I grew up Catholic so the idea of giving something up for Lent or at least considering something to give up is a normal, yearly occurrence. More recently, I've been challenging preconceived notions about myself and when Lent came around, I thought why not give up something that makes me more mindful about eating?
I'm pretty good about balance, but between the busy-ness of work and the boredom that ensues during low-key weekends - I'm less conscious about how many little sweet somethings I end up putting in my mouth! So I embarked on a self-imposed dry spell of sweets - a few things I learned:
- The Lenten season is not 40 days. How did I think this for so long? It's actually much, much longer. Like 50 days.
- Pre-packaged/pre-made treats are usually WAY too sweet for no reason.
- I was eating a lot of extra sugar on a daily basis.
- Giving up dessert wasn't that hard.
I'm in the home stretch! And I didn't have any lapses. Well maybe one or two, when I thought a Coconut Secret bar didn't have sugar (coconut sugar is still sugar) and had a bite of fruit out of a friend's just-baked berry crumble. To persevere, I tricked myself into eating things that resembled what I was craving.
- If I was craving a breakfast pastry, I'd sub with a piece of whole grain toast topped with crunchy peanut butter and sliced banana.
- When that mid-afternoon craving hit, I ordered a coffee instead - though not the best idea for a good night's sleep.
- Instead of ice cream, I'd make myself a chia pudding with almond milk, toasted coconut and berries. Or I'd snack on frozen peaches right out of the freezer.
- Surprisingly, a bowl of bran cereal with almond milk and banana hit the sweet spot.
I'd be lying if I said I was not SUPER excited about this weekend. I've been dreaming about what I'm going to enjoy first. Choices, choices.
Ever the planner/anticipator, I lovingly froze a slice (or two) of my husband's birthday cake and two Sprinkles cupcakes (also from his birthday festivities) being careful not to accidentally lick my fingers. Although with the weather as nice as it's been - I've been daydreaming about how much more enjoyable it would be with a hot fudge sundae. I wish Big Gay Ice Cream was already open downtown, otherwise I'll drive myself over to mid city for Sweet Rose Creamery to try their sundae of the month. But then there are donuts to be had...
Regardless of what I reach for this Sunday (at midnight), I've definitely realized how often I unnecessarily craved hits of sugar. I hope my newfound awareness and softened palette stays with me and I'm more selective about when and with what I indulge.