Friday, April 17, 2009

Lent and the anti-Lent

Usually I don't talk about my lenten disciplines, but since this one was related to food, I thought I might say a word about it. If you hate self-indulgent blogs, skip this post.

Basically, I tried to get back to better eating habits, primarily by renouncing gluttony. Not to lose weight, although that wouldn't hurt, but because I recognize that gluttony really is a moral issue, and, indeed, a justice issue. I wanted to test the proposition that one can eat well and enjoyably without eating more than one's share. It's about time, you will say.

So I returned to watching my portions and logging my food using the food pyramid. This tool, pooh-poohed by some, I really do find helpful in eating an adequate, balanced, but not ascetic diet.

I realized of course that I'd been eating way too much in the grain category - just because they are whole doesn't mean you can go whole hog - and the cheese category, too, and the butter - but often not enough fruit. I tend to do pretty well with vegetables just naturally.

And I did do well throughout Lent. I had my annual blood work during this time, and all the numbers that doctors fuss about were much better. Plus food got cheaper - because I wasn't eating to excess and buying lots of extras - just almost daily dark chocolate and a weekly small ice cream.

But then I went on a little baking binge for Easter - cookies plus the bread below. And it's baseball season, too.

Fortunately, ball park food does not much appeal to me. I have a theory that most ball parks have one good thing I might want to eat, and there's the challenge of finding it. I would never be tempted by the all you can eat seats at the Coliseum - for which we can be thankful.

So I was more than a little grossed out when I heard about the Fifth Third Burger, at the minor league park in Grand Rapids, the Tigers' A team.

It's five one-third pound burger patties (Fifth Third is the bank which sponsor's the park, I think) on a one pound bun, with chili, processed cheese, salsa, lettuce, styrofoam tomatoes, sour cream and chips and nacho cheese sauce. Bring on the statins and lactaid. It costs $20 and pushes 5000 calories and 10,000 milligrams of sodium. Prizes are given for anyone who finishes one, though it's recommended for a family of four - who will each have exceeded their RDA for sodium by the time they finish it. I'd love it if someone did a "carbon footprint" for this anti-lent pro-gluttony baby.

But at least this is imaginable. I am still trying to figure out what a previous promotion at Fifth Third Park - deep fried Pepsi - is.

Anyway, the Easter treats are gone. I'm still singing Alleluias, but back to eating just enough good food.


John Leech said...

And from Milwaukee: fried cheese curds

... for some a fond childhood memory.

Go figure. Or as my mother would say, have a celery stick.

John Leech said...

What I did for Lent was mostly follow the liturgies in "A Journey Into Wholeness" by Christine Sine ( In Easter season, there is "The Spirituality of Gardening" both course ( and practice (Pacific Northwest natives).