See previous parts for important information.
How to Break a Fast?
When you break-fast,
you need to be careful. This is especially important in a longer fast. On very short fasts you can most often just pick up where you left off. But that might not be the best thing to do even then. You can overload your digestive system. And you may miss an opportunity for adjusting you dietary patterns.
Remember earlier we talked about learning from the animals. When a bear comes out of hibernation, he does not jump into eating a usual diet. He eats grass and berries for a while and then he branches out into meat.
Instincts tell him that after his fast he has to ease back into eating a more regular diet.
You get the most benefit from fasting when a fast is broken properly. While you are reintroducing food into you life, slow and easy, you are not only being kind to your body. You are taking time to readjust your relationship with food. It is the perfect opportunity for a dietary reboot. Remember one of the effects of a fast is clarity of mind. You can see more clearly what is best, and you have proved that you have the discipline to start off in a new direction food wise.
While fasting, the individual pass over several biological changes. Most enzymes of the digestive system have being produced or have diminished profoundly. Depending on what kind of fast he did, introducing food slowly allows his body the time it needs to start up these enzyme production again.
For example, the stomach’s protective mucus lining may have been diminished. This tends to make the stomach walls more subject to irritation until this lining is reestablished. Gentle return to eating, beginning with the easiest to digest foods, is an important consideration. Foods and drinks that are known to irritate the system, such as coffee and spicy foods, should be avoided during the breaking process. This is not only important in a long fast, but it may be physically critical.
With all the biological changes that occurred while fasting, overeating right after a fast is much worse than overeating at any other time. Your system needs adjustment time to easily re enter normal digestion and assimilation. Not taking the proper measures can result in stomach cramping, diarrhea, nausea, and/or vomiting.
The adjustment period depends on how long you fasted. Was it four days, 1-3 days for shorter fasts, and just a day or so one-day fasts?
Here are some foods to use for breaking a fast.
The general rule is that at the start of a break-fast the most nutritious and easy to digest foods break best a fast. Then you gradually add more diversity and complexity over time. A little here a little there, and you are back to more normal eating.
Juice is a good starter many say. You are receiving nutrition with almost no digestion required.
Some suggestions made by one researcher are:
fruit and vegetable juices
vegetable or bone broths
yogurt (or other living, cultured milk products), unsweetened
lettuces and spinach (can use plain yogurt as a dressing and top with fresh fruit)
cooked vegetables and vegetable soups
well cooked grains and beans
nuts and eggs
Juices and raw fruits are the most popular for the initial breaking of the fast.
The a little here and there of the other things and later into regular eating.
Pay attention to how your body reacts to these foods as they are reintroduced. While eating when you start to feel full, stop eating at that point. You do not have to clean your plate. Start training yourself to notice and you will always know when your body has had what it needs.
When you start eating again, it is suggested that you eat frequent small meals, say every 2 hours or so. During this time, you are progressing gradually toward larger meals that are separated by more time until you reach a normality in your eating pattern.
As your mama told you, chew all your foods well. This will aid greatly in having proper digestion, and it is a good habit to acquire anyway.
Work on have in your diet live enzymes and good bacteria. Fresh raw foods and probiotics are a definite plus.
The four important factors are 1) frequent meals toward less frequent meals, 2) small meals toward larger meals, 3) Easy to digest toward harder, requiring more enzymes to digest, and 4) less variety toward more variety.
It may sound like a complicated thing. But breaking a fast is not. It is common sense. While it may take a little thought and attention, breaking a fast properly guides us into better overall health and to attaining the full benefits fasting.