Going carnivore helped me so much. Depression has lifted, and chronic pain, fatigue, and illness improved drastically. I finally feel healthy and good! But… it is against my religion. And every other part of my Church feels perfect. I’m Orthodox Christian. We are expected to fast much of the year on a vegan-type of diet. Sometimes for long periods of time. #1- I don’t know any doctor I can go to that could say for me, “yes, your church member needs to have fat and meat for necessary health reasons.” #2 -
When I go to my priest, it will not be acceptable because veganism has been pushed and supposedly SO healthy. It was killing me, but no one will believe it. My Church is extremely strict on this rule. And I would not lie to my priest, and he always asks if we have kept the fast. I plan to tell him fat/meat is just what I have to do, but how can I convince him it is absolutely necessary. I actually prefer all other types of food, so isn’t it like I am fasting already all the time? But the religious rules on what not to eat are pretty much set in stone. Animal products are for them a definite no-no on fast days.

(less is more, more or less) #2

I’m a practicing Catholic, but knowing the more inclusive dietary restrictions of my eastern Orthodox brothers and sisters, (a discipline which I admire and tickled I’m not obligated) I wondered about your very question.

A quick google pulls up this article:

I was reading some of the rubrics on fasting, here: https://oca.org/questions/dailylife/orthodox-fasting

I follow a Friday fast (until dinner) and I can see myself accommodating a Wednesday addition.

Well, there’s always fasting?


Thanks! And I could still fast from all food wednesdays and fridays, but leading up to lent it’s a month straight of fasting.

(Jeff Gilbertson) #4

My only “advice” is to relate how I deal with church traditions …

My only rule and authority is the written word of God.
When a man, or an institution, tries to put boundaries on my freedom that are not in accordance with God’s word, I let me conscience be directed by God’s word, not man’s.

I know that must be difficult when faced with going against a religious institution. But, we answer to God, not man.

And … I don’t think there is any biblical justification for putting boundaries around what we eat. Jesus declared all foods clean.



(less is more, more or less) #6

That’s not lost on me. I’m curious where this thread goes.

(Stacy Blanchard) #7

I listened to an episode of Human Performance Outliers podcast with guest Amber O’hearn. This might be a good one for you to hear. She also might have some good insights to studies and other factors that show some people benefit even more than most with an all carnivore diet.
This is a site that is referenced in the podcast to be Amber O’hearns:

(Mike W.) #8

AMEN! No “man” is going to tell me what I can and can’t eat. The Bible already does.

(Karen) #9

You can do keto as a vegetarian AND you can fast. Make it work. Your faith is important and your health. I respect that.


(Katie the Quiche Scoffing Stick Ninja ) #10

Food is my religion so I have no answer for this.
I wouldn’t let no God tell me what I can and can’t eat, and when to eat it.
I am not afraid of death or my own mortality and I don’t have a larger than life faith system to keep my conscience in check. I do that all by myself.

My only response is, you do you!

(Genevieve Biggs) #11

There are orthodox members of the Zero Carb Health group on facebook and we have an entire thread about it. Basically their priests have told them that it would be appropriate to have a modified fast, such as beef only, eggs only, or fish only.

I’m a Lutheran interested in EO, so I understand your dilemma. :blush:

ZC 18 months

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #12

@Johanna The Church has always made an exception for laborers and those who are ill. Surely your health problems that have been helped by going carnivore qualify as illness?

Remember also that the Church makes a distinction between abstinence, which is a change in the quality of food, and fasting, which is a change in the quantity of food. You may not be able to abstain from meat, but perhaps you can at least fast? I don’t know the Orthodox customs, but in the West, it is considered acceptable to fast by eating one small meal and one half meal in a day; not eating at all is highly commendable but supererogatory.

Even if your priest cannot understand, take refuge in our Lord’s mercy. I’m sure he does not condemn you. :cross:

(Alec) #13

Now there’s a word you don’t meet every day! :+1: I had to look it up! :joy::see_no_evil:



You don’t have to, it’s none of his business.

In the past decade many in religious authority have been shown to commit crimes and not follow their own rules. I would not trust another human with my diet or my religious beliefs (if I wished to follow them). Just as with anything in life I discover research and reach my own conclusions.

Good luck.

(Charmaine) #15

I agree with @Genevieve in checking out the thread in ZCH, many found it helpful with Lent and I’m sure it helped when addressing the matter with clergy. I’m simply a born-again Christian, so this isn’t a custom I adhere to, but try to be supportive of those who do for whatever reasons. It will all work out favorably.

(Joey Mooney) #16

As a Catholic, I’m conflicted as well. Technically, we Latins have a more lax canonical definition of what constitutes abstinence, but the old rules are still encouraged. Been listening to Saint John of the Ladder on audiobook and, man, it’s convicting.

This might be a pharisaical workaround (or just prohibitively expensive), but technically invertebrates are allowed in the old rule. I believe for the Greek and Slavonic churches as well. That includes squid, snails, crustaceans, octopus, etc. I would only caution that some of those are actually relatively high in carbs (ie the cephalopods), but it could probably still work, especially if you’re keeping portions small. The fast is about hunger.

Also, for all the Protestants and non-Christians commenting, please be respectful of our traditions. The answer to this question is not “abandon your traditions,” or somehow make this about condemning our priests who are really just looking out for our souls. This is not a moment for you to plug the 700 Club.

(Robin) #17

I believe you are referring to Lent, right?
@PaulL will be able to discuss this with you. He should show up soon.
You are not alone. Many beliefs here and we strive for civility. Welcome to the forum!

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #18

Given that the Church has always made an exemption to the fasting rules for the ill, people who need a ketogenic diet might feel it warranted to claim that exemption. In any case, fasting works very well as a metabolic tool, so that can be used to meet our obligations, as well. As one writer put it, “The Church has always been able to temper the wind for the shorn lamb.”

If you want to get into this more deeply, do feel free to PM me. (This discussion is probably too abstruse for the forums in general.) Let me just say that, theologically the Sundays of Lent are not part of the forty days of fasting and abstinence, so any dietary deficiencies that accrue during the other six days of the week can be rectified then. And lastly, the matter of fasting and abstinence falls mostly under the rubric of Church discipline, not theology, so there is more room for the individual conscience to operate.