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Offline Ben

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Fasting
« on: November 27, 2003, 03:05:13 AM »
As most of you know by now I am a Roman Catholic with a profound interest in Orthodoxy. I am stuck between east and west.

Anyway.....

I understand that on Wednesdays and Fridays all meat and dairy products are not allowed....is this true? And where can I find an Orthodox cook book for days or seasons of fasting?
« Last Edit: November 27, 2003, 03:05:50 AM by Ben »
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Offline prodromos

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Re:Fasting
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2003, 05:28:43 AM »
Yes, although when certain feast days fall on a Wednesday or Friday, fish and wine are permitted.

The Festive Fast - Greek Meatless Cooking in the Eastern Orthodox Tradition.
Shop around, you will probably find better prices elsewhere.
A LENTEN COOKBOOK FOR ORTHODOX CHRISTIANS
A whole bunch of Lenten recipe books here.

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Offline prodromos

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Re:Fasting
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2003, 05:43:49 AM »
One problem with these recipe books, the food is so delicious that you really don't need to make an effort to fast ::).

Soooo, I would recommend eating less during fasting periods and avoid nibbling at food whenever you feel hungry. The whole point of fasting is to help us learn to control our fleshly urges, our passions, and it is terribly easy to avoid meat and dairy products but still be a glutton. :P

Note: we also abstain from sex during fasting periods as it is also time given over to prayer (those of us who are married, those of us who are not should be abstaining period!)

John.

Offline Ben

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Re:Fasting
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2003, 09:38:36 PM »
Thanks for the links!
"I prefer to be accused unjustly, for then I have nothing to reproach myself with, and joyfully offer this to the good Lord. Then I humble myself at the thought that I am indeed capable of doing the thing of which I have been accused. " - Saint

Offline Linus7

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Re:Fasting
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2003, 02:36:32 PM »
Ben -

I would also like to point out (adapting something our Lord said) that "Fasting was made for man, not man for fasting."

When fasting becomes a legal requirement it becomes a hindrance rather than a help.

Vicki's advice, "consult a priest," is very good.
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Offline Ben

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Re:Fasting
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2003, 06:26:40 PM »
I have consulted the priest who is actually guiding me on my journey towards Orthodoxy, he is a priest in the Greek Archdiocese (GOA) and he said he would never expect someone not recieved into the Orthodox Church yet to fast. But I want to fast, so he suggested just fast on Wenesdays and Fridays for now.
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Offline katherine 2001

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Re:Fasting
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2003, 08:07:24 PM »
Vicki gives very good advice.  You should just fast on Wednesdays and Fridays as the priest is telliing you to do.  Listen to him.  The reason I say that is that your priest sets your fasting rule.  You might ask him whether he even wants you looking at the fasting rules at the beginning.  I wish I hadn't.  It caused me to try to do more than what I was told to.  Also, it can be a huge temptation to look at how other people are fasting--in other words, making sure that everyone else is fasting according to the rules!  You don't want to go there.  As the fathers have said, if fasting from food is going to cause you to devour your brothers and sisters, it would be better to eat meat!  It might be that your priest would rather not have you concerned with the rules right off and just abstain from what he tells you to.  That is definitely a question to ask him.

As my first priest explained to me when I first started fasting, you don't take up running and go right out and run a marathon.  Fasting is just like this.  You start out slowly and build up a little each time, and your priest is your coach.  He knows the training regimen and you need to follow his instructions.

Offline Ben

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Re:Fasting
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2003, 09:39:04 PM »
I am just fasting on Wednesdays and Fridays, I don't know how Vicki came up with me not following my priest's advice. I was just wondering where I could find ssome cook books for wednesdays and Fridays, if you've never given up meat and dairy products, it can be hard.
"I prefer to be accused unjustly, for then I have nothing to reproach myself with, and joyfully offer this to the good Lord. Then I humble myself at the thought that I am indeed capable of doing the thing of which I have been accused. " - Saint

Offline Oblio

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Re:Fasting
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2003, 10:10:03 PM »
Octopus is good :D

Offline Αριστοκλής

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Re:Fasting
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2003, 08:58:57 AM »
Octopus is good :D

Grilled octopus is worth driving to Astoria for!  ;D

Better than escargot?

Demetri :)
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Offline Tikhon29605

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Re:Fasting
« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2003, 05:43:28 PM »
Easy Recommended Foods for Fastings Days:
 Oatmeal with Rice Milk
 Pinto Beans
 pickles
 lots of water
 rice
 apples
 salad greens with oil and vinegar dressing
 pita bread
 couscous
 mixed vegetable with tofu (Schehuan style), availabe at any Chinese takeout restaurant
bean burritos with salsa topping
And the great American stand by, the PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY SANDWICH.
The possiblities are endless!  Happy fasting!

Offline PhosZoe

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Re:Fasting
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2003, 10:14:58 AM »
Double ditto Viki, talk to your priest.  

I also liked the "Priest and Coach" comparison, very true. Don't be disapointed if you "fall off the wagon" It's a learning process, take it slow.   Fasting, especially if you are not used to "rules" can be somewhat daunting. I'm a vegetarian and had a hard time. Letting go of  feta cheese of wednesdays and fridays was difficult for me.  :D

Check out...

www.vrg.org
www. vegweb.com
www.vegsource.com

Offline David

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Re:Fasting
« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2003, 11:22:28 AM »
You may also want to try Indian food.  Since many Indians are vegetarians, there are lots of vegetarian/vegan recipes to use.  This is the best introduction to Indian cuisine in my opinion.  There are a few naysayers on the amazon reviews, but I give it five stars.  It introduces you to the whole of indian cuisine with 40-50 basic recipes that you can experiment with later, rather than just a huge listing of recipes that list ingrediants you've never heard of, and cooking processes you may not be familiar with.  

Sushi is also a lenten favorite of mine(have to watch what type you get except for fish, wine, and oil days as most have fish but some are shrimp, scallops, etc).
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Offline Oblio

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Re:Fasting
« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2003, 11:36:47 AM »
Don't forget eel :D

Offline David

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Re:Fasting
« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2003, 12:48:32 PM »
ummm unagi....
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Offline Justinianus

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Re:Fasting
« Reply #15 on: December 01, 2003, 01:22:26 PM »
Double ditto Viki, talk to your priest.  

I also liked the "Priest and Coach" comparison, very true. Don't be disapointed if you "fall off the wagon" It's a learning process, take it slow.   Fasting, especially if you are not used to "rules" can be somewhat daunting. I'm a vegetarian and had a hard time. Letting go of  feta cheese of wednesdays and fridays was difficult for me.  :D



These are good points.  We can all learn and grow in faith by the experience, both in successes and failures.
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Offline Seraphim Reeves

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Re:Fasting
« Reply #16 on: December 01, 2003, 01:29:04 PM »
These days, with so many products on the market aimed at people following a "vegan" diet, it's very easy to find practically anything in a "fasting version."

Of course, while these things fall within the guidelines for fasting, I suspect some of them probably to varying degrees go against the "spirit" of the fasting rules (for example, I've had non-dairy/soy based ice creams which are better than some of the "real" dairy ice creams I've tried).  Of course, something does have to be said about a dimension of fasting that is often ignored - it is not simply the pleasant taste of meats, dairy, etc. which are being moderated by the fasts, but also the substances themselves - these foods tend to contribute to disturbances in the flesh (passions), which is part of the reason why monastics will have more severe rules for fasting all through the year (for example, monks never eat flesh meat.)

Of course, rules differ depending where you are - also, there are cases where one's Priest will make concessions if the situation warrants it.

I find the advise offered by the GOA priest "interesting" - since generally it is during the period of one's catechumate that you are supposed to start participating and learning about the life of the Church as much as you can; this would include the prayers/liturgy where appropriate, and I'd think fasting as well.   I know this has been my own experience.

Seraphim

Offline David

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Re:Fasting
« Reply #17 on: December 01, 2003, 04:01:09 PM »
Seraphim,

I agree with your advice.  A priest who is a friend of mine advised that even if a "fake" product tastes like the real thing, our bodies know the difference and the veggieburger doesn't satisfy the passionate appetite like a real 1/4 flame-grillled(okay I had better stop as we're in a fast.) :)  
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Offline PhosZoe

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Re:Fasting
« Reply #18 on: December 01, 2003, 04:46:28 PM »
You may also want to try Indian food.  Since many Indians are vegetarians, there are lots of vegetarian/vegan recipes to use.  This is the best introduction to Indian cuisine in my opinion.  There are a few naysayers on the amazon reviews, but I give it five stars.  It introduces you to the whole of indian cuisine with 40-50 basic recipes that you can experiment with later, rather than just a huge listing of recipes that list ingrediants you've never heard of, and cooking processes you may not be familiar with.  

Sushi is also a lenten favorite of mine(have to watch what type you get except for fish, wine, and oil days as most have fish but some are shrimp, scallops, etc).

mmmmm sushi mmmmm :D I make a delicious maki zushi with sweet potato or avocado filling. Indian food is good too, although a great majority of it is made with butter and cheese which is perfect for simple but not strict fast.

Offline Seraphim Reeves

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Re:Fasting
« Reply #19 on: December 01, 2003, 07:01:20 PM »
David,

Quote
I agree with your advice.  A priest who is a friend of mine advised that even if a "fake" product tastes like the real thing, our bodies know the difference and the veggieburger doesn't satisfy the passionate appetite like a real 1/4 flame-grillled(okay I had better stop as we're in a fast.)

Yes, please, stop there! :)

I've had this experience as well - while I can nourish myself with "soy" and vegetarian products (and some of them are actually quite good - there are a couple of brands of soy milk that are very good, particularly on cereals), it just doesn't have the same "glutting" feeling that real dairy of meat does... and this is one of the major reasons why the fasting rules say to avoid these things.

Seraphim

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Re:Fasting
« Reply #20 on: December 01, 2003, 07:08:43 PM »
You may also want to try Indian food.

Amen!  Not only is it good and good for you, but there are a lot of options for vegetarian/vegan dining.  

Indian food is good too, although a great majority of it is made with butter and cheese which is perfect for simple but not strict fast.

It depends.  I have rarely seen cheese used in Indian dishes (usually in something like palak paneer); it is not all that popular overall, to my knowledge, although some regional cuisines may use more of it than others.  Butter is more popular, but even there, a lot of things prepared with butter could easily be prepared with vegetable oil.  South Indian food is exceptionally good as far as fasting regulations go.  North Indian food is good too, although you may need to substitute for things like ghee.
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Offline David

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Re:Fasting
« Reply #21 on: December 01, 2003, 07:13:33 PM »
I think olive oil is the usual substitute for ghee, so you could use another oil and do that.  What I find is used more often in curries and dals I make is cream.  Does anyone know any good substitions for cream?
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Offline katherine 2001

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Re:Fasting
« Reply #22 on: December 01, 2003, 07:29:05 PM »
Again, you may want to talk to your priest before using the meat substitutes.  Some priests don't mind your using them, but others do.  My current priest doesn't think that you should use them, or at least not use them very often.

Offline amhalaba

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Re:Fasting
« Reply #23 on: December 01, 2003, 07:30:50 PM »
...Please find Keble's thread about reasons not to visit a monastery.

How do I find this thread?
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Re:Fasting
« Reply #24 on: December 01, 2003, 07:46:25 PM »
Dear Vicki,

Maybe someone at the supermarket thinks "Arab, Indian, it's all the same"?  :P

I think olive oil is the usual substitute for ghee, so you could use another oil and do that.  What I find is used more often in curries and dals I make is cream.  Does anyone know any good substitions for cream?

David, what curries do you make that use cream?  I know some require cream, but not as many as you seem to be implying.  South Indian curries, with a few exceptions, do not use cream.
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Offline David

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Re:Fasting
« Reply #25 on: December 01, 2003, 11:53:27 PM »
Mor,

The curries/dals I often make that use cream are Kormas, Mussories, Biryani(okay it uses yoghurt, same difference)...I can't think of the dal now, but my roomate made it this past week, and it requires a 1/2 pint of heavy cream.
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Offline PhosZoe

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Re:Fasting
« Reply #26 on: December 02, 2003, 11:02:25 AM »
I think olive oil is the usual substitute for ghee, so you could use another oil and do that.  What I find is used more often in curries and dals I make is cream.  Does anyone know any good substitions for cream?

Cream- Silk makes a soy "coffee creamer" that my husband loves. In addition to coffee, it's a tasty subsitute for cream.

Offline PhosZoe

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Re:Fasting
« Reply #27 on: December 02, 2003, 11:05:59 AM »
You may also want to try Indian food.

Amen!  Not only is it good and good for you, but there are a lot of options for vegetarian/vegan dining.  

Indian food is good too, although a great majority of it is made with butter and cheese which is perfect for simple but not strict fast.

It depends.  I have rarely seen cheese used in Indian dishes (usually in something like palak paneer); it is not all that popular overall, to my knowledge, although some regional cuisines may use more of it than others.  Butter is more popular, but even there, a lot of things prepared with butter could easily be prepared with vegetable oil.  South Indian food is exceptionally good as far as fasting regulations go.  North Indian food is good too, although you may need to substitute for things like ghee.      

I'm sorry, when I said cheese I meant paneer.  I'm most familiar with North Indian cuisine as one of my best friends growing up was from northern India.

Suggestions for South Indian cookbooks?

Offline Karamazov

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Re:Fasting
« Reply #28 on: December 02, 2003, 11:39:16 AM »
How about Eritrean and Ethiopian cuisine?  A wide variety of vegan delights!  Just thinking about a local Ethiopian restaurant is making my mouth water!  I could easily go there RIGHT NOW and ANNIHILATE my fast by chowing down on nothing but vegan delights!  

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Offline David

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Re:Fasting
« Reply #29 on: December 02, 2003, 11:47:44 AM »
I live the sticks...no ethiopian or eritean restaurants.  Any good websites for learning about the cuisine?
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Re:Fasting
« Reply #30 on: December 02, 2003, 02:31:14 PM »
Ethiopian food is great!  Bobby, Frobisher, Clint, TonyS, and myself went to lunch at an Ethiopian restaurant while in DC for Summerfest.  It reminded me of Indian food to a certain extent.  

PhosZoe, I can't recommend any South Indian cookbooks because I don't know of any.  I just know the women who make the food (my mother is the best, and I'm not just saying that).  My apologies!
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