Lenten Fasting and Abstaining

By Cara Clark Busson on Feb 9th 2016

For those of you who have been apart of the CCN family, you know that fasting and our philosophy do not go hand and hand. In fact, they are polar opposite. Like me, many of our clients are practicing Catholics and we observe the two days a year of fasting as Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. During these two days, it's recommended that we fast by only indulging in one full meal and two small snacks. Those without health issues are expected to take part in this. The purpose is to earn God's attention and as a penance or sacrifice for the purpose of strengthening us.

Our philosophy is based on keeping a stable blood sugar by eating every few hours and full size meals. As you can see the major dilemma we face! It's impossible to do both! Here's the advice I have and would practice myself if I wasn't nursing a young baby.

I believe in the traditions of the church and strongly urge my fellow Catholics to follow them. It's important to not only fast on these days of calling, but to also abstain from meat as well. Don't forget the no meat applies to each Friday. I will be posting fun meatless Lent meals on my social media for you.

On these small snacks and meals I have some suggestions for you:

Start your day with plenty of water--room temperature may help you even more to feel somewhat satisfied. Drink tons of water(NOTHING ELSE) throughout these days and every day!

Have a small breakfast within an hour of waking up. A good option would be a sprouted grain toast with some butter or avocado and a small handful of fruit. I recommend eating your larger meal for lunch, just to help you through your day. Salmon and quinoa, sprinkled with feta with a full plate of veggies and maybe a piece of fruit on the side would be a great choice! For your dinner snack, I suggest a smoothie or something that offers a little satisfaction while still keeping to the sacrifice of no meat and only one large meal. While you will and should feel hungry throughout the day, it's still important to offer it up for God's greater good. Use these times to meet Him in prayer.

As for abstaining, here's what I picture the best Lent as an adult. Stop giving up food selfishly. Sorry, but so many people do it and it's not the purpose of Lent. Don't give up bread or sugar in hopes to lose weight so you look better. I just don't classify that as a great strategy to improve your faith walk by abstaining from something we like to achieve selfish results. Try something new this year. Here are some suggestions I've done in the past; TV, buying anything unnecessary for yourself, leisure reading, coffee. I've given up on giving something up though, as if I don't give up enough as a mom of four under 6. I highly suggest adding in to improve your prayer life, relationship with God and faith. How about adding a mass to your week, a rosary to your day, an hour of Holy Adoration or even a great spiritual book that leads you to Him throughout the day? Try to do something hard, but not impossible. Think of the ultimate sacrifice. What can YOU do to bring yourself closer to that?

In closing, yes, fasting is more important than a stable blood sugar. I hope and pray you all have a very reverent and Holy Lent. I ask that you pray for the same for me!!!