The leader of the Catholic church changed hands yesterday. Amongst great fanfare, Jorge Mario Bergoglio exited the Vatican after a plume of white smoke rose from the chimney and was announced as Pope Francis I. He’s the first pope of modern times to come from Latin America; specifically he hails from Buenos Aires, Argentina.
He’s described as a humble man and a pope of the people, already declining to stand atop a podium when he first greeted his loyal Catholic followers. So then, can we assume the papal diet will also be a modest one? It appears so. According to Lanancion.com, Pope Francis enjoys a healthy diet, eating things like fresh fruit, skinless chicken, salads, and a glass of wine on occasion.
It may be a leaner and more frugal diet than many of his predecessors.
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In case you were wondering why the ads for fast-food fish increase this time of year – here’s your answer. Catholics started Lent on Wednesday, a 40-day observance wherein an individual fasts or abstains from something worldly, including abstinence from meat on Fridays. Catholics are permitted fish, and the restaurant industry takes full advantage. While grabbing a fish sandwich from a drive-thru seems innocent enough considering how healthful fish can be, those combos are often no better than the cheeseburgers.
Once you batter, fry, slather with mayo, and stuff fish inside a big white, starchy bun, you’re left with alarmingly high sodium and diet-crushing calorie counts.
We scanned restaurant menus to organize a list of the healthiest fish sandwiches, but our direction had to change when we couldn’t find any. That’s right – the fast food industry fails when it comes to serving a sandwich that meets our nutritional criteria, which is 500 calories and 500 milligrams of sodium or less for a meal. A couple come close with modifications, but they often don’t leave room for any sides.
McDonald’s Filet O’Fish Sandwich “wins” for the “healthier” fast food fish sandwich, as long as you ditch the cheese and maybe even the tartar sauce. The Long John Silver’s grilled salmon option is the best meal we found, and you even get to order corn with it! And for cold sandwiches, Panera barely wins with its tuna sandwich (barely because the sodium is still too high).
Take a look at the break down of eight of the most popular fast food restaurants and why you should avoid their fish menu. If you’ve got to go meatless on Friday, consider their vegetarian options – or just pack a lunch!
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With everyone recovering from their Mardi Gras hangovers (both food and alcohol induced), we hope no one is giving up water and Advil for Lent. The 40 days (and nights) leading up to Easter is known as Lent and is observed by Catholics as a way to fast and abstain from the vices and worldly enjoyments that may take them from their faith or even concentration on living a pure life. Catholics are expected to “give up something” during Lent; it could be any number of things like diet soda, television, sex, smoking, alcohol, or social media.
One thing all Catholics must give up is meat on Fridays, considered a day of abstinence. Fish and vegetarian dishes become go-to meals during Lent. Fried fish sandwiches and cheese pizza seem to be standards of the Catholic diet during this time because they’re easy and accessible, especially if you’re used to a drive-thru menu.
Whether Meatless Monday or Meatless Friday, we say embrace it and use this as an opportunity to overhaul your dietary habits. Only good things can come of it, right?
We’re making the next seven Fridays a snap and planning the meals for you. These are seven of our most popular meatless and fish recipes for dinner.
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