The Day After A Fast

Did you spend the last hour of Tisha B’av fantasizing about your break-fast meal?

Tisha b’av is an exhausting day both physically and emotionally. When the fast ends, the process of getting back to ourselves begins. It’s important to remember that it’s a PROCESS! We just spent an entire day not eating or drinking. Especially for those of us in the northern hemisphere, it’s quite hot and many of us end up dehydrated. Rehydrating ourselves takes time! There’s only so much water our bodies can absorb at one time. A great way to slowly hydrate ourselves is to start with one cup of room temperature water, and sip it slowly. Wait 20-30 minutes before drinking the next one. Continue sipping about every half hour until you go to sleep.

A common complaint is that even the day after a fast, many people feel unwell. Their heads hurt. They have stomach aches. They feel sluggish. Remember — be kind to yourself! You went through a rough time yesterday, and your body needs to recuperate. Continue pacing your drinking. It might be helpful to set an alarm clock so that you remember to drink twice an hour. Hopefully by the time you wake up tomorrow you’ll be all back to yourself. 🙂

The same way that we need to take it slowly with our drinking, the same thing applies to our eating. Our sugar levels have gone really low while fasting. If we reintroduce carbohydrates too quickly, our sugar levels can spike, shortly to be followed by a crash. This is another reason why many people feel sluggish after breaking their fasts.

Breaking a fast should be similar to breaking our daily fast — breakfast! I’m not saying you should necessarily eat a bowl of cereal and milk to break your fast (if you want to — by all means! Go ahead!), but rather you should eat something small and gentle on your stomach. After some time has passed, you can move on to something a little more substantial.

Wishing you all a safe summer!

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