Body Vegetarian

Real Food Revolution

I raced home from the gym last night to catch Jamie Oliver’s new show “Food Revolution.” I missed the first thirty minutes or so, but overall, I was pretty disappointed.

Oliver had travelled to Huntington, West Virginia, a place with the unfortunate honor of being the “most unhealthy town in America.”  As I watched the show, I quickly realized that just about any town I’ve been to int he last couple of years could be up for consideration the next time around.

Anyway, my overall feeling is that the show places too much responsibility for poor nutrition on the school system.  Kids don’t know what a tomato looks like, blame the school.  Kids don’t know how to use a knife and fork, blame the lunch ladies.  Kids choose pizza over chicken?  On that one, I blame Jamie.  If kids are unhealthy, the first place to look is home, and I wish that’s where Jaime would have turned to first.

I really like Jaime’s idea of having cooking classes in a downtown storefront that he’s rented.  Teach parents how to cook simple, good tasting, and inexpensive meals, and I think a lot of people will move away from our fast food culture.  It’s been my experience that many folks are just overwhelmed, and fall to the pressure of quick, easy, and cheap.    We also fall to multi million dollar ad campaigns targeted at people just like the residents of Huntington.

As I was watching the show last night, I flipped through Oliver’s newest book, also titled “Food Revolution.”  Great title, great concept.  But poorly executed, and not really helping people out the their unhealthy lifestyles and encouraging them to eat healthier food.  Eight of the twelve veggie recipes included butter or heavy cream.  A lot of the recipes call for the frying of ingredients.  Not much better than heading to Mc Donald’s or Denny’s.

I like Jaime Oliver, but if the remainder of the episodes are anything like the first, his revolution will fail to help us out of a desperate situation.

Body Ignatian Spirituality Spirit


I’ve just come back from a trip to Chicago.  It was a time to renew friendships, meet some new people, and learn about all the ways Loyola Press is helping people grow in their faith.  Thanks to everyone for making it a meaningful trip.

One of the exercises we did involved taking a butterfly cutout and embellishing it with words and decoration in order to tell a story.  It was an interesting task, and I couldn’t wait to share the meaning behind the message I was trying to convey.  Unfortunately, we ran out of time and couldn’t fully explain (at least I didn’t have enough time).

So, here’s my story:  Sometime in May last year, I was sitting on my patio praying.  It was late morning, the sun was warm, a gorgeous day.  Unfortunately, I was down in the dumps, trying to get my life back on track, and had to make some big changes.  Change is always hard, isn’t it?

So, as I as sitting there with my coffee, I saw a monarch butterfly go shooting past. It caught my attention, and I was mesmerized as it flew through the air, darting, weaving, back and forth.  I’d never seen a butterfly do this before, and I thought it might have been poisoned somehow,  maybe landing on a leaf that had been sprayed with pesticide.

As it flew, side to side, up and down, fast and slow, it suddenly came to me.  This must be its first flight!  Shortly before I witnessed this inaugural journey into the sky, it was in a cocoon. How difficult is it to make this change?  What did the Lord want to say to me in giving me this experience?

As I continued to watch, I was almost moved to tears.  I had never seen anything like it, and it truly was a gift.  And I know God was speaking to me through it.  I believe He wanted to tell me that it was time for a new beginning for me.  A radical transformation was in order.  It would be hard, painful, but also exhilarating.   And it would lead to places I previously could not have gone.

Most big changes are going to be hard.  But I think God is there, standing on the sidelines, cheering us on, calling us to a new Way, a new Life.  I continue to be struck by the experience I had that late spring morning.  I could never had predicted the transformation the Lord began in me that day, which still continues even now.  What do you think God wants to transform in you?

Catholic Church Spirit

A Special Girl

Last week, I was giving tours of our church to a bunch of second graders.  Joining them were several special needs children.  One girl is severely handicapped, and she can be a bit disruptive, especially if you’re a second grader 🙂

Well, I love working with special needs kids.  It’s a blessing for me, and although I don’t have any training in this area, I seem to get by pretty well. It’s that way with Madison.  She likes me, and I think she knows I like her.  She smiles at me, and I know I am communicating with her.  She puts my hands in hers and she and I clap together.

The tour had it’s ups and downs, and when it was all over, one of our volunteers came up to me and said that it was clear Madison loved me.  At that minute, I remembered a line from one of Henri Nouwen’s books.  He was writing about his own experience of working with people with special needs.  He said that at a certain point, the relationship changes.  “The God in him/her recognizes the God in me.”  And so it is with Madison and I.  In her own special and unique way, she sees God in me.  I see a joy in her that I can only long for, and I know that she is the beloved daughter of God.  She is blessed!


Ah, St. Patrick’s Day.  To all the Irish, whether by heratige or desire, enjoy the day!  St. Patrick, pray for us.


I’m embarking on a new adventure!  For the last eleven months, God has been doing some amazing new things with me.  It’s been a radical transformation of my body, mind, and spirit.  I want to share with anyone who will listen what’s happened to me, with the hope that maybe they will find some good advice and make some changes for themselves.