A New Experiment- Stop living in Excess and Reduce our Waste.

This is going to be a slightly different post. I should probably give a quick thank you to my Mother-in-Law for sharing this new book with me, therefore opening my eyes to a new idea.

The book I’m talking about is called The 7 Experiment by Jen Hatmaker. At first, I wasn’t exactly thrilled. It was a challenge. I am not a huge fan of challenges, mostly because it means change. Change is a huge issue for me and my anxiety.

However, this “change” has been heavy on my heart lately. I keep pushing it aside because I know how HARD this new change will be.

Here’s a quick rundown of what’s been going on:

I watched Fed Up on Netflix. Have you seen it? If that was a no, I highly recommend taking an hour and watching it. I’ve seen so many food documentaries but this one was different. It taught me things I didn’t know and I pride myself on knowing a lot about food. How wrong I was.

After watching it, this book was brought to my attention. It had a very similar theme to it. But this time, the author brought God into the mix.

I didn’t think of it that way. I don’t want to take words from her book and put them here like their my own, so please, if this interests you, check it out!

Basically, it’s about taking 7 different areas of our lives and reducing the “excess”.

Here’s a quick description of the book from Lifeway.com:

Do you feel trapped in the machine of excess? Jen Hatmaker was. Her friends were. And some might say that our culture is. Jen once considered herself unmotivated by the lure of prosperity, but upon being called “rich” by a child who was living in poverty, evidence to the contrary mounted, and a social experiment turned spiritual journey was born. This study will lead you through this same experiment, at whatever level you choose, in seven key areas: food, clothes, spending, media, possessions, waste, and stress.

What’s the payoff for living such a deeply reduced life? It’s the discovery of a greatly increased God—a call toward Christ-like simplicity and generosity that transcends a social experiment to become a radically better existence.

When I first heard of the book, I shrugged it off. Like I said, change is difficult for me to face. I know it has to be done, but that first step is the hardest.

The part I’m starting with is food. The author decided to pick 7 foods that they would eat for a whole month, that’s it. And they were healthy choices, not processed crap. Takes a lot of planning and dedication to follow through with that kind of change. She even offers alternative options that you could do. The one that really stood out to me was the grocery shopping one. Jen Hatmaker mentioned that you could reduce your excess by living off what you have in your house for 1 week, rather than grocery shopping.

That’s been a huge thing in our home. We spend a fortune on food each week, because of gluten-free foods and the fact that our kids are picky. I think we end up throwing away so much food. Food that rots before we can eat it or food that just doesn’t get eaten at meal time.

So I decided to Experiment this week. No grocery shopping. Not even a little. No running to the store for ANYTHING edible. We HAVE to live off what we have in our house, at this very moment. AND we are going to make use of our leftovers and really try to reduce our food waste.

It was kind of fun at first, planning out the meals. Until I realized we are running out of milk and eggs. I had to start counting eggs for each recipe I planned on making. I never had to worry about that before.

The meals I planned were “creative” at best. How was I going to get my kids to eat them?

What have I done?

We started this yesterday. Here was dinner last night:

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What the heck is going on? I had a carton of egg whites that was about to expire. A box of pizza crust and a pound of bacon. Toss in some cheese I found in the back of the fridge and *poof* dinner. Right?

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I used the bacon drippings and some milk to make a white gravy. ( I made a rue, in case you were wondering. And over-salted my gravy by a lot.)

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The forming of the cups with pizza dough.

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After they were filled and heated again.

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Called the kids in and prepared ourselves for the meltdown we felt sure was to come.

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It didn’t. Declan ate 4. He actually LOVED them!

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Evan was worried about the egg whites at first, but found out they tasted just fine.

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Morgan nibbled on hers for a bit, but finally finished it.

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Jalon cleaned his plate. So did I.

They were a hit! And I packed up the small amount of leftovers for Jay to take in his lunch. Woo-hoo! Day 1 was a success. Thank you God!

I will update each day this week and let you know how it’s going. Since we are out of cereal, I’m going to have to get creative.

Living simply is difficult and I don’t know if I could do it long-term. I do feel like this challenge is a good one. Not only for me but for my whole family.

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