By Liz Bares

The Lenten season is upon us. If you are like most folks, you have given up chocolate, sugar, baked goods, alcohol, “bad” food — basically anything enjoyable.

I’m suffering right along with you. I gave up sugar. This is my second attempt at giving up sugar. Sugar is in EVERYTHING and since a typical American consumes approximately 765 grams per five days, according to Forbes magazine, I thought a second round of “sugar free” should be considered. Especially because in 1822, adults only consumed 45grams in five days. WHAT?!

Sugar was expensive then and processed foods did not exist. If your meal comes from a box, bag, can or jar, it probably has added sugar. Reading food labels helps; however, eating from scratch helps the most. I may have a sweet tooth, but I don’t think it’s acute. I have not suffered withdrawal symptoms, yet — headaches, shakes, nausea, sweats. Sounds like a drug addiction and, sadly, some scientist do think sugar is a drug and Americans are being numbed by it.

I admit to sugar cravings and it has been hard, but every day you start to feel better. My skin has started to look brighter. Towards the end of the fast, fruits are satisfying your sugar craving and this is when you know you have conquered the sugar beast.

Good luck to all in your Lenten conquests!

Morning Smoothie #1

3 handfuls of kale leaves with stems removed (thankful for Canticle Farm and their bags of greens this winter!)

1 cup blueberries, frozen

1 ripe banana

1 cup water

1 tablespoon chia seeds

1 small handful of washed parsley with stems

1 scoop plain whey protein (if you’d like)

juice of 1/2 lemon

Blend everything together and you will get a vibrant purple drink.

Morning Smoothie #1

3 small roasted and peeled beets (again, thank you to Canticle Farm)

1 cup water (you could also use nut milks or cow’s milk)

1/2 cup frozen blueberries

1/2 avocado, cut up

juice of 1/2 lemon

Blend everything together and you will get a vibrant, pinkish-red drink.