At 30, I'm not old by any stretch of the imagination. I've never been one to care about age. That being said, though, I've noticed in the last year some significant changes in my body that have hinted that, although I'm not "old," I'm certainly getting older.
My metabolism, for example, has slowed down considerably. Where I could once scarf down a buffet-worth of lunch and not gain an ounce, I can't sneak a french fry without gaining twenty. My digestive track doesn't always tend to work as seamlessly as it once did, either. I could typically eat like a goat and my tummy had nary a thing to say. Now, however, it grumbles in protest should I try to indulge in something spicy.
Little things like that have been catching up with me for a while now. As a result, I've gained more weight than I care to admit, my posture has taken a hit, and my energy level is constantly sapped. I've been wanting to jump start a change in lifestyle to compensate for the fact that I'm not 18 anymore. I think I've finally got the motivation to make the commitment.
Mind you, I'm not worried about body image. While it'd be nice to look slimmer, I don't fancy myself "fat." My doc informed me last year I was close to overweight. With the pounds I've added since that visit, I'm likely over the line, but I don't care so much given I wear it pretty well. I'm curvy and my body-shape allows for extra pounds. However, I'm doing this more because I'm noticing my energy level being near nothing at the end of the day. I want to have the energy to take Vince to the park and out biking and such instead of feeling the need to collapse on the couch.
So I'm going to take this as my motivation to answer the changes in my body while getting myself more in tune with that whole "your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit" business. The first step of this process is to clear out the temple. I'm going to kick fast foods, fried foods and junk foods from my diet. I'm also going to "fast" three times a week - Mon, Wed and Fri will be my "no meat" days.
Thus, the point of this blog entry.
I know a lot of you out there have great vegetarian recipes. Please, please, please share them with me (unless they are soup because, for the most part, I don't actually like soup).
Plus, I figure this will be a good way to have a daily offering for a few special intentions I've got floating around. I've been meaning to work on my ability to fast, and I guess now is as good a time as any. This venture begins the day I get back from vacation (Sept. 4). I figure I should have a good stockpile of recipes and such by then.
Thanks in advance! <3
So I did the normal fast today. Salad for lunch, fish and rice for dinner, nothing in between. Didn't complain, didn't reach for all the goodies around me.
But ya know what? In my mind, I was counting down the hours (then the minutes and eventually the seconds) until midnight rolled around so I could gorge myself stupid on leftover Chinese food.
It's quarter after midnight, the plate is empty, and I feel like a cheat.
Does it really count as a proper fast when you're counting down like that? I can't imagine Jesus was going "Okay, just a few more minutes of this crucifixion business before I can finally call it quits."
That realization makes me feel like such a wimp. It's not like He asked me to give up food for a week. He didn't even ask me to give it up for a whole day. So why am I shuffling around as the last seconds tick by on Friday so I can devour the pork fried rice on a technicality?
This fasting stuff is just not for me. I'm terrible at it. Gluttony and I? We get along so well - especially when she's dressed up in Chinese takeout. And pizza.
But I digress.
Lent is about penance, prayer and almsgiving. As Archbishop Chaput said, prayer is the center of this Lenten chain since prayer reorders us properly to the Light of God. Penance and almsgiving (a proper reordering of our relationship to self and others) comes naturally from a prayerful attitude.
My shuffling around in anticipation of midnight isn't what I'd call prayerful.
So I guess I need to focus a little more on the prayer aspect of Lent. I can't do the penance / almsgiving portion right if I don't have that centerpiece in place, can I?
I need to work on this whole "dying to self" business. May we all reach the end of Lent as professionals. ;)
We got some snow this weekend. On my way home Friday, I stopped by the supermarket to pick up a few things to make the time we spent cooped up entertaining.
I lucked upon some sliced conch that was on sale.
John LOVES conch. In fact, I think conch is right up there with the Superbowl for this boy.
Anyway, I purchased the conch with the idea that I'd make a soup of some sort for him. It'd be a pleasant surprise assuming I was able to prepare it halfway decent. Since I'd never prepared conch before, I was a little nervous about how well my surprise was going to turn out.
I have to say that after devouring almost an entire pot between the two of us, it was a success!!! Conch is a very sweet sea meat. It's texture is akin to calamari (chewy but not tough), so you really feel like you're eating something substantial when you use it in soup.
I didn't follow a recipe. I rarely do as nine times out of ten I'm missing something the recipe calls for. Thus, I sorta wing it until it tastes good.
Recipe that worked for me:
12 oz. thawed sliced conch
3 cans condensed tomato soup
1 can sweet corn
2 large russet potatoes boiled and sliced into chunks
Approximations (sorry, I never do exact measures of anything):
1/2 cup of milk
2 small scoops of garlic
Enough olive oil to coat your pan
Splash of lemon juice
Generous heap of Old Bay seasoning
I happened to have leftover pastina in the fridge (maybe about a cup worth) so that found its way into the pot as well)
Saute conch in pan with oil, garlic and some Old Bay.
In separate pot, start heating up the tomato soup, corn and potatoes. Since the soup is condensed, you can use either water or broth to thin the consistency. For me, I only used one can of water for the three soup cans.
Add milk and a splash of lemon juice.
Once fully cooked, add the conch to the soup. If you've got extra pastina like I did, add that too!
Stir and simmer.
Voila! Sweet, creamy and incredibly delicious conch soup.
***Since John likes his soup spicy, I added some ground cayenne pepper to his bowl.***
All in all, I was very pleased with the turn-out. It may not look like much, but this was DELICIOUS!
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