Catholicism shadowed me for years whether I wanted it to or not. I spent pre-school through twelfth grade attending Private, Catholic schools. I swore I’d choose a college not affiliated to religion but that didn’t happen and I continued my education at a Catholic institution.
Despite my lack of participation in Catholicism, I usually choose to fulfill my Lenten obligation starting Ash Wednesday. Why, you ask? It’s a purely selfish reason. I participate in Lent because it gives me 40 set days to live a healthier lifestyle. It’s also motivating to know I’m not the only person living a life of deprivation during these days. And it’s easy to place the blame on Lent when I need to deny my palate of tasty temptations.
In the past, I’ve given up foods such as French fries, chocolate, and ice cream. I’ve also dedicated my days to eating only 1200 calories. They say it takes thirty days for a new habit to become a lifestyle change. The forty days of Lent offers a set time in which to make that change. I didn’t miss those French fries and ended up abstaining from them for a year and half!
And so, as in years past, I have set my healthy Lenten goal. Starting today I am focusing on eating clean and paleo-ish. I don’t want to fully eat like a caveman. I’m not that dedicated to fad diets which don’t help me to realistically achieve my pursuit of healthy living. What I intend to do this season is eat well, limit grains and starches to zero (or as little as possible – sweet potatoes are packed with protein!), cut out all junk, and attempt to limit my artificial sweetener intake (I’m addicted to Splenda in my tea). Simply stated, I’m eating mainly fruits, veggies, poultry and fish. I’m eating as clean as I can and making this diet a part of who I am.
It’s hasta la vista pre-packaged meals and hello cooking! What’s on today’s menu? Breakfast was an egg white scramble with spinach, black beans, tomatoes, and mushrooms. Lunch was a banana with almond butter and hot tea. And dinner will be baked calamari atop of spinach salad… assuming my culinary skills don’t fail me.
Comes Easter Sunday, I’ll be a brand new me. I’ll be running faster and ready to welcome the sunshine and warm(er) weather. I guarantee my stomach will thank me too because I unintentionally will have eaten gluten free all that time!
I’m raising my hot tea to forty days of healthy eating…and the occasional ounce of remorse for my missed delights.