Faith…and a few other things.

Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. I still have a teeny, tiny bit of hope, but no faith with regards to #thehobbitfancontest (which is probably a good idea.) After almost two weeks, Warner Bros finally put out a notice that they were still contacting/finalizing winners and would reveal the winners by the end of the month. That’s kind of interesting because those winners will need to be ready to board a plane just about then. I’m pretty sure that I didn’t win, but I would still like to see a report of actual people who did win. Somehow I’m feeling like this whole thing could be a hoax. Maybe that’s just sour grapes, but how hard can it be to finalize 12 winners from the United States out of more than 500 who are all dying to be chosen?

In the meantime, today is the last day of my 40 Day Jumpstart on The Daniel Plan. On September 1st, I started reading the book and implementing some of its ideas. I started by cutting out the obvious desserts, sugar, and my daily Refresher, and then fine-tuned the whole process as the month went on. Around Day 9 or 10, I started a 10-day detox of no dairy, no gluten, no caffeine, no sugar and no preservatives.

At the same time, I was reading–and enjoying–that book that I won: Bill Hybel’s Simplify. I read most books quickly the first time, and then read them again if they seem worthwhile. This book definitely deserves a re-read and maybe even a chapter-by-chapter study. Hybel’s calls believers of all ages to slow down and evaluate the crazy pace of our lives, making thoughtful decisions about the way we invest our time, energy, money, work, and relationships. We really can’t do it all and we need to take time to redirect our lives in order to make the most of our resources. Now that life has speeded back up to “normal” this is a message I need to hear and follow.

I’ve also been reading about food. Besides The Daniel Plan, I’ve read The Third Plate (Dan Barber) and I’m currently reading Michael Pollen’s Cooking. It’s pretty interesting to note the trends in eating, food and cooking that have occurred during my lifetime. I remember being taught in nursing school that if you ate a well-balanced diet, you didn’t need vitamins and supplements. That was probably true in the 50s and 60s, but over the past 40 years our food, our eating habits, and our “cooking” has changed so much that unless you choose wisely (and keep yourself somewhat educated) you probably aren’t getting all that you need from your diet.

As someone who just spent a year of my life fighting a hormone-receptor positive cancer, I’m pretty leery of eating meat that comes from animals pumped full of hormones and antibiotics and fattened for market as quickly as possible. We’ve gradually been moving in this direction, but now I’m starting to look at my food as “medicine” as well as fuel. We Americans have spent millions of dollars on healthcare for diseases that have been largely caused by our diets. (In my case, nearly $100K has already been handed over by my insurance company.) Maybe less convenience and better food isn’t too big a price to pay for better health. My plan is to eat less but better meat. And to bite the bullet and cook more. I’d love to grow more food too, but I’m not sure I’m quite that industrious.

The bottom line of The Daniel Plan is to eat real food that is grown as close to home as possible. It is not just about food though, as it is a plan to have a healthy lifestyle that balances faith, food, fitness, focus and friends. The message Saddleback Church has offered fits fairly well with Hybel’s Simplicity. Both books have been enhanced by the larger message of The Third Plate and Cooking.

In the last 40 days, I’ve lost about six pounds but more importantly, have broken some of my junk food habits. After several months of daily Refreshers from Starbucks, I treated myself to one yesterday on my birthday and realized that it didn’t do that much for me. I’ve actually learned to drink water. (Just think of the $$ savings right there.) I can pass up most desserts and bread (except in Italian restaurants.) I’ve figured out that I am not gluten or lactose intolerant, so I can probably still enjoy cheese and whole wheat, maybe just less of it. I’m still trying to figure out fitness, especially as the temperatures drop. I love walking but only in sunshine. I have considered a goal of actually running again–a 5K at next years Run for Hunger–but I haven’t committed to it yet. That life verse–Isaiah 40:31–is supposed to be a challenge/promise to me on that score. Could I really “run and not be weary?”

I have hope, but not faith 🙂 on that one.








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