guy day at the congaree.

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Dictated by Judah

Last week I got to take the day off school to go on an adventure.

When we were riding, me and Dad talked about the Bible and life. We talked about the book of Mark which I just finished the day before our adventure.

We were riding to our hike that we have never been to. We got a little confused finding it, but soon John texted us and then we knew where to go. When we started our walk, it was leafy and a little downhill until Dad marked a little trail and then we kept walking. There was a little stream that was deep, we walked by it and Dad said, “Always keep the stream on your right.”

We found a little branch and we realized the stream ended here. When we looked around, it looked like there had been a forest fire, but everything felt wet. We ate some cookies while we were taking a little rest, then we went back and kept exploring.

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My favorite thing was that I had to lead Dad back to the trail he marked, but we realized the sticks that he put there were gone! Dad didn’t know if that was the right tree. There was a tree that fell down across the river, we crossed it and went back to the other side. I had a little trouble though.

My least favorite part is that we almost got lost, plus we had to go to three different places because some areas were flooded. And then we thought about going home, but Dad said we could stop for lunch. I had pizza and he had salad. Then we went to the library; he picked out two books and I picked out one book, a Lego Star Wars: Attack of the Clones.

Then we were done with our adventure. We went home and I took a bath, then I began play time with Amie.

And that was me and Dad’s amazing adventure, just him and me together.

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the starch solution: a guest post by linda gentino.

My mother-in-law and I recently read The Starch Solution: Eat the Foods You Love, Regain Your Health, and Lose the Weight For Good, by John McDougall and Mary McDougall (featured physician in the Forks Over Knives documentary).  Linda and Steve decided to follow the 7-day trial eating plan, so I asked if she would write a guest post about their experience.

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I recently read The Starch Solution by Dr. John McDougall and decided to get on the seven day plan he recommends.  My husband, who is a saint, said he would do it with me.  The plan is a vegan diet focused on starches and eliminating oils such as corn, vegetable, and olive oil which would be allowed on the standard vegan diet.

Why would someone read a book like this and then follow it?  Well, of course, it didn’t happen overnight.  About a year or so ago I saw the movie, Forks Over Knives, where I first heard of Dr. McDougall.  The title means that if you are careful about what you fork into your mouth, you will be able to forgo the surgeon’s knife for certain common diseases such as heart attacks, cancer, and diabetes.  When Julie and family visited in September, I rented the video and we watched it twice.

I didn’t have a bad winter but it wasn’t good either.  My job was stressing me, my joints ached when I got up in the morning, I felt tired at the end of the day and usually fell asleep on the sofa after dinner.  I had a CT scan showing lots of small lesions, nodules, and scattered sclerosises, which probably everyone my age has but they don’t know it because they don’t have regular CT scans.

And I said, “I’ve got to do something.”  Perusing some blog sites, I found a McDougall link, borrowed the book, and began the plan.

It was a good week.  I made our food menu for the week and pretty much did not deviate from it.  A normal day for me includes coffee with half and half in the morning and a candy bar in the afternoon.  I switched to tea with a teaspoon of sugar in the morning.  The book says don’t go hungry so I ate three meals a day until I was satisfied and pretty much did not get hungry between meals.  When I experienced my 5:00 p.m. slippage, I ate the apple I brought with me daily.

Each day I felt a little better.  Day 3 I noticed my face wasn’t as oily as normal.  On Day 5 I read in the evening and didn’t doze off until 9:00.  Day 7 Steve and I both thought: This isn’t so bad.  Let’s try another week of it.  Steve’s big change was that he has a big, bad, loud, chronic cough and that just about disappeared.

I weighed myself on day 1 and day 8 using the scales in the college wellness center and weighing in at the same time of day each time and lost 4 pounds.

Here is the website with the free 12 day plan – http://www.drmcdougall.com/free.html and here is my before and after photo.

Before:

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After:

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microgreens.

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A guest post by David . . .

I had a sudden urge to plant something edible this past weekend.  With a few conditions.  We don’t have any sunny yard space to speak of and really don’t want to put too much fuss into our rental.  And we’re on a budget, want quick results, and would like for our kids to join in.

Enter microgreens.

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Microgreens are not their own species.  Yes, I asked our local feed store if they carried “microgreen seeds.”  In my defense, he said, “No, we don’t, but we should.”  Actually, microgreens are simply the very young seedlings of edible vegetables and herbs harvested 5-14 days after planting.  So a radish or cabbage or kale crop grown for a week and clipped at its base is a microgreen.  These differ from sprouts in that they are still planted in soil and receive sunlight.

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Microgreens have enticed fine cuisine patrons as flavorful touches and colorful garnishes for years.  But they are gaining popularity among the proletariat for their rich taste and new research suggesting denser nutrient content than their adult counterparts.

So I went to a neighbor’s home to bum a few bags of seeds and a twenty-minute crash course on what to do.  Then I swung by a hardware store for plastic trays and potting soil.

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The process is painfully simple.  Amie, Judah, and I lined up five trays on the front lawn and filled them half full with potting soil.  Then Judah sprayed Amie with the water bottle.  Then I yelled at Judah.  Then Amie stained her new stretch pants with soil.  Tears were shed, amends were made, daddy cooled down.

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I cut out a piece of cardboard to gently flatten the soil.  Then we sprinkled each tray with a different seed – two kinds of radishes, a mesclun sweet salad mix, kale, sunflower, and mustard broad leaf.  I gently pressed the cardboard down again to set the seeds into the soil.  We crumpled soil on top and watered them well.  Then we set the five trays up in front of a sunny window in my office.

Within four days, the first triumphant microgreens were ready to clip at the base, rinse, and scatter liberally on a fresh salad.  You can’t get fresher, nutritious greens.  We cut them when we need them to juice, snack on them, and put them on salads, pizza, or pita with Julie’s homemade hummus.  We’ve even taken to dicing them up and sneaking them in peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the kids.

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For our frugal readers, the savings is killer.  A four-ounce bag of microgreens runs $4 at the Farmers Market. Compare that to a one-time cost of trays (you can use empty spinach plastic containers), organic potting soil that will last a few trays’ worth (we’re still waiting on our backyard compost to ripen), and bulk organic seeds that can be as little as fifty cents an ounce.  Altogether, fresh, organic, homegrown microgreen harvests will run you pennies per ounce.

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We are a week in and have already eaten through and replanted a couple of trays now.  I think our greens are here to stay.

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