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Monday, August 1, 2011

How to Go on a Fast Safely


1 Av 5771

The Jewish calendar is in a somber state. Nine days to go until Tisha B'AV, the 9th day of the month called Av. We've already been in the midst of a mourning period known as The Three Weeks.

Tisha B'AV, the 9th day of the month called Av, is a day of fasting: no drinks or food unless you're quite ill/weak (check with your doctor to learn if the fast should be  minimized or avoided for your optimal health. Your local Orthodox rabbi can advise you what to do in such a case). Here's something you can do, starting today, to reduce your discomfort during the fast:

Stop eating/drinking things with sugar (pastas, candies, snax) and caffeine (coffees, sodas) - at minimum ingest less of the stuff each day until the fast. It's the sudden withdrawal from sugar and caffeine that can unhinge your hopes to get through the fast without headaches and feeling "ill."

Here's how to get through the high heat/humidity in the
meanwhile: Cool off and reenergize with chilled unsweetened organic teas (or, sweetened with a bit of agave syrup if you must have sweet flavoring), pure juices without additives, filtered water, cold fruit, peaches or other fruit pureed in a blender then chilled for fantastic refreshment, and cold soups (read some recipe books).

Avoid nausea after the fast by first drinking simple beverages, then eating s-l-o-w-ly.

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