Wednesday, March 9, 2011

How to feast during a fast

Sitting in my college's computer lab this morning, I was working hard to prepare for my last round of finals. I happened to overhear two girls lamenting over Lent: "What am I supposed to eat? If I can't have meat, I'll never be full." It's a shame that some people-- and so many from our own generation-- abandon the opportunity to fast because it's "hard."

First point: Is it so terrible to feel the pangs of hunger once in awhile? As Lily points out: offer it up!

Second point: There are lots of ways "tricks" to try to get more bang for your buck when your fasting and abstaining from meat.

Here are some Lenten food ideas to keep your fuel up:
  • Apples- Apparently the pectin in the skin of these bad boys is a natural appetite suppressant. If you eat it off the core instead of in slices, it takes longer to eat than other foods, so you feel more full!
  • Bagels- These are my Lenten breakfast of choice. Because they are loaded with carbs, they take longer to digest. I toast them and slather them with peanut butter (protein) or cream cheese.
  • Beans- It takes our bodies awhile to digest beans, so they stay with you longer. Bean burrito, anyone?
  • Eggs- Break out your omelet pan! Eggs are chock-full of protein, so they stick to your ribs.
  • Nuts- Almonds, cashews, peanuts, walnuts...the possibilities are endless. Try trail mix; it's a great snack to keep your energy up.
  • Oatmeal- This is power food. I've read it will keep you fuller longer than any other breakfast around. Add a little brown sugar and some honey, and you're set!
  • Popcorn- This is Huckleberry the cat's favorite food, Lent or no Lent! Because popcorn requires more chewing, it takes longer to eat than most food, fooling your mind into feeling full.
  • Seeds- Sunflower and pumpkin seeds are like nuts in that they are "high density"-- high in fiber and in protein.
  • White Potatoes- Get out the masher-- white potatoes are one of the most filling foods around.
Anything with PROTEIN is a good plan because it makes you feel more full. Also, don't underestimate the power of liquids. You can drink tea, milk, coffee, and juice any time. You'd be surprised how even water can fill a rumbling tummy!

One final piece of advice....KEEP BUSY. The busier you are, the less time you have to think about your empty stomach. Take a walk, read a book, or give a friend a call if you need help getting your mind off that candy bar.

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