Lenten experience

Although, I gave up meat for Lent, I certainly made up for the calories with my love for cheese and bread! This is pita bread, farmer's cheese, roasted garlic, and tomato chutney at Charleston's Southend Brewery!

Although, I gave up meat for Lent, I certainly made up for the calories with my love for cheese and bread! This is pita bread, farmer’s cheese, roasted garlic, and tomato chutney at Charleston’s Southend Brewery!

I decided to make a bigger commitment this year for Lent by giving up the biggest part of my diet: meat. I thought perhaps it would also be a good chance to consider whether I should make the switch to vegetarianism. I have had a lot of stomach issues since I was about eighteen. Cutting out meat sounds like it could be a good choice for my body. My choice of abstaining from meat was the biggest change I have  had in my diet in ten years. Every time I desired fried chicken or a steak, I was reminded of the much bigger sacrifice Christ made for me on the cross. At first, I did not crave meat that much, but after the first few weeks, I craved it all the time. I was constantly reminded of the power of sacrifice. I was constantly reminded that if God can sacrifice so much for me, I can surely sacrifice one of my few pleasures.

Giving up meat did make me a little more adventurous. I tried Seitan for the first time. It.is a chicken substitute made from gluten (not for my gluten-free friends). I really would have thought it was chicken, if someone had not told me otherwise. I ate polenta (I am not sure how to describe this one – it looks like a small corn meal cake) for the first time, which will be a regular favorite. I enjoyed General Tso’s tofu about twice a week!  As far as veggies go, I also tried rutabaga and brussel sprouts for the first time. I was delightfully surprised by the lightly sweet teaste of the rutabaga.  Unfortunately, I do not like brussel sprouts, but now I can say so, because I actually tried them (not just because they look gross)!

Trying brussel sprouts for the first time at my sister's place. It was mostly the texture, which bothered me! I still ate them all like a good girl!

Trying brussel sprouts for the first time at my sister’s place. It was mostly the texture, which bothered me! I still ate them all like a good girl!

I also learned to love eating salads and fruit during my Lent experience. I definitely will still continue eating a salad and fresh fruit at least twice a day.

Fresh fruit and frozen yogurt from Bloop. It was free, because it weighed exactly 12 ounces!

Fresh fruit and frozen yogurt from Bloop. It was free that day, because it weighed exactly 12 ounces!

Did I keep my meat fast the entire time of Lent? Yes, with one exception. I am currently taking classes to get my certification in teaching English as a second language (only one more week!).  One Saturday class, we had some guest speakers. Authentic Korean food was served. I joined in this instance to honor the culture. We had barley tea, Korean beef & noodles, egg rolls, kimbap (looks similar to sushi, but it is sweet and traditionally served warm), kimchi, soup, and rice wrapped in seaweed. As someone, who hopes to teach in Korea someday, I could not pass up the opportunity to try some Korean food. I abstained from meat a couple extra days (including the feast day of Easter) to make up for my one meaty meal. I am thankful for this opportunity to taste a little of Korea!

Mmmmm! My favorite part was the kimchi! I would been fine without the meat! Mother always gets upset at the mess it makes at home! Here, I enjoyed it without worries!

Mmmmm! My favorite part was the kimchi! Now I can relate to all my favorite Korean dramas.

Don't forget the chopsticks or the soup! I think It was chicken and barley soup, but I can't honestly be certain!

Don’t forget the chopsticks or the soup! I think It was chicken and barley soup, but I can’t honestly be certain!

Perhaps, the best part of my Lent experience was reading my Lenten devotionals (thank you very much Biblegateway.com).  A couple weeks into the Lent season, I was convicted about some idols I had in my life. God broke my heart over some of the mistakes I made in the past year . He broke my heart over some of the things I allowed to come between me and my God. Many of these things were materials things : physical relics of my past. Others were physical things I had held on to for a while that I knew dishonored God. I threw away the trash that day spiritually and physically. It was not easy to throw away some “treasures” that were worth a few hundred dollars, but I felt that the physical act helped me to let go of the past and move on to the future God has in store for me.

Throwing away the trash.2 Corinthians 10:5King James Version (KJV)5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.

Throwing away the trash.
2 Corinthians 10:5 King James Version (KJV)
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.

Well, that is my Lent experience this year. I did not decide to become vegetarian of vegan at this time, but it is something I may consider in the future. Although, my stomach problems seemed better, I felt somewhat weakened and very fatigued during my abstinence from meat. I have been prone to anemia for about ten years. I would have to do thorough research and talk to my physician before giving up meat completely. For now, I am enjoying my meat again! Just the bacon bits on my salad today was enough to make me ecstatic! Still, it may happen that I give up meat again some time in the future. As long as I have bread, meat isn’t missed too terribly much!

I am fine without eggs and bacon as long as I have my coffee with a bagel in the morning! This one is a cinnamon streusel from Panera Bread! Mmmm!

I am fine without eggs and bacon as long as I have my coffee with a bagel in the morning! This one is a cinnamon streusel bagel from Panera Bread! Yum!

Hummus is probably my favorite food! Olive oil is one of my favorite things as well! Bread with  hummus AND olive oil at Athens Greek restaurant in Charleston, SC is even better!

Hummus is probably my favorite food! Olive oil is one of my favorite things as well! Bread with hummus AND olive oil at Athens Greek restaurant in Charleston, SC is even better!

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About Armed with Truth

Hello! My name is Kat. I currently teach English as a foreign language in China. I decided to leave my job in law enforcement about six months a go to pursue a career in teaching. I just finished a bachelors degree in criminal justice. I have also finished four semesters at Liberty University in my Masters of Human Services. I am hoping to work with humanitarian work/missions in Asia as soon as I pay off my loans. I also have dreams of being a children's book author, someday.
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6 Responses to Lenten experience

  1. fikalo says:

    Interesting, reading about your faith and vegetarian journey. As a long-time vegetarian, and a follower of Jesus, I enjoyed seeing your perspective on the experience!

    • Thanks so much for your encouragement! I may consider it long term in the future as I said. I just want to go into it with full knowledge and medically informed of the proper supplements needed to be a vegetarian with some of my chronic health issues. I am moving to China for a year in September to teach so I am a little nervous to do it now, when I do not know what kind of food will be available to me at my host home. That is where I am on the journey right now!

      • fikalo says:

        Yes, I can understand your concerns. It took me a long time to work out how to do vegetarianism well, as opposed to just living off potato chips! There’s many helpful resources out there – it’s just a matter of learning which are useful and what works for you. I can definitely understand the concern with trying to consider how dietary choices will affect your options when living overseas!

        • So, I was just curious, since you are a vegetarian. What is your favorite meal?

          • fikalo says:

            Ooh! I wouldn’t be able to narrow it down. I have a preference for vegan foods, I LOVE lots of leafy greens and seeds and veggies. A good eggplant lasagne is always nice. I’m a big fan of Asian food, lots of noodles and stir fried veggies. There are so many different things to try. My husband (who does most of the cooking) says it’s as simple as doing an internet search for the ingredient you want to try and the phrase “vegan recipe.” 🙂

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