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pretty much every year since i became food nerd (read: a while now), it has been the billboards on the sides of buildings and buses that remind me that spring is just around the corner and the season of lent is upon us. they used to advertise just one fish sandwich per consumer, now it’s two for $2 or (is it $3 now since the dollar is down?). by the way, where is the sacrifice or discipline in eating two sandwiches at one meal?
well, well, well… isn’t it all so reminiscent of december’s stage for consumerist shenanigans… for (at least) 40 days, we’re encouraged to buy-to-satisfy and enhance our spiritual fortitude. we can do better. let’s be a bit more mindful, shall we?
please do not let a clown in a yellow and red onesie (or some dude who is the king of a sandwich) determine how you spend these few weeks of lent. here are a few other things you do instead of choosing to purchase non-food from uncompassionate retailers for your “meatless friday” needs.
- cook (or learn to): give up eating at out altogether for 40 days. make food that includes more vegetables. snack on whole fruit and nuts. pack your lunch. eat with loved ones. make the time.
- simplify your schedule: give up overscheduling. spend more time with your family and friends doing things that are free. get acquainted with an alternating rhythm of doing and being that suits you best. experiment with having nothing to do and nowhere to go.
- watch what you watch: give up watching bad news. the good news network is a nice alternative and it’s free for the first 30 days. get your weather from the weather channel; i use my local weather for my browser homepage.
- give (alms): don’t just give up your couture coffee for lent, donate the money you’d have spent to a cause you care about. hug more people. listen.
- create sacred space: give up all that talking and doing. let awkward pauses ripen into silent, sacred moments. do things that help quiet your mind. be in stillness with yourself, even if it’s in the restroom.
a special note on fasting:
for those interested in fasting, know that there are different levels. going completely with out food for most of the day is possible, but might be harsh if you’re unfamiliar with what it’s like.
- chewing: most americans barely chew their food… especially as the majority of it requires modest mastication effort to mix with saliva and swallow. also, if you chew more, you eat less.
- raw foods fasting: adding more raw veggies and fruit have a natural cleansing effect and can help you purify the physical body by getting rid of solid waste… more fiber gets the lead out.
- liquid fasting: smoothies are more like eating food than juice since more of the solids are still present. smoothies that include dairy, smoothie mix, or daiquiri mix should probably be avoided. 😉 juice fasting can take you further and should be monitored carefully. always take note of how you feel.
- water fasting: some people’s bodies can do it. if you choose it, just don’t overdo it. be mindful and again, always note how you feel and act appropriately to maintain your health.
© Copyright 2010
should you need assistance or coaching during this time, please feel free to contact me: tazima@CompassionateRenegade.com