Thursday, March 6, 2014

40 days without...

After quite a hiatus, what has made me break my internet silence? Maybe a memorable trip or fantastic food or an interesting local tour? Even though I've experienced all those recently, no. I'm here to talk about what I'm giving up for Lent, because putting yourself on blast on the interwebs is a modern requirement for accountability, right?

(Important sidenote:  I'm not Catholic or even particularly religious, but I do like the idea of challenging yourself. Hence, Lenten sacrifice for this self-identifying spiritual-not-religious girl.)

In past years, I've given up meat and last year I gave up my beloved soda, which were health challenges that turned into permanent lifestyle changes. 40 days (technically 46) of living without something seems to be the perfect amount of time to for me to reduce its importance and presence. Now, a soda is a rare treat and I'll only make an exception to eat meat if it's something I truly want (jamón most often falls into this category, really can you blame me?). 

Realizing that this is another good opportunity for me to make a similar health change for the better, I'm giving up (most) store-bought, processed foods. This isn't a restrictive diet, but rather a requirement that if I eat something processed, it has to be homemade. If I want a cookie, I have to make it. Same goes for pasta, bread, sauces, dressings, soups, pizza, desserts, etc. 

Homemade pasta - yes. 

Wine - yes.

What stays? Obviously, cheese, wine, and chocolate, since there is no practical way to make those at home and they are near and dear to my heart. Another exception - going out to eat, which is an important part of my social life here in Spain. Absolutely no meat though, and no desserts that I didn't make. 

Cheese - you'll have to pry it from my cold, dead fingers. 

Principe cookies - no. 

This isn't Whole30 or Primal or Paleo (never going to happen...see above regarding cheese, wine, and chocolate) just a conscious decision to learn how to be more proficient in the kitchen and to be mindful about what I'm eating. If anything, I guess it could be called the 40 Days of Homemade Challenge.

Cronut - sadly, no. 

So how am I doing after a day and a half? Breakfast is a bit difficult, since I normally just snag a granola bar on my way out the door to the gym, but I've survived with eggs and yogurt instead. I think the biggest key will be planning and cooking ahead, when I would normally opt for something easy and pre-packaged. Which means the first homemade challenge to be tackled will be granola bars. 

Yesterday's breakfast - garlic sautéed spinach with a hard-boiled egg and balsmic vinegar. Great, when I have enough time. 

And yes, I'm pretty sure Graham is convinced I've gone full-hippie after buying coconut oil and a giant bag of rolled oats. What's he giving up? A classic deadly sin - sloth, meaning he plans to workout every day, no exceptions.

Wish us luck! What, if anything, are you giving up or taking on? 


  1. I laughed outloud at your cheese caption. Haha, so so good. They'll have to pry it from my cold, dead fingers too!!

    1. A fellow cheese enthusiast! It is a lifelong love affair, isn't it?


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