DYI Simple and Cheap Bicycle Saddle Bags

Not a lot to read in this post. Four short paragraphs, two pictures and three links.

I saw this bicycle with buckets chained to a bike rack and thought this bucket idea was ingenious! The owner showed up, and explained how he did it. I asked if I could take pictures and he said, “Okay”.

It doesn’t get simpler and cheaper than this!

Close up of U-Bolt attached to bicycle head tube

The middle bucket is clamped to the head tube with a U-bolt and a Bungee cord. All buckets are removable and the second and third bucket is held on to the main bucket with two hand sized short bolts and four nuts, and Bungee Cords. The second nut on each bolt keeps the nut tightly on the bolt. As an added feature, one or both side buckets may be removed easily when not required.

Someone with a $10k racing bike would not be caught dead sporting five gallon buckets on their bike, though I think for most of us who need to haul groceries, and other items too big to fit in a pocket or small bag, this DYI Bicycle Saddle Bag system is excellent!

Of course if five gallon buckets are larger than you need, smaller buckets can be used instead.

Dryer Balls, Verses Dryer Sheets, or Unsightly Static Cling

First there was drying clothes on a clothesline. To dry clothes on a clothesline, the weather had to be accommodating. Clothes don’t dry well in rain or excessive cold. Women of the day wanted an easier way to dry clothes. It was little fun having a clothes line; it was less fun having drying clothes hanging all over the house due to local weather conditions

Clothes became dry, but clothes were often stiff, and uniform drying was an issue. Clothes dried this way were not a lot of fun to wear, especially if the water was hard. Eventually came the Clothes Dryer. This modern marvel was to be the answer to everyones hopes for an easy way to dry clothes in any weather.

Fast forward to today, and dryer sheets are the bane of clothes drying. They are expensive, really serve only on purpose, and end up everywhere there are clothes. Some claim there are uses for used dryer sheets, but how many uses compared to how many loads of clothes dried in a time period? They end up everywhere, even at work or school, in someones sleeve or pant-leg.

Dryer Sheets were a miracle product, but there time is at end.

Now there are dryer balls. Wool balls that promised to eliminate all the problems with dryer sheets, with none of the hassle. I decided it was time to move on and try them. I bought a package of four and dropped them in the dryer.

Some weeks later, they get mixed reviews. I think they do a pretty good job on most occasions but others in the house are not so easily impressed. I hear dryer balls do not take the wrinkles out of some pan seams. Some part of the dryer load has static while the rest does not.

I think this may be eliminated by using one more dryer ball, or perhaps I should have bought a more expensive set. I bought mine on the lower end of the price line.

I enjoy not having dryer sheets showing up at the most inopportune times because I forget I didn’t see it when folding my clothes. I do not have a problem with seam wrinkles, and secretly suspect they were there all along. I’m not sure about cost per load yet, as it has only been a short period of time. Going forward, for me at least, the cost per chasing dryer sheets around is much higher than any small failings the dryer balls have. SO even if the price per load is higher in the long run, dryer balls far outweigh dryer sheets in the cost of convenience.

And The Fight Goes On…And On

I’ve been around a few years now and seen and done some things. Today many young people think grass roots activism is something new to their generation. Thinking about this, at least in my generation, Social Activism has been around for a long time, spanning many, many generations. You can’t know what you don’t know.

I remember birth control or, “The Pill”. No one considered out of the gate that for the first time in history, Women will have control over their reproductive system. What the adults around me thought, and perhaps some still do, is only, “Dirty Women”, want the pill. Dirty in this perspective was not referring to the lack of hygiene.

DDT, the pesticide was sweeping its way around the world, touted as the greatest thing since sliced bread. Initially a few groups of people saw it for what it was, the greatest poison ever unleashed. It wasn’t until California Condors were almost extinct, that the rest of the country got on board. It was looking grim for several years, and some species still have not recovered from DDT.

Women’s Liberation! Following in the footsteps of, “The Pill”, Women’s Liberation swept the country. From control over their bodies, Women wanted control of their destiny. Women were once again demanding their right to equality. This time very loudly. The most common symbol of the time were ‘bras’ going up in literal flames in public happenings; meeker women showed their support by leaving their bras at home. What scandal that was!

Equal Rights. Who did those people think they were? Don’t they know their place? This was an all too common sentiment around the country. Thankfully the Hippies and those of this generation changed opinion, and changed the country a little, the fight unfortunately still continues for Racial Equality.

Social Change is momentary, the poison doesn’t get vanquished. Keep fighting for what’s right.

Three Huggers. People who saw the value in ancient and modern forests, and wanted to put an end too deforestation and destroyed habitat. They were out there in front of the Logging Companies, ringing trees with their bodies, and driving spikes into trees to destroy chain and other saws, should an attempt be made to harvest them.

Viet Nam War and Government Disobedience. Up until this period, too many people ignorantly put their trust in Government, like so many people do today. They relinquished their civil liberties because they foolishly thought the Government knew best, and would protect them and keep them safe.

It took a horrible war in a far off land to wake people and open their eyes. Mostly Sons who were slated for the draft and their Mothers. Followed shortly by returning War Veterans who saw the senselessness of what was being done first hand.

These activists and protestors changed how we felt about war and the killing of our finest young men in war. It was all too easy before for old men to send young men off to be killed and maimed in war. At least we stopped the draft.

Then I became married and the world moved on around me. Movements came and movements went. Protests and protestors were viewed under different light depending on the year. Being a Father and Husband, I had to focus on family, and let the world take care of itself. I made a mistake.

The ozone layer problem came and went, as I did my small part, while others gave it the fight it deserved. In less than a year, most of the world understood the problem, and came up with a fix. End of the world diverted for real this time.

Now we have a Global Warming, and are slowly becoming aware of what we have done and are doing to our planet. Once again, old men are only interested in money, and care little about the lives of their Grandchildren, as if having money makes destroying the world all right.

My point to all this, is this. Many of the issues and problems of today, I thought were resolved in turn as I grew up. The problem is old habits and old thinking diminish slower than we grow up and grow old. Scared selfish people will never go away, and they will revert every good we do if not prevented from doing so.

Keep fighting, but don’t fight wearing rose colored glasses. What seems like winning the war of a very important cause today, will prove to be a minor skirmish in and ongoing campaign, as the years roll by you. You can’t slow down and rest on your achievements. Your victories will be challenged all through your life and you will find, you’re never done.

Cane and Walking Stick Bark Removal Tips

This spring, I am making wood canes and walking sticks from shrubs, tree branches and found wood (on the ground wood). I am find it quite relaxing. Not a lot of thought needed for the most part. Finding pieces that will make canes with a traditional cane handle are harder to find.

I live in a desert environment. For wood, I am mostly limited to Ash, Elm, Cottonwood, and Tamarisk. The more exotic woods either can not be harvested or do not exist where they can be harvested. There is an abundance of Willow along the Rio Grande River, but it is too small and light, and I doubt it can be cut down. Tamarisk (Salt Cedar) is defined as a noxious weed in New Mexico, so I can cut down all the Tamarisk I want. Not sure how Tamarisk will work for a walking stick or cane, as I remember it being brittle when dried.

As I learn the best way to remove the bark by scraping, I have made some interesting discoveries I will share with you. The best tool for scraping bark depends upon two things:

The first is the strength in your forearms and wrists. The stronger your forearms and wrists, the easier it is to take the bark off with a wider selection of tools.

The second factor is how fresh the cutting is. The greener the wood, the easier to remove the bark. If cut and peeled on the same day, a butterknife will practically be enough. I have seen a vegetable peeler used in one Youtube video. For older and drier the wood, a more serious (heavier) tool which needed.

I looked around the web for recommendations for scraping. As you can see from the photo, my collection ranges from a smaller kitchen knife, to a rasp and finally a paint scraper. They all work in their respective environments. The tool needed being dependent on how fresh and green the branch is.

Removing Bark for Canes and Walking Sticks is simple, and easiest when green.

We’re not talking cabinetry level work here, and I do not own a grinder or sander, so I am limited to hand tools. I have found the following to be generally true.

Very green, a paring knife or something like it works well. –4/26 – I forgot to mention, if you peel just cut wood, it is likely to crack.

Older wood, still somewhat green and a heavy knife seems to work quickly.

Very Old and/or really dry wood, my heavy duty Hori-Hori knife (Japanese hori-hori are better made and heavier)comes in to play.

Both kitchen knives are from second hand stores and cost me less than five dollars together, so I am not expecting a lot out of them. It’s not clear in the picture, but the blade on the chefs knife developed some bends along the bottom. Probably from my using the blade as a pry bar in a few spots today.

The rasp, I have found little use for other than branch knots and handle shaping. That being said, It would be a lot of work not having one. This rasp is part of a cheap set, but does the small amount of shaping I need without any real fuss. One note on the rasp. It builds up (teeth hold the shavings) when the wood is very green.

The final tool no matter what I use initially is, get ready… a paint scraper! Found out about paint scrapers from a 2011 youtube video by a man named, “Don Dailey”, Walking sticks prep 1. Thanks Don!

Most of the under-bark on all but the greenest pieces remains in places no matter how well the wood is scraped initially. The knives may leave some scratches too. The (orange) paint scraper has very sharp blades which scrapes and smooths, both at the same time. The other scraper hasn’t worked as well for me.

That’s all there is as far as I know right now. It’s not rocket science and there may be better and faster ways to remove bark, like an electric grinder which I don’t own. I don’t think there are any cheaper or simpler methods however. When it comes to bark removal, if you want to do it fast, cut and peel the same day. The older the wood, the harder it is to remove the bark.

Let me know how it goes for you, or if you have a better way to get the bark off.

My Good Friday Tweet to the Pope

@Pontifex, Previous #GoodFriday, meat #animal’s were killed, as always. Watching People refuse meat on GF is loathsome. Tens of thousand of pounds of animal meat go to the trash to rot as it wasn’t eaten, so People may feel reverent and pure. Stop this atrocity please.

I sent the above tweet to Pope Francis today, after watching more than one person pick the meat out of their Chicken Salad and Chilli at a restaurant today to have it thrown away. Meat comes from slaughtered Animals. Animals which were killed just so we can refuse to eat their meat today and send it to the trash because it won’t last another day?

There is no Good Friday magic that happens. Meat rots on Good Friday as well as it does on any other day. What is the justification of killing tens of thousands of animals around the world just to throw their meat away on this day?

At least Twenty-Five Thousand people die from starvation each day, and we refuse to eat what is in front of us.

I am ashamed for us! We no longer live in the Middle Ages. If we did, for most of us, meat would be a rarity, not an everyday food. Let’s move Good Friday out of the dark and into the light.

Simple Hole in the Ground Composting

It is spring. When spring arrives we all get the urge to do something outside. I know it’s way to early temperature wise to add to the compost pile and get any results. My compost pile, just isn’t that big.

I thought I would try something different Which I have been doing for about five weeks now. Compost holes. If you have ever been out camping decades ago, this was a common way of disposing of compostable material and if true wilderness, human waste. You simply dug a hole and buried it.

I’m sure as busy as many places are today, this is no longer done. Camping spots are more like mobile home parks than they are the remote locations they once were. However the idea is still the same. I have dug to date, five two gallon holes, one at a time. I add my gallon, more or less, of compostable material to the holes and cover it what I dug out minus the rocks.

I am curious to see if over the summer anything volunteers to grow in these spots. I marked them with a twig standing upright. With a little rain the material should break down and any volunteer seeds should have more fertile soil than other places. Of course weeds always lead the way, but they are compost for the next hole, or the compost pile when the temperature goes up beyond eighty.

Nothing more to add to this right now. Putting it out there for anyone who doesn’t have a compost pile, yet wants to compost. This is the simplest way to add to the soil. A ten or twelve inch hole, add your compost material and replace the soil.

Bionic Pup 8 Linux. Fast, Small, Complete

The latest Puppy Linux is out, named Bionic Pup 8 (BP8), and I think it is a winner! Bionic Pup 8 comes in both 64 and 32 bit flavors, so there is a BP8 for everyone. BP8 has a small footprint, a little less than 400M for the 64 bit ISO. BP8 runs off a usb, and has so many programs, and can perform so many different tasks, one may forget BP8 is a portable Linux, and not an overstuffed, full blown ISO.

I find it amazing that so many programs and features in such a small footprint. From initial setup, to playing a game, there are enough features and potential tweaks to keep everyone happy.

Desktop and initial Setup

If you need audio tools there are more than a handful to choose from. Same goes for video and Graphics tools. Yet there is more. Puppy has a more than acceptable collection of Personal and Office Tools though not in a suite. If you prefer, Libre Office, the download and install option are in the menu. You may find you don’t need it.

For the web, there is Pale Moon web browser, Claws email, Messaging and GTK Radio to name a few programs. Bionic Pup 8 has more programs available than many people will ever use. Persistent storage is an option if you want to use it, showing up on shutdown.

Puppy Linux’ loads into Ram, making it slower on the boot, but very fast when running. I have been playing around with Bionic Pup 8 for about five days now. Once BP8 is loaded, it’s the fastest Distro I have. Using Bionic Puppy 8, I forget I am running off a usb stick, it’s that fast.

Puppy Linux has so much to offer, with several excellent modified Puppy’s. Slacko or Fat Dog used to be my go to Puppy’s, but Bionic Pup 8 has really hit a home run. This version comes with more than needed standard and perhaps not so standard tools depending on your experience level. Every use should be able to do anything that needs attention.

A Menu everyone can love

Now after saying all these great things about Bionic Pup 8, some things haven’t changed. As I spend most of my time in a web browser or editor, I’m not picky about them, but you may be.

Visually, Bionic Pup 8 Desktop is awesome! Some think it’s a little crowded, to each his own. Programs may be the bland side visually – for some, and a little retro looking when compared to large and nicely polished Distros; even the games are fairly light. But comparing footprints megabyte to megabyte, Puppy Linux has the power and speed advantage.

All Puppy Linux flavors expect you can perform the basics. You are expected able to set up your system the way you want. This includes Internet, Printing, and other things you may want, Samba and your Lan name for instance. This sets Bionic Pup 8 apart from hold your hand beginner Distro’s, but not too far apart. If you set up your current Linux Distribution, you can set up and use BP8 too. On the bright side, everything you need or want is a mouse click away, and generally there are ample instructions to help you as you go. You just need to know what you want for your system.

If Bionic Puppy 8 is something you want to check out, and you have a spare usb stick, head on over to the Official Puppy Linux Web Site. You can read about Puppy Linux, check the link options, and view screen shots. If you want more, there is the Official Discussion Forum, Blog, Wiki, along with more discussion forums on other sites. There is even a Puppy School link available on the Wiki. Puppy is well supported.

Puppy Linux has been around a long time, and always delivers a blazingly fast, small (as in usb) footprint, and offers persistent, encrypted and unencrypted storage. Bionic Puppy 8 is worth you checking it out, especially if you are beyond the beginner stage, or you enjoy Distro hopping. Best of all, Puppy Linux is portable.

If needed, I have a previous post about a program named, Etcher which takes care of getting an iso from your hard drive onto a bootable USB stick. Etcher now runs on Linux, Mac and Windows.

Think Your Web Browsing is Really Private? Think Again

How anonymous is your private web browsing? I thought I had all the reasonable requisite Add-ons to keep me fairly anonymous on the Web. Then I read a comment in an article about a file named: ‘machine-id’ which holds all the data about the computer I am using. Machine-id is present on a Windows and Linux computers. It is around in some variation on a Mac, but not as easy to locate.

What this little file does is make your a single computer unique on the ‘Lan’ it is set up on. This information may extend out into the internet to your provider, and perhaps beyond, but in my limited searching, I did not find any reference of that happening. This is called from my understanding…get ready…”Fingerprinting”.

However this made me curious. What else is going out, while I am browsing the web, thinking I am wisely protecting my privacy? I can’t say I was surprised, but a truckload of information is sent to each and every website that is visited, even this one I am guessing, though I never see it.

If you look at this screenshot, Firefox.jpg, you will see the information every web site sees. The list is long, and the shot is clipped to only the top portion, but you get the idea of how privately you browse the web as an average user. Web browsers may as well include a picture, home address and phone number too, as far as privacy matters go.

I thought I was fairly anonymous on the web…

Contained in Firefox browser directory, and likely whatever browser you choose to use is a file called HTTPS. Now this is a really slick little file that works with web sites you visit. It stores the data you see which tells Firefox any site listed in the file can only be accessed using HTTPS at the beginning of the url for a ‘secure’ connection. If HTTP isn’t at the beginning of the URL string, you can’t connect to the website in question. Sounds great, I feel so much better….

The problem with this file is, you can delete the contents and save it as a blank file. Get on the web and surf to a few sites, and you have a long list of sites, including some you did not access and can not visit! Return to a website, and the string contents change My question is, with this file blank, I do not seem to have any problem accessing a website. Why is it needed except for tracking purposes? I think it uses information from machine-id, but I’m not really sure. Monster Cookies anyone?

HTTPS. Just a helpful little file

I never payed attention to the private browsing option until now. The results are disappointing if you think you are really getting private browsing. This is beginning to look like a bad take of, “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me”. All that happens in private browsing is the information normally stored on your computer about your browsing habits is not collected. To the sites you don’t want the world to know you visited, your browser sends the same information it always does. In essence, your family or Boss may not know where you browsed, but everyone else does.

If you want to see this in action, here are two links which collect all the information possible from your computer.

My Browser Info

Panopticlick from Electronic Frontier Foundation

After a quick search, I found a new well thought of web browser named, Epic Browser. It has a slick little VPN feature that really does erase you when you are on the web. I only played with it long enough to verify it works. With the VPN switch turned off, Epic transmits the same information as other browsers. With the VPN switch activated, it’s like being on the onion network with a tor browser. Maybe it is?

If you are serious about your privacy, but not too computer savvy

Which brings me to the Operating System Tails. Tails is so paranoid about privacy it only runs from a USB stick, and does not access any hard drive on the computer on its own. Tails uses the Tor browser and the Onion network. I really prefer using Tails when I want to surf about things I don’t want attached to me like, “How do you get Hemorrhoids”, or some such. You can browse with confidence knowing in your using the best privacy no money can buy when you are on the web. Below is a screenshot of how the sites see me when using tails. This isn’t a how-to about tails, but the web is almost your friend and will lead you to the Tails website.

The most online privacy no money can buy.

The information above is what I was able to find in about an hours worth of searching. Initially I was shocked to see what information about myself and my computer was giving away. After a short amount of time, I became angry, that so much information is built into the system by default. I did learn I don’t need to feel bad when a web site wants me to accept cookies. Websites already have more information than they need.

In wrapping up, I hope you have a better idea of your “privacy” when browsing the Internet. If you want to learn more and perhaps get involved, the, “Electronic Frontier Foundation” is a great place to start. EFF has been around since at least 1990, decries the lack of privacy in the digital age, and fights for our digital rights.

Here is the Electronic Frontier Foundation link:  Electronic Frontier Foundation check them out. They do a lot for you.

A Few Thoughts on Three Arch Child Distributions

I never had the desire to install Arch Linux from scratch. When I started with Linux, I installed Suse Linux using 3.5” floppy disks. I didn’t like it much, as I thought the mousing was too, “Precise” for me back in the day. Well, it is a long time since those days, and I have done so many installs and added software to them, it no longer gets me excited.

These days, most Linux distribution’s, mainstream distributions anyway, are becoming so plain vanilla, there is little need to start from bare bones system and build it up for home desktop use. Which brings me to the Children of Arch Linux. I have installed and used Arco Linux, Antergos Linux, and Manjaro Linux over the last few months.

I think I can safely write, these distributions have more in common than they are different. Each distribution is rock solid, as stable as Arch can be, and they each pretty much give me the desktop and looks I want. Arco Linux is different, in one of the its purposes to grow the user. By growing, I mean installing different desktop, adding programs, etc. Arco Linux is a great little distribution as is, if you do not wish to take it any further, or if you wish even better with video support (videos) to increase your Linux skills.

Antergos Linux shines in what it offers in the desktop realm. They have enough desktops to choose from upon install, that every user should be able to find what suits them. If you want to explore desktops, an Antergos is the way to go. If you try a new desktop and do not like it, just another desktop. Antergos has been tested with each of the desktops it offers on install, so one of the desktop choices should please just about everyone.

Manjaro Linux, with its new release, 18.xx, is a winner by a printer in my book, when compared to other Arch Children distributions. What sets Manjaro Linux ahead of the pack for me besides delivering a painless install, is my Brother Printer installed without a second thought, straight from the system settings. No more downloading Brother printer drivers from the Brother website and doing a manual install. I had given up on ever seeing such a smooth Brother printer install with Linux. I own a Brother MFC-L2707DW printer, if that is any help to you.

Manjaro Linux takes Best of Breed!

One rather unfair criticism I read about Manjaro Linux is terminal opacity. If the opacity of the terminal bothers you, click on settings as make the terminal as solid as you wish. I would think, if you are considering Arch or a Child of Arch, this would not be an issue for you.

Arch and Children of Arch have some serious side effects you may wish to consider, part of the Arch lineups dark side. Updates are fast and furious, you need some high speed bandwidth or you will reach new levels of frustration. Of course you may selectively choose to install only certain updated programs. Secondly, if you stray too far from the main road when installing programs you may find your favorite program needs some tender loving care. I had two programs, one of which refused to load, and the second refused to quit. Manjaro at least, has a pop up asking if you wish to terminate the program. You may also go through the terminal.

If you have installed a few Linux distribution’s and feel a little bored or daring, Give one of the Children of Arch a spin. Unfortunately, it is looking like you may still get a little bored with either Antergos or Manjaro. Depending on your pain tolerance, boredom is a good thing when using Linux. While Children of Arch distributions are a ways from being a beginning Linux Distribution, they are a long way from the expert level installation requirements of Arch Linux itself. If you can install Ubuntu Linux, Children of Arch Linux distributions are not out of your reach.

Change What You Eat, Get Healthy – Final

We will start off with foods you should be eating daily. Types of foods may vary by quality of what you can afford or what is available, but it is important to include as many of the high quality foods as possible.

High quality foods are powerhouse foods. They have the most benefit per ounce, benefits being nutrients your body needs, fiber, or healthy fats. Eating the correct type of fat is very important, but secondary to fat itself. You need about 30% fat by calories in your diet to be healthy. Fat also keeps you warm and feeling full.

When it comes to vegetables, color is most important. The more colors you can eat daily, the better you will feel. When the choices are available, eat orange, green and red vegetables. Here are some of the best examples:

Cooked vegetables: Yams, Spinach, Mustard Greens, Beets, Tomatoes, Greens, Carrots and Peas for example.

Raw vegetables: Tomatoes, Peas, Broccoli, Romaine Lettuce and general Greens for example.

In general vegetable are only limited by what you choose to eat. There are very few bad vegetables in general.

In the winter, you want to eat more root vegetables, and in the summer more above ground vegetables. Root vegetable examples are yams, carrots, potatoes. Any vegetable where the part we eat grows in the dirt underground.

In the summer, you want to eat more above ground vegetables. Above ground vegetable examples, are tomatoes, peas, green beans. Any vegetable where it is picked from a plant and not dug up,

Common nutrient poor foods: Iceberg Lettuce, Bread, Flour Tortillas, Most White Potatoes, Rice, Milk.

Shrimp and Lobster for some people raise Cholesterol, so do not eat them often.

Really Bad food choices: Butter (more than on bread, in oatmeal, or on vegetables), Candy bars, Soda of any type, Fruit Juice, Grapes, white potatoes. The reason these are bad, is they are all very low in nutrients (vitamins and minerals), and very high in starch and/or sugar.

Here is a short list of do’s and dont’s for eating:

1. Don’t only eat low or no fat foods

2. Eat real food, not processed foods

3. Don’t eat food you don’t like

4. Very little Grains, Potatoes, Sugars – Honey is sugar.

This may sound really confusing, but it will become easier as you get used to eating better. If you pay attention to how you feel, you will find you feel better and you won’t want to eat junk foods.

Think of a plate divided into four. You can label them 1, 2, 3, 4 and it doesn’t matter which one you call number one. When you start to cook, or put food on your plate, this is what you do:

1. This is the section for meat – beef, pork, chicken, fish, eggs. The piece of meat should be about the size of your palm. Some type of meat or eggs should be eaten with every meal.

2. & 3. This is the section for your vegetables. Any vegetables are good, cooked or raw. No potatoes here.

4. This is for your good carbs: Cooked Yams (mashed or cut into pieces), oatmeal (cooked or granola, Red or Yukon Gold potatoes – NOT Plain White potatoes like Idaho potatoes for example, Squash.

4. You can substitute fruit if you want in number four. Fresh fruit, no juice. Melon of any type that is non-gmo or organic, Strawberries, Blueberries, Kiwi, Bananas, Watermelon, Apples – Gala or Honey Crisp, Peaches, Fresh Cherries, Figs & Dates (a small amount), Raspberries, etc. Little or no citrus fruits as they are high in sugar and low in nutrients. Keep the peelings on if peelings are normally eaten.
Vegetables and Fruits – You can buy fruits in two ways: 1.) If you buy fruit that is peeled, like bananas, it doesn’t matter if they are non-gmo or organic. Pesticides sprayed on is thrown away with the peel. 2.) Apples, pears and such, because you should eat the peel, should be organic or washed in cool water and dish soap before eating if not organic.

Snacks – Whole nuts, Apples, Pears, occasional Banana and oranges, Mango, Plums, Cherries (limited), etc. Notice these are not sugary fruits like pineapple. Dark semi sweet Chocolate is an excellent choice, and recommended these days. No more than two ounces per day.

Healthy Food is usually more than food in a bag, paper wrap or a to go container

Now let’s discuss what else you need:

Oil – Olive, Avocado or Olive & Avocado mixed. Nut oils are healthy, but expensive and must be refrigerated. Corn oil is generally unhealthy

Morton iodized salt – Sea salt, I found out, lacks iodine which we all need. In the early 1900’s in the U.S, people died from lack of iodine in their diet.

Whole pepper and a pepper grinder. Some spice companies sell an all in one, this is what I use.

Garlic Powder – not garlic salt

Any other spices you like.

Cooking choices – A lot of people like to fry their vegetables because this is how Chinese food is cooked. Chinese Restaurants fry vegetables because it is the easiest, fastest, and fairly cheap. The best way to cook vegetables is steam or boil them. Vegetables are healthiest when they are cooked, but not soggy.

Meats are healthiest cooked the same way. Of course steamed meat is not very tasty. Simmering/boiling meat is healthiest, followed by baked, and fried is last. BBQ’ing meat is okay, but they have found that BBQ meat can cause cancer over time if the meat is burned or crunchy. This usually happens by trying to cook BBQ meats too fast.

General: You want to eat four cups vegetables every day to be healthiest. You also may get an upset stomach or diarrhea if you suddenly start eating four or more cups of vegetables right away. Here is a plan for this:

1.) Week one goal is one cup vegetables, one cup root vegetables, and one cup fruit each day.

2.) Week two goal is two cups vegetables, one cup root vegetables, and one cup fruit each day.

3.) Week three goal is three cups vegetables, one cup root vegetables, and one cup fruit each day.

4.) Week four and beyond goal is four cups vegetables, one cup root vegetables, and one cup fruit each day.
Eat more soup. Vegetable soup with beef or chicken is very filling, and quite healthy. Soup is a good way to use a lot of vegetables. If you want to make stew, use corn starch instead of flour to thicken it. Put about a tablespoon of corn starch in a shallow bowl. Add some cool water to make it runny. Stir it in when soup or stew is simmering. Keep stirring for about a minute. Repeat if needed, until you learn how much you need.

Eventually, you may get to the point where the idea of eating a certain vegetable makes you want to gag. This is normal, and a very good thing. It is your body telling you that at last, you have enough vitamins and minerals and do not need to eat a particular vegetable.

As you pay attention to your body and what it wants, you will know when you want to eat a particular vegetable again. Just don’t confuse, your body not wanting something with you not wanting to eat it. You must think of your body like a car. It needs good gas and quality oil. If you don’t put gas in your car, it stops running, if you stop adding oil, it breaks down.

Especially starting out, you may find you don’t want to eat certain foods. For example, you don’t want to eat more vegetables. This is normal too. Change is difficult. Stick with it. You are changing your eating habits, and it takes time. Usually around three weeks before it becomes the new normal.

You will notice after about a month, some foods lose their appeal. For example, you might really like Little Debbie snack cakes, and as time goes by they aren’t as good as they used to be. The reason for this is junk food companies are really sneaky.

A lot of junk food has vitamins and minerals in it that we all need! Because the average person’s diet is so poor, junk food replaces vegetables as the main source of vitamins and minerals. Our bodies are interesting. For example, if you do not eat enough salt, (about 1/2 teaspoon a day if not doing heavy labor), but you eat bacon that is cured with salt, your body will crave unhealthy amounts of bacon because salty bacon is your bodies only source of salt.

Be aware of any cravings you have now. If it is for a certain junk food(s) you find yourself eating daily, your body is lacking in nutrients that the junk food is supplying! You body will crave all kinds of fatty unhealthy foods if they contain something it needs to function.

Water is the best drink. Of course most people can not live on water alone for a drink. Green Tea, Black Tea Coffee are okay, with coffee falling in and out of the good for you drinks list. “Sobe” type drinks if low or no sugar are okay. Soda Pop and especially Diet Soda is horrible for you. Fruit drinks and juices are really flavored sugar water and should be avoided, unless they are melon juices. Diet soda is thought to destroy essential microbes in your intestines.

Speaking of Microbes and Biome. Microbes and Biome are what make your intestines work. We each have about three pounds of them and they number in the billions. You got your first Biomes from your Mom when you where born. As you change what and how you eat, your microbes and Biome will change slowly. It may seem like you have really sunny diarrhea, but Biome change out and flush is what is really going on. This may happen every couple of weeks, and is normal.

A month from now, you can check to see if you are eating correctly. Get the inner pot from a crock pot with a lid from Good Will. A normal size crock pot liner. You should fill this with vegetable scraps at least once per week, of you are eating really well. This is compost and you can start a compost pile with it, if you wish. If not a gardener will be happy to have your vegetable scraps.

Finally, we live in the real world. Some days, someone will serve you cake, a donut, cookies, etc. Unless you want to punish yourself, go ahead and eat it. Draw the line at Soda of any type. Pay attention to coffee. Black coffee tends to make people feel, ‘hungry’. Put a little cream in your coffee to cut the acid.

If you “have” to eat pizza, tortillas, Mexican food, sweets, or other unhealthy foods, put them in a food schedule. Say Saturday is your day for Mexican food. Monday you eat some candy bar you really like. Thursday is pizza day. The only thing you want do when eating these foods, is eat them as early in the day as possible, and do not over eat. Food like these are treats and not everyday foods with the exception of Mexican food. Eat them at lunch time and limit the fat content in your dinner.

Mexican food can be made at home in a healthy way. Most of Mexico is proof of this. Use healthy low fat meat and very little cheese. Make re-fried beans just mashed beans with no oil. Limit beans and rice to less than 3/4 cup each. Use corn tortilla instead of flour tortilla.