Forty Days

I will admit. I mostly went to church as a pre-teen/teen because there was a really cute boy in my youth group. There. I said it. I mostly drew hearts and our initials during sermons. I vaguely remember this time before Easter being super depressing. Then, finally, on Easter I got to wear a special dress (only to be ignored by aforementioned cute boy).

I grew up the daughter of a Methodist and a Catholic. We went to the Methodist church every Sunday and went cafeteria style with the Catholic traditions — just taking the stuff we liked.

During my boy-crazed teen years I was fascinated when my Catholic Nana “gave up” things for Lent. No meat? FORTY DAYS. Then, Nana told me why. “We make a sacrifice to be closer to God,” she said.

I probably said something while spraying my bangs with AquaNet like, “So . . . like . . . ummm . . . I’ll totally give up Jujy fruits.” So for forty days I would buy Lemon Heads instead. And I’m sure God was all like, “Kim, people don’t know suffering until they give up Jujy Fruits.”

Some Lenten seasons were more successful than others. In 2003, I vowed to give up “booze and boys.” Meaning — I wouldn’t drink and I wouldn’t date. Yeeeaaahhh . . . about 10 days in I met Penn. That year, Lent didn’t stick.

Apparently, I am not alone in my downright lame attempts at sacrifice. This is the hilarious (and possibly accurate) urban dictionary definition of Lent:

That 40 day long period where Christians attempt to emulate Christ-like suffering and minimalism through only the lamest and most half-assed undertakings.

Jesus: I toiled in the desert for 40 days and nights. Then I was beaten until I lost 17.8 litres of blood. Self-Righteous Christian Tool: I switched to low-carb beer.
by Andrew Thrillson March 04, 2004


While I can’t make a large sacrifice like taking a vow of silence (Penn wishes) or entering a convent, I can give of my time toward something that honors the life I’ve been given.

Through the years I have always made my tiny sacrifice. This year I’m going to give up all processed foods. No super refined sugary treats (my kryptonite) and no fatty fried foods soaked in chemically processed oils. I will eat REAL FOOD for 40 days.

This is not about losing weight; this is about feeling better. This is not about driving my family crazy; this is about teaching my kids to make good choices. This is not about giving up pizza; this is about learning how to make it in a way that doesn’t have 145 ingredients.

I’ve read all of Micael Pollan’s books and already made some important shifts in how our family eats.

I’m inspired to make the whole shift by my friend Vani Hari, AKA The Food Babe.  That girl is changing the food industry and I’m so proud to know her.

Subscribe to this blog if you’d like to follow this journey. Now I’m off to figure out what to eat for breakfast.

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