I recently posted that I needed to be better about my finances and directed my readers to Dave Ramsey’s site.  Since I’d just touted it, I thought I should pay a visit myself.

I did the free budget, using (mostly) the amounts suggested by the site.   For the record, I put food right at the max percentage and debts a little over (because otherwise I’m never paying those suckers off!).

First of all, it’s going to take a huge step of faith to faithfully tithe an amount that is more than half of my food budget.  Ouch!

Second, I’m not sure how I’ll find a place to live on the housing limitations (and I put housing almost at max), but at least I know now to say no to anything well out of the ballpark.

The big one, though?  Food!  How do you feed three growing boys and two less-voracious females on $60.50 per week??  I have problems feeding just me on that amount.

I’ve already had beans and rice recommended to me.  Beans are not a friend of my ulcerative colitis, but brown rice is.  Maybe I’ll start having brown rice with every meal.  I don’t seem to have any sensitivities for that. 

This might not be the best time to be giving up eggs and dairy, though.  I don’t mind the soy, gluten, corn, and sugar.  I can manage with the peanuts.  But eggs and dairy… those get me through a lot of tight budget days.

Time to get creative.

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Okay, before anyone starts thinking that I’ve really gone off the deep end (too late!), this is by a woman named JJ Virgin, hence the name.  It’s a food intolerance diet, which is very similar to things I’ve been wanting to try for a while.

Basically, she identifies the seven (really eight) most common food intolerances: corn, dairy, eggs, gluten, peanut butter, soy, and sugar (plus artificial sweeteners, which I believe should just be banned from existence).  She then takes you off them for 21 days (how convenient!).  There’s a testing period afterwards to see if you have learned to tolerate four of the seven: dairy, eggs, peanut butter, and soy.  I’m going to leave soy off the list, as I’ve been largely avoiding soy lately, and spend 21 days testing the other three.

Anyone interested in trying this with me?  I’m going to do it (and subject you to posts about it) anyway, but I thought it might be fun to do it with someone.

Just a thought.  Back to your regularly scheduled blog posts…

I’m not a stress eater, which has been a blessing for me in many ways.  When I’m stressed, the last thing I want to do is eat.  I am, however, an emotional eater.  Eating is more comfort than stress-release.  I don’t like cookies, for example, but if I’m hurting, I will eat an entire box.  Bleh.

I need to start applying the same “want” versus “need” to my food.  How often do I eat something I don’t really need out of gluttony?  Coffee house tea drinks (now that I’ve given up the coffee drinks, at least), anyone?

Gluttony isn’t my only concern, though.  How often do I eat because it’s time to eat?  Societal norms say I should have breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  What’s wrong with fasting through a meal now and then? 

I also eat some foods that I don’t ever need.  My body has absolutely no need for refined sugar.  If I am craving sweets, my body probably needs fruit (and the nutrients in fruit).  If I’m craving a burger, maybe I need iron, protein, or healthy fats.  I need to be conscious of the food choices I’m making.

Luke 12:15 warns to be on guard against greed.  I’m generally not too greedy… except in terms of food.  If life “does not consist of an abundance of possessions”, maybe I should be careful to not let it consist of an abundance of food, either.

I’m going to give up eating out for the last eight days of this challenge with two exceptions.  First, I have a date with my second son this weekend.  I already know he wants to go out for ice cream.  This is his date, so we’ll do what he wants.  I also had planned to have pizza with my kids on Friday night, just to make the commute easier.  I may change that one to not be eating out, but the date will stand as-is.  Other than that, I’m done eating out.  I mean, it’s eight days.  I can do this.

I’m learning more about nutrition every day.  I need to make a list of what my actual food needs are and post it somewhere conspicuous.  It’ll be harder to justify a large chai tea latte when I see that the only thing it has that I actually need would be better obtained in other ways.

By the way, I’m not suggesting you can’t occasionally have a treat.  Even the Bible has its feast days.  I just thing we’re so focused on the feast that there’s no longer true enjoyment in the specialness of it.  Time to regain that.

I am grateful that I have never been truly hungry in my life.  I’ve had limited food on occasion, or tight food budget choices to make, but I have never once been in danger of starving.  That’s pretty blessed.