What can you eat in Lent

Nika Kravchuk
26.02.2017

What can you eat in Lent?

Fast now become fashionable. It is easy to catch a growing number of people with one very “entertaining” activity - a thorough study of food labels and packages. But what can be used for food, and what should be discarded? Why limit yourself at all? How is fasting different from diet? What is its spiritual side? Let's try to answer.

Lenten salad

Monastic charter

What can you eat in Lent?This question naturally arises even among those who fast with experience. Why? Because in Orthodoxy there is a charter for monks, and not for the laity. According to this prescription, not only meat and dairy products, but also fish products are excluded from the menu.

Eat fishallowed only twice:

  1. on the feast of the Annunciation of the Most Holy Theotokos - April 7;
  2. Palm Sunday - a week before Easter.

But this is not the strictest prescription. In monasteries, food with vegetable oil is supposed to be eaten only on weekends and at the Annunciation. In fact, on all other days, the monks go onxerophagythat is, they consume only bread and raw vegetables and fruits.

Bread and Apple

But the most stringent are consideredfirst dayandGood Friday. Then put abstinence from food.

In some monasteries their additions were fixed to the general charter on nutrition in Lent. For example, in Cypriot monasteries on all days, except Wednesday and Friday, you can see boiled octopus with herbs at the meal. In the Solovetsky monastery, every Sunday and on the days of revered saints, fish are allowed.

How did such regulations appear? We'll talk about this a little later, but for now let's stop at the exciting question: what can we eat in Lent? After all, it is definitely clear that he will not withstand all the severity of the monastic charter.

How to fast a worldly man?

Since there is simply no separate charter for the laity, it is advisable to consult a confessor or parish priest. How strictly can you fast, won't it harm your work and health?

Usually in Lent, people refusemeat, dairy and fishfood. The basis of the diet consists of various cereals, boiled or baked vegetables, pickles and salads.Those who allow health, and refuse to eat vegetable oil on all days except weekends.

Legumes

You should not worry that due to unbalanced nutrition, Lent will have to harm your health. On the contrary, many modest meal is only good. The body rests from heavy meat food, gets more vegetables and fruits. Animal protein is replaced by vegetable contained in legumes: beans, peas, lentils, peanuts.

Many simple and nutritious dishes can be cooked with mushrooms. On the Internet and cookbooks, there are many recipes for dishes made from not at all intricate products: the same mushrooms, cabbage, potatoes, beets, beans, etc.

Nuts, dried fruits, honey, jam, and halva are a true treat for the fasting person.

Seafood: eat or not eat?

There is a temptation to study the labels of products for a long time and look for on the shelves what else can you eat in Lent. And what if you are lucky to find sausage without meat and cakes without milk and eggs? Or read that in Greece, at the meal, seafood is allowed, equated in this country not with fish, but with sea plants.

If the Greeks can, so why do not we? And they ran to “clean” the refrigerators with squids, octopuses, shrimps and mussels ... It's nothing that you had to pay as much for a kilogram of seafood as for 30-40 kilograms of potatoes.

In this situation, it is important to remember another important part of the post. itmercy and help to those in need. After all, St. John Chrysostom does not accidentally advise to eat modestly and cheaply during fasting, and to save the amount saved on those who really need it.

Seafood

Of course, no one forbids you to buy seafood. But judge for yourself, in which case the benefit will be greater: if you and your family eat a kilo of shrimp once or twice, or if you cook your own and your own potatoes with vegetables or mushrooms, but with the remaining money you can feed 25 homeless pies?

Monks in Solovki or Cyprus eat fish and seafood only because for the monks in those places they are available almost as much as we have bread and potatoes. The monks just adhere to the recommendations of John Chrysostom on the use of cheap food.

Say yes to the constraint

Not only the refusal of milk, meat and fish is important. It is possible in one sitting to “devour” three servings of vegetable soup and five patties with cabbage. But after such a hearty meal, can we work and pray? So, another important component of nutrition in Lent ismoderation. Or even better to say restriction.

For example, a certain person likes sweet things a lot. But in the post, he specifically tries to abandon it, or at least limit its use.

Dinners for the homeless

This applies not only to food. If you feel that you are dependent on watching movies, listening to music, loud companies, alcohol or smoking, reading news and talking about politics - try to limit yourself.

Nutrition in the Great Fasting ≠ Diet

After all, the meaning of fasting is not in compliance with the diet. Of course, there is something in common: the rejection of the use of certain foods and moderation in nutrition.

But if diet is an opportunity to improve your health and get rid of extra pounds, then the post is to be cleansed by repentance and prepare for Easter. But what is the power? - readers will ask. And despite the fact that a person is not in a prayer with a stuffed stomach. He wants to sleep, rest.Will he think about God, helping his neighbor? Hardly.

When a person limits himself physically, “kills the flesh,” it leads to spiritual hunger. In such a state, a prayer is born, a vision of one’s own sins opens. A person wants not to condemn his neighbor, but to repent of his own sins, change, become better.

Crucifix

Then, for him, the primary question is not “What can you eat in Lent?”, But “What fruit of repentance will I bring?”.

If a person managed to abandon the meager food, and no, not condemnation, anger, irritability, cruelty, then he obviously messed up something. Indeed, as said Metropolitan Vladimir (Sabodan),the main thing in the post - do not eat each other.

Father Arkady, the rector of the St. Basil the Great Temple also tells about the lean diet:


Take it to yourself, tell your friends!
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