Inspired by Enlightened Eating

Recently, Cypress House has had the pleasure of publishing Dr. Cassandra Ohlsen’s book, Enlightened Eating: The Eightfold Path to Health. It’s a wonderful handbook for moving toward a more plant-based diet.

Te see and hear Dr. O in action, check out her recent interview on Om Radio:

Working with Dr. O inspired me to think back to many years ago (back in the 70s!), when I ran a six-night-a-week cabaret and coffee house. We served a diverse community when it came to diet. Along with standard bistro fare, I learned how to prepare vegetarian, vegan, macrobiotic, and even fruitarian meals.  I was asked to make a series of presentations at our local health club on how to adapt family recipes using healthier options and to introduce carnivores to tasty vegetarian options. Back then, vegetarian recipes were extremely heavy on cheese and beans and nut loafs.  I think perhaps that was part of our emotional transition from the “heft” of red meat toward plant-based foods. It’s nice that today’s lighter and more varied options have taken hold.

Four Ways to Give Your Diet A Spring Cleaning


  1. Swap salty, high-fat snacks like corn chips and dips for sugar snap peas (or carrots and celery) and hummus.

A 2-ounce serving of corn chips (about 18 chips) contains 140 calories, 19 grams of carbohydrate, 6 grams of fat, and 2 grams of protein, and is a minimal source of vitamins and essential minerals.

A full cup of sugar snap peas contains just 60 calories, and delivers 10.5 grams of carbohydrate, 3 grams of fiber, zero sodium, zero sugar, and is a great source of vitamins and minerals.

Hummus contains many crucial nutrients. High in minerals like manganese and copper, it also supplies calcium, iron, magnesium, and zinc, and is rich in vitamins C, B6, E, K, Folate, and Thiamin. A 1-tablespoon serving has just 25 calories, 1.4 grams of fat, zero cholesterol, and as little sodium as you add.

  1. Swap the red meat in your stroganoff for mushrooms. A mix of shiitake, crimini, and portobellos is chewy and delicious and wonderfully satisfying. For a garnish with a tasty crunch, add some tamari-roasted cashews, which contain 4 grams of protein per ounce.

Beef is undoubtedly a good source of protein (22 grams in a 3-ounce serving), iron, and vitamin B-12, but that 1 serving contains 213 calories, 13 grams of fat (5 grams of saturated fat), 61 mg of sodium, zero dietary fiber, and little in the way of other vitamins.

Mushrooms are high in nutrients, though a 3-ounce serving has just 3 grams of protein. Mushrooms are, however, extremely low in calories and are a great source of B vitamins and many minerals such as: selenium, copper, potassium, phosphorous, zinc and manganese. They’re also a good source of antioxidants.

  1. Swap Potato Chips for Baked Kale Chips.

Just 2 ounces (56 grams) of salted potato chips contain 320 calories, 20 grams of fat, 30 grams of carbohydrate, 2 grams of protein, 2 grams of fiber, 2 grams of sugar, and 270 mg of sodium.

A 2-ounce serving of baked kale chips (made from 6 ounces a raw kale) contains just 100 calories, while supplying 6 grams of protein, 20 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of dietary fiber, and zero fat. As a bonus, you get lots of iron, potassium, and vitamin A. Topped with a salt-free seasoning blend, which you can buy or easily make, baked kale chips contain no sodium and no sugar.

  1. Swap your breakfast toast and jam for sliced apples spread with almond butter.

A 1-slice serving of toast and strawberry jam contains 135 calories, 210 mg of sodium, 3 grams of fat, 60 grams of carbohydrate, 24 grams of sugars, 8 grams of fiber, and 10 grams of protein.

A medium-sized apple contains 95 calories and no fat, sodium, or cholesterol. That apple contains 4 grams of fiber (17% of the recommended daily intake), and is high in fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants. Apples are also very filling. A 1-tablespoon serving of almond butter contains 100 calories, 10 grams of fat, zero cholesterol, zero sodium, zero sugar, 4 grams of carbohydrate, 1 gram of fiber, and 2 grams of protein. Your 195-calorie breakfast packs full satisfaction and great flavor without the sugar, sodium, and excess carbs.

I hope you’ll visit Dr. O’s site and subscribe to her blog:

Enlightened Eating is available at your favorite store and online, too.


Nutritional values courtesy of the United States Department of Agriculture


Epigrams and Memorable Sayings

The best epigrams or sayings are pithy, memorable, and wise. My great aunt Blanche was famous for her sayings, one of which was, “I’m very old and I’ve had many problems — most of which never happened.”

My author friend, George Schofield, once gave me a t-shirt that said, “It’s called his life for a reason” after learning of some of our travails with our teenage son.

My publishing colleague, Marilyn McGuire, once called to express her dismay and annoyance with a consulting client who’d gone astray. She said, in her lovely southern drawl, “Cynthia, you hold the lamp and I’ll dig….”

My favorite submission letter from our slush pile included the following call to action, which we now use regularly in our office when working on editorial issues: “Please revise and refix for betterness.”

Michael Lipsey has written three books of epigrams, which we have happily published under our Lost Coast Press imprint:

I Thought So:

I Thought So, Volume 2

The Quotable Stoic:

Lipsey’s epigrams are deft, witty, and wise. I highly recommend his books. he also creates lovely collages (though those are for his own pleasure, not for sale).




George Schofield, Next Avenue Influencers in Aging Award Winner

A few days ago I learned that one of my favorite publishing colleagues and authors, George Schofield,  has been named one of Next Avenue’s 2017 Influencers in Aging.   Congratulations, George!

I met George more than a decade ago when he was working on his first book, After 50 It’s Up to Us: Developing the Skills and Agility We’ll Need.

His new book, How Do I Get There from Here? — Planning for Retirement When the Old Rules No Longer Apply, was released this August by Amacom. If you’re a bookseller or librarians, please watch for it at the upcoming regional trade shows. It will be a wonderful handsell.

George is one of the most perceptive folks I’ve ever met when it comes to interpersonal  and corporate communications (or lack thereof!).

The Influencers in Aging selection process and list recognizes “50 remarkable people at the forefront of changing how we age and think about aging.”   In naming the Influencers, Next Avenue recognizes their role in improving the lives of older adults, their families and communities.  Please visit this link to learn more:

October is Banned Books Month

October is Banned Books Month

Miguel Torga and Tales from the Mountain


Translated by Ivana Carlsen, NEA Translation Award Winner

(published by QED Press)

In 1991, we published Miguel Torga’s Tales from the Mountain, translated by Ivana Rangel Carlsen. It was an enormous undertaking and marvelous adventure for our little press. Ivana had been chosen by Torga as his preferred English translator. When she was very occasionally stumped by archaic or technical language, she would pass a word or phrase along to me for research. The World Wide Web hadn’t gone live yet and no one I knew owned a mobile phone, so research was a very different process from what we use these days. One short story, “The Hunter,” required hours of library research and many phone calls to finalize. Our press had recently shared a display space at a trade show with the publisher of Dances with Wolves, which was being shot on location in South Dakota. The publisher gave me the number of the black powder expert for the movie and he graciously confirmed the term “reloading press” and the process of making bullets in the days of black powder.

Torga, twice nominated for the Nobel Prize was undoubtedly one of the great writers of our century. He once said “the universal is the local without walls” and although his short stories are set in the rugged mountains of Trás-os-Montes in the Portuguese Northland they transcend narrow geography with their subject matter — human beings and the emotions that drive them, the love and hatred, courage and fear, the greed and (sometimes) the generosity of spirit. Torga writes with the passion of a casino player, and the truth of a child. Read singly the stories are striking, together the effect is stunning.

Although they could be classed as part of the literature of social protest they avoid the flat, proselytizing tone associated with some Portuguese Neo-Realist works. Torga wrote that four decades of an oppressive regime had disfigured the landscape of his country, in human as much as in physical terms. As a result of his critical stance he was arrested and imprisoned and his work banned. [Torga’s books were banned in Portugal until the 1974 revolution.] While he undoubtedly loved his homeland and respected its people, warts and all, he was far more ambivalent about the forces of law and authority, amongst whom he included the Church, although for a writer who rejected religion he used many religious images and symbols.

Torga gives his characters an authentic voice, rendering popular speech with its proverbs and archaic rural usage. His great readability comes from showing the whole community, male and female, young and old, as characters transcending the stereotypical, formed and deformed by a harsh environment but often rising above it with courage and dignity.

From Pat Odber’s article in Babel Guide to the Fiction of Portugal


To buy the book and for more information, please also see:




The Blind Pool — by Paul McHugh

If you are anywhere near Mendocino this weekend, please don’t miss Paul McHugh’s presentation about his new political thriller, The Blind Pool,  at Gallery Bookshop — 6:30 till 7:30 Friday September 15.

Paul McHugh is one of the most dedicated, focused, inspired (and hence inspiring), and wide-ranging writers I’ve ever known. I’ve known Paul for more than 40 years.

Here’s more information about him — in his own words. I hope to see you in the crowd on Friday!

Local Boy Tries to Make Good (writin’)

By Paul McHugh

Amongst the many splendid landscapes that sheath our Earth, I feel most at home on California’s North Coast. I wasn’t lucky enough to be born here – my planetary incursion occurred on the south tip of Florida, and my youth unfurled near the Everglades. However, that boyhood did award me an enduring taste for country life… which I found ultimately fulfilled only out West.

California’s coastline is my dwelling place now, and compared to it, my birth state no longer seems to exert much pull. After I arrived here – steering a motorcycle up Big Sur’s Highway 1 at sunrise, after driving all night from Vegas – this coast became the natal zone of my writing career. If my work can be said to have any permeating aroma at all, it would be the spicy smell of redwoods, accented by the low-tide reek of shoreline rocks and laced with a cool, refreshing flow of heavy summer fog.

My pro writing began in Albion, was matured in Mendocino, and fed on local issues emanating from Fort Bragg. I was initially trained as a poet. But when I came here, I felt stunned by how many amazing environmental and outdoor adventure stories went whisking on by with zero mention in the regional media – particularly the dominant outlet, the San Francisco Chronicle. So I gave myself an assignment: What if I tried to write about such things, and do so as if I actually knew how to be a journalist?

Worked like a charm. First story I wrote was about unpaid environmental activists who labored by hand to clear old logging debris from the Albion River, so that salmon could again ascend to traditional spawning gravels. I contrasted that with a gyppo logger’s flagrant abuse of a “diseased” diagnosis from a forester buddy to cut down healthy redwoods in a residential area of Redway, on a bend of the Briceland Road. I sold that tale for $500 bucks to “California Living” magazine.

And I was on my way! Scores of other stories followed, published in a broad array of venues. I wrote about hiking on the Lost Coast, ascending King Peak, kayaking coast rivers and sea caves, fishing for steelhead, diving for abalone, backpacking in the Yolla Bollies, and bowhunting deer on Strong Mountain.

But mainly, I focused on my bread-and-butter topics: resource-use issues.

In an excess of caution, and to scrub away any lingering vestige of “outsider” status as well, I made sure to immerse myself in local culture before I tried to write. For example, before I ventured to describe logging issues, I worked for two weeks as a limber and choke setter for a gyppo outfit from Albion. Prior to writing about salmon, I worked as a puller on a “mosquito fleet” vessel out of a local harbor. Before telling stories about ranching, I participated in sheep and cattle gathers, roundups, taggings and brandings on ranches adjacent to Willits and Boonville. (I vividly recall needing to search every crevice of my body to pluck out ticks after days of sacking fleeces during a shearing week in Yorkville…)

It might be a bit wearing for readers, were I to cite every writing assignment that kept me in food-rent-and-gas money. But a huge range of topics kept me enthused and fascinated, and I turned my hand to almost every storytelling opportunity that I could spot. Suffice it to say, while I lived in a tiny garret room at one end of an attic in the second story of a house at Ford and Covelo streets in Mendocino, I published my first novel, with Island Press (“The Search for Goodbye-to-Rains”), created my first video documentary, on a danger the Peripheral Canal posed to North Coast streams (“The Eel – Life of a Threatened River”; it aired statewide on public television as a centerpiece of Water Night, two weeks before the public vote on the Canal proposition and thus had a role in the measure’s defeat at the ballot box) and worked with might and main on a civic campaign to establish wilderness on Snow Mountain and other sweet spots in Mendocino National Forest, and to expand the Trinity Alps Wilderness.

And of course, life wasn’t entirely work, all unremitting and unrelieved. I’d go often to poetry readings and performances and films at The Well, have coffee and apricot rugulah at the Mendo bakery, dance to Kate Wolf’s music at a roadhouse in Elk, and perform community theater with Gloriana Opera Company. I would often jog a trail to the waterfall in Russian Gulch State Park. And if I needed additional incentives to keep going, I’d take a snifter of brandy and a plate of lamb-and-garlic dolma in the Gray Whale Bar at MacCallum House, or puff on Balkan Sobranies while listening to exquisite classical music selections emanating from Alphonso’s cluttered shop – he was my tobacconist on Main Street.

All of which (about a decade of it) set me up for becoming a lead features writer, as the San Francisco Chronicle launched its pioneering Outdoors Section in ’85. I happened to be the guy in the right place, at the right time, with the right background. For the next 22 years, I clung avidly to that post. That was with one hand. With my other, I wrote a number of investigative series for the front page, including one that took down a corrupt director of the California State Park Foundation, and another that re-vamped operation of the Asilomar Conference Center and put an embezzler in San Quentin.

And for my 20th anniversary at the Chron, I envisioned then executed a “North Coast Series,” a story cycle based on sea kayaking from the Oregon border to San Francisco Bay, covering 400 miles in 40 days, and filing 35 stories, five videos and four podcasts en route. This grand celebration of one of our Earth’s last, best places can still be found (enhanced by extra writing and additional photos), posted at

Nowadays, I’m delighted I once more get to roam around the North Coast, on a book tour. My most basic motivation is to promote my new book, of course – a novel, a political thriller, “The Blind Pool.” But I must say, this tour also offers me a wonderful excuse to travel again the winding shoreline and forest roads that constitute some of my favorite scenery, discovered amid the best years of my life. (Thus far…)


Paul McHugh will speak and read from his new novel, The Blind Pool, at The Gallery Bookshop in Mendocino, at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, September 15.

You Can Help Save the California Coast from Offshore Oil Development

Many thanks to Rachel Binah for providing me with this information.

Please, PLEASE ACT NOW to help us save our coast from offshore oil development. I know you may have thought we already did that…..

This video will show you what is at risk:

As you know, the current administration, by Executive Order, is “reviewing” Marine Sanctuaries to reduce them in size — or eliminate them.  The Plan is to encourage offshore oil drilling, mining, and other industrial activities offshore.  We spent decades trying to get an extension of the Farallone Sanctuary which was finally established with the help of our Congressmen Mike Thompson and Jared Huffman through the Obama administration.

If you care about protecting our ocean, its endangered species, the fragile marine environment, please make an official comment to tell our government what you think.  Explain how the actions would effect you, personally.

The COMMENT PERIOD on our National Marine Sanctuary ends on 

July 26th!!!!!

Here are some general issues to discuss IN YOUR OWN WORDS. (It is not effective to copy other people’s comments.)

1.  Environmental protection:  for endangered species, marine habitat, and difficulty (or impossibility) of cleaning up the mess from unintended consequences of ocean industrialization.

2.  Economic:  including tourism, fishing — state parks– local businesses which would be compromised or effected.

3.  Emotional Connection: Beauty, spiritual, inspirational, religious, recreational, personal renewal, universal appreciation and/or responsibility for protecting God’s Creation.

Here is the link to enter your comments on to the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) site.

Please see for a tip sheet on submitting effective public comments.

The House on Coco Road is Now Available on Netflix!

The House on Coco Road, directed by Damani Baker and co-produced by Belvie Rooks and Danny Glover, will be available on Netflix starting tomorrow, June 30!

Congratulations to one and all!

This award-winning film tells the story of Grenada and Black migration through Fannie Haughton’s eyes. (Haughton is Damani Baker’s mother.)

For more information and a sneak peak, check out these links:







{photo credit: Sharon Garner}

Belvie Rooks won’t hesitate to say how important Mendocino County and the Mendocino community—especially the women’s community—have been to her. Belvie was one of the founding staff members, along with Alice Walker and author and UC Berkeley Professor Robert L. Allen, of Walker’s publishing company, Wild Trees Press, which was created after Walker won the Pulitzer Prize for her novel The Color Purple. Belvie left Mother Jones magazine, where she was director of national affairs, and moved to Mendocino to become director of marketing and publicity for the new press. She was convinced she had made the right decision in moving from the Bay Area when she discovered the little town of Elk and moved into the Old Hospital House.

In 1994, Belvie worked together with Cypress House, Danny Glover, Alfre Woodard, and others on the FDESA (Fund for Democratic Elections in South Africa) project to help raise $1 million for voter education and registration in South Africa’s very first fair and free election, leading to Nelson Mandela’s presidency. Belvie traveled to South Africa where she served as an election monitor for the historic vote, attended the Mandela inauguration, and was later asked to co-facilitate, with Congressman Ron Dellums’s office, President Mandela’s tour of the Bay Area. While still living in Mendocino County, Belvie traveled often to Africa to attend meetings such as the UN Conference on AIDS and the UN Conference Against Racism. Her anti-apartheid work was noted in the book No Easy Victories.

A longtime supporter of independent filmmaking, Belvie was a founding board member of The Film Fund along with co-founders Julia Reichert (Seeing Red) and Barbara Kopple (Harlan County, USA), and Haskell Wexler (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?), three filmmakers who won or were nominated for Academy Awards. Belvie directed Who’s Gonna Be There?, a performance piece about mentoring that she co-wrote with Danny Glover and Roy Schneider, and served for twelve years as VP of Project Development for Glover’s company, Carrie Productions.

Many coast residents will recall when Glover was here filming and scouting in hopes that he and Belvie could co-produce a cooking/conversation show, entitled Life’s Recipe, that would costar Pru Wilcox, from Elk, and Helen Moore, Belvie’s aunt from Los Angeles, but at the time, advertisers wouldn’t commit to supporting programs that starred older women. (Belvie says she hasn’t given up on the idea!)

With Danny Glover, Belvie co-produced The House on Coco Road, the powerful documentary that follows filmmaker Damani Baker’s mother, Fannie Haughton—educator and longtime social justice activist—to the island of Grenada. Fannie left California for Grenada amidst mounting urban upheaval brought on by Ronald Reagan’s war on drugs. Seeking a utopian socialist society, Fannie moved her two young children to Grenada, a small eastern Caribbean island where exciting social and educational innovation was unfolding. That dream was shattered a little less than a year after her arrival as she woke to the reality of a US-led invasion of the island ordered by Reagan.

Belvie visited Grenada in 1983, a few months before the US invasion. At the time, Damani Baker was a ten-year-old. What Belvie remembers most is how wonderful it was to see children from Oakland experiencing such a sense of safety and freedom. She would later recall how traumatizing the invasion and its aftermath had been for them. The House On Coco Road is a film that Damani needed to make, and one that Belvie was happy to support!

Fast-forward fifteen years: Damani studied at UCLA film school, and his honors MFA project was a documentary script about his and his family’s experience. As they celebrated his graduation, Belvie asked, “You’ve written the script—when will you start the film?” Damani told her there was no funding for the project, so Belvie joined with others to help raise the money. They succeeded, and she and her then seven-year-old grandson, Jelani, traveled to Grenada with Damani and Fannie and the film crew to begin work.

In Los Angeles, Belvie was a segment producer for the Fox Family Channel series Courage—Ordinary People During Extraordinary Things, which was hosted by Danny Glover. In 2001, TV Guide selected Courage as one of the “top 10 most inspirational television program for the year!” As senior editor of Paris Connections: African American Artists in Paris, Belvie is also an American Book Award winner. QED Press published both Paris Connections: African American Artists in Paris and Paris Connections: African Caribbean Artists in Paris. In 2014 Belvie and her late husband, poet Dedan Gills, were honored to be included—along with Jane Goodall, Nelson Mandela, Maya Angelou, the Dalai Lama, and others—in Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet. In 2016 she was a contributor to Ecological and Social Healing: Multicultural Women’s Voices (Routledge Press) and is an editor at Women Write Ecology.

Belvie and Dedan

A lifelong educator, Belvie was a founding faculty member of the College of Social Justice at the State University of New York, Old Westbury, along with Deirdre English, Barbara Ehrenreich, Florence Howe, and others, was a founding faculty member of Federal City College (now renamed the University of the District of Colombia), and is also a guest faculty member at Naropa University.

Her essays have appeared in many publications: Sacred Poems and Prayers in Praise of Life; The Same River Twice: Honoring the Difficult, edited by Alice Walker; My Soul is a Witness: African American Women’s Spirituality; Life Notes: Personal Writings by Black Women; Double Stitch: Black Women Write About Mothers and Daughters; Birthing God: Women’s Experiences of the Divine; A Tribute to Thomas Berry: Reflections on Life in the Ecological Age; 100 Words: Two Hundred Visionaries Share Their Hope for the Future; and Moonrise: The Power of Women Leading from the Heart.

Book Expo America — Chicago next week!

Are you an agent, scout, or publisher looking to license content ? Or are you a bookseller or librarian wanting to find alternatives to Partners/West for sourcing selected indie press titles?  If you’ll be in Chicago next week, I’d love to meet with you at BEA (May 11-13 at the McCormick Center) about our titles, the titles we represent, and the titles we carry in our catalogs.

Cypress House is a family-owned, award-winning independent press based in northern California. We also represent a number of independent presses and authors, including Tolawaken Press, Dancing Mommy Press, The Biscuit Press, RoseLight Publishing, Clarity Group, Get Sirius Press, Pick It Up Publishing, The National Center for Pelvic Pain Research, Rockpile Press, For CEOs Only, Williamstown Publishing, Mary Jane O’Loughlin, PassionQuest Technologies, Live Out Loud Publishing, The MacCallum House, Pyewacky Press, American Lifestyle Publishing, Sandstone Publishing, and Gopher Prairie Press.

Along with movie options, hardcover gift editions, branded corporate editions, and paperback rights, we’ve licensed titles for Chinese, English, Greek, Korean, Japanese, and Portuguese translation, as well as for UK rights and distribution. This is our tenth year in the International Rights Center at BEA; we’re at Table #RC513. I look forward to meeting old friends and colleagues and to developing new relationships. Our featured authors and titles at Book Expo America this season include:

S is for Safari: An Alphabetical Adventure with Quickly the Magic Spatula by Jeryl Abelmann and Miriam Kronish, illustrated by Daniel J. Seward (Dancing Mommy Press). On display at IBPA Pavilion (#2229) and International Rights Center. Author signing Thursday, May 12, 3:30–4:00 p.m., table # 8. Don’t miss out on your signed copy and free spatula.

Love, Loss, and Awakening: (Mis)adventures on the Way Back to Joy by Dennis P. Freed (Tolawaken Press). On display at IBPA Pavilion and International Rights Center.

A Quiet Hero: The Life of Charles W. Denko, Ph.D., M.D. by Joanne D. Denko, M.D., M.S. (Cypress House). On display at IBPA Pavilion and International Rights Center.

Surviving Cancerland: Intuitive Aspects of Healing by Kathleen O’Keefe-Kanavos (Cypress House). On display at IBPA Pavilion and International Rights Center.

Tale of an Old Katfish: An Advocate’s MemoirOne Pathfinder’s Way of Living with Arthritis by John P. Lynch (The Rheumatoid Arthritis Project). On display at IBPA Pavilion.

Homo Deva: Evolution’s Next StepRevised Edition by Mary Belknap (Lifethread Institute). On display at IBPA Pavilion. Mary Belknap is also the new executive director of the Nautilus Awards, one of the most prestigious literary awards in the country. Join her for the Nautilus Awards Celebration, Thursday, May 12 at 2:00 pm Room W475A. There is a cash prize, an opportunity to meet award winners, and chocolate, too!

On Folded Wings: Paper Airplanes for All Ages by Michael Weinstein (Cypress House). On display at the International Rights Center.