January Whole 30 Challenge – Week 4 and What Happened on Day 18 … and 21

It’s cold. Not just your average January cold but, “you can get frostbite in 15 minutes” cold. We’ve had snow on the ground since mid-November, and for some reason, it’s keeps snowing, even on days when it wasn’t in the forecast, like today. We’ve had very few img_6965school days this past week, and this coming week does not look promising. Wednesday’s forecast includes numbers I can’t comprehend. Things like -40 below zero wind chills.

Sure, there is plenty of beauty in winter. I have always lived where there is winter and have gone through many long, cold season. The white snow is beautiful. It’s sparkles in the sun. It’s very poetic and makes you want to read a book by the fire. It lights an imaginative fire in children (young and old) who seem immune to the temperature.

This month has been a bit more challenging because my husband and I have been doing the January Whole 30 Challenge. It’s been going fairly well. As I mentioned in last weeks update, I had eaten pasta on two occasions. I was also realizing how hungry I was despite how much food I was eating. I was eating great healthy meals, and snacks filled with protein to keep me going. But I was still hungry.

Monday, everyone was home from work and school for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and we were finishing up a puzzle. It was nearly lunch and I was hungry. And not normal hungry, but “I need to consume some belly filling food soon” hungry. So I went into the kitchen and make myself a (healthy) sandwich … on bread! Let me tell you, it was delicious. Then, only a few days later, I ate some sourdough bread with our Whole 30 approved homemade sausage, kale and potato soup. I ate another slice with salmon that night, and another with leftover soup for lunch. And … I feel great about it.

This challenge has not been about losing weight, or depriving myself of food. It’s been about only eating 100% healthy and whole foods. So, I’m at about 97% at this point. Like I have said before, everyone’s bodies are different and we can’t treat them the same. I process food differently that other people, and I have to take that into account when I choose what to eat. Even before this challenge we were eating 80% whole foods and 20% not so healthy or whole foods. That’s a pretty good ratio.

I’ll have a full wrap-up next week after we’ve finished our month of Whole 30. We’ve found some amazing recipes that we will add to our rotation. We will add back healthy grains and glasses of wine in the evening, and probably … cheese! All in healthy moderation.

I’m including in our Week 4 Menu the recipe for the soup we made and also the crapes we made this morning, which we will continue to use this grain free recipe. There are also a few extra recipes this week because it goes through February 2, and also includes an extra dinner for when church was cancelled on Wednesday, due to weather.



Zuppa Toscana Potato Soup

Gluten Free Crapes

Steak Bites

Coconut Curry Chicken Meatballs

Naan Bread

Butternut Squash Chili

Beef Stroganoff

Fish Taco Bowls

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Blackened Cod, Sweet Potatoes & Zucchini

Sweet Chili Coconut Lime Chicken

Guest Blog – 5 Ways to be Intentional in Your Marriage

I had the great pleasure in sharing a guest blog for Komae – Babysitting Exchange. The amazing women who started Komae were at RISE, the conference I attended in April, and their babysitting app is awesome! Take a look at their site and enjoy my blog. I’d love it if you’d share my blog from their page!

KOMAE – 5 Ways to be Intentional in Your Marriage

Big Dreams & Crying Over a Picture Book

Untitled design (19)I believe in big dreams. I believe God gives us these big dreams for a reason. I also believe that no one has the right to tell you that your dreams are too big. No one. Not even yourself.

Our family dreams. We encourage our children to dream. Then we make solid plans and create steps to make those dreams become reality. A little while ago, I wrote about a time when my oldest daughter was told her dream was just a wish that would not come true. (You can read it here.) Her big, bold, beautiful dream. But her dream wasn’t crushed. My strong girl stood up for her dream and said it was a reality that was coming true! (A side note to you mommas: You’re kiddos are listening, so keep pouring God’s truth into them!!!) I was so proud of her boldness, and conviction and unwavering faith.

Fast forward to my weekend at RISE in Los Angeles. Day one we talked about our past. Day two we talked about our future. Our bold dreams. Steps on how to get there and to keep growing and how to not give up on your dreams. How to actually achieve a goal. And then Rachel Hollis sat in a chair, and pulled out a children’s book she reads to her children.


And. I. Lost. It.

I was crying on page one of this book, because all I could think of was my beautiful children and their beautiful dreams, and the people who tell them their dreams are not possible. The story was about Rosie Revere, but could have just as easily been about my children.

Rosie 2Rosie Revere was an engineer who had big dreams and loved to turn trash into treasure. She was always creating and inventing, but she kept her creations hidden. She kept them hidden, because at one point in her creative life, she was laughed at. Her invention, her dream was laughed at.


“I love it,” Fred hooted. “Oh, I truly I do.”But Rosie Revere know that could not be ture. She stuck the cheese hat on the back of her shelf and after that day kept her dreams to herself.

Rosie 3

She stopped making inventions until on day, her Great-Great-Aunt Rose came to visit. Great-Great-Aunt-Rose had big dreams herself and shared them with Rosie. Her biggest dream that she hadn’t accomplished in her life was to fly.

Rosie couldn’t sleep that night because she wanted to help her aunt fly. She was an engineer and she was going to figure it out. She worked very hard, not knowing if her invention would work. The next morning she got into her bold invention to give it a try, but sadly it crashed to the ground.

Then Rosie heard that familiar laugher. The one that made her put her dreams away. Once again, Rosie told herself that she would never be a great engineer. (Cue more tears!) She turned to see that it was her Great-Great-Aunt Rose, who pulled her into a tight hug and said:

“You did it! Hooray! It’s the perfect first try! This great flop is over. It’s time for the next!”

Young Rosie was baffled, embarrassed, perplexed. “I failed,” said dear Rosie. “It’s just made of trash. Didn’t you see it? The cheese-copter crashed.”

“Yes!” said her great aunt. “It crashed. That is true. But first it did just what it needed to do. Before it crashed, Rosie . . . before that . . . it flew!”

Great-Great-Aunt Rose knew that sometimes our dreams and inventions won’t work the first time. We will face failure and rejection and some days it will feel like you are swimming upstream in a storm. But as Great-Great-Aunt Rose tells Rosie:

“The only true failure can come if you quit.”

Rose Revere Engineer by Andrea Beaty and Illustrated by David Roberts is a book you need to get today. Order it from Amazon or pick it up at Target. And read it to you children, no matter how young or how old they are. Tell them that their dreams are important, and real, and beautiful . . . and possible!

God places these bold and beautiful dreams in our souls for a reason. He wants you to live them. Breathe into them. Bring them to life. Then surround yourself with a community, a tribe, that will support you and pray for you and pick you up when you hit a roadbump. Because like Great-Great-Aunt Rose said, “The only true failure can come if you quit.”


“Rosie Revere Engineer”

by Andrea Beaty and Illustrated by David Roberts

Abrams Books for Young Readers, New York


Also be sure to check out these other books:

“Iggy Peck Architect” and “Ada Twist, Scientist”