Fasting As A Family: A Giveaway and Book Review!


O, how I wish I had this book, Fasting As A Family by Melissa Naasko, when we first started fasting about 18 years ago–WISH! It could’ve helped me to worry less during Lent and the other fasts about ‘what on earth will I cook,’ ‘what will I pack my husband to eat for lunch,’ and ‘are the kids getting enough protein.’ It would have also saved us from living off of french fries, frozen garden burgers, ramen noodles and PB & J during those first years.

Since neither Manny or I grew up fasting, learning to fast was hard. Not only the ins and outs of switching to the mostly vegan fasting rules, but learning also the purpose and goal of fasting in the first place.

In Fasting As A Family, Melissa draws from her experience as a mama of 11, a seasoned cook, food blogger, and professional recipe developer to break down the different aspects of preparing and maintaining the fast. I am certain  even single men and women would benefit from Melissa’s wisdom (this isn’t just a book for families). She discusses budgets, and ways to get in needed protein and nutrients without going broke (who hasn’t frustratingly spent more on food during fasts instead of less?!). Melissa also provides helpful information about stocking the pantry, making a meal planner, and also a section for people with special needs in their diets (i.e. food allergies, etc.). Not to mention, a great selection of recipes, including ideas for food on the good, snacks, and fast friendly food for special occasions.

I still have things to learn, which is why I am happy to have this new book and know it will be helpful to so many other people, both seasoned vets and newbies to fasting. I have read the entire book and have made some of the recipes–delicious! The kids actually told me they were looking forward to eating “Mrs. Naasko’s lentil tacos” once the fast started (The entire family dislikes lentils, but the lentil taco recipe is a favorite here)! I fry up some shells, make some guacamole, red chile, serve them with shredded lettuce, diced onions and tomatoes with some rice on the side and we have a wonderful Lenten meal that everyone eats.

This Lent we won’t be fasting full time because we are expecting! In order for me to eat what I need to and also help the rest of the family fast, I plan on using this new book to help me with meal planning, and simplifying. I definitely need to have meals planned, shopping done, and food that is nutritious, not expensive, and quick to get in all the extra prayer services, get schoolwork and housework done, all while considering the exhaustion that goes along with pregnancy.

As a thank you to all of our wonderful readers, we purchased an extra copy of this book to give away to one of you. We want to make this as easy as possible so simply leave a comment here on the blog and we will pick a random number on March 26th and announce the winner here with a quick post (we will also email you so make sure to comment and login with an email address).  Please share this post with friends so they can hear about this great book and enter for a chance to win a copy too. Thank so much and we pray you all have a blessed Lent, Holy Week and Pascha!

Quick Note: No purchase is required to win, and no purchase will improve the odds of winning. I was not paid for my opinion or the giveaway, and my opinion is my own. The giveaway ends March 26th at 6pm CDT. We will announce the winner on the blog and contact the winner by email. If we haven’t received winner’s address within 48 hours of the drawing, we will choose a second winner.




  1. I’ll take a chance to win this book! We have learned much through the 15 years of trying to keep the fast, but there is always room for improvement!

  2. Brittany Kearns says:

    Sounds like an amazing book! I would love a copy!

  3. Sounds like a great resource!

  4. I have been following Melissa’s journey of putting this book together & would love a copy! Thanks for the opportunity! God bless!

  5. What an amazing resourse for families.

  6. Hannah Grajeda says:

    Looks like an amazing book! 🙂

  7. You’re pregnant? ! <3 Did I miss you telling us before or is this your sneaky way of letting us know? Congratulations! Wonderful news. 🙂

  8. This looks like an excellent cookbook for Lenten meals!

  9. This looks fantastic! Thanks for the review and giveaway!

  10. Lentil tacos sound like such a cool idea!! I recently was introduced to lentils, but outside of chili and lentil-carrot casserole, haven’t tried out too many recipes with them yet.
    I am very much intrigued with this book; my husband and I, as Roman Catholics, don’t do near as hardcore fasting stuff as y’all (something I’ve admired about Eastern Catholics and Christians for quite some time), but we try to eat fairly simply year-round, especially on Fridays and in Lent. Thanks for offering this giveaway and helpful review! I hope that you and your family have a blessed Holy Week!

  11. Ruth Kendall says:

    I am a nursing mama who would benefit from a book like this! Thank you!

  12. I keep telling a friend of mine that the Great Fast totally intimidates me. It sounds silly to say tjis, but it is one thing that keeps me (and the rest of my family) out of the Eastern church.

    • Denise,

      You’re not silly but definitely don’t be intimated! Keeping the full fast is hard but it isn’t meant to be impossible. Fasting is a tool, a means to an end. Any good priest will tell you to do what you can and start slow. Jumping into the full fast for the first time is never a good idea! Abbot Nicholas at the monastery has always said, “Aim high and do what you can.” This book can definitely help with making fasting easier!

      Thanks for reading!

      God bless,


  13. I have been considering purchasing this book, but don’t mind taking my chances 😉 The recipes sound delicious!!

  14. Jenée Blanco says:

    We are in our 3rd year of Orthodoxy and are living off all of those foods you mentioned – french fries, garden burgers, ramen noodles and PB & J! Ha! You mean there are other foods we can be eating? 😉

  15. Thanks for the chance to win what looks like a great recipe book!

  16. Yes, please! I am newer Catholic and can use all the help I can get!

  17. This book sounds like an amazing resource for so many people!

  18. I think this is going to be a great recipe book!

  19. What an awesome giveaway! I’ve been intrigued by this cookbook since Melissa started posting about it. 🙂

  20. Angela Haddad says:

    God bless you and your wonderful ministry! A copy of this book would be great not just during lent but throughout the year (especially since my husband is a vegetarian).

  21. Michelle Therese says:

    Now this is a must-have book indeed!

  22. Martha Asarisi says:

    looks like a great book!!!

  23. I’d love to win a copy!

  24. I would Iove to win this. It is always a struggle for me coming up with meals for the fast. I just started following the author on IG several weeks ago.

  25. I’m not officially Orthodox yet, but I’ve been following the fast for Great Lent for many years. Glad to know about this book and this website!

  26. The book sounds great! Another one that really helped me when we started fasting is When You Fast. It has lots of great recipes. I am looking forward to finding more in this book!

  27. Joseph Smith says:

    Comment! 🙂

  28. Would love to start fasting in a more organized way!

  29. I’m definitely excited for a chance to receive this cookbook. I’m also glad to hear of a new resource for cooking Lenten. Congratulations and may God bless on your good news!

  30. Sounds like a wonderful way to expand my recipe file for the Great Fast. Thanks for the opportunity to win the book.

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