Ahhhh here we are! Here on the 11th day of this crazy Daniel Plan. And today-
I. GOT. COFFEE.
And you know what is just extra-wonderful? The guy in front of me paid for my order! I’ve never had that happen before. I just… I can’t even…
Anyway. I’ve been reflecting on these last ten days. On how different and good I feel. How surprisingly yummy most of the food has been. How big of a grouchy-pants I’ve been without any coffee or dark chocolate of any kind… But really, both my husband and I are loving it! We were talking with my parents on my mom’s birthday, when they came over to visit and allowed us to subject them to The Plan’s dinner for day 8, and we told them all those things, as well as answering their questions about whether or not we felt the expense was greater grocery-wise, whether the challenges outweighed the rewards so far.
So, if you’re wondering those same things? Let me just tell you. The expense is basically the same as our normal grocery costs. It may be a little higher, but I can’t express to you enough how cheaply and how much crap we’d been eating up until now.
Ryan pointed out that he feels significantly more energetic at work, his clothes fit more comfortably (he lost 10 lbs the first 10 days! I lost 5… go figure. Still- not complaining), and how in general the fact that we’re being intentional feels like we’re taking control. And it is. We’re taking our power back. I love Double Stuff Oreos, but I hate to think they’re the boss of me. (Not gonna lie, they kind of were…)
Now. What is my criticism of The Daniel Plan so far? Well, first of all, multiple times we went to prepare a recipe (or like, 3 at a time, which has been our norm), we found that it called for things that were most certainly NOT on the detox list. (THAT is when I feel most like being a grumppuccino. Come on, Rick Warren. It’s not called The Daniel Try-to-Make-Healthy-Food-but-Forget-the-Ingredients-Like-a-Flake.)
Like Stevia extract. Oh- did you catch that? Extract. Which is apparently NOT the same thing as Stevia the sweetener. And oh, by the way, it just happens to be the most obscure and expensive type of sweetener in creation… (But I confess, the moment I ate whatever it was that contained the Stevia extract I was like, “Praise Jesus, we finally get something resembling sugar!!!!”)
Other weird, expensive, and/or obscure foods we’ve eaten, you ask? They are as follows:
* quinoa- So. Much. Quinoa. However, people are right that you can do lots of stuff with it. But for people like us who hadn’t the foggiest how to prepare it, watch this video. My favorite quinoa dish, you ask? Obviously, the breakfast bar which we instructed to eat with a dollop of almond butter. (Which is DELICIOUS, people.) But I would like to ask all those quinoa aficionados out there- PLEASE stop telling people it’s “like rice.” Because it’s just not. Yes, you boil water and it’s a 2-1 ratio etc., but other than that- NOT like rice.
* kale- another trendy favorite among foodies and hipsters alike (is there a difference?) which I must say, in the right context, I really like.
* tempeh- I still don’t know what it is. Which seems weird that it would be on The Daniel Plan because of that fact. But apparently mysterious soy product is good for you? (That’s what it is… right?) I confess, it IS pretty good in stir fry, my friends.
* Tahini paste- I don’t remember what this is made from or what meal we ate it in. But we have it.
*Seeds- Just so many. Like, they take up an entire shelf in my pantry- which is NOT very big! Hemp, chia, pumpkin, sunflower, flax seed meal… Mostly, those go into smoothies or dressings. And I gotta say- I like them! (Most of the time.)
And now I feel like any day now, some emissary of hipsters wearing horn-rimmed glasses, a scarf, and a pretentious mustache will arrive in the dead of night to induct us into their secret society. (Ok, I’m sorry mustaches. You’re not all pretentious. Some of you are on Tom Selleck’s face. And you are FIERCE! Ain’t nobody messin with that mustache… Also, didn’t this word used to be spelled “moustache”?)
But unlike a diet product or system that you purchase, I love that this is just changing how you eat. And that’s not to say there aren’t some super great dieting products out there, and certainly everyone has a different situation. I just know my self-control would be so much more faulty (if that’s possible) if all I got to eat were bars and shakes and dinner was the only time I got to really eat food.
Even in this plan that I like so very much, for me, much of the struggle is mental. Like, 80% of it. Because I’m most attached to the experience of food. In the afternoon, I want to make coffee, get a couple cookies, arrange them prettily on something pretty, and have a moment. (Problem was, it ended up being more than a couple cookies… and more than once a day.) So, I keep having to correct my thinking. I tell myself- this will not bring me peace- and remember that He himself is our peace. And amazingly, this life already feels more abundant.
It’s amazing how clearing out makes room for life. Before, we were full of junk physically, and things were harder to do. We struggled to find breathing room. And now we’re realizing that when you make room, when you empty your life of the junk, there’s space to take a breath. Even in the moments where my habit was to create a Moment- an experience- through food, in order to reclaim some peace in the chaos, it rarely accomplished that goal. Now, the peaceful moments multiply, and show me that before I was filling with a “more” that turned out to be less.
Our hope with this change is to say- So Be It. We surrender our junk- our Less Than. We submit to one Master, and we will learn how not to try and serve any other. We will fast to slow. This is how we are clearing out and clearing up our minds, so we can be better listeners of God’s voice, better hearers of where he leads. So we can be- more abundantly- disciples.