Sunday, January 22, 2012

And I am done

I am one day past being finished with the Daniel Diet, 5 day fast, and I have learned several things.
First, let me rewind to my eating for day 5.

Breakfast: oatmeal bars
Lunch: Blackbean burger patty and oven fries
Dinner: Rice bowl
Snack: rice cakes, trail mix and oatmeal bars
Nothing spectacular about Day 5, as we are mostly just trying to use up all of our ingredients.

So far, the blackbean burgers and oven fries have been the most successful meal. It tastes like you are being a little naughty, but everything follows the plan (ok, I might have been a little heavy handed with the olive oil on the potatoes, but I wasn't measuring so we just had to roll with it.

Yesterday we traveled to Dallas for my nieces birthday party and I decided it was a day to eat whatever was i had chili dogs, chocolate cake, and a small burger and fries from Wendy's. Today, I was ready to revert to a little healthier fare, especially since Matt is still fasting and we still have "good" food to eat.

Was I ready to get off the fast though? Yes, I actually was getting a headache because I don't think I was eating well the last day or two (I blame being at home and never getting around to finding something to eat). With my blood sugar history, I felt that 5 days would sufficiently test my reserve, and it did. Now is the time to get back to a little more protein and a little less carbs-although I may see a snickers in my future! I have continued my committment to no sodas of the caffeinated variety, despite my less than stellar eating yesterday. Mind you, I was tempted, but I had to have some hold out lest I loose all momentum!

So, this morning I countinued with eating oatmeal with fresh fruit but added in just a pinch of brown sugar and not quite so natural peanut butter. And for lunch we continued our bean and rice bowls, but I had one chicken tenderloin added in to mine.

Tomorrow, I think I will eat however I want for breakfast and lunch, and go Daniel for dinner with matt...we are having a spinach-zucchini casserole over whole wheat pasta with veggies and salad. I may thaw some vinison meatballs for the kids, since I know they like that, and make a kind of speghatti and meatballs.

Also up this week: Artichoke Flatbread Pizza and Spinach-Tofu Dip.

Now, I have mostly been using this blog as a means to keep up with the food I have been eating in case I want to do the diet again later. That being said, I haven't mentioned a lot about the spiritual side of the fast. Although it is a gruelling diet on its own rite (Matt has lost about 10 lbs in 5 days) there is a reason behind the maddness as well. I quit drinking caffeinated sodas in an effort to really take some control over what I am putting in my body. This was another attempt at the same goal. But also, this test of resolve has a very spiritual aspect to it as well.

The discipline I have shown with my eating I have tried to model in my prayer/Bible reading life as well. For the first time (consistently) since I have had kids, I have been trying to get up early-5:30 is early for me-to read my Bible and pray. I am going through 2 different Bible studies and getting up to read has been great. Now, one day, Annabelle beat me up, but I came home during lunch while the kids were at school and had some quiet time. It was great.

As with the eating, I am hoping some of these habits will continue on despite having completed the diet!

Stay tuned for the completion of Matt's fast...

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Day 3-4

The halfway point was the hardest, but now that I am over the "hump" and am getting the hang of fresh food, I think I can make it through. Here is what I ate the last few days (then I will share some thoughts):

Breakfast: Oatmeal with apples and cinnamon, in half soy milk and half water-much better than all water!
Snack: almonds, sunflower seeds, dried blueberries, rasins, and toasted garbanzo beans
Lunch: Romaine wraps, indian flatbread and some canned mixed vegetables
Dinner: Brown Rice bowls with rice, pinto beans, avocado, all natural salsa, broccoli slaw, and corn
Nighttime snack: popcorn cooked in olive oil and salt

Breakfast: Oatmeal with pears and cinnamon, in half soy milk and half water-much better than all water!
Lunch: Chickfila date with Spencer: side salad with cabbage (because I don't like it) and cheese removed, small fruit bowl
Snack: flatbread with salsa
Dinner (to be cooked tonight): Black Bean Burgers, oven baked fries, with a olive oil and a few extra spices, and canned fruit, whatever is left in the fridge, maybe a broccoli slaw salad and salsa to go on top of the burgers

Now, a few thoughts:
1) brown rice is a stinker to cook! I found that if you use a 4:1 ratio of water to rice, then boil it more like pasta (bring it to a boil, add rice, drain) then put it back in the pan to steam about 10 min. I made this discovery here and it works great.
2) when you eat fresh foods, you have to eat a lot of the same basic meal, with maybe one or two different touches. I think we are also so used to processed and overly salted and sugared foods that a lot of things taste bland. That's where the all-natural salsa helps A LOT!
3) Stress makes it a lot harder to eat well. When things get crazy, and with a 1 year old and 3 year old, things get crazy at our house OFTEN, food is a comfort that really helps. When my teething baby came home from school after 3 nasty diapers and just wanted to be held all evening, I heard chocolate calling my name! But, I was able to resist the urge and stay strong!
4) Even at a place like chick-fil-a where chicken and fries are the name of the game, you can still do well! And I didn't even miss the salad dressing. It was kind of annoying to pull out all the cheese, but it was possible (and next time I could ask for it without cheese, I don't know if they do custom salad orders there). However, I was still hungry, but it lasted long enough to get home and get a snack! Link

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

day 2 (or 1 if you are matt)

After the last 3 days of cooking, I got a little bit of a break today, except for a second try at making brown rice. The first try was an epic fail. Burnt everything and what wasn't burnt still tasted like charcoal. So after a little pinterest search for how to make the perfect brown rice, I am trying a new tactic. Here is the method-although I left out the first step. I will let you know how it turns out.

Otherwise, here is what I ate today:
Breakfast: Oatmeal with water and dried blueberries. Yesterday's oatmeal with soy milk was about 1000 times better, but incredibly full of carbs, so I downsized today. I was not nearly as satisfied, but it still did the trick.
Snacks: Trail mix with almonds, dried blueberries, raisns, and sunflower seeds and oatmeal bars (it is just about time to make some more)
Lunch: Indian flatbread with peanut butter and baby carrots
Snacks: Same as above (although my friend Debbie tried to intice me with talk of Sister to Sister cookies and eating chocolate in front of me)
Dinner: Pinto beans and rice; then I remembered I had found some all natural salsa at Fresh yesterday and added it at the very end (won't forget that again)
Late night snack: flatbread with yummy salsa

Here are my observations for today.
1) While we have a lot of food in the house that sticks to our diet, the biggest issue is that we have to eat it. What I mean is that we had to buy a bag of carrots, cut up whole zucchini and cucumber, bought a bag of salad, etc., but since it is not processed like we are used to, we have to EAT. IT. As in, THIS WEEK! And thus will begin a new cycle. It also mean that we have to EAT our LEFTOVERS.
2) It truly seems to be becoming a week for spiritual reflection. After a crazy morning, I actually took my lunch break to come home and read my devotionals. It was very calming to have some alone time while the kids were at their schools and to get away from the busyness of everything to spend some time with the Lord. Hopefully I will be able to do that tomorrow as well.

On that note, instead of rice and vegetable stir fry, tomorrow we are going to be having rice bowls with: Rice, pinto beans, corn, avocado, and a mix of vegetables (broccoli, carrots, zucchini and cucumber), topped, of course, with salsa!

After tomorrow, I will be over halfway through. It has not been a horrible experience, other than the amount of cooking I have had to do to get things ready. Eating wise, though, I don't feel like I am really missing out on anything special... but I haven't had to watch anyone eat a burger in front of me while I eat lettuce either. My goal for this diet/fast is not to lose weight, but to use it to grow closer to the Lord, try some new recipes, and have a "good experience," i.e. not just eat carrots and apples all day every day, but to truly enjoy natural food so that I can incorporate it into my real life (although I will still enjoy a burger and fries now and again)!

Peace to you!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Let the fast begin

I officially began the Daniel Fast today (matt test drove it til dinner time). Since there was no school, Matt took the kids early to Nana's, leaving me to my own devices: reading from TWO devotionals before I went in to work. I even got to work 15 minutes early and got a mile walk in before work. I must say, that's a good start, not that I expect that to EVER happen again!

So, here is what I have done so far:

Sunday, I

  • chopped up a lot of vegetables
  • made hummus from a mix (does anyone know if you can make it from canned garbanzo beans?)

Then, today, here was my menu:

Breakfast: Oatmeal with soy milk, pears and cinnamon (made way too much and ate it all, but it lasted much longer than breakfast usually lasts).

Lunch: Apple with peanut butter, Romaine Wraps (with broccoli slaw from the salad section), and the bread I made Saturday.

Snack: Oatmeal bars from Saturday and almonds

Dinner: Peanut butter with flatbread an almond and dry salad

Tonight, I preparation for the next few days, I am:

Although I am enjoying finding exiting new recipes, and all, there are a few complications/prayers:

1) feeding the kids-there are going to be a lot of new tastes that we aren't used to, so as yo can see, I am making some concessions for them and their nutritional needs, but overall I am just adding to what we are eating

2) the pocketbook-because we didn't have a lot of this kind of food laying aound and most of it has to be fresh anyway, we are having to buy EVERYTHING we want to eat. I am used to buying what is on sale and making meals over the next couple of weeks out of it; now, a lot of what have isn't acceptable so we are starting from scratch. I am also not used to buying vegetarian, so i am not sure if I am making the best choices (maybe I could be doing it cheaper, but I want it to be a positive experience).

Overall, I think it will be worth it. I think it is good from time to time to regulate yourself and take a step back. I am debating doing this one day a week or maybe one week every month or two, but we will see how I feel at the end of the week. Just to make it official, while Matt is commiting to the full 10 days, I think I feel compelled to commit for 5 days (Mon-Fri).

Thanks for coming on this journey with me!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Daniel Diet

Yesterday, we began preparation to start the Daniel Diet next week. On New Year's day, our pastor suggested this was a great diet and we decided (well, matt decided and I am going to try to join him) to jump in. But of course, being "me," I had to do all the research and all, because I didn't want to eat baby carrots and peanut butter for 10 days!

So, Friday night we went to Fresh and began stocking up on some of the things we haven't been buying for a while-tofu, dried fruits, real peanut butter (grinded in the store), quinoa, whole grain pasta, etc.

Then, today, I went to Super 1 to finish off the general stuff-fruits, vegetables, cans of black beans (forgot the tomatoes, then ran out of money anyway), etc. Off to Brookshires for some salad that was on sale.

Since we MIGHT want to do this again if it all goes well, I thought I would chronicle our food choices throughout the 10 days and our thoughts.

Today, in preparation for the fast/diet, i made oatmeal bars but used the dried fruits we had on hand.

I also made flatbread and chapittas to act as our bread, as i couldn't find any whole wheat tortillas that seemed to have the right ingredients.

One of the things we have discovered as we have researched this topic is there there is a great variety of opinions about what is/is not allowed. Of course, the Bible is not totally clear (Daniel did not blog all of his eatings in the palace) so we have to make due the best we can. The word the Bible used stands for anything from a seed (not sure why coffee isn't "allowed") but what about mushrooms? canola oil? The websites don't recommend drinking fruit juice or soy milk, only putting it in dishes, etc. So, in a big way, you are left with some muddy water and have to use your own discernment in making food choices.

Ultimately, we are trying not to worry about the "letter of the law" as much as the motivation behind it. Since this was really Matt's conviction, I am debating if I am doing this as much for fasting as just a good diet change-up. Could be a little bit of both. Hopefully, I will be able to grow closer to God as I do this, since meat really is one of my favorite things!

We kick it all off on Tuesday; Monday I will be preparing the last few things, along with some things to make our meals a little more palatable to the kids. Hopefully, at least a few things will stick with us after our 10 days are over! Check back to see how we are doing!