Nativity Fast

In 2016, the Nativity Fast begins Tuesday, November 15. It’s more lenient than Great Lent because we are fasting out of joy in anticipation of the birth of Christ.

Fasting Guidelines*
November 15 through December 19:
Monday, Wednesday & Friday: We joyfully abstain from all meat, fish, eggs, dairy, oil & wine.
Tuesday & Thursday: Same as above, but oil and wine are permitted.
Saturday & Sunday: Oil, wine & fish are permitted.

December 20 through December 24:
Monday – Friday: We joyfully abstain from all meat, fish, eggs, dairy, oil & wine.
Saturday & Sunday: Same as above, but oil and wine are permitted.

The fast is broken after the Christmas Divine Liturgy has been celebrated.

*These are the general fasting guidelines, yours may vary. Speak to your spiritual father if you have any questions.

All the recipes on this blog are Lenten, some with oil and some without – check out my Recipe Index!

Simple Ways to Veganize Recipes


Butter = margarine, or in come cases simply replace with oil
Milk = water or canned coconut milk
Oil in baked goods = full fat canned coconut milk, or apple sauce (obviously the final product will be very different depending on whether you go with full fat or fat free!)

In some instances, tahini and/or avocado are great substitutes for cheese; for example, in quesadillas – or try a grilled avocado sandwich!

Tahini is also great for making soups creamy. After the rest of the soup is prepared, simply drizzle in tahini while stirring and it will thicken right up (add a little a time so it doesn’t get too thick). You’ll probably have to adjust the seasonings again after tahini is added.

Other Ideas
Steamed veggies and baked potatoes with tahini sauce, dry roasted nuts, fresh or dried fruit, pita bread with olives and hummus, sushi with or without fish (depending on the day). Many cereals are Lenten, try them rice, almond, coconut, or soy milk. Or with orange juice, that’s how my Tete and sister do it. Can’t say I’m really a fan of that, though. Ants on a log, bananas or apples with peanut butter or other nut butters.

For days when oil is permitted, you can make a quick dinner of angel hair pasta with olive oil, salt, garlic & parsley, maybe add some sauteed onions and broccoli. Serve it with garlic bread made with margarine or oil, and a salad on the side. You can make any cream of [insert vegetable] soup by replacing the dairy milk with a non-dairy beverage (a plain, unsweetened variety, of course).
Indian curries are nice and can be made with or without the oil.

Try adding nuts to your meals to help fill you up. Carbs are wonderful, but too much will give you a sugar buzz and you’ll just end up feeling sluggish later. Beans & legumes are full of protein and iron, try to eat them once a day. A hot meal in the morning, like oatmeal, cream of wheat, or teff porridge, will give you a little boost – especially in wintertime.

Still have questions? Feel free to post them on this page!

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