Carla & Chris. Chris & Carla. I love these guys, and soon, you will too (I hope).
Both are bound by love and their mutual interests. Chris and Carla are both (beautiful) healthy folks who live the good life in pretty much every sense of the word. They work hard, they play hard, they eat well, and give back when they can.
While these two beautiful souls are surely extraordinary, they are also just really good, regular folk who are blessed to have their health, their happiness, and each other.
Like me or (maybe) like you.
Carla has been a huge supporter of Not So Fast since the early days, and so a few months ago both Chris and Carla decided to put themselves to the test for the benefit of others.
IPOM exists to share healthy, accessible recipes and inspire new (delicious) ways to live with (just a little) less.
This is a story outlining how small changes can be turned into real food for real people who have less.
How does it work?
Go without: Chris and Carla decided to fast for 40 days, by going without one specific luxury for 40 days.
The money they didn’t spend on what they would have consumed would be donated to feed those who have less.
Make It Real: Keep a journal (we are making something very special for this). Write in in your calendar. Tweet it.
By giving record, you make it real. After all, shouldn’t you take credit for your awareness and good deeds?
Feed People. We’ll do that, and soon we’ll tell you how. Or, get involved in your local community.
Here are Chris and Carla’s Stories…
Carla’s Challenge: Carla chose to go without any refined sugar for 40 days.
For those of us who are lucky to work with this lady like me, we know she works hard. She takes great care of herself. And she likes treats (but not too many).
We knew this would be tough..
Chris chose to go without all alcohol for 40 days.
This was in the midst of a few upcoming weddings. And weekends (those darned weekends)!
Chris, like Carla, is somewhat the picture of good health. They are both moderate people. But they, like all of us, have vices*, or things in their life they do not wish to be controlled by.
*(unless you don’t)
Here are a few thoughts direct from Chris and Carla themselves.
This is proof that no matter how small, little changes add up, and can result in positive benefits for you and for someone else!
Chris speaks on going without:
Why did you want to do this challenge? I am faced with various challenges everyday, but at the time I felt that I do not challenge myself enough. I think I was feeling a little complacent. I think I avoid challenge to avoid additional stress in my life.
Why did you choose beer to give up? I chose all forms of alcohol, not only beer. In the past I have given up only beer but just replaced it with other forms of alcohol, like wine, so the challenge was absent. Recently I became aware of how much alcohol I consume. I am not abusive but I have a drink a day. I truly enjoy the taste of beer and wine and look forward to that after work or with friends. I could not remember the last time I went a long period without consuming any alcohol (more then a couple days anyway). So it seemed like a good idea. Another big part is health. As I get older I become more aware of health choices. I felt it could do my body good to stop drinking for a while.
What did this exercise teach you about yourself/each other? That I was more dependent than I thought on alcohol. After a long day at work or at a social gathering, I found I would be a bit grumpy knowing that I was not going to have a drink. There was a very noticeable absence in my life for the first couple weeks. I think though the social aspect was the most interesting. In my life alcohol is often consumed in the company of friends and with that comes good conversation and discussion. I missed that and found that I was less social during this time. I even think friends called me less knowing that they might be drinking alone if we went out. Giving up alcohol felt like a bit of a sacrifice, if only in the superficial sense.
What were you able to contribute as a result of this or who did this positively affect? I think the most positive effect was on me, both health and financially.
Has it affected you in any other ways? My fast came during the season of Lent so there was a spiritual element to it. Although that was not as prominent during this time, I did make a point of thinking about why I was giving something up whenever I longed for it. This would lead in many different directions, from self-satisfaction/dissatisfaction to thinking of those who have no choice in what they do not have, to health and pride.
Would you do it again/build something like this into your daily routines? I will consider doing this again in a year and currently I conscientiously practice giving things up on a week to week basis.
Carla speaks on going without:
Why did you want to do this challenge? To encourage more reflection in my life – to help remind myself of how blessed I am for what I have, and that there are many who have to go without –being able to choose to go without is a luxury. I also wanted to support NSF by giving to those who have less.
Why did you choose sugar? I chose sugar for health reasons… and because I crave a little sweetness at least once a day. I knew it would be a little difficult.
What did this exercise teach you about yourself/each other? It taught me self discipline and encouraged generosity and reflection. It was encouraging to see how well Chris did in his fast and it helped me stay on track. Seeing that Chris and I could complete this challenge (not without our moments of weakness…), who knows what else we could take on.
What were you able to contribute as a result of this or who did this positively affect? Food issues are important to me – where our food comes from, how it is produced, what we put in our bodies and food waste. We are donating $$$ to NSF for a local food project they are involved in.
Has it affected you in any other ways (either positive or negative)? This fast has taught me that I don’t need sugar (and probably a lot of other things in life) – and should try and treat it as something special – that I’m lucky/blessed to be able to have, while others have to go without.
Would you do it again/build something like this into your daily routines? Yes.
Making it real…
Carla used this little notebook to record what she was giving up, and the value of it too.
In it I found little gems of her writing.
Putting words to something somehow makes it real, like thoughts once they become spoken words.
Do you keep a journal?
Everyday is a new challenge..what’s yours?
Chris and Carla donated enough money to sponsor a very special NSF event coming up.
I can’t wait to share this with you as the planning is in the works as we speak. Seeing the results of their challenge has inspired many great things and I can’t thank them enough for their courage and willingness to take part.
Not only will their funds provide much needed food, but we will also be sharing cooking skills that will (hopefully) enable folks to keep feeding themselves. Stay tuned as we roll out more
I’ll be keeping the recipes flowing too, starting with these delicious cookies in my next post…
The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.
~ Oscar Wilde
- Have you ever considered giving up a vice or a habit?
- If you did what would it be?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, and thank you my friends for reading about this amazing effort by amazing people. I told you you’d like them. Was I wrong?
There is lots more to come, and I’d love to hear from you all!
Here’s to a super week everyone!
Yours in Less,