Holidays, Human Rights & How I Eat: December 2010

There is one tree left in our condo parking lot that still has leaves. Even as it becomes bare, I love it!

With Thanksgiving over and hopefully all the food has been eaten, advertisers have turned on the “Holiday Hype.” I watched TV the night before Thanksgiving and saw that retail stores were opening at 3 am, 4 am and 5 am on the day after Thanksgiving, and then some opened on Thanksgiving Day itself! Unbelievable! My younger daughter suggested that we celebrate Thanksgiving in October to give people more time to shop between the two holidays and maybe give Thanksgiving its proper due. Also, the leaves will be in their full glory. What could be better?  It is one of my favorite holidays, because everyone can celebrate, whatever his or her heritage. Giving thanks is always in style.


My recipes for this month will continue to focus on color, with a review of a new book on the importance of nutrition and the color of your food. The author is Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, whose book, The Vegan Table, I reviewed in January. I also plan to feature some of my own recipes using red, white, and green to represent the red of holly berries, the white of snow, and the green of evergreen trees. Many people automatically think these are Christmas colors, but I think Christmas borrowed them from Mother Nature.

I also hope to review two other books as part of my catching up before the end of the year.  One is a recipe book for parents called Love More, Feed Less and is written by Randi Lee Levin, originally from Philadelphia, but now living in Evergreen, CO.

The other is one on Inflammation by another repeat author, Nancy Appleton. It seems to fit in with the cold & flu season coming on. If I run out of time, I will review this in January. (I think my eyes are often bigger than my belly!)

Last month I had planned to profile a mom who recently opened a dairy-free, gluten-free bakery. However, she became so busy with the holidays that we decided to postpone it until January. So this month, with everyone too busy to be interviewed, I will post some non-profit organizations that support our human right to food, mixed-gender marriage, and other rights that we who live well take for granted.

But in other countries, as well as in the USA, many people are denied basic human rights such as food, shelter and food. According to my nutrition friend at MANNA, 25% of families in the U.S. lives in poverty, which means that often have to choose between eating and heating. Unacceptable!


Each time I post I hope to mention at least one organization that I know about and let you decide if  you want to investigate their work. One umbrella organization is called Human Rights Watch. In their mailing is a photo of children forced to fight in their government’s army and above it the words: “All People are Entitled to Basic Human Dignity.” For more information, go to

My second choice is World AIDS Day, which happens to be today, December 1st. In Ms. Magazine’s calendar for December is this statement about World AIDS Day: “This year’s theme is ‘Universal Access and Human Rights.’ Events will be held around the world to break the silence and stigma surrounding the pandemic and fight for equal access to AIDS treatments.” As an AIDS volunteer when I lived in State College and now as a MANNA volunteer, which feeds many people critically ill with AIDS and other diseases, contributing to AIDS also means contributing to human rights. For more information, go to

Middle-school students sign their names to a banner printed with red ribbons to publicize AIDS prevention in the Tancheng Town section of Linyi City, in China’s Shandong province. To mark the 22nd annual World AIDS Day on Dec. 1, people will gather to remember those they have lost, to support those living with HIV and to continue pushing for a cure.

Finally, I want to announce that on Thursday, December 2nd, my birthday, I am posting my brand new blog called as a result of several conversations with my younger daughter Basha. She seems to think that the way I eat on a daily basis will help others struggling to eat well, without complicated recipes or no recipes, just common sense food choices. The title comes from our conversation this fall, when I said that I wasn’t sure anyone would be interested in how I eat. She said, between brushing her teeth and discussing this issue, “Mom, Nobody Eats Like You!” We could not find a title for the blog, because all the ones I tried were taken, but I punched in her words, Voila!, it was available. Please go to my new blog tomorrow and see how it looks. Your comments are always welcome, especially suggestions for improvement.

Here is my banner that will be on my new blog as of December 2nd.

While the introduction to my blog will be on my birthday, I am going to Williamsport that day because an old friend, with the same birthday as mine, died this week and I want to go to her funeral, so I may not start posting my daily food journal until next week. In fact, I am dedicating  this new blog to my friend Ann, because she worked very hard on her diet and lifestyle to stay healthy.

I think this lone leaf is clinging to the tree until it can no longer hold on, just like Ann.

Ann, or Anna as she called herself, first contracted cancer about 10 years ago, and stayed well for a long time, and I think her healthy lifestyle was a big contributor.  But the second time the cancer surfaced, it was too far along. While last month was Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I think every month we have to stay healthy to prevent these deadly diseases. Here is a poem about death that I received in an email from a man whose memoirs I am editing. It seems to fit my friend and came right before I learned about her death.

Give What’s Left of Me Away – Source Unknown

Now that I’m gone, remember me with
A smile and laughter. And if you
Need to cry, cry with your brother
And sister who walk in grief
Beside you.

And when you need me, put your arms
Around anyone and give to them what
You need to give to me.

I want to leave you something.
Something much better than words
Or sounds. Look for me in the
People I’ve known and loved or
Helped out in some special way.

Let me live in your eyes as well as
in your minds. You can love me the
Most by letting love live within the
Circle of your arms,
embracing the frightened ones.

Love does not die, people do. So,
When all that’s left of me is love,
Give me away as best as you can.
I’ll see you at home,
where I’ll
Be waiting.

I don’t want to end my Home Page on a sad note. Anna would not have wanted that. Instead, I will end with a wish that you have a healthy holiday season that extends into the New Year….and beyond.

This is the same tree as the one at the top of the page, but this picture is from a full front angle instead of underneath the tree, where there are more leaves still left. Fall doesn’t give up easily as it winds down into winter. But the trees will hopefully blossom again in Spring, starting the cycle/circle of life allover again.


16 thoughts on “Holidays, Human Rights & How I Eat: December 2010

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