March 15, 2018, Prescott-
One of the challenges I used to face, when I first became a Baha’i and started fasting, was what sort of food and beverage intake would sustain me, through a normal day. I did not want to be one of those who went through the workday, zombie-like, getting the shakes from not having my customary mid-morning coffee break, or small lunch. I did not want to go home after work and slide into bed for the three hours that remained before dinner.
While my appetite has certainly gone down, especially in my sixties, here is what still works well: Early morning breakfast- Two proteins (Meat, cheese, yogurt or beans); two sources of complex carbohydrates (Organic bread, whole grain cereal); one serving of fruit; one serving of vegetable; two 8 oz. glasses of water, with a slice of lemon; coffee with milk or cream. Post sunset dinner (One protein; one complex carb; a salad; a serving of fruit or frozen yogurt; a glass of water with lemon; coffee (black) or tea (herbal).
Sometimes, when I have been feeling that the fast, on a given day, seems too long, I will make room for tea made of puerh, or other digestive aid, which helps suppress the urge to turn to food as a distraction.
Baha’u’llah did not intend the Fast to be an endurance test, thus allowing those 70 years of age or above, to refrain from the dietary portion of the Fast. Three years from now, I will still wake before sunrise and offer prayers and meditation, but not refrain from food and beverage. There is a wisdom in this, allowing our bodies to be better equipped for the challenges that often come with advancing age.
I believe that diet is the best form of medical self-care.