Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Sacrificing for God and Good Health (Also, I have a beverage addiction.)

Yesterday was Fat Tuesday. Did you celebrate? I honestly can't say that I have ever given Mardi Gras and your typical Fat Tuesday brouhaha much cause for concern. I have never been to the parades in New Orleans, nor do I own any feathery sparkly masks. And I have never racked up a neck full of beads for doing THAT. (You know what I'm talking about.) Instead, I grew up noshing on paczkis (say it: pawnsh-keys). Otherwise known as a jelly doughnuts. Because that's what you do when half of you is of Polish breed. I am also Catholic.

I will not push my religious beliefs on you, but I will explain how my Fat Tuesday traditions coincide with the Catholic Church.

Fat Tuesday is the day before Lent, which is a 40-day period within the Catholic Church that celebrates Christ's journey toward the salvation of all people. He fasted for 40 days in the desert to prepare for His sacrifice, a practice Catholics have picked up to honor Him and to bring themselves closer to Him and his purpose. Those 40 days begin today. Thus, the reason Fat Tuesday has become a day of indulgence for many. Stock up, that's often the mindset. Eat those things which you will be denying yourself over the course of the next 40 days. Then again, many people remove themselves from the religious aspect of yesterday and simply choose to eat, eat and eat. I refuse to judge you for doing that. Holidays are wonderful, and if you take care of yourself every other day, you can afford to have fun. Life is too short.

Back to today, the first day of Lent. Whether or not you observe it is your own choice, and that's a choice I absolutely respect. I thought perhaps you'd be interested in some of the ways I am sacrificing, as they directly affect my health and my fitness.

1) I will not indulge in sweets. This girl right here has an uncontrollable sweet tooth, and as I do every year, I will forgo said sweets when tempted. No chocolate. No homemade ice cream. No mocha. Nothing, nada and zilch.

2) No meat today. Or on Fridays. I am also going to attempt eliminating ALL animal products on those days as well, which was the Catholic tradition many years ago. (The Church has since lapsed its rules on that one.) I have never done this before. So if any of my readers are vegan, send your tips my way! Note that this will be hard for me. No more milk in my smoothies! No more Greek yogurt! No eggs either. My go-to Lenten Friday meal has always been a grilled cheese sandwich or some form of scrambled eggs. Not this year

3) Finally, I vow to eat more consciously. I do fairly well as it is, but I really want to connect with my food a bit more. I vow to eat every meal at a table, no excuses. I vow to eat slowly, and to really listen to my body by only eating as much as it needs. Not as much as it wants. Sometimes I fail in that respect, especially when whatever I happen to be eating is divine. I am, after all, human.

Of course, I have a few personal sacrifices and improvements on the list. I won't bore you with those. I will however, bore you with my recent drinking habit. Before you assume the worst, let me explain.

I am now the proud owner of a Jack LaLane juicer, and I juiced these sad little oranges on Sunday. So good. So super good, indeed. I can't wait to save more fruits from a dumpster death. (Find the "expiring fruits" section in your grocery store!) Then on Monday, I had this:

Chocolate Amazing Grass. It's less of a protein shake, more of a superfood beverage. I can't say much more about it at this point, but I will in the future so stay tuned. And then yesterday, the bev tradition continued with a Blueberry-Avocado-Oat smoothie.

...into which I put everything and the kitchen sink. And by "everything," I simply mean blueberries, half an avocado, oats, wheat germ, ground flaxseed, Chia seeds and a small spoonful of egg-based protein powder. It was delish. And consumed on my way to work. Clearly this won't be happening anymore. At least not for the next 40 days.

Apparently, I am also addicted to my black Nike coat and zebra-print scarf. Can they rehab you for being addicted to clothes? I'm fairly certain my husband would sign me up in a heartbeat. 

Question: Are you giving up anything for Lent? And if Lent isn't something you're practicing, I'd like to know if you're currently working through any health-based, fitness-based vows of improvement.

REMINDER! Don't forget to enter my Oxygen giveaway! You just might become the lucky recipient of a subscription to this wonderfully informative magazine! (Contest ends at midnight EST on Wednesday, March 9, 2011).


Tami B said...

I, too, am giving up sweets. Something i have never done before and I awoke craving them already. Aarrgh. This should help with some of my increasing weight---and as soon as this cold is gone, i shall begin exercising.......

Anonymous said...

i tried on a strict diet for a month.strict diet meaning, no fast food, no fried food, no refined carbo and sugar. so far it worked.lost 2.5kg within a month. since then, it feels weird eating fried or fast food again. which is good.haha

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