Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Salsa Verde

Salsa Verde

- Jalapeno pepper 1 large or 2 medium size
- Poblano pepper, 1 medium size
- Tomatillo, 8 to 10 medium size
- Onion, white or red,1 medium size, cut in half
- Lime OR lemon, ½ of a whole fruit
- Garlic, 1 clove or minced garlic, 0.5 tsp
- Cilantro, 1 small bunch, leaves and stems
- Olive Oil, 2 tablespoons
- Salt, 0.25 teaspoon
- Black Pepper, 0.25 teaspoon
- Xanthan Gum, 0.25 Teaspoon (optional)
- Honey (1 tsp..) or 1 packet of Truvia (Stevia) (optional)

Grill, broil or skillet cook the vegetables and lemon (or lime) until charred and soft, which takes about 10-15 minutes. When blackened, cut in halves or quarters and put in a food processor or blender. Blend together these and the remaining ingredients until it gets to the desired consistency.  The Xanthan Gum acts as a thickening agent.  A food processor with give a chunky consistency, a blender will puree. A de-seeded jalapeno will make mild salsa, whole pepper (with seeds) medium heat, 2 peppers will make extra hot.  I made this recipe primarily to put on eggs, but it adds a Mexican flair to any dish or enjoyed with chips or eaten straight from the jar with a straw or spoon :).

Yield: about 24 ounces or 1 1/2 pints.
Serving size: 1 ounce
Nutrition per serving: 1 net carbohydrate (2 total), 1 g fat, 18 calories

Recipe by Gus Koerner with the input of Alton Brown and Bobby Flay, March 2020.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

My Response To A Friend Asking About Keto


I’m glad you asked about the keto diet!  I’ll save you the story of me getting on it to another time.

These are my primary go-to sources for help with my diet:

Dr. Ken Berry, MD – Has a real practical approach to the diet.

Thomas DeLauer – A keto celebrity who is very technical, and prescribes “clean” keto and supplements a lot. He is more commercial and has sponsors he must promote, but he’s good.

Dr. Jason Fung – I have mostly listened to his stuff on intermittent fasting, which I am a fan of. I like to regularly do a 16/8 fast. It helps speed my weight loss and makes me feel better.

Health Coach Kait – She is mostly a carnivore diet person, but carnivore is also low-carb, so her stuff is helpful. She’s interesting to watch.

Carb Manager – A free web based tool with phone app

There are others like it, such as MyFitnessPal but Carb Manager really works for me and my wife.  I also use MapMyWalk to track my exercise, but I lost 40 lbs. before I ever started exercising.

You may have to learn a new vocabulary.  I have learned the following words since I started:

Ketogenic (Keto)
The difference between Keto and Atkins diets

Dietary ketosis
Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA)
Fat Adapted
Nutritional Macros – Carbs/Fat/Protein ratios
Dirty verses Clean Keto
Hidden carbohydrates – the enemy
Blood Glucose levels
Blood/Urine Ketone levels and how to measure them
Glucose-Ketone Index – GKI
Intermittent Fasting verses OMAD (One Meal A Day)
Calculating macros for you -
Buying groceries and eating low carb on a budget
Using sugar substitutes – do’s and don’ts
Helpful dietary supplements for the ketogenic diet

I hope this helps.  Ask me about any of it, and I’ll help you if I can.  Back in Aug. I knew very little about any of this, but I’ve learned.


Friday, June 14, 2019

Wise Women

This meditation I received today from the Center for Action and Contemplation really touched me. In the paragraph below, "Ever since I was a young girl...", could have nearly been my statement if a few things were changed.  Continue reading, and at the end I will add my final comments.

From Franciscan Richard Rohr, who suggests that there are good, beautiful, and true gems worth holding on to. At the same time, there are many unhelpful and even harmful parts of what has passed for Christianity that we need to move beyond. In his Daily Meditations, Father Richard helps us mine the depths of this tradition, discerning what to keep and what to transcend.

Friday, June 14, 2019, Feminine Incarnation, Wise Women, For the full posting go here.

Today’s reflection is by Mirabai Starr, drawn from her article in the Center’s spring newsletter and her new book Wild Mercy:*

Ever since I was a young girl, I have been irresistibly drawn to every religion I encountered. Born into a non-religious Jewish family, I had embraced multiple spiritual traditions by the time I was twenty and integrated them into my daily life: a deep devotion to an Indian saint, a daily Buddhist meditation practice, initiation into multiple Sufi lineages, a reclamation of the ancient beauty of my ancestral home in Judaism, and an unexpected friendship with Christ through the mystics, whose words I have since translated. Each of these paths has comingled in my being, creating a rich and robust spiritual soil.

Final comments
I rewrote this paragraph from my perspective,

Ever since I was a young man, I have been irresistibly drawn to every religion I encountered. Born into a less-religious LDS (Mormon) family, I had embraced multiple spiritual traditions by the time I was twenty-five and began to integrated them into my daily life: a deep interest in Buddhist meditation practice, investigation into Taoism, a reclamation of the beauty of my ancestral home in Mormonism, and an unexpected friendship with Christ through the (Catholic) saints, the Blessed Mother and modern theologians such as Nouwen and Merton, whose words I have since contemplated. Each of these paths has comingled in my being, creating a rich and robust spiritual soil. It is my desire to use this fertile soil to grow into a deeper relationship with my Father and begin to bless others like I have been blessed. - g. koerner

* Mirabai Starr, Wild Mercy: Living the Fierce and Tender Wisdom of the Women Mystics (Sounds True: 2019)

Image credit: Our Lady of Guadalupe (detail of the original image as it appeared on the tilma or cloak of Juan Diego when he experienced a vision of Our Lady on top of Tepeyac Hill, outside of Mexico City). The tilma is enshrined within the Minor Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Lizard Brain

A letter to my Primary Care Physician today...

Thank you for the great visit yesterday! Please thank your nurse for me as well.  She was professional and kind.

I had an “ah ha” moment this morning that may benefit your other patients, as it did me. From Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditation for today, regarding our “lizard brain”.  Full article here.

”In turning our gaze to this divine truth—in dropping our many modes of scapegoating and self-justification—we gain compassion toward ourselves and all others who suffer. It largely happens on the psychic and unconscious level, but that is exactly where our hurts and our will to violence lie, lodged in the primitive “lizard brain,” where we have almost no rational control.”

Then this from Psychology Today. Full article here.

[The Limbic Cortex] is the part of the brain that is phylogenetic ally very primitive. Many people call it “The Lizard Brain” because the limbic system is about all a lizard has for brain function. It is in charge of fight, flight, feeding, fear, and freezing-up... The point to all of this is that 12-step recovery recognized (before the limbic system was described) that we all have this tendency to do what we don’t want to do and we are powerless about certain behaviors. Understanding this automatic behavior allows us to surrender to what we cannot control. It frees us to do the next right thing by staying in the present rather than worrying about the future or being shamed and experience guilt about the past. It takes practice.

Post Script: Also see this article How To Tame Your Lizard Brain by By Susan Murphy, PhD of Desert Health.



Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Success Story – Fish Stories, One of Success and Courage

While teaching a group of fourth graders, I gave them an opportunity to exercise their public speaking skills. The lesson was not on public speaking but on fresh and saltwater fish identification. As they were working in their activity book and were all engaged, I saw the opportunity for a parallel activity instead of having them just sit there quietly.  I invited the students to come to the front and tell a favorite fishing story, true or fictional.  Many raised their hands to participate and several did, some stories long and some just a few words such as, “My grandpa caught a shark!”   A young lady by the name of Eliza raised her hand and said she had a story.  When she accepted my invitation to come up front, she just stood there and stood there with a blank stare.  At that moment, her lower lip started to quiver, her eyes showed a look of fear and she bolted out of the classroom.

I was able to call her back into the classroom and calm her down.  I knew I had a teachable moment available to me, so I took advantage of it.  I then explained to the group that speaking in public is a fear most people experience, and it can be overcome with a little practice. Eliza then agreed to start again.  This time, every eye was on her, and every ear listening intently!  When she finished her story, all the children exploded in applause and kudos for her.  Eliza beamed with pride and accomplishment.  This will be a “fishing story” of courage that will probably have a lasting impact upon her and the group. – G. Koerner

According to most studies, people's number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you're better off in the casket than doing the eulogy. - Jerry Seinfeld

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Back To The Basics of Living A Life That Includes God - My Subconscious Awakens

Well before I learned of God and religion, I was influenced by the God of the Boy Scouts of America, and their reference to him in that program.

It was about 1965 when I started participating in Scouting, following my mom around while she did her Cub Scout activities. Maybe she was a volunteer for the neighborhood, or perhaps she was involved with my brother John.

While the Boy Scouts (or Cub Scouts) do not advocate a certain way to believe in God, they certainly support the faith of believers in such a general way, that it is for the most part not offensive to any, other than someone who may have strong feelings that no higher power exists at all. Examples can be found in the Scout Oath and Law.

The Scout Oath: On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.

The Scout Law: A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.

So here I am 53 years later, and these words of support from Scouting still have a strong influence on me.  So much so, as for this song below, Oh My Honor, to wake me up in the middle of the night as every single word and the melody came back to me, like I was sixteen again. I sang last night...

On My Honor
by Harry Bartelt

On my honor, I'll do my best, to do my duty to God.
On my honor, I'll do my best, to serve my country as I may.
On my honor, I'll do my best, to do my good turn each day,
To keep my body strengthened and keep my mind awakened.
To follow paths of righteousness. 
On my honor, I'll do my best.

This song was also recorded by the well known folk singer Burl Ives, and can be found easily in music formats online. Try here.

We sang this song on most major Scout outings.  The last time I sang it with a large gathering of people, was when my sister Irene included it in my Dad's funeral. To this day, the words tell me to serve God by serving others and to live an honorable, healthy life. I'm grateful my parents influenced me in this direction.