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Casey Martinson
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Share Every year in the United States, there are approximately 33,000 reported suicides, more than twice the number of homicides. The number of suicide attempts reported every year is roughly 1.1 million. It is the third leading cause of death among young people aged 15 - 24. Other groups at higher risk include older adults, "non-Hispanic Whites," "Native Americans and Alaska Natives." But the risk factors for suicide - e.g. depression and other mental health disorders, drug or alcohol use, family history, exposure to suicidal behavior of others (even celebrities) - can affect anyone. Unfortunately, the warning signs of suicide... Continue reading
Posted Feb 14, 2010 at The Daily Return
Last weekend, it was minus 4 degrees when I woke up at six to walk the dogs. Even wearing insulated snow-pants, heavy boots, gloves, a scarf, a hat, and two layers of flannel under my winter coat, I felt the cold seeping into my bones before we made it one block. Generally speaking, I try to adhere to the "be here now" mantra. But I think there are times when a little bit of escape is good for the spirit. Heading to Florida for a week is certainly one way to get away from the icy grip of winter, but... Continue reading
Posted Feb 5, 2010 at The Daily Return
Kali, goddess of destruction My wife and I recently watched Outsourced, a movie about an American guy (Todd) who manages a customer service call center for a company that sells novelty products. At the beginning of the movie, Todd's whole department is laid off when the company decides to outsource the work to India, and Todd is sent to India to train the replacements. What follows is a charming, albeit fairly predictable culture clash comedy featuring an equally charming and predictable love story. If you're looking for a cozy evening at home with your significant other and a DVD, you... Continue reading
Posted Jan 31, 2010 at The Daily Return
Who needs Ambien when you have dogs? I must confess that I have never had much trouble sleeping. In fact, my ability to conk out ten seconds after my head hits the pillow has been a not infrequent source of frustration for my better half, who often tosses and turns for a good hour before drifting off. It probably doesn't help that, apparently, I have a tendency to snore like a drunk grizzly bear. But she's not alone in her nightly frustration. According to the Mayo Clinic, more than one third of adults have insomnia at some point, and 10... Continue reading
Posted Jan 29, 2010 at The Daily Return
A few days ago, I wrote about 5 under-appreciated super foods, including flax seed, one of nature's best sources for omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFAs). That's when my cousin Cheryl brought chia seed to my attention. In pre-Columbian America, Chia seed was highly prized by Aztec and Mayan civilizations, and with good reason! It is an excellent source of high-quality protein, calcium, potassium, trace minerals and antioxidants. Better yet, according to some sources, chia seed has more omega-3 EFAs per serving than flax seed! Does that mean we abandon the flax seed ship and climb aboard the SS Chia? Well,... Continue reading
Posted Jan 27, 2010 at The Daily Return
If you're like a lot of people, meditating is a little bit like flossing your teeth. You know it's something that you should do every day, and you've been meaning to start. Sometimes, you even get into the habit for a week, two weeks, three weeks, and you think to yourself, "I'm never going to give this up!" But at some point, the chaos of life intervenes and you fall off the wagon. And despite your good intentions, tomorrow always seems like a better time to get back on because right now your just in too much of a hurry.... Continue reading
Posted Jan 25, 2010 at The Daily Return
Thanks, Sunny. If you're a beginner with seaweed, I recommend nori. It has a very mild, slightly nutty flavor. Most people use it for sushi, but you can also crumble it over soup. I like to eat it plain as a super-healthy snack. I will grant that seaweeds are a bit of an acquired taste, but once you acquire that taste, you'll be glad you did.
There is something to be said for routine in your yoga practice (or any fitness program). Following routines gives your body a chance to integrate patterns of movement so that they can be done without excessive conscious direction. Thus can you enter that celebrated state of "flow" that psychologists and performance experts talk about. (Learn about the concept of flow from Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, the man who first named it, at But sometimes, a routine becomes a rut. The collection of yoga DVDs my wife and I have accumulated over the years are a testament to that. Sooner or later,... Continue reading
Posted Jan 24, 2010 at The Daily Return
Some of my favorite super foods Superfoods. Every time I go through the gauntlet of health and lifestyle magazines at the grocery store checkout these days, I see cover lines about "superfoods." One of my favorite offenders is "Men's Health," (recently exposed for recycling cover lines) which seems to take an almost cynical approach to the superfood topic. One of their lists actually includes hot dogs, beef and beer. Yes, hot dogs. Because the onions you put on your hot dog have some benefit. As the old saying goes, people love to hear good news about their bad habits. The... Continue reading
Posted Jan 23, 2010 at The Daily Return
"I would do anything for you, dearest. Except give up bacon." My friend Jasmin blogged yesterday on the subject of a recent New York Times article regarding the recent spike in families having "green disputes." Apparently, environmental concerns (including food choices) are quickly approaching the status of religion and politics as a subject likely to cause rifts between couples, between parents and children, between siblings and so on. The good news is that there are now therapists specializing in these issues. But what kind of advice are these therapists giving? From the Times: "Changing the family diet because of environmental... Continue reading
Posted Jan 22, 2010 at The Daily Return
The Milky Way Whenever my view on the world turns bleak, when the trials and tragedies of life seem to press in too hard, I often find it helpful to close my eyes and remember my place in the universe. Somehow, taking my mind to the outer limits of existence helps bring me back to center. I remember how fleeting life is, and at the same time, how the eternal is ever present in this moment. Now, instead of closing my eyes, I can just go to YouTube for this inspiring video, courtesy of the American Museum of Natural History... Continue reading
Posted Jan 21, 2010 at The Daily Return
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Nov 24, 2009