Living Simple – Lent 2014

Lent 2014 | Hanna's Places

Today marks the first day of lent. I’m not sure if you are familiar with the concept, but it means that you decide to give something up – usually some kind of luxury – for a period of forty days. It starts on Ash Wednesday (today) and ends on Easter Sunday. Even though it’s a Christian concept, I know lots of people who are taking part not actually for religious reasons, but just to test giving up something they usually depend on.

This year I have decided to go with the ‘classic’ and give up eating sweets or cake (or ice cream, crisps, cereal, nutella, cookies…all that sugar-loaded stuff). I’ve once done that before (successfully – I’ve tried a few other times but gave up after a few days ;). The first week was really hard, but after that it was such a good feeling to actually not have those sugar-cravings anymore and not needing that piece of chocolate with my afternoon coffee. Gladly there’s only one birthday (with cake) that I have to attend in these forty days, so there’s a chance I can actually resist the temptation to eat. Cross your fingers I stick to my resolution this time around as well!


Are you going to  take part in lent? If you haven’t decided what to do, here are some ideas:

1 | Another classic: Alcohol.

2 | A friend of mine is not using Instagram until Easter. You could try this (or some other form of social media).

3 | Going without coffee could also be interesting (and healthy).

4 | Maybe not watching TV? This would probably be harder than it sounds (I mean: 40 days!).

5 | If no Social Media is too unrealistic, how about no internet before 8 am and after 8 pm?

6 | Or maybe not going shopping for forty days?

7 | This is similar to my challenge, but not eating at any fast food chains would be an idea as well.

Lent 2014 | Hanna's Places


PS: If you want to give up sweets and cake as well, here are a few of my favourite healthy snack ideas:

1 | Strawberries. I’m totally addicted at the moment.

2 | Baby carrots.

3 | Apple puree. My grandma’s recipe is definitely the best ;).

4 | Yogurt with banana and some oats.

5 | A fresh smoothie or milkshake. My favourite combination is banana, buttermilk and frozen raspberries.

6 | Beet salad (just mix a cooked beet, some oil and vinegar, salt, pepper and a bit of sugar and you’re ready to go).

7 | Cucumber, tomatoes or carrots with quark and fresh herbs.

8 | Tabbouleh.

9 | A glass of buttermilk.

What are your favourite snacks?



  • Bmpermie
    March 5, 2014


    Interesting to read a out giving up something for Lent as it was part of my childhood. Some great suggestions.Did you take part in Carnival?

    • Hanna
      March 5, 2014


      I must admit, I’m not the biggest fan of carnival, especially since this time of year is so cold and rainy outside. I stayed in with a nice book instead and spend some time with my family (and fellow not carnival celebrating friends ;)

  • Michelle
    March 5, 2014


    My friend is doing a great thing of trying something new everyday in Lent. I’m going to try and join in. I think if you don’t do it for religious reasons than it is about changing your outlook on things and that sounds like fun.

    • Hanna
      March 5, 2014


      Yep, that’s exactly it! It’s like ‘testing’ a lifestyle change for a short period of time.

      I love the idea of trying something new everyday! Maybe next year ;)

  • Akshara Vivekananthan
    March 5, 2014


    I’m Hindu, but Lent is more and more sounding like something I should try! Giving up a bad habit for 40 days would be worth it ;) no Facebook would be ideal!

    • Hanna
      March 5, 2014


      You should definitely try it!

  • Paige
    March 5, 2014



    I came across you blog yesterday and really liked it. Thanks for this reminder today. My husband and I are going to give up stay up late for Lent. We struggle with keeping a consistent bedtime so it may help us get a routine. I am excited to follow along with your blog.

    My best wishes,

    • Hanna
      March 5, 2014


      Hi Paige!

      Thanks so much for your kind words, I’m so glad you like it here :) Hope you stay a bit!

      Giving up staying up late sounds like a good idea as well, I could definitely use a better sleeping routine as well ;)

  • juni
    March 6, 2014


    I think not shopping for 40 days would have to be mine! hahah

    • Hanna
      March 6, 2014


      Haha, good luck to you! :)

  • Helena
    March 6, 2014


    This is such a great Post, Hanna! I’ve been thinking about what to give up all morning after reading your post in bed this morning. Chocolate and all that seems like a good idea – just SO hard. I guess that’s the point. I thought about going to bed earlier, no internet after 8, or splitting it up and giving up 4 different things or so for just a little while each. But then I realised all of that wouldn’t be as hard as not eating chocolate, cake etc.
    So maybe I should just go for it – and really challenge myself. Only problem is that I’ll be going back home to see my family in April – and the German Nutella tasted different than the one over here. I like it better, and I can’t see myself not having a yummy German Nutella bun in the morning ;) I might just not have any until I go, and once I’m in Germany I can change the rule to ‘no chocolate after 4pm’ or something similar ;)
    It would love to hear more about your experience – you could write an update on how you’re doing once a week or so. It would be a great way to get accountability, and to stay motivated. :)

    • Hanna
      March 7, 2014


      Splitting it up is a really great idea, just because it is so hard to choose one ‘good’ thing (and doing everything at once isn’t all that realistical I guess ;). And you’re right, giving up chocolate is incredibly hard (especially if your daily dose is as high as mine!). I must say though, it hasn’t been as hard as I thought it would be! Of course, it’s only the third day and I’m snacking ALL the time (on healthy stuff), but I would have thought I’d be tempted to eat something far more often. I guess you should just go ahead and challenge yourself like you said (and maybe you can even skip the Nutella and just take a glass or two back home? ;)

      Giving you a regular update sounds like a good idea as well – might make me stay motivated as well! ;)

  • Lucy | We Resolve Blog
    March 6, 2014


    I’m taking a lot of time off Pinterest and not watching any shows on my own (but keeping up shows I watch with others for social time). I’m trying to give God a little more room to be in my life instead of filling my head and staying busy every moment of the day! I’m also trying to rest with Nate a little more to get closer as a couple and so that we have time to get closer to God. I love lent, it always feels so special and God always always always blesses our little sacrifices if we are doing them for him :) :) Hope no sweets goes well… you’re already sweet enough anyway!! xoxo

    • Hanna
      March 7, 2014


      Those are really inspiring things you’re doing for lent and what you said about having a closer relationship with God (and the people around you) is beautiful. Now I feel a bit stupid about choosing something like eating sweets, haha :D I will definitely try to be a little bit more mindful about how I spend my time in the next few weeks as well! :)

  • emma
    March 6, 2014


    I would love to be able to give something up for lent but I can never stick to it! Good luck!

    • Hanna
      March 7, 2014


      I bet you would be able to give up something as well, even if it’s just something really small! It feels so good to have been able to be strong enough – and 40 days aren’t really that long :)

  • Colette
    March 8, 2014


    Like you I have given up on sweets for the whole length of this lent. Since we are supposed to give up something and take on something, I took upon mentoring a high school girl as part of my “good action” for lent. My friend is doing “one charitable action a day”, like say buy a stranger a cup of coffee, let somebody else step in front of you at the checkout, etc. I think it is pretty good. My senior year of undergrad, my whole class had decided to quit Facebook for the length of lent. It was a great challenge. So yeah, there a tons of great ideas to go by. I think lent is the perfect opportunity to introduce lifestyle changes too! :)

    • Hanna
      March 10, 2014


      I love the idea of doing one random act of kindness every day, it will make life so much fuller and brighter! I know lent has already started, but I definitely want to find something I can stick to the whole time :) It’s so cool that your whole class decided to get along with it!

Meet Hanna
Hanna's Places - a green lifestyle blog

Hanna’s Places is a green lifestyle magazine written by Hanna Ulatowski. It’s all about slowing down in a fast-paced society and finding ways to live a more sustainable, simple lifestyle.

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