spring cleaning my diet

good morning!  did you have a nice weekend?  i did, it was totally unstructured and yet i got a lot done around here.
one of the things i did was spring clean my diet.

 it's fun to spring clean the house and garden but i think spring is a good time to deep clean the diet.  you know what i mean?  get rid of what's not working, what's old and crummy hiding in the fridge and pantry.
those gummy, sticky things that need to be tossed and replaced with fresh product. 
a kitchen is only as clean as the inside of the refrigerator you know.

so while we're at it, why not look at what's hiding in there that might not be good for you.
hmmm, bad habits that have a way of creeping into the house during long, cold days.
personally my pantry needed to be de-chipped.  how's yours looking?

a lot of you reading this have young children or have people that you love that still eat meat (i know i do) so you might want to read this and watch the 20/20 report that goes with it.  it is scary what they are putting into our food these days.
spring is such a great time to start something new like changing long held beliefs about what is considered a healthy diet.

and ladies and gentlemen, i hate to remind you that swimsuit season is right around the corner.
now's the time to start getting ready for that.

yesterday i emptied, scrubbed and polished the refrigerator and pantry until it sparkled.
and then we went to the farmers market and stocked up on...

beautiful lettuces
tiny purple tomatoes

let's all be a little extra gentle today.



  1. I also cleaned and organized my fridge recently. It is such a good feeling. I love looking at it!! (ps-I'm a vegetarian and so is my husband)

  2. Hello Janet:
    Your shopping list is most appealing and filled with very goodly things. Happily for us our cook/housekeeper, Tímea, shops daily and so all that we eat is fresh. Sadly, but perhaps not always so, many things remain unavailable here in Hungary and fruit and vegetables are only what is in season.

  3. I'd love to know what those ingredients will become - sounds wonderful! I am not feeling too inspired lately.
    Also I'd be interested to hear you talk about dairy products, since I see you have almond milk in your fridge; I love my milk (tea, porridge...), occasionally some cheese or plain yogurt, and can't imagine giving it up...

    Still, glad to see you have a gold-topped bottle in there, too - every girl should keep one of those on hand ;)

  4. My spring cleaning has so far been outdoors but I am encouraged to spring clean the refrigerator after seeing your post. I can't wait for our spring/summer markets to open again!

    Be kind . . . be well . . .

  5. I'll be putting on a Swimsuit very soon for sis and I are taking Mother to a resort...
    I am petrified just thinking about it :-(

    Salad days is going to be my new mantra!

    Thank you for continuing to inspire and enrich our lives Janet.

    Looks like there might be a bottle of bubbly in your fridge :-)

  6. Glad you posted the 20/20 video for people to see. Isn't it so disgusting?
    Can't wait for the farmers markets to get started around here!
    And I love the way you have displayed your red leaf lettuce!

  7. Dear Janet,
    I just got my swimsuit in the mail. I'm going to have to back off on the baked goods for sure.

  8. oh janet...when i started following you i went through the archives and read most of what you had written. watched the movie you suggested, cried buckets, purged the household of all flesh related items. haven't regretted it never looked back. it was the right choice. watched the video today & well let's say my stomach felt seasick. i'm glad to be on this path now. so happy you have gotten the message out and changed one life (mine) for the better! thank you.

  9. Jamie Oliver did a demonstration on how they make that on his Food Revolution program. So nasty.

  10. It is so nasty. I've got to clean my fridge too. Who knew vegetables left in there (for ages) could be so dirty?

  11. I am so disturbed by the video pertaining to the pink slime that you recommended. As always you provoke thinking. I grew up with the term, "you are what you eat." I have read your blog for over a year now and I am constantly questioning myself on whether to go veggie. I seem to go on a kick and then fall back.

    1. do you have any idea why you fall back? is there anything you can do to stay motivatated? that video would motivate me! i know you are a really good mom and want the best for your children so we need to figure this out. xo janet

  12. Just beautiful, and informative! You have a lovely blog, and I'm a new follower! ♥
    Anne :)

  13. Sure wish the farmer's market in our area was open, doesn't start up till May or June. I could drive to Sacramento but it's 30+ miles away, not good with the price of gas!

    Your refrigerator is waaaaayyyy too clean, almost looks like what you'd find in a model home, everything perfect!!

    Keep on inspiring us Janet!


  14. I read once that any habit takes 3 weeks to break.
    I went vegan thanks to your blog, Janet, one year and 4 months ago--and I absolutely do not regret it.
    It has not been the easiest thing to do at times, and every now and then I still "fall back" and eat some fish or an egg, but I don't let that discourage me to stop helping the world and helping myself. Most of the time, however, eating a vegan diet is very delicious and makes me feel good in a multitude of ways.
    I still carry a leather purse and have leather shoes, but they belong to me, and I am not going to throw them away or give them away unless the day comes that they make me very unhappy.
    I love Alicia Silverstone's name for the vegan diet--the" kind diet"-- because that is exactly what it is. Those tiny words are very powerful.
    Thank you, Janet, for keeping us informed.--Pink Slime--OMG.
    I would have never dreamed of such, but it's one of the hellish nightmares that is happening in the world.
    Thank you for informing me, and especially for then giving me incentive with your beautiful spring fridge filled with kindness. I actually did the same a couple weeks ago, and it feels so wonderful.
    You are such a smart lady--I read that to change a habit, both negative and positive reinforcement are necessary--so offering a look at the pink slime video, but then providing such a breath of hope and fresh air really does the trick. You are keeping me vegan for sure.
    Each day of life on this earth is absolutely a GIFT. Oh, I know that is such a cliche, but it's true.
    Bottom line is--I want to cherish this gift of life, and I want to give it all the respect it deserves.
    Your posts cherish life and uplift me. YOU are an angel.
    -Suzanne in illinois

  15. They were talking about that pink slime on Dr Mc Dougall's message boards the other day-ugh-utterly revolting-! SO Glad I have been a vegetarian for 20 years and a vegan for 15 months! LOVE how your frig looks ! You inspired me to to clean out mine! I see the livestock sector & meat as an enviro-evil-! Not only are the lodging conditions on factory farms inhumane- but the animal's diets are a mess.
    To keep the animals alive on this unnatural diet requires antibiotics. Today, in the US, 70% of the country's antibiotics end up in animal feed: both
    the drugs used to prevent bloat, acidosis and liver infection, and the hormones given to speed livestock growth.
    Not only is this creating antibiotic-resistant superbugs but these drugs are polluting our waterways, as well.

    I LOVE cattle! Because I love animals, I do not want to EAT them.

    Every animal has a distinct personality as people do. We see this with our dogs and cats. Isn't is a horrible shame we turn our heads when it comes to
    farm animals? Cows are very gentle animals, pigs have higher IQ's than dogs and chickens (hens) are sweet and very loving.
    My view is with so many fabulous & healthy things to eat besides meat, why eat it ?
    My view is that today if you are eating meat, you are ingesting suffering.
    On a planet of 6 billion other humans, there are many reasons to be vegan: to not kill animals unnecessarily, to reduce one's impact on
    the environment and to achieve optimal health. Healthy vegans are living proof that one does not need to eat animal products to be healthy.
    Now, if you believe that it is wrong to inflict unnecessary suffering and death
    on nonhuman animals, then logically you should consider not eating them or their secretions. That is my view.
    If you have never considered not eating meat before - boy now is the time consider it ! With all the info we now have on
    cancer & heart disease being related to meat eating, getting off meat s one of the best things you can do for yourself.

  16. Hi Janet, even though I'll be roasting beef for dinner I admire yor dedication to veganism, and your commitment to living a healthy lifestyle.

    Meanwhile what will you be wearing this Spring? Tell me EVERYTHING!

    Are you still not dying your 'do?

    Love to Larry xxxx

    PS can you believe my baby is almost 1?

  17. I am at the point to where I can hardly stand to buy food from the store anymore. I'm so looking forward to the farmers markets and my garden. It's definately a life choice to drastically change your eating habits but I have never regretted it. If that video doesn't change some lives, I don't know what will.

    Since I hurt my foot, I've been on the couch with a bag of chips everyday! It's been disgusting but I need something to hold me over until someone comes homes and feeds me!! :)

  18. LOVE the look of your fridge!!! So clean and fresh, I need to clean mine too :)

  19. I agree with you entirely about a clean fridge. I clean my fridge every weekend before restocking it. There is something so satisfying about buying food from the markets and what's more the trend is global! I love reading your blog, especially all of the healthy food tips. Are you into green smoothies? Very vegan and rather delicious. My husband and I have them every morning for breakfast - delish! Fifi x

  20. You and I must be kindred spirits, for I too think it's fun to spring clean the house, and garden, and fridge. I never ate much meat before, but I just became a complete vegetarian in the past year. I also have two college kids who live at home who are vegetarian as well. But my husband still eats meat, and it's frustrating having to prepare meat for just one person. That said, he has watched the story about Pink Slime and we buy only grass fed, organic, (and hopefully) humanely raised meat. You are always a source of inspiration for me, and I would love it if you could share more of your recipes with us. Thanks!

  21. Janet, Another inspiring post. Going to start tomorrow cleaning out the frig and we really need de-chipping here. The hard part is living with a 13 year old. He lives for junk food right now. What I don't buy, he finds a way to get. It's really gross.

    Vegetables are the key to a long life. My 96 year old grandmother eats a ton of fresh veggies each week. I swear that keeps her young!


  22. I am spring cleaning my diet as well. With the help of a blogger friend who is also a personal trainer, I have cut all sugar and carbs going on day 3. We are retraining my metabolic system and I have to eat every 3 hours. Day one I was super irritable, day 2 I felt like all I did was eat, and day 3 will be trying because I am traveling for work all day so my brown bagged lunch must be portable and very simplified.
    Ironically, one full day without any sugars, white flours, processed foods has me feeling like a million bucks and 10lbs lighter!!!!
    Those fruits and veggies grow for a reason....

  23. OK! They say a picture is worth 1,000 words. Well, that "refrigerator picture"....it's a NOVEL!

  24. Hey Janet, if you have time, hop over to my blog - I mentioned you again (in manner of mildly obsessive stalker) and this time, by coincidence, in relation to diet - as I have just read a book by a vegan which you might find interesting - maybe you've already read it..anyway, your views would be most welcome, really after reading the book I don't know what i should be eating anymore - do Prawn Cocktail crisps cover all the food groups? Bxx

  25. Oh boy, my kitchen needs some serious de-chocolating.
    Fridge cleaning (and chocolate clearance) is now on the agenda for the upcoming weekend!
    Do you find that your lettuce goes limp sitting in the main part of your fridge? Or do you eat them before they have time to do that?

    1. jo, that head of lettuce will last 2 days at best!

  26. Janet,
    That is one sparkling clean refrigerator....i think you would do very well with a glass door refrigerator. I clean my refrigerator every week and sometimes twice...I like it clean! Now....if only I could clean up my diet! Your salad, quite simple really, but you always make it look beautiful! And may I just say that you always add something that is just so nice it makes me feel a little nicer inside..."Let's all be a little extra gentle today, ok?" I love that! I read this post yesterday and thought about that several times last night and this morning. It's a nice thought and an even better act.

  27. What wonderful inspiration! I'll bet that picture is all over Pinterest right now... I've been on a "no food waste" binge since the new year, eating all of the grains, rice, meat. etc. that I've stored in the pantry and freezer, and planning meals around what's in the refrigerator. And creating a food log as you suggested has been incredibly helpful--I had no idea how much I was eating! Thank you, Janet, for inspiring me to adopt more healthful ways, and to do it as beautifully as possible. Cheers!

  28. Janet,

    I heard about the "pink slime" on the news the other night. Disgusting but not surprising. Although I hardly ever consume red meat, I made the decision last year to only eat grass fed meat and from now on if I do have to buy it, I will go to Whole Foods!!

    Your fridge is spotless.


  29. I am feeling so queasy about excess generally at the moment, this world of ours is so crazily out of kilter isn't it? What I do know is your mantra of simplification and thoughfulness has never been more needed. I am trying to work out the practicalities at the moment and have started with clothes, but food is next on the agenda! My thirteen year old's vegetarianism is so simple - I cannot sink my teeth into an animal Mum, I just can't. Respect for her gentleness.xx

    1. ahhhh, that's one smart, compassionate teen you've got there belinda. what a joy to hear about. xo

  30. Janet...All cleaning is therapy for me. While we're on the subject of healthy eating, readers may decide to grow their own tomatoes or do without when not in season after reading this book "Tomatoland" by Barry Estabrook (a former writer for Gourmet Magazine, where this expose first appeared). He also has an interesting blog: politicsoftheplate.com

    1. i'll check that out. thanks for passing it along. xo

  31. Video -- 2 min, 30 sec -- http://nutritionfacts.org/videos/harvards-meat-and-mortality-studies/

    Discussion of advantages of plant based proteins and nuts. Disadvantages of red meat.
    "GO WITH PLANTS" is the bottom line-!


kindness is never out of style.

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