Friday, April 24, 2015

Sugar, Sugar, Sugar

Fed Up (available on DVD from Amazon)
(Affiliate link)
When the movie Fed Up came out, I knew it was one I wanted to watch. I recently got it from our library, and Kevin and I watched it last night.

Let me tell you, it was really eye-opening for me. I try to be very conscious about what we eat. I read labels almost religiously (or I thought I did). I make almost everything from scratch.

The movie focuses on 1) the government's control of the food industry (specifically school lunches but also the USDA) and 2) the food industry's control over the government. It's a vicious cycle! Also of note is the fact that people really have no clue what constitutes a "healthy" meal or food choice.

This morning, I looked at the yogurt in my refrigerator. The organic yogurt. The "healthy" yogurt. The yogurt with 29g of sugar per (1 cup) serving.

While I have studiously avoided foods high in sugar, I haven't educated myself on what constitutes "high in sugar". Obviously, ice cream, cookies, sweet snack foods, sugary breakfast cereals...those are going to be on the "high in sugar" list.

So first, I looked up the WHO's recommendation for the limit of added sugar per day. They recommend (for an adult) only 5% of one's daily calories, or 25g.


There's more sugar in one cup of yogurt than the recommended daily limit. (WHO recently cut their recommendation in half from 10% to 5% and incidentally in Fed Up it was stated that the in order to protect the sugar industry, the US government strong-armed the WHO to not publish the report stating the 10% figure.)

So then, to compare one dairy product to another, I looked online at Breyer's vanilla ice cream. The sugar for one serving (1/2 cup) is 14g. So cup for cup, the sugar content is almost identical between the two. I expected the ice cream to be much higher in sugar than the yogurt!

Do you see the percentage of daily recommended amount missing by the sugar? You won't find that information on labels! (Also missing, is the information on added sugar vs. naturally-occurring sugar which makes it extremely hard to even calculate how many grams of added sugar you are eating per day; I did write this company and they said about only half of the sugar was added )

This was just yogurt. I'm on the hunt to remove added sugar from our diet! Hint: it's in almost anything you pull from the grocery shelves!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

52 Projects (Project 11)

Last Saturday, I got the fabric for this t-shirt at Hobby Lobby. It's always nerve-wracking to sew for myself because I never know if the garment is going to fit well until I get it cut and mostly sewn. And with this case, a free pattern only available in one size, I was worried that it would be completely the wrong size. 

So, I got the least expensive fabric I could find, to make a wearable muslin. I made it on Wednesday, and wore it today.

Not that it's my goal to receive compliments (!) but I was on the happy end of about 10 compliments, from a 5-year old all the way up to an 80-something-year old. 

Now, because it is a little looser around the hips I was worried about looking pregnant. All was well, until the end of the service and someone asked me point blank if I were pregnant. "Because," she said, "I seen [sic] you wear a tight shirt last week and now you're wearing a loose top this week, so I thought maybe you were pregnant."

No. See? Do I look pregnant? Can I not wear a looser shirt???

Who am I? Lucy? Oh! I'm expecting! I'd better find the tent section!!!


That aside, I would like to make another shirt out of this pattern. I might make a few alterations to the pattern before cutting it out, but overall, I like the way it turned out. It was a fun, rather quick sew.

Cost: $9.81
Running Cost: $29.23

Saturday, April 04, 2015

And: More Canning!

I got a box of Zaycon chicken and decided to can some of it. I put a canner load in (9 pints) of raw packed chicken. I didn't want to do more than one load because I wasn't sure how it would turn out, but it looks like it turned out well! We'll see how it tastes!

Also, I canned 9 pints of white chicken chili. Seriously, when you have 40 pounds of chicken and have only dealt with about 15, the best possible thing you can do is make something that takes up your entire morning but only 1 1/2 pounds of the remaining 25 pounds. (There's a little sarcasm in there, in case you couldn't tell.)

I'm keeping track of my jar count again, there's already a "Food '15" page up above! Twenty-five jars so far! Woohoo!

Friday, April 03, 2015

52 Projects (Project 10)

Shirred (When is) Spring (Ever Arriving) Scarf

Shhh, I've fallen a little behind in my projects! I've been busy lately with school and my husband working longer hours. So, no projects. I have projects I've looked at, and in fact I have a pattern envelope sitting by my laptop just now, but I haven't had much motivation to do things in the late evening.

Last Friday I cut out a piece of fabric to make this shirred scarf. Saturday afternoon I sat down and sewed elastic lines back and forth, back and forth. It helped redirect my I'm-allergic-to-this-dog-whatever-did-we-get-ourselves-into thoughts and eased some of the stress of the day.

Shirring is fun and easy, and the results look fancy. A lot of sewists mistakenly call this "smocking" (including the tutorial I linked to). Smocking looks fancy because it is fancy. It is the result of a lot of tucks and stitches, and it isn't stretchy like shirring is.

I'm looking forward to wearing this in warmer weather. Last Sunday it was snowing. So when the sun is shining and actually making things warm, I will get a chance to wear this scarf!

Instead of hemming this scarf down the sides, I think it would look nice folded over and sewn down the side (to make a tube). That way there wouldn't be a "wrong" side.

I bought this gauze knit years ago, and I had the elastic thread for the shirring on hand.

Cost: $0
Running Cost: $19.42

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Things I Learned in March

Thing 1:

WHITE LIGHT, where have you been all my life?

My husband has typically purchased the light bulbs for our house. Not that I can't, it's just something he's done. And he's always purchased the same thing, which is what I would do too, if I were buying light bulbs. We needed a few bulbs, and so we all went to Home Depot for a fun night out on the town...the greeter stood and watched us as we looked at bulbs and compared them, talked about them, read the packaging, debated about which bulb to get, and then finally selected some bulbs...for about 10 minutes. What it came down to is that we have been living in a YELLOW HOUSE but no longer! We got white lights (the term is "daylight", what we had before is "soft light". Everything is so much brighter and natural looking. After we replaced the bulbs we were going to replace, Kevin ran out to get more. Then he had to go back to exchange the ones for the living room because they were too bright. Now we have white lighting and no more yellow, dim lighting (except in the bedrooms)! Some of them are even LED which means that supposedly they will last 15-20 years.

Thing 2:

I am a thinking introvert. Which is to say that sometimes it's hard for me to just shut off my mind (oh, it takes me forever to go to sleep some nights!), and I need a lot of thinking time. About a week ago I was feeling dragged out, and thus worrying about something being physically wrong. And then I realized that things have been kind of busy and I hadn't had much "thinking space". And then I came across this test and lo and behold it agreed with me.

Also, I've never really thought of myself as an introvert until I came across the description as someone who needs time alone to recharge vs. an extrovert being one who needs time with others to feel recharged. I always thought of introverts more like a hermit. I love to spend time with friends! But it does not re-energize me! If I'm feeling tired and in need of some rejuvenation the best thing I can do for myself is to take a notebook to a coffee shop and sit and write lists (ie, think!).

Thing 3:

I am allergic to dogs. Sadly, this dog in particular:

Happily, we found her a perfect home! A retired couple, the man with too much time on his hands. He'd been looking for a beagle for several months, he said, and he'd been on a list to get one, three different times. I think our Lucy dog found her forever home. And she will have a nice fenced yard to run around in.

We learned a lot through this process, besides the fact that I am allergic to dogs. We learned we aren't really dog people, and that our home is best with just the three of us. You never know unless you try, and we tried. It was a lot of upheaval to our home in a short amount of time but it was ultimately a learning experience. Since we weren't bound by a contract to return her to the shelter we got her from, we wanted to rehome her ourselves, so that she wouldn't have to go back to the shelter. I would have hated that for her.

(I'm linking up with Emily this month. Happy April!)