Lent makes me eat more vegetables — a Whole30 experiment

Lent makes me eat more vegetables — a Whole30 experiment
Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

If you remember my post about what to give up for Lent this year, you know that I had a hard time deciding — coffee? wheat? alcohol? — they’re all things that would be a sacrifice, but I couldn’t come to a conclusion. (In the past when I tried to give up both coffee and wheat, at different times, I threw in the towel before I even started.) But this season I’ve also been dealing with a resurgence of asthma symptoms, to the point where I felt something HAD to be done — and in the past, honestly, my inhaler gave me heart palpitations and I couldn’t sleep all night.

So in a roundabout, probably misguided sort of way, for the last 30 days of Lent I’m doing a Whole30. That, in essence, means no grains, no legumes, no dairy, no sugar AND no alcohol.

Hence the title of this post. It’s only Day 2, but what’s left after you take away all of those things? Basically, protein, fruit and vegetables. Which is a great way to live. I already feel better, to be frank. But I don’t really know what to eat, so I haven’t been eating much! I roasted off some peppers and onions; I made a container of vegetable stock; I’ve had a lot of cashews and certainly too much almond butter. Too many bananas. A fruit smoothie, which I guess is kind of cheating. At least four eggs. When you don’t eat pork and red meat, however, the pickings are slim.

Here’s the thing: I don’t DO strict-strict-strict anymore. I am not on a diehard Whole30 regimen complete with meal plans, food journals and homemade clarified butter. I’m just trying to figure out why I can’t breathe. And it makes sense to me, as the Whole30 creators say, that “it starts with food.” Especially since it hasn’t even been 48 hours and my lungs already feel more clear and open; I kid you not.

It’s this weird sort of mix of restricting myself for what seems like a health-related issue, not really a Lent-related issue, and at the same time not killing myself if I, like yesterday, get a little non-Whole30-approved mayo on my chicken (during dinner out, which was terrible, overcooked and thus TORTURE as my first dinner following the plan). I’m not doing it to be hard on myself. I’m not doing it to lose weight or diet or keep this food-obsessed wheel turning. That may be what it is doing, sure — but I could not get out of my head enough to figure out if it’s stress/anxiety-related or food-related. Certainly it’s easier to start with food. (I know it could be environmental also, but that would mean I have to vacuum and sweep every day, wash my sheets every other day, hire a cleaning lady, kill the cat…)

So if you want to incorporate more vegetables into your diet, it’s easy! Just do the following:

  • Stop eating sugar
  • Stop eating grains and legumes
  • Stop eating diary
  • Stop drinking alcohol

Piece of cake! (That’s sugar-free sarcasm talking, to be noted.)

What did you give up for Lent? Have you completed a Whole30? I’m desperate for some easy/delicious snack ideas……..

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Filed under: Healthy living, What to eat

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