When Lent first started I had no idea how much it would effect us this year. I had my doubts we would follow thru with it the whole time. I thought I would be counting down the days until Easter arrived. You know what though? I loved it. Following the cleanse literally transformed our thoughts on food like 110%. Like I’ve said before we’ve always been a pretty healthy eating family, but I learned so much more about food and what exactly we’re putting into our bodies over the past 40 days. It was a little tough at the beginning. Kev had some pretty intense detox symptoms and there was for sure a learning curve to meal planning and being organized. Overall though, I was so please with it and I was proud of us for sticking to it and actually really enjoying it.
For me, I think the point of Lent is to give up things that hold some sort of control over you and of course replace that with Christ. I also think some of us miss the point though and when the 40 days are over, we go back to exactly the way things were. If you thought it was something you should give up in the first place, why just go back to using/eating/doing it the same way after 40 days? I didn’t want to do that. I wanted to make REAL change in my thoughts towards social media, TV and eating. I wanted to learn to not find comfort, self worth or waste time in any of these areas. It was amazing how 40 days away makes you realize you really DON’T NEED to “keep up” with everything everyone is doing, every minute of the day. That you DON’T NEED sugar or TV to find comfort after a long and stressful day. I learned a lot about myself and my relationship with God during this time. I know Lent isn’t something everyone participates in which is totally cool. I just wanted to share my end thoughts on how it changed me this year.
Moving forward we will continue to eat clean in our house. We are finding the balance with the girls and being out with friends and things. We will not expect anyone to cook clean meals when we go to their house for dinner. We will be easy going and appreciative when we are anywhere other than our house. The girls will be able to have treats at parties and special occasions. I don’t want the kids who’ve never eaten any sugar before and gorge themselves at a party because they don’t get it at home. It’s all a balance. In our house I just want to eat whole, unprocessed foods though. Kev is eating meat again and we have added back in plain greek yogurt, eggs, a bit of cheese and Milk and natural sugars (honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar). I will do a post about eating clean with the girls soon. I am not doing the whole 30 thing. I love whole grains (brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, etc) and I think they are healthy to eat for our family.
Social media. I am not going to forever give up Facebook and twitter. That seems a little overboard. This past month however has really broken some thoughts I’ve had about “needing” them though. I’ve enjoyed my days so much more not feeling like I had to be active and present on them all day. I scroll a few minutes each night before bed. Replying to comments and checking in with a few friends. That’s it. I don’t go and read everything that happened that day. Sure, I might miss something but Ive learned that’s ok. I just don’t have time for it all. I see the power and importance to each of them and how people use them to their advantage for building community, businesses and spreading their brand. At this point in my life though it’s the one thing I am ok stepping back from a little bit.
TV. Ehh? Not much to say here. I never really loved watching TV. I could never sit there and watch it without trying to get 10 other things done at once. I love Parenthood, Heart of Dixie, Brooklyn 99 and New Girl. Kev and I will continue to watch them from time to time on hulu. There will be no binge watching of TV season for us though. We watch the few shows we like and that is it. No watching TV for the sake of watching TV. Occasionally on the weekend we may sit and watch a movie together. This isn’t any kind of judgment on anyone who enjoys TV. More power to ya. It just isn’t for us.
I would love to know if you participate in Lent this year and what your final thoughts were? Was it a struggle? Did you learn anything about yourself?
Finley’s rubber boots are from the Gap and Rowan’s are from Nordstrom (some of their kid hunters on sale for $37!!).
I participated. I gave up caffeinated soda. I know that sometime in the next few months I am going to be attempting to get pregnant so this cut back was necessary to make that transition easier anyway. I still had tea and refreshers from Starbucks though. I went back to caffeinated soda now, because it’s easy to get in my office. The only decaffeinated option we have is sparkling water, which I hate. I’ll buy myself some Sprite or Ginger Ale soon though.
I’ve loved your reflection on Lent these past few weeks Jen. Thanks so much for sharing! After reading your original post about your intentions for Lent it got me thinking. I definitely turn to food to procrastinate or out of boredom sometimes. Essentially, it had become a habit that kept me from being authentic with myself and with my heart. Silly to think something as simple as food could do that, but I guess these kinds of distractions come in all sorts of packages. For the most part, like you from the sounds of things, my husband and I eat quite clean. But I felt like we needed to do something more intensive for Lent, to really work on cleansing those habits and refocusing on our relationship with God. Around that time, I became intrigued by the whole30 program, so we decided to give it a try. I’m amazed to say we made it through but realized the program definitely wasn’t for us over the long haul. We’re in your camp when it comes to feeling pret-ty fabulous with a few healthy grains, plain yogurts and natural sweeteners in our life 😉 That said, we learned so much from the experience! We treated food as nourishment, not as a treat, reward or distraction. It was a cleansing time for us as we took inventory of what is important in our life. Its funny how an extended practice in elimination and simplification can be so cleansing for the soul. We’re so glad we decided to do this. We are loving applying the principles we learned to our life as we move forward.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts on your Lent experience, I really enjoy your insight. My focus was to spend more time reading the bible, in prayer and reflection. Through making time for this I found myself removing time with other things like TV. I found that spending this time with God is most valuable to my day when I can do this first thing in the morning. This time in the morning fills me with peace, joy and perspective that help me to keep my thoughts, actions, and efforts centred around God all day long. I was not as successful as I had hoped in making time for this everyday but I have formed enough of a habit that I am working towards making this time with God in the morning a daily happening because I can see how important it is. I have found on my days without this time, I almost feel unprepared for what the day may throw my way. All in all I enjoyed Lent and when Easter came I was filled with so much joy. I have learned to seek God more than I have ever before and to also work on listening and waiting for His guidance. He is doing great things in your life, He is doing great things in my life and the lives of so many and that is something to be joyful about!
I look forward to hearing more about your clean eating with your girls!
I can’t wait to read your post about eating healthy with your girls! I’m having the hardest time to get my 2 year to eat any fruits…
It’s definitely a fantastic starting point towards reaching a goal or making a change. I, myself, am not into believing in any kind of god or whatever. However, lent is such a good time to be mindful (especially in a new year) towards making a goal/change happen. I have still used the perameters to help kick some habits. In the last few years, deleting Facebook, giving up refined sugars and soda.
I loved reading this and how you will carry these changes with you beyond the Easter season. You bring up such a good point about how the end of 40 days should not be the end of everything you have accomplished. It can be just the beginning of something great. This season can bring about real, amazing change – a new awakening, which is the purpose of it all. Very inspirational and a wonderful reminder!
Hi, Jen. I’ve really enjoyed reading about your journey during Lent. I always think of this time of year as a sort of reset button. It gives us an opportunity to take a step back and examine our vices/distractions and do a bit of course correction, which seems to be how you have handled it. I gave up dessert, and while I failed on this more than once, it definitely helped me to take a step back from my sugar addiction and helped me to focus my energies on more positive things. It’s still a conscious effort to say no to the bag of leftover candy lurking in our freezer, but I keep remembering there are more important things that than fleeting moment of sugar.
Is clean eating the same as vegan? Do you use specials books? Which ones? I am German and found no good books about ckean eating.