We made it through Day 5! Woo Hoo!!!

I didn’t get a chance to blog last night, so I’ll double up today … Halfway-Mark-Day was not an uneventful day, however. It was a combination of fun, fascinating, and hysterical.

We started out the day with normal homeschool work … tackling math at the top of the day. After my 3rd grader met his multiplication flash-card goal, we whooped and did a victory lap around the room. Then we headed to a local park behind my favorite library for story time/snack/craft. It was windy and chilly but so much fun, and I loved seeing the other homeschool moms and kids there.

Afterward we went to Chick Fil-A for lunch, where we placed our order with one of my new favorite people … a sweet teen named Becca who I met at church last Sunday. The boys ordered their favorites and I ordered … WATER.

That’s right folks. I went to Chick Fil-A and didn’t order ANYTHING. I’m not sure if that’s an accomplishment, or if I should question my life choices. Regardless, I’m counting it a WIN! I brought with me a kale salad that I’d made in advance, and it was quite delicious. I ate another one of those fun blueberry muffins, and watched the boys as they climbed in the indoor playground.

When my husband came home from work, he could count on both hands how many times he was faced with temptation to nibble something off-plan (dang those Reese’s Christmas Trees and Dr. Pepper!). But he held strong! He’d had a Granny Smith apple for breakfast, and had taken leftovers from the night before for lunch. He came home ravenous and ready for dinner, so I cooked early. When he asked what was on the menu, I told him spicy black bean soup.

He wrinkled up his nose.

Over the next ten minutes he asked twice, “So … tell me again what’s for dinner?”

As if I’d change my mind. HA! I’d meticulously planned and shopped for these ten days … I’m sticking to plan!

The recipe called for a jalapeno pepper and lots of garlic and tomato. My kids aren’t going to touch this, I thought. But I stayed tough. They were going to eat it, and like it!!

I remembered how well they ate the accidentally-chopped-too-fine veggies the night before, and used an immersion blender to make the chunky soup nice and creamy, incorporating all the seasonings and vegetables. It looked aaaaaamaaaaaazing. I poured it over rice (which the recipe didn’t call for, but when my husband suggested it, I couldn’t turn it down). I sprinkled cilantro on top and hoped for the best.

We sat down, everyone took their first bite, and … they liked it! They really liked it!! My heart was soaring. While eating dinner, my husband began considering his usual nightly snack. Every night, while sitting in front of the TV, he eats somekind of goodie. I doubt that’s a habit that will ever break, as he is a creature of devout habit. But he was getting tired of peanuts and apples.

“Popcorn!” He said. “I could have that, right?”

“Not on plan,” I told him. “It has oils and butter and stuff that we can’t have right now.”

He decided to drive to Dollar General and check for some kernels to make some in a pot himself with healthy oils that were on plan. He couldn’t get out the door fast enough. I gave the boys a quick bath while he was gone. He came back looking torn. “They were completely out of kernels. But they did have THIS.” He emptied the bag. He’d bought M&M’s for the boys, a HUGE bag of Reese’s Cups, and an entire sleeve of mini Almond Joys for me.

“What … what?? What is this? We can’t have this.”

“It’s for when the detox is over!” He said brightly. “Oh, and the M&M’s are for the boys.”

They’d already had sweets that day, so we covered them up and decided to save them for tomorrow. He put the Reese’s Cups and Almond Joy in the pantry, where I can clearly see them every time I open the pantry doors. I secretly think he’s trying to tempt me as much as he’s been temped with his sweets at work. I had already decided that after this Detox, my sugar will be severely limited to two treats per week … Mondays and Fridays. The fun thing, too, is that I actually haven’t really craved sweets yesterday and today. I haven’t even thought about it.

But there was still one problem … my husband still didn’t have his popcorn. I suggested he cut open a bag of microwave popcorn and clean the gunk off to pop it on the stove.

“Isn’t that a lot of work, though?” He must have been really tired, because my love-to-cook husband just wasn’t feeling it in the kitchen. He cut open a bag, anyway, and I was a little shocked.

There was more sticky, oily gunk than there were kernels. I looked at the chunk of orange slime and thought, “Every bit of that goes straight into our bodies. Wow.” It was a shocker in the moment, but knowing future me, if my husband ever asks if I’d like him to pop a bag of popcorn for me, I would likely say yes. I definitely need to re-think this.

I heated up two more muffins (I know … excessive … but at least it’s on plan), and ate those while the movie got started. Kris was still clinking and clanging around in the kitchen getting his kernels ready to pop. Suddenly I heard what sounded like sprinkles showering the floor. I looked through the window into the kitchen and saw him standing, shoulders drooped, eyes turned up to the ceiling in frustration.

“What just happened?” I asked.

He had apparently washed his hands and went to grab a hand towel to dry them. It just so happened to be the same hand towel where the freshly cleaned kernels were resting to dry. The kernels sprayed everywhere.

Bless his heart. He just wanted some dang popcorn. We laughed as we gathered up the precious golden nuggets and rinsed them off once again. He successfully popped them using grapeseed oil, and just seasoned them with salt and pepper. The result was slightly tougher popcorn than usual, but it at least satisfied the craving. When I gave it a taste, I thought it was great! It was delicious with just salt and pepper … I’ll have to start popping raw kernels when I’m wanting some popcorn, myself.

We enjoyed a fun movie together, the boys, Kris and I. Then suddenly, right toward the end, we heard a loud, sploosh! come from our master bathroom.

“What in the world?” I said, sitting up on the couch. “Was that the bathtub?”

Kris started looking around the room taking inventory of everyone. “Wait … was it the cat?” That’s when I noticed she was the only one absent. The boys must not have drained the tub when they got out, and my head suddenly filled with visions of a soggy cat struggling to keep her head above water. I jumped off the couch and ran into the bathroom to find the tub full of water, sloshing back and forth wildly. But it was empty of animals. That’s when I noticed tiny wet footprints leading out of the bathroom.

“Where did she go?” My husband asked as he appeared in the doorway. The boys were right on his heels.

“I don’t know! Follow the footprints!”

The trail of splatters and footprints led through our bedroom, through the kitchen, where my husband found her under the breakfast nook table, soaked on the bottom half of her body. She looked like a black mushroom with the top half of her body fluffy, and the bottom half like shriveled little sticks. She kicked our back feet with every step, and I couldn’t get control of my laughter. Y’all, I almost couldn’t stand up, I was laughing so hard.

My husband, obviously the softie, ran and got a towel, and despite her razor claws being out and her threatening growls, he gathered her up and dried her off.

She wasn’t even grateful for the help.

Not in the least bit.

It was an altogether successful day, and I’m SOLD on this way of eating.

Here’s the thing I find fascinating: all the chopping and cooking and planning isn’t actually that much more effort than usual. I mean, I’m a stay-at-home-mom, so I have the luxury of flexing my time around priorities, so I am able to chop and cook for lunch if I choose. But in the amount of time it takes to drive to a store and pick up a frozen pizza, then cook it, I could have chopped and cooked a fresh meal. It just takes planning in advance. Note to self: plan and shop more often, instead of in large amounts like I did … the shelf life of the produce isn’t as long as I’d anticipated, and I hate to see those beautiful peppers growing bad spots on them.

Another fascinating thing: Even too much of healthy foods are too much. With all those almond-flour muffins I’ve been consuming, I feel satisfied, but heavy and just … excessive. I can TELL it’s too much, and I should have had more moderation there. I’m still having a hard time fitting into my workout pants. I had hoped my clothes would start loosening up a tad by now. I’ve started having anxious thoughts about stepping on the scale once these 10 days are over … will there be a change at all?

Regardless, the one thing I can say that I’ve gained is knowledge and health. And that definitely grants me experience points in the great game of life. 😉

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