Fasting ( Greek word nesteia and Latin words jejunium,abstinentia) means a total abstention from food for a certain period of time. Fasting is the only practice which has to do with the nutrition of the body, having a direct effect upon its physical nature, which in turn affects spiritual health as well. It is especially for certain days and seasons, mainly as a preparation for a feast. Also fasting is practiced for self-control of the spirit and the flesh.

The suggested minimum fasting in duration and in foods which might be abstained by those who are weak in body is:
the first week of Lent and that of Holy Week;
one week before Christmas;
two days before Holy Apostles Day (June 29);
one day before the Transfiguration of Christ (August 6);
two days before the Repose of Theotokos (August 15);
Friday around the year;
one day before the Exaltation of the Cross (September 14).

During all fast periods many Orthodox Christians total abstain from meat, fish and all dairy products are observed, except when fish is permitted. The use of vegetable oils is permitted during fast periods, although olive oil may be used only on Saturdays and Sundays of Lent. Margarine and vegetable products of all kinds may be classified as fast foods. Some sea foods, (shrimp, oyster, lobster, crab meat, octopus,shellfish are considered permissible fast foods.)

See a famous Greek dish which is also a fast food.

A recipe for a fasting period



3-Medium-Carrots (Sliced)
3-Item-Celery Leaves (Chopped)
1-lb-Navy Beans 1-Cup-Olive Oil
1-Medium-Onion (Chopped)
1-Pinch-Pepper (To taste)
1-Pinch-Salt (To taste)
1-Cup-Tomato sauce
Soak the beans in water from the previous night.
Strain the water and place the beans in a pot with new water.
Boil for a while and once again strain.
Again put the beans in the pot, add the rest of the ingredients, add enough water to make it soupy and slowly boil for an hour.