“The purpose of learning is growth, and our minds, unlike our bodies,
can continue growing as long as we live.”

Mortimer Adler

Find a few of my articles on my friend J.Son's Sin City Times online news

L.V.A.C magazine article "You are What You Eat" (Unabridged)

L.V.A.C magazine article on 2010 Resolutions (Unabridged)

L.V.A.C magazine article on Spring Cleaning 2010 (Unabridged)

 

Here are a few of my favorite references and influences...
Ludovic

The Botany Of Desire
Michael Pollan

Working in his garden one day, Michael Pollan hit pay dirt in the form of an idea: do plants, he wondered, use humans as much as we use them? While the question is not entirely original, the way Pollan examines this complex coevolution by looking at the natural world from the perspective of plants is unique. The result is a fascinating and engaging look at the true nature of domestication.

 

The Omnivore's Dilemma
Michael Pollan

Pollan examines what he calls "our national eating disorder" (the Atkins craze, the precipitous rise in obesity) in this remarkably clearheaded book. It's a fascinating journey up and down the food chain, one that might change the way you read the label on a frozen dinner, dig into a steak or decide whether to buy organic eggs. You'll certainly never look at a Chicken McNugget the same way again.Pollan approaches his mission not as an activist but as a naturalist: "The way we eat represents our most profound engagement with the natural world." All food, he points out, originates with plants, animals and fungi. Pollan's narrative strategy is simple: he traces four meals back to their ur-species. He starts with a McDonald's lunch, which he and his family gobble up in their car. Surprise: the origin of this meal is a cornfield in Iowa. Corn feeds the steer that turns into the burgers, becomes the oil that cooks the fries and the syrup that sweetens the shakes and the sodas, and makes up 13 of the 38 ingredients (yikes) in the Chicken McNuggets.Indeed, one of the many eye-openers in the book is the prevalence of corn in the American diet; of the 45,000 items in a supermarket, more than a quarter contain corn. Pollan meditates on the freakishly protean nature of the corn plant and looks at how the food industry has exploited it, to the detriment of everyone from farmers to fat-and-getting-fatter Americans.

In Defense Of Foods: An Eater's manifesto
Michael Pollan

Pollan provides another shocking yet essential treatise on the industrialized Western diet and its detrimental effects on our bodies and culture. Here he lays siege to the food industry and scientists' attempts to reduce food and the cultural practices of eating into bite-size concepts known as nutrients, and contemplates the follies of doing so. As an increasing number of Americans are overfed and undernourished, Pollan makes a strong argument for serious reconsideration of our eating habits and casts a suspicious eye on the food industry and its more pernicious and misleading practices. Listeners will undoubtedly find themselves reconsidering their own eating habits.

Food Rules
Michael Pollan

Food Rules is broken down into 3 sections (and this will sound familiar to those that read In Defense of Food): 1- What should I eat? (Eat food) 2 - What kind of food should I eat? (Mostly plants) and 3 - How should I eat? (Not too much). Each section includes 20 or so rules that you can pick and choose from in order to eat a healthy diet. Some of the rules overlap (Avoid food products that contain ingredients that a third-grader cannot pronounce and Avoid ingredients that no ordinary human would keep in the pantry, for instance) and some seem like such common sense that it is almost laughable to include them, but that is why this manual is so important. It distills all of this complex information that we see and hear every day and turns it into something relatable. We know, somewhere in our minds, that certain grains and oils are better than others. Pollan gives us an easy rule to help know which ones are best. We know that most breakfast cereals are little more than desserts and Pollan gives us an easy rule to know which ones are safe. Some rules are humorous (it's not food if it arrived through the window of your car) and some are serious; some rules are easy and others require a bit more dedication. But what this manual has is a wide range of useful tips that can be applied to any life at any time. This is no complicated diet; this is a little pocket book of sensible, realistic rules to help you eat your best.

Second Nature
Michael Pollan

Many of us fall into the trap of thinking that our relationship to the land must be one of either two choices: either we ruthlessly exploit it, with no regard for any but short term use, or we refuse to "meddle" in it at all, letting nature do what it will. _Second Nature_ explores the third alternative, that of working with nature respectfully to produce something that we intend. Believing that our relationship with nature can not be broken down into simple nature versus culture arguments, Pollan explores the overlapping of nature and culture. To that end, he discusses Americans' historical and contemporary ideas of what makes a garden a garden and attitudes toward gardening and wilderness. There is wonderful, thought-provoking commentary on the tyranny of the American lawn, the sexuality of roses, class conflict in the garden, privacy, trees, weeds, and what it means to have a green thumb. Pollan's stories of his own adventures in the garden are interesting and often amusing. His writing is thoughtful and his insight frequently unexpected, as when, in the chapter " 'Made Wild by Pompous Catalogs' ", he points out that garden catalogues are selling not merely seed but their ideas about gardens. Pollan is also highly readable. It is hard not to like an author who says things like "...the Victorian middle class simply couldn't deal with the rose's sexuality" or "...there is a free lunch and its name is photosynthesis"

 

You Can Heal Your Life
Louise Hay

My Personal Life Saver. Louise’s key message in this powerful work is: “If we are willing to do the mental work, almost anything can be healed.” Louise explains how limiting beliefs and ideas are often the cause of illness, and how you can change your thinking…and improve the quality of your life! I have personally bought a copy of this book to each of my closest friends It's about self-love and self-acceptance. All of life is. Who knew? Not me!

The Invitation
Oriah Mountain Dreamer

Life Changing for me! I have never read more beautiful words. In a little over one page, Oriah manages to capture the roadmap to a meaningful life.

In a world of endless small talk, constant traffic jams, and overburdened schedules, "The Invitation" opens the door to a new way of life -- a way of intimacy, honesty, and peace with ourselves, others, and the world around us. Oriah invites us to embrace the varieties of human experience, from desire and commitment to sorrow and betrayal, and to open ourselves to all that is possible. The Invitation is an invaluable guide to overcoming the obstacles that stand in our way and to discovering the true beauty that life has to offer.

 

The Traveler's Gift
Andy Andrews

Andrews effectively combines self-help with fiction to catch readers' interest, sustaining momentum while simultaneously passing on instructions for positive thinking. With his can-do style, Andrews (Storms of Perfection; Tales from Sawyerton Springs) tells the allegorical tragedy of one David Ponder, whose woes begin when he loses his job, his confidence and essentially his drive for living. After a succession of losses, Ponder is rendered unconscious after a car accident, and is magically transported into seven key points in history. At each stopping point, he is met by historical figures such as Abraham Lincoln, Anne Frank, King Solomon, Harry Truman and Christopher Columbus, each of whom imparts one of the seven key decisions that Andrews asserts are essential for personal success. After his travel through time, Ponder regains consciousness in a hospital and discovers he is holding letters given to him by the various heroes. The letters offer familiar self-help counsel: accept that the buck stops with you, become a wisdom seeker and a person of action, determine to be happy, open the day with a forgiving spirit, and persist despite all odds.

You: On A Diet
Dr Mehmet Oz and Dr Michael Roizen

Learn the "Skinny" about Your Body. Well written, comprehensible information about how your body functions and reacts to what you put into it. You will never make the same food choices again without knowing their effects on your health, condition, mood and energy levels. A must read.

You: The Owner's Manual
Dr Mehmet Oz and Dr Michael Roizen

Anti-aging guru Dr Michael Roizen and celebrated heart surgeon Dr Mehmet Oz combine their popular approaches to patient-centered care in this assessment of how much, or more to the point, how little, readers know about their bodies. After taking the quizzes in the book, readers may feel shocked by their ignorance of basic anatomy and the processes required to maintain physical and mental functioning. Each chapter focuses on a body part or system (heart, brain, digestive, reproductive, etc.) and discusses diseases associated with it; genetic and lifestyle influences on its aging process; and foods, supplements and habits that can prevent or reverse related illnesses. The book has an entertaining feel: friendly elves guide readers through illustrations of the body and cartoons feature alien creatures that enter the body and cause illness.