Being benevoLent

I’m not an actively practicing Christian but the idea of giving something up for Lent really appealed to me this year. I’m aware of how fortunate I am in that I rarely have to deny myself anything. It really sucks to know that there are parents in the UK using food banks to feed their families and I’m actively choosing to cut back but that’s why it’s important. I think that the act of giving something up during Lent is a really great way to remind yourself of how fortunate you are. Not to mention that spring has started to arrive in the last few days and there’s nothing like a bit of sun peeking through the clouds to make you want to prepare yourself for summer.

I’m giving up sugar.

I’m giving up sugar as an ingredient – I won’t be eating anything that has sugar, glucose, fructose, dextrose or any other word ending in “ose” on the label. I’m giving up things that are mainly sugars, like honey and maple syrup, and I’m giving up things that contain a lot of fructose in them. I’ll still be eating some natural sugars but by cutting out the added sugar and naturally high sugar foods my overall sugar intake should be less than 3-4 teaspoons a day. To put that into perspective, the average person consumes around 14 teaspoons of sugar a day. I’m doing this because I have a sweet tooth and eat too many treats. I also eat a lot of added sugar in food because I don’t take the time to check what I’m eating. Giving up sugar will require me to give up foods that I like a lot, and eat more consciously.

I used the Children’s Society Lent calculator to calculate how much I’ll be saving by not eating a chocolate bar every day - £33.60 – and I’ll be donating this at the end of Lent. I've signed up to the benevoLent challenge to help keep myself on track. I've also signed up to 40 Acts to get daily prompts on being more generous during Lent.

40 days is a long time but I’m excited. It’s a fantastic opportunity for reflection, to make some important lifestyle changes and practice generosity in a more deliberate way.