Note: I started this blog on the first of February and intended to post it on February 14th, the first day of Lent. Then the flu hit my home. Rather than do the whole thing over, I’m posting it a week and two days late, because it’s still relevant. This year the season of Lent lasts from February 14th to Easter Sunday, which is April 1st, and my Keto Reset diet will last the same amount of time.
I do not make a secret of the fact that I am a Catholic girl. I was raised in the church, attended Catholic school through high school graduation and I’ve continued to hold tightly to my faith and my Catholic practices. This being said, one should know that one of my degrees in college was “World Religion” so I have a great understanding of organized religions as a whole. I firmly believe that there are a gazillion and one ways to get to a single result, so I make no judgement or assumption about people who do not worship or feel the same as me. I’m doing me. You do you. It’s all good.
Why am I saying this? I am about to share some personal stuff here and I want you to know that I’m sharing only to be real about myself and not for any other reason. I would never expect another person on the planet to think, act or believe as I do. I’m happy if you do and I’m happy if you don’t. (So there you have it; a disclaimer of sorts.)
Every year for as long as I can remember, during the season of Lent, I have practiced some form of self-denial as an offering to God for all of the Blessings in my life. I know there are people who poo-poo the idea of self-denial in favor of "something more positive" such as volunteering or donating to charity, or even exercising. Like I said earlier: to each her own. I have always believed that the practice of self-denial works wonders in my life. For me, it brings me back to a sense of humility. I remember and commit to my being that in this life, in this world, I have no control over anything but my own self, and even so, I am not all there IS in this world. Sometimes I need to get over my self-centered, badass self and for me, Lent is the perfect time to do it. (Notice how I keep saying, "For me"?)
Last year I successfully abstained from eating meat during the entire season of Lent, so naturally I decided this year I would do the same thing. The thing is though, what I discovered last year was that it was actually pretty easy for me to abstain from meat. In fact, I didn’t miss it at all. Yes, it was a pain in the butt sometimes, because I still prepared meals for the church and also for my husband at home. Sure, if I was standing there serving meatloaf and mashed potatoes, certainly I was drooling a bit on the inside, but by and large, going into this Lent season, I knew I wouldn’t have much of a problem going without the meat.
So, if it’s easy, does it still count as a sacrifice? Um. Nope. Not in my book. (Those who know me personally can insert the said-in-sarcasm phrase, “Of COURSE it doesn’t”, here. You can roll your eyes here too, if you feel like it.)
Sacrifice: an act of offering to a deity something precious
Meat isn’t precious to me. (There I said it. Don’t judge me.) That being said, I am still giving up meat for Lent because what is precious to me is time. It takes extra time and effort on my part to prepare separate meals for myself, while I’m still preparing meat for my husband and catering for other carnivores in my community. The extra time I have to spend preparing separate meals reminds me of the reason I’m doing this in the first place.
Of course I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t throw something else in to make things more challenging for me. So this year in addition to giving up meat, I decided to make February the 14th the first day of a Keto-Reset diet and as a by-product of this diet, we’re also giving up our Friday night wine and pizza tradition. (Okay, not the pizza part because I can make crust with cauliflower!)
About two months ago one of my favorite Instagram personality's started talking about her experience doing a keto-reset diet. She recommended a book which I promptly went out and bought: "The Keto Reset Diet" by Mark Sisson. I loved the book and so decided that I would set the goal to start the diet to coincide with Lent. (You probably already guessed that part). The actual diet doesn't really state that alcohol is not to be consumed during reset, I just threw that part in after reading about how alcohol consumption slows down the fat burning process.
So here you have it. This year for Lent, I'm giving up meat, doing a keto reset diet which requires that I also give up grains, pastas, starchy vegetables and sugar, oh and for good measure, alcohol too. (Gasp)
The basic premise of the keto reset is that it trains the body to burn fat for fuel instead of sugar. Burning fat for fuel goes a long way for someone like me, who wants to lose weight. Honestly though, the main draw for me, and I am being totally serious here, was that my friend from Instagram raved about how her skin transformed as a result of Keto. I have had issues with dry skin, rashes, hives etc. for as long as I can remember. The idea of having the pretty skin of my youth really appeals to me.
I know you are probably now questioning how doing a Keto reset diet has anything to do with Lent or sacrificing for God. It really doesn’t. I like to have a definite start date when I am doing something new, so the start of Lent seemed like the perfect time. I do believe, however, that the body is the temple for the spirit and when I am treating my body well by working hard to keep it pure and healthy, I like to believe it makes God happy. So there. (Trust me when I say that giving up wine is going to suck.) Also know that every single minute I’m doing all of this, I’m holding my intentions in my heart. God sees. I don’t really mind what anyone else has to say.
I mentioned that this blog is late, so I will share the results of the first week. The great news is that I am down six pounds (my husband is down ten pounds. Men. ARGH!) The first week of Keto was pretty easy for me because I am not a sugar addict. My husband is and he has had a bit of an adjustment period. We both experienced extreme brain fog and a general loss of energy. The book told us to expect this, so it didn’t come as a shock and I am happy to report that in week two, I am feeling much better. Oh and guess what? The no-alcohol thing isn’t as hard as I thought. Of course, I might feel differently if we were going out to dinner with friends, but so far, it’s not an issue. Also, we are both sleeping better. (Bonus!)
Remember my friend from Instagram? She said that week two was the week she started to notice her skin improving. Yup. Yup. I concur. I am flipping delighted to look feel how soft my skin is and see how much fresher my face is looking.
Here are a couple of photos so you can see. The first is from Day one and the second is from this past Wednesday, which is Day 8. Keep in mind that both of these photos were taken in the middle of catering for the church. Both times, we were tired and sweaty. (Oh and don’t look at my hair either! LOL)
I will be back again next week to show you what the beginning of Week 3 looks like and I will talk about what the rest of Week 2 is like. I will also share some of my favorite Keto-approved recipes.
Love to all of you!