Monday, October 5, 2009

beans and rice

after my post on facebook earlier today i got several comments about beans and rice so i wanted to post more details.

for the past 35 days (or the month of september) brian and i took the challenge of eating beans and rice for one meal every day. usually this was dinner. i read on one of the blogs we follow Building the Blocks. the challenge was to remind us to be so grateful for what and where the Lord has placed us. we are so privileged and spoiled with all that we have to eat. it doesn't take much effort or time or even money to come up with a good tasting meal. and we always have to have variety. it's just doesn't seem right to have the meal more than twice. so needless to say 35 days was a long time of the same thing.

the first few days our stomachs ached so bad. i was so full but my body just felt yuck. i just imaged all these children around the world who eat this for 3 meals a day with no complaints. there little bellies bloated yet nothing nutritious about what they were eating. brian and i were spoiled that we did get to have something else throughout the day. we could eat a banana, or carrots, or a sandwich, or whatever else we had around the house. and i must add that we didn't fully take the challenge that we wanted to. i did flavor up our beans ALOT. so that might have defeated the purpose a little. but nonetheless it got us focusing on something more than ourselves. every weekend i made a huge crockpot full of beans to last us through the week. i do have some great, cheap, and easy recipes if you would like them.

our second reason for doing this challenge, like our friend's blog spoke about, we wanted to pay it forward. we have been so blessed financially on our own adoption journey that we asked God to use us to bless someone else. by eating beans and rice for a month we were able to cut our grocery budget by more than half while still buying necessities like toiletries, fruits, veggies, laundry detergent, and even stalking up on diapers. it's amazing that when you set a budget you find you really don't need a lot of the things you would normally buy. we were able to take what we saved on our grocery budget and pay it forward to another adopting couple.

it's nice to eat meat again and have a little more variety in our diets. i'm totally going to need a detox after all those beans. God really opened my eyes to how blessed i truly am and that serving others is why we are all here. is there something you can cut back on or give up in order to pay it forward? i will definitely do this again, especially when we have kids.


jenny said...

Oh wow, Audra. I totally want to try something like this...what an amazing lesson in you mind sending me those recipes? I only know how to make black beans and rice...and not every well at that!

Amy @ Literacy Launchpad said...

Thank you for your sacrifice! We are blessed and touched by it!

Amber said...

wow what a blessing and sacrifice you two did

amy said...

I don't want to contradict your own experiences, but I have been studying nutrition and this does not add up. The fiber and other attributes of beans and whole grains (brown rice is best and instant rice doesn't count) have a multitude of benefits for the body, including lowering cholesterol and reducing the risk of heart disease. Switching to a diet high in fiber can leave you feeling some discomfort at first, but once you get past it, it keeps your colon clean and healthy. Meat is full of animal fats, and, in America, hormones and antibiotics that are better avoided. I don't look at substituting beans and rice for meat as a sacrifice. I think it is a wise dietary decision.

The combination of beans and rice in a meal provides complete protein to our bodies, which would be missing if meat is limited in the diet. Societies who have included the combination of beans and rice in their diets have an advantage over those who lack proper protein. Just think of how many cultures rely upon such a simple meal: Mexican and South American, African, Indian, etc.

I think it's great that you went through this experience, but I encourage you to look at it a different way. Beans and rice is a low-cost, nutritious meal. I'm not saying anyone should eat it every day, but if you make it a regular part of your meal rotation, you can reduce your budget all year long and continue to pay it forward if you choose.

(I know I can come off as really aggressive when I talk about nutrition so I apologize if I said anything to offend you.)

Brian and Audra said...

Amy, thanks for the information. I don't think beans and rice are bad. In fact we eat bean and rice about once a week anyways even before we took this challenge. However, eating beans and rice every single day does not provide a balanced diet.

Although some beans and rice are good for you it isn't always the cheapest kind and for our challenge we were going with the cheapest of cheaps which was white rice and pinot beans. We aren't huge meat eaters anyways and agree that a diet filled with meat isn't good for you either. It's all about balance.

I know there are children around the world that eat beans and rice for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I've stood next too them and shared that meal with them. But it isn't enough. They need more than that.