As I have stated before–I am considering highly of following a dietary restrictions this Lenten season. I have actually extended it through Easter and until my doctor’s appointment on April 15th. Don’t worry–Easter I will celebrate rightfully so. Nevertheless, I am struggling with what to choose and I want to make sure I’m considered options.
Guidelines: I have determined that this must be a black and white type of eating. I either can or cannot eat something. Trust me… previous Lent dieting that was not so strict either resulted in failure or carelessness. When I gave up soda or went Kosher-these I was able to keep because I was passionate about practicing and was able to distinguish between what was allowed and what was not.
Selections with Pros/Cons: Here are a couple of the diets I’ve considered, their pros and cons. Please feel free to comment — experienced or educated opinions are always much appreciated:
1. Gluten-Free: This is probably the most basic option. It’s pretty clear (food either has gluten or doesn’t) and there a lot of resources to help me eat properly. However, my fertility doctor encouraged a more whole grain diet than no grain and, as my husband points out, I do not have a celiac (sp?) problem. Also… my health problems, while do stem from having high cholesterol and issues with sugars, may do not the best in eliminating it. But we’ll see.
2. Vegetarian: This sounds like a viable option. I know several people, both Veggies and Vegans, and have considered its health benefits. The only concern is my health issues. I am not sure if eliminating my main sources of protein and iron are a good suggestion (please-any advice is helpful) I have also considered following the Catholic (orthodox or otherwise) tradition with not eating meat on Fridays. But it feels too easy and not a viable health conditioning
3. Kosher: I thought about doing this again. It’s completely viable and does eliminate several fattening items. But sugars are still present. And isn’t a healthy eating, just a honoring eating.
4. Sugar, Sweets and Carbs: now, this is where I run into problems. I would love to say “no” all the time to these. Soda, sugar, chocolate, etc… all out. But again see the whole grain comment from my fertility doctor. And while giving up processed sugars is an excellent idea, your body still needs sugars and carbs to work. My Mayo Clinic diet has more “habits” to start incorporating…but then I run the risk of breaking my guideline–a black and white detail.
5. No fast food: this sounds good on paper, but is not a realistic option for me. With family going out once a week and Shawn and I with our busy schedules–eliminating fast food just isn’t practical for our family. And what’s fast food now? I picked up a half grilled cheese sandwich and soup from Panera in less time I get “fast food” and I wouldn’t consider Panera something like that. Too much variety to say yes/no on the matter.
So, now that I have those down I would love to hear any opinions or prayers for making a decent decision on this. I love taking Lent seriously. I feel a yearly cleansing helps refocus our lives–on all levels (spiritual, physically, etc.)