246 down, 4 to go. That’s the status on my June goal that I need to achieve by midnight tonight. My goal in June was not to meet new people, make new friends, or add networking connections. Instead, I vowed to rekindle friendships, have more face to face conversations, and catch up with family, with a goal to have meaningful, in-person dialogue with at least 250 of my FaceBook friends.
We were blessed in June to connect with so many folks. Over 75 were knocked off at my wife’s college reunion/sister’s wedding/food road trip in the beginning of the month. Another 50 connections were made during my eight day stint at Blue Ridge Leaders School. A good hundred came from the neighborhood, work, grocery stores, ball games, and meetings. A nice chunk of friends were found building the KaBoom playground Thursday as well. None were found watching TV on my couch or blogging from my kitchen table.
The challenge transformed me to go out of my way to say, “so what’s new?” I saw pictures of grand kids, learned about a friend’s motorcycle accident, discussed macroeconomic theories, took longer walks, and remembered why I had these friends in the first place.
So with 16 hours and 14 minutes to go, I have the challenge of catching up with four more friends. Who’s it going to be?
I experienced a rude awakening last week while grocery shopping. Just about everything in my cart was in boxes, bags, cans, or frozen packages. In a world of convenience, preservatives, artificial sweeteners, & cheap eats, it’s no wonder our family is eating so much processed food.
And there lies a challenge.
For the month of July, I am going au naturale. Yes, I will wear clothes. But I will wear clothes while eating whole & natural foods. To get through the murky areas of what is and isn’t processed, I will accept the rules posted by fellow blogger Lisa Leake and her 100 Days of Real Food website:
What you CAN eat:
- Whole foods that are more a product of nature than a product of industry
- Lots of fruits and vegetables(we recommend that you shop for these at your local farmers’ market)
- Dairy products like milk, unsweetened yogurt, eggs, and cheese
- 100% whole-wheat and whole-grains (find a local bakery for approved sandwich bread and check the Understanding Grains post for more info)
- Seafood (wild caught is the optimal choice over farm-raised)
- Only locally raised meats such as pork, beef, and chicken (preferably in moderation)
- Beverages limited to water, milk, all natural juices, naturally sweetened coffee & tea, and, to help the adults keep their sanity, wine and beer!
- Snacks like dried fruit, seeds, nuts and popcorn
- All natural sweeteners including honey, 100% maple syrup, and fruit juice concentrates are acceptable in moderation
- Also check out the Recipes & Resources page for a more detailed list of meal options including links to recipes
What you CANNOT eat:
- No refined grains such as white flour or white rice (items containing wheat must say WHOLE wheat…not just “wheat”)
- No refined sweeteners such as sugar, any form of corn syrup, cane juice, or the artificial stuff like Splenda
- Nothing out of a box, can, bag, bottle or package that has more than 5 ingredients listed on the label
- No deep fried foods
- No “fast foods”
So now with 15 hours and 51 minutes to go, I have the challenge of catching up with four more friends & consuming the rest of this food in my freezer.