Get thee behind me Reese’s

I decided to reintroduce the cucumber to my morning juice. In this concoction: a heap of spinach, a good bit of Kale, three apples, three carrots, half a cucumber, three celery stalks and 1/2″ of ginger root. This was the final result:I should work on those cuticles.

This was not utterly disgusting and all of the other flavors really killed the cucumber so I am glad I put it back in. To be honest though, I did not finish the entire thing. I was SO close when I started retching and was also being pushed toward the shower by a usually very punctual wife. My produce was reaching the end of it’s life-cycle so I tried to dump it all in this juice. I feel rejuvenated after a semi-horrible weekend that led to a zero weight loss weigh in this morning.

Friday night was lock-in night for our church youth group. Nikki is very involved with the youth group so the girls had their lock-in at the Williams house! That also meant that I had to (gleefully) flee the residence, so I went to help with the boys lock-in at a hunting cabin out in the woods. You know what that means: hamburgersOh, and here is a look at what dripped off those hamburgers:Can’t imagine how much of that is still working around my insides. There was also chips, dips, cookies, cake, and soft drinks. Needless to say, there were many “successful failures” this weekend. Add to that the fact that I came home to a refrigerator full of left over taco meat and junk food and you have a very unhealthy eating weekend.

The lock-ins aside I have had so many temptations in the past week. The kids from the campus nursery school came by and trick or treated so we bought a bunch of candy in anticipation. The cute kiddies came and went and this was left:I have to pass it several times a day and every time it is like Satan pokes me in the ribs. I have yet to partake so I can boast of one victory! I hear my co-workers come up all throughout the day and dig through there and take what they want. Some even come back several times throughout the day! I want so bad to plead with them. “Please don’t do this! You know that is about 500 calories that do nothing for you! They are killing you!” I told Nikki yesterday that watching other peoples food choices is like watching them hold a knife to their chest and push it deeper with each bite. I can do nothing about it. I am heavier than some of them; who am I to tell them how to eat? Especially when I don’t have a handle on it myself.

How do you deal with these temptations? Should I have packed my own dinner before I went to the lock-in? Also, how do you show others that you generally care about them without being a complete jerk? I really think there is no easy way to talk to people about their food choices. I tend to think that the only way to handle it is wait for them to come to you. It just feels so negligent on my part. I am very interested in your feelings on this matter. Please let me know in the comments.

I’m off to eat my peanut butter sandwich and cast hateful glances towards the donuts someone left in the break room. Until tomorrow!

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Hungry. You won’t like me when I’m Hungry

I think I am going to drop the “Friday for Serious” tag. When I first wrote it, I thought it was terribly clever. Now I think it just sounds stupid. Oh well. I can’t be incredibly witty and charming all the time.

Last night my mom, Nikki and I went to a local restaurant called Ferdinands. It is a great little place just off the Square, behind the Lyric theater. They had several healthy options and I was quite impressed with the variety. I decided on a turkey burger with feta cheese, spinach and tomato. My side was sauteed vegetables.It was incredibly good, but when I eyed squash and zucchini in the sauteed vegetables I threw up in my mouth a little. I had to be strong, for myself and you my readers, and try them. I told myself at the beginning of this journey that I would try anything once. Let me tell you now-I was wrong about squash and zucchini. These were sauteed in olive oil and they were delicious.

I even tried one of Nikki’s fries and said out loud that my vegetables tasted better! She thought I had been body snatched and checked to make sure I wasn’t hiding a pod somewhere on our land. Nikki had a chicken club like sandwich that she really enjoyed:And mom had the veggie wrap:The only thing that turned me off about the veggie wrap were the mushrooms. I am sure at some point in this journey I will have to try mushrooms. I am not promising to like them! At the end of the meal we all gave Ferdinands six thumbs up. Try it sometime!

I have gotten a lot of questions about why I decided to move towards a mostly vegetarian diet – especially within my church friends. I try my best not to judge people on what they eat and I try my best not to push my ideas on anybody else. I have read a lot (A LOT) about this in the past couple of months, but I still get stymied whenever someone asks why. I could try to quote nutritional info, but I can’t remember any. I could try to quote health benefits, but I can’t remember any. From now on this will be my quote, this will be my life verse. From now on I will quote the word of the Lord:

Or didn’t you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? Don’t you see that you can’t live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (The Message)

My body is the sacred place, or temple, of the Holy Spirit. Who am I to think I can tear it down? Does it glorify God that I constantly try to repaint the walls only to have them dirty and chipping weeks later? Does it glorify God for the temple of His Holy Spirit to have muddy windows that no light can shine through? My blessings before meals were becoming high farce. “Lord bless this meal to the nourishment of my body” was barely off my lips before I was taking a sledgehammer to the temple walls. It was high time that I started treating my body as a place of worship. That I made it pristine and beautiful to boast to all about the greatness of the Lord. For me the way to do this was to make a huge change. Not just cut carbs for a few months until I am fifty pounds lighter. Not just cut out sugar until my teeth get whiter. I needed to take everything I was eating and throw it out the window; replace it with something new. Jesus makes all things new, and I pray that as he makes me new I can become a worthy vessel for His glory. That is true worship. Not just mind and heart and spirit, but body as well.

Let us take up new rags and clean these windows. Let us allow more Light to come in.

A Fistful of Spinach

This morning I used an Equal packet to unstick my nickel in the Coke machine. I thought this was very ironic. Which led to then think about my drinking problem. I am addicted to Coke and it must stop. To think that I give my wife a hard time for drinking coffee! Mine is ten times worse. I imagine myself one day on the A & E show Intervention but instead of my family it will be all my internal organs that intervene.

We had to rush out of the house early this morning so I didn’t have time to juice, but I didn’t want to eat toast because I planned a sandwich for lunch. There I was, 5:20 in the morning, scouring the pantry and refrigerator for something to eat for breakfast. We had oats, but I had no time to make oatmeal. I should have made overnight oats, but Wednesday night church got me all out of whack and Nikki and I just came home and went to bed after. For some reason I lingered on some dry beans. I don’t know what I thought I was going to do with them, but I lingered. Finally, I came to the following decision:Two carrots. My thinking here was that my lunch didn’t have any vegetables (PB sandwich, pretzels and Cookie Dough Larabar) and I don’t know exactly what I am having for dinner because we are trying a new place with my mom. I looked in the vegetable drawer and saw cucumbers, celery, kale, ginger root, spinach and carrots. Maybe I should have tried a fistful of spinach. I just thought two carrots would be more portable.

I thought I would take the rest of this blog post to tell you a little more about myself. I work at the University of Mississippi in the Procurement Services department. My official job title is Procurement Assistant and I work with Accounts Payable. Here is what you see when you walk in our front door:We enjoy Halloween. The process of hanging those witches (which required me, the resident giant) was like a Benny Hill sketch.

I spend eight hours a day sitting in a cubicle and entering payments into a computer. Here’s my cozy cubicle:There isn’t a ton of privacy so you basically hear everything that everyone is doing. Mostly what I hear are very deep sighs. You know the kind of sigh where you know the person is reevaluating their life’s decisions and wondering how they ended up here? Yeah, I hear that at least fifteen times a day. Thankfully I have a happy corner that keeps me from sighing.It features Winnie the Pooh holding a butterfly (this seriously makes me smile every time I see it), a monkey my friend brought me from South Africa, pictures of my wife and niece and nephew and the best thing that ever came out of Hobby Lobby:My wife spends hours in Hobby Lobby every time we go, which means I have to meander. I came upon this cross-stitching pattern and my wife lovingly agreed to make it for me.

My job isn’t particularly stimulating, but I really like it. I am treated well, appreciated and I get to bring home money that allows my wife and I to eat. That’s never a bad thing. I consider myself quite blessed when I think about all the people who can’t find work. Also, the down time allows me to write informative and incredibly entertaining blog posts for you guys.

Have a great Thursday!

Of Love and Larabars

I have lately been struggling with making it to lunch without being really hungry. I wanted to find something small to tide me over that is also all natural and healthy. My brother and sister-in-law gave me a basket full of health foods for my birthday this year that I absolutely loved. One of the items in the basket was a Larabar. If you have never had one, they taste amazing and they are usually just dates and nuts. Depending on the flavor, there will be other ingredients. I thought about just stocking up on these, but they can be kind of pricey so I needed an alternative. And I found one!Mama Pea’s recipe for Cookie Dough Larabars! You can find the recipe here. Mama Pea (aka Sarah Matheny) is the hilarious author of the Peas and Thank You book and website. Please check her out, if you never have. She has great, easy recipes that your whole family will enjoy. It’s a cliche, but it’s true. Nikki and I have tried several and have not been disappointed.

My dear wife had Bunco last night so I had the house and all it’s many appliances to myself. I pulled out the Cookie Dough Larabar recipe and assessed what was needed. I am very, VERY literal when it comes to recipes. I am definitely a novice cook and I have to follow the directions exactly or I get flop sweat and start fidgeting. And may the good Lord help us if there are pictures because I have to match them exactly. My poor wife has endured the brunt of this recipe rage too many times to count (I really must buy her some flowers). I think I can trace this anxiety back to that time I tried to make biscuits and some people spit them out immediately, some people asked “What’s wrong with you?” and one unlucky man had to get his stomach pumped.

The first thing I needed were pitted dates. My mom donated some of her stash since I couldn’t find any at Kroger (I have since found out that they have dates at the local farmer’s market. Thanks, Blair!), so all that was left to do was pit them. This is a very sticky process, but all you have to do is slice the date, force the halves apart and remove the tiny pit. I hated to just throw the pits out, but I really didn’t know anything else I could do with them. Any suggestions?

The next step was to grind one cup of almonds in the food processor. This is a fun process because you get to destroy something while simultaneously pissing off your Corgi.

The next step was to blend the dates together with vanilla extract and sea salt until finely chopped. I loaded everything into my blender, pressed the button and shouted at a barking Gawain. This did not go well because I forgot that I don’t have a Vitamix, I have a Votamix that I bought from a street vendor at the county fair. The dates were not chopped but stuck to the sides of the blender and refusing to slide into the spinning blades of death. Cue flop sweat. I decided that I should have done this in the food processor so I took the bucket of almond meal, dumped it into a container and then transferred the blenders contents to the processor. This worked much better and I added the almond meal back to the processor with some chocolate chips. The recipe stated that now I needed to pulse until a dough started to form. Well, I had my idea of dough (cookie, of course) and that is what I hoped to see. It never really formed up as a dough, in my opinion, and I probably pulsed it way too many times. The end result was this:I then poured this “dough” onto some spread out wax paper, folded it over and mashed it into a square. I placed the dough in the refrigerator overnight to firm up (per the recipe). This morning I cut it into bars with a pizza cutter. These taste really good, which is a testament to the recipe because I sure had nothing to do with it.

During all this my wife came home from Bunco. Upon seeing the mess she made this face.Which reminds me, I have to go buy some flowers!

 

Compliance!

Yesterday was a pretty trying day at work. My will power was weakened so I was kind of upset when I picked Nikki up at school and she was chipper. “Have a good day, did you?” I asked a little harshly. “Super duper!” she said with a grin and slight hop. “Oh….ok, good.” I said with a half smile. She looked at me quizzically and then said “We can go eat where you want to honey.” “I am glad you said that because I was thinking it would be a good day for a pizza, a pint (of Ben and Jerry’s) and some Mountain Dew.” This is labelled the “Unholy Trinity” in nutritional circles and lands at an “almost definite” on the Barometer of Bariatric Surgery.

I came to the stop sign and I had two options. Left to the supermarket or right towards home. After a few agonizing seconds I went right. A small victory, yes, but a sweet one. Dinner that night was going  to be my sister-in-law’s recipe for Five Cheese White Pizza.

As soon as we unlock the front door to the house the dogs shoot out like lightning. Max goes to use the restroom. Gawain, however, has something else on his mind. That boy loves to play frisbee. So much so that I have to tell him to go to the bathroom or he will pee standing on the carport just so he doesn’t miss me coming outside with the red disc in my hand. I was happy to oblige him this form of exercise because I had SO many clothes to wash (our laundry room is outside. In fact its that blue door in the right of the picture) and because Gawain is ridiculously hard to walk. It is all worth it when you get to see this: Plus, whenever I throw the frisbee I play that song from the beginning of Flight of the Navigator in my head.

As Gawain and I became thoroughly exhausted (I tend to shuffle back and forth while I wait for him to return. It’s a very catchy song) my phone started ringing. Why, it was my good friend Caleb from last Thursday’s post. He was inviting us to dine at Pizza Hut. Willpower don’t fail me now. Actually, since I know I don’t have any Willpower I usually lean on Nikkipower. “Honey, Caleb is inviting us to Pizza Hut. What do you want to do?” I could see, in her eyes, the same thought process I had when I came to the stop sign at her school. “I really want to go to Pizzahut,” she finally said. So we went and enjoyed our time with friends.

What would you do in this situation? What is the best way to enjoy this time with friends while maintaining your healthy lifestyle? I think Pizza Hut may have a salad bar, but I couldn’t see it. The truth is, I don’t want to eat salad when my friends are eating pizza. But I know that I won’t be able to stop once I’ve started, and that is exactly what happened last night.

The book I spoke of yesterday, Thrive, talks a lot about how the food you eat affects every inner process of your body. It also steals your excess energy to aid in digestion. Since reading this I have tried to pay attention to how the food I eat affects me physically. After eating too much pizza I had a heavy, slow feeling. Also, my head started throbbing and it was hard to think. Feelings like this, more than anything else, motivate me to eat better. To aid rather than hinder. To build anew rather than repair.

The worst side effect from the pizza was the insomnia. I did not get any sleep last night. As I was tossing and turning I felt a gentle nudge on my elbow. I thought my wife was suffering insomnia too so I turned to talk to her and found this:

Turn out that light and go to sleep!

So I did.

No one opposes Maximus. No one.

My body’s saying let’s go, but my heart is saying NO.

I had a very good, albeit unhealthy weekend.

We woke up early Saturday morning to get the house in order to entertain friends later that evening. We had breakfast with the in-laws which meant biscuits, eggs and bacon. A wonderful meal, but I was pressured into eating more than I wanted. Any Southerner will know what I mean by that.

After some much needed weed-eating, then another trek outside to get the spots I missed with the first weed-eating it was time for lunch. This is top shelf peanut butter. Quite literally, in fact, as it was on the top shelf at Kroger. I have to say that this was probably the best peanut butter sandwich I have ever eaten. I dreamed about this for the next two days. I ate an apple with this sandwich, but the taste wasn’t comparable. I bit into it once and then seriously considered slathering the White Chocolate Wonderful on, but my will power won this round. That makes the score 4,506 – 3.

Our friends Kaleb and Lisa Rogers came over Saturday night and we had Taco Soup with Cornbread Muffins.

Nikki makes this soup, so I am not quite sure of the recipe. I did get a few peeks over her shoulder and noticed several cans of beans and one of tomatoes. Then I was smacked with a soup stained stirry-thingy and I ceased the peeking.  I have no idea what was in these, but there was a can of Crisco on the counter. That might be why I ate them like mini-muffins. 

It was a wonderful meal and a wonderful time catching up with friends. After dinner we played Ticket to Ride, our new favorite game. The first time we played I did not think I would like it, but this is a remarkably fun game. I highly recommend it. After Lisa stomped us all at Ticket to Ride we broke out Beatles:Rock Band.I like this picture because you can see them in action. That would be Kaleb filming his wife playing the drums and Nikki killing lead guitar. There were some guts busted and some faces melted.

Sunday was filled with church and catching up with our friend Meagan and her boyfriend John Cole. I didn’t take any pictures, but we had Chicken Spaghetti for lunch. I am fairly sure there is no nutritional benefit to this dish except it’s deliciousness. I am pretty sure Velveeta was in there, and I’m also pretty sure said Velveeta will be in my system for seven years. Kind of like when you swallow gum. After lunch we had brownies with cream cheese icing and my button snapped off my pants and knocked out John Cole. That last part may or may not have happened, but I sure felt like it could have. I made myself feel better by not eating at all the rest of the day.

Trying to start Monday off right, I juiced for breakfast.This is sort of my own recipe involving: one cup of Spinach, about five leaves of Kale, two stalks of celery, three carrots, three apples, and a one-inch piece of Ginger. It was very good, although I think I overdid it on the Ginger. I will only use 1/2 inch in the future because the flavor is really strong. The five leaves of Kale may have made one ounce of juice. The yield was small but it was a really dark green color so you know it was full of nutritional goodness. Wonderful breakfast, but by 9:30 my stomach was making sounds like a U.F.O. in a bad science fiction movie. I like to think of these noises as my stomach saying “Thank you Evan. It is much less crowded in here than yesterday.”

I am currently reading a book called Thrive that I am very excited about. It is full of useful information about a plant based diet and I hope to post a full review once I have finished.

Friday for Serious: Mom spelled backwards is Mom

I woke up this morning in a quasi-hangover state from too much US Weekly before bedtime. The literary prowess of their contributors truly amazes me. Take the Citizen’s Arrest column. I mean they can rhyme “Chloe Sevigny” with “Tacky” in seven words or less. That, or say something witty like “There’s nothing BIG to LOVE about this ensemble”. Genius! Reading it right before falling asleep, however, gives you polyester nightmares.

I have never thought I would write such a sentence.

Today is one of the best days of the year. It’s my mom’s birthday! My mom has been a huge stabilizing influence in my life. She was there to dry my tears and encourage me when I was woefully lovesick. She was there with a warm washcloth and a smile when I was recovering from food bingeing nights. She held my hair while I threw up after two sleeves of Double Stuf Oreos and a pint of Ben and Jerry’s. She was ready with the cashews when it was Gilmore Girls night.

Ok. One of those statements isn’t true. Can you guess which one?

While we were growing up our mom went to great pains to make us eat healthy. I remember many nights when it was getting close to bedtime and my brothers and I were still sitting at the table whining “But I don’t like (insert vegetable here)!” She would lovingly say “You need to eat it. It’s good for you. Take a few more bites.” At the same time we watched her go through many diets with varying degrees of success. She was never a heavy woman, she just wanted to lose a little weight. You know, as I think about it, she never really talked about it. It was only later, when I was older, that I realized that was what she was doing. She watched all of her sons get jobs and start coming home with greasy bags of fast food mush. She never said anything negative, but she always had a knowing look. “Are you sure that’s what you want for dinner honey?” “Yeah, mom, gaa! Get out of my room!” I could have been heard to say. Later in her life food started to hurt her. She had to stop eating certain things for fear of an upset stomach. The doctors told her that the trouble was with her gall bladder, so she had surgery. Food still hurts her from time to time, but I have seen her embrace this new lifestyle with vigor. She is waif thin, but don’t tell her she needs to eat more! She is excited about new foods to try and she keeps me updated on good blogs to read about healthy living and new recipes. Life has come full circle for me as now I am inheriting the wisdom that she has tried to give me since I was born. I realize that she was trying to spare me from the hurt I would feel years later in the grips of food addiction. If only I had listened to her sooner! You think I would realize listening to my parents was important. God even made it a commandment!

To honor my mother on this, her birthday, I beg of you all to follow the instruction of your dear mothers. Eat those vegetables with grace and a thankful heart. Thank your mother for caring so much about you that she has new containers of food for you every time you come over. “I made too much, I am never going to eat it” she will say. But, you will know in your heart that she was thinking of you when she made too much. That she wanted you to see that container when you open the refrigerator door and think “I can eat better, I have this!” That is what mothers are all about, my friends. Their love literally saves your life.

P.S. If you have a chance please read the comment my mom put on “Why is my Meal so Happy?” It is beautiful and very encouraging. It gave me the strength I needed to learn not to be defined by every single food decision.

Friends are Friends Forever

To all of you who are wondering what the bumps are on my pinky-thanks to helpful comments I have narrowed it down to poison oak/ivy or cancer. I think I’ll apply Calamine lotion and see what happens.

Today was a great day. The theme was catching up with friends. More on that later.

For breakfast I decided to try a new juice recipe. This one involved two carrots, two apples and a 1″ piece of ginger root. When all the beautiful destruction was complete this was the result:This combo was very refreshing, but too heavy on the ginger. It felt almost like drinking tabasco sauce. Not that I’ve ever done that on a dare or anything. Because my juice was very small I decided to supplement it with two pieces of 100% whole wheat toast. I coated one piece with cashew butter and the other with Earth Balance vegan margarine. This allowed me to coast safely to lunch.

I was really looking forward to lunch today because I got to catch up with some good old friends. My friend Skip Langley just moved back to town so we decided to go to our favorite local hang out: Handy Andy. They are famous for their barbecue but we always get cheeseburgers. What can I say? We’re trendsetters. Without any apology, in college Skip and I used to go to Handy Andy once a week. That may have directly contributed to my current weight issue. Eh! We’ll never know.

Since I hadn’t eaten much meat this week that hamburger really made the afternoon drag. It’s a good thing I had the Dinner Date of the Century to look forward to!

Caleb. I seriously love this man

That’s right friends, my favorite couple, the Easts, came over tonight! Nikki graciously made vegetarian lasagna for dinner and the Easts brought the bread and dessert. We watched old people tv (Wheel of Fortune) while the lasagna cooked.

His lovely wife Emily. Well, her shoulder at least

If the movie The Sixth Sense is to be believed I am pretty sure there is a ghost over that Wheel of Fortune contestant’s shoulder.

The lasagna was amazing and my absolute favorite thing happened during dinner: I proved Caleb East wrong. He said that he would never like fake meat yet there it was in his lasagna! All three helpings.That’s a picture of my plate. I couldn’t get close enough to Caleb’s to photograph it without a possible loss of limb. And that is definitely not parmesan cheese on my lasagna. It is grated “some nutritional vegetable”. Dessert was decidedly less healthy.

Look at the reflection on the pie cutter. Such artistry!

I certainly did not engulf the first piece. Nor did I shove the second piece in my mouth when I found that there were no more clean forks. After dessert we spent the next two hours watching Hocus Pocus. I have lost faith in the power of Halloween.

Instead of a cliffhanger, today I will leave you with an embarrassing tidbit about myself.I sometimes read bathroom magazines in the bed, but only after my wife has fallen asleep and is dreaming about my head on Hugh Jackman’s body. At least I hope my head is on his body. In truth I am probably their waiter at Olive Garden.

Good Night!

The Juice is Loose

I posted on Twitter that I would share last night’s dinner with you: Spanish Quinoa to the MAX. And here it is:I am sorry for the uninspired picture. The only camera I have right now is my cell phone. Hopefully that will change soon (I’m looking at you Santa). It is the Spanish Quinoa leftovers from the other night with a secret ingredient….a mound of CHEESE. I know I made a healthy dish decidedly less healthy, but I think (hope?) that the nutritional benefits are still grandiose compared to, say, a Double Quarter Pounder.

Nikki and I returned to Kroger last night (thanks to those angels I spoke about in yesterday’s post) and had a very fun and successful shopping trip. I realized that I was basically being way too emotional during my first shopping trip and buying fresh produce is a lot more affordable than I previously thought. To all my environmentally conscientious friends out there: I promise we have reusable shopping bags. We were just in a rush to leave the house in the morning (a side effect of rising early and then catching up on DVR until we’re late) and forgot them.

I went to bed excited for the morning. I was finally going to be able to try out my new juicer! I woke up with the alarm, which I almost never do, and got my produce ready.The recipe called for: 1 cup of spinach, 3 carrots, 3 stalks of celery, 1/2 a cucumber and an apple. Since not all of these fruits and veggies are organic, I had to wash them. I am sans vegetable brush at the moment so I washed my produce by putting them under hot water and rubbing vigorously with my hands. Slightly less effective than a brush, I think. Even more so because now I can’t remember if I washed my hands first. I will be getting a vegetable brush today. 

I think I have a future as a hairy forearm model.

Since our kitchen island doesn’t have any electrical outlets I had to use an extension cord, that traversed the huge watery mess I just made cleaning my vegetables, to plug in the juicer. I promised my wife I would only get a few dishes dirty during this process. Now I had to add one damp towel to my kitchen destruction list. Cue the exaggerated sigh from my photographer.

Look at that hand! What an action shot

This is my "excited by the destruction while being slightly grossed out by the results" pose.

Having never used a juicer before, I found the whole process weirdly exhilarating. I loved forcing the produce down the feeder tube and into the barbed wheel of death. Five minutes and a few maniacal chuckles later I had the following result:

It tasted awesome disgusting. I am not a huge fan of cucumbers, and boy did that taste come through. I have to be honest and tell you that I didn’t finish it all. I got very, very close though. My last chug resulted in my spitting some of it back out so i called it quits. I am not discouraged though. This is only one recipe amid hundreds of thousands of variations, so I will continue juicing. The worst side effect from this morning’s recipe is the burps. They taste like really bad BO. You know, when its so bad you can taste it?

The positives do outweigh the negatives in this case. I feel more energized this morning than I usually do. I don’t feel weighed down by what I ate for breakfast. It may be entirely mental, but I also feel more healthy. Right after I finished my breakfast my nose started running. I blew my nose and said “See Nikki, it’s already fixing me!” I really think the nose running bit has more to do with the weather changing, but she let me have my moment.

Now- to keep you coming back for more I have a cliffhanger. What on earth are these bumps on my pinky?!!

Why is my Meal so Happy?

An ominous sign...

I woke up on Saturday and went outside to immediately see five buzzards in the tree outside. They were looking at me lustfully as I yelled “I’m not dead yet!” They flew away with a knowing chuckle.

I am sorry I missed posting yesterday. I got a little busy and time got away from me. I usually work on these during my lunch break, but yesterday’s lunch break didn’t turn out so well. The advertising for the Monopoly game at McDonald’s was lodged somewhere in my subconscious and I found myself craving a double quarter pounder. I had some cash in my wallet and some hurt feelings from some mess at work so I figured it would be a good time to get out of the office. I ordered my double quarter pounder combo (large size of course) and trekked over to the Belk parking lot to sit in the shade and listen to podcasts of This American Life. The story doesn’t end here, but suffice it to say I did not pass Go or collect $1 million.

My wife had to work late last night conducting parent teacher conferences so I told her I would cook. I decided to make Spanish Quinoa from a recipe in the Peas and Thank You cookbook. Quinoa has an interesting texture. My wife and I were both surprised at how much we enjoyed this recipe. It is supposed to a side dish, but we ate it as our meal. This made me feel a little better about that Double Quarter Pounder, even though I shouldn’t.After dinner we got all of the recipes for the next two weeks’ meals together and started working on our grocery list. Thanks to a few angels in disguise I am going to be able to purchase the items I need to juice at least once a day for the next week or so. We were going through all the different recipes that I had printed off of blogs and the Peas and Thank You cookbook and all we could put together were six meals! All the while my wife was asking me questions and I was getting irritated and the dogs were barking and emotions were high. “What do you want to do Evan? How can we fill out the remaining meals?”

“I don’t know honey! I don’t know what to do!” I have been doing a lot of research about the types of food I need to be eating, but as far as cooking goes I am a novice. I have to follow a recipe exactly. We finally padded our list with a few options, while not vegetarian, were still reasonably healthy. We sat down to catch up on our DVR programs feeling accomplished.

A few minutes go by. My wife looks at me and says “You still have that cash right? $22 worth?” This was the moment I was dreading. I can’t lie to my wife, but if something doesn’t come up in conversation I am not going to mention it. Come to think of it, that is really a lie too.

“I do have that cash, about $14 worth.” I say with an apologetic grin

“Where did you eat?”

“McDonalds.”

“So, we are going to sit here for an hour and struggle over healthy recipes and then you are just going to blow it all during the day at lunch?” she said as she stormed off to the bedroom.

I was ashamed of myself. She was absolutely right and righteous in her anger. I proved myself to be a walking hypocrisy. Why am I trying to upend everything my wife has known about eating her entire life, yet when I am alone I don’t change? I am the personification of Romans 7:14-25. I am not practicing what I would like to do, but am doing the very thing that is killing me. The very thing that causes buzzards to hang from my trees and squawk dirges while watching me eat. “It’s only a matter of time” they think. I pray every day that I can prove them wrong. I pray every day for the strength to stand up for myself and my family and eat what is right. I pray to be better, to become healthy. Mostly, I pray to be a husband that my wife can be proud of – for many years to come. I also pray for you who are also struggling with food. By the grace of God we can rebuild our temples so that they may shine with His glory and not our own selfishness and greed. Amen.