03: Orthodox Christian Fasting with Cynthia Damaskos


Hey there friend! Here is the THIRD episode of my brand new podcast! The Christian Health Club Podcast is all about firing you up in Spirit, Mind, and Body so you can get out into the world and be everything God created you to be.

Tune in to hear my first guest interview with Cynthia Damaskos, a Certified Holistic Health Coach who specializes in healthy fasting for Orthodox Christians.

The Christian Health Club Podcast




  • (00:00) Intro

  • (00:40) Introducing Cynthia from Holistic Christian Life

  • (03:30) How Cynthia incorporates Spirit => Mind => Body Principles into her day

  • Quote from St. Basil the Great: “When you sit down to eat, pray. When you eat bread, do so thanking Him for being so generous to you. If you drink wine, be mindful of Him who has given it to you for your pleasure and as a relief in sickness. When you dress, thank Him for His kindness in providing you with clothes. When you look at the sky and the beauty of the stars, throw yourself at God’s feet and adore Him who in His wisdom has arranged things in this way. Similarly, when the sun goes down and when it rises, when you are asleep or awake, give thanks to God, who created and arranged all things for your benefit, to have you know, love and praise their Creator.”

  • (06:53) Our take on meditation

    • Prayer is the asking; meditation is the listening

  • (08:29) Cynthia’s evening routine and how consistency helps your sleep

  • (13:20) An overview of Orthodox Fasting tradition

    • Fast for over half of the year when you add up all the days.

      • Three components

        • Abstaining from meat, dairy, eggs, fish, alcohol, and oil.

        • Increased prayer

        • Charitable acts and donations

      • When Orthodox Christians fast

        • Weekly

          • Wednesdays because Judas betrayed Christ

          • Friday because that’s when Christ died on the cross

          • With a few exceptions for times of celebration- just before Lent, between Christmas and Baptism of Jesus on January 6th, and week after Lent.

        • During the entire Lenten season

        • Apostles’ Fast at end of June

        • 1st two weeks of August Fasting

      • Foods focused on during fast- vegetables, beans, legumes, nuts/seeds, fruit, grains

  • (18:05) Eating “Carbage” While Fasting

    • How to avoid eating “carbage” when fasting and keep fasts in the spirit of how they were meant to be. Just because it follows the “rules” doesn’t mean it is benefiting your health.

  • (21:30) How to embark on Orthodox Fasting for those who can’t tolerate legumes and grains

    • Soaking and sprouting your grains and legumes- try that first before writing them off altogether; can also help with nuts

    • You just need to think ahead- hard to make it work in the “go-go-go” culture

    • You can also use a pressure cooker which reduces the negative effects of anti-nutrients in beans- not as good as sprouting though!

  • (25:15) How the Orthodox Lent schedule differs from other Christian denominations

    • Lots of thought goes it into it- Julian vs. Gregorian calendar, also based on moon and equinox

    • Why is it different? In order to observe it in time most closely associated with when Christ truly died on cross

      • Our Easter date in the Gregorian calendar is more based on year-to-year consistency

  • (27:35) How the moon affects our hormonal cycles

    • In the past, women tended to all have their period at the same time.

    • Because we were more in sync with nature and the moon’s cycle.

  • (30:20) How Cynthia personally observes Orthodox fasting

    • Modifying for health challenges- speak with spiritual leaders and decide what’s best for you and if your body can tolerate fasting

    • Not doing it in a legalistic way- doing it in the spirit of pursuing our best health and spiritual goals

    • Treat it as the gift that it is

  • (36:41) Cynthia’s recommendations if someone would like to start Orthodox Christian fasting

    • Depends on your personality…

      • Enneagram Quiz https://www.enneagraminstitute.com/rheti

        • Some people like to follow the rules, some people want more flexibility- so will start with Wed/Fri.

        • Maybe even start with Holy Week. Up to you as an individual!

      • Better Than Before & the 4 Tendencies

        • Accountability strategy in the Christian Health Club

  • (42:40) Anchor Questions

  • (43:24) Cynthia’s Anchor Verse

    • Romans 12:2 NIV “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

    • Our Thoughts Determine Our Lives- Elder Thaddeus https://amzn.to/2XRFzIP

  • (49:00) Cynthia’s Anchor Meal

    • Morning Protein Shake to set Cynthia up for a healthy day

      • Greens + pea protein + grass-fed ghee (no on fasting days) + Brain Octane/MCT oil

      • Compliant with fasting for her but depends on branch of Orthodoxy

  • (51:55) Cynthia’s Book Recommendations

  • (54:42) Get in touch with Cynthia!

  • (57:20) Outro & Disclaimer


Thanks for listening! Have a Healthy and Blessed week!