Sugar fasting and eating healthily for Lent

Although I try to be healthy most of the year round, every Lent, I make a special effort. As a Catholic, growing up we were always asked to give something up for Lent. It’s supposed to be a period of reflection and prayer in preparation for Easter, one of the most important dates in the Catholic church.

Most people have heard of Lent even if they don’t celebrate or participate in it. Traditionally, Shrove Tuesday was the day when people used up their larder ingredients in preparation for the fasting period of Lent. That’s how we came to have pancakes on this day, because it’s an easy way to use up butter, eggs, milk and flour.

For me, Lent is a period of time, with a beginning and an end. That means I can discipline myself that little bit more, to make sure I don’t waiver from my goals. I give up sugar and I eat as cleanly and as healthy as I can.

The first time I did this, it was difficult, but since then, I’ve included less and less sugar into my diet, so each time I do it, it gets that bit easier. This is my third year and I’m keeping to this little tradition I’ve started because over the course of the year, a little bit of sugar does creep back in to my diet.

That’s fine though, I’m not beating myself up about it. If I fancy a cherry and almond slice from Costa then I’ll have it, but during Lent, there will be nothing like that.

I’ve started my week on a soup and smoothie cleanse. The soup is my simple leek and swede recipe and I made a big batch of it at the beginning of the week to see me through.

Gluten, dairy and nightshade free soup

The smoothie is apple, cucumber, celery and spinach, topped up with coconut water.

Green Smoothie - A Free From Life

Breakfast has been my overnight oats, with some banana and almond butter stirred in to make it extra filling.

Overnight oats - A Free From Life


Snacks have been mixed nuts and I’ve had a meal in the evening with the rest of the family.

I won’t carry on eating like this until the 24th March, when Lent is officially over, but I will keep you informed about what I add to my diet and how I get on.

Giving up sugar is easier than giving up coffee.

For me that is anyway. I once gave up coffee for Lent and found it ever so hard. Even though I only have one coffee a day, it’s kind of like my one vice and if I’m giving up sugar, I think I will keep my morning coffee as something to look forward to. I just won’t be having a sweet treat to go with it that’s all.

Have you given up anything for Lent?

About Nicola Young

Freelance writer and copywriter

5 thoughts on “Sugar fasting and eating healthily for Lent

  1. Well done for being so strong.I have given up sugar too but nothing to do with lent. I would much rather give up caffeine. For me sugar is my enemy and I find it incredibly hard to give up! Good luck…I look forward to your recipes!

    1. The first time I did it, I gave up fruit, yeast and caffeine as well and it was hard. I don’t eat much fruit now anyway and I have lactose free milk. You should find that your cravings for sweet treats diminish as you do this, but long term, it’s up to you if you keep it up. I find making something low sugar helps to satisfy the odd craving. How are you finding it so far?

  2. Good for you hon! I think it’s great that each year you’ve found it less challenging. Sugar does have a way of ‘creeping up’ and not having it at all is my preferred way of being. I’ve given up coffee twice in recent years and absolutely hated it!

    1. It does creep up if you don’t exclude it altogether and forever, but I’ve never regained the sweet tooth I started with and I never choose deserts when we go out to eat.

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