Wow. It’s been a long time since I’ve written (probably because I’ve had a baby and been managing two under 2 for awhile). I finally feel like I have something worth sharing that takes more space than Instagram will allow.
I am now 4 months postpartum and Lent has just begun. The church makes an exception for nursing and pregnant mothers during Lent to not have to fast. However, it’s been over two years since I have actively participated in Lent and my soul and body were longing to be a part of it.
My husband and I talked about it several weeks before to allow ourselves to be prepared both mentally and logistically and this is what we came up with that followed the fast as closely as possible but also (we felt) included the proteins I need to be able to maintain my milk supply (and supply our four month old with the appropriate nutrients).
This is a strictly logistical post, I won’t get into the details of my spiritual goals for Lent because I’m still not sure what they are. And honestly, I’m already failing just three days in. Lent with a two year old is hard, you guys.
So here’s the plan I’ve come up with:
We are fasting from meat and dairy aside from fish and eggs (lots of good protein and omega 3’s for baby!).
What this looks like:
We decided on six basic meals that we will use every week in Lent in order to simplify and not over think it.
•Potato Hash and Eggs: 2-3 cubed red potatoes or sweet potatoes, handful of chopped mushrooms, diced onion all sautéed in a large pan until cooked and crispy. I add spinach to the hash if I have it on hand. You can add any type of green (kale, spinach, arugula) to add a good contrast. Fry or poach an egg to put on top.
•Salmon and Rice: I’ve been buying Sea Cuisine pre marinated fish recently and we really like them! All of them have had 5 g or less of sugar in the marinade. The Stout BBQ, and Chipotle Terriyaki have been our favorites.
•Fish and Roasted Veggies (2 times a week): Again, the Sea Cuisine fish has been a go to. Just bake in the oven and roast some potatoes or sweet potatoes, serve with green beans, broccoli, asparagus or your favorite veggies. (We’re pretty boring, we rotate through those three, but it works!) You could also do a simple salad on the side instead of cooked veggies if that’s more your style.
•Fried Rice w/ Veggies: I make extra rice on Salmon and Rice night and then use it in this recipe and use olive oil instead of butter. Veggies are just steamed broccoli or sautéed asparagus to bulk up the meal. You could add shrimp to this as well if it’s in your budget!
•Mexi Bowls- More rice! Rice is kinda our go-to this Lent, but we’re keeping it to small portions of the meal so we don’t overdo it. These bowls are simply rice, black beans or pinto beans, pico de gallo and guacamole or cubed avocado. Dress it up with lime and cilantro!
•Soup and Bread: This is soup in a can and a loaf of crusty bread from the store. Keepin’ it real, ya’ll. I’ve found a lot of really yummy veggie and super-grain filled options with the Campbell’s Well Yes! Soups. The minestrone is my favorite so far. I may make some homemade soups if I have enough veggies that need used up, but the plan for now is to keep it simple.
So, as you can see, lots of rice and potatoes, but again, keep the portions healthy. The goal is to balance with veggies so we don’t get to carb- heavy.
Keeping it simple again with harboiled eggs, PB&J sandwiches (for my 2 year old), and variations on this chickpea salad with rice or quinoa. I love this recipe because I can make it at the beginning of the week, and simply reheat rice and top with the salad for lunches until it’s gone. And the longer it sits, the vinagarette gets deeper and deeper in flavor. Aaaand my 2 year old loves this stuff!
Other than that, lots of apples, clementines, bananas, sugar snap peas, red peppers, almonds, cashews and pistachios for snacks.
We don’t do hummus much just because it seems to sit in the fridge and go bad so I decided to save our money and use it on eggs that we will actually eat.
My little one still drinks whole milk but my hubby and I have been drinking unsweetened vanilla almond milk.
Also, because giving up coffee was NOT an option for me this year, I have to share this CoffeeMate Natural Bliss coconut coffee creamer that I love! If our tiny Kroger in rural Indiana is carrying this stuff, I’m sure it’s available most everywhere. Lifesaver!
And that’s the plan as it stands right now. I’ve been so tired of thinking about food lately so this set rotation has really simplified my life as a nursing mama.
Full disclosure: I don’t think every nursing mama should fast, and I’m not trying to tell you to! I simply wanted to share our simple (and pretty kid friendly, well, if your kids like fish like mine does!) plan for the Fast this year in hopes that it may be of help to someone who is feeling the way I do.
What are some of your favorite simple Lenten Lunches? We could use some more ideas in that arena!