February 19, 2015

An Open Letter to his Holiness Pope Francis on EATING for LENT – A nutritionist’s Twist to the belief!

Father forgive me for I sin everyday. As a nutritionist, one of the sins that plagues me and my clients everyday is Gluttony.  As the decades have gone by we do less and eat more. EATING beyond the body’s need for calories to function. Food is abundant to most in the urban areas. We are truly eating more and religion could be a way to awaken awareness among the common man. To eat what only your metabolism requires and not your TASTE BUDS.

As Ash Wednesday passed, I was sitting in Church and asking how can LENT be difficult! Fasting? I don’t think most of us, including me in the modern generation FAST. We omit a FOOD – say non-veg Alcohol or something of Desire. THIS IS EASY for 40 Days.

Suddenly a thought….in the SCIENCE of METABOLISM, fasting actually causes you to put on weight. Father Forgive me again for I am sinning during MASS as I was not paying attention to the priest as the whole mass is in Konkani. I only know the word AMEN. So back to my thinking in the sermon on LENT and FOOD and SACRIFICE.

I think the church needs to bring the message of “ MAKING THE EFFORT –THAT unsettles YOU” – So this is my take as a nutritionist to the Church

1.       Make exercise a VOW during 40 days. Atleast 1 hr - 2 times a day or 10kms of walking or physical hard work. Maybe scrubbing the floors of the church, painting an orphanage or sweeping your Neighbourhood….( Mr PRIME MINISTER might just like all of us Christians suddenly in his SWACH Bharat Campaign)
2.      You should EAT. But EAT HEALTHY. This is difficult…even for me as a nutritionist
a.       Eat Oats no Bread for 40 days
b.      Only Brown Rice and 1 KATORI
c.       Only Bajra, ragi or Jowar Chapattis NOT WHEAT.
d.      Use 1 Tablespoon or No –oil in your food. It will be bland and tasteless…this is a new level of sacrifice
e.      Eat one fruit a day …mandatory…if you miss..do 50 squats the next day.
f.        Wash and Cut your own salad. As you make it meditate on the food, who grows it and how you can be thankful for the society that gets it to the table for you. Yes Jesus provides and a perfect moment to pray as you prepare a thankful meal.
g.       NO FRIED FOOD…try this…instead of Avoiding meat…
h.      Absolutely no RED MEAT..only white….Fish..thats what JESUS multiplied, so I reckon his approval would be there.
i.         No Pickles-..instead pumpkin seeds, fenugreek seeds
j.        No Aerated Beverages..only water with lemon squeezed into it….its purifying from a metabolic angle ( Think of lemon water as your water ANGEL..)
k.       NO eating in front of the TV. Holy Father you have asked families to gather around the dinning table and talk to each over a meal. RESEARCH shows that a person eats around 15-50% more if watching TV as the Satiety signal is not perceived due to the TV distraction. A huge sacrifice to get everybody together and eat at the same time.
l.         Pack your own Lunch BOX to work. DO NOT EAT FROM OUTSIDE. This effort is the most difficult and involves a daily regime of discipline right from planning the pious meal, sourcing the ingredients, and then preparing them.
m.    Finally do a detox of only vegetables and fruits on a Friday. Helps cleanse the body, gut, not to forget I think the SOUL does get tempted in DETOX…..

So this LENT, Holy Father please define to your children the way forward to Vows taken in leading a blessed 40 days.

Ryan Fernando
Technically a Lazy Catholic, trying to be a good human being.

FOR A FREE NUTRITION PLAN THIS LENT write to me at ryan@quanutrition.com Subject: LENT NUTRITION PLAN

P.S. I am not intending to hurt any sentiments. Please forgive me if I touch a nerve or belief. This post is meant to give a thought provoking idea- TO EAT WITH A PLAN..which is difficult.
P.P.S After I wrote this post I found his real message...I love it....http://time.com/3714056/pope-francis-lent-2015-fasting/

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