Whether you are a religious person or not, Eastern Orthodox monasticism has a lot to teach today’s healthy eating enthusiasts on what consists a wholesome diet. Centuries before consumers started actively seeking better eating habits, Orthodox Christian faith had set the rules of piousness and restraint, not excluding day to day and yearly diet.
Especially monks of Mount Athos, a mountain and peninsula in Macedonia of Northern Greece, a place also known as “Hagion Oros”, the “Holy Mountain” in Greek, follow a strict diet. Strict, yet also simple, delicious and 100% healthy. Based on pure materials, which come abundant from the Greek land, it is a shield against obesity, cancer and dozens of other diseases.
The monks of Mount Athos eat food without preservatives, fats and spices. They make small meals at certain times of the day and exercise naturally with their rural and other day-to-day activities. Fasting for Orthodox Christians lasts more than 110 days annually. That means almost a third of the year without consuming any meat, seafood, dairy products and on some holidays even olive oil.
In holy company
On the northwestern side of Mount Athos, Monoxilitis area spreads over an area of over 800 acres. According to historical sources, the name derives from a monk who used a single-wood boat to fish, hence the greek work Monoxilo, while another version speaks of wood that was driven by the Avars’ shipwrecked fleet during the siege of Constantinople in 626 AD.
It was there that Eyloyia PCC was established in 2013 with the sole mission of providing authentic products from Mount Athos to the domestic and global markets. It it worth noting that it is the only company allowed to operate in the “Athonite State”, an autonomous polity of monasteries within the borders of Greece.
The year 2016 is regarded as a milestone, when the company came to an agreement with Saint Paul’s Monastery and took up management of the monastery’s metochi in the Monoxilitis location, implementing an innovative program, with the aim of producing and promoting its goods under the brandname “Monoxilitis”. In this way, it contributes to preserving the Mount Athos legacy, always having the same philosophy and mission: to produce unique products, based on and inspired by the special Athonite way of life and the rich monastic tradition. Their main products are wine, olive oil, honey, jams, sweet preserves, herbs and spices.