Day 313: January Cleaver

Ya know… I’m just gonna lay it out there…

I… don’t like to cook.

Nope… no June Cleaver here.

Maybe this will change when all my kids are in school (unless I have a job again…) and I’ll have time to prep dinner before everyone is home. But… currently, cooking only brings me stress. Plus… I have pretty much zeroooooooo cooking instincts.

But at the same time… I know that as much as I might not enjoy cooking… I need to cook.

Why?

Because I DO love to eat.

I love flavor. I love the taste. I love to savor things. I love the conversation around the dinner table.

And when I am missing out on those things pretty frequently, then… I start scrounging. I guess it is my body trying to find the nutrients that I am not getting in meal-snacking (meals that are made up of snacky type eating).

I have been provided an abundance of food, of recipes, of cooking utensils, spices, and the like. I have easy access to grocery stores. I have an oven that works (no, it’s not pretty… but it works!). I have a stovetop that works (also not very attractive – ha!). And most importantly, I have three (count em) three crockpots.

So, because of all of that, I also have no excuses.

And last night I decided to plan out my meals. Tomorrow I will go to the grocery store and get what I need. And I will cook. June Cleaver be derned. I will cook.

  • Thursday: Brenner (Breakfast for dinner)… eggs, hash browns, grits {for the boys… lil smokies sausage and pancakes}
  • Friday: Potato Soup (thinking of trying Paula Dean’s recipe that uses frozen hash browns because the store was, literally, OUT of potatoes).
  • Saturday: Fish tacos (it might not be fancy, but frozen tilapia works awesomely for this… with a litte cajun seasoning)
  • Sunday: Crock Pot Stuffed Bell Peppers
  • Monday: Veggie Paninis
  • Tuesday: Stir Fry
  • Wednesday: Vegetarian Enchiladas
  • Thursday: THANKSGIVING… yummy stuffing and sweet potatoes and my mom’s broccoli!
  • Friday: Stuffed Mushrooms
  • Saturday: Black Bean Burgers

*Ironically enough, I wrote out this post and then never went tot the grocery store. It was originally because I knew that I could stretch what we had in our pantry for a few days and since we are on a bit of a snug budget, I decided that was the way to go. But I have cooked every night! We had Brenner and then Friday we had Italian Bean Soup and last night we had Black Beans and Rice.

Day 241: Those Dern Skinny French People

Apparently I have been eating.

A lot.

Often.

Because I am on day two of what I’m going to call my “Sans Snacky” Fast (if you haven’t noticed, I have a thing for titles or names to start with the same letter), and I have gone into the kitchen about 53 times in the past day and a half to get a snack.

How I have lost so much weight up to this point I don’t even know!?!?! Haha!

Y’all know that recently I started doing a no-eating-after-7pm “initiative” and it was really insightful to me as it showed me how much I was eating after dinner… even when I wasn’t hungry. even when I wasn’t craving. I was eating… just… just because.

Well, if I thought that was insightful then this experience is just downright revealing! (There might be a better word to put there but I’m working on four hours of sleep… hubby had a guys night last night so I heard every creak in the house until I finally nodded off around 1am, and then my toddler woke up at 5:00am!)

My mom recently mentioned a book she saw on a morning show called French Kids Eat Everything: How Our Family Moved to France, Cured Picky Eating, Banned Snacking, and Discovered 10 Simple Rules For Raising Happy, Healthy Eaters (which should seriously be considered for World’s Longest Book Title). I found it on amazon and read the description:

Moving her young family to her husband’s hometown in northern France, Karen Le Billon is prepared for some cultural adjustment but is surprised by the food education she and her family (at first unwillingly) receive. In contrast to her daughters, French children feed themselves neatly and happily—eating everything from beets to broccoli, salad to spinach, mussels to muesli. The family’s food habits soon come under scrutiny, as Karen is lectured for slipping her fussing toddler a snack—”a recipe for obesity!”—and forbidden from packing her older daughter a lunch in lieu of the elaborate school meal.

The family soon begins to see the wisdom in the “food rules” that help the French foster healthy eating habits and good manners—from the rigid “no snacking” rule to commonsense food routines that we used to share but have somehow forgotten. Soon, the family cures picky eating and learns to love trying new foods. But the real challenge comes when they move back to North America—where their commitment to “eating French” is put to the test. The result is a family food revolution with surprising but happy results—which suggest we need to dramatically rethink the way we feed children, at home and at school.

And no worries… this post will have nothing to do with my children’s dinner table habits!

But look at the five-mile-long title… what do you think grabbed my attention? Yep.

Banned Snacking.

Eeek.

Who would say such horrible things?!?!?!

But honestly, since my mom and I had this book-investigation a few weeks ago it has been popping into my mind.

And now that I have {gasp} banned snacking for the past two days… okay, okay… for a day and a half, I am starting to get a wee bit more interested in said book with said five-mile-long title.

Because I think the “permission” to snack has made the road to “unhungry” eating (aka: emotional eating, boredom eating, procrastination eating, etc) far more easy to get away with.

When you have a life sans-snacky then there just isn’t as much of an opportunity to eat emotionally, or because you’re bored, or because you realllllly don’t want to mop that funky, funky, funnnnnky kitchen floor. When you aren’t “allowed” to snack throughout the day, eating at mealtimes becomes, ironically, more of a “chore”. You eat at meal times to sustain. And that is the reason.

So much like the concept of “give us this day our daily bread” or in the New Living Translation, “give us our food for today”. (Matt 6:11) Or “give me just enough to satisfy my needs” (Proverbs 30:8).

Sure, dinner might be yummy but I’ll be eating to feed myself instead of to entertain or comfort or even simply because it’s habit.

Anyway, again, for you skinny-minded people that don’t overeat or snack or indulge (and yes, I have discovered that there are women like that out there), this might be a “duh” kind of realization, but it’s been like a revelation from the Lord for me!

Day 240: Snack Attack

Here recently I have been realizing that I am snackie, snackie, snackie. I snack all afternoon and oftentimes up until dinner and then I snack a bit after dinner.

It’s becoming too much of a habit again… eating for the sake of eating. eating when I’m not hungry. eating. eating. eating.

So I’m thinking that I might try a new kind of fast for a few weeks… not a food-specific fast but a fast based on the timing of when I eat. I’m thinking of making a covenant-fast to not snack. To switch that into “positive lingo”, I’m making a covenant-fast to only eat my meals.

I can’t really put a time on it (like the no-eating-after-7pm thing) because my life does not fit into scheduled eating. I might eat breakfast with the boys at 8:00 or I might not eat a banana for breakfast until 10:00 when our morning has finally settled down. Lunch is the same. Sometimes my toddler won’t eat unless I sit with him at 11:00 and sometimes I take that moment of him sitting in one place (note: I did not say “sitting still“! Ha!) to unload the dishwasher or unload the dryer so I might not eat until after I have put him down for nap and after I have prayed… around 1:30.

But. I almost always have a sit down “meal” even if it’s small. But lately I have found myself full already every time I sit down to have a meal because of all the snacking I do up until meal time. Sometimes I just don’t eat my “meal” then and sometimes I eat anyway even though I am not hungry (boo!).

So, all of that to say that snacking is starting to become an obvious problem. And… one thing I have learned is that if there is some kind of problem with food, I have to immediately do some kind of sacrifice for God… to refocus on God… to get myself “right” with God.

So, starting today, here is my new three-week covenant fast:

God, I praise you because you are my healer. I praise you because you are my righteousness. I praise you because you forgive. you restore. you are hope. It is in the spirit of all these things that I give a portion of my freedom over to You so that I might become reacquainted with freedom. I covenant to you that for three weeks I will only eat my meals. I will not eat snacks in between meals, while preparing meals, while cleaning up after meals. God, you have revealed an area of eating that is still lost to lust and desire… snacking. I pray that you help me get rid of this sin within me over these next few weeks and draw my heart to you… closer to you… into you during those times. You are faithful God. I thank you for continuing to point out anything in me that offends you,
and leading me along the path of everlasting life. Amen.

Psalm 139:24