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Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Yom Kippur With Food Allergies

Successful Yom Kippur fasting requires preparation. This 25 hour fast requires great physical endurance. What you eat and drink in the days leading up to a fast is critical to making the day productive. Avoiding certain foods before a fast is also important. Maximizing your nutritional intake before a fast may seem even more challenging if you have food allergies. It doesn't have to be.

One crucial element before fasting is hydration. Drink, drink, and drink some more.
Try to do this several days before the fast but be especially mindful of drinking the day before the fast. Water is best, but juices and Gatorade work too. You'll want to avoid all caffeinated beverages as caffeine works as a diuretic (depleting you of vital hydration). If you're a coffee addict, try to decrease coffee consumption a few days before the fast to prevent "withdrawal" symptoms on Yom Kippur.

Eating fruits and vegetables high in water content is also helpful with pre-fast hydration. Lettuce, cucumbers, peppers, eggplant, and tomatoes are all high in water content. Grapes,melon,berries, and citrus fruits are packed with water as well. You'll want to have plenty of these types of produce on hand before and after the fast.

In addition to drinking, one should eat high water content fruits and vegetables before the fast. Fruits such as melons, berries, grapefruit, oranges, and grapes are ideal. Some hydrating vegetables are: lettuce, cabbage, peppers, tomatoes, and eggplants.

While hydration is important so is solid nutrition. Choose your foods wisely for maximum endurance on Yom Kippur. High carbohydrate dishes like pasta and breads are great choices for stored energy. Just like runners preparing for their big day by eating bowls of spaghetti, you'll want to pack in the carbs to prepare for your spiritual marathon. If you're avoiding gluten you'll want to make sure these dishes are wheat free. Choose alternative pastas made with brown rice, potato, or quinoa. Breads and pastries should be made with wheat free mixes and flours.

Preparing specialty allergen free baked goods from scratch requires additional time. You'll want to give yourself enough time to prepare. It's a good idea to make your post fast dishes in advance as well so your meal is ready to go when you are.

While your planning your menu to include powerhouse foods, you'll want to avoid greasy and spicy foods. Fried foods and dishes that leave your mouth "burning" are obviously poor choices for good digestion. You don't want your stomach acting up during the prayer service in synagogue. Try to limit salt as well.

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