Tuesday, June 24, 2014

For the bees...

"I made this garden for the bees."

My friend Dana said that the other night as she was watering the vibrant green and red chard growing in the small urban garden she cultivates with her sister. I teared up... Wow.

I consider myself a pretty earth friendly person, however, Dana and Jenna, they truly know how integral it is for us humans to take responsibility for what we are doing to the Earth and how we can have less of an impact... They make their own shampoo, deodorant, ghee, etc. Geez. I only wish I was that committed!

Anyway, Dana and Jenna along with some other friends truly inspire me to learn and continue to cultivate that symbiotic relationship I aspire to have with the Earth as well.

My thinking about this started three or four years ago when my ex boyfriend and I went to get some coconut water. He stood in front of the myriad of bottled drinks and I wondered what was taking him so long. He asked me, "Which one of these do you think causes the least amount of harm?" I was stunned. For the first time in my life, I realized how little I ask myself that question. What does cause the least amount of harm to the earth? What is my role in protecting the Earth? Does my one purchase make a difference? 

Why wouldn't I want to protect the Earth? I LOVE Earth! I have loved the feeling of the sand on my feet since before I could say sand or describe it's texture. I have touched every leaf I have ever come across. I have marveled at the beautiful colors, textures, sounds, smells and tastes I have encountered while exploring Earth. Why wouldn't I continue to ask myself how I can cause the least amount of harm?!

In our society this is so hard! Everything we buy comes in some sort of container or has some chemical that is going to kill or alter the development of some poor unexpected tiny creature in the ocean, the ones I am convinced we need! Even if it is recyclable... That doesn't tell us what will happen with it once it is put in that blue bin. AND even if it is "all natural"... is it?

We have all heard, "If I knew better, I would do better."

Here are some research articles that might help: This blog is more about sharing articles or information rather than my own thinking about these issues. I am not an environmentalist, per se, but I am a researcher- I gather information (whether it be statistical, lab or field base studies and findings, and/or empirical). I don't yet know how to articulate what I know in a synthesized way but I am working on it! 

Corn... Ugh. Can't say enough!

When you buy food, consider what market you are supporting... While I occasionally eat corn in restaurants, I steer clear of purchasing corn and it's bi-products on my own. I'll invest my money elsewhere.

What is bioaccumulation?

Pollutants in our fish? Bioaccumulation!

Think about the fish you eat... What are you putting in the water?



These are crazy research findings.

Ok... So what do I buy and where do I get the info I need?

Environmental Working Group came up with lists and environmental ratings for 45 fruits and veggies. There is a more simplified list on Tree Hugger that you can access. (Such an appropriate name... ha ha.)

That being said, I am going to continue to grow as a Tree Hugger and develop and articulate a language around what it means to be a conscious consumer.

Simplified version of what I know so far:

-buy local (visit your farms, know where you get your food. polyculture farms? yes. monoculture? no. pesticides? never.)

-know your meat! Please take a look at the EWG Website on this.

-less processing= less packaging? great! most anything in a box or a bag is simply not food anyway...

-think about what you dump into the water... ? I am still thinking about this one.

Here in San Francisco, I am blessed to be surrounded by people who appreciate these sorts of conversations and I am going to milk them for all their intellectual beauty... opposing opinions and all.

Let's keep bees alive... We need them.

Read about it!

NPR NEws Bee Video

All of the blue links above are portions of the data I have hoarded. If anyone wants more- contact me!


Monday, December 16, 2013

When I grow up...

What do I want to be when I grow up?

I have never known what I wanted to "be" or do. Things have just always fallen into place. I have always put boys ahead of everything else, so I have always moved a little slower. For example, I spent so much time with my first boyfriend, I hardly had any time for school. I actually flunked a class because I would miss class to be fighting with him. It was awful. Both the flunking and the fighting. (YES, I ACTUALLY DID NOT DO WELL IN A CLASS. However, that's not the point...)

Despite all this, I like to think of having put men first as meaningful detours because I was able to accomplish and learn some beautiful things in light of those circumstances. I would not take any moment of my life back. I am where I am because of the circumstances that have led me here and I like who I am, and what I know.

On account of certain circumstances with my first boyfriend, I was able to meet Jason. A little boy who had autism. He was beautiful, inside and out. He taught me how to be a teacher. He is the reason I am in San Francisco. Jason learned to speak as we worked together. He let me in and we were changed in the process. It was nothing short of miraculous and beautiful. My experience with Jason's language acquisition and my role in that is why I am fascinated with child development, specifically language. I learned how integral and amazing the gift of language is. The fact that I can communicate my thoughts to whomever reads this blog is so cool. Or how authors such as Michael Pollan and Stuart Brown are able get me thinking about nutrition and play is so phenomenal. I thank God for that everyday. How other people can share their perspectives to influence the perspectives of others, that's pretty incredible. Anyway, obviously, I love words.

Also because of my current (second/last) ex-boyfriend and also because of certain circumstances, I was able to study environmental sustainability. I was also exposed to things about nutrition and the environment that I had no idea I innately believed and now had words for. I can now tell you what to read to help yourself be a more environmentally conscious person. I can now tell you what to read in order to learn more about food and how we can help ourselves and help the earth. Food, the earth, and nature are things I have learned to better articulate my beliefs around because of the circumstances surrounding my ex.

Back to the point: What do I want to be when I grow up?

Well, I want to have my own set of developments based on personal research.

Hooray! I finally have an answer to that question. Ok... so what now? What do I do now?

I want to own personal new and refined set of ideas based on things I have learned just through living. What does this mean? Ughh. I don't really know. As I was going through this process of thinking, I thought about the things that I am interested in and decided to start from there.

Things I am interested in and know a lot about:

-Children and autism: Physical and compositional brain development, language development, logical development, emotional development, social development, organization of sensorial stimuli.

-Nature/food: how to preserve our connection to it because it is the key to our development and survival.

Now I am stuck. I want to put these two together into something I do for a living!!! I need to figure out next steps. 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Yes, I am a nanny... & damn proud of it.

Admitting you are a nanny is always received with a very interesting expression on people's faces. It is as if they believe you are doing something meaningless in society. This is funny to me. So, I smile and let people think what they want to think. 

Today I spent the day with the girls I have been a "nanny" for since the age of 4, they are now 8. We went to the movies and they were holding my hands and using them to cover their faces from scary parts in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2. They switched sitting in my lap and wrapping my arms around them, while they each kissed the back of my hand. In that moment, I felt more proud of my work with them than anything else I have ever accomplished in my life. They look up to me. They trust me. They love me. They respect me. The fact that they know they can use my hands to protect them from something scary, or sit in my lap and have me hold them whenever they want, shows that to me. They know I will be whatever they need me to be- even the "strict" caregiver if necessary. They can count on that and even know when it's coming. They have seen me be in a bad mood, they have seen me get serious and strict, even loud a few times since I have known them. They have felt me hug, kiss, and touch them gently. We have learned, danced, laughed, pretended, jumped, tip-toed, cried, and yelled together. I have written more educational and inquiry papers about them than about any other child I have ever worked with and have therefore learned from them too. I love these girls beyond words. I have the privilege to be their role model, their friend, their guide, and their caregiver. There is no other relationship I will have like this one and that's pretty damn cool.

I am proud of the fact that I have always known how powerful my influence is in their lives.
I am reminded of this every time Ella and Cia yell at cars in jest to go somewhere when we can't find parking.  I did that once, or twice. Or, when they sing, "one, two, three, I am on a mission to pee." I did that with them once or twice too. Today, when they each kissed the back of my hand while they were holding it, I remembered the first time I did that to Ella. She was 4. She was doing something graceful and interesting with her hands as children do, and I grabbed it and kissed it. My mom used to do that to me. She grabbed mine and kissed it back... and we still do that. How cool is that! There are bits and pieces of me that I can see in them and I can't explain how magical and special those glimpses are to me. While the majority of who they are is a reflection of who their wonderful parents and family are, the fact that I can see me in there too is one of the most profound accomplishments of my life and something I will cherish always. 


Thursday, October 24, 2013


I was thinking about detoxing...

The idea came to me on Monday, as I felt toxic love leave my body like a white dove with pink sparkly wings... It was magical, it was freeing. :)

I WANT TO DO THAT WITH ALL TOXINS! I am going to rid my body of toxins we as humans are exposed to on a daily basis, just as a result of living in an industrialized country.

How do you detox???

I don't really know. However, I am determined to find out how to do it for myself.

I am going to start by eating non-allergenic foods and foods with  more vitamins, drink more water. Basically, nourishing my body rather than just eating for eating's sake... Thinking about food as a medicine and researching it. It is going to be hard to give up dark chocolate with sea salt and chocolate ice cream with yummy cones. Here is the link to one of the friendliest (easier to read) basics.

Also, because I have decided 


(click on link to find out why...)

I am using Zeoforce by Healthforce. This stuff has a negative charge that attaches to toxins. I believe that because I am a very sensitive person, when I took this stuff the first time, I felt it go through my body! It was weird! You may or may not believe me, but I believe me!

Anyway, if you want to research the brand yourself:

On that website, you can find how to detox as well. I would seriously read up on when is best (with a meal, without a meal, how long before or after, etc.) and with what combination for best results you should take some of these elements. I found out when taking charcoal to absorb poisons, that you don't actually want to do that for no reason... as some people do. It prevents other nutrients from being absorbed. Anyway, read up! Do some research if you are interested in detoxing :) 


Good riddance! (Pun intended.)

Monday, October 14, 2013

Fascinating article.

This article (click on link) has NOTHING to do with Yoda except for I think Yoda might know the answer to the question philosophers like Plato, Socrates, and Aritotle have been struggling with for ever.

Sugar, sugar, everywhere!

What do you do when there is sugar, all around you, constantly, like a plague?

My personal answer to that is that you eat it, within reason. In reason for me, is one treat a day. I need to have some sort of treat at the end of the day. Obviously, I don't have a donut a day... I do occasionally eat an apple fritter (I was just introduced to a new kind of donut that is so dense I could die happy just smelling it. It's kinda like an old fashioned, but bigger and denser, fattier, and definitely 10 times more delish. but I don't know the name... butter ball?) Anyway, for the most part, a treat for me is a fourth of a giant dark chocolate bar with sea salt and maybe some sort of nut or an ice cream made real with fatty cream, probably chocolate as well. However, all in MODERATION. We hear that word so often...

Just take a few bites, then put it down. You'll see that you will be satisfied! Or if that is not the case, like it is for me sometimes, give it to someone else! Food should mostly be about nourishing your body. When your body is well nourished, you crave less things. At least that is true for me. I am less hungry when I am eating more healthy fats, proteins, and vegetables than when I am chowing down on granola bars, croissants, bread, etc.

In my opinion, if you are eating something with more than 10-15 grams of sugar, then you are already having your treat! I ask myself this question: Does this have anything else that outweighs the sugar content? Fiber? Vitamins? Please watch the you-tube video I posted for that girl I worried about on Friday who had no dressing on her salad (no fat?) if you want to know why sugar is NOT good for you.
Here it is!

The amount of sugar I had this week-end totaled over 100 grahams, I am sure, and I cannot believe that sweets are all that are the most readily available when you are on a trip! It was SERIOUSLY hard to eat healthy. Even while at a farm! (I just had to have their waffles...Omg. Yumm...) I should have brought my own food, like I usually do. That strategy really does work for me. If you struggle with will power as I do, then it might work for you too.

Now that I am home, I can have the usual super foods (that is all I have available for myself), thank goodness! :)

With the healthy fats from the avocado helping to absorb the wonderful lycopene in the tomatoes- I should be on a good start to cleanse my body of icky sticky overly processed foods.

Heirloom tomatoes.
nutritional benefits
nutritional benefits
Pumpkin Seeds.
Flax. Obvious, more fiber!

Drizzled with Balsamic and Olive Oil. It was yummy!! Usually, all of this goes in with some cucumbers, finely chopped onions, and POWER GREENS. However, Im out of everything else so consequently I discovered a new recipe!

Anyway... I was thinking about food.

Click on the links I found below!

Vitamin packed foods :)

If you need a detox... like me!


Sunday, October 13, 2013

There is wonder in nature (cheesy but true!)

Why is it that these days the leaves just fall right past us and we don't bother to look up at the trees and feel the wind as it makes the leaves float to the ground? Have we forgotten to wonder about nature? Is life too busy? How has our being “busy” shaped the way we see the natural world? If we as adults think those moments are trivial… are we passing on, or forcing, that perspective onto our children?

I started wondering about this one day last year when I was at a vineyard with a 2 year girl named Ella. We were walking down a path and I thought about what she was experiencing right then, right there, in that moment. We were watching some leaves dance right by our heads as I held her in my arms. I asked Ella what she heard, because she had such a pensive look on her face. I was just watching her, thinking about the fact that I had to get things done "tomorrow" because I had played hookie to hang out with my boyfriend and his family. However, the look on her face made me curious. She said, “wind.” A light bulb went off in my head. Of course that’s what she hears! We don’t hear it. We hear our minds going a million miles per hour, thinking about bills, about the dirty dishes, about how mean the lady at the grocery store was. We forget to listen and experience what is happening moment by moment.  So, I stopped to experience the moment too. I think it is funny how I have to use the words ‘stopped to experience’ that moment, because, why wasn’t I just “in the moment” to begin with?

Why do we carry around an agenda in our mind with all the things we need to do for the day? For the week? Furthermore, if you are crazy busy like me, for the whole month and maybe even next month? In that moment with Ella, when I let go of my mind’s agenda, I was able to listen to the wind, and it was amazing. It was peaceful, it was grounding, and it reminded me that I take moments like that for granted.  It was one of the best learning experiences I had that summer. I forever carry that moment with me in my heart. 

I wonder how can we cultivate that for the next generation? I want to continue to rekindle wonder in myself as an educator in order to cultivate it in the children that I work with, but most importantly, I want to continue rekindling that wonder in myself as a human so that I can live life in all it's beauty.