My beautiful daughter Jasmine
“Mommy, whose tummy did you come from?” Jasmine, my four-year-old, asked early one morning while lying in bed with me. It’s a common conversation in our house, babies coming from mommies’ tummies.

“Grandma Annie,” I reply.

“And Abe came from your tummy?”


“Did I?”
This past August I read  a book on vacation called 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker. While reading I felt completely motivated to implement some of her ideas from the book. Being totally inspired by her first chapter on food I convinced my husband that we should do a 21 day fast, like Jen's friends in the book had done. The fast consisted of picking seven of the world's poorest countries, eating like they do for three days each, all while learning about the country's people and culture at the same time. He agreed and thus exactly two days after returning home from vacation where we had eaten anything and everything to our hearts content (our families menus get more elaborate each year, think: smoked ribs, fish tacos, grilled pizza, pork tenderloin and every treat and snack known to man) we shocked our systems by narrowing our diet to mainly two things: beans and rice. Oh, we had a few days were we would incorporate plantains, a corn tortilla or chapati, but overall we ate rice, and lots of it. The mantra in our house anytime our kids would ask why we weren't eating meat: "Meat is rich people food!" But beyond just the aspect of food, it has changed my life and shifted my perspective. Following are some of the things I learned while in the process, and realizations I’ve come to in the days since the fast ended.

What I learned while doing a 21-day fast…