There's a point to all this, dude, which I realize is a little bit of a departure from my usual posts. I'd apologize, but it will probably be awhile before that happens again, so never mind.
I'm giving up processed foods for Lent again this year. Because... I have to think about it a bit, and it definitely requires a commitment. It's easy to throw any old foodstuff into your mouth even when you are blessed** with food sensitivities as I am. Plus I am hopelessly addicted to Annie's Cheddar Bunnies.
Not that there's anything wrong with that. It's just a good time to reevaluate is all.
|More fruits and veggies. Less Cheddar Bunnies.|
Lent is hard.
Anyway, I define "processed" as anything with more than four ingredients, but it's not a hard and fast rule because Fritos have three (uh, still processed) and real chocolate has, like, five or something (may as well be prepared for contingencies). I was surprised last year at how many one and two ingredient foods there are out there. The bulk and produce aisles were my particular friends.
And just FYI, I count cooking from scratch as non-processed. And it mostly is. Whatever it is I'm using cannot have more than four ingredients per item, so it works out pretty well. This is why Mara's Mac and Cheese counts as non-processed (I made that for dinner tonight and have some in containers for my lunches this week. Don't tell Abby or she'll steal it) but, say, packaged tater tots do not. (Even organic tater tots have more than four ingredients. Boo!)
So that explains why I spent all of today--happy birthday, George Washington!***--cutting and preparing all manner of fruits and vegetables. Boring. But it will make meals and snacks easier for everyone, so time well spent, I guess. For them, since they didn't have to do it. (Wow, still bitter. Might be a long 40 days.)
Other projects: I have some baguette from my favorite bakery cut and prepped and in the freezer, awaiting lettuce and cheese (Tillamook Medium Cheddar has four ingredients, thank you Jesus, and so does this bread). And I made a couple of sides and a couple of mains to have on hand for the week as well. I went meatless because A) We don't eat a lot of meat anyway and 2) This way, it doesn't matter what day of the week we eat it. 'Cause you do NOT eat meat on Fridays, you guys. You just don't. Here's what Catholic Online says about that:
Abstinence: The law of abstinence requires a Catholic 14 years of age until death to abstain from eating meat on Fridays in honor of the Passion of Jesus on Good Friday. Meat is considered to be the flesh and organs of mammals and fowl. Also forbidden are soups or gravies made from them. Salt and freshwater species of fish, amphibians, reptiles and shellfish are permitted, as are animal derived products such as margarine and gelatin which do not have any meat taste.Oh, jeez, I had no idea we could eat amphibians and reptiles on Fridays. Gag. There's something to be said for stupidity. I can ever unlearn that. Bummer.
I guess the good news is that, having last year's experience under my belt, I know better what to expect: Higher grocery bills, massive amounts of time prepping and preparing, chocolate withdrawals, and overall better health.
There's always a bright side. And it's not supposed to be easy.
P.S. You might wonder why I don't give up coffee, since that would be a logical choice. It's because Jesus loves me, you guys. I figure Americanos are totally in the non-processed zone, although my beloved vanilla lattes, not so much. That's why I've made a batch of vanilla syrup, just in case we get into any emergency situations. Four ingredients--sugar, brown sugar, vanilla and water. Whew!
*And you thought Catholics don't read the bible. ;)
***Technically I did not have the day off, but I did have one last vacation day before my four year employment anniversary that I needed to burn, and with Eric and the girls home, I thought, why not? It's kind of weird that some people get Presidents Day off and others don't, but whatever.