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Can you give up something to improve your health?

Pancake Day is traditionally when many of us will turn our hands to flipping the mix of milk, eggs and flour, while debating whether the result should be covered in lemon juice, syrup, whipped cream, bacon, or something else.

For many, though, today is significant as its just over 40 days until Easter Sunday, and they will use this period to test their self-discipline. Some want the challenge of sacrificing coffee, alcohol, or swearing. For others, it's the time of year to focus on improving their health by ditching a certain type of food or treat, often sweets, chocolate or meat.

Our own Communications and Media Officer, Andy, always gives up takeaways at this time of year. He explains more:

"Since I was young, Pancake Day always felt like a time to think about what you can change in your diet, and see if you can resist temptation until the day when you're munching Easter Eggs.

"My wife and I first tried giving up ordering-in food about a decade ago. We were a bit overweight and thought that having a set period where we committed to make a change like that would do us some good.

"We were absolutely amazed by the result. Along with dropping some quick pounds, we felt better, and quickly noticed we had more money in our pocket. We usually get so into giving up eating from plastic containers and cardboard boxes, that it's not until May that we finally crack. And when we do, we immediately regret it. There's something about a detox like this that when you do go back to eating greasy, salty, processed food you feel worse than you do waking up with a hangover. When we do finally give in, it's a few more weeks before we do it again.

"We'll be challenging ourselves again this year, and while I know we'll miss the convenience (especially with a little one keeping us on our toes), I'm looking forward to seeing a little less around my waist, and a bit more in my wallet. Although the cash won't last too long, as we want to treat ourselves to something new for the house, plus make donations to support local good causes that we would not have been able to otherwise."

We hope that, however you enjoy Pancake Day, you'll consider making a change that's good for your health. If you do, and find you save a bit, you could always make a donation to support our efforts to enrich communities through food. Or why not use the next 40 days to commit to doing something new? We're always on the look out for volunteers...

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