Energy Tips For Parents Fasting on Ash Wednesday or Lent 2024

It’s the start of the Lenten season 2024 and when parents are fasting for Ash Wednesday, energy levels become a problem.

To keep up with our kids’ energy levels, we parents need to eat. We binge on everything sweet and starchy like chocolates, rice, soda, or iced coffees, or protein-heavy red meats like pork and beef. But with Lent coming up and Ash Wednesday starting the season this 2024, it’s a common practice to abstain from meat because we commemorate Jesus’ sacrificing of Himself.

Unfortunately, the parenting has no holidays. So what can parents eat and do to keep their energy up during Ash Wednesday or throughout the Lenten season this 2024? Here are some suggestions.

1. Abstain from watching reels before going to bed.

We may love reels because it’s bite-sized forms of information and entertainment. But these tidbits are the reason why we have an awful sleep schedule. We consume one reel after another, and before we know it, it’s already 5 AM. Put an alarm clock reminder on our phone to signal us when to put a stop to watching those reels so we can sleep. Nothing recharges more than high-quality sleep.

If our minds can’t settle down because they got used to watching reels every night, play white noise like running water or bouncing bamboo tubes to mimic the sounds we hear from the reels.

2. Eggs or bananas are a good source of energy.

Bananas don’t just have sugar; they also have fibers that slow down our bodies’ ability to burn it. Loaded with potassium and other minerals, bananas prevent muscle pains because of these existing ions. It’s why most athletes have bananas on hand when they’re competing. They’re light but dense with nutrients their bodies can immediately convert into energy.

Besides, the Philippines is home to various species of bananas. It’s impossible not to find one in a convenience store or two!

Eggs, especially boiled ones, offer a lot of protein because of the albumin or the egg whites. People who opt for low-carb diets rely on eggs to sustain and push their bodies to transform their fat — which is the storage of accumulated carbohydrates into energy. Unless you’re Orthodox Christian, eggs are accepted during Lent and Holy Week holidays.

3. Take a cup of tea before bed.

Teas are known to detoxify but some teas like Chamomile and Lavender have an additional relaxing effect to allow us a more restful sleep. When we’re tense, our mind’s racing, and our body stiffens up which can happen even as we sleep. It’s why we sometimes wake up still feeling tired. We’re also burning energy while we sleep because we’re thinking too hard about something.

At the same time, Chamomile and Lavender will clear the pathways from various toxins that we built up from stress or random food we’ve been eating. By drinking tea, we’re helping our body burn food more efficiently.

4. Look for “meatier” or “chunkier” fish.

Since chicken, lamb, goat, and beef are off the menu, fish is the ulam or “meat” for the next 40 days. But lucky for the Philippines, we have all kinds of fish. While some fish have cotton-soft meat like Lapu-Lapu (Grouper), Dory, and Bangus (Milkfish), there are the chunkier and meatier ones like Talakitok, Galunggong, or Tuna. If we’re looking for something to feel heavy in the stomach, those fishes do!

5. Beans and nuts provide a lot of energy too!

Beans like kidney beans, lentils, and munggo (mongo) are rich in protein, fiber, and carbohydrates. While one of the frustrating parts of preparing the beans includes soaking them overnight, we can cook them in big batches to serve as energy reserves when we need a quick bite to refuel. What some parents even do is they cook big batches of Ginisang Monggo (minus the pork) to curb their munchies.

But if the family has a history of high uric acid or Gout, take it in moderation since it has a lot of purine.

6. Black coffee is your best friend.

Soda may be yummy but it’s loaded with sugar which isn’t good especially if we’re genetically predisposed to diabetes. Black coffee has caffeine which is a stimulant that causes your body to release more adrenaline and cortisol throughout your body. Some people take the coffee plain black (no sugar, no milk) whereas some can still take it with plant-based milk (we recommend oat!) and sweeteners.

7. Eat frequently but in small portions.

Filipino culture always has us eating in large portions but to pace our energy to meet the demands of parenting, eating frequently in small portions may help out more. Not only does it prevent SSB (sakit sa baboy) wherein we just get sleepy after eating, but it also fuels us up for the next activity or demand that parenting has for us this Ash Wednesday or Lent 2024.

Keep our energy levels up this Ash Wednesday throughout Lenten Season 2024!

One of the main reasons why we end up falling short of our parenting duties sometimes is because we’re hangry (hungry + angry) and running low on energy. All the more this 2024 wherein we probably have a lot of trips and things planned for Holy Week! While it’s good to celebrate Ash Wednesday or Lent this 2024 with trips and the sort, let’s make sure we don’t lose energy while doing so!

More about Holy Week or Lent?

Holy Week Songs: 7 Songs to Listen and Reflect To
Kid-Friendly Pinoy Fish Recipes Beyond Escabeche
Must-Watch Movies and Documentaries for Holy Week

Shop for Modern Parenting's print issues through these platforms.
Download this month's Modern Parenting magazine digital copy from:
Subscribe via [email protected]