Dawn Pisturino's Blog

My Writing Journey

Ayurvedic Land and Seed Theory: Cleansing to Restore Balance

An important concept in Ayurveda (traditional East Indian medicine) is the land and seed theory.

It’s really very simple. The body is the “land.” The “seed” is a virus, bacteria, toxic substance — anything that can take root and cause disease. 

In order to function properly, the body needs to maintain balance through good digestion and regular elimination. When toxins build up in the system through poor diet, inadequate digestion, or slow elimination, the “land” becomes fertile for the “seed” to grow and thrive, thereby causing discomfort and illness.

We restore the body’s balance by periodically following a cleansing regimen. In Ayurveda, this is recommended at every change in season, but you can do this whenever you feel the need.

Since stress negatively impacts the digestive tract, reduce the amount of stress in your life by getting enough sleep and practicing meditation and other stress-relieving acivities.

Physical activity energizes both the digestive and immune systems. Engage in daily exercise, and don’t be afraid to sweat! Sweating opens up the pores and allows toxins to escape through the skin. Breathe deeply, and open up the lungs.

Treat yourself to a massage or visit a spa. Take a warm bath or shower every day. (Jacuzzis, steam baths, and hot tubs feel wonderful!)

Flush out your system with plenty of water, fruit juice, vegetable juice, and herbal tea. Dandelion root tea is especially beneficial in detoxifying the body.

Promote regular elimination by eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Add more fiber to your diet with whole grains and legumes.

Since this is a cleansing diet, avoid junk food, fatty food, processed food, sweets, soft drinks, alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine. Limit your intake of meat and dairy products.

Spice up your meals with liberal amounts of fresh herbs and spices. Cilantro, mint, lemon, basil, ginger, turmeric, cumin, coriander, clove, fenugreek, cinnamon, black pepper, and fennel whet the appetite and stimulate the digestive juices. Use extra-virgin olive oil whenever possible.

Prepare cool, light meals in summer and warm, nourishing meals in winter.

Follow this regimen for at least 30 days. People with chronic health problems or disabilities should consult a physician before making any diet changes or engaging in physical activity.

Dawn Pisturino, RN

2007; January 9, 2023

Published in The Kingman Daily Miner, June 7, 2007.

Copyright 2007-2023 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

27 Comments »

Poetry Book Reviews: Bartholomew Barker and Stephen Page

(Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash)

Milkshakes and Chilidogs and Other Food Poems by Bartholomew Barker (2017).

       Available on Amazon.com.

Bartholomew is one of the organizers of Living Poetry in North Carolina. Since he is also a food and wine aficionado, it is not surprising that he wrote a poetry book about food. What surprised me is what a great little book it is! His poems are witty, analytical, and chock full of delightful morsels about dining and the things we consume. You will not find any anorexic rejection of edibles here. Bartholomew is absolutely shameless in his love of food. And that’s what makes this book such a wonderful read and a delicious gift for other food-a-holics.

“Cold long nights

are best spent cuddled

with macaroni and cheese.”

Who can argue with that?

“Tomatoes

Firm as your breasts

Red as your lips

On a night out

Drenched in Merlot.”

Believe me, I will never look at tomatoes in the same way again! And finally –

“I want to die fat and happy

I want to meet my chiligod

With a milkshake in my hand.”

I know a lot of chili lovers who would agree with that!

Website: Bartholomew Barker, Poet

The Salty River Bleeds by Stephen Page (2019). Available on Amazon.com.

Stephen Page is an award-winning author whose work has appeared in numerous publications. In this unique collection, he uses poetry and poetic prose to create a realistic portrait of life on an Argentinian ranch. The ranch, its owners, and caretakers, are all fictitious; but Stephen writes with authenticity and conviction. For him, the story is real, from the ambivalent feelings of the owner about leaving the city and isolating out in the countryside; to the lazy, conniving employees; to dealing with bad hombres like cattle rustlers and horse thieves; to birthing calves, riding horses, and watching the crops grow. He expresses concerns about rain and drought; the effects of pesticides on the land; the annoying insects; mechanical issues; and constant repairs on the ranch. The owner’s frustration comes through loud and clear. Life is difficult. But it’s the raw beauty of nature that keeps him going. He has his family to provide for and a loving wife to lean on. In the end, the struggles seem to be all worthwhile.

Stephen’s style is eloquent and simple:

“The tree frogs called the rain last night,

but the rain did not answer.

The intermittent croaking, about

every hour or so, was followed by

a gust of wind and the scent

of water, but no sprinkle, no pour.”

~

“When I am in the city,

I remember why I escape

To the ranch. When I am

On the ranch, I remember why

I want to live in the city.”

Website: Stephen Page

Dawn Pisturino

November 22, 2022

Copyright 2022 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

27 Comments »

School Lunches from the 1950s Housewife

(Illustration by Arthur Sarnoff)

Providing a hearty, healthy, nutritious lunch in a clean, sanitary lunch box or other container for both hubby and the kids was a housewife’s daily duty in the 1950s. The guidelines included the following:

  1. “It should be abundant in amount for a hungry, healthy individual. A little too much is better than too little.”
  2. “It should be chosen with regard to nutritive needs of the individual, and in relation to the whole day’s food.”
  3. “It should be clean, appetizing, wholesome, and attractive.”

Food Selection

Solids and liquids were both included in the lunch plan. Guidelines urged housewives to choose at least one item from each of the following groups:

Milk — in food, such as pudding, or drink.

Bread — whole grain used in sandwiches.

Meat, Cheese, Eggs, or Fish — used in sandwich fillings, salads, or main dishes. Left over meat loaf, pot roast, and other food items were often used in sandwiches in the 1950s.

Fruit — whole or diced in salads or desserts.

Vegetables — used in sandwich fillings, salads, main dishes, or whole. Crisp, raw vegetables preferred.

Surprise – cookies, nuts, raisins, or other special treat.

What Season is it?

~ In winter, include something hot, such as soup, coffee, tea, or hot chocolate in a thermos.

~ In summer, include cool, refreshing items such as lemonade, fruit juice, iced tea, or iced coffee in a thermos.

Tips

*Remember to include utensils, napkins, and straws.*

*Provide spicier, more flavorful food for hubby and milder but flavorful food for the kids.*

*The goal in the 1950s was to keep packed lunches appetizing, varied, and balanced nutritionally.

Menus

Cream of tomato soup

Ham sandwich with mustard and lettuce

Celery sticks and olives

Fresh pear

Cookies

~

Cheese sandwich with ketchup and lettuce

Tossed vegetable salad and dressing

Pickles

Whole orange

Cake

Hot cocoa

~

(The first lunch box set was produced by the Aladdin Company in 1950 and featured Hopalong Cassidy.)

The National School Lunch Act, signed into law by President Harry Truman in 1946, provides school lunches in public schools for a fee or for free. I don’t know nowadays how many kids still bring their lunches to school. I remember kids getting teased when they reached a certain age who still brought their lunches to school. My favorite part of lunch in school was the chocolate milk that came with the cafeteria lunch. And, in high school, we used to sneak off campus and hit the local Taco Bell. Many adults eat in the company cafeteria, if one is provided, or order fast food. But some adults still bring their lunches to work.

~

Information retrieved from The American Woman’s Cook Book, 1952 and the Internet.

Dawn Pisturino

September 19, 2022

Copyright 2022 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

33 Comments »

The Amazing Apple

(Photo by Vera De on Unsplash)

The Amazing Apple

by Dawn Pisturino

Hooray for the all-American apple! Boiled, baked, stewed, juiced, fried, dried, or raw, apples are as American as rock-and-roll.

Eating this amazing little fruit is one of the simplest ways to improve and maintain good health at a reasonable cost.

Apples are high in fiber, which is important for eliminating toxins from the body, lowering cholesterol, and regulating blood sugar, appetite, cell growth in the colon lining, and the action of bile acids in the body.

Apples are a great source of antioxidants because they contain vitamin C and a phytonutrient called quercetin. Quercetin is a flavonoid which is currently being researched for its anti-cancer properties, especially against lung and prostate cancer.

There is only about 10 mg of vitamin C in an average apple, but when combined with the quercetin, research has shown that the effects in the body are equivalent to 1500 mg of vitamin C. Now, that’s powerful stuff!

Apples have been proven to have antiviral, antiseptic, and laxative properties, contain a natural sugar called sorbitol, and a wide variety of important vitamins and minerals.

Researchers believe that regular consumption of apples can improve lung function, lower the risks of cancer, heart disease, and stroke, contribute to weight loss, and protect the brain from degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

The Washington Apple Commission recommends eating at least one apple a day in order to reap these benefits.

Cooked apples are easier to digest than raw ones. Apple juice — especially freshly pressed — has almost the same benefits as the whole apple.

Apples are a traditional part of the school lunch box. In the kitchen, apples combine well with other fruits and vegetables.

For free recipes and more information, go to the Washington Apple Commission website at

http://www.waapple.org

Dawn Pisturino, RN

February 25, 2007; September 16, 2022

Published in The Kingman Daily Miner, June 26, 2007.

Copyright 2007-2022 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved. 

25 Comments »

%d bloggers like this: