Mount Bierstadt Summit

We immensely enjoyed exploring northern and central Colorado during our travels this summer.  Given the beautiful mountains and the cooler weather, we hiked more miles than usual.  While enjoying all the sights, we were also in training as we had a goal in mind – hiking our first 14er. We drove up Guanella Pass in the Mount Evans Wilderness Area where we caught the Mount Bierstadt trailhead.  This was Sunday and a popular hike, so we had plenty of company, although much younger than us!

Initially we hiked through the willows down into the valley, soon starting our upward trek, upward and upward.  Glad to finally reach what we thought was the saddle, the most challenging section of the trail came into view, a lengthy set of relentless switchback.   Upward and upward, many hikers returning from the summit encouraging those laboring up the mountain, one step at a time.  Here I finally understood hiking etiquette – the person hiking up the mountain has the right of way.  As I became more fatigued, my vision remained downward willing my feet around the impending rocks. When I had the energy, I demanded the right-of-way!  We set our sights on a rock or vantage point up ahead where we would again stop to catch our breath, noticing the oxygen becoming thinner as we continued upward.  All along the way the views behind us were astounding.  Multiple mountain ranges emerged and all the while HaRVy (our RV) was visible far in the distance – a tiny shiny white rectangle. Finally we conquered the grueling switchbacks. Next we saw a snow patch and a boulder-filled peak in front of us.  We scrambled up through the rubble, when dizzy stopping to adjust to the elevation gain.  Forging ahead, we soon made it to the top!  Once there we savored our ceremonial gorp and apple, while watching a marmot positioning himself for food scraps.  After we captured our moment on camera, a couple asked me to take their picture.  I said “I would be honored”, well knowing what it took to get there.  Much to my surprise, after the summit picture, the guy pulled out a diamond ring, proposed and she said “yes”.  I made certain that special moment was well documented.

One is advised to not stay on the summit for long due to unpredictable lightening storms, so we soon headed down.  What we thought would be a quick return was also challenging traversing down the slippery, sandy slope, down, down, down the switchbacks. Along the way, we were excited to come across two bighorn sheep goats calmly grazing along the mountainside.  Foraging ahead, we watched our progress as HaRVy slowly grew in size, glad to be back “home”.  7 miles round trip; 2770 ft. elevation gain; Summit 14,065 ft.

Grumblings

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http://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/notes-grumbling

Some days I’m more easy-going than others.  I realize we all have different priorities, which is good.  Diversity adds color to the palette.  I also realize we are all busy.  But if we are lucky, we do more than just put out fires.  Instead of always reacting, we are proactive.  I try my best not to judge, but some days, actually most days, it seems our environmental life-line would naturally be somewhere in the top five.

Grocery stores are a struggle for me.  For starters, I usually see litter in the parking lot.  Once inside, likely now with soiled hands, I see expensive colorful products displayed on the end-caps, poised for impulsive shoppers.  I see produce and meat products packaged in Styrofoam along with huge displays of Styrofoam products – every size and use imaginable; and single-use disposable water bottles prominently displayed throughout the store.  Then I’m surrounded by all the unhealthy, highly processed foods that claim to be “Natural” simply because this misleading term increases sales.  The FDA has no rules for “Natural” labeling.

Then there is the daunting check-out lane.  As I’m waiting, my eyes gravitate to carts filled with over-packaged single-serve products, Styrofoam products, bottled water, chemical “cleaning” supplies, and unhealthy processed food.  Then the cashier bags and double bags purchases into maybe 20 plastic bags!  Seriously, does a package of toilet paper need to be bagged?  Shaken, I clutch my cloth grocery bags.

Finally I’m out of the store and driving back home.  I see a guy flick out his cigarette butt, or perhaps fast food packaging.  I’ve promised my friends I will no longer stalk and follow these folks home, so I just honk.

Once home, I grab my mail.  I sort through all the junk mail, catalogues and newspaper inserts – Seriously, is there no end to the assault on our trees to produce millions of ads we don’t want or read?  As I settle in and read the news,  with more frequency I read about another environmental assault such as a chemical or oil spill threatening our waterways, soils and atmosphere.   Although, I am grateful for the coverage, since most infractions never make it to news print.

Sigh.  Once when perseverating to a sage friend, she advised me – “You need to spend half your time helping the environment and half your time enjoying it”.  Think I’ll take a hike.

hiking-feet-fall-1240
https://www.greatsmokies.com/hiking.php

Styrofoam Be Gone!

imgp10863
http://thebadinogden.blogspot.com/2005/09/garbage-at-beus-pond.html

Summer is finally here –time for picnics!  I can buy 170 Styrofoam plates for just $3.97.  What a bargain!  Or not.  Time to “Pause”.

In 1937, Dow Chemical introduced Styrofoam to the US, an expanded polystyrene foam petroleum based product.  A 1986 an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Report named the process of creating polystyrene as the fifth largest creator of hazardous waste.  In 2000 the EPA determined styrene as a possible human carcinogen.

Many sources report, by volume Styrofoam uses 25-30 percent of the landfill space.  Once there, it never decomposes, breaking down into smaller pieces.  The wind carries these particles and other Styrofoam litter throughout the environment and into our waterways.  Styrofoam is disastrous for animals, birds, and marine life as they mistaken these toxic particles for food, choking them and clogging their digestive systems.  As Styrofoam accumulates, it also puts our health at risk when we eat fish.

Styrofoam is commonly used for egg cartons, beverage cups, plates, bowls, produce/meat trays, take-out food and packaging peanuts.  The Sierra Club reports each year Americans throw away 2.5 billion  Styrofoam coffee cups every year, enough to circle the earth 436 times – just One Styrofoam product!

While technology for recycling polystyrenes is available, the melt-down process is toxic, the market is very small, it is not cost effective and not available locally.

Progress is being made.  Some entities are outlawing polystyrene foam (Taiwan, Portland, New York City and several cities in California).  Scientists are developing alternatives.  Bagasse take-out containers made of crushed stalks of sugar cane and sturdy paper boxes are now available.

How can you help? Use your Consumer Purchasing Power and stop buying it and help me educate store and restaurant managers and your friends!  Instead of Styrofoam coffee cups, use reusable mugs or paper insulated cups.  Instead of Styrofoam plates and bowls, use reusable dishware, or paper plates.   Give UPS Styrofoam peanuts to reuse; instead use shredded newspaper or real popcorn.    Don’t buy take-out food unless they use bagasse, paper boxes/bags or aluminum foil – better yet, bring your own container.  Take your Styrofoam egg cartons to the Farmer’s Market for reuse and grab some goodies.  Avoid produce packaged in Styrofoam trays!  Throw big Styrofoam packaging blocks into your attic for insulation.  Event Organizers – Use paper insulated cups, #1 plastic cups (recyclable) & fiber or bagasse clamshells, paper bags or aluminum foil.  And pick up Styrofoam litter so it doesn’t have a chance to break-down and wreak havoc!  We need to tackle this menace!

 

10-5-13 Sugar Creek MRR effot
Styrofoam mess cleaned up on Sugar Creek, MO during event hosted by Missouri River Relief 2014

Missouri State Parks 100 Year Anniversary

centennial-logo
https://mostateparks.com/passport

I was quite amazed when perusing the spring edition of Missouri Resources to learn Arrow Rock Tavern was the first property purchased by the state; a rest stop built in 1834 for settlers headed west.  In 1916, Missouri was one of the first states to create a special park fund used to buy land. By 1928 the state had acquired 40,000 acres creating 14 state parks, mostly in the Ozarks. Only four states had obtained more land at this point in time. Funds initially came from game and fishing fees, and federal funds.  As automobiles and better highways improved mobility, park attendance grew. In 1974 the Department of Natural Resources was formed with Missouri State Parks under its umbrella. In 1981 federal aid ended. Fortunately citizen action led to voter approval of a one-tenth-cent sales tax to be split between state parks and soil and water conservation. To date, every ten years a large majority approves the tax renewal, now poised for a vote again this fall.

Per Missouri Resources, “state parks offer prairies, battlefields, covered bridges, ancient Indian villages, forested hills and valleys with caves and springs, streams with trout, lakes with bass and the homes and workplaces of honored artists, pioneers, soldiers and statesmen.” Given our state was quick to preserve land for the public good, we were major recipients of President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal. Thousands of young men worked for the Civilian Conservation Corps building infrastructure in our park systems; as major recipients, four thousand in Missouri alone. Wonderful stone and timber pavilions, along with rock walls and steps along pathways, added beauty and functionality to our parks. With over 18 million visitors each year, we have much to offer – 53 state parks, 35 historic sites, and over 1000 conservation areas. Contrary to most states, entry to our parks is free.

In 2013, American Trails, a national, nonprofit organization, named Missouri the “Best Trails State”. We have almost 1,000 miles of managed trails and more than 500 miles of National Recreation Trails; diverse trails we can walk, hike or bicycle throughout our state park system; and the Katy Trail, the longest developed rail-to-trail  in the nation. We also have the beautiful Ozark National Scenic Waterway flowing through the lower part of our state. If you want to learn more about nature offerings in Missouri, call for free subscriptions to Missouri Resources through the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and Missouri Conservationist through Missouri Department of Conservation. Missouri is a beautiful state – get out there and enjoy it!

 

South Korea Sightings++++++

While South Korea wasn’t on my bucket-list, my daughter is there teaching English so I enjoy visiting.  This year’s trip was especially exciting, as I met my first granddaughter!  While I would love to write about her, I will keep my environmental focus, sharing sightings and other topics that required further research. With every culture, environmental awareness and actions vary greatly.

My daughter’s family lives in the busy, vibrant coastal city of Busan.  There you find small neighborhood business areas throughout.  I filled our refrigerator with produce, frequenting local vendors. Seasonal vegetables and fruits were plentiful, produce being sold from the back of pick-ups, piles along the street, in alleyway markets or huge outdoor markets. Interestingly, with all these offerings, there was little variety, as in just one kind of apple, fortunately a tasty variety. Here too I visited one of the largest fish markets I have ever seen, curious looking fish of all shapes and sizes. Via the local bus, I sometimes shopped at E-Mart where there are a few imported produce options. Fruits and vegetables are grown everywhere. Valleys are filled with gardens and greenhouses while terrace gardens hug hills and mountains, no soil unturned.

Although fast foods have crept into their society, a typical Korean diet consists of a bowl of steamed white rice, a soybean-paste vegetable soup, kimchi along with side dishes of steamed or seasoned vegetables, pork or fish; sometimes chicken or beef; and a broth type of soup.  Kimchi is a pungent, usually hot mixture of fermented and/or pickled vegetables, most often made out of Chinese cabbage and daikon radishes.  Koreans consumes an average of forty pounds of this revered national dish per year.  While eating out, it’s quite common to sit on the floor and eat at a low table, using a spoon and chopsticks.  As for ordering take-out, they place bowls of food in a hot box attached to a motorcycle, once delivered we enjoy our food served with kimchi, then we return our empty bowls placing them outside our door for pick-up.  In South Korea, they don’t eat on the go as it is more of a social activity. It is their custom to sit down and enjoy food together, focusing on that activity alone.

In South Korea recycling is huge.  Not only is there a strong social pressure to recycle, it’s free, whereas they pay to dispose trash.  I enjoyed recycling day at our apartment complex. All day long, the dwellers hauled their recyclables onto the elevator and contributed to the growing piles, absolutely huge at the end of the day.  They also have a “give away” system in place. If the item doesn’t disappear after a period of time, disposal fees are applied. With such a system come risks. I noted a lot of litter and random displaced bags of trash scattered about as public recycling and trash bins were uncommon.  I only saw public bins when visiting public beaches, parks and some educational facilities.

Hiking is a favorite cultural pastime in South Korea with scenic mountains cover 70% of the terrain.   My daughter and family live on the side of a mountain, so anytime I went anywhere, I either walked up or down the mountain.  My newborn granddaughter resisted daytime naps, so we spent hours hiking while she snoozed in a front pack. We always headed up the mountain, along with the locals, to a beautiful trail overlooking Busan. Green area is quite common and popular, many times including fitness equipment scattered along the path.  Before my visit was over, I finally summitted the mountain.  Unfortunately, views off in the distance were usually obscured as smog is quite common.

After the Second World War, South Korea made a shift from agrarian to industrial; 75% of the population lived in the rural areas; according to World Bank, now 82 percent live in urban areas. Housing is very concentrated, most living in small high-rise apartment. Something common and quite lovely, Koreans typically have a heating system called ondal.  Since it’s a Korean custom to sit and sleep on mats or cushions on the floor, they keep the floors warm by installing pipes under the concrete and circulating hot water through them.

Face masks are quite common in South Korea and East Asia. This tradition began in Japan due to a massive pandemic of influenza killing between20-40 million people around the world. While this practice ended in 1919, it resumed again in the 1970s due to the industrial related rampant air pollution. Residents are now more frequently advised to wear masks during dust advisories as ultrafine dust travels hundreds of miles from the expanding deserts of China filled with lead and arsenic, creating thick smog. They also wear masks to contain germs. Back in 2012 all the masks were white, but this year I saw masks in a wide variety of colors.

The government is pursuing new and renewable energy to secure more independence and reduce their carbon emissions. They are implementing compulsory renewable installation systems to create the demand for new and renewable energy and promote private investment.

In an effort to reduce smoking, South Korea passed a country-wide smoke-free ordinance January 2015.  Still 36% of the men and 4.3% of the women smoke.  Attempts to decrease smoking include smoking bans almost everywhere, price hikes, mandatory warnings on packaging, advertising bans, along with financial incentives and medical help to quit. When walking through neighborhood parks in 2012, I continually dodged groups of older men smoking.  This year I was thrilled to experience much less smoke second-hand smoke.

While South Korea has banned the cultivation of GMO crops, given their low domestic production of soybeans and corn, they are a major importer of GMOs grain. Now they are concerned about pollution threatening their local ecosystem due to GMO seed spill. Consumer groups are requesting GMO product labeling similar to the European Union.

Reforestation efforts increased in the 1970s and a few of the remaining old-growth forests were protected in nature reserves.  Now South Korea has 20 national parks. Interestingly, one of the world’s most interesting wildlife sanctuaries is the DMZ (demilitarized zone), 160 miles long and 2.5 miles wide, untouched since 1953.

Now back home, I always pay a self-imposed carbon tax.  This trip’s recipients are Missouri River Relief and The Environmental Working Group.

Litter Be Gone

Pick_Up_Boonville_LogoAfter a fantastic Sixth Annual Pick-Up Boonville, I still feel inspire and keep tackling new routes. Perhaps you saw us picking up along a busy roadway one beautiful morning early April. Our action plan – we each took one side of the road. Although I already knew this, as we trudged up the hill I was reminded once again, we are a mismatched pair.  When it comes to picking up litter, I’m a Type A+ personality sort, whereas my partner, well he is too mellow to even define.  Mismatched perhaps, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

As I lagged further and further behind, I kept hearing those dreaded words “Leave the cigarette butts!”  Finally I was out of earshot!  Realizing we had only allotted one hour to this task, I begrudgingly passed up the butts and made more progress up the hill; that is until I came upon a drainage area in the woods to my left.  When I see litter headed downhill, all bets are off. I attack it with a vengeance; I might as well pack a lunch!  Major acrobatics ensued as I attempted to capture yet one more elusive piece of litter as I envisioned it floating into the Missouri River.  Finally I maneuvered myself out of the brush and focused my efforts on the bank visible from the road. I didn’t purposely start on the toxic butts again, but if I was already bent over you bet I grabbed the butts within reach; then the butts close-by if it only required shifting my weight and moving just one foot!  Yeah, I can compromise, well sort of.

As I looked up the hill, I realized my partner must have run into a challenging area, as I was getting closer. I was also feeling confident since I had a trick in my back pocket – the car keys! Although there was a risk factor – we were within walking distance from home. As it turned out, we reached our end goal around the same time. I was elated when he said he would walk back down the hill to get our car, more time to nab cigarette butts!  After finishing the intersection, I headed back down the hill. Dang – a newly tossed McDonalds coffee cup lid! Okay, so I’m not telling anybody where I picked up, just in case a reader will purposefully litter there and, well let’s say, challenge my personal growth. Yeah, when I’m deep in litter recognizance, my mind can go there.  Reset, the birds were singing and the trees were in bloom, pear trees and redbuds!  Wish we could give this route more than an hour, but I have another map calling my name!

 

Why I Care

 

14 - Joan '78

Me pondering when 24 year old, perhaps thinking about nature? This was certainly a beautiful spot along a river in Tennessee.

As a child, I wandered aimlessly thru the woods for hours, then cooled my tired feet in the rippling stream as I watched the meanderings of minnows and tadpoles. Once replenished, I wandered on, open to all adventures.  Although never verbalized, I always cared.  As an adult, I have now found my voice.

Now as I revel in the sights, sounds and smells as I hike through Harley Park and along the Katy Trail, I gladly pick up litter obscuring the beauty.

As I visit pristine National and State Parks and drive upon clean cities, I see the possibilities.

As I hear the birds chirping and delighting in the morning, and flock to our bird feeders after snowfall, I want to keep the skies free of pollution.

As I admire majestic California Redwoods and the Big Burr Oak near McBaine, I gladly recycle and use less paper products.

As I breathe in the scents of the flowers & herbs and the fresh air after a rain, I feel an awakening.

As I feel the warmth of the sun and the strength of the wind, I see the potential of harnessing renewable energy sources that don’t pollute the earth.

As I drive thru billboard-free Vermont and Maine, I delight in the views around the next bend.

As I am mesmerized by the ocean waves flowing in and out, watch a waterfall trickling, flowing or thundering over the ledge, and canoe along clear waters, I strive to minimize the chemicals, plastics and cigarette butts flowing into them.

As I hike thru the forest along a clear mountain stream, soak in a hot spring along the way, and summit a mountain, I feel alive!

As I shop at the Farmers Market and see and taste the bounty nature has provided, I want to protect our seeds, soil, and water.

As I meander through the woods and snatch a discarded chip bag, I know I have made a difference.

As I stroll across the Missouri River Bridge, and watch a beautiful sunset melt into the river and fill the sky with color, I am replenished and energized.

As I see a child mesmerized by nature – closely examining a cloud, flower, animal, or build sand castles by the ocean, I know I will always do my part to conserve and preserve those marvels for future generations to come.

 

Obesity Epidemic – Part IV

Taking back our health requires much more than taking a pill to mask symptoms.  While it will initially take a lot of discipline and effort, in most cases obesity and related health issues can be overcome.  Being heavy and unhealthy doesn’t have to be our new norm. While the food industry will tell you the answer is to simply exercise, specialists say reducing targeted calories is the first step, and all calories are not alike.  Eating healthier takes off the pounds and exercise builds muscles to keep off the weight.

Any lifestyle changes take time – it’s a process, not an event.  While many serious health issues require drastic measures, it is more nurturing to “ease” into a healthier lifestyle. A moderate approach might mean starting by eating fast foods one less day a week, eating vegetarian one day a week, drinking more water, not eating at a desk or while driving, enjoying more family sit-down meals, or shopping at a Farmer’s Market. Gradually adding movement to your day might mean stretching more often, taking a fifteen minute walk, playing catch with your kids, take up gardening, strengthening your balance by standing on one foot or joining a yoga or fitness class. Study labels, try new foods, gradually shift to a healthier diet and move more.  Positive results lead to more positive changes – you will be on your way.  Change is invigorating.  Just keep in mind, for optimal health, the Department of Health and Human Services and American Heart Association recommend at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise (or a combination).

I find the Environmental Working Group dietary guidelines to be quite helpful.

Eat more vegetables and fruits, avoid pesticides when you can.

Eat less meat, especially red and processed meat – “Red and processed meats are believed to cause cancer and heart disease, and their production is bad for the environment”.

Skip sodas, sugary and salty food.

Eat healthy and sustainable seafood that’s low in mercury.

Beware of processed foods – “The federal Food and Drug Administration allows more than 10,000 chemical additives in food.  Some of these substances are linked to serious disorders.”

While the issues surrounding obesity are quite complex, during my discussion I have focused on dietary changes and a more active lifestyle. Minimizing stress, staying well rested and maintaining a strong support system all help to prevent emotional eating. Cutting down on screen time filled with advertisements, especially those targeting vulnerable kids can also be extremely effective. If you feel the need, continue researching on your own and see what works for you.  Feeling healthy, happy, and energetic is worth the effort!

This is the last of my Obesity Epidemic series – Thanks for staying tuned in!

Join the Earth Day Celebration

 

earth-day
https://happyfunenjoy.com/earth-day-activities-posters-images-quotes-facts-slogans-pictures-coloring-pages-and-poems/

Earth Day will be here tomorrow – 4/22/16 – an annual celebration shared by billions of people all over the world.  Perhaps for you, Earth Day has already arrived! This event was first established in the United States in 1970. During a 1969 UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Science, and Cultural Organization) conference in San Francisco, a peace activist, John McConnell, proposed a day to honor the earth and the concept of peace. His idea caught on quickly as twenty million Americans celebrated forming peaceful demonstrations favoring environmental reform.  Two thousand colleges and universities, roughly ten thousand primary and secondary schools and hundreds of communities across the United States participated the first year. The Earth Day celebration was held locally in Columbia at Peace Park, on the University of Missouri (MU) campus, from the get-go, an annual tradition that continues today.

In 1990, Denis Hayes promoted the event internationally, organizing events in 141 nations. With the world-wide expansion came a huge boost to recycling efforts worldwide and the beginning of United Nations summits focusing on environmental concerns. By year 2000, the Internet helped link activists world-wide; over 5,000 environmental groups reached out to millions of people in 184 countries. Now it is observed in 192 countries, coordinated by the nonprofit Earth Day Network, making it the largest secular holiday in the world celebrated by billions of people every year.

For years I have participated in this fine tradition. This is a fun event I enjoyed sharing with my girls while they were growing up, they loved celebrating Earth Day! Hopes are you too have been enjoying this annual tradition.  If not, click on the Earth Day Network, and find an event in your area.

As for “my” local, this year’s event, the 27th Annual, will again be held in Peace Park on the MU campus from noon to 7pm  this Sunday, 4/24; rain date 5/1/16.  Peace Park is located at the north end of the MU campus along Elm St, between 6th & 8th Street. Over the years the event has expanded onto the adjacent streets, including 7th, 8th, and Elm Street.  Events include a packed performance on the musical stage, Kids Park, Eco Avenue, and many educational and food booths. The stage will be filled with performances including two children’s choirs, dance performances, folk music, bluegrass, sitar, woodwind music, and close out with a couple bands including Violet and the Undercurrents and Catdaddy’s Funky Fuzz-Bunker Band.  For more information go to – http://columbiaearthday.org/contact; 573-875-0539 or email mail@columbiaearthday.org. Mark your calendars now! Then 4/24, bring your family and friends along and join the celebration with the rest of the World!

 

Obesity Epidemic – Part III

Fortunately by wielding our power of choice, we can mindfully choose what we eat and how we move our bodies, enhancing our quality of life. In the late 1970s, I was propelled into a healthy lifestyle while co-managing a natural food grocery store.  Already quite active physically, my diet drastically improved as I voraciously studied all things related to nutrition; those studies continue today. While I have read widely on the topic and found what works for me, I’m not a medical professional.

My approach is pretty simple.  I avoid most processed foods preferring whole and nutrient-dense foods.   I spend most of my time at the grocery store shopping on the perimeter; spend ample time in the produce and health food sections and very little time among the stacks of processed food in the center aisles.  I’m an avid label reader and avoid high fructose corn syrup, preservatives, food enhancers, artificial ingredients, and saturated fats.  I buy organics as financially able, eat very little meat, and avoid products made from genetically modified organisms (GMO) with a vengeance.  Fortunately, it seems my taste buds have evolved along during this process, as I love vegetables and crave healthy foods. That’s good because the closest I come to dieting is limiting my dark chocolate intake!

I feel my best when I exercise regularly, usually a rigorous walk every other day. I have found, if I get too busy and forget to exercise, my stress level increases so I get back out there and walk. I start and stop, still striving to commit to a weight-lifting regimen as it’s empowering when I feel strong.  I also stay quite active while involved with what I like to do. Outdoors is always alluring as I immensely enjoy nature and hiking. I have a large yard to maintain, Food Bank shelves to stock, and litter and cigarette butts always need to be picked up.

I recently watched “In Defense of Food” by Michael Pollan and highly recommend it, as I like his approach to food.  Here are some of his recommendations – Eat real food, not too much, mostly plants; Eat only foods that will eventually rot; Eat only foods that have been cooked by humans; Avoid foods you see advertised on television; Make water your beverage of choice; Stop eating before you are full; Fill your plate with color, without artificial colors; Eat slowly to maximize the pleasure of food; Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food; Break the rules once in a while – what matters is not the special occasions but the everyday default practices; and cultivate a relaxed, non-punitive attitude toward food.