12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You

“As faithful eyes perceive the unseen glories of God and reborn hearts embrace them, all the visible glories of God in the world seem to thicken in substance. The more eagerly we embrace God, the more gratitude we express for His created gifts for us and the more clearly we begin to discern the sinful distortions and the hollow promises of free sin.”
– Tony Reinke, 12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You (page 140).

This idea of the life of faith being about “comprehending the whole when we can see only a fraction” (pg 141), being satisfied with Christ instead of what is seen and temporary – and that transforming our desires, has come up a number of times for me recently in books I have been reading. That tied in with the realization that in order to change phone and food habits saying “no” wasn’t what was needed – changing those desires was.

In looking to God for ultimate, lasting satisfaction –
…I let go of my kids and trust God with them.
…I enjoy my piece of cake without expecting it to be everything I dreamed it would be
…I say no to another piece of cake because I know it’s not going to satisfy me
…I put down my phone, close out of Facebook, don’t open Instagram because He, not social media, is my refuge. He, not likes and comments, is going to feed my soul.

I am still processing Reinke’s book 12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You, but I cannot recommend it highly enough. I think it will be required reading for our kids in the first months of allowing them to have social media (whatever that looks like in 10+ years!).
Reinke looks at ways our phones (really social media) changes our relationships with others, and most of all, with God. Even chapters that from the title seemed like ones I could skip ended up being really convicting. I read it slowly over a few months, trying to apply at least something after each chapter. Paging through after finishing it and re-reading my highlights was overwhelming, even before I thought “now that I’ve read this I’m going to be held accountable by God for my phone use even more!”
There are so many “little” comments and challenges in the book, but there is an overarching big picture. This book is about seeking satisfaction in God, and not in social media, phones, the approval of others, etc. And while there are so many rules I could set up or questions I could make myself ask before getting online, I think in the end it boils down to two questions for me:
– Why am I getting on my phone right now?
– Have I had soul-feeding solitude before God yet today?

I am also taking Sundays and vacations off of social media.

The first question often sparks many others, like am I master of these appetites? Do my phone habits show how glorious He is? Am I using my phone as a refuge from today’s trials? Is it helping or hindering my spiritual goals? Am I getting on to boast in myself? Is it keeping me from fully enjoying the moment? Am I turning to my phone to be wowed and amazed? Am I dimming or reflecting His glory with my scrolling, comments, and postings? Am I turning myself and my kids into actors on the social media stage?

Reinke asks these and many other probing questions, while always pointing towards ultimate satisfaction in Christ (yes, he works for DesiringGod) and seeing phones and social media as technology that can be a God-honoring tool, a time-sucking idol, or a place to hide sin and propagate evil. His goal is to help Christians assess their phone habits to use them to glorify God and show the world how satisfying He is.


summer in our yard + local produce

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Everything in this planter had been dying because it had poor drainage… Ezra fixed the drainage but nothing really came back, so we planted more in it – and it really took off while we were gone!
I think I’ve said this before, but the garden is pretty much all Ezra. Which is good. Although I wanted to be more involved, I think being more emotionally invested in it would have been draining with all the squirrels, rabbits, weather, etc.

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The zinnias have not done very well… but we got a few!

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We’ve gotten a few salads out of our lettuce, and some tomatoes. We’ve also harvested some small heads of garlic and small onions, basil for pesto, lots of mint, and the apple tree produced a number of apples.

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Our 2 sunflowers that survived… and won’t get to 12 feet tall, but hopefully we’ll get flowers.

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Only one rose from all the rose bushes that are in the yard.

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Our apples!

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They were so soft and a bit tart so we made applesauce

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16 July 2

not sure what these are, but they were growing on a vine in the corner.

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Not in our yard, but in our neighborhood – a monkey puzzle tree, aka chilean pine. What an odd tree!

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garden yield going into breakfast!

And sweet peas on our table

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What do you do with all these blackberries?

2 quarts blackberry salsa

used in blackberry cucumber, blackberry mint kombucha
blackberry switchel

blackberry, rhubarb, and/or peach goat cheese toasts

blackberry parfaits

blackberry ricotta pizza

fermented berries & custard

blackberry baked oatmeal crisp

matcha overnight oats
blackberry banana “nice cream”

blackberry cheesecake popsicles (sweetened with banana instead of honey)
blackberry kombucha slushies
friends made a blackberry buckle that was absolutely delicious although maybe not a traditional buckle… it tasted more like blackberry cinnamon roll bars. YUM.

chia jam


blackberry clafoutis

lemon berry skillet cake

Hope to make:
blackberry pie (probably in the middle of winter!)

these muffins with blackberries

And then, some friends gave us some of their neighbors delicious yellow plums. So we made:

Plum chutney

Plum jam

Persian Plum Soup

Plum Tart

Plum chai smoothies

I learned to can and canned a little bit of plum jam and a little bit of blackberry jam.

Finally, as we’ve moved into September, Ezra took the girls to pick some apples, and we went again all together.

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We’ve thrown them onto salads and pizza, in kombucha, smoothies, pancakes, and made more applesauce. We have made apple cider in the blender, and used the pulp for apple cider vinegar, and may make apple butter and dehydrate some. 

Things to do with a Toddler

{I wrote up this list to help me think of things to do with S so we don’t get bored at home. Some of it is simple, some of it takes more planning, but it’s all things we’ve done or hope to do!}

Routinely: (loosely based on this)
library x1 week
walks – daily
Playground, at least 1x/week
reading around 20 min/day – usually involves some Bible, Spanish, and poetry.
singing our hymn of the month
involving her in chores/cooking (I need to be better about this! Usually it’s just giving her a rag while I clean the bathrooms or the broom after I sweep, etc. In the kitchen she does the salad spinner and sets the table)
Working on habits & character (mostly means not filling the day so much we don’t have time to stop and work on this!)

hunt for bugs
identify trees, birds, flowers (we have an Audubon Pacific Northwest field guide)
go to the beach
picnic (even in the back yard!)
water play/water table/water painting

paint (you can even make it yourself! This one is our favorite so far. This one has ideas for food-based dyes).
paper houses
Face paint
corn husk dolls
pipe cleaners & beads (we have a crown to make soon!)
salt dough
paper bag puppets or masks
decorate what you bring in from outdoors
slime and more slime
stamp with potatoes, apples, etc.
A whole list of “recipes for play!”

build a fort
blow bubbles
put on music and dance! (we do this often if it’s too rainy to walk!)
put on music and add to it with your instruments (or pots and pans! If you want some ideas for music to listen to and what to point out about it, look at this)
play a game (S loves to play a matching game my Aunt got us and likes to play with Qwirkle pieces)
sensory bins (if your kid is into this. S could care less, but I’m sure we’ll do some with Ellie as she is so into feeling things)
independent quiet play – some ideas here. 

Cooking together:
ice cream

With books:
make a food mentioned
do an activity mentioned
learn about the setting
(more ideas/details about this kind of thing in this post about Five in a Row here)

Serve others:
take a meal to new neighbors, someone with a new baby, etc.
bake cookies to meet your neighbors
Look for opportunities to volunteer at things your toddler can come along for
Walk for a fundraiser
Sort toys/clothes and choose some to donate

If we want something more structured before we really start school, we’ll probably loosely use ABC Jesus Loves Me.

What do you like to do with your toddler?

21 DSD: Afterwards

I thought I should post a little update for those who followed my 21DSD, as it left my digestive issues unresolved. Thankfully, they are resolved now but it took until early July to get to the bottom of it all!
That month and a half was very stressful as we tried to figure out what was going on – tracking food, cutting out so many different items, going to the doctor and then dietitian… it was not good for my relationship with food to analyze everything I ate so much.

After showing my mom (a dietitian) a few days’ food log she suggested that maybe it was too much fiber, and my visit to the dietitian locally confirmed that that might be the case, although it was hard to figure out where all that fiber was coming from since I hadn’t been eating beans or grains for the most part.
That led to me starting an even more detailed food log – not just what I ate but weighing and measuring everything as well as I was able, which added more stress, especially when I got my fiber into the normal range and I was still having trouble… until we realized that I hadn’t been including cocoa powder in my logs and that has 2 grams/tbsp, which really adds up when you put 2 Tbsp in a smoothie!
So we finally got it under control (avocados were also a surprise in how much fiber they have), but by then I had been eating a lot more refined food since it’s lower in fiber and then we were on vacation… so now I’m trying to reset again: but not by anything drastic, just really focusing on listening to my body for fullness and eating all the food groups, as unrefined as possible.

Lessons learned:
– Detailed food logs are not just about counting calories. It was eye-opening, though, to see what some portion sizes are. That along with having to be careful of how much fiber I’m taking in have helped me with listening to my body more since I can’t just eat whatever I want without repercussions. It’s also good for me because I do need to eat more protein and except for beans protein is lower fiber.
– Included EVERYTHING you possibly can in a food log.
– Don’t assume tummy trouble is linked to a certain food or food group. It may be too much of a certain vitamin, macro, or something like fiber. I was so focused on the details I couldn’t see the big picture.
– Fruit and vegetables with just 1 gram of fiber per serving can really add up (anything with just 1 gram can!) – and most produce has more than 1 gram per serving. We eat lots of peeled cucumber and peeled zucchini now. 😉

Some resources I’m linking to as a way for me to save them – before we figured out it was just fiber in general I was considering the low FODMAP diet, and these are some helpful links I found:
properly introducing new foods
FODMAP free foods
FODMAP food list
Adding flavor without FODMAPs
some low FODMAP recipes
some more recipes

Ice Cream Showdown

22 June ice cream showdown 1
{all mixed up}
After reading this post on making ice cream without an ice cream maker, we wanted to try making ice cream with both the blender method and the ice cream maker at the same time to see what the difference was and if we should hang onto our ice cream maker or if it was something that was silly to have with a Blendtec around. We tested a few months ago but felt that it wasn’t a fair test due to some tweaking that was needed and it not being a “proper” ice cream recipe.
So we used that as an excuse to make ice cream again, this time plain vanilla with a recipe we had used before.

22 June ice cream showdown 2
{ready to freeze or chill}

A run-down of the method: Mix the ingredients for ice cream together, leaving out 1/2 of the cream. Pour the mixture into ice cube trays, freeze, then blend with the remaining cream and freeze again.

When we had tested before, we felt that there needed to be less liquid kept out, so we ended up with three batches of ice cream:
A: ice cream maker (lowest end Cuisinart)
B: blender, keeping out 1/2 of the cream
C: blender, keeping out 1/3 of the cream

Here’s what we found (photos are of the ice cream straight out of the maker/blender):
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A. Ice cream maker
This was the smoothest ice cream, and the only one that was remotely ready to eat right after churning (but still very soft soft serve).
However, we have found it to be very finicky, and even if we follow the instructions to the letter we’ve had it not work and end up with slush.

Total time: 12 hours to freeze the bowl, 5 minutes to mix ingredients, 2 hours to cool ingredients, 20 minutes to churn, 2 hours to solidify.

24 June ice cream showdown Ezra birthday 2
B. Blendtec – Kept out 1/2 of cream (1/3 c)
This had the most ice crystals in it. It was still ice cream and very tasty and much less work than other ice-cream-maker-less recipes, but it was the least smooth.

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C. Blendtec – Kept out 1/3 of cream (1/4 c)
Still not as creamy as the ice cream maker, but better than B. Once they had both been sitting out for a few minutes, there was little difference between A and C.
We haven’t made it this way as often, but it seems more foolproof than the ice cream maker. Other perks of the blender method are being able to make more at a time, since you have to refreeze the ice cream maker bowl after every batch.

Total time for blender method: 5 minutes to mix ingredients, 12 hours to freeze cubes, 1 minute (or less) to blend, 2 hours to solidify.

24 June ice cream showdown Ezra birthday 5
{after 2 hours in the freezer, ABC from L-R}

25 June ice cream showdown 1
{after 24 hours in the freezer, again ABC. Note the air pockets and crystals in B}

Our conclusion: the blender method is good, but we are still keeping our ice cream maker since we have space for it! If we didn’t already have one, though, we probably wouldn’t get one since we have a high powered blender that can do the blender method.

A friend has since told me about adding xanthan gum to ice cream to make it creamier so we’re just going to have to do this again!

PS: we are currently on vacation and this may be the last scheduled post I have done before we leave so there may be a short blogging break!

21 DSD Food Log

This is going to be long and detailed, but I want to document it for myself and others since these kinds of blog posts always help me a lot when preparing for anything like this.
If there are “off-plan” ingredients in a recipe I swapped them with something else or left them out. Probably the most common swap was using rutabaga instead of potato.

Day 1.
Food: Omelet with za’atar and nutritional yeast, tea with coconut oil for breakfast, ginger zucchini soup and leftover salad for lunch, spinach, zucchini, and carrot skillet for dinner with modified Sabih from Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem. Drank lots of water and had cucumbers, nori, and frozen peas for a snack… And caved to some peanut butter in the evening because I haven’t gone shopping yet so don’t have other nuts.
Other: I was less hungry than I anticipated, my mood was pretty good minus everyone being sad Grampa was gone, and energy was normal except I was ready for bed early!

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a well-stocked fridge!
Day 2.
I slept so well last night but felt really woozy when I got out of bed so grabbed the only thing I could just eat right away, which was more peanut butter… Water, tea with coconut oil and collagen, 3.5 eggs and some veggies later I still felt terrible so I decided my body was telling me it needed more carbs so I ate half a cup of buckwheat and felt much better.
Lunch was leftovers from last night’s dinner, snacks were broth, walnuts, and olives, and dinner was guacamole and jicama with more Sabih, at a potluck, the hardest part of which was not eating cheese. Grocery shopping was actually easier because all the things I usually crave when walking through the store I knew were off limits!

Day 3.
Breakfast today was tea with coconut oil & collagen, paleo Yorkshire puddings, snack was some jicama, lunch was garlic carrot soup and more jicama and a hard boiled egg, then olives and walnuts for a snack, followed by salad with olives, walnuts, mustard, and olive oil, and a loose version of the creamy ham soup from the Nourishing Gourmet… And if I get hungry some frozen peas before bed.
I feel great, normal or maybe a tad more alert than usual, but that may be from going to bed earlier or a bit too much arrowroot today.

Day 4.
Almond tahini crusted fish and broccoli tahini soup for dinner. So yummy.
Leftovers for lunch.
Parsnip, egg, and tomato hash for breakfast, with a leftover Yorkshire pudding scarfed down beforehand because I couldn’t get off the couch until I ate something.
Snacked on peas, tea with coconut oil & collagen, almond pulp crackers, onion and carrot crackers, and hard boiled eggs.

Day 5.

The worst morning yet. I rushed to the kitchen with Ellie in tow and scarfed down some peanut butter then grabbed my chia pudding and plopped on the floor before I fell over. Then after I got S up and we spent a long while cuddling I had a cup of kombucha, a hard boiled egg, a small portion of buckwheat, some crackers, and then a bit later some kale chips before I finally felt OK. Moral of the story is eat enough before bed and get enough carbs.
I didn’t feel like eating the leftover fish so had spaghetti squash with some sauce made with tomato paste, nutritional yeast, olives, walnuts, and broth, with a cucumber and 2 eggs on the side.
For dinner, “deconstructed hunter’s pie” – I was too lazy to put our shepherd’s pie all together and then elk was cheaper than beef for some reason. Cauliflower faux tatoes are amazing.
Aside from mornings I still feel great and have had enough energy to walk and do fit2b workouts, and my milk supply has still been great!

Day 6.
I put some carrot onion crackers on the nightstand to eat before getting out of bed and that helped immensely, but I was still super hungry while cooking up this deliciousness of omelet, parsnip hash browns, and avocado. I had what S didn’t eat of hers for a snack.
Lunch 1 was leftovers, lunch 2 was vegan broccoli bowls at a church potluck. I definitely ate more quinoa than ‘allowed’ but there was nothing else compliant like there usually would have been. Not eating the enchiladas was very difficult.
Dinner/snack was salad with a hardboiled egg and a few other toppings.

Day 7.

Breakfast: crackers in bed, omelet with kale and caramelized onions.
Snack: matcha cocoa almond milk latte – a little bitter with no sweetener but still delicious.
Lunch: curried chicken salad (with tomato, almonds, and carrot instead of raisins and cashews), cucumbers, nori, and a bit of spaghetti squash.
Snack: frozen peas, a few bites of crackers and leftover broccoli quinoa bowl.
Dinner: Thai Turkey meatballs (homemade Thai curry paste, without sweetener), spaghetti squash, cabbage.
Bedtime snack: bone broth.

Week 1 down! Definitely doing the energy modifications next week as my muscles didn’t really recover even after a rest day Sunday, and going to add in the allowed piece of fruit next week, too. I wanted the first week to be stricter but am going to follow more closely to the book next week (including removing my modifications of a little bit of grain and peanut butter).

Day 8.
Breakfast: walnuts, an attempt at coconut flour free almond flour free crêpes, filled with avocado and chicken salad.
Snack: more avocado and chicken salad, cucumber
Lunch: leftovers, kombucha
Snack: frozen peas, almond butter, olives
Dinner: salmon burgers with eggplant buns and carmelized onion, zucchini, and roasted cauliflower leek soup (from the 21DSD cookbook).

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Day 9.
I didn’t need a pre breakfast snack this morning, which was nice, but then I really enjoyed my 2 egg omelet with kale, parsnip, and caramelized onion.
We made kale chips for a snack, and then I got really hungry for lunch and had a salmon Burger, some eggplant, zucchini, roasted carrots, a hardboiled egg, olives, and almond butter.
Afternoon snack was some more kale chips and some zucchini chip fails before heading to the grocery store, after which I ate my first green tipped banana! Yay for fruit!
Dinner was thanks to my enchilada cravings – a cauliflower enchilada bake (used leftover chicken though) that was pretty good and definitely helped the cravings.

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Days 10-12 were camping.
I packed nuts and carrot onion crackers for snacks, and we roasted apples one night and made banana boats another (mine was with almond butter and cocoa instead of pb and chocolate chips). Breakfast day 1 was a chorizo egg salsa skillet, day 2 we ate out in town, which was a challenge I had been looking forward to but ended up just being upsetting: I was so acutely aware I couldn’t have the French toast I wanted so badly and then they didn’t have sweet potatoes so I ate the white potatoes because there were no better sides… So I left feeling both deprived and like I cheated, especially since I could have made better scrambled eggs myself. Definitely the lowest moment so far.
But, my lunches were nori and salmon curry salad, a step above Ezra and S’s PB&J, with veggies.
Dinner the first night we had tinfoil dinners (that’s rutabaga in mine). The second night we had sausages (artichoke garlic for me), roasted carrots, some veggie chips Ezra bought for me, and I had a sweet potato for a bun and it was so tasty.
The night we got home I made chicken taco bowls based off of this.

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Day 13.

Crepes for breakfast! We found a recipe with no almond or coconut flour and decided today was a good day to try them out. Filled with chocolate almond butter + banana and onion + avocado.
Lunch was the fennel cinnamon braised pork from the 21dsd cookbook, with parsnip rutabaga mash and green beans. We don’t usually eat pork because I don’t love it but our grocery store had a punch card thing and we got 7 lbs of pork roast for free, so cut it in 3 and have frozen the other two sections.
For dinner we had salad, egg drop soup, and leftover grilled cabbage.
Snacks: nuts, S’s lunch leftovers, kombucha jello.

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Day 14
Breakfast today was an omelet filled with rutabaga hashbrowns and avocado, topped with nutritional yeast.
Snacks today: hard boiled egg, cauliflower hummus, kombucha jello, frozen banana with almond butter.
Lunch was leftover pork roast and salad.
For dinner I threw an onion, a head of garlic, a sweet potato, and some carrots in the crockpot, cooked on low all day, and then took the chicken out and broiled it for crispy skin before serving with celeriac mash. I had a mug of the broth with dinner, too, and it was so rich and sweet from the sweet potato and from it being the first batch of broth with that chicken.

Day 15.
it just got harder. Not because of my dream where I ate all the foods but because I have realized some of the things I was eating more of were making my indigestion worse… So no more nuts, cabbage, cauliflower, coconut, and a few other things.
So today I ate French Toast eggs for breakfast, leftover veggies and egg drop soup with avocado for lunch, frozen peas and kombucha jello for snacks, and we ended the day with Thai vegetable soup (with added chicken and spaghetti squash instead of rice vermicelli, and no coconut milk for me. I love this soup so much!).

Day 16.
Breakfast: fried eggs and kale, tea with coconut oil and gelatin
Snacks: tahini and veggies, green apple, hardboiled egg
Lunch: leftovers
Dinner: salad with some green apple, goulash with rutabaga instead of potato and some sausage left at home from camping instead of stew meat.

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Day 17.

Started off the day with a sweet potato, kale, and egg frittata.
Lunch was pulled pork (with a BBQ sauce recipe we didn’t save because we ended up adding so much to it it wasn’t the same in the end) in plantain tortillas and salad.
Dinner was leftover soup, tuna zoodle casserole (thickened with arrowroot, and used broth instead of coconut milk), and some leftover frittata.
For snacks it was more of the usual: banana, hardboiled egg, cucumber and tahini.

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Day 18.

B:hard boiled egg, French toast scramble, a bit of grapefruit
L: salmon patties with sweet potatoes, avocado salsa, and zucchini. This was going to be my “victory” meal, but the way the last few days were going to be that wasn’t going to work, and then salmon has been SO expensive that I decided to try patties with canned salmon instead of using fillets. It worked alright – not quite as good but still yummy.
D: split before and after movie – leftover pulled pork and salad, leftover tuna zoodle casserole
S: cuke with BBQ sauce, egg, olives, and chocolate banana drink, my attempt at hot chocolate without any kind of even imitation milk.

Day 19.

Still not sure what’s causing indigestion and I am so over this but don’t want to reintroduce anything until I have an idea of what it might be.
Breakfast: parsnip and zucchini omelet
Lunch: leftover tuna zoodle casserole, leftover salmon patty and salsa
Dinner: chicken sofrito from Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem but with sweet potatoes, slaw with daikon, apple, cucumber, and a lime balsamic dressing.
Snacks: veggies and tahini, part of a plantain tortilla, hard boiled egg.

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Day 20.
Sweet potato fritters and sautéed kale for breakfast.
Lunch was leftovers, dinner was a pumpkin chicken soup, olives, carrots, and tomatoes at a potluck, and we had hard boiled eggs, cucumbers, and avocado for snacks.
I’ve decided that chasing the rabbit trail of minor indigestion from things I’m eating is too exhausting at this point so am going to continue on with reintroducing things and hope it’s obvious if something makes it worse, knowing I may have to attempt a low FODMAP diet or something down the road.

Day 21
Breakfast: pumpkin plantain pancakes
Lunch: leftover soup
Snacks: hard boiled egg, daikon apple slaw, apple, peas
Dinner: meatballs, sauce, and spaghetti squash, green beans, salad with bacon, banana chocolate ‘ice cream for dessert.
Overdid it on the fruit a bit today but I feel fine and am so excited to eat some gluten free grains tomorrow!

Homemade almond milk
homemade mayonnaise (egg-free as I didn’t have my pastured eggs that week). It didn’t turn out that well, but oh well.

21 Day Sugar Detox

In May I did the 21 Day Sugar Detox and wanted to blog about it similarly to how I blogged about whole30, but with a little more detail and backstory – that’s this post. Another post will have my food log.
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For a long time now I’ve been feeling the need for a “reset” with food, but couldn’t bring myself to do it – with leaving Japan (and needing to stuff myself with all the sushi, ramen, and okonomiyaki as possible before then), then the holidays (where I actually did pretty well with self control), then settling in here, it always felt like too much to take on or like I would be passing up food opportunities that would never come again.
I also felt like I had lost a lot of self control with food, something I’d struggled with after whole30 when S was little and then again after Ellie was born (pregnancy cravings have nothing on nursing cravings!), and my attempts at limiting myself just weren’t working very well. I think I do a lot better with more challenge and accountability than just “one treat a week.”

My main goal was to reset some bad habits:
– grazing at potlucks
– finishing S’s food when I was already full
– eating out of craving and not hunger (lack of self control!). One thing I read recently said “Live to eat VS eat to live,” and as someone home most of the time and with a kitchen always available I often found myself in the former camp rather than the latter and wanted to change that.
– snacking on veggies not healthy treats
– eating when I was really just thirsty (mostly a problem in the morning)
– no freezing foods to eat after
– and no pinterest as much as possible – probably in some ways the biggest cravings-buster!

I was also watching a few other things, like irritability, focus, fatigue, some indigestion, and my skin to see if there was any difference there (I’ll be upfront… there wasn’t).

Daily food goals – I knew I needed clear daily food goals to help me not flounder when I was hungry. So every day I aimed for 1 Tbsp coconut oil, my supplements, 1 c bone broth, 1 Tbsp collagen, Brewer’s yeast, and water.

What I ate
I mostly followed the plan outlined in the book for level 3, but changed things up a bit the first week. I wanted to avoid sweet things completely, so instead of doing sweet potatoes and plantains for the energy modification and eating the allowed fruit, I allowed myself small portions of buckwheat or quinoa. I also indulged in some peanut butter because I woke up so hungry I was nauseous and jittery a few times and just had to eat something immediately and that was the only thing that worked then.
But after the first week I followed the plan almost exactly, though also threw in the “no treats” rule from whole30 (a few breakfasts and camping excepted). That had more to do with my goals and the habits I was trying to reset than anything else.

So that meant: no dairy, legumes, treats, most grains, most fruits. I also for the most part avoided coconut and almond flours and milks since they both are hard for me to digest.
This is a nice “cheat sheet.

What S & Ezra ate
Ezra wasn’t too keen on doing it with me, but since we eat almost all our food at or from home, he was still eating differently than normal, and I would try to do quinoa or buckwheat as a side grain instead of other things, and wasn’t making baked goods, so he was getting more fruit and veggies at home, but still eating everything at potlucks.
The same for S – I considered restricting her fruit and dessert but then decided against it since the only reason I would have would have been behavioral considerations but we aren’t really dealing with any of that so I found it unnecessary. However, that did mean not getting healthy baked goods for snacks so she now accepts a cucumber as a snack. 😉

I’m currently in the middle of reintro and may or may not blog about that. Since the things I was hoping to resolve didn’t go away during the 21DSD I don’t expect reintro will show me anything, but I didn’t want to skip it just in case.

I didn’t feel any different and my digestive issues only got worse if anything, despite restricting more foods as I thought they might be bothering me. I do think it did help with cravings a little, though.

The real challenge of “eating well” is what starts now. It’s easy for me to not eat or crave things if I put them completely off-limits. Moderation is much more difficult! But one thing I realized on the 21DSD is that having portion control for some foods is not bad if instead of demonizing those foods they’re controlled to help you eat more of what’s not just “not bad” but more nutrient dense and “good.”
So here are some of my rules:
– one sweet treat/week (portion), and up to one “bigger” dessert/month (ie, out for ice cream)
– one homemade “healthy” treat/week (recipe, not portion)
– no mindless snacking/grazing
– “eat to live, not live to eat.”
– treat any non-fruit added sweetener as a treat.
– aim for half plate veggies at each meal (breakfast is tough!)
I love Jess Connell’s thoughts on food & body image at the end of this post.

I don’t plan on restricting any kinds of food completely. I felt this way after whole30 and this just reemphasizes it, that I think “healthy” is different for different people. I do much better with grains, and the alternatives are much harder for me to digest. 21DSD was probably the highest fat/lowest carb I’ve ever been and while I felt fine on the lower carb, I think some of my indigestion was from the higher fat content. Plus, for the most part, grains are more nutritive than coconut flour and almond flour, and easier for me to digest, so I think I’ll try to use the alternative flours less for my treats.