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Month: July 2016

Simple Gifts–for the Holidays (Holy Daze) or If We Do Not Know Your Wishes, How Can We Follow Them?

Simple Gifts–for the Holidays (Holy Daze) or If We Do Not Know Your Wishes, How Can We Follow Them?

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It was the week before Thanks-giving. “I just want to die,” Elsa started the conversation. “I’m suffering way too much. I’ve had enough.”
My response, as the Palliative Care Nurse consulting with Elsa, was “Have you talked to your family about this?”
She was afraid to talk to her family. Her husband had early onset dementia, so she felt he would not understand. However, he was still listed as her primary agent on her Advance Directive for Healthcare. Her daughter would be heartsick, she explained. They had a very close relationship. Her son would understand but not like the idea, although his wife, Maria, was the one person in the family who might understand all the levels of pain that were at play here. Maria was one who understood that Palliative Care was about addressing the emotional, spiritual, and psychosocial realms of human suffering.
Elsa had a serious end-stage illness, complicated by other medical issues. Her pain had not been well managed. She had been a very strong and independent and public figure in her community all her life. She felt that she still needed to take care of everyone else before she could take care of herself. She admitted feeling “guilty” for wanted to be out of her misery.
At the end of our consultation Elsa had a “to do” list, which she had requested and was happy to read. Number one on her list was to talk to her family.

When I called after Thanksgiving, she had succeeded in having a family conversation, and of course, everyone did understand Elsa’s wishes. They loved her! They did not want to witness unnecessary suffering.

People get so afraid of writing truly specific and direct desires in their Advance Directives for Healthcare. And yet, IF your loved ones and your medical team do not know your wishes, do not understand your values, do not have the opportunity to hear you express what is most important to you–how can they possibly follow your wishes?

I have been a Palliative Care Nurse for over 25 years. I have also been a person with cancer, wondering how long I would live. I have managed an Intensive Care Unit and been the person trying to initiate conversations about end of life and treatment options with healthcare professionals who were reticent to “go there” and family members who had never had conversations with the person lying in the bed–now semi-conscious, tangled in tubes and wires, and unable to communicate any longer.
I try hard to practice what I preach, and review my Advance Directive documents regularly, with those I love–my agents and the people in my life whom I believe would show up for me in a critical situation. I have 2 pages of “addendums” to my documents that spell out things that are important to me (like not wanting to be fed if I had dementia and could not take care of myself, calling my brother before decisions are finalized, playing music that I love, bringing in the element of water wherever I am.)

This Holiday season, give your friends and family the simplest and most potent gift you can give them–to be prepared for what might happen in a critical medical situation
and to know exactly what you value about Life, so that your Death can be a reflection of who have been throughout your “one wild and precious life.” (Mary Oliver)
The world death rate IS holding steady at 100%. Would you prefer to leave this Earth without anyone knowing what it is you truly wanted, for your final gift?

My revision of the words to the Quaker song, “Simple Gifts,” that came to me standing in the snow on my Grandmother’s grave:

“T’is a gift to know the Spirit
T’is a gift to feel the Heart.
T’is a gift to know that where we end we start;
And when we understand that the truth and the light
Are inside us
to Guide us
we come round right.”

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‘Humans Of New York’ Photo Captures Beautiful Body Love Moment

‘Humans Of New York’ Photo Captures Beautiful Body Love Moment

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“Humans Of New York” photographer Brandon Stanton is known for capturing intimate moments in everyday scenarios ― and his most recent work is no exception.

A photo posted to the HONY Facebook page on Monday night features a young woman holding a cell phone with pictures of herself underneath the label “Art.” In the caption, the woman describes the body-positive story behind the beautifully illustrated images. 

She told Stanton that she began modeling for nude art classes last year and was nervous because she’s plus-size. “I was nervous about everyone seeing my stomach, and my thighs, and all my fat,” the caption reads. “But apparently my curves are fun to draw.”

The young woman said she began to see just how beautiful her body is through art. “In the classroom, all the features I saw as negative were viewed as assets. One student told me that it’s no fun to draw straight lines,” she said. “It’s been liberating for me. I’ve always been insecure about my belly. But now my belly has been part of so many beautiful pieces of art.” 

Read the full post below. 

As of Tuesday morning, the photo had more than 170,000 likes and 8,600 shares. 

The best part? An overwhelming number of the 2,600 comments are messages of love, body positivity and support. 

“Plus-sized is a human construct,” one commenter wrote. “You are beautiful, and right-sized.” Another commenter added: “Own your flaws and make them your strengths. No one would like HONY if it was all perfect people living perfect lives. It’s the imperfections that we all relate to that keeps us coming back”

After posting the original photo, Stanton added a second photo in the comments section of the woman sitting on a park bench. 

Head over to HONY’s Facebook page to see more photos from Stanton. 

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Paul Simon Says Ex-Wife Carrie Fisher’s Death Came ‘Too Soon’

Paul Simon Says Ex-Wife Carrie Fisher’s Death Came ‘Too Soon’

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Paul Simon isn’t taking the news of Carrie Fisher’s death well. The musician, who was briefly married to Fisher in the 1980s, expressed his condolences in a tweet early Wednesday morning. 

The beloved actress and author died Tuesday following her hospitalization last week. She was 60.

Fisher and Simon met while Fisher was filming the first “Star Wars” movie, which debuted in 1977. “Once they saw each other, no one else mattered to either of them,” Peter Ames Carlin wrote in this year’s Homeward Bound: The Life of Paul Simon. The pair moved into an apartment near Central Park almost instantly, but their relationship was complicated by Fisher’s heavy drug use and fears that she wouldn’t live up to Simon’s reputation as a musical virtuoso. Hoping marriage would solve their problems, they wed in 1983, but divorced the following year.

The relationship didn’t end there, though. According to Carlin’s biography, as reported by People magazine, they moved in together again after the divorce and dated on and off for about a decade, with Fisher helping to raise Simon’s son from his first marriage. The couple reportedly ended the relationship after a psychedelic trip in the Amazon.

Simon’s 1983 song “Hearts and Bones” was about his romance with Fisher. The lyrics imply the coupledom was tumultuous, but end on a loving note: “The arc of a love affair / Waiting to be restored / You take two bodies and you twirl them into one / Their hearts and their bones / And they won’t come undone.” 

In her 2008 autobiography, Wishful Drinking, Fisher said Simon’s 1990 song “She Moves On” is about their breakup. Simon wrote, “I know the reason I feel so blessed / My heart still splashes inside my chest / But she, she is like a top / She cannot stop / She moves on.” Fisher praised “She Moves On,” writing, “If you can get Paul Simon to write a song about you, do it. Because he is so brilliant at it.”

Fisher never remarried, though she did begin dating talent agent Bryan Lourd shortly after breaking up with Simon. They had one child together, “Scream Queens” actress Billie Lourd, in 1992. 

During a 2010 interview with The New York Times, Fisher reflected on the stereotypically feminine role she felt she was expected to play in her marriage to Simon. “I’m not as cooperative as you might want a woman to be,” she said. “Every man, I think, or at least the ones I end up finding, there’s no such thing as a consort. All men are kings. That was my little discovery in the process … I really thought men’s fantasy is to have an intellectual geisha. So what I did was I learned to cook and I took a massage course. But that’s not all of it. You have to also agree.”

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15 Tweets That Describe The Hilarious Hell Of Holiday Travel

15 Tweets That Describe The Hilarious Hell Of Holiday Travel

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TRAVEL

Flying is ho-ho-horrible.

12/21/2016 11:58 am ET

Traveling during the holidays ― especially air travel ― is the ultimate test of patience and stamina. 

But as those massive TSA lines make clear, you are not alone in this mess. Below, fellow travelers capture the crumminess of holiday travel in 140 characters or less.

Also on HuffPost

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3 Ways to Explore Lake Clark National Park in Alaska

3 Ways to Explore Lake Clark National Park in Alaska

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Lake Clark is one of the National Park System’s true gems–a large sliver of all of the best parts of Alaska rolled into one easy-to-get-to place. It is almost as if Mother Nature created it with explorers in mind, offering diverse environments for mountaineers, backpackers, paddlers, big-game fisherman, hikers, and photographers to play in. The lake that bares the park’s namesake is Lake Clark–a 40-mile, vividly turquoise-colored body of water that is fed by glaciers, waterfalls, rivers, and streams; and that is surrounded by volcanoes, mountains, tundra, freshwater lakes, forest, meadows, marshes, bogs, and sandy coastline… as I said, it is the best of wild Alaska rolled into one fine park.

Like most of Alaska’s national parks, it is one of the least visited of all 59–many have never even heard of it–a major draw for Alaska’s adventure circuit and residents alike who go there for its remoteness and untrammeled beauty. Entrance to the park and travel within it is possible only by plane, boat, or on foot. Flights are made easier with daily routes from Anchorage located just 100 miles away, but because this area is so rugged many don’t even know where to start planning an adventure to Lake Clark. To help with that, we are breaking down ways to discover it that together fulfill a cultural, wilderness, and wildlife experience–on the lake, in the mountains, and by the sea.

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Taking in some peace at the Farm Lodge in Port Alsworth. Photo credit: Jonathan Irish

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All set up with our origami kayaks made by Oru and ready to paddle Turquoise Lake! Photo credit: Stefanie Payne

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It’s bear time at the Silver Salmon Creek Lodge located on the Cook Inlet in Lake Clark National Park and Preserve in Alaska. Photo credit: Jonathan Irish

Exploring Port Alsworth and Lake Clark

About 40 minutes by float- or bush-plane from Anchorage resides the small lakeside community of Port Alsworth on the southwestern edge of the park. In Port Alsworth, a little bit of everything can be found. There are several lodges, the most popular being the Farm Lodge that is owned and operated by the Alsworth family who are 2nd, 3rd, and 4th generation ascendants of the community’s founder: Babe Alsworth, a missionary and bush pilot who laid down roots in 1950. If you are looking for wholesome lakeside family fun, this is your jam. Nearby are 10 waterfront lodges overlooking a protected bay where kayaks float, motorboats scoot off for fishing adventures, and seaplanes come and go ferrying passengers in and out of relaxed stays and backcountry adventures.

The first stop for most in Port Alsworth is at the Lake Clark National Park Visitor Center where backcountry permits and information is issued to incoming travelers. Nearby are several awesome day hikes–two of the most popular being the short and easy hike to Tanalian Falls; and a more difficult trek to the top of the Tanalian Mountain that towers over the bay where you can take in amazing panoramic views of Lake Clark and the surrounding mountains.

The Port Alsworth setting is immeasurably peaceful, but as it is the main thoroughfare to the national park, it is not without its fair share of people. Greater solitude can be found in the backcountry Lake Clark wilderness, and Port Alsworth is the perfect jumping off point to get you there–it is from where we departed on our quest to reach Turquoise Lake where we backpacked and kayaked for two days in total solitude. Read on!

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Kayaking the bay in Port Alsworth, the main thoroughfare into the park. Photo credit: Stefanie Payne

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Float planes pull right up to the Farm Lodge for transport into interior Lake Clark. Photo credit: Jonathan Irish


Backcountry camping at Turquoise Lake

The National Park Service states that Lake Clark was established to protect a region of dynamic geologic and ecological processes that create scenic mountain landscapes, unaltered watersheds… and habitats for wilderness dependent populations of fish and wildlife, vital to 10,000 years of human history. This effort in all of its wildness was perfectly evident at Turquoise Lake, just a hop and a skip from park headquarters in Port Alsworth. Located between Telaquana Lake and Twin Lakes in the heart of Lake Clark, visitors can have a relatively easy and awesome foray into backcountry camping in Alaska. After being dropped off by float plane, we set up our tent, bear-proofed our food, folded our new Oru origami kayaks, and paddled off to a braided river formed at the base of 8,000-foot high glacial mountain on the other side of the lake, stopping along the way to explore the tundra landscape on foot. With only ourselves and the Lake Clark wilderness to contend with, we were free to explore the pristine lake at our own pace free of distraction and anything that wasn’t our own making. It was awesome!

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This is what date night looks like on the Greatest American Road Trip! Photo credit: Jonathan Irish

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Food storage in bear country at Dick Proenekke’s Cabin on Upper Twin Lake in Lake Clark National Park. Photo credit: Jonathan Irish

Bear viewing adventure on the coast: Silver Salmon Creek Lodge

With such a diverse landscape that exists in Lake Clark, it is unsurprising that the area is rich with wildlife…and one of the best places to put yourself smack in the middle of it is at the Silver Salmon Creek Lodge on the western shores of the Cook Inlet in south-central Alaska. Many regard Katmai as the ultimate bear-viewing destination in the 49th state; after our time at Silver Salmon, we can put Lake Clark into that same category without one bit of hesitation.

The experience would better be described as “bear interaction,” than it would “bear viewing” as we were walking aside coastal brown bears the entirety of our stay. Joined by naturalists who have studied the bears that inhabit the area season after season, we were granted an unusual glimpse into the behavioral nuances and growth patters of sows, cubs, and full-grown males that call the Cook Inlet home. Between what we learned from naturalist expertise and the wonder of bear behavior occurring all around us 24/7, our jaws were on the ground the entire time.

Since 1983, hosts David and Joanne Coray have led American and international guests onto the shorelines of Lake Clark, sharing their wild home with each of us in a tailored way. The lodge is equipped to welcome even the most hard-core wildlife photographers, backcountry hikers, and world-class sport fisherman… or, anyone who simply wants to get close to Alaskan brown bears in their natural habitat.

We have to give our warmest thanks to the incredible naturalists, guides, chefs, other staff, and of course, to David and Joanne for running such an impeccable show and sharing it with us during our time in Lake Clark at the end of our Alaskan voyage. This experience will forever stand out as one of the ultimate wildlife adventures either of us have ever had. Thank you!

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Lake Clark National Park in Alaska is one of the greatest bear viewing destinations on Earth! Photo credit: Jonathan Irish

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Closeup of a brown bear cub. Photo credit: Jonathan Irish

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Sillouette of a brown bear yawning. Photo credit: Jonathan Irish

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Two juvenile male coastal brown bears curiously look into the distance near the Silver Salmon Creek Lodge in Lake Clark. Photo credit: Jonathan Irish

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Ten Inspiring Moments from 2016 By Greater Good Editors

Ten Inspiring Moments from 2016 By Greater Good Editors

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Most people seem to agree: 2016 was a terrible year. From a toxic presidential election to horrifying acts of domestic terrorism to the deaths of many beloved celebrities–including David Bowie, Prince, and Carrie Fisher–it’s safe to say that many of us were pretty done with the year by the time it ended. But there were bright lights in 2016 that reminded us that humans can be creative, generous, kind, self-sacrificing, contrite, and forgiving. Here are ten of them.

Veterans ask Native Americans for forgiveness

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The Standing Rock pipeline battle pitted Native-American tribes against corporations, law enforcement, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. One of the little-noticed dimensions of the conflict is that many U.S. veterans joined the effort to halt the Dakota Access Pipeline construction. In December, a group of veterans formally apologized for military violence against Native Americans. The statement read by Wes Clark Jr.–son of U.S. Army general and former supreme commander at NATO, Wesley Clark Sr.–read in part:

Many of us, me particularly, are from the units that have hurt you over the many years. We came. We fought you. We took your land. We signed treaties that we broke. We stole minerals from your sacred hills. We blasted the faces of our presidents onto your sacred mountain. When we took still more land and then we took your children and then we tried to make your language and we tried to eliminate your language that God gave you, and the Creator gave you. We didn’t respect you, we polluted your Earth, we’ve hurt you in so many ways but we’ve come to say that we are sorry. We are at your service and we beg for your forgiveness.

In the ceremony, Chief Leonard Crow Dog offered the veterans forgiveness. Learn more.

Texas man stands up for Muslim neighbors

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In the wake of the 2016 election, many Muslims were afraid, thanks to the winning candidate’s rhetoric and the actions of some of his supporters. Armed anti-Muslim protesters gathered outside of the mosque in Irving, Texas. One man did what he could: Justin Normand made a simple sign that started, “You belong,” and stood alone outside of the mosque in a gesture of support. As he later wrote on Facebook:

This was about binding up the wounded. About showing compassion and empathy for the hurting and fearful among us. Or, in some Christian traditions, this was about washing my brother’s feet. This was about my religion, not theirs. And, it was about what I think I must do as an American when our way of life is threatened. Targeting people for their religion not only threatens our way of life, it is the polar opposite of our way of life.

Michigan students form circle to protect Muslim classmates

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After November’s election, Muslim students at the University of Michigan received death threats. In response, hundreds of students, faculty, and staff formed a circle around Muslim classmates who gathered to perform one of Islam’s five daily prayers. Learn more.

Opposing protesters come together for dialogue in Dallas

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July 7 gave us one of the most awful moments of 2016, when Micah Xavier Johnson ambushed and killed five police officers in Dallas, Texas. A few days later, Black Lives Matter sponsored a small march in Dallas to protest police violence against unarmed black people. When they encountered counter-protesters waving American and Texas flags, a cop named Sgt. Jeff Hall successfully brought them together for a dialogue that ended in prayer. “I’ve seen a lot of protests, but I’ve never seen them come together like that,” said Hall. “Makes me feel great to see people with such differences come together and work it out.” Learn more.

Champion kid soccer players console the losing team

At the Junior Soccer World Challenge in Tokyo, Barcelona’s under-12 team beat local favorites Omiya Ardija 1-0. In a show of good sportsmanship, the Spanish players sincerely and graciously consoled their distraught opponents. Learn more.

Runners help each cross the finish line at the Olympics

In August, American runner Abbey D’Agostino and New Zealand’s Nikki Hamblin got tangled up and fell during the 5,000-metre race at the Rio Olympics. Both injured, they helped each other to cross the finish line. Hamblin later said:

That girl is the Olympic spirit right there. I went down and I was like ‘what’s happening? Why am I on the ground?’ Then suddenly this hand on my shoulder, like ‘get up, get up, we have to finish this’ and I was like, ‘yep, you’re right’. This is the Olympic Games, we have to finish this… I’ve never met this girl before, and isn’t that just so amazing, such an amazing woman. Regardless of the race and the result on the board, that’s a moment that you’re never ever going to forget for the rest of your life, that girl shaking my shoulder.

Volunteers fulfill India’s climate promise

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At Paris Climate Conference in 2015, India agreed to reforest 12 percent of its land. On one day this summer, 800,000 volunteers took a solid step in the direction of fulfilling that promise, by planting 50 million trees throughout the state of Uttar Pradesh. Learn more.

Floridians step up to help survivors of Orlando shooting

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In June, a man motivated by hatred of gays and lesbians killed 50 people and wounded 53 more in an Orlando nightclub. It was the worst mass shooting in the history of a country where gun massacres are depressingly common. When blood for the survivors ran out, massive lines formed around banks across the city. According to BuzzFeed News, some areas were overloaded with donors. Learn more.

Construction worker brightens the days of sick kids

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Construction worker Jason Haney was helping to build a new section on the Memorial Children’s Hospital of South Bend, Indiana. One day, he noticed the children (who all suffer from debilitating and even terminal conditions) in the wing across the street watching their work. So, he created an eight-foot-tall wooden Waldo that he’d put in a different spot every few days on the construction site. Soon, the kids were racing to the windows to play “Where’s Waldo?” Learn more.

Judge spends a night in jail with the veteran he sentenced

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Green Beret Sgt. Joseph Serna did four combat tours in Afghanistan, where he was almost killed three times. On returning to the United States, he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, and he was arrested repeatedly on charges related to drugs and drinking, including drunk-driving. On the 25th time he came before North Carolina District Court Judge Lou Olivera, Olivera sentenced Serna to one day in jail–and personally drove him there. “When Joe first came to turn himself in, he was trembling,” Olivera told the Fayetteville Observer. “I decided that I’d spend the night serving with him.” Learn more.

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J.K. Rowling Beautifully Pays Tribute To Pulse Nightclub Victims

J.K. Rowling Beautifully Pays Tribute To Pulse Nightclub Victims

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J.K. Rowling is one of many different creatives who have contributed to a new anthology that pays tribute to the victims of the Pulse Nightclub massacre.

Love is Love,” available on Dec. 28, is 144 pages in length and reportedly includes submissions from the Harry Potter author, actor Matt Bomer and comedian Patton Oswalt, among many others.

Rowling contributed to the anthology with a popular quote that the openly gay character, Albus Dumbledore, said in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire that hits on themes of acceptance and tolerance. It reads, “Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open.”

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Salt-Rubbed Brussels Sprouts Make a Salad That’s Both Tender and Crisp

Salt-Rubbed Brussels Sprouts Make a Salad That’s Both Tender and Crisp

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[Photographs: Vicky Wasik]

Making a hearty salad is like recruiting the A-Team: You want to assemble a diverse collection of ingredients, each bringing its own special qualities to the mix. Just as Face was the suave manipulator, Murdock the crazy pilot, B. A. the muscle, and Hannibal the master of disguises, so nuts add crunch, greens crisp-tenderness, cheese a creamy richness, and the vinaigrette moisture and flavor. But this approach overlooks another technique: manipulating a single ingredient in different ways to get more than one quality out of it.

This Brussels sprout salad does all of the above. There are the nuts—here, they’re toasted skin-on hazelnuts, the skins taking on a light campfire aroma as they blister in a dry skillet. Then there’s the cheese, in this case tangy, creamy fresh goat cheese that’s crumbled in at the end. And, of course, there’s the vinaigrette, which I spike with tangerine zest to give it some personality. What I think is most interesting about this salad, though, is how the Brussels sprouts themselves are handled.

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Shaving Brussels sprouts is a common technique for salads, the sturdy little brassicas forming a dense pile once shredded. Sometimes, though, that leads to a salad with a bit too much crunch—raw Brussels sprouts aren’t exactly the tenderest of greens.

This got me thinking about creative ways to deal with that issue. Roasting is one option, but that can take the dish a little too far out of salad territory. Plus, it’s something we’ve all seen before.

As it happened, though, I’d just been working on a sauerkraut how-to. The method starts by tossing and kneading shredded cabbage with salt, which wilts it through the powers of osmosis (the salt draws out moisture from the cabbage’s cells, collapsing them) and the mechanical crushing of the cells through the kneading itself.

When you’re making kraut, the next step is to let it ferment for several weeks, but that salted, wilted cabbage is actually delicious all on its own. So I started thinking about the sprouts: Why not salt and knead them, reenacting that first phase of kraut-making, but then toss the wilted sprouts directly into a fresh salad, no fermentation required?

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I liked the idea, but I also knew that if I used them alone as the base, especially once they were mixed with a vinaigrette and creamy fresh goat cheese, the salt-wilted sprouts would come across as too soft and damp. My solution was simple: I’d salt-wilt only half the shredded sprouts, leaving the other half pristine and raw, then toss them back together right before serving. It’d be the perfect mix of two incarnations of a single ingredient: one soft and tender, the other stout and crisp. Combined, they are definitely greater than the sum of their parts.

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The salt-wilting itself is easy. Sprinkle salt on the shredded sprouts, toss well, then knead and squeeze for a few minutes until you can feel them begin to yield and grow wet as their juices are drawn out. I decided to also squeeze onto them the juice from the tangerine I was zesting for the vinaigrette, to infuse them with a little more flavor. After they’ve rested in the fridge for around 15 minutes or so, they’re ready to go, though you can hold them for several hours at this point. When you’re ready to finish the salad, just squeeze the sprouts dry of all the liquid that has accumulated in the bowl, combine them with everything else, add the vinaigrette, and toss to coat.

After the first bite, there’s only one thing a person can say: I love it when a plan comes together.

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5 Healthy Recipes To Start 2017 Off Right

5 Healthy Recipes To Start 2017 Off Right

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If you had a typical holiday celebration, you likely partook in a lot of sweets, booze and epic meals. It was fun, sure, but now it’s time to recover from that indulgent living. The best way to do that is with a week of healthy eating. And the best way to ensure you stick to that plan is by prepping your meals ahead of time.

We have the recipes you need for the first week of the year. The ones that will help you start the new year off on the right foot.

And, since we like you, we’ve included a peanut butter yogurt dip that is just what you’re body needs when the afternoon crash hits at the office. Pair it with apple slices and you’ll be re-energized in no time.

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Man Stages Frightening Police Encounter To Propose To His Fiancé

Man Stages Frightening Police Encounter To Propose To His Fiancé

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One man wanted to make a statement about Black Lives Matter in his proposal to his girlfriend. So he staged a frightening encounter with police.

Daiwon McPherson told WPMI that he set up as a tense encounter with the Mobile Police Department at a gas station to ask for Shawna Blackmon’s hand in marriage.

McPherson he told the local outlet that he was on his way to a date with Blackmon when his now-fiancé got a call that he had been pulled over.

Blackmon went to meet him at the gas station. She said that she was afraid “they are going to shoot him” when she saw the cops. She thought that she could diffuse the situation.

“Me getting out and seeing that I felt like I can fix this, let me try to fix this and let me calm the situation down and let it work,” McPherson said.

In a video of the proposal, posted by Tyler S. Colvin, two police officers got out of a cop car and told McPherson to get on the ground. Blackmon began approaching him after one officer asked if her had a gun. When she told them that she was his “wife,” they told her to get his weapon from him.

 When Blackmon bent down to retrieve his “gun,” McPherson pulled out a ring. 

“First thing you’re going to think is we got another black man going to get killed by two police officers, nope that was the whole flip,” he told WPMI. “I felt like that was the perfect set up to do something like that and bring everybody together.” 

In an interview with Buzzfeed, McPherson said that it’s “crazy” that a threatening situation people have gotten used to seeing “turned out to be positive.”

The couple has received some criticism but they said that their intention wasn’t to mock the Black Lives Matter movement. Regardless, McPherson’s proposal certainly made an impact.

Watch the proposal below. 

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