The Lenten Season is upon us! I try my best to choose something to give up every year that is a ‘sacrifice.’ I use the word sacrifice losely because it seems a little presumptuous to assert that giving up chocolate or Starbucks is a sacrifice, particularly when there are people all over the world who dream of being able to afford these first world luxuries. I’ve been blessed though; I consider myself lucky to have had so many indulgences to choose from as I contemplated this year’s Lenten abstinence project.
Beginning Ash Wednesday, I decided to revert to my primal roots and follow the Paleo way of life (well, way of forty days at least!) I realize the Paleo diet is somewhat trendy right now, so I am guessing a lot of readers are rolling there eyes. For me, however, the Paleo plan is more of an exercise in restraint and overcoming temptations than about the diet itself. It just happens to be a bonus that it is a health-nut’s biggest challenge that will help me cleanse my body (and soul) and the same time. I have considered the program before, but always concluded it was “too hard.” However, I am able to recruit some extra will power during Lent so if there was ever a time to commit, it is now!
The rules: you eat like a caveman, consuming only foods that can be hunted or gathered in the day of old, before processed food existed. Lean meats, eggs, veggies (excluding beans, corn, and potatoes), fruits, nuts, and certain oils are about to rule me. This lifestyle is especially challenging for a girl who consumes more dairy these days than just about anything else. Milk, cheese, yogurt, cheese, butter, cheese. Dang. At first I thought I could easily switch dairy to soy products, but quickly found out that soy of any kind, in any form, is prohibited on the Paleo diet. Fortunately almond milk is acceptable. Coconut milk is also acceptable, but I find it, in a word, repulsive. So, yeah. Then I found out that sweet potatoes, yams, butternut squash, are only permitted on occasion (woe is me), while corn and all beans (yes, all beans!) are off limits. No refined sugar, no processed food, no fatty meats, no tortilla chips (I might have serious withdrawals from this one), and no fun. Except for dry red wine.
I can handle Paleo + red wine which is surprisingly okay, unless I want to drink the whole bottle. Which, admittedly, doesn’t sound half bad.
Eating Paleo – like a caveman – will be a learning experience, and a nice way to treat my body “as a Temple” during Lent. On the bright side, I already love my fruits and veggies which are Paleo Approved! with a few exceptions, of course.
First Paleo Valentines Dinner:
Citrus Balsamic Baked Tilapia (with roasted veggies)
Since Daniel had already chosen his own personal Lent sacrifice, he isn’t fully on board with the Paleo thing. he as graciously agreed to help eat up all the starchy junk in our pantries and creamy cheeses in the fridge so the stuff doesn’t go to waste. All that is to say that Daniel ate Paleo friendly portion with a mound of white rice and soy sauce. I think all cavemen just had a heart attacks.
Well, that’s the latest! I’m going to have to start getting super-duper creative in the kitchen over the next forty days. What ever will I do without coffee? Oh, I didn’t mention coffee was off limits too… that’s because I’m in denial about it. Click here to check out the Paleo philosophy. Here is a great food list link. I’m intrigued, and nervous!