Beans and Rice Challenge

In Experiences on October 11, 2010 at 1:58 pm

What? Joining in on a church-wide challenge, I will be eating only rice, beans, flatbread and water this week. They challenged us to do it for anywhere from 1 to 7 days. I chose to do it for three days for sure…Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday…for all three meals & snacks. (Today I had a lunch appointment and dinner meeting and Wednesday I have dinner plans with girl friends, so that’s why the days aren’t consecutive.) I’m hoping I’ll have the willpower to expand my three days through Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Also, by skipping a couple days I won’t waste the other food that I happen to have in my refrigerator.

Why? The church is not trying to save money to give to the poor by doing this. We are simply trying to identify in some small way with the manner in which the other half of the world lives (or would be happy to live, since many individuals included in that half are starving). We are choosing to deny ourselves certain foods and choices so that we can remember and pray for the needs that are truly suffering in poverty. We want to be made more aware and more sensitive to poverty. (And perhaps in the process we will be made more aware of our excessive spending, excessive eating, excessive waste and the abundant opportunities we take for granted every day.) By choosing to commit to every other day, I will have an opportunity to eat the perishable dairy and vegetables in my refrigerator. I think it would be worse to waste food, than to succeed in eatting only rice and beans for a week! (That would be pride taking over practicality and compassion. We’re trying to identify with others who wouldn’t dream of wasting ANYTHING, so why should we?)


Mike, a darling boy a mission my church led in Kenya met personally, eatting rice.


Who? Myself (alongside of my church family). I asked the high school kids I mentor if they wanted to participate. When they agreed, I asked… them where we should go for Mexican-American food (since it’s tradition I take as many of them as are available out to lunch after Sunday service)? Only one of them was able to come yesterday, and she said, “Qdoba”. She seemed excited, but quickly modified the rules when she realized her burrito wouldn’t even contain cheese… or lettuce… or salsa… or guacamole… or chicken… “seriously?” she questioned. I told her, “It’s up to you” and she ordered a chicken burrito with all the fixings and a Dr. Pepper without hesitation. As I ordered my quesadilla with rice and pinto beans and NO cheese the man behind me let out an awe inspired “wow” and then I asked for awater cup and he didn’t know what to say.

How? I  went grocery shopping yesterday for dinner supplies for the week. It was the easiest shopping list I’ve ever had; I didn’t even write it down. My shopping list read: Bean, Rice, and Flatbread/Tortillas. After giving up on finding flatbread, I purchased tortillas, four different kinds of beans, and some white and brown rice. I ate leftovers from lunch for dinner and made rice with cinnamon and sugar for dessert (I’m a HUGE dessert fan, so I had to do something… okay, I didn’t have to, but I made it work without breaking the rules).

I won’t pretend it’s going to be easy, but I do contend it will be an experience and, hopefully, a beneficial one for many others and myself!


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