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Is it a good idea to have your amalgam fillings removed?

A popular online “gringo” bulletin board advertises “holistic dentistry” in Cuenca, and more than one advertisement promotes removal of all silver (colored) amalgam fillings  [mistakenly called ‘mercury fillings’.] Some ads proclaim that amalgam fillings cause “energy interference” and risk for diseases such as Parkinson’s, cardiovascular disease, and even autism. What are the myths and facts […]

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Zuleyka

Something can beat down on you hard enough until you’re faded, like the sun beats down on fresh paint eventually robbing it of hue and saturation. A life can beat down on you like the sun and rob you of time, satisfaction or happiness. No one is born with any guarantee of those elements. Webster’s […]

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Do you really want to eat fake meat?

By Katie Jackson From grocery stores, to high-end restaurants and even fast-food menus, plant-based proteins are popping up everywhere these days. While many of these products were initially celebrated for providing alternative sources of protein to those who cannot, or choose not to, eat animals, these products are now facing increasing scrutiny from a variety […]

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The birds are missing

Dear Mother Earth, North America is missing 3.4 billion birds. 3.4 billion birds disappeared and no one noticed the sparrows, blackbirds, wrens, and swallows that didn’t make it, who were never born, who stopped flying or singing or making their ingenious, fragile nests, who never perched, who never pecked their gentle beaks into your moist, […]

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My favorite food of 2019 was… avocado! What’s yours?

I’m not going to write about what were the top food trends in 2019 since they’re mostly irrelevant to me. [All the “top” lists include imitation meat, like the Impossible Burger. Why would I want to eat imitation anything? There’s plenty of real food around, why would I buy ‘fake food’ especially food that’s ‘reverse […]

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Performance enhancers, muscle building tactics, vitamin Zzz? The latest in sports nutrition

By Nancy Clark Sports nutrition was a hot topic at this years’ annual Food & Nutrition Conference & Exposition (FNCE), hosted by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the nation’s largest group of nutrition professionals. Here are a few highlights, to keep you up to date with current sports nutrition recommendations. Performance enhancers Sports supplements […]

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Vendors ignore those ‘no soliciting’ signs on the bus and no one seems to mind

By Rob Bell The sign says “no soliciting,” but that doesn’t deter salesmen, and the occasional saleswoman, from taking advantage of a captive audience. I’m talking about Ecuador’s long-distance buses, and the lengthy presentations various Ecuadorians, Venezuelans and the occasional Columbian make to seated passengers, mainly from the front of the bus but sometimes while […]

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The kings of commerce

When I lived in Spain, the Christmas holiday lasted for two long, work-free weeks culminating in Reyes, which celebrates the beginning of the discount season. Reyes or Kings Day, the proverbial twelfth night of Christmas, commemorates the visitation of the three Magi from the Orient — Gaspar, Balthazar, and Melchior — who bring good tidings […]

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Virgin de Bronce watches over her children

By Jeremiah Reardon My wife, Belinda, and I ran an errand on a recent Saturday afternoon to purchase plywood in one of Cuenca’s supply shops. She was excited about her latest tiled mirror commission for friends. I do the carpentry including the wire support. We grabbed the bus on Avenida 10 de Agosto, a half […]

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An expat’s reawakening

I woke up on November 13 and, as I lay in bed before getting up, I realized that  something was different. I felt alert and very alive but I had had the feeling many times before over the past three years and those feelings quickly reverted to the plodding normality of my morning routine. But […]

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