Addendum: After some research I’ve had to make some corrections to the 55 maxims list. #7 has become 2. See this post that explains. See printables below.
Welcome to Maxim Monday! Today is Week # 7 in our journey through the Maxims: Eat good foods in moderation, and fast on fasting days.
Here is what Fr. Thomas Hopko says about his 7th Maxim of Christian Living.
Eat good foods in moderation. Fast on fasting days, and of course during Lent that’s an entire fast. But eating good foods, not the kind of foods that could harm you and eating in moderation and when fasting, fasting in secret.
You don’t have to be an Orthodox Christian to reap the benefits of all parts of this Maxim of Christian Living and even the 2nd & 3rd parts of this. I’d like to add to what Fr. Thomas says.
In most if not all major religions of the world we observe periods of fasting but from a scientific point of view there are actual health benefits to fasting. I found an article on ABC News called “Lent, Ramadan and other fasting periods have benefits for body and mind”. This article states that eating and digesting can take a toll on our bodies.
and taking the odd break from that can be a good thing, says Professor Amanda Salis, who researches severe energy restriction at the University of Sydney. “There is some collateral damage from eating, there’s also food that contain free radicals and that causes some damage to your body,” she said.
We often get overly concerned about food, obsessed. And it is everywhere. We celebrate any and all phases of life wrapped up in food. Any excuse to get together is all about food. And in our western cultures mostly it isn’t even good food. (more on that in a minute) In this article we see there can be mental health benefits of fasting as well:
Fasting can also help you reset your relationship with food, according to psychologist Meredith Fuller. Ms Fuller, who has taken part in fasting for health, not religious reasons, said she sees it as a way of respecting her own health and wellbeing.
And absolutely everyone can benefit from Fr. Thomas’ 3rd point, eating good foods, not the kind of foods that could harm. This part is most likely one of the most difficult parts because we live in a world, in an age, where a vast majority of our food is processed. Is this this food, what I like to call “food like product” really healthy for us? (Speaking of “_____ like product”, have you ever noticed on some cheese foods you actually can see it isn’t cheese at all by seeing in the small print “cheese like product”. You can even buy ice cream now that literally says, “frozen dairy dessert” on it, instead of ice cream. Become a label reader!) One of the most eye-opening and fascinating books anyone could ever read is The Case Against Sugar by Gary Taubes and another equally eye-opening, In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto. The 2nd one is probably the easier read, the 1st one changed my life more.
I don’t mean to go down the rabbit trail of the food industry but I could go on and on about this sort of thing. I’m an avid label reader and they do open our eyes to the harmful ingredients that many of us consume.
I am grateful this is one of our 55 Maxims and well worth some focus.
Feel free to print your Maxim #7 reminder (click on the image below) to post on your fridge or cupboard. May we Journey to Joy through these 55 Maxims one at a time, and may they ever help us more clearly keep our eyes on Jesus, the Resurrection and the Life of the world!