And it Begins with Food
I adore food! Who doesn’t, right? You can list a billion different varieties of eating habits and lifestyles. Some people who have a sweet tooth, salt lovers, chocolate lovers (can I be all three please?) there are vegans, vegetarians, self proclaimed carnivores, and the like.. but someone who isn’t a fan of food? Unheard of.
The thought of having to stick to a diet of little variety makes me feel just a bit uneasy to say the least. Why would anyone do such a thing? Well, I’ll explain why in a moment. For now, my question for you is if you could only pick 7 foods to eat for a month what would they be? And I really mean food.. not nachos or ice cream or any other items with a paragraph long list of ingredients, but rather, real whole food.
If you read my previous post “7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess“, then you already know I am fasting from 7 areas of excess over the next 7 months. The author of the book, Jen Hatmaker, fasted from the following 7 areas of excess (one every month):
She encourages readers to join her in this “experiment” of sorts. In the video I watched at our book study group she said that one reader told her “I loved the book but you lost me at food.” and food is only the first chapter. That’s kind of how my husband and I felt when we realized that food would be the first area that we would working on. I felt as if I could much more easily rid my life of the other areas of excess. Yes, it will be painful to fast from media for a month, but please don’t take my food! Alright, I’ll stop whining and complaining now. No one forced me to do this. In fact, I talked my husband into it (
because misery loves company, because I was hoping we would grow closer to the Lord together through this process).
My husband thinks this will be easier on me than him since I already eat quality whole foods, so that part wont be much of a change (not that he doesn’t, but it will be tougher for him to kick his Sunday pizza, Mountain Dew, and ice cream habit). But I really do enjoy flavor and variety in what I ear! I love spices! Cumin, turmeric, oregano, chipotle peppers…. I love varieties of vegetables and fruits, berries, bell peppers, roasted broccoli, and kale chips. Oh, and I love chocolate. Please, please don’t take my chocolate. As Jen Hatmaker puts it “Picking seven foods is like trying to pick my favorite kid”.
So I thought about what foods I really need and tried to decide on a variety that would give me the most nutrition but that wouldn’t cause me to go utterly insane from food boredom (at least that’s my goal… but as I type this at day 3 I am wondering if I made the right food choices). And here are the foods I chose:
1. Chicken (and I include eggs in this… you may think this is “cheating” but the author tells us to tailor it to our lifestyle and this was me tailoring-this egg came from a chicken.)
2. Turkey (yep, 2 proteins! We eat a lot of protein in our family and I wanted some variety even though they are very similar, we make a lot of turkey meatballs and burgers etc…)
3. Oats (YAY oatmeal!! I look forward to a warm bowl of oatmeal each morning). My favorite is steel cut oats but I am out of them at the moment.
4.Blueberries (Can’t have oatmeal without blueberries. Maybe I should have picked a more versatile fruit or one that was in season but if I buy frozen I can save here.)
5.Bananas (I almost didn’t pick this one but my husband wanted bananas on his list so I went for it… a quick easy fruit and carbohydrate)
6. Peas (another pick of my husbands so I chose it too. He said if he was going to get sick of a veggie he might as well pick something he doesn’t care much for anyway-interesting logic. I on the other hand love peas. They are a starchy vegetable so they make me happy)
7. Lettuce: Jen (the author) picked spinach but I wanted to be able to order a salad if I went somewhere without specifying the exact greens I wanted in my salad.
We will have to see what interesting meals I can come up with using these ingredients. Maybe some oat flour banana blueberry muffins?
My husbands foods are: Chicken/eggs, turkey, beef (he loves his beef), black beans (so he can continue to have black bean soup at lunch), peas, bananas, and pineapple (another not in season fruit but he loves pineapple. I think he may not by the end of this). I was hoping to be able to pick the same 7 foods as him but we had a hard enough time agreeing on the 4 that we did, so this was our end result.
And we will only use salt, pepper, and coconut oil for seasoning and cooking (Jen used salt, pepper and olive oil).
Why 7 foods you may ask? I think it just goes with the theme of the book. Jen gives other options you can do (abstain from processed grains and processed sugar, do a Danielle fast, cut your grocery budget in half and donate what you don’t spend). 7 foods is just how she did it so I am following suit.
Why fast from any food at all? Well, to start, it’s biblical. But Jen explains how she wrote this book “…from the middle of the American pack, nauseated from the normalcy…. and that it was written from a place of repentance, not arrogance.” She isn’t here to make you feel guilty (and neither am I). Rather, she invites us to be uncomfortable and inconvenienced with her… because the discomfort creates a space for the Holy Spirit to move, no longer allowing us to default to normal, usual, mindless, thoughtlessness. Through this fast, I will be in prayer for those who have far less than I do, and learning what I can do about it, and creating room for God to work in my life. Enough of the noise and distraction, enough of the abundance and excess. If Jesus is really all I need, then 7 foods are more than enough.
Oh, and I have to show you a photo of my hubby’s “last supper” the night before we started our fast. He made us all taco salad for dinner (his favorite meal). I told him there would be no judging whatever he ate (I was just so happy he was on board with me) so he completed his meal with plenty of chips and a mountain dew, followed by ice cream for dessert. I had taco salad as well (I even had store bought chips) and my dessert was Greek yogurt with home made almond butter and a “paleo friendly” cookie I found on amazon (sweetened with honey). I ate a few too many of them throughout the week before my fast began. So good!
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