Yom Kippur is coming and people will be fasting. I was asked to put together some information on what will allow people to have a good fast that will allow them to focus on the meaning of the holiday without keeling over from blood sugar fluctuations. Here are a few tips to keep the fast from debilitating you and to keep hunger pains from being a major distraction. (You will still know you are fasting.):
In the weeks preceding Yom Kippur consider shrinking your stomach by reducing portion size. You can get used to less food intake which will lessen the shock.
From the first of Elul, reduce carbohydrates like bread and sugar. This allows your body to get used to not depending on regular sugar rushes. (Starches become sugar within minutes.)
Keep those honey cakes and sugary treats for a sweet new year to the first part of the 10 days before Yom Kippur and only take a little starch the day before. You don’t want to have huge fluctuations in blood sugar.
The day before eat proteins and fats that will not cause your blood sugar to rise and crash. You can prepare with either a meat or dairy meal. Eggs, beans, fish, cheese, chicken, quality meat if you can get it, nuts, butter, and avocado will help maintain your blood sugar. Continue reading Foods and Herbs to Prepare for a Fast→
When summer comes around I turn to the cooling bitter or astringent drinks, served slightly below room temperature or at most refrigerated. I don’t really like to use ice because it can ruin your digestion but cold feels awfully good. The bitter flavor is also cooling. Sour or astringent flavors help reduce water loss, so I like an infused vinegar in water at times as well as lemon or lime water.
And while warm beverages don’t often come to mind, hot tea is often consumed all day long in China or the Mideast. Think of it as homeopathy- like cures like. Or just as a way of reducing the difference between your body and the environment so adjustment isn’t such a shock.
One word about caffeinated beverages. You aren’t eating dry leaves or beans, you are drinking a water-based beverage flavored with the leaves or beans. The research shows you don’t lose more water than you take in, but you do lose it sooner, so tissues don’t hydrate as well. Rule of thumb: you lose 25% of the fluid value from coffee compared to water, and Continue reading Cooling Summer Herbal Beverages→
Fluoridated water must be treated as a medicine, and cannot be used to prepare foods. That is the decision of the European Court of Justice, in a landmark case dealing with the classification and regulation of ‘functional drinks’ in member states of the European Community. (HLH Warenvertriebs and Orthica (Joined Cases C-211/03, C-299/03, C-316/03 and C-318/03) 9 June 2005)
What are the implications of this? Tap water cannot be used in prepared foods of any kind, foods made with tap water cannot be imported either between European states or from the US. Unless they do full medical testing on it as for any other drug or functional food.
I do note that the European countries seem to be ignoring the Court of Justice decision which was given a few years ago and only the anti-flouridation forces are making much of it.
We all need water. Water helps hydrate our tissues and flushes our kidneys. We are 85% water and we need to replace water lost through urine, stools, sweat and breathing. Water even carries qi, via hydronium ions, so you want to drink enough if you are feeling lethargic.
But there are many myths about water consumption:
There is no evidence that we need eight 8 oz. glasses of water a day. This myth started when the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Research Council recommended approximately “1 milliliter of water for each calorie of food,” which would amount to roughly two to two-and-a-half quarts per day (64 to 80 ounces). Although in its next sentence, the Board stated “most of this quantity is contained in prepared foods,” that last sentence is virtually never quoted. Continue reading Health Myths about Hydration→