Nutrition in the Orthodox post
Fasting with Christians is a time of restraint and humility, a period of spiritual preparation for a particular church event. Fasting and prayer are like two wings, thanks to which the soul, like a bird, ascends to heaven, leaving behind everything earthly and material. Fasting involves complete or partial abstinence from animal products, and for many people such abstinence is a rather difficult test.
However, it is precisely due to various restrictions in food and in earthly pleasures that each person cultivates a spirit in himself, which should govern the human body, and not vice versa.
In the Christian tradition, there are several types of fasts – multi-day, one-day, and those that a person imposes on himself in preparation for holy communion. Throughout the year, Wednesday and Friday are considered fasting days. The semantic load of precisely these days consists in the event of the betrayal of Christ and his death (on Wednesday they betrayed, and on Friday they crucified). However, there are several weeks of the year when Wednesday and Friday are canceled as fasting days. This is Christmas, Holy Week, Shrovetide, Trinity Week. If Christmas falls on Wednesday or Friday, then the post is also canceled.
There are multi-day posts, there are only four of them – one spring, two summer and one winter. The oldest in the Christian tradition and the longest is Lent, which lasts 7 weeks. It ends with the feast of the blessed Christ’s Resurrection. This post is rolling, it can begin in late February or already in March (see the article Lent). Depending on the calculations, Easter can be celebrated on one of 35 days from April 4 to May 8.
After the end of Lent, animal products are allowed for almost two months. Then comes the Petrov post. Its duration depends on Easter and the time of its celebration. If Easter is early, then fasting is long, if late – then short. The Petrov Lent begins on Monday after All Saints Day (the first Sunday after the Trinity, which ends the Easter holidays), and always ends on the day of remembrance of the supreme apostles Peter and Paul, that is, July 12th.
There are two more long posts – Uspensky and Rozhdestvensky, both are intransient, take place on strictly defined days (the first from August 14 to 28, the second from November 28 to January 6). The Assumption Post is established in honor of the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This is the shortest of all the multi-day posts, it lasts only two weeks, but at the same time does not allow any concessions. The Assumption Fast begins on August 14 with the Honey Savior, and ends on August 28 with the feast of the Assumption of the Mother of God.
Christmas post is set in honor of the Nativity of Christ. It precedes the great and revered holiday by all Christians – the day of the birth of Jesus Christ. This is the last multi-day post of the year, which begins on November 28 and lasts until January 6, that is, it lasts forty days – a little less than Lent.
Thus, there are four multi-day fasts, Wednesday and Friday, as well as three days of abstinence before taking the holy communion. In addition to Wednesday and Friday, there are one-day posts – Exaltation of the Holy Cross (September 27), The Beheading of the Head of John the Baptist (September 11), etc.
It turns out that there are more lean days per year than ordinary days when it is allowed to eat meat. And this is remarkable, since lean vegetarian nutrition not only helps to improve the spirit, but also has an extremely beneficial effect on the body, healing it.
And what can you eat during fasting? Generally speaking, during the fasting it is forbidden to eat meat, eggs, dairy products, and fish and wine – only in the so-called. days of relaxation or holidays, which are prescribed for each post separately. And on especially strict days of fasting, they eat mostly dry food – water, bread, raw vegetables, fruits, and no dishes are specially prepared – this is the so-called dry eating. Cooked foods in vegetable oil are allowed on some days. However, it should be remembered that those who have health problems, pregnant women, children should be careful about dietary restrictions during fasting. They should have their usual diet, and fasting does not strictly apply to them.
So what is included in the concept of lean food? These are cereals (bread, cereals), legumes, including soy, vegetables, fruits, berries, mushrooms, edible wild plants, nuts, spices, honey, vegetable oils, fish and fish products.
“Humble food” is meat and meat products, milk and dairy products, animal fats, eggs, as well as confectionery products containing them.
The Russians have already accumulated considerable experience with such abstinence, using a wide range of vegetarian foods in their diet. And while at the beginning of the 20th century such lean foods as hemp, almond and poppy milk were popular in Russia, nowadays they are replaced by soy milk and products based on it (yogurts, sour cream, mayonnaise, tofu and other vegetable dairy products)…