An Alexandrian convert to Christianity, he adopted an exceptionally austere life after giving all his worldly wealth to his brothers and to beggars. He moved into a lawless part of Gaza and sustained himself by making baskets from rushes. Unwilling to cave to his carnal temptations (some of which are fabulously depicted in artworks), he began to starve himself. Naked women and sumptuous feasts consumed his minds eye while hunger and neglect consumed his body. St. Jerome wrote that this was the diet he followed age various ages:
- from 20-23: half a pint of lentils moistened with cold water
- 23-27: dry bread with salt and water
- 27-30: wild herbs and roots
- 31-35: six ounces of barley bread, and boiled vegetables without oil
After that, he suffered from signs of malnutrition, his eyesight grew poor, his body shrivelled and he developed dry mange and scabs, so he had to slightly modify his diet.
- 35-63: six ounces of barley bread, and boiled vegetables with oil
- 63-80: six ounces of water, boiled vegetables with oil and a broth made from flour and crushed herbs, taken after sunset
Then again, I could eat fewer cookies and hit the gym more often myself.