Thursday, February 18, 2010

Lent 2010 - I really need some advice

As usual, though I knew it was coming, I didn't really think about how to prepare for Easter until yesterday - Ash Wednesday. I'm not sure why I do that every year, but I put it off until I don't have any other choice, then decide what to do. Maybe one day I'll work on that.

As I thought about it yesterday, I really felt called to stop being so lazy about our health. I know that I do more than many to have healthy foods here to offer to my family but I know that I could do more. I know that I rely too much on carbs for all of us, but especially for me. I know that we could eat less meat than we do and I know that I could try harder not to let a processed food cross our doorstep.

Last summer, thanks to MotherHen68, I learned about adding unrefined coconut oil to my coffee which helped me to decrease my carb consumption by at least 50 percent. At the same time, I lost a whole dress size and saw other health benefits as well. Slowly, though, I have been adding back some of those carbs and I can feel the difference, not only in my clothes, but also in my health. My sinus have beens stuffy since before Christmas without much relief and that is about the time I started adding back a lot of bread and other baked things. If it is doing this to me, what is it doing to my family? I really want to make this change again, and I really want it to be permanent.

So, one of my goals for Lent is to drop most of the carbs from my diet again. In lent, this can be a challenge because of the meatless days. In the past, we always filled meatless requirements with carb heavy foods. It will require a change of mindset to come up with alternatives, but I must do it. And I also want to stay away from the typical Cajun Catholic Friday in Lent crawfish or fish fry scenario. I really don't find that kind of eating to be very sacrificial, at least not for me, lol.

So, I am asking for your help. Do you have any ideas for lower carb or carb free meatless meals? Salads and brothy soups are the only things that have come to my mind so far. Thank you in advance for your help :)


Alea said...

I will put on my thinking cap! The first thing that comes to mind is meatless chili with a salad. My weird family likes a black and white chili that I make with black beans and cauliflower. My minestrone soup could easily be made without the pasta (it only has 3/4 cup to begin with) and it is really filling.

Budget Confession and My Year Without Spending (both on my side bar) have meatless Monday posts that you can look at for ideas. One Perfect Bite (also on my sidebar) makes a parmesan potobello mushroom, that is filling, low carb, meat free, and can be sold as a minipizza to kids.

Best wishes on your goal! Just hadn't thought about how I would actually make it work yet...

Alea said...

Forgot to say I also gave up arbs for Lent, but hadn't yet figured out how I would make it work. I hate fish, so when I go meatless, it is not much of a sacrifice. :D

Anonymous said...

Lori, I'm so there for you! I'm so glad I'm not the only Cajun who feels offended by the typical Friday in Lent hoedown fried food fiesta that happens down here. I had to secretly roll my eyes @ my mom yesterday because she went to Fezzo's for lunch and had creamy crawfish pasta...ON ASH WEDNESDAY.

Anyway, I found the best solution to Fridays in Lent and being low-carb is salmon patties. I know LOL. I take canned salmon, whirl it in the food processor to chop up the bones & skin. Add a tablespoon of coconut oil, some eggs and coconut flour (if you have it, if not use regular). Form them into patties and fry them up in lard or oil of your choice. These are ridiculously cheap and good ( got the original recipe from Nourishing Days: I served mine yesterday with pan fried Brussels sprouts.

Super One has a great selection of "wild caught" salmon fillets and ahai tuna fillets for a reasonable price. Eggs and creamed spinach or spinach & chard au grautin is pretty darn good. Crust-less cheese quiches are a hit around here. Shrimp salad (mayo, celery, shrimp) is simple.

There's the old stand by, tuna salad. You could make a bread substitute( This works really well with wet sandwich fillings, like egg salad, tuna salad, etc. It works for burgers, but it's not quite the same, kwim?

I don't typically splurge on crawfish during lent, but if you can get it, you could make an ettouffee and serve it over "riced" cauliflower, or just roast some cauliflower and serve it up like that. Redd and I will eat spagatti this way as well. You could make a "mockaroni and cheese" using cauliflower as well. Tons of recipes online.

Good luck. I gave up coffee on Wed/Fri and I'm already bummed out about tomorrow! :) I'm so lame.

The Book Lady Online said...

Thank you both so much. These are such great ideas.

The Book Lady Online said...

Oh, and Paula, I thought of you this morning and said a quick prayer for you. I would give up coffee except that my poor family would suffer more than me, lol.

Anonymous said...

Lori, thanks for the prayers! We went to B&N last night and we always get coffee before @ Starbucks. Total bummer, I had to drink a chai latte, which is so not as good as coffee! Luckily, it's just two days per week. I made it up to myself and bought a venti this morning after the farmer's market! :)

The Book Lady Online said...

You are so much better than me, Paula. I would have caved for sure. I've never really like chai latte - don't know why. Definitely not as good as a coffee. Glad you got your Venti :) Hope you enjoyed it :)

The Book Lady Online said...

Alea, if I get out to a grocery store before Wednesday, I will try the parmesan portobello, at least for myself and Bryan, who would love it. I think our youngest would love it, too. I'll let you know if I try it. Thanks for the idea - it sounds so yummy.