Ash Wednesday is the start of Lent. Western Christianity observes this 40 day period, from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday, and devotes it to fasting, abstinence, and penitence. According to the gospel, Jesus spent 40 days fasting in the desert before the beginning of his ministry, where he was faced with temptation, then he died for us. During Lent, most commit to giving up "easier" temptations (soda, candy, wine, etc) to insure they can stick with the commitment, Jesus didn't have that luxury. Instead of sacrificing something you know you will return to on Easter Sunday, why not take the next 40 days and dedicate it to your health. Make these 40 days the start to your Healthiest Life Ever; Self, Soul, and Space! Sacrifice your unhealthy eating habits, fast from stress and negativity, and abstain from polluting the environment. Here are some ideas...
Add fruit or vegetables to every meal/snack
Drink more water (perfect if giving up soda, alcohol, or coffee)
Opt for a fruit instead of dessert (great if you planned on giving up sweets)
Add more fitness into your life (30 min a day/5 days)
Limit your salt and refined sugars intake
Stay away from fast or over processed foods
Meditate (helps to reduce stress)
Take quiet-quality time with yourself and with loved ones
Pray for others, known and unknown
Be thankful for all the many blessing in your life
Embrace positiveness, reject negativity
Carpool when possible
Walk or use public transportation
Drink filtered or safe tap water, eliminate plastic bottles in landfills
Turn off appliances, electronics, lights when not in use
Buy local food & products (help stimulate your local economy, reduce pollution for having items shipped in)
In addition to making this Lenten season our healthiest ever, my family and I will be sacrificing some of our favorites as well. We will practice Meatless Mondays, and Fish-filled Fridays. I will also be giving up sweets (candy, cakes, ice cream, etc) and alcohol (which if you know my co-workers, both can be very hard). I hope you will dedicate this time to your health, and the health of our environment, much like Jesus dedicated and sacrificed himself for us.
Ashley Coleman Thayer is a spokesperson / model / actress / host, former Miss Teen USA, and a health & fitness blogger. She lives in Delaware with her husband and two daughters; where she enjoys yoga, cooking & baking, running, and of course, reading bedtime stories. To find more of her work visit http://selfsoulspace.com.
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