Ben Adams

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since Dec 07, 2015
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Recent posts by Ben Adams

I found a cacao pod once in an International Market.  The "slime" around the seeds is maybe a bit like lychee?  Certainly in texture, somewhat in taste.  There are definite-but-subtle cacao hints, but with a bright acidity on top of that -- well, like a fruit!  Not overly sweet.  Kids did not like it but it grew on me.  I think, like the seeds, it requires processing to be really good.  Betcha it would make a very interesting ice cream, which could then be studded with cacao nibs....
1 month ago
For anyone who has a good supply of whole cacao pods and is willing to do this kind of work, this research may be inspiring:

And, for the OP: there are various and conflicting studies on sucralose, but it's not something I will use or recommend....
1 month ago

Kathleen Sanderson wrote:Many people need to avoid eggs, in particular chicken eggs, and especially egg whites.  Dairy is another food that many people are very sensitive to.  (I've tried substituting duck eggs for chicken eggs -- works for some people, but apparently not for us).

Just a quick anecdotal reply to this: I knew a lady who could not eat eggs, UNTIL they got their own hens and fed them feed without soy.  Turned out it was not truly an egg allergy but a soy allergy coming via the eggs.  :-\

But that doesn't mean true egg-allergy is not possible.  Allergies can develop to pretty much any protein.  Just saying to "keep experimenting."  :)
4 months ago
11 years late to this topic so probably the original request is obsolete...? but here's my story for the future, anyhow.

About 25 years ago my mother assessed her own health and determined she had "24 of the 48 symptoms of fibromyalgia"--achy joints, poor sleep, brain fog, grouchiness, and many more.

For the past 10-15 years she would say her fibromyalgia is in "complete remission" -- at least, when she avoids the right foods.  

The causes of fibromyalgia -- along with MS, "syndrome X," and "the stuff women get when over 40," and all the autoimmune crud in general -- the causes are multifactorial, as you might imagine.  So the solutions are of course also multifactorial: dramatic lifestyle changes in many areas.  There is not, nor ever will be, any silver bullet.  Diet is a big piece.  So is movement/exercise.  So is healthy spiritual status, to include forgiveness.  Swapping chemical cleaners and body products for plant-based ones.  Reducing EMFs.  Lots of things.

Unfortunately, as I've heard from health coaches, "the more change someone needs, the less he can handle."  So it has to be a gentle process of encouragement and guidance, and it will never succeed without buy-in from the "patient" -- who ultimately has to take final responsibility for his or her own health and do the hard work of getting better.  It will take years of discipline and some permanent habit changes.  But, the body rebuilds ALL of its cells every 7 years or so, so "reverse aging" really is possible to a degree.

But you can't go back to ease and comfort.  You CAN manage autoimmune stuff to a place where it has little to no impact on your life -- you can overcome it in real ways -- but it's like alcoholism: you can never go back to eating pizza and soda like an ignorant teenager and expect no consequences.  Processed foods have to be diligently avoided as much as possible.

I affirm what was said above about the GAPS diet: that is worth looking into.  Also elimination "test diets" to determine specific allergies (and there will be allergies in almost all of these cases, probably to several food groups).  The "Whole 30" month-long diet is a decent place to start: clear rules, defined time-span, obvious quick results which create encouragement and momentum.

Then, once problem foods have been (at least temporarily) eliminated, you can work on healing the gut.  This will involve:
1) pro-biotic supplements (high-quality stuff that won't die in the stomach acid);
2) pre-biotic fiber (soluble and insoluble), ideally from whole foods like fruit, veg, seeds, beans, nuts;
3) specific healing plants like aloe vera (cut the gel into cubes and put in smoothies) or prickly pear or any other cactus, and other mucilaginous "slimy" things like flax seed (ground fresh), marshmallow root tea, licorice root tea, sassafras, etc.;
4) live, unpasteurized fermented foods: sauerkraut is the simplest to do at home (but pickles are tastier!);
--and probably 5) some quality digestive enzyme and/or hydrochloric acid supplements: typically the stomach has too little acid, not too much (as Tums will incorrectly tell you).

The gut must be healed first.  Putting quality food (or supplements) into a ruined digestive tract will only waste money, result in discouragement, and potentially even cause new allergies (from undigested proteins sneaking through a "leaky gut" intestinal lining).

After this: gentle detox protocols (juicing, detox teas, infrared sauna, and of course lots of clean water); continued whole foods (perhaps slowly and cautiously re-introducing previously non-tolerated foods); increased exercise routines -- now possible since some weight has been lost and energy levels are improved; and appropriate mental/spiritual work: counseling, connectedness at a healthy church, etc.  Also just good fresh varied colorful local foods: join a CSA and learn how to cook rutabaga and whatever other weird stuff they send you.  Learn what grows locally -- spicebush, black walnut, paw paw, plantain, dandelion, wineberry, venison -- and find out what it's good for: if it's not grass, it's probably edible and medicinal.  (Also free.)  Walk; it's good for the lymph.  Walk in nature: seeing green "fractal geometry" is good for the mental health, and sunlight is good for the circadian rhythms and the vitamin D and the eyes and lots of things.  Play.  Have fun.  Laugh.

Finally -- I am not here to "sell stuff," but my mother would tell you that she would be dead today (instead of in excellent health in her early 70's) if it were not for some very high-quality nutritional supplements, sourced from better-than-organic whole foods (U.S. standards are inadequate but other nations have better standards which any good company should abide by), and crafted with good science -- distillation under nitrogen in O2-free conditions, etc. -- by real scientists, not goons in white coats chasing some miracle berry cure-all from the Amazon or whatever.  I refer anyone who is interested to, or PM me.  There are a few other good companies and products out there, but many are not much better than snake oil, sadly, so choose with care.  But bottom line: a serious auto-immune case probably indicates a physiology that is compromised enough that dietary changes alone will not be sufficient: the body needs more nutrients than it can consume or digest (because, you know: also probably trying to lose weight, in most of these cases?) in time to heal.  And slow progress looks to sick people like "no progress" and then they give up.

Ok, so there's my story.    Healing is possible, but it's hard.  But hey: life is hard.  Being healthy is difficult and expensive.  Being sick is difficult and expensive.  But we do get to choose.

And in the end: we still all die.  So to counterbalance everything I said above: don't make "not dying" the goal of life; don't make health an idol.  Live in such a way that you can *die well* when your time comes.  And there are some pretty un-health-conscious folks who have figured this out, so be able to learn from them even if their diet stinks.    This gets back to "healthy spirituality"; but basically: if you live in fear of death, chasing health will not solve your problem; you need to look elsewhere.

'kay, done.
4 months ago
I've been toying with doing a soil test for lead, etc.  But they all seem to be really pricey.

A bit of searching took me to, which charts U.S. lead-in-soil risk by almost a per-neighborhood level.  Naturally it is worst in the inner cities (lead paint was not banned 'til 1978).  Here's a sample:

But my piece of suburbia turned out to be low-risk and the houses were built in the '90s.  So I think I'll skip the test and just put the $200 into organic matter and good plants.  

I do have concerns about eating crops from polluted soil... but in the end I have to think my own garden, managed by me, is overall going to be a lot less risky than what comes from supermarket.

Here also is a U.S. map for arsenic, though not as granular:
4 months ago
Perusing through Michelle McKenzie's lovely cookbook Dandelion & Quince, I ran across an offhand reference to nightshade intolerance being linked to "calcium imbalance."  Additional digging & inquiry turned up this fantastic deep article on nightshades; it's too good not to post here.  The section on Vitamin K as a potential remediation is fascinating and hope-giving.  (And, contrary to what's usual for the web, I can recommend the comments section as being good, too.)  

I will try some of the recipes on this thread.  I have rhubarb and (some years) a few plums.  My kids love ketchup but the storebought stuff, even organic, is just so sugared....
1 year ago
So, I guess I'm envisioning an initial panel, grown for ideal insulation/strength/dampening properties, and "bolted" to whatever creates the frame or structure of the house; then an air gap of an inch or three; then a secondary panel, grown for ideal resonance properties, and perhaps strategically "lumpy" on the backside instead of flat (watch the YouTube video).  Secondary panels could be floor-to-ceiling and thus would create a tertiary insulation layer (counting the air gap as the secondary).

Now if you can only grow a bioluminscent fungal layer on top of all that, you'll have structure, insulation, lighting, and tunes all in one medium.  
2 years ago
A friend of mine has suggested that this material might possibly be usable for flat-panel speaker applications as well (aka Distributed Mode Loud [DML] speakers). -- here's a fairly in-depth explanation & demonstration.

I'm not sure if it's realistic to "speakerize a wall" or anything like that (to work, these need to be as physically isolated in space as possible), but I'm curious if someone is able to slap a $6 exciter on the back of a panel and see what happens.  

It'd just be pretty great to say "I grew my own speakers."
2 years ago
So, I just had my front patio redone.  This is not a new problem, but maybe it's worse now, or just seems worse 'cause the patio is brighter.  But every time it rains: a hundred worms, dead or mostly dead, to rescue or dispose of.  

I want to keep these guys alive in my soil, not clean them off my walk every week!  Has anyone had success with any kind of (nontoxic) deterrent or physical barrier to keep them from seeking higher ground, or whatever they're doing?  Or can I do something to the soil to add oxygen maybe, so they're not tempted to leave?  (Internet searches raise various theories about why they risk their lives in a rain, but nothing is conclusive...)  Thanks in advance.
3 years ago