Hello! I hope you’re having a meaningful nine days.
We’re coming up to the very end, and need to prepare ourselves spiritually, and also physically, for Tisha B’av.
I had a special request from one of our readers, Chaya, to outline some tips so that your fast goes as well as it can.
So here goes!
It takes about 3 days to fully prepare our bodies for fasting, so that means that you’ll want to get started…NOW. Here are your tips:
1. Go easy on the caffeine. Gradually decrease the amount you drink each day. Don’t go cold turkey — that’s the #1 cause of headaches during and post fast. Slowly wean yourself off of it.
2. Start increasing your water intake. On average, we need about 1/2 ounce of water per lb of body weight. Now that it’s summer and we’re either sweating when outside (or even inside), or sitting inside our air conditioned homes and cars which dry us out, so we need even more than that. And now that we’re about to fast during a hot summer day, we will need even more reserves. So get drinking! Spread out your drinking over the course of the day. If you need to, set an alarm to remind you to swig.
Eating juicy fruits and vegetables also help, and since you’ll be drinking more than usual you’ll want to eat a bit (just a bit!) of extra salt.
3. Eat small meals, and eat them frequently, to keep your energy levels high. Try your best to make healthy, nourishing choices. Since the fast starts on Shabbos, plan your Shabbos menu to include foods that will leave you feeling good.
4. Get enough sleep. Your metabolism will work better and use your energy better.
5. When the fast is over, you should stick to the same types of foods you ate before the fast — water, foods low in salt / sugar, and small meals. Slowly, slowly increase the amounts you eat. You’ll be surprised that you’ll be satisfied with way less than you thought you would have wanted.
Have a meaningful fast. And if Moshiach comes first, at least you’ll be well fed for the journey to Yerushalayim!