June 29, 2011

Forced Cannabutter: Exploring Different Ways to Cook with Cannabis

New patients are sometimes confused when they receive canna-butter for the first time. Normally, canna-butter comes with a sugar or chocolate chip cookie recipe, some have instructions for brownies. Patients get tired of the same old sweet treat recipes. Many want a more creative way to cook with cannabis products. I asked Midnight Baking Company’s personal bakers for some new ideas for cooking with canna-butter and were pleasantly surprised with the answer. 
“Cannabutter can be mixed with many ingredients, making the product more versatile. A patient can use the forced butter in most recipes eaten throughout the day, as opposed to be limited to cannabis foods for dessert,” explained our baker personal baker, Lenee. “Some patients are diabetic and unable to consume sugar products. Forced Butter offers them opportunities to experiment with canna-butter, too.”

Forced Butter Recipe
¼ Cup Canna Butter
1-3 Drop of Tincture
1 Large Lemon
2 Fresh Garlic Cloves or 1 teaspoon minced garlic
3-4 Fresh Basil Leaves or dried leaves pinched to taste
2 Tablespoons Parmesan Cheese
Splash of White Wine (optional)
Salt and Pepper to taste

Start with a softened batch of cannabutter, but do not melt the butter on the stove or microwave. Let the butter soften to room temperature naturally. Juice the lemon and use a zester to take a bit of the lemon peel to be chopped for later use. Mix all of the ingredients into one bowl until everything is combined evenly in the butter, including a small bit of the lemon zest. Place the butter mixture in a storage bag and refrigerate for 45 minutes. Once the butter has hardened, a piece can be sliced from the mixture and used on many dishes.

Lenee  suggested small amounts of butter over a Pacific Northwest  favorite: Salmon, Cod or Crab. Forced Canna-Butter is wonderful basting tool for roasted or baked chicken or as a dressing for a special Artisan Bread, but don’t stop there! Patients can reduce heavy cream approximately ¼ of a cup and add canna-butter to create a pasta cream sauce. Add a splash of white wine and serve over pasta.

****It is important to note heating canna-butter to degrees above 350 reduces the effect of the product. Forced butter should be added to dishes after they are removed from heating sources. 

Midnite Baking Company provides its patients with high quality therapeutic baked goods, candies and specialty savory items upon request (Pesto, Spanakopita etc.) Most items are available specific to dietary needs and delivered within 48 hours.

Reach Midnite Baking Company Online: 

June 28, 2011

Agricultural Dietary Hemp Foods: A Look at How Amino Acids Function in the Body

Information about agricultural dietary hemp is available almost everywhere.  Scientific studies, internet bloggers, raw food recipes and bodybuilding fact sheets tell us hemp foods provide all of the essential amino acids and some non essential ones. Hemp provides the perfect ratio of essential fatty acids. But what do these things really do for the body? I found myself working and failing to remember basic biology class from high school and decided to do a refresher course on proteins and other nutrients on a cellular level.
Proteins do millions of things for the body; anything from carrying cells to areas affected by diseased cells to rebuilding and restoring with new cells. Proteins in food are broken down into amino acids in the stomach which are carried into the body and distributed according to need.  The Body needs millions of proteins to carry out basic functions and in fact amino acids make up three fourths of body solids. 
After obsessively watching video after video of random letter and number combinations used to describe proteins, I started to understand that proteins are not as important as the Amino Acids themselves. In fact, Proteins are a nothing more than a transporter used to take in amino acids so they can be broken down by the digestive process and reassembled where they are needed in the body.  Here is the first video from the Raw Foods movement I found interesting: 

According to the Raw Foods Muscle Building movement, it’s not about protein. In fact, protein is nothing more than a middle man of sorts. The body works harder to break down proteins while amino acids in their raw natural state are all ready to go to work wherever they are needed in the body. 

Amino Acids by definition are described as are molecules containing an amine group, a carboxylic acid group and a side-chain that varies between different amino acids. The key elements of an amino acid are carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen. They are particularly important in biochemistry, where the term usually refers to alpha-amino acids by Wiki. Wiki for Amino Acids

When I read this for the first time, the whole article seemed as if it were written in another language. To make sense of it all, I had to look at the function of each acid. Muscles are made from Amino Acids and heal faster when given a steady daily supply.  Amino acids work in many ways in basic and advanced brain function. There are Globulins serving as transporters carrying antibodies into the body to fight invading cells. Antibodies gather up bad elements and isolate them so they can be removed or destroyed. Hormones are used to communicate from one gland to the next.  Enzymes are important in the digestive process.

Amino acids function in so many ways in the body, life would not be possible without them.  Essential amino acids are not able to be created by the body and have to be obtained from an outside plant source.  I found this video of a human representation of how proteins work in the body directed in 1971 by Robert Alan Weiss for the Department of Chemistry of Stanford University and it helped me understand a bit of the process. 
How do Agricultural Dietary Hemp products help? This Hemp Oil Profile presentation given by Mary Beth Augustine, RD, CDN, an Integrative Medicine Nutritionist presented to 2002 Cannabis Therapeutics Conference, hosted by Patients Out of Time helped me understand the role of the nutrients, fatty acids and amino acids found in hemp foods in my body. 
I found it interesting that all amino acids and essential fatty acids transferred to the human body through meat come from the animal eating plants or sea weed in the wild. This backs up the proteins as a middleman theory. The protein is nothing more than a transmitter. MaryBeth also compares soy nutrients versus hemp nutrients citing hemp as a more complete source of nutrients in optimal ratio for ease of use in the body. 
In addition to providing all of the amino acids necessary to life, hemp foods also provide an adequate daily supply of calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, Copper and Manganese. Hemp contains antioxidants and chlorophyll. Omega 3’s and 6’s which attract oxygen, absorb sunlight, reduce lactic acid and play a crucial role in brain functioning, skin and hair growth and eye development. 

Agricultural dietary hemp products are easy to include in daily meals. Hemp flour can replace conventional flour for breads, pastas and pastries. Hemp oil can be used on salads and in any recipe calling for oil as an ingredient. Hemp protein powder makes a wonderful addition to fruit smoothies. 

Agricultural Dietary Hemp Foods do so much for the body. Why is the United States government so dedicated to continuing the senseless prohibition of its use? Consumer demand is the most powerful way to effect legislation.  Get involved today by contacting your local State and Federal representatives to let them know you support Industrial Hemp and would like for American farmers to be able to grow and produce this beneficial plant. VoteHemp's What I Can Do Page

June 13, 2011

Music Defines the Person: 10 Most Influencial Songs in My Life

Music has been so many things for me in life, a source of guidance, an outlet for emotions and aggressions, a warning signal or mood enhancer. In history, music has been described as a collective heartbeat. Music has carried humans through the worst moments in humanity and helped celebrate the best. I believe each of us has a list of music describing different stages of our lives. Maybe they are songs worth listening to repeatedly or the lyrics describe moments each of us experience at one point or another. The following is a list of song I have been deeply affected by and the reasons why.

Rocket Man by Elton John (1972) 
Rocket Man was composed by Elton John and Bernie Taubin in 1972 and describes an astronaut considering leaving his family to do his job. For me, this song describes the way we all have to leave our families to go out in the World and make it. The workplace always felt surreal to me, as if I were navigating outer space, vast scary and unreal at times.  The lyric "And all the science, I don't understand." represents how much I feel I do not know about my own environment. I think it's going to be a long long time until touch down brings me around to find I'm not the man they think I am at home, too.
For What It's Worth by Buffalo Springfield (1966)
Stephen Stills wrote this song in November of 1966 after witnessing police brutality at a protest on Sunset Strip in Hollywood. For me this song still represents large acts of violence against peaceable people demonstrating against oppression and globally destructive situations. This is the ultimate protest song, though I know more powerful music has been produced in moments of horror. This song represents the protestor in me.

Jane Says by Jane's Addiction (1987) 
Besides being lyrically brilliant, Jane Says contains only 2 chords and a lot of steel drums. I absolutely love the melody and beat. The song was written about Jane Bainter, an ex room mate and heroin addict. Though I am not nor ever been addicted to heroin, Jane has qualities I see in myself. I have hidden my TV and given up on folks like Sergio. Someday, I am going away to Spain....

Thank You? by The Dining Rooms (2009)
The Dining Rooms blend ambient, electronic and jazz creating a unique sound new to electronic music. Based in Milan Italy, The Dining Rooms tackle deep human issues with thought provoking lyrics and imagery. Often I feel we are all pawns in a game in which we didn't ask to participate. This song represents the untruthful factions in reality we are taught to appreciate. 

At the Stars by Better Than Ezra (1999) 
I discovered Better Than Ezra working for an alternative radio station in the South Eastern United States. Based out of New Orleans, Better Than Ezra was very popular in the late 90's and toured often. This song represents the little kid in me who never wants to go home, never wants to stop screaming at the stars while driving through the night, never wants the party to end.

It's a Fire by Portishead (1995)
My favorite genre of music is Trip Hop. Portishead, a pioneer in this genre, has produced many albums of influential songs over the years. Dummy remains my favorite album by them. This song has haunting melodies, dramatic changes and reminds us to keep breathing no matter how bad it gets. 

History Repeats Itself By AOS (1994)
Very little information can be found on these musicians, but I found the track itself on The Natural Born Killer Soundtrack. I can always listen to this song over and over. It has been a part of my life since I heard it, having a permanent space in my vast collection of music. I even think I hear this song in my dreams and know I live the words every second.  This song represents cycles we weren't meant to get away from and a comfortable acceptance that whatever comes will come in life, whatever will be..will be. 

Everybody's Talking By Fred Neil - Performed by Harry Nilsson (1969) 
Fred Neil was a folk singer and songwriter from the 60's and 70's who didn't want to tour. He produced music and worked to preserve habitats for dolphins in Florida where he grew up. Harry Nilsson performed this song for the movie Midnight Cowboy. I love the lyrics in this song the most because it represents the part of me dealing with conflict in my life. I am posting the original version of the song because it reminds me of Florida where I also grew up. 

Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd (1975)
David Gilmour and  Roger Waters collaborated on this song written about former member Syd Barrett and a sense of disconnection from ones self. The song was recorded to sound as if it were coming out of the radio into real life starting with the recording of a car stereo and overdubbing the guitar and other instruments. To me this song is a conversation I have in my own head. It's the sane side of my brain communicating with the not so sane side and will remain with me always. 

Comin Through By The War on Drugs (2010) 
Last but not least, though very new to the collection, The War on Drugs is an indie rock band out of Philadelphia, PA. I found this song researching a bit about the war on drugs itself and found the irony funny. Since then, I have felt the song's lyrics are internal voices I wouldn't listen to if I didn't hear them spoken in this song. Right now in my life, I am having to go back to the root of my beliefs and for some reason, I am happy to have this song for this particular part of my journey. 

I hope this post inspires you to create your own Top 10 Most Influential Songs. Creating my own, I discovered some new information about the songs I love and myself. Music is a part of everyone's life. Exploring it allows for people to come to a place of understanding which ultimately leads to compassion. Happy Listening!