C. Norman Shealy, M.D., Ph.D.

Not too many decades ago, Christmas shopping began at Thanksgiving weekend. Now the Christmas shopping season has been pushed even before Halloween. This particular year, the world is experiencing the greatest total stress events in over 80 years; most people need to hunker down and learn to go within to minimize stress, to recover inner reserves and to embrace Hope. People hope to find a suitable gift that is appealing and unique. I should like to recommend some of my favorites for embracing Hope. They are all health-enhancing.

Let’s start with homemade gifts:


There are many sourdough basic starters available. I have the best one I have used, given by a friend. I will make it available to anyone who wants it for our shipping cost of $8.50 and include the recipe I use. I need to know soon, so that I could make a big batch of starter!



4 tablespoons of arrowroot flour (or white unbleached)

3 tablespoons of honey

2 eggs

3 tablespoons of excellent cocoa powder

3 tablespoons of half and half

3 tablespoons of room temperature butter

1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

Pour about into each of two Pyrex custard dishes about one-quarter of the mix.

Drop into the center of each one a half oz of excellent dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa).

Pour into each dish another quarter each of the mix.

Place it in the refrigerator and hand-deliver it with a pint of coffee or vanilla bean ice cream

The recipient can keep it in the fridge for a couple of days and bake it 20 minutes at 350 degrees. They then serve it immediately with the ice cream. It is BLISSFUL!


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