great fast meals
Since May 2017 a medical condition has forced me and my family
to begin what many call a whole foods, plant based, oil free diet.
Because of our Byzantine heritage and tradition,
and because we do it for love of each other,
we call it perpetual fasting and its not as difficult as you might think.
Let me show you!
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The Nativity Fast
November 15-December 24
November 28-January 6
What is True Fasting?
On November 15, we will begin Philip's fast. It is a fast of 40 days (during which the faithful abstain from animal foods, as they do during Great Lent) that continues from the day after the feast of St. Philip until Christmas Eve to spiritually prepare for the coming of the Savior. Many contend that the fast is attributed to the 40 days of prayer after the anniversary of the death of St.Philip and may have nothing to do with the feast of the Nativity. Nevertheless, it does take place forty days before this great feast and many eastern Christians use it to prepare themselves for its celebration. We can do this by fasting from meat and dairy, from sweets, from whatever we chose to be most meaningful to us, or we can prepare in other ways.
It isn't really known when such a fast was introduced. Some say it was observed as early as the sixth century, although some say later in the eighth. However, it was in the year 1166 AD that the Nativity Fast was first formally instituted at a synod at Constantinople to imitate the 40 days that Moses fasted before receiving the tablets of the law.
It is clear that the fast is designed to prepare us both physically and spiritually for the coming of the Savior at Christmas. We are asked to abstain from meat and dairy products, eggs, and oil, just as we do during the Great Fast, but the rules are a bit less strict. We may eat fish and are allowed oil and wine on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and weekends, and on feast days such as the Presentation of the Theotokos and St. Nicholas day.
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way of life!
Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate, Completed October 2020, from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies and eCornell!
My new book is out!...
As you may already know, my family has been advised by our cardiologist to adopt a perpetual fast in order to combat a family health crisis. We've adopted a whole-foods, plant-based, no oil diet...just like our Eastern Christian fast!...full time, and now that we've done it, I can help you get through 40 days of fasting too.
Here are a few of ByziMom's Great Fast Recipes:
Fajita Night: sweet potato tortillas, unfried beans, oil-free vegetable stir fry, cashew nacho sauce, Mexican quinoa, etc.
Listen in as I chat with Cynthia Damaskos from The Holistic Christian LIfe
about my new book,
The ByziMom's Guide to Great Fast Meals!
What's for dinner tonight?
We commemorate the Apostle Thomas each year on October 6. Legend says that when the apostles drew lots to determine where each would go to spread the Gospel, the region of Persia and India fell to St. Thomas.
Once again, he doubted that he could do the job and claimed his health would not permit him to withstand the trip. Thomas was eventually sold to an Indian merchant, as God's will would eventually be done, who took him back with him to India to assist in the building of a palace for a king there. This is how he became the patron saint of architects and builders and why he is often depicted with a carpenter's square.
Once in India, he gave the money he was given for the project to the poor and convinced the king that his palace in heaven would be magnificent.
The Syro-Malabar Church today, in the region known as Kerala in southern India, claims that the apostle Thomas was their teacher. Here is a recipe from that region to help your family remember the people that St. Thomas converted to Christ!