053 News: Food for the Orthodox Lent Period

In 2011 the Lent period starts on March 7th.

We from the Personal Dietology Center Palitra Pitania like to share with you some tips concerning this period.

Religious rules propose to start preparing three weeks ahead of the Lent period and this is why we want to share our advise now.

Foods that are allowed in this period are grains (breads, cereals), vegetables, fruits, berries, mushrooms, nuts, spices, honey, vegetable oils, fish and fish products. Foods that are to be limited are meat and meat products, milk and dairy products, animal fats, eggs, and also sweets containing these products.

As a general rule: During the lent period you should not eat meat, fish, eggs, vegetable oil and drink milk, wine more than once per day.

Saturdays and Sundays are special you are allowed these limited goods twice per day.

Lent is called the most important period for Orthodox believers.

Lent is preceded by three preparatory weeks. During these three weeks, gradually reduce the amount of food eaten. In articles for religious and moral reading, collected by Bishop Justin (1901) reads: “The lent period must be prepared themselves gradually. All attention is to be given to food and how over time the amount of food and drink can be reduced but in a manner not to weaken the body.”

During the first preparatory week is no fasting is needed, it is the called the “solid Week.”

During the second preparatory week on Wednesday and Friday fasting is commenced.

The third preparatory week is called “Meatless week” or the popular Maslitsa period. In the week of Maslitsa on Wednesday and Fridays no need to fast, but at these days you can not eat meat, but milk, eggs, fish and anything else you can.

In the week of Maslitsa according to the old Russian tradition it is the time for pancakes or blinis and all types of amusements.

The first and last weeks of Lent are are marked by the severity of fasting and the duration of worship.

During the lent period only nutrition based on plants is in focus. On some days you can eat fish, and one day you should go hungry. On Saturdays and Sundays you can use vegetable oil and drink wine.

Important during the lent period it is necessary to focus on the variety of foods, especially such as beans, nuts, germinated grains, etc.

This age old way of life has now been scientifically justified, a period without meat and other animal products and thus a lack of proteins must be compensated by a combination by a combination of grains, vegetables and nuts.

The process to adopt to the Lent period nutritions needs to be gradual.

The religious purpose of fasting is spiritual perfection. Restrictions in the amount of food eaten are not an end in themselves – they are only a tool to help attain virtue and to restore lost spiritual power. “When curb the flesh, the flesh comes through ease and lightness of the soul.”

Therefore, the lent period should not be used to lose weight, lent and weight loss have nothing in common.

Imbalance in the nutrition during fasting with too few proteins results in muscle loss, fat tissue remains. Therefore, even if you lose during fasting weight it is a bad weight loss as after the end of fasting the weight will return very fast.

During the fasting period the body is challenged by the nutrition change. But at the same time, your organism must receive all necessary substances (proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals and enough water) and the intake should be evenly distributed throughout the day.

Therefore, during the lent period fast sensibly and do not try to abuse lent for weight loss!

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