Every February, some Christians enter a period of reverence called Lent — one that may restrict their diets.
Living and dining on campus can pose a problem for students who are honoring this season. Mathematics senior Juan Robledo has a hard time deciding on which entrée to choose at the Nom Mi Street food truck.
“In the previous semesters, I used to order bean burritos from Taco Bell or fish sandwiches from Wendy’s, but this year I decided not to give up anything for Lent,” Robledo said. “I attended the Ash Wednesday mass services last week and we are encouraged to not eat meat on Fridays until Easter.”
Parked outside the Catholic Newman Center, Nom Mi Street is a popular lunch destination for many students. During Lent, Nom Mi has several vegetarian options.
McAlister’s Deli is another dining facility that offers a Lent menu for its customers.
Media production senior Rashad Eaglin gave up soft drinks for Lent and now orders tea from the McAlister’s menu.
“I have friends that belong to the Catholic Student Organization who like to come here for lunch and I never noticed that there was a Lent menu offered to students. Now that I know, I would love to give it a try,” Eaglin said.
UH Dining Services have always tried to offer seafood choices on Fridays during Lent at both of their residential dining halls. Cougar Woods will continue to serve a vegetarian entrée, while Moody Towers will increase its selections in the vegetarian station.
UH dietitian Caroline Sullivan and the UH Dining Services have improved the program by increasing the number of offerings and improving recipes to their diners’ taste preferences.
“Students can look for seafood gumbo, tuna salad, baked fish, to shrimp quesadillas and many more delicious meals that fit into Lenten observances,” Sullivan said.
While some of the University’s retail brands may not offer a special menu produced specifically for Lent they can still choose from numerous vegetarian and seafood options that are always available to them. Students can find vegetarian options at Subway, Bare Bowls Kitchen, Tandoori Nite and Kim Son Restaurant, and find seafood options at Sushic and Kim Son.
“During Lent, when I have given up certain foods and not consuming meat, I sometimes eat snack bars and have learned to adapt to different menu dishes, but there is always something good to eat,” Robledo said.