It was Sunday morning.
As my brain awakened from the fog of sleep, I remembered the wind storm that took out our power the day before and it was clear we were still in the dark. No coffee, and thoughts of the extra effort required to feed seven people tempted me to stay in bed and pull the covers over my head. I hadn’t realized how much food and coffee were motivating factors for getting me out of bed. I think food is one of the greatest pleasures God created for us. If you ask me what my favorite thing to eat is, the answer would be food. It is without a doubt, my favorite dish. I have always had a robust appetite, an exuberant love for pasta, breads, desserts, and cooking. From the time I could follow a recipe, I was busy whipping up home made goodies and learning how to create the perfect pie crust from scratch.
As I laid in bed lacking motivation to move, my husband woke up. It wasn’t long before we managed to come up with an improvised breakfast plan and he was pulling out our camping supplies. Rich soon had the perfect pot of “camp” coffee perking on the outside propane burner, as he prepared his famous camping breakfast of bacon and eggs. I can’t describe how good that breakfast tasted and how fun the morning became as a result of his positive attitude! God doesn’t waste anything, even the lessons learned through a power outage. God used the dark to illuminate my need for an (entitlement) attitude adjustment. Rather than gratefulness for the food in our cupboards, my first response was negative. My focus was on the darkness, the tougher meal prep, the increasing pile of dirty laundry, and no shower. Instead of gratefulness for provision of our basic needs, I went straight to the negatives. I suddenly realized God was challenging me to grow in my dependence on Him, rather than on electricity. I could find joy in this adventure, or I could model an ungrateful attitude for our kids. God had compelled me to stock up on water. With fourteen gallons of water, and three laundry baskets filled with bottled water, we were set without use of our well. God used the lack of electricity to remind us that He is the true power source.
Food was the first thing my flesh freaked out over that morning. I thought that idol was gone…stripped away…knocked off its throne, but God used this trial to reveal the truth. There is nothing wrong with enjoying food, but my obsession went beyond nutrition, to simple fleshly pleasure. God had been changing my thinking over the years which developed a passion for researching nutrition and fitness in me. Several years ago members of our family and I struggled with health issues that required dietary changes. Before we were tested, we had removed gluten from our diets for the most part. Our test results validated that change as imperative for our health. God had prepared me ahead, and as He lead me to remove foods we loved, he also supplied delicious replacements that provide optimum fuel for the body. The way He strips away our areas of struggle is much better than our own attempts in the flesh. He has gently guided me step by step for over twenty years in this area. The progress is significant. My biggest addictions are gone. Although coffee and food motivate me in the morning, I know I am not alone in this. Many others have the same morning motivations, however the issue for me went beyond that. God reminded me that I am not entitled to anything other than to serve without expectation and to give thanks in all things. A passion for helping other moms learn to feed their families healthy, simple, meals has been born from my struggles.
Recently on one of the rare, rainy days of summer, I decided to give in to a pasta craving and make a spaghetti dinner.
Pasta meals are few and far between at our house but sometimes I splurge on some gluten free pasta which is always a treat.
A spaghetti dinner around here is not exactly traditional. Fresh vegetables replace garlic bread. We love cabbage, so my sixteen year old daughter prepared it our favorite way by heating coconut oil in a skillet, and adding the following: onion, garlic, shredded cabbage, Himalayan salt, and freshly ground pepper. She sautéed it until it was translucent, and slightly browned, then added a little grass fed butter for extra flavor. Grass fed butter and coconut oil are healthy fats our bodies thrive on. They provide necessary core nutrition, aid in weight loss, and are a delight to the taste buds. Eating healthy is not as difficult as we expected. It’s just as tasty now that our cravings and taste buds have adjusted to the changes. The flavors and textures satisfy my passion for good food in the appropriate way. With plenty of fresh produce and protein from a variety of sources, each meal is colorful, appetizing, and satisfying.
Gluten Free Spaghetti
One onion, diced
Three cloves garlic, minced
Two tablespoons coconut oil
One bell pepper, diced
Three pounds ground beef
Himalayan salt (to taste)
Fresh, ground, black pepper (to taste)
Four 16 ounce cans of tomato sauce
Two 16 ounce cans of tomatoes
Generous amounts of:
One tablespoon honey
In a large pot, heat coconut oil.
Add onion, garlic, bell pepper, and mushrooms
Sautee until onions are translucent and veggies are soft
Add ground beef and cook through
Drain fat. Return to stove
Add veggies back to skillet
Add tomato sauce, tomatoes, Italian seasoning, basil, honey, and parmesan cheese.
Cook until heated through
Prepare gluten free quinoa pasta according to package directions, stirring constantly, drain, top with sauce and serve.