Happy Thanksgiving Greeting, Fall Leaves Background and text Happy Thanksgiving

Recent scientific and sociological studies note the importance of gratitude as a key ingredient in healthy and happy living.

The word gratitude is derived from the Latin word, gratia, meaning grace and thankfulness.  Current medical and scientific research consistently associates gratitude with greater happiness, which also facilities better physical and mental health.  According to a note from Harvard Medical School, “[g]ratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build stronger relationships.” [1]

In the United States, one need not search far to find information on gratitude as the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons are rooted in gratitude.  Unfortunately, many of us embrace this doctrine during the holiday season and then revert to old habits of constant states of dissatisfaction, inconsideration, greed, etc., once the holiday season ends.  To that end, our society has created a world that is a ball of confusion, a perpetual state of unhappiness fueled by toxic interpersonal relationships, ill health and a compromised climate.  As we all search for a solution for the many bad things going on in the world today, maybe if we focus on the true meaning of gratitude, and thankfulness, we can break the cycle that we currently are in, running uncontrollably in circles like hamsters on a wheel, never really making any progress.

Blackboard with the text: Today Im Thankful For... in a christmas conceptual image

Scientific Benefits of Gratitude

Generally, we are hard wired and require proof that any course of action is authentic.  As such, current scientific studies specifically note positive benefits of showing gratitude (although we really should not need a reason to be grateful as it should be assumed to be the right thing to do).

  1.  People who are grateful generally are more hopeful and healthier.
  2. People who express gratitude generally have better quality and duration of sleep than those who do not show thanks.
  3. People who are thankful have increased self esteem than those who do not show thanks.
  4. People who show gratitude also have greater empathy towards others and are more likely than those who do not show gratitude to be pro-social.
  5. People who show gratitude and who list in journals the things for which they are grateful have greater resilience to problems that may arise.

Gratitude Is Heart Healthy

Another very important reason to show gratitude is that it is particularly good for the heart. [2]  The correlation between the effects of depression, stress and anxiety and the increased risk of heart disease have been well documented, just as the positive effect of a good mental status as beneficial to heart health has been touted.  It is no secret that grateful people are healthier than ungrateful individuals, with fewer cases of inflammation in the body and buildup of damaging plaque.  To that end, being grateful has a big payout.

Diagram of health

Teach The Children Well

The lesson of gratitude is great for children and serves to build stronger families and independent thinkers.  In this age of preoccupation with physical things, and the ensuing deleterious impact on the environment in terms of trash and financial woes from overspending, gratitude for the sufficiency of what one has helps to raise children to be confident responsible adults.

Practice Mindfulness

The practice of showing gratitude hones the skill of mindfulness, which requires each of us to plan our lives very carefully rather than functioning on automatic.  When we plan our activities, our budgets our schedules, etc., we save time and make better choices.  We become aware of the potential pitfalls in life and avoid them to the extent possible.

Everyday Is A Day Of Thanksgiving

As we gather with family and friends to express gratitude for our lives, our happiness and health, it is important that we commit to make everyday a day of gratitude, giving thanks for our world, our love ones and our creator.  This then becomes the starting point for a movement to create a healthier happier world for us all.  To do so is to live green, be green.

Happy Thanksgiving Greeting, Fall Leaves Background and text Happy Thanksgiving


[1]  http://www.newsweek.com/5-scientifically-proven-benefits-gratitude-398582#big-shots/undefined/0
[2]  http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/11/23/456656055/gratitude-is-good-for-the-soul-and-it-helps-the-heart-too

Happy Sunday! Welcome to another addition of Sunday Rants and Resources. Keeping this one short and sweet. Today’s short post features 3 awesome tools that will totally change the way you do life!

1) SimpliSafe

SimpliSafe is simply awesome!  Its a no contract, easy instillation (do-it-yourself) home security system that starts at less than $250.00.  This setup is great for millennialand budget sensitive people living in areas where safety may be a concern! SimpliSafe is going places!


2) The Air Umbrella

This bad boy has been on KickStarter for a while now but it comes as no surprise that they have raised over $100,000. I cannot wait to get mine!

3) A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy by William Irvine
If you are jumping on the stoicism bandwagon (you should), this is a great place to start.  It provides necessary background before jumping straight into hardcore Seneca teachings.  Learn to focus on the now and focus attention to the matters in your life that you can control.





As always, thanks for reading!!


Here are 5 gems that I found over the last few weeks. Leave any reviews in the comments!

1: Want to Be Smarter?

Check out 17 Small Things To Do Every Day To Be Much Smarter over at LifeHack

2: The Olio Smartwatch

This watch was apparently designed by engineers and designers from both Nasa and Pixar

3: The Catoctin Creek Distillery

If you have never heard of these guys, and you love booze, check them out! A solar power distillery located just outside of DC!


4: Check Out Peter’s Laws by Peter Diamandis

5: Fun Sustainability Lesson

Play “The Fish Game” and get a quick lesson on sustainability!

Its Sunday!  Trying a new thing where I post any ideas/thoughts and or resources acquired over the last week.  I usually do this in a word doc for myself but this way I can share it as well as have a chronological set of resources to look back on.

Physical Diet: 

I have been putting the low-carb high protein diet to the test!   In doing so, I modified/adapted various takes on a keto/paleo, low-carb diets that fit my palate and lifestyle.  I had a more extensive than usual physical done the week before and received the results at the beginning of last week.  Key notes: I lost 16 true pounds in the last 25 days.  I had blood work done but the results are more of a base as opposed to a reflection of the change in eating as I just started.  I will be getting blood work every few months to monitor and will update the results.

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Lets make kombucha the easy way! 

The purpose of this post is to show you how to make kombucha from growing your own SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) or “mother”  (you must have a healthy SCOBY to make kombucha) to bottling and drinking your first batch.

Background: Of late, I have been rather manic with regards to probiotics and building healthy gut flora. Your gut is responsible for nutrient absorption and a poor gut environment can mean malnutrition along with other health concerns.  Some call your gut your “second brain” and its extremely important to make sure that it is as healthy  as possible.  In doing so, as part of my daily routine, I take a probiotic (pill form) as well as eat the typical “active culture” dense foods such as yogurt and kefir.  My quest to have the healthiest food digesting, nutrient absorbing, microbiota phenomenon of a gut has also involved a ton of other probiotic foods.  These typically consist of fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi and drinks like…..KOMBUCHA (fermented tea) which help to create an “ideal” community of bacteria in the gut.  Kombucha or “buch” as the connoisseurs  refer to it, is in my mind, the easiest and most convenient way to get a probiotic boost throughout the day.  I would typically purchase the GT’S brand of kombucha, from Whole Foods, which comes in several flavors.  They include original, gingerberry, mango, citrus, and some weird green flavor. Since I am also on a low–carb, slow–carb diet, I stick with the original or ginger flavor as they are both low in carbohydrates. With my daily purchase, I began to notice a little problem. Kombucha is EXPENSIVE! Like $4.00 a bottle and I was drinking almost 3 a day!  So what do we do? Make it ourselves!



What is Kombucha? Basically, it is fermented tea. If you try searching online, there are a ton of various ideas, concepts, complicated procedures and confusing ways to make this fantastic drink.  Here is the quick and easy way to do it at home.



  1. 1 liter mason jar (sterilized with boiling water)
  2. 5 bags of black tea (caffeinated)
  3. 1 cup of raw sugar
  4. 1 bottle of GT’S original Kombucha (usually carried at Whole Foods)
  5. Paper towels/coffee filter
  6. Rubber band

The first thing is to grow A SCOBY! (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast)

Step 1: Bring 4.5 cups of water to a boil and put in tea bags

Step 2: Add sugar and stir until completely dissolved.

Step 3: Let steep  for 20 minutes

Step 4: Let cool to room temperature.  This is very important as you do not want the tea to be to0 hot when you add the GT’S.  It will kill the live cultures and destroy your chances of growing a SCOBY.

Step 5: Once tea is at room temperature (usually 2-3 hours) poor in the entire contents of the Gts original kombucha

Step 5:  Secure a doubled up paper towel or a coffee filter around around the jar and place jar in a secure, warm place, out of direct sunlight.

FullSizeRenderStep 6: Let your Scoby grow!  This can take anywhere from two weeks to a month depending on the temperature of the room.  It is strongly advised to check the growth every few days to ensure healthy growth.  Watch out for any mold or strong odors/ indications of contamination or rotting.  The contents should have a vinegar smell and the presence of a gelatinous mass growing on top (or slightly suspended in the liquid). Your SCOBY will be ready once it is about a 1/4 of an inch thick.


Making Actual Kombucha:

Once your SCOBY is ready, making the actual Kombucha is pretty much the same process.  Make your liter of tea again the same way described above.  Once it has cooled to room temperature, poor in a cup of the Kombucha batch that you used to grow the SCOBY and then carefully transfer the SCOBY over. It is best to use a fresh rubber/latex glove as you do not want any contamination or outside bacteria to hurt your culture. Finally place the jar in a warm location away from any direct sunlight for 7-10 days. After about the 5th day, it is good to taste your Kombucha using the straw method so that you can achieve the desired flavor you are looking for.  The longer it ferments, the more tart it will become. You will also notice a new SCOBY growing on top. Make sure you transfer this over to your new batch to keep the process going.



Once your batch is at the desired flavor, it time to bottle. I like to bottle my finished kombucha in glass airlock bottles.  I think they look cool and they are perfect for this drink as they keep air out. You need to make a new batch of kombucha and transfer over your SCOBY.  Then, you simply funnel the contents into the new bottle leaving about a quarter of an inch of air at the top.  At this step, you can also infuse with ginger or any desired fruit.  After you have done this, let your freshly bottled kombucha set at room temperature for 2-3 more additional days to get some carbonation.  Then refrigerate and drink!!!

Thanks for reading and if you have any questions, leave a comment or shoot us an email at pmdproducts@gmail.com


If you are new to Kombucha, I definitely recommend GT’S for to try before you begin making your own!


On Thursday, July 2nd, Potter Baseball hosted the Annapolis Cook-Off at Arnold Ball Park in Arnold, Maryland, a wonderful event that reflected Jeff Potter’s vision and commitment to love and baseball the Potter Way.

Courtesy of Potter Baseball

Courtesy of Potter Baseball

Teach The Children Well.

What makes Potter Baseball so special?  This program utilizes the sport of baseball as the core of its theme and cleverly incorporates other concepts, namely community service, health, respect for self and others and charity work, thereby creating a  lesson in life.  Each summer the program participants gather on weekends to play in tournaments in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia.  While on these tours, the team holds fundraisers for charities, collects food for donations and visits historic sites in the locales and supports their causes, such as the Bull Run Warrior Retreat.  Often they experience the hospitality of area teams and their families who offer them accommodations.

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shareable.net Cross

–This has been in the works for way too long!– I want you to rethink the concept of sharing, through an interview with sharing evangelist, Neal Gorenflo. Neal is a Corporate America dropout who has established himself as an expert in sharing.  The shortlist for Neal’s credentials includes: His expertise has been featured on NBC Nightly News, Fast Company and the Today Show.  He has spoken at tech conferences such as South By SouthWest, and he has consulted for Stanford University, Loews Home Improvement and many different startups. Last, but certainly not least, he is the co-editor of Share or Die: Voices of The Get Lost Generation in the Age of Crisis as well as Policies for Shareable Cities, both of which I fully recommend that everyone check out!  Mr. Gorenflo is a true pioneer for the sharing of information that can make our lives easier and allow us to be happier people in a happier society.  As a vehicle for his mission, Neal Co-founded Shareable.net, an amazing resource that encapsulates how sharing can change the world for the better.   I have had the wonderful opportunity to speak with and collaborate with him over the past 2 years.  I also had the chance to sit down with him at a little cafe in Palo Alto last summer to really get an understanding of his mission and why he has dedicated his life to getting us to share more. Recently, Neal kindly agreed to participate in this short interview and I am very grateful for the opportunity to publish it.  Enjoy!


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Photo credit: JasonDGreat / Foter / CC BY

Photo credit: JasonDGreat / Foter / CC BY

Zen and the Art of Everything. Writing a blog post? Designing the Macintosh computer (Steve Jobs reference)? Sure, why not! The idea for this post was concieved while sitting in dense DC traffic a few weeks back.  You may be familiar with the book, “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” by Robert M. Pirsig. It is about a motorcycle trip that a father and son take and essentially uses motorcycle repair as a metaphor for the different facets of life.  For me, that day (like so many others), traffic was causing an enormous amount of stress.  In trying to eliminate that stress, I thought to myself comically,  ZEN AND THE ART OF SITTING IN TRAFFIC! I started laughing. How silly? I honestly have somewhat limited knowledge (trying to learn more) about actual Zen Buddhism (I did take a college course on Buddhism, but we were not exactly meditating).  Is there really a way to be calm and happy sitting in traffic? If the Buddha himself were in my car with me, would he be just as jolly and calm as he is often depicted, cruising at a cool 2 MPH while a chorus of asshole drivers lay on their horns in perfect harmony? Hard to believe but after all, he is the Buddha, right? In continuing this thought process, I began thinking about stress reduction in general as a way to prevent myself from becoming too stressed out about the things that I cannot change–  such as traffic. How? Cue to the Buddhist Monk who stoically and condescendingly mutters “mindfulness.” Read More →

stress playmobilEvery so often we are all due for physical and mental health checks and overall corrections.  In executing these “self-checks,” people tend to use calendar dates for balance or as a procrastination technique (the latter being the usual case). How often do you hear, “starting next week, I will start diet xyz?” As we all know, the empty promises for lifestyle changes and personal growth are most common before the New Year.  The point of this post is to drive home the idea that any given moment, on any given day, is the absolute best time to ensure that we are as physically and mentally healthy as we can possibly be. When it comes to our health and the health of those dependent on us, “it’s never to late to start” does not always ring true. It can be too late as far developing health issues or descending into an unhealthy mental state.

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The innovative business practice of shared value, whereby profit-driven entities undertake social and environmental missions, naturally prompts contemplation of the possibility of legitimate coexistence of such normally divergent positions.  Any such discussion is especially significant today as we celebrate the 45th anniversary of Earth Day, a day set aside by more than 192 countries and 22,000 partners to “activate the environmental movement worldwide, through a combination of education, public policy, and consumer campaigns.”[1]

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