budget

Think “Fast” (7 Experiment, Week 1)

It has been one week of eating only eggs, chicken, bread, apples, sweet potatoes, avocado, and spinach. That’s right folks. I’m eating only 7 foods for thirty days.

If you missed last week’s entry about this fast, let me catch you up. (Or you can click here to read the entire post.) My beloved hubby and I are fasting for 30 days by only eating 7 different foods. Only water to drink. No seasonings other than salt, pepper, olive oil (sparingly) and cooking spray.  This concept is inspired by Jen Hatmaker’s book “7: The Experimental Mutiny Against Excess.” In short, it has two main purposes: to seek after God at a deeper level and to restore a heart of gratitude for all the incredible choices we have in this world.

We started on June 4, so we are one week into our experience. In two words: EPIC. CHALLENGING.

The first two days kinda sucked. Like, a lot. My beloved and I both had a headache, which honestly was to be expected. We were no longer drinking any caffeine. Plus, I was probably going through sugar withdrawal.

But once we made it through Monday and Tuesday? It has been epic. We are using the extra time that we would have normally spent grocery shopping/cooking/discussing what’s for supper to spend time in prayer and in the word.

Additionally, this has been awesome for our food budget. Great for our heart. And our physical bodies feel pretty incredible.

PLUS (yes, it goes on) God has brought out my hidden gift for creative and resourceful cooking. Seriously, I have created more shockingly tasty meals with limited foods than I have in my entire adult life. Here’s a brief glimpse of some of my creations:

Breakfast:

  • Power breakfast sandwich– egg, avocado, shredded chicken on toast
  • Eggs & toast
  • French toast with unsweetened applesauce
  • Scromlet– scrambled eggs, spinach, shredded chicken
  • Fritatta– eggs baked with shredded chicken & spinach with avocado on top

Lunch/Supper:

  • Spinach salad including any/all of the following– shredded chicken, avocado, spinach, apple, hard boiled egg, salt, pepper, olive oil
  • Sweet Potato Chicken soup– chicken stock, chicken, sweet potatoes, salt/pepper (BEST. INVENTION. EVER.)
  • Baked Chicken dredged in egg and coated in bread crumbs
  • Egg/chicken/avocado salad sandwich (It looks a little funny  but tastes fine)

Snacks:

  • Dried apple chips (homemade)
  • Toast with unsweetened applesauce
  • Hard Boiled egg
  • Croutons (homemade)
  • Apple Leather (it’s like a fruit roll up, homemade out of applesauce put in the dehydrator)

My sweet potato chicken soup and spinach salad… with homemade croutons. Nutritious, colorful AND tasty. Thanks, Jesus!

God has really brought about a new, refreshed and grateful heart in the both of us. He has also revealed how I turn to food when I am stressed– but now I am turning to Him first. Here’s to returning to our First Love!

So in short, it’s going great. Definitely still challenging every time I pass by a Starbucks or see free oranges for the taking at the gym. (And don’t get me started on the Diet Dr. Pepper situation.) But guess what… I have one more surprise for you.

I am doing a giveaway at the end of this experience. The prize will be… well, a surprise. (But it won’t be lame. I promise.)

To enter, you can share this post via Facebook, Twitter, email etc. You can like my Facebook page if you haven’t already done so. But to make it an “official” entry, leave a comment below with your guess of how many eggs my husband and I will consume by the end of this fast. (Hint: We like eggs.)

Random, I know. But hey, don’t judge me– I haven’t had any sugar or caffeine for a week. 🙂 Plus, I think it is going to be eggstremely entertaining.

What do you think so far? We would love your feedback–leave a comment (and your eggsact guess) below.

Loving this Jesus eggsperience,
SGK

“Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.” –John 6:35

Categories: blessing, budget, challenge, Christ, food, God, gratitude, life | Tags: , , , , , , , | 30 Comments

The Simple Life

When I was in high school, I remember watching  a “reality” show called “The Simple Life.”

Yes. With the Hilton sisters. (You didn’t know this was going to be a confessional type of post today, did you? But don’t judge me. Blame my parents. They were the ones manning the remote) Still, I watched. I am not proud of it. But, much like reality TV today, it was kind of like a car accident… You felt bad for the people involved, but you just…can’t…look…away.

Here’s the basic premise from what I recall: The Hilton sisters (note: They would be what some call, uh, high maintenance perhaps?) would be plucked from their inherited throne and deposited in some small town. Let’s say rather podunkish. These girls would have to live the “Simple life” without the luxuries of being waited on hand and foot. They might even have to get muddy and do chores.

You get the picture.

It was a rather pathetic scene, and there were several times I wanted to jump through the screen and thump someone. But recently, my beloved husband and I decided to live the simple life.

No, we didn’t get orders to move to a 500 person town and work on the farm. (Both of us have been there, done that, so it wouldn’t be new anyways.) AND I would like to think I am NOTHING like Ms. Paris Hilton in the fact that I like getting dirt under my fingernails and the only time I utter the phrase “That’s hot” is when I gulp my steaming coffee too fast in the morning.

But we wanted to live a simpler life. Looking at our budgetary plan for 2012 (we are 23 days in and doing well) we wanted to cut back and simplify some things.

Not only has it saved us quite a chunk of cash, but we have been set free. It’s awesome.

We have simplified a few things in our life (baby steps, people, baby steps.) First we got rid of cable. Brandon is almost never home anyways and I barely even watch TV. On the rare occasions that we do get to sit down together, we figured Netflix or movies we had already purchased would do.

Cut the cable. Saved some cash. I tasted freedom.

THEN, we downgraded our phone plans. Brandon went back to a “flip phone” in December, saying goodbye to the Blackberry. I followed suit this month when I THOUGHT I was available for an “upgrade” even though I was downgrading. (It’s a long story.)

Convincing the phone store that my plan was legit was a quite the task. I told them I had an iPad gifted to me a month ago, so I didn’t need phone email AND iPad email to-go. While they initially acted like I was trying to give up my first born child or part with a limb, I finally convinced them this was what I wanted to do. As I was staring at the “basic” phones trying to decide, I saw a “free” one (after rebate of course.) Beside it was a $50 slider phone. What to do, what to do…

Suddenly, a wave of freedom rushed over me and I literally felt God saying “Live simply.”

Decision made.  I said so-long to my Android and picked out the simple, non-slider “free” phone that makes calls and texts. That is it. No email. No internet.

I love it. FREEDOM!

God has continued to affirm our baby steps of living simply. It has been amazing for our budget, but even more so in our relationship with Him. I am less distracted. I am more focused. I am spending more time frolicking outside taking in his non-technological gifts. I am more available for Him.

Ultimately, living simply makes me thankful.

In what ways can you simplify your life this year? It doesn’t have to be drastic, but God will recognize and encourage any method you use to spend more time with Him, keeping your eyes focused upward.

You don’t have to move to a tiny midwestern town to experience this kind of freedom. Start right where you are and live the simple life.

Living simply-er and loving it,

SGK

“A pretentious, showy life is an empty life; a plain and simple life is a full life.” Proverbs 13:7 MSG

Categories: budget, glory, money, simple, technology, TV | 2 Comments

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