PREPARING FOR THE FAST:
• Begin drinking on a consistent basis 36 hours beforehand. Increase your fluids by 25% or 30%.
• Eat more fruit, particularly fruit that is dense in fluid, like melon and watermelon. Fruits help retain the liquid you are consuming.
• If you are a coffee or caffeinated tea drinker or a chocoholic, it’s imperative that you begin weaning yourself from these caffeinated foods or drinks 72 hours before the fast begins. Failure to do so may bring on headaches during the fast.
• At the meal before the fast, stick with complex carbohydrates with a normal amount of lean protein—DO NOT go high protein. Whole Grains, vegetables, fruits, and baked potatoes or preferably sweet potatoes are great.
• Keep drinking non-caffeinated beverages and remember that water and some fruit juices are best.
BREAKING THE FAST:
• Begin with 4 or 5 glasses of water.
• Have a light meal, a bowl of soup a small amount of whole grains (a slice of bread or a portion of brown rice are examples) and fresh cut salad is perfect. Keep proteins light and lean.
• Finish with a fruit or two. Stop there!!!
• Consider going for a short walk and do your stretching after the fast.
• If you are really still hungry after that, have a small snack and some more water or tea.
• Don’t end up eating an entire day’s calories in one meal. Overeating after the fast can cause great gastric discomfort!!
The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.