Don’t Leave Anything Out!


NOTE: This post is in reference to a new diet and lifestyle choice that I started on Wednesday, October 22, 2014.  Feel free to skip this post if you aren’t interested.  However, if you are interested, and might like to know how to help me then read on.

My most recent check-in with the doc was not as dramatically successful as the previous few weeks have been.  Instead of the usual five pounds or more coming off, this time it was a “measly” 2 pounds.  I realize that anything that is a negative gain is good, but I really want to have great results every week. 

I am aware of the reason behind the lower number.  I didn’t do all the things I’ve been doing to this point that have brought me the sort of achievement I want.  My schedule and plans were interrupted, and I didn’t execute a good strategy for that.  I missed out on the walks I’ve been taking, and I haven’t had the amount of water that I’m supposed to drink during the day.  They seem like small things, but clearly they have made a significant impact on my progress.

There is a spiritual principle in this.  (I know you are not surprised)  Followers of Jesus want to become more like Jesus.  Everyday we need to put into practice things that help make that happen.  If we try to shortcut the process we end up shortchanging the progress.  In other words, we will not be as far along the line of growth and maturity as we could be.

Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge; 6 and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness; 7 and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. 8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ —- 2 Peter 1:5-8

Not taking my walks…not drinking the amount of water I am supposed to drink…it is similar to skipping a spiritual discipline or practice in my walk with the Lord.  There are things that are necessary for Christian development, and without which the result is less than it should be.  A quick, but not exhaustive list of these practices:

  • Daily Quiet Time
  • Prayer
  • Bible Reading and Study
  • Worship
  • Fellowship
  • Service

This week I’m committed to being more careful about the steps of my diet for the sake of my body.  Will you join me in also making a commitment to the Spiritual disciplines we need for success for the sake of the spirit?




It Ain’t Easy to Change–Tempted to Return

It Ain’t Easy to Change

NOTE: This post is in reference to a new diet and lifestyle choice that I started on Wednesday, October 22, 2014.  Feel free to skip this post if you aren’t interested.  However, if you are interested, and might like to know how to help me then read on.

If you have ever tried to change a habit or lifestyle, you know that it’s difficult.  Frist, people become comfortable with the way things are, and that makes changing difficult.  In addition, we become accustom to having things be a certain way, so when those routines get shifted it becomes awkward and uncomfortable.  Finally, habits that we have developed over the course of years struggle to keep us chained to them. 

I suppose that helps me to understand this passage from Exodus:

And as Pharaoh drew near, the sons of Israel looked, and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them, and they became very frightened; so the sons of Israel cried out to the LORD. Then they said to Moses, “Is it because there were no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you dealt with us in this way, bringing us out of Egypt? Is this not the word that we spoke to you in Egypt, saying, ‘Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.”

Ex 14:10-12 (NASB77)

WHAT???  The people who had just been freed through the miracle of God’s power are now claiming that they wish they had stayed in Egypt as slaves!  Can they really have meant that?  Yes, and here’s why.  They were changing their entire lives.  Just as I shared above, these changes, while for the better, do not come easy.  It’s far easier to stay in the land of slavery, then to venture out and find freedom.  When it gets difficult, for them or for us, the first response is often to flee back to what we know.  The trouble is, that leaves us as slaves, and we’re meant to be much more than that.

No More a Slave!

Let me tell you how this has been part of my experience.  I am used to eating whatever I want whenever I want.  I knew that wasn’t a healthy choice, but I was comfortable and felt that I had some control over that aspect of my life.  In addition, I’m a “stress eater,” which means that I turn to comfort foods for comfort when troubled.  Carbohydrates and sugar were my sweet companions (pun intended).  In my third week of this life-change (diet) I have found myself tempted to return to those old habits.  I faced cravings and longings that were very strong, and I am weak.  Thoughts of Ice Cream, cookies, cake, pasta, and donuts haunted me, and I was honestly tempted beyond my ability to resist.  It would have been so easy to hop in the car and go grab some sweet treat, and I know it would have satisfied me and made me happy.

The “problem” with giving in to those temptations was that I also know that I don’t want to go “back into Egypt.”  I have made a commitment to this, and I know that it is the best thing for my health and my future.  As I struggled with my strong craving for sweets I touched my face and felt my beard, I have not shaved yet this month.  I was reminded that this fuzzy face was my sign of commitment not to cheat and to make it through, even when the cravings come.  I was also reminded of the above passage of Scripture.  I know that God was telling me that I can do this, and that what lies ahead of me is worth the struggle to get there.  It is so much better than what lies behind me. 

So…with prayer and God’s Word, I battled through, and to date have not cheated.  It’s been difficult, but it’s paying off….

Week 3 Check-in: Lost almost 20 pounds so far!

I feel great!  Although it may seem a small thing to some, my victory over cravings and temptation, and the slave-master of food thrilled and encouraged me.  I don’t want to keep facing such strong temptations and cravings, but with your prayers and God’s presence I know I can succeed.



Veggie Trash Soup–A Recycling Recipe


NOTE: This post is in reference to a new diet and lifestyle choice that I started on Wednesday, October 22, 2014.  Feel free to skip this post if you aren’t interested.  However, if you are interested, and might like to know how to help me then read on.

I know it sounds gross, but it was very good.  First the story then the recipe.

The diet that Andie and I are on requires a multitude of veggies.  In the process of cutting some up recently I realized that I was throwing away a lot of green.  Things like celery leaves, the base of the asparagus, and broccoli stems were getting tossed in the can.  A thought struck me, why do I have to keep chucking this stuff?  Is there anything I can do with it?  So……I decided to try something creative.  For a week I saved all the vegetable “trash.”  Then, along with the bones of a rotisserie chicken that we had for dinner a couple nights, I created what I now call Veggie Trash Soup.  It was remarkably simple, and delightfully tasty.  I don’t imagine it will make the menu in the finer dining establishments, but it might make it into some of the homes of the people who are willing to give it a shot.


  • Save your left over veggie scraps for a week or so in the refrigerator.
  • Boil the scraps with some left over bones.  Chicken, Beef, or Pork (Ham) will all work
  • Add bouillon to taste.  (I added three cubes to my pot)
  • Allow to simmer for at least one hour, stirring occasionally.
  • Drain through strainer into a large pot or bowl
  • Pick out undesirable things from the strainer. 
  • Return usable pieces to the broth
  • Salt, Pepper, and season to taste

As I said, it sounds strange, but we ate it for supper tonight and it was quite good.  I liked the blending of the flavors, and it’s healthy too.

Jesus therefore took the loaves; and having given thanks, He distributed to those who were seated; likewise also of the fish as much as they wanted. And when they were filled, He * said to His disciples, “Gather up the leftover fragments that nothing may be lost.”  And so they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves, which were left over by those who had eaten.                     (John 6:11-13)

If Jesus wasn’t willing to waste (lose) the leftovers, then it makes sense that we should be mindful and not wasteful when something can be used again. 

UPDATE: Report from Check-In on 11/4/2014

  • Lost a total of 15.4 pounds
  • 2 inches at the stomach

Please keep praying for us.  It is hard, and there are challenges and temptations all the time.  We are committed to this change in our lives for the sake of our help, but the bakery, pizzeria, and donut shop cry out to us because they are missing us.  I just keep remembering that they will be seeing less of us, and so will everyone else.  Smile