Made in America Festival Pictures -Plus, a Kanye West Rant!!!

made-in-america

Photo Credit: Ryan Fu

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Be your own Hero – How Resilient Are You?

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At first glance, these two people seem doomed to failure.He was born in poverty. When his mother died, he dropped out of school to work. He taught himself to read, worked at a series of jobs, and opened a general store with a friend. But his friend was an alcoholic who died, leaving him so deeply in debt he had to auction off all his possessions. He studied law, began practicing, ran for Congress, lost, was elected, then voted out of office. He ran for the Senate, but was defeated twice in a row. Elected president of the United States in 1860, Abraham Lincoln rose above adversity to become one of our nation’s greatest leaders.

She was raised in a dysfunctional family. Her mother rejected her, ridiculing her as “ugly.” Her father was an unstable alcoholic. Bothparents died by the time she was 10, so she went to live with her maternal grandmother and two alcoholic uncles. At 15, she went away to high school, where a wiseteacher recognized and nurtured her strengths. She married a distant cousin, who was later disabled by polio, yet became one of our greatest presidents. Throughout her life, Eleanor Roosevelt persevered, writing, teaching, working ardently for social justice, and after Franklin Roosevelt’s death, served as chair of the United Nations Human Rights Commission, drafting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

What makes such a difference in some people’s lives? What moves them to transcend adversity, embrace a meaningful identity, and become beacons of hope? Stronger than genetics, external conditions, socio-economic status, or education, it is a power deep within us. The Renaissance called it free will: our power to choose and thereby create our own destiny. Smith and Werner’s (1982) landmark study of at risk children in Hawaii who defied the odds called it “resilience”—the ability to thrive despite adversity. While many of their peers developed ill health, behavioral problems, and learning disabilities, the resilient children, who had at least one positive adult role model, grew up with hope and perseverance, learning to see obstacles as challenges (Karren, Smith, & Gordon, 2014, p. 90; Smith &Werner, 1982).

Resilient people don’t give up or give in. They look forward, neither dwelling on the past nor blaming others. Instead of complaining, they ask “What can I do about it?”

In their new book, Supersurvivors (2014) David Feldman and Lee Kravetz offer dramatic accounts of men and women who’ve overcometraumatic experiences to become even stronger, more hopeful, more successful than before. Models of resilience, they demonstrate the remarkable potential of the human spirit.

How resilient are you? You can mobilize your own resilient assets by focusing on mentors and role models, connecting with your own sources of hope and inspiration, and taking positive action, one step at a time.

Credit: Diane Dreher, Ph.D.

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Animals are Better than Humans – They’re better Surfers (Ricohet the Surf Dog)

According to Surf Dog Ricochet, this beautiful story is about what we all want — to be encouraged to discover who we really are… to be accepted… to find our life purpose… and to be celebrated for being different. Each person who watches this video finds an individual message that touches them on many different levels, bringing them to tears. It’s about the power of being YOUnique, staying true to yourself, adjusting expectations, being empowered, overcoming challenges, looking at obstacles as opportunities, transformation, inter-connectedness, authenticity, and that anything is possible if you follow your heart.  

Be Like Bacon – Francis Bacon (Knowledge is Power)

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Happy International Bacon Day!!! – Virgin Chocolate Chunk Brownies With Maple & Benton Bacon

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Virgin Chocolate Chunk Brownies With Maple & Benton Bacon

Ingredients:

Serves: 9-12

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Directions:

  1. Preparation
  2. Preheat the oven to 350F Line an 8-inch (20cm) square baking pan with foil and spray foil with cooking spray.
  3. Melt the chocolate in the microwave or in a bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Whisk in the COR olive oil and set aside to cool slightly.
  4. Beat the eggs and sugar in a mixing bowl using high speed of an electric mixer for 5 minutes. Beat in the syrup and salt, then fold in the cooled chocolate mixture. Fold in the BRM flour, then gently stir in the bacon. Pour into the prepared pan.

        5. 
Bake for 20-25 minutes. Mine became aromatic at 20 minutes and at 25 minutes, they had a shiny, dry, slightly crackly top. Let cool completely. Cut into squares.

Are you really Sorry? – Reasons why People will Never Apologize

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For non-apologists, saying “I’m sorry” carries psychological ramifications that run far deeper than the words themselves imply; it elicits fundamental fears (either conscious or unconscious) they desperately want to avoid:

  • Admissions of wrong doing are incredibly threatening for non-apologists because they have trouble separating their actions from their character. If they did something bad, they must be bad people; if they were neglectful, they must be fundamentally selfish and uncaring; if they were wrong, they must be ignorant or stupid, etc. Therefore, apologies represent a major threat to their basic sense of identity and self-esteem.
  • Apologizing might open the door to guilt for most of us, but for non-apologists, it can open the door instead to shame. While guilt makes us feel bad about our actions, shame makes them feel bad about their selves—who they are—which makes shame a far more toxic emotion than guilt.
  • While most of us consider apologies as opportunities to resolve interpersonal conflict, non-apologists may fear their apology will only open the floodgates to further accusations and conflict. Once they admit to one wrongdoing, surely the other person will pounce on the opportunity to pile on all the previous offenses for which they refused to apologize as well.
  • Non-apologists fear that by apologizing, they would assume full responsibility and relieve the other party of any culpability—if arguing with a spouse, for example, they might fear an apology would exempt the spouse from taking any blame for a disagreement, despite the fact that each member of a couple has at least some responsibility in most arguments.

By refusing to apologize, non-apologists are trying to manage their emotions. They are often comfortable with anger, irritability, and emotional distance, and experience emotional closeness and vulnerability to be extremely threatening. They fear that lowering their guard even slightly will make their psychological defenses crumble and open the floodgates to a well of sadness and despair that will pour out of them, leaving them powerless to stop it. They might be correct. However, they are incorrect in assuming that exhibiting these deep and pent-up emotions (as long as they get support, love, and caring when they do—which fortunately, is often the case), will be traumatic and damaging. Opening up in such a way is often incredibly therapeutic and empowering, and it can lead them to experience far deeper emotional closeness and trust toward the other person, significantly deepening their relationship satisfaction.

Credit: Psychology Today

 

Keep an Eye Out – Foods for Healthier Eyes

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Perceiving the world in colors, shapes, and movement is a gift most take for granted. Until the day one’s vision begins to cloud over, lose clarity, or fade away completely, such an incredible sense is easily relied upon… and therefore is devastating when lost.

But developing cataracts, macular degeneration, dryness of the eyes, or any other eye concerns isn’t inevitable. Poor diet and less than optimal lifestyle choices contribute to the rapidly increasing diseases of the modern age, loss of eyesight being one of them.

And it is now clear that by adopting a healthier regimen and eating a plethora of nutrient-rich foods, healing of the eyes is possible. In fact, some of the most beneficial foods for support healthy eyesight follow. Bursting with enzymes, minerals, and nutrients, they are nature’s perfect offerings that can help regenerate the body and heal the eyes.

Along with removing processed, refined, and chemically-treated foods from your diet, consuming more of these foods will likely assist you in attaining better eye health in no time!

BILBERRIES

This fruit contains compounds which boost visual acuity and improve vision. In Italy, a study found that a mixture of these compounds called anthyocyanides, along with Vitamin E stopped the progression of cataract formation in over 95% of study subjects experiencing early-stage progression of this disease. But its secrets are not only now becoming known: British pilots back in World War 1 knew they were incredibly beneficial for the eyes, and consumed bilberries before flying. Tasty fruits with similar compounds that improve vision include blueberry, cranberry, blackberry, grape, raspberry, and wild cherry.

CARROTS

One normally associates carrots with improved vision, but likely doesn’t know the range of benefits they offer. The carotenoids in carrots (which give it its distinct color) help prevent cataracts, prevent cancer, and reduce one’s risk of developing cardiovascular ailments. Other great sources of carotenoids include leafy greens, and fruits and vegetables that are orange, yellow, or red in color.

ONIONS

Being an excellent source of quercetin, a compound research has linked to prevention of cataracts in diabetics, onions are an extremely beneficial food to consume to heal the eyes. However, as most of the quercetin is found in the skin, it may be optimal to cook this portion of the onion as well when preparing meals.

PURSLANE

The world’s richest source of Omega-3 fatty acids, purslane boasts a bounty of health benefits essential for supporting clear eyesight. It is rich in carotenoids, vitamin C, vitamin E, and many antioxidants (including glutathione), which are all necessary for keeping the eyes healthy.

GLUTATHIONE

This compound is actually found in high concentrations in the lens of the eye, where it plays an important role in keeping it healthy. Glutathione functions as an antioxidant, maintains the structure of the lens proteins, plays a role in various enzyme systems, and can also take part in the transport of amino acids and minerals.

However, modern-day ways of living have created a lack of this essential compound. As stated by optometrist and licensed acupuncturist, Marc Grossman, OD, “The majority of the cataracts I see are low in the antioxidant glutathione.”
Thankfully it’s easy to get more: This powerful compound is found abundantly in raw fruits and vegetables, therefore eating more living foods will help it be restored.

TURMERIC

This anti-inflammatory root contains a large amount of carotenoids and vitamin C. It also shares carotenoids, vitamin C, vitamin E, and anti-oxidants.

BRAZIL NUTS

Brazil nuts are rich in vitamin E and selenium – both nutrients which help to prevent and inhibit cataracts.

SPINACH

Popeye was onto something! Spinach offers a bounty of lutein, which is known to help promote healthy vision and prevent other diseases of the eyes. This green is also rich in carotenoids and helps protect against cancer.

Diverting from natural law – eating wholesome, unprocessed food, getting plenty of rest, being outdoors, enjoying your life – results in a plethora of health issues. Thankfully nature offers many beneficial foods (and opportunities) to remedy diseases of affluence and heal.

If you seek to better your eyesight while safeguarding your future health, take action today by making more conscious dietary and lifestyle choices.

Credit: True Activist

Happy National Waffle Day!!! – August 24th (True Belgian Waffles)

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True Belgian Waffles Recipe

TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 20 min.

MAKES: 5 servings

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup sugar

3-1/2 teaspoons baking powder

2 Eggland’s Best Eggs, separated

1-1/2 cups milk

1 cup butter, melted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Sliced fresh strawberries or syrup

Directions

  1. In a bowl, combine flour, sugar and baking powder. In another bowl, lightly beat egg yolks. Add milk, butter and vanilla; mix well. Stir into dry ingredients just until combined. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form; fold into batter.
  2. Bake in a preheated waffle iron according to manufacturer’s directions until golden brown. Serve with strawberries or syrup. Yield: 10 waffles (about 4-1/2 inches).

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Brain Ninjas – Are you a Positive Person? Find 3 Words you immediately see…

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Credit: Power of Positivity 

The Positive Dog: A Story About the Power of Positivity

Happy National Peach Pie Day!!! August 24th (Georgia Peach Pie)

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Georgia Peach Pie

CRUST

  • 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon (4 ounces) cold solid vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup ice water

FILLING

  1. 8 large, ripe but firm peaches (3 1/2 pounds)
  2. 3/4 cup sugar
  3. 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  4. 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  5. 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, thinly sliced
  6. Egg wash made with 1 egg yolk mixed with 2 tablespoons water
  7. Bourbon Whipped Cream, for serving

Directions:

  • In a food processor, pulse the flour with the sugar and salt until combined. Add the butter and shortening and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and sprinkle the ice water on top. Stir with a fork until a crumbly dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead 2 or 3 times, just until the dough comes together. Cut the dough in half and form into 2 disks; wrap in plastic and refrigerate until firm, at least 30 minutes or overnight.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll out each disk of dough to a 12-inch round. Ease one of the rounds into a 9-inch glass pie plate and transfer the other round to a baking sheet. Refrigerate the dough.
  • Preheat the oven to 400°. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil and fill a large bowl with ice water. Using a sharp knife, mark a shallow X in the bottom of each peach. Blanch the peaches in the boiling water for about 1 minute, until the skins begin to loosen. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the peaches to the ice water to cool. Drain and peel the peaches and cut them into 3/4-inch wedges. Transfer the peaches to a large bowl. Add the sugar, lemon juice and flour, toss well and let stand for 5 minutes.
  • Pour the peaches and their juices into the chilled pie shell and scatter the butter slices on top. Brush the edge of the pie shell with the egg wash and lay the round of dough from the baking sheet on top. Press the edges of the pie shell together to seal and trim the overhang to a 1/2 inch. Fold the edge of the pie dough under itself and crimp decoratively. Brush the remaining egg wash on the top crust and cut a few slits for venting steam.
  • Transfer the pie to the oven and place a baking sheet in the bottom to catch any drips. Bake for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°, cover the edge of the pie with foil and bake for about 40 minutes longer, until the filling is bubbling and the crust is deeply golden on the top and bottom. Transfer the pie to a rack to cool completely. Serve with Bourbon Whipped Cream.

MAKE AHEAD The dough can be refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 1 month. The peach pie can be stored overnight at room temperature. NOTES As an alternative to the Bourbon Whipped Cream, serve the pie with vanilla ice cream.

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