We did it!!! Yeah!!! Way to go guys!!! Way to go ladies!!! What a weekend!!!
Oops, maybe I should start from the beginning….
We go to a wonderful, Godly, bible-believing church here in New Orleans called Lakeview Christian Center. We absolutely LOVE our church, we love the people that make up the church, and we love the care we are able to give and certainly receive from our church. We love that truth is spoken here and excuses are not made for what the bible says, wether it’s always easy to hear or not.
This weekend Brandon got to experience some “real” church by attending Lakeview’s men’s conference. It was a big gathering of a whole bunch of manly men who came together for one purpose. To eat. No! I’m just kidding!!! They did come to eat, but they also came to grow. To be molded. To be stretched and pulled and ripped apart and sewn back together. They came to learn, to pray, to fellowship and to come away having encountered God. Dave Harvey led the conference and Brandon said he did a fantastic job of relating to the men and hitting them where it hurts. Where their ambition lies. Definitely a place where men (and women) need to hear what God has to say on the matter.Dave also preached at our Sunday service. If you’d like to take a listen, here it is. Really really good teaching.
But alas, they are men, and they do eat…a lot. Knowing that food would be served and that it might not be the most Whole30 compliant food available us lady-folk came up with a plan. Thankfully there are 3 families, including us, at Lakeview that are all on the Whole30 right now. I can’t tell you how nice it is to know that we’re not alone, we’re not crazy, and to have that friendly support and encouragement. It makes the world of difference!
So, to introduce you to my Whole30 families, we first have Tim and Ayumi. They are the sweetest, most adorable-est, funniest couple ever. Tim is a docta…for real, and Ayumi is a mighty runner who is training for a half-marathon right now. In her spare time she does TRX, Crossfit, cooks delicious and healthy food for her family and then blogs about it too! They are both doing the Whole30 with us.
See! Aren’t they the cutest?!
My other fun-loving Whole30 pair is Michael and Ellen. Anyone who knows Ellen associates Ellen with the word “inspiration”. She is an inspiration to all. Not only is she an amazing mom, teacher, wife and friend but she recently started eating Paleo, running, doing TRX and more, and now looks like a different person! She has a drive that is unimaginable and beyond all of us. She just ran a half marathon and came out of it looking gorgeous! Her husband, Michael, is very blessed (right, Michael?!) to have her and has also joined us this go around on the Whole30!
Now that we have our introductions out of the way we can get to the real matter at hand: THE FOOD. Like I said, us wives got together, actually we had a massive night of texting, and came up with the idea of sending brown bag lunches with our hubbies for the conference. The fun idea we had was for each wife to make one meal for all 3 guys. Ayumi made everyone dinner Friday night, Ellen made breakfast, dessert and snacks, and I made lunch for Saturday. How did it go?
Ayumi made a delicious meal of dijon and lemon grilled chicken, cauliflower mash, sautéed spinach and mushrooms and cuties. I have had the pleasure of having Ms. Ayumi’s chicken and let me tell you: it is incredible! I couldn’t stop eating it…really! The guys loved it and even though Brandon and Michael had never eaten cauliflower mash before they tried it…and liked it!
I asked Brandon to please take a picture of the guys with their food and nicely threatened him with bodily harm if he forgot. He is very happy that he remembered! I am too. Here’s Tim and Brandon with their chicken dinner…Michael was running a little late to dinner.
Ellen did a great job of making the guys a whole30 approved dessert and snack. As you can see in the picture she gave them each a HUGE piece of chocolate cake. She used Ayumi’s chocolate cupcake recipe but made it in a loaf pan. Great idea. Her intention had been that they eat some of it for dinner and some of it for lunch the next day. Um…no. All 3 of them ate their entirely too big brownie at dinner and enjoyed every bite. Oh dear…these guys are hilarious. Ellen also made the guys a big bag of burnt, oops I mean spiced, nuts that I had the opportunity to taste and they were really good. I’m working on getting the recipe for the nuts, so keep an eye out!
Ellen also made the guys a delicious breakfast of blueberry muffins and bacon although I am sad to say that I don’t have a picture. The church was so nice to provide the guys with hard boiled eggs, although I’m not sure that any of them actually ate them after being filled up with Ellen’s food. Brandon was in such a rush that morning he forgot to take a picture of breakfast but he said the muffin was ginormous and very filling and that the bacon was the best he has ever had in his life. Makes me want to invite myself over to Ellen’s for dinner…or breakfast!
I had the privilege of making lunch for the guys on Saturday. Brandon requested my curry and I was more than willing to oblige. I had a turkey in the deep freezer so I baked my turkey Friday night and woke up early Saturday morning to shred it up and turn it into a delicious meal of turkey curry. That’s why we love curry. It is so easy and quick to make and the meat is completely interchangeable. I used my chicken curry recipe and it was delicious, with avocado of course. I should know. The “Whole Family” ate it for lunch and dinner!
Thankfully Brandon was able to get a pic of the guys with their curry for me to share with the world. Aren’t they just the cutest Whole30 men ever?! Who can resist a guy that isn’t afraid to eat healthy turkey curry and avocado in the face of the not-good-for-you-but-oh-so-yummy-and-tempting food that was at the conference. Those are some manly men.
Kuddos all around. I am so proud of us ladies for planning ahead, putting in the extra work, and caring for our husbands and their guts even when it would be easier not to. We did good. We did really good.
I have to say the men did better. I was actually a little surprised that the men were not only okay with, but thankful and happy about their brown bags. (Well, mine was a baby blue bag that Brandon said would most definitely be the topic for razzing from the other men. He said thanks, that because of this bag he would have zero chance of winning the annual “manliest man” competition. He’s a little dramatic.)
Food was not the focus of their weekend, but the fuel that allowed them to focus well, to have clear minds, to feel good, to have the energy to stay awake, and I’m sure it helped that it tasted great too. Food was put in the place that it should be. Our men didn’t have to do that, none of the other men did. But they made a choice. They chose to commit to this Whole30… on their own. They are choosing to eat REAL food even when tempted by other goodies. They are choosing to feel better and look better and be a great, healthy example to their kids and those around them.
They overcame a HUGE obstacle and were SUCCESSFUL. Go men! We are VERY proud of all 3 of you, not only for sticking to the Whole30 challenge, but for being men who are striving to deepen your relationships with the Lord and with your families.
Your “Whole Family” thanks you.