Sugar-Free 1-Week Meal Plan

If you follow me on IG, you were able to get a glimpse of my family’s 1-week challenge to detox sugar. For those of you interested in the meal plan I used, I thought I’d post it here so you can refer back to it. My concluding thoughts and lessons are at the end of this article. Enjoy!

The Boundaries: 7 days. No sweeteners, processed or natural, of any kind. No white flour because flour turns into sugar in your body. Fruit, whole sprouted grains, and full-fat dairy were allowed. 

The Meal Plan: (links to recipes provided when possible)

Day 1

Breakfast: Chocolate-covered strawberry smoothie (plain whole yogurt, whole milk, cacao powder, frozen strawberries, frozen bananas, spinach, ice, etc.)

Snack 1: Green apple slices with sugar-free peanut butter (read the peanut butter labels!)

Lunch: Chopped chicken Cobb salad–chicken, avocado, tomato, carrot, boiled egg, red leaf lettuce, and homemade balsamic vinegar dressing (1 part EVOO, 2 parts balsamic vinegar, squeeze of dijon mustard, salt, and pepper to taste).

Snack 2: Veggies and hummus (read the hummus labels!)

Dinner: Shrimp ceviche–(I added avocado), organic corn tortilla chips, and homemade Mexican rice.

 

Day 2

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SIMPLE KOMBUCHA: (Plus FREE Printables to Get You Started)

Who is already drinking kombucha on a regular basis? It’s full of so many great benefits: probiotics, enzymes, B-vitamins, and more. It helps your body digest food better, lose weight, and detox. Who doesn’t want all those benefits?

SAVING YOU MONEY

On Instagram, we’ve been talking about how to shop for organic food on a budget. If you’re looking for some money-saving tips, I’ve got some great ones. Check it out.

One of the best ways to save money is to make your own food and drinks–sourdough bread, bone broth, sauerkraut . . . and KOMBUCHA. If you’re paying $2-$4 per bottle of kombucha you buy in the store, please stop. You can make your own for pennies. (BONUS: Your kombucha won’t be flash-pasteurized and therefore potentially rid of most of its healthy benefits.)

CONFESSION

When I started reading about the benefits of kombucha, I wanted to start brewing my own right away, but the more I researched, the more overwhelmed I felt, and I just didn’t believe I could handle the responsibility of keeping my own batches going. It took me weeks after getting my own SCOBY to actually start my first batch. I was convinced it was weird, too much work, and probably wouldn’t taste right, so why bother?

I. Was. Wrong.

It is simple. And I want to make it SIMPLE for you. I won’t bog you down with lots of brewing methods, facts about what the kombucha can do, or 20-step processes to get you started. I just want to help you get started, so I’ve boiled the process down to 4 EASY STEPS so you can feel empowered to start right away.

AND I’m selling SCOBYs from my personal collection that are full-size and thriving in my continuous brew collection. For the price of less than 4 bottles of kombucha in the store, you can have a SCOBY and starter tea shipped to your home in a couple of days, and you can begin making gallons, yes gallons, of your own kombucha right away.

SIMPLE SUPPLIES

Let’s start with what you need (besides the SCOBY). Most of these items you probably already have:

  1. 1-2 gallon glass jar
  2. White sugar
  3. Black or Green tea bags
  4. A piece of cloth and rubber band for covering the jar’s opening.
  5. Printout of my 4 SIMPLE STEPS TO MAKE KOMBUCHA and HOW TO MAKE KOMBUCHA SWEET TEA (It’s on page 2).

That’s it! Now, go order your own SCOBY!

SIMPLE STEPS

  1. Order your SCOBY + Starter Tea (on sale now!).
  2. Print these two instruction guides.
  3. Make the kombucha sweet tea (page 2 in instruction guides).
  4. Follow the 4 steps to making your own kombucha.

Bam. That’s it.

Can you make it more complicated? Yep. Can you find tons of second-ferment flavors and techniques to make it extra fizzy? Yes. Do you need to worry about all of that right now? No. As I say in my Sustainable Home Management ebook, DO IT NOW. You need to get started. Stop putting it off. It’s simple. You can do this!

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3 Easy Steps to Meal Planning & A GIVEAWAY

**The giveaway is closed**

You asked about meal planning; we listened! How many of you struggle with meal planning? Maybe struggle isn’t the right word. How many of you want to meal plan but don’t know where to start? No matter where you fall on the spectrum, my friend Resa from Your Day Your Style has worked it down to a science and makes meal planning easy for all (plus, she’s designed some gorgeous printables that you will want to post in your kitchen and use right away). I’m so excited she is joining us at the table today to share some of her foundational steps to get started meal planning. And, stay tuned at the end for a giveaway of her Meal Plans Made Easy Workbook and a copy of my e-book Sustainable Home Management. (Plus, there’s a coupon code to get you started right away.) Get ready to be inspired. These are practical steps you can start using today.

 

Does This Sound Familiar?

Dinner time was once so stressful at our home. Kids screaming,”hangry” breakouts, and missing ingredients would lead me to throw my hands up in surrender (and grab the keys for a trip to the nearest restaurant). What happened to the beautiful “Family Dinner” that everyone says is so important? Deep inside I knew I needed a plan–a meal plan. I am thankful Joy has invited me to share with you the insight I’ve learned concerning meal planning that changed our home for the best. I pray it really helps dinner time be more joyful for you and your family.

We have heard the solution to this craziness is planning ahead. But what if that is overwhelming? Where do you even start?

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An Invitation to Mentorship

When I began The Mentor’s Table, my goal was to reach out to millennials and help mentor them as they navigated adulting. But the more I researched “millennials,” the more disparaging talks I heard about this generation born anytime between the 1980s and now. I don’t believe anyone is making a difference telling an entire generation how terribly they were raised and how inept they are. I remember growing up under the “Generation X” label and similar complaints being said about my generation. That label plus older adults telling me what was wrong with my friends and me did nothing to motivate me to want to change. It basically just made me angry and frustrated because I was being lumped in a group as opposed to treated as an individual. This labeling and analyzing a generation isn’t anything new–it’s just a different form of what was said before, except that now it’s mostly laden with technology blame. And I’m done with labels. So this site is not for “millennials” or “gen-x” women. It’s just for YOU.

You Are Not a Label; You Are an Individual

Rather than try to target a label, I want to reach out to you, the individual. If you (no matter when you were born) have moved out from your parents and are trying to do this
“adult” thing by mostly faking it ’til you make it, then I’d like to invite you to pull up a chair to my table. If you are sick of realizing how little you know about how to do some of the basic skills necessary to living on your own, skills like cooking nourishing food, managing a home, and establishing and maintaining meaningful relationships, then pull up a chair. If you are struggling with the intangibles–feeling frustrated or unfulfilled, constantly in strife, haven’t identified your purpose–then grab a warm mug of your favorite drink, and join the table.

Let me be clear. I will make no apologies for approaching this mentorship relationship from a Christ-follower perspective. Having a personal relationship with God, I have found consistency and peace in the worst of times, and I would love for you to experience that same peace and provision. So as we talk about home management, cooking, and especially matters of the heart, I will share my life lessons from a biblical perspective.

An Invitation to Mentor You

There’s an innate need in all of us for mentors, but mentors are hard to come by. I’m offering my time to you to try to do my part to fulfill the need for mentors. I know this doesn’t feel as personal as a living breathing human investing in your life, but there’s something to be said for the virtual nature of this mentorship relationship:

  • You can fit me into any schedule.
  • You can always refer back to articles at any time.
  • You can watch the live mentoring moments either when they broadcast live, or you can go back and watch the replay at your convenience.
  • Late at night or midday, The Mentor’s Table is extending to you an open invitation to come and sit with me for a few minutes so we can talk about life.

I won’t take your trust lightly. I know your time is valuable too. And if you ever find this table isn’t serving your needs, then I promise I won’t guilt you into staying. You always have the choice to remove yourself and find another table and mentor to sit under.

But First You Must COMMIT

Keep in mind, our culture thrives on non-commitment. So my first challenge to you is to commit for a period of time: six weeks? six months? “Just do it” as Nike says. But don’t sit around complaining to your friends or social media that life is hard and you wish you knew what you were doing or that you just feel like a victim of life’s punches. Turn your eyes inward, to your heart, and commit to change. Then do something about it. Maybe that “doing” is simply signing up for the live mentoring moments on Facebook and watching them weekly. Maybe it’s enrolling in a small group at your church (or maybe it’s attending church on a regular basis again). Maybe it’s something else. But until you commit your heart to change, you won’t see results.

It starts with committing your heart. Every time.

THE CRUX OF THE MENTOR’S TABLE IS IN THE LIVE MENTORING MOMENTS I SHARE WITH YOU ON FACEBOOK IN MY PRIVATE GROUP “TABLE TALKS WITH JOY.” SIGN UP TO JOIN MY TABLE RIGHT NOW, SO YOU CAN BE ADDED TO THE GROUP AND START JOINING THE TABLE FOR THESE LIVE SESSIONS.

 

 

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Elderberry Syrup Recipe

(recipe adapted from Wellness Mama)

IF YOU . . .

If you are frustrated with how easily you or your loved ones seem to “catch” colds or the flu, this recipe is for you.

If you cringe at the health food store prices for natural remedies, and you just can’t justify paying $15 for such a tiny bottle, this recipe is for you.

If you’re looking to be proactive in fortifying your immune system and keeping it strong so you WILL NOT get sick again, this recipe is for you.

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Gift Guide 2016

Part of being intentional over the holidays is buying presents now so you’re not scrambling last minute and filling your cart with Amazon Deal of the Days that don’t actually fit any of your family members. If you’re looking for meaningful items to add to your wish list or if you’re buying for a special keeper-of-the-home in your life, here are some of my favorite items–and they’re all less than $30! (Click any picture for a direct link to buy the item.)

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3 Reasons You Can Excel in the Kitchen

Why you CAN excel in the kitchenPERFECTION IS UNATTAINABLE 

So often I hear women complain about their inability to master cooking or to incorporate a menu plan of healthier food that their families will actually eat. And I get it. It IS hard. I’m not denying that. But that’s not an excuse to give up and stop trying.

Growing up I always heard adults chirp at me, “Practice makes perfect,” while I faced failure and defeat in some new skill set I was attempting. (Grueling hours at the piano come to mind, oh, and the many many basketball games my toosh warmed the bench.) I began to hate that phrase, but then when I became a mom, I found myself using it on my own daughters! Oh, the shock and horror I felt, disgusted with myself, praying my girls wouldn’t resent me.

I knew the reason I said it, disgusting as it felt; it contained an element of a core value that I refuse to let my girls grow up without. I always tell my daughters, “The Abad girls don’t give up. We always try our hardest. We do not quit.”

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