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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Forks over Knives by Naomi

Lately, I have particularly been drawn to any material related to health.  Recently, I watched a DVD that really made an impression on me called “Forks over Knives.” 

This film examines the claim that most if not all of the degenerative diseases that afflict humankind can be controlled or even reversed by removing animal-based foods and processed foods from one’s diet.

Let me tell you, I love eating meat and dairy products, but the evidence presented in the film was compelling considering the health crisis affecting mankind today.  For example, two out of every three people in the U.S. are overweight.  Fifty percent of us are taking at least one prescription drug.  Heart disease, stroke and cancer are the country’s three leading causes of death, even though billions of dollars are spent each year to treat and prevent these conditions.  After decades of research done by two experienced doctors, an amazingly straightforward solution has been discovered.  Food can be our medicine, specifically if it is plant-based and minimally or non-processed. 

If a diet like this sounds boring to you, it did to me, as well.  However, I decided to give it a try.  For four weeks, I was very careful to only eat plant-based, whole foods.  


I found that there are many satisfying and filling foods you can eat and you don’t really have to cut down on portions when you are eating food that is good for your body.  Fairly soon I noticed that I was feeling a little better and had a bit more energy.  By the end of the four weeks I had even lost a little weight! 

If you are interested in looking at healthy changes from a fresh perspective, come to the library and check out “Forks over Knives,” (DVD) along with its accompanying book “Forks Over Knives: the plant based way to health.”  


You can also find satisfying recipes in Forks over Knives--the Cookbook: over 300 recipes for plant-based eating all through the year” by Del Sroufe. 

Now that I have examined these materials, I want to know more about improving my health and how to make this work in my life. 

The next book I am going to look at is “Breaking the Food Seduction: the hidden reasons behind food cravings” by Neal Barnard, M.D

and “The Starch Solution” by John A. McDougall, M.D.   
McDougall’s book explains not only why plant based carbohydrates are good for but how patients have conquered life threatening illnesses such as Type 2 diabetes, arthritis and heart disease through a diet rich in starches.   

Find even more book suggestions and resources at or speak with our librarians.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Goat Brigade by Stacy

The lawn mowing goat crew has returned to Stillwater and is hard at work.  The goat brigade is back for its second year munching away at hard to reach and dangerous to mow areas in the city.  If your family visits the goats, you may want to have some handy facts on hand.

(like how goats have a four chambered stomach that uses saliva and stomach acid to make quick work of fibers) and some great stories to read afterward. The library has a whole “herd” of goat books waiting for you in a display in the children’s section.

  • “Goats” by Kathryn Clay is a brand new easy picture book that provides all the basic details to introduce your little ones to these fascinating and helpful animals.

  • "Grumpy Goat" by Brett Helquist is a picture book story about a goat named “Goat” who is the grumpiest animal at Sunny Acres farm until he remembers that there is more to life than just eating and being alone. 

  • “Three Cool Kids” by Rebecca Emberly tells about three goat siblings who must fight a nasty rat to get to a lovely new weedy lot.  Emberley’s illustrations are all constructed out of textured paper making it the highlight of the book.


If your family is considering raising its own goats either for a mowing project, for milk or for companionship, check out a few instructional books from our adult section.      

  • Storey’s “Guide to Raising Dairy Goats” provides all the goat info you need on grooming, milking, feeding and raising kids.  It also has a section on recipes for goat products like goat milk pudding, milk soup, and ….well it is sort of sad but….goat chili.    

  • "Raising MilkGoats Successfully” by Gail Luttmann gives a bunch advice on everything from goat health to caring for udders to housing.

Stop by the library for these and more great goat books or website recommendations.  But if you are reading up on your own goats, please remember there is only one thing that is worse for a book than a teething puppy and that is a hungry goat!   


Studying up on Vacation by Stacy

Recently, I was in beautiful SE Oklahoma enjoying a gathering with my husband's very large family.  Each year, my hub and I take one day to explore the tiny parks, overlooked historic markers and completely random farmhouses that someone has turned into a local attraction.  We take along four of our nephews who are particularly interested in science and history.  This year, we went to a more famous spot, the Heavener Runestones.

We've been trying to make it to the runestones for the last three years, but everything from a bear on the loose at the park one year to taking a 100 mile wrong turn into Arkansas the next has kept us from seeing this mysterious site.  This year, we finally made it.  To prepare for the adventure, I studied up on Viking habits and culture so I could amaze the boys and my husband with all my Viking knowledge.  Some of the best resources in the library included:

             "The World of theVikings" by Richard Hall, which explains Viking history and culture, touching on their their origins in Scandinavia to their last settlements in 15th-century Greenland.

             "Secrets of the Viking Sword," a DVD about the elite Vikings who used a formidable weapon baring the mysterious name "Ulfberht." The DVD uncovers who Ulfberht was, where the sword came from, and how it was made.

             "The Viking Longship" by Lynda Trent"Vile Vikings" by Mary Dobson and , "How Would You Survive as a Viking?" by Jacqueline Morley  are juvenile books with all the delectable and disgusting facts little boys love.

More fun Viking fiction I suggest is the “Hiccup the Viking" series by Cressida Cowell or"Runewarriors" by Jim Jennewein. 

Anyway, the point of my column today isn't really to tell you about the specific  items we have about Vikings, but to encourage you to check out materials before and after a trip to provide history, science and stories for your vacation activities.  Having that information made our trip much more fun for the boys as they applied the material in the books to what they were seeing.  It made the trip much richer, made the boys excited about learning and even encouraged our reluctant readers to pick up a book.  Plus, it will make you very popular when you can tell them creepy facts.  Their favorite fact? That Vikings drank out of the skulls of those they conquered by plugging up the eye sockets with wax!

Come by the Help Desk anytime and let us help you pick out the books for your next vacation adventure.