I rolled to the dentist when I was young. I was curious. You know how all of those commercials say something like 7 out of 10 dentist use this such and such toothpaste. So of course I was curious as to what toothpaste he used. He dropped that he used salt and baking soda. My father and mother. I noticed that they advocated it also. I also went to an Environmental Racism conference back in the day and one of the presenters said something to the degree of not using anything that your grand parents or great grand parents didn't use.
So for DIY toothpaste get you some SEA salt and baking soda. You miss the minty fresh smell/taste in your mouth? Well then you can grow damn mint in your house. It's one of the easier herbs to grow and it will freshen up that breath right away.
Thursday, January 31, 2008
Posted by Alife Allah at 12:07 PM
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
One of the 'concerns' that people had when I became vegan was that I was going to become 'sickly skinny'. Well fret not...it ain't happen. In fact, most of the people who I know who make the transition from a meat centered into a plant centered diet GAIN weight? Why is that? It's because we end up just stop eating meat instead of finding out what nutrients that we need from the our new way of life.
There is a term that is used, pudding vegetarians. In fact, most of those 'facts' that your friends are reporting to you about how 'unhealthy' it is to be a vegetarian comes from this class of vegetarian because THEY are most often the ones getting sick and going to the doctors ie where they are getting the statistics from. A pudding vegetarian mainly survives off of starches and carbohydrates. Thus you'll find them eating french fries and pizza. I was that way when I first changed my diet. And yes, I gained some weight and often didn't feel good. Once I started putting more fresh fruit and vegetables into the diet I started to get the real benefits.
I will say this. The first thing that you should do is learn how to cook when you become a vegetarian. It is the economically sound choice PLUS you will start to learn what your body needs and how to provide it to your body.
Finally, as a vegetarian/vegan/raw foodist, etc..there are several tools that you should have in your collection. One of the main tools that you should have is a BLENDER. They're cheap...like $30 a pop. Go get one. You'll be suprised what you can whip up in there.
Posted by Alife Allah at 7:18 PM
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Now I know alot of 'vegetarians' out there use those 'given' definitions for self. I ain't one of them so let me speak my peace on something that I think is just a lapse in common sense.
"I'm a vegetarian yet I still eat eggs and milk"
"I'm a vegetarian yet I still eat chicken and fish"
Stop lying. You are NOT a vegetarian anymore than a person who eats beef and pork is a carnivore. You STILL have an omnivorous diet. Get over it.
Now I will concur that you may have a PLANT CENTERED diet. I can roll with that. You can have that term. Yes, over all it is healthier than a meat-centric diet. Yet leave that vegetarian title to those who have a PLANT ONLY diet.
Even in the plant only diet there are different levels and philosophies so don't think I am kicking you out of the club. I'm just giving you a different designation.
You have raw foodist, you have fruitarians, you have those who shun grains, etc. We're a varied lot.
Posted by Alife Allah at 1:00 PM
Check this article that was sent my way
Hundreds of medicinal plants are at risk of extinction, threatening the discovery of future cures for disease, according to experts.
Over 50% of prescription drugs are derived from chemicals first identified in plants.
But the Botanic Gardens Conservation International said many were at risk from over-collection and deforestation.
Researchers warned the cures for things such as cancer and HIV may become "extinct before they are ever found".
The group, which represents botanic gardens across 120 countries, surveyed over 600 of its members as well as leading university experts.
MIRACLE CURES MOST AT RISK
Yew tree - Cancer drug paclitaxel is derived from the bark, but it takes six trees to create a single dose so growers are struggling to keep up
Hoodia - Plant has sparked interest for its ability to suppress appetite, but vast quantities have already been "ripped from the wild" as the search for the miracle weight drug continues
Magnolia - Has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for 5,000 years as it is believed to help fight cancer, dementia and heart disease. Half the world's species threatened, mostly due to deforestation
Autumn crocus - Romans and Greeks used it as poison, but now one of the most effective treatments for gout. Under threat from horticulture trade
They identified 400 plants that were at risk of extinction.
These included yew trees, the bark of which forms the basis for one of the world's most widely used cancer drugs, paclitaxel.
Hoodia, which originally comes from Namibia and is attracting interest from drug firms looking into developing weight loss drugs, is on the verge of extinction, the report said.
And half of the world's species of magnolias are also under threat.
The plant contains the chemical honokiol, which has been used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat cancers and slow down the onset of heart disease.
The report also said autumn crocus, which is a natural treatment for gout and has been linked to helping fight leukaemia, is at risk of over-harvest as it is popular with the horticultural trade because of its stunning petals.
Many of the chemicals from the at-risk plants are now created in the lab.
But the report said as well as future breakthroughs being put at risk, the situation was likely to have a consequence in the developing world.
It said five billion people still rely on traditional plant-based medicine as their primary form of health care.
Report author Belinda Hawkins said: "The loss of the world's medicinal plants may not always be at the forefront of the public consciousness.
"However, it is not an overstatement to say that if the precipitous decline of these species is not halted, it could destabilise the future of global healthcare."
And Richard Ley, of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, added: "Nature has provided us with many of our medicines.
"Scientists are always interested in what they can provide and so it is a worry that such plants may be at risk."
Posted by Alife Allah at 10:53 AM
Monday, January 28, 2008
I am going to lay it down how I came into this state of Black Green (damn...I gotta make up a funky name...stay tuned) consciousness called 'Black to Nature'. Look for it in Original Thought Metazine in the upcoming months under the By Seed and By Soil Section. Yet until then I'll let you in on some of the things that aided in my development.
Dick Gregory was definitely one of those people outside of my own personal experience that added to my world view. As a comedian pre-civil rights he was gangsta. In a restaurant surrounded by some white folk he was about to eat some chicken. They said to him that whatever he did to that chicken they were going to do to him. So my man laid a big sloppy kiss on it and told them to line up...gangsta.
Anyway what is great about him is he became an activist for human right and a vegan.
His book "Dick Gregory's Natural Diet for Folks Who Eat: Cookin' With Mother Nature!" was one of my first books on vegetarian diets. It was straight forward with no mystic mumbo jumbo that alot of later Black vegetarian books mixed into their work. He broke down fasting. He broke down why it was better to go veg. The greatest tool in there for me was the analogy of the body to a car. By explaining how certain parts of the car didn't function right if not cared for it was SO clear to me how my body was being hurt. That explanation was simple and until this day it is what I use to explain the benefits of this way of life to others.
If you don't have that book in your library pick it up. Also check this article written about him
Posted by Alife Allah at 1:43 PM
Sunday, January 27, 2008
So with winter cleaning (yeah i'm rocking winter cleaning...sue me) I found a few solar powered battery chargers that I had left over. I have a small company called Sol Power that sells solar powered items to people in the hood. I haven't been promoting any items lately due to other projects. I sold these about a year and a half ago.
They are small solar panels that you plug into the lighter in your car and place the small panel on your dashboard. The ambient light from the sun sends a small pulse into the battery of your car thus your battery never dies on you in the dead of winter. I have a few left so if anyone wants one get at me, $24.99.
Look to the future for Sol Power though. Going into the next year I may have some new items for you.
Posted by Alife Allah at 1:53 PM
Friday, January 25, 2008
I'm a writer also (duh) so I'll also hit you with some opportunities out there that are available for green writers to write about green stuff and get paid.
Green Government Magazine wants articles and writers
Looking for writers to write on Alternative Energy
If you are a gardener write
Posted by Alife Allah at 11:25 AM
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Posted by Alife Allah at 6:24 PM
I offer first my disclaimer. I am not a gardener. I am the son of a son of a Tennessee farmer. I am a man who will forever be only as tall as his father's belt buckle and who will always amble behind him. I am an inner city kid who grew up with soil underneath my fingernails, pollen in my eye ducts, and the smell of moist earth all in my sweat.
There was a corner in our backyard. It was about twenty five paces (from the vantage point of an eight year old) from our back door. It was where the sun first touched down early in the morning after skating down the sides of our neighbor's houses. It was this patch of dirt that my father claimed as his own. He was going to grow his own tomatoes here. I remember how proud he sounded when he said that as though he has just discovered some far off land. I was the eldest so of course I was going to help him.
It was sticky hot yet my dad insisted that we suit up because we were going to get dirty. The mosquitoes were voracious yet for some reason he didn't pay them no mind. He balanced that iron rake in my hands. He took a hoe himself. We went to work tilling that soil. Pebbles were actually peaks of rocks. Stubborn roots refused to budge. I would often get my rake tangled in the debris, tripping face first into the dust with my dad chuckling in the background. He told me that some obstacles in life you can't go full force against them. You have to charm them, move things around the obstacle, and let it move out of the way on its own.
The top soil that we laid down was like chocolate frosting. It was cool to my hands in the early morning sun. It smelled slightly nutty and crumbled moist between my fingers. He showed me how to make sure that I was applying an even layer. Make sure that you give everything the proper attention.
We were planting tomatoes, red vegetables with soft skin. He pulled my tiny arms to the side when I was placing the plants too close to each other. He warned me that putting them too close was like having my sister and brother too close to me. It would be one big mess. We both laughed looking like dusty wrestlers kneeling before some great Greco-Roman wrestling event. We had dirt war paint from us wiping the sweat from our foreheads. He told me that it is good for a man to have sandpaper hands. It took me years to understand what he meant by that.
He strung up the tomato plants on stalks while lecturing me about support. I recall the words about remaining true to myself, being a leader, and to not always follow the crowd. Together we drew a boundary of small wire fences. He anointed me a gardener and told me how we had to protect the first fruits. I learned that spiders and praying mantis are little watchmen that keep the pests away. When we stood up I could see how this little garden island existed in the corner of our backyard beyond concrete and weeds.
As those tomatoes drank in water, became lush red and heavy on the vine days flew by. My dad would never take full credit for the garden. It was our garden. In our garden he guided my hand to pluck that first tomatoes, sliced a thick sliver, salted it, and allowed me to savor that sharp tart goodness in my mouth.
Those days have passed now though. My father spends most of his time indoors. Since that time though I have brought a son into this world who is now eight. I think that it is about time for his hands to get dirty. I am not a gardener. I am the son of a son of a Tennessee farmer.
Posted by Alife Allah at 4:18 PM
These are some articles that I wrote over at Original Thought Metazine in the By Seed and by Soil section.
My Magic Potions: Tonic and Teas for the Original Man
I Got Sol: The ancient futuristic art of sungazin
Posted by Alife Allah at 9:17 AM
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
So. I''m sitting. I'm thinking. I need to get my eco-focus on front smash. I'm a writer, a thinker, active activist and blogger-holic. Why don't I just blog about it. So here it is. Don't expect deep philosophical musings all of the time. Sometime I might just hit you with a tasty recipe.
I'm going to get real natural with it though. I'm just going to let this thing grow.
Posted by Alife Allah at 1:37 PM