Monday, March 21, 2011

satisfying the nom-nom monster

So the season of Lent is upon us Christians. I didn't give much thought to the practice giving up anything, uhm, fasting, either in a food deprivation sense, limiting my technology intake [ie: going "dark" on Facebook], I don't swear, don't really drink alcohol, so when it came to fasting on something, anything, I found myself at a bit of a loss.

I had been planning on attending the Lenten dinner series that my church hosts every year, until a packet arrived in the mail about a study I was participating in. A study on weight loss. How convenient that the first so-called intervention began on the same evening as the Lenten Dinner series. As I sat there last week, listening to the dietary guidelines I was about to undertake, the thought occured to me that this year, my Lenten fast, admittedly thrust upon me, was more about depriving myself of gluttony than total elimination of one thing or another. This lifestyle change requires diligence - did I mention there's an exercise portion? - and thoughtfulness. Am I thoughtful about baking? You betcha. Just not so thoughtful on how many calories and grams of fat are in that piece of carrot cake. And I love, love, love Mexican food. And CHEESE. Especially on my Mexican food. Parmesean, Jarlsberg, Brie, Muenster, Gorgonzola, extra-sharp Cheddar, Mozzarella... I <3 cheese. And chocolate. The darker the better.

So they want me to count my calories and watch my fat gram intake... this is not something I'm obviously inherently good at, or I wouldn't be in this study. In my family, especially my mom's side, food was love. And you shared abundant amounts of food with the people you loved because [coming from an immigrant Italian background] we'd made it in this country. We could be so deliriously foolish as to offer three main dishes, have upwards of 10 sides, three kinds of bread [plus pasta] and, to cap it off, four kinds of cookies and/or pastries, two pies and three separate cartons of different flavored ice cream, so everyone was happy. We took feasts very seriously... and the standard Sunday brunch as well.

I'm pretty sure there isn't a low calorie, low fat method of making a tirimisu that's worth spending the time to make. But chocolate cookies? I found a recipe that might just be a lifesaver from EatingWell - chewy chocolate cookies. Just chocolate, no whistles and bells. Mmm... And a healthy alternative to getting my Mexican fix while trimming the excess pounds.

Beginning the second week of Lent, I don't know if I've lost any weight... I don't actually own my own scale. But I'm sure willing to take a stab at the deadly sin of Gluttony. Christe Eleison.

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