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  • Orthodox Fast

    Howdy all, this is my first post to the forum, though I've been a daily apple devotee for quite a while.

    I've been grappling with this issue for quite a while:
    I'm an Orthodox Christian, and for those of you (probably most of you, if you're American) who aren't familiar with Orthodoxy, we have a lot of fasting periods/seasons, and fasting days. For starters, every Wed and Fri all year are fast days, and then we have long fasting periods, like Lent, for example.

    Fasting in our church does not mean complete abstinence from food, but usually total abstinence from meat, dairy and eggs, and often from fish, oil and wine as well. Shellfish, BTW, is never restricted.

    I'm trying to find ways to keep it as primal as possible during fasts, especially as my sports/lifting activity doesn't diminish at all.
    Thanks!
    Jim

  • #2
    I'm Orthodox too, though not observant so I don't fast. But around Easter/Passover I joke with a Jewish friend of mine (who's a grain-loving vegetarian) about how we should switch because during Passover she's denied her grains and I, the carnivore, am supposed to not eat meat! I know a lot of people who eat fish (fish fish, not just shellfish) during the fasting periods - most people assume it's allowed, even though they may not technically be (I'm allergic to seafood in any case so it's not an option for me). You can also use coconut oil to cook your foods. Most protein supplements would be out of the question too, unless you go the soy protein route, but that's not good at all! If I were you I would try to get as much protein as possible from seafood sources and stock up on fat from coconuts!
    Last edited by unchatenfrance; 07-12-2011, 08:34 AM.

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    • #3
      Thing is, I'm quite observant, and as such, I don't bend the fast at all, barring some sort of illness or crazy extenuating circumstances.

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      • #4
        In that case you may just have to make peace with the fact that your protein intake will suffer, although of course this will not cause any irreparable damage in the long-term. You may also want to re-evaluate your goals during the fast period - ie. instead of trying to lose weight/build muscle (or whatever your goals may be) just try to maintain your current body comp without losing muscle or gaining fat. If you're doing any cardio you may want to cut it out as well, but keeping with the heavy lifting will help prevent muscle loss.
        Last edited by unchatenfrance; 07-12-2011, 08:53 AM.

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        • #5
          If shellfish are allowed at all times I'd find a good source of shrimp and scallops, buy in bulk, and get good at cooking them in coconut oil and/or coconut milk.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Jimcbrooklyn View Post
            Fasting in our church does not mean complete abstinence from food, but usually total abstinence from meat, dairy and eggs, and often from fish, oil and wine as well. Shellfish, BTW, is never restricted.

            I'm trying to find ways to keep it as primal as possible during fasts, especially as my sports/lifting activity doesn't diminish at all.
            Chris Masterjohn over at the Daily Lipid mentioned Orthodox fasting awhile back. He says it's similar in some ways to what some Paleo-oriented people do. Tim Ferris, apparently, eats quite a high-protein diet most of the time but deliberately drops it down to 5% of calories one day a week. It seems occasional low-protein punctuations may have some health benefits particularly as regards longevity:

            The Daily Lipid: Can Christians Be Paleo? Christianity, Faith, Evidence, Dobzhansky, Evolution, and More

            I don't know what Ferris does on a 5% day—I'm not sure he doesn't just eats some wheaten bread plus other plant foods that supply the missing amino acids, in the way that vegetarians do. If so, whether that's a good idea or not ... it depends on how sensitive one is to the anti-nutrients in wheat and to gluten I guess.

            Maxing out on loads of shellfish just because it's not disallowed seems like it would be breaking the religious discipline in spirit—like looking for a loophole. But I'm not Orthodox, so I can't really comment on that. And if there really are health benefits to occasional cyclic low-protein eating, then you'd miss out on that, too.

            I think if it were me I would just go with the low-protein meals (and maybe diminish the activity just for that time if necessary). It seems fairly Grokish in a way—he couldn't always guarantee a kill. But I'm not sure whether by "as primal as possible" you mean in the sense "with a macronutrient ratio that allows a fair bit of protein" or in the sense "such as to avoid anti-nutrients as much as possible". Maybe you'd mean both, or something else again ...

            I think it's a fascinating area. It would be interesting to know more about what Tim Ferris and Chris Masterjohn think on the topic.

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            • #7
              I'm orthodox too but don't do the fasts but my parents do. Just eat more protein lower carbs the other days and Wed and Fri can be more starchy veg, even rice plus fruit. You've given me thought to think about doing this again myself as I did fast whilst living with parents.
              Last edited by Sue; 07-12-2011, 05:45 PM.

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              • #8
                JimC, for a second there I thought I was on OCnet. During fasting seasons I have a rice protein and coconut milk shake almost every morning. As unchatenfrance mentioned, I had to think about maintaining my health as opposed to planning on making major strides. Fasting periods being for spiritual development I can accept that. During Lent this year I suppose I took in about 60 grams of protein each day, most of that coming from the rice protein, but I did allow myself soaked and sprouted chickpeas as well, with little or no adverse effects. I ate a fair number of salads with avocado and tahini. It got boring, but I suppose there is benefit in that as well.

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                • #9
                  Another Primal Orthodox Christian here and looking to connect with others to help me blend the two WOEs (please let me know if there are any blogs or webrings that help with this).

                  With the Nativity Fast approaching, do you basically go Kitavan? Would a Primaldox WOE allow for one to cut themselves some slack on legumes during the fasts since the Primal Blueprint says these are an OK but not optimum food?

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                  • #10
                    I've never even met an Orthodox Christian before and now this board is crazy with them?

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                    • #11
                      Define your religion, don't let your religion define you.

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                      • #12
                        Hi, Bosnic, I am not really here to debate but like most people (whether atheist or theist) I define myself by my beliefs.

                        I am just curious as to how others who share my philosophical worldview (Eastern Orthodoxy) practice the Primal way of eating while keeping the spiritual discipline of our fasting seasons.

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                        • #13
                          Michael Miles, the Eastern Orthodox editor of "Nutrition and Physical Regeneration" has written on this subject: Nutrition and Physical Regeneration The Great Fast: Orthodoxy, Lent And Real Food

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by yoder View Post
                            Michael Miles, the Eastern Orthodox editor of "Nutrition and Physical Regeneration" has written on this subject: Nutrition and Physical Regeneration The Great Fast: Orthodoxy, Lent And Real Food
                            Thanks Yoder, that looks great! I have also been doing the IF on Wednesdays and Fridays as he has. Lts of good info in that article for me. I appreciate it.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by yoder View Post
                              Michael Miles, the Eastern Orthodox editor of "Nutrition and Physical Regeneration" has written on this subject: Nutrition and Physical Regeneration The Great Fast: Orthodoxy, Lent And Real Food
                              Yes, thank you.

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