June 18, 2019 // Archive

Date based archive
18 Jun

 

Humanity delights in the idea of a challenge. We are fascinated by iconoclasts like Wim Hof who push the limits of what our bodies are capable. Something deep within us yearns to test our boundaries—to enter the challenge in pursuit of becoming something greater.

 

Gymnastic Strength - A workout and training program for a lifetime of bodyweight strength, mobility, and flexibility.Gymnastic Strength - A workout and training program for a lifetime of bodyweight strength, mobility, and flexibility.

 

That is why we all dream and scheme about the challenges we plan to take on—January’s newest 60-day extreme fitness program, daily cold showers, the RKC, or building up to conquer a triathlon. The planning is the fun part. Separated from the trial, our emotions are swept away by the glory of triumph and overcoming. We feel only the power, strength, and confidence that would be the end result, without a true accounting of the price that must be paid.

 

This is helpful for getting us where we need to be. We need the passion of our emotions and our deepest desires for growth to fuel us towards greater heights. Yet, emotion alone will be insufficient. As anyone who has been through these trials knows, emotion might get us there, but it is the first force to whisper “quit”—and before long it is yelling.

 

Emotion, Logic, and Self-Mastery

Emotions are often demonized as the great saboteur of our better angels. We’d all be toned, fit, wise, and endlessly patient if it weren’t for those pesky emotions, right? Wrong. Absent of emotion we would never strive valiantly.

 

We’d never have the desire to improve in the first place. We’d sit and scroll honoring the biological imperative to conserve energy. You see, emotion is irrational and extremely short-sighted, but it’s still usually in control. Our logical brain must funnel and harness our emotions so that we find ourselves in a position to rise to the occasion.

 

For more guidance on how to master the interplay between your logical and emotional mind to act as you’d like to act, I recommend my free e-book, The Essential Guide to Self-Mastery.

 

Logically, the gut check makes perfect sense. Enter temporary pain for far greater long-term health, confidence, physical vigor, and happiness. Consistently overcome temporary adversity in order to become who you want to be. It’s important to stoke those innermost desires to be more. All of us yearns for significance, competence, and greater capability.

 

As kids, we want to be superheroes and sports stars. We dream of valiant, ground-breaking performances. From our earliest years, we are striving to model our parents—the first superheroes in our lives. We need continual growth and we know it. That is why the prospect of a force of will—a rite of passage—is deeply attractive to our minds.

 

Say emotion and logic have fueled you to plan that gut check. Perhaps it is the daily micro-gut check like a cold shower or a grander gut-check like the 5-minute kettlebell snatch test, a Crossfit Fran, or a marathon. Regardless, emotion may have got you here, but it is entirely insufficient to see you through. Two factors will determine your success more than anything: progression and practice.

 

Progression and Practice

You can’t bite off too much to chew initially. Sure, mothers lift cars to save kids and other amazing headlines, but absent of a life or death scenario your capacity to gut yourself through a physical challenge is limited by your current level. Too much too quickly may lead you to quit. Emotions perceive only relativity.

 

 

If action is too drastic initially it will be mentally categorized along with burns, broken bones, and other stuff you never want to have happen again. Any future thoughts will be accompanied by terror. Many swimmers have been held back for years by such experiences.

 

The utility of the gut check is actually to slowly inoculate yourself to such fears so you can be in control of your actions. Thus, for some just showing up and doing a short, simple bodyweight routine each day is the ideal practice for their current level of willpower.

 

You want to start with some frequent, attainable yet challenging gut checks. When I was training for the RKC 5-minute kettlebell snatch test, I made every Saturday a test day. Week one I did as many snatches as possible in two minutes. Week two was two and a half minutes. Week three was three minutes, and I continued in this fashion until I got to five minutes.

 

Once I was doing five-minute snatch tests, the goal was to improve how fast I could do 100 snatches each week. I would never say it became easy and I never looked forward to this challenge, but by progressing I ensured that my body and mind were capable. Quitting in the middle of a test, therefore, was never an option.

 

There are experiences exempt from the progression rule. Anyone can take a cold shower. You just step in. Still, many people have to work up to this by chasing other disciplines first and time in the shower could be progressed.

 

We should also be wary of setting the bar too low for too long. While progressing intensity makes sense, it is easy to limit ourselves with low expectations particularly in the absence of social pressure. For example, I was stalled in the upper 140’s and lower 150’s for my five-minute kettlebell swings test for months. I’d conceded 155 was my limit. Then one day my wife jumped in and did 157 at the women’s test size. I now never put the bell down and always hit above 190.

 

The Tabata protocol is a perfect place to start progressing towards a gut check. A Tabata is eight rounds of 20 seconds on and 10 seconds off. You could pick a simple exercise like lunges, glute bridges, or bear walks, or make it more challenging as bear crawls, push-ups, or even front squats.

 

It all depends on your level, but the point is to do one or two a week so you build experience facing the strong emotions that accompany physical discomfort. Slowly, you build the habit of entering discomfort every time it is planned.

 

This is the point. The gut check is a vital life practice. We improve through practice. Willpower is an unbelievably powerful quality. It can and should be trained like any muscle and skill. In fact, I don’t know anything more important to train. Of all the benefits of exercise, this is the most important: to consistently confront adversity and grow from that process.

 

When Your Mind Turns on You

 

“Fatigue makes cowards of us all.”

Vince Lombardi

 

Regardless of how impressive your planning and progression, there is no escaping one reality of the gut check: it is going to suck. Progression will help you build up to that suck, but it’s important to know going in. No level of experience softens the pain.

 

However, by analyzing the stages of this suck and learning a bit more about how your emotions work, you can be far better able to thrive despite your pain. Below, I’ll detail what you can expect to encounter, followed by a mental approach that you can practice to become stronger in the face of pain.

 

The Stages of the Gut Check

  1. Planning: We tend to delight in the prospect of planning where we are focused only on who we are becoming. It’s as if our craving for growth knows it must bring exaggerated enthusiasm in order to reach the treachery that is to follow. Somehow we imagine ourselves like a Clydesdale, executing with inhuman stamina and grace. This stage, unfortunately, only occurs once. For repeated gut checks it is replaced by a longer, more intense second phase.
  2. Dread: The realization of the pain that is to come. The first time you do a gut check this is likely short and mild, buffered by sweet naivety. For repeat customers, this dread can become obsessive in the minutes leading up to the challenge. Through time and exposure, however, dread recedes.
  3. Beginning: You start the challenge. Immediately upon submersion into my challenge, I am usually flooded with thoughts:

 

“Steady and smooth just like this.”

“Control your breath.”

“Wedgie. Dang it! I knew I shouldn’t have worn these shorts.”

“My grip feels a little weak today.”

“I slept well. Thought I’d be fresher.”

“Maybe if I breathe with my mouth open it will feel better.”

“There is phlegm in my throat. I need to cough”

“Damn, I’m not even a quarter of the way there.”

“Oh crap. What did I get myself into?”

 

  1. Survival Mode: It now officially sucks. As the philosopher, Mike Tyson observed, “Everyone has a plan ‘til they get punched in the mouth.” At this point, self-talk can get even more rapid and extreme as the mind desperately looks for distractions and tricks to make things better. Every ounce of wimp within you will surface, trying to replace your resolve with a docile victimized passivity. You may even strongly consider quitting. There are intermittent bursts of encouragement when you realize you are close to finishing, but these are quickly clouded by the intensity of the experience.
  2. It Ends: You catch your breath, often too dramatically.

 

“Observation and perception are two different things. The observing eye is stronger. The perceiving eye is weaker.”

Miyamoto Musashi

 

While these are typical responses, there are many breakthroughs that come over time. By frequently revisiting gut checks and practicing a meditative approach, we can learn to change our mental dialogue. Meditation teaches you to be present letting your judgments and ruminations about bad and good go as you observe the moment.

 

You learn to take each moment as it is and let go of the need to fight pain away. I always think of meditation as a state of non-dialogue. Thoughts will come and go, but rather than entertain them I remain in the moment. Rather than trying to distract from the moment, you lean into experience.

 

The goal in all performance is what is referred to in Zen as Mushin, or mind without mind. Mushin is flow—complete immersion with the moment. There is no wishing or wanting for the future. Objectives are internalized to such a degree that the conscious mind is completely lost as the unconscious navigates the practiced details and adapts as necessary.

 

The default response is to fight the pain away. The objective is to lean into the pain and embrace it. This is not done with self-talk but practice. Jump into a cold shower and release the mind. Swing a bell to exhaustion and watch the fatigue build. Most of our pain is in the future.

 

You certainly notice sensations in the present, but they don’t become painful or deeply unsettling without the mental conjecture about what is left to come. At a certain point, you realize the experience isn’t getting more painful. It is similar to hunger. Pain doesn’t just continue to grow at a steady rate, it plateaus. You just have to endure, moment by moment.

 

Endure the Discomfort

This all sounds great, but it is much easier said than done. I’ve been a pretty consistent meditator for five years and I’m only marginally better at applying these principles. In part, that is because I’ve only recently realized the obvious connection between meditation practice and physical adversity.

 

Mindfulness is hard to apply in the middle of intense emotion. The mind clings to thoughts like life rafts. I’ve noticed when I let them go and try to remain present in the middle of a gut check, I start to notice the markers of anxiety—itchiness in the back of my neck and an odd tingling on my head. These subside, however, and I grow stronger from the presence. Of course, I slip back and forth from presence to mental dialogue, often without realizing, but overall there has been great progress.

 

One fine gut-check, while in the middle of my 5-minute swings test it finally occurred to me that I was completely fine. I had stayed far more present this morning. Rather than constantly ruminating about where I was in the process—about how much more was left and how uncomfortable it was already—I was just swinging.

 

Then a funny thought hit me. This really isn’t so bad. I started to notice how easy I was breathing—far easier than normal when I’d created anxiety with speculation. I let that easy breath anchor me home and somehow seemed to gain strength as I went along. This new mental plane has not become the norm, but I am working in that direction.


Credit: Source link

18 Jun

Mahamudra Meditation with John Churchill

Born in London, England, John Churchill’s interest in meditative and contemplative studies began as a teenager. After leaving high school, he joined Samye Ling Kagyu Monastery in Scotland where he began his studies in Mahayana and Mahamudra Buddhism. He came to the United States to study at Naropa, a Buddhist University where he majored in Contemplative Psychology with a specialization in mind/body health.

During his time at Naropa, he studied with American philosopher, Ken Wilber, and was a founding member of Integral Institute. John received his Master’s degree from New England School of Acupuncture and practiced psychosomatic acupuncture for a decade. He is currently studying for a doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology at the William James College, Massachusetts, integrating Western and Eastern approaches to psychology.

Since 2007 John has been the close mentee and apprentice of Dr. Daniel Brown, psychologist, translator, meditation teacher and founder of the Pointing Out Way. John’s study, practice, and research have been in the area of the Buddhist non-dual Essence practices Gelugpa and Kagyu Great Seal (Mahamudra) and Nyingma and Bon Great Completion (Dzogchen). Since 2014 he has been actively teaching Mahamudra retreats. During the last decade John he has also developed and taught a non-dual approach to awakening, ‘Embodying the Open Ground’, that integrates non-dual Buddhist psychology, somatics, and psychodynamic/attachment work.

John lives in Massachusetts with his wife, Nicole, and his children,Trinity and Bodhi.

Follow Up

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18 Jun

By GARRY RAYNO,
InDepthNH.org

CONCORD — The House agreed Tuesday to Senate budget items boosting
funding and new facilities for health and human services programs particularly
in mental health and substance abuse areas.

House and Senate negotiators are working to reconcile their
different $13 billion versions of the next biennium’s budget before Thursday’s
deadline.

Chief among the differences between the two budget plans was
a new Secure Psychiatric Unit to house those who are a danger to themselves or
others currently housed at the State Prison.

The House did not include a new unit in its budget although
Gov. Chris Sununu recommended a 60-bed facility on State Hospital grounds,
because budget writers said they had little to no information from the
governor’s office. The Senate approved a 25-bed, $17.5 million facility in its
budget.

On Tuesday the House agreed to the Senate plan, while last
week Sununu proposed a compromise 35-bed facility.

Senate Majority Leader Dan Feltes, D-Concord, said the 25-bed
facility is in line with lawmakers’ and the governor’s wishes for a new Secure Psychiatric
Unit.

“This is a reasonable proposal,” he said.

The Senate plan also would move children out of the State
Hospital into a facility in Hampstead that is still under negotiations, and
then renovate the space vacated by the children at the state hospital to create
between 32 and 48 new beds to help alleviate boarding mentally ill patients in
hospital emergency rooms until a bed opens at the state hospital or other
treatment facility, and referrals from community mental health centers.

While the House agreed to the plan, it could not vote on the
new children’s facility until negotiations are complete.

“We looked at the totality,” said Senate Finance Committee
Chair Sen. Lou D’Allesandro, D-Manchester. “We looked to try to solve it all.
In the past we’ve done little piecemeal things and waited until we were sued.”
House Finance Committee Chair Rep. Mary Jane
Wallner, D-Concord, said the House did not have the information needed to make
an informed decision on a new SPU when it had to act on its budget.

“It is a big decision, building a new SPU on the grounds of New Hampshire Hospital,” she said. “Building a SPU on the grounds of New Hampshire Hospital is a large investment and we really needed to do the work to understand how we .  . . spend public money on this facility.”

The House also agreed to the Senate plan for expanding children’s mental health programs including a mobile crisis unit to serve just children, and other recommendations under the state’s new mental health plan and the agreement reached several years ago in a lawsuit  taking the state’s mental health system to task.

The two sides agreed to add $3.45 million to the budget for
increased rates for substance abuse treatment and mental health providers to
the $5 million already in the budget.

The extra money was earmarked in Senate Bill 5 as part of an
agreement last year that moved Medicaid expansion recipients from private
insurers to the state’s traditional managed-care Medicaid program.

The switch to the traditional program reduced reimbursement
rates for providers, mostly in the substance abuse area working with people
caught in the state’s opioid epidemic.

The $3.45 million includes $450,000 for emergency shelter for
people addicted to opioids.

The House also agreed to adding $1.7 million in federal and
state money to increase the rates for hospitals that are designated receiving
facilities for the mentally ill seeking emergency services.

The provision would add 10 new designated receiving facility
beds that would serve a statewide need to go along with the 44 beds currently
in existence, all in southern New Hampshire.

Also, the House agreed to a Senate plan to create a $2
million program to help low-income seniors with the “donut hole” when Medicaid
Part D drug benefits no longer cover prescription costs.

Feltes said New Hampshire is one of only about dozen states
that don’t help their low-income seniors with drug costs.

Also, the House agreed to the Senate plan to begin an adult
dental benefit under the Medicaid program. The Senate agree to begin the
program in the first year of the biennium instead of the second year.

The two sides have not reached agreement on a Senate plan to
increase Medicaid provider reimbursement rates across-the-board by 3 percent a
year costing about $60 million over the biennium. Sununu wants to provide $30
million and let HHS officials decide how the money would be spent. 

Scholarships

The House agreed to the Senate’s overhaul of various student
scholarships including a new loan forgiveness program aimed at attracting young
talent to the regenerative tissue work being spearheaded by Dean Kamen in
Manchester’s Millyard.

The new scholarship program is funded by a one-time borrowing
of $5 million from the UNIQUE program.

The changes also move the governor’s scholarship program from
the Department of Education to the Treasurer’s Office.

Education Funding

The two sides did not agree on an education funding plan,
which is one of the last key issues to be resolved Wednesday.

The House used a capital gains tax to fund much of its $160
million increase in state aid to school districts by restoring stabilization
grants to their original level before 4 percent annual reductions began three
years ago and reestablishing a disparity aid program to help property poor
communities.

The Senate plan restores the stabilization grants but
distributes about $71 million less than the House plan for disparity aid.

The two sides clashed over the capital gains tax, which House
Ways and Means Committee vice chair Rep. Dick Ames, R-Jaffrey, said would raise
$150 million annually with 80 percent of the money coming from those who earn
$200,000 or more.

But D’Allesandro said the Senate rejected the capital gains
tax, and instead funded its budget with existing taxes and tax reform.

The two sides have agreed on a commission to determine the
cost of an adequate education and how best to distribute state aid. The
commission would receive $500,000 from the Education Trust Fund.

Revenue Sharing

The House and Senate have not agreed on a revenue sharing
plan with cities and towns. The House included $12.5 million in revenue sharing
in the second year of its budget.

The Senate proposes $20 million in revenue sharing in each
year of the biennial budget. D’Allesandro said there are no strings attached
and communities can spend the money any way they want.

The day before the House and Senate agreed to increase general
fund estimates by $15 million for the biennium mostly for higher business tax
returns.

Both bodies agree to freezing business tax rates at calendar
2018 levels instead of a rate reduction called for in law for 2019, which
provides $90 million in revenue, and a mandatory paid and family leave program,
both of which Sununu opposes and has said would ensure his veto.

Wallner, who chairs the conference committees on House Bill 1
ad House Bill 2 — the budget package — said she wants to compete work by
Wednesday so the finished product can be reviewed and signed off on Thursday.

The committee meets again Wednesday morning at 10 a.m.

Garry Rayno may be reached at garry.rayno@yahoo.com

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18 Jun

Starting with people like Merit-Ptah (c. 2700 BCE), a chief physician in ancient Egypt, and Greek astronomer Aglaonice (2nd or 1st century BC), women scientists have been making their mark for millennia. They’ve made significant contributions as chemists, doctors, educators, entomologists, horticulturalists, marine biologists, paleontologists, physicists, marine biologists, naturalists, science writers, zoologists, and more.

Not the least of these accomplishments have been in space. Cosmonaut Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova flew a solo mission on the Vostok 6 on June 16, 1963. Another cosmonaut, Svetlana Yevgenyevna Savitskaya, flew in space twice — in 1982 and 1984 — and was the first women to perform a spacewalk.

The first American woman in space, Sally Ride, went on two space shuttle missions: STS-7 (June 18, 1983) and STS-41-G (October 5, 1984), breaking through a quarter-century of white male astronauts with the help of her PhD in physics. After her second flight, she served on panels that investigated the 1986 Challenger explosion and the 2003 Columbia disintegration, tragedies that killed all crew members aboard.

When Ride retired from NASA in 1987, she became a science fellow at the Center for International Security and Arms Control at Stanford University. In 1989, she joined the faculty at the University of California, San Diego as a professor of physics and director of the California Space Institute. She and her life partner Tam O’Shaughnessy co-wrote seven science books for children. Together they founded the nonprofit Sally Ride Science at UC San Diego to promote science education and STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) careers, especially for girls.

Ride served on multiple boards, including the President’s Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology, the National Research Council’s Space Studies Board, the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment, the Carnegie Institution of Washington, and the NCAA Foundation. She received many honors. Her honors included induction into the National Women’s Hall of Fame, two NASA Space Flight Medals, the National Space grant Distinguished Service Award, and a posthumous award of the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013. In 2014 the U.S. Navy christened a research vessel Sally Ride in her honor, and in 2018 the U.S. Postal Service issued a Sally Ride Forever stamp.

To Name This Day . . .

Quotes

Consider how you might use the ideas in one of Sally Ride’s quotes below to inspire a young person — or yourself!

“I never went into physics or the astronaut corps to become a role model. But after my first flight, it became clear to me that I was one.”
— In Harvard Business Review (September 2012)

“The view of Earth is spectacular. The shuttle is pretty close to Earth. It only flies between 200 and 350 miles above Earth. It’s really pretty close. So we don’t see the whole planet, like the astronauts who went to the moon did. We can see much more detail. We can see cities during the day and at night, and we can watch rivers dump sediment into the ocean, and see hurricanes form. It’s just a lot of fun and very interesting to look out the window.”
— in an interview at Scholastic’s website (November 20, 1998)

“There might be very primitive life in our solar system — single-cell animals, that sort of thing. We may know the answer to that in five or ten years. There is very likely to be life in other solar systems, in planets around other stars. But we won’t know about that for a long time.”
— in an interview at Scholastic’s website (November 20, 1998)

“We need to make science cool again.”
— from “The Commencement Address Sally Ride Never Gave” by Lynn Sherr in Huffingtonpost (May 21, 2014)

Spiritual Practice

In her 1998 interview with Scholastic, Sally Ride remarked that “It takes a few years to prepare for a space mission. It takes a couple of years just to get the background and knowledge that you need before you can go into detailed training for your mission. So most astronauts are astronauts for a couple of years before they are assigned to a flight. Once you are assigned to a flight, the whole crew is assigned at the same time, and then that crew trains together for a whole year to prepare for that flight.”

Consider the patience, keen attention, and perseverance that goes into fulfilling a dream on this scale. Find a way to reaffirm your commitment to those qualities for a project close to your own heart. You might write about this intention in your journal or make a vow in the presence of a friend or colleague.

Video

You can learn more about Sally Ride by watching this three-minute bio:

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18 Jun

Dr Ken coaches John Petrizzo on the clean and press in his garage gym.

Dr. Ken Leistner passed away unexpectedly last Saturday morning at his home in Valley Stream, Long Island. For decades Ken was an important contributor to Powerlifting USA, the most important voice of the sport on the planet. Before the internet, PLUSA was our primary source of information about training, competition, and the athletes who comprised the cadre of the strongest men in the world. Ken was an integral part of every powerlifter’s education. We were fortunate enough to have him write eight installments for this website, and as a memorial to him we will be running them daily this week. I was lucky enough to edit them as they came in, and it was more fun for me to read Ken’s work as the first to see it than you can ever imagine.



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18 Jun

“F%$& the legs, let’s bench!”

 

A common adage among the batch of men who prioritize a jacked upper body over the quads, hamstrings, and ass.

 

 

(Considering the number of men I come across with chicken legs to go along with their massive pecks and biceps, clearly, there’s something to that training style.)

 

Then along came CrossFit, or functional fitness, or whatever we’re calling it now—a crowd of posterior chain enthusiasts who have never once neglected the legs. I remember going on my first date with a CrossFit man and his first compliment to me was: “You have a good hamstring line.”

 

Certainly not what the “f%$& the legs, let’s bench dude” would have told me.

 

All of this posterior chain work, however, meant that the functional fitness folk, especially in the earlier CrossFit days, pretty much neglected the bench press entirely. Meanwhile, bicep curls were the laughing stock of the community.

 

But why?

 

Biceps matter, and not just for aesthetics. They matter for real, functional movements. Like pull-ups and muscle-ups. There’s a reason the 2013 CrossFit Games Champion Sam Briggs’ (known for her pulling strength) IG handle is BicepsLikeBriggs.

 

When I worked with gymnastics coach Louise Eberts (@louiseebertsgymnastics) to improve my muscle-ups a couple of years ago, she added bicep curls to my program and they made all the difference. Muscle-ups were never my strong suit, but they got a whole lot better once I started working on my biceps.

 

Alas, if you’re looking to build your biceps, here are five exercises beyond just traditional bicep curls that will translate to more than just looking great on the beach.

 

1. The Zottman Curl

This is kind of like a bicep curl, but with a twist. It involves doing a bicep curl as usual with a supine grip but then rotating your palms downward by flipping your hands 180 degrees at the top of the curl and slowly lowering the DB with a prone grip. This is great for not just the biceps, but also for your forearms.

 

 

 

2. Hammer Curl

During this curl, keep your palms facing your torso and raise the DB until your forearms and upper arms are at an approximately 90-degree angle. Make sure you keep your elbows close to your body and minimize cheating by keeping it at strict as possible.

 

 

3. Narrow-Grip Strict Chin-Ups

Though we often consider chin-ups to work the lats, they also have great benefits for the biceps, especially if you practice them with a narrower grip.

 

 

4. Bent Over Barbell Row

Once again, we think of rowing as being more for your lats than your biceps, but if you’re pulling, then your biceps are active. The barbell row is great for the biceps as you’ll be able to lift considerably more on this movement than with a traditional bicep curl. As you pull, think about pulling your elbows behind you and then hold for a second at the top before controlling the weight back down.

 

 

5. Flexed Arm Carries

Kind of like a farmer carry, but with a flexed arm. They’re great not only for building the biceps but also to bulletproof your joints, which will help when you get into movements like pull-ups, as they can be strenuous on the shoulder and elbow joints.

 

 

Biceps matter. Not just at the beach, but in life. So, don’t forget about them.


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18 Jun

Love butterscotch? Then put these cookies on your list! These crispy, crunchy butterscotch cookies made with brown sugar and browned butter, perfect for dunking in milk or coffee.

Photography Credit:
Elise Bauer

Butterscotch — a Classic dessert flavor

Butterscotch is a classic dessert flavor that doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. The key flavors that make up butterscotch are brown sugar and melted butter, preferably brown as well. When combined these two ingredients create a rich, old-school flavor that most people associate with butterscotch pudding or candy.

Butterscotch Cookies

I learned to make these butterscotch cookies during my internship at the Grange restaurant in Sacramento under the tutelage of pastry chef, Elaine Baker. Buttery, nutty, and rich with a slight caramel flavor, these butterscotch cookies are horribly addictive.

This crispy, crunchy cookie is easy to make (you probably have all the ingredients on hand) and guaranteed to make your usual cookie rotation. Best served to friends and family with tall glasses of cold milk or mugs of hot coffee for dipping.

Butterscotch Cookies piled high on plateButterscotch Cookies piled high on plate

Butterscotch Cookies piled high on plateButterscotch Cookies piled high on plate

Tip for How to Make Make Butterscotch Cookies Pop

Before baking these cookies are rolled in brown sugar and then get a little bit of salt sprinkled on top to punctuate the sweetness. It gives them that extra special something.

Love Butterscotch and Caramel? Try These!

Updated June 18, 2019 : We spiffed up this post to make it sparkle! No changes to the original recipe.

Butterscotch Cookies Recipe

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Do not use fine grain table salt (aka: iodized salt) as the flavor will be way off and unpleasant.

Ingredients

Sugar dredging mixture:

Sprinkling salt:

Method

1 Preheat oven to 375°F and line baking sheets with parchment paper.

2 Whisk the dry ingredients: Vigorously whisk together the flour, baking soda, and baking powder and set aside. Mix together the brown sugar white sugar dredging mixture in another bowl and set aside.

3 Brown the butter: Place 10 tablespoons of butter into a thick-bottomed skillet over medium heat. The butter will foam a bit before subsiding. Once the butter takes on a tan color and begins to smell nutty take it off of the heat. Add the other two tablespoons of butter and mix it in until it melts. (See tutorial on how to brown butter.)

4 Make the cookie dough: Pour the brown butter into a mixing bowl fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the brown sugar and salt and mix. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract and mix together, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl at least once.

Add the flour mixture in three increments being sure to scrape down the sides and bottom once or twice. Mix just until the flour is incorporated. The dough will be very thick.

5 Shape the cookies: Take 1/2 to full tablespoon-sized pieces of dough (you can make them a bit bigger or smaller to your liking, just make sure the pieces of dough are all the same size) and gently roll them into ball shapes.

Dredge them in the sugar dredging mixture until well-coated.

Place on the baking sheet and sprinkle with a little bit of the sprinkling salt (be reserved with the salt as very little goes a long way).

6 Bake the cookies: Bake at 375°F for 10-12 minutes or until the edges have browned a bit. Be careful not to over-bake.

8 Cool and serve: Allow to cool on the sheet for one minute before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Tastes best with a glass of milk for dipping. Cookies will keep in an airtight container for about a week.

Hello! All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words and link back to Butterscotch Cookies on Simply Recipes. Thank you!

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18 Jun

Landmark’s latest installments in its Overlook series — which generally represents its most approachable and affordable bottlings — as well as a pair of higher-end reserve offerings have arrived. Let’s dive in to these wines, all from the 2017 vintage.

2017 Landmark Vineyards Overlook Chardonnay Sonoma County – Initially quite oaky and meaty, this Sonoma chardonnay eventually evokes notes of lemon, quince, and some florals, all whipped up into a creamy lather dominated by vanilla and nutmeg. An Orange Julius note lingers on the bright — yet lightly sweet — finish. A- / $27

2017 Landmark Vineyards Overlook Pinot Noir  – A blend of mostly Monterey fruit, with Santa Barbara and Sonoma fruit tossed into the mix. Tart cherry, a touch of smoky Lapsang souchong tea leaf, and a hint of bacon inform the bright and expressive palate, which features just enough grip to keep you coming back for more. Pairs great with all kinds of food while also drinking well as an aperitif. A- / $25

2017 Landmark Vineyards Damaris Reserve Chardonnay Sonoma Coast – A mountain of a wine, full of buttery oak and vanilla, and laced with coconut notes. It’s not a style of chardonnay that I gravitate to, but as an exemplar of heavily-oaked California chardonnay it’s fairly on point. Let the wine warm up from fridge temperature and more focused lemon and apple notes become prominent, with a silky caramel conclusion. B+ / $41

2017 Landmark Vineyards Grand Detour Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast – Bright with red berries but laced with pepper, this wine lacks the overwhelming intensity often associated with the Sonoma Coast, though a denser black fruit note begins to emerge in time, bringing with it a light vanilla and chocolate note, touched with sweetness. Best with food; chill slightly before serving. A- / $36

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2017 Landmark Vineyards Overlook Chardonnay Sonoma County

$27

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18 Jun

Your child’s immune system, which is made up of special cells, proteins, tissues, and organs, defends him or her every day against germs and microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, or fungi. In most cases, the immune system successfully keeps your children healthy and free of serious infections. As a parent, you are glad there are multiple ways to help them strengthen and protect their immune systems. In this article, not only will you learn that immune boosters are, indeed, safe for your children, but also that they should be considered as part of an overall wellness “package” centered around each child.

How to Maintain a Healthy Immune System

Boosting your child’s immunity is easier than you may think. With the right adjustments to their lifestyle and everyday habits, you can keep them in excellent health and protect them against germs and viruses, which they come in contact with during their busy lives. Apart from considering the lifestyle tips for maintaining your child’s healthy immune system outlined below, consideration should also be given to boosting their immune systems by using supplements suitable for children.

mother daughter drinking juicemother daughter drinking juice

Supplementation

Despite your efforts, your child still might not be getting enough of the nutrients his or her body needs. After checking with a natural health practitioner before starting your child on any new supplement or herb regimen, you might want to stock up on kid-friendly immune-boosting vitamin and mineral supplements. This will help ensure your child is getting optimal amounts of each essential nutrient and make up for what might be lacking from their diet. In particular, these may be found in the Hallelujah Diet’s® immune system booster kits.

To reduce the risk for mental decline (including memory loss) and maximize brain development in your child, you can try the brain-boosting supplement kit. When safely to dispersed to your child, this kit contains omega-3-rich flax seeds, vitamin B12, vitamin D, selenium, additional antioxidants, and omega-3 fish oil. This kit includes the finest pure fish oil, Nutritional Essentials, and B-Flax D, and these provide an extra boost to power your child through the day! There’s even a recipe for a delicious Brain Power Smoothie. For even more smoothie ideas, be sure to check out our Smoothie Recipe Book.

girl giving health foods thumbs upgirl giving health foods thumbs up

Lifestyle Tips

In addition to these supplementation ideas, you can also consider the following lifestyle tips for maintaining your child’s healthy immune system:

Encourage good hydration
All major systems in the body—immunity included—are affected by hydration. Not only should you provide them with a bottle of water as they start their day, but you should encourage your children to eat plenty of raw fruits and vegetables. This would add a healthy dose of nutrient-rich fluids to help hydrate their day.

Prioritize healthy hygiene habits 
Germs and viruses are located just about everywhere you could imagine, and steps need to be taken to avoid infection especially if your child participates in group activities where contact with others is unavoidable.

Make sure they get enough sleep each night
Studies show that children who don’t get enough sleep can be affected by obesity and can end up with behavioral and learning problems.

Help your child minimize their stress levels
Anxiety and stress can be a constant struggle for a child due to academic and peer pressure. With the right care, your child will learn how to lower his or her anxiety levels and become better at coping with anxiety-provoking situations.

Exercise regularly
Some children just aren’t into sports, but kid fitness may be as simple as a walk in the park. You can help them discover the benefits and joys of physical activity. Table tennis is a great sport for developing hand-eye coordination that can be conveniently played right at home. For a child to regularly exercise, she or he must be motivated—treating it as a matter of personal choice, preference, and responsibility. Encourage him or her to spend at least two and a half hours every week in some or other activity—that’s just 30 minutes a day—to improve overall wellness.

Follow a healthy diet
The power of a healthy diet is undeniable. Processed foods, not to mention refined sugars, can completely break down the immune system, so encourage your child to ditch the unhealthy options and rather embrace more natural, plant-based way of eating. The right blend of vitamins, minerals, and supplements can give your child all the fuel needed to repair, restore, and thrive.

The Bottom Line

Despite every precaution you take to prevent your child from getting sick due to a compromised immune system, sometimes illness inevitably occurs. You can’t avoid it—instead, make sure your child stays home, gets plenty of rest, keeps hydrated, and keeps up with the extra supplementation.


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18 Jun

hibiscus, rose, rose geranium, violet, calendula, chive, basil, thyme, cherry blossom, zucchini blossom, and nasturtium. Keep in mind, not all flowers are edible, some are poisonous, and proper identification is essential. Again, not all parts of the flower are edible, and some varietals should be avoided if you are pregnant or nursing, so please read up with some of the references I link to up above.  On the rose front, heirloom varietals are broadly thought to have better flavor and fragrance, with newer roses often bred for appearance rather than flavor (fragrance).


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