Under the guidance of a Presbyterian pastor and a local doctor, J. Wilson of Corning, Iowa will be subsisting on a diet of only beer and water this Lent. Wilson is re-creating the traditional observances of Franciscan monks in the seventeenth century, who would follow a liquid fast. “I could drink bacon grease if I wanted to–it’s a liquid after all–but I’m just simplifying this whole landscape to beer and water,” he wrote on his blog.
“It’s not something I’m taking lightly. My health is important to me. I’ve got a wife and two kids that are very, very important to me. So, it’s not like a joke,” Wilson told KCCI. Each day, he plans to drink four pints of his own Doppelbock home brew, unless his doctor begins to see any complications. Wilson, who is a newspaper editor, is consuming 1,200 calories per day, and intends to avoid inebriation. Technically,
For most people, New Years marks a clear point for making a lifestyle change that is intended to last a lifetime. Lent on the other hand, for the religious, is a time of temporary self denial or restriction to increase focus. There are several reasons that a greater percentage of people are successful with Lenten fasts than New Years habit changes. Even if you do not celebrate Lent, these ideas may help you be more successful with your own behavior change.
The first reason many are more successful with habit change during Lent (even if it is temporary) is that they are striving to sacrifice for something that has personal meaning to him or her. Religion is one outlet for existential energy for many people. Existential energy is about those things that give your life meaning, becoming a better person, and those things about which you are passionate. When we strive after these things, we often feel more energized and more motivated to meet the goals we have set for ourselves.
Starting with Halloween, it’s a slippery slope through Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s and Valentine’s Day, a fast run full of overindulging and dietary no-no’s. Mardi Gras is often the crowning glory in a literal Fat Cake of Food. After so much indulgence, it’s almost with relief that we observe the calendar shifting to the more penitential observance of Lent. A solemn time of fasting and sacrifice, Lent is most commonly observed by Catholics and many of the Orthodox and Protestant religions.
Lent is observed as a 40 day period of time that begins on Ash Wednesday and culminates on Easter Sunday, although many religions differ in how to count the days. Traditionally, Lent is a time of spiritual discipline, in which you give up a favored food, be it dessert, coffee or chocolate. In the Middle Ages, a more strict observance of Lent required a total abstinence from any meat, eggs and dairy products of all kinds, feeling that a more sparse menu would lead to a greater religious experience. Modern rules have changed in most religions, but almost all observers of Lent use the time period to improve themselves.
Tuesday, February 24 is Mardi Gras, which is the 24-hour food fest that ushers in the six weeks of Lent, the 40 days of abstinence leading up to holiday, Easter. Similar to Thanksgiving, this is one of those holidays that is dedicated to eating – a lot.
With a name that translates to “Fat Tuesday,” there is really not much hope for getting through the Mardi Gras’ festivities without loosening your belt a few notches. And since concocting a low-cal and low-fat version of the paczki might require a veritable culinary miracle from the heavens, we’ve drummed up some healthy Mardi Gras favorites from the Diets in Review kitchen. (more…)
With Lent beginning next Wednesday, February 25th, Catholics around the world will have to forgo eating meat each Friday and opt to eat meals centered around veggies, grains and fish. Eating fish is pretty “in” these days considering the massive amounts of research which has elucidated the powerful health benefits of eating a diet that regularly contains certain fish like wild-caught salmon.
Most fish are a lean source of protein and provide you with a healthy dose of essential fatty acids and other nutrients. But lean white fish, when dredged in breadcrumbs, deep-fried and smothered in artery-clogging tartar sauce is not so lean after all.
As Lent beckons your need to swap out your burger or roast beef sandwich for fish, how does your favorite finned sandwich fare from fast-food restaurants in regards to nutrition? Here is a comparison of the most popular fish sammies and their stats: (more…)