Our house has been a little bit tense in the past week, due to the fact that B and I decided to give up candy for Lent. This may not be like much of a sacrifice, coming from two relatively healthy eaters, but let me just reassure you…
Number one, meet our marshmallow jar. Well, what used to be our marshmallow jar.
Our marshmallows have gone to their resting place: the trash.
It may seem odd to have kept a glass jar of marshmallows on the counter. But, somehow, with only 80 calories per 2/3 cup, they just didn’t seem too bad. We’d use them in trail mixes, I’d throw some on my sugar free hot chocolate, or on top of Greek yogurt… and then I’d take a handful every time I entered the kitchen… or snack on a bowl of them… yeah, it became a problem.
Number two, meet Tootsie Roll Industries. I had no idea how much of my income went to supporting this company until I realized that my morning coffee a la Andes Mint, as well as my desktop Tootsie Roll jar were all products of the same company.
Now, the thing is, any one of these things by themselves wouldn’t be too big of a deal. A chocolate in the morning. A mini Tootsie Roll in the afternoon. A smattering of mini marshmallows on yogurt for dessert. But when the habit becomes a chocolate in the morning + four mini Tootsie Rolls + a cup of marshmallows for dessert… well, that adds up to quite a bit of sugar.
For B, it’s different temptations–yes, he went for the marshmallows as well. But he’s more of the stop-at-QuikTrip-and-buy-a-bag-of-Sour-Patch-Kids kind.
We both knew we had a habit we needed to kick. And
it hasn’t been too bad. It’s been hell. We both got a little grumpy when we were headed out to a movie this weekend. He would usually get a bag (or two) of candy to take along, and I’d usually make a trail mix that was 1/2 marshmallows. Nothing else sounded good, and we really didn’t have any other options at home. So, on Monday I stopped by Trader Joe’s and picked up some non-sweet snack options:
Yeah, I may have gone a little overboard. But that afternoon I snacked on this delicious-looking snack mix. It was candy-free, with the only sweetness coming from a few dried cranberries and raisins.
Please don’t think I’m missing the point. I know that Lent is not about being miserable for forty days. Lent is a time of mindfulness, meant to remind us of the time that Jesus spent fasting in the desert. When I was growing up, I used to give up soda for Lent (which would be tough now, but was really hard then on my six Diet Cokes a day habit). For the past couple of years, I’ve committed to practicing Yoga more often during Lent. This was always a phenomenal experience, but since I’ve kept it up pretty well this year I didn’t think it would be too different than un-Lenten times. So, this being my first year of a deprivation-style Lenten practice, I think I’m feeling a little jilted. (Hey, it’s all part of the experience.)
Did you give anything up for Lent?
Are you a big candy eater?
How do you satisfy your sweet tooth in a non-candy way?