Lent 2022: basic rules and principles of nutrition
After the end of the oil week, on March 7, the longest and, perhaps, the most important fast for the Orthodox begins. Lent is a period of restrictions, purification and preparation for the main holiday – Easter.
There are many different tasks that are set for believers during this period. It is necessary to visit the temple as often as possible in order to move away from the bustle of the world and devote more time to prayers. It is important to pay attention to yourself, your inner world, and avoid judging or teaching others. In addition, try to do good deeds and help those who need it.
You cannot quarrel and use foul language; you should also abstain from alcohol, which provokes emancipation. It’s best to postpone big, fun events like weddings.
Spiritual cleansing must go simultaneously with bodily restrictions. If we look into history, we will see that the first fasts were hour-long (up to 40 hours) and completely hungry. A multi-day fast was created so that food would be inexpensive and quick to prepare. And the saved money and time had to be spent on good deeds and charity, as well as serving the church. Over time, too strict restrictions began to affect health, so certain relaxations appeared.
Today there are clear instructions about what the menu should be during Lent. It is worth completely abandoning:
- meat, meat products;
- chicken, eggs;
- dairy and fermented milk products.
Monday, Wednesday and Friday are the days when you should eat cold, raw food. Suitable products are those that have not been subjected to heat treatment: vegetables, fruits, pickles, nuts, honey.
On Tuesday and Thursday, the menu may include hot food. These can be lean soups, porridges, legumes, mushrooms, stewed vegetables.
On Saturday and Sunday it is permissible to eat food with the addition of vegetable oil. An occasional glass of wine is allowed.
During Lent there are two fish days – on the Annunciation (April 7) and on Palm Sunday (April 17). On these days, dishes with fish are allowed. On April 16, Lazarus Saturday, Orthodox Christians can include fish caviar in their menu.
The Lenten menu includes a huge number of products, including:
- soy and other plant milks;
- beans, chickpeas, lentils and other legumes;
- leaf salads and greens;
- fruits and berries;
- inconvenient baked goods.
Food, although an important part of fasting, is far from the main thing. That is why dietary restrictions are acceptable for pregnant women, children and people with serious illnesses. And everyone should strive for the spiritual component of Lent.