Cohenites who want to observe Lent can take their lenten observance a step further with sacrifices that go beyond abstaining from meat or even fasting. After all, Lent is a time to reflect on our lives and to look back on how well we have been treating ourselves and others. It’s really the perfect time to let go of bad habits and redirect our lives towards the good — be it for our spiritual life and our physical state. Finally, letting go of bad habits such as overeating and overindulging in sugary, fatty, and salty food, and transforming our lives into developing healthier habits is the best way to show our gratitude to the Supreme Being who gave us our bodies.
Here are some of our recommendations on what to give up — and gain:
- Go meatless. Of course this tops the list as this has been a practice that many Catholics have been observing. Nevertheless, being on the Cohen Program doesn’t excuse us from abstaining from meat. We have other options on our Eating Plan such as fish, cheese, and tofu to replace meat and poultry on the Fridays of Lent.
- Say no to sodas. Lent is a time for sacrifice, so what better way to make a little bit more of a sacrifice than by avoiding diet sodas. Besides, it’s good for you! Just drink your 2 to three liters of water!
- Limit your caffeine. If you rely on that cup of joe every morning to get you going, then cutting back on coffee to start your day may be a sacrifice for you. If you absolutely cannot go without caffeine, then just cut back to one cup a day.
- Cut back on your digital and online time. Surely some of us are guilty of staying up late because we’re glued to our smartphones or tablets even while in bed. So instead of losing good quality sleep time, turn off those mobile devices. It’s a sacrifice you’ll be thankful for when you see those pounds melting away.
- Give up sugar! Many studies have shown that sugar is the root cause not only of weight gain, but also of many inflammatory diseases such as allergies, diabetes, heart diseases, and even depression. Try to avoid even artificial sweeteners for just 40 days. Who knows, you might like how your body reacts to no sugar that you’ll stay off it for life.
- Stop complaining. True, it’s so easy to complain about giving up on all your favorite (fatty, high sugar) food that you love. So why not try to stop complaining about this, even for just 40 days? Besides, you’re doing your body a favor by avoiding these sugary, high fat foods, and at the same time, you’re also developing a stronger EQ.
- Resist those temptations to deviate! The Lenten season is definitely a great time to be on Cohen, as you can challenge yourself even more to resist temptations to deviate. Most of us have weaknesses that come in the form of sweets, desserts, junk, food, bread, rice, and pasta, and it takes a lot of willpower to resist them. If we fully commit to the Cohen Program, we can train our body to recognize food that are not naturally good for us.
- Change your mindset. The best way to be successful on the Cohen Program is to train your mind to see the good in eating healthy and changing your lifestyle. You may follow your Eating Plan to the letter, but if you continue to see these guidelines as a temporary adjustment and not a lifelong change, then it becomes harder to reach your goal and maintain your weight in the long run. Remember: the Cohen Program is not just about losing weight, it’s a lifestyle change for the better!
Any other Lenten sacrifices you have made that’s not on this list? Share with your fellow Cohenites and let’s help each other maintain and achieve a healthy lifestyle through nutrition!