Here I am! Today’s the day! Diet Central . . . only not, it’s Healthy Eating . . . read on . . . enjoy the MUSICA! Comes with crazy love, as usual!First off, we should define diet. You can’t understand a word until you get the pure dictionary definition:


1. restrict oneself⚡️to small amounts or special kinds of food in order to lose weight.
“It’s difficult to diet.”
synonyms: follow a diet, be on a diet, eat sparingly, abstain, fast.
I’ve never cared much for the word Diet. You can probably tell I don’t like “restrict.” And also not wild about “sparingly.” The entire subject has always been confusing, seems more for selling books than anything else  . . . low-fat, no-fat, low-carb, Mediterranean, Vegan, Atkins, cabbage soup only, the Blood Type Diet, Volumetrics, Paleo, Nutrisystem, the Baby Food Diet 😳, too many ~ and none of the ones I tried over the years “took.”  Pounds kept sneaking up on me despite the fact that I’m a life-long walker! Just wasn’t enough, I guess. I think another synonym for “diet” could easily be “failure.” All I really wanted was a little balance! So I just call my “diet” Whole-Food Eating because it’s not a diet, it’s how my mom fed us. Simple, healthy, balanced, nutritious meals. Your basic protein, roughage, fiber, fats, the stuff that feeds your brain and gives your life zing.  And, best of all, I discovered there is absolutely NO reason comfort food can’t be good for you.💖
Look at that! Yum! I’ve been talking about healthy eating on most blog posts since February . . . as I’ve gone along I’ve been showing photos of meals ~ some Girlfriends have been asking for more, so I thought I’d post the entire thing. There’s no calorie or carb-counting with this way of eating, I really made it up ~ you fill your plate and eat it all ~ cravings go away, and it’s all due to plain-old-fashioned, healthy, common-sense, whole-food eating.
It all started when I began to see (for the first time because I honestly did not know it was a real “thing”) the detrimental effect of STRESS on my body. I wondered why, no matter what I did, I couldn’t lose weight and keep it off. I was getting fluffier all the time. So, I went ALL OVER the Internet to learn about invisible stress and how chemicals like cortisol produced by the brain effect our health without us even knowing it, and how I could get my brain to produce more good chemicals and less of the dangerous ones.
I learned a lot . . . there are many ways to reduce stress, everything from exercise to meditation to aromatherapy (Google for more stress info if you feel you need it), but one way to make an instant change for good is to cut out white flour and sugar. Stress LOVES sugar and together they run you down, wear you out, and make you fat, then if you aren’t careful, they give you diabetes. If you change no other part of your diet, this will give you a very wonderful head start toward better health. Learning about stress just led me naturally to a re-education of food.

I learned that fats are good (if they’re the right kind, just Google “good fats” if you want to know). That “good, fruity, olive oil” in the recipe above is wonderful for you! Alcohol, on the other hand, is full of sugar so I decided to save it as a treat for when we go out to dinner.👍 Water is important too. If you don’t like to drink water, add ice, a little juice or mint to make it taste better, and take it like medicine if necessary. Eight 8-oz glasses a day is perfect. There IS such thing as too much water, so don’t overdo it, but it’s a very good secret weapon for a whole variety of reasons.

I know we don’t all have the same tastes, I’m only telling you about what is working for me, but I’m sure with a little editing, you can find something out of all this that will work for you. I researched healthiest whole-food eating and generally speaking, I discovered that the very healthiest, fiber-rich, stress-fighting foods that fill me up and leave me happy and satisfied, are these:
For breakfast, it’s usually Bob’s Red Mill thick-cut organic oatmeal (which, btw, is naturally gluten-free), sprinkled with crunchy, chopped mixed nuts and seeds, a tablespoon of ground flaxseed, a half-teaspoon of cinnamon, blueberries, strawberries, and/or chopped apples ~ I pour toasted-coconut/almond milk on my cereal (new to me and I LOVE it) and there’s also coconut-almond cream for my tea. Sometimes breakfast is grapes, blueberries, watermelon chunks, with good granola and a little yogurt.
We have lots of salmon, chicken, grass-fed beef, omega-6 organic eggs, and salads with all kinds of crisp, fresh, organic greens and veggies. More: grapefruit and avocado salads are so refreshing in the summer, a baked sweet potato (wash it, rub it all over with butter, salt it, bake it at 375º, slit open, sprinkle with 
seeds, have butter if you like, be sure to eat the skin. Or, make this killer sweet potato recipe. Delicious peas, roasted carrots,
cauliflower rice, brussels sprouts, pea pods, broccoli and broccoli slaw, green beans, pickled onions, spinach, asparagus, artichokes, quinoa (which is good with everything, esp. avocado and hummus, see p. 84 Girlfriends Forever for delicious recipe), organic canned kidney, black, or white beans (Google for some easy recipes, or try my bean salad recipe). Beans are a good side-dish with everything, love those gigantic white beans, I never paid much attention to them before, they’re delicious and they’re good for you! There are also these wonderful veggie-based noodles called shiritaki I found at our supermarket, the brand is Pasta Zero . . . with them you can make full-on spaghetti with either turkey or beef meat-sauce (buy sugar-free organic tomato sauce in a jar, add it to sautéed chopped onion, garlic, crumbled burger, sprinkle with fresh basil).  
As advertised, there are almost ZERO calories in shiritaki noodles, no flour, no carbs, but lots of good healthy fiber, totally satisfying, so anti-“diet,” anti-“restricted,” there are no words. Sprinkle with Parmesan for perfect comfort food. Less than 100 calories in that bowl⤴️! But who’s counting!? Have two! Or make chicken-noodle soup with them, with good healthy chicken stock and all kinds of veggies. Yum.
Another favorite is toasted whole-grain Ezekiel bread, which I eat maybe three times a week … with butter, and a sprinkle of seeds ~ or mashed avocado with salt and pepper. Have it with scrambled Omega-6 free-range eggs and a side of steamed veggies. Or have the toast with this! ⬇️
Meals like this are quick to make: Flash-frozen veggies like organic peas and green beans make life REALLY easy. So do the canned organic beans.
Last night for dinner I had two scrambled eggs, steamed spinach, and half an avocado sprinkled with Trader Joe’s Chile-Lime seasoning. 
HEAVEN. Takes about 15 minutes to make. And plenty to eat . . . this is a “skinny” dinner . . . if I ate this every night I think I’d lose a pound a day. But I don’t. It’s ALL about health for me, not really about losing weight although that and getting a better understanding of stress was my original goal ~ I didn’t care how long it took, I just wanted me back.
I set times of day for eating. I don’t eat until 8 am even though I get up very early, I have two cups of tea and do my stretches then begin making oatmeal at 8am. I start lunch around noon or when I feel hungry and then dinner at 6pm. I stick to that as best I can. I hardly eat between meals, all those cravings have left me, but if I have to eat something, it’s ALWAYS healthy, a piece or two of celery dipped in organic hummus, a cup of yummy Bengal Spice tea with almond cream, usually takes away any random cravings. Guacamole with plantain chips.
OR, a square of “over 70% cacao super dark chocolate” is a WONDERFUL after-lunch treat. Now I just want to lose a few more pounds, start wearing my cute belts(!) again, and STAY this way. And since eating healthy never leaves me hungry, because I LOVE the food I’m eating, because it’s SO simple, I think I can do it.
If you’re already on your way or if you’re about to jump in, Good Luck! Hope this helps! Eat well, move more, and don’t be too hard on yourself, you are wonderful just the way you are. Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Start slow. ❌⭕️
Shirtaki noodles (made from root of the konjac plant, a pure miracle), at supermarkets.
Bob’s Red Mill makes Organic Oatmeal, and lots of other wonderful products.
Also, Ezekiel Bread, and Califa Farms Toasted-Coconut/Almond Milk and Coconut-Almond Creamer. (Never thought I’d say this, but I LOVE this stuff in my tea and on my cereal, do not miss milk at all.)
Mixed seeds: get them at Trader Joe’s, or here: Amazon
Make or buy clarified butter, it takes high heat, scramble your eggs in it . . . melt in pan, get bag of organic cauliflower/broccoli “rice” and saute it, salt and pepper and Yum. Fast and easy. Have it with sweet potato and salmon.
Other good oils, coconut oil, avocado oil. ~ Olive oil YES, but it’s not good to use for high-heat cooking, put it on your salads.
Here I am, bringing the requested Blueberry Angel Food Cake recipe from Heart of the Home (the new version) to a Fourth of July party . . . Lot’s of sugar but very delicious, always a hit, and rules ARE made to be broken! I follow most of the rules at home, but I’m happy to break them when I go out!
it’s a good thing!
So much happening at the Studio, here’s a quick review!
Did you get your Year in the English Countryside 2020 Calendar? If you preordered and you don’t have it yet, you will! Kellee and Sheri sent out over 900 of them this week! Yes, they’re here! Dying to know what you think? Because it was a new format for me, mostly photographs, we only had the England Calendar up for presale, but the rest of them have arrived too, the Mini, the 12 x 12 Wall, the purse calendar and the large Blotter Calendar!
And this! My brand new “Isle of Dreams” Giclee Print has finally come in! A limited edition of 750, all hand-signed and numbered. A keepsake, for anyone who’s been to the Island and fallen in love, and for all those still dreaming. Fits a standard 11″ x 14″ frame. Read more HERE.
I’m in love with the paper! It’s so thick, just like watercolor paper . . . acid free and archival too!
And the Zinnias are back too . . . watercolored flowers from my Holly Oak garden, summer of 1984, before Heart of the Home, and hanging in my Studio ever since! 
Signed and ready to go!
And YESSSS! The newest cups came from England for approval. And they got it! They turned out SO gorgeous! Supposed to be here by September first, and if that isn’t perfect timing for fall, I don’t know what! Something wonderful to look forward too! See their bottoms and backsides HERE!
We still have a few of these left, I ordered enough so we would hopefully have them for Christmas this year, and so far so good! Bottoms and backsides, HERE!
(PS Save the fire for when the cups come in!) There’s more, but it’s time for me to go! And I have to save some surprises for next time . . . I have a good one coming!
Love you guys! Stay cool! Have fun. Spread the love. xoxoxo
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555 Responses to HEALTHY EATING!

  1. Mary from Wiscasset says:

    Hi Susan! Your blog post is wonderful, and you look amazing! Since turning 52, I have been searching for something to help with the weight creeping on (thank you, menopause) and the potential health risks that are in my family that I do not want to see happening to me. After much research, I began intermittent fasting and it has changed my life. Combined with healthy eating like what you are doing, I’ve never felt better. The process of autophagy (achieved through fasting) is a cellular cleanse on the very deepest level in our bodies. Everything has changed for me for the better: weight, skin, hair, memory, mental clarity. And the personal, spiritual and mental benefits are just as powerful as the physical! Cheers to you, Susan. Thank you for bringing such beauty to our lives. xo

    • sbranch says:

      Lots of people love the intermittent fasting program…Love the sounds of your success!!!! xoxoxo

  2. Thank you so very much for all your hints, love and encouragement. You have been a great example for me for many, many years. I am not happy with my fluffiness and sugar is my addiction.
    You are looking so pretty and thin! All your research and healthy eating has paid off. Enjoy your summer!

  3. Ann Woleben says:

    I trust you and Joe are okay after these horrendous storms. Kitty Jack, too!

  4. Peggy McAbee says:

    My calendar came today. I love it so much!!! Thank you, from Indiana

  5. Char says:

    Susan, LOVE your healthy food plan. I keep trying too. But today I made your zucchini bread recipe😋. Is that recipe in any of your books? I found it online but couldn’t find it in your books I have. My garden is overflowing with zucchinis!
    Got my miniCalendar which I love. Must praise Sheri for working hard to add a second one of your little tiny pitchers to my order in time for me to gift one to my sister-in-law who just got cancer diagnosis. We are both putting it on our kitchen window sill, fill with little blossoms, and know we are thinking of each other and praying each day for God’s blessings. Thanks so much for all your creations. You touch all our lives in so many ways!

    • sbranch says:

      I have a GREAT zucchini salad recipe p66 of my Summer Book. Perfect for all your summer pot lucks! Kisses for your sister, thank God you have each other. Blessings on you both. XOXOXOXO

  6. Brenda says:

    My granddaughter will be getting married next year and I’m going to try a healthy eating regimen. Not only do I want to look good but I want to feel good too. Thanks for all the great ideas.
    P.S. You look great!

  7. Sandra Hicke says:

    I first learned about you when I took a visual journaling course and the instructor had one of your books on her book list as and example. I checked out your “Summer” book from the library and fell in love with it and the Joy it projected of summer. My granddaughter, who was 5 at that time, loved hearing the story of your mom loading you all up in the car to take you all and some add on children to a swimming hole. She had me read it again and again. Last Spring I saw the article about your picnic in England in Victoria Magazine so that is when I signed up for your newsletters and they have been bringing Joy to me since then. We are right in the middle of a kitchen reno so stress is high on my mind. I can’t wait to clean my house! Imagine saying that in the middle of summer. I am eating lots of salads and try to eat healthy but right now it is the wine or beer that is my down fall so I need to work on that. I wish you and all the “girlfriends”, a very happy Joyful summer, from Victoria, BC, Canada

    • sbranch says:

      Renovating the kitchen, nightmare job, but what a joy when it’s done! So happy to meet you Sandra, say hello to Victoria for me!

  8. Vicki South of Arroyo says:

    I’d left several comments before that got zapped but I’m persisting on this one because I do get concerned about smoke points on oil – – when you’re roasting your veggies in the oven and can’t use olive oil at the high heat, what oil is working best for you (I tend to stay away from canola). Thanks, Susan; you look great; congrats on the weight loss.

  9. lori hamilton says:

    Dearest Susan,
    I am sitting in my recliner actually recovering from mouth surgery and got good news this morning. I know my doctor was afraid of it being a cancerous lesion but the results came back as “chronic inflammation.”
    I’m so glad because now I know what I have and what I need to do. I’ve known my energy level isn’t what it was and hasn’t been for a while. Now I have a road map and a direction to work toward thanks to you.
    As soon as I get off the pain meds I’m cleaning out our pantry and restocking it with anti-inflammatory foods. I hope you will continue to give us updates and new recipes. A new way of eating at this age can be daunting! Like you say, though,we’re all in this together!

    • sbranch says:

      Nice diagnosis, must feel good ~ onward and upward! Yes, we’re in it together. xoxoxo Love to you Lori!

  10. Each and every time your blog arrives in my email I get so excited to look it over. I have been collecting your books, stickers and assorted other goodies for many many years, I think since like 1975, is that possible? Each and every design is so lovely so soothing and simply enjoyable. Thank you for all you do!

    • sbranch says:

      Not 75, my first book came out in 86, and there were stickers and things at the end of the 90s, but it’s STILL a very long time! So nice to hear from you Pamela, thank you!

  11. Wendy says:

    Susan ! Just read your twitter comment “Why don’t we march like Puerto Rico” I am Canadian (not on twitter) and since you are the only American I really can communicate directly with at this point I have been for some time now trying to think of a polite way of asking you WHY ARE AMERICANS NOT MARCHING IN THE STREETS ! The whole world is wondering…….why does your system allow him to get away with his shameful and sometimes blatantly criminal actions……because of this it will only get worse…..Thank you so much for posting that comment. All decent people in the world are with you ! Please do what you can….even just phone calls. The world will thank you for it. Have you read Amy Siskind’s weekly lists ? She is on twitter……the list is eye-opening to say the least and enough to spring anybody in to action. I believe she will be in your neck of the woods soon.

    • sbranch says:

      I wish I knew. It may be because the acceptance and OVERLOAD are just too mind-blowing. Letting Russia take away the system so many have died for is truly beyond belief. Many people are seriously getting ill from the stress and worry of it. It’s hard to understand when history so clearly demonstrates what happens in the face of silence. I’ll look up Amy Siskind… Thank you for worrying about us. You are NOT alone.

  12. Kate says:

    Hi Susan, just love your newsletters. My heart home is Cape Cod, though I live in Atlanta, GA so it’s so lovely to see all the MV images. Did you know that the origin latin for diet is dieta and means a way of living. I love that meaning. PS. Once I went vegan I no longer had any weight issues. Of course if I eat too many potato chips or hit the sugar hard I put on some weight but it comes off just as quickly once I get back to whole foods.

  13. Kerrie Anne Foley says:

    Hi Susan,
    Your England Wall Calendar arrived in the mail and Oh my goodness!!!! I am in love!! I don’t want to rush through the rest of the year but I CANNOT wait to be able to turn to January and start enjoying it Every time I look through it I find a wee bit of magic that I missed before. And YOU, dear Susan, are definitely my savior. My life is spelled STRESS right now between having Cardiac issues, having to retire from my brutally difficult and physical pediatric nurse position which I love but my body is saying “it’s time, dealing with Medicare, Social Security and moving out of my beloved Wickford (but in with my daughter and son in law and my sweet grand babies:)!!! I turn to carbs when I’m stressed and today I felt TERRIBLE after I chose a candybar for lunch instead of something healthy. Then low and behold I go to my computer and here you are with the perfect encouragement and common sense. I felt like you were talking just to me and thank you because it was just the boost I needed to stop feeling sorry for myself and starting fresh! I am now on a healthy me mission. Thank you for being you and making so much of my world much brighter. Don’t forget to give Jack and Joe a squinch from me. Much love and many hugs to you, Kerrie

    • sbranch says:

      TOO much discombooberation happening to you all at the same time, but it sounds like you are grabbing bull by horns. Yes, start small with the little things you CAN control. Sending a little kitty squinch right back to you Kerrie, hopefully as stress goes away, health issues go with it! XOXOXO

      • Debbie Boerger says:

        Kerry Anne and Susan
        At 74, I’m absolutely convinced that we may have the choice of gifts from, pick one….Guardian Angel, The Universe, maybe personal Totem 😉
        I now listen very carefully to that little voice and to my Gut. They are usually things I need, even if that isn’t at first obvious.
        Wishing you the best while building a new life.
        Debbie in Maine

  14. Christine Jessup says:

    Hi Susan,

    Have you considered writing a cookbook with recipes on this new style of cooking?

    • sbranch says:

      Not really since most of the “recipes” only have one ingredient in them! But I’ll keep putting pictures of my dinners and lunches on the blog, to keep the thought going!

      • Sharon Eisen says:

        I wish that those recipes appeared in a recipe book or on recipe cards or had an option to print them. They look delicious.

        • sbranch says:

          They are so easy. Most of them only have one ingredient. Make a little list of menus and you’ve got it!!! xoxoxo

  15. ally,violet crown says:

    Always enjoy your blog-brightens up my life. Just found artist Pamela Zagarenski
    if your not familiar-just magical. Anything to make me daydream -what a
    talent to be able to draw and paint!

  16. Teresa O says:

    Dear Susan,
    I’m so glad to have read your post today. I began a healthier eating journey last week. Baking, sweets, & cooking like my mom was/is such comfort, but not very healthy. These first few weeks are so very hard when I’m still craving sugar & all those wonderful floury, fatty foods that have been part of my life over 60 years. I’m going to try your recipes, go back reread earlier posts, glean as much as I can from each one, & continue this journey toward a healthier me. Thank you ever so much.

    • sbranch says:

      I promise, after a few days the cravings go away. You lay in bed in the morning and think, oh boy, I’m having scrambled eggs, steamed spinach, and peas for lunch. Maybe even half an avocado. You rub your hands together in glee, and thoughts of white sugar float right out of your head! xoxo

  17. Suzette Shoulders says:

    Susan, I love the healthy eating blogpost, and it is very timely for me! Trying hard to drop some pounds, hoping to have a back problem get better! (Weight loss suggested by my doc!) About the calendar , the wall photo-calendar of England that came today in my post, OH< MY!!! I was transported back to England! So much wonderful detail you got in your photos, like the blackboards with menus and prices on them ! And all the fun dogs! I had such fun going through the pages, and am now looking forward to the new year! Thanks for all your positivism in a time with a lot of negatives! Suzette from Oregon, where it is hot hot hot!

    • sbranch says:

      My pleasure Suzette! Good luck with your no-diet diet! Glad you liked the calendar!!! XOXO

  18. Donna Squires says:

    Hi, Susan.

    Thanks for this wonderful post!

    I recently retired in June (was a teacher for 31 years) and now it’s time to focus on ME! I am very excited to start eating well and feeling more energy. What a great time of year to start, too, with all this wonderful bounty of healthy food from the earth! You have given me great inspiration! You look wonderful!

    Thank you,

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Donna, and thank you for those 31 years of service to your kids and your country!! XOXO

  19. Lynn Barlow says:

    Dear Susan, thank you for the encouraging words on healthy eating–I’m trying! My 2020 “English Countryside” calendar arrived this past week. English Hubby (from Salford) and I are so very happy to see your beautiful artwork and pictures! You obviously put much time and love into creating this calendar!

    • sbranch says:

      It was SO fun to do. Choosing which photos was the hardest part! Thank you Lynn! Hi to English Hubby!

  20. Candace Stevens Job says:

    I bought your 1st cookbook and I was hooked. I love your art, your recipes, your home, your travels, even your political views. I’m so impressed with your healthy eating post. Glad it’s working for you. At this stage of life we are surrounded by diabetics, vegetarians, vegans, gluten free, high blood pressure, friends who are all waiting for joint replacement surgery. Your blog is an escape to another world. The world of Martha’s Vineyard, quilts, books, flowers, cats, tea, and apple crisp. I hope you will continue to let me escape.

  21. Marilyn Ghere says:

    I really enjoy you telling all of us about your healthy, and oh so appetizing, meal prep. And thanks for sharing the names and brands of some favorite products. I have been meaning to let you know that my husband and I like a recipe you shared in your blog some time ago—Kale Salad. I make it frequently, using several kinds of kale from our garden. I found that I like making it with rices cauliflower even better than raced broccoli. Keep on telling us your good food ideas. And thanks too for the free stationery.

  22. pat addison (cave junction, OR) says:

    Hello Susan and Howdy Do Girlfriends, got some exciting info for you all… well for the Downton Abbey fans… there will an official Downton Abbey cookbook released soon. all full of lovely recipes from the series. you can preorder from Amazon now, the book will come out September 17th. that should be a good book to curl up with during the fall and winter. got to go, have to get the steak marinated. hugs…… 😀

  23. Holly says:

    Love the food ideas and your blog. BUT….I reeeeeally love that shirt! Care to share the brand? So cute!

  24. Karen Werth says:

    Happy first day of August. Wonderful mouth watering blog to motivate all of your readers to eat healthier. Each picture of your recipes makes me hungry. Could there possibly be a new cookbook in your future to share with us?????? Two great things arrived in my mail this week, your beautiful English Countryside Calendar and Victoria’s new book, Our Hearts Are in England. Both make me feel like I’m taking a private tour through the beloved countryside of England. A bit of heaven.t Thanks for bringing such joy into my days.

  25. Dawn from Minnesota says:

    What do you say, when a bunny pops out of the garden, while weeding on a beautiful morning? I said, “Hi Susan” like it was natural! Cracked me up! I did wake up with “rabbit-rabbit” on the brain! Hope you are having a beautiful “rabbit-rabbit” day too. Off topic but, have you read any good books lately? Just finished “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens and loved it. Okay, well back outside I go and if I see Susan again….should I let her finish eating my flowers? Sweet thing she is…wink wink 😉

    • sbranch says:

      I am honored!!!! I love that you think that way Dawn!!!! Reading a wonderful and heartbreaking diary, written 1939-1945, by an English housewife, called Nella Last’s War. Do not allow Susan to eat the flowers, put her on a diet right now!!! XOXOXO

  26. Judy from KC says:

    Thank you for the healthy eating tips.
    You are a voice if encouragement!
    I am looking forward to this lifestyle!

  27. Marigold says:

    Better late than never! Finally had a long, unhurried moment to read your inspiring post. Although I have my fall-off-the-wagon moments, I have been endeavoring to cut way back on sugars. I’m also using smaller plates and bowls to help me cut back on the quantity of food I consume. And I’m on the look-out for a smallish tread mill for the house so when I watch tv/dvds I can be moving instead of sitting. All that to say, thank you for sharing your story with us, Susan. May God bless all of us with good health, not just physically, but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually as well. Slainte!

    • sbranch says:

      I have a stationery bike for rainy days. It’s small and you don’t have to plug it in. V. Comfie! Hope your healthy lifestyle is getting happy results!!! xoxo

  28. Pamela Betz says:

    Susan—Thank you so much for sharing your non diet. Keeps me inspired!!!!

  29. Judy from KC says:

    Just wanted to mention DryFarmWines.Com for low sugar wine.

  30. Cameron says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your healthy food ideas Susan! I will be trying to incorporate some of them into my own routine. I’ve always eaten whatever I wanted and always been active enough that it didn’t seem to matter, but now that I’m 36, my metabolism must be slowing down. It seems like every little treat I have makes my clothes fit tighter (sob). I’m glad to know that you’ve found a way to eat that doesn’t make you feel deprived, because that’s what I need!

    • sbranch says:

      Start now, it’s so easy to make a habit of it. Make it your at-home regime and have some fun when you go out to eat. None of the billions of diets work the way this healthy non-diet does. See what you think!

  31. susan Piddington says:

    Dear Sue and Joe
    I just saw your post that you are going to the mainland for lunch. What a beautiful day you have for a boat ride. Don’t know if you know. but there are lots of Wegman grocery stores in the northeast… you may be near one of them where you are going. Go to their website and type in the zip code of the area you will be in. Have a great lunch, and happy birthday to you dad. I’m sure he’ll be with you on your trip. Love Sue

  32. Eileen says:

    I want to comment on your tweet but I don’t have a twitter account. You asked if your political comments were making a difference or maybe you were preaching to the choir. You need to keep speaking up. My daughter and I were just talking about this today, how women like YOU and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez empower all of us women to speak up more loudly and DO more things to facilitate change. My daughter is 24 and said, ‘please tell Susan she gives me courage.’ And me too. So keep on talking. Preaching to the choir is helpful because you are a leader and you are educating us and encouraging and supporting us to be brave and do more and say how we feel. We have learned a lot from you. Thank you!

    • sbranch says:

      So happy to hear from you and your daughter Eileen! YOU give me, and all of us, courage too, and there’s never too much of THAT these days. Love to you both! XOXOXO

  33. Sher in Idaho says:

    Thank you for the Bengal Spice tea recommendation! It is my new evening drink instead of dessert. We have triple digit temps in SW Idaho right now, so I put it on ice and add a little milk. I love your whole food eating plan and have been incorporating your recipes to feel better and shed the fluff. It’s working! Thank you for caring about all your girlfriends! XOXO

  34. Debbie Boerger says:

    Ditto re Eileen’s post. I spend a few minutes every day following the links on your Tweets. Reinforces the knowledge that we are not alone. History will judge these Republican politicians harshly. But while we wait for History to judge, people are dying. Grow a Spine, people. Oops, I know this isn’t the place for this kind of talk.

    I wanted to say how fabulous the Canadian berries have been for us here in Maine. Our own strawberry crop was seriously harmed by the wet weather, so we’ve been thankful for the ones from our Neighbor to the North. Tom and I eat so many this time of year….yum!!! So sweet, you need no sugar. And our own blueberries, freezing by the batch for use later. Spread on large pan, place in freezer, dump the little guys into freezer bags. Repeat.

    Also wanted to say, Rest in Peace, Toni Morrison. “The Bluest Eye” was a punch in the gut for me when I first read it as an adult. So much in my own life surrounded by so many loving Black women made sense. Warm, brown arms and bosoms, comforting two little White kids who needed comfort. Nothing but kindness and inclusion from collegues in the Black schools so long ago in segregated Mississippi.

    Mucho love, Miss Susan,
    Debbie in a nice Maine Rain

    • sbranch says:

      “Nothing but kindness and inclusion.” Despite color, country, religion and all that crazy divider stuff, people are all the same. Good and bad everywhere. Lots more good than bad. But the bad have bigger mouths. Poverty is the true common denominator of the oppressed. And all of us feel it. XOXOXOXOXOXO Much love to you darling Debbie.

  35. Donna Fleishman says:

    Can’t wait for your August Wiiliard. I hope you are having a great summer. Are you going to have your yard sale? I would love to visit the island but would like to hopefully attend your sale. I am looking forward to it sooooooo much. Best to you always! Donna

    • sbranch says:

      I broke my wrist about 5 weeks ago, haven’t been able to do much, even type!!!! silly thing. Getting better every day, but still in a splint, and will be for a while. Had to put off yard sale until next summer! xoxoxo

  36. Debbie Boerger says:

    For our Dear, Darling Susan,
    Thank you for being a bright beacon of hope. I learned the hard lesson of the results of Not speaking out…..First they came for the Communists, then Socialists, Trade Unionists, Jews, Catholics, and I did not speak out because I was not one of the above. Then they came for Me…And there was no one left to speak out for me. (A condensed version of Martin Niemoeller,’s heart wrenching quote)

    Life should be all kittens, puppies, flowers, and friends, but, alas! It isn’t. Susan Speaks, mostly on Twitter, against the horrors of what is happening now in our Nation. If this bothers you, don’t go to her Tweets. Confine yourselves to her Blog. Susan is a multifaceted woman, and her awareness of evil as well as beauty and love, gives me great hope.

    Debbie in Maine

    • sbranch says:

      No, you are so right Debbie, and the thing is, I’ve always been this way. I think all thinking women are. Even while writing Heart of the Home I loved puppies and kittens, and little vases; but like all women, I also worried about people of the world, worried for our children and our neighbors and our way of life, for other people trying to raise kids in war torn places where there is no food or beauty, and the EARTH and flowers and meadows and elephants!!! So much to care about. Our grandma’s and moms and dads and everyone! Facets is the right word, we all have them, and need them. XOXOXOXO

  37. Debbie Boerger says:

    Oh, my. I seem to be hogging the blog.

    Had an easy surgery to fix carpel tunnel in left hand yesterday. Noticed on this bsolutely (!) beautiful, beautiful, beautiful Morning in Maine, that the numbness was gone 🙂 The lovely Tom will be on KP duty for 2 weeks, until the splint and bandages come off. Excuse typos.

    Thank you, Sue, for your links on Twitter.
    Happy Birthday Joe!! I love your smile.

    Mucho Love,
    Debbie in Maine

    • sbranch says:

      I have a broken wrist which is why you haven’t heard from me. I’m 5 weeks in now! Joe is my lovely KP guy and is the only reason I’m not curled up somewhere starved, with dirty hair! It’s my right hand, dominant hand, but it could be worse, it could be my foot which would be REALLY bad! Scooting up the stairs on my bottom does not sound fun! Sounds like you are doing well with carpel tunnel already! Get well soon Debbie! (Just starting to be able to type! Wears my arm out fairly soon, but feels good to be doing SOMETHING!)

  38. ~Del Gato Gordo Y Descarado~ says:

    Just saw your busted wing (arm)…
    Take care, heal up, best wishes for a speedy recovery!

    • sbranch says:

      Barely able to use the right-hand fingers for typing on laptop now. But WAY better than it was!!! Thank you! Missing everyone. I’m just trying to be nice about this dumb thing, waiting, waiting, waiting!

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