(Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash)

Welcome back from our 3-day weekend, with most schools back in full swing, and fall peeking at you from just around the corner. This week we would just like to remind you to be kind to yourself in this seasonal shift and set a date to celebrate your wins!

Meal Plan – Week #28 (Written by Jamie)

Cost: $95.67 week for 3 people // $1.51 /serving* (*NOTE: These numbers are calculated off what we actually spend each week, which may include occasional supplements of grain, starch, or beef for Drew and Jamie which Charlie cannot have. Week-to-week fluctuations in cost are more reflective of the times we need to pick up staples like olive oil and vinegar, or weeks where Jamie is prepping three weeks’ worth of cauliflower rice, rather than one week’s meal plan costing extra. Overall, we believe this offers a more accurate reflection of what this diet might look like financially for others.)

Meal Plan Diet Categories: (Gluten-Free, Lactose/Dairy Free, Diabetes Diet, Low Fat/Low Cholesterol, Cardiac Diet, Paleo, Vegan, Vegetarian)

Meals: (Click on the names to go to the recipe) (1) Citrus Cumin Pork Roast / (2) Za’atar Chicken / (3) Standard Chicken / (4) Roast Beet Salad with Feta and Pumpkin Seeds / (5) Garden Salads / (6) Pinto Beans (variation 1) / (7) Zucchini / (8) Brussels Sprouts / (9) Quinoa

Snacks:  Chopped Veggies (for dipping) /Herb Dipping Sauce / Egg Whites / Naked Popcorn

Charlie is now well into her 7th month of total food consumption revamp, going from zero restrictions to a laundry list of them as an emergency health requirements. These months have been like participating in a succeed-or-die season of Survivor with only a dry outline, no script, one actor, and a creative team of two people who have never seen the show. Somehow, we still needed to succeed in a massive way because a life of investment was on the line, and there were infinite ways we could fail. In the end, we would all have to become professionals through study and practice while performing live, with zero shortcuts.

Meanwhile, as our performer and creative team became more in tune with one another, and learned new ways of managing the secrets of surviving and the workload involved, we also needed to remember that this long-haul production requires moments of celebration. Every successful attempt and next sunrise is a win here. And when we stumble…well, that too became a win because of whatever was learned from the result.

…It takes thousands of hours to become an expert…10,000 of them, actually. But while we practice this discipline of healthy eating, nutritional balance, and steering clear of food sensitivities, we also need to build in moments of celebration for the work and success we have reached SO FAR.

Building dates or sub-goal celebrations are super important to recognize our work and sense of achievement. With only long-term goals, the brain and body (and certainly mood and drive) can start flinging some pretty gross thoughts of impossibility your way. Because if you have to lose over 150 lbs, what does the loss of 10 lbs matter by comparison? If you need to survive 30 days in the wild and you’re only 5 days in now, how do you keep your eye on the prize and not sink into a pit of self-pity and bug bites this far out?

Put into another perspective — an Olympian doesn’t start out as one. They had their first days of playing their sport too, their first fails, their first lost competitions before they began to have their first wins. Which they celebrated. Every win that got them closer to their big goal was a step that couldn’t be skipped or shortcut through any more than your journey can. Those trophies and medals accrue as they worked and practiced, and those tangible reminders helped fuel them to reach higher, work harder, and push on.

What can be your trophy or medal? How will you celebrate and refuel your passion and determination in your quest toward a healthier you? As you build your goals, don’t forget to build in your celebrations, and your personal tokens of achievement into physical being as well. Let it be something to taste, or touch, or listen to, or ride, or experience that will bring your body and mind joy and a true celebration of accomplishment for all the work you have done to reach each new goal.

You can’t win an Olympic gold without winning the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 28th, 56th, and 110th other matches first. They deserve to be celebrated. Because each one is a part of the end goal that you’d never reach without them.

Get to celebrating!