jump to navigation

A Wheat-Free Experiment September 29, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Happiness, Health & Wellness, Less IS More.

Donald-DuckaPerhaps more than any other food, wheat permeates our diet.

We find wheat in breads, bagels, baguettes, rolls, muffins, biscuits, cereals, granola bars, cakes, cookies, brownies, pies, puddings, pizza, pasta, tabbouli, crackers, pretzels, beer, chips, veggie burgers, etc.

As a vegetarian, my diet centers around fruits, veggies, beans, nuts, seeds, grains . . . and chocolate.

Giving up wheat was the furthest thing from my mind.

Woodstock-&-Snoopy3Or it was until I heard Dr. William Davis during a PBS Fundraising Special ~ Wheat Belly, Total Health.

At first, what he was saying flew in the face of “truths” I had assumed to be true about “heart-healthy whole grains.”

I laughed at his concerns while munching on a bagel.

But his comments stayed with me.

I requested a copy of his first book, Wheat Belly ~ Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, from the local library.

I read with resistance.

I.  Did.  Not.  Want.  To.  Give.  Up.  Pizza.


What would life be like without wheat?

No Bagels for lunch. No Grapenuts cereal for breakfast. No Triscuit Crackers with peanut butter as a snack. No Macaroni & Cheese.  No Lo Mein.  No Thai Noodles with Peanut Sauce.  No Minestrone Soup.  No Spaghetti.  No Lasagna.  No Grilled Vermont Cheddar on Toscano Pano.

No Pizza.

Donald-Duck-BaseballIn spite of my resistance to his message, I kept reading, wondering if there was even a wheat berry of truth to his claims.

He provided a number of anecdotes about people barely able to walk into his office due to excess weight, joint pain, and lack of energy, who (after giving up wheat) bounded into the office at their next visit.

Hmmm . . .

I decided to conduct a Wheat-Free Experiment to see what changes, if any, I noticed in the Health and Wellness department.

Donald-Duck-MadI assumed the first thing I would notice was anger and annoyance at being deprived of some of my favorite foods.

Nope.  My mood got better, not worse.

I assumed that without the adjunct of bread with lunch and dinner that I would be ravenous between meals and go to bed hungry.

Nope.  My appetite dropped without the appetite-stimulating effect  wheat has on the brain.

Mickey-In-HammockI assumed I would toss and turn in bed at night, with visions of sugar plum pudding dancing in my head.

Nope.  Instead of sleeping in 2-3 hours stints, I began sleeping for 3, 4, and 5 hour stretches.  I stopped waking every 2 hours for a pee break.  Once a night is now enough.  (I’ve also noticed fewer “pee prompts” from my bladder during the day.)

For the past week, I’ve woken feeling rested, awake, aware, and ready to face another Wheat-Free day.

The number on the bathroom scale has dropped a couple of pounds ~ this morning I weighed less than at any time in the last 10 years.

Mickey-OKLong-standing neck pain has improved ~> after just one wheat-free week, my neck is pain-free for the first time in at least two decades!

Afternoon headaches spiraling up from my neck have also disappeared.

The “mental fog” is lifting.  When I sit down to a task, I do so with greater cognitive clarity.

My youthful “can do” and “do it now” attitude has returned after an extended hiatus, allowing me to get things done today (e.g., writing this post) rather than putting them off until tomorrow . . . or the day after tomorrow.

Mickey-SurferIn a nutshell, I feel more like the “old me” ~> younger, more enthusiastic, more motivated, more alive.

That said, it’s still “early innings.”  I’m not ready to swear off pizza for the rest of my life.  Yet.

But, if these changes become the new norm . . . giving up pizza would be a small price to pay.

Aah . . . that’s better! 

Imagine . . . September 27, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Life Balance, Meditation, Mindfulness.

hand-dipping-in-waterImagine you are

a bubbling brook

of dancing light, energy,

joy, and love . . .


And that

your only task

is to rejoin

the sea of bliss.

Aah . . . that’s better!

What A SLAM Dunk! September 24, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Travel & Leisure.

When you have a Bridge hand like this . . .


And the dummy (your partner) lays down a hand like this . . .


It’s a SLAM dunk, Baby!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Sock Hop & Classic Cars September 21, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Music & Dance, Travel & Leisure.

Goodwill launched the 2016 Giving Challenge by hosting a Sock Hop at the Classic Car Museum.


We went and had a fun time touring the touring cars.


And planning our next Picnic Trip in this . . .


We drank Chocolate Malts from Culvers, admired the themed napkins . . .


And nibbled on nibbles . . .


After the Pink Ladies danced to taped versions of “The Theme from Happy Days” and “You’re The One That I Want” (from Grease), the band took the stage.



Even though BFF and I are not keen on music from the 50’s, we got ready to “Rock Around The Clock.”

Mickey-OKWe lucked out . . . the band didn’t know any songs from the 50’s!

Instead, they played classic rock, including: “I Love Rock & Roll,” “Baby, Hold On To Me,” “No Time,” “Hit Me With Your Best Shot,” and some Dave Matthews.

Aah . . . that’s better!

If you play this video . . . that’s me 33 seconds in commenting on Paris Hilton’s absence:

EASY Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies September 19, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Health & Wellness, Less IS More, Vegetarian Recipes.

Mickey-Ta-DaaaHere’s a quick and easy recipe for a healthy and portable breakfast treat.

Mash 2 ripe bananas.  Stir in one cup of Quick Oats.  Add a pinch of spice ~ cinnamon, ginger, allspice, apple pie spice, or your fave.

Add other items of interest (e.g., coconut, raisins, chocolate chips, dried cherries, nuts, sunflower seeds, etc.).

I didn’t have coconut or chocolate chips . . . so I chopped up a couple of miniature Almond Joy chocolate bars.   Yum!  

Spoon onto a greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes.


Aah . . . that’s easy!

Scrutinizing The Status Quo September 17, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, People.

Mickey-SurferAfter our morning beach walk, we stopped at the outdoor showers to wash the sand off our feet.

As we turned to leave, a barefoot and bare-chested man in his mid-50’s approached the showers.

He turned on the water, stepped into the spray, and pulled out the waistband of his swim trunks, creating a gap between his bare belly and his trunks.

He peered into the chasm as the water made its descent, scrutinizing the situation to ensure that his quo was status:

“Everything OK down there?”

“Yup.  Everything’s good.”

“Any shrinkage?”

“Some.  But we’ll bounce back.”

“Great.  Everyone present and accounted for?”

Mickey-OK“Yup.  All aboard.”


After taking stock of his nether regions, the man released the elastic waistband of his trunks, turned off the shower, and headed back to the beach.

Aah . . . that’s better!

A Two Hour Long Infomercial September 15, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Meditation, People.

Mickey-DiverI tuned in for Craig Hamilton’s webinar on Tuesday night, fifteen minutes before the scheduled start time.

Lovely music played.  I focused on my breathing and relaxed into the Now.

Just going with the flow.

The music stopped.  And . . . NOTHING happened.

I refreshed the page and got a message saying that due to the vast numbers of unenlightened beings trying to listen in, the server had crashed.

No worries.

The what is, is.

Mickey-SurferI decided to look around his website.

Turns out he’s offering a 12-week course in Direct Enlightenment for $547!

That gleaned intel provided the only “A Ha!” moment of the evening.   Although, to be honest, it might have been more of a “Ha Ha” moment.

I tried again to join the webinar to see what he had to say.

Success!  (In a manner of speaking.)

I managed to grab a seat at 9:27 pm and listened to Craig speak in a hushed monotonous monochromatic monotone for the next 90 minutes.

It took him that long to say absolutely nothing.  Then say it again.

I was not impressed with the information he conveyed . . . or the hypnotic, sleep-inducing manner in which he conveyed it.

Mickey-LoungingBottom Line:  I’m not signing up to take his 12 week course for $547.

Sitting through one 2-hour infomercial was more than enough for me.

I think I’ve seen the light!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Got Saw Dust? September 13, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Health & Wellness, Humor.

Donald-DuckaOn the search for a better burrito, we scanned the 137+ varieties of tortillas available at Publix to find one with a healthy mix of ingredients.

Most flour tortillas had a gram of fiber.

The whole wheat tortillas had 2 grams of fiber.

Then we picked up a package of high fiber tortillas which boasted a whopping 11 grams of fiber.

Per tortilla, not per package.

Curious, we read through the ingredient list looking for the source of that fiber.

Donald-Duck-BaseballWas it from oats?  No.

Was it from bran?  No.

How about wheat germ?  Again, no.

Then we spied the fiber source . . . cellulose fiber.  Also known as wood pulp.

Well, you don’t have to hit me over the head with a baseball bat before I can figure out what’s going on . . .

Food manufacturers are obviously as concerned as consumers about getting more fiber into our food.

Wanting to avoid genetically modified FrankenFood, they turned to the forest and saw the trees!

Trees, standing tall and overflowing with pulpy goodness.

Real trees, not GMO trees loaded with FrankenFiber.

They called lumber yards and floor liquidators, ordering up 10,000 cubic tons of surplus saw dust to bulk up our food and our bellies.

Donald-Duck-LazyThey boiled it down and added it to cereals, granola bars, loaves of bread, ice cream, and tortillas.

And that, in a nutshell, is why processed food tastes like saw dust!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Restrain Your Self! September 10, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Joke, People.

Wikipedia ~ Handcuffs (in Public Domain)

After a short but heated criminal  trial, the judge asked the defendant if he would like to say anything before the court passed sentence.

Nodding, the defendant jumped to his feet.

His attorney reached out to restrain him . . . to no avail.

Staring defiantly at the judge, the defendant grinned, “Yeah, I got somethin’ to say.”

As defense counsel cradled his head in his hands and prepared for the worst, the defendant smirked and said,  “Your honor, you’re a fat, four-eyed son-of-a-bitch!”

With that, the defendant sat down, a smug look of satisfaction on his face.

His attorney looked toward the judge, hoping the judge would have a sense of humor about the comment.

With a small smile tugging the corners of his mouth, the judge peered over his glasses at the defendant and drawled, “Well, I daresay you may be right about your first two observations . . .”

After pausing to remove and clean his glasses, the judge dropped the other shoe, “but that last comment is going to cost you an extra 90 days.”

“Defendant is hereby remanded to custody . . . ”

Aah . . . that’s better!

Self Restraint . . . you never know when it might save you some time.

Inspiration:  a joke I heard many moons ago

The Stunning Health Benefits of Meditation September 7, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Health & Wellness, Meditation, Mindfulness.

Mickey-Ta-DaaaA friend sent me this e-mail about an upcoming on-line meditation workshop which might interest some of you:

Hi Friend,

Millions of people are taking a step back from the hectic stresses of life and finding a new peace and poise through the practice of mindfulness.

And now scientific studies are discovering that meditation can have profound health benefits. It’s been found to ease chronic pain, anxiety, and stress, and to improve heart health, boost mood and immunity, and even to help resolve infertility problems.

It seems that any condition that’s caused or worsened by stress can be helped through meditation.

There’s scientific evidence showing how meditation works, too. In people who are meditating, brain scans (brain MRIs) have shown an increase in activity in areas that control metabolism and heart rate. Other studies on Buddhist monks have shown that meditation produces long-lasting positive changes in brain activity in those areas involved in attention, working memory, learning, and conscious perception.

As if that wasn’t enough, studies have found that meditation can help to decrease metabolism, lower blood pressure, and improve heart rate, breathing, and brain waves.

If you’re interested in putting the healing power of meditation to work in your life, you might want to check out a free workshop from my friend and colleague, Craig Hamilton.

Craig has taught medication practices to tens of thousands of people around the world. In this complimentary workshop, he’ll share breakthroughs in meditation research – and how you can apply them for maximal benefit in your life.

Find out more and sign up here.

Yours for peace and wellness,

Ocean Robbins

Mickey-DancingThis FREE 75-minute Global Online Event with Craig Hamilton is scheduled for Tuesday, September 13th, at 6:00 PM US Pacific, 9:00 Eastern.

There is no charge to attend this event. Simply enter your first name and email address to register.

Find out more and sign up here.