It’s the season of Lent (March 5-April 17, 2014). I will be continuing my annual tradition of participating in Lent as a non-religious personal development practice.
Over the years I’ve fasted from all types of things I enjoy, such as alcohol (2009), candy, soda and gum (2010), Facebook (2011), sleeping in (2012), and my who could forget my iPhone/iPad Lent Fast of 2013. All were difficult and yet satisfying in their own ways.
This year my Lent fast will be from DEAD, PROCESSED FOODS! With that said, for the six weeks of Lent I will only consume foods that are:
WHOLE: Foods that have been processed or refined as little as possible and are free from preservatives, additives, and other artificial substances. Foods that are a product of nature/grow that way.
Basically, barcode-free food–no boxes, cans, bags, bottles, tubs, or packages.
Plain rice–brown or wild. No white rice. No “seasoned mixes”. The only ingredient listed should be “Rice”.
Seasonings–salt, herbs and spices. Read labels–no more than 3 ingredients should be listed on any labels, and they should all be whole foods.
Healthy fats–Extra virgin olive oil and organic coconut oil only
Other packaged whole foods such as nuts, seeds, legumes, in limited amounts. Again, no more than 3 ingredients should be listed on any labels, and they should all be whole foods.
LIVING: Foods that are organic and mostly raw/still alive.
Seafoods–FRESH (not canned) fish and shellfish permitted, prepared cleanly (baked, poached or sautéed in healthy fats).
Soups made with fresh, organic, whole food ingredients
HOMEMADE: Fresh foods prepared by hand in a kitchen.
Because I know of at least two occasions where I’ll be traveling during Lent, I’m permitting the sole indulgence of limiting dining out to no more than 3 times during the Lent fast. Whole and living requirements still apply for dining out, so make it count!
DRINKS: Water (80 ounces or more per day), smoothies consisting of fresh, whole, living food ingredients, and unsweetened herbal teas only.
SOUNDS FUN, DON’T IT!?!?
LOOK AT ALL THE FOODS I CAN EAT!!
Yeah…so, here’s Four Reasons Why This Will Suck
Lent isn’t supposed to be easy–the spirit of Lent is to fast–deny oneself of certain pleasures for the purposes of personal purification and greater spiritual good. In some ways, it’s meant to suck.
This is going to require me to use more focus and planning to make creative and strategic use of my time and money resources where I’m already struggling to manage both.
Most people I know don’t fast or observe Lent. So on top of being surrounded by people that are eating all the stuff I can’t, I’ll constantly be explaining why I’m not and dealing with peer pressure!
- I can’t chew gum. :'(
But on the other hand, here’s Four Reasons Why This Will Be Awesome
I won’t feel sick after eating!
I will very likely lose weight, even though that’s not the overall goal.
I’ll be more mindful about eating.
I’ll learn to cook more.
What I Intend To Take Away From This
Every other Lent fast has been a temporary experiment in discipline, restraint and self-exploration. This year, I am using Lent as springboard into a permanent new lifestyle of clean, healthy eating of REAL food. The idea is NOT to go back to eating and drinking shitty crap on April 18. Rather, my aim is to develop a new habit of preferring and choosing to eat foods that nourish my body and make me feel great.
I’m excited! I’ve already been eating a highly restricted diet due to a serious food allergy reaction I suffered from in February, which effectively served as an “ease-in” to Lent and a new nutrition lifestyle.
I’m gonna chew all the gum I can over the next few days, then it’s on!
I’m sharing this in case anyone out there wants to either join in with me, or be a supporter by checking in on me occasionally and cheering me on (or at least not tempting me to break the fast). Who’s in!? Please comment below, and feel free to share this and spread the word.
I don’t do very well blogging my reflections during Lent. If you want to keep up with how it’s going, then look to social media for regular updates, especially on Facebook. I’ll use the hashtag #Lent2014 in related posts.
Create a beautiful day!