Spring 2008 — In Bloom
Spring Tonic, Wild Salad, by Kimberly Gallagher
Ah! The fresh smells of spring are in the air and are calling me outdoors. I love to use new spring greens to make a wild herbal salad. Such a salad is a perfect spring tonic. The energy of the plants is moving up from the roots into the new leaves and flowers. These early spring greens are just the medicines our bodies are seeking. They nourish our livers and cleanse our bodies of the heavier winter foods, allowing us to make a smooth transition into the emerging season... (read the complete article)
Balance of Health
Choosing Pasture-fed Meat, by Dr. David Ramaley
I have found that the food choices I make for myself and my family have a large impact on my health and our environment. One important consideration in a person's diet is whether to eat meat and dairy products and, if so, what kind. I have chosen to eat meat since I believe that humans are omnivores and eating meat plays an integral role in maintaining health. Meat contains high-quality proteins and amino acids, as well as B and C vitamins. My choices have changed over the years as I have learned more about how animals are raised and what they are fed. In my experience, meat and dairy products from grass-fed animals are the healthiest choice... (read the complete article)
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Tips & Picks
City Living, Conscious Style, by Kerstin Barker
Recently, I moved from the backwoods to the big city, and I've been surprised to find that down-to-earth, community-style living thrives in the commercial metropolis. The neighborhood where I dwell teems with a gutsy underbelly of cultural creatives. They grow organic food in small swaths of yard, replacing grass with beets, kale and strawberries. They cycle to get around or run their cars on biodiesel. They dine at the co-op; shop weekly at the farmers' market, calling the vendors by name; and mill about the local chai café, talking their way into feeling some hope about politics. They barter services: I wash your windows for lunch; you babysit for a massage. Art for food. They organize clothing swaps to get their hands on new fashion. Generosity is a way of life. A subtle revolution vibrates through this real-world visionary community...
The Art of Making Overtures, by Patty Wipfler
When we're building bridges to someone else — our child, a sibling, a boss or someone who has become a thorn in our side &mdash our effort needs to start with an overture. An organized, disciplined overture. A colleague, Jim, told me a lovely story. His elderly aunt survived a difficult childhood. She has always been a private, guarded person and has never spoken of some of the things Jim knows happened. He has dreamed of making it safe enough for her to be more open... (read the complete article)
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Community Connections, by Corinna Frenzl
When I discovered The Polishing Stone at my local food co-op, I was immediately riveted by the practical, solution-oriented articles. Finally, I had found a magazine that gave me the tools I needed to start making positive choices in my life - one that didn't talk over my head or leave me desolate and in tears. I was already making small changes, but often after researching the topics further, more questions came up that I couldn't answer on my own. I longed to connect with others who were also walking this path of creating a better life - to share ideas, brainstorm and exchange tips... (read the complete article)
From the Ground Up
Adventures of an Urban Compost Queen, , by Cynthia Washington
Worms are disgusting. I've known that since a preschool playmate smeared one into a paste inches from my eyes. But worms are spectacular in some ways too. I've gently pulled them from my garden, fascinated by their shape and grace, knowing that they signal the health of the soil. So when a flyer from our county waste-management office listed a class on worm composting, I signed up. I was bored with cold, finicky computers. I wanted dirt on my hands... (read the complete article)
Easing Our Toxic Load, by Stef Frenzl
Last November, I went to my doctor after noticing a lump that had been growing at the base of my neck. Two days later, I went in for emergency surgery to remove a tumor the size of a grape. Fortunately, it was benign. That same month, I also learned that I had developed an autoimmune disorder related to my thyroid - all of this at the youthful age of 29... (read the complete article)
In Print & On Screen
Killing Monsters, Shawna Lee
When my son was four years old, he discovered Tintin comics. I worried about the violence, especially the guns. Was my little boy learning that guns were exciting and harmless? Unable to contain my anxiety, I shared my concern with him. He declared that he knew the stories weren't real, that guns were dangerous in real life. It is easy to become fearful and anxious about our children's entertainment choices when the news regularly reports studies touting the dangers of violent media. Killing Monsters: Why Children Need Fantasy, Super Heroes, and Make Believe Violence (Basic Books, 2002) is a calm, reasoned counterpoint... (read the complete article)
Refreshing Relishes and Lively Condiments, by Cynthia Lair
Once or twice a year, my friend Holly and I go to a beautiful Korean women's spa. After the soaking, scrubbing and steaming, we have lunch in their small café. The meals are simple, usually rice with egg, tofu, chicken or beef and cooked vegetables. But the best part is the half-dozen bowls of condiments, called banchan, that arrive with the meal. Each one contains raw, pickled or fermented vegetables and sprouts. These unique flavors make the meal come alive... (read the complete article)
Yogurt Cucumber Topping (Raita) , by Cynthia Lair — "A Website Exclusive"
There are many recipes for this classic topping for curry dishes. The secret is buying yogurt that has active cultures and no fillers (nonfat milk solids or pectin) added - this will give the condiment superior flavor and texture... (read the complete article)
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With Our Hands
Simple Soap-Making, by Gina Napoli
If you have allergies or sensitive skin, using homemade soap is an excellent alternative to using commercial soaps. You can buy homemade soap from specialty shops and natural-food vendors, as well as over the internet. Real soap usually sells for about $1 per ounce, maybe more, which is fine for a bar or two, but over a long period of time, that can become expensive. Learning how to make it yourself is a fascinating hobby that has the potential for becoming a small side business...
Like Mother, Like Daughter, , by Marie Richmond
My husband Craig, and I have been living with my parents for nearly two years now. For the most part it's been smooth sailing, but lately I've been noticing some disconcerting patterns...
Good Enough Philosophy, , by Joyce White
The innate wisdom of a six-year-old has stayed with me through many years and has provided a name for my previously nameless philosophy. With three concise words, Josh put things in perspective...
Fasten your Seatbelt, by Khris Fruits, Managing Editor
Something I figured out a few years ago is that I don't truly know a thing until I'm able to teach it. Companion to that corollary is that I usually find myself teaching what I need to know. I look at the teaching process as my final test now, a sign to myself that I've really picked something up. What I'm able to teach is no longer just information in my head, but something that I embody — right down to my very cells...
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