5 Things Learned About Eating During Fasting
The 30-day fasting month of Ramadan — from which I am now wiser — means no eating, drinking or sex during the daylight hours, or else the fast is nullified. Due to travel, I was able to fast almost all the days this year and will fast or feed folks in coming weeks to replace the lost days as the guidance says.
My biggest takeaway this year is what I noticed about my eating habits and how to improve them.
Universal Fasting Eating Habits
1. Water Can Replace a Meal
This is true for fasting of any kind. During Ramadan, if I stayed awake or woke up in enough time, my meal before dawn would be a glass of water. This hydration would get me through to sunset. For a juice fast of fruits or vegetables, water is a meal replacement or “snack.” You can drop essential oil into H2O to boost “whatever you want.”
2. Herbs Help to Cleanse and Restore
“Whatever you want” means oils (and greenery) that supports digestion AND boosts health in other ways. Review the benefits of oils of celery, carrot, juniper, peppermint, spearmint, lime, lemon, orange, coriander and oregano here. Juice the fresh leaves of spinach, kale, green peppers, parsley, basil, sage, cilantro, and marjoram. High fiber content, A, C and K vitamins, and minerals are outstanding in these sources.
3. Steal Cat Naps When You Can
To keep your health “above the line” during a fast, good rest is essential. With a no-daylight-activity fast, naps of five, ten or 20 minutes are indispensable. Meditation and sleeping as log as possible are great too. It was quite helpful this year to surrender when I thought about resting, instead of go- go- going like the Energizer bunny.
4. Obey Your First Mind and Fly Solo
You may want to attend high energy programs during your fast. Coordinating such activities often involves getting a bite to eat with friends. If your fast is over a week, declining invitations is a choice. As eating out slows down, don’t feel antisocial for staying close to home. Plus, your body can use the rest (see #3).
5. Enjoy Nature More
Fasting is a self-growth lifestyle and can be balanced by the first four items above as well as by intentionally getting closer to nature. If you’re not near the coast or a beach, a walk in a local park and “settin’ a spell” to inhale the fresh air will be highly restorative.
I’ve been fasting for Ramadan for 40 years and fasted with juice and/or water for years before that. All fasting is a gift designed to help the soul. Each fast is unique and teaches what we need to know, by the grace of God.
–Rev. Niamo Nancy Muid
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