Sorry to be so predictable, but the obvious choice for this Five-Things Ash Wednesday is … five things to give up for Lent.  So here are five things I’ve given up over the past year + in my quest to live healthier that might work for you as well.  Pick one, give it a try for the next 40 days and see how it works for you …

1.)  Artificial Sweeteners.  Top of the list, without question.  You know what they make Sweet-n-Low from?  Petroleum.  Put that stuff in your car, not your belly.  Not NutraSweet, not Splenda.  Just use sugar, preferably as unrefined as possible.  Taste the calories, just try not to use too much.

2.)  Elevators.  Take the stairs, learn the benefits of passive exercise (as opposed to the contrived kind).  Bonus benefit:  Assuming you don’t work on, like, the 10th floor, you’ll actually save time.  Instead of standing around pushing the up button over and over while somebody on the 2nd floor loads a desk onto the elevator, you’ll getting healthier.  (If you actually do work on the 10th floor, I don’t recommend this one.)

3.)  Bleached Flour.  Yeah, I’m still giving this up.  Not all the way there yet.  Not because I miss it – not at all – but most restaurants haven’t bought into an all-whole-wheat menu yet.  This is actually a pretty easy one, and whole-wheat pasta, bread, etc. actually has flavor.

4.)  Margarine.  I don’t think margarine is necessarily bad for you in and of itself, but for me at least, it doesn’t effectively replace butter, and it leaves me wanting more … so I end up eating more of it than I would if I just used real butter.

5.)  Good Parking Spaces.  I know, that sounds silly.  It works like number 2 above.  Don’t sit and wait for the closest spot to open up, take the one over by the fence and (gasp) walk.  You’ll save the time you used to spend waiting for the spot, you’ll be less annoyed at your fellow parkers, and you’ll accidentally exercise.

What am I giving up you ask?  Well, as I think I mentioned earlier, fried food.  Not just for Lent, for good.  Tougher than it sounds.  I don’t necessarily crave fried food, but it’s inconvenient to give it up, ’cause it’s everywhere.  Except for my plate.

What I didn’t share with you yet is that I promised Sprightly Daughter Number One that if she would work hard on getting dressed and ready for school every morning without extensive prodding for Lent, I’d work hard on not yelling at her so much in the mornings.  For Lent.

Thanks for reading!


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Penny on February 23, 2012 at 8:27 am

    Don’t be so quick to knock “contrived” exercise. The benefits of regularly engaging are documented and measurable. “Passive” pretty much defines itself. Doesn’t mean I don’t take the stairs. But passive exercise alone isn’t enough for most people. Just my 2 cents….


  2. Posted by Ann Stice on February 23, 2012 at 11:53 pm

    i generally don’t eat butter, and I have found that really good olive oil is a great flavor booster to roasted vegetables. However…butter is the only topping on popcorn


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