Mudita Journal

Health Archive

Recipe: Creamy chocolate tea

December 6, 2013  ·  Category: Health, Paleo, Recipes

I love sipping chocolate tea in the winter. I've been fiddling with this particular recipe for a couple weeks. Yesterday's batch was a winner. I'll no doubt refine it further, but this version is worth sharing and inviting input. The recipe is optimized for the consumption of extremely healthy fats. It is paleo friendly, with no milk products other than grassfed butter. This is in no way a low-calorie beverage. I sip it throughout the day for energy (calories) and warmth, as well as the deliciously creamy and rich flavor. To begin, combine the following in a 40-oz thermos and steep for ...

Tasty paleo snack: Coconut oil rounds

December 25, 2012  ·  Category: Health, Paleo, Recipes

I just made this snack for the first time, and it's surprisingly good, as well as ridiculously easy to make. The trick is to simply cool the coconut oil, which turns it into a creamy dessert-like substance, similar to the texture of chocolate. Coconut oil offers many health benefits: clearing brain fog, promoting weight loss, improving cholesterol levels, even curing Alzheimer's disease. But who cares — it tastes really good! You'll need a micro muffin tin (available from Amazon for $9.89) and the following ingredients, all available from Trader Joe's. Ingredients - 1 jar virgin organic coconut oil (if it's not already liquid, warm ...

Toward a better relationship to sex … and porn

May 23, 2012  ·  Category: Current Events, Health, Intellectual, Mindfulness

Here are some choice quotes from a recent Q&A in The Guardian with Alain de Botton, author of the book Religion for Atheists. Ideally, porn would excite our lust in contexts which also presented other, elevated sides of human nature -- in which people were being witty, for instance, or showing kindness, or working hard or being clever -- so that our sexual excitement could bleed into, and enhance our respect for these other elements of a good life. No longer would sexuality have to be lumped together with stupidity, brutishness, earnestness and exploitation; it could instead be harnessed to what ...

Reflections on science, materialism, and near-death experiences

May 6, 2012  ·  Category: Current Events, Health, Intellectual

Curious to hear thoughts from others who walk the fine line between materialism and spirituality, I posted this article about near-death experiences to Mudita Forum. (I also included links to a critical response to that article and a subsequent reply from the author.) Some forum members responded that it's all rather anecdotal and unscientific, despite being researched by neuroscientists who appear committed to scientific investigation and the value of empirical studies. Below is my reply. As far as I can tell, consciousness exists only inside sufficiently evolved living organisms. So I view these kinds of NDE reports with a kind of default assumption ...

Taking time to smell the butter

November 17, 2011  ·  Category: Health

Earlier this month I relocated to Malta, chiefly for its English-speaking culture, beautiful sights, and sunny weather — ranked #1 in the world for its desirable climate per International Living. I'm liking it a lot so far, though I've scarcely begun to explore the island properly. Among other things, living in a new country always entails discovering new brands of my favorite ingredients — which can be good or bad, depending on what I find. Presently I have three different brands of butter in my fridge. Lately I eat a lot of butter because it's better for your brain as well ...

Treating chronic pain through radical acceptance

A new friend asked for my advice about using meditation to treat chronic pain. I would assume that, like me, you have consulted many doctors and they aren't able to do much to help. In this case, one of the most powerful therapies is what we might call "radical acceptance." The basic premise is that we often don't realize how much of our suffering is of our own creation, created by how we react to the pain in our body. Sometimes the core of pain itself can be like a grain of sand in an oyster; but through our irritated reaction, it ...

Dutchman Wim Hof uses meditation to control parts of his autonomic nervous system

May 23, 2011  ·  Category: Current Events, Health, Meditation

Since I use meditation as part of my regimen to manage chronic facial pain, this story caught my attention. A key difference, though, is that while I use meditation to manage my body's reaction to the primary pain -- i.e., to reduce the tension and anxiety and subsequent pain -- this guy uses meditation to alter the body's own primary functions: heart-rate, cortisol levels, body temperature, etc. I'd love to learn more about how he does it. ROTTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) - The sun beams down on a warm Dutch spring morning, and the Iceman's students look wary as they watch him dump ...

Meditation makes your brain bigger, prevents natural age-related thinning of the cortex

May 9, 2011  ·  Category: Health, Meditation, Mindfulness

A 2006 Harvard Gazette story "Meditation found to increase brain size" begins: People who meditate grow bigger brains than those who don’t. Researchers at Harvard, Yale, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have found the first evidence that meditation can alter the physical structure of our brains. Brain scans they conducted reveal that experienced meditators boasted increased thickness in parts of the brain that deal with attention and processing sensory input. In one area of gray matter, the thickening turns out to be more pronounced in older than in younger people. That’s intriguing because those sections of the human cortex, or thinking ...

Think nuclear power is dangerous? Try anything else.

March 19, 2011  ·  Category: Current Events, Health, Politics

See the article "How to make a nuclear reactor that can't have a meltdown" for fascinating information about how nuclear power generators can be built -- and have been built -- that have zero chance of a meltdown, even in the worst case scenario. This part is particularly relevant to our conversations today about the dangers of nuclear power: To put it in perspective, in 2008 Next Big Future calculated how many people are killed per terawatt-hour of electricity generated. On average, there are 161 fatalities related to energy generation from coal for each one of those terawatt-hours, which comprise a quarter ...

Dietary research: Good calories, bad calories

January 10, 2010  ·  Category: Health, Personal

My friend Thomas Ryan Stone has posted an interesting article on his site about the dietary research he and his wife conducted this past year, the low-carb lifestyle they adopted as a result, and the changes they noticed because of it. I was particularly intrigued by this summary of the ten key conclusions in Gary Taubes's book Good Calories, Bad Calories. Based on other information I've gleaned over the years, and what I've observed in my own dietary changes, I'm inclined to agree with these. 1. Dietary fat, whether saturated or not, is not a cause of obesity, heart disease, or any ...