Changing How We Eat

I have been meaning to watch “Supersize Me” for a number of years now. I’ll admit when it first came out, I willfully chose NOT to watch it. I was afraid that it would ruin McDonald’s french fries for me for good (and being the consummate french fry lover that I am, and MickyD’s being the best, that was not a viable option). But in more recent years, as I’ve become more health conscious I have thought I’d like to watch it – not that I ever acted on that impulse, but it was there.

Then a few months ago Joel’s brother and sister-in-law were telling us about “Food Inc.” another documentary they recently watched. Listening to them it was almost like hearing someone talk about a conspiracy theory – except it was all true. I was almost afraid to watch this one. But Joel and I did rent it… and renew it and finally return it, still unwatched.

But this week I decided it was time. I’m not really sure what my impetus was, but I watched them back to back on Netflix (gotta love it). Maybe it was that I was looking at the large (yes, McDonald’s) fries container and reading that I just consumed 25 grams of fat, 48% of my daily total. I think I might have decided I needed a kick in the pants.

It’s not even that I’m a really unhealthy eater – I actually eat fairly healthy. I don’t drink soda, eat candy/chocolate, or drink coffee. But it’s kind of like in my spiritual walk. I can be doing pretty good, staying away from all the big sins, but kind of half-heartedly pursuing my devotion – that’s not healthy or anywhere close to the potential and calling God has for me. It’s the same thing with food.

After watching these two documentaries – which I highly recommend (seriously, watch them), I was impressed by how little I know about what I’m actually eating and how much our eating and food growing/processing has changed in the last 60 years. It’s no wonder 1 in 3 people will get cancer in their lifetime. We are feeding our bodies crap – and it wasn’t like this just 2 generations ago. I won’t go into everything I learned, because there is no way I could do it justice, but ultimately my take away was that we are drastically changing how we are going to eat and grocery shop.

We had decided a few weeks ago that we wanted to try a garden this year – we have plenty of room for it and really great soil. That was further cemented after this week. We are going to buy as much as possible from farmer’s markets and local farms. We are going to be radically cutting out fast food and processed foods. We’re not going to go crazy and never have them again, but we are going to be dramatically reducing how much we eat them.

Joel has been tired and suffered allergies his whole life – with his dad owning a fast food restaurant, probably 80% of the food he’s eaten in his life has been from there. After learning about how this overly processed, chemically treated, genetically modified food affected the Supersize Me guy, I know that his eating habits are huge cause of this. But we are ready for a change.

The last few weeks, even the proceeding few months, have really been a re-awakening of passion and devotion in both of us. Even as we are starting to make this change it is an outward sign of an inward reality. We really feel that doing our garden is going to be significant – not just in a physical way, but in some spiritual way too. This really is reordering our life. We are coming alive again and bringing balance to areas sorely lacking.

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A Confession…

I have a confession to make: I am totally failing at my bloggrimage. Here we are on Day 13, almost half way through, and a part from a few good projects I don’t feel like I’m doing very well on reordering my life…at least in the physical, measurable way. What I have noticed though is a growing awareness of my health – how much I eat and how healthy it is. I’ve noticed that wanting to exercise isn’t enough motivation to get me to actually do it – the desire for sleep is stronger. I’ve noticed that when I do exercise it gives me lots of energy, so it’s best not to do it before bed. I’ve noticed that my desire for the Lord is growing. I’ve noticed that I’m more happy, fulfilled and confident when I’m on mission – when I have a purpose that I feel is important. I’ve noticed that what I’m noticing is changing.

I’m not entirely sure where this bloggrimage is taking me, but I think it’s some place better than I anticipated. Different for sure – less quantifiable, less look-what-I-did – more actually real. When I had the idea to focus on the goals for change I had for this year, I figured the accountability of doing in on the bloggrimage would force the change. But in my trying – and failing – I think God is doing something greater. Actually reordering my life, starting with my mind, my perspective, my perception. Isn’t that how it always is? And it’s not like any of this is entirely new or profound – I haven’t even had that eureka moment, but I feel on the cusp of it. I’ve been being stirred and awakened in ways that I haven’t felt in a long time – in some areas, that I’ve never felt.

I’m not giving up trying – though I know that my own will power to change isn’t going to be enough. But I feel the trying is part of the awakening. For sometime now I’ve been living in neutral – just getting by, surviving, numbing. When we risk, we can get hurt. When we try, we can fail. When we hope, we can be disappointed. So it becomes a matter of survival, a matter of shutting those things down because it’s too painful to really live. And we can do that for awhile – heck, it’s even a nice vacation if you’re a passionate person like I am. But thank God, He allows discontentment to rise up within me. I’m being reminded of who I am, who I want to be, and who I’m called to be. That’s my confession today.

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Days 8-11: A Week With Spider Bites

I don’t regret our awesome time of working in the yard on Sunday. I knew I was coming out of it with a few (I thought) mosquito bites, some soreness and a raw spot on my thumb from raking. What I didn’t realize until Wednesday was that I also got 3 spider bites.

I’m pretty sure I mentioned how I have pretty intense allergic reactions to mosquito bites. And although it is really early for mosquitoes I saw and killed on that bit my knee, so I know there were some out with us. So I naturally assumed that the 3 bites on my ankle were also from mosquitoes. They were all red, swollen and itching like crazy. What started to concern me was on Tuesday when I woke up and it actually hurt to put weight on my foot. Then I noticed the swelling. Then the spreading redness. Then the bite spots started turning purple. And the pain was still there.

On Wednesday I asked the nurse I worked with if she’d ever seen an allergic reaction to mosquito bites like this – because it was certainly new for me, especially the pain and swelling. That’s when she told me they looked like spider bites. So I started to Google.

Turns out all my symptoms are very typical of venomous spider bites – particularly of jumping spiders, which are the most common venomous spiders in the US. I knew it wasn’t a black widow bite because that gets pretty severe pretty fast. It could have been a recluse, but jumping spider fits better. At this point it’s been 3 days, so I’m wondering if I should go to the doctor. I decided to wait it out another day to see if it starts improving or not. And it has been getting a little better every day, so I think I’m doing ok. Benadryl, Ibuprophen and hydrocortisone cream are my friends. But wow, this has been quite the experience.

My one question is why 3 bites? I can understand a spider feeling threatened and biting once, but did it just think, “She’s yummy, I think I’ll have a bit more”? I suppose it could have been 3 spiders, but that’s not very likely, especially when all three bites are right in the same area. Mysteries.

So needless to say there hasn’t been any exercising going on since yoga on Tuesday morning – my foot has been way too swollen and painful to do much. But on other counts, my journey for reordering my life has progressed quite well this week.

I’ve been working on some albums for our photography clients, which is fulfilling to my creative side. I’ve been reading The E-Myth Enterprise (great book, by the way) to feed my intellectual side and to help me learn more. I have this insatiable desire to learn more about business, appropriate since my husband and I own 2 businesses (Photography and Screen Printing/T-Shirt Shop) and are considering starting a 3rd (Coffee Shop). And I’ve also started reading One Thousand Gifts which is helping me grow spiritually. So all in all the quest continues.

I’m going to really endeavor to post more and enjoy the blogging part of the bloggrimage – I’ve just had a hard time getting in the flow :).

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Days 6-7: Spring is Here!

Can I just say that I have been far too busy enjoying the absolutely GORGEOUS weather to take time to check my email, facebook or blog? The last two days here have been in the high 70’s, and after a winter that felt like it was never going to end I am loving the warm. We spent the better part of Sunday afternoon working in our yard and getting our flowerbeds cleaned out. We’re not done yet, but it already looks so much better! We have a burn pile that is taller than we are 🙂 which makes Joel happy. And since we spend so much time pulling, raking, hauling  I’ve decided it totally counts as exercise for the day – I’m even sore today.

We are so excited about having a pretty yard this year – and even trying to have a vegetable garden. We have an amazingly large yard with great soil, so it really makes sense to have a garden. Last year it was pretty much impossible for me to be outside because of the mosquitoes. However, at the end of summer (of course) we discovered a large pond behind our garage, that we had pulled out earlier that year, and had gotten filled with water. So it had become a breeding ground for the creatures of the fall (as I call them)…pure evil. So hopefully with that gone, that will make it much better this year. My problem is that they LOVE me, and I am so allergic to them. Even now the 4 bites I got at the end of the day yesterday are swollen, bright angry red and huge. They probably won’t be gone for over a week. I use cortisone cream and just took a Benadryl because they are so bad  – that’s me and mosquito bites.

In the midst of all of the yard work I also managed to get all of our laundry washed – and tonight I got it all folded. I hate folding laundry. So often it just sits in the basket, and we pull things out until it’s time to do laundry again. So yay me for getting it all folded at once – now I just need to put it all away, but that’s not so bad.

I also used our new vacuum today. It’s awesome. I really wanted a Dyson ball, but I wasn’t willing to spend that much – especially since we only have one room that is carpeted and then rugs. So our Hoover WindTunnel is great.

Overall feeling really good about the last two days and the balance of getting things done as well as trying new things.

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Day 5 – Wedding Day

Today was the end of a long week and our first wedding of the year. For those who may not know, my husband and I have a photography business, Conner Photography. Fortunately it was a shorter day, as weddings go and right here in town, so it was a nice easing back into the season. But what I’m really proud of today is that I got up early and did the dishes, got the ingredients prepared in the bread machine so we had fresh bread when we got home. And then when I got home I made a new recipe – which is one of my goals. Today it was Toasted Orzo Chicken Soup from Rachel Ray. Pretty delicious.

I know one of you reading this right now is going to ask for the recipe. And I want to type it in here for you. There is just one problem. It is all the way in the kitchen, and I would have to get up to get it. And I fear that once I head toward the stairs (which are by the kitchen and lead to our bedroom) I will be sucked into a vortex of sleep that is emanating from my bed. So sadly there will be no recipe typed today. If you really do want it though, leave me a comment, and I’ll post it when I’m less dead . 🙂

Sadly I still did not get to use my new  vacuum today – my floors are begging to be cleaned, but that will be one of tomorrow’s adventures. Nighty, night.

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Reordering My Life: Days 2-4

Yeah, so I know it’s not the best way to start a month long blogging commitment by NOT writing anything for two days in a row, particularly when those are days 2 and 3 of said commitment…but that’s life. This week was the annual fundraising banquet for the crisis pregnancy center that I work for, Mosaic. So these last 3 days have been non-stop; I’ve barely even been on to check my email!

I did practice my photography at the banquet last night – which is something I’m working on. And Joel has been doing great with exercising – he’s walked to work for the last 3 days. I haven’t had the opportunity to, but tomorrow I’m committed to getting back on track.

That’s pretty much all I have for now; tomorrow will have new news :). We got our new vacuum, so I’m pretty stoked about trying it out…I know you’re just as excited as I am about this and will want to hear all about it ;).

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Reordering My Life: 30 Day Bloggrimage #1

So it’s been awhile since I’ve been on – a lot has been going on, but rather delving into all of that I’m going to just jump in like it’s perfectly normal for me to be blogging and tell you that I am starting my second 30-Day Bloggrimage. (If you have no idea what a Bloggrimage is see the Facebook page “30-Day Bloggrimage”.  This is an awesome idea my friends Pradeepan and Joe started last year, and I’m excited to be participating again this year. I was debating what to do my Bloggrimage on – learning a new art form and exercising every day were my top contenders- when I had an epiphany.

I am going to do my Bloggrimage on reordering my life.

Because honestly that is what this is all about. I want to be someone who is healthy, full of energy and fit. I want to express myself creatively and challenge my creative side. I want to be reading my Bible  – as well as reading in general, more. I want to cook more, and new recipes. I want to watch less TV…a goal that has become much more easy since our free cable was disconnected 🙂 . I want to reorder my life.

So basically I’m taking all the areas I made new years resolutions (or goals, as I prefer to say) and chronicling how I’m working to achieve them.

Today my focus was on getting things in order to begin. So I took mine and Joel’s measurements – we both weighed in on the Wii, and we’ve set our 30 day goals. I did some Wii Zumba tonight – which is by far my favorite way to exercise. I like Wii Fit a lot, but Zumba is just much more aerobic.

I am one of those people that hates exercising, can’t run around the block to save my life and has to trick myself into doing things that are a workout. This worked well when I was serving at a large restaurant, walking briskly all the time and carrying heavy trays of drinks and plates of food around. But now that I’m at a desk most of the day, every day I have noticed that my jeans are quite tight, and if I want to keep eating all my homemade goodies and french fries that I love, some exercising must occur. Joel’s much the same. He injured his knee playing soccer a few years back and hasn’t been able to play since, which was his primary form of exercise. So we are both going to practice being disciplined and get in shape.

Another part of reordering my life is getting to some of those projects that I’ve been meaning to get done. You know the ones – the closet that needs cleaning out, the spare room that continually just collects what doesn’t go anywhere else in the house, the bathroom that is stripped and textured but needs to be painted – yes, those are all real projects I have 🙂 . But today I conquered something else.

Joel and I went through his closet.

This is something I have wanted to do since I moved here, but it just hasn’t been a priority. However over the weekend I bought Joel some new clothes, and he kept saying I have something like that, and I’m thinking, I’ve never seen it. So today we pulled out a large bag of clothes for the garage sale. Moved the clothes he’s not ready to discard but rarely wears to the back and brought to the front those clothes he should be wearing but had gotten lost in the closet. It was a great feeling.

I’m excited about this month and the accountability of writing about it. How about you – what is it in your life that you want to reorder?

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