Saturday, February 06, 2010

US East & West Coasts Battle the Elements

Washington shuts down, buried in record snowfall

Alexandria, VA

Flights are grounded and power outages are widespread as the capital slumbers under more than 32 inches of snow.

A prolonged blizzard covered Washington, D.C., and the mid-Atlantic states in a smothering canvas of snow Saturday, grounding planes and triggering widespread power outages as people across the region turned to skis and sleds to traverse icy roads.

The storm proved a major disruption, with above-ground subways and buses in the Washington area shutting down and stores closing en masse in the face of a storm destined to go down as one of the major snowfalls in the area's history.

As of late afternoon, a total of 32.4 inches was recorded at Dulles International Airport outside of Washington, according to the National Weather Service. That two-day accumulation topped the previous record, compiled during the blizzard of January 1996, the weather service said.

Hundreds of thousands of homes in Maryland, Virginia and elsewhere lost power. Trees toppled under the snow's weight, blocking roads. Snowplows worked overtime to keep the streets cleared. Flights were canceled at Washington's major airports.

Not even the presidential motorcade was able to navigate the city's streets unscathed. An ambulance hit an SUV in the motorcade before President Obama's entourage left the White House on Saturday morning to address the Democratic National Committee at a hotel several blocks away. No one was hurt.

At the event, Obama asked after the whereabouts of Rep. Michael M. Honda (D-San Jose). "He's on his way," Obama said. "He's still shoveling."

While the president normally portrays himself as a hardy Chicagoan accustomed to bad weather, even he seemed impressed by the storm's ferocity. He called the blizzard "Snowmaggedon."

California Flash Floods, Mudslides Cause 500-Home Evacuation

Los Angeles, CA

More than 500 homes were ordered evacuated Saturday after torrential rains led to mudslides that clogged roads and filled living rooms of homes nestled on hillsides already charred by last year's wildfires.

More than an inch of rain was expected in Los Angeles and Ventura counties by sundown Saturday, causing eroded hillsides to slough off soil that slammed into homes, rendering at least 12 of them uninhabitable, according to Los Angeles County officials. Debris basins designed to snare mud, rocks and trees had already been filled from two inches of rain that fell in previous hours.

At one home in Pickens Canyon, crews trying to find a gas leak dug through at least four feet of mud. In nearby homes, mud flowed through their interiors, muscling garage doors outward.

Several highways were closed by the flooding and mudflows.

Protective concrete barriers placed to reroute the water and mud failed, slamming into at least 25 vehicles.

A flash flood watch issued by the National Weather Service expired at 7:45 p.m. Eastern time.

Even so, more weather was on the way. The weather service predicted between 5 and 10 inches of snow would fall Saturday night in the mountains. Above 7,000 feet, accumulations of 8 to 14 inches were forecast.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

The Joy of Living Live

A Raw Food Journey
by Akote Zakhah

Close your eyes and imagine a community of 100% vegans living a holistic lifestyle. A community virtually free of disease, crime, and immorality. A healthy environment where animals have no fear of being eaten. What would you call this place? Heaven? Paradise ?

Now you don’t have to just imagine it anymore. It is here on earth. Open your eyes and see the Village of Peace in Dimona, Israel . This is a community of former African Americans who moved to the Holy Land to establish a peaceful, harmonious, self-sustaining environment. According to the Ministry of Health of this 40-year young community, the cases of diabetes, strokes, heart attacks, cancers, STDs, HIV and AIDS are so minimal to non-existent that they are considered to be virtually eradicated. Meanwhile, these illnesses are among the top 10 killers of their African American counterparts in America.

Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee tested adult members of the Village of Peace and found that the community has essentially eliminated high blood pressure even if they had a family history of the disease. There are no nursing homes and the elders of the Village have been known to defeat the younger teams in sports activities. Since the community’s establishment in 1967, there have been fewer than 40 deaths in this community of over 2,500 residents.

The leaders of the Village of Peace see the value of a natural diet for healthy people and have incorporated it in their lifestyle. They eat only fruit, vegetables, nuts, grains, and seeds. Each week, the adults in the community have 3 no-salt days, 2 raw food days, 2 no-margarine days, and one day of fasting.

Four times a year with the change in seasons, the community prepares to elevate their diet even further with the observance of a “Sugarless Week” where the only sweeteners consumed are maple syrup, date syrup, and the stevia herb; and a “Live Foods Week” where they consume 80% to 100% raw and living foods and cleanse their digestive systems.

As a result of changes in diet and lifestyle, evidence has emerged that this may be the healthiest group of collective humans existing on the planet today. And did I mention that they own the largest chain of vegan restaurants in the world? They have 13 Soul Vegetarian restaurants on 4 continents.

The “secret” to their diet and lifestyle now has been revealed in a new book called The Joy of Living Live: A Raw Food Journey by Zakhah (www, This full-color photographic book explores over 100 raw and living foods tasting experiences from various regions of the world, including the Mediterranean, Asia, West Africa, the Caribbean, and the Americas . Complete with recipes for health drinks, breakfast, lunches on the go, desserts, and spices; recipes such as Live Spring Rolls, Pizza Wraps, Brazilian Nut Milk, Kale & Avocado Salad, and Orange Cake with Maple Cream Icing will make you want to lick the pages. Instructions are simple and easy-to-follow for food items generally found at local markets and health food shops.

They are designed for raw foodists no matter the stage of development: 50%, 80% or 100% live. These delicious pages share wisdom on diet transitioning, eating organic, exercise, meditation, prayer, fasting, food combining, sprouting, healing properties of food, low-cost superfoods, detoxification, holistic dental care, gourmet food preparation,… WHEW! In other words, this book is a powerhouse for your practical raw food needs.

One of the most exciting features of this book is the testimonies from long-time raw foodists who have been raw 5, 10, 20, to over 30 years. They are doctors, raw food restaurant owners, celebrities, raw moms and their raw children, community leaders, and more.

They answer questions like what physical health changes can be expected by eating live foods, how vegans and raw foodists can prevent nutritional deficiencies, and how to have a raw pregnancy. The Joy of Living Live: A Raw Food Journey will make you scream and jump for JOY.

Sunshine Cashew Cheese

2 Cups Cashews, soaked
¼ Cup Nutritional Yeast
2 Garlic Cloves
1 teaspoon Sea Salt
½ Cup Purified Water

Place all ingredients except water in a blender or food processor and mix on high speed. Slowly pour in water until texture reaches desired consistency. Store in a refrigerator.

Sea Vegetable Salad

2 Cups Wakame Seaweed
1 small Onion, chopped
1 large Tomato, chopped
2 Garlic Cloves, sliced
2 tablespoons Mixed Herbs
1 tablespoon Granulated Garlic
2 teaspoons Onion Powder

Chop seaweed in a food processor using slicer blade. Soak for about 1 hour and drain. Add remaining ingredients. Enjoy!

The Joy of Living Live: A Raw Food Journey is now available from and several book and health food shops throughout the US, UK and Israel . For a listing in your area, e-mail

Zakhah is a graduate of the Institute of Regenerative Truth as well as the School of the Prophets Institute of Jerusalem (Israel) with a degree in Divine Nutrition. She is also a raw and living foods chef and the author of the world-reknown raw food recipe book The Joy of Living Live: A Raw Food Journey, winner of the Holy Jerusalem Writers Conference Award. Zakhah is co-founder of the Elements of Truth Magazine and Catalog and a freelance health writer for various independent publications in the US and United Kingdom.