I disclosed in my last post we are doing a book study as a connect group at my church. Remember?? The 7 Experiment by Jen Hatmaker. I’m even more fond of it knowing she’s an Austinite!! Texas Strong!!
For public acknowledgement & accountability purposes, I would like to list my food choices for our 7 day fast. I realize when I fast, I’m not supposed to announce it like a production, mope & groan over it & certainly not draw attention to myself. I follow discretion & the book itself goes into explicit detail concerning fasting. It’s not about me!! I did, however, have to determine what this fast represents for me personally. There are 6 biblical choices for fasting–Mourning, Inquiry, Repentance, Preparation, Crisis & Worship. I determined, before I even knew the choices, this fast would help me prepare for the next level of commitment, leadership responsibilities & relationships. Also to worship my Daddy God whose thoughts & ways are stratospherically above mine! Our food fast challenge meant we were to choose 7 foods & eat only those foods for 7 days. Yes 7. Dairy is a million, so my Greek yogurt would be out. Single ingredients only, except we can have whole grain breads. Well forget that Paleo bread I was going to make!! Here’s why! I had some much-needed & long-awaited dental work done forcing me to adhere to a texturally limited diet for a week. Most all of my choices to sustain me while on this limited menu would have been a fail. This would have posed a problem except…… Jen gave us a list of alternatives to follow. Yaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyy! I’m saying that now, but I’ll definitely have to write a survival post next week!!
The alternatives are –>> eliminating 7 certain ingredients from your food choices; giving up 7 comfort foods; no fast or processed food;eating the simple diet of a country you are burdened for; eating the same thing breakfast, lunch & dinner for 7 days, eating from your pantry, fridge/freezer without purchasing anything for a week; reducing the amount of groceries you purchase in a week, etc. I’ve chosen a few from the alternative list. First choice is that I’m giving up all pleasant foods. Ice cream was a multi-meal choice after my dental procedure as it helped reduce swelling. That’s my story & I’m sticking to it! Must have worked, b/c I had no swelling! Don’t think this is hard? My first day back to work was our quarterly birthday party celebration. Cupcakes, Fruit filled punch, etc. Did you notice it’s a big day tomorrow? Yes….Valentines Day & chocolate candy is floating around the building like butterflies migrating to South America. This also means I can’t eat my Blueberry Belvita Breakfast Biscuits with whipped cream cheese. OH &…..tonight begins our new DivorceCare Semester & my amazing co-leader is bringing one of my favorite snacks…..Target Scones! Just this one choice will be a challenge.
My second choice is zero fast or processed foods. You may know that only on rare occasions do I eat fast foods & am on an anti-processed food regime as a daily practice. How can this be a fast then? This means I can’t purchase a rotisserie chicken or eat any of my healthy, preservative free frozen meals. I’m looking at them as my “fast food” choices. My co-workers & I are treating each other to lunch tomorrow at our favorite Vietnamese Pho Chau Restaurant. I don’t consider this fast food & instead of chowing down on my favorite seafood deluxe pho, I will eat broth & noodles only. If I want anything, except a few choice frozen veggies, I have to cook it from scratch. My time factor will prove this to be yet another challenge!
Third choice is to only eat what is already in my pantry, fridge or freezer. I remember my son, Bryce, would stand at the pantry & say, “There’s nothing to eat!” I’m the mom who could prepare an entire feast from “nothing” & have leftovers to share! That was when I purchased for a family. I am an eat-to-live grocery shopper, not live-to-eat. Trust me……making sure I have things for grands to eat is a mental note! I try to meal plan so I primarily purchase for that. Meals may be averted if I eat with my kids, so I may have a few things in reserve, but there’s generally not an abundance. When I purchase fruit, I only buy for 3 days. This guarantees my fruit isn’t ruined & trashed. Another note……my last shopping trip was to prepare me for my texturally limited diet, so nothing on my regular list was included & my 3 days of bananas are long gone. I have one lowly mango! Remember the Paleo bread recipe I was so excited for? Unless I have the ingredients in my pantry, that will not happen! In addition to only eating from my reserves or excess, I am not eating certain meats like the delicious nitrate & preservative free, uncured bacon or pecan smoked andouille sausage. It’s chicken & fish only! My condiments will also be reduced & I should confess something. I’m a real butter & mayo ‘holic. Everything is better with tons of both. Oh my geeeeeeeeeee! What was I thinking?
Here’s the thing………..The 7 Experiment is to Stage Your Own Mutiny Against Excess! Had I been able to choose 7 foods to eat, I would have had to purchase enough of them for 7 days without really any limit of how much. I could have gone out to eat as long as the foods were on my list & the things in my pantry would be sitting there. So……I was forced to finally start drinking the Bolthouse Farms Green Goodness that has been in my fridge at home & at work for a month. I’m forced to cook that fish I couldn’t pass up. I’m forced to clean out my pantry. I’m forced to eat those scrumptious green peas that I purchased to use as ice packs for my mouth! Yes…I do use the frozen veggies for that! Shopping from home & using what I already have ought to be interesting. Wait……isn’t this the reason for the book study?
I’ve heard some of my amazing council members already getting tired of chicken. I have to eat mashed potatoes & other soft or liquid foods. Yikes! Talk about getting tired! It isn’t about my individual tolerance. It’s about realizing how truly fortunate & blessed I am while learning how to pattern my life after this study. I’m really grateful for this opportunity!
On the other hand……..I’m also glad I have Apple, my pup. She eats all natural, preservative free canned dog food. Her Sunday Brunch, Grandmas Casserole or Moms Turkey Dinner varieties may be tempting in 7 days! LOLOLOL!