7 – An Update

Random thoughts I had while doing fourteen days of whole / minimally-processed foods:

The definition of torture: making bacon for the girls’ breakfast while on a no-processed-foods diet.  Ugh.

Day four of whole / minimally processed foods – I am sick.and.tired. of making every single meal we eat.  First world problem, I know, but still, I don’t love cooking. I don’t mind it and I enjoy it a lot more than I used to, but it’s still not my favorite, and I really don’t enjoy cooking from scratch (more or less) three meals a day, seven days a week (or just four at this point).  I’m sure there’s a balance out there somewhere.  Maybe I’ll find it soon.  Until then I’m off to go make my own salad dressing.  Or dehydrate my own fruit. Or butcher a grass fed cow.  Or anything else involving food preparation, because I feel like that’s all I do right now.

Day 5 – You know something’s not quite right when you go to WalMart in search of the one and only creamer that looks like it *might* fit into this minimally processed diet, only to find out they no longer carry it, and you seriously consider abandoning your half-full cart and leaving in tears.

I was very thankful today that we are not on Clothing this week since I spilled about a cup of chicken “juice” on my pants while making dinner.  That wouldn’t have been fun to wear for very long.  Although, I’m sure the dog would have loved me.

Speaking of chicken, I am not made for “pioneer living”.  Dismembering a whole chicken kind of killed my appetite, so I skipped dinner.

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So the Food portion of 7 has come to an end.  I confess that I fizzled out the last few days.  Between adoption excitement and the craziness that comes with preparing a family of six to go out of town for the weekend, I couldn’t keep my sanity and prepare “whole food” meals.  So I opted for a paraphrase of Proverbs and decided “peace with take out is better than a house full of whole food with strife”.  So we ate pizza and all were happy.

Travelling and maintaining a whole foods diet is next to impossible, especially with children involved.  It’s one thing for Matt and I to go to Jason’s Deli or Chipotle or wherever else might fit.  It’s quite another to feed a family of six at those places.  Not because our kids don’t love both of those establishments.  It’s just that our budget isn’t a huge fan.  So processed foods made their way back into our diets and some very interesting observations were made, number one of which was the fact that after about two days, all of us felt horrible and heavy.  And even after just ten days of whole foods, processed foods tasted exponentially saltier and / or sweeter, as the case may be.  By the time we made it to our ultimate destination (Lost Valley Ranch), the girls (even my less-than-healthy eaters) were voluntarily asking for fruit and salads with their meals.  So while we all spent vacation feeling bloated and heavy, it was encouraging to see all of us realize the difference good food makes.

Clothes are up next.  Fourteen days, seven articles of clothing.  I have narrowed it down to 1 pair of jeans, 1 knee-length skirt (because MAACS is the next two Fridays – of course!), 2 short sleeve tee shirts, 1 sweater, 1 long sleeve tee shirt, and shoes.  Right now I’m trying to limit myself to one pair of Toms and a pair of flats (thank you, again, MAACS).  We decided exercise clothes don’t count toward the total, considering that right now I’m sitting in 6 items of clothing from exercising this morning and I can’t exactly live in running clothes for the next two weeks.

I am thankful for all that was learned and how I was stretched during food.  Shaking up our routine allowed me to see more of who I really am and caused me to lean harder on Jesus.  It made me contemplate how I am taking care of this body He’s given me and how I’m teaching our girls to take care of theirs.  We only get this one chance and this one earthly form.  I want to steward it well.

I am eager to see what the Lord does over the next two weeks with clothes.

For His Glory ~

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7 – The Beginning of Our Experiment…

It all started as a conversation while running.  My friend Melissa and I were discussing a book to read together, something we like to do from time to time.  We were reading Sacred Parenting, but having just finished Sacred Marriage it felt like too much of the same.  So she mentions 7 and I admit that the premise of that book terrifies me and she agrees and yet, somehow, a mile later, we’ve talked ourselves into reading the book and doing the experiment.  I suggest that a month on each item sounds like too much but a week doesn’t sound like enough, so we settle on two weeks per “fast” (and right now, on day 3 of food, it’s quite possible her husband hates me and she may not be too fond of my either by day 12 or 13).

So she and I and our husbands (and hopefully another friend once her stomach bug goes away) began 7 on Saturday.  Tim and Mel go hard core and choose their seven food items for two weeks.  I’m just not spiritually mature enough to do that yet, so here we decide to do whole / minimally processed foods for our fourteen days.  This has been more challenging than one would think.  Like yesterday when I sat at a family birthday party and ate raw carrots and broccoli while everyone else enjoyed smoked short ribs, potato salad, and cake.  *sigh*  Or when I was trying to find a snack before church to replace my Sunday doughnut treat and I grabbed the jar of peanuts, read the label, and promptly had to replace it.  Who knew dry roasted peanuts had so many ingredients?!

Today was the first day I actually felt “deprived” though.  I had a strong craving for sugar, preferably chocolate.  And this evening, while cleaning the microwave with vinegar, I developed a desperate desire for salt and vinegar chips.  And I’m not even pregnant.  Sheesh.

Still, I struggle a bit with this whole thing.  I wanted to make a peanut butter granola this week to have on hand for snacks, but the peanut butter I had on hand had a second ingredient of “sugar” (even though it is a “better” peanut butter).  So, I went to the store and bought “even better” peanut butter so I could make my granola.  And somehow it felt wrong.  If I’m supposed to be involved in a “mutiny against excess”, perhaps I should have just done without the peanut butter (and by default – the granola). So I’m wrestling with how to recognize all we have and take for granted without losing my sanity at the same time.  I suppose this is why God wanted me to do this in the first place…

{More to come, I’m sure, over the next 14 weeks….}

For His Glory ~

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