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We’re reading chapter 1 together of Jen Hatmaker’s book, 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess. It’s not too late to join us – pick up a copy from DaySpring for only $10 here. Here’s the whole book club schedule – jump on in with us! Now, on to the book and why Jen reduced her culinary habits to just seven foods for one experimental month:

Picking seven foods is like trying to pick my favorite kid. Some people eat to live, but I live to eat. I come from a long line of eaters; my sister is in culinary school in New York City as I write this. We long-distance foodie talk once a week until Brandon gives me the I just can’t take it anymore look. … Food is the ceintrifugal force that draws together my people.
~From 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess, by Jen Hatmaker

So why did Jen choose just seven foods to sustain her for one month? She shares more about her “why” in the this week’s video:

Watch:

Discuss:

If you had to choose just 7 foods for a month – what would they be? And more importantly, do you think you and Jen would walk away with some of the same lessons? Care to share in the comments?

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Join us Friday as we all pool thoughts on what we’ve learned from exploring our kitchens and our cravings – and we’re not just talking food here. We’ll have a guest post from Hayley at the Tiny Twig about how this chapter impacted her and her family and we welcome you to link up your posts and/or comments on the topic as well.

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  1. 1

    Looking forward to it!!

  2. 2

    I might keep Jen’s list of foods but I might say “whole chicken” instead of just chicken breast. It’s cheaper where I live to buy whole chickens from a local farm – plus variety! And much juicier! Anyway – Jen, there’s a really simple whole wheat bread recipe in a book called “Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes a Day”. (you can easily google and find their master recipe. I think for a whole wheat bread it turns out great and it really is easy! Looking forward to the rest of the book!

  3. 3

    OH MY GOODNESS. The memories. Reluctant participators, let me tell you, even just a brief food “fast” (in a loose sense) might surprise you. At the beginning you’re thinking “SOMEONE FREAKING FEED ME SOMETHING ELSE” but by the end, your thoughts are trending toward the spiritual and heart issues and the bigger picture and Jesus. God is not tricking us when He tells us to fast: something spiritual happens. Trust Him in this and see. And for the love, make coffee one of your items. You’re welcome.

  4. 6

    Oh, how I wish I could *do* this book now…but alas, I’ve got paperwork scattered around me, boxes to my every side, winding down for the BIG MOVE to AR. I look forward to hearing how you all respond to this challenge. God always has good stuff in store for us when we’re willing to be grown in Him!!

  5. 7
    Kaelynn Judd says:

    I read this chapter last week and God has really been convicting me. I think I want to do a fast from food, but I haven’t quite determined what the rules will be for it yet. Like Jen, I am a complete foodie. I love to cook and I love eating even more! I know it would be extremely hard for me, but I really want to lay aside something I love so that I can focus on God. As for what I think my seven foods would be…

    Hmm…

    Chicken
    Steel Oats
    Whole Grain Bread
    Green Beans
    Apples
    Greek Yogurt
    Asparagus

  6. 8

    When I did “Summer of 7″ I chose not to pick 7 foods. Instead, I did no eating out and only water to drink.
    However, I’ve done the Daniel Fast before and I think I could survive on:

    Banana
    Chicken
    Potato
    Apple
    Rice
    Green Beans
    Cheese

    Not sure how healthy that is but I think I could make those enough ways to survive.

  7. 11
    Christine says:

    Kale, quinoa, arugula, carrots, garlic, onions, olive oil. I’m a vegetarian. If I could pick one thing I would not do without, it would be Vega One powder to mix in coconut milk. This is what I eat all the time anyway.

  8. 12

    i started with one week and chose eggs, turkey, cheese, spinach, yogurt, bread, and grapes.

  9. 13

    I am sooooo not ready to do this. Thinking about it. My husband was recently diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes so he no longer eats any carbs, which means I don’t cook pasta or rice or much bread. That’s been hard but to be honest, we eat out A TON. WAY too much. I am not a foodie and not a cook. We have too much disposable income. I am convicted a little every single time I say “well let’s just grab dinner out” which is every other day. The chapter was fascinating, but reminded me a bit of my weight watchers diet or something and I just feel like I would be cranky and unpleasant all the time. I did like the Council idea of eating foods of the third world countries. That’s similar to Pastor Chris Seay’s Lenten fast outlined in A Place at the Table. We’re adopting from Haiti and I’m planning to learn to cook some of the staples of their diet, like rice and beans (though my hubs can’t eat that) and pumpkin soup (ick).

  10. 14

    Jen’s seven but whole chickens and lemons allowed …to date one of THE best exercises I have done! I <3 Jen.

  11. 15

    I had gastric bypass surgery last month and eating soft foods now. This chapter really resonated with me as I have moved to a very low calorie/high protein diet after my surgery. I’ve really thought about trying 7 foods, starting with a week at a time to make sure that I am still getting proper nutrition.

    I think I could do Jen’s list with only a couple of modifications. I drink pretty much only water, but I do add flavoring, so that would be an adjustment for me.

    • Chicken
    • Greek yogurt
    • Whole-wheat, low carb tortillas
    • Sweet potatoes
    • Spinach
    • Avocados
    • Apples or some other fruit (I would have to research which one would be better for my food plan)

  12. 16

    Yes, I think I would walk away with some of the same lessons as Jen. Food is very important…something I think about sometimes a little too much, ya know? At first, I was like…no, I couldn’t do this. That would be too hard, but, then again, if she can…surely I can too, right? And the more I dive into this book the more I realize that I really should in some way(s). Especially with food. Especially with food! So, I’m throwing caution to the wind (sort of speak) and beginning in September…say hello to only 7 foods (with a slight twist). My list (and it’s a little more relaxed than hers, I guess you’d say, but still sticking to the spirit of it all)…chicken, spinach, lettuce, salad dressing (any fat free/healthier kind-what’s available), milk, cereal (reg. Cheerios to be exact), and COFFEE (any kind) :) I gave coffee up for a while earlier this year and so I’m keeping it as one of my items :) And since she had salt, pepper, and olive oil…I’m substituting it to sweetener, pepper, and olive oil. And of course, water to drink other than coffee :) Honestly, just now typing that list was a little bit of a gut punch, but it lets me know just how necessary this food fast of 7 is!

  13. 17

    I’m not a foodie at all. I tend to look at food as something I have to do, not entertainment. But my hubby is a huge foodie. Opposites attract!
    I would chose:
    Black beans
    Cheese
    Bread
    Green beans
    Cucumbers
    Grapes
    Coffee. (I will sacrifice a food item for coffee. I’m from Seattle, after all!)
    Love the videos and seeing the behind the scenes of the book!
    Nicole

  14. 18

    I’d choose ground beef, tomatoes, chicken, avocado, apples, spinach, walnuts. Bread’s not on my list because I don’t eat it (thank you, gluten sensitivity :-Þ). When I read this book back in March of this year, I was already doing a 3-week limited food fast. And my family has had to eat whole foods for the last 5.5 years because of food sensitivities in my children and then significant food allergies that my husband was found to have. So the chapter from a food/processed “food” perspective wasn’t eye-opening for me simply because I’d already been there, done that. :) But it is amazing how fasting will turn you to the Lord to be your strength and truly all you need. When I craved something that wasn’t on my list of foods to eat, I would pray. And sugar wasn’t on the list (obviously) and let me tell you, as a sugar addict, I was talking to God probably every 5 minutes. :)

    Food is such a social thing in our culture and it can be so maddening at times. I challenged my husband the other day to make our next date night NOT just dinner out, but that we go and DO something together (I don’t watch movies so that wasn’t an option). It took us a little while to come up with some ideas!

  15. 19

    We did this back in May and ate 7 foods for 10 days. That part was so freeing. I think I felt the way about food that Jen Hatmaker felt about clothes- I didn’t have to choose or think about it- just the same things every day! I had no idea how much time thinking about food and preparing something amazing had taken up of my days before this! I then took inventory of my kitchen and am embarrassed to say that I had 567 food items in my fridge/ deep freeze/ pantry. 567! And that was after not going to the store for a while!

    So my husband and I came up with a modified, more permanent version of 7 to continue until the excess is shaved off. I am limited to 30 items of food per grocery trip- which is usually a week to week and a half. If that still seems like a lot for our family of 5, I am learning :) and we occasionally do an eat everything and no store for a few weeks type deal. Being a former professional in the food industry, I am a foodaholic :) I realized that I put creating food (or having every type of food conveniently available to me) in the place of “comfort giver” or “control outlet”.

    I also was schooled by my five year old who has experienced the other end of the spectrum, not having much or any food at all. I linked to a post about that if you care to read :)

  16. 20

    I loved this chapter.

    I think Jen’s writing is just perfect; it’s not too heavy, but it’s convicting and powerful and honest.

    My 7 foods? Let’s see…

    Apples
    Eggs
    Brown Rice
    Spinach
    Milk
    Sweet Potatoes
    Oreos (kidding!)

  17. 21

    I’ve been thinking about this a lot, I am also a foodie, currently in culinary school, I graduate in 3 weeks with my degree focused in baking and pastry, I plan to work in chocolates, just like Willy Wonka, sigh!!!
    Anyway, here are my choices,
    Chicken, Seafood ( do I have to pick one like Salmon or can I have a category), Berries, Plain Lowfat Yogurt, Whole Grain Bread, Spinach, Apples.

    I can do a lot with that – I think.

  18. 23

    Disclaimer: I’m wordy. I apologize.

    Foodie? Yep. Sweet tooth? Oh, baby. Coffee addict? Meh.

    I was sick in June – so sick I couldn’t eat OR drink (except bitty sips of water) and so out went the coffee. And I lost my taste for it, too, and switched to green tea when I could finally drink something in the morning. I was doing great with that, but the coffee drew me back. I did, however, reduce down to only one (largish) mug in the a.m. from two. SO. I could give up the coffee.

    Even though I struggle with my weight, I’ve managed over the past year or so to revamp my eating habits, having removed the junk from my house (except the hubs keeps heaven only knows what in his man-cave – at my request – so if I don’t know about it, I’m fine) and eat whole grains, lots of fruits and veggies and whole foods without all the processing and preservatives. MOST of the time. I don’t keep sweets around because they call my name… However, I’m always like, “honey, can you bring home something sweet for dessert?”. Just a single serving so it’s not sitting around for days, right? Except we have that conversation WAY too much. And we entertain a lot, so it seems there’s always SOMEthing around tempting me. And, of course, I’ll always eat the crappola first.

    SO, for me, I think what will bring me crying to God’s feet is to give up a few “food groups” rather than restrict to 7. I don’t know yet if I’m going to do a whole month. Whenever I give up ANYthing, I’m lucky if I last 3 days. Okay, 2. (Remember me? The selfish one?) So I’m thinking, to commit to a whole week would create a crisis. If I could make it through a whole week, I know it would ONLY be because I begged God to help me through and because I totally relied on Him.

    Here’s the plan:
    I’d go back to the green tea in the a.m. instead of the coffee. (Because I add flavored soy milk – with sweetener – to my coffee, but drink the green tea au naturale and with the green tea I’d at least be getting SOME caffiene.)
    NO “junk” and/or fast food (in OR out of the house).
    NO added sugar or sweets/desserts (in OR out of the house).
    Otherwise, I will continue to eat a balanced diet in the spirit of Michael Pollan’s “In Defense of Food” – eat food. not too much. mostly plants. (And, I’m reading that book right now, so that should help…)

    Okay, I’m sitting here in front of you and committing to doing this for ONE WEEK – starting Sept. 1st (Saturday).

    If I haven’t died from sugar withdrawal and am feeling deeply spiritual, I MAY extend it to two weeks. If I can do two weeks (we’ll see) then I’m goin’ the full Monty because this is the way I want to eat anyway. (FYI – the “full monty” equals one month, after which I hope I will NOT ruin it all and revert to my old ways, but will have learned something I can permanently apply to my life both physically and spiritually. Amen.)

    • 24

      Oh, wow. Did I just make that commitment? I’m starting to pray RIGHT NOW.

      And, while I’m at it, I want y’all to know that I’ll be praying for all of us. :)

  19. 26

    We sort of did a variation on the food fast over Lent this year and I think it worked great for our family. We chose two meals for dinner (black beans and rice & simple chicken and pico de gallo tacos) to eat every dinner time for 6 days (fast). We would then feast on Sundays. We did this for 6 weeks. It completely wrecked me. We chose these foods because of their link to our two Compassion kids. We prayed for our kids at dinner while eating these simple meals daily. It changed us.

    We are now making it a point to eat what’s leftover in the fridge before making/buying new food. We were huge food wasters before.

    I love 7 and I’m so glad to be revisiting it through the bookclub. The video segments are totally priceless to me.

    • 27

      I’m trying to become more conscious of what’s in the fridge before I make something new. I’m OK with eating leftovers but my husband and son – not so much. :D

      My 7 foods would be:
      brown rice
      black beans
      apples
      carrots
      yogurt
      broccoli
      eggs

      I think. :D

  20. 28
    CHelsea Dudley says:

    I was thinking about it when I read the chapter but I don’t think I could choose wisely.

    Potato
    Apple

    Yeah, see…I don’t know. Hahah.

  21. 29

    I’m borrowing Jan B’s disclaimer: I’m wordy too, but I can’t apologize. God saved me from my shyness and now I’m making up for it. :)

    A couple of years ago one of my girlfriends had the” bright idea” that we should conduct our own version of “The Biggest Loser”. Having never dieted before in my life, and being the word junkie that I am, I headed straight to the local library and checked out every food maifesto book ever written (many that Jen listed in 7). WOW!! Was my world rocked! I could almost hear an audible sigh from my family every time I read them a quote from some book. They became expert “behind-the-back eye rollers” having to listen to all my new found information. I was on a rampage to keep my family from dying from preservatives!!! (And yet you can still find Oreos and Little Debbie hiding in my pantry occasionally. What can I say. I’m not perfect.)

    So the food chapter really caught my attention from the start. I thought Jen’s 7 “superfoods” were well chosen. Although I may have substitued the sweet potatoes for something else. Sweet potatoes without sugar and cinnamon don’t ruffle my skirts. I probably would add Brandon’s choice of peanut butter. Peanut butter and apples is one of my fave snacks. I also think cinnamon should have been an included spice, just to give some variety. After all, it’s only the bark off of a tree. It’s not really a “food”. :)

    I’ve also read “A Place at the Table” by Chris Seay and considered feeding my family only chicken, rice, and beans for 40 days, but that was met with some “slight” resistance and more eye rolling. (Plus, I have teenage athletes and Lent falls smack dab in the middle of swim season so I think their coach might have objected as well.) But the discussions we have had about food since mom’s “awakening” have been amazing. And we do eat chicken, rice, and beans at least once a week. But we also eat Del Taco about once a week as well, so we still have some work to do.

    I have never considered food as a spiritual entity, but Jen’s experience has changed that perception for me. There is definitely a tie between our physical bodies and our spiritual bodies. Not sure how I planning on responding personally to this chapter. I tried fasting once and almost passed out on day 2. Maybe I’m hypoglycemic? I’ll have to keep listening to the Spirit’s nudging on this topic. Thanks for the inspiration Jen!

  22. 30

    Yay! It’s begun! Looking forward to some fun conversation over the course of this book.

    I really like the food combo Jen came up with. I eat most of those foods on a regular basis and really like them. The only thing I might change is swapping out chicken for veggie burgers.

    I may “need” to add coffee to the list, too. Or at least Starbucks Chai Lattes in case I have a mental or emotional breakdown.

    I’m thinking about doing the food fast starting September 1st but I’m freaking out a little bit!!

    Although I am one of those people who tends to ‘eat to live’ rather than ‘live to eat’ I know it’s going to be haaarrrddd! And I have to figure out how to not starve my family that month as well.

    Here we go:)

  23. 31
    Melissa Y says:

    I am not sure that I could limit myself to 7 foods. I think I would be better served to limit myself to “whole” foods.
    Any vegetable/fruit/legume
    Fish/eggs/chicken/grass fed beef/tofu
    Whole grains/oats/quinoa/wild rice/bread-with less than 7 ingredients that I can pronounce
    Water/milk
    I think the whole body as a temple/spiritual vessel will be my motto.
    Choosing foods listed above will allow my whole family to participate and reap the benefits of healthier eating.

  24. 32

    This summer our family has had to cut our grocery bill in half just to survive and choose to eat a lot of the same things week after week. We did this before as missionaries and again we are remembering what we can do without and what is excessive and what is not.
    In thinking of what 7 things I would pick I am struggling with choosing only 7 for our family of 6. Picking 7 things for myself personally would be easier. Picking 7 for all of us would leave someone really hating the daily options. We could maybe all agree on PB, bread and honey…:)

  25. 33

    So I’m in the middle of doing seven…
    this saturday will be my first date with a “lively columbian” and an exquisite french vanilla creamer…. i’ve missed “him” so!

    FOOD kicked my butt. really.
    and i was amazed at the hold it had on me. i used it for lots of stuff God didn’t mean it for…. escape, comfort, stress-reduction, etc…. He wants me to look to Him for those things – not some brownie or cheeseburger…. truly an eye-opening month.

    next month: media. God help my husband’s nfl withdrawal.

    really wishing i had a “council” though – it’s pretty much my husband and me – a couple of friends are doing it but they’re on different months and we don’t get to connect nearly as much as i want to….

    a council would be AWESOME!

    thanks, jen – for your inspiration…

    • 34

      Darby, this is something I really need to surrender to God as well – that I also use food for escape (big time), comfort, stress reduction, etc. Thanks for the reminder…
      Jan B

  26. 35

    My husband and I are getting ready to do a “whole food” September. Nothing processed, nothing from a box, very little from a can. I’m doing it as a “taking charge of my health because I’m still having trouble with celiac one year later” kind of thing and my husband is doing a kick-start back to healthy eating thing. BUT we are also doing it as a spiritual discipline thing because OHMYGOODNESS we’ve been eating and drinking whatever we want for way too long. As I’m being wrecked by God, Ethiopia, Jen Hatmaker, and others, in every area of my life, I’ve held onto what it is that I choose to put into my body. I’m really excited for September and whatever it is God has to teach us through it.

  27. 36

    I would have to say, similar to Angie, I am not a foodie…at all. Not really sure I would do a full 7 food only month, but I do think I should cut out certain things and will be thinking about that.

    The one thing that REALLY resonated with me from this chapter was the last chapter of Day 7. Specifically “clinging to criticism has not made me happier; it just made me cynical.” I am so there.

    So while the food part did not necessarily click, Day 7 hit me quite hard.

  28. 37

    I loved this chapter! I can’t wait to try my 7 foods…I’m still deciding between chicken or fish as my meat!

  29. 38

    Loved this chapter and read it as the study came out that we waste 40% of our food in this country! I have challenged my own family to be more aware of what we have and we plan meals so that we are wasting less. I am definately planning my own version of 7 foods. I am thinking chicken, tomatoes, cheese, black beans, bananas, sweet potatoes, and peanut butter.

  30. 39

    I’m not a foodie, either, but I found this chapter to be quite thought provoking. The coffee withdrawals and Jen’s ability to stay strong was amazing. Plus, I found myself laughing outloud during the bread machine revelation (Day 26-29). I had a similar experience this winter when I ‘inheritated” my first (and only) bread machine. I was beyond excited to make my own…just like my grandma and her mom before her. However, I was sadly let down and am so glad to know that I’m not the only one who makes “cement!”

    I did, however, contemplate the idea of giving up chocolate. I know it’s not quite the same as selecting seven foods, but being a chocoholic I’m sure I’d be in for a crazy ride. The question is could I be as strong as Jen was with controlling her craving for coffee.

  31. 40

    Jen,
    I so enjoyed 7.
    Choosing 7 food items for a months would be difficult.

    I have done beans, rice, and chicken (all in small portions) for a week. No coffee. Which made me tired and cranky. But, what I realized wasn’t so much that I was hungry. Which I was. (And, it wasn’t even my longing to cook something different.) More than that…I was bored. Everything was so bland. And, my tongue and even my eyes were so unimpressed by day 5 or 6. Look it’s chicken and rice. Oh, goodie, it’s beans and rice. Sigh.

    Reality is I was eating much larger portions and getting much more nutrition and variety than a huge portion of the world. So, the irony was not lost. And, it was humbling.

    It was a good experience. :)

  32. 41

    Best line of this section of the book: “Would Jesus overindulge on garbage food while climbing out of a debt hole buying things He couldn’t afford to keep up with the neighbors He couldn’t impress?”

    Wow.

    If I were to fast from food, I’d probably choose categories to fast from — desserts and diet soft drinks are probably areas I should start with to make a physical, spiritual and financial impact on my life. Eating out less would be a good challenge for me too.

    Were I to choose 7 foods, I think I’d go with …

    rice
    chicken
    apples
    squash
    eggs
    cheese
    crackers

  33. 42

    I’m not a foodie, but there is an issue with that as I have been blessed with children who need to eat good food. I’m one of those folks who can eat some really good plain tuna and fresh greens daily without blinking an eye BUT oh did the tears roll as Jen spoke of ALL of her children and FOOD.

  34. 43

    now I’m wondering HOW a church FOOD pantry can provide better food for the needy … with such limited budgets ????

  35. 44

    As I was reading, I kept feeling convicted about the amount of sugar me and my family consume. We LOVE sweets! And not the healthy, fruit kinds. We like candy and ice cream and cookies. I’m thinking that maybe we should do a no-sweet kind of fast. It’s crazy but I think a week would be torture. Praying for when and how long we should do this. Thanks for the challenging and inspiring and hilarious read. Love the book so far!

    • 45

      Oh, I feel ya, Lindsey. You may want to read my (looooong) post – #22 on this thread. I’m giving up added sugar/sweets/desserts as well as junk/fast food (in OR out of the house) for at least a week. Lord willing, I’ll be going for two weeks and if God and I are still speaking after that, I’m going for the whole month…and beyond. Help me! I start Saturday! (It’s okay that I’m getting about a week’s worth of sweets in over the next two days, right?)
      Jan

      • 46

        That’s actually what I was thinking of doing-trying it for a week and then seeing if I think I could possibly do it for an entire month. I would do the same thing-eat all the sweets out of the house before I start, lol :)

  36. 47

    Wow. This is amazing. Really awesome. Jen, I think that’s awesome about your adoption. We are currently in the process of adopting from Ghana.

    This is something I am highly considering doing.

  37. 48

    I looooove food, so thinking about giving any of it up is scary. Which means I should probably do it. And coffee? Just kill me now. I think God is quietly telling me to give some of this stuff up, and possibly even for a month. And our church is doing a fast/prayer the month of September, so it seems like this is all coming to head for a reason.

    Now, to just get the hubs and maybe some other people on board. I love the idea of a council.

  38. 49

    I love being able to watch/ hear Jen’s thought process through the writing of 7 :)

    Wow this chapter has hit home. We recently moved to a new state and I’m no longer working and home with the kiddos (such a blessing) and I have noticed our food habits = not so good. I would say Day 21 is where I am and after reading this chapter I am asking myself WHAT ARE WE EATING?!!
    So as I evaluate that I’m also feeling this desire to bring our family closer to Jesus and what better way than to ask ourselves WHAT IS ENOUGH?
    And for me, a snacker, I find myself wondering am I substituting Jesus for snacks (for real???)
    I love Joel 2:12-13 and am claiming it as I journey through answering the questions Jen asks:
    What in my life, if taken away would alter my value or identity?
    What is the thing outside of God that I put everything else on hold for?
    So I may not be in a place to eat just 7 foods right now but I feel God has revealed it’s time to have conversation about what is enough, what are we eating, what are we wasting and are we focusing on prayer and gratefulness!!!

  39. 50

    I did a 21 day Daniel Fast leading up to Easter in 2010 and 2011 and it was life-changing for me. I didn’t realize how dependent I was on sugar and comfort foods when I really didn’t NEED any of them – I just needed more of HIM! I came away from those two fasts with many of the same feelings as Jen in this chapter.

    I like the idea of eating only whole foods. Choosing seven foods would definitely be more difficult but I think mine would be…
    chicken
    whole wheat bread
    quinoa
    spinach
    berries
    peanut butter {all natural}
    sweet potatoes

  40. 51

    I tried this, and it was the hardest thing for me. I subbed sweet potatoes (yuck to the max) for baby carrots and cheese for something else (I can’t remember what!), but pretty much failed like right away. Even though I realized I could live on grilled cheese between the bread and the cheese, I had to stop because I felt such crazy anxiety. I grew up SUPER poor, often living on “pancakes” made with the most hodge-podge ingredients I could rustle up. I know how much access I have to food now and I am a huge food waster — and I justify it by saying “It’s okay, I know what it’s like to grow up without food.” My thoughts made me realize that I need God to still do work in this area of my life, that my feelings are much bigger than needing food!

  41. 52

    I know this is completely off topic, but I just now realized that you are Angie from the Audrey Caroline videos on YouTube. I don’t know how I missed this all this time I’ve been subscribing, but somehow I must have overlooked the author info. I want you to know that the Lord used you in mighty ways in my life the past few years. My hubby and I have had three miscarriages, two of which we thought would “stick” after seeing heartbeats. I know that’s not the same as your situation but I saw so much of my brokenness in your story, so many similarities. THANK YOU. I know sharing your story was probably excruciating, so I want you to know that it ministered to me in so many ways. God bless you:)

  42. 53
    Jennifer says:

    I chose Jen’s same 7 foods. I only did so because I didn’t want to have to do the work of figuring out what else to do. I actually came to enjoy not having a gazillion choices all the time. Even though I only did this food fast for 2 weeks, I still fall back on those 7 foods when I know I am really wanting excess. I want God to show me what He can do in me and through me when I eliminate the distractions. One morning I was reading Isaiah 44 & 45 about the idols we have – for the Israelites it was wood carved into images and points out how crazy it is to worship something that is so common.
    It just really made me think of how we can use all the common stuff around us, even food as an idol – something that we look to as the answer to our need, the satisfaction of our desire. It’s hard (or maybe just too uncomfortable) to say if I worship food or not, but if I have turned to something other than God, then that is an idol that I have deemed more worthy of my attention. Hmm….. Isaiah 45 is God’s declaration of Who He is and how much more worthy God is of our worship and capable to meet our needs. “Ignorant are those who carry about idols of wood, who pray to gods that cannot save…. Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God and there is no other” (20, 22).
    Praying I’m really turning to God and not just avoiding an idol. Or making an idol out of the process.

    • 54

      “or making an idol out of the process”

      Hmmm – GOOD caution there, Jennifer! I could see how that could happen.
      J

  43. 55

    I’m having a hard time thinking right now … my littles want me to go play with them, but this is my few moments, so I’m trying to maximize my thoughts. I do fast once a month already, but don’t do it well. After reading 7, I can find ways to make it more intentional. I appreciate the idea of reducing or sacrificing. My sister and her friends started eating vegan this year and have been blogging about their journey, but I haven’t made that change yet. It’s hard, just reading and thinking about it … but I can make baby steps and eat more whole foods, and reduce the processed, unhealthy junk. The more I change, the easier the next change will be.

    Off to play outside with my kids. Will keep thinking about what 7 foods I would choose, and how to approach becoming more intentional in my sacrifices for God.

  44. 56

    Okay. Honestly, I would pick cupcakes, cheese, steak, potatoes, bacon, yeast rolls, and Cocoa Puffs. Yeah, I realize that’s kind of missing the point, but it’s late, and I’m hungry. My husband and I did actually attempt a modified diet a while back, and Jen was a huge motivator for that. You can read about how I gave up the cupcakes here: http://embracingtheodyssey.com/our-kinda-vegan-sorta-paleo-diet-adventure/

    I’ve convinced a few friends to join me in this on-line reading of 7. :-) While my food adventure was more about health concerns, there were other chapters of the book that completely changed my thinking and habits about different areas in my life. Can’t wait to see where these discussions go. Happy reading!

  45. 57

    Oh man. I haven’t gotten my book yet, so I haven’t read the chapter, but the idea of being simple with food is definitely the right thing at the right time for me. My husband and I are moving across the country and arrive in our new home in California tomorrow…and as we wait for me to get a job and his grad school stipends to start rolling in, I think we shall try out the 7 foods project for a week, with CHEAP foods as the name of the game.

    maybe these?
    Beans
    Rice
    Chicken
    Bread
    Peanut butter
    Milk
    Cereal
    Apples
    Bananas

    That’s definitely more than seven…this may take a bit of work. :)

  46. 58

    My 7 Foods: chicken, apples, strawberries, cucumber, tomato, rice, eggs

    It would be really hard for me to just drink water… I don’t drink coffee (rarely drink tea), but I LOVE LOVE LOVE juice and milk!!

    The 7 foods… it doesn’t seem like it would be as hard since my husband and I eat a lot of chicken, eggs, fruits and veggies anyways… but not being able to add cheese or sour cream… ouch. :)

    I’m not sure if we would walk away with the same lessons or not… I would hope that God would speak to me in big ways and that I would become more aware with the world around me… that it wouldn’t just be knowledge, but that it would change my life and cause me to take action.

  47. 59
    Samantha says:

    I am ADORING Seven, like adoring it so much, I am swooning whilst telling my friends all about it. I work in the book industry and have been gushing in meetings all week over the power behind her words. She packs a punch whilst being witty and sweet.
    I’ve recalled this excerpt about 6 times to all different people, because um, WOAW;
    “Would Jesus overindulge on garbage food while climbing out of a debt hole buying things He couldn’t afford to keep up with the neighbors He couldn’t impress?”

    I’m going to be honest. I’m in debt. I’m so far in debt, debt is crawling out of my eyeballs. I can’t even explain the need for simplicity from the life I’m living.
    I think I’m definitely going to at least TRY to work alongside the changes Jen made – maybe trying the week first as Lindsey mentioned. I want to at least experience the simplicity Jen lived in.

    So my 7 foods;
    Fish (can I eat all types of fish or is it just one type? ie. ONLY Haddock?)
    Cauliflower
    Parsnips
    Sweet Potato
    Banana
    Porridge Oats
    Milk (I need me some milk. Much like I need something “breakfasty” in the mornings.)

  48. 60

    I am a little late to the game, but I have finally completed my list:
    Fish
    Peppers
    Broccoli
    Squash
    Apples
    Cucumbers
    Eggs.

    I am allowing bone broth and water to drink, and salt, pepper, oil, and lemon for seasonings. It looks pretty permissive, but it’s WAY pared down from our usual fare.

  49. 61

    I have read several chapters ahead and this chapter is probably the one that affects me the most, because I love food.
    In fact, since I read this I am feeling inclined to do a no-food fast for a day or two just to see what happens. I have never done that before and it sounds hard. But I long for the spiritual closeness that others seem to get from a fast.
    But if I were to do the 7 way, these are the foods I would choose (I only made a few changes to Jen’s list):
    Black Beans (instead of chicken because I can do without meat)
    Eggs
    Corn tortillas (instead of bread)
    Peanut Butter (only the natural kind)
    Spinach
    Avocados
    Apples

  50. 62

    I am really inspired about reading and following this book. I feel like the LORD has been preparing me for this as I have been looking for ways to simplify my life in order to draw nearer to God and be able to serve him better. I’m still in the middle of reading this chapter, but should be finished this afternoon.

    Since I became a near-Vegan this past spring, I feel like I have already dealt with some of the hardship that comes with limiting your diet. I say near-vegan because I am lactose-intolerant so I don’t use dairy products, but I do eat eggs. So, I already know what basic foods I tend to eat every day. They are:

    Brown Basmati Rice
    Eggs
    Broccoli
    Spinach
    Soy (Plain soy milk & tofu)
    Bananas
    Pineapple

    I can make cream of rice for breakfast by re-heating the rice with some soy milk or have a green smoothie made of bananas, pineapple, spinach, and soy milk. I can have stir-fry with rice, spinach, , broccoli, and eggs (or tofu). I can make an omelet with eggs, spinach and/or broccoli. I can drink a glass of soy milk for a snack. And there’s half a dozen other combinations using these ingredients that I’m already familiar with preparing and eating.

    I will miss my whole wheat bread, but brown rice is more versatile. That was a tough call. I thought about getting rid of the pineapple to create room for whole wheat bread, but my green smoothies just aren’t the same without pineapple!

    So, I’m back from doing my weekly grocery shopping and managed to even buy “real” food for the rest of my family since they aren’t doing this with me. I am ready and willing, so here goes!

    P.S. I am thinking of blogging about my journey, too. :)

  51. 63

    Wondering why my web site never gets linked to properly. Trying something new to see if it works…

  52. 64

    One last try… Anyone know what I’m doing wrong?

  53. 65
    Stephanie Ellis says:

    I am loving this book so far!! Some days I feel so overwhelmed and I have been examining what could make me happier or calmer. Seven foods…hmmm…that’s so hard. I love food! 1. Chocolate 2. Chicken 3. Spinach 4. Strawberries 5. Milk 6. Eggs 7. Bread. Like you I would probably be cranky at times and I would be turning to God before and after each meal!

  54. 66
    Anonymous says:

    So, I’m a little late to the party cause I didn’t even know 7 existed but God has been setting me up for awhile…I had already planned to do a simple food clean out the system thing before I got the book…then I devoured the whole entire book as soon as I got it and THEN I found the book club…So here I am, happy to join in…I am currently trying to make myself go for 2 weeks on chicken, rice, quinoa, potatoes, bright veggies, low glycemic fruits and almond butter and flax (that might be more than 7 but oh well) I made salsa and forced myself not to even taste it…

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  2. [...] Each week, the Book Club is discussing a chapter. A chapter is one of the 7 areas of excess, the first being Food. [...]

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  4. [...] August 27: Introducing Jen Hatmaker/7 Wednesday, August 29: Month One: Food Friday, August 31: Food-Guest Post Monday, September 3: Month Two: Clothes Wednesday, September 5: [...]