February, our shortest month of the year, is one of the busiest in my family. It is a month of celebration in recognition of seven birthdays along with Super Bowl Sunday, Valentine’s Day, President’s Day, and Mardi Gras before the solemn start to Lent on Ash Wednesday. In my South Louisiana upbringing celebration equates to food.
Being born and raised in South Louisiana there was never a shortage of reasons to celebrate and food was generally an integral part of the celebration. I find it hard to vary from the part of my heritage that puts food essential to every gathering. However, with struggling to maintain my clothing size, that is not always such a good idea.
My youngest son has worked to make me more aware of what I am serving and when discussing menu ideas with him he will stop me and say “ok mama, how can we make that cleaner”?
I am sure I am not alone in my holiday weight gain and my intent to lose that extra weight as a New Year’s resolution. I am also aware I am not alone in abandoning well intentioned resolutions.
So maybe we just think about tweaking our usual fare to make it healthier/cleaner; generally, this tweaking does not sacrifice flavor or tradition. Look for organic, low fat, low sodium, good carb, lean meat, vegan and gluten free swaps where you can. It can be easier than you think. We can celebrate, eat, drink and be merry keeping in mind cleaner recipe options.
Perhaps this Lenten season could be a time where you sacrifice by making cleaner food swaps. By Easter you just may have developed a new habit and way of cooking for yourself and your family that will benefit not only your weight but your overall health.