Although I spoke about doing the medieval Lent thing again this year, I finally gave up today. The biggest reason was very simple - I could either enjoy medieval food that was typically served during Lent or I could keep to my diet. There was no way I could do both.
I'm calorie counting and have been since mid November. It's been working and I'd like to keep it up. However, even in a snack in the middle ages could easily be well over 500 calories. I'm trying hard to stick to around 1300 calories a day - give or take 100 calories. If just a snack - 1/4 cup of raisins, 1/4 cup of walnuts, and a 1/4 of almonds is 500, imagine what some of the dishes are like. A cup of cooked rice is normally between 200 and 300 calories. Adding and average serving of salmon to that adds another 400 calories. This is before veggies and spices. It came down to having just one meal every day and a snack or giving up and going to modern foods, calorie counting those, and just going to daily mass for Lent instead. I'm not good on starvation, so daily mass it is. Because, as anyone who has ever had Chinese take out knows, rice does not fill you up.
I'm upset with myself a bit because I do love the medieval Lenten foods (I'll be teaching a class on them this year at Pennsic!) but it's not practical if you want to lose weight. All the foods (And I do mean all!) are very high in calories which probably was great if you went out to work in the fields or had to walk everywhere but not when you have a car, computer, and want to get to a certain weight by Easter.
For the Historically Food Fortnightly, I'll still be making Lenten foods until after Easter - it's just fun and I'll still get an excuse to make some of my favorite dishes. But as an everyday thing, I just can't pull it off this year.