What is Lent?

What to eat if you are removing all animal source foods?

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One concern with vegetarian diets has been the possibility of iron deficiency and consequent anemia. Iron bioavailability from foods of plant origin is low compared with that from meat. On the other hand, vegetarian diets provide ample quantities of vitamin C, which is known to enhance the absorption of iron. Thus, it is preferable to focus more on adding some lemon to your meals to increase iron absorption.

People who go for this kind of fasting often gain weight by the end of Lent due to eating much more carbohydrates such as bread, rice, hummus, thyme…etc. So better be careful to your intake and keep your exercise going.

Many Christians throughout the world observe Lent. Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestants benefit from this annual season of sacrifice and simplicity. For non-Christians, Lent might seem like a mystery, since Christians voluntarily make sacrifices. For some, Lent is a period of going on a diet; for others, it is when Catholic co-workers show up to work with ashes on their heads, and fast-food restaurants start selling fish sandwiches. So what exactly is Lent and where did it come from? Lent is a forty day period before Easter set aside as a season of soul-searching and repentance.  The forty days reflect Jesus’ withdrawal into the wilderness for his own time of spiritual reflection.  Sundays, because they commemorate the Resurrection, are not counted.  In the early church Lent was a special time when new converts were instructed in the faith and prepared for baptism on Easter.

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There are a few basic tasks that traditionally have been associated with Lent; fasting, almsgiving, and prayer. Fasting can be done by many ways: Some people fast till 12 PM, some give away some foods/habits that they usually do, some give up all animal products and some do all together. In an interview conducted with the registered dietitian Pamela Abou Aoun (So7i Wa Sari3 Diet Clinics), she gave us the following tips for you to follow during the Lent season.

First of all, there are a few things that you need to take care of whilst fasting:

  • Drink plenty of water after 12 PM to compensate for its absence all morning. Try not to drink water suddenly so that you wouldn’t overload your kidneys at once. Also make sure not to drink whilst eating so that you eat all your quantities.
  • Make sure you keep your exercise going. If you usually exercise in the morning, switch it till the afternoon period. If you are the type of persons who suffers from sleeping disorders, be careful of exercising late at night since it may increase your adrenaline levels and subsequently decrease your need to sleep.

What to eat at 12 PM?

There are many people who chose to fast till 12 PM; those people do not have anything to worry about but how to maintain a healthy quantity throughout their day.

  1. In case you start your day with a breakfast, you can continue on pushing the timings of the rest of your meals. Ex: Breakfast at 12, Lunch at 4 and dinner at 8-9.
  2. In case you start your day skipping breakfast, then you should increase your lunch and/or dinner’s quantities to make sure you will not lose weight ONLY during Lent and then re-gain it after.2

What to eat if you are removing all animal source foods?

One concern with vegetarian diets has been the possibility of iron deficiency and consequent anemia. Iron bioavailability from foods of plant origin is low compared with that from meat. On the other hand, vegetarian diets provide ample quantities of vitamin C, which is known to enhance the absorption of iron. Thus, it is preferable to focus more on adding some lemon to your meals to increase iron absorption.

People who go for this kind of fasting often gain weight by the end of Lent due to eating much more carbohydrates such as bread, rice, hummus, thyme…etc. So better be careful to your intake and keep your exercise going.

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