Happy Wives Club {A Favorite Read}

Summertime is a great time to dive into some great books! Since reading is a passion of mine, I love sharing with you all (from time-to-time) books that truly inspire me. So, if you love a good book too, then allow me to share with you a truly remarkable book you won’t want to miss!

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Happy Wives Club

If could send one book to every married woman, it would be Happy Wives Club. Author Fawn Weaver is a sweet friend of mine and I’ve been wanting to tell you all about her amazing book for quite some time now.

Of course, with all the craziness of writing and photographing my upcoming grain-free cookbook these past nine months, I’ve been hard pressed for time. So I waited until now to share with you this amazing treasure because I wanted to give it the full attention and praise it truly deserves.

Why I love this book!

bookPage after page, Happy Wives Club contains amazing and inspiring stories of women who share their secrets for building happy, fulfilling marriages. Fawn traveled across the world, literally, to connect with real women who know from experience what it takes to make marriage great. As you travel along with Fawn, you’ll meet everyday women from across the globe who share what they’ve discovered in their 25+ years of being happily married.

In fact, that’s what I love most about this book – it’s real! This isn’t the typical “top 10 tips to a happier marriage” book, but instead is a collection of inspiring stories about real happily married women who live real everyday lives, sharing their experiences in what it takes to make marriage what God intended it to be – joyful, fulfilling and a reflection of His love and glory.

Another facet of the book that really makes it remarkably insightful and encouraging is that with each story, you’ll find Fawn’s candid and wise observations as she eloquently extrapolates the truths of what makes marriage a blessing. As a true champion of marriage, you’ll find yourself eagerly turning the pages to hear Fawn’s words of hope and encouragement – her passion and enthusiasm for marriage is truly contagious and refreshing!

If I sound a bit like I’m gushing here, it’s because I guarantee you that this book will brighten your outlook on marriage and bring you deeper joy and encouragement as you discover how beautiful marriage can be when it’s tended with love and care. As Fawn wisely relays, “Happiness is a choice! Choose your spouse every day. And make the choice to create the life – and marriage – of your dreams.”

Happy Wives Club has certainly made an impact in my marriage and I know it will yours too!

For more about Fawn and to receive daily inspiration for making marriage great, be sure to “join the club” by subscribing to her amazing website at HappyWivesClub.com.

Disclosure: I received a free advance reader’s copy of this book for review. However, the opinions expressed are my honest thoughts after reading this book. Also note, this post contains Amazon affiliate links. There is no obligation to purchase, however if you opt to purchase this book using the links provided, a small portion of the sale goes to support The Nourishing Home at no additional cost to you. Thank you!

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How Much Food is Enough?

TNH Too Much Food Cover

If you were to walk into my kitchen today, you would find roughly 400lbs of food. Included are at least 50lbs of whole grains that a friend gave to me before they moved to Peru a couple months ago and several cans of Italian tomatoes we ordered in bulk for our favorite pizza sauce.

There’s also six different types of sweeteners, several varieties of flour (at least five, but probably closer to 10), and seven kinds of dried beans.

Between the fridge and freezer, you’ll find 40lbs of chicken and 70lbs of berries. There’s another 4lbs of berries on the counter, 5lbs of potatoes on the dryer, 9lbs of strawberries in the dehydrator and 4lbs of blueberries turning into leather in the oven.

Don’t forget the myriad of sauces and vinegars in the pantry, homemade yogurt and dressings in the fridge and the zucchini bread and chocolate chip cookies on top of the microwave.

The more I think about the kitchen, the more I’m apt to believe that saying we have a lot of food is a gross understatement.

The problem? The feeling that I still need to go grocery shopping.

Most of this food wasn’t in our kitchen two days ago. Every year my dad brings home an overflow of produce, and when he does, it’s a race to dehydrate, can, jam, freezer or eat as much as we can before it goes bad.

But just last weekend, when there was 200lbs less food in my kitchen, the tug to go to the grocery store was still there. Admitting this is difficult and humbling, but it sparked something inside.  Much like I share my shopping trips every month to hold myself accountable to my grocery budget, sharing with you what’s in my kitchen is a reality check that I felt this past week that I believe many of you can benefit from as well.

How many days could we go without grocery shopping?

Raspberries

Have you ever looked at what was in your kitchen and wondered that? I do, almost every month.

My family is blessed in more ways than I can possibly count. We have a roof over our heads and clothes on our backs. There has never been a day when we go hungry, yet there’s always a small part of me that thinks the food we have isn’t enough.

I meal plan based on what’s in the house and then shop the kitchen before every stepping foot in a store. But still… it’s a trip for just one lemon… or just sour cream and dill… or whatever else I think we “need” in order for the family to eat a proper meal.

But what would happen if I didn’t go to the store?

Would we starve? Would we lose any nutrients? Would the family complain about the salad being dressed with plain oil and vinegar instead of a tastier strawberry vinaigrette?

How much is enough?

Last year at the Allume Christian Bloggers Conference, Kelly and I heard Jeff Shinabarger, author of “More or Less,” speak on the topic of “enough.” He shared a story about how his wife began to question her thoughts about her wardrobe. Instead of continuing to think “I don’t have anything to wear” each time she opened her closet, she instead wondered how many days she could go without wearing the same thing twice.

The question she asked herself was, “how much is enough?” She soon discovered that she had enough clothing in her closet to wear a different outfit for more than 45 days in row. This simple question changed her perspective and her family’s. They now serve to help others in need.

Asking ourselves “how much is enough?” can be the ultimate key to discovering our needs versus wants, and so I’m taking it to the kitchen and I’d like to encourage you to join me …

Ask yourself: How much food is enough?

The average family eats between 3-5 pounds of food per day. Starting with the 400lbs of food in the house and assuming my family of four eats 16lbs of food each day, we could eat for 25 days without leaving the house.

And you know what? I think we could easily go longer.

It’s not a competition to see who could eat the smallest meals possible so that they can say they went the longest without shopping.

Rather, it’s the fact that 95% of the food in our house is real food (with the tortilla chips and ice cream being the two current exceptions) and the nutrients in real food help to control our appetite and blood sugar. Eating real food means we’re less likely to overeat in the first place, and the food we do eat will help us feel full and more satiated than if we had eaten junk food.

Plus we don’t eat much of the food we have in its current form. Whole grains are ground into flour to make bread. Raw beans are soaked and cooked first. Salads are only drizzled with dressings, not soaked in them. So there is certainly more food available than we probably even realize.

Blueberries

So while the math says we could go for 3-4 weeks without shopping, I have no doubt that if we made a legit attempt at eating only the food in our home, we could add at least another week.

Sure, we’d cook pretty much everything from scratch, and there would definitely be some hodge-podge meals, but we’d still be eating real food.

Can you imagine how much money my family would save if we didn’t go grocery shopping for 5 weeks?

Our grocery budget is $330 for four weeks, which means we’d save over $400 simply by eating the food we already have on hand.

Friends, I encourage you to ask yourself these two questions, and answer honestly:

  1. How much food do you currently have in your kitchen? 100lbs? 200lbs? More?
  2. How much food is enough? Could you stay out of a grocery store until your family ate every last ounce, or at least made a significant dent in your surplus?

There are hundreds of ways you can save money on real food, but there’s one way that surpasses them all: Eat what you already have.

As summer begins to wind down and the busy season of school looms ahead, I encourage you to not just be a good steward of your provisions, but to seek contentment with them by cultivating a heart of thanksgiving.

Before you shop – before you even make a meal plan or shopping list – really consider how much food you already have and find a way to use it. Your kitchen will be less cluttered, your budget will be leaner and your purposeful stewardship will be for His glory and will result in a more thankful heart.

Honestly, how many days could you legitimately eat, based on what’s in your house?  I’ll go first:  I think we could eat for 33 days.

Note from Kelly: For many of us, stocking our pantry and fridge week after week (even when we may already have an abundance of food) often is a result of mindless habit rather than thoughtful intention. That’s why stopping and asking ourselves “how much is enough?” helps us to live more purposefully – with more intention and with more gratitude. Tiffany’s post really struck a chord in my heart, and as I began to take inventory of my near-full pantry, I stopped and prayed, “thank you, Lord, for your gracious blessings!” I needed this reminder to be thankful for my daily bread and for friends like Tiffany who help us to stay focused on what truly matters – living with gratitude to the praise of His glory. I hope this post blesses your heart, as it has mine.

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Almost Oatmeal Cookies (Grain-Free, Egg-Free, Dairy-Free Option)

Almost Oatmeal Cookies {grain-free}

If you’ve been hanging out with me for awhile, then you know that for the last six months I’ve been developing more than 100 new recipes for my upcoming book “Everyday Grain-Free Baking.” I’m excited to share some good news … the manuscript went to the publisher at the end of June and I just heard back that they love it! Yay! So it looks like we’re right on track for pre-sales to begin in October – I’ll keep you posted!

In the meantime, to celebrate, I thought we could bake-up some delicious grain free oatmeal cookies together! So of course, I’m excited to share a brand new recipe from the book that’s truly one of my personal favorites.

I call this recipe “Almost” Oatmeal Cookies, because although there isn’t a single oat in these beauties, the taste and texture is so reminiscent of their namesake, they’re certain to bring a smile to your face! (Especially if you’re like me and have been missing oatmeal cookies since going grain-free.) 

Unsweetened shredded coconut is the secret behind this cookie’s chewy texture reminiscent of the oatmeal cookies we grew up enjoying. So grab a glass of milk and get ready for these delightful honey-sweetened treats!

Grain-Free Almost Oatmeal Cookies

Grain-Free "Oatmeal" Cookies (Egg-Free, Dairy-Free Option)

Yield: 1 1/2 dozen cookies

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda and salt.
  3. Using a stand mixer or electric hand mixer, mix together the butter (or palm shortening), coconut oil, honey, vanilla and cinnamon until smooth and creamy.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix well to combine. Then add the shredded coconut; continuing to mix until well blended.
  5. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the raisins. Then drop the dough by rounded spoonfuls at least two inches apart onto the parchment-lined baking sheet. Use your fingers to slightly flatten the cookies into rounds.
  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until golden brown along edges. Allow the cookies to completely cool on the cookie sheet, as they will be very soft and crumbly when hot.
  7. Once cooled, they transform into the ultimate deliciously chewy treat!
http://thenourishinghome.com/2014/07/grain-free-oatmeal-cookies/

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