It's that time of year again! This year will be slightly different than previous Lents for a couple of reasons: a) I am no longer allergic to dairy and b)I'm trying to keep to a diet.
Granted, for Mardi Gras I sort of didn't keep to the diet but I didn't gain any weight either. I realized that even when I try to splurge now, I really don't go too far over what is recommended for a maintain weight diet. As for the dairy, I knew I had very low Vitamin D which is shown to cause an increase in allergies. By very low, I mean 8. Normal range is 20-50 and doctor's prescribe medication at 12. I wasn't good about taking the Vitamin D like I should until a few months ago. After reading scholarly articles like this I'm sort of kicking myself for not keeping up with the vitamin D more. Not only do I feel better, I can eat dairy! Ordering at a restaurant has gotten easier - as many people can now attest to for me. I can have cheesecake! (I did on Monday.)
So why, only a couple of weeks after figuring out I can eat dairy am I willing to give it up? Well, Sundays are cheat days anyway and I will be chowing down on mashed potatoes, chocolate cake, and lots of cheddar cheese then. I'm only giving it up during the rest of the week. Honestly, I feel more "joyful" for Easter when I've done the medieval Lent thing. I want Easter to come - it's not just an excuse to wear a new dress to Church. It's more of a celebration after all the fasting and staying away from animal products during the week. I like that celebratory feeling. Easter is the biggest holiday on the Christian calendar and doing the medieval Lent helps me to realize that. Plus, I do look forward to some of the foods like almond milk infused rice with raisins and cinnamon or kidney beans and rice.
Today, I've had OJ for breakfast (it's Vitamin D infused and probably not all together period for the 16th century but it is necessary so...) and a mug of hot chocolate. The hot chocolate was the Williamsburg (18th century) stuff I pay way too much for when I go down to Williamsburg but it's so good. They did have hot chocolate in the late 16th century and there is some evidence of vanilla being added to it. I mix the chocolate powder with almond milk and it's yummy. The Smithsonian has a pretty good article on hot chocolate. Wired also has a pretty good time line on chocolate in Europe. So, although the particular mix may not be exactly 16th C, hot chocolate with sugar is.
Tonight, I'm going to make a fish tart for the historical food fortnightly. Keep a look out for that!