A Non-Denominational Kind of Lent

I was on the Lululemon blog, reading up on goal setting, when I encountered this idea. The idea that I can have 30 days of “Lent,” despite the fact that I have no religious affiliation. That’s because this Lent of which I speak does not involve the kind of self-denial that a church might recommend. Instead, the effort is about committing to something for 30 days, whether that involves a dose of healthy self-denial or not. It’s the 30 day challenge with a catchier name-YES. I have actually known that I wanted to take on the whole 30 day challenge thing (or in my case, Lent thing) even before my peruse thru the Lululemon blog. I think it can be a great avenue for new discoveries, and it’s a simple way to make life a little more interesting! Here are just a few of the challenges I have considered taking on:

  • Take at least one photo every day
  • Study a topic you would like to master each day
  • Wake up early each day
  • No complaining for 30 days
  • Cook a meal each day
  • Write down what I am grateful for each day

However, these are just possibilities, of course! This list could go on! (Ultimately, I chose to start with Danne’s idea to be a bookworm for a month). I had initially wanted to take on a few challenges all at once, but I was quickly overwhelmed by the thought of it all. So, I finally started off with one, and that’s what I would recommend for anyone else who wants to get started with this.  Begin with one. The last thing you want to see happen is that you gave up all your challenges, because you couldn’t keep up with them. Just get your feet wet, then see where it takes you! Anyway, don’t they say that multi-tasking is truly inefficient? Interested in a 30 day challenge? Tell me, what sort of things might you like to try?

When it’s hot in Vegas…

Harris Saddle-Mt. Charleston

Harris Saddle-Mt. Charleston

I really need to remember to explore my city.

Oftentimes, when I am jaded by my normal routine, I’ll get this killer urge to travel somewhere far, far away. Only to see something new! See something different!

Well, this view, captured on my iPhone, was only about a 40 minute drive from my house. And isn’t it beautiful?!

We were at Mt. Charelston, where it can actually be a good place to be when it’s hot in the city.

While forecasts for Las Vegas said 101°F, the high at Mt. Charleston that day was 73°F.

Actually, it was probably even cooler with winds coming down from the mountain that were really cool. In the shade of tall rocks-it was extremely refreshing. Not to mention, I got some exercise! Yea! Win-win!

I was also just so captivated by these translucent, pink, desert flowers!

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My 15 year old cousin, on the other hand, was captivated by the sight of a butterfly. Not something you really find on the strip.

Really wish I had a clearer shot, but you get what you get with me and my iPhone.

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Is there somewhere you like to go to cool down from the Vegas heat? Or get away from the city scene? If so, where do you go?

Woman’s Role

I guess I can be grateful that as a child, food to me was never about hunger. I grew up seeing a lot of hungry children having spent part of that childhood in the Philippines, but I was one of the lucky ones.

As a kid, I was always fed at set times. I don’t really have any memory of ever feeling starved. Only memories of feeling more than full. (My parents are the kind who make you eat every last grain of rice off your plate; every last spoonful of milk from your cereal).

Therefore, the feeling that I really attributed with food in those days was comfort.

When being good in Sunday school was completely painful, my only hope was that the cotton-candy man would be outside with his sweet clouds of pink and blue. In the afternoons, tired from playing outside all day, I looked forward to merienda-our afternoon snack. Usually a banana q-bananas on a skewer with caramelized sugar. And because the sun was unforgiving, I spent a lot of my earned money on tubes of ice candy.

These simple, little delights would be the role of food in my life for a long time. But as I grew a little older, I would begin to feel the need to be more involved with what I was consuming. I actually began to feel that food was MY role-being a girl, a woman in the family. In my young mind was the realization that I would eventually be the one feeding a child…a husband…

I don’t know where this idea stemmed from in my subconscious thoughts, because I hardly even saw my mother cook as a child. (In the Philippines, if you’re middle-class, the help usually prepares the food). However, I can certainly say that that same feeling of accountability still greatly affects how I think about food and cooking. (I am now studying food at university as a nutrition major).

I still have quite a long ways to go before I can have the confidence to consider myself some kind of chef, and it is quite intimidating most times, but to get there I have to continue to try!

I made a recent attempt the other day-stuffed mushrooms. I know a lot of people enjoy these, but no one ever has them unless they’re eating out! I don’t know why, because as I learned, they’re actually quite simple and inexpensive to make!

Here are some photos of the fun!

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The most time consuming part was wiping down each mushroom.

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Not bad for you! Filled with veggie goodness!

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O.k. -I guess not all veggie, but I love cheese!

As you can see, I tried to have fun. Also, I know I am studying to be a dietitian but I am not always trying to be super healthy. I want to learn technique first. But maybe next time I’ll start trying to make my own bread crumbs. I read the ingredients on that Panko stuff, and it’s unnecessarily NOT good for you!!

How about you? Any thoughts on food and cooking?