“hardcore” Lent

I decided that I wanted to take Lent seriously this year and do something that I would notice and might do me some good. A good friend of mine said that last year he did the Orthodox Lenten fast. He told me a little about it, so I decided I should investigate it a little bit.

It basically boils down: no meat, no fish with backbones (shellfish and squid is ok), no olive oil, no dairy/eggs and no wine/hard liquor. According to one source, this actually includes all oils and all alcohols! So, I did some more research on the topic, and I found that before the 20th century, the Catholic Lenten fast was much closer to the current Orthodox Lenten fast. It essentially bars eating meat and dairy products. Both traditions (the current Orthodox and former Catholic) make exceptions for the ill, pregnant, young, etc.

So I decided I would use older Orthodox food restrictions (i.e. beer and non-olive oil are acceptable) with the common fasting tradition. The Orthodox Lenten tradition also calls for totals fasts on several days, but recognizes that it is very difficult for most working people to complete these. The Orthodox tradition also does not completely relax their restrictions on Sundays and Holy Days during Lent, which I think is partially due to the different method of counting the days of Lent used by the Orthodox churches.

So, my Lenten sacrifice, which I like to call “hardcore” Lent (because it sounds cool) and many people I know like to call “you’re crazy” Lent boils down to the following:

  • No meat
  • No fish (excepting shellfish)
  • No olive-oil
  • No dairy or eggs
  • No alcohol (excepting beer)
  • No eating between meals
  • One full meal a day and two smaller meals that do not add up to the larger.

So far, it’s been rough for me. I haven’t quite gotten my meal sizes figured out yet, but I’m carefully monitoring and adjusting them. I’ve also cut down my workouts a bit due to the decrease in calorie intake. My current workout schedule is:

  • Monday: run 2 miles
  • Tuesday: Leg weights
  • Wednesday: Arm weights
  • Thursday: Leg weights
  • Friday: Arm weights / run .5 miles

So far I’ve already lost more weight than normal with this Lenten diet. I also look forward to Sundays and obligatory feast days a lot more than I used to. (The two feast days during Lent that we are taking off are St. Joseph’s feast day on March 18 and the Annunciation on March 25.)

new gym routine

I’ve explained my workout before, but the amount of time that it takes has always bothered me. I don’t really like spending more than an hour at the gym. My weights days were taking around 1:15 to 1:30 every time, while my cardio days only took about 45 minutes. I came up with a plan to even the days out a little more, which I’ve been following for the last two weeks. Continue reading “new gym routine”

planting more things

Basil PlantsBasil CloseupLast year, I attempted to grow a basil plant and a dill plant. The dill plant did not fare so well, and most of the basil plants died, but two of them stuck around. My new apartment has a lot more natural sunlight exposure than the old one, so the basil is doing better even with the reduced light in winter than before, when the best I could provide was grow lamp. Continue reading “planting more things”

go to the gym? me?

Something that I wanted to do as part of my lifestyle change was to get in better shape. I was, and still am, convinced that exercise alone won’t fix your weight problems. You also have to change what you eat to lose weight. That being said, I do think that exercise is helpful. For me, exercise relieves stress and just makes me feel better in general. Continue reading “go to the gym? me?”

a new diet

The coolest thing right now is that after losing almost fifty pounds, people are noticing my weight loss and they are commenting on it. That feels good, and makes me realize that I am changing my life for the better. Sometimes, people ask me what I am doing to lose all the weight. I tell them that it’s pretty simple: I eat less and exercise. Essentially, that is what I’m doing, but it is a bit of a high overview. To be honest, I don’t have a traditional diet in mind when I decided to lose weight. I’ve read about lots of diets and they all seem to either fail after a while or cause health problems. I didn’t want this to happen to me, so I came up with my plan. Continue reading “a new diet”

tracking my progress

I’m an engineer. I went to Electrical Engineering school, and they gave me a piece of paper that says I can call myself an engineer. I even took a really annoying test (the Fundamentals of Engineering) so I can call myself an Engineer-in-Training. Because of this background, I like to collect data on things. After coming up with an idea on how to accomplish my weight loss goal, I figured that the only way to ensure I was making progress was to make a record of my progress. Continue reading “tracking my progress”

the plan

I kicked off my diet in late July by cutting out soda and cutting down on alcohol intake, but I knew that this probably wouldn’t be enough. I had to come up with some semblance of a plan to lose 170lbs. In fact, at this point, I didn’t even have a goal other than ‘weigh less’. All I really knew was that I weighed too much and I needed that to change. Continue reading “the plan”

Turkey and Rice Stew

I had some leftover turkey in my refridgerator and a bunch of veggies I needed to cook, so I decided to make a stew. I’ve formatted this recipe a little different. Enjoy!

Step 1: Gather the ingredients.

They include: Carrots, Scallions (Green Onions), Turkey, 2 cans of Low Sodium Chicken Broth, Chinese Five Spice, Ground Ginger, Thyme, Rosemary, Celery Seed, Salt, Minced Garlic, Pepper, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Cornstarch and Rice.

Continue reading “Turkey and Rice Stew”

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!

During the holidays, it’s easy to forget the point of the season. All the rushing around, buying of gifts and cooking of food consumes our time, and sometimes we never get a chance to slow down and enjoy this time. Try to slow down, spend time with your loved ones and remember why we all celebrate Christmas.