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A Macrobiotic Approach to Good Health

Thursday, September 24, 2009

This is such a thoughtful and thought-provoking article, so worth reflecting upon...I decided to leave it for myself and others here who may want to consider it further, as I turn my computer off and prepare to depart for the two-day road trip to the SparkConvention. Loves me those road trips!


A Macrobiotic Approach to Good Health
by Delia Quigley

So often the meaning of good health is equated with lack of sickness. According to Macrobiotic principles, health encompasses a much broader scope of qualities and is not just about avoiding disease. Spiritual wellness requires that we know our Self on a deeper level of consciousness, mental health is knowing our purpose in life and the joy we bring to living that purpose, physical health is intimately entwined with our relationship to the earth, the way we grow our food, how we honor the environment and treat all life and living creatures.

The modern technologies we created were meant to provide us with more time to relax, be with loved ones, take care of ourselves and reduce stress. Instead, those technologies have only placed more burden on our shoulders. We now need more time to work longer hours to earn less money to grab time to relax for a few minutes each day. It is easy to get out of touch with our body, feeding it quick meals without slowing down and chewing each mouthful. It is not until there is pain, fever or exhaustion do some people see a doctor and receive medical care. But what if there was a way to assess your health by observing certain conditions that would alert you to any changes?

In The Book of Macrobiotics, The Universal Way of Health and Happiness, founder and author Michio Kushi outlines 7 conditions for optimal health, which I have condensed for your perusal:

1. Lack of Fatigue: Health means we should be able to adapt to whatever the day brings us without feeling overly fatigued. After a long day of work, it is natural to feel tired, but recovery should require a short rest or good nights sleep. We should be physically and mentally alert and prepared to respond to ever changing events with energy and a spirit of adventure.

2. Good Appetite: Appetite here means for food, sex, activity, knowledge, work, experience, health, freedom and happiness. The bigger the appetite, the richer the life. Lack of appetite slows progress and reduces our enjoyment for life. The caution here is moderation, as over-satisfaction reduces appetite and eventually slows down our life activity.

3. Good Sleep: Sleep should be deep and restful. This happens after a day of energetic physical and mental activity. Cloudy or fragmented dreams or nightmares, are all a sign of physical and mental unrest. When the mind and body are healthy, dreams can be interpreted as corresponding to real circumstances and are respected as insight into our lives.

4. Good Memory: Memory is the mother of our judgment. Without memory of what we have experienced, we have no judgment or ability to evaluate life's changing circumstances. Good memory is essential to a meaningful life.

5. Lack of Anger: Anger shows limitation, lack of patience and an inability to make an effort to understand. In one Asian translation of its written characters anger means an "acute sickness of the liver". Good health shows a willingness to accept circumstances with a smile, to make friends of an enemy, and resolve difficult moments in peaceful ways.

6. Be Joyous and Alert: Life calls on us to be active and alert to our surroundings and respond to each moment with joy and good humor. A joy filled life inspires those around us and is the natural result of good health.

7. Have Endless Appreciation: We are healthy when we experience appreciation for the order of the universe and for all phenomena manifesting within this universe. We receive life's bounty with endless gratitude, and we respond by giving with generosity.

Delia Quigley is the Director of StillPoint Schoolhouse, where she teaches a holistic lifestyle designed to achieve optimal health and well being, based on her 28 years of study, experience and practice. She is the creator of the Body Rejuvenation Cleanse, Cooking the Basics videos and classes, and Broken Bodies Yoga. Delia's credentials include holistic nutritional counselor, natural foods chef, yoga instructor, energy therapist and public speaker.

Quigley is the author of seven books on health and nutrition, including:The Body Rejuvenation Cleanse, The Complete Idiots Guide to Detoxing Your Body, The Everything SuperFoods Book, and Empowering Your Life With Meditation, available on To view her website go to:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NORLANA 9/27/2009 10:17AM

    Thank you Maha for this very insightful and inspirational blog and for yet another "lead" for me to explore in my journey. I will check out her info.

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GOODHEALTH4EVER 9/25/2009 7:07PM



emoticon emoticon L.

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4DANCINGCATS 9/24/2009 9:51PM

    Very helpful and insightful.
thank you
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WILDFLOWER- 9/24/2009 3:15PM

    Thank you for sharing such an insightful article & webpage. It's much appreciated.

Be Peaceful. Shine On. emoticon

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BIKE82X 9/24/2009 1:46PM

    Thank you for sharing that. There are many good thoughts in the article.


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THECITYMOUSE 9/24/2009 10:21AM

    I love that you shared this with us...awesome, non tedious, thought provoking read.


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MAZZYR 9/24/2009 10:12AM


Have a safe trip, dear Maha.


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PEACEFULONE 9/24/2009 10:00AM


Excellent information and more at the website!

Enjoy your trip and please keep us informed of the activities at the convention.

Peace and blessings always, Elaine

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JNEUBS 9/24/2009 9:41AM

    Thanks Maha! Once again inspirational!

Safe travels!

Peace from within to you!

ChiTown Jeff
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REBCCA 9/24/2009 9:40AM

    Thanks for posting this Maha,
Wonderful to have it for easy reference! emoticon
Great information!

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Quiz: What Is Your Peace Quotient?

Monday, September 21, 2009

By Cait Johnson, author of Earth,Water, Fire, and Air (SkyLight Paths, 2003).

We are often urged to practice peace with every step. But how closely do our behaviors match up to this ideal?

Here's a fun quiz to give you an idea of where you fit in on the spectrum of peace. You may want to share it with your friends and co-workers! Take the Peace Quotient Quiz here to see how well you practice peace in your daily life:

Which of the following is CLOSEST to the response you would usually have to the following situations?

1. When someone tailgates me, I usually:
a. Mouth obscenities at them or flip them the bird.
b. Slow down to really, really aggravate them.
c. Pull over so they can pass me.

2. When a salesperson is really snippy to me, I usually:
a. Snarl at them or make rude remarks to them.
b. Report them to their supervisor.
c. Make an effort to be especially friendly, since they must be having a bad day.

3. When a serious misunderstanding crops up between me and a friend, I usually:
a. Yell at the person or write them a nasty note.
b. Talk behind the person's back to our other friends, to make sure everyone is on my side.
c. Suggest a meeting so we can talk the problem through.

4. A loved one is very upset with me for something I did. I usually:
a. Remind him or her of the obnoxious things she or he has done in the past. The best defense is a good offense!
b. Get back at them by giving them the cold shoulder and punishing them with silence.
c. Empathize with them for feeling upset.

5. After an especially grueling day at work, I usually:
a. Take it out on those nearest and dearest to me. I can be a real bear!
b. Pour myself a stiff drink or flip on the television.
c. Take a brisk walk, meditate, or take a soothing bath to wind down and de-stress.

6. In my group of friends or relatives, I am usually:
a. The cause of conflicts, or at least at the center of them.
b. The one who keeps conflicts going by talking about people behind their backs.
c. The person others come to for advice on resolving conflicts.

7. The following most clearly sums up my attitude to life in general:
a. Nuke 'em. Or, sue the bastards.
b. Trust no one. Everyone is out for themselves.
c. We're all in this together, so we may as well do our best to get along.


If you answered mostly "a," you tend to be a bit belligerent and pugnacious. You might benefit from an anger management course! And have you had your blood pressure checked lately?

If you answered mostly "b," you are more passive-aggressive. You usually avoid direct confrontation, but you're not exactly promoting peace, either. You might want to get some assertiveness training so you can be more direct without being aggressive.

If you answered mostly "c," congratulations! You are doing your best to being peace and understanding to your little corner of the world.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NORLANA 9/22/2009 6:06AM

    Thank you Maha for this wonderful awareness nudge! I am getting there slowly but surely and appreciate this coming on my radar at this time.

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CARLI_MAE 9/21/2009 6:35PM

    My answer to all of them was D - other! I know it says "closest" but all c's wouldn't be all that close. Definitely outside the box, as usual. btw, I think their definition of passive-aggressive is more what is commonly thought by people, but I believe in psych terms, it actually refers to a personality disorder where people do or say things in such a way as to try to make others feel as they do (typically miserable).

Carli Quite Contrary Maery emoticon

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DEUSMACHINA 9/21/2009 5:58PM

    That's bizarre! I scored mostly 'c' but I never would have classified myself as a 'peaceful' person. I don't provoke people, don't gossip, or support unpleasant or rude behaviour, but I'm far from floating on a lovely white cloud, unfortunately! I'm impatient both with stupid behaviour, and myself. I can have a short fuse sometimes, especially with 'labour-saving devices' that cock-up and make the task harder. So I think maybe I need to copy-and-paste some parts of my life to other parts.....

Thanks Maha!


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WILDFLOWER- 9/21/2009 4:40PM

    Very cool blog!!! Thank you for sharing this - I really enjoyed it.

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LOLAGEEK 9/21/2009 2:24PM

    I generally do C except for the salesperson being snippy... in that case I choose not to support that business at that time. I can usually go elsewhere or really not need the product. I generally shop local, small businesses so often I am dealing with owners or people invested in the business. If they are being rude they don't need my money... that is my attitude. I vote on things I believe in with my dollar.

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MORGANLAFEE 9/21/2009 12:29PM

    I don't usually do any of them. I ignore what happens a do nothing. I don't think it's because I'm more peaceful seeking though. I just can't stand dissension.

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KUZINKEITH 9/21/2009 12:21PM

    Scary test.
As I look over my past actions, I can see how I've responded in all 3 ways (and a few others). My actions/reactions are usually based on the mood I'm in at the time. The goal would be to stay in a mood that would allow me to make the peaceful choice ALL the time, or even MOST of the time.
If I take the time to meditate early in the day, and make the effort to be rid of my resentments, I have a much better chance of being in a Peaceful mood.
Thanks for the reminder ...

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SLASALLE 9/21/2009 11:50AM

    Very interesting little test. What's REALLY fun is to think about how I was 10 years ago, and how I am now - definitely different, which I think is a really good thing. I've gotten much calmer as I grow a bit older (and hopefully, wiser).

You around tonight? Would love to have a catch-up chat since I'll be out of the loop for the next week with a houseful of company and TWO shows! Let me know.

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Acceptance is the key to peace!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

OMG! If ONLY I could truly integrate and LIVE this I would be at my goal weight and living each day with joy, presence and mindfulness:
By Susan Corso, Ode Magazine

Acceptance is the key to change, and the key to peace.

"On the other side of acceptance is where peace exists, where the solutions are," says Ariane de Bonvoisin, author of The First 30 Days: Your Guide to Making Any Change Easier, quoted in the August 2009 Guideposts.

In 27 years of counseling, I have found that what Ms. De Bonvoisin says is always true. Always. No exceptions.

Do you believe me?

The opposite of acceptance is resistance, and strangely, resistance is what magnetizes to us exactly what we don't want. In facing whatever we don't want, and accepting it as it is, we are then able to reach peace around whatever the 'it' is.

Try this scenario: You really dislike your current job. Really dislike it. You want to quit, but for various reasons, you can't. Rather than continue to resist the job, begin to find things you can appreciate (and therefore accept) about it. I've seen it work over and over again. When acceptance comes, change can happen.

Think of the thing you most resist in your current life. It could be a relationship, a task, an assignment, anything. Notice your own resistance to it. Begin to switch your resistance to appreciation, and you will find yourself living into acceptance of what is. Once you accept what is, it's pretty easy to change it.

One of the things that never ceases to amaze me is that we actually resist peace on this planet. We make peace a when/then possibility. When I lose 15 pounds, then I'll be at peace. Why not be at peace with the 15 pounds, and let them melt away?

When there's a Republican/Democrat in the White House, then I'll be at peace. Why?

When I'm out of debt, then I'll be at peace. Why? Why wait to be at peace? What do you get from waiting, from postponing peace? I don't think we get any benefit from it.

Like the gift of the present moment, peace can only exist in this momen--now. And then the next now. Delaying it doesn't help anyone.

Try acceptance if you want peace.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOMMADOT630 9/20/2009 2:45PM

    Maha, Thank you for your words of wisdom and truth. May you continue to grow and share all that you are taught.

Momma Dot

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ZORAHGAIL 9/20/2009 2:27PM

    So totally needed this today. Thank you!

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NORLANA 9/20/2009 2:03PM

    Thank you love ... timing perfect as usual :) New acceptance and ceremony this morning sending off my "stuff" to the Universe. Thank you as always for being a shining light in my life.


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GENKI_WARRIOR 9/20/2009 1:40PM

    (after this and your recent karma blog):
accept where you are (good and bad etc etc etc), and the scales are emptied--everything becomes balanced.

Comment edited on: 9/20/2009 1:43:13 PM

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    We do have so much to learn - and that is life, isn´t it?! I know it is a rare thing to be in tune with others in such a way that we no longer disagree, and that is part of living. I do find, in my own experience, that when I am at total peace, I have no need for the divine. I never want to have that lack of need and when I am unsettled, as some may say, lacking peace, is when I need my saviour the most and I can see that I really was not made for here and now, and, yes, for something beyond that.

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KUZINKEITH 9/20/2009 12:47PM

This is a universal truth that is understood but seldom applied by many of us --- I decided a long time ago to "question" just about everything.

In The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous it says:

"And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I some person, place, thing, or situation - some fact of my life - unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment."

Great philosophy, but very hard to do for this dude.

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MAZZYR 9/20/2009 12:16PM

    Oh Maha, I really needed to hear this.

I have been struggling with the challenge of releasing weight. For today, at this moment... acceptance is the key.


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MUMMYLICIOUS 9/20/2009 11:38AM

    Thanks for posting this ... it is SO true!

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HILFROMTEXAS 9/20/2009 10:57AM

    Just what I needed to read today--so much energy is wasted struggling. I have found when I let go and pray for the best for that person, place or thing-amazing things happen! Keep sharing these truths! Have a blessed day!

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STILLPOINT 9/20/2009 10:42AM

    Lovely Blog Maha! Thank you. So true. Acceptance, Contentment with what we have - Santosha! This is key.

So, let's accept ourselves with where we are at today - not perfect, not the perfect weight, not always joyful and peaceful - but doing our best at where we're at!


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JNEUBS 9/20/2009 10:24AM

    Wow, what an appropriate blog topic!

Acceptance! Do you understand this to mean accepting the world at this moment in time for being the "Way It Is"?

ChiTown Jeff emoticon emoticon

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TEXASFILLY 9/20/2009 9:56AM

    Thank you for a simple yet true message!

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Helpful explanation of Karmic Law...

Saturday, September 19, 2009 my teacher, Swami Satchidananda:

"We do not know how much we have done before and how much we have to suffer to undo those deeds but the karmic law knows it. Sometimes, to us, it may seem to be terrible suffering; still, we should accept and undergo that suffering. There is no intention to destroy a person by giving him or her more hardship. The intention is to purify the person, so the suffering and the hardship come according to the capacity of the individual. If you face it with all courage, even the suffering becomes very mild. It is up to you. In fact, pain becomes stronger or milder according to how one faces it.

"OM Shanti, Shanti, Shanti."

I understand that the Law of Cause and Effect impacts, and is impacted by, every aspect of life, from my manner of living and caring for myself and others, to my interest in and success with conscious living. It's rather mind-blowing in its implication. EVERYTHING I do (Every cause), good or bad, conscious or unconscious, has an effect. So it behooves me to make strong effort to, "Do good and be good," as the great teacher Master Sivananda recommends.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JANEDOE12345 9/20/2009 1:19PM

    Thank you for this post. How helpful it was to read it! Clear and simple, easy to understand and keep in my mind.


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VALERIEMAHA 9/20/2009 8:04AM

    Yep, Carli-Mae, that's the essence of the Path in the proverbial nutshell. It's just that I'm SO far from *that* place that if I can possibly get to the state of only causing GOOD karma I'm substantially better off than I am now! heh heh

And thanks for that enlightening reflection, BJ!

Om Shanthi,

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DEUSMACHINA 9/20/2009 1:02AM

    I love this philosophy. It's very much like Viktor Frankl, the existential psychologist. The thought that my attitude determines my suffering level got me through most of my childhood and adolescence. It still does, for that matter, although it's not been tested much, apart from childbirth!

Thanks Maha.


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CARLI_MAE 9/20/2009 12:31AM

    And one step further ... do only good, be only good, (still there is karma) AND give ALL the good you give and receive up to the higher power. Releasing everything is the only way to have "no karma" ... and when there is "no karma" we achieve nirvana, or the state whereby we no longer return to the cycle of birth and death. Now that's mind-boggling! What a nice meditation to take with me to bed tonight! Thank you, Maha. emoticon emoticon

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ABQUEST 9/20/2009 12:06AM

    Namaste, my friend.

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Friday, September 18, 2009

(and on the filter!) Here's why:

Last year Americans spent 15 billion dollars on bottled water and the sales estimate for 2007 is 16 billion dollars. One can argue that it’s money down the drain because the truth has been watered down by some of the largest bottlers. About 24% of bottled water is just filtered tap water; like Aquafina and Dasani.

You can achieve exactly the same quality of water by installing a filter on your faucet at home. If the cost ($100 or less) of purchasing a filter for your home causes you to hesitate, consider this; you can buy a half-liter of bottled water for $1.35. If you filled this same bottle with filtered tap water once a day, it would take roughly 10 years before you spent that $1.35. However, if you purchased one bottle of water every day, after 10 years you will have spent $4,927.50.


Besides the incredible savings that you get with filtered tap water, there are environmental and socially responsible reasons that just strengthen the case for the tap.

Environmental Reasons - Plastic is a petroleum based product. The pollutants associated with the manufacture and transportation of these plastic bottles is unnecessarily damaging to the environment. Of the 50 billion plastic water bottles used last year, about 38 billion went straight to landfills. The plastic in those landfilled bottles is worth around $1 billion. 12 billion bottles were recycled, but remember that plastic doesn’t recycle into the same quality plastic. It can only be recycled a finite number of times before it can no longer be recycled.

Socially Responsible Reasons - Like other water from pristine ecosystems, Fiji bottled water is collected from natural sources and shipped halfway across the earth to the US where we already have clean drinking water in every home. Unfortunately, Fiji doesn’t have a great public water system and last year Fijians fell ill with typhoid casued by contaminated drinking water. When over 1 billion people in the world don’t have access to safe drinking water, buying bottled water with all its associated financial, environmental and social costs seems irresponsible – especially when a home filter gives you the same or better quality water than bottled water.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GOODHEALTH4EVER 9/19/2009 5:14PM



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WHATAGRL42 9/19/2009 1:58AM

    Like many I too love my SIGG stainless steel water bottle that I got at Whole Foods. It's cute too (has a little yogi in full lotus on the front). We have filtered tap water here at home. Like brushing my teeth, I'm in the habit every morning of filling up my SIGG and bringing it to work with me,where I sip away!


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PAULALALALA 9/18/2009 10:19PM

    I LOVE my stainless steel bottle! The water from our tap is excellent and I take it with me everywhere I go. I see so many of the plastic bottles being consumed and tossed in the trash every day. The Y has a container just for plastic bottle recycling. It's usually empty, and the regular trash cans full of the plastic. ????? Great blog and remnder that we just need to keep getting the information out. Also good point that the water in plastic bottles is not "health water", and might even have some issues with the plastics leaching in cases of heat, etc.

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ZORAHGAIL 9/18/2009 10:17PM

    Good stuff!

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MAZZYR 9/18/2009 6:31PM


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CARLI_MAE 9/18/2009 5:20PM

    Rightyoh! Also, almost all bottled water is in single use containers, meaning it is prone to leaching chemicals if re-used; and even if not re-used, can still do so if left in sunny, or hot environments or beyond the shelf life date indicated on the bottle cap!
And if you don't want to install a filter on your kitchen sink, you can buy filtration pitchers & a washable, re-usable stainless steel bottle.

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EOSTAR_45 9/18/2009 3:03PM

    I so hear you! The number of water bottles thrown away every day boggles the mind. Especially, given that many times this bottled water is more or less the same as our very own tap water. And also, given the cost of bottled water, a filter is way economical!

Personally, I refill my 5 gallon water bottle every week from one of those Culligan water dispenser at the grocery store. And often good old tap water will do.

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WILDFLOWER- 9/18/2009 11:04AM

    What a wonderful blog! I work for a land fill and I can tell you it's appalling how many plastic bottles end up in it. It's ridiculous. I bought a stainless steel water bottle from Kleen Kanteen - I fill it at home and take it with me everywhere. It was the best $20 I've ever spent.

Welcome back & enjoy your frolicking!

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LOLAGEEK 9/18/2009 10:36AM

    I am amazed that people still buy bottled. I love this cost analysis from treehugger when this topic comes up:
R>I have also worked for a large public utilities supplying water to a big metro area and that time further confirmed my support that at least public water is regulated vs. private, bottled that doesn't have such regimented standards.

Test your tap water to figure out the most appropriate filter for your circumstance and then drink up!

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JNEUBS 9/18/2009 9:42AM

    As always an excellent blog topic!

Thanks for sharing Maha!

May you enjoy happiness and the root of all happiness!

ChiTown Jeff
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KUZINKEITH 9/18/2009 9:33AM

We used to have excellent water on a community well. It was all we wanted for $15/month. Then, because of corporate greed, the city shut down all community wells and forced us on to their heavily chlorinated water. We purchased a filter ASAP (that runs through our fridge) but it still doesn't compare to our wonderful well.
I have about 4 sports bottles that I fill up & use. When I do buy bottled, I buy "CRYSTAL GEYSER". I've been to their source and know it's pure.


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