Wednesday, January 31, 2007

What's For Dinner?

Where to begin? I'm having a real hard time with this blog entry.

Grace sent me a link yesterday to a New York Times article by Michael Pollan called, "Unhappy Meals." Pollan says quite a few things that I agree with and some that I don't, but he does touch on why it has been so hard for me to get going on what was to be the purpose of this blog, and that is to share what I have learned about nutrition with those that might be interested. Problem No. 1 is that "diet" and "nutrition" have become very complicated subjects. For example, we read about one study that proves X and the next month we hear that X has been disproven. Problem No. 2 is that we have been given advice ad nauseum that has no scientific basis at all, but "everybody knows" that we should be avoiding this or that and eating more of the other thing. Many of the books I have read include some of these assumptions, like the whole saturated fats are unhealthy issue. When you go looking for the proof, it is not there. Problem No. 3, you can get sued if someone follows what they interpret as your advice and then they don't get the desired result or worse get sicker.

After reading all these books and more (I didn't put any of the cookbooks in the photo), doing a lot of searching on the web and filling five three-ring notebooks with printouts, and reading discussion forums on diet issues to see what results real people are getting, I have come to the conclusion that nobody has it right 100% yet, if they ever will, and that includes me. We are back to Problem No. 1, the complexity of the material and the complexity of human beings, their genetic heritage, their environmental influences. What I can relate here on my blog is what I have learned in the last three years of pondering the questions, What do we eat? What do I serve my family to keep them healthy? What do I want to eat?

If I were to sum up my philosophy of diet and nutrition (as a science nutrition is still in its infancy) in a few words, it would be: Eat real food. That's it. No restriction on amount, but I assume you will eat only when hungry and stop when you are full. (If you eat a high carb diet, you may not know when either of these points occur.) Eat food that will go bad in a few days if it is not refrigerated. Eat food that is in as close to its natural state as you can get it. Eat from the four food groups at every meal (a la Diane Schwarzbein): protein, fats, carbohydrates, and low-carb veggies. Have something green with every meal. That's where the magnesium is (along with a lot of other good things.)

I am basically a Paleo Dieter. And I don't mean dieting to lose weight or to control a disease. I am referring to what everyone should eat in general. I believe that Loren Cordain is correct that we need to get back to the kind of diet our bodies evolved over thousands of years to eat. Trouble is there aren't any mastodons around anymore and can we really know what paleolithic man ate every day? We live in today's world and have to eat what is available now. But I don't eat grains at all as Cordain recommends. Grains became part of our diet only recently in evolutionary terms. His reasons for not eating grains include the lectin theory which basically says that grains have complex proteins in them called lectins, antinutrients, that we cannot digest very well.

I also like very much what the Drs. Eades have to say in Protein Power, which I have referred to before. I like them because they work with patients every day and see the results of the diet they recommend, they are not just researchers or journalists. And they are ready to change their minds about things if new, good research proves them wrong. Aside from their books, they are not trying to sell a whole line of products either as some authors do. I tend not to trust people who I feel are just trying to sell me something. If you decide to go the low-carb route, I strongly recommend you read the Eadeses' book Protein Power Lifeplan first, especially the chapters on magnesium and potassium. Changing to a low-carb diet can be tough without their helpful hints.

What I don't like about the Eadeses is their insistence on using sugar substitutes in their recipes because their main concern is carbs. No sucralose, please! If you're going to cut out sugar, then just cut it out and let your taste buds experience other flavors besides sweet. And they seem to think that it's OK to microwave your food (I'll do another blog on that later).

Which brings me to Mary Enig and Sally Fallon, authors of Nourishing Traditions. Enig is the scientist and Fallon is the writer. Together they have promoted the work of Weston Price who is in many ways the grandfather of this whole new movement in nutrition. His book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, is fascinating and led to the now coming-to-be-accepted notion that traditional foods are best, as Pollan states in his article.

So that's what I intend to do here. Try to make you aware of the current SAD (standard American diet) state of our eating habits, point you in what I think is the right direction to better health, share recipes and tell you where to go to get ingredients, and pique your curiosity to do your own research.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007


If Richard Feynman were still alive today, would he have a blog? There's an interesting thought. I bet he would if only for the novelty of it. And I think he would love the chance to explain things to us ordinary folks because as he so often said, if you can't explain something then you really don't understand it yourself.

When I was reading that Science article the other day (see Wanderings), I came across the acronym BOLD for which there was no explanation in the research report. So I googled BOLD and got an instant answer to my query from two young theoretical physicists with a blog! Wrap your mind around that one. They not only have a blog, they talk about physics on their blog. I always imagined theoretical physicists to be these superhuman creatures who spent all their time in an ivory tower somewhere only coming out once in awhile to speak in a strange language filled with funny symbols and Greek letters.

I wonder how long it would have taken me to find an answer to my question at the library. It probably would have taken hours just to locate which section of the library to look in. The acronym was used in a sentence that gave no clue (at least to me) as to what it meant, "comparing the BOLD response associated with baseline..." I found that it stands for "blood-oxygen-level dependent" and is used in MRI scanning. But the guys at Backreaction explain it so much better than I can. (You're right, I don't really understand it still.)

And, to me, that is what is so neat about the Internet these days. There is just an incredible amount of information available instantly. And anybody can put it out there--even a theoretical physicist. I worried at first (back in the 90s) that the information would be unreliable, I mean could you trust these blokes? But there seems to be a built-in correction system to the Internet in the sheer number of entries on the web. If you browse around enough, you can get a pretty good consensus on a topic or at least you are made aware of the controversies.

I spent yesterday dyeing some yarn and will have photos to show you soon.

Sunday, January 28, 2007


I had a "eureka" moment this week. Eureka moments are also sometimes called "aha" moments. That's when things suddenly click for you in your mind, something that you were trying to understand but couldn't quite grasp suddenly becomes clear. These moments come unannounced and seemingly without any preparation. And when they come, you ask yourself, Why didn't I see that before?

There was a research report in last week's Science magazine about where the mind goes when it wanders. The scientists were trying to determine if the "default network" of our brains is activated when we daydream. The default network is that region of the brain that remains active when we are at rest, at least in functional imaging experiments. They concluded that "mind-wandering constitutes a psychological baseline that emerges when the brain is otherwise unoccupied, supported by activity in the default network of cortical regions. Results demonstrated that reductions in processing demands, that is performing practiced versus novel sequences of otherwise identical tasks, were accompanied by increases in both the generation of SIT (stimulus-independent thought) and activity in the default network." (You gotta love these scientists and their acronyms.)

My mind seems to wander a lot these days, especially when I am thinking about what to write about for this blog. This morning I wondered if eureka moments come when our mind is at rest and allowed to wander and that's why they seem to come from nowhere. I wandered as I wondered to my recent attempts to renew my efforts to "cure" my myopia. My "aha" this week was when I finally discovered what Thomas Quackenbush meant in his book, Relearning to See, by "centralization."

Centralization is the opposite of diffusion. It is the knowledge that the human eye can only see one point clearly at any moment. That fact is inherent in its structure. But centralization is not concentration. Centralization happens naturally, for people with normal eyesight, when the eyes and the mind are at rest and it happens with movement. We see best what is in the center of our vision, but we cannot hold onto it. We constantly shift our focus from one point to another. Fixation, concentration, creates blur. People with good vision are constantly moving their eyes from one point to another of the thing they are looking at, staying at one spot for no longer than a few seconds.

Quackenbush goes on to say, "Actually it is the person's interest that shifts from one point to another, the eyes and head simply follow the 'mental movement.'" p. 151

Hmm... sounds a bit like mind wandering to me. We see best when we are relaxed. We think and learn best when we are relaxed. We are at our most creative when we are relaxed.

I have learned to turn on my clearsight, i.e., perfectly clear vision without my glasses, by relaxing my eyes. One method is to simply close them and then very gently open them again allowing them to "see" whatever is there. Usually, I do this outside while looking into the distance. Another method of getting the eye muscles to relax is by "palming." You cup your palms over your eyes, gently, and rest them in the darkness and warmth of your hands. Then you release your hands and open your eyes to see the world in front of you.

Until now, I have not been able to get my clearsight to last more than a few minutes. What I learned this week was that I could turn on this clearsight state by really looking at a small point and telling myself that this is what I could see best. Suddenly it cleared and I could move to the next point and the next and they were all perfectly clear. One point at a time, each the best I could see.

Now I want to apply this principle to my knitting. What do I look at when I am knitting? The needles and my hands are in constant motion. I sometimes diffuse as I knit to try to see everything at once, the yarn, the loops, the needles, my hands. Not good. But what do I centralize on? Do I let my mind wander, or do I count stitches? Do I SIT to knit? I have already learned that I cannot do lace with distractions and that knitting is like meditation. I cannot knit lace on auto-pilot. But do you force yourself to empty your mind of thought when meditating? Obviously, no. What do I centralize on? The mantra yfwd, K2tog, K-one, yfwd, K2tog K-two, etc.? But what do I look at?

Another wandering thought: maybe it's all these people who have been diagnosed with ADHD that are normal, and it is the state of forced concentration that is abnormal.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Early Spring

One of the really nice things about Los Angeles is that spring comes early and lasts a very long time. Spring seems to be especially early this year even though it has been cold. Maybe because there has been no rain to slow things down. My lavenders are in bloom and the azalea has decided to open a few of its buds. The clivia has sent up some blooms, but they are very low in the plant as though they came up and then realized that it was still too early. Last year and the year before, I received some potted bulbs as a Christmas gift, a bulb of the month club idea. The first year, I got beautiful blooms from all the pots but after the blooms faded and the greens turned yellow, I just moved the pots to my potting bench and ignored them for the summer. They got no water at all and dried out. I didn't think they would come back, but after a little fall rain they started to sprout. I am giving them regular water now and am eagerly waiting to see what I get. The deep purple hyacinth has already bloomed, but again it's a short bloom, low in the plant. But the smell!! I wish there was some way to upload a whiff of its intoxicating cinnamon aroma to you.

I went bonkers over lavender a few years ago. My friend Kathy has had great success with her plants. But although I was able to get cuttings from her to root, as soon as I put them into the ground, they died. She says I need to clean the potting soil off the roots before putting them into our clay soil. Next time... Her French lavender has the best aroma. I have successfully grown a Spanish lavender and a lace-leaf lavender. It is really hard to get a good picture of lavender because its beauty is in the mass of blooms. Each individual flower is tiny. And of course, the best part is the smell although the lace-leaf variety is stinky. Pretty but stinky.

River, my lace knitting project is coming along slowly but surely. I was worried that it would end in a bog because it seemed that for every three rows forward I was frogging back two. I have learned the hard way that you don't do lace when you are tired, or when there are distractions. The yarn (Rowan Kidsilk Haze) is gorgeous, but a bit difficult to work with, it is so fine. I tried switching to bamboo needles because the metal ones are slippery, but found that I couldn't see the pattern as well on the bamboo, and the delicate yarn was getting stressed by pushing it back and forth on the needles.

The instructions do not come with a chart, which would have been very helpful, so I made up a chart of my own to keep track of the repeats. It's just a table that I created in Word. The rows to be repeated are listed down the side and the number of repeats goes across the top. I check off a box as I complete a row and when I have filled in all the boxes I will have completed all 11 repeats. The clear boxes are for when the pattern starts with yfwd (or YO), and the shaded boxes for the K2tog rows. The number of plain Ks at the beginning of each row varies giving the pattern its offset waves, so I have listed that number along with the row number. The pattern goes 3, 4, 5, 6 in the yfwd rows, and 5, 4, 3, 2 in the K2tog rows. The total number of Ks in each row at the beginning and end always add up to 8, so if you start with 3 you will have 5 at the other end. This is a way of double-checking the number of stitches you have because it is so easy to drop one. I also count the stitches as I go back on the WS K rows. Now that I have the pattern memorized, it should go much smoother.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

What the World Eats

What thoughts come into your head when you view these photos?

The top photo shows a family from Guatemala, the second a family in Shingkhey, Bhutan, and the third a family in the USA. They are surrounded by the food that they will eat in the coming week. These photos come from the book Hungry Planet by Peter Menzel and Faith D'Aluisio and are copyrighted by Peter Menzel. You can see more of these fantastic photos at various places on the web including here and here. Just Google Hungry Planet. Or better yet, buy the book. That's what I did when I first saw these photos on the back page of the Sierra Club magazine. The book is a fascinating read including essays, demographics, recipes, and many more photos from 24 different countries on the subject of food.

The Sierra Club took a look at all that packaging the American food comes in and bemoaned the effects on the environment, both to create the packaging and then dispose of it. My thoughts were, the American food doesn't even look like food! It looks like plastic, cardboard, Styrofoam, etc. It doesn't even look appetizing. We have gotten so used to seeing our food in its processed form that we have forgotten what real food looks like. When I go to the grocery store now I shop the periphery of the store where the produce and meat counters are. I don't even go down the aisles in the middle. That's where all the packaged food is. It just doesn't appeal to me any more.

This morning's LA Times has an article about a family in Pasadena that grows their own food in their backyard showing it can be done even in the big city. My modest garden includes arugula and a variety of herbs--thyme, rosemary, cinnamon basil, lemon balm, and spearmint for tea. But I like to shop at my local farmer's market which will be opening in March for the coming summer season. They are famous for their strawberries and corn, but whatever they have to sell, I buy.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Computer Angst, Part II

Too much writing, not enough knitting.

I received another prompt reply from Mr. Inamdar. (Thank you, Mr. Inamdar.) He actually had quite a good suggestion this time, one that I intended to try myself, i.e., download the Norton Removal Tool to my second computer and copy it over to this computer to run. How did he know I have a second computer? Does everyone have a second computer these days?

Last night I successfully downloaded the "Tool" to the computer in the den, but I probably won't get to the next step until the weekend.

I not only have a second computer, I have a third computer, and a fourth computer if you count my laptop. My husband left me well endowed. My impossible mission is to keep all these machines running. Both of my children have suggested, logically, that I put all the programs I like to use on one computer and get rid of the rest. My reply to them is that I keep them all just as they are because of situations such as this. Even though all four computers are PCs and run with Windows XP, they each behave quite differently. If I can't get on the Internet on one, I usually can on another (remote wireless problems). Some software will not work on this computer but works fine on the computer in the den. But the computer in the den has been having CD and DVD drive problems. The computer in the front bedroom (formerly my daughter's and soon to be my knitting room) is the old computer and the only computer with SCSI. My favorite scanner is SCSI.

But there is a deeper issue at work here, which you may have guessed. This computer that I am typing at right now was my husband's computer. It has his favorite programs on it, his emails, spreadsheets, databases for his various hobbies, etc., and I am having a hard time parting with his things still. (That's his chair over there in the sidebar which I have only recently begun to sit in to knit.) As he approached retirement, it became obvious that I would need my own computer because we both tended to spend hours at the computer working on our hobbies--for me it was genealogy. So we bought the computer in the den just months before he died. It was my first very own desktop computer. I insisted on setting it up myself so I would know how to take care of it.

Now it does makes sense to consolidate the two, but not just yet...

Too much writing and not enough knitting.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

This Is What It's All About

Last night's rehearsal was fantastic! This is as good as it gets. I am playing with a different group this week, a group that has not met since before the holidays. We are having a guest conductor that we have never played with before and this was the first rehearsal for next Saturday's concert. The overture and symphony went well and after our break we settled down to play the concerto, Brahms d minor piano concerto. The soloist was superb, the players were "in the groove," and the conductor was obviously having a good time, too. We frequently achieve this kind of rapport with each other at a concert, but to have it happen at the first rehearsal... !!! It should be a great week.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Computer Angst

One of my pet peeves is being called by my first name by someone I do not know or have never met. It used to really rankle me when we first arrived in laid-back Los Angeles to be called, "Ann" by the nurse in the doctor's office as in "Ann, Dr. Jones will see you now." It made the gulf between me, the lowly patient, and the doctor, God himself, seem even wider. Chalk it up to my New England up-bringing where you have to know someone for 20 years before you can call them by their first name. (Does this count as my third revelation?)

Yesterday I thought I would bite the bullet and renew my Norton Anti-virus subscription. How long could it take? Just a few minutes and a few clicks and I'm done and my computer is protected from all those nasty things lurking out there in cyberspace. I started with the simple subscription renewal, but then they gave me an offer to upgrade to SystemWorks 2006. The price was reasonable, so I said OK. Then they offered to add Norton Personal Firewall 2006 to the deal for only $10. Well I have been receiving phishing emails lately and when I went to check out the cookie situation, I discovered there are 1400 of them on my machine! As a low-carber I knew that all these cookies were not good even if they were digital ones. So I agreed to the second offer as well. But that's it, no more. No extended service guarantee, extended download availability, etc. Each of these niceties, which you would think would come with the product for free, cost more.

They took my money and then my troubles began. I couldn't install the software, in fact I am not sure that it even downloaded to my machine. The installation process got stuck half way through. When I tried their suggested remedies, they didn't work either. I was supposed to turn on the Event Log, but Event Log wasn't on the list to be turned on. I was then to try downloading the Norton Removal Tool and all I got was a blank screen. I went to customer support and they offered to let me talk to a person by email for free or by phone for $29.99. I chose the email route.

I received a prompt reply from a Ramdas Inamdar, which I give to you here:

Subject---------------------------------------------------------------Technical SupportDiscussion Thread---------------------------------------------------------------Response (ramdas.inamdar) - 01/21/2007 10:04 PM

Hello Ann,

Thank you for contacting Symantec Online Technical Support.

I understand from your message that you are receiving the following error message when you try to install Norton SystemWorks (NSW) 2006 on your computer:- "(9999,171) The installation encountered an error and is unable to continue."

Ann, please note that this issue can occur due to certain registry keys that does not have the correct permissions.

So, I suggest that you to set permission for the registry keys. Please follow the step by step instructions provided below :

1. Download and run SymNRT.exe Title: 'Using the Norton uninstall tool: Manual file download'Document ID: 2006031710323113> Web URL:

2. Restart the Computer

3. Make sure that the system is logged in as Administrator,(Goto Start > Run and type "control userpasswords2", If Username is not listed, then add the user login account under Administrator)

4. Take the back-Up of the Registry and Save it under C drive (Don't save it in Desktop)Please see the document linked below for details on making a backup of your registry: Title: 'Backing up the Windows registry'Document ID: 199762382617> Web URL:

5. Click Start, and then click Run. The Run dialog box appears.

6. Type regedit and then click OK. The Registry Editor opens.

7. Right Click on HKEY_Classes_Root, Click on Permission

8. If "Administrator, Current user login & System" is listed and all the 3 have Full Control permission Under Group & username, then Goto Step 8

9. If "Administrator, current user login & System" is not listed, then add them in the Group/user names box. Also make sure that all the 3 (Administrator/User login name/System) have Full Control permission.

10. Click on the "Advanced" button and click on the "Owner tab.

11. In the Owner Tab, under "Current user of this item" user login name should be displayed, if it isn't then select the User login name (in the same window) and click on apply.

12. Check mark "Replace Owner on Subcontainers and objects" and clicl Apply.(Note: In case while applying the above steps if its shows a message "Registry Editor could not set owner on the key currently selected, or some of its subkeys. ' just Click Ok and proceed further)

13. In the "Advanced security settings for HKCR "window, Check mark "Replace permission entries on all child objetcs with entries shown that apply to child objetcs"(Make sure the "Inherit from parent the permission entries that apply to child objects .." is unchecked)

14. Click Apply and Ok(Note: In case while applying the above steps if it is shows a message "Registry Editor could not set owner on the key currently selected, or some of its subkeys. ' just Click Ok and proceed further)

15. Repeat the Steps 5 to 12, for "HKEY_CURRENT_USER""HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE"

16. Restart the Computer

17. Try to install Norton Personal Firewall 2006 and Norton SystemWorks (NSW) 2006 and check for the issue.- Install Norton Personal Firewall 2006.For more information regarding this issue, you can refer the document link mentioned below: Title: 'Installing Norton Personal Firewall 2006 that was downloaded from the Symantec Store' Document ID: 2005081215222136 > Web URL: - If you are installing Norton Personal Firewall 2006 using the installation CD, please refer the document link provided below:Title: 'Installing Norton Personal Firewall 2006 from the CD' Document ID: 2005081215192436 > Web URL:

Next, I suggest that you try to install Norton SystemWorks (NSW) 2006 and check for the issue.For more information regarding this issue, you can refer the document link mentioned below: Title: 'Installing Norton SystemWorks 2006' Document ID: 2005110207284107 > Web URL:

Please let me know, if the issue has been resolved.

Regards, Ramdas.C.InamdarSymantec Authorized Technical SupportDisclaimer

Note: This message (including any attachments) is intended only for the use of the individual to which it is addressed.If you are not the intended recipient, please do not follow any instructions provided within this message. Any instructions or offers contained within this message are for a specific person, system configuration, location, and situation. Following these instructions may adversely affect your system if you are not the intended recipient.If you have received this communication in error, please notify us immediately by telephone and (i) destroy this message if a facsimile or (ii) delete this message immediately if this is an electronic communication.You are hereby notified that any use, dissemination, distribution, or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited. Thank you.Auto-Response - 01/21/2007 08:13 PM

Hello Ann V,

We have received your request for assistance and a Symantec Authorized Online Customer Service agent will contact you by e-mail within 48 hours to help answer your questions. The subject line of our agent's email will contain the following information:Problem Type:Request reference number:

This information is used for tracking purposes. If you need to send additional information to the agent related to your request please do so however please do not change the subject line of the message.Please feel free to browse Symantec's rich source of self-help information, which may be accessed through the Website linked below: you for contacting the Symantec Authorized Customer Service Center and choosing Online Support.Regards,Technical Support SpecialistSymantec Authorized Online Customer Service[---001:005312:64413---]

I was put off right away by being called by my first name, but what really bothered me was that I had already tried Step 1 and it didn't work and I had said so in my message to Norton. I have replied to Mr. Inamdar the following:

Hello Ramdas,

Thank you for your prompt reply. However, I am unable to execute Step 1. When I click on Download on the page

I get a blank screen for 5 minutes and then the message:

The page you are looking for is currently unavailable.

Please advise,

Stay tuned...

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Tagged, Episode II

I played a symphony concert last night. It went very well, thank you very much. Tchaikovsky always brings them to their feet. As I was getting dressed for the concert, I suddenly remembered one of the most embarrasing moments of my life, so here is Episode II in the game of being Tagged.

Dress for symphony musicians is mandatory--white tie and tails for the men, and long black for the women. The men do look very handsome in their tails. If you could only see these blokes earlier in the week at rehearsal. What a transformation! "Long black" for us women means a floor-length black dress or skirt, long sleeves, no white or other color trimming, no jewelry, and no décolletage. We don't want to distract the audience from listening to the music now do we? We can wear pants if they are loose and flowing. It is very helpful for us, also, if the outfit is also washable, and dare we say it--comfortable?

A long time ago, I played for a conductor who didn't just stare at you to show his displeasure, he glared. And as one of the other musicians commented, his glare was a mile wide so no matter who was the momentary object of his dissatisfaction, we all felt like guilty culprits. We were playing a piece, I don't remember which one, that consisted of several movements. To encourage the audience not to clap and spoil the mood until the entire work is completed, conductors like to go from one movement to the next in such a piece without a break--attacca. We came to the end of a slow and dreamy movement, and were pausing briefly with our instruments up and ready, before beginning a movement that was a perpetual motion kind of thing. That means once we start, we play non-stop to the end. It's usually all eighth or sixteenth notes and very fast.

During that hushed pause, my bra strap slipped down my arm inside my long sleeve. No one could see it, but it was very uncomfortable and prevented me from getting my bow arm into the right position for the next movement. I looked up and there was the glare coming at me. I thought, oh now what do I do? If I kept myself frozen as the conductor wanted there would be no place in the music to make an adjustment of the errant strap. And I certainly would not be able to play my best with my arm constrained like that either. Mentally, I sent this guy the message, look the other way! (Actually it was, look the other way, Stupid!) He wasn't getting the message. By now, under the bright stage lights, I felt like all 3,000 pairs of eyes in the audience were looking my way, too.

Finally, in desperation, I reached inside my blouse, pulled up the annoying strap with a firm tug, and glared back at the Maestro. He got the message! The music began and we played triumphantly to the finish. Now I am always sure to pin my straps in place before every concert. I'm taking no more chances.

Last night it was cold enough for me to wear my new Ironstone scarf, too. Not on stage, just going to and from the theater. I made two of these, one for my daughter-in-law and one for myself. There was no pattern, I just made it up as I went along, so the two are not exactly alike. The yarn is Showstopper, in black, of course.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Walking the Plank

Gee! I haven't played tag or answered a chain letter since I was 11. Grace tagged me in this latest version of a chain letter that has been going around the blogging world. These days, if I receive a chain letter by email, I just delete it, but if the Drs. Eades can be gracious enough to play the game, then so can I. The rules of the game are that once tagged you are supposed to reveal 5 new (or secret?) things about yourself and then tag 5 more bloggers. Actually, this gives me an opportunity to relate some adventures from my past, but I am not going to tag anyone. I am too new to blogging to know anyone besides Grace and Mark to tag!

It will take me awhile to decide which five episodes to tell you about but we can start with the scariest thing I ever did--I walked the plank under orders from Captain Andy! I wasn't going to use his real name, but someone else (Mary Scott) has had the same experience and written it all up complete with photos. I can't believe we weren't the only ones to be foolish enough to trust a modern day pirate!

We were up in Maine for a birding adventure--my husband, myself, my sister, and her husband. We wanted to see the Atlantic Puffin which is abundant off the coast of Maine, in particular at Machias Seal Island. Captain Andy ran a boat service from Cutler, ME to the island especially for birders. Machias is nine miles off the coast from Cutler out in the Atlantic. It is still claimed by both Canada and the U.S., so on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, they fly the Canadian flag, and on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays they fly the American flag, or at least that was the way it was in 1996. I can't remember what happened on Sundays. The plan for our trip was to sail out early in the morning, view the birds from observation blinds on the island, have lunch, and then sail back, weather permitting. That last part was the most important part of the whole trip.

The morning of the boat trip was cold and rainy, even though it was late June. We realized too late that we had not packed the right kind of clothes for a trip like this, but we did the best we could. We really needed wet-suits! We were covered up well enough on the one-hour trip out to the island, but once we had to get out of the boat, staying dry was hopeless. The transfer from the boat to the island was done by skiff but there was no dock, only a rusty old ramp. We were soaked when we started up the ramp to receive the greeting of the Arctic Terns nesting on the rocks on either side. They were not happy to be disturbed and they dive-bombed us! Several landed on my head.

The island was just a pile of rocks with grass growing on top. There was a lighthouse, a house for the keepers, and helipad. We trudged up the wooden ramps to some little wooden blinds set up along the rim of the island. There on the other side were the puffins. They and a few Razorbills were a delight to watch but with the four of us stuffed in one blind, there was little room to move about. I was afraid my camera would be ruined by the rain. I had it in my backpack which I hung on a nail because the floor of the blind was an inch deep in water. Then I noticed water dripping down the wall right into the backpack!

We had all taken sea-sickness pills but I still felt a little queasy on the boat. Now, standing in the cold blind, feet soaking wet, I started to shiver and the queasiness returned. We took some pictures, but it was very dark and still raining, and we began to wonder if anyone was going to come and get us. We were not allowed to wander about on our own. We watched the puffins as they watched us. It really seemed like they were as curious about us as we were about them. Some were down under the rocks and they peeked out at us. That's where the nests were. A couple of birds flew in with herring in their beaks to feed their young. They would extend their feet to land and then plop onto the rocks.

After about 45 minutes, someone came to fetch us. Instead of exchanging blinds, as we were told would happen, we were escorted back to the landing to return to the boat. The weather was going to get even worse and they had to curtail our stay. So no lunch.

As we were walking down the rusty ramp, two men passed us carrying a wooden plank. Yes, they were going to make us all walk the plank! The skiff was waiting at a shallow spot between some rocks, but the tide was going out and in the Bay of Fundy the drop is 20 feet! So we couldn't just walk from the ramp to the skiff as we had done when we arrived. They put the plank across from the ramp to the rocks over swirling, gray sea water, and gave us our orders. We were to follow the leader, one by one, to the other side. When one person was safely across, the next could start out, and there were about 15 of us. I did not stop to take any pictures of this event, we were all too scared, but Mary Scott can show you what it looked like on a dry, relatively calm, sunny day.

As I stepped onto the plank, I tested it for slipperiness and found it to be OK, so I ventured across and made it to the other side safely. We all did, I am happy to report. The rocks on the other side were very slippery, however, because they were covered with wet seaweed. I was afraid of slipping and twisting an ankle. My sister fell, but I did not see it happen and she didn't get hurt.

Once safely back aboard the boat, the Captain pointed out some families of Common Eider along the shore, but I was still shivering and was not interested. The trip back was easier than going but the rain did not let up. Captain Andy showed us Black Guillemots and Wilson's Storm Petrels and tanks of farmed salmon. But when we got to the dock at Cutler, we discovered there was one more test of our endurance waiting for us. The top of the dock was now 20 feet over our heads, and the only way to the top was straight up a slippery, wooden ladder. Everyone but us four were so happy to be back on shore that they eagerly climbed up, but we took the Captain up on his offer to be deposited on a sandy beach even though it meant another 20 minutes or so before we got there.

My brother-in-law won't let me forget this trip. He brings it up every time we play the game of, "Remember when.... "

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Soup, Beautiful Soup

Soup of the evening, beautiful soup.
Charles Lutwidge Dodgson

No doubt about it, this is soup and stew weather here in sunny Southern California. I have a pot of my famous turkey stock simmering on the stove right now. I will turn it into soup later on today. Meanwhile, it fills the house with warmth and a wonderful aroma that makes all my students feel hungry when they come for their lessons. Nothing gives me the gratifying feeling that I am taking good care of myself better than homemade soup.

Recently I have made several soups and stews that fit perfectly into my diet regimen which on its simplest terms means no grains, no dairy except for butter, and no potatoes. There's a whole lot more to it than that, but it will take me months to get into all the details. For now, here are some recipes to whet your appetite and show you how it's done. (Grace warned you that I would do this.)

Last week I made an oxtail stew that was just yummie! (It's actually steer these days.) The recipe was adapted from the Williams Sonoma cookbook, Soup and Stew. The changes I made were minor but make a big difference to me. One was no flour. The soup comes out thick enough without it. No anchovy paste. An expensive item which adds a lot of salt. And the pièce de résistance, organic, sugar-free pancetta instead of the bacon. That's another expensive item, but you only need two slices and the flavor is out of this world. The white wine adds richness to the sauce which tastes even better the second time around. Also, I don't bother to pit and chop the olives. I just throw a few in at the end. If I can get my teeth to work their way around the bones in the oxtails, then I can certainly do the same with the olive pits and it saves a lot of time.

Bones--that's what these two broths have in common--long simmering of bones in water or other liquid. I'm sure that the first thing man did after he invented fire was to find some kind of container to hold water and throw in some bones. That was how he got his minerals, especially calcium. A little bit of wine or vinegar in the broth is what draws these minerals out of the bone, cartilage, marrow, and vegetables, and the broth makes them easy for our bodies to assimilate. The gelatin in meat broths also help to sooth digestive disorders. My turkey stock is very rich in gelatin because I add three or four chicken feet to the stock pot. (I know that if you are not a farmer, that probably sounds gross, but you don't look at them, you just throw them in, and they get taken out before the actual soup is made.)

I start with some turkey parts--wings and drumsticks and the chicken feet. If these have been frozen, I don't even bother to defrost them first. I put them in a baking dish and bake them for a half an hour at 400 degrees. Then into the stock pot they go along with 4 quarts of water (or enough water to cover them); 1/2 cup of vinegar (I use raw apple cider vinegar); and 3 celery stalks, an onion, and 2 carrots chopped; and lastly, a teaspoon of crushed dried green peppercorns. Then you let things sit partially covered for one hour to "rest." Turn on the heat and when it starts to simmer, reduce the heat to keep the stock at a simmer. Do not boil. Then you can go sit and knit and leave it for 2 to 24 hours. I started mine yesterday afternoon, put it in the fridge overnight, and reheated it this morning. The longer it simmers, the richer the stock.

After the stock is done to your liking, remove the turkey and chicken parts and strain the stock. I cut the meat off the bones, an easy job because by now it is falling off, and add it back to the strained stock. Then comes the fun part. You can add whatever vegetables and spices you like: fresh carrots, celery, parsnips, zucchini squash, tomatoes, whatever you have on hand--just no pasta and no potatoes. I'm on the fence as far as beans and peas go. Some of my experts say no legumes, and others don't care. This may sound like a lot of work, but if you have made a big enough pot, it will last for several meals and there might even be some left over to freeze for those times when you feel like you are coming down with something.

This recipe was taken from Dr. Mary Enig and Sally Fallon's book, Eat Fat, Lose Fat. Dr. Enig is the lady I trust on the subject of fats in our diet and I will have more to say about her later. You can read her books or view her ideas on the web pages of the Weston Price Foundation.

Bon appétit!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Laela Adaptation

I finished my daughter's sweater this weekend. (Yay!) She wanted just a plain pull-over sweater to wear with jeans so I started with a raglan-sleeve design that knitted from the top down in Forest Green Heather Wool Ease. It was pretty easy-going until I decided to get fancy and add some color along the bottom edge. The two-color stranded knitting design I chose was from The Best of Lopi. At first I wanted to do Brigitte, but although the bottom border looks simple there are several rows that have three colors in them. I did a swatch and figured out a way to get the three colors using a combination of intarsia and stranded knitting but was not happy with the results. It was a lot of work for something that barely showed, at least in the colors I was using. I switched to the lovely rose border on the Laela sweater.

I got out some graph paper and using my colored pencils made a new chart that was larger and easier for me to read and also gave me an idea of what the colors might look like. It was also a chart that I could mark up without messing up my book. After buying more that half a dozen different yarns and making several swatches, I chose a deep red for the roses and a light green for the contrasting design. The light green was a sock yarn so I used it double throughout.

It was kind of fun to knit with the main color in my left hand and the second color in my right. Since I was knitting in the round, I never had to purl which would have been more difficult for me. And lucky me, the two patterns matched exactly as far as number of stitches goes and there were no decreases to worry about in the body of the sweater, only in the sleeves. However, since I was knitting from the top down and Laela goes from the bottom up, I wasn't sure how to read the graph. I decided to read it the normal way from right to left so my roses swim in the opposite direction of Laela's!

Parts of the rose pattern called for 6 or 7 stitches in a row of one color, so after three stitches I crossed the yarns over so there wouldn't be a long loop in the back. I tried to knit very loosely so that the sweater wouldn't pucker, but I found that the looser I made my strands, the looser the stitches were, too, and it was sort of self-defeating. I used the trick of spreading the stitches out on the right needle to make the strand loose. I also discovered that my right hand stitches were inherently tighter than my left.

I had read about the "color jog" that occurs when you knit with two colors in the round. This is the point where one row ends and a new row begins which creates a jog in the pattern. After thinking about it and wondering how I could apply the suggested techniques for minimizing it, I really didn't do much except to use more of the background color at that point. Actually, in the rose itself it is not apparent at all. I had to really hunt to find it to take this picture so I decided that my daughter probably wouldn't see it either. Don't tell her it is there!

Monday, January 15, 2007

A Gorgeous Day

We had a frost this morning! That is a very rare event in my neck of the woods. But yesterday was a glorious day for the christening of my grandson, even though it was a bit nippy. The church overlooks the Pacific and Catalina Island was in clear view. One consequence of the cold weather we have been having is that the air quality is good for everyone in the Los Angeles basin.

My grandson behaved himself pretty well but fussed a lot while we were dressing and undressing him in a christening layout that had been crocheted by my mother a long time ago, way before he was born. My mother was an expert at lace crochet and at one time was making layouts for all the new babies in the family. I told her that I would like to have one also, and she replied, "What for? All your children are grown up already." So I said, "Yes, but I'll have grandchildren someday."

My son wanted to know if I was going to cut off everyone's head in the photos I post to this blog. So here's grandma in her Gedifra sweater, and Baby C. in his great-grandmother's layout in all their glory. Those ribbons tasted mighty good.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

The Power of Knitting

This is probably a good time to introduce you to my newest grandson, whom I will call Baby C. for now. He arrived last September but today is the day he will be christened and the family is gathering for the big event. It was his pending arrival that launched me back into the world of knitting and the fiber arts. My daughter had asked me to teach her to crochet so that she could make some baby things even before she knew she was pregnant. I bought her some yarn and a beginner's book but it was I who ended up making the baby things and using the yarn to make a scarf for her.

When she went into labor, I stuffed my bag with two projects and headed for the hospital at about midnight. I wanted to give my son-in-law a break and a chance to get a little sleep. He would need all his energy later. In the semi-darkened room, I worked on a baby sweater with hood in between my daughter's contractions which were steady but not accomplishing much. For the sweater I had chosen a baby blue (we were 99% sure it was going to be a boy) boucle yarn. It was miserable to work with! It would not slip and slide on the needles when I tried to knit with it, so I was crocheting instead. But that wasn't much better because I couldn't see my stitches in all the nubs and fuzz.

Next morning my daughter was transferred to a nice large room for the big event, but progress was still slow. I was sent out into the waiting room just before lunchtime. I switched to knitting the scarf with a gorgeous Ironstone yarn, called Circus, that I really enjoyed working with. I was winging it--no pattern--18 stitches to start and then garter stitch until I ran out of yarn on big wooden needles. The yarn was so spectacular, a blend of angora, eyelash yarn, and a metallic yarn, that fancy stitching was unnecessary and would not have been seen anyway.

As I sat there, all kinds of things ran through my mind. Was my daughter alright? Would the baby be alright? What was going on? I was happy that my daughter's dreams for starting a family were actually going to come true and I was sad that my husband was not there to witness the birth of his second grandchild. Knitting was the perfect activity to pass the time as I waited. I couldn't have concentrated on a book, and magazines can only hold your attention for so long. Knitting kept me in the present and stopped my thoughts from getting too crazy. It kept me calm and focused. Since I couldn't get down on the floor and start chanting, it was a good substitute for Yoga.

I walked across the street for lunch and took my knitting with me. I stopped at the florist on my way back to place an order for a basket of blue and yellow flowers. And then it was back to the waiting room and my knitting. As there was no maternity waiting room, I was sitting in the large general surgery waiting room. The volunteer who's job it was to notify a family of the outcome of their loved-one's surgery, saw me sitting and knitting all that time and finally came over to me and asked, "Who are you waiting for?" He suggested I go down to the nurses' station to ask about my daughter's progress but when I did that, they informed me that that was privileged medical information and that only my daughter could tell me how she was doing.

I began to think I was going to finish the whole scarf before this baby would arrive and decided to try one more time to ask the nurse how things were going. This time I tried to phrase my question more carefully and asked only if the baby had arrived yet. At last I was told that it was OK to go into the room and greet my new grandson.

Was he worth the wait? You betcha!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Bounty from the Garden

I went for a walk the other day with my friend Kathy who is 15 years or so my senior. We try to walk briskly and not stop because we are doing this for the exercise, but invariably we do stop to smell a rose, or ponder the name of an unfamiliar plant, or to congratulate a neighbor whose garden "sets an example for us all." I let Kathy do all the talking on these jaunts and she regales me with stories of her nieces and nephews or of her travels and she has been everywhere. Her speech is peppered with what seem to me to be quaint and quirky turns of phrases. On this walk, I am hearing all about how she spent the holidays, but her story meanders, as we do, to a 1955 trip she took to post-war Britain, where rationing has just ended, and the "fair-minded" British make sure you get your fair share "whether you want it or not." This was apropos of putting sugar in your tea.

We always end our walk at her yard, which is bigger than mine, to see what's in bloom and to give me clippings of this and that, especially lavender, salvia, and lemons. I love Meyer lemons and Kathy has a Meyer lemon tree which always seems to be bearing fruit. This time I am feasted with lemons, tangerines, and kumquats to take home with me.

Kathy is a native plant buff and her garden reflects her philosophy of "survival of the fittest." Her side yard is populated with native California plants which do not require much water, and she doesn't give it to them. Ceanothus, manzanita, more salvia, buckwheat, and rosemary cover the sloping ground. Her pride and joy for several years was an Island Bush Poppy which has lived out its normal life span already. Kathy also believes in the "resurrection" but this plant didn't make it. Once when a snail crossed our path she suddenly asked me if I was squeamish and I replied, hesitatingly, no-o... STOMP! "Oh well, they don't belong here anyway."

A few times I have been able to return the favor and give her a clipping from my yard that interests her. The most notable example of this was a clipping from my Lavatera Assurgentiflora. Lavatera is native to California, at least to the Channel Islands, but I don't think this particular species is the right one, but it is close enough. It is in Kathy's words, "a very satisfactory plant." It blooms constantly and the birds love it especially the hummingbird. The small birds can easily hide from cats and other enemies in its lush foliage. I cut mine way back last summer to give it a rest and it is just starting to bloom again. A family of White-Crowned Sparrows has taken up winter residence in it. I lured them back with a handful of sunflower seeds strewn in the leaves and debris underneath it. They shuffle their feet to kick up the leaves and expose the seed treasure hidden underneath.

Friday, January 12, 2007


OK, let's talk trash. I mean real trash. Friday is trash pick-up day in my neighbor-hood. A few months ago I came home from a trip to Arizona to find two large and one humongous trash container sitting on my driveway. One is for trash-trash, one is for yard clippings, and one for recyclables. I had no warning that there was going to be a change in my service and apparently neither did any of my neighbors. These new containers are designed to be grabbed, raised, and emptied by machinery on the truck so that the humans do not have to do the heavy lifting anymore. That's fine with me but the containers are so big that I can't store them away in my garage as I used to do. They won't even fit through the side door! The large one is 30 inches wide by 36 inches deep, almost square. If I store them on the side of the house, my gardener who also comes on Friday cannot get by with his lawn mower. But the worst part is that Friday is also street sweeping day in my neighborhood. The containers, we were told, must be placed against the curb, two feet apart, in order for the machinery to be able to grab them easily. The street sweeper says he cannot come on any other day, and the trash people refuse to change their schedule also. So even though we have all these no-parking signs in the neighborhood for Friday Street Cleaning, the streets are lined with trash containers!

It would help if they collected the trash early in the morning, but they always leave one container sitting there until late in the day. Every Friday I do a little dance putting the containers out, moving the emptied ones off the street and onto the driveway until the street sweeper has gone by and gardener is finished, and then putting all of them on the side of the house at the end of the day.

On the plus side, thought I, they have purchased all new trucks that don't spew diesel fumes throughout the morning air, but these large monsters make the windows vibrate worse than an earthquake. It takes me two weeks to come even close to filling a container, but if I skip a week, they get so heavy they are difficult for me to handle. I am told that if I were over 70, I could request a smaller container for the regular trash. What if I am just 60 and have arthritis? But I did use the new system to get rid of a bucket of cement that we had put on the side of the house from when we had the patio redone. Under the old system, they wouldn't take it because it was too heavy. I watched with fascination (almost) as the truck grabbed the container, squeezed the heck out of it, lifted it up and over, and then slammed it back down. And the problem was gone.

My neighbors have been up-in-arms over this whole thing, or at least one of them has. He passed around a survey to get everyone's opinion on the matter and the Homeowners' Association is looking into it. We'll see what happens next.

Such is life in the big city.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


I got my wish. Today's predicted temps are a high of 66 and a low of 44. Quite a drop from yesterday! I realize that in some areas of the country, most notably New England, 66 is rather balmy for this time of year, but for us it is cold and I am wearing a sweater this morning although not one I made myself. They are also predicting rain, or rather showers, so now I am wondering if I should go out and water the plants. One drawback of our Camelot-type weather, is that the plants need to be watered year round. If I don't go out and water them, it won't rain and if I do, it will. So for the sake of all of Los Angeles, which really needs the rain right now, I will go out and water.

What has this got to do with knitting? Well, if I don't have to go out and water and nature does the job for me, I have more time to knit my lace.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

My First Sweater

Today was one of those days that reminded me why I quit knitting 30 years ago (or at least one of the reasons I quit). It's too hot in L.A. most of the time to wear woolens, even light wool. I know I shouldn't complain, but I'm a "dyed-in-the-wool" New Englander! I love wool. I love the feel of it, and yes, even the smell of it. I love the colors that wool comes in and I love it's stretchy give and take when it is knitted up. It can be super soft and so-o-o warm. Today I wanted to wear the sweater I completed last fall, my first major project after returning to the fiber arts, but at 83 degrees, it was too hot. I guess I will have to plan a ski trip in order to wear the stuff I have been making. Maybe that's another reason I am drawn to lace. I think I will have more opportunity to wear it.

The Gedifra sweater was an ambitious undertaking to say the least for someone who barely remembered how to do a purl stitch and knew only one method of cast-on, too. It came out pretty well considering it was a learning project. The pattern was from Gedifra Highlights 042. It has no name like some of the patterns nowadays with their dreamy names like "Glade" and "River," it's just No. 606.

I used a Gedifra yarn as the main color, but not the one called for. The name of the yarn was "For Classic" which I can't find on the Gedifra website, so it probably has been discontinued. But it was a wonderful yarn to work with, 50% Merino wool and 50% acrylic, a one-ply yarn. Even though I got the gauge required, I think the yarn was thicker and had a heavier look to it when knitted. This was a problem because the other yarn that I wanted to use was a mohair, very light and airy, "Showstopper" by Ironstone. That yarn is aptly named because it really is outstanding. It is actually three yarns, "Paris Nights," "Eyelash," and Mohair, blended together. But how was I going to give it more substance, more body to balance with the For Classic? I got the idea to knit them together, one row of Showstopper and one row of For Classic, and added some garter stitching at random in the otherwise stockinette background. I was very pleased with the results.

Another problem was the sizing. The smallest the pattern would go was not small enough for me, so I decided to decrease some stitches in the width and worked to my measurements in the length and I'm so glad I did. My years of sewing fabrics came in handy here. I knew how the pieces were going to be sewn together at the end and I knew how to measure them to make it fit right.

When I finished the cuffs, they were way too big. It was like the tail that wagged the dog. I think the reason was again because the For Classic yarn was too heavy. The pattern called for the cuffs to be knitted after the shoulder and top of the sleeve had been sewn together but the bottom seam would extend from the cuff all the way down the sides which would add to the thickness of the cuff. So I "frogged" (is that the right term?) them back, sewed up the side seams, and tried knitting the cuffs on dpns (there's a whole lot of new jargon for me to learn), in the round with no seam. That was a struggle with needles going in all directions and forget trying to get gauge! Luckily I found the help I needed on the web at and switched to the "magic loop" method for circular knitting with a small diameter.

The ribbing that goes all the way from the lower right front side seam to the bottom of the left front took several tries before I got it right. too. There weren't enough stitches on the mohair side and too many on the Classic side to balance out. I undid the ribbing so many times, I was afraid the yarn wouldn't take another try and I didn't want to go all the way back to picking up the stitches again. Luckily, it all came out satisfactorily in the end. And my daughter tells me that the weather is going to get cold again this weekend.

Monday, January 8, 2007

Sugar is...

"Sugar is poison," said Gloria Swanson (1). Sugar is addictive. Sugar is ubiquitous. Did you know there's sugar in toothpaste? Think about that. Just as an exercise in awareness, the next time you go to the supermarket, check the ingredients lists of the foods you buy and look for the presence of sugars and other sweeteners, "natural" and chemical. Notice how close to the top of the list the sugar (or sugars) are. That will tell you that there is more sugar than any of the ingredients following. Think you are not eating much sugar? Think again.

To help you recognize what things are sugars, here is a partial list of all the names that sugar comes under (adapted from "The 99 Names of Sugar," Food Addicts Anonymous, Inc.):
All-natural sweetener (cane sugar is a natural substance that has been highly refined)
Au Miel
Baker's special
Barbados molasses
Barbados sugar
Barley malt
Beet juice
Blackstrap molasses
Brown rice syrup
Brown sugar
Cane sugar
Cane syrup
Caramel color
Coarse sugar
Clarified grape juice
Cncentrated fruit juices
Confectioner's (or powdered) sugar
Cooked honey
Corn sugar
Corn sweetener
Corn syrup
Dark brown sugar
Date paste
Date sugar
Date syrup
Dehydrated cane juice
Demerara sugar
Dried fruits such as dates, raisins, figs, apricots
Evaporated cane juice
Fig syrup
Filtered honey
Fructooligo saccharides (FOS)
Fruit juice concentrate
Fruit sugar
Fruit sweetener
Granulated, fine, or extra fine sugar
Heavy syrup
High-fructose corn syrup
Hydrogenated glucose syrup
-ides, any additive with this suffix: saccharides, trisaccharides, etc.
Invert sugar
Invert sugar syrup
Light brown sugar
Light sugar
Light syrup
Lite sugar
Lite syrup
Low sugar
Malt (any kind)
Malt syrup
Malted grains (corn, barley, rice)
Maple sugar
Maple syrup
Mono- and disaccarides
Natrual cane sweetener
Natural fruit concentrates
Natural honey
Natural sucrose
Natural syrup
Naturally malted organic corn and barley extract
Naturally sweetened
Nectar (any kind)

-ol, any additive with this suffix: mannitol, sorbitol, inversol, hexitol, etc.
Organic brown rice syrup
Organic malted cereal strup: barley, corn, oat, rice
Organic sugar
-ose, any additive with this suffix: manose, polydextrose, polytose, ribose, zylose, etc.
Pineapple juice
Pineapple powder
Powdered sugar
Pure honey
Pure natural sweetener
Pure sweetener
Raisin juice concentrate
Raisin juice
Raisin paste
Raisin syrup
Raw honey
Raw sugar
Ribbon cane syrup
Rice malt
Rice syrup
Sanding sugar
Sorghum molasses
sorghum syrup
Sugar (any type)
Sugar cubes
Sugar packets
Superfine, ultrafine, or bar sugar
Turbinado sugar
Unbleached water-filtered beet sugar
Uncooked honey
Unfiltered honey
White grape juice
White sugar

Sort of makes you queasy just reading this list, doesn't it? I added a few more names to the original list which was published in 1993. You have to admire the inventiveness of man in coming up with all these various compounds and the also the many ways to hide the fact that our food is full of sugar. BTW, I am not a member of the FAA and I am not endorsing their program. In fact, I got their list from Mildred Seelig's book, The Magnesium Factor, and I can recommend that.

OK, you say, I know that refined white sugar has no nutritive value, but it just passes through, doesn't it? It doesn't cause any harm. Wrong. At the least, it causes our bodies to lose precious magnesium and potassium and it also causes insulin levels to rise which can lead to a host of other problems. At the worst... well, look it up for yourself. If you can manage to limit your sugar intake, you will find that you get your normal taste buds back. Sweet peppers actually do taste sweet and even broccoli tastes sweet. Another book I can recommend which talks about this subject along with a lot of other things is Michael and Mary Dan Eades's, Protein Power Lifeplan.