Q: Hello Dr Ketch, what can I do to be healthy especially as we are preparing for our fast?
A: Thanks for writing in.
What to do? Keep eating healthy and focus on gentle exercises.
Breaking a fast is usually not as easy as it should be. You haven’t been eating and now it’s time to eat, so you pick anything you like to eat. Pretty open and shut, isn’t it? But actually, it’s not that easy.
Eating and drinking during a fast (religious or otherwise) should be easy…but is not always so. First, when a lot of people break fasts, they go on a binge. They eat the equivalent of what should have comfortably been taken over two or three meals! 😀 And then they break the fasts with the wrong meals: refined and processed foods (eg cakes, pies etc) which lead to blood sugar spikes. Complex carbohydrates are better options. Foods like local rice, beans, whole wheat grains, oatmeal etc belong to this group. These absorb water and are digested slowly. Remember that during a fast, your digestive system took a break. So, it only makes sense to re-introduce your body to food gradually with easy to digest foods. If you have ever tried to load your body with food immediately after a fast, you will recall the horrible cramps that followed as a result of trying to waken a sleeping digestive system too quickly
As for drinks, water is always a great choice. Drinks that contain caffeine may lead to dehydration as they cause one to urinate a lot.
Remember that meals should be balanced, containing all food groups: proteins (fish, chicken etc), carbohydrates, fats and oil ( eg olive oil used for cooking), minerals and vitamins in the veggies used to cook etc Healthy methods of cooking like boiling, steaming, grilling should be used as opposed to frying.
Easy to digest fruits like grapes, watermelons and apples are great options. They are easy to digest and absorb while providing the body with needed energy and nutrients. Juicing or eating slices of them…it doesn’t matter. Most people would break with citrus fruits like oranges but their acidic content may be too much for your stomach to handle.
Remember that during your fast, given that you’re on a calorie restrictive diet, go easy on the exercises and focus on stretching and gentle walks.
Have a super great night 😀