Saturday, August 11, 2012

Seven ~ Food Month ~ Part One

This is what we chose to eat for a month

It's been a month since I last posted here. My life has been filled with summertime responsibilities and projects, mostly inspired by the Seven Experiment I've been involved in since early May. And I'm happy to report; it's been a really good summer, as I thank God for the healing that has taken place in this, my favorite season of the year!
In my last post I shared about a quest I'm on with my daughter, Sarah, son-in-law, Bob and Sarah's small group Bible study gals, based on a book titled: Seven. An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess.
On May 7th, we set out to face the excess in our lives in the area of food. As we prepared for launching out into our own version of the Seven experiment, I don’t think any of us realized how consuming this commitment would be. Although there were many options for the way it could be approached, we decided to follow in Jen Hatmaker’s (the author of Seven) footsteps and chose only seven foods we would eat for a month. For most of us, our only beverage would be water.
Our food list included:
Apples (only Gala or Granny Smith, as simplicity and narrowed choices were part of the goal)
Cheese (Mozzarella or Cheddar)
Whole Wheat bread (any type)
We also allowed: salt, pepper and a small amount of olive oil.
We choose these in the hope that they would provide the most nutrients and versatility. It didn’t take long for me to recognize how much I take for granted on a daily basis.
Our menu for food month required more planning and patience (compared to our normal menus), unless we were content to eat apples and cheese sandwiches most of the time. It meant more cooking, especially at breakfast time and of course it meant eliminating coffee, so several of us (myself included) had the classic caffeine headache for a few days.
We got into the habit of cooking ahead, trying to have chicken, potatoes and hard boiled eggs prepared at all times. When we are used to the convenience of our normally available multitude of options, this change of lifestyle felt all consuming. We became very creative with our limited choices and made it a challenge to see how many different options we could think of, to keep our meals interesting and not burn out in the process. I kept a menu journal so i could look back and remember these challenging days.
It certainly made grocery shopping easier and I quickly grew to love the “back to basics” philosophy. One of the facets that Jen shined a light on was the importance of eating whole foods instead of the processed foods we have become accustomed to. I have always been pretty concerned about what I eat, but this process has kindled a new desire to abstain from processed food whenever possible. I'm committed to making some healthier long-term changes as we go through this process. Thanks to the inspiration I acquired from Jen, I have taken up bread baking as part of my lifestyle. More about that on my next entry about Seven’s food month.


  1. What a challenge! And how neat is it that you are doing this with your family? This is an interesting concept and I'm looking forward to reading more about your experiences. I can't wait to hear about your bread baking - I absolutely LOVE bread.

    I am convinced that the amazing ages of many of the patients (90+ years) I see everyday is due to the fact that for most of their lives, processed foods wasn't invented, and the fact that they stay social and mobile now. It's my prediction that my generation and younger will, for most of us, not reach these high ages. Great, did I just kill the mood here? Sorry. I still eat processed foods.

    1. Emily, this is my journey and not meant to be a conviction of any kind. No worry about spoiling the mood. I'm just kind of excited by my new commitment and the way I feel (physically) as I'm making changes. I am a bread lover too, so I'm looking forward to experimenting this fall and winter. I'm not so sure I would be as enthused if I was responsible for providing for a family. I can just do without when I'm out of bread and don't feel like making any. I'm also experimenting with making whole wheat biscuits. All good stuff! Thanks for stopping in.

  2. That sounds like quite the challenge. I'm interested in how eating those foods made you feel. Any more energy or anything like that?

    1. Melody, I have to say, I felt better than I had in a long time, if i got the rest i needed in addition to eating only what was on our food list. I had lots more energy during our food month. I think that had everything to do with not eating any sugar for a month. I found that I didn't get hungry as much either. The Seven menu surely had its' benefits and I hope to maintain them as much as possible. I appreciate you stopping by. And BTW, I love your portraits of you and your hubby at church. Well done as always!