What do you eat?

People often ask me this question when they hear that we don't eat gluten/dairy/soy/sugar/pork. I get it. It takes alot of choices out of what's for dinner or a snack really.

There's part of me that enjoys that. I don't need a thousand options. There are fewer ingredients in my house and that makes it helpful in preparing dinner and more adventurous to figure out a new way to cook something.

I have watched in some people's faces as they hear our restrictions and they feel sorry for us, or they wonder why when only Noah has such a strong response, and Caleb a smaller response that we would all partake in the diet.

The thing is, the more we read and talk with people, we understand the danger for all of us in eating these other things. We are really enjoying the diet. The only struggle comes when all the things that we can't eat are brought to us, offered to us, driving by in the ice cream truck, etc. When we are at home and in charge of our meals, we want for nothing. We eat and are completely satisfied.

Last night we had dear friends over for dinner. We drank wine while we prepared the food.

We had corn chips and homemade guacamole mixed with salsa to munch on. I would have taken a picture if my child hadn't eaten it all. It was delish.

For dinner, our friends brought Steak! What a treat for us! We sauteed garlic, onions and mushrooms in wine to top our steak to replace A1 sauce.

We hit the Farmer's market on Saturday and bought Ground Cherries, then picked mint from our garden and made a watermelon/Cherri/mint salad.

Noah and I also found the smallest red potatoes at the market and decided we liked those best because then we didn't have to cut them up and they were much prettier to eat. We picked oregano from the garden and drizzled Olive Oil over the potato's and added a dash of salt and pepper. So yummy!

We were blessed with Iowa sweet corn from Paul's grandparents and decided to pull that from the freezer and enjoy that along with asparagus drizzled with Olive Oil and pepper.

Our dinner was full of flavor and color and was so simple to prepare. The potatoes and asparagus just baked in the oven and the corn cooked in a pot. The men grilled the steaks and presto! Dinner.

For desert, (sorry I didn't take a photo, we were too excited to eat it!) I bought a wonderful berry juice without sugar, poured it in a bowl, and stuck in the freezer. After a day it was frozen, I dragged my fork and spoon over the top, scooped it out like sorbet and topped it with strawberries. So fresh and tasty. It was cold and filled our treat bank in the tummy. We all have a treat compartment, don't lie to yourself. This filled it perfectly.

After dinner the kids played, then got baths and the adults were able to enjoy great conversation in the quiet of the house.

I noticed after the huge amount of food that we all ate after dinner that I felt satisfied. I didn't feel full and sluggish or felt guilty at all I ate. It was wonderful. It was satisfying and it didn't leave me feeling guilty or tired or wanting to undo my top button of my pants. (I actually wore a dress, so that doesn't count, but still.)

We don't eat this extensive meal every night. But the formula is the same. Paul and I are actually going to nail down our week meal plan tonight. We plan on eating the same thing every week with a few exceptions with what's on sale. This will help us with our budget and my stress of figuring out what to eat. If you are curious, you can check back tomorrow and see what a "Joy Free" diet looks like.

Be forewarned, it is anything but joy free.

***Disclaimer. When I read blogs like the I am posting I often have this image of the family I am reading about. They are all homey, clean clothes, laughing and peaceful in the way they treat each other. I hear garden and I think full and thriving plot of land where the gardener spends hours of her time tending to the needs of the plants. I hear they had friends over and I think their house is clean and orderly.

This is not my life. We threw all our crap in our bedroom so our friends wouldn't see it. My garden, if you can call it that, is mostly hidden under weeds and shingles that have fallen from our roof. My mother did an amazing job helping me at least find most of my plants this weekend and pulled a bunch of weeds. My kids were playing in the water and were drenched when they came to dinner. We ate outside amongst all the neighborhood debris and we have never owned an outside dinner table. Everyone had to hold their plates in their laps and we watched as our children and the neighbor kids fight and decide who they were friends with. It was chaotic but wonderful. Dirty, messy, and wonderful.