January Whole 30 Challenge – Week 2

We have successfully finished our first week of our January Whole 30 Challenge. Dinners have been the easiest for us and lunches are mostly leftovers. Breakfasts are a bit more challenging, especially trying to get all seven of us out of the door in the morning. My protein smoothies have been a good break from having eggs every day. I was a bit under the weather this past week, and am still recovering, so my husband took the reigns on cooking. I’ll take pictures this week of what we’re eating.

The Enchilada Stuffed Sweet Potatoes by Danielle Walker over at Against All Grain were my favorite dinner this past week. My seven-year old son (our picky eater) really liked the Hawaiian Shredded Chicken and the Cranberry Rosemary Chicken. You can find all the recipes here: January Whole 30 Challenge – Week 1.

And now, on to our Week 2 Meal Plan. As a reminder, we plan Friday – Thursday weeks, so tomorrow morning is our shopping day. Wednesday’s we have dinner at church, so we pack leftovers or have a big salad. Happy healthy eating everyone!

 

Blackened Salmon with Avacado Mango Salsa

Walnut Crusted Lemon Chicken Piccata

One Pan Lemon Basil Chicken

Beef and Mushroom Ragu with Spaghetti Squash

Taco Salad

Instant Pot Cashew Chicken

January Whole 30 Challenge – Week 1

Menu 30

New Year. New You.

or is it

New Year. Same You (but with a few tweaks).

My husband and I are diving into the new year and joining the Whole 30 January Challenge. If you don’t know what Whole 30 is, you can learn all about it here. Our family already focuses our meals around fresh, whole and healthy foods, as well as boxed mac and cheese some nights so the children will eat. It’s all about balance. For the next 30 days, we are cutting out: gluten, soy, sugar, alcohol, grains, dairy and legumes. After 30 days, we’ll start adding a few healthy items back.

Here are a couple of notes for our family:

  • Our family: two adults and 5 children (ages 14. 12. 9, 7, 2 1/2)
  • Wednesdays we have dinner at church. The children will go ahead and eat what is provided, but my husband and I will pack leftovers.
  • The 20th we are hosting a potluck, so I will make a Whole 30 compliant meal in the crock pot that everyone will enjoy.
  • We will make the children pasta or tortillas for some of their meals, but they will eat what we cook. Our normal rule for dinner: If you don’t like it after you try it, you can make a peanut butter sandwich, have yogurt and fruit. I do not make two meals.
  • The children will eat their normal foods for breakfast (unless we make a Whole 30 breakfast) and lunch.
  • Adult lunches will be leftovers, salads or one of the many ideas I’ve found. Breakfast will be more challenging since I normally eat yogurt every morning.
  • We set out meal plans Friday – Thursday because of our work schedules. We usually go shopping on Friday mornings.
  • Some of the recipes I will link may have one non Whole 30 ingredient, but we will substitute.

This is less diet and more intentional eating. It’s healthy choices with simple limits and good quality goods. Our results and outcomes will be different, but I’m excited to share them with you.

I’ll be posting meal plans and links to recipes here and on my Instagram account along with pictures and reviews. You can find all of my recipe ideas on my Pinterest account. I hope you will follow along and maybe even try out some new foods along the way. Scroll down for my Week 1 Menu and click on the links for recipes.

 

Week 1 Menu

Shrimp, Scallops & Cauliflower Rice

There is no recipe for this and something we normally cook. We saute the shrimp and scallops with a little avocado oil, salt and pepper. Remove shrimp and scallops and saute cauliflower rice until cooked. We will serve fresh tomatoes and avocados on the side.

Slow Cooker Hawaiian Shredded Chicken

Cranberry Rosemary One Pan Chicken

Spaghetti Squash with Roasted Mushrooms and Garlic

Enchilada Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Orange Chicken with Fried Cauliflower Rice

 

 

Does Your Soul Know It Well?

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This week I have been working on a project. An assignment. A hard one! I’m enrolled in a 5-day course that will help me with my big dream. Each day has a lesson and one assignment. Seems simple enough. Except it took me to the very end of day 3 to be happy with my day 1 assignment.

I had been given great feedback and probing questions from the instructor. I sent my rough draft (I had maybe 6 or 7 rough drafts) to my mom, who is a writer. My husband looked it over and helped me dig through word choices and their meaning and theological significance. I felt like I was going nowhere. And here’s the kicker: I was only writing four sentences. Four!!! That’s it. It was so hard to me to get everything I wanted to say, to explain it so clearly, to be true and faithful to my calling and faith into four little sentences.

At the end of day two, I really started to question myself. Was this really what God is calling me to do? If I can’t write four little sentences, how am I going to complete my book or speak truth into others. Maybe I should stop now. No one would really miss what I bring to the table. There are so many others doing what I want to do. Really Lord? Me?

All lies!

You see, I do believe God created me for this. For many things, but especially for this. God has known this since the beginning, and if I really stop, breathe and thing about it, I know it too.

“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.

Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”

Psalm 139:13-16 (ESV)

I believe that you were created on purpose. No matter your circumstances. God knew you and created you on purpose and for a purpose. There is nothing in you; your desires, your faults, your challenges, your dreams; nothing is hidden from God. We are products of God’s handiwork. I believe there are God ordained dreams in our souls and as we walk our path, those dreams come into fruition. But that doesn’t mean there will be challenges or struggles or days when we want to give up.

My soul did not know it well. I forgot, even if just for a day. I made it about me and not about Him. I questioned, and wavered, and was ready to give up. But I didn’t.

When you find yourself in a place where your soul does not know it well, how can you bring yourself back? How can you remember? For me, I needed to go to bed and sleep. I needed to focus on gratitude and prayer. I needed to read from the Bible. And then I needed to stop second guessing myself and get back to work! God made me for this! What amazing, awesome, inspiring thing did God make you for?