fifTEAn.

This week our lives were pretty much placed in a snow globe which was subsequently given to a 1 year old who shook that snow globe for hours and hours and hours and hours on end (because kids at that age are so easily entertained by monotonous repetitive motions), which resulted in a very tired and jumbled up Stacie and Brett.

Our lives have been chaotic. Re-doing our apartment. Stressful work days and nights. New internships. Figuring out how to work full time and own a paper business. Coffee dates. Plus.... we began a new challenge. The challenging kind of challenge. The kind you want to quit three days in. 

We call it fifTEAn. 

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Our endeavor is inspired by Jen Hatmaker's book, 7, a list of challenges Jen documented for a whole year as she attempted to simplify her and her family's life because of her conviction that "stuff" and "over excess" were ruling her life. And I totally get that. We came home from our road trip and i was honestly overwhelmed by all the stuff we own. There's just so much stuff everywhere! AGH!

One of Jen's first chapters addresses how easily food is consumed in excess, so she decided to eat only seven different kinds of food for the month. I remember laughing and crying as I read that chapter, and by the end of it, she had me wondering if I could do something similar. In the past, taking on this challenge hasn't been practical for us since I eat in college cafeterias all too often for work and we congregate at coffee shops for community and studying most days of the week, but summer time is here, and we've decided the time is now.

For one month, we are eating the same fifteen items of food as a sort of fast and challenge to refocus our unhealthy eating habits: 

  1. Chicken
  2. Hummus
  3. Spinnach
  4. Apples
  5. BlueBerries
  6. Nuts
  7. Avocados
  8. Sweet Potatoes
  9. Corn
  10. Black Beans
  11. Tomatoes
  12. Greek Yogurt
  13. Milk
  14. Eggs
  15. Oatmeal

Those are our Fifteen items. We weren't so keen on leaving community, studying, and coffee shops behind, so tea is an honorary member of our Fifteen, which is why we call it fifTEAn. We have one cheat meal a week where we can eat anything we want and even get dessert. Other than that, no sugar throughout the entire week unless God naturally put it in whatever we are eating.

Honestly, we started our challenge with only ten items of food and no cheat meals, however, Brett wasn't getting full from these items, and we decided this wasn't a challenge we wanted to do that wasn't healthy for him, so we added a few extra things in there to make it fifteen. And we decided it's not a bad thing to reward ourselves with a cheat meal a week. We didn't regret or feel bad about any of the changes, we made the changes we thought we needed and were okay with that. 

Here's how it's gone so far....

Day 2: Our Ten&Tea started sometime around lunch yesterday. Brett made us an awesome salad with seasoned chicken, avocado, nuts, and hummus. I think I'm loving this Detox now, but I'm not sure I'll love it so much a week from now when I haven't had a latte or sugar in my oatmeal. Jesus becoming FLESH (God becoming human) in John 1 is truely signifiant to me this morning as I struggle with taking joy in surrendering certain areas of my flesh (food and clothes) to God so I can seek Him in my needs, desires, and wants. I love remembering how healthy food is though. SO good and energizing. 

Day 3: Watching TV SUCKS because all the commercials are about pizza or lucky freaking charms. 

Day 4: Target smells like popcorn. For the first time ever, I hate Target. 

Day 5: Brett's chicken exploded in (and all over) the microwave today and he got frustrated because he was so hungry. He just wanted to eat and be full. He is pretty tired, drained, and discouraged, I think we are going to have to add some more items of food to make Brett more full and so we can prepare meals better ahead of time, we are busier than we thought and don't have a ton of time to prep this food... and this food really needs to be prepped. 

Day 7: I broke down today and balled while Brett hugged me because our house is a wreck, I can't eat ice cream, work has been crazy, and I don't feel like I've had a mental break since a week ago. Plus, I'm hungry all the time because the food we've chosen for this challenge doesn't sit in your stomach very long. Brett wiped my tears away and said, "You know what I think you need? Fuzzy's and Ice cream." So there went our cheater meal for the week. I don't regret any of it. 

Day 8: Today was tiring and difficult and I found myself frustrated that I couldn't go get a sweet tea or sonic limeade or coconut coffee. I couldn't go get something to temporarily fix my problem. And it's good to remember that I don't need any of that stuff to fix stress or problems. Brett and I actually just took a walk to help me quiet my mind and surrender what I can't control, and that did the trick. fifTEAn has already reminded us, we don't need a coconut iced coffee every day (okay that's just me...I really love coconut iced coffee....every day). And we don't need to eat out 2-3 times a week. And we didn't even realize HOW MUCH SUGAR we consume in a week. A ton. Probably and literally a ton. It doesn't mean that it's easy, but this is a sweet and deep rooted reminder. 

Stacie Stine

Design Jamboree, Denton, Texas, United States