I’ve fantasized  for the last few years about starting “Caffeine Anonymous”.  I dreamt about it as I stood in line for my doppio espresso  with Rice Dream .

Thank God, someone else actually did it. It’s here and its tagline is “We Believe You. You are not Alone”, which is great for any caffeine addict to hear.  We feel like total idiots living in a world where everyone and their kids drink the stuff .  It’s not easy admitting powerlessness over a the world’s favorite, legal, and no-big-deal drug.

The site has great video clips of experts explaining the problems caffeine produces; adrenal exhaustion  is a big one .  It also has testimonials from recovering caffeine junkies, along with message boards and discussions.  Most of all, I like the site because it busts my denial about ol’ Joe.  With every corner owned by Starbucks, it’s hard to really grok that we’re dealing out a highly addictive, harmful drug to one another.  Its benign reputation is deceptive.

Did you know that caffeine is a naturally-occurring pesticide?   That’s right.  It’s Mother Nature’s way of killing bugs.  Any bug that munches on a plant that contains caffeine will become, oh, paralyzed and eventually die .  Call me crazy, but I have a policy about trying not to put anything in my body that ends in ‘cide’, which means murder.  It just seems to me, that if it kills a little bug, it can’t be too great for me–a much bigger bug.   And we wonder why it makes us edgy and irritable. Think about it:  Caffeine increases your heart rate  and taxes your immune system because it’s trying to kill you!

But CA is not the only thing I’ve used to get off the java.  In a flash of total obviousness, I remembered that I am a hypnotherapist!   I used to make CDs  for myself all the time which would take me into profound relaxation and tell me “you’re beautiful, you love your life, you’re happy” etc.  By bypassing a certain part of the conscious mind, these messages–whether I believed them or not–got into my subconscious mind and began to transform my life.  I would go on and off my hypnosis jags, depending on what I needed at the time, but it always worked.

I had considered making an “no coffee” one for myself a couple of years ago but, truth be told, I wasn’t ready.  I didn’t want to be done.  I guess I hadn’t really struggled enough .  But now I’m ready and my new CD tells me all sorts of good things like “I enjoy a peaceful, serene life.  My struggles with caffeine are OVER”  Stuff like that.  Oh and “I look like Gisele Bundchen”.

It’s been four weeks now  and I feel really good.  I honestly feel like I’m done.  It’s quite unlike the times I quit cold turkey, when I would eventually end up having a “should I or shouldn’t I” tennis game in my head.  With the exception of a couple of dodgy moments, I haven’t really thought about it at all.  I love listening to my CD and just sinking into all the positive messages… and my husband Tom?  He loves it too!

If you need help, reach out.

If you need hypnosis, contact me.

Jessica

 

 

 

filed under All Posts, Help, My Life


May 20

So long, Joe.

 

I have been wrestling with caffeine addiction for at least fifteen  years.  I remember, when I was working on a computer at many moons ago, thinking to myself while I slurped a cup o’ Joe cut with  amazake  "Mmm… this stuff is good" … and…

"this stuff is EVIL"

I really don’t understand how it is that we’re all jacked up on caffeine (87% of all Americans have a caffeinated beverage every day) and there aren’t corpses  laying in the street every ten feet.  I am such a JERK when I’m on caffeine, although I’m too Canadian to let you know that.  I just seethe, while you spew your gobbledygook… I seethe and I endure you

It. Is. Awful.

But I’m not here to convince you to stop drinking it.  I promise.  Whenever I talk about my struggle with caffeine, it’s gets everyone all defensive and they start telling me how they only have half a cup a day… that it really doesn’t bother them… that Ambien  works just great for sleep.  Frankly–and please don’t take this the wrong way–I don’t care.  I am just glad to have crawled recently out of my own personal hell

Life is weird; one person’s hell is another person’s productive afternoon !  I know what my demons are and my personal constellation is unique; sugar, caffeine and a certain herb that is now available "medicinally" on nearly every strip mall in Southern California.  These are my three witches; they cast evil spells over my life.  I have danced with all three and each one has stuck her long, warty nose near my ear and said "You’re so screwed" .

The other two I manage to stay away from easily; Sugar,  the drug that goes back the furthest, took a few years to kick, but once I did, my body really got the message.  Now, in a store, when I pick up a product and scan the ingredients, if even the word "cane" appears before my eyes, my hand automatically replaces the item on the shelf.  My body rejects it even before my mind can make a clear decision.  The suffering it lead me to was too dark  and my surrender too deep. 

The aforementioned herb… well, that never had the grip on me that sugar did, but at one point in college, it did beat me into submission like a purple bunny  jumping on my chest a thousand times yelling "LOSER, LOSER, LOSER!"  Now I smell it on the street sometimes and think "Done". 

Caffeine has been the wiliest witch.  She peers from on high , on every corner, in every mall , on every cup going by .  It seems like everyone in the world… black, white, man, woman, cool, nerdy, rich, poor … lines up for her every morning.   Worshipers at her shrine. 

 

It’s not so easy to go against that grain

Not to mention that some sort of invisible coffee lobby keeps putting out material saying that it’s not bad for us.  That they’re are no side effects.  Oh yeah?  How about TOTAL PERSONALITY TRANSFORMATION?   On top of: cardiac stress, weakening of the immune system, messing with fertility, anxiety, insomnia, adrenal fatigue, mineral loss (leading to osteoporosis), and paranoia?

I’m well acquainted with all of these conditions because I’ve never been a daily user.  WHAT?  Oh no.  I go on coffee benders, like a pathetic business man  on an out-of-town spree.  I can go for weeks without the Joe, getting back to my "normal" existence, only to have the cravings pull me back.  So I know the damage it’s doing and the vast difference between my personal

But this time I’ve quit differently.  I’ll tell you how next week…  Stay tuned.

 

        Hip Chick Products    Online Cooking Classes   Hip Chick Audiobook

 

 

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My friend Neil Sattin is a cool guy .  He lives in Portland, Maine  with his lovely wife, Tonya (who writes a really funny parenting blog called HappyDash.com), and his two little kids.  I spent many a cold, wintry afternoon watching Dr. Phil  with Tonya after she gave birth to their first little one.  Neil would come down from his upstairs office and wince when he saw what was on the boob (the electronic one), and then join us in our guilty pleasure…

I even know his dog, Nola,  who was once so badly behaved that a professional dog trainer suggested she be euthanized.  Neil would have none of it.  Instead, he sought out a discipline called "Natural Dog Training" which helps the owner perceive the world from his or her dog’s eyes… or heart, to be precise. 

You see, dogs follow their prey drive, and in Natural Dog Training, the human tries to align with that, instead of dominating, thwarting, or breaking it .  And what’s the best way to align with the prey drive?  Oh, BECOME THE PREY!!   In this technique, you actually bond with your dog by acting more like prey than master.  Your dog becomes instantly and enthusiastically attracted to you when you retreat and "push" gently against your dog’s drive, which reinforces his attraction to you.   YIN AND YANG BABY. 

This leaves your hopelessly and pathetically in love with you .  Well, that and a fanny pack full of treats.  If only human made this much sense!

If you’re having trouble with your dog and you’d like a more natural approach that aligns with your dog’s nature, check out Neil’s site.  He’s got videos and other cool products and a great blog

 

Hip Chick ProductsOnline Cooking ClassesHip Chick Audiobook

 

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If you read this blog with any regularity, you know that I am a cat person.  I have a weird cat, named George, who does weird things like lay on my Korean massage bed like a human being .  That’s why I love cats… they’re weird. 

No matter how hard I’ve tried, I really can’t train George.  When I try to get him to do something, I think he understands the command, but he doesn’t obey, just to spite me.  He just stares at me with a look of contempt mixed with pity, thinking "you idiot, trying to train a cat."  That’s why I love cats… they’re arrogant.

If anything, he’s trained me.  In the morning, he chews on some part of my anatomy  to get me up and give him a treat.  At night, he stares at me and meows until I get out the red laser pointer and trace it quickly up the door , causing him to jump about four feet in the air.  That’s why I love cats… they’re like Mike Tyson  and Michael Jordan  all in one.

Now dogs… they’re different.  I’ve never really understood dogs because they’re so… obediant.  They actually WANT to please people.  And to that end, they are crazily trainable.  Is that a word?

Anyway when I was in Florida recently, I hung out with a dog named Revolution .  She is a Border Collie with miss-matched eyes and uncanny resemblance to Keith Richards .  Her human is Tori Self , a just-turned eighteen year old, and truly Hip Chick, who has been training various canines in Dog Agility since she was 12.  Now I’ve known Tori’s mom and stepdad for a few years now and I’ve seen the hundreds of ribbons  in Tori’s room, and even spewed annoying, unsolicited adult advice at her… having no idea that she and Revolution were National Champions.  I also didn’t realize that Tori has a website called Hippiedogs.com, that she is famous for doing the Agility courses barefoot, or that Miss Rev–as she’s known–has her own freakin’ blog!  That’s a dog.  With a blog.

I’ve seen Tori and Rev train and it is a remarkable thing .  She can get that dog to turn in circles, and climb backwards up a tree, and even cook up a pot of brown rice !  THEY PUT ME AND POOR GEORGE TO SHAME.

So, I encourage you to follow Tori and Rev’s careers on Twitter.  They are going off to The University of Florida at Gainesville this fall.  I love them dearly, but I’m still stuck on cats.  Psssssst.  George!!!

 

 

filed under All Posts, My Life


Apr 20

Kelp!!!!

Because I am sooooo famous and fabulous, people just send me goodies out of the blue!  Okay, not gold watches.  No diamond tennis bracelets…yet.  But I got some really great kelp in the mail the other day!

Louise Gaudet is a truly Hip Chick.  She runs a company called BC Kelp and she goes out and harvests sea vegetables from reefs like this: in Northern British Columbia.  That would be the British Columbia on the left-hand side of a super special country called CANADA , whence many Hip Chicks come. 

Sea vegetables contain tons of minerals, are easily absorbed by the human body, and keep the skin, nails, hair and bones in great shape.   Sea veggies have also been known for helping tumors shrink.  And get this: Lowly seaweed has the mysterious, mystical power of binding with radioactive materials and discharging them from the body!!!  So God bless the seaweed harvesters!

Here is Louise showing off her bounty: And when she gets home, she puts it out in the sunshine to dry: .  The results are very good.  She sent me some Bull kelp fronds which I have used in various recipes and it’s really tasty.  Just as good (and kind of addictive) are the kelp flakes , ready to be sprinkled on rice, veggies, or a waiting tongue.  Most intriguing is the Seaweed Mineral Bath Soak , which finally brought seaweed into my bathtub.  A slippery, sexy experience, that stimulates circulation and tonifies the skin, it also made me feel like a groovy, B.C. hippie . At five bucks a bath,  I highly recommend it as a weekly indulgence or a great gift. 

Louise carries all sorts of other seaweeds, like wakame, kombu and bladderwrack.  Why does bladderwrack sound like a lady of-a-certain-age jumping on a trampoline?  Check her out at BC Kelp.

 

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Oh Thank God.

So George, my two-year old Tabby  and only remaining pet, had not been seen by his lovely petsitter, Natasha, since the day her duties began… roughly the same day I left for the East Coast.  Needless to say the cruise and all other away-from-LA activities were pretty stressful for me, knowing that George had gone AWOL.  He had never spent even 14 hours away from home, let alone 14 days. 

I kept hearing from people that cats can do this.  Freak you out.  Make you think they’re dead.  Give you a flipping heart attack.  But it seemed like George… gone 14 days?  He’s a fat cat that likes nothing more than to hang around the house all day chillaxing.  It didn’t fit the profile.  But I figured the spring, and a surge in whatever male hormones he still has, could propel him on a walkabout.  Weirder things had happened, according to the internet and various positive-thinking cat lovers. 

So Natasha walked around the neighborhood calling "George!" and phoned the local shelters (thank you!). Christy put out fliers in the neighborhood (thank you!).  She also put out articles of my clothing all around the house to help G pick up my scent if he’d strayed afar.  I even had a couple of good Samaritans call me after they’d seen the fliers asking what color George’s paws were and how they could help. 

People are good.

When I finally got back to LA, I felt slightly better and felt a modicum of control, just being back in the neighborhood.  I put out more stinky socks and smelly sweaters to "entice" George home. But it had been 14 days, and I only felt a 50/50 chance of a happy ending.  I scoured the internet for tips and stories about finding lost cats.  Which, in retrospect, was a really smart thing to do.  Many sites said to go looking between 1 and 5 a.m.–the feline witching hours.  I had thought to pay more attention in the evening, but not really in the middle of the night.  So I set my trusty iPhone for 2 a.m. and went to bed, determined but not entirely hopeful about my own walkabout.

The alarm went off.  I touched snooze.
It went off again.  Snooze again.
And again.         
Finally, at 3:30, I got out of bed, saying out loud "Okay George, let’s do this". 

That was sort of weird, to say it out loud. 

In the few hours I had slept, I had a dream about George being the father of a large and happy litter about 4 blocks to the east and north of my house.  Never mind that George is neutered, in this dream, his new territory felt like 28th street and  Pearl.  I wanted to cover that area tonight, just in case dreams mean something.  But I also got a strong sense to simply check our back alley… the one closest to the house.  A place where, were I a cat, I would hang out and shoot craps and smoke stogies with the other locals. 

So I walked down the alley, feeling like an idiot, shaking a bag of treats, half-whispering "Georrrrrrge".  I call his name in this weird pretentious Mid-Atlantic Madonna-esque accent.  I have no idea why. 

I walk by one back yard fence.  Then the next.  "Georrrrrrrge!"

"Meow!"  Holy crap.   "Meow! Meow! Meow! MEOW!"  These meows are persistent. Urgent. LOUD.  And they’re coming from inside someone’s corrugated metal shed.  Behind a tall fence.  Regardless of the obstacles, I am overjoyed.  It sounds like him.   He’s definitely responding to me and most important, his voice is strong.   Which means he’s not that close to Kitty Heaven.

I go home.  Call the police because animal control isn’t answering.  They say to call animal control in the morning. 

I figure out which house he’s behind and google who purchased that property.  I then search for them on a people-finding site to get a phone number.  Turns out my neighbor is a hoity toity producer!  Not bad.  I have visions of cat-induced networking.  Oh wait.  That’s 25th street.  I live on 23rd.  Turns out I’m not so sharp at 4:30 a.m. 

Then I tromp over to the house to make sure of the address.  I see 2504 at 4:35 a.m.  Turns out it’s 2524, but Mister Haber, who lives at 2504, was very nice when I called him at 7 a.m. to report that I was sure my cat was inside his garden shed.  It’s hard to see in the middle of the night!

Finally, I figure out who lives at 2524 by doing a property-sale search.  It’s important because they’re not answering the door.  And there’s no car in the driveway.  And it’s a holiday weekend.  I then go to the good old White Pages (the actual ones) and get their number.  I call and leave a message.  Their voicemail is cute, which a little kid leaving the message.  I figure they don’t want their daughter finding a cat skeleton in the garden shed when they get back from Easter weekend and may, if contacted, give me permission to break the lock.  Fingers crossed.

At 8 a.m., Animal Control picks up the phone.  They send out a lovely lady (also named Jessica) who tells me she can’t break into someone’s property, but suggests we go look in the alley anyway. 

Behind the house, I yell "Georrrrrge" and she also hears him in the shed, behind the tall, locked fence… clearly beyond the line of the law.  She says to leave a note… that the family should be coming back soon.  I say he might have been there for up to two weeks… I pull the quivering lip.  She’s not buying it.  And then…

AND THEN

She notices that it says on the fence "2602".  Not 2524 (I know the numbers make no sense, but that’s how my street rolls).  2602???  I peer between the slats of the fence, and sure enough, it seems that this shed sits on a totally different property than I had first thought.  God, I can be a numbskull!  And not only do I know the owners of said property, they are old, never leave the house and we’re on very friendly terms.  GEORGE!!! YOU’RE COMING HOME!!!!!!

So I knock on Virginia’s door.  She’s sweet.  Gives me a hug.  Within 30 seconds, she reminds us that she’s 86.  And when the animal control officer and I tell her that my cat’s in the shed, she tells her husband, Joe.  Now I’ve met Joe and he is a lovely guy.  Also getting up there.  And God bless him, Joe is totally blind.  The animal control officer asks if she can go out back and open the shed.  Seems Joe has a certain pride of place that won’t allow that.  We follow Joe out to the yard and upon saying "Georrrrge" to the shed, it meows back.  Joe doesn’t believe the cat is actually in the shed, but it’s clear he is.  Joe fingers through a huge key chain to find the key.  He says he put some stuff in the shed a while ago, "way more than a week ago" he says with concern.  It takes Joe a few minutes to find the key to the lock, but when he does… abracadabra… George is back. 

Now most of these stories end with skinny cats who look a little dirty.  Well, somehow George doesn’t seem to have lost any weight at the Garden Shed Spa, but he does smell a little musty.  When he first ate, he made a weird moaning sound, but I guess… after 14 days, I would too.  

He’s stressed.  Meowing a lot in a hoarse little voice.  But he’s finally settling down a bit.  We’ve had our first cuddles and head butts.

I’m in shock that he’s back.  A wonderful shock. 

Thanks to every single one of you who held my hand over the last two weeks.  Who prayed.  Who listened to me cry. Who visualized George and I being together again.  Your thoughts are powerful.

He’s on my lap and my heart feels whole. 
Jessica

filed under All Posts, My Life


Mar 16

Laugh it off!

I had the opportunity to do a little segment on View from the Bay yesterday in San Francisco. 

Watch it only if you feel like laughing:

abclocal.go.com/kgo/story

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Mar 10

Sister Giant

I recently spent a weekend with Marianne Williamson .  Well, with her and about 500 other women.  It was an amazing, educational and transformative experience called Sister Giant, designed to re-connect us with our female power and to find ways to apply it in the world. 

Of course, this wonderful yin force we are governed by loves to talk, to bond, to love.  It’s damn good at nurturing and picking one kid up from school before dropping the other one off at soccer practice.  But what we used to called "feminism", the active acknowledgment of female power, has become a weird and tangled issue of late.  First of all, the word itself has become sort of icky in our culture.  Like "liberal" it has somehow made the weird slide from sunlight into shadow, as the media machine has churned it up and spit it out. 

It’s too bad.  I guess we need a new word.  Or to take the ‘F’ word back.  Because there is a ton of female power in this country today.  And, paradoxically, that’s part of the problem too.  We’re DOING REALLY WELL, LADIES!  Human history has never seen so much freedom, wealth and power among its high-heeled set.  We can earn enough money to compete with the Big Boys, buy low-carb snacks with the click of a mouse, and have sex without ever getting pregnant!  We are in Congress, on the Supreme Court, in the boardroom and just barely missed the White House.  This time. 

So why even talk about it? 

Well, first of all, we need to avoid complacency.  This freedom was hard won.  Lest we forget that Suffragettes were imprisoned so that you and I could vote.  That thousands and thousands of women were burned as witches because…well… just because.  You see, it seems that the shadow of world’s psyche has been regularly projected onto us, my fellow hip chicks, and since the shadow never goes away entirely, we need to stay on our toes.  This lovely, upward, outward, yin force we channel needs to be honored and protected.  Just because women are "free" doesn’t mean there aren’t countervailing forces doing push-ups, in the dark, to bring us down.  And that’s not paranoia.  Poverty affects women more than men.  Although it’s slowly getting smaller, the wage gap between genders is alive and well.  According to the Riley Center in San Francisco,  a woman is battered in the U.S. every nine seconds, 95% of all domestic abuse is suffered by women, and domestic violence is the single most major cause of injury to women, outnumbering car accidents and muggings. And let’s not forget the malignant monster which is pornography, now just a click away from every modern brain. 

So are we really doing so well?

It was wonderful to spend a weekend in a place honoring our girl-ness.  Our wo-mojo.  The Yin.  Marianne Williamson, who wrote A Woman’s Worth (among other great books–check her out), gathered a bunch of strong ladies as Sister Giant to help us figure out what we can do with this delicious, hard-won freedom and power.  We were reminded that the Great Yin has a moral rudder the world needs very badly right now.  That an awakened female conscience would never knowingly let a child starve to death.  She gave us permission to feel the female power that says "Not in THIS house" in the face of an immoral, crazy, 1-in-4-American-children-goes-to-bed-hungry world.  She hooked us up with a group called RESULTS whose mission is to create the political will to end poverty.  Because that’s what’s missing; not the money.  Not the food.  The political will.  RESULTS regularly lobbies Congress on Foreign and Domestic Aid issues with the goal of getting real and badly needed help to the hungry here and abroad.  She had us role-play talking to our representatives.  She reminded us that we vote.  That we matter.  That people around the world right now need some compassionate, loving, fierce yin. 

Marianne calls it a national security issue.  She says that where there are desperate, hungry, hopeless people, there is a petri dish for pathological behavior, crime, war and possible terrorism.  Happy, educated, well-fed people don’t tend to blow things up.  At least, not as much. 

We didn’t have time to talk about girls’ schools getting terrorized in Afghanistan.  And no one mentioned female circumcision in Africa or the phenomenon of Bride Burning in India.  That’s the stuff that makes me crazy.  But, of course, there are too many problems facing women in the world for just one weekend.  So we focussed on the solution.  We recovered and re-affirmed the great loving, mothering, yin which steers our female souls.  And for us, lucky enough to be free and empowered, it can be our currency in the world.  Let’s awaken the Sister Giant and use her power.  


Jan 27

The High Seas

First things first.  I’m really happy to report that, thanks to Oprah Winfrey, The Kind Diet has been helping lots of people.  Here’s a link to see some cooking videos starring Alicia and Laura Linney!

Second, here’s an interview I did at newnaturalista.com.  It’s a really cool site. 

THIRD… I want to give everyone time to make their plans for the cruise this year.  The WHAT, you say?  Yes, the cruise.

Seven years ago, Sandy Pukel decided to take veganism and macrobiotics on the high seas.  Since then, every spring, Costa cruises hauls just under a thousand of us pasty health food freaks out into the sunshine of the Caribbean.  If you’ve never been, I can’t recommend it enough.

Here are the five reasons you should go:

1.  The Food.  Commandeered by Mark Hanna  (total genius, cookbook author and my next door neighbor) and his crew, every meal is a multi-course, plant-based mouthgasm.  AND if you’re not feeling particularly virtuous, you can still order from the regular ship’s menu, even from our groovy dining room.  But that rarely happens.  The food is REALLY good.

Because the food is so good, and so healthy, instead of gaining weight and feeling like a weeble  by Thursday, you actually begin to feel fantastic come mid-week.  Smiles become spontaneous, steps lighten and skin glows throughout our half of the ship.

2.  The Classes.  This cruise is not just about the food, or the Caribbean.  All day, every day, there are classes given by some of the greatest holistic and plant-based thinkers in the world.  Dr. Neal Barnard, Dr. Colin Campbell, Marilu Henner, Dr. Joel Fuhrman and Yogi Amrit Desai will all be there.  Not to mention Ohashi, Christina Pirello, and um… yours truly.  All this amazing information, in the form of lectures, workshops and cooking classes, is a kind of mental and spiritual food that is deeply nourishing.  One walks around the ship thinking "I’m so glad I’m here!!"

3.  The People.  I try to sit with new people at every meal.  The stories that come out of them are mindblowing.  Recoveries from cancer.  Families just trying it out.  Longtime vegans with a passion for the planet.  Everyone has a story.  Everyone is interesting.  And everyone cares.

4.  The Ship.  Costa is an Italian cruise line.  In the spirit of La Dolce Vita, they go OVER THE TOP in many ways.  The design of the ship itself is romantic, colorful, and mischievious.  There are 11 bars.  5 dance floors.  Swimming pools.  A theater.  Water slides.  A gym, a spa and a casino.  Plus a whole club for kids!  And the cabins are great.  The staff, always pleasant and attentive, start really liven up by the end of the week and even put on singing/dancing spectacles at dinner.  I won’t wreck it with more details!

5.  The Caribbean.  Oh yeah.  I forgot.  Did I mention that you’re floating around on the bluest sea, stopping at ports of call throughout the region?   I know it seems crazy to mention it last, but the other stuff really–amazingly–trumps even mother Nature.  The Caribbean just becomes a breathtaking backdrop to a fantastic experience.  You can get off the ship and explore the islands as much as you want.  Or stay on the ship and take a class.  No pressure.  YOU’RE ON VACATION!

If you know me personally, you know that I am a horrible salesperson.  I’m usually like "uh… I mean if you want to try this thing… I mean, you don’t have to… it’s not a big deal…. really, don’t do it".  I’m usually sort of an anti-salesman, having been trained by Canadian culture to never step on any toe, real or imagined.  But the cruise is different.  It is 100% unadulterated, healthy, silly fun.  I recommend it to all my friends, veggie or otherwise.  You won’t regret it.

And the prices?  Very reasonable, considering everything you get.  Check it out.  And tell them I sent ya!  I’ll see you in March!

Jessica

 

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I’ve been in bed most of this week.  I was felled by a sinus infection and it decided that my bed was the safest, comfiest, snottiest place to rest my painful head.  I’m just pulling out now, but I’d like to share some some interesting discoveries:

I found something this week you might want to look into.  It’s called a "book" (pr. like "look").  A strange little thing, it HAS NO SCREEN!!!  And even weirder, NO KEYBOARD!  And yet, it is filled with words, just like the computer! Upon finding said relic, I looked for its power cord to plug it in… but there was nothing.  I called an IT geek friend  and… get this… turns out you turn the pages YOURSELF!   Which was sort of fun, frankly!

This book (pr. like "took", not "spook") is called Born To Run and it’s by a guy named Christopher McDougall.  Now I know most of you assume that I am an ultra-jock, and well, when it comes to driving around LA, I am.  But running has never really been my thing.  I did it for a while when I was acting school but I found that the 2 packs of cigarettes I smoked everyday (at the time)  got in the way.  It was especially hard to keep them lit on windy runs.  I had to pick… and I was desperately cool… (cough, cough).

I bought this book (pr. like "nook", not "frook") because it is about a tribe of people in Mexico  called the Tarahumara from deep in the Copper Canyon .  This is what they looked like in 1892: .  The Tarahumara like to run.  Like, a lot.  Sometimes a couple of marathons a day.  Or… four.  All through rocky, steep, canyons.  Wearing sandals made from rubber tires .  I learned about the Tarahumara originally when Alicia Silverstone and I were doing research for The Kind Diet .  Their diet contains very little animal food and their principle food is a form of corn called pinole .  Oh, and they also drink a lot.  I think Tarahumara means "PARTY!!!" in their language, but I might need to get another book (pr. like "cook" not "kerplook") to find that out for sure.

So this author, fascinated by the mystery of the Tarahumara, and a runner himself, goes to investigate.  He not only finds a community, but delves deep into the history of running, the counter-intuitive problems of running shoes , and whether humans are actually meant to run.  Like, maybe we ran down our prey way back in the day?  Just outran antelopes?   Get the book (pr. like "kindle", not "spindle") to find out. 

By the way, and I hope this doesn’t ruin the story for some of you, it all ends in a race that includes Scott Jurek, basically the best runner anyone in our generation has ever seen .  An Ultramarathoner who does things that seem… nay ARE… humanly impossible, Scott is a humble dude, who lives in Seattle and is (drumroll) VEGAN.  Seems going easy on the animal food works for running!

Well, that was my week.  I’m very interested in using more books (pr. like SHUT UP!) but now that I’m back on the computer… we’ll see.

P.S.  Let’s all donate to first responders in Haiti.   

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