How to make a small change in your diet: giving something up

Anyone who celebrates Mardi Gras knows that the hangover can be rough.  Whether your gluttony was of the food or drink variety (or both) , the point behind the overindulgence is traditionally to have one last hurrah before you fast or give something up for Lent, the season prior to Easter. 

image from our wedding

Whether or not you take part in this tradition, it may be a good time to evaluate what areas of your life might benefit from a little deprivation (or addition) for that matter.  A friend asked me today for some suggestions of dietary restrictions she could make.  Here are a few that will not only challenge your will power, but if done right, could ultimately clean up your overall diet!
  • Give up refined carbohydrates:  We eat so many empty calories from "white bites" like the bread on the table at the restaurant, those crackers you grab at a party or the pizza (crust) you find hard to resist.  Eliminating these things can help cut unnecessary extra calories, but also force you to get creative: order a salad to keep you from the restaurant bread, go for the veggies at the party instead, or choose whole grain pizza, or something all together different.  Want a bigger challenge, try going wheat-free!
  • Give up cheese:  You can cut lots of calories by eliminating this admittedly very tasty treat from your diet: the cheese on your sandwich, at the party and again, on your pizza!  Giving up cheese can help you make better choices in general.  Get your calcium from other dairy sources or broccoli, greens, sesame and other seeds, almonds or almond butter and tofu to name a few.  Want a bigger challenge, try going totally dairy-free!
  • Increase fruits and vegetables to 9 servings daily or more!  This may sound like a crazy amount, but is actually very doable!  For example, a smoothie for breakfast (3) a large salad or vegetable based soup for lunch (2-3), a fruit or veggie snack (1+) and a salad or other seasonal vegetable with or as dinner (2+)....done!
What, if anything, are you giving up?


  1. I gave up cheese and it is not easy, but there are certainly many alternatives and food doesn't taste so bad without cheese. I don't miss it....yet

  2. Great post, I love the advice on nutrition and the detail you provide.
    I had to put you in my links bar above my blog header. I hope you don't mind!!



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