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Biocadence Article for H3O Eco Magazine

Hello beautiful people! I’m writing to share that my first article for H3O Eco Magazine is published. The Biocadence column is on pages 18-19, and I am featured as a contributor on page 7. IMPORTANT NOTE: *** The mobile compatible link is not ready yet (unless you have Flash V:8), but is on its way!

Following is a sneak peak; click here to read the entire article (pages 18-19):

Bushmen Drinking water from Ostrich egg

Bushmen Drinking water from Ostrich egg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In Heart of Dryness, James Workman chronicles the extraordinary legal case
of Kalahari Bushmen versus Botswana Government. Allegedly naming wildlife preservation and reduced water-distribution costs as a cover for his intent to mine the area for diamonds, Bostwanian President Festus Mogae cut off the Kalahari Bushmen water supply in 2002. The Bushmen were offered government aid, shelter, and complimentary water outside the reserve, and severe thirst (a visceral competition amongst the body’s organs for the limited fluid available) was cause for many Bushmen to flee the Kalahari. Year over year, families of Bushmen surrendered to reservations. However, some continued to endure extreme famine in order to remain in their homeland. As Workman flows between journalist and storyteller, the following prompts whisper persistently: Why did the Bushmen sacrifice everything to remain in the Kalahari? Why did they endure passive and aggressive forms of torture, in order to salvage their homeland?

sunset on the ground dried by dryness

Sunset on the ground dried by dryness (Photo credit: Lighttruth)

It is likely, many would say definitive, that we are headed toward drier global conditions. We must consider how progressively higher temperatures and less accessible fresh water will impact our families. The nuances of community and human survival will evolve, and we will be forced to acknowledge our descendants’ quality of life when making consumptive choices. The Heart of Dryness observes the acutely leveraged indigenous Bushmen community, with hopes of rescuing water-retrieval techniques for future generations. As spectator of the Bushmen water-procurement craft, James Workman offers a vivid snapshot of the culture we may have evolved from. Musing about a Bushman family matriarch, he writes, “Face of Eve: Quoroxloo’s DNA holds the purest genetic strains, revealing her as perhaps the closest kin to our ninety- thousand-year-old common ancestor, the earliest mother of humankind”. In documenting the inherited skill-set, he endows the understanding that Bushmen water-handling is a vital ingredient for the survival and development of our species.

Read more

I hope that you will enjoy my article and explore the remainder of the H3O Eco Magazine issue, a publication for environmentally conscious consumers.


Heart of Dryness Book Purchase Details (and Featured Picture Source)

Is Sustainable Travel Possible?

Hello and Happy New Year beautiful people! I’ve missed you! Before the holidays we took a trip to Argentina for my husband’s birthday. Today I write about how we reconcile our passion for travel with our sustainable-living goals.

Patagonia, Isla Victoria

Patagonia, Isla Victoria

I’ve learned that traveling by airplane is devastatingly unsustainable… Especially if it is not the only heavy-footprint activity in a given year… And especially if the trip is as far away as Bali (read more about what I learned in Bali, my favorite place), or Argentina.

Lupin of Villa la Angostura, Patagonia, 7-lakes drive

Lupin of Villa la Angostura, Patagonia, 7-lakes drive

In addition to being devastatingly unsustainable, traveling is one of the activities that my husband and I value most in our lives. It has introduced us to catalysts for substantial growth, repeatedly… dare I say every time?!!!! Many of my most vivid instances of “remembering” and reconnection with nature happen abroad. Traveling is an activity we are always sacrificing for, and identifying with. What would it mean to give it up? I did consider doing that…


“The Yikes Factor” expression!

Many sustainable-living experts have done the math, identifying precise consumption parameters. I’ve read arguments that sustainable-living means:

  • Living off approximately $5,000-10,000/year/person, in North America
  • Growing our own food and bartering for the items our households are missing
  • Eating a low impact diet (vegan or vegetarian… I argue that omnivore is possible… read more)
  • Not using a car for transportation, nor airplane for travel
  • Having one or fewer children per household

(Sources: Radical Simplicity, Redefining Progress, Diet for a Hot Planet)

However convincing, these arguments elicit a response, in me, that I call “The Yikes Factor” (refer to picture above for an accurate visual). I feel overwhelmed. I feel that this change is inaccessible to me, given the financial and emotional demands of every day life. I feel terrified. This response is certainly not universal, as many have courageously followed a similar recipe for sustainable-living. To them, I give my utmost respect and awe. For the remaining pupils in sustainable-living curriculum, I fear that the “The Yikes Factor” may cause a complete system shut-down. My worst fear is that many will not even begin the process of sustainable-living transition, anticipating that the goal is far too daunting. In my first speech for Biocadence, I identified 5 key principles for sustainable living adjustment. 1: Behavioral sustainability. 2: Baby steps. 3: ID Model (Impact/Disturbance). 4: Give up the guilt, and 5: Find joy in the process.

(See 3 min Mash-Up or full 20 min speech)

The over-consumption recovery movement is focused on increasing quality of life through the sustainable-living process. It incorporates ecological sustainability as one of the many factors in lifestyle-design. We believe that we can shape our experience through positive thinking, devoted working, and conscious playing. In an effort to facilitate recollection of humanity in harmony with nature, we implement environmental sustainability as one measure of deliberate decision-making. Taking baby-steps, and incorporating additional challenges only when we’ve mastered the last, helps to ensure that our sustainable-living transition is behaviorally sustainable.

Conscious Playing & Planking, Cerro Otto, Bariloche

Conscious Playing & Planking, Cerro Otto, Bariloche


Conscious Playing & Meditating- Cerro Otto, Bariloche

Amongst the many sustainable-living adjustments available to us, our household has prioritized those that are most accessible on the Biocadence ID Model scale – those that are both high impact and low disturbance. Sacrificing travel would be a MASSIVE-impact/MASSIVE-disturbance adjustment for us. Will we ever make this sacrifice? I do not think so. When I dig deep, intent on honest reflection, I see us sacrificing everything else ahead of travel. We will ensure that this highly consumptive activity is as saturated with intention as possible, by maximizing our time, sharing our experience, and learning about how distinct cultures relate to environmental sustainability. We will not travel eyes-and-hearts closed, ignoring our impact. To the contrary, we will practice conscious understanding of the “what” and the “why” of our travel. It will fuel our motivation to derive value from every single moment.


Iguazu Falls- My heart will always race at the memory


I’m crazy about this gorgeous man. Nahuel Huapi, Patagonia

Thanks for reading! We would love to hear about how you relate to travel re: your own sustainable-living transition!

Quicklinks to Most Popular Biocadence Articles:

“The Hunger Games”… Fiction or Non-Fiction?

What is Ethical Eating?… Is Eating Meat Ethical?

Use Biodegrable Trash Bags!

Embracing the Fulcrum: Reconciling My Belief in the Law of Attraction With My Sustainable Living Transition

America Recycles Day ~ 4 Quick & Easy Tips

4 Quick & Easy Tips to honor America Recycles Day

Biocadence Speaking Engagement ~ The Midtown EcoFest!

Hello, hello, dear eco-enthusiasts! Biocadence is growing, and will continue to deliver accessibility to sustainable living solutions, and strategies for over-consumption recovery! Please subscribe to the Biocadence blog by entering your email address in the open field at the upper right of this page, and clicking “subscribe”.

I was invited to give a speech at the:

Midtown EcoFest ~ November 3-4, 2012 ~ Atlanta, Georgia ~ Hostessed by Felicia Phillips, Founder of H3O Eco Magazine

Enjoy the photos of our weekend (both business and recreation), and stay tuned for a video of my speech about the joy of sustainable living!

The venue ~ Millenium Gate Park

With Felicia Phillips, event hostess & Founder of H3O Eco Magazine. Thank you for inviting us, and bringing passionate entrepreneurs together! You hostessed with a big smile, calm spirit, and smooth trouble-shooting.

I achieved my goal of delivering an enthusiastic message AND having fun doing it! We met many passionate supporters of the over-consumption recovery movement, and took some time to explore the energetic Atlantic Station as well.

Barbara Pinson of Pinson Cosmetics, Anti-Aging Solutions spoke just before me, getting the crowd involved in Anti-Aging curriculum! I’m giving her products a trial run… one I’m sure to see immediate results from. Check out the Pinson Cosmetics product line!

Later that day Bobby Wallace (organic fertilizer pioneer and affordable REAL food entrepreneur) took the stage. Check out Going Green Organics.

With Tana Torrano, founder of OSBO. To learn more about how to equip your business for the future, check out the OSBO website. Tana’s visions for virtual tradshows have really stuck with me! I look forward to writing about the OSBO focus on disaster relief, as well. This powerful businesswoman is a well of creative ideas, and it is quite evident that she loves her work.

Peggy Johnson, owner of Fabulous Pooches, shared her brilliant disaster relief vest. As she showed us the contents, I got chills… It really appears that she has thought of everything! She wishes that she’d had it ready for Hurricane Sandy victims, and is speeding it to market as we speak! Linda Gillespie of Early Alert, Inc, demonstrated the innovative siberian ice-pack. It is reusable, non-hazardous/toxic, and has a 5 year shelf life. It is a must- have item for disaster preparedness.

We met such passionate, creative people. One memorable introduction was to this angelito;).

Jump-tastic funhouse!

Eco-trade Global… A visit with the brilliant and energetic Laurie Cheshire Sossa made quite an impression on me. In fact, this week I dreamt that I was at a tradeshow, using alternative currency (unconscious processing…  foreshadowing perhaps?). I suppose I must mention that the currency I dreamt of was beeswax candles…? Dreamy indeed.

Rhoades Car. 4 wheeled bicycles that drive like cars! Now, this is what I call hybrid, folks!

Christina Coleman, Organic Enthusiast shared the NYR Organic US Line. The Bee Lovely Collection is my favorite. I wholeheartedly support recovering our diminishing bee population! How? Stay tuned for the Biocadence holiday DIY project!

We tasted a scrumptious spicy honey. Atlanta Bee Company gift boxes are quite tempting!

I love my work. Happy, easy smile after a sunny day of fun, and vibrant connection!

Dan researched sustainable restaurant options. Hudson North is a “pop-up” in Atlantic Station. It’s around for a few more weeks, and oh-so-yummy!

Thank you to my handsome husband, and Biocadence CFO, Dan Tichenor, for coming with me, supporting me, offering tips on my speech (every single one of which I implemented), and for taking all the photos and video footage!

Fig heaven. Yes.

Chicken taco. Yes.

It’s true. Eating waffles at night makes me dance. How about you?

Enjoying the warm evening at the Sky Bar.

Bonus pic!

How did I prepare for the speech? I wrote, and adjusted, and practiced, and then practiced some more. When it came down to the hour before speech time… I found that karate chopping the air made me feel quite confident. It calmed the nerves as Dan and I shared a giggle. I felt assertive, alive, and prepared, and karate chopping seemed the perfect expression. Frankly, I’d be surprised to hear that any public speaker didn’t utilize this fantastic preparation technique.

Yes, I’m a product of the 80’s.

Yes, I watched “Karate Kid” 100 times.

And yes, “You’re the best around; no one’s gonna ever bring you down” are fantastic lyrics for pump-up mode!!!

Squeeze hugs to my Biocadence followers! Thanks for reading!!!

Quicklinks to Most Popular Biocadence Articles:

“The Hunger Games”… Fiction or Non-Fiction?

What is Ethical Eating?… Is Eating Meat Ethical?

Use Biodegrable Trash Bags!

Embracing the Fulcrum: Reconciling My Belief in the Law of Attraction With My Sustainable Living Transition

Biocadence International: A Global Examination of Sustainable Living- Sietske, Off Grid in Spain

Hello there! Biocadence is growing, and will continue to deliver accessibility to sustainable living solutions, and strategies for over-consumption recovery! Please subscribe to the Biocadence blog by entering your email address in the open field at the top right of this page, and clicking “subscribe”. Since launching Biocadence, I have received a sweet surprise: many Biocadence readers are global. As of this morning, Biocadence has reached readers in 54 countries! Along with the consistent evidence of generosity from my readers, this has emboldened me to ask for more. I want to explore the sustainable living practices of our global siblings. Today, I launch this effort, in sharing the first Biocadence, International interview, of Sietske from Spain. My wish is that the descriptions and images will impact you. If they do, please comment. I will love to hear your response!

Sietske, Off Grid in SpainClick here to follow Sietske on twitter.

Short Bio: In August 2012, after more than 10 years of living and working in the Middle East, I moved with my husband Tariq, our two Saluki dogs and our two Arabian horses to Spain. We bought an old ‘cortijo’ in the Spanish Sierra Nevada mountains, left our city lives behind and are now working on setting up our lives ‘off grid‘. Our aim is to be self sufficient in water, energy and food (eggs, fruit and vegetables). We are enjoying the amazing views and the stunning sun rises, we are getting to know the land we own, surprised by seeing the horses and dogs make use of their instincts (that they never had to use before), learn how to work with nature, learning about permaculture, doing physical work instead of sitting behind a desk and feeling true satisfaction at the end of a day’s work. It is a very different life with many ups and downs but we are looking forward to planting our first trees and watching them grow, sowing the first seeds and harvesting them and growing the first plants and seeing them flower. It is all quite magical…

~ Biocadence: Where do you live?

Sietske: In Pampaneira, in the Natural Park of the Sierra Nevada in Spain.

~ Biocadence: What current events have the most impact on your community?

Sietske: As we live in a community that is mainly Spanish, the politics of the region and the country are often talked about as well as unemployment and the financial crisis. The rules and regulations of the natural park have a huge impact on the tiny community that we are part of, as the park authority would like to preserve the natural environment while the inhabitants of the park would like to enjoy their surroundings and live comfortably. This clashes sometimes and getting permissions to build is really difficult and time consuming due to bureaucracy.

~ Biocadence: What sustainable living practices are common in your community?

Siestke: Every family/home in the park is off grid, so water comes from the spring and electricity is generated by solar power. We are not connected to sewer systems so everyone has a septic tank on their land which forces you to use biologically degradable soaps and detergents. Each house has a vegetable garden and an orchard that provide vegetables and fruit year-round.

~Biocadence: What do you do for a living? How many hours a week do you work?

Sietske: I work our own land for a living and do not have a ‘paid job’ to go to but instead make sure there are fruit and vegetables (needless to say that the vegetable garden is in preparation at the moment and nothing grows there yet).

~Biocadence: How often do you cook at home versus eat out?

Sietske: I cook at home every day, we eat out maybe once every 6 weeks.

~Biocadence: Do you know your farmer(s)? Where do you get your food?

Sietske: The fruit and vegetable vendor in town gets the fruit and vegetables from farmers in the immediate surrounding areas and villages. I haven’t had time to get to know any other farmers around yet! For now, fruit and vegetables in town, and the rest unfortunately from a large supermarket where we can buy most things we need in one go. We live quite remotely and I would like to minimise going to big supermarkets if we can.

~Biocadence: How do you choose your food vendors?

Sietske: I haven’t managed to get to know the best places for different types of shopping yet but bread comes from the bakery (freshly made), fruit & veg from fruit & veg man and meat from the butcher (also fresh). I would like to buy more organic and free range but that is not always easy in meat-loving Andalucia.

~Biocadence: Approximately what % of your diet is meat/veggie/grain?

Sietske: Meat & fish 25%, veggie 40%, grain 35%.

~Biocadence: How do you refuel your spirit, energy, and optimism?

Sietske: I read, listen to music, go for walks with our dogs, ride my horse, enjoy nature, and chat with my husband, friends and family.

~Biocadence: If you could change one thing about humanity, what would it be?

Sietske: I would like to remove the importance of religion.

~Biocadence: What sustainable living behaviors did you grow up with?

Sietske: To be aware of the use of water and electricity and we never used to eat much meat because it was too expensive to eat daily.

~Biocadence: What sustainable living transitions have you incorporated into your lifestyle?

Sietske: We live off grid and I try as much as I can to purchase local products (food and non-food).

~Biocadence: How do your sustainable living practices impact your quality of life?

Sietske: It is very liberating to know that you will not receive a bill at the end of the month for your water and electricity consumption. It is amazing to know that you are not registered as a consumer of this anywhere, so ‘big brother’ can’t watch that aspect of your life and it is fantastic to realise with everything you do how much electricity you use (with solar panels you have to keep an eye on the status of your electricity before you use your washing machine for example).

~Biocadence: Why do you engage in sustainable living?

Sietske: I have lived in cities, worked for bosses, saved for holidays and done just that what everyone else does because you are expected to do so…. that was fun but as I grew older I wanted different things in life. I also wanted to try and make my dreams come true. One of my dreams was to have my horses close to home (i.e. on the land next to the house), have a few dogs (was not possible in the city) and live closer to nature, away from the stress and hastiness of the city. Only when I stopped being busy leading a life that wasn’t what I wanted, dreamt of or desired… only then did my life open up… it became richer: I read more, listen to music again; I have the time to be inspired and the courage to make changes.

~Biocadence: Who are your role models? Why?

Sietske: I don’t have a role model, because I believe in making your life the best you can for you and those you love: ‘Life has no remote, get up and change it yourself!’ I do have favorite writers and poets, one of them is Khalil Gibran. He wrote: ‘If you love somebody, let them go, for if they return, they were always yours – & if they don’t, they never were’. This is also so true…. When asked: ‘what about humanity surprises you the most’ the Dalai Lama answered:

‘Man, because he sacrifices his health to make money, then sacrifices his money to recuperate his health, he then is so anxious about the future that he doesn’t enjoy the present. As a result he doesn’t live in the present or the future and he lives as if he’s never going to die. Then he dies having never really lived.’

~Biocadence: What estimates do you have about the state of global affairs, 50 years in the future?

Sietske: I don’t believe the future of the world looks good. Without management of populations (which is a taboo subject apparently) the world population will spiral out of control which will result in wars over basic needs such as food and water. Furthermore the continuous economic growth that every country aspires to is unsustainable, as well as traditional agriculture and the way the banking industry is organised at the moment. This will have to change but I don’t believe politicians are necessarily concerned with what is best for you and me. Politics are run by the large corporations around the world who are not necessarily worried about the wellbeing of the people of the world.

~Biocadence: When you are seeking answers, where do you go? Books and quotes by subject matter mentors? Exercise? Nature? Silence? Discussion with friends and family? Meditation and/or prayer? When you’ve reached your answer(s) and look back on the experience, what pleases you most: the solution you found, or the process that got you there?

Sietske: I read, I discuss, I listen and take in. There is not one fix for the questions we have so I do all of the above except for pray. The process is always worth more than the answer because in the process you discover new things, about yourself and others, and in the process much more than that one question got answered.

~Biocadence: What does the verb “to enjoy” mean to you?

Sietske: Live life fully, enjoy what you do because it is too short to be miserable. Forget your troubles and enjoy what you have.

~Biocadence: Do you remember a moment when you mastered “enjoyment”? When… where… what were you doing? And, what made it so?

Sietske: There have been many: sledding with huskies in Svalbard was the ultimate enjoyment of silence / riding my horse is the ultimate enjoyment of feeling connected with an animal / but also smaller and more ‘daily’ things such as eating delicious food, drinking wonderful wine / a kiss from your loved one, etc.

I asked Sietske if she’d like to feature a link to an organization that has impacted her positively. She offers, as their website is excellent, with a wealth of information.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about Sietske’s off grid sustainable living adventure, as much as I have!!!

Until next week,


Quicklinks to Most Popular Biocadence Articles:

“The Hunger Games”… Fiction or Non-Fiction?

What is Ethical Eating?… Is Eating Meat Ethical?

Use Biodegrable Trash Bags!

Embracing the Fulcrum: Reconciling My Belief in the Law of Attraction With My Sustainable Living Transition

Biocadence Column for H3O Eco Magazine!



I’m thrilled to announce my column for H3O Eco Magazine, a publication tailored to environmentally conscious consumers in any stage of sustainable living transition. The “3” in “H3O” represents 3 vital focus-points of sustainability: Environment, Economics, and Education. This online digital magazine covers everything from the hottest eco-trends to the basics in living a green lifestyle. Stay tuned for “Biocadence: An Exploration of Sustainability in Books & Films”, in the next issue.

Felicia Phillips is Founder of H3O Eco Magazine, and Co-Founder of H3O Bottling Company, bottling water from atmospheric water generators, using biodegradable bottles. She is enthusiastically active in the recovering over-consumer movement, and consistently involved in sustainable living events. Phillips’ next event promises fun, education, and enlivened inspiration. Check out Midtown EcoFest for details! To my readers in Atlanta, Georgia… maybe I’ll see you there;)!

Please subscribe to my blog by entering your email address in the open field at the top right of this page, and clicking “subscribe”. Biocadence is growing, and will continue to deliver accessibility to sustainable living solutions, and strategies for over-consumption recovery!

Quicklinks to Most Popular Biocadence Articles:

“The Hunger Games”… Fiction or Non-Fiction?

What is Ethical Eating?… Is Eating Meat Ethical?

Use Biodegrable Trash Bags!

Embracing the Fulcrum: Reconciling My Belief in the Law of Attraction With My Sustainable Living Transition


What is the Environmental Impact of Eating Meat? – Discussion Continues

Source: “The Great Meat Debate” ~Common Ground Kansas

In February, 2012, I wrote an article about my conversion from vegetarian to omnivore: Is Eating Meat Sustainable?. Days before Easter, 2012, I was alerted of the New York Times essay contest, “Calling All Carnivores; Tell Us Why It’s Ethical to Eat Meat: A Contest”. The elite panel of judges compelled me to enter: Michael Pollan, Mark Bittman, Jonathan Safran Foer, Peter Singer, and Andrew Light. In June, 2012, I published my submittal through Biocadence: What is Ethical Eating?… Is Eating Meat Ethical?. I have been delighted by this discussion, as it has continued amongst Biocadence followers. Much to my surprise, Google searches have yielded the Biocadence blog as the #1 result for queries such as: Is Eating meat sustainable? and What is the truth about eating meat and sustainability? 

Source: Earth Policy Institute
Credit: Angela Wong / NPR

One especially well-read follower sent me a link to the article: Visualizing A Nation of Meat Eaters : NPR. She prompted the vital question, “Even if animals are raised kindly, they still require so much resource – how does this influence the ethics debate?” I think it is important that every intellect be involved in this curriculum. Please share your thoughts. I include my response below, and ask for the discussion to continue!


I would love for statistics and arguments used in the meat ethics debate to involve many more variables, including but not limited to the following:

~ The soil/ruminant relationship and it’s incredible carbon sequestering capacity!!!! When these (only recently forgotten) techniques are embraced, beef/water ratios can lower from 1 lb/2500-6000 lbs to 1 lb/122 lbs (Source: The Vegetarian Myth).

~ The devastating impact that feed as “food” has on energy-use, the environment AND nutrition.

~ The ENORMOUS disparity between energy-use associated with CAFOs (consider import/export of goods to maintain operation, cesspit emissions, feed as “food”, antibiotics, etc.) vs. polyculture/beyond-organic farms (requiring a tiny sliver of resources necessary for CAFO operations). See Joel Salatin at Tara Firma Farms for a profile of the beyond-organic operation in Petaluma, CA. For more, check out my tour of Tara Firma Farms.

~ The negative impact of grain/gluten/legumes/sugar in many human beings, and resulting energy-use associated with healthcare/pharmaceuticals. There are increasingly convincing arguments that prevelant illnesses may be linked to diets consisting of these foods.

~ The depletion of soil (a carbon sequestering magician) associated with farming of annuals (ex: grains) and mono-crops, and the environmentally destructive potential of farming without ruminants, considering our current population/land ratio.

~ The energy and environmental costs of global relations and global conflict: while soy and corn are subsidized and used as ingredients in artificially inexpensive/low nutrient food-like exports, they are inextricably tied to global relations and global conflict.

~ The disparity between the amount of meat in demand and the amount of meat that is necessary, especially in a diet designed to free the body of the “hunger”-like withdrawals that can be associated with a diet heavy in grain/wheat/gluten/legumes.

In conclusion, I think that it is short-sighted to educate the masses with statistics that include energy-use data from CAFOs, without including data about the above mentioned issues. The quantity of meat, and how the meat is raised are so critical to ethical eating. I’m really excited to see how the curriculum evolves as more compassionate intellect is devoted to it!!!

A few quotes from books I recommend:

“In fact, the cow, or domestic herbivore if you will, is the most efficacious soil-building, hydrology-cycling, carbon-sequestering tool at the planet’s disposal. Yes, the cow has done a tremendous amount of damage. But don’t blame the cow. The managers of the cow have been and continue to be the problem. The same animal mismanaged to abuse the ecology is the greatest hope and salvation to heal the ecology.” ~ Joel Salatin, author of Folks, this ain’t normal

“It is my conviction that growing annual grains is an activity that cannot be redeemed. It requires wholesale extermination of ecosystems–the land has to be cleared of all life. It destroys the soil because the soil is bared–and it has to be bared to grow annuals.” Lierre Keith, author of The Vegetarian Myth

Written by Annie Tichenor, Founder of Biocadence, LLC.


Common Ground Kansas

Visualizing A Nation of Meat Eaters : NPR

The Vegetarian Myth

Joel Salatin at Tara Firma Farms

Folks, this ain’t normal

Quicklinks to Most Popular Biocadence Articles:

“The Hunger Games”… Fiction or Non-Fiction?

What is Ethical Eating?… Is Eating Meat Ethical?

Use Biodegrable Trash Bags!

Embracing the Fulcrum: Reconciling My Belief in the Law of Attraction With My Sustainable Living Transition

Related articles

Today’s Thoughts on Behavioral Change & Sustainability

I have come to understand that over-consumption is, in many ways, similar to any other addiction. In my sustainable living transition I take one step at a time, enjoying the process. I observe and analyze each area of my life, incorporating sustainability and global issues as an element of my daily decision-making process, and ensuring that I take commensurate joy from the consumption I choose to engage in.

I am currently in a space where multiple elements of my life are evolving at once. As I adjust my behaviors, surroundings and priorities, my brain synapses are changing. I am less capable of handling the consequence of maltreatment of my body… or might I simply be less tolerant of it? I want children one day. I want meaningful work… from every angle… work that gives back the energy it takes. I am resigning to reality, and learning about the contentment it brings with its sadness. I am releasing illusions of perfection and fabricated safety. It’s a BIG time, not to be underestimated. I sense that absorbing it now surrenders me to the blueprint my soul may have planned for this life, helping me to avoid the proverbial mid-life crisis.

Source: Midlife Crisis Checklist

What does “surrendering to my blueprint” mean? This is where I gain traction in my over-consumption recovery. This is the substantive detail we should share with one another, in order to contribute momentum to the recovering over-consumer movement.

Surrendering to my blueprint means taking inventory of behavior and activity, and being purely honest in the process. What do I really want? In what areas do my behaviors and choices align with my goals? In what areas do they not? Spawning the frightening discoveries that originate so much breath-taking art: Why do some of my behaviors & choices not facilitate my goal achievement?

If I continue on this courageous path of self-uncovering, I come to an ABSOLUTE REQUIREMENT of self-love and trust with the following question: What is truly necessary to change the behaviors and choices that do not align with my goals? What kind of valiant faith must I have in myself? How much time, space, and energy will it take? What do my answers mean about my career path, daily activities, recreation, and relationships? Must I adjust them, in order to realize my dreams?

When I have honest, fully formed answers to these questions, I have a major decision ahead of me: Am I willing? Is it worth it? I visualize what I really want. I imagine what is necessary to achieve it. I place the two beside one other…

Am I willing? Is it worth it?

Source: The Fork in the Road

I recognize why so many of us don’t choose to align our behavior and choices with our goals. Often times it isn’t worth it and we are not willing. If we do not go through the process of inventory outlined above, we may not recognize how much work is required to achieve what we “want”. It likely involves sacrifice and discomfort, repeated rebirth, and a deliberate evolving of self.

Many of us torture ourselves because we underestimate what it takes to reach our goals, and thus beat ourselves up for not achieving them. On the other hand, many decide that they are willing and that it is worth it. Fully committed to the necessary sacrifice and discomfort, they may find a sweet surprise. The net process may be much more enjoyable than any alternative. As we resign ourselves to swimming upstream toward our rainbow, might we find that the force of the current is an illusion? 

“The Tao is dark and unfathomable. How can it make her radiant? Because she let’s it.” (Source: Tao Te Ching)

Photo by Nicolas Valentin
“Life is short.” “Life is long.” Each quip has resonated with me, relative to specific circumstances. What I’m certain of today is this: Life is not long enough to pass time unsure of why we do what we do. Life is not long enough to engage in behavior that distracts from, or destructs our achievement crafting process. As behavioral changes impact our purpose-driven experience, we must practice the grace we offer others. What do our systems (“mind”, intellect, body, instinct, soul, spirit, chi) tell us today? Our collective systems are working so hard to communicate with us. They will never stop knocking on our door, offering guidance in the form of valuable information (whether it be serene contentment on one end, or pain/fatigue/anxiety on the other). Perhaps the knocking is a big congratulatory smooch, no matter the form it takes. Perhaps it means that we are ready to listen.
Written by Annie Tichenor, Founder of Biocadence
I dedicate this article to my husband Dan Tichenor and my friend Rachel Sutton. Dan has the most stunning intellect I have ever met. Without meaning to, quietly, modestly… he teaches me about key components of behavioral change and achievement crafting: patience, love and compassion. He sprinkles each of my days with snapshots of heaven. Rachel is a social worker, soldier for love, and spirited behavioral change expert. She speeds my processing by sharing her courage, vivacious wit, and keen interest in improving the world.


Lao-tzu, “Tao Te Ching”. Trans. Stephen Mitchell. Harper & Row, 1988.

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What Do You Gift a Sustainable Living Transitionist for His/Her Birthday? Tara Firma Farms & Farmstead, Here We Come!!!

How does a recovering over-consumer celebrate her birthday? My birthday just passed and I’m thrilled to share my pictures and experience. My husband, Dan, is exceptional at gift giving, because he thinks about the gift recipient’s interests through the process. Dan researched a name I mention often (Joel Salatin), scouting out Salatin’s interactions with California farms. He gifted me a tour of  a local farm that implements many Polyface Farms strategies: Tara Firma Farms in Petaluma, CA.

Founder, farmer, mother and mentor Tara Smith guided our group. She began the tour by sharing the experience that forked her road, leading her to launch Tara Firma Farms in 2009. She and her husband were working hard and steady in the corporate life, when they were introduced to Michael Pollan’s Omnivore’s Dilemma. Tara smiled humbly as she described her son’s sentient response to her transition to sustainable living language (joyfully obsessive as it can be). “Stop talking about it, and just do it Mom!”, he said. Craig and Tara Smith sold the catamaran they used for their touring business in the Caribbean, and bought a farm in Petaluma, CA!

Enjoy these lively pictures, by my talented husband, Dan Tichenor. Join us on my Tara Firma Farms birthday tour!

What a farm! It inspires me to see what the Smith family has built since 2009!

After our farm tour we lunched at Farmstead, in St. Helena. Simple, clean, farm-to-table ingredients make a delicious meal. Impeccable service adds delight, a peacefully slow garden walk makes the soul smile, and a boy soaking his head in the restaurant fountain gives a giggle!

What an amazing birthday!!!! In addition to this fantastic experience, I received other gifts, from loved ones who have clearly noticed my sustainable living interests. My husband spoiled me with a large planter (half wine barrel) for our small shaded porch. My reading teaches me that I may have success with leafy greens on a shaded porch… maybe herbs. Edible is a must! Flowers can come later… maybe:)! This will be my first garden, porch or otherwise, and I will appreciate all comments, thoughts, and suggestions! Mr. Dan also did research on eco-friendly cookware and presented me with his findings. Any readers who’ve used ManPans, or any other eco-seasoned cookware, please message me with your thoughts! From friends and family:

  • The WonderWash portable washing machine! I promise pictures, as I will assemble this next week!
  • T-shirts by Locally Grown Clothing Company. Stylish, soft, and a perfect fit!
  • Wild, by Cheryl Strayed
  • A Microwave Baked Potato Pouch!!
  • A long time friend and soul sister went to the farmer’s market for in-season, local produce and gluten free tortillas, and cooked enchiladas for us in my kitchen. After eating we wrote song lyrics for hours!!!! What a gift! I just finished the last of the enchiladas yesterday:)!

What do you gift to your loved ones who are in sustainable living transition and/or over-consumption recovery? Biocadence has already received great feedback from followers! David Dixon of Plant And Plantcare would like an adobe brick oven! Mr. Dixon shares that he and his wife are planning to build a “pole barn in the spring… [they] are closing it in with earth bag framing… this will be [their] housing… the brick oven will go in the lean-to patio… [they] will use it for heating and cooking…”. My homesteading, permaculture, and blogging friend Joyness Sparkles shares that her husband LOVES his old-fashioned shaving kit, and will never go back to electric or disposable shavers!!! She adds that she would love a nap for her birthday. She is one of the hardest working sustainable living transitionists I know. A nap, and two, and three! Take them, dear Joyness! My favorite pencil-drawing artist, Risa Jenner, shares that she would love reusable sandwich bags! Good thinking Risa!!!! I am very excited to read more input, as the art of gift-giving evolves for our recovering over-consumer community!!!

To my readers outside of Northern California (as most of you are), I have a special message for you! When I began researching beyond organic farming, homesteading and permaculture, I had trouble finding a local farm similar to Polyface Farms. I didn’t expect that my husband would find it for my birthday, over a year later! If you are looking for a local farm with integrity and beyond organic practices, don’t stop! If it doesn’t exist in your area today, it will soon. The movement is growing, folks! In the meantime, pick up a pre-owned copy of Novella Carpenter’s Farm City and consider starting your own small operation!

I highly recommend the Tara Firma CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program.  Meat, dairy, and produce combos (which I have not seen before in a CSA) represent beyond organic farming models that are supported by Tara Firma Farms, as well as the farms they partner with to supplement their CSA boxes! Tara Firma makes an organized box drop in Oakland, CA, which I intend to use for now. To my Walnut Creek, CA friends who are interested in nutrition, sustainable eating, and farm animal welfare– message me if you would consider ordering consistently from the Tara Firma Farms CSA. Let’s come together, and give cause for a Walnut Creek/East Bay drop to be added to the Tara Firma CSA route!

Quicklinks to Most Popular Biocadence Articles:

“The Hunger Games”… Fiction or Non-Fiction?

What is Ethical Eating?… Is Eating Meat Ethical?

Use Biodegrable Trash Bags!

Embracing the Fulcrum: Reconciling My Belief in the Law of Attraction With My Sustainable Living Transition

Our goal is to reach 1000 FaceBook page likes (click here)! “Liking” our page will include our industry related news updates and musings in your newsfeed (1-3/day). If you already “like” it, consider sharing our content with your friends, using the one click sharing buttons below. We appreciate your help in reaching our goals!

How to Handle “Too Much” Produce?! Creative Solutions for a Food Surplus “Mistake”

A few weeks ago, we brought home a huge Farmer’s Market bounty, forgetting that our CSA box was scheduled to arrive the same week! How did we handle all that produce?

Quicklinks to Most Popular Biocadence Articles:

“The Hunger Games”… Fiction or Non-Fiction?

What is Ethical Eating?… Is Eating Meat Ethical?

Use Biodegrable Trash Bags!

Embracing the Fulcrum: Reconciling My Belief in the Law of Attraction With My Sustainable Living Transition

Our goal is to reach 1000 FaceBook page likes (click here)! “Liking” our page will include our industry related news updates and musings in your newsfeed (1-3/day). If you already “like” it, consider sharing our content with your friends, using the one click sharing buttons below. We appreciate your help in reaching our goals!

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