Five Gallons

I told you I’d have some funny stories.

Chris and I sat down Monday night with my newly organized ‘real food’ notebook to pick out what we wanted to eat this week. As I began to flip through the recipes, there was a lot of this going on: “Oh I’m still waiting on {insert ingredient} from Amazon,” “Oh I don’t know how to do that yet,” “Oh I haven’t ordered that yet.” See, we are trying to pace ourselves with purchasing these real food ingredients, due to budget restraints, but that limits my ability to whip up these fancy new meals. I’m sure I looked just like a popped balloon. I know I felt like one. I closed the notebook. Chris encouraged me that I could find some easier recipes in the morning before I went to the grocery store. He was right.

I woke up Tuesday morning, feeling a little downtrodden and discouraged, fixed breakfast for Chris, and then after he left, went back to sleep. I had been so motivated just 24 hours before. What happened? Emotions…lies…silliness. Thankfully I chose to spend some time with Jesus before I got too far into the “I can’t” pit. Using Oswald Chamber’s book My Utmost For His Highest as a guide, I opened to July 9th and the opening line was, “Do you even have the slightest reliance on anything or anyone other than God?” It continued, “Are you relying on yourself in any manner whatsoever regarding this new proposal or plan which God has placed before you?” Um, yes, yes I am. Everyone who reads this post may not be a follower of Jesus, but for those who are, RELY on Him! Of course I’m not perfect, but He is. ūüôā

So, I¬†started looking for some “getting started” recipes. I found a 5-day meal plan and headed to Whole Foods. I’m so used to buying pre-packaged meat, so the meat counter is a new experience for me. I always feel uncomfortable when I don’t know exactly what I’m doing, especially when it involves talking to a stranger about how I don’t know what I’m doing. Thankfully, the gentleman at the meat counter was very patient and helpful. I managed to successfully pick out some wild-caught salmon. I then chose between a whole lot of different types of sausages… like a WHOLE lot. And then finally, I picked out a whole chicken. I even asked if they fed the chickens soy… and the best part is… they don’t!

Since learning about the dangers of fluoride in our tap water, I have really wanted to buy a¬†Berkey water filter. Thankfully, while I was living with my family in the perfectly rural town of Statham, we were on well water and I didn’t have to worry about it. But now that we are back in¬†the city, it’s definitely an issue. Unfortunately, the Berkeys are not in our budget right now, so I needed a different, cheaper solution. I knew that the Earth Fare back in Athens had a filtered water station where you could fill up a jug of water that had been filtered by reverse osmosis, which removes any fluoride and I believe chlorine, too. Much to my excitement, so does Whole Foods here in Chapel Hill! I stared at all the different sizes of jugs… which one will be the most cost effective, which one will last long enough, can I lift that one once it’s full, etc. I decided to go with the big’un…¬†the five gallon jug. I filled that thing up and hoisted it into my buggy. I was so pleased that I had found fluoride-free water for only $.39/gal! And then it hit me… how in the world am I going to get the water OUT of the jug…? Oops. It’s not like we own one of those breakroom water coolers and I really don’t think it’ll go well with my kitchen decor. ūüėČ Thankfully, Chris was able to pick it up and pour out enough water for dinner last night and he poured some more for me this¬†morning before he left for work (yay for strong, servant husbands!). But what about the next time I fill it to the brim? This whole sitting on the floor with a water bottle in hand while Chris slowly pours trying not to spill any of our precious fluoride-free water will eventually get old. So¬†what did I do?! I googled! And I have found the solution… a hand pump! And it’s only $10! Suh-weet. I’ll be ordering that guy today.

So, back to food. I¬†did pretty good at the grocery store. I had to be outta there in 45 minutes, because I was taking Chris lunch at work. I managed to wrap it up just in time. I couldn’t find a few things I needed and other things I didn’t even remember to look for. I really have got to get this grocery list thing¬†down better. I’m so used to cooking the same ol’ things, so I rarely made a grocery list… I would just buy what I always bought. But now, the list is completely different and much more involved. (I hope I’m not overwhelming you… this requires you to be intentional, but it’s definitely¬†worth it!) So, I got home with my purchases and decided what to make for dinner (one day at a time). I went with the whole chicken using a great crock pot recipe. As a side, I made Olive Oil & Rosemary Potatoes. Yum. I’ve made herb-roasted potatoes before, but this recipe is definitely going down as a fave. I didn’t cook any veggies… I know, I know. But we’re getting there. I’m particularly excited about the left over chicken. I think I’m going to make tacos tonight and then tomorrow I’ll used the bones to make my first ever bone broth.

Okay I think I’ve said enough for today. I’m feeling much better today. I just can’t expect too much of myself here at the beginning–it’s a process, much like all good and worthwhile things.

UPDATE: The $10 hand pump that I ordered last summer proved to be useless.  We are now buying three five-gallon jugs per week to cover our drinking, cooking, and baby-bathing needs.  We purchased some smaller glass jugs that Chris fills up each morning before he leaves for work and I use those throughout the day.  Not ideal, but better than drinking hydrofluorosilicic acid, a fertilizer plant waste product.


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