Greetings, everyone! It is wonderful to be back recording these podcasts. For those of you that have listened to some of my podcasts in the past, as you know I took a break to develop a hands-on workshop that I could conduct at churches and retreats, just to provide guidance and teach some of these principles that we discussed in the podcasts of eating in a faith—based manner. For those of you that I got to meet, when I was at your church, or at the retreat doing a workshop — it was wonderful to have that one—on—one time and actually get to meet with the person, and I hope to get to meet many more of you in the future. That would be a lot of fun. As you know, that’s the reason I took the break, was to develop that workshop.
Now, I have been granted a wonderful blessing of an opportunity by Ancient Faith Publishing to put this work that we’ve done in the podcasts and the workshops into book format. And, so, towards the end of November, Ancient Faith Publishing is going to be releasing the book on this subject matter. The book is entitled Food, Faith, and Fasting: A Sacred Journey to Better Health. I’m really excited about this book that is coming out, because I pray that, God willing, it can be a tool for many of us to start looking and caring for our health in a spiritually—minded manner, allowing the wisdom of the Eastern Orthodox tradition to be our guide. The book is designed to be utilized in community, with your family, or even by yourself. It is a hands—on approach to making this lifestyle work for you in your everyday living. The book is designed to read about a concept, then I have what I call training tools embodied in each of the chapters. And the training tools are the things that you do in your daily life to make this lifestyle something that becomes more permanent, and the way you live. So, before you know it, you are eating and caring for health with the ancient Christian tradition being your guide.
I really encourage you to possibly look at the upcoming new year, when we have all of these different diets thrown at us in many different ways, and maybe decide to take the lead in your church community, or even in your work community or neighborhood, with other Christians that are trying to care for their health in a spiritually—minded manner. This book is designed with the Eastern Orthodox teachings being our guide to care for health, but many Christians of the protestant and Catholic traditions have found these principles beneficial for them also. If you can set a group up in your church with your fellow Orthodox Christians that you worship with, that would be a great thing. Or, like I said, maybe open it up to people in your work environment that are open to Christian values or are following the Catholic or protestant traditions. The book is designed to have you read subject matter, then take a week or two to apply the different strategies that are given in the chapter into your daily life. So, if you do plan on reading this book in community, I encourage you to set up a schedule just like that. The group will meet once a week or every other week, read the chapter, do the different exercises, then come together as a group to discuss it. And there are some guidelines and suggestions to make that happen for you in the book. But, again, you can simply read it with your family or by yourself.
The most important thing, when you’re making a behavior change, is to keep yourself focused and on—track. To have a start date and an end date is a very good approach. The great thing about this is that we can have instant support when we are doing it with others. But, because it is going to be very applicable to our everyday lives, we are all going to walk away with different exercises that just become who we are and how we eat. With the holidays upon us and the Nativity Fast slowly approaching, we know it’s going to be time to buy gifts to celebrate the birth of Christ. I encourage people, maybe put this book on your wishlist, or, if you’re looking for a gift for someone that you think might be interested in this subject matter, something you can do is: buy the book and maybe buy a nice apron, and use the apron as the wrapping paper. Or, another thing, there are many featured recipes in the book. You might want to buy some of the ingredients for some of the recipes and incorporate that as a portion of your gift. Or, simply, just give the book. Hopefully the person you’re giving it to will benefit from it and possibly, God willing, enjoy it a bit.
So what we are going to do in the upcoming weeks, we are going to take just a short amount of time and review what each chapter is about. So, I just wanted to briefly let you know that this book will be coming out at the end of November and just give you a rundown of what the chapters are about. And, just know that the upcoming podcasts that are released in the next few weeks will give you more detail in terms of what each chapter entails. The first chapter is about developing a sacred relationship with food. What does that look like? And what are some things that we need to apply in our everyday life to make this happen? The second chapter features what we should be eating. St. Seraphim of Sarov teaches us that we need to fortify our bodies to aid us in prayer. So, what does it really mean to fortify our bodies? Chapter three features portion control. We hear portion control and we’re just like, “Aaah! That’s my problem!” Lots of people share that with me, so that’s what the third chapter of the book focuses on. Week four is a chapter that focuses on fasting, and how we can deepen our practice of this discipline when we are in fasting days or fasting periods in our liturgical calendar. Week five focuses on exercise and how to make it happen in a joyful and beneficial way. Finally, in week six we look at managing stress. The word is out: Stress is a killer! It is affecting our health in so many different ways. In chapter six, we are going to focus on ways to manage it in a faith—based approach.
I look forward to connecting with you in future podcasts, just to provide some snippets from the book and we’ll, in general, continue to explore this relationship, caring for our health in a faith-based manner with the Eastern Orthodox tradition as our guide. It’s wonderful to be back with you, and I thank you all for your support that you have lended me to complete this book. God willing it will benefit many. I’m looking forward to connecting with you soon!