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Well just about everything is falling apart in the world.  And on top of it, it’s allergy season. Woohoo. While many of you are running to the pharmacist to grab that box of stuff that’s very near in composition to, say,  something you could purchase under a bridge in Atascadero, let’s examine some holistic options first, k? Here are five ways you can un-stuff your stuff without messing up your stuff.

Vitamins A C B12 and E are the key here. Keep your immune system up. Apple cider vinegar, taken once or as a daily tonic, can completely stop the histamine reaction. One popular way to take it is to put 1/8 of a cup in 16 oz of water and drink it throughout the day. Manganese, specifically manganese sulfate, is another great way to knock out the nose blowing. But don’t over do it. Ten to twenty mg’s a day, taken only for one week, should do the trick. Be sure to take it on and empty stomach, and not at the same time as food or other supplements.  It will be the most effective that way. Spices are a wonderful way to clear the head, as hot as you can stand. Turmeric, curry, and garlic are especially good for your immune system. Lastly, zinc supplements, taken in a similar manner to manganese (once a week, on an empty stomach, 50mg’s a day) will get you back on your feet.

In addition to these suggestions, drink plenty of water, get plenty of sleep, and try to keep your sniffer away from green/floating pieces of nature. If you want some additional help, I recommend paying The Secret Garden a visit. Without doubt, you’ll find some potions and herbs that’ll heal things you never even knew were wrong with you.

 

 

 

 

 

Okay, so with the recent Japanese disaster, we’re all a bit sketched out over here on the Central Coast about things such as milk, meat, and of course, our drinking water. But should we have felt safe about our tap water to begin with? Maybe not. While it’s a given that if you live in Morro Bay or Los Osos, you probably shouldn’t drink the tap water, you don’t think twice about it in the rest of the county.

However, the merits of fluoridation of our water has recently come back in to debate. While proponents of fluoridation argue that the benefits outweigh the potential risks, such as a 40% reduction in cavities, it is known that overexposure can cause dental flourosis (a decaying and mottling of tooth enamel) and skeletal flourosis (joint pain and stiffness).

This is perhaps why the U.S Department of Health recently lowered the maximum amount of fluoride allowed in drinking water. 60% of Americans get fluoridated water, whether they are aware of it or not.

All things considered, do you think we should allow fluoridation in our drinking water? How much is too much? Do you drink tap water? We want to hear your thoughts.

Data provided by The Daily Green.

Right, wrong and on the fence. Sometimes it’s straight forward, right?

Wrong: when you fail to mention your boyfriend to a guy who offers to buy you drink, and then you slip away to “the bathroom” upon receipt of said drink. Wrong.

Right: When you then take said drink to boyfriend waiting for you in another part of the bar. Right.

In between: When you tell your boyfriend you bought it for him. Grey area.

Being green can be similar.

Wrong: Throwing away aluminum cans and taking 40 minute showers. Wrong.

Right: Taking aluminum cans out of the trash and putting them in the the recycling, then only taking a long enough shower to get the trash smell out of your hair. Right.

In between: Buying the occasional plastic water bottle and justifying it because “you recycled it” and then taking a semi long shower because you never do it.

However, it’s impossible to determine right and wrong without some amount of informed decision making. You KNOW that aluminum cans are recyclable. You KNOW that we don’t have enough water to go around. You know that plastic isn’t that bad if you…oh…uh…do we know that? Fact Check? Bueller?

Plastic has its uses and its place in this world. Yup. There are many effective and important uses for plastic. But here are eight facts you may or may not have known about how detrimental it can be to us and to our environment.

“BPA is a synthetic estrogen and commonly used to strengthen plastic and line food cans. Scientists have linked it, though not conclusively, to everything from breast cancer to obesity, from attention deficit disorder to genital abnormalities in boys and girls alike.” (From Raw Earth Living) And you think, what about IV tubes? Aren’t those useful and good? Yeah, they are. However, there is a pretty nasty chemical that goes in to making an IV what it is. Known as di-ethylhexyl, this substance can leech from an IV into the bloodstream, and cause complications in more susceptible members of the population, such as infants. The average American produces half a pound of plastic waste per day. ‘The bodies of almost all marine species, including some of the most vulnerable and wildest species on the planet – animals that spend nearly their entire living far from humans – now contain plastic.” (Mail Online) For every 1,000 plastic bags distributed, 3 wind up in the ocean.  That doesn’t seem terrible, unless you consider that one billion bags are distributed every day. Plastics in the U.S. are made primarily (70 percent) from domestic natural gas. (Earth911.com) More than 260 species have been reported to ingest or become entangled in plastic debris. It will take 50 to 80 years for a plastic cup to decompose. (Greenfeet.com)
enzos new york eatery slo

UPDATE: Enzo’s New York Eatery in San Luis Obispo has permanently closed. Looks like you’ll have to head to the High Street Deli instead, or to the Bronx.

So I’ve been going back and forth lately. To eat meat, not to eat meat. Being a former vegetarian then vegan turned back to fish only, then full blown omnivore once again, I’ve gone through the ringer  (or more appropriately, the food processor) of dietary decision making. Currently reading Jonathan Safran Foer’s treatise about his same struggle, the issue has sprung to the forefront of my mind once again.

One thing, in the midst of my lack of conviction in the situation, is certain: I prefer out and out, to support places that provide options for all colors of the dietary rainbow. I also prefer to support places that have organic, free range meat should they choose to serve it (even better if it comes from their own family farm). I prefer places that have good beer on tap. I prefer places that are clean, and locally owned and operated. Also, I prefer places that are open 24/7. Does such a thing exist in this little town? Yup. Enzo’s New York Eatery.

Admittedly, my first experience at Enzo’s could be easily discredited. It was four (AM). But still, it was sooooo clean and sparkly. And then I ordered the french toast. I was expecting Denny’s style french toast of course. It couldn’t have been further from. Legit French toast, with just the right amount of cinnamon, butter, vanilla, and yeah, they had peanut butter.

I was sold. And then, when I went back in for a second cup of coffee, I noticed on their giant red menu, a substantially large section with the heading “Vegan Menu.” I had to look again, because not too far from the menu was a very nice meat counter, offering up cold cuts and house made sausage… as it turns out from the family farm. No, that was right. Vegan pizzas, pastas, all kinds of stuff.

So not too long after my introduction to my new favorite eatery in SLO, I had to drag my other half, being that he happens to have a weakness for a good Philly cheese steak. He too, was more than sold on the good vibe, reasonable prices, organic and free range meats, selection, and of course, the authenticity of his cheese whiz covered entree.

In sum, places like this don’t come along every day in SLO, so please. The next time it’s three or four in the morning, and you happen to be with your vegan best friend, yet you have the worst craving for a real hot dog, pay them a visit. And then pay them another one in the light of day. You’ll be equally as impressed.

Enzo’s Eatery WAS located at 733 Higuera St., between Mother’s Tavern and Bubblegum Alley.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So with recent disasters and revolution, some of us find ourselves feeling ill-at-ease in our once comfortable illusions  of an overly secure existence. The “that won’t happen here, or to me, or to my family” subconscious thought process that we operate on more than we care to admit, for some, has been shaken by the aftershocks, tsunamis and nuclear disaster occurring just across the ocean. For others, there is an utter denial about our own vulnerability and lack of control of the world around us.

So somewhere between the media hype, the denial and the panic, we need to look at what we as citizens can learn from other people’s tragedy and misfortune. While it may be a bit absurd for people to build bunkers and stock up on ammo for the impending zombie apocalypse, it is more than reasonable for those of us on the coast of California to look around and think “hey, we’re on a fault line and right next to a nuclear power plant. Maybe I should have some emergency supplies at the ready in CASE something goes wrong?” Here are eight things you can do to keep yourself safe in the event of a major disaster.

Without going overboard, you can keep yourself stocked on some necessary items. It is important to have to canned food and water around, in case things run out, or you’re stuck inside for a while. If you take any kind of prescription medication, it is important to have a surplus on hand.  Extra cans of PBR are always a good idea as well. Depending on what part of the country you live in, it would be a good idea to have some sort of means of creating heat on hand. Blankets, fire wood, etc. They don’t take up much extra space, but a little extra warmth can make a huge difference. Keep the most extensive first aid kit around that you can afford, or have room for. In the event of an earthquake, you never know how badly you and yours could be injured. And while there’s not a whole lot rubbing alcohol can do for a broken bone, and can keep a nasty gash from becoming infected. If you are evacuated form an area near a power plant, it would be helpful to have not only tools in your vehicle, but some of the same things you have in your garage in terms of food/water/heat sources/sleeping and camping goods. It sounds a bit extreme, but really, that sort of thing is more likely to happen than anyone would care to admit. During an earthquake, if you are inside, make sure to stay there. Get underneath a very strong/stable surface. If you are outside, keep clear of objects that could fall or power lines. If you are cooking indoors, be sure to turn of the stove. In the event of a nuclear disaster, only leave your home if you are absolutely certain you have a destination to arrive at, and the means to get there quickly. You don’t want to be stuck in stampede. You’d be safer indoors… provided you’ve stocked up on necessary goods. If you live in a coastal region and survive a major earthquake, it is a good idea to get to higher ground as quickly as possible. A tsunami is likely to follow in the seismic aftermath. If you are driving in an earthquake, be sure to pull over slowly, out of range from power lines and bridges.

While some of these are sort of common sense, it never hurts to have a reminder. We can’t prevent a natural disaster, and we can only try to prevent man made disasters, but we can do our best to avoid personal disaster and loss. If you’re looking for supplies to put in your own personal earthquake kit, come in to Bambu Batu for some sustainable and sturdy camping materials.

 

 

Spring has sprung once again. It’s fast approaching that time of year when less clothing is more desirable and brighter colors attract the eye. Dreamsacks, one of our favorite companies, has now evolved in to Yala, and with that evolution comes some exciting new designs for spring and summer.

Here are my three favorite new goodies that we have in stock now from Yala.

3. What’s old is new again, with a new shade to look upon. The lovely and youthful Clara tunic now comes in a bright and cheerful yet tasteful Raspberry.

2. Who says spring is no time for scarves? You never know when a spring breeze is likely to come ruffle you up and make you regret the decision to wear that tanktop and mini skirt. But wait, thankfully you have your brand new Pashbu Scarf (maybe in that delicious new shade of yellow called Limoncello) with flirty frayed edges. Just light enough for spring, and just enough to keep you warm, just in case.

1. If you like a top that you can wear to your favorite summer outing, or just around the house, then you’ll love the brand new Gathered Samantha Top. With a hip hugging waist and a flatteringly loose mid section, this lovely new work comes in four different colors: Raspberry, Jade, Deep Purple and Black.

There are plenty of new and exciting things to see here at Bambu Batu. Come spring forward with us!

“I’m telling you, THIS is why astrology is a bunch of bs! You’re telling me that all of a sudden, I’m just magically a different sign, all because some yahoo from the mid-west finally realizes that the earth has shifted? I don’t buy….”

Man, he wouldn’t stop. My boyfriend is a serious skeptic about things like astrology. For him to go out on a limb and believe that something he always took with a grain of salt was shifting completely, was asking too much. Apparently, a lot of people have their panties in a grand cross over the issue. It is quite the reflection on how society handles change in general.

But has that change really changed ANYTHING? Sure, the earth tilted a scooch. And now this constellation, Ophioucus (pronounced O-Few-cus), is in big bold bright view. Does that really make you a Taurus now, dear?

Well, even though his response was bull headed and stubborn, no, it doesn’t. To get to the root of this, I called up Dr. Craig Martin, an astrologer based in L.A. He was a funny man, short and to the point. He made it  clear from the beginning that Ophioucus was a bunch of phooey. I asked him why he thought so.

“I’ll tell you why I KNOW so… Astronomy and astrology are different. Astrology is an interpretive art.” One that an astronomer knows little about. As you may already know, the hubbub began when an astronomer named Parke Kunkle (poor bastard) proposed that because of the shift in the earth’s axis, a new astrological sign would come about and shift all of the other signs back to make room.

The point that Dr. Martin was making is that on the whole, astronomers don’t fuddle much in astrology. It’s an art that compromises the credibility of their science in the science community. So, according to Martin, the link between astronomy and astrology is tenuous at best.

He acknowledged the shift in the earth’s axis, but then he also went on to point out that this was something astrologers have known about for a long, long time, and that it’s already been accounted for. It’s called precession, and while it does have an affect on our signs, they knew that already. Duh.

He’s not alone in his conviction either. He has been interviewed by quite a few major media syndicates and publications since the uproar, and when he gave his take to Fox News and the Associated Press, they looked less than shocked. “That’s what everyone has said,” seems to be the overwhelming consensus.

Additionally, he pointed out that in order to make room for the new sign, you have to take time away from the other signs. “There is no way you could move through Leo that quickly… It’s huge.”

I must admit, I was a little bummed about the debunking. My birthday lands right in the middle of what would have been the new sign’s territory. Ophioucus would have been sort of awesome! And I still can’t understand for the life of me why people would be opposed to the change. But hey, if it doesn’t add up, it doesn’t add up.

For further counsel on the matter, I highly recommend getting in touch one of our local astrologers. Harry Farmer is a great person to contact, as well as Barb Heiam-Bjornsen.

There’s a whole lot of shakin’ goin’ on. It must be time for that insulin shot. Or, everyone’s just a bit jittery because they’re not sure WHY corn refiners have petitioned the FDA to be able to change the name of the dreaded and infamous High Fructose Corn Syrup, to a more benign sounding and somewhat subversive name, Corn Sugar. Or whether it even makes a difference for that matter.

Today, there’s a lot complete ignorance about what goes in food. Because of that, a nutritionist counter culture (or the food punks, as I like to call them) has developed, where anything that might be possibly harmful becomes the topic of the week and the trendiest thing to avoid, without a necessarily complete understanding of said substance or additive. We’re all pretty familiar with the recent gluten free, grass fed, organic, GHB-free wave. (NOT a bad thing to have going around, mind you.)

In all of this, one of the original evils has sort of been out of the news, like Paris Hilton before her recent nose candy incident. High Fructose Corn Syrup has been, until last week, soooo 2007. However, there’s been a lot of hubub lately about whether or not they should be allowed to change their name to avoid bad press. Dear HFCS, while this tactic may have worked for Prince, I don’t think this will work for you. Or that it should be allowed. Go ahead, try and trick your consumers, but here’s the deal. I’ve compiled some information to arm our readers, so your propaganda and sneaky marketing won’t work. You ask, “what’s so bad about ‘Corn Sugar’?” Here’s your answer:

“FAT FAT FATTY!” According to Science Daily, a recent study conducted at the university of Princeton, found that rats who were given HFCS gained more weight (even with the same caloric intake) than rats who were just given ordinary table sugar. Sumo wrestlers, take note. “When rats are drinking high-fructose corn syrup at levels well below those in soda pop, they’re becoming obese — every single one, across the board. Even when rats are fed a high-fat diet, you don’t see this; they don’t all gain extra weight.” -Bart Hobel, neuroscience and apetite specialist. In an article from DiabetesHealth.com, the composition of HFCS is broken down for us. Essentially, this alternate and cheaper sugar, is made of two things: Fructose and Glucose. Fructose is a monosaccharide, or simple sugar. It does not stimulate insulin secretion, or require insulin to be transported to cells. As a diabetic knows, it’s important to manage your insulin secretion and glucose levels. The problem with Fructose, however, is that insulin also triggers leptin, or the “I’m full” hormone. So, if you’re consuming calories, without feeling like you are, you’re going to gain weight. If you’re diabetic, or even if you’re not, that can be a big problem. According to me, your dearest lemon, stuff tastes better with real sugar. Haven’t you ever had a Coke from Mexico… Dang those are good. I want one right now, it’s soooo hot out… Sorry. Back to the facts. If you don’t care if you’re fat, fine. Go rock that “big is beautiful” attitude. More power to you. I mean, look at Precious, she’s awesome. But according to Healthmad.com, (and ANYONE with common sense) obesity leads to heart, kidney, and liver problems. Therefore, indirectly, so does HFCS. It’s kind of like the transitive property that says you have slept with everyone your current mate has slept with, but worse. Can I say that here?

So, whether it’s called HFCS, Corn Sugar, or some symbol that can’t be pronounced out loud, it’s bad. It’s evil. It’s satan. It’s Christine O’Donnell in sugar form (cheaper, simpler, and really really bad for America.) And the next time someone asks you, “What’s so bad about High Fructose Corn Syrup?” you’ll have an answer. Brought to you by your friendly folks at Bambu Batu.

Song of the day: “Raspberry Beret”- Prince

Bonus Video: some propaganda from Sweetsurprise.com

“I always buy organic.”

” I wish I could, but it’s too expensive.”

“I heard there’s no point.”

“How can you say that? Everything else is terrible for you, AND the environment!”

There’s really nowhere to turn and no one to trust in today’s crazy world of food fanaticism, nutritionist culture, labels that tell you what to eat, what not to eat, Atkins Vs. Veganism, and a general lack of CONCRETE knowledge about what goes in to our food, and where it comes from. A lot of extreme ideologies about food have developed in this modern age. Personally, I have to say I find it fascinating that in America today, more people die from obesity than starvation, and while we have fought to have equal education for all, we have some of the least educated people in the world. Additionally, the biggest indicator of obesity is income. It’s cheaper to buy burgers for your whole family then organic broccoli. But if you’re thinking to yourself, “I can’t afford smoothies and soy products every day, but I’d like to vote with my dollar,” then this article is for you. Here are 15 foods that are just fine to buy conventionally because they are the least likely to contain pesticides, and 12 that you absolutely shouldn’t buy any other way than the big O. (NOT an Oprah reference.)

The clean fifteen:

Onions Avocado Sweet Corn Pineapple Mango Sweet Peas Asparagus Kiwi Cabbage Eggplant Cantaloupe Watermelon Grapefruit Sweet Potato Honeydew Melon

The Dirty Dozen

Celery Peaches Strawberries Apples Blueberries Nectarines Bell peppers Spinach Kale Cherries Potatoes Grapes

So there it is, a little money saving device for those of you who can’t afford to shop at Whole Foods all the time. Here’s hoping that someday, this won’t be an issue, and safe foods will be the only option, and an affordable one at that. Until then, write on Micheal Pollan, keep fighting Morgan Spurlock, grow grow grow SlO Grown Produce, and stay on your toes consumers. If you want to have a discussion about it, come down and see us at Bambu Batu… we’d be happy to show you some kitchen ware you can eat your conventional AND organic foods off of!

Song of the day: “Aint Nuthin But a Party” by the Dirty Dozen Brass Band

Better living with stacked rocks and Feng Shui

Feng wha? Is that a fungus? What’s that mean? I don’t really like things I don’t under… OUCH! Jeez, I’ve gotta move the bed. I keep running in to it, and for some reason I can’t sleep at night. Oh, so, you’re telling me that’s sort of what this Feng Shui business is about? Oh, ok, a meeting of the laws of heaven and earth to govern our aesthetic world, so that we can improve life by receiving positive qi. Well, why didn’t you just say so before?

It may sound a bit silly to some, but for us here at Bambu Batu, with our recent move, Feng Shui was on the mind. And with so many people moving in to dorms, and houses with people they don’t know, trying to accomplish great academic things, it occurred to us that it might be helpful to you all to have some aid in the concentration, focus and ambition department. Here are a few tips to Feng the Shui out of your surroundings so you can get that ‘A’ and sleep at night.

To squeeze the qi out of your study room:

Make sure your office space is tidy. This may be fairly obvious, but it’s the first and most important step for concentration. If possible, place your desk so that the window is to the left of it. If there is no window, place a mirror there instead. It will have the same effect. Try to avoid having your back to the door, as this will interfere with your concentration. To make the room more comfortable and inviting, place a plant or wind chime near the window. This will help to prevent bad influences from coming in the window, and will bring good luck

Don’t let the bed bugs bite:

Keep your head AWAY from the door. Try and position your bed so that you can see the door, but neither your feet or head are facing it. (This is also useful when the zombie apocalypse comes. The head is the first thing they go for.) Try and avoid sleeping under a window. Windows are entrances and exits for qi. You can either loose positive energy by dispersing it, or receive the full force of any negative qi that might enter. If you cannot avoid this, then hang a curtain to prevent the flow either way. Avoid hanging depictions of water where you sleep. This can cause insomnia and bring bad luck to the bedroom’s inhabitants.

Hopefully these six little pointers will help you in the new adventure of the home decor department. It might be a little easier to decide where you like your desk the best, if there happens to be a window in the room. If you decide you’re really invested in the Feng Shui of your home, room, or dorm, come see us. We have a pretty neat Feng Shui compass to assist you in your furniture and art decisions. Until then, happy moving!

For further Feng Shui Tips, check out our article on Bamboo Fountains for Better Feng Shui.

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