I’ve been reading two books while in Chile: A Short History of Chile by Sergio Villalobos and Los Versos del Capitan (The Captain’s Verses)by Pablo Neruda. The first one, at 204 pages, is the perfect length for someone with only a tourist’s interest in the country. The second one left me with the same thought I had after reading some of Neruda’s other poetry: If you can read Spanish, even rudimentary Spanish, it’s better to read him that way rather than in translation. Spanish, when articulated melodically – either in song or in poetry – is so much more beautiful than English.

A Few Photos From Our Trip

 Photo #1: Valparaiso

Photo #2: The Atacama Desert

Photo #3: The Atacama Desert

Photo #4: The Central Market in Santiago

The Plant Paradox: The Hidden Dangers in “Healthy” Foods That Cause Disease and Weight Gain by Dr. Steven R Gundry M.D

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Atacama, Chile.- Human beings are, and always have been, omnivorous. They thrive on natural products – meats and plants.

Some meats – from animals that have been kept in pens and shot up with hormones and other chemicals – are not good for you. Most people know that. But some plants are also bad for human health.

That’s what The Plant Paradox is about. Gundry explains that there are highly toxic plant-based proteins called lectins that are found “not only in grains like wheat but also in the ‘gluten-free’ foods most of us commonly regard as healthy, including many fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, and conventional dairy products.

“These proteins, which are found in the seeds, grains, skins, rinds, and leaves of plants, are designed by nature to protect them from predators (including humans).

“Once ingested, they incite a kind of chemical warfare in our bodies, causing inflammatory reactions that can lead to weight gain and serious health conditions.”

Worth a read.

Impedimenta (noun) – Impedimenta (im-ped-uh-MEN-tuh) is baggage of any kind that impedes progress. As used by David Roberts: “When you sling a saddle atop a llama’s back, just after he’s rolled in the dirt to scratch the unscratchable tickle of having lugged an ungrateful hiker’s 90 pounds of impedimenta another eight miles along the trail, you’re struck by how matted, coarse, and snarly the wool seems. But that’s why it makes for versatile outdoor wear.”

“Character – the willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life – is the source from which self-respect springs.” – Joan Didion

Binge Out!

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Atacama, Chile.- The language police have struck again. According to Dictionary.com, I’m not allowed to describe my bouts of overeating chocolate kisses or over-watching Netflix as “binging.”

The dictionary opines: “When most of us use phrases like binge-watch or gag me with a spoon, we aren’t trying to cause harm. However, our willingness, inadvertent or not, to treat eating disorders, their symptoms, and their vocabulary as a joke means that the 30 million people in the US who suffer from some form of an eating disorder can feel stigmatized, made to feel like their conditions aren’t serious.”

There is method behind this madness, and it’s all about money:

Take a bad habit (i.e., binge eating), give it a clinical-sounding name (binge eating disorder), give that an acronym (BED), register it as a mental illness, get health insurance to cover it, and – bingo! You have created a new billion-dollar industry.

Two more steps:

* Get media to promote the idea that binge eating is not bad behavior but a disorder.

* Call in the language police to restrict usage of the term to the “professionals” and, thus, control and protect the asset.