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Ash Wednesday – what’s it all about?

The feasting of Shrove Tuesday gives way to the fasting of Ash Wednesday.

Christian tradition has it that on Shrove Tuesday we purge our kitchen cupboards of all kinds of good stuff, throwing them together, frying them up and stuffing our faces! We love feasting but we are also taught to fast and on Ash Wednesday Christians begin a time of fasting, praying and seeking as they look towards Easter and the death and resurrection of Jesus. This time is called Lent.

Fasting isn’t just found in Christianity but in many ancient and modern religions.  Typically we fast the things we love, (it should be a sacrifice right?) Chocolate and alcohol are common as is foregoing your favourite TV programs. It doesn’t really matter what you fast is as long as it matters to you.

The reasons for fasting vary.  For some it is a physical cleaning of the body or an emotional resetting of the mind. For others it is a spiritual exercise to nourish the soul.  For Christians the idea has always been to replace your sacrifice with time with Jesus. Every time your stomach rumbles from lack of food it is a reminder to pray.  The time of day when you would normally be watching a favourite TV programme instead is used for reading the Bible or having a time of meditation.  At dinner time instead of preparing a meal for oneself, the time is spent preparing a meal for someone else who needs some extra loving just now.

So why not give up or take up something for Lent starting on Ash Wednesday?  Something that matters, something you will miss or something that will be a stretch to start.

There is loads online about Lent and with ideas for Lent. 

Here are three places to start but if they don’t click with you keep searching there is loads out there.

The Happy Secret

I was thinking about what practical habits I could adopt to improve day to day positivity and happiness and was reminded of this Ted Talk. It ends with some great practical tips that are proven by science to make a difference and are easy to adopt into your day to day life.   Plus it made me laugh!   I recommend you check it out and try putting it into practice in your life.

Apple & Cinnamon Pancakes (Makes 12 pancakes)


  • 100g apple sauce
  • 80ml almond milk
  • 75g gluten free flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp acv
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ nutmeg
  • Pinch of cloves 
  • Pinch of sea salt


1. Blend all ingredients together in a high speed blender until fully combined and smooth batter has formed.
2. Heat up a skillet with a little coconut oil to a medium heat.
3. Spoon or pour a dollop of mixture into the hot pan to form a circle.
4. Leave to cook for 2min without touching, bubbles will form on top, then flip over and cook for a further 2-3 mins without touching.
5. Serve immediately topped with fresh fruit and honey or keep warm on a rack in the oven.
6. If not serving straight away, cool and store in airtight container in the fridge or freeze.
7. Reheat in the toaster or oven.

Fitness Tips

The #1 tip is this…

Set small goals AND write them down. There’s no point in setting a goal to run the marathon if you haven’t run 5k. Writing it down adds reality. If you’re new to the world of fitness here’s a few things you can do which will set you on the right course to a fitter you!

  • Why not take the stairs and not the lift – Definitely if you’re only going up to floor 3 and below!
  • Walk to the school gates or to the newsagents rather than drive. It’s often quicker
  • Stretching is one of the best forms of exercise. Try reading “stretching for beginners
  • Find like minded people who are on or would like to travel the same journey as you
  • If you’re not ready to exercise in company jump onto the web and find someone you like (ie Joe Wicks) and follow them

For the intermediates, why don’t you:

  • Try something new. This will activate different muscle groups. 
  • If you’re past simple stretching how about Yoga or Pilates. Good for the mind and body
  • Join a specialist club to further hone your sporting passion.