Yom Kippur Fasting 2023/ShutterStock
So after passing Rosh Hashanah Eve and the holiday meals, the focus shifts to Yom Kippur, with a somewhat stressful feeling for many Israelis ahead of 25 hours of fasting in conditions of high temperatures for the season and the noise of children and bicycles. To get through the fast safely, here is a short guide to help you come prepared and make fasting beneficial and not dangerous.
First of all, if there is any doubt - there is no doubt. If you have a chronic illness or are in poor health during these days, it is important to consult your doctor and get permission to fast or not.
The preparation for fasting should be started two to three days before Yom Kippur, here are the important highlights:
- Gradually reduce caffeine intake - consume half a serving each day to a serving of less caffeine than usual. (Remember that caffeine is not only found in coffee, but also in cola, energy drinks, and tea.)
- Drink a lot of water, at least 2 liters of water per day, every day.
- Gradually reduce sodium (salt) and simple sugars. It is recommended to stop consuming them at all a day or two before fasting.
What not to eat?
After we have agreed what not to eat - we move on to thinking positively. Simple carbohydrates and white sugar should be replaced with complex carbohydrates that break down more slowly such as brown rice, wild rice, red rice, buckwheat, green buckwheat, or quinoa. These can be combined with legumes to complement a complete plant-based protein.
As part of the preparations for fasting, it is recommended to start by reducing screen consumption. Most of us are glued to screens almost around the clock. Those who, in addition to fasting, are also separate from screens and are not used to it, may feel a significant withdrawal and FOMO experience. Therefore, this too should be practiced at least a week before fasting. Every day half an hour or an hour less on the cell phone and other screens.
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Simple carbohydrates and white sugar should be replaced with complex carbohydrates. Challa/ShutterStock
If you have prepared correctly for the long-awaited day, your body will already have a little easier time getting through it safely. Now there are a few more important "finishes" left:
- Be sure to drink at least 2 liters of water
- Do not consume simple sugars at all, and divide the meal into many small portions throughout the day.
- Avoid overeating at the break meal. Food does not "accumulate", and apart from feeling overly heavy and full, which will make it difficult to fast, overeating at the beginning of the fast may lead to abdominal discomfort, pain and gas that will make it difficult to continue the fast.
- At the break, you should choose a delicate seasoning, which is based on dried or fresh green leaves rather than intense and spicy spices.
- Prefer baked or grilled rather than fried foods.
Greetings, fasting is behind you. It is advisable to start with a relaxing tea such as chamomile, fennel or passionflower. Next to it, you can start eating gradually. Contrary to the recommendations before fasting, here it is actually recommended to return to eating simple carbohydrates initially. This is a good opportunity to connect with traditional ethnic foods, which will usually include dry cake, cookies and more. Don't worry, the whole grains and flours will be back later this week.
Note that the guidelines for preparing for fasting are the basis of a healthy diet - lots of vegetables, whole grains, legumes, clean foods, reduction of caffeine intake. We are in a great time to implement New Year's resolutions. I recommend continuing from fasting to a light fall cleanse – you can choose to adopt even one guideline, such as drinking water or reducing caffeine. Have a happy and healthy New Year.
Beneficial fasting and a good signature for the entire House of Israel!
Ortal Rubin Chen is a Naturopathic D.N., Naturopathic Coordinator at Clalit Complementary Medicine
- More on the subject:
- Fasting Yom Kippur