That’s my spirit’s attitude. My body’s attitude is more like Nooooooo! And my mind reminds me that the Orthodox Church started fasting a few days ago already. So, clearly I need a time to align my body, mind, and spirit.
A time to sit down with our loving God and pray without feeling weighed down by heavy food (just by my sins 😉 We can release our concerns to God. We can sit in freedom and encouragement. A simpler time. A time of helping others.
First, as moms, we are thinking practically. What are we going to eat? My daughter is seven now, the first year a kid is expected to be a little bit more strict about fasting (in our case, prioritizing vegetables over meat). However, I have a four- and two-year old. So I am including occasional meat and fish. And some of the soups have chicken broth. The first week, I have the most enthusiasm, so the recipes require more time in the kitchen. Next week, the crock pot will be my sous chef.
Today, we are having Chana Masala which includes chickpeas, tomatoes, and lemon juice over hot brown rice.
On Thursdays, I am including meat for my little guys. This Thursday, we are having something in honor of New Orleans– Green Gumbo. Next Thursday, I’m making the infinitely easier lemony chicken and orzo soup.
On Friday, we are having Roasted Corn Soup. It’s topped with guacamole, and the kids like it (I hold the jalapeño). It does have chicken broth.
Saturday, I’m making tomato and cannellini bean soup. And then the kids are having pizza as a reward, because pizza on Saturdays is a weekly tradition.
On Sunday, we are having vegan chili which contains bulgar wheat, my kids’ favorite grain.
And what if we don’t have time to cook? The blog muffindome dot com has a list of yummy vegetarian crock pot recipes. This is my plan for next week.
What about salads? My favorite salad includes arugula, bell peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, parsley, cilantro, and feta. Another great one combines diced yellow and orange bell peppers with diced onion.
And yes, we are basically going to live on smoothies with various fruits. Arbonne has a great vegan protein blend one can add, too. I just got it from my friend Elizabeth.
As my friend Laura recommended last year, the key to a successful fast is snacks: almonds, dried mangos, prunes, berries, and apples with nut butter.
Second, I have to remember to pray (really prayer is most important, but it’s easier to think about once I have the menu planned out). I have a lot of help on this one. My middle son is the one who asks me to read the Bible out loud, and it’s my daughter who is always reminding us to pray (Awana is really paying off). I feel like I am constantly rushing. It’s hard to find time to pray. And at night, I sometimes feel frustrated, so it’s tempting to shake my fist at God (why can’t we just have Chick-fil-A?!). Especially after a busy week. But I know my kids will help me, ironically. They help me remember that it’s not about the food. It’s about preparing for Easter and concentrating on loving each other. God, help me with prayer. Help me remember to pray before I do anything else in the morning. Help me end the day in prayer. I know I need some guidance, so at night I will be reading A Woman’s Guide to Reading the Bible in a Year. By your mercy and grace, God.
Third, God, help me see how we can do community service as a family. Thanks to my friend Kristi, two weeks ago we helped out at a farm. The kids loved planting onions and petting the chicks. I loved seeing the baby bunnies! I am going to look for more opportunities like that this month.
And I am looking forward to an kid-free project in honor of my friend’s birthday.
And that’s all for now! I’ve got to make sure I still have all the ingredients for the Chana Masala.
Have a blessed Lent!