If you’re observing Lent this time of year, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. First and foremost is how you are choosing to observe, and how this may or may not impact your recovery and relationship to food. Unfortunately, even religious holidays can feel influenced by diet culture and suggestions to give up certain foods and/or participate in fasting to differing degrees; unfortunately as well, an eating disorder will love this chance to take advantage and encourage these kinds of disordered behaviors. So please, be mindful of what’s truly helpful versus harmful to you and your recovery and do not feel afraid to ask for additional support and time to process these decisions with your treatment team.
From the below resource, “Those that are excused from fast and abstinence outside the age limits include the physically or mentally ill including individuals suffering from chronic illnesses such as diabetes. Also excluded are pregnant or nursing women.” This would also include an illness such as an eating disorder.
If you do feel that it’s safe for you to observe Lent, and you’re wondering about creating complete meals without consuming meat on Fridays, here are some ideas:
Tacos: Tortillas or rice (carbohydrate) + black beans/fish/shrimp/tofu (protein) + salsa/pico de gallo, tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, onions (produce) + sour cream/avocado/cheese/crema (fat)
Take out options (given affordability and accessibility) such as a fish fry or sushi
Veggie quiche: pie crust (carbohydrate) + eggs (protein) + heavy cream/half and half and cheese (fat) + veggies (produce) + fruit salad (produce). If you prefer a crustless quiche, make sure to add a carbohydrate on the side such as toast or a bagel
Similar to quiche, breakfast for dinner can be a fun idea with many variations:
Pancakes, waffles, french toast, cinnamon rolls, toast, bagels, etc for a carbohydrate
Eggs, veggie sausages/bacon or dairy products for protein and/or fat
Produce such as adding veggies to eggs or topping waffles with fresh, frozen or canned fruit!
More recipes previously shared on the blog:
Mediterranean Grain Bowls - very customizable to include non-meat protein options such as shrimp, falafel, chickpeas, tofu, or hummus.
Additionally, these meatless options can be used throughout the year whether you are trying to incorporate more plant-based recipes, consume more seafood, trying to save money on buying animal proteins or cooking for loved ones who are vegetarian or vegan!