ROSANNA’S NEWS AND VIEWS©
OCTOBER 21, 1998
|<snip>I’d like to support your efforts, but I do very little if any long-distance calling and have even worked for at&t. Is there another way I can contribute?<snip>I had wanted to ask about serotonin. I understand it is a normally occurring chemical in the brain which, if low, leads to headaches,depression, sleeplessness, reduction of short-term memory, and cravings for carbohydrates.I received an advertisement in the mail about Dr.Jean-Paul Rappaport’s ‘natural weight loss discovery, “Serotril.’” It is his claims of improvement in mood, sleep and short-term memory that most interest me.How can I boost levels of this serotonin chemical in the brain naturally? Are there certain foods, sea vegetables or whatever that can boost serotonin levels in the brain?Rappaport sites/graphs a study by Dr. E. U. Vorbach, a 30-day double blind clinical trial testing imipramine prescription drug (antidepressant) against a micro-molecule natural plant extract. The comparison was to see how the 2 groups fared on the variables and the outcome, for happiness and weight loss and food cravings was clearly shown in favor of Serotril formula.
Side effects, evidently, are not present in the serotril group. The offer for the product is 30 days, $30; 60 days,$50; 90 days, $90; and 120 days, $110.
Do you suppose you have to use the product for life? Is there a better macrobiotic solution?
If you read this whole email, you’re a champ!!
Your offer of support is very kind. Yes, it does cost time and money to produce these pages and we are attempting to do it without directly charging. Any contribution or use of our services will be greatly appreciated and it will help us bring you these pages. We are now doing consultations online and giving advice for a fee to those who can afford it (nobody is refused for inability to pay). Thank you for offering your help (take a look at our new bookstore with the MACROBIOTIC SECTION we plan to enlarge it as we go) and thanks too for your willingness to seek health and a better outlook through the Macrobiotic approach. Yes, Macrobiotics is about balance, balance in the foods we consume, balance in the thoughts we think and balance in the style of life we lead.
It follows that this balance can be quantified by science (in retrospect) and that science will attempt to prescribe a chemical (or other “scientific” solution) for a perceived problem. This, however, is life in the past. It’s like watching a movie of your life some years after the fact.
By this we mean that making the right everyday decisions in your diet and thought process leads you to health and prosperity. Well sure, but what’s the secret, you might say, what chemical substance can I buy (for only about $30 a month) that will do all this “BALANCING” for me?
We have a book, PEAK PERFORMANCE, sorry it is currently unavailable IN OUR STORE, that ties food to production of various brain chemicals that influence the thought process and affect overall health. Also, in this book, links are made to tie in the production of Seratonin to other substances/practices that are deemed beneficial to health like, sunlight, meditation, prayer, chanting, breathing consciously, stretching and yoga. This is a valiant attempt to bring the mystical experience into scientific vernacular, but science lives in the past and mysticism is the realm of the present.
In the present, only actions matter. Here, what you eat determines what you are and affects how you think and act. Anyway, we’re preaching and walking all around the barn to say……..The three most important foods you need to increase Seratonin NATURALLY are:
- WHOLE GRAINS
- WHOLE GRAINS
- WHOLE GRAINS
Sugar, alcohol (we do take a drink once in a while, beer mostly) and other such false stimulators (so called diet drinks, etc.) will give the illusion of chemical balance, but the price is paid in mood swings and uncontrollable reactions that adversely affect our lives and health. We hope Janie’s proposed supplier has found the magic pill, but we might stick to basics even though the price of only one dollar per day is quite attractive. We wouldn’t risk our health on a chemical solution unless it is proven correct over the long term.
By this we don’t mean to say that medicine and science are useless. Why not seek relief from pain or infection using medical science? Modern medical science is a marvel and wonder to behold. One has only to experience the “miraculous” recovery of an accident victim in intensive care to appreciate this in full depth and feeling. Day to day, though, we believe it’s up to us and that how we eat and think shows up on the health bottom line each day.
Rosanna’s approach is to take the safe and steady course that begins with proper nourishment. We feel this leads steadily and surely to health and prosperity. If there is a shortcut to this utopia, and we find it, we will surely report it in these pages. In the meantime, here’s what Rosanna fixed for lunch today and see how you like it.
10 cups Spring Water
2 inch piece of Kombu seaweed
1 cup Pearl Barley (soaked overnight)
1 medium Onion, diced
1 Carrot, diced
2 stalks Celery (with leaves), diced
2 cups Escarole, chopped in small pieces (about ½ head)
½ Lotus Root, thinly sliced
½ handful dried Porcini Mushrooms (optional)
3 Tbsp. White Miso
Put Kombu and pearl Barley in Spring Water and bring to a boil in soup pot. Simmer for one hour and remove Kombu and dice it thinly and set aside. Add all other ingredients, except Miso and continue to simmer for about 20® 30 minutes. Add water if needed at this point as the soup should have broth. Dilute the Miso in a cup with some of the broth, add to the soup and simmer for a few more minutes.
1 pound Cornmeal
6-7 cups Spring Water
½ Tsp. Sea Salt
This dish can be made in a heavy regular pot or in a pressure cooker. The advantage to using the pressure cooker is that one need not stir. If a regular pot is used, it is necessary to stir frequently. The cooking time in either case, over medium low flame is about 20 minutes. Bring water to a boil, add salt and then gently sprinkle cornmeal into boiling water while stirring constantly so you don’t get lumps. Good Polenta is smooth and creamy.
If you are using the pressure cooker, seal, bring to pressure and lower the heat. Cook for 20 minutes. Stir well after releasing pressure and uncovering.
For the regular pot, stir frequently and cook over low heat for 20 minutes.
Then pour the mixture into shallow serving plates (Rosanna uses cake dishes) and allow it to cool a little and set.
One inch piece of Kombu seaweed
1 ½ cups Black Turtle Beans, washed and soaked overnight
Spring Water as needed
1 stalk Celery, sliced lengthwise and cut into ½ inch pieces
1 medium/large Carrot, roll cut in big pieces
1 ½ Tbsp. Barley Miso
Place Kombu in bottom of pot (Earthenware is best for cooking beans). Layer Celery, then Carrots, add beans and enough Spring Water to cover. Bring to a boil, cover and lower heat and cook for one hour. Dilute the Miso in a ½ cup of the bean liquid and add to the beans, stir (for the first time) and simmer for 10® 15 minutes. Serve as topping for the Polenta. [editor’s note: THIS IS FABULOUS!]
2 Carrots, grated or sliced matchstick, very thin
1 cup Red Cabbage, sliced very thinly
½ head Escarole, washed thoroughly and cut into small pieces
I handful of salt
Mix all ingredients in a bowl and cover with a plate that just fits inside the bowl. Put a rock or heavy object on the plate to press and press for one hour. Wash well to remove salt and add a few drops of the vinegar. Mix and Serve.
pinch of Sea Salt
Bring water to a boil and blanch the greens for a few minutes. Take greens from the hot water and dip them into a cold water bath. This removes some of the bitterness. Squeeze the greens to remove excess water and chop them thinly. Heat oil and garlic together in a cast iron skillet over medium flame until the garlic is golden, but not burned. Add chopped greens and sauté for 10 minutes. Add salt, sauté a few more minutes and serve.
½ cup Soy Flour
1 cup Rice Flour
1 cup Whole Wheat Flour (or ½ Wheat, ½ Barley)
3 Tbsp. cold pressed Corn Oil
1/3 cup unsweetened Chocolate Chips
1 Tbsp. Grated Orange Zest
2 cups fresh Cranberries
½ pound Tofu
½ cup Orange Juice
¾ cup organic Maple Syrup
2 Tbsp. Baking Powder
½ Tsp. Sea Salt
Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit. Oil bread pan. In a large bowl, mix flour baking Powder and Salt. Add Oil and mix well with your hands so oil is dispersed, add Orange Zest and mix well. Add Chocolate and Cranberries, mix well. In a blender or food processor, mix Tofu, Orange Juice and Syrup until creamy. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and fold in with a spatula. Do not over-mix (it won’t rise), the batter will be stiff, when it is ready. Turn into pan and bake for one hour. When a toothpick comes out dry, it’s ready. Serve and enjoy!
Rosanna and James
14 Precepts….by Thich Nhat Hanh ”Do not be idolatrous about or bound to any doctrine, theory, or ideology, even Buddhist ones. All systems of thought are guiding means; they are not absolute truth.Do not think that the knowledge you presently possess is changeless, absolute truth. Avoid being narrow-minded and bound to present views. Learn and practice non-attachment from views in order to be open to receive others’ viewpoints. Truth is found in life and not merely in conceptual knowledge. Be ready to learn throughout our entire life and to observe reality in yourself and in the world at all times.Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education. However, through compassionate dialogue, help others renounce fanaticism and narrowness.Do not avoid contact with suffering or close your eyes before suffering. Do not lose awareness of the existence of suffering in the life of the world. Find ways to be with those who are suffering by all means, including personal contact and visits, images, sound. By such means, awaken yourself and others to the reality of suffering in the world.Do not accumulate wealth while millions are hungry. Do not take as the aim of your life fame, profit, wealth, or sensual pleasure. Live simply and share time, energy, and material resources with those who are in need.Do not maintain anger or hatred. As soon as anger and hatred arise, practice the meditation on compassion in order to deeply understand the persons who have caused anger and hatred. Learn to look at other beings with the eyes of compassion.
Do not lose yourself in dispersion and in your surroundings. Learn to practice breathing in order to regain composure of body and mind, to practice mindfulness, and to develop concentration and understanding.
Do not utter words that can create discord and cause the community to break.
Make every effort to reconcile and resolve all conflicts, however small.
Do not say untruthful things for the sake of personal interest or to impress people. Do not utter words that cause division and hatred. Do not spread news that you do not know to be certain. Do not criticize or condemn things you are not sure of. Always speak truthfully and constructively. Have the courage to speak out about situations of injustice, even when doing so may threaten your own safety.
Do not use the Buddhist community for personal gain or profit, or transform your community into a political party. A religious community should, however, take a clear stand against oppression and injustice, and should strive to change the situation without engaging in partisan conflicts.
Do not live with a vocation that is harmful to humans and nature. Do not invest in companies that deprive others of their chance to life. Select a vocation which helps realize your ideal compassion.
Do not kill. Do not let others kill. Find whatever means possible to protect life and to prevent war.
Possess nothing that should belong to others. Respect the property of others but prevent others from enriching themselves from human suffering or the suffering of other beings.
Do not mistreat your body. Learn to handle it with respect. Do not look on your body as only an instrument. Preserve vital energies (sexual, breath, spirit) for the realization of the Way. Sexual expression should not happen without love and commitment. In sexual relationships be aware of future suffering that may be caused. To preserve the happiness of others, respect the rights and commitments of others. Be fully aware of the responsibility of bringing new lives into the world. Meditate on the world into which you are bringing new beings.
Do not believe that I feel that I follow each and every of these precepts perfectly. I know I fail in many ways. None of us can fully fulfill any of these. However, I must work toward a goal. These are my goals. No words can replace practice, only practice can make the words.Thich Nhat HanhARRIVEDERCI!