|It's not a turnip|
I don’t fast for religious purposes but I have many religious and semi-religious clients who fast on Yom Kippur. We've been known to suggest non-religious lent so there’s no reason why everyone can't fast or atone. If you do, some tips:
- Don’t feast before you fast- I get the “last supper” (wrong religion I realize) tendency to feast before you fast but that leaves you feeling gross and, more importantly, makes your fast more difficult. Have a dinner portion you’d call skimpy if you were served it at a restaurant.
- Fat is your friend- fats take a long time to digest thus providing more staying power. Include avocado (taco Tuesday meets Yom), coconut oil, ghee or tahini in your dinner before you fast.
- Go green- fat and fiber are the magic combination, have two cups of green vegetables with dinner (just skip asparagus).
- Portion your protein- you can have fish or roasted chicken at dinner but protein uses up a lot of water as it digests, so aim for palm-sized portion max.
- Drink until you sink :) in the PM hours before a fast have a class of water or herbal tea per hour.
- Take a shot- combine 1Tbs apple cider vinegar, a dash of cinnamon and a lemon squeeze in a shot class and bottom's up before dinner (bottoms will come into play in tip #9). This will help balance your blood sugar.
- Take D3 to be less hungry- vitamin D decreases appetite, it also helps your body's melatonin relax you. Take your vitamin D after dinner.
- 8 is great- be sure to get your sleep before a fast, less sleep means more hunger. Eight hours of sleep will set you up perfectly.
- Another way to get caffeine-try a caffeine suppository. I had 2 orthodox clients mention this so I guess it’s not cheating. It seems silly that the other end is fair game but I don't make the rules. Tylenol makes caffeine suppositories and they will help you remain headache free when fasting. "The fast is best thought of as an instrument to achieve greater things. And so there’s nothing wrong with making your fast as easy as possible, within reason" says a smart rabbi. Why suffer?
- Better not bagel! Let’s be honest, even if you’re fasting for religious purposes, a little weight loss never hurt. Or, why gain weight after you spent day fasting? Don’t bagel, BYO Bagel substitutes such as Organ crackers or Siete, almond flour wraps.
For more fasting thoughts, check out this article from Prevention I was quoted in.
A healthy and happy new year to you! Any other fasting tips or tricks you'd like to share?