August summer sun shadows are cast deeper as the katydids suddenly go still. Sweet afternoon silence, rich in the day’s lingering warmth, falls like a warm blanket through the woods and the fullness of the day whispers with sweet promise at the coolness of dusk.
Fresh (picked by us) blackberries in our kitchen. See a special health benefit from them below.
Global economic temperatures may be heating up. The great Congressional fuss over the US debt ceiling has helped undermine the world’s confidence in the global monetary system. The resolution has done little to solve the Western world’s economic plight.
Republican U.S. Congressman, Ron Paul, summed it up in a recent statement on the debt crisis. Here is an excerpt.
While it is good to see serious debate about our debt crisis, I cannot support the reported deal on raising the nation’s debt ceiling. I have never voted to raise the debt ceiling, and I never will.
“This deal will reportedly cut spending by only slightly over $900 billion over 10 years. But we will have a $1.6 trillion deficit after this year alone, meaning those meager cuts will do nothing to solve our unsustainable spending problem.
“In fact, this bill will never balance the budget. Instead, it will add untold trillions of dollars to our deficit. This also assumes the cuts are real cuts and not the same old Washington smoke and mirrors game of spending less than originally projected so you can claim the difference as a ‘cut.’
“The plan also calls for the formation of a deficit commission, which will accomplish nothing outside of providing Congress and the White House with another way to abdicate responsibility.
“In my many years of public service, there have been commissions on everything from Social Security to energy policy, yet not one solution has been produced out of these commissions.
This is a problem that has been building for over 60 years… not just in the USA but in the Western world. The US, Western Europe and Japan have been living beyond their means for decades and this excess has finally reached near limits.
There is little we can do to unravel global economic problems that have built for so long. The past is the platform upon which our present stands. This immense Western debt and the demographic imbalances that created them are pretty solid foundations we have inherited and cannot ignore.
What we can change is ourselves… our thoughts… our patterns… our habits and our actions that deal with global social-economic events as they unfold.
One way to improve our ability to prosper in the new atmosphere is to upgrade our health. A good physical balance brings more energy, clearer thought and more positive emotions… all needed to cope and overcome the challenges of the day.
The first and fastest channel to better health is to improve nutrition.
This is one reason why we are here in these August days in the Blue Ridge. At our altitude (3800′), it is green and cool and sunny. Days are perfect. Some days we might hit as high as 80 at high noon, then a quick evening cooling into the 60s and below, perfect for rocking on the front porch and watching the fireflies signal their light and glow show. And then a deep sleep under a comforter for the cool nights.
Eating is wonderful too as we live almost entirely off the garden at this time of the year: tender lettuce, rich onions and corn so sweet it does not need to be cooked. Squash of every type, beans, peas, bell peppers, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower…and of course luscious, most delicious tomatoes. This is a sweet feast enjoyed on our open-air deck with the creek rushing below. Throw in a little corn bread and we have a wonderful afternoon meal.
We also hike up the hill to one of our numerous wild blackberry patches… getting exercise and a batch of delicious berries to enjoy each day.
Yesterday’s haul of fresh wild mountain blackberries.
In the evening we eat lightly. Ayurveda, the Indian science of health, shows us that we have three cycles twice a day (air 2-6, water 6-10 and fire 10-2. The best time to eat our biggest meal is at the highest point of fire (12 noon) when the digestive fires are the brightest (noon). Then in the evening we eat just a little and early so the body can use the second fire cycle to burn up accumulated toxins from the day.
Often our evening meal is fruit pie or just blackberries with a bit of yoghurt or fresh home made cheese. Merri whips up a wonderful blackberry cobbler on weekends. This is not an unhealthy food if you don’t overload it with sugar and white refined flower…some of the “pies” are nothing more than baked blackberries in a small crock.
Merri and I often have a nice piece of this cobbler as dinner. This is a great summer food and fits the season. We grind Quinoa into powder and use this as half the flour for the crust and filling and stevia (go to www.stevia.net) as a sweetener, you have a delicious, balanced, low calorie meal.
Keeping your caloric intake down is one of the most important things you can do for good health and longevity. This has been scientifically proven and an article by Dr. Mercola “Insulin and Its Metabolic Effects” explains why this might be fact.
This article suggests that insulin is one of nature’s great balancers. Insulin is created by high amounts of blood sugar levels in the body. Lots of insulin is a signal that there is plenty of food supply and hence there will be plenty of population growing. Consequently insulin becomes an agent to decrease longevity, nature’s way of keeping the population in check.
Less insulin in the body signals that there is not so much food so the body may be needed to stay around longer to contribute to the gene pool! Hence those who consume less, live more. Consequently the protein balanced, low carbohydrate, cooling blackberry cobbler recipe below is a perfect and tasty alternative to a heavy meal. Enjoy the treat and be healthier.
Take fresh cleaned blackberries (ours are all organic so all we need to do is lightly rinse them in the pure spring water) and add just a bit of stevia…it sweetens yet does not raise the blood sugar level. You can squeeze a bit of lime over them. Then add a crumble top…famous in England and Georgia…(but I suspect made a lot differently than ours!)
Blackberry Crumble Recipe
The crumble is made from equal parts of flour and quinoa powder with some organic milk to moisten. Cover the top of the blackberries with this mixture, then add just a smidgen of clarified butter.Bake at 350 degrees until hot and bubbly. We enjoy a cup of mint tea (from the mint that grows wild on the banks of Little Horse Creek) with this at day’s end.
Blackberry juice is a favorite drink in Ecuador. A great puzzle is why blackberry juice is not served regularly in the US.
We have it all summer here at our farm.
This is the week we began our daily hikes for the wild mountain blackberries. Forest mists shroud the cool mountain meadows and our streams sing sleepily. This is a good year. The berries are luscious and black. We have acres of them.
This is the time of year that I remind readers of John Douillard’s book, “Three Season Diet” which shows how to lose weight, increase health and vitality by eating different foods at different times of the year. The concept is based partly on Ayurved, the Indian science of life and well being, which views the body as having three essences; vata (essence of motion), pitta (essence of transformation-digestion) and kapha (essence of solidity). These essences are also described as vata-air, pitta, fire and kapha, earth/water. A key in Ayurved is to keep the three in balance.
Ayurved also recognizes differences in seasons, spring, being a moist, fertile time of growth of course is a kapha period. Summer, naturally is a time of heat or pitta when the seeds transform into food. Finally, autumn and winter turn windy and cold. Things become brittle and dried, the time of vata. So the tendency in summer is for the fire in us (pitta) to grow excessively, spring brings kapha problems and winter hosts vata imbalances.
Berries are the classic summer food, sweet, sour and astringent. They help cool the body. Blackberries are also very alkaline, high in iron and are excellent blood builders.
So you can see that blackberries are the perfect food for us in summer!
John’s book shows some other great summer foods that help weight control by helping balance blood sugar.
Blueberries are another good blood sugar regulating food according to John’s book which says:
“Blueberries, Native to North America, are harvested from May through August and are both sweet and astringent. Traditionally known to help strengthen the pancreas and stabilize blood sugar levels, blueberries serve to offset the high energy demands and sugar content of the summer fruit harvest. They are not cooling as blackberries or raspberries and are okay in the winter also. Recent studies have found blueberries to be a very powerful antioxidant.”
The global economy may turn and twist, rise and fall… get too fat and then starve. We in our body and our mind do not have to follow suit. We can enjoy and prosper in all circumstances if we embrace change and are prepared. One way is to improve our nutrition is with simple things… like blackberries and blueberries…. a good investment for the rich or poor.
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