As Scott Reeves explains so well, Lent is more than just a self-help program. That said, if you aren’t going to gather up the fortitude to reckon with your near occasions of sin during Lent, when will you?
That is the rationale behind our resolution to eliminate extraneous sugar from the family diet. We theorize, but aren’t certain, that at least one of our children would benefit from a diet with relatively less sugar and relatively more fat, protein, and complex carbohydrates; we suspect that making that transition will improve the mental health of everyone, directly and indirectly; thus it’s a switch that, we think, will make it easier for all of us to become more like the people God created us to be.
That’s the hypothesis. We’re testing it during Lent because honestly it’s hard to make yourself give up something good, easy, and pleasant when you aren’t even sure it matters.
With that in mind, SuperHusband went to Costco.
“Please don’t bring home more of those yogurt things,” I asked him before he left. Yogurt in itself is not a problem food, but the individual servings of flavored yogurts the kids devour like starved goatherds come with a piles of extra sugar.
“But [certain child with low appetite] loves them, and they’re mostly healthy,” SuperHusband observed.
“Well, just look at the nutrition information and do the best you can,” I said.
So he and our reluctant eater went off to Costco and came home with . . . cheesecake.
Um, darling? Lent?
Outside of the penitential seasons, we always get some kind of good treat for Sundays. But during Advent and Lent I tend to scale back — not a hard and fast rule, mind you, but let’s just say that a giant tray of cheesecake is more Easter-Christmas-Birthday than Sackcloth-and-Ashes.
SuperHusband explained: “I looked at all the nutritional information, and this one had the best fat-to-sugar ratio of just about anything. A bazillion times better than those yogurts.”
I believe him. We’d acquired this particular cheesecake a few weeks ago for a birthday party, and it was noticably better than typical, and it was not overly-sweet at all. Very much in the real-food category of convenience items.
Okay, then. My goal isn’t to satisfy some preconceived image of what is and is not “penitential” enough to satisfy the St. Joneses. My goal is to meet the unusual but pressing nutritional needs of one of our children. Cheesecake to fulfill our Lenten resolution it is.