Thursday, March 10, 2011

PEACE in P-E-N-A-N-C-E and My Raw Lenten Journey

There is PEACE in P-E-N-A-N-C-E . (Can you find it?)

It is so easy for me personally, to find true peace in penance because I trust that God's mercy abounds. It is during this time that we prepare to renew our baptismal vows through penance and reconciliation. This is a time to enter into the healing spirit of this season and restore relationships with our household, neighbors and most importantly, God. It can also be a time to heal the body with raw living, life giving foods.
When I think of this time of year not only do I think of fasting, abstinence and penance but I think of reconciliation and NEW LIFE. The word "lent" comes from the Anglo-Saxon word for springtime, lencten. The importance of the integrity of life and the preciousness of life. Life represented in new growth and life being protected from the moment of conception to the moment of natural death. And life as seen in the planting, sprouting and growing of life giving plants, nuts and seeds.
In celebration of life I finally got to accomplish one of my goals--the planting of my small garden. Plants need sunlight, water, and rich soil to help them grow. A garden needs to be nurtured to produce good fruit. Our Lenten growth is nurtured by the three disciplines of Lent: 
Fasting
Alms giving
Prayer
By tending to my garden and watching it grow I too anticipate God's grace to help me to grow in virtue. I hope to gain good fruit too from my wonderful little garden! All you wild bunnies and slugs stay away, please.
Half of my garden is in the yard, in a square foot box inspired by the book, The New Square Foot Garden. I have several varieties of tomatoes, Swiss chard, collards, strawberries, and red bell pepper. The other half of my garden is up on the second story deck in the form of potted herbs and sprouts on the sprouting rack and in jars on the kitchen counter tops.
Parsley (two pots)
Lemon Balm

Basil

Greek Oregano

Yesterday was the beginning of our family's Lenten Journey--Ash Wednesday. It was a day focused on Christ. We took the day off from school and began to plan how we each wanted our journey to unfold over the next 47 days. As a devout Roman Catholic, I love this Liturgical season. It is a very special and personal time for me. I will be sharing a bit more personal posts over the next 46 days showing how my raw journey melds so beautifully with my Lenten Journey! They just naturally go together. The cleanliness of my diet enhances  clear thoughts thus allowing me to focus and center on Our Lord's Passion in an intense way. Cleaner eating for myself will involve totally raw and living foods and the rest of the family will eat higher percentages of raw along with their cooked foods. But no meat or poultry will be consumed on Wednesdays and Fridays.  
Ash Wednesday--Abstinence and Fasting
What our day consisted of:
  • Discussed and thought about each of our journey's.
  • Two simple, meatless meals.
  • Went to evening Mass, prayed and received our ashes.
  • Scripture reading/reflection and the beginning of our "Scripture Tree" Lenten activity.

We made all of the felt symbols and banner.
Our tree starts out barren and dead looking as we think and pray about our sinfulness and the death of our Lord. New life is added each day as one more scripture passage is read and one more felt symbol is attached to our banner. As the Lenten season climaxes with Easter, we can see the life giving gift of His death and Resurrection. The beauty of Christ's life is shown clearly in the way our dead, brown branches will slowly be filled with blossoms; our symbols representing Christ's life on earth and his love for us all.
Our "Jesus Tree" is the best way I could think of to help the younger children learn and understand this pivotal time in our Liturgical year. This tree activity took about 6 six or more years to construct. That is because every time I decided to start working on it again a new baby was coming. So once the last three of the five babies arrived I made it a point to FINALLY get to use our "Jesus Tree" with the whole family. Hands on and very visual, making a powerful imprint on their imaginative and  sometimes wandering minds.
I hope you will enjoy some of my simple, clean, raw living recipes and may you too, in your own way, find true RAW living PEACE.



I began the day yesterday with a simple and hydrating blended green juice.
Dandy Cherry Blend
2 C water
7 dandelion greens
10 oz bag of frozen organic sweet black cherries
1 C ice
Blend into raw living goodness!

Lunch yesterday was light, simple and truly delicious. I was trying to restrict the amount of food at each of the small meals, so I could focus more on what I need to cleanse from my life so God can renew my spirit. I am trying to think of ways that I can draw closer to Christ, allowing Him to show me the areas I need to work on the most. My goal is to eat as clean and pure as possible. I have been incorporating herbal detoxifying teas as well. Boy do they work; really gets the system moving, if you know what I mean. It also settles an upset stomach almost instantly.
Hoping to take my cleansing to the next level, I am considering a juice feast, perhaps the last three days of my Lenten journey; Holy Thursday, Good Friday of the Lord's Passion, Holy Saturday, and then breaking the fast, gently, on Easter Sunday. I wish I could go to CHI to do a juice fast but I am just going to do my own here at home, hopefully.  A great book for juicing is, Juicing for Life. I will have enough recipes right there to keep me satisfied.
Here is a pic of yesterday's yummy lunch.

Pineapple with a Crunch!
1 1/2 cups fresh pineapple, diced
raw honey- just a drizzle
raw black sesame seeds
sprouted buckwheat crunchies
sunflower sprout garnish :)

So on to today's food. Breakfast consisted of a Berry Green Smoothie.

 Berry Green Smoothie
 Dole frozen mixed berry blend
2 C water
2 very small bananas
3 C organic baby spinach

Lunch involved a delicious oil free dressing on top of a sprouted fruit salad. I have been enjoying the lightness of oil free dressings lately. I really like how I feel after having a large salad topped only with more living foods in the form of an oil free vinaigrette.

Sprouted Fruit Salad
broccoli sprouts
sunflower greens
diced pineapple
diced organic strawberries
raw sunflower seeds
fresh Greek Oregano, cut onto strips
fresh Lemon Balm, cut into strips

Oil Free Fruit Vinaigrette
1/3 C diced pineapple
1/3 C diced organic strawberries
1 T balsamic
1 tsp raw honey
2 leaves of fresh Lemon Balm
Blend well in a personal size blender.


Dinner tonight will consist of zucchini pasta made with my spiralizer, tossed with some Arame, diced tomatoes, organic red bell pepper from the Farmer's Market, some of my herbs and a drizzle of scallion and garlic dressing. Simple and delicious. I adore seaweed!!

 Peace and RAW Health!
+JMJ+ Today I am grateful for the chance at a fresh start and the peace I feel in Christ's love.

4 comments:

kelli said...

lovely photos! the food looks delicious and the plants look great! so happy to see you got your square foot garden up and running!=)

Tiffany said...

What a beautiful post, Elizabeth. I admire your raw health, especially connected to your spirituality. Your garden looks amazing! God Bless your Lenten journey.

kt said...

The picture of the gorgeous pink dressing with the salad in the background is lovely. Thanks for sharing! :)

Mr. H. said...

Your garden is looking great and those herbs are so green and healthy looking.:)