Fasting is one thing, but getting to the end of the fast and then gorging on the nearest sugar doughnut undermines much of the benefits you have gained from the fasting.
‘Breaking the fast is as important as the fasting itself.’
This is a natural medicine fasting concept which must be emphasised even, in my opinion, when intermittently fasting. During fasting the digestive system rests. Reintroducing a ‘food like product’ aka ‘processed food’ which contains de-vitalised or altered nutrients can result in a mild inflammatory reaction, indigestion or sensitisation, and also means you miss the benefit of nourishing your digestive tract after its rest.
Perhaps the contemporary push of breakfast is the most important meal of the day, was confused and actually pertains to the importance of the wise reintroduction of food to a rested digestive system?
I recommend you choose nourishing vital, enzyme-rich, fresh foods to break your fast with.
This means foods freshly harvested, not stored for months (or even years) in cool storage. It means whole, fresh foods not those that have been processed or artificially preserved. Try to break your fast with something fresh and alive. Check out my blog with 7 top fast breaking drinks, snacks and meals.
This is easy if you:
– grow your own – even if they are only mung bean sprouts
– buy direct from farmers
– eat what’s in season
I recommend you have your first meal (or at least first bite) as mindfully as you can.
Bring maximum awareness to your eating. Pause for a moment to appreciate what you’re about to eat. Bring to mind all the forces that have contributed to this food being on your plate; from the sun, earth, water, seed, the farmer, the harvester and so on, all the way to the cook who prepared it or waiter who served it to you.
With a feeling of genuine gratitude, let your senses explore the food for a moment. Pause to smell the aromas. This in itself helps to stimulate your gastric juices (if you need any help with that – probably not by this stage!!). Then spend some time appreciating how the food looks – it’s shapes, colours, textures and so on.
Only then take your first mouthful. Stay present to the flavours and textures. Chew well.
Relax, enjoy and go slowly. Observe and distance any compulsion to scoff it down in seconds. Linger in the pleasure of nourishing your body with appreciated food.
If you feel full, you don’t have to finish it. Really, you will NOT get in trouble for not finishing your meal. Simply put it aside to have later.
Welcome back to the world of food.
I hope your fasting experiences help you to develop a nourishing relationship with your food and your world.