Surprise!

Hmmm…things look a little different around here today.

I’ve been working on a major site redesign for some time; I wanted something a little more “professional” looking and more well-structured than the simple layout I’d had for the last five years.  (Five years?  Wow…)  It’s been an arduous and rather stressful process, but it’s finally done, and I’m quite happy with it.

If you pop over to the Home Page, there’s a slide show – click on the title of the slide in the lower left-hand corner and it will take you to the blog portion of the site and list the category of recipes the slide is about.  The neat thing about that is that they can be changed very easily, reflecting seasons, holidays and trends.

Beneath the slides are 3 “call-out” boxes, similar to what was on the “old site.  I’ve done away with the link to the photography category, basically since I haven’t really taken a photo of anything that isn’t food or my grandson in quite awhile.  I’ve replaced it with a box titled “Resumé” that takes you to the “About” page (and because it goes well with “Recipes” and “Rants” – I’m all about alliteration these days).  I’m working on rewriting that, too, while I’m at it.

Beneath the call-out boxes is a section listing my 3 latest posts, 4 latest tweets, and pages I decided I needed to keep, but didn’t feel belonged on the “main” menu at the top – my blogrolls (which is going to get, you guessed it, cleaned up and re-organized), the section of my old “SAD” recipes, and the disclaimer I think is silly but is apparently necessary.  And lastly, at the very bottom is the copyright notice and links to my Facebook page, Twitter feed, Google+ profile and RSS feed.

I think it’s nice.

The About and Contact pages haven’t changed, but the Blog feed has.  If you land there, you have to click through to read the entire post, and you’ll notice the sidebars have changed.  I’m still working on this, so things will probably change a little on the right side over the next few days.  The format of the posts haven’t changed much, other than listing the meta information on the left, rather than at the bottom, making the area for the actual post more narrow, necessitating slightly smaller photos.  (If you go back to some older posts, you’ll see that the photos are running over into the right-hand sidebar – yes, I’m working on that, too).

The biggest change is the “Recipe” drop-down on the main menu.  I’ve had several requests over the last few months for a recipe index to make it easier to find specific recipes on the site.  I can understand that; when I started the blog in February 2008, I had no idea it was going to grow the way it has (60,000 unique visitors and 250,000 pageviews each month) and the category and tag structure leaves something to be desired.  The new recipe drop-down on the menu is going to do a lot to resolve this issue.

However, there is a drawback:  it has to be built entirely by hand, and I could not begin to build it until I implemented the new theme.  Right now, there are only a few recipes under appetizers and the grass-fed beef section of main courses.  Please understand this is a work in progress, and recipes will be added on a regular basis – daily, if I can manage it.  In the meantime, the categories and tags for the recipes are still intact, and the search function has been improved so hopefully that will help you find the exact recipe you’re looking for.

There are a few bugs to work out – mainly how the comments sections displays the stars when you rate a recipe – but I have to say I’m really very pleased with how it’s all turned out.  Do you like it?  Hate it?  Let me know – I really want to hear what you think!

Migration

I have an interesting post about estrogen dominance in the works, but it won’t be up until next week.  Likewise the recipe for peach cobbler.

After many years, I’m switching web hosts for the blog.  I don’t want to; I’ve had a long and beneficial relationship with my current host, but I’ve simply outgrown them.  I had to ask for another increase in bandwidth last month, even after disabling hotlinking (which is why you can’t currently see my photos in your RSS reader), and he warned me that I’ve reached my limit.  There simply is no more.

For the record, if I exceed my allotted bandwidth, this blog will become inaccessible until the next month.  No fun for me, and no fun for the tens of thousands of visitors who end up here each month.

This is compounded by the fact that I’ve recently made several changes to help how the blog is indexed in search engines, which is only going to increase traffic and eat up more bandwidth.  So I’ve reluctantly decided to move to a host that allows me unlimited disk space and, more importantly, unlimited bandwidth at an incredibly fair price (if I prepay for a certain amount of time, which I have no problem with).

The only problem with this is now I have to migrate my blog – database, images and all – to the new web server, which I plan to do this weekend.  I’ve done this before, so I don’t expect any real problems, but I can’t add any new content to the blog while I’m doing the migration.

If you don’t see a post from me this coming Monday, you’ll know things didn’t go quite as smoothly as I anticipated.

In the meantime, keep your fingers crossed for me, and have a lovely weekend, y’all.

Disclaiming

I know I was supposed to post photos of our side of beef being cut, but I have literally had NO time to go over the pictures (there are dozens), pick the best, crop them, size them and write about them – it has just been that kind of week.  I plan to do it this weekend if it kills me (and it very well may).

There was something else I wanted to write about, anyway.  I don’t know if any of you have noticed, but when I changed themes for the month I also added a new page to the blog.  See, up there to the far right on the menu?

Yes, that would be a disclaimer.  This is what it says:

All information provided within this blog is solely the opinion of the author and is for informational and educational purposes only.  It is not to be construed as medical advice or instruction, and no action should be taken solely on the contents. Please consult your physician or a qualified health professional on any matters regarding your health and well-being. All content published on Jan’s Sushi Bar is believed to be accurate based on the best judgment of the author. However, you as the reader must be responsible for your own decisions, consulting with your own health professional(s) on  matters raised within. I will not accept responsibility for the actions or consequential results of any action taken by any reader.

Isn’t that absurd?  But, I’m afraid, completely necessary.

You see, I’ve had several readers tell me that they’ve taken to heart what I’ve been saying here for the last (almost) 2 years, and to their great benefit.  I also have a couple of readers who think I’ve gone off my nut and wouldn’t take my dietary advice if someone held a gun to their heads, but that’s not the point – it’s those who do take my advice (if you really want to call it that).

You see, I’m not a doctor, nurse, dietitian or licensed medical professional of any ilk.  Just a blogger who decided, after years of futile and fruitless dealings with various medical professionals, to take her own health into her own hands and has met with a good measure of success.  I post the recipes for the food my family and I eat and, more importantly, write about the things I’ve learned and how they apply not only to me and mine, but to the public at large – for I really and truly believe that every single one of us is at risk.  I do not believe that war or terrorism or even disease or famine will be our undoing as a species, but the industrialization and bastardization of our food supply.

Let’s face it, eating is universal – one of the few things that every man, woman and child on the planet does.

But I digress.  The reason I’ve put a disclaimer on my blog is because of Steve Cooksey, a blogger in North Carolina who is diabetic, and has taken control of his diabetes completely with (a low carbohydrate paleo) diet and exercise, eliminating his need for insulin and other medications.  Like me, he has gotten correspondence from readers (far more than I have, in fact) telling him that what he’s written has changed their lives – that they or friends or family members have been able to take control of their diabetes or other health issues, often reducing or eliminating their medications, as well.  He has met with so much praise and success that he offered personalized services for a small fee, to help those who might be having a bit of a tough time going it on their own.  But for the most part, Steve merely blogs about his diet, his workouts and his health.  Oh, and posted before and after pictures.

Woof.

Steve is openly critical of the American Diabetes Association, and with good reason:  following their prescribed plan, he was just getting sicker and fatter, taking more and more medication and eating less and less fat (and more and more “whole grains”) in order to “control” his disease.  I understand his frustration and if you wonder why, go back up and click the link about my futile and fruitless dealings with various health professionals.  At any rate, on January 12, 2012, Steve attended a nutritional seminar, where he “spoke up against the normal deceptions and falsehoods that cause diabetics harm.”  Another attendee apparently took great offense to what Steve said, and reported him to the North Carolina Board of Dietitians.

The North Carolina Board of Dietitians is investigating Steve Cooksey, telling him what he can and cannot say on his blog – blatantly violating his First Amendment rights (there are already several blog posts dealing with this aspect alone here, here, here and here).  In short, they are telling him he cannot give anyone any advice, because is not licensed to do so.  If he fights this, he can – and will – be taken to court, charged, fined, and his blog shut down.

Nor is this an isolated case; there is pending legislation in several states – California, New York, Indiana, New Jersey, Colorado and West Virginia – that would make it illegal for anyone who is not a licensed dietitian to give any sort of dietary or health advice.  You may think that’s fine – those of us who wish to continue to do what we do can just go take a test and receive our license, and that’s true…as long as we give the kind of advice the licensing agency wants us to propagate.  They will be perfectly within their rights to revoke said license if they don’t like what we’re saying.

At any rate, that is why I have put a disclaimer on my blog.  Because if it can happen to Steve Cooksey, it can happen to me.

Or to you.

Posted in participation of Food Renegade’s Fight Back Friday

‘Tis The Season To Be Crazy

Remember how I said I wasn’t fond of plain glass ball Christmas ornaments?  They’re scarce on the “formal” tree, too.

I have at least three good recipes and a guest post to share, but they’re going to have to wait.  Darling Daughter arrived last night and we stayed up till 1 a.m. talking.  It should be illegal for work to be hectic at this time of year – and until this year, this was our slow time – but I, at least, am absolutely swamped.  Our  office is closed Friday, which is when Oldest Son gets here, but I want to take some time off before then which doesn’t leave a whole lot of time for blogging and Facebook.  I’ll try to get around to visit everyone today and have my guest post up tomorrow, but I make no promises.

Have a lovely Tuesday, y’all, and I’ll see you around the blogosphere.

Hopefully.

Feel The Burn…Out

Meh.

I do believe I’m suffering from a bad case of bloggy burnout.  It’s not unusual for this time of year, especially for someone who has been blogging for any length of time (read: 2½ years).  I just need a break.

So, I’m going to be taking one.  On Saturday, we head down to Las Vegas for several days – Beloved is going to a conference and I’m going to spend lots of time with Darling Daughter.  We get home very late on Thursday, then turn around and pick Darling Daughter and her fella at the airport Friday evening, Oldest Son and The Young One on Saturday morning, BON (Beloved’s Only Niece) Saturday night, then head down to Hocking Hills for 4 nights on Sunday.  Darling Daughter goes home Friday afternoon, Oldest Son returns Saturday morning, and we’re going to see Emmitt Smith inducted into the Football Hall of Fame Saturday night.

In order to get ready for this, I have a TON of stuff to do here at home and the office.  I’ll probably blog some this week – I have a couple of recipes – but I may not be around to comment so much.  I’ll do my best, but I can’t make any promises.  I don’t intend to blog at all while in Vegas and will not be able to while in Hocking Hills – no internet connection.  But rest assured that I will return the second week of August, armed with photos and stories of our adventures – and maybe even a recipe or two.

That was either a threat or a promise.  Take it how you will.  😛

And have a lovely Monday, y’all.