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Healing Through Hedonism

November 22, 2016 1 Comment


Without further ado I dedicate the rest of 2016 to pure pleasure.  If politics is the malady, happiness and personal fellowship is the remedy.  The election will not dominate my December.  The inauguration and the results will come soon enough for me.  What I do best is cook and entertain.  The drudgery of politics not only bores me, but usually astounds me with the futility of it all.  I have spent some time trying to change the political horizon during my life, but I now look upon all that time as a monumental waste.  I could have been just living my life in the most pleasurable way possible at the time.  This investment would serve me better than taking time to convince others to  participate in political causes.  Being happy and free is where it is at.

When I use the word hedonism I mean only fun. I do not mean overindulgence to the point of ruining all the good times. This common mistake has given fun a bad name.  Addiction is perhaps the shadow side of hedonism, but it is not pleasurable.   Fun is only fun when it is well managed.  Well executed pleasurable pursuits provide stimulus to all the senses and a feeling of time well spent.  It can be a week in Thailand or a walk around the block.  The difference between the ordinary and the hedonistic is attention to detail.  Wear what you want, see what you like to see, eat what delights you, linger over what intrigues you without trespassing on the pleasure of others. Travel to your own happy place.  This will require that you get to know your own true preferences, which will naturally change over time.  Self care for a teen is different than it will be when that person turns 65. We must evolve with our own best interests in mind.

My good friend and neighbor and I have opposing political views.  We never need to talk about politics at all.  If we do we joke about how crazy people are.  We have much in common, including an interest in cooking and cuisines.  To celebrate Heidi’s birthday we visited one of my favorite stores in Tucson, Alfonso’s Olive Oil, for a tasting of their vast selection.  It was a blast for me to introduce her to this wonderland of flavor and my great pleasure to buy her first bottle to start her own specialty oil and vinegar collection.  We tasted all over the store for a long time before she came to a decision.  She wisely selected the classic best unflavored dark balsamic vinegar because she can infuse it herself if she wants.  The vinegar she chose is exquisite, deep, complex, fruity….everything you want in a vinegar. I was happy to buy the gift, but more happy to introduce her to someplace she did not previously know.  Then we had lunch, also very good.  The balsamic birthday will go down as a complete success with little effort or expense on anyone’s part.  It was all about the discovery.

I suggest you look into your heart and decide what makes you happy.  Just do that, gentle reader.  Start with that.


Folk Medicine Friday-Ginger

July 10, 2015 2 Comments

Each week I will talk about some history of medicine and folklore. Today I am featuring ginger.

Magic Magnesium Sleepy Time Bath

July 6, 2015 1 Comment

Magnesium is an essential nutrient that keeps us clam.  The GABA receptors in the brain require magnesium to do their job, which is to switch off the stress.  When we are low in magnesium our bodies respond with insomnia, daytime jitters, and other unpleasant symptoms. This uncomfortable situation can be addressed by taking supplements.  Another way to introduce extra magnesium into the body is by bathing in epsom salts.  I have used them for foot baths when I have sore feet, and occasionally for tub baths, but now I am trying a new technique to improve my sleep.  By using honey before bed I have made some improvements in deeper more uninterrupted sleep.  Last night when I woke to let the dog outside at 2 in the morning I decided to try a bath recipe I saw to test the effects.  It was nothing short of spectacular.

I ran a hot bath and used about 1 and a half cups of epsom salt, about 1/2 cup baking soda, and 2 cups strong ginger tea.  The ginger makes you sweat while you are in the tub, and for a few minutes after you exit.  The recommended time for maximum benefits is an hour, but I was falling back to sleep in about 20 minutes.  I did fall deeply back into dreamland and awoke this morning feeling very well rested.  My fitbit reports that I had a very good night of sleep, just over 8 hours.

This is such an easy and pleasant cure I plan to incorporate it into my routine every day.  One of the effects one can expect to see is lower blood pressure.  Pharmaceutical drugs are one reason we become magnesium deficient in the first place. I don’t take any drugs and hope to stay that way.  Isn’t it good to know that both insomnia and high blood pressure, very common today, can often be completely cured in the bathtub?  Have you used epsom salts to get a better night’s sleep, gentle reader?  I highly recommend it.  The addition of the ginger adds anti-inflamatory properties, again an easy and cheap cure for the entire body. There are no harmful side effects, and the evidence shows that this bath might be just what the doctor should have ordered.


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