Books, Health, Healthy eating, Latina writer, Non-fiction, water footprint, Water sustainability, WoWW, Writing

How We Can “Eat Less Water” And Help The Environment

“Eat Less Water” releases Nov. 1, 2017, by Florencia Ramirez

When the well is dry, we know the value of water- Benjamin Franklin

For thousands of people in Flint, Michigan and East Porterville, California, the well dried up. For 800 million people around the world, the well is dry.

There’s a new book arriving on November 1st, 2017 titled “Eat Less Water.” The author and researcher, Florencia Ramirez, state experts predict two-thirds of people living on this planet in 2030 will experience water scarcity, a situation expected to result in the deaths of millions and an unprecedented rise in military conflicts.

Can we as individuals hope to have any effect on the global scale of water misuse?

The answer is “Yes,” if we change some of our lifestyle habits. The author states, “THE MOST FAR-REACHING,  effective strategy to save water is to eat less of it.”

This book gives the reader an eye-opening education on how much water is used in food production:

1 pound of beef has a “virtual water footprint” of 1,851 gallons.

1 pound of pork = 631 gallons of water

1 pound of lamb = 398.8 gallons of water

This is not a book against meat, it’s a book describing the benefits of organically raised water sustainable livestock.

“Food grown without chemicals saves fresh water more than any other water-saving strategy.”

There are sixteen chapters ranging from Wheat and Water to Eggs and Water; Beer and Water; Coffee and Water, and other major food groups. Each chapter ends with a recipe for an organic, water sustainable dish or beverage.

 

The author traveled over 16,000 miles across the USA and took seven years to research and interview farmers and food producers who illustrated the very best in food cultivation. The food is grown with farming systems in sync with their surrounding environment, “working to replenish rivers, not pollute them,” and methods used to regenerate the soil, “keeping more water in the ground…”

Written in an engaging narrative, the book is non-fiction and several footnotes cite studies which back up the research. The book encourages families and the household shopper to be selective in what they buy and consume. The recipes encourage you to shop for locally grown organic products.

“What we choose to put on our dinner tables can rewrite the story of water scarcity touching people around the world.

Be part of a change that will make a difference in creeks, rivers, groundwater, and oceans across the planet. Start tonight at your kitchen table.”

Check out the Vimeo book trailer:

https://player.vimeo.com/video/240210963

Eat Less Water Book Trailer from Nueva Vista Media on Vimeo.

This book can be found at:

Indie Bound  

Barnes and Nobles

Amazon

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Note: Florencia Ramirez is a personal and professional friend. She co-founded the writing group: WOmen Who Write (WoWW) in Ventura County. I am a member of this small group and this in no way detracts from an honest review. I’m delighted to participate in Florencia’s writing journey and see the fruition of all of her very hard work.

To find a reading visit Florencia’s website at EatLessWater.

Health, Inspiration, poetry, Revision, Self Care, Staycations

A Bargain Way to Refresh, Renew, and Revive Yourself

Bridge on Chumash Trail, Santa Barbara

Hello,

I’ve been in the midst of digesting an editorial letter on a manuscript I sent in for editing. The information was a lot to process and there’s a ton of work in front of me. I’ve felt overwhelmed with the task of rewriting and revision.

Feeling overwhelmed happens to all of us. Sometimes it’s the kids, or bills, or relatives, or your job and sometimes it’s a combination of all of the above.

Whenever I feel my mind swamped, I need to step back, for my own sanity.

June is a good month to reinvigorate and revitalize.

Some people can’t take a costly vacation so Staycations are good ways to do something different as well as refresh yourself.

This month, I found a few ways to relax:

One Saturday was Global Wellness Day. The Bacara Resort and Spa in Santa Barbara offered free classes all day:

Bacara Resort in Santa Barbara, CA
The Bacara Resort in Santa Barbara, CA

Meditation on the bluff, yoga, Tai Chi, and Brazilian Capoeira. Not that I did the Capoeira. A highlight of the day was also receiving a reduced price for the spa day pass to use the pool, sauna, jacuzzi, and serenity room filled with teas, fruit, nuts, and cushy sofas.

Meditation by the beach, Santa Barbara, CA
Meditation by the beach, Santa Barbara, CA

A walk on the beach helped me to further relax.

Matilija Poppies, Santa Barbara, CA
Matilija Poppies, Santa Barbara, CA

Another day, I used a Christmas gift coupon I hadn’t made time for. This is the Salt Caves in Santa Barbara.

Himalayan Salt Caves, Santa Barbara, CA

The caves are made from 45 tons of 250 million-year-old pure Himalayan salt. We took off our shoes, entered the darkened cave and reclined on comfortable chairs. Meditation music is piped in for forty-five minutes. The salt is said to stimulate wellness and healing. Blissful.

The next week, I retired to my backyard and took in the colors of the garden, the sounds of birds, smelled the roses and felt reflective. I jotted down a poem.

statue of boy reading
Reading in the Garden

Hover of beating wings flit between blossoms

Flutters of orange dance above purple sage

Bumblebees disappear into white throats of lilies

Gardens, never silent, ever hopeful

Butterfly Dance in the Garden.

 

yellow poppies
Mariposa poppies

After these mini-retreats I feel uplifted and ready to tackle the edit letter and line edits. My mind is refreshed and I’m “ever hopeful.”

Have you taken a staycation this month?

See you in July!

Affordable Health Care Act 2010, Health

Why Complaining is Useless and Protest is Useful

Injustice and Protest -quote by Elie Wiesel
Injustice and Protest -quote by Elie Wiesel, flickr.com cc

 

Life between the sheets (of paper) can be busy and distract especially in the post-election and pre-inauguration days.

Many people are frustrated and frightened with the PEOTUS rhetoric and impending changes. I know I am.

I haven’t written about my disappointment with the election except for a November post on hope and social activism. I don’t intend to re-hash why our president-elect is one scary person. You read Twitter and watch/read the news. You know.

The repeal of the Affordable Care Act will impact me and my family the most. I have a pre-existing condition and a kid under 26 years of age. I’ve witnessed what happened to people without insurance before the ACA came into existence; they lost everything and suffered significant health issues.

Complaining about the PEOTUS is futile. Hope and faith without action are fruitless.

My belief is if we want to make changes in our country we need to take peaceful action.

We need to get involved and go past the complaining.

 

 Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you. Thomas Jefferson

 

Actions don’t take a lot of time.

If you have two seconds, click and sign a petition. Retweet or post a positive message on change, healthcare, social justice or whatever issues are dear to your heart.

If you have one minute, dash off an email to your senator. Tell her/him to stand up for the issue.

If you have five minutes, call your senator. Google their name and you’ll get their phone number, email, and local office.

Writers, write about the issue. Tweeters, tweet about the issue. Facebooker’s post news on the issue. Use social media for social good.

To find out what writers can do, go over to Writers Resist #WriteOurDemocracy. They list events, author readings and will soon list writing prompts and opportunities for you to use the power of your pen to good influence.

Take a look at Maud Newton’s post on 2017 Resistance Actions: Week One for the specific actions she’s taking about issues.

Indivisible: A Practical Gude for Resisting the Trump Agenda is another site with resources for individuals and groups to utilize. This guide was written by former congressional staffers who reveal best practices for making Congress listen.

If you have a few hours you might attend one of the several protests around the country on January 21, 2017. A retiree was spurred to action after the election and organized the “Women’s March on Washington.”

These are only a few things on my mind as I head into the blogging year and I’m glad I wrote this off my chest.

Thanks for listening.

I’ll leave you with this quote from Dolores Huerta, a social justice activist:

“Every moment is an organizing opportunity, every person a potential activist, every minute a chance to change the world.”

See you next week.

 

 

 

 

Anne Lamott self care quote
Healing, Health, poetry, Self Care, tough times, Wisdom

What to Do When You Don’t Feel Safe

Anne Lamott self care quote
Unplugging-Anne Lamott

This has been a frightening week, interspersed with personal trying periods, and a need to bury my head for a couple of hours at a time.

My daughter texted me after the tragedy in Nice, France.

iPhone text
Text One
iphone text
Text Two

 

I hated that she felt unsafe. I hated that I couldn’t stretch my arms across 1,000 miles and give her a hug, kiss her forehead. All I could offer her was to look for hope and to take a deep breath.

But I had to remember that feeling unsafe doesn’t mean that we are.

This was my reaction to feeling powerless, angry, and fearful.

I wanted to share the power of prayer with her, but she isn’t Christian or of any faith anymore. That in itself added to my sadness. But, also gave me the opportunity, later, to have a conversation with her about why I pray and how that helps me.

That night the news across all channels broadcast the tragedy. Soon there was another world event, the attempted coup in Turkey, and another, the sniper attack on police officers in Baton Rouge.

I had to keep the television off and stay off social media. My mind, spirit, and body were out of whack.

My attempts at ‘righting’ myself was to practice some self-care. I tried to find ways to relax and experience safety.

The garden beckoned. The Monarch caterpillars had decimated the milkweed leaving it a skeletal reminder of a once gorgeous fiery orange headed plant. Meanwhile, new butterflies showed off acrobatic skills over the remaining fronds of the second milkweed bush.

Butterfly acrobatics
Butterfly acrobatics

While watering the potted succulents I found that two blossomed with beautiful flowers. Being in the garden helped and somehow pushed me to go to the gym and exercise.

Flowering Christmas Cactus in July-Southern Calif.
Flowering Christmas Cactus in July-Southern Calif.

That evening I decided not to go out and sat in my backyard coloring. My sister gifted me with the adult coloring books a few months back. This may sound cheesy, but I felt a lot of pleasure wielding the colored pencils, so much that I had to go buy me a box of Crayola crayons, the giant 64 set box.

The next day, I read a mesmerizing book of poetry written by a man who had been a slave and put into the ‘service’ of a wealthy slave owner as a child of six years of age. Although his verses expose the cruelty of slavery, his poetry reflects the beauty he finds with his parents and his own world.

Book of poetry, cuban poet Juan Francisco Manzano
The Poet Slave of Cuba by Margarita Engle. Poetry of Juan Francisco Manzano.

Meditation via my cell phone is a life saver. I either go to Pandora and listen to Deepak Chopra or I go to the Oprah channel and listen to one of Chopra’s 21 days of meditations. (Many times they are free).

On Sunday, I attended church service where I’m a greeter a couple of times a month. As I passed out bulletins to numerous families, teenagers and the elderly, the smiles people gave after a “good morning, I hope you enjoy the service” enlivened me.

I wondered why I felt a new energy, and it dawned on me that although the people were heavily burdened, they were trying to live and do the best they could.

Over the weekend, I kept in close contact with my daughter and shared the photos above with her. I don’t know if this helped her but it sure helped me.

Do the best you can. Create your own safe space. Hugs.