Through the years probably yammered on about Lent the most on this blog (simply because Easter is my favorite holiday). And here it is again. Shrove Tuesday. Pancake Tuesday. Fat Tuesday.

It’s like a drawn-out new year’s for those of faith.

When I was younger, as many did, we had to “give up” something for Lent. Usually a food of some sort, and we didn’t eat meat on Fridays.

As I got older the true meaning of Lent and why we give something up really became apparent in how I celebrated the Lenten season. At least for me, it was to abstain from something to root-out sin and to suffer like Christ in the desert. Additionally, it’s a time of increases prayer and penance.

Nowwwwww, on the other hand, Lent has changed a little bit more.

Last year I fasted and stopped eating meat, eggs, cheese (you’re also supposed to stop with the oils and booze but seriously…come on, giving up alcohol?) on top of the traditional “I’m not going to do/eat ____.”

Let me tell you, internet, it was a very difficult time for me because I LOVE eggs. Like you don’t even know.

But like all years past whatever I stopped doing/eating returned with Easter. Giving up something to be like Jesus is fine, but this year I’m after a life-style change instead.

Which is why for Lent I’m going to start “clean eating” which includes “giving up” all snack foods. (They’re highly processed anyway and would fall into trying eat clean but they’re also my favorite thing in the world so I’m denying myself something in the true spirit of Lent).

In a nutshell, clean eating is “about eating whole foods, or “real” foods — those that are un- or minimally processed, refined, and handled, making them as close to their natural form as possible.”

The guidelines I’ll be following:

  • “Processed” foods, to me, will be anything with components manufactured in a lab (artificial colors/dyes/preservatives), or anything with refined sweeteners, grains, or oils.
  • Obviously no fast food OR bagged snacks…(including chips, even though their only ingredients are usually potatoes, salt, and oil)
  • Nothing with a long ingredients list

I WILL be eating/drinking:

  • Fresh AND frozen fruits and veggies
  • Beans, nuts, (whole wheat) pasta and bread, popcorn, brown rice, steel-cut oatmeal (which I hate, by the way)
  • Eggs and SOME cheese
  • ONLY fish and white meat (chicken and turkey)
  • And of course…I’ll still be drinking water, liquor, and beer (regardless of where they fall in this)

Which means tonight I’ll be eating up the last package of frozen hotdogs in my freezer.

I love hotdogs.