As Lent fast approaches, I have continued my “search” of what to dedicate my upcoming diet to. I have weighed the pros & cons (see previous post to this). So Far, here is what I have determined:
1) No soda—this was an obvious one and the minimal goal if I couldn’t decide on anything. I have done this before and I can do it again. And personally, I am knocking out all diet drinks as well. My only exception allowed will be for Sprite-only sparingly allowed if at all. If I’m going to fail, might as well do it with a caffeine free lighter drink. But I don’t allow myself to drink it regularly.
2) No Junk food—I am currently trying to narrow this down. I was going to say no “fast” food, but since our family goes out each week to fast food because they do not want to overburden a waitress (please reserve your comments), this is next to impossible. I am considering setting a calorie/nutrition goal in relation to this. Meaning—I am only allowed to eat maximum 800 calories when I go out. That’s more than doable, allows for some flexible but also for restraint. I am also making clear no more massive amounts of pizza, of Chinese food or things we decide to order because we’re tired and don’t want to cook (that happens a lot between work & Shawn’s schooling. I’d plan meals—but then I’d feel like my life is structured like a formula (input/output) and I DO NOT want that feeling in any way. (For theological and philosophical reasons.)
3) No carbs/sugar—Okay, let me preface this with not a complete deletion. But I need to cut it down. My weakness: anything BREAD. I have eaten a whole French roll (you know-the ones you can buy all warm and tasty from the bakeries at the groceries around 3pm everyday?) by myself. And I eat carbs mindlessly. Chips at a Mexican restaurant are also my weakness. More mindless eating. This is what I need to stop. What does need to stop is the healthy grain eating. Doctor’s orders and let’s be honest—I like the taste of grain (I’m definitely not going gluten-free unless they determine I have celiac disease or a sensitivity or something.)
4) Eating breakfast—this is another one of my downfalls. Since my younger years, I have always had trouble eating breakfast. Mostly because I would feel nauseous in the morning and didn’t want to touch anything for about an hour. I have learn to adjust but need to eat something (and something HEALTHY) instead of searching for the first McDonald’s Egg McMuffin or (worse) Jack In the Box Sandwich. I need something quick (because I like to get up & go) or something I can heat up later. I love the little potato meals from SmartOnes & such. And a lot of organic lines have breakfast items that are extremely healthy. And my own doctor said I need more whole grains.
I have considered going Paleo… something I know a lot of people have done and its not that bad. I just have to focus and get prepared. Here’s go nothing
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.)
Sunday begins a new month-February. A month of jammed holidays-including the candy inducing and card exploding Valentine’s Day, sometimes Chinese New Year, President’s Day and (occasionally) a leap year. However, the season of lent typically begins this month-with Mardi Gras and Ash Wednesday leading through the Palm Sunday, the first “last” Supper, Good Friday & Saturday and finally with Amazing Easter!
February for me starts with some new items on the agenda to go along with lent. I have decided to dedicate my lenten time to a Truine God by structuring things into three main ideas. I will be working on my over well-being (which equates to weight loss, feeling whole both spiritually and mentally as well as general overall “goodness” if it can be explained that way.) Here is how its going to look on paper:
1) Weight Loss–work on losing those 10-15 lbs by Easter. Actually, this will go with the original idea of Lent and “giving up” something for Lent. I am contemplating giving up the bad stuff–the highly processed sugar, soda, sugary juice, stuff like that. But i have two weeks to define this. I have also considering see what it is like to go Gluten-Free or Vegetarian (no vegan, sorry-I’m worried about its affects on my medication.) I know several of my friends who are on strict diets and for some reason, acknowledging that they have a dietary restrictions is where I feel I can walk with them for a bit. A few years ago (2013) I decided to go Kosher mostly because of a discussion I had with a messianic Jewish friend. It was not easy. Shawn and I traveled to Walt Disney World and he had reservations at the Seafood Restaurant “The Coral Reef.” We also ate at a fancy French restaurant in Epcot (the little one up the stairs…the expensive one.) Both of these places had a lot of shellfish-something definitely NOT Kosher-and I struggled with picking something that still sounded appetizing yet was appropriate. It gave me new appreciation for that diet. And it helped me eat better. So that’s step one.
I will also be tying in “doing something for others.” A fairly new but definitely appropriate Lenten practice. This may sound silly-but Scout and I started dog training. Yep-you can teach an old dog new tricks. Scout is 5 years old, learning that yipping and jumping in circles is not acceptable behavior and hopefully getting some lessons in manors. This helps everyone, right? (If you have been to my house you may say yes.) I’m also trying to figure out where to get back involved with rescues. And that circles around back to health and walking. I also want to give a little more, pray a little harder, and loves my friends a little deeper. ;-). I also want to be able to stand against wrong doing, love justice and yet know what Gods patience and timing looks like.
2) The next idea is more along the lines personal development. To work on yourself. An idea that Lent is supposed to be a time of self-reflection, spiritually speaking. I want to work in daily readings, studies, something. I have talked about this before, talked about doing it. But suddenly I have an urge to do this. It’s something I would love to practice with any children if we are so blessed to receive any.
The second item is thinking about my career and my life. I love working for Auto Club, but many people know I have a degree in Theology and while it can relate to the world of customer service and insurance, both are not my dual passion. I believe more so that God is calling me somewhere and yet calling me to be the best at whatever job I am in-which he has made clear is currently claims adjusting. Hence why I work hard in insurance. But every time I look at my books, think of my love for theology-i get depressed and go right into the rut I felt before attending seminary. If some of you don’t know–I struggled for close to 2 years on deciding if I should go to seminary and when I should go back. I missed everything about being theological. So my personal goal is to get started on looking at related jobs to this field and what it takes to get there. Thanks to my choir director at church I got a lot of encouragement to start looking and I realize that every position I wanted to apply for requires a Ph.D. (deep sigh). But I will leave that for another blog.
3) the last item is staying connected and devoted. I want to make it to church more often (I live 45 minutes from church so it’s actually a serious commitment.) I wanted to be a perfect attendee but I’m trying one week at a time. Also it’s about attending and prioritizing the right things.
So-its written down.
I am writing parts of this during church but the pastor just mentioned something that I think definitely goes with this whole blog
Jesus is Lord, and i AM all in! I am yours!
He will be your bucket and bring the rope He will give you life!