So Easter has charged off leaving the sweet sickly smell of chocolate in its wake, and the kids are slowly getting back into the routine of school, and I am slowly getting back into the routine demanded by school kids. It was a good Easter this year – the Easter bunny had left some eggs, we had a lovely family meal with the traditional roast lamb dinner, and were zonked out in front of the telly by early evening. As Pa Larkin would say ‘Perfick’.
I had in vain attempted to convince my family of the merits of giving something up for Lent – but in order to do that I needed to explain what Lent was. My boys have covered topics such as Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism and the Muslim faith in their religious studies at school, and so I started off with Easter, as I thought that that was fairly cut and dried. I asked Little Man whether he knew what Easter was. He looked at me thoughtfully. ‘Of course!’ he said, ‘It’s when Jesus rode from the dead!’
After correcting him, and explaining the symbolism involved with the cave, and the stone rolling away, and Jesus emerging newly risen, and therefore why we used Eggs to remember this occasion – he looked perturbed. ‘But Rabbits don’t lay eggs?’ As I mumbled my way out of this new dilemma, I decided to leave the concept of Lent for this year…
Like most people, I’ve been singularly useless at sticking to any Lent resolution. I’ve tried wine (caved in on Day 2), crisps (Day 1) and chocolate (don’t eat much anyway so that was a bit of a cheat). I’ve tried the reverse psychology of doing something I hate, like going to the gym (caved in on Day 3), dieting (oh purleeeeaaassse) and doing a daily tidy up in the house (Day 1 – which is also the time I broke the no crisps rule…). My red headed Irish friend T gave up cakes, chocolate and biscuits for Lent. I’ll be kind and say that she lasted a week (it was less) because she had found herself substituting them daily with a family bag of crisps. But this year I was determined to give it a go, and so I decided to give up wheat.
Why Wheat? I’m thankfully not celiac or gluten intolerant, or any of the other conditions attached to gluten intolerance or allergy, but I do find myself slightly bloated after eating bread or anything containing a good amount of wheat. And I could do without looking bloated- I am a lady of a certain age (ok, 45) who has had three babies, a very good social life, a love of fine food, and an impending thyroid problem. From being ‘underweight’ for my height at school, I developed a massive appetite at a very early age, which has caught up with me somewhat – I now sit comfortably in the ‘normal or OK’ range, which is fine, but means that shifting any pounds takes dedication and a long time. So wheat seemed to hit the button with me.
And I did it! It wasn’t easy, but at the same time it wasn’t actually that hard either – because I'm not allergic to wheat, I didn’t fuss if I was served sausages, or if wheat was within the list of ingredients. What I did do was avoid cakes, breads, pastries and so on – you get the gist. By Day 3 I was beginning to get a bit irritable, and so I toddled off to the shops and bought myself a gluten freeloaf of bread which I kept in the freezer and toasted slices as and when I needed. Even takeaways were no problem - our local Herbies does a gluten free pizza. My boys eat a fair amount of pasta (which I have never really liked) and I found that I had to consciously plan what I could eat instead, but apart from that, nothing much changed. Except that I felt so much better. Everything seemed to be moving around a previously quite sluggish system (if you see what I mean). I didn’t have the extremes of tiredness and irritability that came after a meal. I didn’t look any different, but I felt quite good.
And there was a Bunny bonus - I stood on the scales on Easter Day and had lost 6 pounds.
So this is one resolution that is here to stay.
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