Monday, September 24, 2012

Food For Thought....

I couldn't not use that title - it was too easy!

Anyway, I assume most of you have read the first chapter 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess - which will from here on out be referred to just as 7. :)

So chapter one - what did you think? Have you thought about how to push yourself out of your comfort zone this month? Are you challenged to reduce your food choices/options in some way?

I have to say I have had a swirl of thoughts and emotions.  At first I was set that I would go all out for two weeks - sounds manageable right?  I mean I'm not getting paid to write a book and I also want to not feel so overwhelmed that I don't even bother.  BUT....I look at my fridge and pantry full of food and I wonder if it lines up with the core message of this book to go out and buy more food in order to cut back my choices.  

So where I'm at now, this morning, is thinking I need to first clean out what I do have, not go get more.  

This quote from the book sums up what I want this "experiment" to be for me 

I'm doing this for a reason.  This is a fast, a major reduction of the endless possibilities that accompany my every meal.  It is supposed to be uncomfortable and inconvenient.  Not because I'm a narcissist but because the discomfort creates space for the Holy Spirit to move.  This shake up of my routine commands my attention.  What will the Spirit do with the new space? I don't know.  We'll see.  It's his to engineer.  I won't box Him in or assume I know what He'll say.  I'm not going to project my goals onto His movement.  I have simply said "Jesus, may there be less of me and my junk and more of You and Your kingdom.  I will reduce, so He can increase.

I don't want this to feel like a diet, because I will admit that it came to mind right away "wow, I'll probably lose weight if I eat like that for a two weeks".  I've already started to create exceptions, like I will only do this during the week and eat normal on the weekends, and I already thought "hmmm, maybe one week is enough!"

So to start out I need to clean out (fridge, pantry) and while I'm doing this ask God how I can enter into this fast the way He wants me to.  It may look very different from what I thought, but I don't want it to be based on my own pride and selfish desires.  

I want to hear from you.  You can comment, or if you want to enter a post, just type it up and send it to me and I'll post it.  Please come here to interact and discuss and encourage.  One requirement - be honest.  Don't whitewash how you're feeling.  Don't feel bad to admit that you aren't "doing" anything but were still challenged to make overall changes in how you approach food.  Don't feel bad to admit you didn't get much out of the chapter!  It's all about us being real and sharing how God is working in our lives.  

Here is a link to (in)courage book club that has additional thoughts from Jen Hatmaker.  

Jen Martin shared a great post off of Jen Hatmaker's blog that should help us get through this book - as usual, she'll make you laugh and think!


  1. "GOOOOD MORNING!!!"....typing doesn't express sarcasm.... {raspberries}....
    So, I'll start off by saying that one of my first thoughts was ALSO, "ooooooh, I can lose weight doing this!" THAT just goes to show that this was going to start out as an epic failure for me....and so... I am starting off with baby, this weekend was an awful example of EXCESS of food in my life. My list for my 7 foods are as follows:
    Chicken - Beef - Cheese - Eggs - Apples - Lettuce - Coffee (yes, coffee - no one would like me, and I mean NO ONE, if I had to cut the coffee...I'm doing this for unselfish reasons, I promise). :)
    Friday started off well. I only ate these foods....however, I did not steer away from, it's a modified "7" as I use these items as a base. Saturday, however, Day 2, I ate funnel cake....NOT on the menu. Sunday was my mom's birthday. We celebrated by going to the Movie Tavern and Olive Garden. EPIC FAIL! Popcorn, Pasta, and Strawberry Shortcake....none of which are on the menu.
    Today is Monday. I hate Monday. But, I need to regroup and get back to trying this over again. I ate APPLEbutter on a spoon for breakfast. I plan to eat EGGS with CHEESE for lunch....and I'm thawing CHICKEN breasts for dinner. So, I'm kind of on the right track for today. Stay tuned.
    I will, also, be cleaning out the cupboards and donating anything we don't eat.
    I'm looking forward to seeing everyone else's posts!

    p.s. - As I started off on this adventure, I was a non-reader.... I'm already done the second chapter about clothes! I'll consider this my success for the first 4 days...ha.

    {stephanie vanning}

  2. Alright, I'm going to admit right off that I can't do it. I like food too much to eat the same 7 things for a month. And you do not want to hang out with me when I'm hungry...I'm cranky and even more moody. I'm sure a few of you can attest to that! Also I just can't justify spending extra money to make myself something different than what I make my family. And lastly I have no willpower when food is put in front of me that I did not willpower at all. And this happens a lot now that everything has started up again.
    So I have decided to give up something very important to me...something that I have had everyday for the past 31 years. Orange Juice...yup orange juice. That may not seem like much, but orange juice is my coffee. It's been 3 days and I miss it so much. Water in the morning is just not the same:(
    Who knows, I may give something else up too, we'll see:)

    1. I think giving up something is certainly a great variation of this. It may be what I decide to do since I failed miserably yet again today....
      Admittedly, soon after planning on cheesy eggs for lunch (I even put this in writing in a blog - see above) ....I decided to reheat my leftover spaghetti from last night for lunch.... I was thawing chicken breasts for dinner....and decided I was going to make buttermilk chicken....which is very time consuming. The TWO chicken breasts I was thawing is not nearly enough to take the time to make I pulled out more chicken breasts to thaw and will make it...tomorrow. PIZZA it is tonight! Ding goes my oven - preheating complete!

    2. Great about cutting out the OJ Kerin!

    3. Thanks Sarah!! It doesn't seem like much though compared to everyone else though:)

    4. You can't compare yourself to others are doing something that's tough in your own sense...and it doesn't matter if it's one major thing or 10 things! What matters is that you are making room in your life for the "inconvenient" and learning to sacrifice something that's important to grow and make way for God to move:)!! I think that it's great!!

  3. I am committing to no food after dinner. I have been indecisive for enough time and I feel I must do something. When I truly examine the habit / excess abounds with snacking too often and to late and really eating once all the kids are in bed is me enjoy passing my time watching tv. So I will stop eating after dinner. Anyone else giving up or changing anything?

  4. Hi Ladies,
    This will probably not as cool because I've already typed it once and it disappeared :(. I first tried to reduce my famillies food budget to $70 a week thinking that is a good way for the whole family to be involved, but alas since it was cutting it by more than half I was doomed before I started. So I went back to her original and picked 7 foods. Chicken, salad, sweet potato, eggs, oatmeal, cheese, banana. I know salad is kind of a cop out but I wil not make it fancy and use minimal or no dressing, but I couldn't really limit my veggies while I'm training for the marathon, I feel like they keep me healthy. My favorite quote in this chapter was "In my priviledged world where "need" and "want: have become indistinguishabel, my only true requirement is the sweet presence of Jesus" Oh how of late I've missed his sweet presence and I Can't wait for the month that requires me to sit with Him in silence and meet Him again instead of always talking at Him.
    Can't wait to hear about how it's going.

    1. I've been putting a little bit of salt and pepper on my salad and it's really good...just an idea!!

  5. Thanks for sharing the ways you are putting this month into practice! I am starting with my seven foods today. I so don't want to - I realize that self denial is super super hard for me!!! As of now mine are chicken, sweet potato, salad (felt the same way as Kelly, but not the marathon part), black beans, bread, cheese, apple, bananas, avocado. I know, more than seven. I might adjust once I get started.

    1. Yey!!! Awesome Megs!! Can't wait to hear all about it:)

  6. Hi ladies:)

    Kelly...same thing happened to me and I'm writing this over again!! I should've taken heed to your comment and saved it! Oh well!

    I'm SO excited that we are doing this all together and that everyone is bringing something different to the table, different experiences, perspectives, ideas, etc.

    So I started on Friday 9/28 and I've gone through a few alterations, but I've arrived at my final list or 9 items: chicken, arugula, avocados, mushrooms, almond milk, greek yogurt, bananas (first 2 wks), apples (last 2 wks), and COFFEE:)

    The items that I decided to purge are those that either went out of season (figs), a food that I absolutely truly hated (carrots), and an over the top expensive item (fish) and instead I have the extreme pleasure of adding coffee back on my list:) BUT, and this is a big BUT...I took out ALL creamer (which is my lifeline) and instead plan on drinking it black or with almond milk (yuck!). My hopes are that since I removed the one thing I added which made coffee all that much more wonderful, maybe I will learn to cut it back on my own and eventually not need it anymore...WAIT...that's not true!! Just not be as dependent on it:)

    Anyways, I'm SOOO excited about this! Keep up the good work girls:)

    1. p.s. For all those who are doing have to check out Trader Joe's!! They have 3 different types of dried bananas...vacuumed packed, freeze-dried, and flattened, all without sugar and salt and the only one with oil is the freeze-dried and a little bit of oil is ok:-) TG for Tj's!!

    2. Way to go Sarah! And not that I drink coffee, but I have heard how much people love their creamer:)

    3. Hey Sarah,
      How is the coffee going? I feel like black coffee is the stuff toughness is made of so hopefully it has added to your life in a good way. I'm so excited to meet on Thursday and here how it all went.

  7. I eat a pretty bland diet, so only eating 7 foods wasn't really different for me. I choose to stick with the topic of food and identify ways my family has excess. My goals are to clean-out my freezer and pantry, not buying any food (except fruit, veggies and milk) for at least 7 days. Since my middle name is "coupon", I have enough "raining day" meals that we should be set for well beyond 7 days. I plan on donating a bunch of my non-perishables as well. Do we really need 5 boxes of Kix as back-up?

    (For anyone who may not know, Valley View has a perpetual food drive. Feel free to bring any non-perishable items and we can show you where to leave them.)

    I'm also trying to be honest with my food-related items. Do I really need 6 different sizes of tupperware bowls?! Sippy cups, kitchen gadgets, and funky mugs have been downsized so far.

    Already I I have more room to stretch-out. I don't know if that makes any sense:) Less to distract me. Less to choose from is making me feel more simple. I'm excited to see how the Lord uses this challenge to lead me and my family!

    I was hoping this would lead to less dishes, therefore less water/energy used to wash them. So far....not so much:(


  8. Let me fist say that I am really loving this book! I am hoping to join in with the group for the October meeting. I have been thinking about what 7 will look like for me. Like some of you mentioned my plan was to use up the excess in my house. I have a freezer filled to the max and yet I continue to buy more to stuff into it. I am trying to buy only the "essentials" (milk,veggies,fruits,etc.) and use what I have. I was going to give up coffee and my sweet treats for a week as well. Two weeks of Bronchitis have made it too easy to give up most everything since I have no appetite. I am hoping that I can do this when I am better and can be more intentional about the things that I am giving up. I am excited to be doing this with a group that is encouraging one another.

    Jen R.

  9. I have decided to cut down to only ONE cup of coffee a day, instead of 2+ and I'm doing slightly better with staying with my 7 menu....better, not perfect.
    My body is adjusting to Levothyroxine...not well, may I, once in a while, I feel the need to "treat" myself for the pain. I need to focus more on letting God heal my pain. Prayers appreciated.
    Have a great day. Try and stay dry out there. :)

  10. I was trying to think about how to sum up what this month meant to me. Since Stephanie was goign to read these out loud I thought I should try to write something more intelligible then my last post. Then I came across an article by Rage against the Minivan from a Jen Hatmaker post. It talks about something I know we'd all be outraged at - Child labor/child slavery and how it accounts for most of the cheap chocolate we get. The post keeps hanging up because of the video, but it's worth the wait.
    It makes me think of this month for me, because I've been annoyed with myself time and time again this month because I keep messing up... why can't I make this tiny sacrifice? Mostly it's been because of time, or ease, or other celebrations that I just say... well I'll start again on Monday. When it comes down to it - I don't have to do this... I'm so freakin' priviledge that I have the choice to do this or the choice to eat anything.. literally anything I want. I'm overwhelmed at the amount of ways I can cut back, seriously any improvement is a step in the right direction, but I want to make the right steps... I think for me and dearly being attached to Africa in this time in my life, I want to look into the companies we are buying from and see if they are enslaving children, maybe evven a boy that could have been mine. I want to stop treating food as a convenience and as a blessing. I want to learn to do it all better. I want to realize that my choices of convenience and want affect others.. not even just in spending less to have more to give, but also in spending more to ensure everyone is getting a fair share - even if it means spending more will mean I have less.

  11. I almost went to bed and then realized I forgot the link -
    It does a much better job of expalining it then I.
    See you soon