Preparing for the Picnic
To begin, I prepared myself for the picnic by eating ahead of time. Before church at 8 a.m. I had my customary bowl of Grape Nuts with almond milk and banana slices (that was a nice addition). At church, instead of my weekly decaf coffee with French Vanilla creamer (more like, “Would you like some coffee with your creamer?”), I tried a new tea: Stash Double Bergamot Earl Grey. It was caffeinated, which I normally don’t do, but I loved the unique flavor!
After church, I made smoothies for the family. They included: frozen blueberries, strawberries, kefir, banana, ground flax seed, spinach, and water. I also ate a hard boiled egg, a carrot, and an apple. (I just bought a huge bag of yellow translucent apples from the farmer’s market at church this morning; tomorrow I will be making apple sauce with them!) In this way, I didn’t arrive at the picnic starving and craving; I felt fairly satisfied going in.
At the Picnic
Of course, there was still the matter of lunch itself. I bypassed the hamburgers, hot dogs, and brats (I’m trying to limit my meats and eat as organically as possible) and headed straight to the salad tables. I love salads (pasta salads are my favorite!) Somehow, I managed to be discriminatory, ruling out all of those with creamy or cheesy components, pasta:(, or questionable dressings (they almost all have sugar). Here is my plate; this is all I ate at the picnic (except for a few green olives and baby dill pickles).
I had to give myself a little grace; I’m not entirely certain what dressing was on the lettuce, and yes, I guess those are Ramen noodles on my plate. Overall, though, I think I did pretty well. And I think God must have been looking out for me today, because for the first time ever, there was no dessert table! Can you believe it? At a church picnic!
My wonderful friend and honorary grandparent to our children made the executive decision (weeks ago) not to have people bring desserts to this year’s picnic. Instead, we were all responsible to bring a salad (fruit, veggie, leafy, pasta, etc.), and the church provided the meat. When lunchtime ended, the ladies came around with little cups of ice cream, which I was easily able to say no to. Hallelujah!
A Side Note About Finding Community
There is so much I love our church picnic: hanging out with my church family while the kids jump in the bouncy house and get their faces painted; listening to people share their testimony of faith in Jesus before watching them be baptized, and sharing a meal together. It’s a beautiful thing to be in fellowship with other believers. If you have been living out your faith on your own, I encourage you to get connected to a biblically sound church in your area. Share your life and grow in Christ with other believers. As it says in Hebrews 10:24-25,
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
3 p.m. Munchies
Today, I realized that 3 p.m. is a hard time for me. Of course, I made it worse by serving ice cream cones to the kids for snack at that time. Why do I torture myself like that? No, I didn’t even lick the spoon, but I really wanted to. According to an article on dailyburn.com, this 3:00 danger zone is normal.
“At about 3 p.m. our circadian rhythm starts to drop and that’s a time of fatigue for everybody,” Doerfler says. “Expect that you’re going to get the munchies and have a game plan in place.”
They suggest hummus and vegetables for a snack at this time. Instead, I munched furiously on my organic tortilla chips and homemade salsa.
For dinner, I made tacos. Since I had already eaten so many chips, I didn’t use a shell for my taco toppings: 1-2 oz of organic ground beef (we get ours from Costco), a large spoonful of black beans seasoned with fresh lime and cumin (those were good!), lettuce, tomato, and the lightest drizzle of taco sauce (the sugar content is so low, I thought I could risk it).
Finally, I managed my late evening hunger (another common struggle) with my customary slice of peanut butter and banana covered toast.
It may not have been a perfect day, but it was near enough that I say it counts.
This is part three in a five-part series on my sugar detox. Thanks for hanging with me as I give this detox a go; I hope you’ve been encouraged to rethink your food choices and to consider healthier options. I’d love to hear about them!