I have never sacrificed anything for Lent. I have never given up meat on Fridays or sugar for 40 days. I am going to make 2012 the first year I attempt this. I'm simply using the occasion of Lent as a good marker, not suddenly converting religions. As with my fitness philosophy, I will be turning Lent around. I won't be denying myself of something; I will be improving my health through a better diet.
I will eat a cleaner diet. I already eat a diet that involves mostly fresh fruits and vegetables. I rarely use canned or boxed foods. I have even switched over my grain from heavily processed white rice to bulgur or sometimes quinoa. I rarely eat pasta or bread, instead opting for something that is less processed. I will be making sure that everything I eat going forward was something my Great Grandma Adelia would recognize. (Can't believe I found this photo online. Sad I couldn't find any pictures of either of them.)
Splenda is now available, but Adelia never heard of it, so I won't be consuming it. If I want sweetness in my coffee I will be steaming some milk for the flavor without adding chemicals or empty calories. I am not sure if there are any negatives to eating Splenda, but I am aiming for pure and clean, and Splenda is chemically manufactured, so it's out.
I will drink more water. I tend to forget this throughout the day, but it's the easiest way to keep my body working as well as possible. To increase my intake of water, it will be my only beverage, other than coffee in the morning and a cup of tea before bed. No other beverages during meals. I will also be making sure that I take my vitamins. I need to make sure I take my calcium every day, along with Vitamin D. These are vitamins that all women should be taking. Because of my personal issue with absorbing vitamin B-12 from foods, I will make sure to take a supplement of that every day.
I will eat only non-processed foods. I already am pretty close to this and am really proud of how improved my diet is over this point last year. Much of this I credit to the Weight Watchers plan. The less processed a food is, the fewer points it is. When you only get 26 points in a day and a box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese is 24 points, you learn to eat better. I will be improving it even more over the next 40 days. That means no bread or pasta until Easter. Even after that point, I will try to limit them.