Posts Tagged ‘Health’

If we do not linger abed upon awakening,

and dwell upon our dreams,

we run the risk of not hearing/

not heeding their synopsis and interpretation

by their director and producer.

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In Anishinabe it would be…Mino Noos Giizhigad

Mē·nō Nūs Gē·zhē·gŭd: Happy (My) Father’s Day!


Dear Dad,

You would have been 90, and still going strong today, if you hadn’t smoked.


your son.


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Sorry, got distracted that last post: Now where was I? Oh, yes.

When I said that while many had the same name as the others, what I meant was, just like you might be named Jane Smith, there are many Jane Smiths in the world. So it is with the Mitsha Manidoog. You would understand if I said that there were many Mosquitoes in the world.  Or that Promiscuity bred like flies. Or, well, … that Flies bred like flies. So it was with the Mitsha Manidoog.

And when I said that the Mitsha Manidoog teamed up with each other in fiendish ways, I meant that Fly would team up with Virus, (which included his  Mitsha cousin Bacteria) to produce all sorts of Dis-ease among the Anishinabeg.

The Mitsha Council was convened in order not only to introduce the members who had risen to prominence to each other, but to brainstorm diabolical ways in which they could torture the Anishinabeg.

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Oh, you ask, what is the council of the maji manidoog?

Up to this point, I have been mentioning what Maji Manidoo has been saying in the council, but perhaps I have been getting ahead of myself.

In the old days, the most powerful evil manidoos were chosen for their apparent strength. But nowadays what was needed to distract The People, was strength plus insidiousness-or the ability to go undetected until it was too late. Therefore maji manido called his council together as an orientation session for the members who had come to prominence. They were:

Ezigaa¹, Oojii², Zagime³, Aakoziwi-manidozhens4, Ishkodewaaboo5, Asemaa6, Maji-mashkiki7, and Bishigwadis8.

Keep in mind, that while each may have been named for a different thing, they were spirits just like you and me, and just like you and me, many had the same name as the others.

Each had their own specialty to offer, and they often worked together to torment the Anishinabeg in creatively fiendish ways.


  1. Ezigaa  (ā·zĭ·găˊ)    Wood-tick
  2. Oojii     (ō·jēˊ)          Fly
  3. Zagime (să·gĭ·māˊ) Mosquito [They are many]
  4. Aakoziwi-manidozhens (ă·kō·zē·wē-mă·nē·do·zhānsˊ) Virus [Little spirit of illness]
  5. Ishkodewaaboo (ĭsh·kō·dāˊ·wă·booˊ) Alcohol
  6. Asemaa (ă·sā·măˊ) Tobacco
  7. Maji-mashkiki (mă·jĭˊ·măsh·kēˊ·kē) Street Drugs [Bad Medicine]
  8. Bishigwadis (bĭ·shē·gwăˊ·dĭs) Promiscuity/Impurity/Foolishness [+nin= I am promiscuous, etc.]

*My apologies for the loose translation

**My thanks to the people who wrote:

“The Ojibwe Medical Dictionary”
The Yahoo Forum “Ojibwe Language Society Miinawaa”
“A Concise Dictionary of Minnesota Ojibwe”
“Dictionary of the Otchipwe Language”
“The Ojibwe People’s Dictionary”.

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The Bagwajiwininiwug  have always advocated that seven smaller meals a day were better for your health, rather than the typical 3 huge meals that most of The Anishinabeg eat.  Their larger European counterparts, called “Hobbits”, describe these meals in  “The Lord of the Rings” as:

1st Breakfast
2nd Breakfast


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I forsook the primal diet of the Anishinabeg
and the path of moderation,
nuts and berries and natural foods
in their natural concentrations
in their times and seasons.

In my ignorance and hubris
I drank the White Man’s liquids,
so sweet with promise but empty of sustenance.

I squandered good money on his poisons
because their concentration made them rich in flavor,
and their portions were generous.

I did not listen to the wise elders,
nor the inner Voice of Gizhi Manidoo.

Now I am always hungry and thirsty
and after I have gorged myself, I am left wanting more.

In the winter I did not emerge from hibernating in my lodge
I did not stretch forth from my slumber.
I grew corpulent
because I would not exercise my rights to participate
in the daily and seasonal rituals of The People.

When I noticed the signs  of turning,
it was already five years too late.
My body began betraying me.

At first the arches of my feet felt a refreshing and novel coolness,
then later tingled,
and later burned with hot pins and needles.

I could not walk through my beloved forest,
because the bones of my toes felt like breaking.

My feet were on fire.
They were beset by festering sores.

Now I stump around
because my feet are cut off and I am numb.

I have become blinded as well.

Over the years
I have forgotten the ways of my people.
I have grown not to care…
about anything.

I have forgotten about every one,
as cobwebs grow within my mind.

I cannot do the simplest tasks.
I cannot even feed myself.
I have grown to be…
less than an animal.

They sit me in the light,
and I am sometimes lulled by music,
although I cannot tell you why.

I am alone.

Do not fear me, oh Anishinabeg.
I cannot hurt you.
Disease will eventually take me.

Fear becoming me.

For if you become me,
Mitsha Manidoo, will have won.

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Up to this point I have never re-blogged a post, (considering such a thing to be cheating). In this case, I thought Lori’s blog was so good that I’d make an exception. Enjoy.

Lori Potter

As we rapidly approach the end of 2012, I believe now is a good time to focus on something big.  What I’m talking about is an issue so deep and dark that it has plagued my community for at least twenty years.   It’s the root of many reasons why so many people are emotionally disconnected and refuse to attend meetings, volunteer, or have generally anything productive to do with the tribe whatsoever.  Yes, folks, it’s high time I address the elephant in the room because frankly, he’s been toying with my community for far too long.

I’m talking about…


Oh yes…a lot of crap can happen in twenty years.  There is indeed a list reasons why people feel the way they feel, and that list is very long.  It includes:

  • broken promises,
  • false assumptions of life-long prosperity spoon-fed to multiple generations,
  • secrecy,
  • political manipulation,
  • financial misleading,
  • threats to remain blindly…

View original post 583 more words

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Red Lake Apples

Sometimes it’s not a bad thing to be red on the outside and white on the inside. This is especially true for Red Lake apples! However, here I am talking about literal apples. There are many health reasons why apples are good for you. They:

  • Reduce risk for heart disease and arteriosclerosis
  • Reduce blood cholesterol
  • Help bring blood pressure to normal levels
  • Help regulate blood sugar
  • Fight viruses and infections when acting as a liver toner and blood purifier
  • Combat illnesses such as:
    • Constipation,
    • Arthritis
    • Jaundice
    • Diarrhea
    • Skin eruptions
    • Lymphatic system disorders
    • Anemia
    • Cancer of the liver, lungs, prostate, and colon
  • Promote quicker recovery time for heart disease and cholesterol problems
  • Help protect the brain from neurodegenerative diseases like Senile Dementia and Alzheimer
  • Protect nerve cells from neurotoxicity
  • Fight GERD and acid reflux
  • Diabetes management
  • Are a great source of several micronutrients, vitamins, and moisture.
  • Help clean and whiten teeth
  • Help in weight loss

They can do this because apples have:

  • Acidity
  • Astringency
  • Butyrate
  • Flavenoids: quercetin, flavanones, anthocyanins
  • Galacturonic acid from pectin
  • Juice and juice extracts
  • Polyphenols
  • Micronutrients
  • Natural Insoluble Dietary Fiber
  • Natural Soluble Fiber
  • Pectin
  • Phytochemicals
  • Vitamin C

Eat an apple a day for better health. Eat an apple before each meal and for snacks for weight maintenance or weight loss. Eat a couple of apple slices when you feel heartburn coming on or during a big meal to help with acid reflux or GERD. More about apples and Acid Reflux and Gerd here:


If you want to know how people figured out all the wonderful things apples can do, you can read more about apples in the following studies, a synopsis of most of which can be found at http://www.bestapples.com/healthy/index.aspx:

A National Health & Nutrition Examination Survey Study, by Dr. Victor Fulgoni, PhD, 2008.

An American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study, March 2007. 

Nutrition, Dr. Dieter Schrenk, M.D, April 2008.

A Mayo Clinic study, – Carcinogenesis, March, 2001

A Cornell University study, – Nature, June, 2000

The National Cancer Institute – Journal of the National Cancer Institute, January, 2000

University of Nottingham Researchers- American Thoracic Society Meeting, May, 2001
Thorax, January, 2000

University of California-Davis Researchers, “Apple Consumption Linked to Improved Brain Health”, January 13, 2010 – US Apple Association

University of Massachusetts-Lowell research team led by Dr. Thomas Shea, November/December 2009 issue of AgroFOOD Industry High-Tech.

(Nine published studies from Shea’s group demonstrate that eating apples and drinking apple juice may improve cognition, reduce hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease, and improve mood behavior in persons with Alzheimer’s disease.)

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Ok, let me get the clarifications out of the way first. I’m NOT talking about being a Mide’, Wabeno, or Jessakid, or being a Medicine Person in the sense of being called, having a vision, or belonging to some society or having special credentials.

Under the title “Ojibwa Herbalist”, W.J. Hoffman says1: “There is still another class of persons termed Mashkī´kĭkē´winĭnĭ, [sic] or herbalists, who are generally denominated ‘medicine men,’ as the Ojibwa [sic] word implies. Their calling is a simple one, and consists in knowing the mysterious properties of a variety of plants, herbs, roots, and berries… these herbalists are aware that certain plants or roots will produce a specified effect upon the human system…. Many of these herbalists are found among women, also…”

We all can and should be Mashkikiikewin in the sense that we should know about the properties of all the foods and medicines we eat as well as things associated with them and why they are good or bad for us and use this knowledge in our everyday lives to defeat our enemies, avoid disease and invite health. Here are some examples.

Modern Anishinabeg have at least five enemies. They are: sugar, processed foods, fat, synthetics and convenience.

Let’s take sugar to start. Sugar can be good or bad for us and it’s important to know the difference. Sugar is bad when it falls into three of the four categories. When it is processed (concentrated) and thus becomes a processed food and is synthetic in that sense. Am I dumping a few tablespoons full of sugar on my cereal in the morning? Putting so much sugar in my system at once that it sends my pancreas into overload? That would be a problem if I am diabetic or pre-diabetic. Researchers say that people have problems with diabetes 5 YEARS before symptoms show up. On average, people develop Type II diabetes around age 50. That means that most people start having the disease about age 45 and don’t know it.

If I were Mashkikiikewin, I would know that there are natural sugars in different things. Sucrose comes from sugar beets or sugar cane. Fruit sugar is called fructose; milk sugar is called lactose; malt sugar is called maltose; and sugar from honey or sweet fruits is called glucose (or called dextrose, as in corn sugar, or grape sugar). The trick is to use these sugars in their natural forms in moderation to avoid developing diabetes where possible.

It’s taken us thousands of years to develop our bodies so that we coexist peacefully with the foods found in nature. Most of us Anishinabeg are only a hundred years out of the woods. (Some of us are still in the woods!) That means that we haven’t had the time to develop resistance to many of the foods and things that are processed and synthetic and we are thankfully a thousand to a few hundred years behind our non-Anishinabe counterparts in doing so. Unfortunately this results in our developing diabetes, and cancer in higher rates than our counterparts.

Let’s take fat next. Mashkikiikewin know that fat can also be a good thing or a bad thing. In the old days, body fat was good when we had to hang out in the lodge all winter and subsist on what we could kill or what we were able to preserve and store. That’s why our bodies love fat, our metabolism slows down and we get “middle age spread”. It has survival value.

Here’s an excerpt from HealthCastle.com:

“…. we all need fats. Fats help nutrient absorption, nerve transmission, maintaining cell membrane integrity etc. However, when consumed in excess amount, fats contribute to weight gain, heart disease and certain types of cancer. Fats are not equal. Some fats promote our health positively while others increase our risks of heart disease. The key is to replace bad fats with good fats in our diet.

The Good Fats are

monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats.

Monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) [Can you say “MUFA” in Ojibwaymowin?] lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) while increasing HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol). Nuts including peanuts, walnuts, almonds and pistachios, avocado, canola and olive oil are high in MUFAs. MUFAs help in weight loss, particularly body fat.

Polyunsaturated fats also lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. Seafood like salmon and fish oil, as well as corn, soy, safflower and sunflower oils are high in polyunsaturated fats. Omega 3 fatty acids belong to this group.

Saturated fats and trans-fats are the bad fats

Saturated fats raise total blood cholesterol as well as LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol). Saturated fats are in animal products such as meat, dairy, eggs and seafood. Some plant foods are also high in saturated fats such as coconut oil (Movie butter), palm oil and palm kernel oil.

Trans-fats were invented as scientists began to “hydrogenate” liquid oils so that they could withstand the food production process better and provide a better shelf life. As a result of hydrogenation, trans fatty acids are formed. Trans fatty acids are found in many commercially packaged foods, commercially fried food such as French Fries from some fast food chains, other packaged snacks such as micro waved popcorn as well as in vegetable shortening and hard stick margarine.”

Perhaps I’m preaching to the choir here, but do you see why good fats found in nuts, berries, fish and wild game –in other words, a native diet–are so good for you; and why processed fats like butter, cheese, and coconut oil- a non native diet, are not?

Becoming Mashkikiikewin who would know this, is much easier nowadays because the information is readily available. It’s as close to your computer if you have one or the nutritionist at the hospital and other programs if you don’t.

Let’s go on to enemy number three. Processed foods are our enemy because our bodies are not accustomed to 1) digesting the concentration of otherwise natural substances and 2) the absorption of man-made substances which are either foreign to them in some degree or even toxic and disease producing in greater amounts. For example, Nutritionists (our counterpart Mashkikiikewin) will caution us about overdosing on any vitamins as well as tell us to take natural vitamins because the body has a difficult time absorbing synthetic vitamins made from long chain molecules.

Next, as Mashkikiikewin we would know to stay away from synthetics for the same reasons. Our bodies are used to dealing with metals found in nature like iron. Zinc, copper, gold and silver all have antibacterial properties. That’s why it’s better to stay with pots and utensils composed of chemically simpler metals. Aluminum is bad as it can leech into food that is too acidic, like tomato sauce, or too base, like baking soda, both of which interact with the metal of the pot or pan (although anodized aluminum cookware is supposed to be ok.) Teflon is supposed to cause problems too. Likewise, businesses say that plastic is safe for microwaving. However, they were wrong in the past. Why take the chance?

Finally, convenience is one of the greatest enemies of which Mashkikiikewin need to be aware. It’s convenient to go to the fast food joint and get a supersized, 3,200-calorie burger meal loaded with bad fat. It’s convenient to microwave our TV dinner in the plastic tray it came in, rather than transfer the food to a ceramic casserole dish which we have to wash later. It’s more convenient to buy a five-pound bag of sugar rather than figure out what milk, honey or fruits we can get natural sugars from.

These are all interconnected things which good Mashkikiikewin should know in order to live as happy, healthy and a disease free life as possible. I want to be a Mashkikiikewinini because it’s fun learning and knowing all this stuff. The question is even though health-wise one should be Mashkikiikewin; since it takes so much effort, do you want to be?

1) “The Midewiwin” or ‘Grand Medicine Society’ of the Ojibwa”. W.J. Hoffman, Page 159.

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