On a chilly November day, several members of our FACT Board of Trustees, along with Dr. Philip Incao (featured in our film Rethinking Cancer), traveled 2 hours north from New York City to Hawthorne Valley Association (HVA) in Columbia County, NY. HVA is a not-for-profit (501(c)(3)) organization, established 1972, with the goal of creating a model for the revitalization of rural communities struggling to survive in an increasingly materialistic, mechanistic world. This was no small task, as founders worked to integrate sustainable practices in education, agriculture, the arts, economics and science in a small town setting. But now, some 40 years later, the results are hugely impressive and ever expanding, thanks to the commitment of many dedicated people.
Situated on 400 picturesque acres, HVA now includes a Waldorf School (nursery through grade 12) with the emphasis on educating the whole child — on healthy food, the wonder and love of nature, commitment to self development and social consciousness, artistic endeavors, along with academic subjects. The school is funded by a fully functioning biodynamic farm, including dairy, sauerkraut celler, bakery, produce, grass fed cattle, etc., all in accordance with the highest organic standards that have made Hawthorne Valley a nationally respected brand. There’s a bustling natural foods store and a café where we ate an absolutely delicious lunch of fresh, local fare and longed for an eatery like this in New York City!
A center of learning for adults and children worldwide, HVA has a wide array of on-farm education programs, summer camps, vocational training, internships. The latest addition is the Farmscape Ecology Program and Center for Social Research, where scientists are studying ways to enhance the interaction of human culture and the land.
It was a great day! Many thanks to our thoughtful guide, Martin Ping, HVA President. This is a place that really gets your imagination going about how we can create a better country and world. Check out the HVA website and, if you’re ever in the area, stop by. Visitors always welcome!
To your health!
Foundation for Advancement in Cancer Therapy (FACT)
P.S. It’s that time of year again! If you’re seeking holiday gift ideas, find inspiration on our FACT Product Guide (new additions!). Thanks so much for all your support and, as always, we’ll look for you on Twitter, Facebook and our YouTube channel!
What Is the Glycemic Index?
Have you noticed that a lot of people these days are talking about eating low on the glycemic index? Depending on your frame of mind, this could be either very annoying or kind of cool. Of course, it’s possible they really don’t know what the heck they’re talking about. So what is the glycemic index (GI)? Here’s a primer.
If you have diabetes, you know all too well that when you eat carbohydrates, your blood sugar goes up. The total amount of carbs you consume at a meal or in a snack mostly determines what your blood sugar will do. But the food itself also plays a role. A serving of white rice has almost the same effect as eating pure table sugar — a quick, high spike in blood sugar. A serving of lentils has a slower, smaller effect. Read More
Got a Minute, or Two?
Holiday season can be a wonderful time, but stressful, too. Best to have on hand some simple relaxation strategies. Mini-relaxations are stress busters you can reach for any time, anywhere, whether it’s fear at the dentist’s office, panic before an important meeting, aggravation when stuck in a traffic jam, keeping cool when confronted with irritating people or an overloaded to-do list.
When you’ve got 1 minute:
Place your hand just beneath your navel so you can feel the gentle rise and fall of your belly as you breath. Breathe in. Pause for a count of 3. Breath out. Pause for a count of 3. Continue to breath deeply for 1 minute, pausing for a count of 3 after each inhalation and exhalation.
Or, alternatively, while sitting comfortably, take a few slow deep breaths and quietly repeat to yourself “I am” as you breath in, and “at peace” as you breathe out. Repeat slowly 2 or 3 times. Then feel your entire body relax into the support of your chair. Read More
Pomegranate — Nature’s Medicine Cabinet
Eating a pomegranate is a challenge. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you might create a scene that looks like something out of a horror film — seeds scattered all about, splattering their bloody-red color on your skin, clothes, hair and walls! There are, however, less messy ways to do this and they’re well worth learning, if you’re interested in partaking of one of Nature’s best.
A lot of hype surrounds so-called “superfoods” like pomegranate, but this fruit deserves every bit of it! All parts — seeds (arils), pulp, skin, root, flower, even the bark from the pomegranate tree — are brimming with multiple varieties of polyphenols, disease fighting antioxidants which hundreds of scientific studies have confirmed can help prevent or treat a wide range of maladies, including the “big three”: heart disease, cancer and stroke. Read More
Watch this video to learn how to peel, seed and juice a pomegranate for use in recipes like this:
- 2 ripe avocados
- juice from 1 lime
- 1 cup sliced scallion
- 4 garlic cloves, diced
- 2-3 serrano or jalapeno chile peppers, diced
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- 2 tablespoons pomegranate juice
- ¼ cup pomegranate seeds
Peel and pit the avocados and place the “meat” in a medium bowl. Sprinkle with lime juice and mash all together. Add the scallions, garlic, peppers, cilantro and pomegranate juice. Mash until well blended, but still a little chunky. Fold in the pomegranate seeds. Makes about 2 cups.
Our Favorite Photo of the Year (Un-PhotoShopped!)
This photo has nothing in particular to do with Rethinking Cancer. We just love it! Thanks to an Indonesian guy with a camera who happened to be out in his neighbor’s garden in a downpour, this earnest little tree frog, seeking shelter from the rain, has become possibly the most famous frog on the planet. After the story came out in London’s Daily Mail back in July of this year, it went “viral.” (Just type “frog in the rain,” in the Google search box and you’ll see.) Something about him (or her?) touches our heart strings, makes us smile and full of love for Nature’s amazing creatures — of which we are one!
Happy Holidays to all!