A to Z challenge, theme: anatomy, day 7: G
Flash fiction, 100 words

Six months as a high raw vegan, and Corby glowed with energy. He happily kept an aggressive workout schedule, including running and strength training. Even mentally, he felt sharper and happier.

Out with old friends one day, Corby decided to cheat a little on his new lifestyle. The drinks, the potato chips, and the burger would have done the trick. He threw in a piece of pie for good measure. 

The ensuing gastrointestinal distress was convincing enough. The lethargy was the kicker though. After six months of feeling great, Corby knew the old ways of eating just weren’t worth it.


simple changes for a healthy life and world

veru2_13_19-e1550060900590.jpgI was happy to see a recent video in which Mic. the Vegan interviewed Dr. Dean Ornish.

Mic. the Vegan always offers fun and informative presentations on all things vegan. His forte is delving into actual research to substantiate what we know about the vegan lifestyle. Be sure and check out his channel here.

I’ve appreciated Dr. Ornish since way back when he first published Dr. Dean Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease. Everything in there made sense to me then, back in 1990, and it still does.

Ornish has a new book, Undo It, written with his wife, Anne.  The idea is that most chronic diseases can be reversed through simple lifestyle changes.

In Mic.’s interview, Ornish boiled the themes of the book down to a handful of maxims:





Eating well translates to a plant-based diet. Ornish encourages vegan – the book includes recipes, too. Moving more means exercise. Stressing less involves things like meditation and yoga. Loving more means healthy, loving relationships in our lives, including connectedness with friends and community.

Sounds simple enough, eh? 

Mic. quizzed Ornish about a variety of topics. One that they spent some time on was the prevalence of depression and loneliness, and the impact on health – hence, the “Love more” part of the mix – which Ornish singled out as a high priority. In fact, in 1998 he wrote an entire book on that subject alone: Love & Survival.

Needless to say, Ornish’s latest book is on my reading list. It would be great to see us all take Ornish’s four simple maxims to heart: Eat well, move more, stress less, love more. If we did that, we would all be a lot healthier.

Not only that, adhering to those maxims as a culture has the potential to change the world and our collective future in very positive ways – from protecting our endangered planet to improving the very structure of our society.

Works for me. It’s simple steps each one of us can do to take care of ourselves and each other. Let’s “be the change we wish to see.” 

hey, it’s a start anyway


New Year’s Eve day we had reports of a snowstorm moving in. So, that morning, I am happy to say that I did get out and on the move, hoping to beat the storm. During the first mile, I began to feel the cold pings of sleet, but forged on. It picked up, but never got overwhelming. It turned out to be a great, invigorating run.

The snow didn’t materialize according to schedule. First, there was the long, steady sleet, and eventually it was rain. At a couple of points, it was actually raining pretty hard, with puddles and all. It wasn’t until late in the evening when the rain finally turned to snow. That, of course, meant ice.

I had originally planned to participate in an organized hike on New Year’s morning, one of those First Day Hikes, at a place I had never before visited.  When morning actually arrived, however, it was pretty clear the roads were really too treacherous to get to the starting point. 

Nevertheless, I still made myself venture out on foot. It was a tentative, careful exploration. It was indeed very icy everywhere.

I slowly headed for one of my familiar routes nearby and I just walked, rather mincingly. I knew running was out of the question, but I carefully and gradually picked up a little speed. Most of the time, I crunched my way through the grass since the sidewalks and the roads were really not safe.

I crossed paths with a couple of teens who were delighted to discover just how slippery it was out. They weren’t making much headway, and one took a tumble, but they were getting a good laugh out of it.

All in all, I covered about five miles, albeit with much retracing of steps – happily meditative. I noticed my own footprints as I came upon them, and felt that apparently I actually had made my mark, if ephemeral, on the world.

My New Year’s outing wasn’t fast, but it was good. It made a cheerful compromise, in keeping with my plans for the new year. Staying in motion is so important for my physical and mental/emotional health.

I consider it a good start to 2019.

on the clock

veru11_3_18It’s getting darker. It’s noticeable now. As autumn slowly morphs toward winter, the days are getting shorter.

And tomorrow, of course, we “fall back,” our clocks correcting the course of time in the biannual exercise that results from Daylight Saving Time.

There is nothing natural about changing our clocks, and, as far as I can tell, there is no real advantage to it either. I think the only reason we continue to go through this routine is, as in so many things, inertia. Let’s pick a time, once and for all, and stick with it.

If people perceive that time changes are needed, the logical answer is to change the schedule – not the clock.

There have been efforts. After Florida approved the Sunshine Protection Act in March this year to simply stay on DST year round, it languishes – unsurprisingly – at the federal level.  Why?

Studies have shown that our current implementation of DST results in negligible, if any, benefits in terms of saving energy – in fact, it may increase our energy usage. Of course, there are all the other supposed benefits to DST, like … hmmm, honestly, there really aren’t any, as far as I can tell. Some business sectors may see advantages to it. 

On the other hand, the practice of changing our clocks twice a year has negative impacts – mainly health and psychological. Messing with clocks messes with our circadian rhythm, hence, sleep problems which can affect, at the very least, mood. Studies are out there that show that clock changing also translates to increased risks of traffic accidents, workplace accidents, heart attacks, and strokes.

Personally, I’m not happy about the clock change we’re about to execute. I am a very early riser to begin with. This just messes with my head. Worse, this presents as sudden looming darkness just about the time I’m done working on Monday. I’d rather ease into that transition instead of having it happen overnight. You know, the way nature intended.

I assert that this is an exercise whose time has come. Why we all mutely go along with this annoying and ill-advised practice is sad and unsurprising commentary. 

Go ahead. Question authority.

I know this is small potatoes given the tremendous issues with which we are currently confronted. Nevertheless, this is also one of those instructive ones – doing what makes sense, in concert with nature instead of fighting with it, and good for everyone rather than just certain business sectors. And it’s a simple fix, for Pete’s sake.

Go ahead, pick one. DST all year round, whatever. Let’s just stop changing the clock. And, by all means, live in the now.