People's personal reasons for fasting are different. Some want to observe the Christian meaning of fasting, while for others they are a convenient reason to cleanse themselves of accumulated toxins. In any case, especially from today's point of view, the effort of physical and spiritual purification is a real test of the spirit, which if you pass, you will surely experience harmony with yourself
“90% of pain comes from improper eating. The cells in the organism are constantly changing. The new ones are protected by the trap we dig. And if it is full of chemicals, it is clear that these cells will not grow he althy. It breaks down, there are diseases when a person eats little and gets fat, and they lead to a slow metabolism. Food is the most important thing for our he alth, without neglecting the movement of fresh air, but the base is food. And when one realizes this, diseases will decrease.
Restricting the amount of food is the way to he alth, and it is not the weight change that is important, but the return of our youth and tone. During the Christmas fasts, there are days with a strict diet when only vegetable food and oil - preferably olive oil - are allowed. During the rest of the time, wine, fish and seafood are allowed, except for Wednesdays and Fridays, when strict fasting is again observed. Dairy products are not allowed and fish and seafood are eaten on some of the days. We must be smiling and happy, this is a purification of not only the physical body", explains nutritionist Dr. Lyudmila Emilova.
Dr. Emilova, are fasting useful or harmful?
- I say “yes” to the fasts at the time when the canon imposes them. They are extremely useful. It is no coincidence that the ancient Bulgarians, who applied them strictly, were the longest-lived nation in the world. I recommend everyone to fast on Christmas, but not to overdo it with white flour and white sugar. Everyone has a need at certain times of the year to cleanse from animal foods. Many, if not all, scientific studies show that the more animal foods we consume, the greater our risk of cancer. In addition, the peak of the osteoporosis is larger. If we don't consume animal food, but switch to a lighter food, more fruits, vegetables, this would certainly make it possible for the horse to become stronger.
However, fasting is not recommended for sick people…
- Useful vitamins and minerals are not found in meat, cheese and other animal foods. They are in raw fruits and vegetables. Mostly in raw nuts and seeds. So there is no need to fear fasting, even if we are sick, quite the opposite. Moreover, man was created as a fruit-eating animal.
People trying fasting for the first time feel more nervous and irritable than usual. What is this due to?
- The modern urban man has so long and persistently messed with his organism that it tends to resist attempts at a more gentle treatment. Overdoing white flour, white sugar, meat delicacies, chips, alcohol, coffee, energy drinks makes us not only very sick and fat, but also addicted to harmful habits. By stopping, for example, the "drug" of meat and ultra-sweet sodas, the high arousal to which we have voluntarily subjected ourselves diminishes, and this causes confusion and a sense of demobilization. But this feeling lasts only a short time and does not necessarily appear in everyone. It is important that poisons accumulated over the years in various organs begin to be cleansed during fasting and
this is associated with some discomfort preceding healing processes
You may experience a headache or dizziness, but this goes away in a day or two.
Fasting is really a purification because not only food but also thoughts can be harmful and poisonous. When we have decided to start the change in ourselves, it is not necessary to trumpet it and share it insistently with everyone around. Immersion provides opportunities for reflection and self-evaluation, and when we are responsible for our he alth, we will naturally set an example for the people we love to follow our path. Let's start it with an apple for breakfast and a smile all day long.
What do you think is the difference between fasting and veganism?
- The similarities between fasting and veganism are more than the differences. In both, animal foods, alcohol, sweets and drinks from glossy advertisements are stopped and a path to he alth based on harmony with nature is sought. Orthodox traditions are observed during fasting in our country, while vegans adhere to complete abstinence from any kind of animal products throughout the year.
It should be noted that in the recent past, Bulgarians ate vegetables and fruits, whole grain bread, honey, pulses, nuts, etc., the children were breastfed until they were 2-3 years old, and the yogurt did contain Lactobacillus bulgaricus. Meat from a freshly slaughtered animal was put on the table in four short periods of the year, always preceded by fasts and oriented towards the festive ritual in the crowded Bulgarian families. Nothing was overdone, that's why people were able to work until old age. By the time of the Christmas fasts, the rich autumn harvest had already been harvested and in the homes there was a variety of seasonal vegetables, grapes, apples, pumpkins, dried fruits, walnuts, hazelnuts, seeds, etc., with which a variety of nutrition and the supply of vitamins were ensured, minerals and trace elements.
Unlike veganism, you can eat fish and seafood and drink wine on fasting days. Of course, not for feasts, but if a certain - joyful or sad occasion requires it. In this period, the Nikulden Kurban is also made, which necessarily includes fresh fish. Both during fasting and in vegan cuisine, vegetable fat - olive oil - is used, but in limited quantities.
The highest degree of refusal to destroy living things for food is raw food. It is gradually transitioned to, but it is preferred by many of my patients who got rid of diseases that could not be cured by the methods of official medicine and decided to keep the achieved excellent results. Dishes, desserts and fresh drinks made from raw products are extremely useful and the recipes for them are constantly being enriched. It is not important what we will call them - veganism or fasting, what is important is the result of our changed thinking and the conviction not to transgress natural laws.
Lately there has been talk about the miraculous power of ginger, it has become part of many diets and recipes…
- He is truly amazing. But it should be taken with caution by people who have stomach problems. It doesn't matter if it's tea or a recipe that says we have to grate it and mix it with something.
It is amazing for boosting the immune system for any kind of infections, they are an open door for cancers. So ginger can be taken as an anti-infection and anti-cancer agent. But it is important not to harm the body. There is a very popular and proven recipe for the treatment of joint pain - grate ginger root, mix it with honey and take one teaspoon of this miraculous medicine in the morning, at noon and in the evening. If we want to take this mixture, we have to start with very small amounts.
Can we get rid of serious diseases only with the help of proper nutrition?
- I am adamant that we can protect ourselves. Such research has been done. Different types of food are placed among a group of cancer cells. It can be seen that where garlic is placed, the development of cancer stops. And this turns out to be the best remedy against him. And you know that it has been used by Bulgarians for centuries. Now it has proven again how useful it is. The same goes for beans. You know the Bulgarians survived because they feasted on it for most of the year. Of course, let's include our yogurt in this number. But it was eaten on certain days of the year - on the days when the sheep and goats gave milk. Cows were rare back in the day and were the privilege of rich people.
In recent years, it turned out that beans are more useful than we thought. It can protect us from diabetes as well as even cure us. We go back to what we know from our great-grandmothers and great-grandfathers about the way they lived and ate. And if we add the fasts, about 200 days a year, with the help of which they unloaded themselves from all animal foods, here is a wonderful recipe for a long and he althy life.
What foods should we not mix?
- Under no circumstances should we combine animal foods with white flour and white sugar. When we eat animal food, we should combine it only with raw vegetables. And something very important - we should not eat meat, fish, cheese and yellow cheese with bread, potatoes and rice. Foods that contain a lot of carbohydrates are not combined with animal foods, but with a huge vegetable salad. We can also add steamed or grilled vegetables. Zucchini, onions, carrots, eggplant, grilled, are extremely tasty and useful. And one golden rule - you should leave the table slightly hungry.
We replace meat with vegetable proteins
Excluding meat and dairy products, we need to replace them with those of other origins. These are dishes with beans, lentils, rice - especially brown, bulgur, wheat, chickpeas, quinoa, mushrooms, avocados, any kind of sprouts, soy products - tofu, milk, soy mince and schnitzels, vegetable cheese and cheese, dried fruits, sprouts and whole grains. Also add nuts and seeds to your menu - peanuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, sesame, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, etc
During fasting, we need to eat more fruits and vegetables, which will provide the body with valuable vitamins and minerals - don't forget to include apples, oranges, kiwis in the menu.
During Lent it's the season for potatoes, cabbage, beets, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, spinach, leeks, squash, there are still eggplants. You can also eat peas, okra, Brussels sprouts, corn, beans, which can be found frozen in most stores.
Almost all types of pasta are suitable for fasting. However, pay attention to the label for the presence of eggs or other animal products.
Olive oil has the properties to cleanse the body of accumulated fats, so its use will help even more to cleanse the body of toxins.