I accepted the challenge of my 20-year-old nephew to forego sugar and dairy for the month of February. He said he'd done it for a year and it had changed his life. "I can do anything for a month," my logical mind said. So his mother, Kellie, and I decided we'd fight the good fight together. Not a diet, we agreed, just a discipline. That was three weeks ago. The first day was alright. The second day was hairier as I really needed some chocolate...and eating Mexican food just isn't right without the queso. The third day is a blur as I am sure my body was going through some type of lactose/glucose withdrawal. "I am not crabby," I glowered at my husband through gritted teeth. "Why would I be crabby?" I think he smiled. We made it through the first week by sheer determination, a lot of prayer and a desire not to disappoint each other. I was surprised honestly at how the quality of my life was not hampered. I was pleased as punch with myself and determined to make it through week two. Is this when I should divulge I am an unabashed chocoholic? I have been known to leave my home in the midst of the night to hunt chocolate to satisfy my deep-seated need. I baked a batch of sugarless brownies OK, the black beans should have been my first clue YUK. Recipe definitely not a keeper. I found a Pillsbury box that offers a sugar-free chocolate nirvana. Usually, I do not bake from mixes but I must say, in the midst of a chocolate desert no, not dessert the Pillsbury brownies were pretty much inhaled.

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"Only 10 more days," I thought Sunday morning. "I can do anything for 10 days." Visions of chocolate and cheeses danced through my head. Our pastor preached a powerful sermon and at the end challenged us to a Lenten fast abstaining from something which gave us pleasure for the 40 days until Easter Sunday. "Only 50 more days," my much-too-cheerful husband beamed. "You've already got a head start from chocolate and dairy." I wondered what Kellie's pastor preached about. I think I'll visit that church.