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Our Journey To Simplicity: Part 4 – The Food

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If you are just beginning the Journey with us, you can catch up starting here.

The first challenge Jen Hatmaker did was the food challenge. She limited her entire food consumption to 7 foods for a month! That was it! No spices or anything – with the exception of minimal olive oil, salt and pepper. Her choices were: Sweet potatoes, whole wheat bread, eggs, spinach, apples, avocado and chicken.

We chose to participate in this challenge. In order to make it work for us, and since we have kids who can’t fend for themselves yet, we chose 12 foods. 12 seems to be my number since I chose 12 items to wear for the clothing challenge. (12 is also a biblical number like 7). Actually, my clothing challenge and my food challenge overlapped. Here are the whole foods we lived on: sweet potatoes, whole wheat bread, apples, peanuts, avocado, chicken, yogurt, green beans, carrots, bananas, rice, black beans.

We decided that some spices were okay. We also decided that we would have a total of 3 cheats per week. So, if I woke up in the morning and didn’t know how I was going to go without a cup of coffee, or if we had a dinner to go to, we didn’t have to tell anyone “no” and go into an explanation. (Correct, I cannot have coffee! People are blown away by this idea. It wasn’t my greatest decision, I’ll admit.) The cheats were implemented because we don’t want the food challenge to focus on us. You don’t want to be the center of attention when your ultimate goal is to rid yourself of distractions and to point others to Christ. We started the 3 cheats so that we could eat with our small group on Sunday nights and so that we could still have some normalcy. Also, so that we would be more thankful for what we do have.

My friend Karmen was participating in the challenge at the same time. She decided that coffee was a social thing and that drinking coffee in social situations was acceptable. Well, yes! Otherwise, it draws attention to you when you are a coffee lover and your friends see you only drinking your water.

So after one week, coffee became a social thing and is no longer included in our cheats. Oh man. We are going downhill fast.

Basically, we had Halloween night where we were running all over town and had to grab dinner, a time where I took care of my Grandma’s meds over the lunch hour which meant we ate together, we had our church’s annual Turkey Dinner and I had the crud. Basically that meant a lot of eating away from home and soup for sickness. That’s when I threw in the towel.

After a whole week, I decided that I wasn’t learning anything. Food was more of a consuming thought with all the rules. I get the idea is that you’re supposed to be praying when you feel hungry. Well, when I feel hungry, I don’t pray. I can’t think about anything but the next meal of eggs and avocado or a fresh-ground-peanut-butter and banana sandwich.

This project was an epic fail for us. I wish you the best if this is a challenge you feel called to participate in!

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