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Lent short for Lenten, from O.E. lencten “spring,” the season, from W.Gmc. *langa-tinaz (cf. O.S. lentin, M.Du. lenten, O.H.G. lengizin manoth), from*lanngaz (root of O.E. lang “long”) + *tina-, a root meaning “day” (cf. Goth. sin-teins “daily”), cognate with O.C.S. dini, Lith. diena, L. dies “day.” the compound probably refers to the increasing daylight. Church sense of “period between Ash Wednesday and Easter” is peculiar to Eng.
from the Online Etymology Dictionary

Well…its week two (wow, that zoomed by!) of my Candlemas Lent.  I had planned to do a status report last week, but I had two exams and two papers, and somehow, blogging always gets shoved down the list.  I have to say, its been both rougher and simpler than I anticipated, and has created some pleasant results:

  • The grocery shopping, is MUCH easier and quicker, though also about $30 more expensive than our usual grocery bill.
  • My meals themselves are pretty easy, but cooking two meals (one for me and one for the kids) is a bit annoying, and thinking of stuff to do is pretty tricky–I’ve looked at alot of the raw recipes and blogs and stuff, and some of that stuff just isn’t appealing enough looking to bother wasting the time and money to make (I seriously think some of these people are suffering from what I call “deprivation delusion”)
  • I started feeling more energetic on the second day (though I think that has more to do with drastically less “carbs” (pasta, et al.) and more fruits and veggies in general than the “raw” part of the diet)
  • I’ve lost about 5 lbs, without decreasing the amount I eat…I’m putting this on the fact that I’m probably intaking less calories due to the relatively high bulk (yay, fiber!) to low calorie nature of fruits and veggies, as well as the fact that cooking foods improves calorie absorption…and the fact that I feel like I’m retaining less water
  • I’m drinking more water and herbal teas, and have less of a desire for sweets (I’ve generally been more of a savory eater anyhow, so its not *that* much of a change)
  • Because I’ve felt better energy wise, I’ve started exercising more, reinforcing the feeling better feeling…and I feel more attractive and (generally) positive (but stress being what it is, its not a magic bullet)

I haven’t gone entirely raw, I think my original goal was about 80%…and, well…that ain’t happening.  First off, I don’t like to eat early in the morning, and I generally don’t have time to have a late breakfast. Instead, I have oatmeal with some flax seeds, buckwheat and dried fruit before I hit the door, and then I take a banana, and fresh OJ for the morning commute.  I’ve been packing snack bag of (raw) almonds, pecans and walnuts and another of apple slices and carrot sticks to nosh on between classes.  For lunch, I’ve been alternating sushi with fresh veggie spring rolls–both of which have (cooked) rice products (and sometimes shrimp) in them, with raw fruits and veggies in a sort of bento lunch style.  At dinner, I’ve had to get a bit more creative, from  tuna sashimi with a spicy cucumber salad to a mango, cilantro and corn gazpacho, though I’ve added some cooked foods like barley (serve it just like rice!) baked sweet potato and steamed broccoli.

I also admit to a couple of utter fail days (I made the kids pizza on Tuesday and gave in to the temptation and yesterday we baked a chocolate cake, from scratch)…and for a noticeable difference, both digestively and mood-wise afterwards.  Technically, the consumption of pasteurized foods is an additional no-no for someone that is *really* on a raw diet (I’m not that concerned with the raw lifestyle, or its claims as a whole…as an almost-scientist, I find quite a few of their assumptions and conclusions to be suspect), and I’ve been consuming yogurt quite regularly.   One big advantage of this however, has been my daughter’s attitude toward certain foods.  She’s never disliked fruits and vegetables, but she’s never really embraced anything beyond salad with ranch dressing, apples and bananas, but she’s since discovered carrot sticks, ants on a log (celery with PB and dried fruit), sweet potatoes and “little trees”, though I had to slip the broccoli into mac’n’cheese to get her to try it.

I can also say that while there has been no revelatory spiritual epiphany (not that I expected one) from my dietary change, it is freeing, in a way, to be confined to a certain diet so unlike your typical one.  It leads to some honest evaluation of *why* you are eating, and *why* you want what you want when you want it.  Mashed potatoes are probably my biggest comfort food, followed by ice cream…which I’ve had to find an alternative for.  Also, I’ve been inspired to quit procrastinating on some other projects of mine (massive de-cluttering, learning to belly dance, finishing up some blog “articles” and using up my craft stash), and to make some other minor changes–I ditched the desk chair, in favor of an exercise ball (something I had done while pregnant, but slacked on later) and have discovered the fun of bouncing like a three year old (and it gets the blood pumping while it works to the abs, back, butt and thighs).  All in all, its going well.  Two weeks down, four to go…and hopefully I can keep the changes up afterwards as well!