Meal Management March {and Fire It Up February Follow-Up}

{are you happy?}

Two months of the monthly resolution solution complete, and diving into the third. Fire It Up February was, well, on fire! And Meal Management March will quite possibly be my most difficult month. Here's a recap of February and a look at what's in store for March.


Spiritual revival has been my focus for February--spiritual disciplines and my relationship with God. I had a list of spiritual activities to do throughout the month that I got from Jesus / the Bible via John Ortberg in his book The Life You've Always Wanted. (See more about this resolution here.)

Here are some of the things I did:
  • {Partial} Extended Solitude -- I'll be writing a separate post about my experience with this. Whether weekly or monthly, this will recur in my life.
  • Secret Service -- spending a day with no agenda other than serving those around with their interruptions. I partially blame this activity for my month of no blogging. I got so into the groove of serving my kiddos (that's a good thing), that I haven't been able to ignore them a few minutes to blog guilt-free.
  • TV Fast -- I wanted to do a week. But I didn't even survive a day. Winter does that to me. Stuck inside, with a bored and whiny child. Even a couple hours of entertaining leaves me exhausted and her craving more. On goes the TV. I want to live without it. But in order for that to happen, I need access to the great outdoors. And interaction with other adults. Does this mean I failed? No. God still spoke to me and revealed areas of need and weakness, otherwise unrelated to TV.
  • Daily Reviews with God -- The goal was 15 minutes each day. I was sometimes content with 15 seconds. No matter the time, a little review with God is a great thing. Giving me perspective, encouragement for tomorrow, forgiveness for today.
  • Memory Verses -- Chosen and memorized weekly. A few verses for each week. Chosen based on the topic of joy--the spiritual discipline I need more of in my life. Recalling the words as I was bored or weak or frustrated. Getting me through tough moments, and refocusing my mind on God's joy and love.

{I believe in Christ}

CONCLUSION: I don't believe I can put into words all Christ has been doing in my life this past month. I can try, and I will try, just not in this single post. More to come on all of it. And more to come on these spiritual disciplines in my daily life.


After realizing I haven't posted in almost a month, I was trying to think of why. What could possibly have kept me from this one thing that I enjoy doing to escape the mundane of my everyday? Then, I remembered. Reading. My new love, when the book is right. Am I right? Who wants to waste their time reading a boring book out of some sort of obligation? Not me. That's the basis of this part of my New Year's resolution. Reading one book each month isn't a chore when I'm reading what I enjoy.

And this month, I certainly enjoyed my reading.

First, I read 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker. Even better than I imagined. In her introduction, I was wowed by her and her husbands story of leaving their big church ministry to plant a smaller more service-oriented church. Apparently she writes more about that experience in her book Interrupted, which I am anxious to read. Her first chapter about eating or not eating 7 items of food for a month seemed like a joke following her nearly-life changing introduction. About 3 chapters in, her experiences started hitting home for me. Her almost trivial and light writing interspersed enough depth to impact my life in a powerful way. It took less than 7 days to read and I'm still feeling the urge to do something. I'm sure I'll be sharing more about this in other posts.

Second, I read A Beautiful Offering: Returning God's Love with Your Life by Angela Thomas. She divides her book into two parts. The first gives new light to the beatitudes, wording them as "when you ares." When you are... broken, wounded, pure in heart, etc. It's great stuff, that after reading "7" seemed too vague and theoretical and not exactly what I needed right now. Then, I got to the second half. Her "as you go" section that covers pieces of Jesus' sermon on the mount and His instruction in our day-to-day life. This really hit home for me and again spurred my urge to do something. Active Christianity. Seriously, God is moving in my life, and I will be sharing more about that in posts to come.


The basics of the month are simple:
  • Going vegan.
  • Eating in.
  • Ditching sugar.
{whole living}

It's doable. Especially for a month. Even if it's only for a month. I think I'll like the vegan lifestyle, and I'm excited to learn enough through this month for it to stay. But saying "Good-bye" to sugar forever? Well, let's just get through today.

I have a dull yet persistent headache as I type this. I wanted to not and just go to bed. But I need this. I need an outlet for the headache and all that lies behind it. Day 1 of Meal Management March is {thankfully!} coming to a close complete with a stamp of SUCCESS. Kind of.

I wanted to jump into things with a little self-sacrifice to emphasize my commitment. Instead of a straight fast, I decided to stick to a bland foods fast. Oatmeal for breakfast--no sugar, milk or nuts. Brown rice for lunch--no veggies or curry. Whole wheat pancakes for supper--no cinnamon or peanut butter. This does a few things: {1} As already mentioned, it symbolizes my commitment to eating vegan, not eating out, and avoiding sugar; {2} It "cleanses the palate." Generally a couple days of doing something like this can help readjust taste buds and make healthy things taste even better. My birthday cupcake overload from the past couple days needed a bland break to more or less reset; {3} It helps reevaluate hunger cues. Following my taste buds often leads me to overeat. Eating bland foods frees up the taste buds and lets the stomach speak. You won't catch me overeating plain oatmeal or sneaking an extra bowl of plain rice when I should be in bed; and {4} It gives me a headache. Honestly, I don't know if it's sugar cravings or not eating enough bland foods today, but this headache is distracting. So, I will not be continuing this tomorrow. But I have learned a lot just in one day. And boy am I excited for some delicious vegan food! Homemade. And without unnecessary sugar. And not even a little sarcasm.

Much of our diet will easily transition to vegan. The biggest change is that we've stopped buying cheese and frozen pizzas. I've pinned some vegan recipes I'm excited to try. I'll be using Veggie Meal-Maker's sweet new Web site to do my meal planning and to borrow recipes from my other healthy-minded friends. We already have basic theme nights that help guide our meal planning, so I'll be trying one new recipe for each of those themes.


I wish I was thinking clearly enough to go through the why's of vegan. For simplicity's sake, I'll attribute much of it to watching Forks Over Knives--so start there for more info. The rest is a lifetime of knowing a vegan lifestyle is healthiest, wondering what I would do if I was diagnosed with a terminal illness and had to change my eating habits, realizing a healthy diet could reduce my risk for a terminal diagnosis, and hearing my daughter whine, "But I love cheese!" when I tell her she's not having cheese with her snack today.


First, learning what to eat happens in our own kitchen as we roll up our sleeves and mix something up. Second, our routine of eating out once a week to treat the family has turned into eating out twice a week and grabbing Taco Bell or Subway in between if our routine is off. In short, we've been spending well over our eating out budget, and giving it up for a month is one way to break dependency on it.


Hello, my name is Trina, and I have been a sugar addict most of my life.

I wish I was just trying to be funny. I love sugary treats. I crave them. And I have zero self-control around them. In college, I gained my freshman 20 off the college bakery's cookies. Buy a dozen, share a few with friends in the cafe, then eat the rest myself. My friend drew a comic strip about it that only partially made me realize I had an issue. In high school, I'd eat one of my roommate's Swiss Cake rolls leaving a note saying I owed her one at the next town trip. By the end of the evening, the empty box (and note) were in the trash and I guiltily pretended nothing happened.

It's okay if you think I'm crazy. I am a little bit crazy when it comes to sweets. Which is why I am admitting this possibly to strangers or people I hardly know. I'm ready to have a healthy relationship with sweets. So, what's a month without 'em supposed to do? A month without them gets me through potential withdrawals. A month without them breaks my dependency. A month without them gives me some time and space to figure out what an acceptable amount looks like. A month without them... is, let's face it, simply one month in my life without sweets. Big deal. It's what I do on the other side of this month that will determine what a month without sweets could do. And, in my life, that is a big deal.