• Wed, Mar 9 2011

10 Unhealthy Foods and Other Vices to Give Up for Lent From Our Fearless Foodtrainer

Nutritionist and Foodtrainers founder Lauren Slayton

I love Lent. I’m a nutritionist, and for a chunk of time every year my (practicing Christian) clients don’t waver in their commitments. They give up something for the 40-day religious period: Sugar, alcohol, caffeine, or, for the foul-mouthed, cursing. Most of my clients can forgo their vice without a pep talk or modifications. Religion aside, I love this idea of giving up one thing for a set period of time. It’s not like you’re giving up all your favorite things, living on juices, or canceling all social plans. Its just one thing, but it can make a difference to your overall health. So, because today is Ash Wednesday (the first day of Lent), I propose Lent For All: The criterion is that what you give up should be a challenge. For example, if you don’t ever eat cookies, then giving up cookies isn’t meaningful. And whatever you sacrifice, skip it for the duration of Lent until Easter Sunday (April 24). Here are ten things (mostly unhealthy foods and drinks) to consider scrapping. You only need to choose one, but choose wisely (and quickly). Let the sacrifice begin:

Last week, our Fearless Foodtrainer — nutritionist and Foodtrainers founder Lauren Slayton — brought us 10 tricks to make healthy, nutritious foods less boring. Check out her past Blisstree posts here.

Lauren Slayton, M.S. R.D., founder of New York City’s Foodtrainers, has more than a decade of experience as both a dietician and nutritional counselor. Offering one-on-one sessions on weight and nutrition management, Foodtrainers helps clients create, record, achieve, and maintain personal health goals. For those in need of grocery shopping guidance on a budget, Foodtrainers also offers an affordable program, Market Foodtraining. Check out Lauren’s Foodtrainers blog and follow Lauren on Twitter: @foodtrainers.

What do you think of Lent For All? Christian or not, will you give anything up? Is it guilt, or why do you think some people can do things in the name of religion that we wouldn’t otherwise do? Sound off in our comments section, below.

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  • Kait

    I’m ditching second helpings, and all things potato related (french fries, mashed, baked, chips, you name it).

  • Lauren Slayton

    Kait- love “all things potato related”. Glad you’re on board with the second helpings.

  • sara

    Great suggestions! I decided to give up chocolate this year, which is a big challenge for me! :)

  • Lauren Slayton

    but sara you can have chocolate on Easter!

  • Brooke

    If you’re using Lent to diet you’ve missed the point entirely.

    • Christine Egan

      Hi Brooke.
      We’re actually not talking about dieting. We’re talking about giving up food, drink, or other vices you may love, but that you know aren’t great for you. It’s kind of like using Lent as an excuse to pursue better overall health in a very small way, which we think is a worthy pursuit, regardless of religion.
      Thanks for your comment!
      Best regards,
      Christine Egan (Editor-in-Chief, Blisstree)

    • Ellen W.

      Brooke- I feel you.
      Maybe the Blisstree readerscould take on something helpful for other people’s health. Offer to bring fresh veggies to a neighbor who doesn’t get to the store often? Write a letter in support of home-care support to your city, county, state & federal representatives (if your politics swing that way)? Supporting public health is about your health and it’s a Good Thing To Do.

    • Ellen W.

      I totally sound sanctimonious there, sorry about that.

  • Briana Rognlin

    I’m not religious and I’ve never observed Lent, but I’m giving up sugar and wheat until Easter. They’re things that I know I feel better without, but I definitely have a hard time giving up, and even though I’m not doing it for Jesus, per se, I think it’s good practice to stick yourself to a challenge every now and then. But Sara, I feel your pain. I’m already dreaming of that big chunk of dark chocolate on April 24th. 39 days to go!

  • Mo

    Great article! I just tweeted this. Would love you to read my short funny blog about Fat Tuesday & share your thoughts. I LOVE your site! Thank you. http://macnmos.com/the-morselist/

  • Albert

    Hi, there. Keeping apart the tradition part, I don’t think giving up meat is crucial for healthy living. Of course, it is important to opt for lean meat only. Lean meat is a good source of protein and contains limited fat. For more information, visit http://www.ultimate-health-fitness.com/