Since today is the first day of the 19 day Baha’i fast, I thought it might be interesting for you guys to see how I fuel up for breakfast on a typical fasting day.
For 19 days, Baha’i’s do not eat or drink from sunrise to sunset. Since I started fasting at the age of 15, I’ve had countless people ask me questions about how I survive without eating and drinking for the majority of the day.
Here’s the thing: while some days are definitely easier than others, it’s not that big of a deal to abstain from eating and drinking. Our bodies are trained to process food during certain periods of the day. However, when you think about it, the only reason we’re trained to eat three meals per day is because of worker meal plans during the Industrial Revolution. It’s actually better to eat several small meals throughout the day. Therefore, if we’re just reworking meal plans, it’s not that big of a deal to fill your body up before the day begins and then eat again at the end of the day. Of course, fasting is not encouraged if you suffer from any health ailments which affect your eating patterns (diabetes, heart disease, etc.) However, if you are in good physical condition (and not, you know, pregnant), you are expected to participate in the fast.
Most importantly, fasting is a period of spiritual purification. I’ve heard incredible stories of Baha’is putting their faith before physical food, and those stories keep me plowing on (even when my “friends” think it’s cool to eat huge lunches right in front of me.)
Anyway, it’s really important to fuel up properly if you intend to go without eating all day. While it’s great to eat a large breakfast as preparation, your large breakfast should be composed of items which won’t make you hungry throughout the day. For example, I try not to eat especially salty items (like a big bowl of grits ) because they mean I will be VERY hungry again by 11am. I like to eat a good amount of protein and fiber-rich items. This morning I sprung out of bed (at 5:45am) and started making a complex breakfast for my first day. Here’s what I made:
Egg Whites with 1/2 oz low-fat cheddar (2 WWpoints+)
Steel Cut Oats topped with 1 tbsp brown sugar and a chopped banana (4 WWpoints+)
Green Monster containing 1/2 cup Silk Dark Chocolate Almond Milk, 1 banana, 1/2 cup spinach, 1/2 orange, 1 scoop boku ( 3 wwpoints+)
1/2 orange (0 wwpoints+)
Of course, the variable here is Time. I always manage to eat especially slow whenever it’s important to eat quickly. The other factor is Water. Literally, I CHUG water up until the sun rises. The pace of water consumption definitely slows down my eating. Therefore, I only managed to get down a few sips of my green monster before the sun was fully in the sky. To be honest, while I absolutely hate to waste food, I wasn’t too broken up about it- this was the first time I’ve ever put chocolate almond milk in my monster and I wasn’t a fan. It was also the first time I’ve used frozen spinach in my monster, and it was a bit too cold and the texture was off.
Today is a pretty busy day- there’s a 1776 morning matinee, and I’m working in the afternoon. Tonight’s dinner will be day 3 of the macaroni and cheese bowl (Don’t worry, it’s the WW friendly day ), and I’m going to start posting recipes from the first two days of the macaroni bowl this evening. Yeah, I’m pretty excited about today.