Monday, March 07, 2011

In the Beginning

I pretty much had my own private Mardi Gras last night; it consisted of two cookies and two Lindt chocolates, for which I was not at all hungry. I felt kind of sick afterwards. For those of you not in the know, Jarod and I have been attending an Orthodox Christian church for a year now, and with that has come some new traditions (actually old traditions, but new to us). Orthodox fasts occur several times during the year, but we have yet to fully participate. The Lenten fast, which began today, is THE big fast for Orthodox Christians, and this year we wanted to be a little more intentional about our participation. For the most part, an Orthodox fast is vegan eating, and consumption of wine and oil are also restricted. It's a time to simplify, and I am glad to do it. It's a bit of a juggling act with Zinashi's nutritional needs, so what we've decided to do as a family is to eat our usual breakfast, which includes either eggs or milk every day, and alter the rest. It's fairly easy to slip extra protein onto Zinashi's plate at lunch and to make her snacks more substantial so that our vegan dinner won't be a big deal when it comes to her nutritional needs. I know that there are a lot of families who eat a vegan diet all together, but I'm not comfortable doing that with Zinashi when she was so recently malnourished. And so. Breakfast is for cheaters.

Except for the part where I normally get to have coffee.

I KNOW.

My friend Nicole pointed out that I could still have coffee, but the problem is that I really don't like coffee plain. I like it with half & half and something sweet (lately, chocolate syrup is my favorite) (stop looking at me like that). But half & half isn't part of the Zinashi Sponsored Breakfast Plan, and so. No coffee*. Today I had some jasmine green tea, and I didn't suffer as much as I feared I might. Until later, when I got a headache.

Still, I think the fast is going to be good for us. It was long past time to break some habits and put them back where they belong, in the realm of treats for sometimes but not all of the time. Or ingredients to rely on less (ahem*CHEESE*ahem). I am no ascetic, and I do think that food was meant to be enjoyed, but having whatever you like whenever you'd like to have it takes a lot of joy out of food. It makes the things that really are special seem less so. The weeks ahead may grow tedious, but it's all for the best.

At least, that's what I'm saying on Day One.


*I have tried all sorts of non-dairy alternatives to half & half, and frankly, none of them work for me. It's either a flavor issue or a consistency issue or a film-on-my-teeth issue or some combination of the above. So thank you but no thank you for your suggestions for half & half substitutes. I'd rather just skip the coffee.

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