To those who serve, who have served, and to those who have fallen –
We at S.T.A.N.D. thank you for our freedom.
ø The Staff of S.T.A.N.D. extends a great big CONGRATULATIONS to the newlyweds, Misery White and Blue, who tied the knot last weekend. Many blessings to you as you begin your life together!
ø JOIN US for a day of international outreach: Project HOPE and its sister event, S.I.G.N.s of HOPE will be taking place on Saturday, July 20, 2013. For more information about Project HOPE, check out http://www.hopesyndicate.com
For more about S.I.G.N.s of HOPE, check out https://www.facebook.com/groups/helpandhope2013/permalink/417666235007035
To hear all the FAQ’s about Project HOPE and S.I.G.N.s of HOPE (and to have a good laugh), listen to TRIBE radio’s episode about both:
1. You WILL lose body fat
It is true, not only are you burning calories while you are lifting weights (i.e. resistance training), but you are building muscle; and the more muscle you have, the more calories your body will burn at rest. On average, for each pound of muscle you gain, you burn 35 to 50 more calories each day. This can really add up.
2. You will decrease your risk for many chronic diseases (i.e. heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes, etc)
Studies have shown that people who lift weights are less likely to develop many chronic illnesses that are plaguing so many Americans. Weight-bearing exercises along with an adequate calcium intake may improve bone density – reducing your risk of developing osteoporosis.
Not only that, but weight-training has been shown to lower cholesterol by reducing LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and increasing HDL (“good”) cholesterol, and lowering blood pressure. These benefits help to lower your risk of heart disease. As far as diabetes is concerned, lifting weights contributes to your body’s ability to process sugar more efficiently, putting you back in control of blood sugar/insulin levels. This alone can reduce your risk of diabetes by 10 percent.
3. Increase your strength and energy levels
Lifting weights is going to result in one thing for sure, increased strength. And if you are stronger, daily activities will be easier to perform and your energy levels will be thru the roof!
4. Improve your athletic performance and reduce your risk of injury
Developing a strong core (abdominals and lower back) will help decrease your risk of injury because you are increasing your ability to keep balance when thrown off course. If you are an athlete, it does not matter what sport you participate in, your athletic performance will improve with weight-training in your regimen. Even a golfer’s swing can benefit from a little weight-bearing activities; providing more force behind their swing.
5. Increased mood, self-confidence booster, and decrease your risk of depression
Building muscle and developing strength in your physique will not only bring positive changes on the outside or from a health perspective, but also from a mental perspective. You can be confident in your new body and tight bum, your glowing skin and shiny hair, which are all a result of incorporating weights into your weekly routine. Possessing more confidence is a huge part of combating depression; not to mention the stress relief some experience while bonding with the iron.
While wondering what to make for this upcoming Memorial Day, we discovered that we had plenty of meat ideas, but not enough recipes for side dishes. Here are several favorites from our staff. Happy Memorial Day!
Grilled Watermelon Salad from Temper
Grilled Watermelon Salad
1/2 (5-pound) seedless watermelon
1/4 cup honey
2 limes (including their zest)
Coconut oil (for brushing on the watermelon)
Kosher salt (specialty salt is great here, if on hand)
2 cups fresh baby arugula, washed and dried… or, for a pretty presentation, just alfalfa sprouts
1 cup goat cheese, crumbled
Fresh, finely cracked black pepper
Cut the watermelon into roughly 3”x3” cubes – any smaller than that, and you run the risk of it falling through the slats. Pour the honey, lime juice and zest into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cook until reduced to a thick syrup consistency. Set aside. Heat a nonstick grill pan over medium-high heat. Drizzle just enough coconut oil over watermelon chunks to thinly coat and place on hot grill pan. Grill each side about 2 minutes until grill marks appear; transfer to a plate and season with salt.
To assemble the salads, put about 1/4 cup of baby arugula on a serving plate, followed by a grilled slice of watermelon in the center, and top with a tablespoon of crumbled cheese and another 1/4 cup arugula. Add another watermelon slice and another tablespoon of cheese. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Finish each salad with a very light drizzle of coconut oil and honey-lime syrup. Dust with black pepper and serve immediately.
Ultimate South of the Border Mac and Cheese by Vector
Makes 6 servings
Choose a medium-sized pasta with twists, grooves or curves that will hold a maximum of the cheese sauce. I prefer good ol’ elbow, but fusilli comes a close second. You can skip the onion/bay leaf/peppercorn infusion for the béchamel sauce to save time; it adds a subtle layer of savory flavor to the dish.
2 ½ c (9 ounces) dry pasta
2 ½ c whole milk
2 T chili powder
1/2 C canned diced chiles
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp smoky paprika
1 slice onion
1 bay leaf
10 whole black peppercorns
4 T unsalted butter
¼ c all-purpose flour
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated (about 2 ½ cups)
3 oz fontina cheese, grated (about 1 cup)
3 oz Emmenthal, Gruyère or similar Swiss-type cheese, grated (about 1 cup)
½ c fresh bread crumbs
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously butter a 2-quart baking dish.
2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Stir in the pasta and boil until it is about half-cooked, tender on the surface with a distinct bite still in the center, about 5 minutes. Drain well, rinse with cold water and set aside, tossing from time to time as it cools to avoid sticking.
3. Put the milk in a small saucepan with the onion slice, bay leaf and peppercorns. Bring just to a low boil over medium heat, then take the pan from the heat and let sit to infuse for 10 to 15 minutes. (If skipping the aromatics, simply warm the milk.)
4. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking constantly, until it foams up and has a very slight toasty smell (it should not brown), 1 to 2 minutes. Strain the warm milk into the pan and whisk to blend. Continue to cook the sauce, whisking often, until it thickens, about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and gradually whisk in the cheeses until fully melted. Add chiles. Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper, add cumin, paprika and chile powder. Then add the pasta and stir to fully coat all the pasta with the cheese sauce.
5. Pour the mixture into the prepared dish and sprinkle the bread crumbs evenly over. Set the dish on the oven rack and lay a piece of foil on the rack below to catch any drips. Bake until the macaroni and cheese is bubbling hot and the top is nicely browned, about 40 minutes. Let sit for about 15 minutes before serving.
Grilled Pineapple and Veggie Skewers by Rock N Roll
Cut up your favorite veggies and place on a skewer, alternating pineapple wedges and vegetables. Brush everything with melted butter and sprinkle with chile powder. Grill to desired tenderness. Brush with butter and a squeeze of lime juice. Serve warm.
Orzo & Roasted Corn w/ Roasted Poblano and Feta by Temper
2 large poblano peppers
1 cup uncooked orzo
3 tablespoons coconut oil, divided (see Directions, below)
3 ears of shucked corn
1 medium red onion, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
¼ cup thinly sliced green onions
¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
½ cup of cream cheese (if you can find Greek yogurt cream cheese, use that!!)
Cut poblano peppers in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes. Place pepper halves, skin sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet; flatten with hand. Broil 15 minutes or until blackened. Place in a zip-top plastic bag; seal. Let stand 15 minutes. Peel and chop.
Prepare grill to medium-high heat.
Cook orzo according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain. Place orzo in a large bowl; drizzle with 1 tablespoon coconut oil. Cool slightly.
Place corn and red onion on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 5 minutes or until lightly browned, turning occasionally. Cut kernels from ears of corn; chop red onion. Add bell pepper, corn, red onion, 2 tablespoons coconut oil, green onions, and remaining ingredients to orzo. Toss gently to combine.
I love the summer! If I could, I’d pack up all my winter gear and walk around in sundresses and sandals all day long. Hawaii is my second home, but as soon as I can, I’ll make it my permanent home.
Unfortunately, with great heat comes great responsibility. With so many summer safety tips to share, I’ll get right to it.
Personal safety: The incidence rate of personal assault, muggings, rape, and robbery against individuals goes up as the weather improves and outdoor activities increase during the summer.
As always, please pay attention to your surroundings. Ladies, did you know that the number one place to be abducted or attacked is in a grocery store parking lot? Number two is office complex parking lots/garages. Number three is public restrooms. Look around, make it a habit to NOT let anyone sneak up on you, at home or outside.
Carry pepper spray where it’s legal and as soon as you can, sign up for a self-defense class. Even free self-defense classes can keep you that much safer. If someone does approach you in a manner that’s threatening, turn to face them head on and be prepared to fight back. Most attackers are looking for an easy target, and won’t mess with someone who seems prepared to fight.
Home Safety: In warmer weather, intruders know that they stand a greater chance of entering through a window that’s been left open at night. Do NOT leave your windows open if they are easily accessed or do not have a locking safety screen. People bake less in the summer and fry more. Keep a fire extinguisher ready, and make sure all smoke detectors and ESPECIALLY carbon monoxide detectors have a strong battery.
For more home safety tips, please see my article on Homeland Defense
Vehicle Safety: Parked vehicle temps can easily reach the equivalent of a hot oven. Do NOT leave children or animals in parked cars. If your vehicle doesn’t have air conditioning, leave the windows down only far enough to let in a breeze. Do NOT leave them down far enough for an attacker to reach in. This rule applies whether you’re driving or sitting in a parked car.
Tempers also tend to flare during the hotter months, so be prepared to hit the road with a little more patient and compassion. Road rage can kill.
Food Safety: There’s so much to know about summer food safety, much more than would fit in this article and not put you to sleep. Here’s a quick link:
Child Safety: Keep an eye on your children! Apply sunscreen 20 minutes before sun exposure, and don’t forget to reapply! Keep kids hydrated. Have them wear hats and sunglasses. Limit their sun exposure. Always keep water, snacks and a first aid kit with you. Never leave them unattended near water. Keep them away from hot barbecue pits.
Pet Safety: Keep animals indoors. Never leave animals in cars. Beware of sunburn. Supervise swimming. Watch for heatstroke. Keep water and snacks with you.
And here’s one of my favorite new summertime safety tips:
Flip-flops, Crocs™ and other soft, rubbery footwear can actually sink into the escalator step as you’re riding it. This creates a greater potential for your footwear to go under the comb plate (the yellow teeth at the top and bottom of the escalator). Don’t let this happen to you. If you choose to wear rubbery footwear, be sure to take extra care to step over the comb plate as you get on and off the escalator.
I hope you’ve found at least one useful tip. Have anything to add? Comment down below!
If I had a nickel for every time I’ve sang that little tune to my children, I’m fairly certain I could pay for their college. Or a new car. Or a date with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson AND Amber Tamblyn at the same time. Or someone to come in and clean the house for me. If only, right? The “Clean Up Song” seems to be on permanent rotation in my house, along with the “I’m Sorry Your Brother Stomped On Your Face Song”, the popular “I Didn’t Know You Could Make That Color Of Crap Song” and the “If You Go To Sleep Before Nine Mommy Will Buy You A Yacht Filled With Candy Song”. Gone are the days of British reggae-punk and Sting vs. Led Zeppelin mash-ups, replaced by Little Einsteins, Sofia the First and Henry Hugglemonster.
I find myself neck-deep in financial reports and press releases at work, singing a Disney Jr. medley and laughing to myself over the way my toddler will grab his butt, stick it out and shake his shoulders in an effort to do ‘the booty dance’.
My kids have, effectively, infiltrated every aspect of my being! Don’t believe me? I recently went on an adults-only tour of the Underground in Seattle (it’s a thing! Look it up when you’re in town!), and caught myself thinking about how my preschooler would love hearing about the ghosts and exploding toilets. They. Are. EVERYWHERE. (The kids, not the exploding toilets – I hope.)
Being a parent is amazing, but can often feel like you’re losing your identity. How do you battle (and overcome) that, without losing your Best Mom/Dad Ever title?
Remember who you were. Acknowledge who you are. Shape who you’re becoming.
Out of all the things we’re taught in parenting classes or from well-meaning busybodies on the street who stop to poke at our pregnant bellies, you’d think they’d mention how your sense of self is thrown for a loop; it’s just as important a topic as cloth vs. disposable! Since they didn’t, however, I can only tell you what I’ve done in hopes that it will work for you, or inspire your own methods of coping. Just like how we go through our wardrobe, donating what no longer fits and purchasing the missing pieces, a little Self Style Upgrade is in order – that goes for parents and non-parents alike!
Life is not a static thing. If we are to grow and adapt to our environments, that has to start with how we see ourselves, and being able to genuinely Love that person… because you ARE worth loving… creepy Disney songs and all.
Love and Stuff,
“There is a saying in Tibetan, ‘Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength.’ No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experience is, if we lose our hope, that’s our real disaster.” ~ Dalai Lama
“Best defense: no be there.” -Mr. Miyagi, Karate Kid Pt.2
In light of yesterday’s tragic events, our self-defense lesson for the day covers the one part of the body that determines whether we win or lose each battle: the mind.
While everyone else was focused on filing their taxes before yesterday’s midnight deadline, people in Boston were thinking about how to avoid the traffic caused by the yearly Boston Marathon. Runners were focused on the finish line, and their families were focused on cheering them on. No one was thinking about the possibility of a bomb going off, except the person or persons responsible.
And now, everyone is thinking of how to find those responsible, and what to do with them. Everyone is thinking of how -once again- our sense of security has been rocked, and how helpless we all feel after something like this happens. Everyone is wondering when it’s gonna happen again. Not if, but when.
And everyone is saddened and angered at the knowledge that it will happen again.
While there’s no way to mentally prepare ourselves for what we’ll experience emotionally at hearing about something so senseless and violent, there is a way to prepare ourselves for how we handle those emotions and therefore, keep our sense of security and hope alive.
I offer these three exercises that, when practiced to the point of being knee-jerk responses, make powerful defensive skills:
1. Hear and silence.
When you hear news of a tragic event, listen to only as much as you need to know at the moment. Then silence the rest. Turning it off will keep you from being bombarded with too much info/imagery, and give you a chance to react. If you need to cry, pray, contact loved ones, this space between the news and your immediate surroundings allows you a chance to process a little bit at a time. If you are constantly there you cannot distance yourself enough to process.
2. Be grateful and KNOW that you are safe.
Realize that this is a single event and that thousands of safe moments have come and gone before this one. Do not allow your fear to control your thoughts, your life, or make decisions for you. Chances are, your personal safety remains unaffected by many of the world’s worst events.
3. Keep those feelings where they belong — outside.
Allow the emotional wave of the events of the outside world to come only as close as your doorstep. In other words, you can feel the sorrow and anger of world events, but don’t let them completely in. Can you imagine what a walking wreck you would be if you were taken down by every tragedy on the planet? Process them, but take control of them and only allow them so much time and space in which to make their presence known, and then show them the door. Further this by turning away from those emotions, and focusing your energies into something beautiful, creative, or helpful to the community.
More than any outside influence, our minds determine the health of our bodies. If we can control and therefore limit the damage caused by negative, harmful thoughts, we can use our energies to do something healthier than staying glued to the TV, watching countless camera angles of horrific images and hearing depressing details about something we can’t change.
We need to learn what we need, and nothing more from these events. Then we can take the knowledge and apply it appropriately in order to keep these events from happening again. Anything else is just wallowing. And, in the words of the prophet, Kimberly Wilkins aka “Sweet Brown,”
Ain’t nobody got time for that!
Stay safe, happy and healthy. <3
In the world of nutrition, it’s often said that our bodies are merely the hosts for billions of bacteria, the majority of which live in our gut.
Don’t freak out, though. Don’t start popping penicillin because you think you have a problem.
These bacteria guys are here because they have a job to do.
I’d like to list a what the bacteria do while they’re present in your gut, but it boils down to this: they help you to process what you eat. I liken it to a city, there are citizens that have been there forever; they’re part of the culture, going about, doing their business. But then there’s the bad element. These guys do harm, break down their surroundings, and cause a degeneration in the system. Normally, the bad element is the minority.
If you’ve suffering from a lot of inflammation, or gut-related issues, your doctor might prescribe antibiotics. Taking antibiotics isn’t the same as sending in the troops who know their enemy target; their effects are more like throwing a canister of gas into a room and knowing it’ll wipe out everyone who smells it. Antibiotics can’t distinguish between good bacteria and bad bacteria. After a dose of antibiotics, your gut is left without the friendly citizens who are helping you to stay stronger.
So, before a dose of antibiotics, before that imbalance occurs, I recommend introducing some PRO-biotics into your system. You can think of them as strong, healthy tourists that revitalize and strengthen your community’s good systems, and then move on.
You can supply your system with probiotics through either a pill-form supplement or from eating probiotic-rich foods where good bacteria occur naturally. These are fermented, or pickled foods like yogurt, pickles, sauerkraut, kimchee, and raw milk. If you’re considering a probiotic pill, look for the words “active, live cultures.” If you think about it, you’re introducing a stronger culture into your gut’s community. They’re bringing the party with them.
Look for similar words on yogurt packages and avoid yogurts with tons of sugar in them, because the bad bacteria will feed off of the sugar, and only make matters worse.
I honestly can’t think of many store-bought pickled or canned foods that have not been boiled to death due to industry standards, thus killing off the good bacteria, so my recommendation is this: Make your own.
Here are a few recipes to get you started. Btw, Nourished Kitchen is an excellent source of reference for those who want to balance their health through good nutrition.
And as always, check out the podcasts of Underground Wellness for more information.
Once a year, the RLSH/X-Alt/RLSV/whatever-your-name-is get together in San Diego, California during the Comic-Con weekend and feed hundreds of San Diego’s homeless population.
The idea of Project HOPE was started by Mr. Xtreme of the Xtreme Justice League back in 2010 when he met up with seven other Real Life Superheroes to hand out food and water on the streets of downtown San Diego. In the second year of Project HOPE-which coincided with the premiere of the HBO Documentary, Superheroes, by Michael Barnett- the list of Superheroes in attendance grew to 35. Michael Jack Brinatte aka “RazorHawk” took over the project, and joined with many others to coordinate the gathering of food and supplies, and the handout. We fed hundreds of people and got to attend the screening of Superheroes on the big screen at Comic Con, and then attend the after-party at the Hard Rock Cafe. That was the first year that I got to attend, and it was where I hooked up with some of the finest people that I’ve had the privilege to meet.
The third year of Project HOPE saw 55 heroes and one Real Life Super Villain in attendance. We fed close to 1,000 people, and later that evening, 22 people met at a local Karaoke place to laugh and sing their hearts out.
Last year, Project HOPE’s sister project, “S.I.G.N.s of HOPE” was created by the Initiative for those who wanted to attend Project HOPE, but couldn’t make it. The “Superheroes and Initiative Giving Network” made it possible for people around the world to join in on a day of giving and outreach in their own communities.
Twenty-one cities, thirteen states, and two countries participated in S.I.G.N.s of HOPE, making it an international day of homeless outreach.
This year, Project HOPE will be held on Saturday July 20, in San Diego, California. We will be handing out food and care packs to San Diego’s homeless, followed by a barbecue for all of the hungry workers in the afternoon. There are also talks of a “Superhero-themed” obstacle course in the works. If you can make it to San Diego, please visit our site:
For those who would like to participate and create a branch of S.I.G.N.s of HOPE in their communities, just contact us through the site link listed above.
HOPE to see you there!