Monthly Archives: October 2013

Three Secret Ways that Obamacare Will Save the US Economy



There is has been alot of partisan debate about Obamacare over the last several years.  It has been discussed seven ways to Sunday, but most discussion has been around policy.

There is a huge contingent of working adults in the 40-64 age range that are currently dependent on work to get health insurance.  Decoupling the ability to get healthcare from work  is a game changer.

Here are three things I predict will happen and start the economy  booming.

1)  Starting Jan 1, when healthcare is no longer dependent on employers, there will be a huge wave of people aged 40-64 moving from jobs they dislike to new careers or jobs they like.  This will come as a surprise to businesses who have always had the control of workers through the threat of loss of healthcare.  The result of this will be a US workforce that is more highly engaged leading to higher productivity.

2) Some of the workers aged 40-64 will retire when they are able to get healthcare before 65. This will come as a surprise to corporate America that has always been able to keep people captive employed (through the threat of loss of healthcare) or lay them off as needed.  They will have to be replaced by younger workers.  The result of this will be a lowering of the unemployment rate for the generation now entering the workforce.

3)  Some of the workers aged 40-64 will start new businesses.  They will end up hiring people.  They will also have to be replaced in the job they left.  Both of these will result in a lowering of the unemployment rate.

To summarize, the US workforce is about to become more engaged, younger, more entrepreneurial, and approach full employment.

Oh- one more prediction.  Both parties will fight to claim credit for the boom.

A Foolproof Path to Mindful Eating



There is quite an industry around the art of eating mindfully.

There are books and websites and tapes.  They tout the benefits for health and wellness, weight loss, and spirit.  A Google search for “mindful eating” provides almost 700,000 hits.

In general, they give advice on how to:
Eat Slowly
Concentrate on each bite
Concentrate on taste
Eat silently
Shift out of autopilot eating
Pay attention to the sensations the food is providing you
although each book, site, or guru puts a slightly different spin on it.

But I have never seen the tip I am about to share with you for mindful eating.  It’s healthy, automatic, and has never failed to provide me with the benefits listed in bold above.

Tip: Add one or two diced habanero peppers to your dish.  

I have used this with great success in my lentil soup experiments.  Mindful eating guaranteed.

The Recipe Challenge



Did you ever read something that seemed like a riddle at first but seems obvious when looking back?

I had that experience the first time I read a cooking recipe by Jacob at ERE.  It was a recipe with no amounts, no times, and optional ingredients.  And it turned into my favorite dish.

Jacob wrote that to become familiar with a dish you have to make it your own.  Experiment with ingredients and flavors and spices.  Make it differently every day and keep changes you like and discard the ones you don’t.  And it’s best to make it every single day for a month or two so you can get really good at it (plus it will make any break in routine even more enjoyable than normal).

Today I looked back at his original recipe and realized that mine had evolved into something that had almost no relation to the original one.  .  Mine has onions, garlic, water, and  brown (not red) lentils but shares no other ingredients with his.  I’ve ended up adding fresh tomato, red pepper, sea salt, a (large) amount of whole peppercorn, dried Thai chiles, and whatever hot peppers are fresh and in season.  Typically I eat two bowls – the first with fresh squeezed lemon, and the second with a large helping of Tumeric.

I probably dropped the first ten pounds of my accidental 40 pound weight loss while figuring out what was my optimal flavoring.  The dish I ended up with is designed for my tastes, and I can easily adjust it for whatever I have the taste for that day.

So if you want the most delicious dish in the world, I will issue a challenge.  Start with a lentil soup recipe (you can use Jacob’s if you want, but there are plenty of others on the web to start with).  Commit to making it every day for a month (perhaps 2) and making at least one or two changes every time.  Change the spices, add different veggies or other ingredients, optimize the cooking times for your style of local lentils.  Customize it for your taste through continuous experimentation.  If  the challenge is successful you will end up with the most delicious dish in the world (for you).  Ironically, your final recipe will be both cheap and priceless!