It’s Pancake Day tomorrow! Also known as Mardi Gras (“Fat Tuesday”), Shrove Tuesday or your last big feast before Lent when you’re supposed to give something up.
First of all, if you’re a pancake lover but struggle with gluten or grains, there are some really great recipes for you in my last blog here, so don’t feel like you need to deprive yourself.
And on the subject of depriving yourself, there are many reasons why lessening the toxic load for Lent is a great way to gently approach a spring cleanse, but this doesn’t mean you need to feed that cycle of “binge-guilt-deprive” that’s so easy to fall into.
That’s why I love the idea the ladies at Love Lent have had of using Lent as a commitment to add something nourishing and fulfilling to each day. On the food front, this ties in beautifully with my general encouragement to focus on what you’re adding in, not on what you’re taking out. So instead of thinking “I’m not going to allow myself coffee for the next 40 days of Lent” try “I’m going to have vanilla redbush / my favourite herbal / a mug of warm almond milk with cinnamon and nutmeg as my first hot drink for the next 40 days” Your food should be nourishing, not punishing you!
Here are some more suggestions you could try:
1) Maybe you’ve found that wheat makes you bloated/tired/depressed, but life without bread seems hard to imagine. You can turn this into a creative project: try 1 new option a day, be it for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack, to help you get out of the habit of relying on bread all the time. Create a recipe folder of the ones you like best, and have them more often.
2) Want to improve energy, concentration, stress levels and general blood sugar balance? Try adding in a protein-based breakfast each morning. Ditch the toast/bowl of cereal/croissant and instead try some poached eggs and avocado on a bed of green leaves, or an avocado and almond milk smoothie, or a vegetable omelette… or even some leftovers from dinner.
3) Commit to mindful eating. Before you eat, look at, smell and really connect in with your food. For at least the first few minutes, chew each mouthful thoroughly, savouring the tastes and textures and noticing how you feel. This helps your brain send all the information your digestive system needs to process this particular meal. In addition, it helps you to centre, be in your body and calm down your nervous system. This has untold benefits for digestion, your immune system and your general health and well being.
4) Find yourself snacking mid-morning, mid-afternoon or in the evening? Make yourself some really delicious snacks to have on hand. whether it’s savoury dips such as guacamole and houmous with veg sticks or oat cakes, or sweet treats like avocado mousse and nut truffles – there are some simple, super quick recipes here.
5) My favourite tip: whatever you eat, throw judgement out the window and say to yourself with complete gratitude and a smile: “This is nourishing me”. Try this alone for the next 40 days and notice how it changes your whole experience of food and eating. It may bring up some emotions along the way – note them with a playful curiosity and be kind to yourself.
With love xx