Lenten Practice: Eating Intentionally

It is common to give up a single food, or even a category of foods for Lent.  Chocolate, coffee or meat likely top the list.  Here are a few ideas about how we can change our eating for the season.  Certainly the commitment to give up a specific food or drink for the season is still an option.  This post is intended to offer additional options that could be meaningful.


Fasting disciplines

  • Eating Kosher: the purpose of the dietary laws was to set one apart from the rest of society.  Certainly that would still hold true for anyone who commits to eating kosher, even for a season.  This practice will require some study, as well as some decisions about how strictly you intend to keep the practice.  For most, eating kosher strictly is not an option, as it would require substantial alterations to your house.  That said, setting ground rules for yourself can make this a very meaningful practice.
  • Going vegetarian: as a general omnivore, and one who really, really enjoys a good steak (or burger, or ribs….) this is a real challenge.  I suppose that is the point.  Giving up meat for the season of Lent may reveal some of the health benefits of this lifestyle as you draw your own attention to sacrifice by fasting.  Going vegetarian has additional benefits to the earth and her creatures.  
  • Going vegan: a more restrictive approach to the vegetarian option, and one I myself am not quite ready to try.  Yet, the benefits are clear by the sharing of those who have embraced this lifestyle.  Trying it for a season will remind you it is a season of fasting and could draw your appreciation both to the sacrifices of Christ, but also for the foods you enjoy.


Disciplines of adding:

  • Water: many of us do not consume enough water each day.  Despite our ready access to clean drinking water, making a point to drink more water throughout the day can be a reminder of God – this can pair well with reflections on the many scriptures about water.  Staying hydrated will undoubtedly have health benefits as well
  • Fruits and vegetables: the ready packaged snacks often lure us away from unwrapping a banana, orange or an apple.  This option would point us toward more whole foods and away from processed foods that contain preservatives that work against our overall health
  • New Foods: perhaps a good choice for the picky eater in the family.  The commitment to try new things on a daily, or weekly basis throughout the season.  This can be a reminder of how often God calls us to step out of our ‘comfort-zone’ and into a life of following that is often challenging.

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