corner of my world



4th year re-blooming orchid!

I want to say sorry for the fact that I'm using my phone now for pictures for this blog.  My real camera will not hold a charge so this is what I'm resorting to. I will say it is about 400x easier than my other camera though.  Otherwise everything else around here is alright.






I'm over a month into being sugar free and still feel good.  Melinda and I are shocked at how much sugar is hidden in products these days. Apparently there are 600,000 grocery products available to us and 80% have added sugar.




Someone in the comments recommended I watch the documentary about sugar called Fed Up.  It really pissed me off so I guess it did its job.  It's on instant watch Netflix.  If you want to be shocked and pissed too, watch it. Here is the trailer.

So that's what's happening in my corner of the world.  What about you?  What corner are you from and what's going on there?  Fill me in. x




78 comments

  1. It angers me about the sugar as well. We've avoided it since our children were young and noticed that the 100% juice we were buying had begun adding the corn syrup products. That was it. 90% of the yogurts sold here are nothing but thickeners and sweeteners. We buy plain and make our own as well. It's no wonder our country has so many health issues, so much diabetes, even in children! Congratulations on going sugar free! I'm sugar free as well, and it includes very minimal carbs too.

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  2. Hello Janet - As usual you inspire, educate & entertain. I watched this trailer & will definitely find a way to watch the documentary. First of all, I know I eat too much sugar & have noticed an increase recently. I am well aware of its dangers & am taking steps to cut down drastically. My diet is pretty healthy, but realize that adding sugar might negate much of the good I do.

    But my real concern is what I see my grandsons eat. Things sold in the guise of fruit juice but is nothing but sugar water. The sugar in bread, cereal, pasta & on it goes, is alarming. They also eat what I've heard referred to as the white diet. In other words, no real food. But as a mother-in-law I have to tread carefully. I, too, have only sons...two of them who are very grown up with families. When the kids spend time with me I try to subtly feed things which are healthy, but in the end I feel my hands are tied. Once I watch the video, perhaps I can suggest it to my family. Thank you for suggesting it!

    Anita - the cabin at the creek

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  3. Janet thank you for sharing your sugar free journey with us. I was wondering if there is any books you read or blogs that helped you. You eat so well as a whole I was wondering what your strategy was for sugar free meal planning?

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    1. thanks marianne. i'm doing this with melinda who has ovarian cancer. this is all part of her new diet. i'm going to do a post on what we are eating b/c of all the interest.

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  4. Hi Janet - When you say you are sugar free, does that mean all sweeteners, such as honey, molasses, maple syrup, and agave? I could go "sugar" free more easily than omitting all of those things. That would mean no home made baked goods, etc. Is fruit your sweet choice now?

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    1. hi judy. i use maple syrup and coconut sugar in a very very very limited way. i would say less than a gram a day. fruit is def my main choice and the fructose in it is perfectly balanced with the fiber in it so fruit is good. i'm having amazing results with using dates in my baking. more posts to come about that.

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    2. I too was curious about this, so am looking forward to reading your future post. I've tried baking with honey instead of sugar, but have yet to try coconut sugar.

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  5. It's sunny here :) Even got sunburned at a wedding yesterday!

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  6. I've cut way back on sugar, but still have a little bit of dark (70% cacoa) chocolate most days.Your camera takes lovely pictures; the effect is gentle and romantic.

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  7. I'm incredibly envious that you have managed to have an orchid rebloom once, let alone for 4 years! It's a trick I haven't mastered… despite having a green thumb elsewhere.
    There's a big I Quit Sugar movement in Australia - the woman that wrote the book on it is called Sarah Wilson, and I think they're launching it into the States this year (if they haven't already). I went sugar free for around 4 months last year - amazing how it makes your skin look.
    Incidentally, I stayed in New York for a month around 7 years ago, and was shocked at how many products tasted weird to me due to sugar in them (which we don't have in Australia) - tomato paste for instance so that my basic bolognase sauce tasted oddly sweet. After a month my taste buds had obviously adjusted and I clearly remember returning home, eating my usual muesli for breakfast and it tasting like cardboard. Took a week to readjust to normal levels of sugar, and for my cereal to again taste sweet. Also, all the corn fructose! We don't really have it in Australia (normal cane sugar), and it definitely makes a sugary taste go up a notch or two.
    OK, first comment and I've written an essay!

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    1. To flower again the next year cymbidium orchids need plenty of light but not full sun as it burns. In cold areas where there is risk of frost they need to be under cover as the frost will burn and ruin the flower buds/flowers. They need orchid mix not normal potting mix and preferably pots should be above ground so water drains away freely - otherwise they'll get root rot. I throw some Osmacote at them occasionally - usually in autumn and after they've finished flowering and I've cut back the old flower spikes. Have had them blooming every year for years. They tend to thrive on benign neglect.
      Agree about everything tasting sweet in the US - even the bread was sweet. Am trying the Moseley 5:2 diet, severe calorie limitation for two days a week (not necessarily consecutive) and anything you like the other days, though preferably healthy food. But keep getting side tracked by things like Christmas, New Year, travel etc! Don't buy many processed foods anyway so avoid the hidden sugars that way. Have just had regular blood test results back and Doc says sugar level absolutely fine and normal. Mostly buy fresh products and eat as salads or cook ourselves. But still need to do the 5:2. Heidi - you absolutely don't need to diet - and Janet not either.
      Your house looks beautiful as always Janet! Pammie xx

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    2. Pammie my husband has been on the 5:2 diet for about 18 months, it's a way of life for him now, he didn't go on it to lose weight more for the discipline and health benefits but it helps his weight stay stable.

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    3. heidi i know what you mean re the foods here being sweeter. that's why as a nation we are dealing with obesity and diabetes as an epidemic.

      never have heard of the 5:2 diet tho.

      pammie, it's really not about dieting, we all live on diets that compose our daily foods, it's about preventing disease and being healthy. :)

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    4. It's one of the reasons we're doing the 5:2 diet. My husband doesn't need to lose any weight but it's supposed to have all sorts of other health benefits to prevent disease, including reducing blood sugar levels, cholesterol etc. When we went to the GP the other day for our blood test results - Doc said he could see from the results that we both were eating very healthily - G's previous results had rather high blood sugar - but now gone down dramatically since starting the 5:2.
      It's very uncomplicated and doesn't involve any fad foods or special things you have to eat. Developed by Michael Moseley (himself a qualified though not practising English doctor - his wife also a doctor) in consultation with the medical profession. You could try googling him to get more info. His book gives examples of sample menus - but it's not vegan and includes meat and other animal products so that part of it would not be for you.
      Our GP says it's the only diet he believes really works and is really good for you - and not only for weight reduction. As Tabitha says, if you can stick with it, it becomes a way of life. It does require discipline though especially in the early stages - my husband is pretty good at that - but me not so much!
      As he points out in the book, it's also about the psychology of food and eating. Most people when confronted with rigid diets where lots of things are forbidden can go with them up to a certain point but then suddenly break out, eat things that are banned and then give up or go yoyo.
      This one I don't think anything is forbidden. But as people stick with the 5 days on two days off where you can eat anything you like during the 5 days and have very restricted calories the other two - apparently with time, most people feel and look so much better they are less tempted to eat food that's fatty or sugary and they also just generally cut down on quantities. He himself reached a weight his doctors were happy with, his blood test results improved enormously so he went pretty much to a 6:1 schedule. It doesn't cost anything (except the price of the book - or you can google the info) unlike the companies that sell special food products - and in fact reduces grocery costs as you eat less.
      The book doesn't suggest doing this - but you can also look at following the program and at the same time go as organic as possible, which we try to do at home. This way you're hopefully reducing exposure to the toxic chemicals that are sprayed onto veggies and fruits and others used to treat animals. We buy organic butter and eggs (free range too), meat and chicken where possible and wild Oz fish rather than farmed or from Asia. Also where possible fruit and veggies. We can't get everything organic - and it does cost a bit more. We never buy lollies (candies), soft drinks (sodas) or biscuits (cookies) - and we never give our grand-daughters lollies or chocolates or soft drinks. Though we don't ban them and I'll probably have one if they're offered when we're out. That's where we're different, my husband probably won't.
      Sorry this just too long! There's nothing like a recent convert to proselytise. Pammie

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  8. What a coincidence....
    http://www.rosekraft.blogspot.com/2015/01/the-joy-of-cymbidium-season.html
    Isn't January in California a special gift?

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  9. Hello there in your pretty corner! :) I haven't watched the documentary yet but the trailer made me sick enough. I just looked at the can of soda I'm drinking...46 grams of sugar. Please let me be strong enough to throw away the other cans! Maybe you could give us an idea of your menus and meals now. Is Larry doing this with you? I think Chad would rather melt into a lump of sugar than give it up. But I can't get him to give up meat and dairy either.

    It sounds like you're doing so well in this new year. Let's talk soon! ♥

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    1. you know larry eats what i cook. but he will be the first to tell you he is not vegan. orders meat when we eat out, which isn't often but he does. also re sugar he has cut back. :)

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  10. Great post. I'm finding the same kind of shocking info in the salt dept. Label reading is so important!

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  11. Icy streets and lanes here, brilliant skies and sunsets. That's outside. Inside we have lots of firewood and infinite projects.

    Love your blog, your life as you show it, your style and food, but most of all, your heart and mind.

    Thanks, Janet.

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  12. As a fellow Southern Californian you can probably guess what I am doing...lots and lots of pruning and a major garden clean-up. This is also the time I put in new bareroot roses and other bareroot plants.

    I haven't tried to do without sugar, but it is probably a good idea to at least cut down.

    Now if we could just get some more rain, that would make me very, very happy!

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  13. I quit sugar and carbs about two weeks ago and it's awful. I'm having headaches and feeling so foggy! I don't know if you saw the blog post I had up for like three hours last week, but I read it back to myself and was like "who the f wrote this?!" Haha but I'm losing weight quickly so I'll endure it. Or quit and move to a cabin and gain like 70 pounds.
    Your corner is so lovely and light. We are in our January thaw, so everything is wet and muddy and Barbie is getting like four baths a day. But I'm working on a few tweaks for the salon, so I'm enjoying that. Funny how minuscule changes can be invigorating.

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    1. Stephen, how many carbs a day are you eating? I find myself cranky ( that's putting it nicely lol) and not sleeping well if I go below about 75 or so. I started at 50, then had to add back some in order to feel human. I stay around 100 now and that works for me. I throw it all to hell on Saturday night (we eat out, and I get whatever I feel like having) and Sunday morning, (when I make protein pancakes w/greek yogurt and use REAL maple syrup.)

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    2. I'm not sure, I'm afraid doing math in my weakened state would push me over the edge! I haven't had much trouble sleeping. In fact I would say I'm sleeping much better.

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    3. Stick with it Stephen Andrew! In a short time, you will feel fabulous! The first couple of weeks without carbs is very hard but so worth it in the end. I am also trying to detox from carbs. I've done it before and know I can do it again.

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    4. I will! I actually started feeling way better yesterday. So hopefully I'm through the hard part. Though I have a lot of stuff this weekend and hate to think of suffering through party talk without a drink! Maybe I'll have to start a political argument to keep myself entertained.

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    5. Stephen Andrew, I happened to read the post you referred to and am glad I wasn't the only one who was wondering what was going on.

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    6. Haha! Yeah it was a swirling collection of thoughts that made sense to me about the day I decided to start my own business, but totally fell apart via article form.

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  14. Good for you, Janet! I couldn't give up sugar altogether. I love dark chocolate too much. What's going on here? A little stress but life is really good for the most part. We had sunshine today on the West Coast of Canada so we suck up as much as we can. Your pics are lovely!

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  15. I live in your corner of the world now-and I will totally agree with the above poster, Rosekraft, that "January in California a special gift!"
    We went to Balboa Park/Museum of Art for the Modern exhibit.
    I ♥♥♥ Pollack, Rothko, Kahlo, and etc. We went to see the Rafael hanging in the Timken, too.
    This weekend coming-whale watching! Seems they have really had a lot of sightings lately, so fingers crossed.

    Hubby and I have been doing the lo-carb/less sugar thing since Dec1. We ditched HFCS a long time ago, along with white stuff like white bread/rice/etc. I have a sweet tooth that acts up now and then, and I indulge...but I have a hard time sleeping if I go below 75 grams of carbs a day. I like to stay right around 100...hubby does about 50. We use My fitness pal to track it.

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  16. Congrats on the No! Sugars, we over here try our best to keep it healthy, herbal, and no GMO's ...always something to worry about.
    Love your style, I have been wanting to add some black back into my designs.
    Wil be following you,
    See you soon.

    Xx
    Dore

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  17. I eat a lot of fruit which has fructose....and I do eat a bit of quality chocolate and our Canadian maple syrup once or twice a week on French toast....I think eating foods in their natural state makes it easier to avoid added sugars....but to get a cymbidium orchid to rebloom without fancy light and heat is a true triumph....i get excited if my phalaenopsis re loom twice!
    Love your cozy corner Janet.

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    1. I can't get my phalaenopsis to re bloom more than twice either! I tried for a 3rd time but the leaves started growing from the stem where the flowers were supposed to be!

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  18. My corner of the world? Had surgery on my foot last week and it hurts. Frost killed my new maple tree. I have my first car from high school (40 years) and we pulled her out of storage to go for a spin this past weekend and she sputtered; we barely made it home. Poor old girl. (That makes two of us.) I've been throwing loose change into jars for close to two years and we cashed in the coins today: $161.50. It paid for a fill-up at the gasoline station as well as my monthly water/sewer bill...and a couple of cheap lunching-outs for Husband this week who's busy on his job and sick of taking a sack lunch to work. Looking forward to seeing what bulbs are going to force first; can't tell yet in the garden. Overall, just feeling that sort of dull January lull.

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  19. Amazing floorboards! Well done on giving up sugar - I need to cut down :P

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  20. Loving Ellie's blog--thanks to you and now the blog she recommended today. I always enjoy your posts.

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  21. My corner of the world is hectic! Daughter had knee surgery two days after moving into her new house. Her toddler is on a rampage with everything new going on. My new car is in the shop already. But, I get to come here and get cheered up with all your beautiful posts and see how everyone else is doing! Cheers me up tremendously. We are expecting snow in Fort Worth on Friday!

    Lisa in Fort Worth

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  22. Hi Janet,

    Oh how I wish I could give sugar up completely but like Lisa I love my dark chocolate too. (In small amounts)

    Whenever I am at the grocery store (especially Vons or Ralphs) I always look at what some people are buying when I'm standing in line at the register and sometimes it's just appalling. No fresh produce, except maybe a couple bananas and the rest is just all processed food, soda, etc. And then I look at the individual. Most of the time they do not look like healthy specimens.

    Do you remember the book "Sugar Blues" from the 70's? It made quite an impact on me...I didn't eat any refined sugar for quite awhile.

    Not too much to report around here except my daughter and her husband both passed their written test for the deputy position! But that is only part 1 of about 10 steps, it's quite a process apparently.

    Have a great week!

    Linda
    xo

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    1. i remember that book well. congrats on the test taking1

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  23. Hi Janet-----What foods are you eating?

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    1. that's a good question and i'll answer it in length in a new post. but basically whole foods, vegan and no sugar. so breakfast is something like...oatmeal, smoothie, homemade bread, tea. lunch is a huge salad usually with some quinoa heaped on top. dinner has been soups, roasted veggies, veggie stews. dessert has been fruit, smoothies, and sugar free desserts made with dates.

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    2. Hi! I'm so fascinated by this. Your meals sound good; not as scary as I would have thought! What do you do for salad dressing? While I'm here, I love the posts you've done in the past about your pantry - they've really inspired me. In fact, I look them up again when I want to clean and simplify in the kitchen. Also, I tried a variation of the homemade bread recipe you posted about and I was amazed! I never thought we could have homemade bread regularly! Our youngest is only four months, so I can't spend a great deal of time in the kitchen; it's perfect for us. Did you see the variation called "Speedy No-knead Bread"? I've had good results. Thank you for your blog; I wish I could print all of it and have a big book to browse through. :)

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    3. salad dressings have been balsamic vinegar without added sugars. some add sugar! also, i still love TJs goddess dressing. i have not read the speedy no knead recipe. i can't imagine it being any faster - altho i cut out a lot of steps from the original recipe. need to repost about that too!

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    4. Janet,

      How do you prepare quinoa? Does your husband like it? I have never seen it prepared or tasted it.

      Sincerely,
      Debra from SENC

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    5. i follow the simple directions on the box. just put it into boiling water or veggie stock and let it cook. it adds great taste and texture. you will like it i'm sure. larry prob doesn't even know what it is, he just eats it. lol

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  24. Yes, please elaborate! Are you staying under so many grams per serving? Is alcohol off your list? Pure maple syrup? Stevia? Thanks, I'm very interested! Janie

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    1. alcohol is off my list altho melinda is allowed to drink 1-2 per week. i just don't care that much about it. neither of us are using any stevia. a drizzle of pure maple syrup is allowed. very minimal though. i think our sugar grams are between 1-4 per day or less. sugar in fruit is not counted b/c of its health benefits. she is allowed 3 fruits per day.

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  25. It's terrific that you're kicking sugar.

    On the sweetener front, the Salon article, "5 shocking reasons why Americans are getting fatter," sites research showing that artificial sweeteners, which are billed as a way to cut calories and lose weight, actually do the opposite. The reasons are that the sweetener chemicals might slow metabolism and make people crave sweets.

    Two other reasons given for the American obesity epidemic are hormones and antibiotics - both in the medicines we take and the animals we eat.

    Here's the article:
    http://www.salon.com/2014/03/13/5_shocking_reasons_why_americans_are_getting_fatter_partner/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=socialflow

    As y'all know, the 2015 U.S. Dietary Guidelines were to reflect the environmental costs of our food choices but due to intense lobbying by the powerful animal agriculture industry, that plan might be dropped. If you'd like to tell the U.S Department of Health and Human Services to keep environmental concerns in the Food Pyramid, you can do so via the Center for Biological Diversity:

    http://action.biologicaldiversity.org/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=16470

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    1. If you're still in documentary watching mode, "COWSPIRACY: The Sustainability Secret" is one of the best documentaries I've ever seen.
      http://www.cowspiracy.com/facts/

      It's an environmental film - no slaughterhouse footage.

      Cowspiracy may be the most" important film made to inspire saving the planet.
      — Louie Psihoyos, Oscar-Winning Director of "The Cove"

      A documentary that will rock and inspire the environmental movement.
      — Darren Aronofsky, Director of "Noah" and "Black Swan"

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  26. I'm also trying to cut back on sugar, and have found it's a lot easier when anything tempting is not in the house. A couple of weeks ago, I posted on here that I had very piously by-passed a handful of chocolate kisses leftover from Christmas and ate a couple of squares of 70% dark chocolate instead. Well...then I ate that handful of kisses and then had another one. So, I took all my Christmas candy to my parents' retirement community and left several piles all over the place. It was scarfed up pretty quickly. So now, I have cheese and wheat crackers (have to go read the sugar content) to snack on, and they're very satisfying.

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  27. Janet, I've mentioned in comments here about giving up sugar as well. So glad for you that your journey of no sugar is still going well.

    There are so many hidden sugars in processed foods these days and even in organic, healthy foods. This led me to begin cooking just about everything we eat from scratch. My grocery shopping these days consists of fresh vegetables and occasional fruit. I avoid fruit most of the time as well and if I do have a serving it's only once a day. I purchase bulk items such as my grains, flour, flax seed, chia seeds, etc. Really the only processed foods that I purchase are my sprouted bread and sprouted tortillas, and my almond milk.

    Yes I have to spend a lot of time in the kitchen and be prepared but the food tastes so much better and my husband and I both feel much better. And really after doing this for as long as I have now it doesn't seem like too much time in the kitchen at all. I bake in larger portions and freeze a lot of things. I also make sure that I always have some sort of beans prepared in the fridge along with a grain. And I build most meals from there.

    It is surely a lifestyle change and one that I wouldn't change for anything. Blessings to you and yours,
    Belinda

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  28. a market niche is developing for a grocery store free of gmo, nonsugars added, local organic livestock & veggies & fruits.....

    soon nurseries will only sell cultivars..............more money in the patents than the much better and better proven genus/species.

    xo t

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  29. I've been eating out way too much these past few weeks (unusual for me) and I'm back to cooking and more exercise this week! I've seen a few Movies...Boyhood and The Theory of Everything, both great! Went to a Museum Exhibit in San Francisco. Enjoying our beautiful weather...and feeling a bit guilty about it...we need rain, yikes! Overall, life is good up here!

    Renee in Northern California

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  30. I always love reading your blog and seeing your photos - your home is so calming and peaceful. I've been busy decluttering here and focusing on just keeping things that bring me joy (following Marie Kondo's methods). It's incredibly addictive and therapeutic! I've also been aware that I need to improve my eating (had an incredibly stressful 18 months, so cooking and taking care of myself basically went out of the window), so I'm trying to focus on some self-care this year. I used to love cooking and eating well, so am trying to regain my enthusiasm for it. I'm looking forward to reading your future posts on eating less sugar.

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  31. Hi Janet!

    do you know Apartment Therapy?
    I "see" your cottage-tour on their website. And the best part: you would not even have to take new photos, because they are alreay online on your blog.

    I am getting a lot of inspiration from AT, especially The January Cure:
    http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/collection/january-cure-2015-468

    I case you never heard of it before, it is worth a look.
    In case you already know it: what is your opinion on AT's cures?

    warm regards,
    Paula
    ... right now from a quite desaturated grey and mostly cold Vienna

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  32. Hi Janet, I can't wait to hear more about your new diet. These past few months we have been completely eliminating all sugars, oils, gmo's, all chemical food additives (aka: msg) including: natural flavors, spices, organic spices, citric acid etc.., and eating a plant based diet with a lot of greens, whole grain pastas, potatoes and brown rice. I feel so much better, with a lot more energy. I also have been able to lose my stubborn last 10 lbs. We pretty much had to stop eating out to do this...miss that part. I also am trying to limit myself to a little 100% real maple syrup and dates to sweeten things. It was a real eye opener to go through all of my pantry, fridge & freezer and read all the labels...no wonder our obesity and cancer rates are sky high with all the oils, sugars and chemical crap in our food supply. This last year has been tough watching my best friend of 20+ yrs wither away from her stage 4 breast cancer that came back after first being diagnosed 18+ yrs ago.

    Suzanne in Temecula....still recovering from our freak snow storm :-)

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  33. Janet- You might like Cathy's food blog. I met her when I stayed for 10 days a few years ago at True North Health Center in Santa Rosa, CA. She does cooking demos for their guests. She is all plant based, no oils, sugars or processed anything. http://www.straightupfood.com/blog/about/

    Suzanne in Temecula

    ps- I have the hardest time posting comments on your blog. Maybe it's because I use a Mac?

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    1. thanks for all this info. i will check her blog. Fed Up talks a lot about sugars hiding under names we don't recognize. sounds like you have a good handle on it. it does feel good! i have no idea about the commenting. i have a really hard time commenting on wordpress blogs too.

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  34. Am at the beach eating both sugar and carbs and drinking alcohol, but I did go for a really long walk/hike today with tonnes of hills.

    I love how focussed you are and once you commit you go all the way x

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    1. LOL....notice I didn't say alcohol :-)

      Suzanne

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  35. You are right, the amount of sugar (mostly high fructose corn syrup) in our prepared foods is scandalous. I learned this about 11 years ago when my son started breaking out in huge hives and even having his lips swell. We finally figured out he was allergic to corn. I cook a lot from scratch, but even so we were getting a lot of it. Even hamburger dill pickle chips have added corn syrup! If you make dill pickles from scratch, you add no sugar. Spaghetti sauce, pickles, many breads, the list of items with added corn syrup is endless. The more we cook from scratch, so that we know exactly what goes into our foods, the better off we are.....
    By the way, I've been reading your blog for some time now, and I always enjoy it. Your home is lovely, and you have wonderful taste in clothes. Thank you so much for sharing with us. :) Lois

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  36. Is sugar vegan? This may not be a question many would even think to ask but the fact is most commercial sugar is filtered through bone char, the charred bones of animals- cows in the case of the sugar industry. So what’s a vegan to do? In this video, "the bite sized vegan" Emily Moran Barwick, talks about the exact process of sugar’s production and bone char-free alternatives, as well as touches on the environmental impact of the sugar cane industry.

    Is Sugar Vegan? ~ 7 & 1/2 minutes. You can watch it here:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RcbeJEUnii4&feature=youtu.be&list=PLmIqdlomtuStFtMawXWLcH9Ia2TFFkDZ3

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  37. Congrats on kicking sugar out of your life!
    I don't have much luck with orchids. Is your orchid in a north facing window?

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  38. YOU need to READ ACCIDENTALLY OVERWEIGHT by a DOC LIBBY WEAVER!I am happy to mail to you if you want me too!

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  39. We don't (yet) avoid all products with sugar in them, but since we cook mostly from scratch we avoid quite a bit of it. I was raised not to eat candy or sweets for the benefit of my teeth (both parents had false teeth by the time they were forty). I cook from scratch for the benefit of my pocket book (and because I like to cook). I've just 'discovered' Michael Pollan and am reading Cooked at the moment. (I'm 'late to all the parties' somehow, being retired and not watching much TV). Well done on your new diet plan. I look forward to hearing how that goes.

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  40. Thank you. I am inspired by you, so am going sugar free too - also shocked at how hard it is. Am also struggling at weekends as we have a glut of 50th birthday parties going on this month and alcohol is just as bad. Other than that here in Britain it is my least fav time of year - dark and cold. So consoling myself with good food, lots of walks in the fresh air and fires in the evening. Keep up the great blogging.

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  41. FYI- Our Costco now sells organic Vegan sugar not made with any bone char...in case you are going to use a little.

    Suzanne

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    1. I recently finished a goop detox and avoiding sugar was a major part of it. I was shocked by all the hidden sugars in our food. Making things from scratch is about the only way to avoid sugar. I use raw organic honey. Are you avoiding honey as well?

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    2. yeah i don't eat honey b/c i'm vegan but boy you are right about the hidden sugars! so many!

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  42. Wow! To your orchid. Look at it grow!! It's a pleasure to see plants growing, and blooming this time of year. Thank you for sharing. Plants are sleeping here in the middle of the US. Janet, your wood floors are beautiful! Personally, I backed away from sugar, and white flour over a decade ago. Sugar is a constant challenge. It seems to attempt to creep into the diet during the holiday season. Tradition and all that.

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  43. Just saw this today...thought you might enjoy:

    http://foodbabe.com/2015/01/22/weight-loss-secret-food-industry-doesnt-want-know/

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  44. Hi Janet, I'm off 'obvious sugar' and feel a million times better already. I've realised some things I ate out of habit and I don't even like them that much!!! I love it when you share pictures of your home, thank you. Calling in from Auckland, New Zealand!

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  45. I've been vegan for 3 weeks now (thanks to Janet and the 'Earthlings' video) and am so glad to have done so. It did amaze me the number of vegetarian products that contain milk &/or eggs, though. I'm doing my own version of a 5:2 diet...during the week days I eat store bought vegan products (sausages, 'egg' rolls, etc., but all vegan), then on week ends I eat whole foods only: fruit or veg salads/smoothies, seeds, nuts. It hasn't been difficult at all! I've been on one diet or other (to lose weight) for decades and never found anything I wanted to stick with for more than a week. This is different; although I do want to lose weight, my focus is on my health. This new way of eating for life (and not just until the weight is off) will help me to feel, look and BE better. I find I don't focus on what I can't eat, as I did on other diets; instead my focus is on how to prepare all these great foods in a way that can help me get my 3 guys (Hubs & 2 sons) on board 8~). They are still meat eaters and the kids do eat more sugar than they should.
    I've also started to go sugar free. First by not eating candies/cookies/pastries made with sugar/honey for the past 3 weeks; then a few days ago I stopped eating processed foods that contain sugar also. That part is a bit harder since there ARE so many products with sugar in them. But it is worth it. I do feel the difference-yay! I'm pulling my 3 guys into the vegan/sugar-free life style slowly...it may take longer with them, but that's okay so long as they get there.
    I also started using Cool Blond Shampoo/Conditioner products that Stephen Andrew recommended on his blog - they really do a great job of chasing away the yellow for us 'gone grey gals'. Thank you Janet and Stephen Andrew!

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    Replies
    1. awww this is fantastic mills. i'm so impressed! my start date of stopping sugar is dec 16th and it's so easy now. the lethargy is gone and i feel full for longer periods than from constantly popping some sweet thing. i'm glad you are feeling the same. that stephen andrew is a genius!!!

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  46. I just watched the documentary FED-UP: Amazing.....I feel horrible for kids who have poor food choices for lunch because the school's lunch programs are funded by all the fast-food and sugary drink companies. Sugar is definitely a drug!

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  47. Janet, that documentary was soooo depressing but so good! I've watched almost all the food documentaries so it wasn't too much of a surprise. I really wanted to adopt some of this kids and show them how to make the right changes etc.

    Anyhow, I've just received my new cookbook that is vegan and gluton free. It's started with a blog. Both of which are called deliciously Ella. (I'm sure you already know about it, but just in case) the U.S. version comes out March 4th. It was releasd today in the UK.

    Hope you are well, Leena xx

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kindness is never out of style.

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