Lent is the period where we reflect on Jesus Christ and the time He spent in the wilderness enduring temptation.
For us Catholics, the Lenten period is a time of prayer, fasting and repentance. In Roman Catholic history, it was a rule to abstain from meat and consume fish. Always remember when you are choosing your seafood to purchase your fresh fish/seafood at a vendor who stores his/her catch on ice. Ask the vendor what day the item was caught.
When selecting fish, ensure it has a firm and shiny skin. Ideally, if you poke the flesh, it should bounce back and not have a sticky feeling. This applies to shrimp as well.
Check the gills of the fish, since a freshly caught fish will have bright red/pink gills in colour, not dry, slimy or grey. Fresh fish and seafood should smell like the ocean and not fishy or have a pungent odour. The eyes of the fish should be clear with no cloudiness present and slightly bulging.
If you are purchasing prepackaged fish or seafood from the grocery stores, always check the dates of manufacture and expiration. If there is none, avoid purchasing the product.
In recent times, some of us choose to abstain from certain foods that we love, usually desserts. If you are a chocolate and candy lover and you are abstaining from sweets, ensure that you use lots of fresh fruit in your diet.
It’s not the same but it is a sacrifice and an obviously healthier choice. For coffee lovers, try diverting to matcha tea or a chai. Drink lots of water to keep hydrated and try infused lemon or cucumber and ginger water. If you are allergic to seafood and abstaining from meat you can try going vegetarian or vegan for Lent.
A vegan diet contains only plants (such as vegetables, grains, nuts and fruits) and foods made from plants. This diet does not include consuming products that come from animals, including dairy products and eggs, whereas a vegetarian diet allows the consumption of milk, cheese and butter.
Even though it may seem impossible at first, a vegan diet could not only improve your own health but also help combat climate change and save the lives of many animals.
Attempting a vegan diet is not as challenging as it may seem. Most restaurants usually provide a vegan option and some supermarkets have dedicated an entire aisle for vegan options.
You may need to check with a doctor if you have any medical conditions before you attempt the diet and if you are trying this diet for Lent, you will need to plan your meals to ensure that you have a balance of all the food groups (your proteins being derived from legumes).
If the thought of going vegan for the entire 40 days is overwhelming, try practicing the diet a few days of the week and then gradually increase the amount of days.
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