Summarizing... :sugar

An update on things is in order.
As for the eating less sugar and generally eating healthier idea… We are definitely eating less sugar. Actually we don’t eat sugar at all now. And it works! We stopped eating bread, pasta, rice, potatoes and other high on carb veggies and of course plain sugar. The occasional high carb veggie sneaks in once in a while, but that’s totally ok. If I miss something from this “diet” or lifestyle, I think it must be bread and maybe a baked potato now and then. The funny thing is that most people look at us in awe and wonder how we can manage… Wow, you really have self discipline! I could never do that! Thruth is – this was actually really easy for us. Practically effortless. But we’ve never been bread-and-potatoes kind of people (like most Norwegians are!) in the first place. I admit that I miss the idea of bread, the idea of baking and the symbol and culture around bread making. But I have no problem restraining myself if I walk pass a smorgasbord to put it that way…

We now eat a sugar and gluten free diet. We’ve both lost almost 10kg ( 22 pounds) each. I’m a happier person. Literally. My PMS and mood swings have drastically decreased. I don’t feel tired all the time. I can manage with a normal 7 hours of sleep and get up and feel rested. (I still sleep in though, but it’s mostly due to old habit and not that my body needs it) I used to be a wreck if I didn’t get 9-10 hours minimum. I don’t feel depressed. I’m usually buried under blankets and pillows with the phone on silent this time of year. Obediently chanting the modern mantra life is a bitch and then you die - but not this year. I’m thinking that this “diet” has at least something to do with it. I also eat a lot of omega 3s, like oils from fish and flaxseed.

Yes, I hate the word diet. It makes me think of eating low calorie, high fiber bars tasting like sawdust with a touch of chocolate... Gulping it down with a large shake made from some strange colored powder and an array of funny looking pills for dessert. No thank you. I need real food. Our bodies need real food. It’s ok to use pills and bars as an addition to a healthy diet, but living on powders and shakes is not s good thing (isn’t that just common sense?). I need my food to come from sources that has touched dirt and seen sunlight! I also think of the word diet as something limited to a certain period of time. Like when you need to lose weight or eat more proteins to build muscles or stay away from milk to see if it helps on tummy ache… And therefore I don’t like to call this a diet. I look at it as a change of life or eating habits for the foreseeable future. Some family members are already asking when we’re going back to eating like we did before… Uhm? Why should we? But you’ve lost the weight now! Uhm (again) yes, but what do you think will happen if we start eating like we did again? Why do you think we got these problems in the first place?

That’s really a fun, but very common lack in logic thinking.
Christmas is coming up – you just gotta have potatoes! And rice cream!

Rice cream is a very common Norwegian dessert during Christmas. It’s a porridge made from white rice and milk. This is mixed with whipped cream into a thick… mass. (I know there is something named rice pudding, but I don’t know if it’s the same thing). This is served with a sweet sauce made from red currant (or some other berry) juice and sugar. Instead of this, we are going to have whipped cream (no sugar, maybe xylitol) with cloudberries mixed in, which is also a traditional dessert. Mhm.


After battling with Blogger over a sudden loss of image quality, I’ve found a way to fix it. At least for a while… (Anyone using Blogger suddenly experienced a significant loss in image quality when uploading?... What’s happened???)

Just a quick stoppin’ by to say hello, and show off my two beautiful princesses… T nursing her doll… and V just bein’ pretty cute with sugar on top…


Focus: food

A few gems recently arrived in my mailbox.

Never mind the sawdust – as I said; we’re renovating…

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: a year of food life by Barbara Kingsolver. I first heard about Barbara Kingsolver through Therese’s blog earth and living. After checking Kingsolver ( I actually thought her name was KingsLOVER up until now… Wouldn’t that be more fun?) out on Amazon I just knew I had to read her books. And this one will be the first. I’ve just skimmed through the index and read a few sentences here and there… Have to finish the one (ehm …three…) books I’m already reading first. Oh my, I cannot wait to sink my teeth into this book… It’s mainly about when her family moved to a farm and decided to become locavores; eating only locally grown food and growing as much of it themselves as possible. The book even has recipes and facts about different issues regarding food and food production, although it is essentially the story of her family’s journey and thoughts. I even love the book itself; the paper was nice, the cover was beautiful and textured, it was perfectly bendy, the whole feel of the book, the paper, the print – it’s just perfect. Yes, I kind of have a book fetish.

The other book is Seed to Seed: seed saving and growing techniques for vegetable gardeners by Suzanne Ashworth. It’s a very straightforward and good book about saving seeds. Good winter reading, because next spring will be my first attempt to grow a larger amount of vegetables. And seed saving is so important, so fragile, so magical and for most of us: a lost art. Something that everyone had to know and learn in order to survive just a few hundred years (or maybe even decades) ago; - today it is a professionalized and institutionalized craft that just a few people know much about.

And the dvd is The Future of Food by Deborah Koons. The first time I saw this film was at a permaculture course in England in 2006. The film “offers an in-depth investigation into the disturbing truth behind the unlabeled, patented, genetically engineered foods that have quietly filled U.S. grocery store shelves for the past decade.” And it seems that it’s maybe just a matter of time before these foods will quietly fill our shelves as well. Theoretically there are almost no GMO foods in Norwegian grocery stores. Rules are strict, and the chains generally don’t want to sell it and customers don’t want to buy it. Thank God(ess). But still; almost half the food samples being analyzed by the veterinary institute has GMO. And now our politicians wonder about allowing two types of GMO corn (link in Norwegian) after recommendations from scientists… This film is full of facts and numbers, and might feel a bit heavy from time to time, but it really is a mindblowing, shocking and eyeopening ride.



...that’s what this blog is at the moment. Between the breastfeeding, diaper changing (and washing…), and the craziness of renovating our house (one wall at the time…) and just living, it’s just not at the top of my priority list. I felt a strange urge to just delete this whole blog (and start another one…*sigh*), but I’m going to give it another chance. I have a long history of starting new projects and not finishing or keeping up, so maybe I’ll just accept that I cannot write a post every day or even weekly at the moment. It’s just how it is, but it still is. I also felt like writing in Norwegian again, because sometimes writing in English takes a bit longer and I catch my self using it as another excuse to neglect this blog…

But here we are. Or I am at least.

I just came back from the library with two books that I’m expecting quite a lot from. They are both in the category I ironically describe as “things I don’t want to know” – as in “ignorance is bliss”. One is written by a Norwegian educationalist, researcher and writer; Erik Sigsgaard and is called “Kjeft Mindre – Historier om oppdragelse”, or in English… something like Yell/scold Less – Stories about upbringing”. I have a 5yo and I have a bad temper. Nuf’ said. I need that book.

The other one is written by a Danish family who turned their life around completely after living many years on a bad diet and a life full of toxins and chemicals. They have raised quite a stir in Denmark and a bit of discussion in Norway as well with their books and advice about food. Basically they recommend a diet free of milk, gluten, sugar, “fast” carbohydrates and artificial stuff/E-numbers/food additives among other things. Their book is called “Kjernesunn Familie” in Norwegian. Kjerne = Core. Sunn = Healthy. Familie = Family. You get the picture. I need this book as well. We need it. Too much pasta, too much additives, sugar and stuff that really does no good to our health either physically or mentally.

Driving home with T. (the 5yo) this evening; “mama, I want ice cream”! Me – trying to explain why she cannot have ice cream every day. She – having a total breakdown in the backseat because of it; not giving a damn (pardon the French) about my logic explanations of course. So I stopped at the grocery store and bought some fruit and we went home and made our own ice cream. Version one – Black currants from the garden, a dash of organic soy milk and a teaspoon or two of xylitol ("Bjørkesøt" -instead of sugar; made from the birch tree). Version two – Banana and soy milk. Version three – mango. They are in the freezer at the moment. Quite an experiment. I hope she likes it – at least she enjoyed making them.

And I’m making “jam”;- soaking organic dried apricots. Tomorrow I’ll probably boil them for a few seconds, and then throw them in the blender. Voilá – organic apricot jam – no sugar. Did you know that most “conventional” dried apricots are treated with sulphur to keep the colour orange? Buy organic brown apricots. Apricots do not stay orange when they’re dried…

PS. I just love the library. What an amazing public service. Libraries make me happy, and proud and humble somehow.


After breastfeeding in the car on a very, very hot summer day.


My view

My 5 year olds view of me.

My level of crunchiness is significantly higher then most people I know. At least in my family – not much crunch there. Sometimes I feel lonely because my beliefs, thoughts and actions are so different from many of the people around me. I have friends that I feel totally at ease with; I feel at home and I can let my guard down and just completely be me. The first time this really happened was when I met other pagans. It’s the ultimate cliché, but I felt that I had come home. But when I am with my family (not the immediate family like my husband and my girls of course), distant relatives or friends, and even with strangers, - there are big parts of me that would never dare to peek out of the dark and dusty closet.

Not that I always and at all times have to show off all parts of my personality and discuss all the things I believe in or think about! We all wear different masks in different situations and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. But sometimes being/feeling different is lonely; like living on another planet or in a culture that is totally strange to you. And sometimes it is exhausting to defend your thoughts and actions to people that don’t (and really don’t want to) understand where you’re coming from.

But then again there are times when proclaiming your view is both giving and energizing…

There are positive aspects to this. Most of the time (luckily) I feel proud and completely at peace with my beliefs and thoughts. What I miss are more people to share them with. Commuity. Americans are great when it comes to everything “community” – at least is seems like it from my point of view. I was asking my husband the other day if he would like to move to the US or the UK for a year – just to try it out. To get closer to communities that has the same values and interests that we do. He wasn’t put off by the idea.

But we will still be the same people, just in a different environment. Will that change anything? I know that spending time with equals gives me a lot of positive energy and happiness, but still?


Summer Solstice

Our summer solstice was nothing fancy, but still very nice. And the weather is great these days. To me, the summer solstice marks the beginning of summer. So I try my best not to pay attention to the fact that days will grow shorter and nights longer from now on.

We collected seven different kids of flowers and put them under our pillow. Seven or nine different kinds of flowers under the pillow on midsummer night is said to make you dream of your future spouse.

We did our very first attempt on making fairy houses. This one is for the forest fairies.

And this is one for the garden fairies. - Or angels as T. call them. We’ll make more of these. And T. is checking regularly for signs of anyone moving in or staying over. Maybe we’ll make a fairy bed and breakfast? I wonder what fairies like to eat… (something sweet maybe, like honey?)

And in the evening we went to a lake nearby. Not to take a bath (too cold yet – about 15 degrees celcius/60 degrees F). Too cold for me anyway…) T. was just testing the water… And (of course) she fell and got all her clothes soaking wet.

So she got her first bath of the year anyway, and was totally thrilled about it.

And baby V. was happy in the wrap with daddy.