Monday, July 1, 2019

Fruit Feast Day 1

Yes it has been a while. It is time to hit the reset button this month. I'll take it one day at a time. This morning I had a couple of bananas and 2 bottles of water for a 20 mile ride. All is well. Ran into Ron today. Epic #GFNYSantaFe completed and put a few things on my mind. Have a great day and enjoy what life has to offer.
George is a great guy and cyclist. Met him in Santa Fe.

Angel is a mentor that helped me with this accomplishment.

Mellow Velo offered some of the best hospitality one could ask for from a cycling shop.

#TheCheetah #NelsoVails  1984 Olympic Silver Medalist #ridewithnelly

Chilling with the #cheetah #nelsonvails

Ran into Ron today on #FuitFeastDay1 

What I do. #RideWithNelly

Props to #MellowVelo

Hanging out in the town square in Santa Fe with our guide Gary. 

Thursday, October 11, 2018

This is a life-changing program you don't want to miss!

I'm passing this along for those that might benefit. I was at a dine-in lecture and gained some really good health and wellness info.  Please reach out to Debbie for details regarding her coaching and wellness retreat. A whole body is a healthy body.  


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Debbie Movsesian
Mindful Health & Wellness

Harbour Town
Anthem, AZ

Post Ride Fried Rice.....[kind of]

Finished a ride today with a cup of java at a nearby store with Angel. Then it was off to the crib for what I thought was going to be a veggie burrito pick up on the way home.  NOT.

Boiled some brown rice, stir-fried some mushrooms, onions, carrots, and broccoli with pepper, salt, and ginger seasoning finished off with some low sodium soy sauce. Yeah, Buddy!  Time to dig in. It was good.


Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Delete all messages on Facebook with a few clicks

Want to get rid of all those messages and archived messages download this extension. My message inbox is clean and I have no archived messages. You select what you want and what you don't want with a few clicks.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Opinion: How I Learned To Face Food Waste And Plan Smarter

Peter Rabbit encourages people not to waste food as he casually chomps on a carrot on posters around town.
Carolyn Beans for NPR
Carolyn Beans is a freelance science journalist living in Washington, D.C. She specializes in ecology, evolution and health.
In Washington, D.C., Peter Rabbit regularly challenges me to stop wasting food. On a billboard hovering beyond my local grocery store and on posters on bus stop shelters, he casually chomps on a carrot while leaning on big bold letters: "Better Ate Than Never."
Food waste estimates vary, but according to the Natural Resources Defense Council, which runs this national "Save the Food" campaign with the nonprofit Ad Council, up to 40 percent of food in America is lost each year. Producing this food requires up to about one-fifth of U.S. croplands, fertilizers and agricultural water. Once tossed, food becomes the No. 1 contributor, by weight, to U.S. landfills, where it releases methane, a greenhouse gas, while decaying.
Food is wasted across the supply chain — from farms to manufacturers to supermarkets to restaurants. But more than 40 percent of food loss comes from our own homes. According to the USDA, nearly 300 pounds of food per person goes uneaten in American homes each year, costing a family of four around $1,500.
Under Peter Rabbit's watchful gaze, it's getting harder to ignore my four-person family's contribution to this problem. I vow to do better each time I toss rubbery celery or fuzzy jam. But my guilt quickly turns to relief that the offensive food is no longer lurking, and the cycle continues.
"Patterns that contribute to food waste are often bound up in good intentions," JoAnne Berkenkamp, a senior advocate with NRDC, says. "We tend to be aspirational shoppers. We have a big cart. We want to fill it with healthy things. We want to make sure we don't run out."

To finally face my food waste, I weighed all of the food that my family threw away from May through July. I only weighed food that we intended to eat but didn't, so waste like chicken bones and banana peels didn't count.
Factors in my favor: access to NRDC's food saving tips and a spouse who, abhorring food waste, concocts culinary wonders with lifeless produce. Factors not in my favor: my unfounded fear of venturing beyond "best by" dates, a 3-year-old with an unpredictable appetite, and a 1-year-old with a serious food-throwing habit.
Through experimentation and experts' advice, here's what I learned during my family's three-month food waste challenge:
Meal plan (with high hopes and low expectations)
Planning out meals for the week is one of the most surefire ways to reduce excess food purchases. "Once you start getting into the rhythm of planning, that well-intentioned purchase of fish or chicken doesn't turn up green in the back of the fridge two weeks later," says agricultural economist Brian Roe of Ohio State University.
I've been a meal planner for years, but this experiment made me realize that I rarely follow through. Come Thursday, I'm often too tired to cook or too tempted by a dinner invitation to eat Monday night's leftovers. So I've started planning for late-week meals that may not happen. I drop leftovers in the freezer and decide on Wednesday whether they'll make another appearance that week. Or if I intend to cook, I make sure that whatever ingredients I purchase can handle extra fridge time.
Learn food waste patterns
"Once you understand your own patterns, you can get on top of it and change," says Berkenkamp. She realized that she often buys too much food before leaving town. I discovered that starchy food is my downfall. I always want more rice, french fries and pasta than I can eat. I started preparing smaller portions. And whenever french fries came with a sandwich at the food trucks by my office, I asked for half the typical serving. I paid the same for less food, but since I likely would have tossed half of the fries anyway, I didn't mind.
Start toddlers with smaller portions

Starchy foods, such as french fries or pasta — which are often served in large portions — are typical suspects for the waste bin.
Carolyn Beans for NPR
I tried to learn which foods my youngest would hurl from his high chair, but one day's favorite was the next day's flying object. The NRDC suggests starting kids off with smaller portions, along with many other helpful tips on wasting less food with kids. I learned to offer a quarter of what I thought he'd eat, and then more when the coast was clear. Mostly this worked well, but 15 percent of our waste was still spoiled milk, largely from his sippy cup.
As for my older son, he was more excited to eat when I let him mix batter or pick vegetables from our garden. "We need to get better at connecting our kids to their food," says food waste consultant Jonathan Bloom, author of the book American Wasteland. "If they have a role in growing, purchasing or even cooking what's on their plate, they'll have more respect for what a beautiful thing food can be."
Stray from recipes
Because of the way fresh herbs are packaged, we almost always need to buy more than a recipe calls for. I threw away portions of five packages of herbs during this experiment. By the end, I found myself considering whether that teaspoon of fresh thyme was really necessary or whether I could swap in dried thyme or a sprig of rosemary I had lying around.
I also started substituting other ingredients. I planned a green beans and tofu disharound tofu that was nearing its "use by" date. There were no green beans at our farmers market, so I bought sweet peppers and sliced them long and thin, and julienned carrots that I already had at home.
The more adventurous can forgo recipes, letting leftovers lead. My husband can work magic with a partially used can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce — smoky bean dip, fiery pizza sauce, spicy egg scrambles.
Know when food is actually spoiled
Many a good food gets tossed because it's beyond the "sell by" date. But as NPR has reported, those dates have less to do with safety than with the manufacturer's understanding of when the food's flavor becomes less optimal. Instead, give food the sniff test. If it smells funny, don't eat it.
Even armed with this information and the NRDC's tips for reviving food, I've been an adherent to "sell by" dates for so long that it was hard to ignore them. But I made progress. I turned mustard, two months past its expiration date, into a honey mustard vinaigrette. And I've pushed produce limits. Turns out that a slightly rubbery cucumber tastes like, well, a cucumber.
I've also tried to get better at predicting when opened food products will pass their prime. After I let jarred salsa verde spoil in my refrigerator not once but twice, I decided it was time to adjust my expectation of how long an open jar of salsa should last. I consulted the FoodKeeper App, which tells you how long a product will stay fresh in a pantry or refrigerator before and after being opened. For an opened jar of salsa in the refrigerator, it's a month. I went a week too long.
Guilt is not enough for change
"People do have general guilt about wasting food," says Roe. He and then-graduate student Danyi Qi, now an agricultural economist at Louisiana State University, conducted a national survey that found that over 75 percent of respondents either somewhat or strongly agreed that they feel guilty when throwing away food. But people also tend to think that their own contributions to food waste are no worse than anyone else's. Only about 14 percent of respondents felt that their households wasted more food than households of similar size.
My food waste chart shows peaks and valleys.
Carolyn Beans for NPR
While I've long felt guilty about food waste, it wasn't until I studied my food waste habits that I developed steps to change them. But studying personal food waste need not involve a kitchen scale. Berkenkamp simply stops and looks at food before throwing it away. "I ask myself, 'What am I throwing out? Why?' " she says. Bloom says composting has helped him. "In addition to recycling food's nutrients," he says, "it forces you to notice the types and amounts of food you're not using."
Learn from blunders
Over three months, my family threw away 10,553 grams of food, or about 23 pounds. I plotted our daily food waste, hoping to see a downward trend. Instead, I saw a series of peaks and valleys. My new goal, although I'm no longer weighing waste, is to push these peaks farther apart. I'll try my best to get to strawberries before the mold does. And I'll plan meals better before vacations.
I dedicated about 30 minutes each Saturday to meal planning. But my mind also frequently wandered to questions like, "How am I going to use up that half of a cup of ricotta?" As the experiment progressed, I spent more time thinking about reducing waste. It became less of a chore than a habit — one that saves money, leads to new recipes, and makes at least some dent in my family's ecological footprint. Plus, when I pass those Peter Rabbit posters, I can now look the bunny in the eye.
From NPR

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Heat: the next big inequality issue

The deadly global heatwave has made it impossible to ignore: in cities worldwide, we are now divided into the cool haves and the hot have-nots
by  with  and Adham Youssef in Cairo,  in Jerusalem, Carmela Fonbuena in Manila and Holly Robertson in Phnom Penh

When July’s heatwave swept through the Canadian province of Quebec, killing more than 90 people in little over a week, the unrelenting sunshine threw the disparities between rich and poor into sharp relief.
While the well-heeled residents of Montreal hunkered down in blissfully air conditioned offices and houses, the city’s homeless population – not usually welcome in public areas such as shopping malls and restaurants – struggled to escape the blanket of heat.
Benedict Labre House, a day centre for homeless people, wasn’t able to secure a donated air-conditioning unit until five days into the heatwave. “You can imagine when you have 40 or 50 people in an enclosed space and it’s so hot, it’s very hard to deal with,” says Francine Nadler, clinical coordinator at the facility.
Fifty-four Montreal residents were killed by this summer’s heat. Authorities haven’t so far specified whether any homeless people were among them, but according to the regional department of public health, the majority were aged over 50, lived alone, and had underlying physical or mental health problems. None had air conditioning. Montreal coroner Jean Brochu told reporters that many of the bodies examined by his team “were in an advanced state of decay, having sometimes spent up to two days in the heat before being found”.
t was the poor and isolated who quietly suffered the most in the heat – a situation echoed in overheated cities across the world. In the US, immigrant workers are three times more likely to die from heat exposure than American citizens. In India, where 24 cities are expected to reach average summertime highs of at least 35C (95F) by 2050, it is the slum dwellers who are most vulnerable. And as the global risk of prolonged exposure to deadly heat steadily rises, so do the associated risks of human catastrophe.
Last year, Hawaiian researchers projected that the share of the world’s population exposed to deadly heat for at least 20 days a year will increase from 30% now to 74% by 2100 if greenhouse gas emissions are allowed to grow. (It will rise to 48% with “drastic reductions”.) They concluded that “an increasing threat to human life from excess heat now seems almost inevitable”.
“Dying in a heatwave is like being slowly cooked,” said lead author Professor Camilo Mora at the time of publication. “It’s pure torture. The young and elderly are at particular risk, but we found that this heat can kill soldiers, athletes, everyone.”
The effects of heat haze is seen as pedestrians cross a street during a heatwave in Tokyo.
The year 2018 is set to be among the hottest since records began, with unprecedented peak temperatures engulfing the planet, from 43C (109F) in Baku, Azerbaijan, to the low 30s across Scandinavia. In Kyoto, Japan, the mercury did not dip below 38C (100F) for a week. In the US, an unusually early and humid July heatwave saw 48.8C (120F) in Chino, inland of Los Angeles. Residents blasted their air conditioners so much they caused power shortages.
Urban areas are reaching these killer temperatures faster than those that are less populated. Cities absorb, create and radiate heat. Asphalt, brick, concrete and dark roofs act like sponges for heat during the day and emit warmth at night. Air conditioning is a lifesaver for those who can afford it, but it makes the streets even hotter for those who can’t.
“Urban heat islands, combined with an ageing population and increased urbanisation, are projected to increase the vulnerability of urban populations, especially the poor, to heat-related health impacts in the future,” a US government assessment warned.

The World Health Organisation says that 60% of people will live in cities by 2030, and the more densely populated they become, the hotter they’ll get. Considering that recent predictions warn temperatures in South Asia will exceed the limits of human survival by the end of the century, every degree counts. Even this year, 65 people have perished from nearly 44C (111F) heat in Karachi, Pakistan – a city used to extreme heat.
But the impact is not evenly distributed. For example, there is a strong correlation between an area’s green spaces and its wealth; when shade from tree canopies can lower surfaces’ peak temperature by 11–25°C, “landscape is a predictor for morbidity in heatwaves”, says Tarik Benmarhnia, public health researcher at University of California San Diego. A review paper he recently co-authored found that people living in less vegetated areas had a 5% higher risk of death from heat-related causes.
In 2017, researchers at University of California, Berkeley were able to map racial divides in the US by proximity to trees. Black people were 52% more likely than white people to live in areas of unnatural “heat risk-related land cover”, while Asians were 32% more likely and Hispanics 21%.
Air pollution is more deadly in these areas, too, as nitrous oxides generate ozone when heated by the sun, inflaming airways and increasing mortality risk. “These problems are worse,” says Benmarhnia, “for vulnerable or low-income populations living near traffic in poor housing with no air conditioning.”
But air conditioning will remain out of reach for many, even as it increasingly becomes a necessity. In 2014, Public Health England raised concerns that “the distribution of cooling systems may reflect socioeconomic inequalities unless they are heavily subsidised,” adding that rising fuel costs could further exacerbate this. And when we need to use less energy and cool the planet, not just our homes and offices, relying upon air conditioning is not a viable long-term plan – and certainly not for everyone.
A woman carries a food bowl on her head in the village of El Saman in sight of the Great Pyramid of Cheops in Giza, Egypt.
Most of the research into heatwaves and public health has focused on western countries; Benmarhnia says more studies have been done on the city of Phoenix, Arizona, than the entire continent of Africa. But the problem is global, and especially pronounced across urban slums such as the ashwiyyat in Cairo, where temperatures during the city’s five-month-long summers have peaked at 46C (115F).
Traditionally Egyptians built low buildings close together, forming dense networks of shaded alleyways where people could keep cool during summer. But the rapid construction of high-rises and decreasing green spaces have made one of the fastest-growing cities in the world increasingly stifling. Subsidy cuts have brought about a rise of 18-42% in electricity costs, affecting many poor residents’ options for cooling down.
Um Hamad, 41, works as a cleaner and lives with her family in a small flat in Musturad in the city’s north. Though she considers them lucky to live on the relatively cool first floor, “in Cairo everything is suffocating”, she says. Hamad use fans and water to keep cool inside, but the water bill is becoming expensive . “There’s always that trick of sleeping on the floor, and we wear cotton clothes ,” she says. “The temperatures are harder to deal with for women who wear the hijab, so I always tell my daughters to wear only two layers and to wear bright colours.”
In a tight-knit cluster of urban dwellings in Giza, to Cairo’s south, Yassin Al-Ouqba, 42, a train maintenance worker, lives in a house built from a mixture of bricks and mud-bricks. In August, he says, it becomes “like an oven”. “I have a fan and I place it in front of a plate of ice so that it spreads cold air throughout the room. I spread cold water all over the sheets.”
Mothers tend to their newborn babies at a maternity ward at the Dr Jose Fabella Hospital in Manila.
In tropical Manila in the Philippines, where highs above 30C are intensified by stifling humidity, air conditioning is a luxury even for those in medical care. The Dr Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital is said to have one of the world’s busiest maternity wards, with free contraception only recently made available in the predominantly Catholic country.
An air-conditioned private room costs 650 Philippine pesos per night – less than £10, but far beyond the means of most mothers-to-be, who end up in wards reliant on fans buzzing softly on wall mounts. “These fans work nonstop 24 hours a day, so they never last a year,” says Maribel Bote, a nurse at the hospital for 28 years.
The problem is compounded by regular overcrowding: in the maternity ward, known as ground zero of the country’s overpopulation crisis, as many as five mothers have been forced to share one bed. “It gets hellish in the summer – the fans blow hot air,” says Bote. “You’ll see the mothers using paper fans to cool themselves.”

In Cambodia, which has seen devastating heatwaves and drought in recent years, surviving the heat is as much a question of status for prisoners as it is for civilians. In the early 2000s Chao Sophea, 30, spent more than two years at Phnom Penh’s Prey Sar prison after being convicted on drug charges, which she denies. At the time she was three months pregnant; Sophea’s child spent its first year in an overcrowded cell designated for pregnant women and new mothers.
“It was actually a steaming room,” says Sophea today. “I was using a fan made of a palm leaf to cool my baby down – that was what I could afford. There was a tiny hole in the wall, but can you imagine how much air you would absorb in such a crowded space? We made a request for an electric fan, but it never arrived.”
An environmental activist who wishes to remain anonymous says he shared a cell of about four square metres with at least 25 other men when he was held in Prey Sar’s men’s wing earlier this year. “We slept like smoked fish on a skewer. There was no air conditioning, not even a fan.”
Others may be able to secure better conditions. A 2015 report by the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defence of Human Rights stated that “some prisons reportedly house ‘VIP cells’ for well-connected prisoners or those able to pay for single-cell accommodation,” and these are believed to be air conditioned.
Compounding the threat posed by the changing climate is the refugee crisis. The two are intimately linked, with extreme weather events often a factor in social, political and economic instability. A paper published in the journal Science in December found that if greenhouse gas emissions were not meaningfully reduced global asylum applications would increase by almost 200% by the end of the century.
On a plain north of Amman, some 80,000 Syrians live in the Za’atari refugee camp, a semi-permanent urban settlement set up six years ago and now considered Jordan’s fourth-largest city. Hamda Al-Marzouq, 27, arrived three years ago, fleeing airstrikes on her neighbourhood in the outskirts of Damascus.
Her husband had gone missing during the war, and she was desperate to save her young son and extended family. Eight of them now live in a prefabricated shelter, essentially a large metal box, which Al-Marzouq says turns into an oven during the summer.
“It’s a desert area, and we’re suffering,” she says by phone from the camp. “We have different ways of coping. We wake in the early morning and soak the floor with water. Then we sprinkle water on ourselves.” There is no daytime electricity, so fans are useless. When power does arrive at night, the desert has already cooled.
Many days, her family will wait until the evening to walk outside, wrapping wet towels around their heads. But the biggest problem are sandstorms, which can arrive violently during the summer months and engulf the camp for days. “We have to close the caravan windows,” she says, adding the room then gets hotter. “It’s suffocating. We soak the towels and try to breathe through them.”
Al-Marzouq’s five-year-old son suffers respiratory problems and keeps getting infections, while asthma is rife across the camp.
Water has also been an issue, with demand in northern Jordan – one of the most water-scarce countries in the world – surging following the refugee arrivals. A Unicef-led operation will see all households connected to a water network by October, which Al-Marzouq says has been a significant help.
“We used to collect water with jerry cans and had to carry it for long distances. Now, with the water network being operational, things are much easier. We don’t have to fight in a long queue to get our share of water. Now there is equity.”
Volunteers paint a New York rooftop with specialised coating material that has a high solar reflectivity.

A plan for the future?

Across the board, lack of equality has been found to feed the urban furnaces. The US researchers who in 2013 uncovered the racial divide in urban heat vulnerability discovered that the more segregated a city was, the hotter it was for everyone. Rachel Morello-Frosch, one of the co-authors, told the LA Times at the time that “this pattern of racial segregation appears to increase everyone’s risk of living in a heat-prone environment”.
Treating cities as a whole, ghettos and all, is a more effective way to tackle extreme urban heat, they found. Researchers recommended planting more trees and increasing light-coloured surfaces to reduce the overall heat island effect, adding that urban planning to mitigate future extreme heat “should proactively incorporate an environmental justice perspective and address racial/ethnic disparities”.
Working to break social isolation, says Benmarhnia, “is a win-win situation”, with the added benefit of bringing the “invisible” people most at risk – like the homeless, and illegal immigrants – back into the community, where they can be looked after.
In at least one of the world’s hottest countries, steps are starting to be taken. India recently announced that a series of common-sense public health interventionshave led to an enormous reduction in heat-related deaths – from 2,040 in 2015, to a little over 200 in 2017. Successful measures included unlocking the gates to public parks during the day, distributing free water, and painting the roofs of slum communities white, knocking 5C off internal temperatures.
Montreal first implemented a similar heat action plan in 2004, reducing mortality on hot days by 2.52 deaths per day, but as the heat waves intensify, it is likely that this will need to be reassessed. Nadler says the devastating impacts of global warming are only just beginning to dawn on everyone. “Cities will have to rethink how we prepare for these emergencies and what we’re able to offer to all of our citizens – from the most affluent, to the most vulnerable.”
Additional reporting by Ruth Michaelson with Adham Youssef in Cairo, Oliver Holmes in Jerusalem, Carmela Fonbuena in Manila and Holly Robertson in Phnom Penh
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