Day 466: Hungry Hungry Hippie

So, lately I’ve been really wanting to pull myself and my family further away from processed foods… I know, I know. That is just so trendy right now. I mean, who doesn’t want to pull their family away from processed foods?

But gosh- soooooo much easier said than done. Especially for someone who is not much of an accomplished cook in the first place, and then double that for someone whose minimal cooking skills revolve around a bunch of “Cream of _______” dishes. Plus, I’m not much of a hippie type… I mean, I like roughing it out in the country, but only if there is a Walmart within driving distance to get the stuff I need. So, this whole “do it all yourself” thing is gonna be a big switch for me.

In an effort to make this endeavor something I don’t burn myself out on too quickly, I have decided to start very small and thought I’d begin with homemade granola bars. I found a recipe on Pinterest that sounded doable and so I modified it a bit and then tried it a few weeks ago. Delish. My processed-addicted 5 year old son loved them. So, I made them again a couple of days ago and bam… nailed it again.

{Look… aren’t they pretty? And this is pre-baked!}

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I packed those beautiful granola bars all nicely in my best piece of tupperware and stored them in the fridge and smiled at myself each time my son requested one and I could far more easily say “Yes, you may have one of these pretty-good-for-you homemade granola bars!”

Until… yesterday.

I got so hungry at lunch time. Weird, right? What a concept. But it was the kind of hunger that caught me a bit off guard; it sorta came out of nowhere. And I didn’t really have a plan for what to eat nor a lot of easy options… so, I ate… a granola bar.

And I sorta sigh and shake my head at myself as I write that.

But… what’s wrong with a granola bar, January?

Nothing.

Unless… you’re doing a Daniel Fast that restricts several of the ingredients in the granola bar.
Unless… you’ve made a covenant with God not to eat sugar for five years and there are m&ms and mini chocolate chips in them.
Unless… you’re not eating A granola bar but MANY granola bars.

Yep, that’s right… I didn’t just eat one granola bar to ward off my hunger. I ate five granola bars to ward off my hunger.

And then at dinner I had the nerve to feel so proud of myself for not eating the BBQ pulled pork I cooked for my visiting brother. And proud again as I just ate enough and felt so satisfied. Well, YEAH, I felt just so satisfied with my little meal… I’d eaten enough oats and peanut butter in those bars to last me a week!

{Sigh.}

This morning, however, I sit here and cross my arms (cause despite it being late April it’s a little chilly) and think… Well, what lesson did I learn from it? A couple, actually.

Reminder One: This is a journey, January. By now you should have learned that this whole process of healing and renewal is not going to happen on your timeframe. Calm down. Learn lessons. Keep your eyes on Jesus.

Reminder Two: Have pre-prepared, easy to make/warm up lunches for days like these. Like, yesterday was a “I need to nuke it” kind of lunch day. Not even my avocado and tomato salad would have been right for me (despite it’s deliciousness) because it took a whopping five minutes of “work” to make it. So, this week, I’m going to prepare five freezer meals for myself along with a list of Daniel Fast-friendly lunches to glance at when my brain is kaput.

Reminder Three: It’s not about WHAT food you’re eating if you eat TOO MUCH. (One of these days that’s actually going to sink in!)

Reminder Four: God’s love never ends. His mercies never stop. They are new EVERY MORNING. (Lamentations 3:22-23) And He will give me wisdom to come out of this. He has healing in his wings that all I have to do is reach out and touch. He knocks down strongholds. He reaches down with his strong arm to save. God. is. good. Even my granola bar gorging can be worked out for His Good Plan.

Yep. I feel better now!

Day Twenty-Nine: Bigger Is Not Necessarily Better

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We’ve almost finished off my homemade cookie-like granola bars. They have been great to have around for me at least (my oldest won’t eat them because they have walnuts in them) for when I’m running late or don’t have time to eat or when I’m just hungry but not in the mood to think about what to eat or what to make.

But they are also reallllllly yummy. Essentially they are like an oatmeal raisin cookie minus the sugar. And this morning as I was going to snag one, I looked in and moved the granola bar on top out of the way so that I could get the biggest one on the bottom.

Oh how I am a creature of habit.

And once again, grabbing the biggest one isn’t a huge deal in and of itself, but here I am dealing with matters of the heart. And, for me, grabbing the biggest one means more than just “I’m really hungry.”

At the deepest level it is me being selfish and self-centered. I want it for me. I don’t want someone else to get the big granola bar. It is greed. It is the act of gluttony.

Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. Philippians 2:4

I need to have a conversation with myself when I come across the biggest piece of food. In essence, it can be an opportunity to practice putting others before me.

If I can switch my thinking from “I want the biggest granola bar for me!” into “I wonder if Pasco would like the biggest one since he is so hungry when he comes home?” or “Perhaps we will have a guest sometime today and if I leave the largest one there then I can serve them that one.”

It’s not that I wasn’t hungry enough for the largest piece but it is all about an opportunity to change my heart from one of gluttony to one that gives glory to God.

Day Twenty-One: Cookie Dough Syndrome

Alrighty. I have made it to the “last day” of a three week Daniel Fast. Not that difficult! 21 days down and only 336 days to go! Haha!

And it is no coincidence I can assure you that this verse was in my reading plan this morning…

It’s not what goes into your body that defiles you; you are defiled by what comes from your heart. Mark 7:15

It’s almost like this should be my theme verse for what I’m doing with this covenant. I know that nutritionists have about a zillion different ideas of what is “good” for us and what is “bad”. I also know that their opinions of good and bad foods change and change and change. Like the poor egg for example… the nutrition industry just can’t seem to make up their mind! But anyway… the point is for thousands of years nutrition wasn’t even a word but The Word was very clear on food… don’t. eat. too. much. And that’s why I point to this verse. It’s not what goes in that is ruining me… it’s my heart that has been ruined.

I need a renewal of the mind in order to not overeat… to not be greedy with my food.

And I say this all to bring up what I am going to call the Cookie Dough Syndrome. Before I started this diet I was making some cookie dough as a gift for my son’s teachers at school and it was a big ol honkin batch of cookie dough. And as horribly ashamed as I am to admit this, I almost feel that I need to… I ate almost the entire batch of cookie dough. Like, there wasn’t even enough to make them cookies.

You might be thinking right now… Oh geez! She has a sickness. Seriously… that’s like gross.

And trust me. I thought the same things. And every time I thought that… I ate more cookie dough. And that was pretty much when I knew that something… drastic… had to be done. My soul was sick. And only God could heal it.

Now I bring up the random cookie dough story for a reason. In my effort to find some stuff within the parameters of my covenant, I went looking at some granola bars. They all had chocolate chips in them (except for some Special K bars but honestly… they were kind of gross). So, I decided to make my own. I found a recipe online and mixed all the stuff together. When it was all mixed, I took a bite and thought “Wow, that kind of tastes like cookie dough. Maybe this could be a way to get my ‘fix’ of eating cookie dough without actually eating it. It’s kind of a brilliant substitute…” So I ate some from the bowl with a spoon. And ohhhhhhh was it good. So I ate some more. And then some more.

Stop. my mind said. This is not what you want. This is gluttony. Sure, it’s “healthy” but that’s not the point. This is gluttony.

That, my friends, is Cookie Dough Syndrome.

It wasn’t what was going into my body that was defiling me. It was my attidude. My approach. I reverted back into gluttony because I had given this food a “healthy” tag. Then my “old mind” suddenly jumped back in, “Oh okay… you can eat all you want if it is ‘healthy’.” And that’s one mentality that has helped me to become sixty pounds overweight.

So, immediately after realizing this, I felt horrible. And Satan was on. the. ball. See, you can’t do this! It’s only day 21 and you’re already becoming a glutton again. You really think you can do a whole year of this? You’re going to let God down. Just go ahead and eat it. eat. eat. Eat. Eat. EAT. EAT.

Sound like a familiar story? Satan telling someone to EAT… knowing that it was NOT what God wanted. It might as well be him saying: sin. sin. Sin. Sin. SIN. SIN.

But let me tell you that God. is. good. And He loves me. And He wants me to be free.

Because check out yet another “non-coincidence” in my reading this morning…

Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you. Psalm 51:12

I’m not even sure if I really need to explain why this is relevant. (But because I always overdo it, I’ll explain anyway!) I needed the joy of His salvation (that salvation that I don’t deserve) to be restored to me. I needed a reminder. That He loves me even when I do what I shouldn’t do. That He loves me when I do what I should do. That HE LOVES ME.

And then the second half of that verse. What a great prayer: make me willing to obey you. That’s the prayer I needed in that moment of weakness. Make me willing to obey you. Make me willing to obey you. Make me willing to obey you.

So, here, on day twenty-one… that is my prayer:

God,
Thank you for your salvation. Thank you for forgiveness. Thank you for your help.
And just since we’re keeping it real… I can’t wait until Satan is locked up forever cause he realllllllly frustrates me.
Please remind me over these next few days, weeks, and months that it isn’t WHAT I eat that defiles me, but what is going on in my heart. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and please God, make me willing to obey you. Change my heart. Renew my heart. Create in me a NEW heart and renew a LOYAL spirit in me. Make me willing to obey You.
Amen.

But the granola bars look like they are gonna be pretty tasty… one. at. a. time. Glutton Free baby!!!!