Generally speaking, Lent is the 40 days before Easter. It begins on Ash Wednesday, the day after Fat Tuesday. During this season, Christians often give up a habit that stands in the way of their relationship with God. They may also add a practice or behavior that would enhance this relationship. We’re kind of doing both. In giving up meat we’re taking on the restraints of an a vegetarian diet. If you want to know all the details about Lent you can read more about it here.
We’ve decided to give up meat for several reasons.
- It will be good for our bodies and good for the planet. While we’re young and healthy, it can’t hurt to cut down on the meat we eat. I already do Meatless Monday and we generally don’t eat meat for breakfast or lunch. So taking it out of dinner won’t be that much of a stretch. The raising of meat is also hard on the Earth, at least in the case of industrial meat production. God expects us to take care of the planet. While we don’t eat industrial meat, there’s still a need for all of us to consume less. Less in the case of meat and less overall. Just less.
- It will be good practice for me as a cook. While my kitchen skills are just fine, taking up the practice of eating only vegetables will help me branch out in the kitchen. It’s easy to do in the summer when the market is brimming with tasty vegetables. A bit more difficult when you’re still in the root vegetable purgatory of late winter.
- There’s some discipline involved. We are fortunate to not have to be very disciplined in what we eat around here. Our grocery budget is generous and I’m unwilling to cut corners on feeding the family. The absence of meat will surely save us money, but it will also force me to focus on real nutrition and a better meal plan than meat + two sides = dinner.
I mentioned that we’re going to keep some fish and seafood in our meals. This is not intend to be a way to wiggle around the commitment. It’s because we need to eat more fish. It’s been a goal of mine to work more seafood into our diet, but I haven’t focused on introducing seafood regularly at the dinner table. Lent is a good opportunity to do this.
Being prepared is half the battle so I’ve already worked up a list of things that I want to cook. I’ve got a menu plan just like any other week. I’ve checked out several top-rated vegetarian cookbooks from the library and I’ll be sharing information about those as we go through out Lenten journey.
I hope you’ll follow along with me as I work through this season. Use #40dayvegetarian. How are you observing Lent? In the past I’ve given up candy and almost always give up cursing. Who’s with me on that one?
Want to see how others did this? Check out Kristin Schell’s blog!