UK Chief Medic Confirms (Again) Covid19 Harmless to Vast Majority

From the beginning of this crisis we have been pointing out that there are two mutually contradictory messages at the heart of the covid19 rollout, and, just as Orwell describes in 1984, a major point of the exercise seems to be to get people to believe both at the same time. 1. ‘Be Afraid…’ The […]

Dave Asprey — How Ketones May Be Useful Against COVID-19

Dr. Mercola Interviews the Experts

This article is part of a weekly series in which Dr. Mercola interviews various experts on a variety of health issues. To see more expert interviews, click here.

In this interview, Dave Asprey, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, founder and CEO of bulletproof.com, and author of “The Bulletproof Diet” and “Head Strong: The Bulletproof Plan to Activate Untapped Brain Energy to Work Smarter and Think Faster — in Just Two Weeks,” discusses the role ketones play in COVID-19.

veech

The initial motivation for this interview was the recent passing of Richard Veech, M.D., Ph.D., a Harvard trained physician who then went to Oxford to train with biochemist Sir Hans Krebs. Veech was a pioneer of the ketogenic diet and believed ketones have powerful antioxidant effects. This aligns with Asprey’s experience as well. As noted by Asprey:

“Your mitochondria’s job is to take air and food and convert them into energy. If it does a complete job of that, you stay lean, you don’t get inflammation and you have lots of energy.

[In] that complex process that Veech worked with Hans Krebs on — the Krebs cycle — parts of it are broken, you end up getting electrons that don’t go where they’re supposed to, and you end up with inflammation … these inflammatory cytokines throughout the body.”

How to Raise Your Ketones

Veech developed and was fond of ketone esters, but they tend to be expensive. Two brands that make ketone esters are HVMN and KetoneAid. The alternative, beta-hydroxybutyrate salts can, according to Veech, cause mitochondrial harm, which is why he didn’t recommend them. You can also raise your ketones naturally by going on a very low-carb, high-fat, moderate protein diet. Asprey mentions some additional strategies:

“The way that I pioneered and still prefer, is using certain types of MCT oil. The C8 MCT also will turn into beta-hydroxybutyrate … I do about a tablespoon or two spread out throughout the day …

If you have enough of any of these three forms of ketone-generating things in the body, what happens is those ketones come in, and then the cell says, ‘Oh, wait, I could use a unit of oxygen and a unit of glucose or a unit of ketone.’ When it uses the ketone, it gets more electricity out of it than it would from the sugar.

Your neurons love this. Your heart cells love this and it tends to wake you up. It tends to make you feel good. And if you’ve heard of bulletproof coffee, which I’m very well known for … it works because when you put that C8 MCT, the Brain Octane oil, in [the coffee], it gives you ketones so that when your brain is in the state of working, it works.

From the perspective of COVID-19, anything that raises your ketone levels is probably going to be good for you. One of the magic things that raises ketones is eight hours of fasting — that’s called sleeping. Plus, the amount of caffeine [found] in two small cups of coffee is shown to double ketone production.

So, what I’d propose is, if you’re feeling crappy, and you have COVID-19, you probably should have some coffee. And you probably should have whatever ketones you can possibly get from any of those forms, because it’s anti-inflammatory, because it can help your cells with energy.

When you do that, it will likely turn down this inflammatory snowball effect that happens. Even … sepsis … can be prevented by restoring ATP levels, NAD levels and something called the acetyl coenzyme A. So, what we’re trying to do is get in before the damage happens.”

While Asprey takes 1 to 2 tablespoons of C8 MCT oil a day, I regularly take 12 to 14 tablespoons a day. At 100 calories per tablespoon, it’s my primary source of calories. You will need to work your way up, though, as some will experience digestive upset when first starting. At 14 tablespoons a day, I can get my ketone levels to about 6 if I take additional ketone esters, which is difficult to reach even after a week of water fasting.

Insulin Resistance Makes You Susceptible to Cytokine Storm

According to recent NHANES data,1 87.8% of Americans are metabolically inflexible and, as such, are at an increased risk of developing COVID-19 due to impaired immune function. Diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and elevated fasting triglycerides are all clinical symptoms of insulin resistance.

When you burn sugar for fuel, you need to break glucose down to two molecules of 3 carbon pyruvate. Pyruvate is then used by your mitochondria after it is converted to acetyl CoA. Insulin resistance, in turn, can impair the enzyme that converts a breakdown product of glucose into pyruvate so it can be shuttled and burned as energy in your mitochondria.

diagnosis of covid-19

Ketones Inhibit Cytokine Storm

The problem with COVID-19 is that the cytokine storm inhibits the enzyme converting pyruvate to acetyl CoA, which radically limits your mitochondrial ATP production. An additional consequence of this is that it also reduces NADPH.

NADPH is the battery of your cell, the reservoir of electrons that actually cause endogenous antioxidants like glutathione, vitamin E and C to be recharged so they can continue to work and mitigate against the free radical damage resulting from all this oxidative stress. One way to compensate is to make sure you have enough NADPH, and ketones radically upregulate NADPH. 

thioredoxin reductase
nadph protects from free radical damage

NADPH also turns off NLRP3 inflammasome that produces cytokines like TNF alpha, NF Kappa B, IL1B, IL6 and IL18 (interleukins) that are causing all the damage.

mitochondrion matrix

Ketones are also able to interrupt the feedback cascade of cytokine storms caused by ionizing radiation. It is thought that it does this by providing a source of NADPH that is not dependent on glucose or sensitive to pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase or loss of pyruvate dehydrogenase phosphatase. Ketones are also useful for ARDS, stroke, traumatic brain injuries, and radiation exposures such as flying, CT scans, X-rays and 3D cone beam CT scans.

While many of my readers are not metabolically inflexible and therefore at low risk for COVID-19, most are at some point exposed to ionizing radiation exposure. We discuss this at greater depth in the interview, so for more details, listen to it in its entirety, or read through the transcript.

As noted by Asprey, the pathways involved in nutritional ketosis are relatively well-understood, and they point to ketones being a valuable prophylactic and adjunct to COVID-19 treatment.

“I have a little pulse oximeter on my finger right now. It’s a $30 item, and it tells you what your blood oxygen level is. [Mine’s] at 98%. It will probably go to 99% in a minute. What’s going on here is my lungs are working fine and my blood can carry oxygen.

When people get COVID-19, and they’re not metabolically healthy, then [their oxygen level] could be at 90 and [they] feel a little bit weird. But they’re actually metabolically really broken and their blood is starting to break down from [SARS-CoV-2 infection] and they’re starting to get the inflammatory cytokine storm.

If they had ketones present, if they were able to measure [their oxygen level], if they could block a cytokine storm with any of the herbs that we know about — andrographis stands out really well, but so does oregano, bay leaf, rosemary, green tea — if they could block iron using vitamin C, they wouldn’t be getting the lung damage and they might not even have to go to the hospital.

I just wish that the knowledge was out there, but when we have authorities saying, ‘Well, there’s nothing approved or studied for this,’ what that means is ‘don’t do anything until we say so,’ which is a terrible idea.”

COVID-19 Patient Successfully Using Ketone Esters

Below, I’ve included a video of a COVID-19 patient who, when given ketone esters, experienced significant improvement in her breathing — within minutes.


While the ketone esters provide fairly astounding improvements in COVID-19, they are in no way treating the primary cause of the disease, which is an impaired immune system, typically due to insulin resistance. This is why it is key not to rely on ketone esters as a magic bullet but, rather, a powerful tool that can be used when needed.

The Importance of Magnesium

Aside from ketones, magnesium is also important. “You can’t make enough of the chemicals that you need to make to fight off an inflammatory cytokine storm if you don’t have high magnesium levels,” Asprey notes. “And you won’t be able to have enough ATP because you get calcium dysregulation if you don’t have enough magnesium.”

Asprey recommends taking 500 milligrams to 1,500 mg of magnesium each day if you’re taking ketone esters, ketone salts or MCT oil. Like me, Asprey prefers magnesium threonate, as it has better absorption into the brain and doesn’t cause loose stools even at high doses. But he also takes other forms of magnesium.

“I take mixed magnesium-ate. In other words, every form of magnesium that ends in ‘ate’ [such as] orotate, citrate, malate. So, I’m getting broad spectrum in the evening and the brain one [magnesium threonate] in the morning.”

Aside from magnesium threonate, one of my favorite forms of magnesium is molecular hydrogen tablets. Once dissolved in water, each tablet liberates 80 mg of highly absorbable ionic elemental magnesium. On a side note, Tyler Lebaron, founder of the Molecular Hydrogen Institute, did a magnificent lecture on the therapeutic value of molecular hydrogen for COVID-19 and the molecular biology behind it, so it can be beneficial in more ways than one.

Metabolic Inflexibility Is the Primary Risk Factor

As explained in “The Real Pandemic Is Insulin Resistance,” the primary risk factor for serious COVID-19 infection is metabolic inflexibility. Crazy enough, research2 published in Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders in February 2019 concluded that 87.8% of the U.S. adults sampled were metabolically inflexible.

A mere 12.2% met the updated guidelines for metabolic health. Among the overweight, only 8% were metabolically healthy and among the obese, only 0.5% met the criteria for metabolic health. As noted by the authors:3

“Prevalence of metabolic health in American adults is alarmingly low, even in normal weight individuals. The large number of people not achieving optimal levels of risk factors, even in low-risk groups, has serious implications for public health.”

We’re certainly seeing the implications for public health in this pandemic. One of the most effective ways to regain your insulin sensitivity and metabolic flexibility is through time-restricted eating. The ability to burn fat and generate ketones is how you know that you’re metabolically flexible. Alternatively, you could do cyclical fasting.

“When I was obese, I knew I would starve if I didn’t eat six times a day, which is totally wrong. Now, I have two kids. They’re 10 and 12. That week, they both said, along with my wife, Dr. Lana, ‘We’re going to fast for 24 hours.’ So, we had dinner and we didn’t eat anything until the next day’s dinner.

And you know what, the kids handled it … They played and did their farm chores and it wasn’t a big deal. I like to think, ‘Great, I have metabolically flexible kids.’ If you’re not doing this kind of a practice, then OK — anything that quickly stresses the cells and then allows them to recover will help metabolic flexibility.

So, you could try cold showers … Getting quality sleep is another way … And if you’re going to exercise, do very brief, very intense exercise … I’m talking 20 seconds of the craziest thing you can do twice in seven minutes.

Nothing else will outperform a 45-minute steady state cardio workout, according to research from the University of Colorado. All of those things help, but if you have some ketones present when you’re doing them, I think you’re going to benefit more from all of those.”

Other Mechanisms of Ketones

Ketones are also a histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor, which has profound metabolic implications. By inhibiting HDAC, ketones radically reduce inflammatory consequences like cytokine storms. Ketones also activate Nrf2 and FOXO3a, transcription pathways that decrease oxidative stress by increasing endogenous antioxidants.

So, overall, ketones push everything in the right direction — away from inflammation. It’s much more difficult to get into trouble with inflammation when your ketone level is high. Asprey agrees, saying:

“It’s true. Now we’ve got millions of people who are stuck at home, and a lot of them are saying, ‘Oh, I can’t afford this stuff, it’s too much.’ But at the end of the day, you are so much less hungry. And we’re talking about skipping meals. 

It is cost-effective to put 100 calories of MCTs into your diet every day, even if you’re on a pretty restricted diet, because it does so much good stuff for you. And it replaces some other oils that you’re going to pay for and it makes you not hungry.

So, I am advising people, the more soluble fiber and the more MCTs you can take right now, the better off you’re going to be. And then, of course, avoid the industrial meats and the fried stuff and the bad oils. If you can do that … [COVID-19] illness will be very different than if you don’t do that. And, of course, you have to exercise and all that.”

Hyperbaric Oxygen

Another amazing tool discussed in this interview is hyperbaric oxygen. I detailed recent clinical findings and upcoming research in “Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for COVID-19.” It’s a particularly valuable alternative to mechanical ventilation.

Mechanical ventilation can easily damage the lungs for the fact that it’s pushing air into the lungs with force in a disease where the alveoli are compromised and filled with fluid from inflammatory cytokines due to insulin resistance. HBOT bypasses this problem by supplying 100% oxygen in a pressurized chamber, which allows your body to bypass this defect and absorb oxygen directly into your tissues.

Opelousas General Hospital in Louisiana, which has a hyperbaric center, has been deploying “off-label compassionate use” of HBOT as an alternative for patients that would otherwise have required ventilation.4 So far, 100% of patients treated with HBOT saw rapid improvements in their respiratory rates and dramatic decreases in CRP (an inflammatory marker) and D-dimer (a measure of blood coagulation), and none has required ventilation.

Reducing Comorbidity Factors Is Essential Pandemic Response

However, as important as it is to have effective treatments, it’s even more important to address the underlying causes to prevent out-of-control infection in the first place.

“The whole idea of flattening the curve is such a cowardly, low-end goal,” Asprey says. “The goal ought to be to lower the curve, because those of us who do math understand that if you flatten the curve, it’s the same number of people who get sick [in the end]. You got sick later so we could have more doctors for you.

What I want is fewer people to get sick. [By reducing comorbidity factors] we’d take the load off the medical system, which is an important goal, but we’d also [reduce] the chance of dying, we’d lower the overall death rate, and you do that through prevention. That’s been entirely missing from the $2 trillion national strategy, which is astounding to me.

When you look at what’s really going on inside the body, there is systemic hypoxia. We have three different studies that show that hemoglobin is pulled apart and iron comes out, using three different methodologies, which is very fascinating. And then there’s all the field reports of people saying, ‘Why are my patients hypoxic, yet their lungs are still working?’ …

Let’s see. Heart damage, brain damage, neurological symptoms, loss of smell and taste. Any high-altitude mountaineer like me will tell you, you can’t taste your food at high altitude. There’s a reason for that. And they’re also seeing those red spots on their feet, which are furthest from the heart and get the lowest amount of oxygen.

So, every symptom that has been documented from COVID-19 is hypoxic-related except for damage to the lungs, which is iron-related from all the free iron from … the damage to the hemoglobin. So, what do we end up with when you put all that stuff together?

You have a person who is hypoxic. And no matter what you do to their lungs, it doesn’t matter because their blood doesn’t carry oxygen well. So, how would you address that? Stick them in a hyperbaric chamber … Hyperbaric forces oxygen into the cells without hemoglobin being required.

When you do that, the cells that are struggling [get oxygenated] as the bone marrow works to make more red blood cells. By the way, we have data that COVID-19 makes bone marrow produce more blood cells. We know there are biological markers of that …

Given that these chambers … have other uses for things like traumatic brain injuries, metabolic problems and cancer, this ought to be something every hospital has. [Many] do have [hyperbaric chambers] yet it’s usually illegal to use [HBOT for many of these conditions] …”

We Need a Return to Common Sense

As for the direction we’re getting from our government leadership and mainstream media, Asprey is like me — frustrated with the lack of common sense and balance.

“You’ll see these talking heads on TV saying, ‘Well, I have a medical degree and I’ve spent 40 years studying how to use drugs to treat diseases, and there are no drugs that we have yet proven to treat this disease, therefore, you will sit there and eat pizza.’

I’m like, ‘What is wrong with you?’ There’s this whole body of knowledge and you don’t have to do everything I’ve talked about. You don’t have to be able to spell HDAC inhibitor. What we can tell you is, use some MCT oil, get enough sleep, don’t eat after dark, intermittently fast and maybe you’ll just be harder to kill from any bad disease, and that’s OK …

I’m particularly shocked that they’re shutting down parks and [beaches]. It doesn’t make any sense … The people who won’t socially isolate won’t socially isolate, but preventing children from having access to sunshine [and] walking in grass — it’s mean, it’s unnecessary and it’s beyond the scope of what our government is legally allowed to do in the U.S.

So, we sometimes need to just say, ‘All right, let’s do what Sweden’s head doctor did.’ The people said, ‘What should we do? We need guidance.’ And he said, ‘You’re smart people. Use common sense.’ And that was literally the guidance …

There are some heinous statements being made at the highest levels saying, ‘Science says there’s no evidence.’ But there is evidence. There’s lots of evidence. The fact that one of the seven forms of evidence is double-blinded clinical trials does not mean that [you ignore] when a large number of clinical people treating people notice that something works.

That is a great form of evidence. Another form of evidence is we understand these pathways and A leads to B, leads to C, therefore, C is likely. That is a form of evidence. It doesn’t mean it’s proof, but it’s evidence.

For our leaders to say, ‘Hold still, die and lose your businesses and your livelihood while we wait for our preferred form of evidence,’ is fear-based decision making. It’s dysfunctional … Doing nothing until we know everything, that doesn’t work.”

If there is a silver lining to this pandemic, it’s that it’s showcasing that healthy lifestyles provide essential immunity to these types of infections and disastrous health consequences. Hopefully, people will start to wake up and recognize there is something you can do that doesn’t involve taking medications or vaccines. Something that can strengthen your own innate immune system.

To learn more about Asprey’s work, be sure to check out his blog, DaveAsprey.com, and listen to his Webby Award-winning podcast, Bulletproof Radio.

This One Was So Good, I Have to Re-Post in Full


By Anna Von Reitz

I want everyone to read this, grasp what it says, and put it under the President’s nose:

Release: President Trump Urged to Create DoD-DoJ Task Force on Financial Crime
Licensed to Steal, May 15, 2020
In combination, NSA data and DTCC discovery will end both naked short selling and money laundering associated with human trafficking as well as trafficking in drugs and weapons.
WASHINGTON, D.C. Earth Intelligence Network has delivered a letter to the President of the United States of America, Donald J. Trump, recommending that he form a joint Department of Defense and Department of Justice Task Force (JDJTF) on financial crime.
This task force should have two missions:
First, to aggressively harvest the data on naked short selling available within the National Security Agency (NSA) unprocessed but stored collection from the past fifteen years – to map with precision the emails, texts, cell calls, and other forms of communication such as game chats used by brokers to coordinate naked short sales (the sale of non-existent shares with malice aforethought in order to steal money outright from pension funds and individual investors); and
Second, to set in motion a major Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) endeavor to immediately and deeply examine all records pertaining to Failures to Settle at the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC).
Results from the DTCC probe should be completed within 30 days if properly executed, and will both shock the President and the public once shared; and also make possible the design of a program to recover $50 trillion from the organized crime gang known as Wall Street, for the benefit of the President’s program to Make America Great Again.
The Department of Justice should at the same time be executing deep probes of all records at the National Securities Clearing Corporation (NSCC) and against the internal books of the Prime Brokers including at a minimum Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan, Credit Suisse, Deutche Bank, and UBS.
The United States of America being at this time in a state of war, with the President having full war-time authorities, this endeavor should not be burdened by nor delayed by peacetime legal obstacles such as Wall Street has learned to use to avoid being held accountable for sabotage of the US economy and the persistent malicious stealing of trillions of dollars from pension funds and individual investors.
The Task Force will find that the laundering of money from drug sales and trafficking in women and children is the flip side of naked short selling – the first profits from selling shares that do not exist; the second pretends that trillions have been produced from smart investing that did not happen.
A subject matter expert is available: http://www.csj-law.com/attorneys/jchristian.html.

The Problem With Wall Street


By Anna Von Reitz

The first problem with Wall Street is that it was built by slaves, and their dead bodies were thrown in piles to create the “Wall” that “Wall Street” is named after. That, whether you are a spiritual man or not, cries out to the Creator with the pain and misery of the thousands who were worked to death there in the Land of Nod.  

The second problem is that the men who inhabit Wall Street believe in, support, and profit from slavery, and always have.  They are an odd coalition of “Owner Interests” — Talmudic Jews (not real Judeans), Pontifical Catholics (not real Catholics) and American Robber Barons (not real Americans).

For those just entering the porthole on the way home to the land and soil:

Talmudic Jews believe they have the right to slay and enslave all Gentiles. 

Pontifical Catholics believe the same thing about non-Catholics. 

And American Robber Barons long ago devolved into “trans-nationals”— men who don’t deserve a country of origin, for they have no natural allegiances. 

They are the men “with souls so dead”.    

The varied members of this Wall Street coalition have a shared love of money and enslavement, money because it allows them to enslave, and enslavement because it makes them money.  

One hand, as they say, washes the other  

So, it should be no surprise at all that the Roman Pontiff sided with the South in the so-called American Civil War.  

And it should be no surprise to find Cede and Company up to its nostrils as the Holding Company buried in the heart of the DTCC, holding all the American “Clearinghouse Certificates” authorized under False Pretenses by the King Rat, Franklin Delano Roosevelt.  

It should also be no surprise that slavery in this country didn’t end over a century and a half ago.  It continued right on with hardly a “blip!” as the privately-owned slaves were converted into publically-owned slaves, first impacting American Negroes, and eventually, extending to everyone. 

According to them, we are all slaves owned by the government — which, in keeping with the Total Lie Concept — isn’t a government. It’s a foreign, private, for-profit “governmental services corporation”.  

Are you being served? —For dinner?   Or are you ready to put an end to this?  

Ancient Rome established its Empire on the backs of slaves.  What do you expect from a Roman Pontiff?  It turns out that they used the same means to establish the US Hegemony and will happily enslave a billion Chinese, too.  

Until we all wake up and realize what they are doing and squash them flat as bugs.  That’s an appealing thought, isn’t it?  

Come on, Visigoths!  Rah-rah-rah!

They created millions of slaves for themselves, out of thin air.  And profited from selling bogus slave labor contracts (The Miller Act) and slave bodies (The Buck Act) and slave dollars (The Federal Reserve Act). 

They created a whole make-believe world for themselves, complete with a court system to enforce their delusions on actual people and actual assets.  

And then with their profits from all this bunko, they hired our own Army and various international forces to bilk us and treat us as “the presumed Enemy”.  

Of course, everything they have done has hinged on “presumptions” — false presumptions made behind our backs, without our knowledge, without our consent, and enforced as Unconscionable Contracts. 

It’s all just fraud —- but it stands, until everyone shakes awake and calls it for what it is.  With a loud voice.  

In 1980, the Big Lie went viral with the Monetary Control Act.  Formally called the Depository Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act, Public Law 96-221, which allowed for both the monopolization of the Federal Reserve’s control of non-member banks, and the gutting of control and accountability by the Board of Governors.  

Imagine not only being able to steal from and control access to everyone else’s cookie jars, but being held-harmless for doing so.  

Then, in addition, imagine being able to order an unlimited supply of cookies, made to your order, and all charged to your slaves’ accounts?  

The Monetary Control Act of 1980 allowed for the “unlimited collateralization of debt”.   

You can now buy Florida real estate out in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

Now, we come up to date with the rest of the story….. read this: 


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See this article and over 2400 others on Anna’s website here: www.annavonreitz.com

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What It Means To Be Spiritual But Not Religious

Authored by Caroline Kitchener

growing contingent of Americans—particularly young Americans—identify as “spiritual but not religious.” Masthead member Joy wanted to understand why. On our call with Emma Green, The Atlantic’s religion writer, Joy asked, “What are they looking for?” Because the term “spiritual” can be interpreted in so many different ways, it’s a tough question to answer. I talked to people who have spent a lot of time mulling it over, and came away with some important context for the major shift happening in American faith.

Americans Who Want Faith, Not a Church

Kern Beare, a Masthead member from Mountain View, California, believes in God and studies the teachings of Jesus. But does he identify with a particular religion? “Never,” he told me. The structure and rigidity of a church, Beare believes, is antithetical to everything Jesus represents. Instead of attending services, he meditates every morning.

Americans are leaving organized religion in droves: they disagree with their churches on political issues; they feel restricted by dogma; they’re deserting formal organizations of all kinds. Instead of atheism, however, they’re moving toward an identity captured by the term “spirituality.” Approximately sixty-four million Americans—one in five—identify as “spiritual but not religious,” or SBNR. They, like Beare, reject organized religion but maintain a belief in something larger than themselves. That “something” can range from Jesus to art, music, and poetry. There is often yoga involved.

“The word ‘church’ means you need to put on uncomfortable shoes, sit up straight, and listen to boring, old-fashioned hymns,” said Matthew Hedstrom, a professor of religion at the University of Virginia. “Spirituality is seen as a larger, freer arena to explore big questions.”

Because over 92 percent of religiously-affiliated Americans currently identify as Christian, most “spiritual-but-not-religious” people come from that tradition. The term SBNR took off in the early 2000s, when online dating first became popular. “You had to identify by religion, you had to check a box,” Hedstrom told me. “‘Spiritual-but-not-religious’ became a nice category that said, ‘I’m not some kind of cold-hearted atheist, but I’m not some kind of moralizing, prudish person, either. I’m nice, friendly, and spiritual—but not religious.’”

Religion—often entirely determined by your parents—can be central to how others see you, and how you see yourself. Imagine, Hedstrom proffered, if from the time you were born, your parents told you that you were an Italian-Catholic, living in the Italian-Catholic neighborhood in Philadelphia. “You wouldn’t wake up every morning wondering, who am I, and what should I believe?” That would have already been decided. Young people today, Emma said on our call, “are selecting the kinds of communities that fit their values,” rather than adhering to their parent’s choices.

“Spiritual is also a term that people like to use,” said Kenneth Pargament, a professor who studies the psychology of religion at Bowling Green State University. “It has all of these positive connotations of having a life with meaning, a life with some sacredness to it—you have some depth to who you are as a human being.” As a spiritual person, you’re not blindly accepting a faith passed down from your parents, but you’re also not completely rejecting the possibility of a higher power. Because the term “spiritual,” encompasses so much, it can sometimes be adopted by people most would consider atheists. While the stigma around atheism is generally less intense than it used to be, in certain communities, Hedstrom told me, “to say you’re an atheist is still to say you hate puppies.” It’s a taboo that can understandably put atheists, many of whom see their views as warm and open-minded, on the defensive. “Spiritual” doesn’t come with that kind of baggage.

For people who have struggled with faith, embracing the word “spiritual” might also leave a crucial door open. Masthead member Hugh calls himself “spiritual,” but sees the designation as more of a hope or a wish than a true faith. “I hope there is more to this wonderful world than random chemistry… Nonetheless, I do see all of that as an illusion…That does not stop me from seeking something as close to what I wish for as I am able to find.” In his class, “Spirituality in America,” Hedstrom tells his students that the “spiritual-but-not-religious” designation is about “seeking,” rather than “dwelling:” searching for something you believe in, rather than accepting something that, while comfortable and familiar, doesn’t feel quite right. In the process of traveling around, reading books, and experimenting with new rituals, he says, “you can find your identity out there.”

Source:  Spiritual But Not Religious



10 Vegetables You Can Easily Grow at Home All Year Round

By Elias Marat,

As the coronavirus spreads across the United States, countless families are preparing to hunker down for what could be an indefinite amount of time. Whether it’s because of orders to “shelter-in-place,” self-quarantine, or simply our own conscience telling us it’s the right thing to do for the public good, many of us are preparing for a long stay at home.

With store shelves being stripped bare by panicked shoppers and many of our work hours—if not our entire jobs—being cut back due to the crisis, food security has suddenly become an issue, not only for our households but for our communities as well.

Because of this, home gardening could likely make a big comeback. Just as past generations of Americans responded to World Wars I & II with “victory gardens” at home, current generations could be set to revive the practice of planting, harvesting, and eating our own food. If anything, CoViD-19 could help us become reacquainted with some better habits when it comes to not just hygiene but general nutrition and self-sufficiency.

Here are just a few plants that can easily be grown in a small apartment or home.

1. Herbs

Whether you’re living in a sprawling condo or a tiny studio apartment, growing and harvesting herbs is supremely easy. Foodies who aren’t keen on blowing their hard-earned dollars on spices at Whole Foods can easily grow little pots of basil, mint, ginger, cilantro, parsley, or rosemary at home. All you need is a nice sunny spot on your window sill or fire escape and a bit of regular watering, and you’ll soon have fresh herbs in every meal!

2. Kale

Don’t let the price-tag fool you! While kale may be a trendy item at health food stores and restaurants, the plant is surprisingly easy to grow indoors—even during the colder months!

However, of key importance is to sow the seeds a bit farther apart than normal to allow the kale plants adequate room for growth. Within a week, you’ll soon see your kale sprouting! And then it’s only a matter of time before you’re baking kale chips, drinking kale smoothies, and enjoying a healthy kale salad!

3. Carrots

Carrots can be a super fun vegetable for beginners to grow indoors because anyone can help keep a steady level of moisture in the soil, it’s not too hard!  Carrots also come in a dazzling array of different types—from the common Imperator to the dozens of varieties of the reddish, crunchy Nantes—that can all be grown indoors and aren’t always easily found at local markets.

All you’ll need is a 12-inch pot, soil, and a sunny window, and you’re all set to be on your way to harvesting some nutritious and tasty carrots!

4. Bell Peppers

Growing bell peppers indoors can help one gain proper control of the growing environment, which in turn produces stunning peppers. Bell peppers also have a nice and long indoor growing season, which means a much larger yield spanning longer periods of time.

5. Mushrooms

Mushrooms are one of nature’s gifts to our pantry, mainly because the low-calorie fungi are very healthy as well as tasty, high in fiber, and chock full of healthy potassium.

Growing them at home is extremely easy and because they grow in dark, moist environments, they can be grown by anyone just about anywhere. It takes about 4.5 weeks to grow mushies from start to plate, and there are few things as fun as picking the little guys and eating them in the same day.

6. Beets

Beets are a brilliantly colorful addition to any plate, but they also pack a strong nutritional power-punch of vitamins and minerals. The root vegetable is perfect for beginning gardeners because they are so easy to grow indoors, and a beginning chef would do well to experiment with beet dishes—be it a satisfying Russian borscht soup or some nice beet pickles.

7. Potatoes

Growing potatoes is one of the easiest things you could do, whether you are growing them in a large basket, a big bucket, or even in a plastic sack. But when you’re growing them, leave some empty space at the top so you can dump some fresh compost in and help the root veggie develop.

8. Micro greens

Micro greens are delicious super-foods, tiny green plants that are packed with flavor and normally cost an arm and a leg at the local supermarket. But they’re also very easy to grow at home with a few basic supplies, a bit of sunlight, and a small container. It takes only 2 to 3 short weeks from planting to harvesting before you can have a plateful of healthy micro greens.

9. Onions

Onions are awesome to grow indoors in decorative pots or water dishes because not only do they not take up much space or require direct sunlight, but they naturally re-sprout. What this means is that you can grow new onions from seeds, or you can take your old onion scraps and sprout new onions, ensuring that your kitchen never goes without fresh bulbs.

10. Garlic

Like onions, garlic is a re-sprouting plant that can be harvested year-round to ensure that you always have the tasty plant in your kitchen. You can also trim the shoots of the garlic bulb to use in soups, pizzas, or as a delicious garnish! Just get some good garlic from a nursery or online, break up the bulbs, and plant your biggest cloves. Soon you’ll see the green shoots of the plant, which are also edible, and after 10 months you’ll have some delicious homegrown garlic!

 

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