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Showing posts from May, 2011

What To Eat or Not to Eat

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Lately I've gotten all caught up in a culture war. Liberal vs. conservative? Life vs. choice? Religion vs. science? No. The controversy I'm all abuzz with is much bigger than that. Each of us confronts it-- not once in our lives, but every morning, noon, and night. And whenever else we're peckish. The issue? Killer carbs vs. deadly protein.

I spent the bulk of my teenage years as a vegetarian.  Then I came to appreciate the beauty of grass-fed and free-range meat, not to mention fresh whole milk, ripe cheese, yellow cream. I tasted butter once at the Berkeley farmer's market that was so profoundly delicious, I cried. And buffalo steaks, and steak that tastes like BEEF and chicken that tastes like CHICKEN. Now I'm a big fan of meat, even though I am not blase about the death that is necessary for me to enjoy it. I killed my own chickens once, and it was humbling.

Since that's my point of view, I've happily read such fun fact-filled books as, Nourishing Trad…

Parenting in Paradise: a How-to

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I read a lot of parenting books. Lacking a compound of extended family and helpful aunties, bossy how-to books fill in the gaps. They are great-- I especially like Playful Parenting, How to Talk so Kids will Listen, Parenting with Love and Logic, and Simplicity Parenting. But there are some things about Hawaii that make parenting here unique. My friend H. and I call it "Beach Parenting." It comes naturally on this island but would not be difficult to apply anyplace else, if you just "think beach." So, as an experiment in how-to parenting writing, here you go. Your own guide to parenting in paradise.

1. Sand.
Get kids dirty. Sand is a miraculous substance-- take a little, it's light. Load a bucket-ful, it's heavy. It can be wet and cold to pour out into gloppy towers, or it can be crisp and hot enough to blister your feet. Put an irate bored child in the sand, and watch her relax. She will get into the zone, time will hold still as she grinds fistfuls throu…