936 Pennies: Discovering the Joy of Intentional Parenting
Join our adventure and discover inspiration and resources for refusing rush, creating habits of rest, living intentionally, and making the most of this beautiful life!
It all began on our recent trip to Colorado, or rather to and from Colorado– during the 20 hours we spent in the car. We put our car time to good use and listened to hours of podcasts from some Doctors and Trainers that we highly admire. Much of what we believe about eating and being physically active has been influenced by these:
Somewhere throughout the hours we spent listening to these coaches, we decided that a time of detoxing would be timely for us right now to help us take our next step to finding a healthier us.
During my research I became a little bit overwhelmed by all of the various methods of detoxing. When it comes to sugars you can limit:
I began to think that we should just limit absolutely everything we could , or else we might do it “wrong”. With so many different options, how do you decide which path is the best for your health?
But then I finally began to see–this is about finding what is best for our family. In regards to your own health, it is not about following fad diets or health goals outlined in a blog post or magazine article. It is your responsibility to put in the research, decide what your own goals are, and forge a path that will best help you meet those goals. That path looks different for every one of us.
We had to begin with one big question: What are our personal goals for this time?
I would challenge you to ask yourself the same question.
Take some time to sit down and reflect on your eating habits, what has made up the bulk of your plate; and what is driving your food choices, as well as how those choices are affecting you. And then set some SMART goals.
Specific (Ex. “Buy and cook from the Farmers’ Market every Saturday” instead of “Visit the Farmers’ Market more”)
Measurable (Clearly and tangibly defined so you can measure progress)
Actionable (Don’t make it too abstract, begin your goals with action verbs, “Start”, “Run”, “Eat”, for example)
Realistic (Make it large enough to stretch you, small enough to see quick results and not be overwhelmed. As Life Coach Michael Hyatt puts it: “I go right up to the edge of my comfort zone and then step over it.”)
Time-bound (Don’t leave it open-ended. A deadline will help you work harder towards seeing your goals met! But remember to be realistic 😉 “A goal without a date is just a dream”)
Always remember: “If you aim at nothing you’ll hit it every time.”
I think it is important to point out here that whatever you choose to do, it should not leave you hungry. That is one big difference between fad diets and times of detoxing—you are not starving yourself or limiting calories!
During our first 3 days of the detox, when our bodies were burning through excess sugars and learning instead to rely on fats, we felt hungry all of the time. But within just a few days our bodies began catching on to the plan, and we found ourselves satiated much quicker and with less food. In 1 week we have lost a combined 14 pounds, and we feel very content; full but not bloated, and definitely not hungry!
Once you have your SMART goals clearly defined, it is much easier to set up some clear action steps to help you achieve them!
In order to meet our goals, below are the perimeters we have set up for these three weeks to guide us.
As always, I know that the best way to phase out certain foods is to bring in more good stuff!
Day 2: An intense fatigue settled over me, and I realized my body had been more dependant than I had thought on sugar and carbs for energy. I am very, very cranky…
Day 3: I feel better than yesterday. Grayson suffers a bad headache, and some serious fatigue. I realized I had developed some habitual and emotional attachments to certain foods that I hadn’t recognized.
Day 4: My shorts were noticeably looser. We gain a new appreciation for the natural sweetness of almonds, apples, and sauerkraut. I also realized how dependant I had become on wheat to fill my boys’ hungry bellies. And although I was still tired and had a fuzzy head from sugar withdraw symptoms, I felt overall better, less bloated, like I was healing.
Grayson stopped at the grocery store for lunch, and ate 2 grilled chicken breasts, a pound of grilled vegetables, and ¾ pounds of salad. He said that afterwards he felt very full, but a different kind of full, a good, not bloated full!
Day 5: I looked in the mirror and realized my stomach looked completely different. It was flatter. It still had it’s “pooch”, evidence of the two babies I’ve grown inside my abdomen, but my stomach was void of any bloat!
Days 6-7: We began feeling much better; less fuzzy headed and groggy, and less cranky. Perhaps we have made it over the daunting first week and will feel better from here?
Day 8: We miss wheat, but have not craved sweets yet. We step on the scale and are pleasantly welcomed by lower numbers. We have lost 7 pounds each—in seven days! We are also disturbed yet encouraged to see our bodies actively detoxing. That’s all I will say about that.
I am surprised by just how introspective this process has been. It is challenging me to think over the roles that food play in our lives, and view it more than ever before as a gift from God as a means to nourish and sustain us. Sometimes a little bit of self-denial is good for the soul–refreshing, even.
A fast, in the original Biblical context, is meant to do just that: to make you a bit uncomfortable, and force you to reflect on where your heart is, what it’s been up to, and the effects of those actions and affections. It is meant to give you a clearer picture of things you weren’t seeing, and to refocus you on what is important.
The goals we set and the resulting action plans will look differently for each one of us. It can’t be about rules, regulations, and limitations; it is a heart issue and must be treated as such—this is about understanding our relationships to food, and being faithful stewards of our health.
Raising kids stirs something deep in our souls — an innate knowing that our time is finite. Taking my kids outside in creation, I’m discovering how to stretch our time and pack it to the brim with meaning. God’s creativity provides the riches of resources for teaching the next generation who He is and how He loves us. Join our adventure and discover inspiration and resources for refusing rush, creating habits of rest, living intentionally, and making the most of this beautiful life!