Monday, February 20, 2012

Your Ultimate Manual To A Successful Lent!

As a wise man once said, changing one’s habits is not easy for any human being. During the lent, all eating habits change, whether in meal timing or quality of food. And the hard thing about it is that there is no rule. Everyone has their own sacrifices and their own ways of fasting. So let’s consider all options possible, from the mildest cases to the most extreme ones.

“I FAST FROM 12 AM TILL 12 PM”

Although we always say breakfast is very important, in this case you are forced to skip it. Your day, as per your stomach, will start at 12PM. You can choose to, either have breakfast, wait a couple of hours and then have lunch, or you can begin with lunch immediately. But remember same quantities just different timing!

Don’t try to stock on food before 12AM thinking you won’t get hungry for the next 12 hours. Why? Well, when you eat, your blood sugar elevates. Insulin, a hormone, is released in order to lower that level. There will be a sudden fall in blood sugar when you finish digesting and this will make you extremely hungry. Try to keep a regular blood sugar level by eating balanced portions throughout the day.

Have at least 3 meals a day even if you’re changing your timing. Just try not to eat during late hours. Stop chewing 2 hours before you go to bed so that you can give your system time to digest the food.

“I DON’T EAT CHICKEN OR MEAT”

Nutrition Tips: Chicken and meat can be replaced by fish, eggs, milk, laban, labneh and cheeses, as well as legumes such as beans, peas and lentils. These products are rich in proteins, calcium and iron. Lemon juice should be sprinkled on legumes to make their iron more absorbable by the body.

People who also omit fish during lent fall into this category. They can compensate with milk and dairy products. The omega 3 fatty acids can be provided by flaxseed, flaxseed oil, canola oil, tofu, soybeans and walnuts.

Cooking and lifestyle tips: You can easily eliminate chicken and meat from any dish, well, except for steak or chicken breast. For example, any stew can be made without meat such as peas and rice (bazella w riz). In fact, you can add carrots to the latter and it gives it a great taste. You won’t even feel the difference.

“I DON’T EAT ALL ANIMAL PRODUCTS”

Nutrition Tips: Getting a full nutrition can be a bit tricky in this case. Proteins and Iron should be provided by beans and other legumes. Calcium can come from fortified breakfast cereals and dark green leafy vegetables. By sprinkling flaxseed on all your dishes, you can be certain to get your omega 3!

Cooking and lifestyle tips: People who fall under this category usually have trouble with breakfast. That’s why we’re going to give you ideas:

Thyme: you can eat it on bread or in a man’ouche. But remember a thyme man’ouche contains 500 calories.
Breakfast cereals: highly nutritious and absolutely delicious!
Olives: there’s nothing tastier than an olive sandwich garnished with tomatoes and cucumbers.
Hommos Balila: Traditional Lebanese breakfast!
Jam on bread: If you can tolerate sweet taste in the morning, jam on bread would be a great idea. Try to vary between flavors: apricot, apple, strawberry, etc.
Kaak: to be very simple, you can have those long and crunchy kaak with a cup of tea.
Spinach fatayer: they are an absolute delight and they are rich in nutrients.

Lunch is a bit easier in this case. You can vary between beans, peas, lentils, bulgur, couscous and pasta. You can prepare/eat beans and rice, lentil soup (adas b hamod), bulgur and tomatoes (bourghoul bi banadoura), penne arabiata (many meatless pasta sauces are available), etc.

Finally, dinner resembles breakfast. You can also have something as simple as a salad with toast or a baked potato on the side or any other source of carbohydrates to make you feel full.

“I ONLY EAT BREAD AND DRINK WATER”

This is the most extreme case. You should vary between normal pita bread and the protein bread in an attempt to provide yourself with all the nutrients (Carbohydrates, proteins and fat).

“I CHOOSE SOMETHING I LOVE AND STAY AWAY FROM IT FOR 40 DAYS”

In this case good for you and your body!(and I say that confidently because what we usually love is bad us). And maybe you will gain good habits when you’re done J

Finally, good luck to everyone. And no matter how hard it gets, think of the hugeness of the sacrifice you’re making and what you’re getting in return and it will all seem like a piece of cake!

21 comments:

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what we usually love is bad us.. so take
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