In Orthodox teaching fasting is a means to a man dedicates his life to God, to be sanctified and trying to look like the God-man Christ. From the Old Testament, fasting plays an important role in the lives of believers. In the New Testament fasted Christ Himself for forty days in the desert before beginning His ministry, to give an example and lesson to man that by abstaining food cleanses the mind and the soul and man made attraction of divine grace. The era after the Ascension of Christ and after Pentecost, the apostles appointed the faithful to fast on Wednesday and Friday refraining from eating oil, milk and meat. In Lent, the strictest of all the fasts established by the Orthodox Church for forty days the faithful imitate Christ and not eat oil, dairy and meat except Saturday and Sunday getting ready to live the events of Divine Passion and Resurrection .
Anyone who tries to make this fasting will see that this period begins to lose pounds if fasting properly, ie eating with measure the fasting foods in the proportions needed to feed the human body without destroying the health of the body from excessive deprivations of food. We will also begin to feel better, have more physical energy, may be imposed on the passions with greater ease, less angry, eating consciously, not proud, not to criticize, etc. That is in addition to acquiring physical and mental health.
Scientists say they have to watch our diet to have good health. Health, however, teaches that fasting Orthodox Church, that detoxifies the body from harmful toxins borne by the excessive consumption of meat. Man when eating protein at the right dosage, when it sparingly use eggs, fish, legumes, vegetables and dairy products then the body and blood cleanse and rejuvenate the body.
Many times, the Fathers of the Church, taught the monks and laymen believers to do prostrations edafiaies or small. If someone tries to make a edafiaia repentance saying with consciousness and with the right pace Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me, confessing that the Divinity of Christ, sotiriodes work, His Resurrection, the Ascension and the Second Coming of Christ, works your muscles while body, dissolves salts from the bones, stimulates blood circulation and refreshes the body so that it is living life with quality longer than other people who are indifferent to their God and themselves. For example, Saint Anthony the Great, teacher of the desert hermits ate two nuts every two days and lived healthy 105 years!
So, if we decide that we are Orthodox Christians consciously imitators of Christ, our God, and try to keep the fasts established by the Orthodox Church with wisdom, prudence and love for man within divine-human purpose and our prayer we practice with penances and works of love, actually helps not only our souls but our bodies, and we are united with the orthopraxis Orthodoxy! In some holy saints often cited: “fasting, vigil, prayer, heavenly gifts handles …”. We thus apply consistently to fasting and exercise in order to have real, genuine spiritual and physical health. This will transform the motto of our ancient Greek ancestors “a healthy mind in a healthy body”, being based on a measure physical activity and healthy eating, resulting in a wondrous Divine-human personality of our own!
Sevasti koukouva, C2