Juice and queso

So last night concluded a 9 day juice fast. 

Yeah. You heard me. That’s right. Nine days without solid food. Just fruit and vegetable juice, made from my handy-dandy juicer. I  made multiple trips a week to the market, getting fruits and veggies. I carried around a glass Starbucks cup like a toddler with his sippy cup, chugging juice. 

By day 9, I just wanted some meat. I wanted chicken. Beef. Steak. 

I would have settled for chicken broth (or is that chicken juice? Technically…….)

But let’s talk a little more about why I was juicing.  

First off, it was physical. If you haven’t seen the documentary “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead,” you need to go see it. Food is killing us – or, more appropriately, our abuse of food. One of my goals was to be able to eliminate any of the not-so-good stuff I was intaking (even though I am VERY mindful about what enters my body), and just give my body a chance to really recoup. You could see that it was doing good things for me, by the way. I glowed. I was starting to lose some weight. I felt amazing. Who doesn’t want that?

Secondly, I wanted to take a spiritual approach. Jesus fasted. I wish I was so awesome I could go in the desert and be without food for 40 days, and then refuse to turn stones into bread. Ha. I’m not that strong, I’d make those stones into a steak with a bloomin’ onion on the side (can I get an AMEN??). However, the spiritual discipline of fasting is one that is highly underrated, and I really wanted to give it a shot. I attended Secret Church the Saturday before I started juicing, and live-tweeted the whole thing.  There was one statement that kinda tore me up: 

Fasting is saying “there’s something I want more.” #sc14 #spiritualdiscipline

I wanted something more, that’s for sure. So conviction captured me, and I decided that it would be a focus during my juice fast. I mean, I was already thinking and planning on doing the juice fast, which is far more attainable than no food. I don’t want to unhealthily wreck myself, and I know that me without food? God help the rest of the world, cause it ain’t pretty.

Here’s a couple of things I’ve learned (or got reiterated into my life) from these past nine days:

1. Self control is HARD. (DUH). Nothing like having tomato juice while your friends have pizza or burgers. It sucks. 

2. Community revolves around food. It’s true, all over the world, people come together over the table. They break bread together. It’s one of the most basic fundamental needs of the world – don’t eat, you die. EVERYONE in the world must eat; it’s one of the most primal, basic human needs. It brings us together.

3. Juicing is hard with a busy active life. If I had a family and went home every night after work, this might be easier. Most nights, however, are spent out of the house (it seems that if a single gal has “sweatpants night” it’s not such a good thing). I strive for an active social life, so I really don’t have a lot of nights out, which is unfortunate sometimes (I like sweatpants and LOST marathons and an evening making juice). 

4. Being hungry doesn’t equal “more spiritual.” Getting closer to God is going to require work. He isn’t going to force Himself upon you. He knocks; you open the door. Just as a heads up, this is a lesson that I already know, but it was illustrated more clearly. Having a closer relationship with God doesn’t just happen to you. 

5. Variety really is the spice of life. I was dying for something else. I thought longingly of the juices that come out of a grilled steak. Chicken broth. Sushi. I even craved pizza (I don’t overly care for pizza). 

So there you have it folks. I didn’t eat solid food for nine days. It’s totally doable. It feels really good. It also is annoying, and people won’t stop apologizing for the fact that they eat regular food in front of you. It’s kinda funny.

If you’re really curious, this is the recipe I broke my fast with. Queso never tasted so good. 

 

On wearing a FitBit and destroying self-delusions

About 3 months ago, I took the plunge and bought an expensive bracelet. It’s not the prettiest one I’ve ever worn, but up to this point in my life, it’s been the most important bracelet I’ve ever worn.

It’s a FitBit.

If you aren’t familiar with FitBit, it’s an exercise tracker. It tracks the number of steps that I make each day, and syncs with an app I have on my phone, as well as an online account. It’s not necessarily meant to be a social media thing, but I can add friends and we can encourage each other by cheering each other on.

But to really understand the title of this post, we have to go back in time. When I fill out any kind of online test, I’ve come across this question:

How active are you (choose one)? 1. Sedentary 2. Moderately active 3. Active.

I’ve always chosen the middle option. I mean, I don’t just sit all day…I get out and do things. I move….right?

As I’ve been wearing this fitbit, I’ve been amazed at how little I actually do get out there and move. I can tap the little display to see flashing lights that tell me where I am with my step goals for the day. The five dots each represent 20% of my goal – about 2000 steps.

On an average day, I get four dots – but just barely.

So that kinda blows my activity level delusion out of the water. I aspire to be a very active person. I enjoy being an active person. I just end up choosing my desk over getting up and making it happen.

Let’s take a moment here and have some real talk. We all believe lies about ourselves. You’re ugly. You’re insignificant. You’re stupid. You’re too fat/thin. You’re never going to be able to achieve your dreams. You’re not worthy. You’re [fill in the blank with a lie that pierces your heart]. But I would say that just as bad is believing lies that make you think more positively than you need to. There’s a healthy balance, to be sure – but it’s not found in thinking that I am actually a pretty active person when I am plopped down in front of my desk nearly 50 hours a week. It’s important to not get caught up in lies, no matter what they are.

Reality is a nice place, and I really want to live there.

That said, the FitBit is gonna be a pretty important bracelet. The idea of it is to be able to see an accurate level of how much you move, and then push you to move further beyond that. You can connect with friends, and cheer each other on with their progress – as they achieve their step count, their weight levels met, etc. Basically, it’s pulling some aspects of community together to help with achieving activity levels.

For me, it’s all about exploiting my weaknesses – pride and competition – to be able to push myself towards better things. My pride is kinda hurt realizing I’m not the wonder I thought I was. I’m not getting out there and racking up the steps … yet. Competition doesn’t like the idea of someone doing it better – and if that will make me run around just a little bit more, then I’m all for exploiting that.

Got a FitBit? Wanna cheer each other on? Here’s my profile.

(new) village work

Through a series of events, it’s been good to get moved into a different area of village work. I’ve been able to spend time in some refugee camps in the area. Each Monday evening, I’ve been part of a group that goes and teaches a Bible story in one of these camps.

This past week, I tried to take a video of two of the young kids “wai”ing me – basically, the polite Thai way to greet someone (instead of a handshake). However, they thought I was taking a picture, which resulted in a completely adorable video.

Enjoy.