my daily diet, or the lack of drinking enough water. I will keep these two things in mind today and see where it takes me tomorrow.

One of Mark Sisson eat what he calls, “A big ass salad” each day at lunch. This is his big meal for the day. As I continue to read his book, “The Primal Blueprint” I continue to learn. I do see myself incorporating the Big Ass Salad in my own arsenal each day. The benefits must be incredible. I mean, what better way to incorporate a salad into your diet each but by making it one complete meal. I will work on a plan to get this done this weekend and figure the whole thing out.

Blood Sugar- 99, Weight- 168.2

Treadmill- 20 Minutes

Bowflex- CHEST
Bench Press- 310 lbs – 17
Incline Press- 310 lbs – 14
Decline Press- 310 lbs – 20
Fly’s- 140 – 21
Situps- 23
Leg Lifts- 15

Breakfast- 2 Eggs
Lunch- Chicken Parm, Salad
Dinner- Steak, Spinach, Salad

Posted in Body Building, Fitness, Food, Health, Life, Paleo, Primal, Simple Living, Type II Diabetes, vegan, Vegetarian, Walking | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Eating on a Schedule for Weight Loss

8a5e79129c6655ea38bc305487621e35I am finding that working each day offers an additional benefit. Being on a schedule each day allows for only certain times of the day where I have access to food. I eat breakfast and dinner at home so it is only lunch time where I know I have a 30 minute window to sit down and eat. This seems to work out well with me because even though I may feel a little hungry at other times during the day I know that these times are not the times to eat. While at home it was much too easy to walk to the fridge or cupboard and grab a snack. My blood sugar is lower and and my weight has also dropped once again.

Why is it so hard to understand this while I am home? I know that this is a hard comparison to make, but if you think about it we restrict our pets to a eating schedule just so many times a day and at certain times. We do this because we know that it is healthy for this critters that we love, but when it comes to our own health all holds are barred. We feel a little craving coming on and we immediately have to fix it. What I found was that when these cravings come on during the work day it is much easier to simply ignore them and they usually go away in 20 minutes or so.

So when it comes to diet, even when we are home we have to learn to create an eating schedule and stick to it. The feeling of hunger between meals is natural and perfectly OK. In fact it is a sign that our bodies are moving in the right direction as far as burning fat. Food restriction is not a bad thing and is actually part of our genetic make up as there where so many times throughout the history of mankind where there just wasn’t enough food and restriction was the only way to survive. It is a small form of what we call fasting.

Blood Sugar- 84, Weight- 169.0

Treadmill- 20 Minutes

Shoulder Press- 250 lbs – 12
Front Raises- 70 lbs – 12
Side Raises – 70 lbs – 12
Shrugs- 310 lbs – 15

Breakfast- 2 Eggs
Lunch- Meatloaf, Green Beans
Dinner- Steak, Salad

Posted in Body Building, Fitness, Food, Health, Life, Paleo, Primal, Simple Living, Type II Diabetes, Walking | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

~ Intermittent Fasting helps in Reversing Diabetes type 2 naturally!


Very Interesting….

Originally posted on GLOBAL INDIAN BLOG:

New research claims that Intermittent Fasting (like in Hindu Religious practices but eating raw vegetables/fruits?) and diet management helps in Reversing Type 2 Diabetes naturally! Doctor Jason Fung from Canada here is explaining how his patients followed 6 steps which includes Intermediate Fasting in his designed programme called Intensive Diet Management (IDM):

  1. Intermittent Fasting

  2. Reduce Dietary refined carbohydrate

  3. Eat high fat diet (Natural fats)

  4. Eat Fibre

  5. Vinegar

  6. Eat Spices and Herbs

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I Love Podcasts

20140827_211957_4052_670290The first day of return to work went well although I am not too excited about sitting in one place for 9 hours. I had a routine of running up and down 3 flights of stairs that I will have to start doing again along with taking short walks to break up the sitting. My blood sugar is up slightly but yet again still in good range and I noticed that my body weight is starting to drop once again. I know that I have written articles in the past about sitting too long and all of the dangers that come along with it. I will have to read them as a reminder to keep moving during my work day.

The one good thing about driving to and from work each day is that I am once again listening to my favorite Paleo podcasts on Itunes. Latest is Paleo, Paleo Magazine Radio, Paleo Solution Podcast, Livin’ La Vida Low Carb and the Primal Blueprint Podcast are among my favorites. By listening to positive things during the course of the day, not only does it keep me inspired and on track with my way of living, but it also gives me a form of education about certain subjects in the field of wellness. What better way could you think of spending your commuting time? This is especially true for that morning ride to work because we are getting our work day started on a positive not and we are already starting that thinking process that we will be utilizing during the course of our work day. And I find that on my way home for work podcast offer a wonderful way to slowly take it down.

Blood Sugar- 94, Weight- 169.4

Treadmill- 20 Minutes

Bowflex – BACK
Pulldowns- 280 lbs – 12
Rows- 280 lbs – 12
Reverse Flys- 90 lbs – 12
Situps Alt- 3×10
Leg Lifts- 16

Breakfast- 2 Eggs, 2 Bacon
Lunch- Chicken Cacciatori, Salad
Dinner- Tacos without the Shell

Posted in Body Building, Fitness, Food, Health, Life, Paleo, Primal, Simple Living, Type II Diabetes, Walking | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Watching the News Makes Angry

angry-liberToday marks my first day back to work in almost 9 weeks and I was up early and hitting the treadmill. In doing so I did something that I haven’t done in a long time. I watched early morning news. As I watched one horrific story after the next I felt my blood pressure rising. A woman who was jogging on one of our local trails is attacked and the attacker is ripping off her clothing. Her boyfriend hears her screams and punches the attacker in the nose and soon another passerby helps detain him. Detain him? I am sorry but if someone attacked my wife and tried to rape her I think I would doing a whole hell more than detaining him. In these moments of watching these segments of the news my blood pressure is rising and I feel the adrenaline kicking in. Now I remember why I stopped watching the news. I shut the TV off and finished up my walk. I thought to myself why would anyone choose to start off their day like this by feeding their minds with one negative thing after another.

While working for 22 years in a maximum security prison I can’t remember a single day that went by where the condition of “High Alert” didn’t kick in and I often wonder how much damage this has done to my body. I am retired now and have the choice of living a life in high alert, or finding calm each day. I don’t believe that I will ever watch the news again.

It makes me wonder just how many other people live with these triggers each day. Another area that gets me going is ignorance. Stupid doesn’t bother me because stupid is hard to control, but when someone does something they know they aren’t supposed to do it does get me hot. It could be as simple as making a left turn without using a blinker to let everyone around you know that you are turning. Ignorance!

Not all situations can be avoided but I do try to limit my exposure to them. Do you live with these triggers too, or is it just me? Does watching the news make you angry, or depressed? Let me know…

Blood Sugar- 90, Weight- 171.4

Treadmill- 20 Minutes

Bowflex – LEGS
Squats- 310 lbs – 15
Calf Raises- 310 lbs – 15

Breakfast- 2 Eggs, 2 Bacon
Lunch- Chicken Cacciatori
Dinner- Beef Stew

Posted in Body Building, Fitness, Food, Health, Life, Primal, Simple Living, Type II Diabetes, Walking | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

One hundred years young: Frank Booth’s vision for a healthier America


I believe that we all have the ability to live to 100 given we are doing the right things. There are always tragedies, or accidents but overall we could make 100 years old the average.

Originally posted on Unearthed:

By Rachel Zamzow

DSC_0027 Frank Booth, 71, takes a break from running on the treadmill in his office. Inspired by his research on the effects of exercise, Booth runs several miles each day. Photo by Rachel Zamzow.

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Frank Booth wants people to live to be 100. And then be told they have 48 hours to live. Only at the very end of life should people succumb to conditions such as cancer or heart disease, he says. Then, a serious illness wouldn’t be a tragedy; it’d be cause for throwing one last giant party.

Booth, an exercise physiology professor at the University of Missouri, figures that we should thrive until the end of our lives instead of gradually declining into sickness. Our lifespan should not outlast our healthspan. Otherwise, he wonders, what’s the point of sticking around for so long?

Unfortunately, a large proportion of the U.S. population is chronically…

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Pre-Diabetes: “The Lie That Is Killing Us”


Great Post Kelley

Originally posted on Low Carb RN:


If you tested your blood sugar first thing in the morning and saw this number, do you know what it means?

Approximately 90 million people living in the U.S. are pre-diabetic. About 90% are unaware of that fact. Of those that have been told, there is often no sense of urgency impressed upon them to act on this information, largely due to the term “pre-diabetes.” (Article: Pre-Diabetes, the Lie That is Killing Us – HERE.)

Make no mistake, pre-diabetes is early, or “stage 1″ diabetes.  If no action is taken, one can expect to progress to type 2 in a very short period of time.  If you have been told you have pre-diabetes, it is time to act.  It is NOT o.k. to just “watch it” (My Article: Pre-Diabetes: Why your Doctor’s Advice To “Watch It” Is the Worst Advice You Could Follow – HERE.)

I WAS a…

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Consistency is the Key to Success

c49a0347860be2a72a2bde4ec1a604beWith a day of rest yesterday my blood sugar is up just slightly this morning but not enough to set off any alarms. I feel well rested and am ready to return to my workout routine this morning. I am learning that my success is measured more in consistency than it is in daily effort. It has been difficult for me to think that doing just 20 minutes of cardio and a single set on my resistance routine is doing anything positive, but the truth is that it is making all the difference in the world. I am such a competitor and when I finish that first set the only thing I am thinking about is getting in that second set. And while doing multiple sets which each one to exhaustion is an effective way to gain muscle mass, it is not so effective at keeping blood glucose levels at a normal balance. The same goes with the treadmill as I am slowing my pace down at just 20 minutes and going into cool down mode. I feel I have so much more in me, but I know that the continued effort will create problems internally and also cause my blood glucose levels to rise. Going that extra mile will also increase my appetite for Carbohydrates and Protein and I must keep both at balanced levels.

mzi.lghaqxoq.175x175-75It appears that today will be my last day during the week where I am not working as I expect my license to arrive in the mail this afternoon. With that thought I have been pondering about how to spend this day. The weather once again is expected to be perfect and I have the opportunity to do something enjoyable in nature. I could find a bike trail and do some mountain biking, or just go for a hike. I do have a little prep work to do for my return to work, but that shouldn’t take too long. It is a glorious day and I will use this time to find something wonderful in the wonderful world I live in. Stay tuned…..

Blood Sugar- 89, Weight- 171.4

Treadmill- 20 Minutes

Bowflex- ARMS
Curls- 160 lbs – 14
Hammer Curls – 110 lbs – 12
Tricep Pulldown – 150 lbs – 13
Dips – 310 lbs – 18
Situps Straight – 23
Leg Lifts – 14

Breakfast – 2 Eggs, 2 Bacon
Lunch – Burger, Salad
Dinner – Chicken, Peppers & Onions Kabobs

Posted in Adventures, Body Building, Fitness, Fun, Health, Hiking, Life, Nature, Oregon, Paleo, Primal, Simple Living, Type II Diabetes, Walking | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments