welcome to the organic green doctor blog

i am a family physician who was diagnosed with
early mild cognitive impairment(mci) amnestic type on december 21, 2010
this is a precursor to alzheimers disease
because of this diagnosis i have opted to stop practicing medicine
this blog will be about my journey with this disease
please feel free to follow me along this path
i will continue blogging on organic gardening, green living,
solar power, rainwater collection, and healthy living
i will blog on these plus other things noted to be interesting

Monday, June 30, 2014

retirement advice

when i retired 3 1/2 years ago
i was like a race car every day
zooming around all day up every day
to work before 7am
seeing patients from 730am to 500pm
not really stopping for lunch
sitting eating doing all that paperwork thats required
bam i hit the brakes on that ferrari called work
never to drive again

the next day i was in retirement

no time to plan or think about it really
like i guess when you get old and your employer
lets you go out of the blue
i guess its the same thing

now i will admit i knew my day was coming about
6 weeks before it happened
so i was able to prepare things over that time period
years before i moved to the country n knowing that
when i retired i would have these things to do to keep
it going
boy was i right about that

but even though i prepared myself for years and i had
those 6 weeks to get ready
there it was
on that thursday
a blank slate for the day

i must say it took be about 6 months to get into some
type of groove as i gradually filled in my time doing
those things i like to do
almost too much at times

i do the country n stuff garden a lot
maintain the place
maintain the water system
you really dont ever catch up

i also dialed in a noon time nap
the best thing ive ever done
maybe we all should do that years earlier
ive worked with doctors that take noon naps

i do my volunteer work with habitat for humanity
with meals on wheels
with the alzheimers association
give alzheimers presentations like im doing later today
and travel especially in the summers

my plate is full
i feel fulfilled every day
i guess i feel as good about what i do as i ever have

now thats what retirement should be about

my bff gh from medical school had his retirement party this
it was fun to see his family and friends again

i spent time talking with him about retirement
he has had time to plan his and plans to stay busy

he will work some part time
thats good

i told him he needs something to do 1 or 2 days a week
working or volunteering
take the rest and let them be his days
i know i had a lot of old projects old honeydoes that needed to be
they all got done
now that im busy that rate of completion has dropped
i do things now in stages
like the barn its in stage 2 now

so stay busy
but have downtime for yourself and your wife
try some new things
most important part of all

take those naps
youll feel better
live longer

best wishes on your retirement

the organicgreen friend

Friday, June 27, 2014

habits can be good, A4 study we need help

i frequently give presentations on alzheimers disease
or question and answer ones which i like to do since
people can get their answers about this disease from someone
who is
a doctor and has treated alzheimers patients
a family member of parents who had the disease and a younger brother
a patient himself who may have the disease

one of the areas i always talk about in my presentation
an area i make sure i talk about in the q&a sessions
things to do to slow down or prevent the disease
im always on the lookout for articles on how to do this
that may add to my list

recently i found an article from abc news
on 5 healthy habits that can cut your risk of alzheimers disease

go organic
a lot of our vegetables come from foreign countries that have
not banned ddt
ddt breaks down to dde which has been found in alzheimers
patients at levels 4 times those found in persons without the disease
going organic means no dde

eat healthy
even if you start in your 50s and even if you have a genetic
predisposition to get alzheimers disease like i do
you can slow down the progression of the disease
even in some of you prevent the onset of the disease
by eating a healthy diet like the mediterranean diet
fruits berries veggies nuts milk products lean meats fish olive oil red wine
in moderation of course
by maintaining a normal body weight

the risk can be decreased by as much as 90% according to recent
research by eating healthy

speak another language
and you can delay alzheimers by 4 1/2 years
speaking that extra language develops parts of the brain that
handles executive functions and attention tasks

sleep right and read
sleeping greater than 8 hrs or less than 6 hrs plus not reading
increasing the risk for cognitive impairment by 2.6 times
in a recent study
thank goodness for my naps each day so i can stay in that sweet
spot between 6-8 hrs sleep and i read every day

feed your hippocampus
thats where alzheimers disease starts
by atrophying that underneath area of the brain

those folks who had a genetic predisposition to alzheimers
if you are kin to me thats you
had a 3% drop in the size of that area over an 18 month time period
if they did not exercise
adding exercise those who were susceptible maintained the
volume of the hippocampus ie it did not shrink

if you do ancestry.com and get a dna hit to me
i highly recommend that you do the exercise every day
as well those other things above
all those other things we recommend

the trifecta of controlling your blood pressure cholesterol and diabetes
controlling stress anxiety depression
being happy
being socially active
listening to music
dont smoke

so yes there is something you can do to slow this down
most of it doesnt involve medication or special treatments


antiamyloid treatemt in asymptomatic alzheimers study
they are looking for

people age 65-85 years old
who have normal thinking and memory

patients will have the new amyvid pet scan i have written about
so many times
it identifies those who have that beta amyloid in the brain
patients with alzheimers disease have beta amyloid in the brain

for those with postive scans  some will be given an infusion of a
new alzheimers vaccine
that will hopefully bind to the accumulated beta amyloid
and remove it from the brain
and hopefully remove it also before it can get stuck in the brain

if this all works then you wont get alzheimers disease or if you do
it will be much milder

folks i would jump at this in a minute as its right now my only hope
to slow things down beside those healthy things i mentioned above
i would be first on the list
except im too young to qualify

what if i told you
you can have a test that may show you may have alzheimers disease
but you could take this new drug that may make it go away
would you do it
no doubt i would

and i know that its really about helping your kids and your grandkids
your nephews your nieces
im afraid to say but it appears that once you get  alzheimers disease
and have symptoms then this stuff may not work as well

take to the time to go to these two links
look for your state
and consider joining the study

researchers have to sort through a lot of volunteers to find those
at risk
they desperately need volunteers!!!

so dont give me this crap about you dont want to know
were talking about your kids their kids and future generations
being able to be treated for this disease years before it hits them

just think of your family member or friend who has or has had
this terrible disease
what if you could have prevented it from happening to them

it can only happen right now if you folks help us out in finding a cure

click here
a4 study
a4 study now is the time

to read more about it and to find one near you
they need more volunteers

please pass this information on to those who might qualify

the organicgreen doctor

Thursday, June 26, 2014

a walk into the past

one of the highlights of our trip to southern utah
is that the owner of this mcr place mr db knows the area so well
he knows the history of the area probably better than folks
who have lived there all their lives
especially when it comes to the anasazi indians who
loved in the canyons where the ranch sits
they lived for miles and miles in those cliffs
in the ad 1000+-
then they just poofed disappeared
they were there when the mesa verde ancestral puebloans were there
in southwestern colorado
probably the best known sites in that area

mr db has been exploring this area since he was a kid
and has developed a love and appreciation for the area and
its history

because of this knowledge and respect for the land and its
the local landowners allow him to explore their properties

we the ogd and my wife she and the wwoofers get to benefit by
going on long hikes with him to areas that no one really knows about

some sites he has discovered have stimulated archaeological evaluation
of the sites

how he found these places on those cliffs and then remembers how
to get them is amazing to us
our hike was 5-6 hours long
but was well worth it

we drove down the canyon for several miles
then off the road we went down a dirt road
which stopped
now i was skeptical even though we had done this last year
and was amazed at what we saw

we werent disappointed again this year

now we left at noonish in the middle of the day when the
temperatures were in the low to mid 90s
luckily the humidity not like austin is low so the heat is more
it reminds me of the high dessert we lived in while in college

luckily we carried a lot of water in our back packs
walking at a good pace not too fast
i think mr db was use to moving faster when he is with
younger folks or by himself

ok so i got real hot but i kept up my water intake as i went
since ive seen a lot of folks in my career with heat exhaustion
severe leg and muscle cramps from dehydration
we took our time took some breaks under shade
especially those small caves in the cliffs
man i could live there

i did think a lot as we walked across the canyon floor
up the canyon walls thinking how in the hell did those
anasazi indians live here
water food was sure a problem
there is a river that runs through the canyon
but its dry part of the year with areas where the
water is present

i think they mainly ate corn and beans called anasazi beans
which i am able to buy at our local supermarket
they have a good sweet flavor and dont have to be cooked as long
as other beans
and what my wife she likes is they produce less you know what

we hiked up to this small area where the petroglyphs were
and dogs hank and jack took a break
it was amazing at times they seemed to know exactly where
we were going

i did share some of my water with hank the ranch dog

then we climbed up to the tower rock where we are told you can
stand and see four states-utah colorado new mexico arizona
my wife she and i didnt make it to the top
but we came close
there was a jump from one rock to another that was an
upward jump i didnt want to do

you cant really appreciate it in this picture but there is a dwelling
under the left side of the large tower rock

then off we went across the valley to the other side of the
up the wall of the cliffs
i was wondering whattheheck are we looking for
then seemingly out of the blue
or turquoise

we saw this long row of petroglyphs along the cliff wall
how did they get up there to do that

there was the area where they ground their corn
you could see where the rock has gotten smoothed out
they decorated the work site carving pectros in the rock

then there was what i called the peace symbol one
my favorite one of course

then the large tourquoise petroglyph that stood out over the rest
the final destination of the hike
worth all the effort

good job again mr db

as we made it back to the truck i put the mouthpiece of
my camelback in my mouth and as i began to suck in the
remaining water all was left was air
good timing on my part

i survived the hike
in the end it was worth it

when we left that last day
we took a deep breath
i even climbed up on the roof and looked around the ranch
took in its beauty
thought of all the new friends we met
our interactions with these interesting folks
realized that people would actually pay to spend five days here
to do what we did
we got to do it all

we are ready to return already

the organicgreen doctor

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

hope on the range

once we got our key situation straightened out
off we went on our trip to the oasis mcr vineyard and orchards
the name and location ill not give out since like i wrote before
i dont want people to know where this place is

we loved the drive on the way there through the desert
and hills with the colorado mountains in the distance

we lived in the high desert in southern california while
attending college so we have an appreciation for the desert
you can only have if you live there and study that environment
like i did as  a biology major

its where i learned to capture and hunt down rattlesnakes
much to the chagrin of my historian brother who was a
roommate at that time
he had many a sleepless night knowing that there was a cage of
rattlesnakes in his living room

after a 10 mile torutuous drive down a dirt road that drops
2000 feet we made it to our destination at 5000 ft elevation
a meca in the desert

we were able to stay in this cabin while we were there
the daytime temperatures were in the 90s and the nighttime
temps were in the 50s
its off the grid being on solar
no ac was needed since its nestled under the trees
at night a cool breeze came through which reminded me of
sleeping with the windows opened in santa barbara
and getting that ocean nighttime breeze

the mcr is off the grid totally
the power comes from solar panels that is stored in batteries
which provides the power for the ranch

the cabin where the wwoofers stay is also solar powered

whats a wwoofer  you ask
its stands for
world wide opportunities on organic farms or
willing workers on organic farms
www.wwoofusa.org is the link for the usa organization
so who are these folks

the ones we  worked with were all young folks

an ohioan college student who just graduated and waiting to enter
americorp for a period of time before moving on with his life

a young couple who recently hiked the appalachian trail
and are from north carolina

an idaho college senior a business major who is doing her internship
at mcr
she plans to do peace corps after graduating before she enters
the business world

a philadelphia student who has done 1-2 years of school who is not
sure whathe wants to do in life
hes taking a pause for now before he moves on

a student from florida a senior who wanted to see a different
part of the country before she hits that last year of school
she just returned from europe earlier this summer

all have a love for the outdoors
they like hiking rock climbing
they work 30 hours a week
in return they get room and board
they have two days off each week
many take a day of rest
but commonly mr db the owner who is only slightly older than they are
will take them on long hikes to places that only he knows how to get there
to see the anasazi indian ruins
like some do they do hiking in that part of southern utah
and southwest colorado
its also close to a lot of national parks
even the grand canyon is not that far away
a delightful group of kids

after spending the five days with them we always feel so refreshed
we do feel good about the youth when you work beside them
hike with them and just sit around at night talking with them
hours together
you realize yes on yes there
is hope for the future

the organicgreen doctor

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

eventually 5 great days

two years ago we made this trip
we liked it so much we decided to return for more

last year we had planned to return but the trip was
canceled because of my ruptured disk
the injury that can humble you if its bad enough
and makes you appreciate your health even more

we had two concerning events happen to us on the way
that you know could have been signs of bad things to come

first as we were leaving texas into new mexico heading north
to albuquerque
i noticed a band of clouds forming to the west
you know out there you can see for miles and miles

as we drove farther away things got darker
the raindrops started falling lightly
the kind that are big but just make big spots on the dust
on the car
then as we got farther along it all seemed to be behind us
with the sun ahead of us as we heading north

looking through the cars rear view mirror the sky was dark
if you live in the midwest of south
you recognize those clouds
they were so dark they were black
back over clovis new mexico where we had just driven though
we felt this kaboom the car seemed to shift some on the road
i thought a big sonic boom had hit us
looking north as we were traveling it was so clear
dark behind us

after arriving a few hours later we found that when watching the
local news in alburquerque that tornadoes had hit all over the place
where we had just driven

later in texas we had a friend stay at the country n
she likes it there
its quiet
theres plenty of veggies readily available for eating and
lots of fresh eggs for breakfast
also her horse is kept at the next door neighbors ranch
so it all was a good deal for her
the storm hit

our house has a metal roof
the rain sounds so soothing on it when it hits the roof
if it hails
it scares the bigievies out of you
just ask my wife she as she has been known to huddle in our
brick shower made of recycled brick from an old farm house
a perfect storm shelter

my understanding is that she our friend got in the shower with
a margarita and the newspaper and rode out the storm
problem is the electricity went out for 12 hours
a rural problem some of you are familiar with
which made for an interesting night at the country n
with no electricity no ac and
no lights as we had taken all our flashlights etc with us

the one tornado a few miles north was this one above 

family lifted by tornado inside house near the country n

the other tornado even closer a mile or two away west of here
lifting this new house up with all four family members in it
and dropped house and folks 100 yards away
a wizard of oz moment not in kansas but in texas

after these storms
things settle down for our trip

we got up early the next morning
had a good breakfast good fresh shower our coffee and tea
loaded the car
carefully packing the car just right
for our much anticipated arrival in southern utah at the organic vineyard orchard
and ranch
where we would interact with the wwoolfers
do long hiking into the hills looking at anasazi indian artifacts
and working on the ranch
along side the other wwoolfers doing pruning of grapes

so we were all packed
my cup of coffee in hand
fresh bottles of water
my wife shes asmiling face with her hot green tea
ok we said lets go and get to the wonderland

wheres the keys
dont you have them
no you had them
smiles all gone
oh we have that lockbox key stored away on the frame
i looked under there
she looked
i looked
she looked
no keys
well i said 30 minutes later
we have our triple a card i just renewed it
lets call them to break in for us
i was dirty hot sweaty and not in a good mood
of course we know who really locked them up right
my wife she wasnt smiling
she said wait a minute
lets try one more time
down she got with her fresh white shirt now quite dirty and black
and sweaty
her hands looked like some kid who had been playing in the dirt box
she dug around
then since her hands are smaller she found the ledge on the bumper
where i had put them when we had our bumper repaired

there next to my computer case in our trunk
set the car keys
of course right where she put them right wink wink

we were both worried that things would not go well for the
rest of the trip

we were wrong
more tomorrow

the organicgreen doctor

Monday, June 23, 2014

dear ms gardener

last week we visited the organic vineyard orchard and
ranch in southern utah ran by a family friend
i am not going to post the name or location as i dont
want other people to know where this fantastic place is

the hostess has taken over the garden and has enlarged it
and has plans to grow more veggies there

i spent time looking at the garden and told ms gardener
that i would come up with a list of recommendations for
her to use in her garden
instead of sending her an email or letter detailing these
organicgreendoctor recommendations
i would instead would write a blog about it so others could
enjoy the information also

the picture of the gate looks so austinish

here is a picture also of the garden


dear ms gardener

you have more than enough space to produce a ton of good
you are lucky and live in an area where your weather is mild
enough to have a long spring summer garden and not have to
worry about the heat like we do in central texas

you also have a good water supply just a few feet under the
ground where the garden is
you lucky guys you
our well levels are 450+ft
of course at the country we use rainwater in our garden

your basic soil is a good one
or i should say your acid soil
its on the acid side of the ph range so you dont have to
worry about adding stuff to it make it more acid
you lucky guys you

now the things i am going to tell you to do
pertains to everyone wherever they live
i have heard the natural gardener john dromgoole talk to people
all over the us on his organic radio show on 590klbj on saturday
and sunday
he tells these folks everywhere the same thing

first three things to put in your garden to be successful
your shadow

do all three of these and your chance of being successful is improved

since you have such a good soil to start with
a sandy one mixed with a clay one
if you didnt do anything
you would probably have a good garden
look at that beautiful vineyard yall have and those beautiful orchards

you need to be sure and add compost to your beds whenever you
plant your veggies if not done already
i suggest a 4 inch layer
the best compost of course is the one you make yourself

i saw your chickens busily working on your compost pile
your garden will love that stuff later in the year

i would suggest a wooden frame or a wire frame to hold the
composting materials inside the compost pile
similar to what i do at the country n
the chickens cant scatter it everywhere
it will keep a depth to the pile which helps to keep it moister
and compost faster

at the end of the season add a layer of compost on your beds when
you rest it for the winter
that will allow it to only get better and enrich the soil

add a sprinkling of liquid molasses per directions on the bottle at this time
also add the molasses again at the beginning of the season
the molasses provides sugar for bacterial growth which is necessary for
the improving the life of the soil

also add humate as per directions on the bottle when you add
your molasses

humate is the dark liquid stuff that happens when you take compost
put it in a sock then put it in a bucket of water
it activates the microorganisms in the soil
add an aquarium pump to this and run it for several hours
and you get compost tea-the mothers milk for your garden

the humate in the bottle is a richer version of this

humates are necessary again for the bacteria to work

then add an organic fertilizer

then cover it with a thick layer of mulch
this will all ripen over the winter
so in the spring you are all ready to plant

when you do plant a transplant

at the bottom of the hole add a tbsp of earthworm castings
this provides a boost start to the plant as it grows its roots

water it in with liquid seaweed which stimulates root growth with
its micronutrients minerals and hormones
then consider sprinkling a light amount of an organic fertilizer
if not done already
this will provide nitrogen for several weeks

then based on the heat or cold mulch the plants well
remember mulch breaks down eventually to make compost and soil
and will greatly improve the structure of the soil
overtime you will develop a good layer of good organic soil
as good as the hill country soil i bought from the natural gardener
when i first started my garden

water your plants when the soil gets dry
do the finger test by sticking the finger in about an inch
if its all dry the garden needs watering

be sure and mulch thickly between your beds and in any walkways
with anything like wood chips leaves etc
this also breaks down slowly over time to make compost and soil

you will find over time that your quality of soil will improve
will hold water well
use less water

will produce big ole tomatoes like this one


here is a list of organic pest control products
neem oil
diatamaceous earth
bt or bacillus thuringienesis
beneficial bugs like ladybugs which i noticed yall had a lot of
when i was pruning the grapes
last months mother earth news has a list of what pests to use these on
i left my copy at the ranch

on our trip i talked with several organic farmers in colorado who
farm in the winter

i suggest you try to do lettuces swiss chard spinach carrots beets etc
during the winter in one of your square foot beds

by using a single or double row cover like i use at the country n
my veggies withstood a temperature drop to 10 degrees without
damage this winter

also when you are at the farmers markets talk to the farmers to find
out what they do to the soil in the area
what products they use
what plants they use that work well in the area
when do they plant the different plants
you know everyone should do this wherever they live

dont worry
expect a ups package with all these ingredients in it

please post a picture of
your garden
your thumb as it gets greener

tell all the wwoofers we said hi

as well as the dogs hank and jack
of course the man behind the whole operation
mr db

the organicgreen doctor