Packing a lunch for my work tonight. We’re all thinking ahead.
I packed myself two wraps, bananas, a couple of trail mix granola bars, and raisins. I also included a little chocolate for myself as dessert. I’m excited about starting my new job tonight. Yes I’m working two jobs now technically but I’m starting a new job tonight and I’m nervous but excited and my lunch is ready.
This morning, about 90 minutes ago, I struggled big time. My co-worker, in efforts to be super sweet and nice, offered me a McDonald’s breakfast sandwhich when she came into work. The sandwhich smelled wonderful; I really wanted to say yes and gobble it down with delight.
I politely declined, despite my tummy rumbling, my mouthing salvating with the warm aromas wafting from the paper wrapped food.. She asked if I didn’t care for McDonalds, I told her, no, I absolutely love McDonald’s breakfast sandwhichs but I am giving up fast food for Lent.Her face turned quizical in expression and I gave the brief description that Lent is the 40 days before Easter and many Catholics and Protestants give up something during this period as part of their faith and journey. I wasn’t expecting this struggle this morning at all.
While on my way to my job, I do pass several fast food chains to and from work. In the past, even recently, especially on the days I go to the Rec center to swim, I often imbibed and picked up a breakfast at one of the fast food chains;it makes things easier and tasty for me before I hit the lanes for laps. I can eat in my car (likely not a good habit to have anyway) and then realizse, as I evaluate my bank account weekly, just how much I am/was spending on fast food-especially lately as I have become passive, lazy about making breakfast for myself. But when does easy and convienent become a lifestyle? Why is this passively okay for when it’s not really okay as a norm? These are the questions I ask myself-and many more.
One lingering question, just a few days into Lent, is how do I make/cook more interesting food for myself? There are times, when I do need a quick meal, and I am learning that I need, at times, to practice better time management since I am eating solely homecooked meals at this point-with the exception of when I get invited to a family or friends house for dinner (or the like.) I didn’t anticipate that the struggle would also be with getting tired of my usual routine meals and recipes, especially so quickly.
While I did make myself breakfast (seen below), and while it settles down, I wonder, what easy meals can I make myself on short notice or with some prep work that are tasty and contian easily found ingredients? Please, do comment and share if you have ideas!
Multigrain Flat Bread
1 green onion
One small carrot shredded
1 tablespoon cream cheese
1/2 an avacodo
1 teaspoon parmesan cheese
Drizzle of Thousand Island Dressing
Left over Chicken breast shredded up
Spread the cream cheese on the flat bread, load veggies and avacado on top,add chicken, sprinkle parmesan and drizzle thousand island dress, roll up like a buritto. I also drank cold drip coffee with it. It was a B- meal.
Since I have given up fast food for lent, I am doing all of the cooking at home or going over to a friend or family for meals. Therefore I’m having to get creative. I was having a hankering for a fast food milkshake but that’s not allowed right now. I decided to make it healthier choice at home.
I gave up Dr. Pepper and fast food for lent, not a secret, but the lack of fizzy caffeine and sweetness is already greatly “missed” by my body.The fast food craving and hankerings haven’t kicked in, which I am thankful. A full glass of water and a little nap have helped to curb the headache but the craving remains.
The challenge, though, will come this evening when I return to work after a couple of routine days off. Why a challenge? There is a soda fountain and each employee gets unlimited free sodas from the fountain as a perk of the job, Dr. Pepper included. I really like Dr. Pepper. While there isn’t anything wrong with Dr. Pepper, it’s a fabulous product, I gave it up for Lent as I feel like I had become “dependent” on the product, drinking more of it than I would anything else, despite having lots of other options at home and other places, including healthier choices like herbal hot or iced tea, water, milk, or something different.
I have often packed my lunch for work before and now will continue to pack a lunch for myself each shift I work, using a cute Jurrassic World tin square lunch box I received as a Christmas gift. A bit of preperation and effort, meals at work will be delicious and as easy as fast food, but better for the mind and body, giving the proper nutrition for myself and time to focus on better things and spiritual growth.
A friend of mine is in support of giving up Dr. Pepper but inquired as to why do it for Lent;
Here’s a basic description of why we do it;
Fasting, or giving something up, is a very common practice during Lent. The idea is that giving up something that’s a regular part of life, like eating dessert or scrolling through Facebook, can be a reminder of Jesus’ sacrifice. That time can also be replaced with more time connecting with God.
Lent has officiailly begun as of today. It’s 40 days until Easter morning, when Jesus will rise from the tomb, after being crucified and buried, he will rise again but until then, the period of Lent signifies the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert, fasting and praying.
Is this the “norm” for my blog? Not quite my standard, here at least, no. Adventures of faith is not a way I would describe it, as faith is a daily aspect for me and sharing is perhaps a better way of expressing it.
For inquiring minds, no, I am not Catholic (although my Sweetness is Roman Catholic). I was raised and remain Lutheran (the sect that broke off from The Roman Catholic Church during the Reformatoin in Worms, Germany when Martin Luther nailed the 95 Thesesis on the doors of the Church in Wurtemburg, Germany).
In many sectors of Christianity, the celebration of the Lenten period, giving up something “valuable” or adding something to positively change/alter the person’s life, as part of their faith, is often practiced in honor of Jesus’s time in the desert, leading up to his trial.
This year, after much prayer and consideration, I decided to give up Dr. Pepper (and I am a Dr. Pepper “junkie”) and fast food-while I am a big “fan” of nuggests and sub sandwhiches and really hot, deep fried french fries, I will forego these delights during the Lent period.
I am choosing to add something positive this year by working on my list of things to do, to make progress in my own life in good, positive ways, like finishing a knitted throw that I have been somewhat putting off and on for months, working on getting admitted to a local college to finish my bachelors degree, spending more time with my Godson (he is just a few months old), landing better employment to adequately support myself better and therefore reducing my stress (leaving my mind more open to better, stress free things.) The list goes on and on. Writing on my blog is another aspect of self-improvement and doing things that are good for me (even though I stress about spending quality time and such on myself, another aspect of doing better that will be worked on During Lent.) Stagnant, that is where my personal improvement and bettering myself has been as of late and Making Things Better is the positive aspect and component I intend of working on during Lent, to walk with Jesus more.
Sitting on the dock of the “bay” is somewhat accurate, I enjoyed the sunshine on the banks of the Gum Log River/Lake Hartwell conjunction at Tugaloo State Park today, just outside of Gum Log, Georgia. A short, 30 minute drive from Pickens County, an adventure beckoned with such fine and fair weather.
I briefly stopped at the Georgia Welcome Center (after drinking 2 bottles of Spring Water) after I crossed state lines and inquired of the attendant (a very nice lady, whom not only was well informed and educated). She made the recommendation of Tugaloo State park, describing it as a quiet, local venue with superb scenery, amenities, and much more. She wasn’t wrong, she hit the nail on the head for this adventure!
The weather was, indeed, superb. The sun shone brightly, a nice breeze whisped it way through the trees, creating a ripple on the river and lake, and one could hear the birds chirping, traffic was at a bare minimum, and the delights were enjoyed. Stopping by the Rangers station, I purchased a day pass for my vehicle ($5 is a great price for a day pass for a park and allows abundant time to enjoy.) The Ranger Station also offered a small selection of postcards, so of course, I purchased a few to share with family and friends.
A first occured for me, being that I never witnessed a boat being launched before and today, the experience presented itself to me. I am not boat expert but the man did have an externial propellar motor and a sail rigged up and watching the man get the boat down the ramp and unloaded into the water from the trailer was quite interesting. (See the video below)
My packed picnic was unpacked on a park bench (with a small “picnic blanket”) and I soaked in the sunshine, enjoyed a 15 minute trail walk and simply, sat on the dockside of the area, enjoying nature’s finest.
Celebrations are running rampant today around the world and while I am not attending a celebration of Mardi Gras/Carnival/Fat Tuesday myself today, I participated in the past by attending Carnival in Ettlingen, Germany (where these photos were snapped in 2017).
Mardi Gras is a time of celebration and indulgence, of many things. Parties and street fairs and performances are loud, joyous and colorful. Hoops, hollering, music and dancing are everywhere, people wiggling and jiggling to all sorts of festivities, before Lent starts tomorrow; celebrating before the 40 days of Lent bring changes to their lives.
This year, my celebrations for Mardi Gras are cleaning house and catching up on things that need to be done, exciting? Not really but it still feels good to get stuff knocked out!
Rising prices in eating out, inflation can be felt nearly every where these days but it doesn’t stop us from wanting to eat something tasty, go on date night or want to serve/dive into good meals. Eating is an essential but it should also be a nutrious joy, too!
I am a huge fan of getting good steals, using coupons and shopping local–thankfully, Aldi’s stores has had a good selection and price on fish lately and it has made cooking this winter a lot easier.
Tonights pre-dinner entertainment was provided by myself, compliments of singing to Ed Sheeran and my trusty wooden spoon was the microphone. My apologies to the neighbors and to my Sweetness, who was delighted to hear that super was being served and my horrid redentions were over.
4-6 Pieces of Frozen North Atlantic Cod (thawed)
2 Cans of Green Beans, drained
1 cup white rice (not boil in the bag)
Lemon Pepper, Salt Pepper, Garlic Powder, Cajun Spice, Lemon Zest, Cayenne Pepper, 3 cups of Corn flour, French Onions (course crumbled)
2 -3 eggs
Oil for frying
Crack the eggs in one bowl, in a second bowl, mix the corn flour and all the spices and herbs
Dip/Run each pieces of fish through the beaten eggs, thoroughly, and heavily coat in the corn flour mix, place in cast iron frying pan (with about an inch of oil of your choice in the bottom).
Make Rice in a seperate pot or in a rice cooker, adding 2 tsp of old bay seasoning or lemon pepper plus a little splash of oil.
Fry Fish on medium heat until fish is thoroughly cooked and crunch on both sides.
Warm Green beans
Plate a bit of each item on to a plate and serve. You can now unplug your wooden spoon “microphone” and put in the dishwasher.