Lent reflection

Happy Easter everyone! As some of you know if you read my previous article, I decided to give up red meat for multiple reasons this Easter season. One, I wanted to give up something besides social media or sweets or whatever, two, I wanted to help the environment, and three, I wanted to see if it had any effects on my body.

Overall, I would say giving up red meat made me realize it’s not a necessity and I didn’t miss it as much as I thought I would- but two weeks ago was when I had my worse cravings. By “cravings” I mean pitching the idea to my boyfriend for a sausage pizza covered in burgers, hot dogs, brisket, and another pizza. Rock bottom, I know. Before then, it was more annoying than anything not to be able to eat the same thing as my family or friends all the time, but I wasn’t longing for it once I got used to it not being an option. I used this time to try new foods and was able to incorporate more fish and vegetables into my diet as well, which is always a good thing!

The environmental impact was my main motivator when I thought about giving up red meat. According to the Huffington Post , one pound of beef (so not including the pork I wasn’t eating either) takes 1,847 gallons of water per pound to produce. I estimated I was eating about half a pound give or take of beef a week and lent was roughly six weeks, which meant I have saved 5,541 gallons of water. This really sobered me because in a month I can use thousands of gallons of water just to eat a burger down the street when there are people in other countries who have to walk ten miles a day to get a few clean gallons to cook and bathe with. Although I’m not planning to keep red meat out of my diet, I will be more mindful going forward about the resources I’m using and remember to not take these things for granted.

The effects on my body were greater towards the beginning. After the first week and a half, I had lost just under five pounds. That brought me down to my weight goal, which I’ve maintained throughout Lent and since my activity levels have picked up, I probably will after as well. I didn’t notice any changes in mood, energy, or digestion. As far as eating goes, I feel less weighed down after eating meals without red meat in them and have gotten less bloated after meals. Red meat is linked to greater cancer ans other diseases, so I think if you experience a lot of bloating or just don’t love red meat, it’d be a good idea to eat it in moderation as much as possible. 

I am so glad I took the time these past few weeks to push myself and explore my faith and I hope this month has been great for all of you as well. If you don’t celebrate Easter, I hope you have an amazing day and if you do I hope you all have a blessed Easter!

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” Peter 1:3

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