Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Bye Bye Chocolate!

Happy Mardi Gras! I have never really celebrated Mardi Gras. When I was little we always had pancakes for dinner on Fat Tuesday and I got a kick out of that. I still get a kick out of breakfast for dinner and I was going to make pancakes tonight but then I ran out of maple syrup and didn't feel like loading the baby up for a trip to the store to get one thing. This past week two separate neighbors have emptied out their fridges on me because they were going out of town, so I won't need to grocery shop until Lent is over. Easily. Jeez. I need to invite some of you over to help me eat it all.

I've decided to observe Lent this year. I'm not exactly Catholic, but Protestants do Lent too, though with seeming less fervor. I like the Catholic way though and being theologically promiscuous, I'm going to be Catholic for a little while, but more on that tomorrow.

I've decided to give something up for Lent. I like the idea of Lent - 40 days of fasting, reflection and turning inward from all the excesses of life to think about spiritual renewal. I feel, at this time in my life, that I need that. I need a time of contemplation and I feel like I need to sacrifice something.

I have decided to give up chocolate for Lent. Anyone who knows me knows I love chocolate beyond all measure. It is probably my favorite flavor, especially when it's smooth, dark and a little bitter with hints of coffee and cream. Oh my goodness. I love it in all forms - little squares broken jaggedly from a larger rectangle, as cake, the filling of a silken cream pie, oreos or even better pie crust made from oreos, moussed, chip cookied and ganached. I've never in my life drank a glass of plain milk. It has to have chocolate in it and so much that the Hershey's streaks the sides of the glass and sinks like a layer of mud at the bottom, which reminds me of Starbucks hot chocolate. Don't even get me started on that. There is no better.

And because I love it so much, it has to go because I probably do eat some form of it every day. I'll never pass up a chocolate dessert the way I can say no to pineapple upside down cake, creme brulee or blueberry pie, so I think if I can't have chocolate, I'll probably eat significantly less sugar overall, which has to be a good thing.

Farewell for now chocolate. May we meet again Easter Sunday as you envelop a Reese's peanut butter egg. I'll miss you chocolate.

Anyone else giving up anything for Lent? Why or why not?


Anonymous said...

Cravings for chocolate usually signal magnesium deficiency - try a multivitamin or a magnesium supplement.

Are you sure it's chocolate you crave, and not sugar? Do you like 85%, 90% chocolate? Probably not :).

There's a good lecture about too much sugar in our diet: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM . Please watch it. It's really worth it.

Arwen said...

I don't really celebrate Lent but I enjoy Mardi Gras. My husband and I fell in love at a Mardi Gras party 11 years ago. I'm only a cultural "Christian" so I don't really care except as a sociological study. I did overdo a bit today (2 paczki and some king cake). I'm going back on Weight Watchers tomorrow after a half day break... I was good until I hit the grocery and said "heck, it's Mardi Gras!"

I used to give up meat for Lent (not just on Fridays) but I don't do it anymore.

Anonymous said...

I was raised roman catholic but well away midway through high school. I was never really encouraged to give up something for lent beyond as a little kid being told to be 'extra good'. So I guess that's why I haven't ever given anything up.
I applaud people that have the will power to give something up. I don't think I ever deny myself anything I want food wise. (well beyond healthy eating habits of course) I think it would make me panicky.

Some of my friends who practice faithfully instead of giving something up are trying to do something good instead like calling grandparents or volunteering.

Dayna said...

As a cradle Catholic I don't give up any particular items for Lent. I always say I am giving up my time to do for others. But I really do that all year long. I attend Mass more than just on Sunday and go to Way of the Cross each week. I try to spend a lot more time in prayer and meditation. Holy Week is my most favorite time of the year. I am one of those who truely does not enjoy Cristmas.
And btw, Welcome and Happy Lent.

Sixteen Chickens said...

My grandpa used to say he was giving up watermelon for lent. I don't recall ever seeing him eat watermelon whether it was lent or not.

Maria said...

Thank you so much for reminding me about lent. I almost completely forgot it's Ash Wednesday tomorrow!

I was born and raised Catholic. However I've been an Agnostic for over ten years now (please don't tell my mom and mother-in-law!!!) but I like the idea of sacrificing something you love for 40 days.

I've known people who give up soda for lent. But they found a loophole of drinking diet soda or a different brand instead. That is not lent! That is cheating!!

I'm thinking of giving up chocolate and/or Facebook. Much like you, I am simply in love with chocolate. I have it daily and I have really snobby taste too. I like a good quality dark chocolate. If dessert doesn't have chocolate in it then you can't really call is dessert now can you!?

Just last night I made a loaf of chocolate chip banana bread (lots and lots of ghiradelli chocolate chips). If I decide to give up chocolate that means I can't eat any of it! =(

I have just a couple of hours left to decide. Decisions! Decisions!

Rich said...

Beets and NPR.

Kirby said...

During Lent you're not suppose to have meat on Fridays (I still do this) but I laugh at some folks interpertation of no meat Fridays, they have lobster, salmon, shrimp, sushi instead of meat - is that a sacrifice?

Kerry said...

I've never given anything up for Lent. We were raised Lutheran, and I guess people did do the give-it-up thing, but it was always low key. We're Scandinavian midwesterners, so we didn't really talk about it a lot. I've also never really thought about why I don't do it. I guess I understand the idea of Lent and the partial fasting; kind of like the idea in some ways, and I'm sure it would be good for me to stick with something for a period of time; attention span is not something I have a lot of.

I think for me I need a reason to choose the thing to give up- like meat, or sugar. Maybe I just don't understand the spiritual significance of the deprivation.

Laurie said...

I'm right there with you on the chocolate love. I'm Protestant too, and admire my Catholic best friend for giving up coffee for lent, when you usually never see her without a cup in her hand. We don't eat meat on Fridays during Lent, but don't really give up anything else. Good for you giving up chocolate, and Happy Lent!

Sarah said...

I have been chocolate free (all chocolate, so no cocoa of any kind) for over 4 years. I find if I cannot control my intake I have to give something up altogether - so I gave away my television and gave up chocolate. I read a lot more and watch the shows I like on my computer so I don't miss much with the TV, but oh how I still crave chocolate! So much so that in two months I'm indulging in a decadent chocolate wedding cake! After that I'm going back to no chocolate. Sigh.

Nicole said...

I'm not a religious person so I am not observing Lent. I was raised loosely as a Lutheran, and when I say loosely I mean I was baptized as such and that's pretty much it.

I'm not entirely sure what Lent signifies, anyway. I know it's the 40 days between Fat Tuesday and Easter, but exactly what it signifies I have no idea.

Anyone care to explain?

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