Anyone ever done one? I'm planning on doing a small week-long one at the beginning of the (new calendar) Fast next week to help get me in the mood and shrink my stomach somewhat. My sustenance will consist mostly of vegetable broth with a some fruit smoothies to balance things out. I've been reading about them but most of the material is either from "spiritual not religious" people or just plain atheist.
No, and I would not do one for myself.
Why not? Just curious. I was thinking about doing one. Actually, am going through a really hard time now so have thought about it.
I have a group on OrthodoxCircle (another website) where we each follow an individualized, genetically based, Blood Type Diet for lifetime cleansing and healing (all in one.) Nobody has to go on liquid fasts or anything like that. Additionally -- following your individualized diet is very revealing about why some of the Fathers (like St. John Chrysostom, Abba Moses the Strong, and others) wrecked themselves with too strict a fast. Your foods are revealed - from meat, dairy, fish, nuts, legumes, grains, veggies, fruits, condiments -- everything -- so that nothing is missed, and you can Fast like an Orthodox while still doing what is best for your God- given genetic strengths and weaknesses. So the issue of "shrinking your stomach" (what the heck does that mean anyway??) becomes a moot point. Shrinking your stomach doesn't mean you're fasting. (It makes you sound like you were one of those Professional Eaters out there -- showing up at Nathan's Hot Dog stand out on Coney Island for the yearly "how many dogs can you eat" contest.)
In addition to this -- the more toxins you avoid by following your own individualized genetic diet -- the quieter the passions become quite naturally.
By the time one does this for a full year -- one can start Clean Monday without some overly chivalrous fantasy of "doing this or that, especially" and do what the Fast intended for us to do: eat simply, stop focusing on what you're eating, and focus on what's going on inside instead.
Also, when you set out to do it for a lifetime, you alter the number of trips to a physician you would have needed in the first place were you ingesting the same foods that you unknowingly ingested that were causing you health problems all along.
God willing, this year, I will have a small book published as an introduction to Orthodox Christians about using this manner of eating.