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                              Tiffany Twain Entertains:  A Philosophic Cookbook

                                                                              An Earth Manifesto publication by Dr. Tiffany B. Twain  

Edward Espe Brown is a Buddhist teacher and a good cook.  He was the author of the still-influential Tassajara Bread Book, a cookbook first published in 1970.   Brown was featured in the interesting film documentary, How to Cook Your Life, in 2007.  After watching the film, an observer noted that Brown “endearingly embodies one of Buddhism’s guiding principles:  a sense of humor about our arrogances and illusions.”  My philosophic hero Mark Twain would have saluted this particular characterization, I reckon!

We are all in need of better understandings of how to figuratively cook our lives in ways that are more wholesome for ourselves and for the environmental commons.  Food is a means of nurturing the soul as well as the body, and the art of fine cooking can be a wonderfully enjoyable endeavor.  It is also a quite excellent way to share delicious meals and good times with friends and family.  Many people know me as an outstanding chef, and the recipes included in this book are some of my best and healthiest.

This cookbook is designed to provide some yummy recipes, as well as to introduce many ideas contained in the Earth Manifesto to a broader audience.  It is my goal to advance ideas that will launch humanity into living lives that are in greater harmony with the world around us.  All the recipes in this cookbook are contained both here and online for easy reference;  see Twelve Delicious Recipes for Good Health and Gourmet Appreciation.

Cookbook Commentary

It has been 106 years since Mark Twain died on April 21, 1910.  This book is being published in part to reinvigorate the valuable perspectives of this famous writer and philosophic humorist.  The Earth Manifesto has been a long-term project of mine that explores how we might actually go about creating healthier, more balanced lives, from the level of mindful attention to basics through collective awareness and efforts in the aggregate by concerned people to solve overarching global challenges.

In many senses, we are what we eat, and our fate is inextricably hitched to our every action.  Many of the threads of the infinite interconnections in our existence may be difficult to trace, but all together they add up to overwhelmingly influential and practically deterministic patterns. 

I just happened to have been invited to a lovely Passover Seder dinner for 16 people on Good Friday, April 3rd, 2015, and it proved to be an enjoyable and enlightening experience.  I have always enjoyed sharing good meals with friends, and the Seder dinner experience is evocative with all its ritual readings about freedom and the biblical stories relating to the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt.  That old Exodus story about the tyranny of Pharaoh during the days that the Israelites were enslaved in bondage in Egypt is interesting, and I appreciate the story of the freedom-loving desire of the Jews to have Pharaoh let the people go to liberty.  (And “to the only patch of land in the Middle East that has no oil,” joked one dinner guest.)  Somehow in the particular ritual that my hosts were following, the readings neglected to include the crucial aspect of the Bible story related to God’s curious role in the oppression of the Israelites by the Pharaoh because God repeatedly hardened the heart of Pharaoh, so that again and again he refused to let the people go, despite the terrible plagues God inflicted upon the Egyptian people.

After the dinner, I thought, “Doggone if God doesn’t once again appear to be hardening the hearts of the modern day equivalents of the Pharaohs of old, i.e., the conservative political class and the wealthiest 1% of Americans.”  Pharaoh had, after all, commanded his taskmasters to force the workers to gather their own straw to make bricks and yet require them to produce as many bricks as before, despite the additional time and labor required to gather the straw, and Pharaoh accused them of being lazy, to boot.  I think this is one reason Mark Twain once cleverly observed, “History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”

Sharing the preparation of food can be a wonderful thing.  Years ago, I would share decicious food, and commemorate fun socializing as well as freedom and pleasurable indulgence, by throwing a Bastille Day party for 100 people at a friend’s beautiful home.  The food preparation parties that were held for several days in advance were always more enjoyable, in some ways, and more intimate, than the big event itself.  After spending a few hours preparing food, the 6 or 8 sous chefs would all sit down to share some wine and good conversation over a dinner of Penne Puttanesca or Pasta Fazool (“When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's amore!”).  Cooking can be fun!  Note that this is one circumstance in which the old adage about too many cooks in the kitchen does not apply.

Good Cooks in the Kitchen

One key to preparing delicious food is the liberal use of spices, especially the ones you enjoy the most.  For almost any soup, a moderate amount of cayenne is a key stimulant for the taste buds, but don’t overdo it unless everyone who will be consuming the soup likes it spicy.  I add a small amount of cayenne to almost every dish, even cakes, for its stimulative effect on digestion and circulation.  Being a believer in the value of cayenne, I accordingly sprinkle some into these words.  Also, basil and oregano and cumin are tasty in many dishes, and even turmeric, coriander and cardamom can be used to good effect in things like barbecued prawns and vegetable dishes and many others.  Use certain spices sparingly whose flavor can dominate the taste in any recipe, especially tarragon, rosemary or cloves.

One mark of a good restaurant is the tastiness of the soups they serve.  Home chefs can match any restaurant, and use healthier ingredients.  Consider, for instance, the recipe for Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Granny Smith Apple and Fuyu Persimmon.  It contains the healthiest things in any kitchen:  fresh ginger and garlic, onions, vegetables, apples and healthful spices like cayenne, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon and others regarded by Ayurvedic practitioners to be good for the constitution.

It is excellent for the health to consume less processed food and to buy more raw or at least less processed items in bulk.  Such foods tend to be more nutritious, and they are also generally less expensive and less wasteful of packaging materials.

I recommend that a cook always more or less follow a recipe the first time you make  a particular dish, and then modify it to suit your tastes the next time you make it.  Most recipes can be changed to good effect by adding spices that you like, and most of them are not sensitive to proportions unless the ingredient proportions are important, as in baking.

High-end Whole Foods markets have adopted an Aggregate Nutrient Density Index that lists the amount of micronutrients per calorie in a variety of foods.  This ANDI list comes from Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s Eat Right America.  The nuts and seeds that are the highest in nutrients per calorie are sunflower seeds, walnuts, pecans and chia seeds, along with sesame seeds, pistachios, almonds and walnuts. 

The Dark Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe in Twelve Delicious Recipes for Good Health and Gourmet Appreciation contains a good quantity of these things, so these cookies are practically health food, except for the sugar and butter, and they also taste great. They are gluten free, and a vegan version is also provided that contains maple syrup and safflower oil instead of butter and egg.  The recipe has been adapted to create 12 beautiful pre-assembled gift jars, each with 9 colorful layers and a simple recipe, provided in printable form, to transform the contents of each jar into three dozen delicious and nutritious cookies each.  You’ve got to taste them to believe how tasty they are!  See page 82 to 84 of this Book Five for details of these Tiffany Twain’s Crusader Cookies.

Most of these recipes are not generally vegetarian.  I figure that “moderation in all things” is a fairly sensible idea.  It’s valuable to be aware that a diet with more emphasis on tasty preparations of fruits, grains, vegetables, nuts and non-animal products would be better for most people’s health, and also for the well-being of planetary ecosystems.  For this reason, many of these recipes do not use much meat, eggs or dairy products, and delicious vegetarian options are often provided. 

For anyone who thinks that vegetarian food and vegan food cannot be as delicious as food made with animal products, I challenge you to make Rich Russian Borscht Beet and Red Cabbage Soup, or the Lover’s Leap Ratatouille Paella.  Both of these recipes, found in the Appendix of Twelve Delicious Recipes for Good Health and Gourmet Appreciation, use liberal amounts of healthful Ayurvedic spices, and they are delicious.  You’ll find that these recipes will yield yummy food and enjoyable eating.

“Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the

   evolution to a vegetarian diet.”

                                              --- Albert Einstein

Those who evangelize about a vegetarian diet make convincing arguments about the negative effects of meat-oriented diets on the health of those who eat a lot of meat.  More importantly, from the holistic perspective of the well-being of life on Earth, the impacts of meat-oriented diets on the planet are exceedingly heavy. 

Note that the last thing I want readers to do is to get indigestion just before preparing some of the best food you’ve ever eaten, so please take the following remarks with a grain of salt. Adopt a philosophic perspective, impartial like Mother Nature.  “Don’t Worry, Be Happy!”, as Meher Baba was famous for having recommended.  Or be stoic like one of those monumental iconic stone statues on Easter Island.  Picture the scene from Yann Arthus-Bertrand’s great ecological epic film Home, where you fly in across the open ocean to the rocky, wave-battered coastline of Easter Island and then see a group of 15 moai, those evocatively mysterious monolithic big-headed stone statues that were carved from rock carved out of an ancient volcano at the north end of their Rapanui island.

The Center for Biological Diversity has launched an Earth-friendly Diet campaign.  It points out:  “Meat production is one of the main drivers of environmental degradation globally, and the crisis is rapidly growing worse.  Production of beef, poultry, pork and other meats tripled between 1980 and 2010 and will likely double again by 2050.  This ever-increasing meat consumption in a world of more than 7 billion people is already taking a staggering toll on wildlife, habitat, water resources, air quality and the climate. The only way to stop this environmental crisis is to address both unsustainable population growth and our voracious appetite for meat -- and Americans eat more meat per capita than almost anyone else.  By eating less or no meat, we can take extinction off our plates and improve our own health along with the health of the planet.”

Meat production in concentrated animal feeding operations is an activity that makes profligate use of Earth’s resources.  Up to 16 pounds of grain and 2,400 gallons of water are required to produce one single pound of beef.  A typical meat-eating diet requires more than 4,000 gallons of water per day, compared to about 300 gallons of water per day for a person consuming a totally vegan diet.  And it takes almost 12 times as much fossil fuel energy to make one calorie from animal protein as it does to make a calorie from plant protein. 

Water, Water Everywhere, but Not a Drop To Drink? --  A Brief Digression

Issues related to the availability of fresh water will become increasingly important in coming years.  In fact, a 2015 United Nations World Water Development Report concludes that there will be a 40% shortfall in water supply globally by the year 2030, “unless we dramatically improve the management of this precious resource.”  That is only 14 years from now, so we should regard this issue with urgency, and seek good ways to address problems related to the conservation and protection of fresh water resources as soon as possible.

Fascinatingly, the story of the American West is a story of relentless quests for this vitally precious resource.. It is a tale of rivers diverted and dammed, of political corruption and intrigue, of billion-dollar battles over water rights, of ecological and economic disaster.  In Cadillac Desert Marc Reisner writes of the earliest settlers of the West, who were lured by the promise of paradise, and of the ruthless tactics employed by Los Angeles politicians and business interests to ensure the city's growth.  He documents the bitter rivalry between two government giants, the Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in the competition to transform the West.

One way to see this issue is that water policy in the western states is a form of financial vandalism of the future that has helped make us rich, but it has also made our descendants more insecure.  Cadillac Desert shows, in matter of fact ways (as opposed to partisan ones), the devastating effectiveness of what happens when the worst nightmares of conservatives ("Big Government") and liberals (the corruption of government by big business interests) combine to rape our environment while simultaneously bilking taxpayers out of billions of dollars in order to virtually give away free water rights to wealthy agribusiness.

It’s A Small World After All

Anna Lappé, who is a founding principal of The Small Planet Institute, has written a book that is a modern-day sequel to her mother’s famous Diet for a Small Planet.  It is titled Diet for a Hot Planet: The Climate Crisis at the End of Your Fork and What You Can Do About It.  In this book, Anna Lappé suggests that it’s important for everyone to understand that livestock create more greenhouse gas emissions than all the cars, trucks, airplanes and other modes of transportation in the world that burn fossil fuels.  She notes:  “The story of food connects to everything from the quality of our food to the quality of our water, to the quality of our air, to what’s happening to the climate.”

It is important to realize that our habits of eating animals involves a wide range of accompanying side-necessities, often including the harsh and degrading confinement of animals and a substantial amount of suffering.  Industrial animal feeding operations produce huge quantities of animal wastes that contribute to air pollution, algal blooms and the contamination of streams and groundwater.  Anyone interested in knowing more about the disgusting details of the impacts of a meat-oriented diet can refer to an online article by the organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals;  see “Meat Production Wastes Natural Resources”. 

The global trend is unfortunately toward more meat consumption per person.  At the same time, the number of human beings on Earth is continuing its net increase of more than 70 million people per year, as it has done each and every year since 1965.  Since 1965!  Strong support for family planning programs and an adequate social safety net are becoming an urgent international necessity.  More people, each consuming a growing average per capita amount of meat, equals too much, because of the excessively adverse impacts this has on the environment and ecosystems that allow us to prosper and survive.

So these issues are becoming increasingly crucial to our future well-being.  The Earth Manifesto contains a wide variety of proposals to deal with these and related issues.

Each of us does, to a certain extent, literally "cook our life".  We make our destinies by the gods we choose!  Getting a good education and working hard, for instance, are strongly correlated with better chances of material success in our societies. 

All of us, together, in essence are collectively cooking our lives.  Our individual actions contribute to determining our species’ destiny in the short term, and even more so in the long run. 

Humankind’s most long-lasting impact is our inadvertent driving to extinction of many species of life on Earth.  According to the biologist Edward O. Wilson, our collective activities are wiping out other terrestrial and marine species of life at a rate that is 1,000 to 10,000 times higher than the average rate that has pertained throughout the eons-long evolutionary history of life on Earth.  In this regard, human beings have brought the 65-million-year-long Cenozoic Era on the Geologic Time Scale to an end, and we are now entering a new Anthropocene Era. 

One might recall that the Paleozoic Era of geological time ended with the Permian mass extinction about 250 million years ago, and the ensuing Mesozoic Era ended with the dinosaur-terminating Cretaceous Extinction about 65 million years ago.  Now, today, out of the unfathomably long sweep of time in Earth’s geologic history, relatively rapid extinctions are launching life into a completely new geological epoch, one that is characterized by widespread decreases in wildlife populations and numerous extinctions of species and accelerating biological change. 

The more we harm biological diversity, the more deeply we hack into the branch of the tree of life upon which we are perched.  In consideration of this crucial understanding, it would be wisest for us to honestly take into account the real impacts of our activities, and to act to mitigate the ones that are having the most distinctly detrimental effects. 

A startling study has recently been released that provides provocative food for thought.  The latest annual edition of the Living Planet Report is not for the faint of heart.  One key point that jumps out is that the Living Planet Index, which measures more than 10,000 representative populations of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish, has declined by 52 per cent since 1970.  In less than 45 years, more than half of these key life forms have been wiped out!

The Living Planet Report is the world's leading, science-based analysis on the health of our planet and the impact of human activity.  This sensational 180-page report has been produced by the World Wildlife Fund in partnership with the Zoological Society of London, the Global Footprint Network and the Water Footprint Network.

Since the fairest and most effective way to influence people’s behaviors is by using intelligently targeted incentives and disincentives, it is my belief that we would be smart to levy taxes on meat, fast foods and unhealthy foods and beverages, and to use the proceeds to subsidize healthier fresh vegetables, grains, nuts and fruits.  Such policies would shift consumption patterns to ones that are healthier all around, and lead us toward more moderate impacts on our enveloping environment.

An Aside on Good Leadership

To head in the right direction on all the biggest issues that confront us, we need good leadership in the USA.  Many crucial issues are at stake in the 2016 national elections, and we must deal with them more intelligently.  The overriding importance of paying forward a sane environmental legacy should trump all other issues, and a political revolution is needed to accomplish this, as outlined in the brilliant speeches by Cory Booker, Michelle Obama, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders on the first day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on July 25, 2016.  Passions are running high in America right now, but we cannot lose sight of the important things because of stoked fears and biases.

I urge readers to look at my Congratulatory Salute to Rachel Maddow on pages 79 to 84 of Book Five of this manifesto (or online) to more fully understand the vital importance of our choosing leaders who promise to work together to pay forward good deeds for a more sane future, and to reject the fear-mongering, divide-to-conquer authoritarian bully Trump and his vulture capitalist apologists who deny the need to take bold and intelligent action to leave a safer and more providential legacy to our children and grandchildren, and all of humanity.  We need to turn down the heat from a rapid boil to a simmer, and take revolutionary steps to improve our societies for the masses instead of leaving them behind in an obsequious, obscene and money-grubbing on-going attempt to enrich the already wealthy who are abusing their power.

The droll comedian Groucho Marx seems to have been prescient, foreseeing the advent of the Trump phenomenon, for he once remarked:  "The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing.  If you can fake that, you've got it made."

Rachel Maddow has made honorable efforts to present smart and accurate understandings on big issues to the public, and the contrast of MSNBC programming to right-wing Fox News programming is astonishing.  The sudden fall from grace of the arch-conservative master manipulator Roger Ailes, the long-tenured CEO of Fox News, in July 2016 is a positive development for America, for his dark influence on selling tens of millions of Americans an extremely propagandized version of propriety that denies the need for revolutionarily positive social change and political reform and precautionary climate action has had a terribly deleterious impact in the world.  Check out the documentary film Outfoxed to better understand the background of this influence.

Roger Ailes was fired for sexual harassment in a women-demeaning culture in his media empire workplace, but his sins far transcend his mistreatment of females, for his influence in contributing to creating an excessively right-wing America has seriously harmed our democracy and the general welfare of the nation, and helped erode decency in public service and made our representatives hyper-partisan.  Under his opinion manipulating control, Fox News has been a mouthpiece for obstructing honorable precautionary climate action and supporting aggressive militarism and empowering corporations at the expense of the vast majority of the people.  Roger Ailes has unwittingly been a driving force in the rise of Trump, so good riddance to him!

Disclaimer Concerning a Recipe for Hannibal Decadently Rich Bittersweet Chocolate Torte 

Note that not only does this cookbook include some recipes that incorporate both good nutrition and healthy ways of eating, but the Earth Manifesto in its entirety also contains many recommended recipes and prescriptions for actually creating a better future for our societies.  These ideas are included herein by this reference.

“To be good is noble;  but to show others how to be good is nobler --- and less trouble.”

                                                                                                      -- Mark Twain, Following the Equator

Lest anyone misinterpret the idealism of the good solutions to global problems that are articulated throughout this manifesto, let me say this:  Please do not mistake these ideas for claims of holier-than-thou personal virtue.  Let me dispel that notion by observing that life is relatively short, and I have enjoyed my life with enviable good fortune, enthusiasm, positivity and, in my youth, a delicious degree of abandon.  In fact, my closest friends in college and I used to occasionally boast of being connoisseurs of debaucherous indulgence and “Instantaneous Lucidification”.  I have traveled the world extensively, and feted life’s good times with phenomenal aplomb, as if trying to emulate a tiara-crowned bon vivant expressing her enthusiastic appreciation for our current Peak Cornucopia times. 

My ecological footprint has definitely not resembled that of some ascetic sister of perpetual abstinence.  My virtues in this regard are like those of sultry Mae West, who once declared:  “I was like Snow White, and then I drifted.”  LOL!

One need not be stoically serious to be passionately earnest about life’s big issues.  A ready sense of humor can actually be a great attitude to maintain in experiencing life and coping well.  Mark Twain reckoned that easy laughter itself is a providential attribute.  So, breathe deep, relax, and “enjoy” this epistle and its contents.

Sometimes it’s good to take a break from thinking about serious topics.  Millions of people spend time using their electronic devices, or turn on the television, or go to movie theaters.  The Dalai Lama meditates.  Voltaire gardened.  Some people enjoy fine cooking.  If you would like to do some extraordinarily good cooking, use the recipes provided herein.  I guarantee they will help you create outstandingly delicious, exceedingly healthy, and often visually appealing meals that have an added advantage:  they have a relatively small impact on the environment.  Light some candles to commemorate your appreciation for these propitious qualities! 

These recipes have been rigorously pruned of any particularly decadent inclusions, of which, as an excellent chef, I have plenty.  For instance, one of the most sensational desserts ever invented is the Hannibal Decadently Rich Flourless Bittersweet Chocolate Torte.  This recipe, however, has not been included in this Philosophic Cookbook -- and for good reasons.  Aficionados of gluten-free foods would appreciate this flourless chocolate cake, but the specific sins of this seductive dessert include the fact that a full pound of butter, 16 ounces of 70% cacao dark chocolate, and a sizeable amount of sugar, eggs, brandy and hazelnut liqueur goes into every 20-serving Springform Pan full of this dense and deliciously decadent dessert.  Besides, each thin slice of the torte should properly be served with a delightful dollop of vanilla whipped cream, which contains a surfeit of saturated fat and calories.  The recipe simply does not qualify for inclusion in this manifesto’s health-oriented collection of recipes.  (Limited Time Offer: the recipe will be provided upon request, subject to certain conditions.)

In any case, my well-considered recipes in this Book Five of the Earth Manifesto are a small subset of equally sterling recipes and recommendations for the greater good of our societies that are made in Common Sense Revival and throughout this manifesto.

“True glory consists in doing what deserves to be written, in writing what deserves to be read, and in so

   living as to make the world happier and better for our living in it.”

                                                                                                        --- Pliny the Elder

An Uncommonly Healthy Beverage

A Ginger-Infused Health Beverage drink is recommended as an excellent way to start the day in a healthy way.  Ginger contains alkaline-forming substances that can offset harmful influences caused by an acidic imbalance in the bloodstream.  Too much acidity in the body contributes to a variety of health problems.  Acidity is caused by acid-forming foods in the diet (like meat, eggs, grains, dairy, sugar, coffee and soft drinks), as well as by toxins or by processes that deprive body cells of oxygen.  Acidity can also be caused by an excess of emotional stress. 

Ate too much last night?  Had too much deep-fried food?  Drank a little too much alcohol?  Your stomach doesn’t feel quite right?  Try this immediately beneficial tonic beverage, and you’ll see why I’ve consumed it nearly every morning for years.  Here’s the recipe:

Ginger-Infused Health Beverage Recipe

   3 cups fresh water – bring to a boil with:

   3/4 inch of fresh ginger (thin skin sliced off and discarded, then minced)

   Optional:  Add 1 tea bag of Bengal Spice Tea or 1/2 cup of Oregon Chai. 

   Simmer on low heat for 5 minutes.  Add 1 Tbls. of Great Health Spice Concoction (below). 

   Add 1/2 cup of Vanilla Silk soymilk, or Vanilla Almond Silk, or milk. 

    Optional:  Add 2 Tbls. Chocolate Malt Ovaltine for vitamins and minerals, or carob powder

         for its protein and vitamins and minerals, or equivalent flavor enhancers.  Also, if desired, 

         add Agave Nectar or honey to sweeten. 

Sit back, and relax and enjoy.  Make a thermos full, and take it on a long hike outdoors.  Adjust spices to your liking, especially for the heat of the cayenne.  Develop a taste for this infused beverage in whatever way you like it most.

Great Health Spice Concoction.  Make up a jar of these spices in advance so that you’ll have some to add every time you make this beverage.  Store it in a spice jar labeled Great Health Spices.

   Mix together the following 12 spices:

    5 parts cinnamon

    3 parts each turmeric, cardamom, coriander, powdered ginger and Pumpkin Pie Spice

    1 part each cayenne, nutmeg, cumin, allspice, Chinese Five Spice, and black pepper

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One other extremely healthy and delicious beverage is a Mango Banana Lassi.  This is a great drink for breakfast, or anytime.  The spices it contains have properties that are known to be healthful and therapeutic -- and they are the same mixture shown above in the Great Health Spice Concoction.  Here is the recipe for this tasty beverage:

      (Serves 3-4)

   Put in a blender:

    1 ripe Mango, large, or 2 Champagne Mangos -- wash hands, cut off the peel, and carefully cut

      the flesh from the pit, then squeeze the rest of the flesh into the blender.

    2 ripe Bananas - peel discarded

    Optional:  Add some ripe Mexican papaya and/or blueberries (washed), and/or Bartlett pear

    2 Tbls. Great Health Spices (see above in the Ginger Beverage recipe)

    2 Tbls. Chia seeds (optional -- but very healthy)

    2 cups of ice

Blend well, then add:

    1/2 cup Plain Lowfat Yogurt

    Optional -- 1/4 cup Traer Joe’s 100% blueberry juice or mango nectar or apricot nectar

    Optional – 1 perfectly ripe avocado (add last as it thickens the beverage quickly)

Blend well and drink slowly (freeze half of it for another day if you like). 

Put the drink in a 1-litre thermos to enjoy later in the day.  It is delicious and welcome during a long walk in the woods, or on a lovely beach!

Note that avocados have substantial mineral and vitamin content.  Both avocados and bananas have a good amount of healthful potassium, which is known to decrease the risk of having a stroke or of developing high blood pressure.  Delicious colorful Mexican papaya contains healthful enzymes, and blueberries are rich in anti-oxidants.  Any of your favorite fruits or berries could be added to good effect in this beverage.

 “My father was fond of mangoes.  During the summer season, he would polish off two mangoes at each mealtime -- juice, pulp and skin -- with relish.  My wife, who is from Gujarat, wondered why he would eat the skin too, while she did not.  When asked, he would say:  ‘You North Indians are missing out a good part of the fruit.’  I, the son and husband, would take the safe midcourse, and eat it from time to time.”    “I have learnt the wisdom of the middle path.”

                                                                                      --- D. Balasubramanian

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The traditional system of medicine in South Asia is known as Ayurvedic medicine.  It is a practice that regards many spices and herbs as having health benefits that have been acclaimed for thousands of years.  This is a distinct contrast to Western medicine, which is oriented toward the use of drugs and surgery, and features new drugs every year that are repetitively promoted in advertising to hype up their sales.  In contrast, Ayurvedic medicine is focused on building healthy metabolic systems and providing for good digestion, helping eliminate toxins, living hygienically, engaging in healthful exercise, facilitating healing, and achieving balance through practices such as yoga, meditation and massage.  Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word meaning “the complete knowledge for long life”.  That sounds like a good goal to aspire to!

The Great Health Spice Concoction contains both cinnamon and turmeric.  These plant materials both have a wide range of medicinal values, including properties that act as anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial agents, and as anti-oxidants.  Cayenne and cardamom are also included, and they, like cinnamon, are said to stimulate the digestive system and have broad therapeutic effects.  Turmeric is known as an exceptionally healthy spice because it contains curcumin, which has anti-cancer properties and other health benefits.  Studies have shown that the bioavailability absorption of curcumin is significantly enhanced when consumed in conjunction with piperine, a component of black pepper, so this is also one of the ingredients added to the beverage.    

Andrew Weil’s great book Spontaneous Healing has the subtitle How to Discover and Enhance Your Body’s Natural Ability to Maintain and Heal Itself.  I strongly believe that it is wise to optimize the power of our immune systems, and to provide conditions that enhance our natural abilities to prevent illnesses and quickly recover from health adversities.  This generally involves providing our bodies with optimum nutrition, and the mind with less stress, so that healing can most easily take place.  The ingredients of this ginger beverage recipe contribute to such valuable vitality.

Have a cup of hot ginger “tea” for your well-being as these words dissolve into perpetuity.  I believe that hot liquids in general, especially including hot tea and hot soups, tend to enervate the digestive system and are outstanding for their health benefits, and they are particularly enjoyable on a cold winter day.

The “Story of Tea” is a curious tale, and in some ways it can be seen to have been made into a sordid one.  Black tea is a mild stimulant because it contains caffeine.  In the 17th century, tea went from being unknown in England to becoming widely consumed and even the focus of a positive ritual that is a prominent aspect of the English identity. 

By the 18th century, as one might expect in such matters, one single company had managed to create a monopoly on the profitable tea trade.  This was the East India Company.  The story of this business enterprise is fraught with foreign adventurism, profiteering, speculation, bubble economics, and intrigue.  Check out Wikipedia for all you might want to know about the East India Company, and ruminate about the implications of this conglomerate and its association with colonial exploitation, monopoly power, and the Bengal Bubble crash of 1769. 

It was the East India Company’s tea that American colonists threw into Boston Harbor in December 1773.  This act of rebellion had been stoked by American anger at being taxed without fair representation, and it became a key event leading to the Declaration of Independence in 1776, the American Revolution, and the formulation of the U.S. Constitution in 1787.

In addition to tea having “an identity as a colonial mainstay in Britain’s trading life, tea in its origins is also something specifically feminine;  a kind of Muse inspiring intellectual greatness, a Queen to be worshipped as a symbol of Britain’s health and power, and a key element in the domestic lives of women.  It could be stimulating, relaxing and seductive, but as would become disastrously clear, it was always political.” 

Then again, almost everything has its political components, since all things are interconnected and interdependent.  This fact is illustrated throughout the Twelve Books of the Earth Manifesto.  Let us occasionally breathe deep, exhale gently, relax and enjoy a pleasing beverage as we digest all the thoughts and impressions that cascade into our lives at every moment.  Cheers!!

Please give close attention to the next essay in this Book Five, A Feminine Vision of an Achievable Better World:  Anima Should Reign!   This essay contains powerful arguments for positive new approaches to making the world a healthier place, along with a comprehensive diatribe against the dangerous candidacy of D.J. Trump in his effort to get elected to be the next leader of the free world.  This point of view is informed by a Washington Post editorial that was published just after the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.  It sensationally read:

"DONALD J. TRUMP, until now a Republican problem, this week became a challenge the nation must confront and overcome.  The real estate tycoon is uniquely unqualified to serve as president, in experience and temperament.  He is mounting a campaign of snarl and sneer, not substance.  To the extent he has views, they are wrong in their diagnosis of America’s problems and dangerous in their proposed solutions.  Mr. Trump’s politics of denigration and division could strain the bonds that have held a diverse nation together.  His contempt for constitutional norms might reveal the nation’s two-century-old experiment in checks and balances to be more fragile than we knew.  Any one of these characteristics would be disqualifying;  together, they make Mr. Trump a peril.” 

   Truly yours,

        Dr. Tiffany B. Twain    

         August 1, 2016

           Hannibal, Missouri    

             Contact at SaveTruffulaTrees@hotmail.com

Note: To get right to the Twelve Delicious Recipes for Good Health and Gourmet Appreciation, turn to page 69.  As a temporary surrogate in this Philosophic Cookbook, her is the recipe for Healthy Tasty Granola, a great way to start the day!

Here is the recipe:

Ingredients

3 cups organic rolled oats

3 Tbls. uncooked Quinoa

1 cup coconut chips/flakes, or more (bulk at Whole Foods)

1/2 cup pecans and or walnuts

1/2 cup shelled roasted salted pistachios

1/2 cup sunflower seeds and or Chia seeds

1/3 cup raw pumpkin seeds

4 Tbls sesame seeds

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup honey or agave

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 Tbls. vanilla

1 egg white, beaten well

3/4 cup dried cranberries, or include raisins and/or dried apricots

2 tsp. cinnamon, 1 tsp. each cardamom, ginger and nutmeg

Directions

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.  In a large mixing bowl, toss together the oats, quinoa, coconut, nuts, seeds and salt. Add the brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, olive oil, vanilla, and egg white, coating all the dry ingredients as evenly as possible.

Spread out onto a large rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Bake for 25 minutes, stir and bake for20 minutes more.  Remove from oven, and then stir in the dried fruit.  Allow to cool to room temperature and then store in glass jars, nicely labeled.