Posted by: spaghettipie | May 5, 2008

On Losing Weight and Spark

I recently posted over on my other blog some thoughts around weight loss and what my plan is to tackle it, I’d love for you to read those posts and let me know what you think.

On a related note, I’m working on loading recipes to my Summer Food blog. I’m trying to post some nutrition facts about each recipe, and I stumbled upon an easy-to-use nutrition calculator for your recipes. In order to add some of my own foods, I had to join the website. I went ahead and signed up for a couple of their newsletters while I was at it (one specifically for recipes), and tonight I actually began to explore the site. So far, I’m really enjoying what I’m finding there. I think I’ll actually try their plan and interacting on the website for a little bit. I’ll let you know, but I’m curious to know if anyone out there has heard of Spark People? If so, what’s your experience?

Posted by: spaghettipie | April 29, 2008

Grocery Shopping and Money Management

I recently heard the following statistics:

For every minute over 30 minutes that you spend shopping in the grocery store, you spend an average of 50 cents more per minute.

Shoppers without a grocery list spend on average 40% more than those who go with a list.

On average, shoppers spend $14 per “quick trip” in to the grocery store to grab just a couple items.

I hadn’t really thought about that kind of statistics before, but it makes total sense to me. Supermarkets rely on impulse buys, utilizing those end cap and checkout displays wisely. I’ve gone into a grocery store numerous times and come out with more than what was on my list, just because I received a good deal or the product looked good.

In an effort to be good stewards of our money, we would do well to prepare in advance for going to the grocery store. Make a list, and stick to it. Cut down on those quick trips for forgotten items. Menu plan so you know exactly what you need.

Just some initial thoughts. Anyone else have some to add?

Posted by: spaghettipie | April 29, 2008

Stewardship Renewed

Hello all, and welcome back to Stewardship Living! As I mentioned, I have decided to revamp and refocus this blog. My hope is to provide you with more resources and more thoughts to reflect upon related to stewardship. I am always open to your suggestions!

Here’s my basic plan for posting. I’m continuing with a particular focus for each day, but I’m going to define the categories much more broadly. I’ll do my best to post three times a week.

Mondays – Stewarding our Bodies: Health-related topics, recipes, meal plans, etc.

Tuesdays – Stewarding our Resources: Organizing tips, environmental issues, green resources, financial thoughts, etc.

Thursdays – Stewarding our Relationships: Family building activities, marriage and parenting resources, devotional thoughts, etc.

I look forward to exploring these topics with you! Off we go!

Posted by: spaghettipie | April 24, 2008

Rethinking and Re-emerging

It’s been quite a while since I posted on this blog. Quite frankly, I was stuck on what to do with it. I want to continue to offer helpful content and stay focused on the idea of holistic stewardship, but I was in a rut for what to post. I’ve been rethinking it, and I’m close to relaunching the site. Stay tuned! I’m coming back!

Posted by: spaghettipie | February 12, 2008

A little renovation . . .

In the next couple weeks, things may be a little quieter than normal (as you’ve probably already noticed!). I’m trying to work through revamping this blog just a little bit, so that I continue offering useful information without making writing this blog a full time job. I welcome any suggestions of what you’d like to see. And in the meantime, you can always find me over at my other blog, Spaghettipie.

Posted by: spaghettipie | February 11, 2008

Menu Plan Monday (#15)


This week, I’m finally getting to the Cabbage Soup Diet from my detox plan. Here’s what the week looks like (although I reserve the right to modify and add protein if I get too snarly.)

Monday: Cabbage soup and all fruit except bananas.

Tuesday: Cabbage soup and all vegetables. Dinner can include a big baked potato with butter.
Try to eat green, leafy vegetables and stay away from dry beans, peas, and corn.

Wednesday: Oatmeal*, Cabbage soup, fruit, and vegetables. (No baked potatoes).
I’m going to stick with my oatmeal three times per week regimen, but will refrain from adding any sort of fat. The diet says if you haven’t cheated, you should have lost between 5-7 pounds by this day.

Thursday: Cabbage soup, bananas and skim milk.
I’ll probably substitute low-fat yogurt for skim milk because I just don’t drink milk. Eat a minimum of three bananas and drink as much milk as possible. You need the potassium and the carbs, proteins and calcium lessen your sweet craving.

Friday: Oatmeal*, Cabbage soup, beef, and tomatoes.
You can have 10-20 ounces of beef and a can of tomatoes or as many as six fresh tomatoes. Drink at least 6-8 glasses of water to was away uric acid in your body.

Saturday: Oatmeal*, Cabbage soup, beef and vegetables.
No baked potatoes, but as much as you want of everything else.

Sunday: Cabbage soup, brown rice, unsweetened fruit juice, vegetables.

*my own addition, not part of the prescribed diet

A few notes about the diet itself:
You can eat as much soup as you want each day.
You must eat at least one bowl of the soup per day.
You can drink unsweetened tea, cranberry juice, or water.
You should go off the diet 24 hours before any intake of alcohol.
You can eat skinless chicken in the place of meat.
If you follow and don’t cheat, you should lose between 10-17 pounds and cleanse your system of impurities.
You can use the 7-day eating plan as often as you like.
No fried foods, bread, alcohol or carbonated drinks (of any kind).

For more menu planning inspiration, check out Org Junkie.

Posted by: spaghettipie | February 11, 2008

Recipe – Cabbage Soup

This is the soup that goes with the Cabbage Soup Diet. However, it’s pretty tasty even if you’re not on the diet.


  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 6 large spring onions
  • 1 or 2 cans (total 28 oz) tomatoes
  • 10 C low fat chicken stock
  • 1/2 cabbage
  • 1/2 bunch celery
  • 2 green peppers
  • Herbs (eg thyme, marjoram, oregano, paprika, etc)


Cut vegetables into small to medium pieces, add tomatoes and cover with stock. Season with salt, pepper, curry, parsley, if desired or hot sauce. Boil fast for ten minutes. Reduce heat to simmer and continue cooking until vegetables are tender.

Variations: Puree the soup for a different texture. Add additional seasonings or hot sauce to individual bowl.

Posted by: spaghettipie | February 7, 2008

Lenten Reflections

My writer’s group is posting reflections on Lent every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. We’d love for you to join us.

Posted by: spaghettipie | February 5, 2008

The Detox List

Due to being sick over the weekend, we haven’t finalized our financial goals, but I thought I’d go ahead and post the rest of the list. My husband has his own list which I’m not posting today. Our goals resemble our stewardship goals which I guess just goes to show what a consistent theme this is on our lives.


  • I’m going to continue on my weight loss plan. I can’t boast of any dramatic results so far, but I think I’m implementing some good habits.
  • I’m going to do 1-2 weeks of the “Cabbage Soup Diet,” not for purposes of losing weight, but to cleanse my system. I’ll modify it a little bit to include my oatmeal three times a week, and to add protein in case of low blood sugar.
  • Get back on track with my weekly meal planning. I’ve been a little lax lately.
  • (Kel, you might want to skip this line) No coffee or candy. I picked the perfect month to drop the candy, huh? And yes, no coffee. But just for the month.
  • Spiritual:

  • Daily quiet time. Truthfully, I haven’t done a consistent daily quiet time in years. It helps that my small group Bible study is doing a Kay Arthur study right now.
  • Weekly Scripture memory. This week: 2 Tim 2:20-21
  • Spend time in confession, asking God to reveal patterns of sin in my life.
  • Mental:

  • Limit amount of TV per day, and turn off TV when I’m not actively watching it.
  • Carefully monitor the media (tv, blogs, music, etc) that I’m allowing to come in, especially when it’s just in the background going unchecked.
  • Calendar:

  • Stick with our goal of spending at least two nights per week in our home.
  • Manage the number of large projects that I take on and learn to say no. I know this one is hard to measure but just being very intentional and conscious will be an improvement. It’s unrealistic to think I’m not going to do anything. I just don’t want to pile on too many things at once.
  • Environment:

  • We need to take a look at where we can reduce our environmental impact. So I hope we have a list at the end of the month.
  • Finish cleaning out our house. We made a good run at the attic this weekend, and it’s almost complete. The garage will come shortly after that.
  • Relationships:

  • We want to closely evaluate our parenting to remove any toxic parenting we’re using.
  • I want to not raise my voice at my daughter once this month but use more effective techniques.
  • I also need to be more consistent in addressing her behavior. I give her too many chances to choose to obey.
  • I hope to talk with our neighbors about doing some sort of spring neighborhood dinner.
  • I will ask myself every morning what I can do to be Jesus to my husband today.
  • Financial:

  • We’re still working this one out, but instead of doing our yearly budget, I think we’re going to take a different approach. Each month we’ll target 1-2 areas we want to address and try to reduce them by a certain percentage.
  • We’re not going out to eat alone (me with my daughter, my husband).
  • Well, that’s about it. I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes! I’m trying to journal about it almost every day. If anyone else does some detoxing in your life (even if it’s just in one area!) be sure to let me know about it.

    Posted by: spaghettipie | January 30, 2008

    February is Detox Month

    (cross-posted on Spaghettipie)

    I announced back in December that February would be Detox Month for me. As my husband and I have talked, we’ve decided to make it a family affair.

    Here’s how we started our discussion.

    1. We identified what we wanted to be or look like as a family. For example, for me that included being a better wife. When my husband looks back on our marriage in thirty years, I want him to be able to say that he learned about who God is through our relationship – how I treated him, how I loved him, how we interacted . . . When people look at our marriage, I want them to see God first, not my husband and I specifically. We each shared our thoughts on this question and ensured we understood each other.

    2. We identified our priorities as a family. We set our values as God, Family, Community – in that order. I know that seems basic, but having the discussion was a helpful reminder and ensured we were on the same page. We knew these priorities would influence our goals. For example, using the word community was deliberate. Building relationships with our friends is important to us, but we wanted a word to cover the breadth of what is important to us: building authentic relationships with those around us. That includes our physical neighbors, and as I have mentioned before, I don’t want to let that opportunity pass me by.

    3. We identified the main areas encompassed by our month long evaluation and purge. We fondly nicknamed those the “chunks.” I’m sure you can imagine the funny lines we came up with related to that . . . And here are said chunks:

    Health – Physically cleansing my system from chemicals and identifying bad habits that need to be broken
    Spiritual – Spending time in confession and cleansing apathy out of my system
    Mind – Examining what I input into my mind and filtering out toxic media
    Finances – Identifying toxic spending habits and “cleansing” our spending for the month
    Calendar/Scheduling – Removing extraneous activities from our schedule which detract from focusing on our priorities
    Relationships – Examining if I’m holding onto any toxic relationships or spending time on relationships that I just need to let go
    Environment – Purging our house of clutter and extraneous “stuff” and evaluating how we are being toxic to our actual environment

    4. We then created specific goals in each of the areas. In some cases, one of us had goals in an area where the other did not. Sometimes we had family goals rather than individual goals, and sometimes we had both. We’re still finalizing the rest of these goals, but the majority are complete.

    Let me take an aside here to say that all of this sounds formal and borderline legalistic, but I assure you (at this point) it is not. We’re not signing any contracts or holding ourselves to unreasonable expectations that will only lead to defeat and guilt. We are definitely challenging ourselves, sometimes to the point of discomfort (it is a detox after all), but it’s only for 29 days. Then we will re-evaluate.

    I’m excited about what we’re about to do, and it’s neat that it happens to coincide (at least part of the time) with Lent. Basically, we’re taking a hard look at the things in our life that need to be eliminated or cleaned out and bad habits that need to be broken. We’ll set ourselves up for relapse if we don’t replace those things with good activities and habits, so in March we’ll explore that aspect. In some cases, our February and March initiatives may overlap, but that’s the overall focus for each month.

    In the least, just the discussions we’ve had have been helpful. What I hope is that we move closer to what we aspire to be.

    I’ll post my specific goals later this week, but for now, I welcome any feedback or suggestions on how you’d make this type of initiative work.

    « Newer Posts - Older Posts »