Um. I didn’t mean to leave such a cliff hanger yesterday! Sorry y’all! 😉 The experience was too much to fit into one blog posts, so I will be spending the next few days going over all of the fasts.
The first fast was food. But before we get into the fast, let’s talk about what food is to us.
If you haven’t been around here long, then you may not know much about our food journey. To be brief, let’s just say that 5 years ago, pre-children, I hadn’t a clue how to cook, no desire to, and I considered a Lean Cuisine “healthy.” We had Bertolli nearly every night and vegetables were almost as unappealing as fruit to me. I was a picky eater, I loved fast food and diet coke.
Right about the time Jarvis started eating table food, we made a choice to change our eating habits. I’ve posted about it before, but it all started with the 100 days of real food website. (more here, and here, and here.)
Skip forward four years and a giiiaaant learning curve and we now eat in a manner that we are pretty happy with.
Our meals consist of whole real food, locally sourced as much as possible, and in variety of types including lots of veggies and fruits. We eat LOTS of good, real fats, buy local pasture raised meats and real dairy products, raise our own chicken and eggs on sprouted seed and pasture ranging, grown as much as we can in our own garden, brew our own probiotic-rich kombucha, ferment veggies, and grind wheat berries to soak our homemade whole wheat bread.
Yeah, somehow we went from one side of the spectrum to a jumping head-first off the crazy wagon there. I can’t exactly pinpoint when “somewhat crunchy” became “completely hippy.” But anyways.
“Our grandmas ate local meat and vegetables from their gardens; we eat boxed pastries we bulk-ordered online. Today in America, the culture of food is changing more than once a generation, which is historically unprecedented. This machine is driven by a 32 billion dollar food-marketing engine that thrives on change for its own sake, not to mention constantly shifting nutritional science that keeps folding in on itself every few years”
I love this chapter by the way. I wanted to jump up and down and say, yes, yes, yes, see, see, see!!!!! Exactly! This is what we have been learning in the past few years!! American diets suck! Just eat real food people. Pull it from ground, take time to feed it and care for it every morning. Provide it with the kind of life that God laid out in the bible. Cows should eat GRASS for goodness sakes people; their bodies were literally God-created for grass, not for the GMO corn we throw in their troughs.
Um. ahem. *stepping off soapbox*
But yes. Go read this chapter, as the biblical diet laid out by God in the Law is remarkably intelligent based on how our species interact. Then again it shouldn’t be remarkable, because duh, He created it, but in our American culture, we are so separated from the actual process of growing/raising our food that it does seem remarkable. But I’ll let Jen explain that. Go, read.
Now before we go and make food an idol, saying that as good Christians we must all eat local, organic, and seasonally only, Jen makes an excellent point. “True Christianity is certainly more than eating and drinking, but it may be wise to consider that God desires for us to exercise stewardship over our bodies just as He expects stewardship of our resources.” Yes. yes we should.
And so, as you now see. It’s not just about food- or the “right” kind of food or a food fad. It’s about treating ourselves- and His creation- as God would have us. Because as Rick Warren came to realize when he created the Daniel Plan, we can’t serve God’s purposes in bodies that are ill-nourished, tired, and riddled with chemicals. Part of being ready and willing for His calling, is being in a physical and mental state to be able to respond.
So finally, onto the fast.
As will be the case with every fast, Jen includes a list of ways you might implement the fast in each category, in whatever way will be most relevant, and most uncomfortable, for you personally! As part of her original experiment, she ate only 7 foods for the whole month. That’s what we decided to go with as well.
For some weeks we opted to include the kids, others we didn’t. We didn’t limit the kids to just seven foods, however we did simply their meals for the week.
(And just for you other OCDers out there- you will be happy to know that I TYPED up our plan for this week. Mhm. And printed it and posted it on the fridge. For convenience. Of course. I even made a daily meal plan. Yep. But I’ll save you from that.)
Homemade Whole Wheat Tortillas (Jace)/ Rice Cakes (Chelsea)
I’ll be honest. I thought this week would be so easy. I mean it’s not like I’m having to cook for the first time ever. Or trying to give up fast food (which we do still eat occasionally, just not often.) I was sure this would be a breeeeeze.
By day 2 I had a massive caffeine headache. Who would have thought one
huge small cup of coffee a day would do that?? Plus I was STARVING. How was I supposed to refocus my thoughts on God when I could barely function?? I still had to take care of four small children all day. This was unreasonable. Completely.
Oh my. I think about mid-week I changed my list and included black coffee and peanut butter. In place of apples and milk if I remember correctly. Hey, at least the coffee was black and the peanut butter really did only have one ingredient, peanuts. The hubs was also starving, as that man consumes more calories in a given day than the rest of our family combined.
I hated it. Ha.ted.it. Yeeaaah. How in the world did Jen (and her family) do this for a WHOLE MONTH.
What was that whole thing about the things you cherish being stumbling blocks to the kingdom of heaven? Apparently food is something I cherish. A lot. At least real, yummy, variety of food.
I’m definitely one of those who stands in a full pantry and says, “There’s nothing to eat in this house!!!” It used to make my mother so angry (sorry mom!). I was a very, very picky eater- and if my brothers and brother-in-law are reading this right now, they are rolling on the ground laughing. And you don’t even want to hear stories about pregnant-Chelsea and food, oh my poor husband.
I didn’t even have a concept of just how greedy I was about food. We have two fridges and a standing deep freezer chock full of (homemade) food. Plus a pantry with 319 items in it. I counted. (Granted, a good portion of that is bulk purchasing to save money and home-canned items, but still).
I was not prepared for how much this week rocked my concepts of my own discontentment about food.
On day three of this fast, in a texting-complain-fest with my husband, he said every time his stomach growled or he thought about food, he instead prayed and thanked God for the blessing of plenty of food to eat and for direction and guidance. Hrrumph. Goody-two-shoes. I just kept complaining.
On day five of this fast, I sat in chick-fil-a with a bunch of friends after a play date, watched my children happily eat the lunches I had packed for them and sulked while I bitterly ate an avocado out of the peel.
Oh yes Lord. I hear you. Loud and clear.
So what did I gather from my week-long seven food fast?
I developed a gratitude for the blessing of readily available food in our country. I developed a deeper gratitude for the knowledge and opportunity to grow and raise our own food. And for the first time in my life, I intentionally made myself uncomfortable for His glory.
What an awesome start to this journey.
Up tomorrow- the clothing fast. AKA my husband’s favorite week of the entire year.
(What is #write31days?? Check out here to learn– and check out the #write31days link on the right hand column to read all the posts.)