Question of the MonthOct. 2nd

PP Question_Leaf

How do you pack a more healthy, sustainable lunch for your kids?

lunch bentos

With everyone caught in the Back to School frenzy, our October topic is all about our desire to explore how to pack our kid’s lunches in a way that aligns with our values regarding keeping our planet and our bodies clean and sustainable. With many modern parenting issues, there are often more questions than answers that come up, and we are all about taking ideas and putting them into action. For some, sustainable may be about organic, for others, about going vegan, or even dabbling in urban permaculture. In the end, we all have to make it work within our family’s budget and time constraints. It isn’t a contest to see who is the greenest parent, but comes from a desire to put good things in our children’s bodies so that they can feel healthy, happy, and energetic. We want to show our kids how to be stewards of the earth and make good choices for themselves and their future families. The resources that come out of making these inquiries will hopefully help you come to terms with the lunchbox struggle in a way that fits your values.

This month we will be sharing ideas, recipes, and yes, PLAYING around on Youtube! Stay tuned!

Patience is a Virtue (that I don’t have time for!)May. 8th


I am feeling elated right now that our new website has finally launched.  It has been a long haul, and, I for one, feel like it was worth the wait.  I really love it.  However, as the last couple of weeks transpired, I noticed that patience was barely registering on my internal scale.

After having spent countless hours, weeks, months (not so much as yearS, but more than one!,) working on this new ‘baby’ ~~ what was another week or two?  I was coming up against an ugly part of myself — frustrated, short-tempered — definitely not in a space of ‘flow.’

Wait! Why was this feeling so familiar — oh yeah, that mood is the one that I most dislike when it relates to my parenting skills.  I really hate it when I catch myself sounding snappy with Lily, or quickly finishing up a task for her because I can’t wait an extra minute or two to let her figure it out herself (this could be anything from making her own lunch to tying her own shoes.)

I can only say that over the last couple of years, and especially as she is so interested in finding her autonomy, I have been far more conscious of my impatience, which I suppose is a step in the direction of patience.

Last night I witnessed the most amazing display of patience coming from a man from Japan who happened to be at a small gathering we were at.  Nobu is here in the States for a year of ESL (English as a Second Language) studies and was wanting to connect with Lily, but uncertain of his language skills. (Editor’s note: as a person who spent a year in a foreign land with no command of the language, I was shocked by how well Nobu kept a conversation going!) Nobu suggested that he could show Lily how to do origami, and I watched as this gentle man guided my daughter through about 120 steps to create a very interesting creature — somewhere along the line, Nobu crossed his origami repertoire and ended up with a ‘puffer crane’ of sorts.  Hilarious. But also amazing to witness the process.

When I grow up, I want to have patience like Nobu.

We Don’t Have to Know HowMar. 24th

Last week, Karen and I went away for a much-needed holiday-retreat.  It’s been over a year since we’ve gone away as a couple. March 15th was the 12th anniversary of our first date and our plan was to commemorate and celebrate that auspicious meeting with a peaceful getaway, during the following mid-week.  Karen made one request for our mini-vacation – that we agree not to talk about work – which is not always easy for me.

It had been an intense year with building a new website for Playful Planet, preparing our busines1and1_invoice_7_2011s plan for pitching to investors, developing new media projects and finding time to just be a family, not to mention a couple.  My super-wife, super-woman, super-mom and super-entrepeneur, Karen, had begun to show signs of needing a break from it all … and, I guess I did too.    It was definitely time to regenerate our energies and re-group before going further with our dreams for Playful Planet.   With the busy-ness and intensity of my working and traveling, Karen growing the new business and raising our daughter, we suddenly realized it was time to step back, re-connect and relax for a moment.  After all, we’re Playful Planet, aren’t we?  Remember —  ‘organic time’ and ‘lingering’, ‘connecting’ and with getting into nature – had we forgotten?outside

So…we decided to make the short drive up the Pacific Highway to Big Sur.  It’s only an hour and a half drive from our home on the Central Coast.  Our destination was Treebones Resort, which is a grouping of yurts on a hill, sitting on some of the most spectacularly beautiful  coastline in America.  I’m going to share pictures here, but the feeling of this place is impossible to convey in words or images.  Their tagline is “nature with a little nurture,” and from the moment we steppeinside_looking_outd into the lodge, a large circular structure with windows facing the Pacific, we could feel the magic of nature and nurture.  Everywhere you look is pleasing because the design is rooted in nature and expressed in creativity – natural, balanced, simple, aesthetic and peaceful.    It’s hard to describe, but everything about the space was comforting – from home-spun quilt to the wide-board, pine floors to the roundness and views – especially the huge skylight above for watching the stars.

We had two days of letting one moment inform the next. We hiked through towering redwmenuoods along the Mill Creek Trail and had lunch to the sound of birds and water rushing over rocks below us.  We walked down a path to Sand Dollar Beach and lingered along the shoreline to collect pieces of jade for our daughter.  We explored the organic food garden that supplies the Wild Coast Restaurant at Treebones… and ate  delicious, fresh meals while watching the spouts of a family of  migrating orca whales,  swimming close to the shore as they traveled north for the summer.  I even witnessed a lover, kneeling, silhouetted against the red-oranged sunset sky, high above the ocean, as he placed a ring on his beloved’s hand.


At the end of the day,  we sat in two perfectly placed Adirondack chairs, drinking in the beauty of a peaceful day’s end.   Wrapped in our fleece blankets, our hearts full, and our souls renewed, we were ready to receive a new energy for our shared dreams.  In a moment of insight, we both realized that we can envision and have we want without having to know  “how” to get it.   We can be responsible for taking each step, but we are not responsible for taking care of the outcome.


Stay Playful,

Resolution #FAILFeb. 8th

So here it is — a full week into February and I haven’t made good on my New Year’s resolution.  Can anyone out there relate???

To be quite honest, my #fail stems back from a couple of months prior to the onset of 2012.

Last year I took part in a 6-month course ~ a Leadership Training where I was “invited” to take on a project.  It seemed natural in the beginning of the course that Playful Planet was my ‘project.’  I mean, it fills up huge amounts of time, energy and I am totally committed to seeing our mission succeed in the world.

However, as the Leadership Training went on, I had a realization that the ‘project’ I wanted to take on was more personal than the big picture of Playful Planet.  It had to do with the fact that there are some days that I find myself thinking “WHO AM I, to be this proponent of healthy, sustainable lifestyles, when I am just as apt as the next person to give in to the demands for ‘treats,’ or ‘prizes’ or just simple over consumptive behaviors??!!??”  And then I realized, I have never put myself on a pedestal as having all the answers or living the perfect life.  In fact, I often say, I am the perfect Playful Planet audience member.  My heart is in the right place — I realize there must be a ‘better way,’ AND I am often overwhelmed with the thought of making the changes in my lifestyle or in my families lifestyle that would help me to feel more in integrity with the stated Playful Planet mission.

Thus, the idea for my ‘project’ was born.  I would give a personal look into how I was implementing changes for myself and my family.  I thought that short vlogs would be a good medium for that.  So that was my commitment.  And I chose the beginning of the year to start it.   And I filmed by first vlog entry (actually on two different occasions.)  And then I got tripped up by my inability to figure out how to get the video onto the Playful Planet channel on YouTube.  So my first entry sits on my computer for no one else to see.  I keep telling myself I will take the time to figure out the YouTube thing “this week,” and then that time doesn’t seem to happen.

Which is why I am writing about this now, because for the entire time that I have been ‘working on’ the vlog, I have let my blog sit idle.

I am thinking that a public declaration may help motivate me to figure this thing out!

Guest Blog: Dr. Sandy SachsMay. 21st

photos_of_sandyDr, Sandy Sachs is a Husband, a Father, a Chiropractor, an Athlete, a role model to his children, and a Friend of the Earth. Click HERE to learn more about Dr. Sach’s practice in San Luis Obispo, CA

Eat Well, Move Well, Be Well. Simple words in their intent, often difficult to implement. Ive been honored to share some of my philosophy and advice for the Playful Planet website. My philosophy is simple: Moving freely, eating purely, and living peacefully are the critical steps towards a life without disease and pain. Ultimately, how we move, how we eat and how live have a direct impact on the health of our bodies, and our planet.




While my specific advice and suggestions for healthy lifestyles and a healthier planet may be complicated, I believe that even small steps move us in the right direction. And, I add a reminder that health is something we continually strive for and maintain, it is not something we achieve and then forget.


To me, the concept of Homeostasis is of utmost importance. Homeostasis is the bodys natural ability to take care of itself. Homeostasis is THE predictor of whether our body thrives, or whether it becomes diseased. Homeostasis is the adaptive process that occurs when we introduce a new stress. For example, if we decide to start a workout program for the summer, the added time commitments may result in changes to our heart rate, our respiratory rate, our blood sugar levels, our digestive rate, etc. The natural healing body recognizes these changes, and then must work to reset heart rate, reset respiratory rate and reset blood sugar levels and digestion back to appropriate healthy levels. Imagine all the things in our lives that directly impacts the way our body works!




To live a life of Health and Wellness, we need to develop strategies that bring us more towards Homeostasis. The key areas to assist your body to its greatest health levels are: Sleep Habits, Dietary Habits, Exercise Habits, Stress Management Habits and Environmental Habits. The Wellness Wheel can help you determine if it is time to seek out some help (chiropractic, life-coach, trainer, etc.) so that your goals of better health can be achieved.