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This last weekend I happily walked into a conversation about food and health between B and his mother. I mean you know I write about recipes and I have some strongly grounded feelings about food but I just didn’t realize that they stick.

B was explaining how our health has improved by our food choices, the benefit of living foods, buying local, and reading the ingredients in what you eat.

You might imagine that I’m lecturing at home, I am not. I do make a point of pointing out preservatives, noting organics, using phone apps and reading up on things. I guess that approach works.

Gives me lots to think about, including a big smile.

Anyway… Found this article at the LA TIMES || Food Section. Enjoy.



Loving legumes

From the pinto beans of Mexico to the chickpeas of the Middle East, legumes — a class of vegetables that includes beans, peas and lentils — are as near to a perfect food as you can find.

A 1/2-cup portion of legumes, on average, contains at least 20 percent DV (Daily Value, requirement based on a 2,000-calorie diet) for fiber, folate and manganese; 10 percent DV for protein, potassium, iron, magnesium and copper; and 6 to 8 percent DV for selenium and zinc.

Factor in that beans are economical, easy to store for long periods and suit a number of cooking styles, and it’s easy to see why they have been such staple fare for years. And modern science reveals even more reasons to love legumes: They have been linked to lower blood cholesterol levels, lower body weight, higher intake of dietary fiber and lower rates of heart diseasehypertension, some types of cancer and diabetes. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that you eat at least three cups of legumes each week. So, what are you waiting for? Dig into legumes with the following helpful hints.

Power food –

It seems that Bed Bugs are a hot topic lately because of their recent virility and population boom in beds, homes, hotels and retails stores across the states.

The LA Times writes:

The Bedbug cam — an idea whose time has come.

July 26, 2010

Bedbugs are more common than they used to be: Read this L.A. Times article about bedbugs from 2007, for example. That article quotes a fellow from the National Pest Management Assn., the same organization that just saw fit to alert the press today.

Another season, another press release from a pest-control association warning us that bedbugs are baaack in the United States! (We can’t think what they have to stand to gain by reminding us of this.)

Full article here.

Now I don’t want to promote a fear band wagon mentality. There is no reason to go ape-crazy on your house and family for no reason. Sprays and chemicals are expensive and time-consuming, disrupting our whole home life in the process. It’s good to get into center and think about topics like this from a balanced, practical, and calm perspective.

Don’t get swept up!

Young Living has given us some alternative prevention techniques using their pure essential oils. Some of these tips and recipes are great for travel and home. So if you are on an extended stay at a hotel, or you want to proof your home from invasion here are some natural tips to do just that.

Bed Bugs Be Gone

Bed bugs are escalating because of global travel; the increase of homeless and underground communities; the popularity of “Flea” markets and 2nd-hand store merchandise. The escalation of bed bugs is alarming and people should be aware of the problem, how difficult it is to be rid of them, yet not be too discouraged, because there are natural, safe, chemical free ways to have those bed bugs be gone.

Essential oil lovers prefer the Eco-friendly approach, and research shows that tree oils work best against parasites and menacing insects. Gary Young touts the praises of Palo Santo oil as the first choice for insect repellent. Palo Santo comes from an Ecuadoran tree which develops a resin to protect against infestation and it is from that resin that Young Living distills the Palo Santo oil.

Eucalyptus has been used historically for bed bugs, and Eucalyptus Blue is the first anti-viral Eucalyptus Oil . Native American Indians relied on pine needles and Cedarwood chips in their mattresses to ward off ticks and fleas.

Young Living essential oils are the essential oils that are being recommended for the following suggestions, as these essential oils are high quality therapeutic-grade essential oils.

Bed Bug Spray

  • 10 drops of Palo Santo
  • 6 drops of Eucalyptus Blue
  • 5 drops of Cedarwood

Combine with 4 oz. Distilled Water in a dark glass Spritzer bottle.

via Bed Bugs Be Gone.

There are a few more things you can do listed at the Young Living Circle blog for you to try as well.

Spray on Bed Between Linen Changes: Thieves Spray

Palo Santo Oil: Palo Santo (Bursera graveolens) comes from the same botanical family (Burseraceae) as frankincense, although it is found in South America rather than the Middle East. Like frankincense, PaloSanto is known as a spiritual oil, traditionally used by the Incas to purify and cleanse the spirit from negative energies. Even its Spanish name reflects how highly this oil is regarded: Palo Santo means “holy wood” or “sacred wood.” The resin forms only after the tree is down for 5 years, and this resin from which the oil is extracted, protects the tree from various parasites.*

Eucalyptus Blue Oil: Eucalyptus Blue has a fresh, invigorating aroma that supports normal breathing andsoothes tense muscles. This essential oil is grown and harvested in Ecuador. This is the first form of Eucalyptus that is also anti-viral. This essential oil contains high levels of the powerful constituentseucalyptol and alpha-pinene, and follows in the same tradition as a repellent to insects.*

Cedarwood Oil: Cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica) has a warm, balsamic, woody aroma. It is relaxing andsoothing when used for massage, and has long been used as a beneficial ingredient in cosmetic preparations for oily skin.*

Purification® Oil Blend: Purification® is a powerful blend of Therapeutic Grade A Melaleuca (Tea Tree oil); Citronella, Lemongrass, Rosemary, Lavandin and Myrtle essential oils. Purification® can be used directly on the skin to cleanse and soothe insect bites, cuts, and scrapes. When diffused, it helps to purify and cleanse the air from environmental impurities including cigarette smoke and other disagreeable odors.*

Thieves Household Cleaner: Experience the wonder of Thieves® Household Cleaner, as tough stains andproblem areas in your home become simple and easy to clean without using harsh or abrasive chemicals. Thieves Essential Oil is legendary as was proven at Weber State University to exhibit a kill rate of 99.96% against all airborne bacteria including MRSA, Staph, Strep, e-Coli and Toxic Black Mold. While bacteria can be dangerous, some industrial cleaners on the market pose an even larger threat to your health. Thieves Household Cleaner is a safe all-purpose “green” concentrate that can be used in every room in your home, without the harsh chemicals. Dilution ratios are listed on the label for your convenience.

Start by visiting Young Living’s website:

Enter Referral Information

If my member number isn’t automatically entered in the referral field, kindly enter the following number.

Sponsoring Distributor Member Number: 896306

You will then create a user name and password, account, etc and then you can begin ordering Young Living Essential Oils.

If you have further questions or want more information please feel free to email me at:



Call / Google Voice: lifencompass | (213) 254-5302

– – –
Be well,

Scott K Smith

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For the tomato lover in us all — pickled shallots accent the deep flavors of a tomato salad. Make sure to arrange the dish in a low mound on a platter with the goat cheese around the outside. Bon Appetite!

Total time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Servings: 4 to 6

2 shallots, sliced moderately thin
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 cup olive oil, divided
1/4 pound fresh goat cheese
3 tablespoons minced chives (about 1 bunch)
1 baguette (about 3/4 pound)
1 1/4 pounds tomatoes, sliced into 1/4- to 1/2-inch thick rounds
Freshly ground pepper

1. Combine the shallots and the vinegar in a small bowl and set aside at least 1 hour. Combine the garlic and one-fourth cup of the oil in another small bowl and set aside at least 30 minutes. In a small bowl beat together the goat cheese and chives.

2. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice the baguette at a sharp angle to create 8 long, three-fourths-inch thick spears of bread. Strain the garlic from the olive oil and brush the bread on both sides with the oil. Discard the garlic or save for another use. Place bread on a baking sheet and bake until golden, 25 to 30 minutes.

3. Put the tomatoes in a wide bowl and season well with salt and pepper. Strain the vinegar from the shallots into a small bowl and then beat in the remaining one-fourth cup of oil. Pour this over the tomatoes and toss gently to coat the slices without breaking them.

4. Rap each toasted baguette slice rather sharply in about the middle with the back of a chef’s knife to break it into a couple of large, rough pieces. Spread each piece with the goat cheese mixture.

5. Arrange the dressed tomatoes in a wide serving bowl or on plates, being careful to mix colors and sizes. Carefully separate the shallot slices into individual rings and scatter them over top. Arrange the bread spears around the outside and serve.

Nutrition information:
Each of 6 servings: 388 calories; 9 grams protein; 35 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams fiber; 24 grams fat; 6 grams saturated fat; 9 grams cholesterol; 424 grams sodium.

From the LA Times: Recipe: Tomato salad with pickled shallots, goat cheese –

Eat it up!


I have a bit of awe, still, with the conclusion of  LOST. Last night I busied myself while the two-hour recap of six years of the show brought watchers up to the present. Brandon was in a Smith’s / Morrissey vorpal and I entertained myself and Trixie with some toys and (me) Twitter jabber.

The show begins and I’m glued. I can’t say that I’ve been so impressed with the last two seasons of LOST but I’ve been satisfied with “answers” in various revelations. The need to know Why? sated to some degree but I found myself thinking at some point that there was a huge spiritual message in the story line. Not only the humanistic sacrifice of self for the greater good (i.e. to save the light of the island) but also in the prevalent message of the divine in many forms: resurrection, immortality, ancient brothers from times long past warring like demigods, mothers who give children life everlasting, and stressed again and again, the importance of keeping evil trapped on the island. And the evil, the Smoke Monster, is even humanized. No it isn’t some all-powerful, vast satanic evil (har har) but a darkness so profound in someone who seeks only pain because of pain.

More than anything I began to perceive a life in the story that was much more than could be handled… It was becoming mythic. Actors become dancers in divine drama, writers become scribes to an endless tale, the life and power of a spiritual archetype comes to life in a television show. How do we (the writers, director, etc) wrap this (the show) up when it all has become so huge?

Life. Life… it ends in one form and becomes another. All the explanation of the stones along the path that we have walked become insignificant next to the worth, the real value of the journey we have taken. What was the statue? Who was Jacob? Why Desmond? Who cares when we lie dying on the imagined island, as Jack did, when those he loves escapes; and realizing it is love (hello Kate) he, we, learn to “Let go” of the life, the struggle, and embrace the love of all as those we have known over the las six years come together in a church to be at peace.

Props on the interfaith church by the way.

Anyway. I can ramble but I also found two bloggers who expressed some interesting points as well so I’d like to give you a couple of excerpts while I drink coffee and bath in catharsis, moving out the mythos of LOST from my inner landscape. 🙂

Be well.


I Once Was Found And Now I Am Lost: Reflections On The Religious And Spiritual Dimensions Of Lost

the collective spirituality reflected in Lost’s characters communicates that the goal is not an exit from the profane in order to experience the sacred. The logic is not one that reads the everyday world as something to be escaped. Rather, the lesson is that often we take for granted the beauty of the profane. The sacred isn’t always the Good. It is just the opposite: sometimes you have to have terrifying sacred encounters with a Smoke Monster — a Smoke Monster who wants desperately to have his limiting, finite, imperfect body returned to him — in order to realize just how badly you want to be a walking, talking, breathing human being with frustrations, obstacles, and inescapable limitations.

However, despite its distinct religiosity, Lost’s definitive mythological element is familiar. In a narrative full of surprises and unbelievable mystery, the resolution hinges on a very traditional formulation of a foundational theme: love. The last scene of the show took place at the long-awaited funeral of the dead Father (whose voice narrated the beginning of each episode), who had been present all along. It seems that in Lost, God the Father was dead from the beginning, but the last scene makes clear that it didn’t prevent him from doing a good deal of shepherding. In the scene, Jack speaks with his father, Christian Shephard, in a room filled with crosses and other traditional Christian symbols, although this was nothing new for Lost. The show has always been able to interweave symbols and themes from different religious traditions in a way that leaves the viewer unable to categorize the different religious elements into neat categories. There are no straight lines, 90-degree angles, or neat analogies in regard to the show’s religious and spiritual dimensions. One of the show’s ingenious feats was its ability to mystify its viewers vis-à-vis the juxtaposition of various religious symbols and themes in a manner that left them irreducibly related. In season six alone, Lost presented an origin story that recalled the biblical story of Jacob and Esau, a temple controlled by a Japanese-speaking alchemist, the resurrection of Sayid, and Hurley’s constant encounters with the dead. If Jacob’s governance of the Island generated comparisons with certain biblical characters in one moment, his residence in an underground temple near a massive Egyptian idol shattered the hopes of turning him into a biblical type in the next. Despite the presence of the Father in the church, the Christian symbolism was not the definitive element of Lost’s resolution.

As it turns out, the myth governing Lost’s religiosity was based on the logic of love. In a series that included fantastical elements

A full accounting via Bradley B. Onishi: I Once Was Found and Now I Am Lost: Reflections on the Religious and Spiritual Dimensions of Lost.

And from the LA Times, a blog by
Todd VanDerWerff:

For me, absolutely. Big, giant answers about what the Island was or its place in the world’s cosmology or why it had Egyptian stuff all over it or anything like that were probably bound to be disappointing, as most of the answers dispensed this season were, only even more so. Saying what the Island is is like saying what the meaning of life is; it’s a question you can ask but never receive a really satisfying answer to. Really, what would you have liked? It was a crashed spaceship that somehow ended up in the ocean and had life grow upon it? It was a long-lost, fabled isle like Avalon or the Garden of Eden? It was Purgatory? The answer, here, I suppose was that some just wanted the show to say that the Island was SOMEthing, to put a definitive button on the show’s biggest questions. But, for me, buttons are always less interesting than the things they’re meant to plug. Put another way, were you more interested in the rock plugging the hole, or the hole itself, with all that glowy light inside of it?

One of the reasons I think “Lost” worked was that it was always more interested in the box and the person holding the box than what was in the box. A closed box is almost always a mystery, really, until you open it and see what’s inside (which is how so many parents misdirect their kids on Christmas morning). All of the imitators of the show that have come along have focused far, far more on the contents of that box. They wanna shake it and hear if it rattles. They wanna pull back the wrapping paper and take a peek. “Lost” has always been satisfied to dump a package in your lap and think that’s enough. Is it? Again, for me, absolutely. But if not for you, does the fact that you opened the box and didn’t find what you wanted ruin the whole experience of the show, all of the fun you had along the way? It’s not wrong to feel that way, not at all. But it probably does speak to the different kinds of people we are, and the different ways we react to art.

LA TIMES Show Tracker: ‘Lost’: If you come with me, I’ll show you what I mean:

– – –
Be well,

Scott K Smith

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Sockeye salmon with green garlic is a lovely and deeply colorful dish that tastes grand. (Los Angeles Times/Kirk McKoy)

LA TIMES Recipe of the week looks tasty… However Every time I hear or read “Fava Beans” I think of Silence of the Lambs. Go figure. It wont stop me from trying this recipe out on some friends this weekend.

Speaking of the weekend, are we all geared up for the Spring Equinox? I’m heading over to the Sound Healing experience with Jamie in Eagle Rock on Friday and I have my Temple of Witchcraft Initiation on Saturday.

Yes: Food. Friends. Art. Witchcraft. That’s me. That’s my site. 🙂

Any who-who,



Total time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4

Note: Sockeye salmon is available from fish markets and select well-stocked markets. Green garlic is available seasonally from farmers markets and select well-stocked supermarkets.

2 pounds whole fava beans
4 (5-ounce) skin-on fillets sockeye salmon
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cups thinly sliced green garlic, from about 4 stalks cleaned and sliced crosswise (both white and green parts)
Zest and juice from 1 lemon

View the full Recipe of the week at

Posted using ShareThis

Gingered squash soup —

I was shooting for this recipe. Something to try out for a Friday recipe spotlight but I couldn’t find a dam Winter Squash anywhere at the Grand Central Market, or Marukai Market in Little Tokyo.

Does NO ONE eat pumpkin or squash… I mean it is Sowain for the sake of deliciousness!

Regardless. I went with ingredients for a vegetable soup (root stock, twice boiled) and some extra’s for a beet and orange, goats cheese salad this weekend.

PS: Checked the crop report… nope, no significant hit on the california Squash crop. Just a “slow down”. O.o

Be well,

Scott K Smith

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This recipe is ALWAYS a hit. Total deliciousness…

Brazilianesque black bean salad


Total time: 15 minutes, plus chilling time

Servings: 6 to 8

  1. •2 cups cooked, drained black beans (canned are fine, just rinse off the salt)
  2. •2 tablespoons minced white onion
  3. •3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  4. •3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  5. •5 tablespoons best-quality olive oil
  6. •1 teaspoon ground cumin
  7. •Salt
  8. •Freshly ground black
  9. •1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded and cut into about 1/2 -inch dice
  10. •1 cup diced hearts of palm
  11. •1 cup grape tomatoes, quartered lengthwise
  12. •1 medium ripe Hass avocado, peeled, seeded and diced
  13. 1. In a mixing bowl, combine the beans, minced onion and cilantro. Add the lime juice, oil and cumin and mix well. Season with a scant one-half teaspoon salt and scant one-fourth teaspoon pepper, or to taste.
  14. Stir in the red bell pepper, hearts of palm and grape tomatoes. Cover and chill 1 hour.
  15. Just before serving, stir in the avocado. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Each serving: 183 calories; 5 grams protein; 15 grams carbohydrates; 6 grams fiber; 12 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 0 cholesterol; 82 mg. sodium.

You will love it! It’s a family and friend favorite.

Eat well,

Scott K Smith

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