Sunday, March 23, 2014

Cabbage Soup and the Lenten Season

will I think my life is changed since I discovered cabbage soup. I’m not living as a true vegetarian. My cabbage soup is made with chicken broth, and I will not apologize for it. I made a declaration at the beginning of Lent that I would stop eating meat, and I have. I suppose that while doing my penintentials, I got a little lazy. It’s not like I fried up some bacon and stuck into my soup. This is really a good thing.

I made my declaration to stop eating meat, as I always do, on Ash Wednesday. Unlike many people I never look at this as  “giving up” anything. I always believe that my declaration for Lent is one about building, changing. Since Lent began, and for quite a period before, I began eating lots of raw carrots. I refuse to look at it as snacking. I don’t look to the carrots for  satisfaction. I suppose I think of it, I guess, as a placeholder.

I found my inspiration in my sister’s dog. Her dog Carson is getting up in years, but my family took to buying it bags o raw carrots, and Carson now consumes raw carrots every day. I do not know what effect for good or ill, this is had on Carson’s health. But I do believe for me eating carrots is a wonderful thing. As for whether or not these are snacks, I believe that I need to look at this a different way. I have listened to people over the years who would pretend that something that they’ve substituted for something else “just as good” as the item being replaced. (“ I’m sure that if you just try one of these sweetened carob soy proteins and fiber bars, you’ll agree that they taste just as good as chocolate cake.”)

I’ve always regarded this is nonsense. Still, when I crave something to eat, I often know that I’m not looking for food because I am hungry. Sometimes I feel bored, sometimes I feel anxious, or perhaps, my brain is seeking out some type of neurotransmitter release, an explosion, that eating something disgustingly unhealthy for me would achieve. In those moments, nibbling on carrots, has become that placeholder. It is probably one of the more positive changes in my life lately.

In the last year have learned how to exercise. I learned how to dance, I learned how to stretch, and started to utilize a manual wheelchair that my mother bought for me not too long ago. Along with the carrots, the cabbage soup, and deliberate reduction in my caffeine intake, my exercise has changed my outlook on my entire life. I’m just feeling really good. In one month from now, Lent will end. No doubt I will want to assess how much, if any, of my old diet habits I would want to retain.

I do not own a scale. Unable to stand without holding onto a support, it seems difficult, if not impossible, to weigh myself accurately at my home. Still, I can feel the oxygen in my skin, the changes in my sleep, and the clarity of my vision. I’m also noticing my clothes are fitting looser than before. This is an exciting time. Also, just as I’ve said before, I am not “on a diet”. These are not some extreme actions aimed at rapidly achieving some desired result. These are life changes that I’ve thought about, and I’m willing to maintain for a lifetime (one day at a time, of course).

Thank you for reading.